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Nordstrom Scores!

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Nordstrom News

New York’s competitive landscape got only more crowded once upscale department-store chain Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:JWN) opened its very first Manhattan flagship. But its shares were sliding days before its third earnings report due to investors’ fear of bad news, mostly due to poor performance of its industry pears which revealed that some heavy headwinds are infecting the entire sector. Yet, some analysts were more optimistic about Nordstorm as opposed to other department stores due to its advanced digital strategy- and they were right! The Seattle-based company reported its third quarter earnings on Thursday after the bell and managed to exceed both earnings and revenue Wall Street estimates! As a result, its shares rose 10% in after-hours trading.

Fiscal third quarter

The company earned $126 million or 81 cents per share whereas analysts on average expected 65 cents per share. Revenue of $3.67 billion also exceeded forecasts. Moreover, the company also slightly uplifted the bottom of its full year outlook range that was $3.25 to $3.50. and now is $3.30 to $3.50. Management managed to save $170 million in expenses year-to-date which means it will most likely exceed its plan for the year which is in the range of $150 to $200 million. Its New York flagship inspired a strong customer response with a sales uplift in the Men’s section that even exceeded expectations. Overall, the company justified its investment as its third quarter net earnings rose from $67 million from last year’s comparable quarter to the impressive $126 million. Even if we take aside the last year’s earnings accounted for a non-recurring and debt related tax charge of $49 million, net earnings grew 9%.

Competition

The sector of department stores as a whole is one of, if not the, worst performing sector in retail. While retail as a whole is growing, department store sales are dropping and this losing streak is present for several years now. With weak results from its competitors, store closures and a bankruptcy filing from the legendary Barneys New York, there are many painful reminders of the challenges that are upon the industry. Nordstrom is most certainly not immune to this macroenvironment.

The company’s NY expensive dream actually opened after rival Neiman Marcus Group gained a New Yorker address and existing New Yorkers such as Saks, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s (NYSE:M), whose shares literally got slashed as its full year-outlook, have all done major makeovers of their shops. Putting it bluntly, retailers are fighting for market share. The good news is that the company doesn’t exactly have a direct competitor considering it is a high-end department store with off-price brands. On the other hand, its stock does move with the sector. On an entirely different end, there’s the prospective and successful Target’s (NYSE:TGT) and its strong recent results left everyone wondering if the competitor is managing to take customers away from Nordstrom. But, no reason to fear as the company also invested in enhancing its loyalty program that increased 13% over last year, and resulted in more than 12 million active customers accounting for 65 percent of sales in the most recent quarter.

Nordstrom’s efforts to appeal to the younger generations by making its store more ‘comfortable’ for them are also more than evident. They went as far as including graffiti in their scenery and pairing Nike (NYSE:NKE) snickers with high-end designer creations.

Outlook

As the retail sector transforms as a whole, the winning equation seems to be made of ‘making an experience” for buyers. And Nordstrom is definitely looking for new ways to serve its customers and differentiate itself from competitors. Better-than-expected third quarter results have demonstrated a substantial progress in this transformation, with efficient cost and inventory control that contributed to the company’s profitability. Although good but not great, Nordstrom seems to be well-equipped to ship through the department store sector storm!

This article is contributed by IAMNewswire.com. It was written by an independently verified journalist and is not a press release. It should not be construed as investment advice.

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BenzingaEditorial

Are spaceflights just around the corner?

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Space Flights Stock Market

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE), an aerospace company, pioneering in private space flights and manufacturing of advanced air and space vehicles, announced the Q4 and end of year results. Company’s key goal is to open access to space, so it is safe and affordable. Q4 brought the company closer to that goal by finalizing the transaction with Social Capital Hedosophia and becoming publicly listed on the NYSE. All of that affected further operational readiness of the Spaceport America in New Mexico, which is used by tenants like Virgin Galactic, TMD Defense and Space, White Sands Research and Developers and SpinLaunch.

White Sands Research and Developers LLC is based in Las Cruces, and it offers engineering and aerospace services like software development, flight modeling, systems engineering and suborbital launch services. TMD Defense and Space is based in El Paso and they plan to test ballistic missiles in Spaceport. SpinLaunch is a company aiming to move payloads to space with a spaceflight mass accelerator technology.

