|Bid||114.95 x 1400|
|Ask||115.03 x 2900|
|Day's Range||114.64 - 116.30|
|52 Week Range||93.11 - 125.38|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.37|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||22.99|
|Earnings Date||Feb 17, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||2.12 (1.83%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Dec 03, 2019|
|1y Target Est||130.48|
Hexavest of Montreal, an affiliate of Eaton Vance, more than doubled its investment in the embattled aerospace giant Boeing. Hexavest also bought Home Depot, Intel, and Walmart stock in the fourth quarter.
The mattress industry, long known for its commodity products and ruthless competition, isn’t typically fodder for a Tech Trader column. Witness the rise of Casper Sleep, a mattress start-up valued at just over $1 billion in the private market.
Target (ticker: TGT) offered investors an update about holiday sales on Wednesday that underwhelmed Wall Street and sent the stock lower. Same-store sales rose just 1.4% in the fourth quarter, behind its own projections for 3% to 4% growth and analysts’ expectations for 3.7% growth. At these levels, the stock trades at 17 times earnings expectations for the next four quarters, below the S&P 500, which trades at 18.6 times.
Grocery chain Albertsons is reportedly planning to go public — and this will be more than just a test of the IPO market’s health. Albertsons possible IPO will also be a test of claims that privately held companies perform better than publicly traded ones. Initial indications are that Albertsons will fail this test.
Don't be afraid of stocks considered "too high" in price. Learn how to invest successfully by instead focusing on fundamentals and chart action.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Sitcoms are an underrated way of portraying the economic challenges faced by average people. “Atlanta” shows the travails of working-class black Americans navigating a world of hassle, insecurity and poverty. The Canadian program “Kim’s Convenience” depicts immigrant small-business owners and their second-generation children off to a rocky start on their rise into the middle class. Broad economic trends form the backdrop to both of shows -- the loss of dependable manufacturing jobs, the geographic concentration of economic opportunity, immigration, prejudice and social mobility. But perhaps no show captures the reality of the modern American workplace as well as NBC’s “Superstore.”The premise of “Superstore” is charmingly simple -- the misadventures of the employees of a big-box discount store called Cloud 9 (a fictional analog of Walmart). They represent a diverse cross-section of the American populace: young, old, black, white, Asian, Hispanic. One is disabled, one is an unauthorized immigrant, one is homeless, another is a teenage mom. They’re not the burly hard-hat-wearing men that one might associate with the term “working class.” But perhaps that stereotype ought to change because retail workers have outnumbered manufacturing workers in the U.S. since 2003:The Cloud 9 workers are both benefiting from and suffering from the big change that U.S. retail has undergone in recent decades as local, family-owned stores were replaced by national chains. Between 1948 and 1997, the share of single-establishment retail companies fell from about 70% to less than 40%.That shift has raised efficiency, but often at the expense of workers. Bargaining between employees and managers that might have been done face-to-face at a mom-and-pop is done at arm’s length behind a protective veil of corporate policy. When a manager in “Superstore” dares to violate corporate policy and gives a new mother paid time off, he is promptly fired by his supervisors. This sort of faceless, pitiless way of dealing with employees reduces their power, allowing companies to squeeze them in a thousand small ways. It also probably makes the average store a colder and more forbidding work environment.Another way retail companies squeeze their employees is with irregular scheduling. The workers in “Superstore,” like many real workers, have little assurance that they will be given enough hours to earn enough to live on. But when they do get lots of hours, they often find themselves working unpaid overtime. This is technically illegal, but employers have many ways of getting around the rules.The obvious way to fight back against corporate exploitation would be to form a union. A number of “Superstore” plots revolve around efforts to do exactly this. But it’s an uphill struggle for several reasons. First, retail jobs don’t require years of training to master, and striking workers can be replaced relatively easily. Second, a unionized store will be at a competitive disadvantage versus nonunion competitors, which could lead to job losses or even a shutdown. And third, big chain companies are very skilled at dissuading workers from voting to unionize.These problems could be solved by government policy. If the U.S. government mandated that all the retail workers in a given region be represented by a single union -- a policy known as sectoral bargaining -- it would mean one less reason for employers to fear unions because all stores would be competing on a level playing field. Extending union agreements to nonunionized workers would be a way to rapidly restore labor’s power without the cumbersome process of voting in unions everywhere. These fixes would require an extensive rewrite of U.S. labor law, but it might be a way to make retail work as good as the manufacturing jobs of the past.Regulation can also help. Restricting irregular scheduling doesn’t just improve workers’ quality of life, it boosts productivity. Tightening up the rules regarding unpaid overtime and ensuring adequate