U.S. stocks fell this morning as China took the spotlight away from oil.
A drop in Chinese manufacturing data represented the 14th consecutive decline, sparking fear in investors. But China’s Shanghai composite remained resilient and closed higher by 1.9 percent.
The S&P 500 was falling by 14 points to 2,066, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was losing 132 points to trade at 17,759 and the Nasdaq was sliding by 34 points to 4,782. The S&P Retail ETF was losing 52 cents to sell at $44.07.
It was a busy morning for earnings, especially on the beauty side.
Coty Inc. shares were declining by almost 3 percent to $30.20 after the company reported the first earnings miss in seven quarters. For the third quarter, the company posted a 19 percent decrease in adjusted operating income, to $81.7 million, from $100.9 million in the prior-year period. Diluted adjusted earnings per share were 9 cents, down from 18 cents year-over-year. Fragrance is Coty’s biggest business and that revenue fell 4 percent on a reported basis and dropped 1 percent on a like-for-like basis. Coty has been trying to reduce its dependence on its fragrance business and color cosmetics rose 11 percent on the reported basis.
The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. had a much better quarter than Coty. The beauty company increased net sales by 3 percent to $2.66 billion for the third quarter. Earnings per share came in at 73 cents, which topped the FactSet estimate of 61 cents a share. Sales for the quarter were $2.657 billion, which beat the FactSet estimate of $2.66 billion and last year’s sales of $2.58 billion. Double-digit growth from MAC, Smashbox and Tom Ford helped drive higher makeup sales. But the company’s shares fell by 2.5 percent to $94.66 on news of a corporate restructuring. Lauder will cut between 900 and 1,200 jobs in an initiative called Leading Beauty Forward.
RetailMeNot reported first quarter earnings of 13 cents a diluted share that beat the FactSet estimate of 12 cents. However, the stock got slammed by over 8 percent to $7.79 as revenues fell 9.6 percent to $54.6 million and missed the FactSet estimate of $54.9 million. The results were at the high end of its guidance, and for the second quarter the recent acquisition of GiftCard Zen is expected to help boost the top line by 16 percent. Looking forward, the core business in the second quarter is expected to have net sales in the range of $47 million to $52 million with adjusted operating income coming in between $3.5 million and $7.5 million.
Wolverine World Wide Inc. beat estimates for both earnings and sales. The footwear-maker reported first-quarter earnings of 29 cents, which beat the FactSet estimate of 22 cents. Sales of $578 million also beat the FactSet estimate of $568 million. Its Merrell shoes delivered midsingle-digit growth in the U.S. and its Chaco shoes posted high double-digit growth for the quarter. The company said it would be closing 100 sub-par stores this year. The stock rose by over 3 percent to trade at $19.55.
The market is waiting to find out if today is the day Aéropostale declares bankruptcy. The cash-strapped company’s board was set to meet either Monday night or Tuesday and a Chapter 11 filing is said to be imminent. Employees at the company’s New York headquarters have been called for a town hall meeting this morning. Although the nature of the town hall meeting could not be learned, one source noted that chief executive officer Julian Geiger has been spending a lot of time out of the office working on a possible restructuring of the company.
Hanesbrands Inc. said that it is offering $1.5 billion in senior notes due 2024 and 2026. It will use the proceeds to redeem in full its existing 6.375 senior notes due 2020. Hanesbrands stock is sliding by almost 2 percent to $28.77.
Later this afternoon after the market closes, earnings will be delivered by Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp, Etsy, Inc. and The Macerich Company.