Japanese Consumers Spending at Steepest Pace Since May 2021

Japan’s retail sales rose for the third straight month in May 2022 and at the steepest pace since May 2021. The lift came from the strength in consumption as the government has lifted all COVID-19 restrictions. Japanese sales of general merchandise picked up sharply at 20.7% vs 8% in April with faster rises in sales of fabric apparel & accessories at 11.8% vs 9.7%. Meanwhile, sales of motor vehicles dropped for the ninth consecutive months -10.1% vs -7.5%.  Auto sales … Continue reading “Japanese Consumers Spending at Steepest Pace Since May 2021”

Target Misses Earnings Metrics as Margins Collapse on Soaring Expenses

Retail giant Target Corporation on Wednesday reported worse than expected first-quarter earnings missing on major metrics. $TGT shares fell over 26%. Competitor Walmart reported yesterday and also sold off on its earnings miss for its largest single-day percentage decrease since 1987. Target management said fuel and freight costs will be $1 billion higher this year than it had expected, with little sign of their easing throughout 2022.  Target Corporation NYSE: TGT Reported Earnings Before Market Open Wednesday  $1.09 Missed $1.11 … Continue reading “Target Misses Earnings Metrics as Margins Collapse on Soaring Expenses”

Home Depot Delivers Record Sales and Raises Guidance and Margins

Home Improvement Retailer Home Depot was in a position to take advantage of the upsurge in construction and renovation. $HD sales rose to the highest ever for the first quarter of the year. The company is still seeing healthy demand, even in the face of rising prices and a shaky housing market and raised guidance accordingly. Earnings HD earnings per share were $4.09, up from $3.86 a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of $3.69 a share. First-quarter sales climbed to … Continue reading “Home Depot Delivers Record Sales and Raises Guidance and Margins”

Walmart Earnings Hit by Inflation, Lowers Forward Guidance

Retail giant Wal-Mart on Tuesday reported worse than expected first-quarter earnings and cut its full-year profit forecast, as surging costs cut into the bottom line of the world’s biggest retailer. WMT said it sees earnings falling by around 1%, compared to a prior forecast of a 5% to 6% increase. The stock was down 7% Premarket. “Bottomline results were unexpected and reflect the unusual environment. U.S. inflation levels, particularly in food and fuel,” said CEO Doug McMillon. Walmart Inc NYSE: … Continue reading “Walmart Earnings Hit by Inflation, Lowers Forward Guidance”

Kohl’s Gets $9 Billion Bid 37% Above Market from Activist Hedge Fund

Department store chain Kohl’s Corp received an unsolicited offer from activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP to buy the company Friday. The WSJ reported that sources disclosed a group led by a group controlled by Starboard, Acacia Research Corp. offered to buy Kohl’s for $64 a share in cash. Acacia said it has received assurances from bankers it has financing for the bid. Reuters reported earlier this week that Acacia was exploring a possible bid for Kohl’s. Kohl’s $KSS shares … Continue reading “Kohl’s Gets $9 Billion Bid 37% Above Market from Activist Hedge Fund”

Walmart Online Sales Continue Sharp Rise During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Retail giant Wal-Mart on Tuesday reported better than expected third-quarter earnings and reiterated for Q4. U.S. same-store sales rose 6.4%, continuing near 10 years highs, e-commerce sales jumped 79% as stay at home shoppers grew and $WMT continued to inch into $AMZN’s space.

Fitch says 2021 Loan Defaults To Top 2008 Rate

Fitch ratings says the cumulative effect from the Covid crisis worse than the financial crisis of 2008-2010. The U.S. leveraged loan default rate to top high yield in 2021 as YTD Default Rate Hits 4%. Nearly 40 percent of the leisure/entertainment universe could default by YE 2021.

Consumer Confidence Slumps As Stimulus Payments Expire

The Conference Board said Consumer Confidence declined in August for the second consecutive month in the US with the index at 84.8 v 93.0 expected and 92.6 in July as the Covid-19 lockdown angt continued and stimulus paymetns expired. Consumers appear to see low interest rates and stimulus payments as a one-off event. Consumers were also more pessimistic about the short-term outlook. 

Groupon Loses Less Than Forecast as It Recovers Quicker Than Expected

Online marketplace company Groupon reported better than expected first quarter earnings after the close Tuesday. $GRPN said that recent performance trends indicate the company is recovering more the Covid lockdown more quickly than expected.