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Macy Reports Same-Store Sales Decline and Data Breach

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Macy News

Popular retail giant’s stock is down and is one of the worst performing name in the S&P 500, with its stock down being slashed 46% this year. As this wasn’t enough, in a serious data breach, popular US retail giant Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) has admitted that cyberthieves stole customers’ credit card numbers, verification codes and expiry dates by inserting malicious code on its website. And on top of all that, the Cincinnati-based retailer reported its first same-store sales decline in two years. Consequently, the company slashed its full-year outlook.

Data Breach

The security data breach took place between October 7 and October 15 and according to TechCrunch, private information of thousands of consumers is compromised. Macy, however claims that only a small percentage of its customers were affected by this hacking intrusion and that it already introduced counter measures as they notified customers last week through letter-form. But this is not the first-time hackers are targeting Macy’s. Thousands of online customers were also compromised in another incident last year, so there will be quite a bit of damage control ahead to restore the confidence of its online users.

Quarter earnings

Revenue for the third quarter fell to $5.17 billion from $5.40 billion in the same quarter last year, whereas analysts expected $5.32 billion, according to Refinitiv. But earnings per share were 7 cents which is more than 0 cents expected, so there’s a somewhat mixed picture of the third quarter earnings report. CEO explained that weaker sales were results of a warmer fall and weaker spending by tourists. And just like its industry peers, the company also experienced issues with its website. What is most worrying is that net income fell from $62 million in last year’s comparable quarter to $2 million in the most recent quarter that ended on November 2. So, things are not looking up despite the holiday season around the corner, there are also tariffs to think of.

Competitors

The Gap Inc (NYSE:GPC) is also likely also announce weak third-quarter sales and full-year outlook when it releases results after the market close as the company also slashed its full-year adjusted earnings guidance due to macroeconomic headwinds impacting the entire industry.

While Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:JWN) is facing the same storm as its department store peers, analyst expect more positivity in their results due to the company’s digital strategy. But investors will be looking into a new women’s store New York City that opened on October 24, that was labelled by management as the “largest single-project investment in Nordstrom history”. Wall Street also finds that Nordstrom Rack could help to offset some of the weakness as the competing company’s shares have also tumbled 24% this year. Target (NYSE:TGT) definitely is the bright spot of retail with its most recent quarter results confirming its 2019 outperformer retail status. Its shares are up 90% since the beginning of the year, outperforming even TJX (NYSE:TJX) and the constantly evolving Walmart (NYSE:WMT) which also admitted it has more work to do with its online business.

Outlook

Macy’s previously raised prices of certain products such as luggage and houseware but quickly realised consumers were not drawn. Some of its efforts to keep its offerings fresh even ended up being an inventory build-up which remains a ‘core challenge’ for the company. The retailer also tried updating its mobile app and loyalty program, but without any positive result so far as shares dropped almost 50% this year. Therefore, getting to know their customers better and protecting their information seems to be one of the first steps to take. Macy’s can only expect increased pressure from its competitors as more brands are shifting away in order to establish a direct channel to their customers.

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

2021 Is Shaping Up to Be a Pivotal Year for EVs

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Automakers are redefining their images  and products. German luxury automaker Audi that is owned by Volkswagen Group (OTC: VWAGY) recently introduced its 2022 e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT, two high-performance electric cars. The U.S. automotive industry will look a lot different within half of a decade. Online car shopping site Edmunds predicts 2021 will be a “pivotal year” for EVs with U.S. sales rising to 2.5% versus 1.9% last year and many new models entering the market in the next 11 months. According to Edmunds, consumers are in for 30 EVs from 21 brands, up from 17 models in 2020. Besides Volkswagen’s compact ID.4 promises to be a serious challenger to the top-selling Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model 3, here are a few legendary automakers are charging up their portfolios and betting big on EVs as they are determined to make Tesla a run for its money.

The British Jaguar

Tata Motors Limited (NYSE: TM)-owned Jaguar Land Rover has become the latest manufacturer to commit to an electric future. The British sports car maker  known for its seductive designs announced on February 15th it plans to become an “all-electric luxury brand” by 2025. Jaguar currently manufacturers one EV, the I-PACE. Last year’s global sales of the stylish and futuristic-looking SUV amounted to 7,807 units. Its first all-electric Land Rover model is scheduled for 2024 followed by five pure electric variants in the next five years.

