Today's stock market
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Long-term bonds rose, hurting financial stocks and giving a boost to utilities. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLF) declined 0.9%, while the Utilities Select SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLU) added 1.2%.
Etsy crafts a fee increase
Shares of online craft marketplace Etsy soared 26.3% after the company announced it was increasing seller fees and using the additional revenue to fund investments in marketing, product support, and product innovation. The company also announced new add-on seller services and raised its revenue guidance for the year.
Starting July 16, Etsy will raise its transaction fees for sellers from 3.5% to 5%, and the fee will apply to both the selling price and the shipping cost, rather than to the price alone, as it does today. The company also announced Etsy Plus, which will be available next month and will provide an expanded set of selling tools for $10 a month, increasing to $20 in January 2019. Etsy Premium, an advanced set of tools for larger businesses with employees, will be available next year for a yet-to-be-determined price.
As a result of the changes, Etsy hiked its guidance for full-year revenue growth from 22%-24% to 32%-34%. "We plan to increase our 2017 direct marketing spend by at least 40% in 2018, revamp our Etsy community platforms, and execute against an exciting product roadmap," said CFO Rachel Glaser in the press release. "We believe all of this will help drive near-term growth and increase buyer lifetime value."
While the fee hike may be tough to swallow for some sellers, Etsy is convinced that the investments will drive more business to its sellers in the long term, and investors clearly believed that today's announcement will be another positive step in the company's turnaround.
Michaels delivers, but gives disappointing guidance
Arts and crafts retailer Michaels reported first-quarter results that beat its guidance and investor expectations, but gave a disappointing profit outlook for the next quarter, and investors sent the stock down 14%. Revenue was roughly flat with the quarter a year earlier at $1.16 billion, and adjusted earnings per share came in at $0.39, $0.01 ahead of last year. The top end of the company's guidance was for EPS of $0.38 on sales of $1.15 billion.
Comparable-store sales were flat on a constant currency basis, as the company saw an increase in average ticket offset by a decrease in customer transactions. Net income, aside from a $47.5 million restructuring charge due to the closing of its Aaron Brothers stores and some other one-time items, fell 1.8% to $70.9 million. Gross margin dropped to 39.5% compared with 40.4% in Q1 last year, largely due to distribution center expenses and higher transportation costs.
Looking forward, Michaels guided to Q2 EPS of $0.12 to $0.14, far below the $0.19 Wall Street was expecting for what is typically the company's most sluggish quarter. Michaels maintained earlier full-year guidance for EPS between $2.19 and $2.32 on sales between $5.217 billion and $5.293 billion.
The stock price had run up over 19% this month, apparently in anticipation of a better outlook on the year ahead. When that didn't materialize, shares gave up most of those gains today.