Traders are being met with a host of retail earnings reports to start the holiday-shortened week. Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) is up solidly on its latest report, while Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) is extending its month-long rebound.
Today, another retailer — Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) — is on our list of stocks to watch thanks to its own earnings report, but we’ll also look at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC), which made noise on the M&A front.
Home Depot Inc (HD)
HD shares were up in Tuesday’s early trading thanks to an easy beat on the earnings front, and better-than-expected revenues to boot.
For its fourth quarter, Home Depot reported adjusted profits of $1.44 per share, a dime better than the consensus estimate. HD’s top-line beat wasn’t as dramatic, but revs of $22.21 billion were enough to beat the mark of $21.8 billion. That came on comparable-store sales that improved by 5.8%, well ahead of expectations for 3.7%.
The company also projected revenue and comps growth of 4.6% for full-year 2017, as well as the opening of six new stores.
Dividend investors had plenty to cheer about, too, as the quarterly payout on HD stock was hiked by 29% to 89 cents per share. That came alongside the announcement that Home Depot would raise its target dividend payout ratio from 50% to 55% of net earnings.
Home Depot also replaced its previous share repurchase program with a new $15 billion plan.
HD stock is up 2% in Tuesday’s premarket trade.
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
AAPL made an acquisition over the weekend that could change microtechnology as we know it.
The tech giant closed a deal to bring in the services of RealFace, an Israeli company based out of Tel Aviv that develops facial recognition software. Apple bought the cybersecurity firm for an estimated $2 million, according to Times of Israel.
RealFace’s technology combines artificial intelligence with a human element that is integrated into the software. The move could mean that future smartphone and other smart Apple devices will come equipped with facial recognition technology that will ensure thieves are unable to steal your information or get inside your phone.
RealFace has also developed an app called Pickeez, which combined a person’s best photos through various platforms with the recognition software. The app is no longer in use.
AAPL shares are 17% year-to-date.
Kraft Heinz Co (KHC)
KHC is sliding hard on Tuesday morning after early talks about a deal to buy Unliever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) have quickly fallen apart.
Specifically, Kraft has had a change of heart and has withdrawn its $143 billion bid.
KHC revealed on Sunday that it was no longer negotiating with Unilever because the public disclosure of its bid so early in the process made it difficult for the former to continue discussing an acquisition. The talks were supposed to be confidential, but the details of the bid were leaked somehow.
Additionally, the two companies have different business models and cultures that could ultimately create internal strife within the combined company.
If the deal had gone through, it would have been the third largest takeover in history and the largest acquisition of a U.K.-based company.
KHC shares are down 5% on the news.