|Bid||3,115.00 x 0|
|Ask||3,120.00 x 0|
|Day's range||3,104.00 - 3,224.00|
|52-week range||2,033.00 - 5,238.00|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||1.76|
|PE ratio (TTM)||106.12|
|Earnings date||16 Oct 2019|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||4,263.19|
* Qiagen surges as it explores sale Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. Well, same thing goes for FOMO.
* Qiagen surges as it explores sale Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. "Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac", Vincent (John Travolta) famously tells Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) in Quentin Tarentino's 1994 Cannes Palme d'Or sensation Pulp Fiction.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- When I became pregnant, I figured plenty of things were going to get harder as my belly grew bigger, such as getting a good night’s sleep or sticking to my workout routine. One thing, however, I did not anticipate: how infuriatingly difficult it would be to find a half-decent outfit.A year ago, I believed the conventional wisdom that maternity clothes have vastly improved since my baby boomer mom and Gen-X cousins were pregnant. Now that I’m shopping for a third-trimester baby bump, I realize my faith was misplaced. The maternity clothing market is a floral-festooned, polyester-laden sartorial wasteland. It utterly fails to account for either the varied lives women lead or the different ways they wish to present themselves. And the shopping experience ranges from maddening to puzzling.View this post on Instagram A post shared by A Pea In The Pod (@apeainthepodmaternity) on Mar 8, 2019 at 12:00pm PSTAll of this amounts to an indefensible and avoidable failure on the part of the beleaguered retail industry. Great maternity departments should be an easy way to attract millennial moms — ostensibly one of the industry’s most coveted demographic groups. True, newcomer websites such as Asos Plc and Boohoo Plc carry garments that reflect actual current trends. But much of what’s out there has a distinct, one-note look I have come to think of as “mommycore”: bland t-shirts, juvenile-looking babydoll frocks, uncomfortably low-cut wrap dresses, and flower patterns that resemble the upholstery on your grandmother’s couch. The industry’s idea of creativity seems to be confined to inane tops stamped with Instagrammable messages like “Milkmachine” and “I like to think wine misses me too.”View this post on Instagram A post shared by Motherhood Maternity (@motherhoodmaternity) on Oct 1, 2019 at 4:26pm PDTWomen embrace all sorts of styles in everyday life — edgy motorcycle jackets, elegant sheath dresses, Supreme-inspired streetwear. But in pregnancy, they have little choice but to sport the mommycore uniform.Need something to project confidence for a big client presentation? Ann Taylor has no maternity suiting to offer you, nor does Express or White House Black Market. Working up a sweat at the gym? Lululemon Athletica Inc. and Nike Inc. will be of little help. Searches for maternity gear on their websites turn up no specially designed products.Now, you might say this is what specialty maternity stores are for: They have outfits for all occasions that accommodate a baby bump. But consider what women are in for when they hit up one of these retailers. Destination Maternity Corp. is the corporate parent of its namesake chain, as well as Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod. The company’s revenue has nosedived as it struggled to adapt to changing fashion trends, the rise of e-commerce and new competitors. It has had five CEOs in five years, a mess that culminated in an October bankruptcy filing. Put another way, the one company that essentially has had the U.S. specialty maternity market to itself has been spectacularly bad at giving expectant women what they want.And it’s not as if higher-end retailers are doing much better. Poke around the limited selection on the websites of Saks Fifth Avenue or Net-a-Porter, and you might think rich women just don’t get pregnant.It’s more than the narrow clothing choices that are frustrating. The process of selecting maternity wear is a hassle. I appreciate that Macy’s Inc. and Rent the Runway, for example, allow me to sort their online offerings by trimester, a welcome acknowledgment that the clothes which fit me now would’ve made me look like a deflated balloon just a few months ago.But the industry could do much more. More retailers should carry maternity clothes in brick-and-mortar stores instead of restricting them to e-commerce. Ariane Goldman, the founder of maternity-focused startup Hatch, told me she is opening stores because she found that Hatch customers spend three times as much in person than they typically do online. No wonder: When your bust and waist measurements are an ever-growing surprise, it’s especially helpful to try things on before buying.For online customers, product descriptions should clearly explain how a “maternity cardigan” is cut differently than a regular one. Stores such as J. Crew, which curate a selection of regular-size clothes deemed maternity-friendly, should show a picture of how the pieces fit on a pregnant model. They should provide recommendations for whether to go one or two sizes up.These changes are necessary not simply because women deserve better, though they do. They’re needed because they make business sense.Kohl’s Corp., for example, offers a relatively small selection of maternity wear compared with rivals — even though CEO Michelle Gass earlier this year expressed a desire “to gain share among millennials, especially millennial moms.” What better way to get them to give Kohl’s a shot than making them feel fashionable in the run-up to baby’s arrival?Similarly, Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette