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September 2017

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Target stock down about 5% as the company announces guidance for Q4

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) stock is trading at $67.17, plummeting more than 5% following the retailer’s announcement of the guidance for the holiday season quarter. Additionally, today, the company opened trading with strength in stock price, along with its peers in the retail industry.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota based retailer announced that its same store sales for both months November and December 2016 slid 1.3% and for the same period, total sales also declined around 5%. The management at Target believes that the drop in sales is because of absence of the pharmacy and clinic business revenue collections.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Target said: “While we were pleased with Black Friday sales, December digital sales growth of more than 40 percent and continued strength in our Signature Categories, these results were offset by early season sales softness and disappointing traffic and sales trends in our stores.”

For the fourth quarter of 2016, Target expects same store sales to decline between the range 1.5% to 1%; while the prior guidance for same store sales was between -1% to 1%. While the retailer suggests GAAP Earnings per Share (EPS) from continuing operations to land between $1.45 and $1.55, the forecast for Adjusted EPS also remains the same. Previously, the company expected to report EPS between $1.55 and $1.75, in comparison to the Wall Street analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.65.

For the full year 2016, Target’s estimate for Adjusted EPS is between $5 and $5.10. The prior expectations for the key financial metric was between the range $5.10 and $5.30.

Street analysts were prompt with their sell-side updates, as several investment firms issued reports soon after the 4Q guidance announcement. Buckingham Research analyst John Zolidis lowered his estimates and also curbed his 12-month price target on Target stock to $77 from $85. However, the analyst still rates the stock as Buy. Moreover, Morgan Stanley’s analyst Simeon Gutman also reaffirmed his Underweight rating on Target stock and slashed his price target to $65 from $67.

 

Amazon’s video direct aims to take a sizeable chunk of YouTube’s content driven market by building up a suitable alternative

After its attempts to directly compete with Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has moved a step further from Prime Video by attempting to build itself a video portal that seems to be emulating YouTube. The video streaming service that kicks off today essentially allows users to upload, view, share and monetize their content to consumers across the board. Users uploading content have the option to designate whether their videos are free to users, available to rent, own or exclusive to consumers with a $99 Amazon Prime subscription.

Amazon’s attempts to control the living room and consumer entertainment have become considerably more aggressive. It has attempted to directly compete with Netflix via its Prime offerings; attempted to build its Echo speaker install base significantly via price cuts and marketing it heavily as well as its Kindle Fire and TV models which are regularly discounted heavily in North American markets. It has attempted to build up its own network of exclusive content as well as bring in exclusive deals with TV giants such as Epix and HBO. More importantly, it continues to do so while providing its services at an impressive discount of at least 10% when compared to its nearest competitor.

It is also relevant to note that Amazon is set to engage Google yet again in what is being seen as perhaps one of the biggest tech rivalries this decade, by directly going after one of its flagship products, YouTube. Amazon is actively working to expand its user base over time, using its position as an ecommerce giant to its benefit by essentially packaging all of its offerings in the same “Prime” bundle for consumers. YouTube controls a massive 20% of the video ad market which contributes to about $2 billion in the US market alone. Amazon currently offers a revenue split to consumers using its services by paying out 55% of ad-based revenue and about 50% of subscriptions, purchases and rentals. It will also pay a variable rate of between 6 cents per hour of video streamed overseas and about 15 cents per hour streamed in the US for Prime subscribers.

Amazon’s Direct Video service has an uphill battle to fight against most market competitors who are heavily entrenched when it comes to a tech industry already scrambling to get increased exposure to the video industry. Should it play its cards right, given its user base as well as its hardware install base and products, it could very well be a sizable market player if not a direct threat to YouTube in the near future in conjunction with its market-leading position via recently acquired Twitch.tv. Whether it is able to succeed in its current endeavours is yet to be seen.

Tech giants Apple and Samsung battle it out for supremacy in the smartwatch game

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics have taken their rivalry beyond smartphones to battle for supremacy in the smartwatch business. Both tech giants are responsible for two of the best available smartwatches on the market these days. Apple’s Apple Watch and Samsung’s Gear S2 are both very impressive devices, which makes it difficult to pick one of the two. If you cannot decide between the two smartwatches, we are here to make your decision easier for you. The Country Caller provides you with a comparison of both the wearables.

