Stocks climbed again on Thursday after the U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed that consumer spending climbed 0.3% in July, supported by higher wages and salaries, marking the metric's biggest increase in three months. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) secured another session of modest gains when all was said and done.
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Oil stocks delivered a particularly strong day, and the SPDR S&P Oil & Gass Exploration and Production ETF (NYSEMKT:XOP) climbed 1.8%. Gold stocks rebounded from yesterday's declines, sending the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT:GDX) up 2.3%.
Campbell Soup's lukewarm quarter
Shares of Campbell Soup Company dropped 8.1% after the packaged foods specialist announced disappointing results for its fiscal fourth quarter ended July 30, 2017.
Campbell Soup's quarterly sales declined 1.4% year over year to $1.66 billion, including a 1% decline in organic sales. And while that translated to 13% growth in adjusted net income per share, to $0.52, analysts' consensus estimates predicted higher adjusted earnings of $0.55 per share on revenue of $1.69 billion.
"The operating environment for the packaged foods industry remains challenging due to shifting demographics, changing consumer preferences for food, the adoption of new shopping behaviors and the dynamic retailer landscape," explained CEO Denise Morrison. "In these times, sales growth remains a challenge."
Campbell's also increased its multiyear cost-reduction initiative to target $450 million in annualized savings by the end of fiscal 2020. In the meantime, however, the company expects continued pressure in fiscal 2018. As such, Campbell provided guidance for this year's sales to be flat to down 2% from fiscal 2017, and for earnings per share to be flat to up 2%. That equates to a fiscal 2018 EPS guidance range of $3.04 to $3.11 per share -- well below the $3.19 investors were anticipating.
Lands' End makes progress -- but not quite enough
Lands' End stock fell 12.3% after the clothing retailer announced mixed fiscal second-quarter 2017 results.
Lands' End managed to grow revenue 3.5% year over year to $302.2 million, including a 3.8% increase in same-store sales. More specifically, Lands' End said a 5.5% increase in direct revenue (to $259.9 million) was partially offset by a 7.4% decline in retail segment revenue (to $42.2 million). The latter drop was primarily due to fewer Lands' End Shops at Sears, which has announced the closures of hundreds of stores so far in 2017. On the bottom line, that translated to a net loss of $3.9 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, widened from net loss of $2 million, or $0.06 per share in the same year-ago period.
Analysts, on average, were looking for a narrower net loss of $0.09 per share on lower revenue of $292.6 million.
"We are pleased with the continued progress that we made during the second quarter," added Lands' End CEO Jerome Griffith, "as we once again drove positive results across a number of key metrics."
Griffith further noted that the company's U.S. e-commerce business delivered double-digit percentage growth, while the retail segment achieved positive same-store sales in spite of the situation at Sears.
Looking forward, Lands' End plans on continuing to optimize its product assortment, leveraging its customer data to better engage with consumers, and improving its omnichannel presence. But while that may be exactly what the company needs to position itself to drive long-term shareholder value, it's hard to blame investors for bidding shares down given the near-term headwinds Lands' End faces.