A Surprise Letdown from a Major Retailer

Target (TGT) took a plunge after a surprise letdown.

Holiday season same-store sales only gained 1.4% in 2019, a sizable slowdown from a 5.7% growth rate year over year.  That’s a sizable letdown from the company’s own expectations for a gain of 3% to 4%. However, online sales did jump 19% year over year.

Despite the miss, Target is pointing to sales strength in higher margin products and supply efficiencies, as highlighted by Yahoo Finance, to maintain profit guidance.  At this time, Target has reiterated its adjusted EPS guidance of $1.54 to $1.74 a share.

“We faced challenges throughout November and December in key seasonal merchandise categories and our holiday sales did not meet our expectations. However, because of the durability of our business model, we are maintaining our guidance for our fourth quarter earnings per share,” said Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell.

Shares of TGT are currently down $8, or 6.5%.


Shares of NIO are up nearly 10% or 36 cents on the day on reports the Chinese EV maker has secured funding needed for 2020.  According to MarketWatch, “a report in Sina Finance said the financing is about $1 billion.”

In recent weeks, the company posted stronger than expected results that topped EPS estimates by eight cents.  Sales grew 20% and were also ahead of estimates. Helping, the company announced a new battery pack to improve the driving range of its vehicles.  It also unveiled a new EV coupe SUV, the EC6, which is already being viewed as strong competition for Tesla’s Model Y due out in New Year 2020.

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR)

Shares of NKTR are down more than 10% this morning after the US FDA rejected its opioid painkiller with a vote of 27-0.  

 “For the development of oxycodegol, the company used well-established efficacy, safety and human abuse potential study designs that have led to many prior FDA approvals of opioid medications,” Nektar said, as quoted by Barron’s.

However, the US FDA raised concerns of drug misuse and abuse, in addition to a lack of data to show drug safety and efficacy.  Following the ruling, NKTR withdrew the new drug application.