Nissan's November sales were up 10.7 percent from a year ago to 106,528, with both the Nissan and Infiniti brands setting records for the month. The Franklin-based car maker outpaced the industry's 8.9 percent growth from a year ago but lagged the growth at General Motors and Chrysler. The company's sales are now up 9.2 percent for the year.
Genesco shares (Ticker: GCO) took a 3 percent hit Monday after Piper Jaffray analyst Stephanie Wissink downgraded them to 'neutral' from 'overweight.' We couldn't find any details as to why Wissink made her move, but we're guessing it's a post-Black Friday reaction along the lines of her Canaccord Genuity peer Camilo Lyon. Assessing consumers' holiday behavior, Lyon said apparel retailers appeared to have to dish out deep discounts to lure buyers. But athletic retailers, he added, seemed to fare better — presumably at the expense of more fashion-oriented Genesco.
Analysts at Howard Weil have begun covering the limited partner interests of Delek Logistics with an 'outperform' rating and a price target of $36. The company (Ticker: DKL) opened trading Monday at $30.01 and climbed more than 3 percent to finish a penny below $31.
A survey of shoppers by Placed showed that Dollar General and rivals Dollar Tree and Big Lots were among the most frequented retailers on Thanksgiving Day, which is accounting for ever more holiday spending dollars. And did the deep discounters fare as well as on Black Friday? Not surprisingly, not at all.
When Dollar General reports its third-quarter profits Dec. 5, investors and analysts will be looking out for just how the company's core customer is doing. The company's top-line number will go a long way to clarifying some of the confusion created last week by Family Dollar, which said a "very cautious consumer" limited same-store sales growth to 3.1 percent. Canaccord Genuity analyst Laura Champine duly lowered her target on Dollar Tree to $48 from $52 and cut her Q4 same-store forecast to 2 percent, “which would be the weakest Q4 performance in six years.”
Separately, Family Dollar CFO Mary Winston told Bloomberg Radio listeners late last week that she's "not so sure very much has changed" in recent years for customers in lower-income bands. Yes, the economy has steadily improved and lifted some shoppers' fortunes but Winston said macroeconomic and political events and trends are creating nervousness that continues to affect spending habits.
Analysts and investors appear to be sanguine about Dollar General's performance. Both the stock (Ticker: DG) and EPS estimates haven't budged much at all lately (see image below). Now it's up to Chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling to deliver both numbers and clarity.
Two notes today to pass on from the research team at West End-based Avondale Partners: First, retail analyst Mark Montagna has downgraded shares of Genesco to 'market perform' from 'outperform,' where he'd had them for the last several years. Montagna, who also lowered his price target for Genesco to $67 from $70, says the shoe and hat seller is bearing some of the brunt of consumers ramping up spending on their homes, which is expected to continue for a while. Combined with sluggish mall traffic and intense price competition, he adds, leaves CEO Bob Dennis and his team with fewer ways to boost margins. Montagna's fiscal Q3 estimate now stands at $1.35 versus the Street's $1.38 and he sees same-store sales dipping 3 percent. Genesco shares (Ticker: GCO) are up about 1 percent to about $66.80 this morning and have risen about 20 percent year to date.
There are no such worries for Montagna's colleague Kevin Campbell, who has lifted his price target for HCA Holdings to $53 from $47. Cost controls are still contributing to the story, he says, and investors shouldn't ignore the fact that management just bought back $500 million worth of stock near its highs. Campbell also has added 5 percent to his 2014 EPS estimates, which now stands at $3.79. Shares of HCA (Ticker: HCA) are up nicely this morning to almost $45.
We always have a lot of potential topics to sift through when we set out to produce one of our quarterly magazines. But our options were especially numerous as we set out to create Boom, our focus on the real estate development of Middle Tennessee. To help us hone on a handful of themes, we relied in part on some economic indicators and statistics. Here's a snapshot of the ones that made it into the magazine.
To check out the more than 20 features that make up Boom, click here. (Most of the pieces are for subscribers only.)
Nissan executives say August was their best retail sales month ever, with strong gains from both their car and truck divisions. The company's top three U.S. models — the Altima sedan, Sentra compact and Rogue crossover — posted growth of 24 percent, the same as the company overall. The electric Leaf and the (decidedly non-electric) Pathfinder put up the gaudiest year-over-year numbers. Here's the rundown.