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- Activist Icahn discloses stake in slumping Hertz
- Wed, 20 Aug 2014 18:09:49 -0400 -
Activist investor Carl Icahn Wednesday disclosed a large stake in Hertz and signaled plans to push for a shakeup at the slumping car-rental giant. Icahn and Icahn-related entities acquired 38.8 million Hertz shares worth $470.5 million, equivalent to about 8.5 percent of the company, according to a securities filing. Icahn plans talks with Hertz management "relating to shareholder value, accounting issues, operational failures, underperformance relative to its peers and (my) lack of confidence in management," the billionaire said. Icahn's notice came on the heels of Hertz's disclosure late Tuesday that it was abandoning its 2014 profit forecast and that it expects earnings to "be well below the low end of its 2014 guidance," due in part to weakness in the car-rental market.
- Target earnings slump on Canada, data breach woes
- Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:46:17 -0400 -
Target Wednesday reported a big earnings drop and lowered its forecast as the slumping chain again felt the weight of poor sales in Canada, a huge customer data breach and heavy discounting. Target, which has 1,795 stores in the US and 130 in Canada, notched second-quarter earnings of $234 million, down nearly 62 percent from the year-ago period. The big drop in profits is the latest sign of weakness at Target, which competes in North America with the far-larger Walmart in selling low-priced clothing, groceries, housewares and other goods. Brian Cornell, who replaced Gregg Steinhafel this month as chief executive in the wake of the data scandal, told analysts he was eager to join a company that "redefined the discount space" by marketing quality goods at low prices.
- Target cuts forecast as it woos back customers with more discounts
- Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:59:14 -0400 -
Target Corp cut its full-year earnings forecast as it offers more discounts to attract cash-strapped customers and win over shoppers unnerved by a massive holiday-season data breach. Target's shares rose 1 percent to $59.81 in noon trading. On top of that, Target has run up big losses in Canada, where its ambitious expansion has stumbled due to supply chain issues and a backlash from customers who had expected prices to be more in line with those in the United States. Target's same-store sales have either declined or failed to show growth in the past six quarters.
- Walgreen CFO's departure due to $1 billion forecasting error : WSJ
- Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:46:13 -0400 -
(Reuters) - Drugstore retailer Walgreen Co's Chief Financial Officer, Wade Miquelon, and another top executive lost their jobs after a $1 billion forecasting error in the company's Medicare-related business, the Wall Street Journal reported. Walgreen named Kraft Foods Group Inc's former CFO, Timothy McLevish, to replace Miquelon — its CFO of six years — on Aug. 4. Miquelon last month cut by $1.1 billion a forecast of $8.5 billion in pharmacy unit earnings for the year ending August 2016 that he had made at an April board meeting, the journal said.
- Silver Lake, Bain vie for photobook maker Shutterfly - sources
- Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:22:59 -0400 - Silver Lake Partners LP and Bain Capital LLC are among the buyout firms vying to acquire Shutterfly Inc, an online photo-sharing services provider with a market value of $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Silver Lake and Bain have progressed to the second round in the auction for Shutterfly and are considering whether to submit binding offers in the next few weeks, the people said this week. Shutterfly shares were trading up 2.4 percent at $51.5 on the news in late morning trading on Wednesday. The price of the possible offers could not be learned but the people said private equity firms may borrow more than seven times Shutterfly's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in a leveraged buyout.
- Heineken reports sales, profit drop in first half
- Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:16:39 -0400 - AMSTERDAM (AP) — Heineken NV, the Amsterdam-based brewer, has reported first half earnings that show a small drop in both revenues and profits — but says its underlying performance was good.
- Glencore Xstrata reports switch into profit
- Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:51:31 -0400 -
Mining giant Glencore Xstrata reported a sharp improvement in first-half performance on Wednesday, marking a big switch back into profit. The deep loss during the first half of 2013 was largely due to massive write-downs after Swiss commodities group Glencore's merger with Switzerland-based mining company Xstrata. During the six-month period, Glencore Xstrata saw an eight-percent rise in its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) to $6.46 billion, which it largely put down to the Xstrata acquisition. "Glencore continued to make decisive progress in delivering on the potential created by the Xstrata acquisition over the first half of 2014," company chief executive Ivan Glasenberg said in the statement.