Ford Motor

The Dearborn 117-year old automaker’s new, splashy Mustang Mach-E SUV has Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) owners trading in their vehicles for this all-electric Ford. The company’s next vehicle launch with a battery-electric drivetrain will likely be the F-150 pickup in early 2022. Ford’s rollout of battery-powered vehicles in the U.S. has been slow compared to the competition but its European lineup will run solely on batteries by 2030.

Ford pledged to spend $1 billion to electrify its factory in Cologne, Germany, which has been the home of its operations for nearly a century as part of doubling its investment in electric vehicles to $22 billion by the end of 2025.Two-thirds of Ford’s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrids by 2030 and Ford’s newly announced partnership with Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY) will help the company achieve its EV targets. The Cologne facility, the home of its operations in Germany for 90 years, recently

General Motors

The auto giant has not done away with internal combustion engines but it plans to do so by vowing that 40% of U.S. models will be EVs by the end of 2025, reaching majority by 2035. General Motors’ (NYSE: GM) large, masculine pickup trucks have been reliable moneymakers for the company and consumer demand for these gas-guzzlers skyrocketed in the spring and summer. The rebirth of GM’sHummer in an all-electric version has been scheduled for 2022. Interest in the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq has been sparked with its entertaining Super Bowl ads. GM’s small, Bolt hatchback got a redesign and a sibling, the Bolt EUV, an electric utility vehicle scheduled for 2022. Global sales of the Bolt EV have topped 100,000 since its market launch in 2017.All these models are merely a part of GM’s strategy to launch 30 new EVs across the globe by 2025.

Bentley Motors

The formidable, mighty W12 and V8 engines that power the ultra luxury automaker’s pricey sedans, grand tourers and SUVs will soon become automotive legend. Back in November, Bentley announced the debut of its first electric vehicle is scheduled for 2025. By 2030, every assembly that comes out of its Crewe, U.K., factory will be battery electric.

Pickups

2021 will be the year in which the world will get its first electric pickup. All-electric automaker Rivian that has been backed by Ford and supported by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been testing its $67,500 R1T truck in Arizona’s desert; the truck can get 300+ miles of range on a full charge. Then there’s the Lordstown Motors Corp (NASDAQ: RIDE) Endurance, which will compete in the grueling a desert race this April in Baja, California.

Worksport addresses the anxiety around EVs

Hefty price tags and range anxiety are still significant barriers to wider EV adoption but one company is about to change all that. Worksport (OTC: WKSP) is a well established producer of innovative yet affordable tonneau covers for pickups. The company saw a need for more convenient charging methods and it provided them with its Terra Vis solar fusion technology that adds solar power to the electric equation. Namely, Worksport already made partnerships with Atlis Motor Vehicles and Hercules Electric Vehicles to configure its TerraVis system for their upcoming pickups. TerraVis™ is the first of its kind in the industry and it can be used beyond pickup trucks such as for powering a job site, campsite or in times of an emergency.

Outlook

Larger selection of EVs at affordable prices will help help in crease the adoption of emissions-free vehicles. Brace yourself for an electric automotive future as even the legendary automakers are transforming their businesses.

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

Home Depot’s Robust Sales Trend Depends on the Pandemic

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The king of do-it-yourself retail reported its latest quarterly figures on Tuesday and investors reacted on earnings beat by trading down the stock. Home Depot (NYSE: HD) benefited as the pandemic and a strong real estate market bolstered home improvement sales. But the retailer did not provide an outlook due to the uncertainty revolving around the global health crisis and its implications for consumer spending

Q4 earnings report

The company generated $32.3 billion in sales, marking a 25% improvement over the year-ago quarter as consumers shopped early and spent more on holiday décor in an effort to gain some degree of normalcy.Comparable sales climbed by nearly the same percentage. As for the bottom line, net profit was 16% higher at $2.9 billion, or $2.65 per share. Both headline figures topped analyst estimates of $30.7 billion in sales and a per-share net profit of $2.61. The reported growth is in line with what Home Depot reported during the second and third quarter as it benefited from keeping doors open as an essential retailer.

As for the fiscal 2020, $240 million was devoted to Covid-related operational costs and as long as the pandemic lasts, Home Depot expects about $250 million of Covid-such operating expenses on an annual basis to cover personal protective equipment for employees, additional cleaning and paid leave for employees who get ill.

