* British American Tobacco PLC reported better-than-expected earnings for the first half of 2019 and said it was on track to deliver high single-digit adjusted earnings growth for the full year. The maker of Dunhill and Lucky Strike cigarettes reported adjusted diluted EPS of 149.3 pence at current exchange rates for the six months to June 30, an 8.8% increase from the equivalent period in 2018 and ahead of the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 146 pence.
* Yum! Brands Inc. said second-quarter EPS, excluding special items, came in at 93 cents, a 15% year-over-year growth from 82 cents and beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus normalized EPS estimate of 88 cents. For the three months ended June 30, the Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell restaurants operator's worldwide system sales, excluding foreign currency translation, grew 10%, while total revenue slid 4% year over year to $1.31 billion.
FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
* Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky's €5.8 billion takeover offer for Metro AG has so far received a lukewarm response from shareholders, Reuters reported, citing a filing. Meridian Foundation and Beisheim Group, the German retailer's top investors, also have rejected the offer and instead pledged to boost their equity interest in the company.
* Cannabis-infused products-maker Green Growth Brands Inc. amended its share purchase deal with Florida-based medical marijuana producer Spring Oaks Greenhouses Inc. Green Growth now prices its common shares to be paid to the owners of Spring Oaks to $2.39 per share, up from $2.35 per share.
* Japanese food retailer Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd. is terminating its cashless payment service 7pay in September after a series of security breaches in July. As part of its future security measures, the company said it will form an organization to supervise and control information security.
* Hong Kong-based retailer Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. expects 2019 sales growth to be tempered due to "general market uncertainties" and reported a year-over-year increase in first-half underlying EPS to 13 cents from 12 cents. For the six months ended June 30, total sales grew 13% to $13.78 billion from $12.22 billion in the equivalent period in 2018.
* Molson Coors Brewing Co. said President and CEO Mark Hunter will be retiring, effective Sept. 27. Hunter will be replaced by Gavin Hattersley, the president and CEO of its U.S. unit MillerCoors LLC, effective Sept. 28.
* Japanese brewer Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. revised its 2019 outlook after reporting first-half diluted EPS of ¥134.33, up from ¥131.80 in the year-ago period. For the six months ended June 30, profit attributable to owners of the parent increased 1.9% year over year to ¥61.54 billion from ¥60.38 billion. Meanwhile, revenue declined 2.1% year over year to ¥983.83 billion.
* Italian distiller Davide Campari-Milano SpA agreed to sell its real estate property of Villa Les Cèdres, located in the French commune of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, for €200 million. The Campari Group will retain €80 million. The group did not disclose the identity of the buyer.
* India's Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd. appointed SV Ranganath interim board chairman, after the death of founder and chairman VG Siddhartha, according to a stock exchange filing. The coffee chain operator also appointed Nitin Bagmane interim COO.
TOBACCO & SMOKING PRODUCTS
* Cigarette-maker Philip Morris International Inc. named Bin Li chief product officer, effective immediately. Li will oversee design and product development in the company's reduced-risk product category, which includes its IQOS vape devices.
* Plant-based-burger maker Impossible Foods Inc. partnered with food producer OSI Group LLC to expand the production of its vegan offering, called the Impossible Burger. Separately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Impossible's use of soy leghemoglobin, a color additive, in its uncooked beef analog products. Following the approval, the company will begin selling its vegan burgers in grocery stores in September.
* Irish food-supplement maker Glanbia PLC cut its full-year guidance and said it now expects adjusted EPS to be in the range of 88 euro cents to 92 cents, adding that the revision is driven by the "disappointing" first-half results for its performance nutrition unit. The company reported a 5.5% decline in its first-half adjusted EPS to 36.69 cents from 38.83 cents.
* Packaged-foods maker Seneca Foods Corp. completed its acquisition of Paradise Inc.'s fruit business for an undisclosed sum.
* Cold-pressed juice producer Natur International Corp. said it completed the acquisition of a controlling interest in beverage company Temple Turmeric Inc. from Dunn's River Brands LLC.
* Beyond Meat Inc.'s stock fell about 6.5% during premarket trading after it priced its public offering of common stock, the bulk of which is being sold by its shareholders. The plant-based-meat producer is offering 250,000 of its common stock held by the company at $160 per share for total proceeds of $40 million before underwriting discounts and commissions and offering costs. Its shareholders are offering 3,000,000 of their common shares for the same price for total proceeds of $480 million.
* The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Conagra Brands Inc. is recalling about 32,400 pounds of canned beef products due to a potential processing defect, resulting in the potential survival of bacterial pathogens.
* Canadian packaged meat company Maple Leaf Foods Inc. reported second-quarter adjusted EPS of 33 Canadian cents, a 2.9% year-over-year decrease from 34 cents. For the three months ended June 30, sales increased 12.5% to C$1.02 billion from the year-ago period.
* Dine Brands Global Inc., operator of Applebee's and IHOP restaurants, said its second-quarter adjusted diluted EPS came in at $1.71, up 66% year over year from $1.03. For the three months ended June 30, total revenue, excluding advertising revenue, grew 24.3% year over year to $156.3 million.
* Bloomin' Brands Inc., the owner of restaurant chain Outback Steakhouse, reaffirmed its full-year 2019 outlook and reported adjusted diluted EPS of 36 cents for the second quarter ended June 30 versus 38 cents in the year-ago quarter.
* Pizza house chain Papa John's International Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of 22.5 cents per common share, payable Aug. 23 to shareholders of record of as of Aug. 12.
* Japanese restaurant concept chain Kura Sushi USA Inc. priced its IPO of 2.9 million shares of its class A common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market at $14 per share. The shares will begin trading Aug. 1 under the KRUS symbol.
* The Cheesecake Factory Inc. has agreed to acquire multiconcept dining operator Fox Restaurant Concepts LLC and the remaining stake in casual-dining chain North Italia for $353 million.
* Food and support services provider Aramark declared a quarterly dividend of 11 cents per share, payable Aug. 29 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Aug. 15.
* Australian multibrand food franchise Retail Food Group Ltd. said Jessica Buchanan resigned from her role as director to transition into an operational consulting role with the company.
* Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. raised its 2019 adjusted diluted EPS outlook to a range of $3.02 to $3.05, compared to its previous guidance of between $2.94 and $2.99, as it reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates. For the three-month period ended June 29, adjusted diluted EPS came in at 86 cents, an 11.7% year-over-year increase from 77 cents and beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 81 cents.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.76% to 27,565.70, and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.09% to 21,540.99.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.10% to 7,594.24, and the Euronext 100 climbed 0.34% to 1,084.77.
On the macro front
The jobless claims report, the PMI Manufacturing index, the ISM Manufacturing index, the consumer spending report, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
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