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Target crushes estimates as retailer uses new shopper habits to gain market share

Target on Wednesday reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that easily outpaced analysts’ estimates as the discount retailer won market share by turning shoppers’ pandemic habits into lasting gains….

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Target on Wednesday reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that easily outpaced analysts’ estimates as the discount retailer won market share by turning shoppers’ pandemic habits into lasting gains.

The company said it grabbed market share across all of its core categories, from apparel to beauty. Year to date, it said it has won $6 billion in market share, with $1 billion in share gains coming during the latest quarter. It has measured the gains with third-party and internal research.

Buoyed by this strength, sales online and at stores open at least a year rose 20.7% during the third quarter. Comparable digital sales grew by 155%, while same-store store sales climbed 9.9%.

Shares were up about 5% Wednesday morning and touched a 52-week high of $172.12.

Despite the strong results, Target declined to provide an outlook. It withdrew its forecast during the first quarter as the coronavirus made predicting shopping habits more difficult.

Here’s how the company did in the fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 31:

  • Earnings per share: $2.79, adjusted vs. $1.60 expected by a consensus of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $22.63 billion vs. $20.93 billion expected by Refinitiv
  • Same-store sales: up 20.7% vs. 11.2% expected by StreetAccount estimates

Target said its third-quarter net income rose to $1.01 billion, or $2.01 per share, from $714 million, or $1.39 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, Target earned $2.79 per share, considerably more than the $1.60 per share expected by analysts.

Total revenue grew 21% to $22.63 billion from $18.67 billion last year, besting analysts’ expectations of $20.93 billion.

While some retail rivals had to shutter in the early months of the pandemic, Target’s nearly 1,900 stores remained open as an essential retailer that could sell a wide range of goods, from gallons of milk to pajamas and laptops. In recent months, even as shopping mall competitors have opened again, Target said it has held on to customers and won more of their wallets.

Customers shopped more frequently with Target in the third quarter, and when they did, they put more in their baskets, the company said. Combined transactions in Target stores and on its website were up 4.5% year over year, while the average ticket grew 15.6% in the quarter.

Sales in all of Target’s merchandise categories were higher in the third quarter than a year earlier. Electronics shot up by more than 50%. Home items rose by a mid-20s percentage rate. Apparel increased by nearly 10%. And the two other categories, essentials & beauty and food & beverage, grew in the high teens.

Target is making long-term plays to pick up business from struggling department stores and hard-hit mall staples. The company announced last week that it will open smaller versions of Ulta Beauty shops inside of hundreds of its stores with a curated assortment of products, from hair care and perfume to lip gloss. More than 100 of the shops are expected to open next year.

CEO Brian Cornell said on a call with reporters that apparel has been a bright spot and Target is planning to lean into it. Along with loungewear, sleepwear and intimates, he said kids’ and men’s clothing performed well during the three-month period.

“Apparel has been one of our strengths, [and] certainly from a market share standpoint, one of the real highlights for our business throughout the quarter, and we certainly see that continuing as we finish up the year,” he said.

Target measures market share gains using its third-party and internal research. It wouldn’t be more specific about methodology.

The big-box retailer’s online options have remained popular. Its curbside pickup service, Drive Up, increased more than 500%. Target’s home delivery service Shipt grew nearly 280%. And Order Pickup, an in-store option that allows customers to retrieve online purchases in person, climbed more than 50%.

The pandemic, however, changed the rhythm of sales and the purchases that customers made, Cornell said. Since many schools and colleges began the year with remote learning, Target kept merchandise on the shelves and customers did back-to-school shopping later, he said. Those purchases drove cost growth in the mid-20% range in September, he said.

Many hours at home have translated to “outsized growth in electronics,” he said, such as purchases of computer software, video games, portable electronics and office equipment. And shoppers bought more than usual in the home category as they replaced decor and bought kitchen supplies.

As the pandemic continues amid the holiday season, Target kicked off sales early and has tried to differentiate on safety and convenience. The company said last month it would devote twice as many parking spots to curbside pickup. It also added features to help shoppers during the typically busy time, such as a website tool they can use to check if there’s a line outside of their store and if so, reserve a spot ahead of their visit.

Cornell said customers have begun buying presents already, “but they still have a very long shopping list that they have to fulfill over the next few weeks.”

“We expect them to be decorating their homes,” he said. “We expect a lot of gift giving as many families will be shipping gifts across the country and be celebrating very differently than they had in the past.”

He added, “this is a holiday season when the guest is going to try to find that little bit of joy.”

