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Takeaway: WMT new CEO starts day after miss. Coincidence? AdiBok loses another sponsorship/NKE. LULU sells defective pants again. JOSB behaving badly.

EVENTS TO WATCH OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS

KORS - Earnings Call: Tuesday 2/4 8:00 am

 

COMPANY NEWS

Walmart updates FY14 underlying EPS guidance for fourth quarter and full year

(http://news.walmart.com/news-archive/2014/01/31/walmart-updates-fy14-underlying-eps-guidance-for-fourth-quarter-and-full-year)

  • "The company had provided fourth quarter diluted earnings per share from continuing operations (EPS) guidance of $1.50 to $1.60, which included a $0.10 per share impact from two discrete items, which resulted in an underlying EPS guidance range of $1.60 to $1.70." 
  • "For the full year, the company expected to deliver EPS of $5.01 to $5.11 and accounting for the $0.10 of discrete items, the range for underlying EPS was between $5.11 and $5.21."
  • “'We now anticipate that our underlying EPS for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 will be at or slightly below the low end of our range of $1.60 to $1.70,' said Charles Holley, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. chief financial officer.  'For the full year, we expect underlying EPS to be at or slightly below the low end of our range of $5.11 to $5.21.'"

Takeaway: Key consideration -- new CEO Doug McMillon's first day on the job was Saturday, the day after the EPS guide-down. Clear the deck for the new boss? That's what it sounds like to us.

LULU - Lululemon 'Inadvertently' Sold A Bunch Of Sheer Pants Again

(http://www.businessinsider.com/lululemon-just-sold-sheer-pants-again-2014-1)

  • "Once again, the yoga retailer's customers are complaining about sheerness, this time after an online warehouse sale in Canada."
  • "While the items came with a tag saying 'things don't always go as planned, this garment has fit, function, or visual imperfections,' the defects apparently weren't disclosed at the point of sale online."
  • "A Lululemon spokesperson confirmed to us that some defective pants were sold to customers without proper disclosure. 'This is the first time we’ve had an online warehouse sale, which included a variety of items. Some items with a 'things don’t always go as planned' tag inadvertently ended up in our inventory,' the spokeswoman said."

Takeaway: Is this really the way to rebuild customer loyalty LULU? Unfortunately for the company, it is in a fishbowl. Everyone is watching its every move, and criticizing them accordingly. Is it fair? No. But LULU made its bed, and now it has to sleep in it.

NKE, ADDY - Tennessee athletic department says it will switch to Nike when its Adidas contract runs out

(http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2014/01/31/tennessee-athletic-department-says-it-will-switch-to-nike-when-its-adidas/)

  • "Tennessee has agreed on an apparel deal with Nike that will take effect when its contract with Adidas expires in the summer of 2015."
  • "The university announced the eight-year agreement Friday and said it called for Nike to supply apparel, uniforms, footwear and additional equipment for each of the school's 20 athletic programs as well as its spirit squads. Contract details obtained through a public records request indicated the deal was worth approximately $35 million."
  • "Tennessee's contract with Adidas runs through June 30, 2015. Tennessee had partnered with Adidas since 1997."

Takeaway: This is less about Nike and more about Adidas. It lost Notre Dame to UnderArmour just a few weeks ago. Now it loses another school to Nike. Either AdiBok is getting more conservative with resources allocated to US college sports, or the US brands are simply upping the ante and going for Adi's jugular. Our sense is that the company realizes that its market share has been decimated even while paying up for these expensive endorsements. It needs to allocate resources to higher ROI initiatives -- like coming out with product that people actually want to buy.

JOSB - Jos. A. Bank in Talks to Acquire Eddie Bauer

(http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304428004579357222939405300)

  • "Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. is in talks to buy fellow apparel retailer Eddie Bauer, according to people familiar with the matter, a deal that, if consummated, would dramatically shake up a takeover battle Jos. A. Bank has been waging with Men's Wearhouse Inc. Details including what price is being discussed couldn't be learned."