- South Africa's Massmart sees lower FY earnings, shares plunge
- Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:03:27 -0400 -
Massmart Holdings, the South African unit of Wal-Mart Stores, said on Tuesday its first-half earnings fell as much as 29 percent, sending the retailer's shares almost 7 percent lower. Massmart said in a statement it expected headline earnings of between 159.4 and 178 cents per share for the 26 weeks to June 29, compared with 225.2 cents a year earlier. Headline EPS, the main measure of profit in South Africa, excludes certain one-time items. The decline highlights the squeeze felt by cash-strapped consumers who are struggling with the rising cost of living in Africa's most developed economy.
- Carlsberg lowers profit outlook on fall in Russian sales
- Wed, 20 Aug 2014 04:42:03 -0400 -
Danish brewer Carlsberg cut its annual profit guidance on Wednesday and said economic uncertainty in Russia, its biggest market, could prompt it to close some breweries. Clouds over the outlook in some parts of eastern Europe had cut consumption of beer, the company said. "Due to the recent macro events the consumer sentiment and the outlook for some of the economies in eastern Europe are becoming increasingly challenging and uncertain," the company said in its quarterly earnings statement.
- New Zealand's Fletcher posts modest annual net profit
- Tue, 19 Aug 2014 20:21:14 -0400 -
New Zealand's largest listed company Fletcher Building posted a four percent rise in annual net profit on Wednesday as a strong performance in its home market offset weakness in Australia. Chief executive Mark Adamson said the strong New Zealand dollar weighed on the result, which was slightly below market expectations. "We would have met the top end of our guidance range had the New Zealand dollar not strengthened the way it has over the past year," he said. He said the bottom line also took a NZ$32 million hit from the sale of Pacific Steel and Hudson Building Supplies, although the company managed 10 percent earnings growth of NZ$624 million when one-off factors were stripped out of the equation.
- Wall St. extends rally, lifted by Apple and Home Depot
- Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:58:16 -0400 -
The Nasdaq Composite extended Monday's gains and ended on Tuesday at yet another 14-year high. Apple Inc was among the most heavily traded names of the day after the stock hit $100 for the first time since its seven-for-one split in June. Apple contributed the most to the gains of both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite in Tuesday's session. Consumer discretionary shares led advances in the S&P 500 as a string of positive earnings reports lifted the stocks of major retailers.
- TSX hits two-and-a-half week high on U.S. economic data
- Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:50:38 -0400 -
By John Tilak TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index jumped to its highest in 2-1/2 weeks on Tuesday as positive U.S. Investors also awaited the release of minutes from a recent Fed policy meeting to look for clues about when the central bank could raise interest rates. The Toronto equity market was up for a fourth straight session, taking its gains for the year to more than 13 percent. The market is pricing in some earnings growth,” said Ben Jang, a portfolio manager who helps manage about C$2.5 billion in assets at Nicola Wealth Management.
- Wall St. rallies on M&A blitz and homebuilder data
- Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:33:16 -0400 -
The Nasdaq Composite ended above 4,508, marking the first time since March 31, 2000, that the tech-heavy index closed above 4,500 points. The youth-oriented clothing retailer beat analysts' estimates on earnings, but said comparable retail segment net sales were flat in its latest quarter.
- Gisele Bundchen leads pack as world's highest paid model: Forbes
- Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:37:14 -0400 -
With estimated earnings of $47 million during the past year from lucrative contracts and other business ventures, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen is the world's highest paid model for the eighth consecutive year, Forbes.com said on Monday. The 34-year-old wife of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and mother of two young children easily outpaced her closest competition, Dutch Victoria's Secret model Doutzen Kroes, 29, with earnings of $8 million before taxes and fees, and fellow Brazilian Victoria's Secret 'angel' Adriana Lima, 33, with the same amount. The model has contracts with fashion retailer H&M, the French fashion house Chanel and designer Carolina Herrera, among others, and has design deals for lingerie and sandals.