has said the chain must do better with women under 40 — exactly the crowd that needs bump-friendly clothes. Yet it has chosen to depend on troubled Destination Maternity for much of its maternity merchandise, with the specialist operating 390 licensed departments in Macy’s stores as of February.I understand that in some ways the maternity market might look unattractive to retailers. The U.S. birth rate has fallen, for one. Maternity is also a category where it’s virtually impossible to get a customer to come back year after year. Once you’re done having kids, you’re done with maternity clothes.But that is simplistic. A future mom who goes to Target Corp. for its maternity department might end up buying a onesie for the baby — and diapers and groceries, too. Gap Inc. has found that maternity clothing customers of its namesake chain are more likely to be loyal to the brand even after their pregnancy is over. The fashion industry is gradually awakening to the power of inclusivity in its products and marketing. More chains are adding plus sizes, using models with diverse body types or shunning airbrushing in ads. And yet, bewilderingly, this new awareness has not translated into paying more attention to the needs of pregnant women.It is a reality I am acutely aware of: The button-up shirtdress I’m wearing as I write this is literally taped together at my belly. It’s my attempt to prolong the life of an item I bought less than two months ago, because I can’t bear any more hours on the internet or at the mall looking at clothes that don’t flatter me or give me confidence.It doesn’t have to be this way. I typically enjoy shopping for new clothes. If retailers try harder, my baby bump — and countless other baby bumps — could be the birth of a new and lucrative customer relationship.To contact the author of this story: Sarah Halzack at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Sarah Halzack is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She was previously a national retail reporter for the Washington Post.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- British retailers begging Santa for a Brexit deal for Christmas may be getting what they asked for.The crucial holiday shopping period, which accounts for a large proportion of their annual profit, is always nail-biting for store chains. This year, it is inextricably linked to Britain’s departure from the European Union.With a Brexit divorce deal in hand, fears of a no-deal split have receded. Crashing out on Oct. 31 would have been disastrous. By contrast, a deal – assuming it gets through the U.K. parliament – has the potential to bring a feel-good factor for retailers. It could unleash some pent up demand, particularly for big ticket items, such as fitted kitchens and sofas. Consumers have held back from splurging on such things, even though wage growth has been outpacing inflation. Demand has already picked up this month, thanks largely to colder weather compared with a year ago. That may bode well.But, there’s still plenty of uncertainly that could weigh down the festivities, including the possibility of the current deal collapsing, a referendum to confirm it or a general election being hastily called. For the past couple of years, consumers’ anxiety over Brexit hasn’t been at a constant level. It has ebbed and flowed with the sense of crisis in government.In September, the volatility was so extreme that some retailers could even predict their sales based on that day’s headlines. The collapse of Thomas Cook, another jolt to the consumer sector, didn’t help either. Any election campaigning on crucial shopping days would be equally distracting, particularly for affluent Britons fearful of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn. But all year the British high street has been battling cautious consumers, as well as the rise of online shopping. Even internet-based retailer Asos Plc has been hurt by nimbler rivals.Whatever happens with Brexit, the prime holiday shopping period will fall late. Christmas is on a Wednesday this year, providing a full extra weekend in December to shop ahead of the holiday.Black Friday, the crazy U.S. shopping tradition that’s taken the world by storm, is at the end of November, a week later than in 2018. Over the past five years, the price-slashing event has sucked forward about 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) of spending from December into November, according to Richard Hyman, the independent retail analyst. It is always hard for stores that have discounted over the Black Friday weekend to return to full price for Christmas. This year’s timing makes it virtually impossible. Even if demand isn’t disrupted by another Brexit hiatus or an election, there is the potential for discounts running from the end of November through to the holiday. It’s going to be hard for chains to hold their nerve.Brexit means forecasting Christmas sales is even more difficult than usual. But Hyman estimates that non-food sales will fall by 1%, while food sales will be flat, both a deceleration from last year. If he’s right, it would be the first drop December non-food sales since the referendum. Given that the level of discounting is likely to be intense wherever sales land, they are likely to be less profitable.Amid this environment, what is certain is that the discount sector will do well, in food and fashion. The U.K. arms of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl are making efforts once more to prevent customers defecting to one of the big British supermarkets for their main holiday shopping. Upmarket and vegan food products will be a particular feature of their festive offering. Associated British Foods Plc’s Primark, which has been elevating its gift selection and party dresses over the past few years, should also do