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Inditex Q3 net income up 14% YOY; Walmart, Flipkart invest in Ninjacart

TOP NEWS

* Shares of Industria de Diseño Textil SA were up 0.9% after the owner of the fast-fashion chain Zara reported that net income in the third quarter rose 14% year over year to €1.2 billion, outpacing S&P Global Market Intelligence's mean consensus estimate of €1.14 billion. Net sales during the first nine months of the fiscal year increased by 7.5% to €19.82 billion. Management stuck to its estimate of like-for-like sales growth of 4% to 6% in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2020. Inditex also announced the appointment of French entrepreneur Anne Lange to its board.

* Walmart Inc. and its Indian e-commerce unit Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd. invested in supply chain technology startup Ninjacart. Walmart said the deal would help it improve sourcing of fresh produce for its Best Price B2B cash-and-carry stores and Supermart online grocery site in India.

TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS

* Columbia Sportswear Co. director Sarah Bany stepped down from the board, effective immediately, to focus on administering the estate of her mother, former Columbia Chairwoman Gert Boyle.

* Safilo Group SpA and Marc Jacobs renewed their eyewear licensing partnership, which has reached its 15th year. The new agreement will run until Dec. 31, 2026.

* Shares of Designer Brands Inc. closed Dec. 10 down 16.3% after the retailer posted third-quarter earnings that missed analysts' estimates and lowered its full-year adjusted EPS outlook to between $1.50 and $1.55 from its previous guidance range of $1.87 to $1.97. Adjusted diluted EPS was 67 cents, down from 70 cents in the year-ago period and below the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 74 cents. Revenue rose 12.4% year over year to $936.3 million from $833 million, with comparable sales growth of 0.3%.

* The Gap Inc.'s Old Navy brand teamed up with Postmates Inc. to offer on-demand gift delivery for customers who use Old Navy's buy online, pickup in-store service.

MULTILINE RETAIL

* Dollar General Corp. made about 20 cannabidiol products available across 1,100 of its stores in Tennessee and Kentucky. It also plans to launch them in Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Vermont by the spring of 2020.

* Hudson's Bay Co. reported a normalized net loss for the third quarter of C$128 million, wider than its loss of C$56 million in the year-ago period. Revenue fell to C$1.84 billion from C$1.89 billion, with a 1.7% decrease in comparable sales. "Across the industry, there was a pullback among luxury consumers, allowing shoppers to more frequently take advantage of markdowns, which ultimately reduced full-price sales," CEO Helena Foulkes said. The company declared a quarterly dividend of 1.25 Canadian cents per share.

* Hudson's Bay Co. shareholder Ortelius Advisors LP will vote against the take-private offer led by Executive Chairman Richard Baker, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the investor. Ortelius, which has filed a lawsuit against the company, said the special committee's back-to-back announcement of a real estate deal and Baker's offer hurt the company's share price.

* Target Corp.'s Shipt business unit teamed up with Sur La Table Inc. to offer same-day delivery for cookware, dinnerware and bakeware in 62 metro areas.

* Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings Inc. named John Swygert as CEO, president and board member, effective immediately. Swygert has been interim president and CEO since Dec. 2 after the death of founder Mark Butler.

* Real estate developer Bharti Realty Ltd. is in talks with Galeries Lafayette over the French department store chain's first site in India, The Economic Times (India) reported, citing unnamed sources. A Bharti Realty spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, while Galeries Lafayette did not respond to requests for comment, the report added.

E-COMMERCE

* The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said it may launch an in-depth investigation into Amazon.com Inc.'s investment in Roofoods Ltd., known as Deliveroo, as it is concerned the deal could damage competition in the U.K. markets for online restaurant food delivery and online convenience grocery delivery. "There are relatively few players in these markets, so we're concerned that Amazon having this kind of influence over Deliveroo could dampen the emerging competition," CMA Executive Director Andrea Gomes da Silva said.

FOOD AND STAPLES RETAILING

* Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV's U.S. division will invest $480 million to overhaul its supply chain operations in the East Coast over three years. As part of the investment, Ahold Delhaize will buy three distribution facilities from C&S Wholesale Grocers and lease two additional facilities. The company will also allocate funds into its two new fully automated frozen facilities that will be built in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S.

* The Co-operative Group invested more than £25 million to open 30 new locations in the U.K. between November and December, creating up to 500 jobs, Retail Gazette reported. The Co-op reportedly said the new stores, which are mostly at transport hubs and residential apartments, run on 100% renewable electricity.

HYPERMARKETS AND SUPERCENTERS

* Walmart Inc. will pilot an autonomous driving grocery delivery service in Houston in partnership with robotics startup Nuro Inc. The company has previously partnered with Ford Motor Co. and self-driving vehicle startup Udelv to test driverless deliveries of groceries and other consumer goods in Miami-Dade, Fla., and Surprise, Ariz., respectively.

HOUSEHOLD DURABLES AND SPECIALTY RETAIL

* Shares of Peloton Interactive Inc. closed down 5.7% at $32.78 on Dec. 10 after short-seller Citron Research set a target share price of $5 and said the company's competitors have created virtually identical exercise bikes that are more affordable and functional. "The hardware aspect of [Peloton] has not changed in a meaningful way since its bike's introduction in 2014 when the valuation of the company was $100 million," the note said.

* Shares of GameStop Corp. were down 14.9% in pre-market trading after the company slashed its adjusted diluted EPS outlook for fiscal 2019 to between 10 cents and 20 cents from $1.15 to $1.30. Adjusted loss for the third quarter was 49 cents per diluted share, compared to the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 17 cents. Total global sales dropped 25.7% to $1.44 billion from $1.94 in the year-ago period, with a comparable sales decline of 23.2%.

LEISURE PRODUCTS AND FACILITIES

* Brunswick Corp. named former Whirlpool Corp. executive Brett Dibkey as president of its newly established marine parts and accessories unit, Advanced Systems Group, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

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The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.79% to 26,645.43, while the Nikkei 225 ticked 0.08% lower to 23,391.86.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 lost 0.08% to 7,208.31, and the Euronext 100 went down 0.21% to 1,120.01.

On the macro front

The U.S. Consumer Price Index, the quarterly services survey, the Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration Petroleum Status Report, the Federal Open Market Committee meeting announcement and the Treasury budget 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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