parental leave should also be a priority.Even sectoral bargaining and regulation, of course, won’t protect retail workers from the onslaught of technology. Walmart’s most formidable competition comes from Amazon.com Inc., which has much lower overhead in terms of land and personnel. If unions force physical stores to raise wages so much that consumer prices start going up, customers could have even more incentive to shop at the online giant, putting stores out of business. Plenty of chain stores have closed in recent years amid what some refer to as the retail apocalypse and retail employment is declining as a share of the population, much as manufacturing did:Presumably, sectoral unions would be smart enough to hold down wages to fend off the threat, but this means less money in workers’ pockets.So in addition to retail workers’ trials and tribulations, “Superstore” shows a way of life in decline. No matter what happens with labor laws, stores will keep closing if online retail becomes cheaper than it already is. In that case, the U.S. economy will simply have to find something else for all those working-class people to do.To contact the author of this story: Noah Smith at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Walmart's chief merchant Steve Bratspies is set to leave the retailing giant, according to an internal memo sent to employees Friday by Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner. Shares of Walmart were down less than 1% to $115.01. Bratspies, who had been with Walmart for more than 14 years, will be replaced by Scott McCall, who most recently led entertainment, toys and seasonal at Walmart.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. India’s government has scoffed at Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos’ offer to invest $1 billion in the country, firing the latest salvo at an e-commerce giant that’s been accused of predatory business practices.Trade minister Piyush Goyal delivered a stinging rebuke two days after Bezos arrived in New Delhi and touted his efforts to help digitize small and medium enterprises. The investment would bring Amazon’s bet on the Indian market to about $6.5 billion. Goyal told a gathering of foreign ministers from around the world he welcomed an investigation into the company’s alleged “predatory pricing and unfair trade practices.”“They may have put in a billion dollars,” Goyal said at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi on Thursday. “But then if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year, then they jolly well have to finance that billion dollars. So it’s not as if they are doing a great favor to India when they invest a billion dollars.”Bezos has attracted significant opposition during a tour of India intended to underscore its importance as a growth driver for Amazon. The country’s antitrust regulator initiated a formal investigation hours before his arrival, and retailers affiliated with the Confederation of All India Traders organized sit-ins and public rallies in multiple cities to protest Amazon’s traditional cut-price approach and exclusive-selling practices.Outside the venue of Amazon India’s annual event for small retailers Wednesday, demonstrators held banners proclaiming “Amazon, go back!” and with Bezos’ face crossed-out. The CEO has sought a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi but that hasn’t come through.Amazon has sought to counter the negativity with a PR offensive. From Delhi, Bezos went on to Mumbai where he visited a neighborhood store. It’s these small stores that are up in arms against the retail behemoth. The chief executive then rubbed shoulders with Bollywood personalities -- Amazon is plowing money into creating Bollywood-dominated content for its Prime Video service to lure movie-mad Indians. On Friday, the company declared it planned to create a million jobs within the country by 2025. The retail giant said it had already created 700,000 jobs in six years of operating its marketplace there.Increasing HostilityStill, Goyal’s comments were an indication that Modi’s government is trying to safeguard the interests of smaller Indian traders, the traditional voter base of his Bharatiya Janata Party, as elections approach in the state of Delhi, home to the country’s capital.Soon after Goyal spoke, the chief of his party’s foreign cell, Vijay Chauthaiwale, tweeted barely-veiled criticism of the Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos. The U.S. newspaper has been criticized by the BJP and its allies for its coverage of the Modi government’s increasingly right-wing policies.The flare-up suggests India is turning increasingly hostile to the monopolistic practices of foreign e-commerce players that dominate the burgeoning market. Responding to widespread complaints, India restricted foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and this has forced Amazon and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart, the two biggest e-commerce players in India, to overhaul business models to comply with new rules introduced in December 2018.In 2016, New Delhi had said foreign-owned e-commerce platforms could operate as marketplaces -- facilitating transactions between sellers and consumers -- but not sell directly. Flipkart and Amazon had established wholesale networks to reach their customers. But the more recent regulations target this workaround, banning foreign e-commerce sites from selling goods from companies in which they own a stake or have commercial arrangements with.Yet resentment toward Amazon and Walmart lingers. On Thursday, Goyal also questioned why an e-commerce marketplace should make losses.“Anybody who tries to use the e-commerce marketplace model to get into the multi-brand retail space surreptitiously will have to be questioned, will have to be investigated,” Goyal said.