|Bid||1,203.50 x 0|
|Ask||1,204.50 x 0|
|Day's range||1,158.50 - 1,213.50|
|52-week range||730.60 - 1,440.50|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||1.51|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||985.69|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- A day after a stock market rout driven by recession fears, Walmart Inc. issued a second-quarter earnings report that should provide at least a sliver of solace: Consumers have been out in force spending at its big-box stores.The mega-retailer reported on Thursday that U.S. comparable sales rose 2.8% from a year earlier in the quarter. That growth looks especially robust when considering it comes on top of a 4.5% increase in the same period last year, which was Walmart’s best quarterly comparable sales growth in more than a decade.Also, despite the looming burden of new tariffs on goods made in China, Walmart has only grown more optimistic about how its 2019 will shape up. The company bumped up its full-year guidance, saying operating income could range from a slight decline to a slight increase, a better result than the “low single digit” decline it had previously forecast. It also expects its U.S. comparable sales growth for the full year to be closer to the upper end of its previous 2.5% to 3% guidance. Many facets of Walmart’s business helped fuel growth in the quarter. Its online shopping division held up well, with sales growing 37% from a year ago. Its grocery category, which accounts for more than half of U.S. sales, recorded a “mid-single-digit” comparable sales increase, while its home and toy businesses contributed strong results.Overall, the report demonstrates that Walmart continues to execute solidly on its efforts to defend itself against Amazon.com Inc.’s incursions. The upbeat showing should not just be received as good news by Walmart investors. It should be a balm for any investor looking for evidence that consumers — at least for now — are plenty willing to spend when given an in-store and digital experience that makes it convenient and enjoyable to do so. Walmart’s report is a reminder that investors should resist being too spooked about the state of the consumer based on, for example, the grisly comparable sales decline reported by J.C. Penney Co. Thursday morning or the disappointing quarterly report from Macy’s Inc. a day earlier. Even Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette acknowledged on a Wednesday conference call with investors that “consumer spending remains healthy” and there is “strong consumer demand for high-quality, affordable fashion.” Macy’s just failed to get a piece of it.Of course, to put Walmart’s sunnier guidance in context, it’s true the company is uniquely well-positioned to handle gathering trade-related economic storm clouds. As America’s largest retailer, it is in a better stance to negotiate for favorable terms with suppliers than just about anyone else. That means that even if Walmart does have to push up prices, shopping there will still look like a good deal relative to its peers. Plus, in a recession, some shoppers are likely to turn to Walmart to pinch pennies. This kind of consumer behavior helped Walmart hold its own in the last economic downturn.Walmart has plenty of potential stumbling blocks in front of it. Grocery has been a bulwark of its digital growth strategy, and Amazon appears to be expanding its ambitions in that area, with rapid expansion of grocery delivery from Whole Foods and reported plans to build an entirely new chain. Kroger Co., meanwhile, is set to turbocharge its digital offering through its partnership with Ocado Group Plc. Walmart’s long run of consistently healthy results, though, offer reason to give it the benefit of the doubt in that fight.To contact the author of this story: Sarah Halzack at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis 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.
Britain's stock market indexes fell sharply on Monday, joining a sell-off in global markets, as U.S.-China trade tensions prompted investors to seek safe-haven assets, while Ocado and Marks & Spencer fell after sealing a deal to set up an online food joint venture. The FTSE 100 shed 2.5% in its worst day since early December, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 sank 2% and hit its lowest level in two months.
The FTSE 100 shed 2.5% in its worst day since early December, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 sank 2% and hit its lowest level in two months. Markets have been alarmed by President Donald Trump's action to slap 10% tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports, prompting China to vow to retaliate. "There is a feeling that China could inflict a lot more pain on the U.S. in terms of the trade spat, and many traders are worried the economic conflict will rumble on for some time," CMC Markets analyst David Madden said.
Manika Premsingh thinks Ocado Group plc (LON: OCDO) is one of the few disruptor shares in the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE: UKX) with a promising future, making it a good long-term pick.
Britain's FTSE 100 hit its highest level in more than two weeks on Tuesday, helped by broad gains on a combination of generally positive corporate results from Wall Street and Europe and bets that major central banks would cut interest rates soon. The main index jumped 0.6% as its internationally-exposed stocks gained on a weak sterling after eurosceptic Boris Johnson won the Conservative Party leadership, clearing the way for him to become prime minister. The domestically-focussed FTSE 250, which has broken ranks with the local currency in recent months, defied the drop in the pound and rose 0.5%.
