Tuesday Tipsheet: H.Depot US Comps +4.9% | Wmart $1.1 Bil into Mex. | Kroger/Safeway @ 5%


“Home Depot’s Q4 Same-Store Sales Up 4.9% in U.S.; Up 7.5% for Year (Strongest in 14 Years)”  “The Home Depot today reported that comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 increased 4.4 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 4.9 percent.  Total sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 were $17.7 billion, a 3.0 percent decrease from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.”  Read the release


CNBC’s take:  “Home Depot 4Q mixed, boosts quarterly dividend”  “Home Depot’s fiscal fourth-quarter net income dipped 1 percent, hampered by bad winter weather and one less week in the period.  Still, its earnings topped Wall Street’s view, and the No. 1 home improvement-retailer raised its quarterly dividend by 21 percent. It provided a fiscal 2014 earnings forecast below analysts’ expectations.”  Read more


“Wal-Mart’s Mexico Division to Spend $1.1 Billion to Expand Chain” by Lauren Coleman-Lochner at Bloomberg.  “The company expects to spend 8.4 billion pesos opening stores, adding 3.7 million square feet of space, according to a statement yesterday. Mexican floor space will grow 5 percent, with Central American stores expanding 7.6 percent.”  Read more


Walmart’s David Cheesewright, CEO Int’l: “We’re seeing economies under stress pretty much everywhere we operate.” by Amy Guthrie at MarketWatch.  “Wal-Mart represented 32% of sales at Mexican brick-and-mortar retail establishments last year, according to company data and to Mexican retail association Antad. Euromonitor International estimates that the company accounts for at least 19% of Mexican grocery sales, including those at convenience stores.”  Read more


NY Times: “Target Push Into Canada Stumbles” by Ian Austen.  “Perhaps the most surprising thing about several Target stores visited over a three-week period was the large number of empty shelves and clothing racks…several analysts suggest that the company may also have problems with its supply chain management system. Differences in Canadian packaging laws, protectionist tariffs on some foods and exclusive wholesale arrangements mean that the Canadian stores cannot be serviced from the company’s American distribution network.”  Read more


“Target Reports Quarterly Results Tomorrow, First Time it Has Faced Wall Street Since Breach” at Reuters. “Target had originally planned to buy back up to $4 billion of shares this year, but analysts do not expect it to achieve that goal as it sets aside money to deal with the data breach and try not to borrow more so it can maintain its credit rating.”  Read more


“5% Chance that Kroger might be Interested in Safeway” by Alexander Coolidge at Cincy Enquirer.  “Perkins guessed there was a 5 percent chance Kroger might be interested in Safeway.  There are a host of problems with such an acquisition. One is that federal regulators likely would conduct an exhaustive antitrust review of a proposed marriage of the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 supermarket chains.”  Read more


“Hy-Vee Expands into the Twin Cities” by Mike Hughlett at Star-Tribune.  “Hy-Vee is planning its first foray into the Twin Cities with four to six stores, a move that could shake up the grocery market here.  The Des Moines-based company announced the expansion on Monday, saying it will either build new stores or redevelop existing properties. The company declined to give store location details, but it’s currently working on one site in New Hope.”  Read more


“OfficeMax Q4 Same-Store Sales Down 4% in North America”  “Same-store sales decreased 4% primarily due to lower average order values, and lower transaction counts resulting from decreased store traffic.”  Read the release


“True Value Q4 Same-Store Sales Up 2.1%”  “President and CEO John Hartmann: “Our largest increase in both retail and wholesale comp store sales was in the farm, ranch, auto & pet product category. This category was up at wholesale 11.2 percent. We added 137 new hardware stores in 2013, a combination of new ground up stores and conversions from other distributors.” Read the release


“PWC Survey of 15,000 Online Shoppers”  “Among U.S. survey respondents who do not use their mobile phones or smartphones for shopping, 32 percent say they do not own mobile/smartphones and 33 percent said device screens are too small. However, as screen sizes get bigger and more consumers obtain newer mobile devices, mobile shopping will likely accelerate.” Read the release


“National Mourning for Dead Sears & Dead Kmart has Officially Begun” via @BrianSozzi.  “There is one huge happening at Sears that nobody is talking about, except us at TheStreet. Unbeknownst to many, there has been an acceleration of store closures at both Sears and Kmart post holiday and BEFORE the company’s recent loss per share report. No press releases have been issued. The Sears PR team has offered a boilerplate statement with little compassion to lost jobs from stores that have been staples of the community for 30+ years.”  See the video


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