Tickets for space

Virgin Galactic, bringing Virgin branded customer experience, wants its customers to have a unique experience, lasting more than one day. Not all that time will be spent in space, but the spaceflight should provide real space adventure, views of the Earth and several minutes without gravity. All of this attracted just below 8.000 registrations of interest in flight reservations. This successful increase of interest registrations came after spending the last couple of years upgrading the spacecraft, which has now successfully flown two test flights to space, carrying five people in total (on both flights together).

These registrations of interest in flight reservations cost $1.000,00, and it represents refundable deposit securing a privileged position for future ticket purchase. Previous tickets were sold for $250.000, but we can expect that the company will increase the price, once they restart with ticket selling.

Q4 and 2019 results

When looking at these results, we should have in mind that the company spent several years in development, updating and upgrading its spaceship, with no ticket sales. Q4 revenues were $529,000, summing up to almost $3.8 million for the whole of 2019. That is an increase from 2018 revenues of $2.8 million but 2019 being its first full year of results. Taking into consideration huge research and development expenses, as well as similar SG&A, it is not a big surprise that the company showed a net loss of $73 million in Q4 or $210.9 million for the whole 2019 as it aims to be profitable by 2021. On the other hand, the company finished the year with cash and cash equivalents of $480 million as of December 31, 2019.

Outlook indicators

Virgin Galactic stocks rocketed in 2020. Investors seem to prefer riskier, more imaginative business endeavors. Similar goes for Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and even Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) who have their sights set even higher: that being  the moon and eventually Mars. Space travel somehow goes with futuristic electric cars, preferably even with autopilots. But in the meaning, current tech giants’ stocks like Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) with Bezos’ billionaire-backed venture Blue Origin are a trailing a bit, almost seeming as they are not interesting enough. But space flights do seem just to be around the corner.

Here are some interesting details which may give us a better idea  about when we can expect those spaceflights. Virgin Galactic started with the construction of astronaut training and flight preparation area by building the third floor at Spaceport America. The company also moved an additional 70 Virgin Galactic operations personnel from Mojave, CA to Spaceport America, bringing the total number of staff to 145. It also announced the $20 million investment by Boeing’s HorizonX Ventures, forming a strategic partnership. Future astronaut spacesuits will be made in cooperation with Under Armour (NYSE: UA), the company which also agreed to host the recently launched Astronaut Readiness program. All that activity cannot be without any reason. Hopefully, we will see how travel space looks like soon and maybe even gain an the International Space Station – and now that will even go beyond Harry Potter’s 9 and ¾ platform – no offence to J.K. Rowling intended!

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure .

IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Monday and Tuesday’s Market Tumble – Who Is Affected

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Stock Market Tumble

The market is suffering from earthquakes as companies continue to warn about the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Tech juggernaut Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was among the first who has already warned of a shortage of iPhones but other US companies are also starting to break a sweat. If the impact is as serious as some investors suspect, it could derail the longest economic expansion in US’s history. That means there are political implications too. Even for US President Donald Trump has made a roaring economy a central part of his re-election bid and such wobbles could make his case for another four years more challenging. Travel companies around the world also continued to suffer. In the UK, among the FTSE 100 the greatest drop was suffered by EasyJet (OTC:ESYJY) , which sank 16.7%, while British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A. (OTC:ICAGY) was down by more than 9%.

Latest effects on other stocks and markets

Which stocks and markets will suffer the most from the outbreak will depend on several factors, like where the virus will spread, the number of affected people, market position and what market mostly relies on the infected area, etc. Some markets may fight for a while, but eventually, they are bound to feel the impact. This means that the entire U.S. stock market could be exposed. The last few days have been full of heavy selling at a quick pace, and the market felt down for four days straight.  The S&P 500 index fell for approximately 3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 3.15%, as well as NASDAQ composite for 2.8%. Some of the best ETFs also suffered some decreases. The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) dropped 2.8%, while the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (NYSE:FFTY) slipped 3%. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSE:SMH) had a similar result and lost 2.9%. These several days of heavy selling really placed the market under pressure on Monday and Tuesday, but after that tumble for several days, the indexes and indicators started coming back to normal and higher values.