Supermarket sales in the UK fell by 0.5% in the three months to 14 July, in the the first overall decline in the supermarket sector since June 2016.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Kroger Co., the giant but aging supermarket chain, has unleashed a flurry of initiatives to ensure it won’t get thumped in a post-Amazon-buying-Whole-Foods world: It is revamping locations, bought a meal-kit company, and sold off its convenience-store business. Its biggest gamble, though, is a partnership with British online grocer Ocado Group Plc. The two plan to build as many as 20 automated grocery warehouses in the U.S. to help Kroger turbocharge its e-commerce operation.Grocery has proven a uniquely tough business to bring into the online era. Orders often have dozens of items – some frozen, some cold, some room temperature – and much of the inventory is perishable. That simply makes for a different challenge than the one Amazon.com Inc. has successfully tackled by getting a single laptop computer or phone charger on your doorstep in one day.Ocado has focused specifically on digital grocery shopping for its entire corporate life, and it shows. At its newest online grocery fulfillment center outside London, 1,000 robots zoom around a grid at a speed of four meters (13 feet) per second, extending a gripper to pick up and transport bins of groceries. The system strips out labor costs and enables human workers to pack about 600 items per hour. Every aspect of the fulfillment process is designed for the unique quirks of grocery, including systems that cue workers about what items in a given order they should put in a single grocery bag. (This ensures, for example, that something heavy doesn’t plop onto a dozen eggs.) Ocado estimates its system saves one hour of labor for every 50-item order – no small thing in a segment of retail with notoriously thin profit margins.There is a real benefit to specializing in solving the grocery conundrum, as Ocado has done. The company’s sales increased 12% last year to 1.6 billion pounds ($2 billion), according to its annual report, and its active customer count increased 11 percent from the previous year. So I’m confident that Ocado will improve Kroger’s game and equip it with advantages in the battle for U.S. market share. Ocado’s system will enable it to fill orders especially quickly and has a high level of accuracy – both important contributors to customer satisfaction. Down the road, it’s not hard to envision even more labor costs getting stripped out of Ocado’s system, enhancing the model’s profitability. But timing is everything in the fast-changing online grocery world. And right now, Amazon and Walmart Inc. are leading the pack.Neither Amazon nor Walmart has a system with the exact sort of wizardry of Ocado’s; even so, each is exploring its own ways of using automation to help with profitability and customer experience. Walmart is testing driverless cars for grocery delivery, and Amazon recently showed off some new warehouse robots of its own. It will take Kroger up to five years to build out the fleet of Ocado warehouses it has committed to building. I worry that won’t be fast enough to vault it past Walmart and Amazon in the race for online grocery supremacy – no matter how advanced and efficient Ocado’s system is.Take, for example, the specialized delivery vehicles Ocado has developed. They can be loaded with racks of grocery-filled bins designed to fit practically every inch of available cabin space and they have a separate compartment for cold items. A routing algorithm helps ensure they are loaded in an order conducive to a driver’s delivery path and that those routes are optimized for efficiency. This sounds way more efficient than some of the solutions Walmart and Amazon use these days, where a DoorDash or Amazon Flex contractor-courier loads up the trunk of his sedan with groceries. But that efficiency gain is only useful if Kroger can get the density of orders to make it count.Investors have already punished Kroger this year for disappointing on comparable sales growth and its annual profit forecast. It’s hard to assess how much this project might further test their patience, especially because the companies haven’t offered specifics on how they will share the costs of establishing and maintaining these facilities. But we know it won’t be cheap: Kroger has said it is investing $55 million to build the first of the Ocado-powered fulfillment centers.It might help if Kroger talked up other ways the warehouses could potentially support its business later, such as one day sending replenishment stock to nearby stores. And the new warehouses, in some cases, will be positioned to potentially expand Kroger’s addressable market. One of the first facilities Kroger committed to building is in central Florida, a market that Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jennifer Bartashus points out is one where regional heavyweight Publix Super Markets Inc. is beloved and ubiquitous and Kroger doesn’t have much presence. Kroger sees opportunity to crack this market with a compelling online offering.Overall, Kroger is better off for having partnered with Ocado. But I suspect it will turn out this arrangement doesn’t completely jolt the broader U.S. grocery industry the way it could have if it had been forged three or five years ago, before the competition had fully awakened to the e-commerce opportunity. Better late than never. To contact the author of this story: Sarah Halzack at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis 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.
