American Express (AXP) is stuck between a rock and a hard place. As it battles MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V), American Express can either try to match their rewards–which will damage its returns–or stand its ground, which will make it hard to compete. Evercore ISI’s David Togut and team explain:
Credit card rewards continue to spiral skywards asAmerican Express battles Visa- and MasterCard-issuing banks for the mass affluent consumer. Unfortunately for American Express, Chase’s Sapphire Reserve card and Citi’s Prestige card offer superior rewards compared to American Express’s Platinum card, particularly Chase’s 100,000 bonus point sign-up offering. Rich bonus point offerings from the Sapphire Reserve card should negatively pressure American Express’s premium card account acquisition growth, we believe. If rewards competition continues to escalate, so too will the price of growth for American Express, necessitating more aggressive reduction of non-core expenses, of earnings guidance, or both.
free penny stock picks: CyberArk Software Ltd.(CYBR)
- [By Jake Mann]
Cyberark Software Ltd (NASDAQ: CYBR) and FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE) are up slightly ahead of their earnings report after the bell on Thursday.
One day after Rapid7 Inc (NASDAQ: RPD) revealed strong numbers, investors will be watching for revenue and earnings, along with billings growth and forward guidance.
- [By Joe Tenebruso]
CyberArk Software (NASDAQ:CYBR) reported fourth-quarter financial results on Feb. 9. The Israeli cybersecurity specialist continues to win new business for its “privileged account” security solutions, which help to protect against cyberattacks that use insider privileges to penetrate network perimeters and assault the most sensitive areas of an enterprise’s IT infrastructure.
free penny stock picks: Panera Bread Company(PNRA)
- [By Benzinga News Desk]
Oppenheimer downgraded Verizon (NYSE: VZ) to Perform.
Stifel downgraded Disney (NYSE: DIS) to Hold.
Argus upgraded Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) to Buy.
Canaccord upgraded Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ: FANG) to Buy.
RBC initiated coverage on Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA) at Outperform.
Argus started Charter (NASDAQ: CHTR) at Buy.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
We are lowering our price target to $285, from $300, as we believe that the Street still needs to adjust longer-term earnings growth expectations…We still recommend that investors seeking upside in the fast casual segment accumulate shares of Zoes Kitchen (ZOES) and Panera Bread (PNRA), as both names appear to be gaining incremental market share at the expense of Chipotle Mexican Grill.
- [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]
Then there’s Panera Bread (PNRA) , a company that had lost its way. But after interviewing Panera’s CEO Ron Shaich, Cramer learned that at its new, remodeled “Panera 2.0” stores, the lines were out the door. As the rollout continued, earnings only got stronger. Never underestimate the power of a restaurant redo, Cramer concluded.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Keurigs plight (actually, JABs) is worsening, with the K-cup market slowing to almost no growth now, and Keurig continuing to lose own brands share. Starbucks (SBUX) echoed the notion of a K-cup market slowdown at its seminar on Wednesday (and is guiding for its [consumer packaged goods, or CPG,] growth below recent trends), but it expects to increase its share of total CPG coffee to 20% from 15%. Come early February it will be a year since the closing of the Keurig deal for JAB Holdings. The pressure on JAB is more significant if we take into account the high leverage of the deal (JAB contributed one fourth of the $12Bn price tag). It is a tough predicament. On the one hand we argue that to make that deal work, they need to buy more (own) brands either from the retail channel (that can be extended to CPG: Dunkin (DNKN)? Panera (PNRA)?), or outright buy CPG brands (like the entire Kraft Heinz portfolio, and or Tata Groups Eight OClock brand). But can/h ow do they fund these deals? Maybe Mars and Warren Buffett (Mars is involved in office coffee with Starbucks), private equity, and or 3G can help? While this note is not about Positive-rated Mondelez, we have mentioned before a scenario where Kraft Heinz buys Mondelez and partly funds the deal by selling its own CPG coffee business (~$3Bn we say) to JAB as well as divests the Mondelez 20% plus stakes in Keurig (North America) and Jacobs Douwe Egberts (Western Europe), which together at this stage are worth ~$7-8Bn. But, yes, JAB will need deep-pocket partners and generous lenders. Net, JAB needs to do something soon.
- [By William White]
Ron Shaich, CEO of Panera Bread (PNRA), will live on a food-stamp budget of $4.50 a day for food for one week.
