When the CEO of Walmart says that inflation is coming, we best be on the lookout. As head of America's largest retailer, Bill Simon is in a unique place to see inflation traveling all the way through the supply chain.
Walmart's (WMT) advanced computer systems are the some of the largest and most advanced computer systems in the world -- on par with computers the U.S. military uses. Every product and purchase is tracked to get stores resupplied as quickly as possible, usually just in time. As a retailer, Walmart is going to be keeping track of costs and profit margins very closely. Managers all across the company are carefully watching the reports.
Continue reading Is Inflation Here? Walmart Warns of Rising Prices
The unfettered bull market looked to take a breather today. Regardless of the ultimate close, the DJIA went between positive and negative multiple times today -- and it was not until the formal close that the exact level of red or black was known.
Warnings of inflation, corn crop reports, weekly jobless claims and upcoming elections in the Middle East and North Africa all acted to interrupt what had been a non-stop bull market. Oil was higher after Moammar Gadhafi pushed back rebels in key areas in Libya. One Federal Reserve governor's comments, on how higher rates are needed before the end of the year, acted to soften stocks right before the close.
Still, today marked the end of the quarter -- and it was the best first quarter in years (maybe since 1998).
Continue reading Closing Bell: Massive Quarter Despite a Slow Day (AGU, BRK-B, INTC, TSLA, URBN, WMT)
- Red Hat (RHT) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
- Cogdell Spencer (CSA) to buy from hold at Citigroup.
- Micron (MU) to neutral from reduce at Nomura.
- El Paso Electric (EE) to buy from hold at Jefferies.
- MICROS Systems (MCRS) and Harmony Gold (HMY) to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital.
- Meridian Bioscience (VIVO) to buy from hold at Canaccord.
- Verso Paper (VRS) to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse.
- Sony (SNE) to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank.
- Noble Corp. (NE) and Baker Hughes (BHI) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Tyson Foods (TSN) and Smithfield Foods (SFD) to buy from hold at BB&T.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: BAC, BHI, KKR, MU, NE, RHT, SNE, TSN, WMT ...
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) issued its fourth-quarter report today. The company was rocking this afternoon: with a little more than two hours to go before the close of the session, the stock was up 6% to $39.93. Earlier during the intraday session, a new 52-week high of $40.26 was achieved. It's good to get over that psychological round-number level, right?
The volume of shares traded so far is already in the spectacular range. The 52-week low for the stock is $24.02, so the current price is more than a comfortable distance away from that point. The one-year chart is attractive even if it doesn't plot a straight-up line.
Continue reading Dick's Sporting Goods Hits New 52-Week High
Target (TGT) has not been a good stock at all since the turn of the year. Take a look at the twelve-month chart. Find where the shares were on Jan. 3. Got it? Now, do you see what happened since then? I don't think you can miss such a big drop.
The 52-week low for the retailer is $48.23; the 52-week high is $60.97. The equity finished down 0.7% to $51.30 on Monday. Volume, thankfully, was below average. That lack of conviction could be a saving grace.
Continue reading Target's Pullback: View It as a Trading Opportunity?
Walmart (WMT) made an announcement yesterday after the bell that presumably would have excited Wall Street. The company's quarterly dividend was raised by 21%. Very nice. So why are the shares off today?
To be fair, they were in positive territory earlier in the morning. Unfortunately, as I write this, with roughly three hours to go before the conclusion of the session, they are down 0.5% to $51.74. Perhaps they will be in the green by the end of the day. When you think about it, though, a 21% jump in a metric that is supposed to be friendly to investors should have received a lot more respect, correct?
Continue reading Walmart Boosts Dividend; Stock Falls
What a difference a few months can make. Back in December, I was a bit bearish on Big Lots (BIG). That was at $29.50. Know what the stock closed at yesterday? Its final price was $41.33. And that's rather close to the 52-week high of $42.27.
To fully appreciate how dramatic the rise in the stock has been requires a look at the one-year chart. Impressive, isn't it? I guess I should have been a stronger believer in the retailer. So, what should I be thinking now?
Continue reading Big Lots Earnings: Should Investors Take Profits Now?
U.S. stock futures are higher Friday morning as investors await non-farm payroll data for February. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 32 points to 12,271.00 and futures on the S&P 500 stock index gained 2.80 points to 1,332.50. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 5 points to 2,376.75.
U.S. stocks closed higher, with the blue-chip Dow index surging 1.59%, or 191.40, to close at 12,258 on Thursday.
The jobs report for February will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Data on factory orders for January will be released at 10 a.m. ET.
Continue reading U.S. Stock Futures Up as Investors Await Jobs Report
Walmart (WMT) is the world's largest retailer, competing with companies like Target (TGT), Costco (COST), Amazon.com (AMZN) and Best Buy (BBY). The company recently released its earnings for last quarter and we have updated our price estimate to $70.75, which implies a 30% premium to the market price.
One of the outcomes in the earnings was continued improvements in Sam's Club's results. Sam's Club is a warehouse club that charges a membership fee to its customers and gives them an opportunity to buy goods at lowest prices in the market. It offers bulk displays of brand name merchandise, including hard goods, some soft goods, commercial-sized grocery items, and selected private-label items under the "Member' Mark", "Bakers & Chefs" and "Sam's Club" brands in a warehouse club format.
Continue reading Sam's Club Could Perk Up Walmart Sales If It Was More Like Costco
Walmart (WMT) is the world's largest retailer, competing with companies like Target (TGT), Costco (COST), and Best Buy (BBY). Walmart's average revenue per square foot for its U.S. stores has been relatively stable in the past two years in the range of $428 to $434. We expect the revenue to increase slightly in the near term and stabilize thereafter.
With a wide assortment of product offerings to its target group of low-to-middle class U.S. consumer,s and by maintaining its pricing power over suppliers, we believe Walmart will be able to sustain its leadership in the retail industry. But the company's comparable store sales growth has been declining due to competition from discount stores and a change in consumer spending habits due to a weak economy -- all of which are impacting sales.
Continue reading Declining Sales Trend Puts Walmart on Back Foot
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) is certainly the biggest icon in the retail industry. It doesn't seem like such a big name today, though. With a few minutes left until the closing bell sounds, I see a quote of $53.64 for the stock, a price that represents a decline of over 3%. And the volume backing this move is very high, my friends.
The major indexes were volatile today, so that obviously played into the sell-off. However, the fourth-quarter report also gave investors some cause for concern. According to the press release, adjusted income from continuing businesses came in at $1.34 per share. This compares to an adjusted $1.21 per share in the year-ago period.
Continue reading Walmart's Q4 Report: Sell the Numbers?
Today was all about international turmoil, hands down. Unrest is becoming civil war in Libya and turmoil in North Africa continues to rock headlines. Housing prices also showed yet another drop, something to be expected. This was the worst day in the markets in quite some time. Oil rallied sharply and gold rose on the panic trade.
Here were today's closing bell levels:
Dow Jones 12,207.15 -184.10 (-1.49%)
S&P 500 1,315.44 -27.57 (-2.05%)
Nasdaq 2,756.42 -77.53 (-2.74%)
Top analyst upgrades/downgrades
Continue reading Closing Bell: The Libya Effect (WMT, XOM, SIRI, GMCR, USO, GLD, EWI)
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