Macy’s rises on strong earnings

Macy’s rises as turnaround plan fuels better-than-expected earnings

Macy's rises as turnaround plan fuels better-than-expected earnings. Stockwinners.com
Macy’s rises as turnaround plan fuels better-than-expected earnings. Stockwinners.com

Shares of Macy’s (M) rallied after the company reported better-than-expected earnings, including a surprise increase in same-store sales, and offered 2018 guidance.

EARNINGS AND GUIDANCE

Macy’s reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share of $2.82, beating analysts’ estimates of $2.71, on revenue of $8.67B, essentially in line with the $8.68B consensus but up 1.8% from the year-ago period.

Comparable sales on an owned basis were up 1.3% and up 1.4% on an owned plus licensed basis. Macy’s also offered guidance for 2018, including EPS of $3.55-$3.75, excluding anticipated settlement charges related to the company’s defined benefit plans, which compares to analyst estimates of $3.66. The retailer sees comp sales on both an owned and an owned plus licensed basis flat to up 1% and expects total sales to decline 0.5% to 2%.

EXECUTIVE COMMENTARY

In a statement, Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette said, “We are committed to returning Macy’s to comparable sales growth in 2018 and will build on the momentum we created in the fourth quarter of 2017… We head into 2018 with an improved base business, healthy inventories, a focused and engaged organization and a clear path to return Macy’s to growth.”

On the company’s quarterly earnings call, CFO Karen Houget said Macy’s expects stronger sales in the second half of 2018 than the first half and that first half owned plus licensed comp sales are expected to be “approximately flat to slightly down.”

UPDATE ON BROOKFIELD ALLIANCE

Macy’s this morning also provided an update on its agreement with Brookfield Asset Management (BAM), noting that it recently agreed to sell seven floors of its State Street store in Chicago to a private real estate fund sponsored by Brookfield.

As part of the transaction, Macy’s will receive a total of $30M as well as upside participation in the ultimate value creation associated with the conversion of the upper floors to office space. The company anticipates closing this transaction in the first half of fiscal 2018.

The company is also exploring opportunities to sell the approximately 240,000 gross square footI. Magnin portion of the main Union Square building in San Francisco.

The companies have also agreed to certain terms on nine assets, which Brookfield will redevelop once it has received approval. Macy’s said it hopes to reach a deal on the nine assets in 2019. Macy’s said it “continues to opportunistically evaluate its real estate portfolio to identify opportunities where the redevelopment value of its real estate exceeds that of non-strategic operating locations.”

PEERS

Macy’s and other mall-based retailers and department stores have been hurt by the increasing popularity of fast-fashion retailers like Zara, Forever 21 and H&M, as well as an increase in online shopping on sites such as Amazon (AMZN).

Additionally, in January, Macy’s reported that its comparable sales on an owned basis increased 1% in the months of November and December 2017 combined, which lagged rivals J.C. Penney (JCP) and Kohl’s (KSS). J.C. Penney posted same-store sales growth of 3.4% during the November-December holiday period, while Kohl’s reported that total and comparable sales were up 6.9% for the period over the last year. Kohl’s , J.C. Penney, and Nordstrom (JWN) are expected to report later this week.

PRICE ACTION

Shares of Macy’s are off earlier highs and are now up about 4% to $28.51 in Tuesday’s trading.

OTHERS TO WATCH

J.C. Penney is up 2.3%, Nordstrom is down about 2% and Kohl’s is down 1.5%.


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CVB Financial, Community Bank to merge in $878.3M deal

CVB Financial, Community Bank to merge in $878.3M deal

CVB Financial, Community Bank to merge. Stockwinners.com
CVB Financial, Community Bank to merge.

CVB Financial (CVBF) and Community Bank announced that they have entered into an agreement and plan of reorganization and merger, pursuant to which Community will merge with and into Citizens in a stock and cash transaction valued at approximately $878.3M, based on CVBF’s closing stock price of $23.37 on February 23, 2018.

The merger will increase Citizens’ total assets to approximately $12B on a pro forma basis as of December 31, 2017.

CVBF expects the merger to result in approximately 12% earnings per share accretion in 2019, excluding one-time transaction costs. CVBF anticipates the merger to be approximately 11% dilutive to tangible book value per share at closing with an earn back period of approximately 4.9 years and an internal rate of return of greater than 15%.

Additionally, at closing, Marshall V. Laitsch, Chairman of the Board of Community, will join the Board of CVBF. Community Bank, headquartered in Pasadena, California, had approximately $3.7B in total assets, $2.7B in gross loans and $2.9B in total deposits as of December 31, 2017.

Community has sixteen branch locations throughout the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Pursuant to the Agreement, each share of Community common stock, including unvested restricted stock units, will receive a fixed consideration consisting of 9.4595 shares of CVBF common stock and $56.00 per share in cash.

CVBF will pay aggregate consideration of approximately 30.0 million shares of CVBF common stock and $177.5M in cash, subject to purchase price adjustment provisions and other terms set forth in the Agreement.

Giving effect to the merger, Community shareholders would hold, in aggregate, approximately 21.4% of CVBF’s outstanding common stock following the merger. Upon completion of the merger, Community will operate as Citizens Business Bank and will continue to deliver the high-touch level of service that its customers expect, with an expanded branch and ATM network and a broad range of products and services, including expertise in personal, small business, private and corporate banking, as well as treasury management and trust services.

The boards of directors of Community, CVBF and Citizens have approved the proposed merger.

The closing of the merger is subject to customary regulatory approvals and the approval of CVBF and Community shareholders, and is anticipated to occur in the third quarter of 2018.


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Comcast tops Fox offer for Sky

Comcast tops Fox offer for Sky with $31B acquisition proposal 

Comcast tops Fox offer for Sky. Stockwinners.com
Comcast tops Fox offer for Sky

Comcast (CMCSA) announced a possible offer which it says is a “superior cash proposal” to acquire Sky (SKYAY).

Comcast’s announcement of a superior cash proposal of GBP 12.50 per share represents a 16% increase in value over the existing 21st Century Fox offer (FOXA) for Sky.

Comcast’s superior cash proposal implies an equity value of $31B for Sky.

“A combination would bring attractive financial benefits to Comcast shareholders, and is expected to be accretive to Comcast’s free cash flow per share in year one…The acquisition would enhance the entertainment, distribution, and technology leadership of Comcast, and importantly expand Comcast’s international footprint to more effectively compete in the rapidly changing and intensely competitive entertainment and communications landscape.

The combined business would create compelling opportunities for growth and innovation,” Comcast said in a statement.

“We think Sky is an outstanding company. It has 23 million customers and leading positions in the UK, Italy, and Germany. Sky has been a consistent innovator in its use of technology to deliver a fantastic viewing experience and has a proud record of investment in news and programming. It has great people and a very strong and capable management team.

Comcast intends to use Sky as a platform for growth in Europe. We already have a strong presence in London through our NBCUniversal international operations, and we intend to maintain Sky’s UK headquarters. Adding Sky to the Comcast family of businesses will increase our international revenues from 9% to 25% of Company revenues,” said Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast.

SKYAYA closed at $61.60.


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