Major benchmarks bounced back Wednesday after trade worries hit Wall Street the session before. Despite a lack of substantial news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.47%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC -0.27%) climbed in anticipation of renewed talks with China on Thursday. Technology stocks led the market upward, and all sectors rose.
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Levi Strauss falls on concern over U.S. wholesale segment
Shares of Levi Strauss fell 7.5% after the jeans maker reported third-quarter results that exceeded expectations but said it was experiencing weakness in its U.S. wholesale business. Revenue grew 3.8% to $1.447 billion, slightly above the analyst consensus. Earnings per share of $0.31 came in 8.8% below the period a year ago, but $0.03 above what Wall Street was expecting.
Revenue in the Americas fell 3% to $771 million, while international sales grew 12% to $676 million. In constant currency terms, revenue in Europe increased 18% and Asia revenue rose 12%. Levi's direct-to-consumer business grew 12% in constant currency.
On the conference call, analysts' concern centered on the U.S. wholesale business, which was down 10% from Q3 last year. Levi said that 6 percentage points of the drop were due to one-time issues and the underlying decline was 4%, citing a downward trend in traffic in U.S. department stores.
Company officials said they expect that long-term growth in the U.S. wholesale business will be "flattish," and pointed to a successful trial with Target as one reason to believe sales in the channel will not continue to decline in the long term.
FireEye says its third quarter was better than expected
FireEye held its investor day yesterday and reported preliminary results for the quarter just past, and shares rose 5% in response. The company said that revenue will be at the high end or above its earlier guidance of $217 million to $221 million. Billings will be between $245 million and $255 million, within the range of prior guidance.
FireEye had frustrated investors last quarter when it beat a relatively light forecast for that period but lowered full-year revenue guidance. Despite the improved outlook for the third quarter, the company maintained its full-year forecast in the presentation yesterday.
The cybersecurity specialist is navigating a difficult transition from a business based on hardware appliances to a cloud-based subscription model, where it faces intense competition and some increased costs. Long term, FireEye expects it will grow revenue 12% to 15% with an operating margin of 18% to 22%, but its guidance for 2019 is for 5% revenue growth and a 0% to 1% operating margin.