Shaich is living on the food-stamp budget as part of the SNAP challenge. SNAP is the system that replaced food stamps. Shaich started the challenge on Saturday and is documenting his challenge on LinkedIn (LNKD). Shaich took his $31.50, the average weekly budget for someone on SNAP, to a grocery store and boughtcereal, pasta, lentils, chickpeas and some vegetables. He noted that it was a barren shopping cart and that he didn’t know if he would be able to sustain himself on the budget. Shiach spent$25.95 on the food he bought that day, which leaves him with $5.55 to buy food with for the rest of the week, reports Daily Finance.
- [By Matt Brownell]
Michael L Abramson/Getty Images For the next week, Ron Shaich will live well below his means: The Panera Bread (PNRA) CEO embarked on a quest Saturday to spend a week living on food stamps. “As part of Hunger Action Month, I decided to take the SNAP Challenge,” Shaich announced on LinkedIn last week. “For one week, beginning Saturday, September 14, 2013, I will live on just $4.50 a day, the average daily benefit per person provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly known as Food Stamps).” A number of liberal politicians, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker have taken the SNAP Challenge, publicly documenting their quest to eat on less than $5 a day (the weekly allowance is $31.50). The challenge has become a popular way to see how the other half lives, call attention to hunger issues and protest budget cuts.
free penny stock picks: region(DGLD)
- [By Jim Robertson]
The VelocityShares 3x Inverse Gold ETN (NASDAQ: DGLD) seeks to provideshort exposure to three times (3x) the daily performance of theS&P GSCI Gold Index. As with UGLD, DGLD would be doing this viafutures contracts.
free penny stock picks: Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.(MMC)
- [By Reuters]
Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images NEW YORK — Walgreen is moving 120,000 employees to a private health insurance exchange from coverage provided directly from carriers, the company will announce Wednesday. The pharmacy chain will join 17 other large employers on the Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange as part of a growing movement to offer employees fixed dollar amounts to purchase their own plans on such exchanges. The end-cost to employees depends on the plan chosen, but they typically get more options than under traditional arrangements. Private exchanges mimic the coverage mandated as part of the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment in the public exchanges starts Oct. 1. “What happens to employer contributions over time? Will they put in as much as they put in the past? These are unanswered questions but potential negatives,” says Paul Fronstin, a senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The benefit to Walgreen and other employers is unknown at this point, as their cost-savings aren’t clear. Of the 180,000 Walgreen (WAG) employees eligible for health care insurance, 120,000 opted for coverage for themselves and 40,000 family members. Another 60,000 employees, many of them working part-time, weren’t eligible for health insurance. Aon Hewitt (AON) says other participants in its program include retailer Sears Holding (SHLD) and Darden Restaurants (DRI). These new additions raise enrollment to 330,000 from 100,000 last year, and Aon Hewitt estimates enrollment will jump to 600,000 next year, a fivefold increase from 2012. By 2017, nearly 20 percent of employees nationwide could get their health insurance through a private exchange, according to Accenture Research (ACN). A recent report by the National Business Group on Health said that 30 percent of large employers are considering moving active employees to exchanges by 2015. Other major providers of private exchanges include Mercer, a division of Marsh & Mc
free penny stock picks: LaSalle Hotel Properties(LHO)
- [By Marshall Hargrave]
The other key benefit for Strategic is that it enjoys industry-leading earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) per available room. For 2012, Strategic generated $81 per room of EBITDA. Compare this to top comps LaSalle Hotel (NYSE: LHO) at $74 per room and Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE: PEB) at $71. The reason for this is that Strategic is much less reliant than its peers on rooms, with much greater exposure to food and beverages. Strategic earns 53% of its revenue from rooms, while its peers get around 66% of revenues from rooms.
free penny stock picks: Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(PCRX)
- [By Lisa Levin]
Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PCRX) shares were also up, gaining 17 percent to $39.80. Pacira Pharmaceuticals reported preliminary 2016 revenue of $276.4 million.
- [By Chris Lange]
Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PCRX) has announced preliminary unaudited total revenues and net product sales for Exparel for the fourth quarter and the full year. Total revenues were $72.9 million and $276.4 million for the fourth quarter and full year, respectively. Exparel net product sales were $71.4 million and $239.9 million for the same periods, respectively. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters were calling for revenues of $72.56 million in the fourth quarter and $276.09 million in the full year.