Kroger Says Supermarket Sales Are Under Pressure as Shoppers Pull Back
Topic of the day
Kroger said sales at its supermarkets would likely decline over the next six months as consumers keep a tight leash on spending. Cincinnati-based Kroger said its identical sales, which exclude effects of store openings and closings, rose 1% excluding fuel for the three months ended Aug. 12. The company swung to a loss for the quarter as it incurred a $1.4 billion charge related to a nationwide opioid settlement. Kroger shares gained 3.1% Friday. Kroger separately said it and rival Albertsons agreed to sell 413 stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers in a $1.9 billion deal that aims to help Kroger and Albertsons secure regulatory approval for their planned merger. Kroger last year agreed to buy rival Albertsons for about $20 billion, setting the stage to create a new grocery behemoth. Kroger reported sales of $33.85 billion in its most recent quarter, down from $34.64 billion a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $34.12 billion. The company reported a quarterly loss of $180 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a profit of $731 million, or $1.01 a share, for the same period a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were 96 cents a share. Kroger stated its opioid settlement would cover the majority of claims that have been or could be brought against the company by states, subdivisions and Native American tribes.
The Swiss stock exchange ended trading marginally lower on Friday. The SMI lost 0.4 per cent to 10,949 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 13 price losers and 6 price winners, 1 share closed unchanged. 16.96 (previously: 17.83) million shares were traded. Corporate news was scarce. UBS shares (-0.7%) fell for the fourth day in a row. The share had risen strongly since the takeover of Credit Suisse. Insurers were mixed. While Zurich Insurance fell 0.6 per cent, Swiss Re improved 0.5 per cent. The pharmaceutical heavyweights also did not follow a similar trend. Novartis lost 0.6 per cent, Roche gained minimally. The third index heavyweight Nestle closed little changed. No consistent pattern emerged among the luxury goods stocks Swatch (-0.4 per cent) and Richemont (+0.8 per cent). Cyclicals were under pressure. ABB lost 1.4 per cent, Holcim 0.9 per cent and Sika 2.6 per cent. Sonova, meanwhile, was the weakest stock in the SMI with a minus of 3.2 per cent.
The European stock markets recovered slightly on Friday, with investors taking advantage of cheap buybacks at the end of a week marked by concerns about inflation and the monetary policy of the major central banks. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.2% to 454.7 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and SBF 120 gained 0.6% each. The DAX 40 in Frankfurt advanced by 1%, and the FTSE 100 in London added 0.5%. Over the week as a whole, the Stoxx Europe 600 lost 0.8%. Oil products distribution and storage group Rubis (+0.6%) reported higher first-half results and unveiled a higher-than-expected outlook for the full 2023 financial year. Stock market operator Euronext announced a recomposition of the SBF 120 index, with the arrival of flexible materials cutting technology specialist Lectra (+2.9%), property company Argan (+1.1%) and specialist foundry X-Fab (+0.8%). Property developer Altarea (+1.4%), retail group Casino (+0.9%) and private equity firm Antin Infrastructure Partners (-0.8%) will leave the index. These changes will take effect from the session of 18 September. Artemis, the holding company of François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering (+1.5%), has reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in the US art agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) from the private equity firm TPG, the two companies announced on Thursday evening.
The New York Stock Exchange finished higher on Friday, erasing some of its losses for the week as concerns about inflation and the future path of Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rates returned. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed up 0.2% at 34,576.59 points, while the broader S&P 500 index gained 0.1% to 4,457.49 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index advanced 0.1% to 13,761.53 points. Over the week, however, the Dow Jones index lost 0.8%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq shed 1.3% and 1.9% respectively. Apple regained 0.4% after two hectic trading sessions. Goldman Sachs (+1.1%) is preparing to make some of its worst performers redundant, probably at the end of October, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources. Ford gained 1.2% and General Motors rose 2.4% following a week of negative performance. The threat of a strike in the US automotive sector is becoming increasingly imminent, with wage negotiations between the UAW union and the main manufacturers at an impasse. Arms manufacturer Smith&Wesson (+10.9%) reported a 35% increase in revenues for the quarter and its results significantly exceeded analysts' expectations. Supermarket chain Kroger (+3.1%) reported lower-than-expected sales for the quarter and a $1.4 billion charge to settle lawsuits related to the opioid scandal.
Asian stocks were mixed on Monday. The Japanese stock market reacts negatively to the strong yen and rising market interest rates, the Nikkei-225 gives up initial gains and falls by 0.4 per cent. With rising market interest rates and the interest rate speculation triggered by Ueda, financial stocks are in demand: Dai-ichi Life Holdings climbs by 3.1 per cent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial by 2.7 per cent. In China, the Shanghai composite advances 0.6 per cent on easing deflation worries, but Hong Kong's HSI slumps 1.7 per cent after its typhoon break on Friday. The battered property market is again delivering negative headlines, especially in Hong Kong: Sun Hung Kai Properties slumped 11 per cent after the industry player reported weak financials. New World Development dropped 6.5 per cent and Henderson Land 5.4 per cent. The Kospi in South Korea rises 0.3 per cent - weak commerce reports prevent higher premiums.
U.S. government debt yields finished mixed on Friday, but were higher for the week, as traders turned to next week’s U.S. consumer price index report for August. The 10-year Treasury note yield ended virtually unchanged at 4.258%. The 2-year Treasury note yield rose by 3 basis points to 4.989%.
Baader raises Dormakaba target to CHF 450 (429) - Reduce
UBS increases Relx target to 3,010 (2,900) p - Buy
Barry Callebaut price target: Credit Suisse cuts to CHF 1925 (2245) - Outperform
Produced by MBI Martin Brückner Infosource GmbH & Co. KG on behalf of Swissquote. All news is acquired with journalistic accuracy. No liability is assumed for delays or errors.