Takeaway: On a standalone basis, JOSB buying Eddie Bauer doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Synergies are tough to envision or model. It's hard to shake the premise that JOSB is doing a deal simply to shake up the MW offer. The lack of Corporate Governance here is pathetic. 

JOSB, MW - Jos. A. Bank Sends Letter to Men's Wearhouse

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=113815&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1895914&highlight=)

  • "We, the directors of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., are writing in response to your January 30, 2014 letter. After carefully reviewing your offer with our financial and legal advisors, we continue to believe that your offer to acquire Jos. A. Bank substantially undervalues our Company and that your proposal is not in the best interests of our stockholders. Accordingly, we see no benefit in commencing negotiations with Men's Wearhouse."

Takeaway: This is pretty ridiculous. MW said that if JOSB opened discussions it would consider raising the bid. But JOSB is in a state of sheer denial.

 

OTHER NEWS

 

BBY - Best Buy lays off 950 Canadian workers; no stores closed

(http://www.startribune.com/business/242828541.html)

  • "Best Buy Co. Inc. said Thursday that it is laying off 950 of its Canadian employees, the first major cutback since the electronics retailer reported disappointing holiday sales earlier this month."
  • "... the layoffs affected 6 percent of its workforce in Canada and will not result in any store closings. At the end of January a year ago, Best Buy closed 15 stores in Canada. It currently has 265 stores in Canada and had 16,000 Canadian employees before the layoffs."

PVH - PVH Adds Two to Board

(http://www.wwd.com/business-news/human-resources/pvh-adds-two-to-board-7403851)

  • "PVH Corp. has expanded the size of its board to 14 with the addition of Steven Madden chief executive officer Edward Rosenfeld and Uber Technologies chief financial officer Brent Callinicos as directors."
  • "Rosenfeld has been chairman and ceo of Steven Madden since August 2008. He joined the company in 2005 and was earlier a vice president of investment bank Peter J. Solomon Co."
  • "Callinicos has been cfo of Uber since last September and was earlier vice president, treasurer and chief accountant of Google Inc."

 

WMT - Wal-Mart Challenges Labor Board's Complaint

(http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304851104579359042604153758?mod=ITP_marketplace_0)

  • "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. told the National Labor Relations Board that it was within its rights when it disciplined workers for taking part in short strikes, setting up a legal test of a phenomenon that is reshaping relations between companies and labor."
  • "In a filing last week that responded to a complaint brought by the labor board, Wal-Mart argued those intermittent job actions are hard to distinguish from absenteeism and it was defending its legitimate business interests when it warned strikers it would enforce its policies about being away from work."

DXLG - Destination XL Group Names Board Member John Kyees as Interim CFO -- Expands Board with Election of Will Mesdag as Director -- Provides Update to Fiscal 2013 Financial Guidance

(http://investor.destinationxl.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=822430)

  • "Destination XL Group, Inc...today announced the resignation of its Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer, Dennis Hernreich, and the appointment of Board Member John E. Kyees as Interim Chief Financial Officer. In addition, the Company announced that it has elected Will Mesdag, 60, to its Board of Directors."
  • "The Company expects earnings per share for fiscal 2013 to be a net loss in the range of $(0.11) to $(0.13) per share compared with previous guidance of a net loss of $(0.05) per share.  The guidance excludes severance and post-employment benefits charges.  Sales for fiscal 2013 are expected to approximate $388.0 million, compared with the Company's previous guidance of $395.0 million."
  • "For the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013, comparable sales for the Company are expected to increase approximately 3.9% and 2.9%, respectively, from the prior-year period. The increase in comparable sales for fiscal 2013 was previously expected to be approximately 5.0%." 

 

TBAC - Tandy Brands plans to liquidate assets to pay off lenders

(http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2014/01/31/tandy-brands-plans-to-liquidate-assets-to-pay-off.html)

  • "After years of financial and operational losses, Dallas-based Tandy Brands Accessories Inc. plans to sell its remaining assets to pay off $29 million in debt."
  • "The company's lender, Salus Capital Partners LLC, notified the company on Tuesday it would dispose of the collateral following the default on Tandy Brands' $29 million loan."