Tesla Inc

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock has been in a negative trend since the week began, and it  fell more than 7% on Monday, mainly due to fears of the spread of the pandemia and its effect on the world economy. Having in mind that one of three Tesla’s Gigafactories is in Shanghai, the virus outbreak might be a significant slowdown and temporary barrier for Tesla’s plans. Having in mind that the company is quite dependent on its China factory, while the competition has a little better diversification of its assets, Tesla might be more concerned than other auto manufacturers. This comes at a not-so-great time as Tesla has been working on meeting all the requirements to add its stocks to S&P 500 index in order to push its stock further.

Bob Chapek steps in as Disney’s new CEO

Prematurely stepping down of Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) long-serving CEO Bob Iger pushed Disney’s stocks to its lowest values since April 2019. First, the stock fell during Monday’s tumble for 4.3% and continued to decrease on Tuesday for 3.6%. Bob Chapek, who has led Disney Parks, Experiences and Products since 2018, will take over as CEO. The initial plan was that Iger resigns in 2021. But he will stay with the company, directing future “creative endeavors”.

Salesforce co-CEO also steps down

Keith Block, Salesforce’s (NYSE:CRM) co-CEO since 2018, announced he is stepping down, leaving the company founder Marc Benioff as the single CEO. This all came after several straight days of stock decrease. Maybe this was a surprise for some, since many saw Block as next in line as Salesforce’s sole CEO if Benioff decided to withdraw. The announcement also stated that Block will remain close to the company on advising position.

Outlook

The Fed sees the Coronavirus as the threat to global growth. Moreover, some analysts find it could burst some bubbles, as in the case of Tesla. Investors have been trying to make sense of what the coronavirus means for businesses since January, but many fear that the market has underestimated its impact and that we’re in for a severe correction.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure.

IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Technology Lesson for the New Era – Can You Do It Twice?

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Microsoft News

Whether we like it or not, the big tech firms have shaped our everyday lives and continue to influence them. But recent times have also brought increased legislation as lawmakers do their best to limit the power and influence of these companies. It remains to be seen whether they will succeed as there is an abundant range of both and the good that technology has brought into our existence. But what is interesting is that this constantly-changing landscape has one consistent theme. And that is companies that dominate one paradigm shift rarely dominate the next, even if they see them coming. It’s almost like saying that invention comes only once? Then again, there are some giants who might even manage to break this pattern.

The kingdom of PCs and Clouds and Mobiles

IBM (NYSE:IBM) saw PCs coming yet it outsourced the most valuable aspect of the technology to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). Microsoft and Intel in turn dominated PCs, yet they did not manage to do the same with the mobile market. And they saw it coming way before Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) even introduced the iPhone – so well done to Steve Jobs. Apple has made us go crazy over the iPhone indeed but it has been relatively unsuccessful in the cloud sector compared to its competitors.

Can you see a pattern? Or not!

Focusing further on Microsoft and Apple as examples: Microsoft dominated PCs, missed in mobile, but retooled and is now a giant in cloud services. A giant so big that it has beaten Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)  in winning the Pentagon’s JEDI contract. Although Amazon is still determined in not letting happen and the judge stopped the contract from realisation until the lawsuit is resolved, the potential of Microsoft, the reason for which it was chosen, is undebatable.

Apple was a leader in very early PCs only to lose that battle to Microsoft and Intel, so it was able to retool its entire business to focus on mobile. But that ultimately made it difficult to build a big cloud business, even though Apple was early in offering cloud services to consumers. And now? Apple is repositioning  itself on being a service company. No need to feel sorry for Apple as it recently reported its record first quarter results. Will Apple TV Plus manage to eclipse the emperor Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) who also surpassed expectations for its latest quarter, along with intense competition from Disney (NYSE:DIS) and others is an entirely different question! And all bets are in!

The takeaway

These companies were built with an idea to disrupt the status quo but the truth is that they are back at square one when the next shift begins. And the pace is only getting quicker.  In the end, they also find themselves asking the same questions as the companies they disrupted before- why change everything about your disrupt your highly profitable core? That core business is afterall, one’s ‘baby’. So to make it less painful, it seems the best thing to do is shift the direction immediately after it’s become apparent you’ve lost just one round and leapfrog to a new one that you can build a business around. Baby steps are key, even for giants as this can only make them flexible enough to follow through change.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

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