- South Africa's Adcock flags 9-month losses, shares sink to near 5-year low
- Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:36:33 -0400 -
Adcock Ingram flagged nine-month losses and gave a gloomy outlook on Monday, pushing shares in South Africa's No.2 drugmaker to their lowest level in almost five years. The stock slumped nearly 7 percent before recouping some of the losses to close 5.27 percent lower at 48.68 rand, a level last seen in December 2009. It posted headline earnings per share, the main profit measure in South Africa, of 271.7 cents the same time a year earlier.
- P&G eyes Duracell, Braun in sweeping brand culling: sources
- Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:04:54 -0400 -
By Olivia Oran and Soyoung Kim NEW YORK (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co is working with advisors including Goldman Sachs Group as the world's largest household products maker reviews up to 100 underperforming brands for potential divestiture, people familiar with the matter said. While P&G has yet to determine which brands it will seek to shed, Duracell batteries and Braun shavers are the two largest assets likely to be divested, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is not public. The company, which also makes Gillette razors and Tide detergent, said this month it would consider selling more than half its brands whose sales have been declining for the past three years, a drastic attempt to revive growth and save costs. These brands up for review are estimated to have roughly $900 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) combined, the people said.
- Promise of more keeps investors hooked on Asia's frothy markets
- Mon, 18 Aug 2014 00:51:18 -0400 -
By Vidya Ranganathan and Umesh Desai SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Calling the top in financial markets is never easy. Asian stock and bond markets may appear frothy at their near-record levels after a multi-year rally, but global investors are still betting on a mix of healthy returns and history to juice up their profits. Six years since the global financial crisis spurred a relentless pursuit of yields, Asian stock markets are at record highs, bond yields have tumbled to pre-crisis lows and companies are raising huge amounts of cheap equity and debt. Brisk corporate earnings growth, fed by a global thirst for the region's exports of cars and electronics goods and robust domestic consumption, has further burnished Asia's appeal and kept funds focused on ripe pickings.
- Markets look lacklustre; EFG Hermes Q2 could boost Egypt
- Sun, 17 Aug 2014 07:16:11 -0400 -
Most Middle East bourses look likely to be quiet on Sunday, with little company-specific news to trade on and an end-of-week wobble on international markets offering little incentive for regional investors to bid up stocks. Egypt’s benchmark may buck the hesitant trend, however – Cairo hit a new six-year peak on Thursday and bullish earnings from investment bank EFG Hermes should bolster sentiment. Three Islamist protesters were killed on Friday during clashes between police and demonstrators in Cairo, security forces said, but Egypt’s stock market has shown little reaction to periodic bouts of deadly unrest since the army ousted former president Mohamed Mursi. Elsewhere, volatility on Dubai’s index has declined markedly – the measure has moved within a 230-point range in August, compared with a range of 1,204 points in July – and steadier trading appears likely to continue this week.
- Tesla boosts model S Sedan's warranty coverage after criticism
- Fri, 15 Aug 2014 17:23:38 -0400 -
Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc TSLA.O said on Friday it had boosted warranty coverage on its Model S sedan, a week after an influential U.S. consumer magazine highlighted problems with the $70,000-plus vehicle. Tesla announced that the drive unit warranty on the Model S has been increased to match that of the battery pack, bringing its coverage to eight years and "infinite" miles. The warranty extension will apply retroactively to all Model S cars produced since 2012, the company said on its blog (http://bit.ly/1AkmSLT), and will have a "moderately negative" effect on its earnings in the short term. In a blog post on Friday, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said of the longer warranty, "in hindsight, this should have been our policy from the beginning of the Model S program." If the company believes that electric motors are more reliable than the gasoline engines used in most conventional cars, he added, "then our warranty policy should reflect that." Many current conventional gasoline-powered cars have a standard three-year/36,000-mile warranty.