(Updates with job creation in the sixth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at email@example.com;Saritha Rai in Bangalore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at email@example.com, Muneeza Naqvi, Abhay SinghFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Amazon.com Inc said on Friday it planned to create 1 million jobs in India by 2025, a day after the country's trade minister said the e-commerce giant's recently unveiled $1 billion investment in the country was no big favour. Amazon and Walmart's Flipkart are facing mounting criticism from India's brick-and-mortar retailers, which accuse the U.S. giants of violating Indian law by racking up billions of dollars in losses to fund deep discounts and discriminating against small sellers. Amazon said it would create new jobs in India through investments in infrastructure, technology and logistics.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Jeff Bezos is in India at an awkward moment. Just before his visit, the country’s antitrust authority ordered a probe into the business practices of its two main American-owned shopping websites. One of them is his.How worried should the Amazon.com Inc. boss be?If the Competition Commission’s recently released study on e-commerce is any guide, Bezos shouldn’t lose any sleep over the $6.5 billion he has committed so far — including $1 billion just this week — to win the only billion-person market that’s open to Western tech firms. The document, which forms the basis for the antitrust investigation, has much fodder for action, but nothing that hasn't already been chewed over.Amazon India and Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart Online Services Pvt. are required to be neutral online marketplaces. Sellers they own can’t offer goods on their websites. That’s the law, and sure enough, last year Bezos hastily sold a big chunk of Amazon’s stake in Cloudtail, its top Indian partner, to stay on the right side of it. Flipkart, too, found a way to tiptoe around the requirement that foreign-owned platforms only facilitate e-commerce; they aren’t allowed to control inventory or influence prices.Yet many small retailers, who compete online, believe their products are outgunned in customer searches by preferred sellers — such as Cloudtail and Appario Retail Pvt for Amazon and OmniTech Retail India Ltd. for Flipkart — and their heavily discounted offerings. Here’s how the Competition Commission’s study frames the problem: “The price points at which these sellers sell the products on the marketplace platforms are in many instances lower than the cost price for the brick-and-mortar retailers. These retailers maintain that, therefore, they either have to match the online discounts at a significant loss or the online market would be foreclosed for them. This was pointed out to be a particularly pressing concern in the case of mobile phones, where online markets constitute around 40% of the total sales in the country.”With a traders’ association announcing sit-ins and protest rallies in 300 cities, Bezos understands the need to manage the anger of stakeholders in an important market. At a summit of sellers in New Delhi on Wednesday, he announced a fresh $1 billion investment to help bring small businesses online. To political authorities, Amazon wants to demonstrate the social usefulness of e-commerce by committing to export $10 billion of made-in-India goods by 2025. Can the competition investigation upend existing business models? There’s a hint of a stick in the watchdog’s study, which notes that, “Any potentially anti-competitive unilateral conduct of platforms or platforms’ vertical arrangements with sellers/service providers will receive enforcement attention.” Yet, in closing, the commission just asks the industry to police itself by working on things like describing search-ranking parameters “in plain and intelligible language.”It’ll be unrealistic to expect anything more dramatic from the formal inquiry. After all, the final customer isn’t complaining. She would rather receive a bigger discount on a new mobile phone than ask why it’s being exclusively sold online. More than any antitrust order, the real challenge for Bezos will come from “phygital” retail, a combination of physical and digital commerce that Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, is currently piloting. Ambani’s ambition is to link up 30 million neighborhood stores to the 360 million-plus customers of his 4G telecom network, Jio. If he can dominate grocery and fast-moving consumer goods by offering discounts, cashless payment, in-store credit and the convenience of home delivery, small shops around the country could become one gigantic storefront for his JioMart. If they share their purchase, sales and inventory data with Ambani, they may even get to enjoy lower borrowing costs from banks and nonbank financiers. They won’t be as independent as they now are, but they will be bigger and more profitable, and more competitive against pure e-commerce. This future isn’t too far away. The takeaway for the antitrust authority is that they can’t put up new restrictions on Amazon and Flipkart based on the 7% of a $1.2 trillion retail market that’s gone online. Major changes are afoot in the remaining 93% of the industry that’s currently offline. Wait for the churn that comes after JioMart goes live. Bezos, too, will be waiting.To contact the author of this story: Andy Mukherjee at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Amazon (AMZN) is likely to gain momentum among third-party sellers, who were forced to shift to pricier delivery services during the peak holiday season, by removing ban on FedEx's ground network.