Design

The Apple Watch is available in two sizes: 42mm or 38mm. However, you get to choose from a wide range of variants of the smartwatch which includes regular, sport, or in a limited edition version. The materials used for the Apple Watch depend on which version of the smartwatch you choose, which makes it the most prolific smartwatch in the market. The crown on the side of the Apple Watch is designed to function as a home key and it can be twisted to both scroll and can be used even to zoom in.

Samsung’s Gear S2 is available in three different versions: the standard Gear S2, the classic Gear S2, and a 3G Gear S2. Interestingly, all three versions are essentially the same devices with slightly different touches. The classic Gear S2 comes with a more premium leather strap and the standard Gear S2 comes with the regular white or grey strap. The bezel around the Gear S2 is designed to rotate in order to change settings for the smartwatch.

Specifications

Both models of the Apple Watch sport an OLED display and offer resolution of 326ppi, but that has not been confirmed by Apple yet. The larger 42mm Apple Watch offers 390 x 312 resolution and the smaller 38mm version offers 340 x 272 resolution. The smartwatch is powered by a 520MHz processor and runs on a 205mAh battery pack for the 38mm model and a 246mAh battery pack for the 42mm model.

Samsung’s Gear S2 sports a round 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display with resolution of 360 x 360. The smartwatch gets its processing power from dual-core 1GHz processor designed by Exynos. It is powered by an impressive 300 mAh battery pack which can easily keep the smartwatch running for at least two days.

Operating System

Apple Watch is in line to receive a significant update when WatchOS 3 would be officially released by the company. The OS was revealed at Apple’s WWDC event last month, and it showcased how the new software will not only make the Apple Watch faster but also boost its battery life. WatchOS 3 is expected to release in September along with the next-generation iPhone models.

Samsung has decided to stick with the Tizen operating system for its Gear S2. The reason is that Tizen OS is incredibly easy to use and it makes transitioning from a Samsung smartphone device to Gear S2 very straightforward. Users have had no complaints about Tizen OS so far and that trend should continue.

Verdict

The biggest advantage that you get with the Gear S2 is that its 3G version allows users to independently make and receive calls without the need to pair the device with a smartphone. This is something not possible with the Apple Watch which can play heavily against it in making the decision to select one of the two smartwatches. Furthermore, Samsung’s Gear S2 also offers longer battery life and has a much simpler operating system. However, Apple is ready to correct its mistakes with the release of WatchOS 3. For now, if we had to give you a clear winner, it would be Samsung’s Gear S2, but Apple might have a few tricks up its sleeves with the release of the WatchOS 3.

Piper reiterates Intra-Cellular as Overweight

Analyst Charles Duncan at Piper Jaffray maintained his Overweight rating for stock of Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc. (NASDAQ:ITCI) along with a Price Target of $22, based on new evaluations. The reiteration in Price Target and rating came after the company conducted a call with the psychiatry KOL, who is experienced in Schizophrenia treatment and drug development. The doctors have stated that they see ‘007 as easily approvable.

The analyst further stated that despite the 302 failure and many other notable issues that the company has been facing lately, the key take-away is that the doctors still eye ‘007 as approvable. This is something that has made him look towards the positive side of the drug and its prospects for the company.

Such perspective from the doctors results in reinforcement of consensus view point that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might not require Intra Cellular for running any other trial prior to its NDA submission. The sell side believes that the FDA might consider the prevalent evidence as compelling enough for the anti-psychotic activity and also the differentiated tolerability from the ‘007 as compelling enough.

Moreover, the analyst further mentioned that the common occurrence of the failed trials regarding the effective agents in the development of CNS drug is pretty much well understood by the FDA, and he hopes that evaluation of 302 would be done in that context. On the back of advance regulatory updates along with the data presentations as early as Year-end 2016, the analyst reiterates his Over-weight rating for the stock.

The stock performance this year has been very poor, with a decline of 72.56% in Year-to-Date (YTD) trading. Moreover, since September 12, the stock performance has remained in red and has declined by 64.23%. The stock performance could be a concern for the investors.