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/18/target-tgt-q3-2020-earnings.html

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JPMorgan Chase beats profit estimates on strong trading, $5.2 billion release of loan-loss reserves

JPMorgan posted first-quarter profit of $4.50 a share, much higher than the $3.10 per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

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JPMorgan Chase on Wednesday reported profit and revenue that exceeded analysts’ expectations on robust trading results and a $5.2 billion benefit from releasing money it had previously set aside for loan losses that didn’t develop.

The bank posted first-quarter profit of $14.3 billion, or $4.50 a share including a $1.28 per share benefit from the reserve release, higher than the $3.10 per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. Excluding the impact of a $550 million charitable contribution, which lowered earnings by 9 cents, the bank earned an adjusted figure of $4.59, exceeding the $3.10 estimate.

Companywide revenue of $33.12 billion exceeded the $30.52 billion estimate, driven by the firm’s trading operations, which produced about $1.8 billion more revenue than expected.

JPMorgan’s release of $5.2 billion in reserves is the biggest sign yet that the U.S. banking industry is now expecting to have fewer loan losses than it did last year, when it set aside tens of billions for defaults anticipated from the coronavirus pandemic. A year ago, the firm had added $6.8 billion to credit reserves.

“Overall, this was a great quarter for JPMorgan,” said Octavio Marenzi, CEO of consultancy Opimas. “It is now increasingly clear that the bank over-reserved, and that money is now flowing back into its earnings, concealing some of the weakness in consumer banking.”

JPMorgan shares dipped less than 1%.

Fixed income trading produced $5.8 billion in revenue, a 15% increase that exceeded analysts’ estimates by more than $800 million, on activity in securitized products and credit markets. Equities trading revenue surged 47% to $3.3 billion, a full $1 billion more than estimates, on “strong performance across products.”

JPMorgan, with the world’s biggest Wall Street bank by total revenue, was expected to benefit from robust investment banking fees driven by record issuance of special purpose acquisition companies, which saw more activity in the first quarter than all of 2020, itself a record year.

That came to pass: The firm said first-quarter investment banking revenue surged 222%, or a full $2 billion, to $2.9 billion, exceeding the estimate of $2.65 billion.

Most of the quarter’s reserve release came from the bank’s retail division: The firm said $3.5 billion was tied to the bank’s credit card borrowers, and another $625 million from home loan borrowers.

While that meant that the firm’s consumer and community banking division saw profit surge by $6.5 billion from a year earlier, to $6.73 billion, the bank said that card and mortgage revenue was impacted by lower balances as flush consumers pay down their debts.

In the release, CEO Jamie Dimon called loan demand “challenged,” but during a call with reporters Wednesday, Dimon added that the dynamic would ultimately be good for loan demand because consumers were in good shape.

Dimon struck an optimistic tone for the near-term economic future in the U.S., similar to comments he made this month in his annual shareholder letter.

“With all of the stimulus spending, potential infrastructure spending, continued quantitative easing, strong consumer and business balance sheets and euphoria around the potential end of the pandemic, we believe that the economy has the potential to have extremely robust, multi-year growth,” Dimon said in the release.

Analysts will also be curious about the pace of share repurchases the bank is expected to make. Last month, the Federal Reserve said banks that pass the industry’s 2021 stress test at mid-year will be allowed to resume higher levels of dividend payouts and buybacks starting June 30.

Shares of JPMorgan rose 21% so far this year, compared to the 25% advance of the KBW Bank Index.

After JPMorgan’s earnings statement, Goldman Sachs also released first-quarter results that crushed forecasts with record first-quarter net profits and sales due to strong performance in trading and investment banking.

Here are the JPMorgan numbers:

Earnings: $4.59 per share vs. $3.10 per share expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Revenue: $33.12 billion vs. $30.52 billion expected.

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Correction: JPMorgan’s EPS figure comparable to estimates has been adjusted 9 cents higher to account for a one-time charitable contribution.

JPMorgan shares dipped less than 1%.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/14/jpmorgan-jpm-earnings-q1-2021.html

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Coinbase drops below debut price

Coinbase held its direct listing on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, luring public market investors who’ve been waiting to get into the cryptocurrency exchange.

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Coinbase shares opened at $381 on the Nasdaq Wednesday morning, giving the cryptocurrency exchange an initial market cap of $99.6 billion on a fully-diluted basis. Shares quickly shot up as high as $429, giving it a market cap of $112 billion on a fully-diluted basis, before dropping back below the debut price.

The price was still well above the reference price of $250 set on Tuesday night, but no shares were traded on public markets at that price.

