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    Monday July 22, 2024



    Helen of Troy Posts Earnings

    Helen of Troy Limited (HELE) reported its third quarter earnings on Monday, January 8. The company reported better-than-expected earnings, causing its stock to rise 3.5% after the release of the report.

    Helen of Troy reported sales of $549.61 million in the third quarter. This was a decline of 1.6% from $558.61 million reported at this time last year, but above analysts' expectations of $543.63 million.

    "We transformed Helen of Troy from a holding company into a unified global operating company with an outstanding portfolio of market-leading brands," said Helen of Troy's CEO, Julien R. Mininberg. "We also created a highly capable global organization that is powered by a culture that makes the Company an employer of choice. I am most proud of our talented associates; their enduring passion, engagement, and ownership mindset are inspiring."

    Helen of Troy posted net income of $75.90 million or $3.19 per diluted share. This was up 46.4% from net income of $51.83 million or $2.15 per diluted share at this time last year.

    The parent company of brands such as Hydro Flask, OXO, Braun and Honeywell reported a 3.1% increase in their Home & Outdoor revenue to $235.95 million. This increase was primarily driven by higher home category sales in its online channel, strong demand in the travel category and higher sales of thermometers, heaters and water filtration items. The company saw a 4.9% decrease in revenue for their Beauty & Wellness segment to $313.67 million. The company attributed the decrease in revenues to reduced consumer demand for hair appliances, humidifiers and lower sales of air filtration products and fans. The company revised its fiscal 2024 annual outlook and now expects net sales to be in the range of $1.98 billion to $2.0 billion, a reduction from the previous forecast.

    Helen of Troy Limited (HELE) shares ended the week at $121.43, up 2.2% for the week.

    Albertsons Releases Quarterly Report

    Albertsons Companies, Inc. (ACI) reported its third quarter earnings on Tuesday, January 9. While the grocery company announced stronger-than-expected earnings, the company's shares fell 1% after reporting a drop in gross margins.

    The company reported net sales of $18.6 billion for the quarter. This is up from $18.2 billion reported at the same time last year and beat analysts' expectations of $18.4 billion.

    "We delivered another solid quarter amidst a challenging economic backdrop," said Albertson's CEO, Vivek Sankaran. "While we are benefiting from our productivity initiatives, we expect to continue to see the impacts of investments in associate wages and benefits, cycling significant prior year food inflation, customers receiving less government assistance, the resumption of student loan payments and other types of payment deferrals, inflationary cost increases and the outsized growth of our pharmacy and digital businesses as we continue to lean into increased customer engagement in our Customers for Life strategy."

    The company reported net income of $361.4 million. This was a decrease of 4% from the same quarter last year when Albertsons reported net income of $375.5 million.

    Albertsons' boost in net sales was driven by the company's 2.9% increase in identical sales. Digital sales increased by 21% and the number of loyalty members grew by 17% to 38.5 million members. Albertson's gross margin rate decreased 64 basis points to 28.0% compared to 28.2% during the third quarter of last year. The decrease was attributed to growth in pharmacy sales and fewer COVID-19 vaccines. Albertson's board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.12 per common share payable on February 9, 2024, to stockholders of record on January 26, 2024.

    Albertsons Companies, Inc. (ACI) shares ended the week at $22.71, down 1.3% for the week.

    PriceSmart Reports Quarterly Earnings

    PriceSmart Inc. (PSMT) announced its first quarter earnings on Tuesday, January 9. The company reported an increase in revenue and income, causing its shares to rise more than 6% following the release of the report.

    Revenue for PriceSmart's first quarter increased to $1.17 billion. This is up 10.6% from $1.05 billion in revenue at this time last year and exceeded analysts' estimates of $1.16 billion.

    "Overall, I am very pleased with our sales and earnings results," said PriceSmart's CEO, Robert Price. "I especially commend our operations and buying teams for their outstanding performance. I also want to highlight our December sales $511 million, the highest sales month in our company's history. These record sales were made possible by the coordinated efforts of our buyers, PriceSmart Club employees and our logistics team members."

    PriceSmart reported a net income of $38.05 million or $1.24 per adjusted share. This is up 16% from a net income of $32.91 million or $1.05 per adjusted share in the same quarter last year.

    The San Diego-based company that owns and operates U.S.-style membership warehouse clubs in Latin America and the Caribbean reported an increase in merchandise sales across all segments. The company's Central America segment sales increased 11.3%, while the Caribbean segment sales increased 6.4%. The Colombia segment also saw an increase of 19.3%, which was attributed to the significant appreciation of the Colombian currency. Membership accounts grew 3.8% to 1.82 million with Platinum membership accounts reaching 9.3% of the total membership base. PriceSmart currently operates 53 warehouse clubs and plans to open its newest warehouse club in Santa Ana, El Salvador in February 2024.

    PriceSmart Inc. (PSMT) shares ended the week at $77.00, up 6% for the week.

    The Dow started the week of 1/8 at 37,327 and closed at 37,593 on 1/12. The S&P 500 started the week at 4,704 and closed at 4,784. The NASDAQ started the week at 14,564 and closed at 14,973.

    Treasury Yields Fluctuate

    U.S. Treasury yields rose midweek as investors anticipated the release of December's inflation report. Yields fell at the end of the week as investors digested the latest inflation data and assessed the possibility of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

    On Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the cost of dozens of everyday consumer goods, rose 0.3% in December and was above economists' forecast of 0.2%. Core PCE, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.3% and reached an annual increase of 3.9%. The results were in line with economists' estimates of 0.3% and 3.8%, respectively.

    "Looking through the small rise in headline inflation — which was due to energy prices rising — I think the message from this release is that core inflation is proving sticky," said chief economist at Fitch Ratings, Brian Coulton. "This will give the Fed grounds for caution and they are unlikely to cut rates as quickly as the markets currently expect."

    The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield opened the week of January 8 at 4.05% and traded as high as 4.07% on Thursday. The 30-year Treasury bond opened the week at 4.20% and traded as high as 4.25% on Thursday.

    On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial claims for unemployment decreased by 1,000 to 202,000 for the week ended January 6. This was below analysts' expectations of 210,000 claims for the week. Continuing unemployment claims dropped by 34,000, reaching 1.83 million.

    "Businesses are not laying off workers but are cutting back on hiring," said senior economic advisor at PNC Financial Services, Stuart Hoffman. "This is consistent with slower but still positive employment growth as seen in the monthly jobs numbers and the hiring data."

    The 10-year Treasury note yield finished the week of 1/8 at 3.94%, while the 30-year Treasury note yield finished the week at 4.18%.

    Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

    Freddie Mac released its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday, January 11. The survey showed the 30-year fixed rate remained in the mid 6% range for the third consecutive week.

    This week, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.66%, up from last week's average of 6.62%. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.33%.

    The 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 5.87% this week, down from last week's 5.89%. During the same week last year, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 5.52%.

    "Mortgage rates have not moved materially over the last three weeks and remain in the mid-six percent range, which has marginally increased homebuyer demand," said Freddie Mac's Chief Economist, Sam Khater. "Even this slight uptick in demand, combined with inventory that remains tight, continues to cause prices to rise faster than incomes, meaning affordability remains a major headwind for buyers. Potential homebuyers should look closely at existing state and local resources, such as down payment assistance programs, which can considerably help defray closing costs."

    Based on published national averages, the savings rate was 0.46% as of 12/18. The one-year CD averaged 1.86%.

    Editor's Note: The publicly available financial information is offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends. This article is not an endorsement of any company, product or service.

    Published January 12, 2024
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