Home Depot did not offer any guidance given the uncertainty related to the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its influence on the consumer.

New trends

Customers spent more when they visited the company’s stores or its website with the value of a customer’s average purchase rising nearly 11% compared to the previous year to $75.69. Sales per square foot jumped 24% to $528.01. Many customers purchased big-ticket item as transactions over $1,000 were up by about 23% on a YoY basis. Digital sales skyrocketed about 83% in the quarter compared to 2019’s fourth quarter. As for the year, they grew about 86%, with about 60% of online orders fulfilled through the store. By adding online workshops, Home Depot expanded its audience and boosted the engagement of its existing consumers. Before the pandemic, it had an average of five in-store workshops per month which expanded to 40 online workshops per month that were live-streamed.

Consumers

About 45% of Home Depot’s sales come from pros, such as plumbers, electricians and contractors which is a higher percentage than its rival Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) which gets up to 25% from that segment. Home Depot is looking to build on that advantage as it acquired HD Supply Holdings at the end of last year in a deal valued at $8 billion.

As during previous quarters, the world’s largest home improvement retailer continued to benefit from a DIY customer base that is effectively trapped at home much of the time and eager to make those homes as comfortable as possible or even add features to them. The big retailer became an obvious go-to place for materials, tools, and even furnishings during the pandemic.

Outlook

With the pandemic seemingly receding and consumers being able to return to travel and leisure activities, it’s unlikely that the giant will post similarly impressive growth numbers with that pullback in spending. But Home Depot will continue to invest in integrating its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar business, with capital expenditures targeted at about 2% of sales in the undergoing year.

By continuing to invest, the company hopes to attract new customers, especially millennials who are buying and fixing up their homes.

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

Palantir Joins Forces With 3M

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Palantir Technologies Inc. (NYSE:PLTR) just revealed a multi-million dollar expansion of its collaboration with no other than the conglomerate 3M (NYSE: MMM). 3M will be expanding its use of Palantir’s Foundry platform during its undergoing digital transformation to build a dynamic supply chain and be able to respond nimbly to changes in demand across tens of thousands of products. Palantir’s stock has been under pressure lately as insiders have sold shares as soon as the lockup provision expired. The stock sales likely do not indicate Palantir’s prospects are worsening because insider sales are common, especially among executives who count company stock as a large piece of their net worth.

Since Palantir went public in late September via a direct listing, its stock has skyrocketed more than 175%. Its most recent fourth quarter earnings saw revenue beating expectations although the company delivered a loss.

Q4

Revenue of $322 million topped $300.7 million expected, according to a Refinitiv survey of analysts but brought a bottom line loss per share of 8 cents. Average revenue per customer for 2020 came to $7.9 million, which is up 41% from 2019. Its top 20 customers generated $33.2 million each on average last year, which is a YoY increase of 34%. In the fourth quarter, Palantir sealed 21 deals worth at least $5 million in total contract value, including 12 worth at least $10 million. New contracts include those with the U.S. Army, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, PG&E and  British Petroleum (NYSE: BP), along with an important distribution deal with IBM (NYSE:IBM).

Outlook

Palantir expects to earn $4 billion in revenue by 2025 and it expects revenue to grow more than 30% in 2021. The first quarter should see revenue growing 45% which is higher Refinitiv analyst estimates of about $309 million.

Customers

The company did not provide an updated customer count just like in November. When it disclosed its prospectus, it had125 customers in the first half of 2020. Unlike other California-based tech companies, Palantir has been more willing to work with government agencies during Donald Trump’s presidency. Employees at Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) have urged the company to step away from such deals.

But Palantir has built its business largely on lucrative government deals for its data analytics software, including a collaboration with ICE. But it did state it will not work with customers whose positions or actions the company considers inconsistent with its mission to support Western liberal democracy. Although it also serves commercial customers, they make up less than half of the business and the segment isn’t growing as fast as the government segment. In its first earnings release after its IPO, 56% of its third quarter’s revenue came from its government segment. In the fourth quarter, the government segment was up 85% YoY as it generated $190 million in revenue, whereas its commercial segment went up only 4% YoY as revenue amounted to $132 million.

In an increasingly complex world, the success of any business depends on its ability to respond quickly to changing facts on the ground. Palantir has that part covered but it has also set itself apart from other Silicon Valley companies and customers look at both the offering and the brand when choosing who to buy from.

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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