The Country Caller discusses the earnings whispers for JetBlue Airways, Fiat Chrysler, and Coach Inc ahead of their scheduled release before the opening bell today

JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU), and Coach Inc. (NYSE:COH) are about to publish their financials for their respective quarters ended March 31, 2016, before the market opens today. The Country Caller discusses what the earnings whispers suggest and the sentiments analysts at the Street hold for the three companies.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

Fiat stock closed at $8.18 yesterday, up about 2.12% from its previous close. So far this year, the stock has crashed more than 41%, heavily underperforming the 2.14% gain of the S&P 500 index over the same time span. The company is about to report its first quarter of fiscal year 2016 results in pre-market hours today.

As per earningswhispers.com, the company is about to post earnings of $0.23 per share, and is therefore likely to beat the Street’s EPS prediction of $0.21. Moreover, the consensus revenue estimate for 1QFY16 stands at $27.19 billion.

There are 30 analysts at the Street who currently cover Fiat Chrysler stock. Of these, 14 believe that investors should Buy the stock, while another 11 analysts suggest a Hold rating. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $10.03, reflecting an upside potential of 22.62% against the last closing price of the stock.

JetBlue Airways Corporation

JetBlue Airways stock dipped a meagre 0.34% and closed at $20.37 yesterday. Up till April 25 this year, the stock has shed 10.07% of its value, underperforming the 2.14% gain of the S&P 500 index over the same period by a wide margin.

As mentioned on earningswhispers.com, the company is expected to report an EPS of about $0.56, $0.03 ahead of the consensus estimate. Additionally, the consensus estimate for JetBlue Airways revenue for the first quarter currently is $1.62 billion.

A total of 15 investment firms cover the stock and all of them are bullish on it. Out of these 15 firms, nine believe placing a long position on the stock would reap benefits, while the remaining six suggest shareholders to Hold the stock. There are no Sell ratings on the stock. The 12-month consensus target price on the stock is $27.04, carrying an upside potential of roughly 33% against the stock’s last closing price.

Coach Inc

Coach Inc. will report earnings for the third quarter today and the stock dipped 0.22% yesterday as it closed at $40.19. The stock has surged 22.79% up till now this year, thrashing the S&P 500 index’s gain of 2.14% during the same period.

Earnings Whispers suggests the company’s earnings to clock in at $0.43. These projections are slightly higher than $0.41 projections of analysts at the Wall Street. Furthermore, the consensus revenue estimate for the third quarter is $1.02 billion.

A total of 39 analysts at the Street cover Coach Inc stock right now. Of these, 18 analysts suggest a Buy, 19 analysts give a Hold rating on the stock, while only two analysts think shareholders should Sell the stock. The 12-month consensus stock price on the stock is $40.35, reflecting a thin upside potential of 0.39% against the stock’s last closing price.

Tesla Model 3 to take on all-electric version of the next-generation BMW 3, not Chevrolet Bolt EV

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) most affordable vehicle known till date, the all-electric compact sedan Model 3, which is expected to hit the roads late 2017, has taken the automobile industry by surprise. Many experts compare the vehicle with the Chevrolet Bolt EV, because both the vehicles offer similar range of over 200 miles and come in the same price range.

The Model 3 has been market as a lower-end luxury vehicle and the Bolt EV comes nowhere close that vehicle category, as it is more like a utility hatchback. If the Bolt EV was not an EV, it would be similar to its Sonic, which retails for about $22,000. Therefore, Chevrolet’s upcoming EV is not the Model 3’s real competitor.

Prior to the Model 3 unveiling, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk frequently compared it to the BMW 3 Series, and recently with Audi A3. Since the 2018 BMW 3 Series will include an all-electric version, it would directly compete against the world’s most popular EV (the Model 3), according to Auto Express.

The German luxury carmaker is considering adding a key platform update to launch a large battery pack for the 3 Series. The vehicle, codenamed G20, receives “a switch of chassis technology” as it moves to an new platform known as Cluster Architecture (CLAR).

“CLAR brought in carbon-fibre construction techniques to the 7 Series when it was introduced on that car earlier this year, and elements will be retained on the limousine’s smaller brother,” Auto Expresswrote.