well.Mid-market chains, such as Marks & Spencer Group Plc could find life tougher, even as some of their competitors are weakened. The privately owned John Lewis Partnership is preparing for even its more financially comfortable customers to be cautious, with plenty of gifts under 20 pounds such as Fever-Tree gin &tonic Christmas crackers and so-called experiences, such as personal shopping and spa days. Although they are more expensive, at about 100 pounds, consumers may feel they are getting more for their money than when they buy traditional gifts.And even if Christmas does turn out to be better than expected – because a Brexit deal has been struck and an election delayed until 2020 — that doesn’t mean plain sailing from now on. The political wrangling is far from over. What’s more, three years of uncertainty have taken their toll on business investment. Britain shed jobs over the summer for the first time in two years. And let’s not forget any impact from a global slowdown in 2020. Consumers make the most drastic changes to their spending when they are made redundant or they see friends leaving the workforce.British retailers should extend their Christmas wish list to what happens in the New Year too.\--With assistance from Therese Raphael.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Asos, which is popular among twentysomethings, managed to increase sales by 13% in the year to 31 August. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/ReutersProfits at Asos have plunged by nearly 70% in a tumultuous year during which the former stock market darling’s shares plummeted and the online fashion retailer grappled with IT chaos at its overseas warehouses.Sales rose by 13% to £2.7bn in the year to 31 August, but pretax profits fell by 68% to £33.1m. Major IT problems at Asos’s warehouses, which hurt sales and drove up costs, forced the retailer to issue two profit warnings in the past year. It did not provide a forecast for the current year.The 19-year-old company, which caters for fashion-hungry twentysomethings, hit a high point in November 2017 when it overtook Marks & Spencer with a market value of £4.89bn.For years, the online fashion trailblazer seemed unstoppable and its shares reached a peak of £77.30 in March 2018. Since then, they have lost more than half their value, as Asos was dogged by the warehouse issues and admitted it was not immune to the consumer slowdown.The company said it had been wrongfooted by the extent of discounting undertaken by rivals, especially during the Black Friday shopping season last year, when its 20% off promotions failed to match competitors.Meanwhile, its online rival Boohoo has flourished, with a near-40% surge in quarterly sales. Boohoo’s brands include PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal and MissPap, and it recently bought the online businesses of Karen Millen and Coast out of administration.Asos’s sales in the UK, which rose by 15%, were unaffected by the problems in Germany and the US. The company’s warehouse in Berlin struggled with a switch from processing orders manually to automated systems, while its new Atlanta site, opened in February, failed to keep up with customer orders and ran out of stock.Sales in the EU rose by 12% over the year while US sales grew by 9%. More than 60% of the company’s revenue comes from outside the UK.Nick Beighton, the chief executive, said: “Clearly last year did not go as well as we planned. With hindsight, we were over ambitious in tackling two international warehouses at the same time and our internal capabilities and bandwidth hadn’t kept pace with the changing scale of our business.”Those problems have now been fixed, he said. “Whilst there remains lots of work to be done to get the business back on track, we are now in a more positive position to start the new financial year,” Beighton said.Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDeskHis remarks helped bring the share price up by nearly 22% to £31.17 on Wednesday, its biggest one-day rise since January 2004.Beighton said Asos was prepared for a better Black Friday than last year. “It’s becoming a very key moment for customers. I don’t think there will be any waning in customers’ appetite for Black Friday,” he said.Sofie Willmott, the lead retail analyst at GlobalData, said the company had its work cut out, but added: “Asos is clearly willing to adapt to survive, unlike some of its multichannel competitors that have been slow to respond to changes in consumer needs and shopping habits.”
* European stocks retreat after hitting one-year highs on Tuesday * STOXX 600 -0.3%, FTSE 100 -0.2% * Tug of war between exporters and domestic stocks as last-ditch Brexit talks continue * Roche gains, ASML down after results Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. Reach her on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: firstname.lastname@example.org YOU DON'T WANT TO FIND YOURSELF UNDEREXPOSED TO ANY BREXIT DEAL, DO YOU? "While headline risks remain elevated on both fronts (Brexit and trade), we think it is prudent to cut some of our defensive hedges and add to UK domestics," they said.
* European stocks retreat after hitting one-year highs on Tuesday * Investors braced for Brexit news * Roche rallies, ASML falls after results Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. Reach her on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: email@example.com OPENING SNAPSHOT: EUROPE ON BACKFOOT AMID BREXIT JITTERS (0744 GMT) European shares have opened on the backfoot which may not be surprising given the euro-zone benchmark hit more than one-year highs yesterday after the late rally fuelled by fresh Brexit optimism. There are some signs of resilience though as Roche helps lift healthcare stocks and exporters on London's blue chips benefit from the weaker sterling.