London's FTSE 100 ended higher on Friday as bolstered hopes of a U.S. interest rate cut stoked risk appetite, though the index's advances were reined in after political turmoil in Italy triggered a broad sell-off in bank stocks. The blue-chip index ended up 0.2%, after climbing as much as 0.7%.
Carrefour has teamed up with Spanish start-up Glovo to provide a fast home delivery service as the French supermarket group looks to deal with growing competition from the likes of Amazon as well as domestic rivals. Other supermarkets around the world are forming deals with online partners such as Amazon and others to meet growing demand from customers for home delivery services.
Supermarket chain Kroger Co. and Ocado Group Plc, a UK0based online grocery retailer, said Thursday they are investing $55 million in a fulfillment center in Forest Park, Georgia that will create more than 400 new jobs. The center will be an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities and will be replicated across the U.S. Last month, Kroger broke ground on the first such center, located in Monroe, Ohio. The Georgia facility will occupy 375,000 sq. ft. and is expected to be operational by 2021. Kroger shares were not active premarket, but have fallen 21% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.
British retailer Marks & Spencer is targeting a doubling of its 6 billion pound ($7.5 billion) food business, driven by its new joint venture with online supermarket Ocado, chairman Archie Norman said on Tuesday. M&S bought a 50% share in Ocado's UK retail business for an initial 562.5 million pounds ($701 million) in February, which will provide M&S with a home-delivery service from September 2020 at the latest. "Our ambition is to double the size of our food business and Ocado sets us well on the way to doing that," Norman told investors at M&S's annual shareholders' meeting, held at Wembley Stadium in London.
British retailer Marks & Spencer is targeting a doubling of its 6 billion pound food business, driven by its new joint venture with online supermarket Ocado , chairman Archie Norman said on Tuesday. M&S bought a 50% share in Ocado's UK retail business for an initial 562.5 million pounds in February, which will provide M&S with a home-delivery service from September 2020 at the latest. "Our ambition is to double the size of our food business and Ocado sets us well on the way to doing that," Norman told investors at M&S's annual shareholders' meeting, held at Wembley Stadium in London.
London markets remain muted as investors sit tight ahead of further clues on the Federal Reserve’s plan for interest rates.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ocado Group Plc is fond of making excuses for disappointing grocery sales growth. In the past, it has blamed everything from a shortage of drivers in the run up to Christmas to its health-conscious customers ordering less juice.So it was reassuring that the company was able to cope with a devastating fire that destroyed a distribution center in Andover, England in February better than the market had feared. If it had needed an excuse for any of its recent results this disaster would have provided a legitimate one, so the company has done well to minimize the impact.It said Tuesday the incident shaved 2 percentage points off of retail sales growth in the first half of the financial year to June 2, even though it lost 10% of its delivery capacity.Ocado maintained its outlook for full-year expansion in its retail sales of between 10% to 15%, and the shares duly rose 10% on the news. This deserves credit because the fire has created a heavy financial toll.The company took a 99 million pound exceptional charge in the period, primarily from writing off the value of the destroyed assets. Though this will be offset by insurance recoveries, as rebuilding the warehouse will be fully covered, Ocado’s first-half loss rose from 13.6 million pounds to 142.8 million pounds. It also cautioned that the fire would reduce its full-year Ebitda by 15 million pounds, while the cost of management incentive plans would cut it by 10 million pounds.Analysts at Barclays said this implied full-year Ebitda of about 20 million pounds, compared with estimates of about 45 million pounds previously.This financial impact of the fire is unhelpful, but hardly surprising, given the loss of a state-of-the-art warehouse. Tuesday’s report has presented investors with a lot to chew over, but it adds up to a lot of noise. None of it changes the fundamental investment case for Ocado.This depends on two things. First, it must also make a success of its new deal with Marks & Spencer Group Plc. That means a seamless replacement of Waitrose, its current partner, with M&S, and migrating customers used to Waitrose products to the new arrangement. This is challenging, though not insurmountable. Second, it must continue to win contracts to run the online grocery arms of other retailers around the world and convert these into profit. It has certainly racked up the deals over the past year or so. But that is yet to translate into meaningful earnings growth. It will soon receive a 562.5 million pound cash payment from M&S, and this should ease worries about whether it has adequate capital to invest in the new partnerships. While Ocado’s technology arm is potentially lucrative, it is work in progress. The group is also facing competition from rivals including Today Development Partners, a company co-headed by one of Ocado’s original founders, which has signed a deal with Waitrose.The shares are up about 45% since confirmation of the M&S partnership. On an enterprise value to forward sales basis, they trade on 4.3 times, putting it ahead of Amazon.com Inc.Investors are clearly assuming a smooth delivery of its future plans. But as any long-time follower of Ocado knows, with the online supermarket turned tech titan, that is far from guaranteed. Progress is just as likely to get stuck in the warehouse.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis 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.