BMW engineers plan to set up a 90kWh pack in the 3 Series, which seems highly unlikely, on the new platform. Interestingly, it would make the vehicle’s energy capacity equivalent to the top-of-the-line Model S and Model X, far more than the Model 3 base version will include small than 60kWh battery pack.

The 3 Series with a 90kWh pack would possibly bump up its range to more than 300 miles. While the vehicle currently starts at $34,000, there are details over the price of its all-electric version. While the next-generation 3 Series hybrid version is expected to hit the roads by 2018, the all-electric version could be introduced by 2020, three years after the planned Model 3 launch.

BMW plans to introduce the i8 Roadster by 2018 and an all-electric autonomous vehicle, called iNext, by 2021 under the ‘i’ brand.

The Country Caller discusses recent notable sales made by insiders at Oracle Corporation, Twitter Inc, and Alphabet Inc

Key insiders at Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR), and Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) have recently made notable sales. The Country Caller takes a closer look at the transactions these employees have made at their respective companies.

Alphabet Inc

Last week, CEO of Alphabet Inc. Larry Page sold a total of 66,664 shares through various direct transactions. The insider sold this amount for a combined total of $50,042,105. The transactions included both Class A common stock and Class C capital stock shares. After making these sales, Mr. Page now owns 89,000 Class A Google shares, and 21,205,290 Class C shares. These are worth $67,180,760, and $15,592,249,737, respectively, as per the closing prices on March 24.

Twitter

Chief Technology Officer Adam Messinger offloaded 11,386 company shares, for $16.73 apiece, making the direct sale he made on March 22 worth $190,488. After dumping these shares, he is now left with 1,494,599 Twitter shares, worth as much as $23,779,070 as of Thursday, March 24. Prior to this sale, the insider also sold 19,746 Twitter shares last month, through two direct transactions, for a sum of $366,401.

Oracle Corporation

President of Product Development Thomas Kurian dumped a total of 400,000 shares through only two transactions, one each made on March 21 and March 22. He sold this stake for a total of $16,642,020, and had 33,533 shares remaining afterward, worth $1,373,847.01 as on March 24. Within the last 12 months, this is the first time the insider sold Oracle shares.

Secretary, General Counsel, and EVP Dorian Daley also sold 47,500 Oracle shares, at $41.53 apiece, making her direct sale, dated March 22, worth $1,972,737. She owned 25,000 shares following this transaction, according to her SEC filing, valued at $1,024,250 as per the last closing price.

A look at the activities this week for the guardians of the last city

Activision Blizzard Inc.’s (NASDAQ:ATVI) Destiny fans can log in to the game for a new set of activities as the weekly reset just went live. Let us have a look at the activities in store for the Guardians out there.

The nightfall strike this week is the fallen S.A.B.E.R. strike. This is one of the game’s Year Two strikes and involves taking down a modified mega shank which is designed to take down and control the Rasputin A.I. Warmind. Moving on, the modifiers on the Nightfall strike this week are:

Epic – Heavily shielded and highly aggressive enemies appear in great numbers. Small Arms – Primary Weapon damage is favored. Grounded – Players take more damage while airborne. Chaff – Player radar is disabled. Trickle – Recharge of abilities is significantly reduced.

 

The second big challenge this week is the King’s Fall raid challenge, and the Warpriest challenge. Being the easiest of them all, the challenge simply involves having a different aura holder in every DPS rotation and considering the light level of guardians right now, it should take you a maximum of two DPS rotations to finish the challenge and spawn the challenge loot chest for loot drops up to 10 points above your current light level.
 

The Prison of Elders Level 32 boss fight is the Cult of the Worm this week while the level 34 boss fight is Broken Legion. The Court of Oryx Tier 3 boss this week is Balwur where the ground remains toxic throughout the fight and the enemies need to be cleared in order to clear the ground for a place to damage the boss.

Lastly, do not forget to pick up your free weekly sterling treasure box from the postmaster. Another sterling treasure box can be earned from completing the level 41 Prison of Elders as well as completing a match in the weekly Crucible playlist.

You can check out the full list of weekly reset data along with other relevant data from the tower here and on this thread at Reddit.