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Nike CEO to step down; Kimberly-Clark raises FY'19 outlook after Q3 EPS beat

TOP NEWS

* Nike Inc.'s Mark Parker will step down as president and CEO in 2020 to assume the role of executive chairman, continuing to lead the company's board of directors. John Donahoe, the president and CEO of ServiceNow Inc., will succeed Parker as president and CEO. All changes will take effect Jan. 13, 2020.

* Kimberly-Clark Corp. reported third-quarter adjusted EPS and net income that beat analysts' expectations and raised its organic sales and EPS outlook for the full year. The company's adjusted diluted EPS of $1.84 for the three months ended Sept. 30 surpassed the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate for normalized EPS of $1.79. Kimberly-Clark raised its full-year adjusted EPS guidance to $6.75 to $6.90 from a previous range of between $6.65 and $6.80.

TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS

* Victoria's Secret Stores LLC and H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB lingerie supplier Hop Lun (Hong Kong) Ltd is looking for investors for a potential partial stake sale in a bid to fund its expansion, owner Erik Ryd told Bloomberg News. A deal, which the company aims to finalize in 2020, could value the business at $400 million to $500 million, the report said.

E-COMMERCE

* Amazon.com Inc.'s Australian unit launched a program that gives customers a 10% discount and free delivery if they register for scheduled repeat deliveries on products they regularly buy on the company's platform. Products available through Amazon Australia's Subscribe and Save include food and drink, pet supplies, vitamins, and beauty products.

* Amazon.com's consumer chief, Jeff Wilke, rebuffed claims that the e-commerce giant sells counterfeit, illegal and unsafe products. "You can find anecdotes to support whatever conclusion you want ... but the vast majority of sales on Amazon are legitimate product, safe product," Wilke said at the WSJ Tech Live 2019 event. The executive also said the company has "no tolerance" on fake products and safety issues, adding that Amazon needs to "be vigilant, be willing to spend hundreds of millions and eventually billions of dollars to protect our customers."

* Amazon.com said it is expanding its in-store pickup option, dubbed Amazon Counter, in partnership with health and wellness products maker GNC Holdings Inc., community pharmacy operator Health Mart Systems Inc. and specialty department store chain Stage Stores Inc. Counter is part of the Amazon Hub network of pickup locations that includes Amazon Lockers across the U.S.

HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL PRODUCTS

* Best Buy Co. Inc. will offer free next-day delivery on thousands of holiday items, such as tablets and headphones, but exclude larger goods such as big screen TVs and refrigerators. The consumer electronics retailer will also offer same-day delivery in 42 U.S. metro cities for orders completed on BestBuy.com before 3 p.m. local time Monday through Saturday and before 2 p.m. on Sundays.

* Arts and crafts store operator The Michaels Cos.Inc. named Mark Cosby as its CEO, effective immediately. Cosby has been interim CEO of the company and a board member since February.

* PVH Corp. brand Calvin Klein and Swiss watchmaker The Swatch Group AG agreed to end their 22-year licensing agreement after the companies failed to "achieve the maximum potential in key markets." "Calvin Klein is currently evaluating the best possible partner for the future and will announce its partner in due course," the luxury fashion house said.

FOOD AND STAPLES RETAILING

* CVS Health Corp. retail unit CVS Pharmacy Inc. will expand its "highly interactive" beauty department called BeautyIRL into nearly 50 of its stores by 2019-end. The store concept will roll out in the company's key markets including New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Boston.

HYPERMARKETS AND SUPERCENTERS

* J. C. Penney Co. Inc. named former Whole Foods Market Inc. executive Brooke Buchanan its senior vice president of communications, effective Oct. 28. It also appointed Robin Beuthin, who previously was vice president of retail brand and creative at The Walt Disney Co., as vice president of creative marketing.

* French retailer Carrefour SA reiterated its cost reduction target of €2.6 billion annually to 2020 after it posted a 2.3% increase in like-for-like sales for the third quarter of 2019, driven by growth across nearly all geographies. The company's like-for-like sales in France decreased 0.9% year over year. Carrefour also reaffirmed its goal of €4.2 billion in food e-commerce sales and €4.8 billion in sales of organic products in 2022.

HOUSEHOLD DURABLES AND SPECIALTY RETAIL

* Panasonic Corp. named Celina Mikolajczak as the Japanese company's vice president of battery technology. Prior to the appointment, Mikolajczak was a technical consultant and director of engineering at ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc.

* ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc. acquired pest management companies Gregory Pest Solutions Inc. and McCloud Services for an undisclosed amount. The two companies are service providers to Copesan Services Inc., which ServiceMaster acquired in 2018. ServiceMaster said it will retain the management teams and brands of both companies.

* Spain's High Court will investigate L1 Retail's bid for Madrid-based Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentación SA over concerns that Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman acted to depress the supermarket chain's share price ahead of his bid for the company, Reuters reported, citing a court document. L1 Retail, the retail division of LetterOne Holdings S.A. fund, took control of Dia in May in a rescue bid that saw LetterOne own 70% of the Spanish retailer. When sought for comment, LetterOne denied the accusations, telling the news agency that the supermarket chain "has suffered from mismanagement and previously disclosed accounting irregularities that have negatively impacted all shareholders, including LetterOne."

* Sports Direct International PLC called for a probe into Goals Soccer Centres PLC as it suggested that the British company's shareholders might be at risk of getting "wiped out." Sports Direct concluded that the behavior of the company's board and failure to identify and resolve issues "amounts to incredible incompetence and ignorance, wilful or otherwise, at the very least and potentially far worse." The news comes days after the U.K. retailer dropped its plans to buy Goals Soccer Centres, to which the leisure facilities operator responded that the company "provided Sports Direct with all of the information they have requested."

HOTELS, RESORTS AND CRUISE LINES

* U.K.-based hotel and pub operator Fuller Smith & Turner PLC said it agreed to acquire hotelier Cotswold Inns and Hotels Ltd. for a total consideration of £40 million. The company expects to close the deal on Oct. 31. The acquisition of Cotswold includes seven country inns and hotels, eight freehold staff cottages and two leasehold bars.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng shed 0.82% to 26,566.73, and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.34% to 22,625.38.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased 0.08% to 7,217.66, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.66% to 1,085.66.

On the macro front

The Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index and the U.S. Energy Information Administration Petroleum Status 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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