Skirting the traditional IPO process, Coinbase listed its stock directly, allowing employees and existing shareholders to sell shares immediately at a market-based priced.

Excluding options and restricted stock units, Coinbase’s market cap was about $80 billion at the opening price. Including options and RSUs, it’s already one of the 85 most valuable U.S. companies.

Founded in 2012 as a way to simplify the purchase of bitcoin, Coinbase has emerged as the most popular crypto exchange in the U.S. and soared in value alongside digital currencies bitcoin and ethereum. The service now has 56 million users, up from 43 million at the end of 2020 and 32 million the year before that. In its last private financing round in 2018, investors valued Coinbase at $8 billion.

Coinbase is hitting the public market as a record amount of cash pours into cryptocurrencies and tech investors are thirsty for high-growth stories. Snowflake, Palantir, DoorDash, Airbnb and Roblox have all gone public in the past six months and have market capitalizations ranging from $45 billion to $106 billion.

Relative to those companies and others in the IPO pipeline, Coinbase’s recent growth is unparalleled. The company said last week in announcing preliminary first-quarter results that revenue in the period surged ninefold from a year ago to $1.8 billion, and net income climbed from $32 million to between $730 million and $800 million. The number of monthly transacting users (MTUs) climbed from 2.8 million three months earlier to 6.1 million.

For the full year of 2020, revenue more than doubled to $1.28 billion, and the company swung from a loss in 2019 to a profit of $322.3 million.

Most transactions on Coinbase involve the purchase of bitcoin or ethereum, which have been on a historic tear, climbing over 800% and 1,300%, respectively, in the past year. The company has said that its short-term performance will largely be determined by crypto prices.

Bryan Armstrong, Coinbase’s co-founder and CEO, owns 39.6 million shares. In August, Armstrong was granted a multibillion-dollar performance award tied to the company’s stock price, potentially letting him purchase up to 9.29 million options at $23.46 over 10 years.

WATCH: Coinbase public debut is historic moment for cryptocurrencies

Founded in 2012 as a way to simplify the purchase of bitcoin, Coinbase has emerged as the most popular crypto exchange in the U.S. and soared in value alongside digital currencies bitcoin and ethereum. The service now has 56 million users, up from 43 million at the end of 2020 and 32 million the year before that. In its last private financing round in 2018, investors valued Coinbase at $8 billion.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/14/coinbase-to-debut-on-nasdaq-in-direct-listing.html

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States rush to replace J&J vaccine appointments after FDA recommends pause

The FDA and CDC recommended a pause in the use of J&J’s vaccine after six women developed a rare blood clotting disorder.

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More than two dozen states took steps Tuesday to halt inoculations with Johnson & Johnson‘s coronavirus vaccine, shortly after the Food and Drug Administration recommended to pause its use after reports some women developed a rare blood clotting disorder.

The states, like the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stressed that they were acting out of an abundance of caution, as more than 6.8 million doses of J&J’s vaccine have been injected and only six of the blood clotting cases have so far been reported.

J&J said in a statement that “no clear causal relationship” has been identified between the rare type of blood clots and the vaccine, adding it is working closely with regulators to assess the data.

New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said the state will “immediately” stop administering the single-dose J&J inoculation, and will use Pfizer‘s two-shot vaccine in its place for already scheduled appointments.

At least 25 other states, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, also announced they are taking J&J’s vaccine doses out of their distribution plans.

Those precautions may not be in effect for long, however: Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said Tuesday that she expected the pause to last only for a matter of days.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, noted Tuesday that people who got the J&J vaccine more than a month ago are at very low risk for developing the blood clots. All six reported cases occurred in women ages 18 to 48, whose symptoms developed within two weeks after they received the shot.

New Jersey’s Department of Health said that all vaccination sites in the state “have been told to cancel or put on hold appointments for the J&J vaccine until further notice.” The agency said it will work with those sites to replace J&J appointments with an alternative two-dose vaccine.

Virginia “will cease all Johnson & Johnson vaccines” while the FDA investigates the “extremely rare possible side effect,” according to a statement from the state’s vaccination coordinator, Dr. Danny Avula.

Connecticut’s Department of Public Health recommended all Covid vaccine providers stop using J&J’s vaccine “for the time being” while the FDA and the CDC complete their review.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and top health officials in his state issued a similar advisory.

Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health notified all vaccine providers in the state to stop administering the J&J vaccine, “effective immediately.”

The other states are Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/13/states-rush-to-replace-jj-vaccine-appointments-after-fda-recommends-pause.html

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