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. European stocks may take a bit of a breather after their late afternoon flurry yesterday amid hopes of a Brexit deal, although markets are likely to be volatile as investors brace for headlines on how negotiations are faring. London stock futures are down 0.2%, dragged lower by the positive sterling, although any positive news on Brexit is likely to push up domestic stocks from housebuilders to banks and may offset gains among exporters.
* Hurt by botched warehouse revamps in Germany and U.S. LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - British online fashion retailer ASOS said problems with warehouses in the United States and Germany, which were behind a 68% slump in annual profit, were largely behind it, sending its shares sharply higher on Wednesday. Shares in the firm, which sells fashion aimed at twentysomethings, were up 18% at 0932 GMT, paring year-on-year losses to 40%, after it reported "substantial progress" in addressing its operational issues.
British online fashion retailer ASOS said problems with warehouses in the United States and Germany, which were behind a 68% slump in annual profit, were largely behind it, sending its shares sharply higher on Wednesday. Shares in the firm, which sells fashion aimed at twenty somethings, were up 18% at 0932 GMT, paring year-on-year losses to 40%, after it reported "substantial progress" in addressing its operational issues. ASOS is working through a major overhaul of its warehouse and technology capabilities, moving from a UK-focused to a global model so it can better access growth opportunities.
ASOS, which sells fashion aimed at twentysomethings, is tapping experienced hands to revive its business after the company in July issued its second profit warning since December. Two existing directors, Hilary Riva and Rita Clifton, will leave in April 2020 after their six-year tenures.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Forever 21 Inc. has learned the hard way that the allegiance of teen shoppers is anything but everlasting.The fast-fashion retailer filed for bankruptcy late Sunday, saying it has obtained $350 million in financing to help it stay afloat. The company said it plans to close most of its Asian and European stores in order to focus on its core business in North America.The bankruptcy is, of course, another signal of the punishing pressures of the broader “retail apocalypse,” in which the rise of e-commerce is siphoning away shoppers from brick-and-mortar chains, forcing them to collectively shutter thousands of stores. But Forever 21’s troubles also are an emblem of a new and important dynamic shaping the U.S. apparel market: Fast fashion, once a formidable retail niche, is falling behind.In the first two decades of the 2000s, the trifecta of Forever 21, H&M and Inditex SA’s Zara had punishing impact on mid-priced mall heavyweights such as Gap Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc., stealing away the high school and college set by peddling trendier garments and refreshing their merchandise offerings at a much quicker pace. The Great Recession helped support their rise, as it meant shoppers were especially focused on low prices.Now, though, there are clear signs that some shoppers are souring on this model. Forever 21 and others of its ilk have long been go-tos for what is essentially disposable clothing – a trend you’re sure will be fleeting, an outfit you don’t want to be seen in more than once on Instagram, etc. But just as sustainability concerns upended the food and beauty industries years ago, they are starting to factor more into clothing purchases. And it could contribute to a backlash to what was essentially a years-long binge on cheap polyester.To the extent that many shoppers are still embracing fast fashion, there are now many more options for them to scratch their itch for of-the-moment clothing than when Forever 21 was gathering steam. Chains such as Gap, Old Navy and Urban Outfitters Inc. have sped up their supply chains to be more reactive to new trends. Plus, many chains including Ann Taylor, Express and Bloomingdale’s are now joining upstart Rent The Runway in the clothing rental business.Digital-centric players such as Boohoo, Fashion Nova and Asos have given them fresh options, and low-priced, U.K.-based brick-and-mortar chain Primark is starting to open U.S. stores. On top of that, digitally-enabled secondhand selling is gaining traction. The stock market debut of The RealReal Inc. and Foot Locker Inc.’s $100 million investment in sneaker re-seller Goat were signals of the strong expectations of growth for this model. Simply put, there are more options now for having a constantly-refreshing wardrobe that don’t necessarily depend on fast fashion. All of those changes are making it difficult for Forever 21 to stay relevant. In fact, the collective U.S. market share of the Big Three of fast fashion peaked in 2015, according to data from Euromonitor.Of course, Forever 21’s bankruptcy also is a result of other factors, including the pace at which it opened stores and its decision to have so many of them in enclosed malls. But the chain’s troubles signal a new era of opportunity for capturing the dollars of Generation Z and millennial shoppers. Its struggling neighbors at the mall should take note.–Andrea Felsted contributed the “Rental on the Rise” chart. To contact the author of this story: Sarah Halzack at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Sarah Halzack is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She was previously a national retail reporter for the Washington Post.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.