US EQUITIES WEEK AHEAD: Retail Earnings, Facebook Roadshow, Price Reports
First Published Friday, 4th May 2012 06:24 pm - © 2012 Dow Jones
By Nathalie Tadena
Of Dow Jones NEWSWIRES
NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Several major retailers, including department store operators Kohl's Corp. (KSS) and Macy's Inc. (M), are expected to report their latest quarterly results next week.
Social media giant Facebook Inc. is expected to kick off the roadshow for its initial public offering Monday, after setting an IPO price range earlier this week that values the company for as much as $96 billion.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor will release April data on import and producer prices, offering new readings on price pressures.
Quarterly Earnings Due From Kohl's, Macy's
A handful of major retailers, including Kohl's, Macy's, Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) and Fossil Inc. (FOSL), are set to report their latest quarterly results next week.
Thursday, large U.S. retailers delivered disappointing sales for April, with Macy's, Target Corp. (TGT) and Saks Inc. (SKS) all falling short of expectations that were set low to compensate for a lack of Easter buying as the holiday occurred early this year.
However, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Macy's to post another quarter of stronger bottom-line results. Macy's has spent the past couple of years revamping operations to embrace more fully Internet selling, localized shopping and special training for its staff. In contrast, fellow department store operator Kohl's is expected to post weaker first-quarter profits.
Analysts also project Nordstrom, a high-end retailer, and Fossil, a watch and fashion-accessories retailer, to report improved earnings from a year earlier. Nordstrom's earnings have climbed over the past year as demand for its designer merchandise rebounds after a slump during the economic downturn. Meanwhile, Fossil has seen its sales jump in recent quarters on strong same-store sales growth, though rising labor and material costs have slowed its earnings growth and weakened margins of late.
Other notable companies expected to report next week are Walt Disney Co. (DIS), AOL Inc. (AOL), HollyFrontier Corp. (HFC), Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) and OfficeMax Inc. (OMX).
Facebook Kicks Off IPO Road Show On Monday
Facebook Inc. is expected to begin the roadshow for its initial public offering Monday with group lunch meetings for investors planned in New York, Boston and Palo Alto, Calif. hotels.
On Thursday, the social network pulled back the curtain on how much it thinks it's worth, targeting a valuation as rich as $96 billion in what would be a record technology debut.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman will handle most of the investor meetings on the roadshow, during which the company pitches its shares to investors, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg will make just a few appearances, they said.
Import, Producer Price Reports Due
The April import price report will be released Thursday. The cost of goods imported into the U.S. charged ahead in March, posting the largest gain in nearly a year, as petroleum prices jumped.
April data is due Friday for the Department of Labor's Producer Price Index, which measures the price of goods at the wholesale level. U.S. consumer prices eased a bit in March, as much tamer energy costs hinted at lighter inflation pressures heading into the spring. U.S. wholesale prices held steady in March, as gasoline costs declined after a sharp increase in February.
Kodak Seeks To Throw Off Bankruptcy Shield To Pursue Shutterfly Lawsuit
Thursday, Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ) plans to ask a Manhattan bankruptcy judge to let it throw off its bankruptcy shield against litigation so that it can continue pursuing a patent-infringement lawsuit against Shutterfly Inc. (SFLY).
According to Kodak, Shutterfly and its Tiny Prints affiliate are trying to delay the litigation by improperly taking advantage of the automatic stay on litigation awarded to Kodak upon its Chapter 11 filing in January. Shutterfly asked a district court to stay the lawsuit on the grounds that even if Kodak wants to proceed, it could face sanctions for defending itself.
Kodak says the suit could yield a big payoff--it's seeking more than $100 million in damages from Shutterfly, which recently won the same court's approval to buy Kodak's online photo services business for $23.8 million.
France, Greece To Hold Elections Sunday
A new political landscape is likely to emerge in the euro zone next week after France and Greece hold elections Sunday.
In France, incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy is likely to be defeated by Socialist rival Francois Hollande in a second-round election vote that may raise doubts over France's commitment to German-inspired fiscal austerity.
Greece's election Sunday, against a backdrop of economic crisis, is expected to usher in such political instability that officials from the country's major parties are planning for another possible election within months.
Among the significant conferences next week are Cowen 1X1 Aerospace and Defense Conference Monday through Wednesday in Boston; Deutsche Bank Securities Annual Health Care Conference Monday through Wednesday in Boston; Jefferies Global Technology, Internet, Media & Telecom Conference Monday through Thursday in New York; Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference Tuesday and Wednesday in San Francisco; Robert W Baird's Growth Stock Conference Tuesday through Thursday in Chicago; UBS Global Financial Services Conference Tuesday and Wednesday in New York; Wells Fargo Industrial and Construction Conference Tuesday through Thursday in New York and Goldman Sachs Consumer Products Symposium on Thursday in New York.
-By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; email@example.com
--Jacqueline Palank and Dow Jones Newswires staff contributed to this article.