- Exclusive: Burger chain Shake Shack preparing for an IPO - sources
- Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:16:42 -0400 -
Shake Shack, the fast-food restaurant chain famous for its hamburgers and milkshakes, is preparing to go public, seeking to tap stock market demand for popular casual dining companies, according to people familiar with the matter. After developing a cult following for its 'Shackburgers', 'flat-top' hot dogs and eponymous shakes, the company is now preparing to serve up its own shares to the public through an initial public offering (IPO), sources said on Friday. Shake Shack's majority owner, Union Square Hospitality Group LLC, has interviewed investment banks in recent weeks to appoint underwriters for the IPO, the people said. Shake Shack, which started out of a hot dog kiosk in New York's Madison Square Park in 2004, is expected to post earnings of around $20 million next year, one of the people added.
- South Africa's Northam Platinum looks to buy mines in sector shake-up
- Fri, 15 Aug 2014 05:18:16 -0400 - By Zandi Shabalala JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Northam Platinum said it wants to snap up platinum assets in a shake-up of the country's mining sector, after posting a sharp decline in earnings due to a protracted strike at its main operations. The mid-tier platinum producer said it would use its positive cash position and call on shareholders for funds to enable it to acquire assets. "We do believe that we have good support from our institutional shareholders. Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the world's top platinum producer, said in July that it plans to sell a slate of mines in its drive to recover from a five-month strike and shift towards more mechanised mining.
- $200,000 a share: Buffett's Berkshire hits record high
- Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:00:13 -0400 -
Shares in US investment star Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway group topped $200,000 apiece for the first time Thursday, less than eight years after breaking the $100,000 barrier. Already the priciest on US markets, Berkshire shares got even more expensive for investors in a 7.5 percent climb since the company announced record quarterly earnings at the start of August. At the close of trade Berkshire A shares were up $3,500, or 1.8 percent, to $202,850.00. Buffett has become a legend for the performance of Berkshire, which has a large number of majority and minority investments in everything from small jewelry and furniture retailers to insurance giants Geico and General Re, chemicals group Lubrizol, Coca-Cola, IBM, American Express, Wells Fargo Bank and dozens of others.
- Sina Corp second quarter revenue up 19 percent on Weibo messaging unit, ad sales
- Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:50:34 -0400 - (Reuters) - Chinese internet firm Sina Corp posted better-than-expected growth in both revenue and earnings on Thursday, riding a strong performance from its Weibo Corp online messaging subsidiary and a 29 percent jump in advertising sales. "Weibo is executing well with strong financial performance, solid traffic growth and measurable progress toward building out a social commerce platform and offering native ads to large-brand customers," Sina CEO Charles Chao said in a statement. Weibo, the company behind what's often described as China's Twitter, more than doubled its revenue in the second quarter, as usage and traffic grew.
- Wall Street ends higher after Ukraine concerns ease
- Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:21:32 -0400 -
By Akane Otani NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on Thursday after conciliatory comments from Russia helped ease concerns about escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and offset some uninspiring earnings. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would stand up for itself but not at the cost of confrontation with the outside world, striking a softer tone after tough rhetoric aimed at Ukraine for several months. Earnings season continued to wind down, with 92 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported quarterly earnings by Thursday morning. Wal-Mart Stores Inc , the nation's largest retailer, reported earnings and revenue that met expectations.
- Wal-Mart cuts profit forecast as it gears up e-commerce
- Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:09:17 -0400 -
Wal-Mart Stores lowered its 2014 profit outlook Thursday as it turns toward online sales amid weakness in its key US market, still struggling with a fragile economy. Wal-Mart cut its 2014 earnings per share forecast to $4.90- $5.15, from the prior estimate of $5.10-5.45, citing investments in e-commerce and higher health care costs than previously anticipated. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company reported net income of $4.09 billion in the quarter, up 0.6 percent from a year ago. Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart's president and chief executive, said the discount retailer had clocked up encouraging performances in its international business, its new small-format "Neighborhood Market" stores in the US and in e-commerce.