German shares drove Europe lower on Tuesday after a profit warning from chemicals giant BASF citing trade friction put chemical and auto makers on the back foot, while a slump in copper prices knocked mining stocks. The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.5% lower with most major indices in the red but Madrid's IBEX managed to outperform.
Britain's mid-cap index fell for the third straight session on Tuesday amid a deteriorating economic outlook and Brexit tensions, while online grocer Ocado jumped on the FTSE 100 after confirmed its annual forecast. The main index fell 0.2% and the mid-cap FTSE 250 shed 0.6%, as a hefty profit warning from German chemicals giant BASF rocked several industrial companies.
(Bloomberg) -- Ocado Group Plc shares surged after the U.K. online grocer reassured investors that its strategy is on track despite a fire that leveled one of its warehouses earlier this year.The company maintained its full-year sales guidance even as it estimates the blaze in February will cut earnings by 15 million pounds ($18.8 million). The shares gained as much as 7.7% in London, the most in more than four months.Though the incident at the automated facility in Andover, England, trimmed retail sales in the first half, the company still expects full-year growth of as much as 15%. Ocado has removed some decorative parts from robots after saying an electrical fault that ignited a plastic lid on one of the machines caused the fire.“We’ve taken some steps to dramatically reduce the effects of it happening again,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Steiner said by phone.The company said it made further progress in its shift from e-commerce sales to becoming more of a software and robotics platform. Revenue from grocery partners that have licensed its technology rose by more than one-third from a year earlier. Ocado has struck technology deals with the likes of Kroger Co. in the U.S., and Steiner said the company is eyeing additional agreements in other countries.‘Encouraging Execution’“Qualitative updates are encouraging,” Numis analysts wrote in a note, pointing to “encouraging execution on current solutions deals.”Ocado formed a joint venture with Marks & Spencer Group Plc in February to operate food deliveries in the U.K. and recently invested in non-grocery ventures including automated meal preparation and vertical farming.Another U.K. partner, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, agreed to free some of its warehouse capacity to help Ocado after the Andover fire. This will slow revenue growth in its solutions business, given the loss of fees and higher fixed costs, Ocado said. Morrison also loosened its pact with the online grocer in May to strengthen its partnership with rival Amazon.com Inc.To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Milligan in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Thomas MulierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Britain's Ocado, the online supermarket and technology company, reported a 46% fall in first-half core earnings, reflecting the impact of a fire at a flagship robotic warehouse as well as accounting changes and the cost of share schemes. Despite the earnings fall Ocado, whose shares have increased 48% so far this year, said on Tuesday it was confident about its outlook. Ocado made adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 18.7 million pounds ($23.4 million) in the 26 weeks to June 2 versus a restated 34.8 million pounds in the same period last year.
British online supermarket and technology company Ocado reported a 46% fall in first-half core earnings hurt by a fire at its flagship distribution centre but sounded a confident note on the outlook for sales of its warehouse robotics and software. Ocado provides UK and international retailers with the infrastructure and software to develop their own online grocery businesses to compete with the likes of Tesco and Amazon. While Ocado's retail business holds just a 1.3% share of Britain's grocery market, its warehouse technology has powered a 8.3 billion pound ($10.4 billion) stock market valuation.
British online supermarket and technology company Ocado reported a 46% fall in first-half core earnings hurt by a fire at its flagship distribution centre but sounded a confident note on the outlook for sales of its warehouse robotics and software. Ocado provides UK and international retailers with the infrastructure and software to develop their own online grocery businesses to compete with the likes of Tesco and Amazon . While Ocado's retail business holds just a 1.3% share of Britain's grocery market, its warehouse technology has powered a 8.3 billion pound stock market valuation.