Health care affects every American. Until now, price transparency has been a largely scattershot, state-by-state affair, helpful to neither provider nor patient. At one large academic medical center, this translates to a spreadsheet 14,000 items long, arranged by an eight-digit accounting code and often accompanied by abbreviated descriptions of the services at hand.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Beyond Meat, UBS, Walmart, Restaurant Brands International and Conagra Brands
Kroger's (KR) Restock program and initiatives to expand in the grocery space look impressive. This is likely to improve identical supermarket sales.
Indian e-commerce space gets pepped up with the growing initiatives of overseas companies like Amazon (AMZN), Walmart (WMT) among others.
The retailer’s stock tumbled after reporting same-stores sales gained only 1.4% during the holiday shopping season, slowing from a growth rate of 5.7% the year prior.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If you need some clarity around social investing, don’t look to the world’s biggest money manager for help. Larry Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., threw social investing into the spotlight on Tuesday in his annual letter to America’s CEOs. Climate change is an urgent problem, he said, and BlackRock will make it the center of its investment approach by “making sustainability integral to portfolio construction” and exiting investments that contribute to climate change, such as coal producers.That may sound straightforward, but it’s far from it. A key aspect of social investing that is widely misunderstood is that the movement comprises two distinct camps. On one side is socially responsible investing, or SRI, which attempts to align investors’ portfolios with their values by excluding companies and sectors that conflict with those values, regardless of the financial impact to investors. On the other side is ESG, which attempts to identify environmental, social and governance policies that reduce companies’ — and thereby investors’ — exposure to risk. Whereas SRI is concerned with values, ESG is about maximizing wealth. Fink’s letter is rooted in ESG, not SRI. His main point is not that climate change is bad per se — although I have no doubt he believes that — but that it’s a threat to economic growth and prosperity and therefore a threat to companies’ future prospects. “Climate risk is investment risk,” Fink said, and investors are “seeking to understand both the physical risks associated with climate change as well as the ways that climate policy will impact prices, costs, and demand across the entire economy.” That process of identifying the investment risks associated with environmental policies is the very definition of the “E” in ESG.Of course, BlackRock is a money manager, not an investor, so the investment risks associated with climate change are those of its clients rather than its own. “As an asset manager,” Fink opens his letter, “BlackRock invests on behalf of others, and I am writing to you as an advisor and fiduciary to these clients.” But BlackRock can give investors the tools to navigate climate-related risks without a broad overhaul of its investment approach. It already offers a suite of ESG funds. It will also double its lineup of ESG exchange-traded funds and push index providers to create ESG versions of their popular broad market indexes, according to Bloomberg News. So why the larger overhaul of BlackRock’s investment approach? The answer is SRI. BlackRock is facing growing criticism that it’s not doing enough to combat a host of ills, including climate change. Fink stoked that in his letter last year, saying that people are looking to corporate executives to fix social problems that governments are failing to tackle. If investors decide that BlackRock is doing too little to align with their values, they may decide to exclude its products — or even its stock — from their portfolios. That’s the very definition of SRI. That blurring of ESG and SRI is not good for BlackRock or social investing. For BlackRock, where does it end? There are numerous other threats to global growth and prosperity, notably wealth and income inequality. Does BlackRock now have an obligation to place inequality at the center of its investment approach, too, or to divest from companies that pay workers less than a living wage, such as Walmart and Amazon? Fink’s letter invites that expectation, and those who view it as an attempt to correct an ethical failing rather than bolster BlackRock’s investment offering will undoubtedly say it does.As for social investing, funds have had difficulty attracting investors. I have argued previously that one reason is that investors don’t understand what they’re buying. Here, too, BlackRock has contributed to the confusion. Its iShares ESG MSCI USA ETF, for example, both invests in stocks with high ESG scores and excludes tobacco and weapons companies, a mishmash of ESG and SRI. The confusion may be why, despite social investing’s apparent popularity, BlackRock’s ESG-related ETFs are among its smallest. The funds account for just $7.6 billion of the roughly $1.7 trillion invested across BlackRock’s ETFs.Fink should have used his letter to explain the difference between ESG and SRI and to make clear that BlackRock is in the business of giving investors the tools to express their preferences around social investing, not dictate those preferences to them. It would not have pacified BlackRock’s most ardent critics, but it would have gone a long way to curtailing future calls for BlackRock to address other societal ills. Investors are smart to pay attention to the risks unearthed by ESG researchers, including those around climate change, and they have every right to express ethical and moral views with their money. BlackRock is also smart to offer them a variety of social-investing funds to do so. But this sweeping focus on climate change further muddies a desperately confused investing movement. To contact the author of this story: Nir Kaissar at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nir Kaissar is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the markets. He is the founder of Unison Advisors, an asset management firm. He has worked as a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell and a consultant at Ernst & Young. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.