H&M 3Q Sales Rose on Pandemic Recovery, But Fell Short of Expectations
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Sweden’s Hennes & Mauritz AB said Wednesday that third-quarter sales grew as stores reopened following the easing of restrictions put in place to combat the pandemic. The fast-fashion retailer said sales were 55.59 billion Swedish kronor ($6.46 billion) in the three months to Aug. 31. That figure is slightly below estimates of SEK57.23 billion, according to a FactSet poll. Third-quarter sales in local currencies increased 14% compared with the same period in 2020, and ticked up 9% in krona, the company said. Lockdowns and restrictions have continued to hamper sales development, particularly in Asia, H&M said. It added that as restrictions eased, sales in store have picked up, while online sales have continued to rise. Excluding Asia and Oceania, sales in local currencies reached pre-pandemic levels, the Stockholm-based company said. One hundred stores were closed at the end of the quarter, compared with 180 at the beginning of it, H&M said. The open stores still had restrictions, for example on opening hours, customer numbers, and store space, the retailer said. Final results for the quarter will be published on Sept. 30.
The Swiss stock market ended midweek trading sharply lower. Market participants pointed to further weak economic data from China. Retail sales and industrial production in August were weaker than expected. Concerns continued to spread that the high point of the recovery after Corona might already have been passed. Concerns also remain about inflation in Europe. Producer price data from the UK continued to show skyrocketing prices. The SMI lost 0.9 per cent to 11,985 points, slipping back below the 12,000 mark. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 18 price losers and two price winners. A total of 39.16 (Tuesday: 27.11) million shares were traded. Among the individual stocks, luxury goods stocks Richemont (-4.2%) and Swatch (-3.0%) were again under pressure. Participants pointed to the disappointing retail data from China. Sentiment remained depressed in light of weak Chinese consumer spending, one trader noted. However, the losses were felt across all sectors. Nestle was down 0.9 per cent, ABB lost 1.1 per cent and Novartis fell 0.7 per cent. Only Alcon and UBS were able to save a plus at the finish line.
The European stock market indices closed lower on Wednesday, weighed down by fears of a slowdown in the global economy after the publication of disappointing economic indicators in China. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.8% to 463.9 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 lost 1% each. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 was down 0.7%, while the FTSE 100 in London was down 0.3%. Industria de Diseno Textil SA continued its momentum in the second quarter, with sales returning above pre-pandemic levels as the Spanish fashion company swung to a net profit for the first half of its fiscal year. Inditex booked a net profit of 1.27 billion euros ($1.50 billion) in the six months to end-July swinging from a net loss of EUR195 million in the same period last fiscal year. Sales in the half rose almost 50% to EUR11.94 billion. In the second quarter, sales were 7% higher at constant currency than the same period of 2019. First-half earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization came to EUR3.1 billion, more than doubling from EUR1.49 billion in the previous-year period. BHP Group Ltd. , the world’s largest mining company, said it has non-binding memorandums of understanding with major importers for up to 100% of future production from its Jansen project in Canada’s Saskatchewan province. BHP last month approved the first phase of the Jansen project, which is estimated to cost $5.7 billion to build. Potash is one of three major fertilizer ingredients, alongside nitrogen and phosphate, and BHP thinks mining at Jansen could last about 100 years.
Stocks rose, staging a rebound as investors tried to gauge the strength of the economic recovery. The S&P 500 rose about 0.9%. Energy was the best-performing sector of the S&P 500, boosted by the oil rally. The broad stocks gauge on Tuesday fell for the sixth time in seven trading days. It finished Wednesday roughly 1.3% below the all-time closing high it notched in early September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7%, while the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.8%. Stocks have retreated in September, with some investors worried that markets are ripe for a pullback after marching higher for much of the year. The Dow is down about 1.5% since the start of the month. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. ("Goldman Sachs") and GreenSky, Inc. ("GreenSky"; NASDAQ: GSKY) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Goldman Sachs will acquire GreenSky, the largest fintech platform for home improvement consumer loan originations, in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $2.24 billion. GreenSky's differentiated lending capabilities and market-leading merchant and consumer ecosystem will help accelerate the efforts of Goldman Sachs to create the consumer banking platform of the future, help tens of millions of customers take control of their financial lives and drive higher, more durable returns. Apple Inc.’s latest smartphone lineup won favorable reviews from Chinese consumers thanks to its competitive pricing, although supply constraints and competition from local brands remain challenges in one of Apple’s most important markets. The Cupertino, Calif., company showed four iPhone 13 models Tuesday at its annual September product introduction. They adhered closely to previous designs but included improvements in camera functions, processing power and battery life.
Negative signs predominate on the stock exchanges in East Asia on Thursday, with the Australian share market showing itself friendly against the regional trend. Wednesday's weak Chinese economic data was still having an impact, say market participants, who also speak of heightened nervousness ahead of the big drop on Friday. Hong Kong (-2%) once again brought up the rear among the region's stock exchanges. The main topic there is the debacle surrounding the financially troubled real estate group China Evergrande.
The 10-year Treasury yield dipped back below 1.300% in a choppy Asian session. The market has largely held steady after yields declined on Tuesday following the U.S. CPI data.
UBS rises the ASML target to 740 (610) EUR – Neutral
Dt. Bank lowers the Norma target to 33 (36) EUR – Hold
BoA rises the STMicro target to 48 EUR – Buy
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