Tag: Earnings

UPS pilots agree to 5-year pact with 15% pay hike; B-F dives 4% on quarterly results; plus former KFC store goes to pot — a missed opportunity, BTW

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 6:05 p.m.

UPS‘s 2,500 pilots have overwhelmingly ratified a five-year labor contract with a bonus up to $60,000 per pilot, an immediate increase in base pay, and “more favorable” rest policies for overnight and international flights. The contract, which starts tomorrow, includes an immediate 14.7% pay hike, followed by annual increases of 3% over the life of the deal, the pilots association said today (WDRB). The shipper is Louisville’s single-biggest private employer, with 22,000 workers at its Louisville International Airport hub; more about UPS here.

Jack Daniel's Fire

BROWN-FORMAN said fiscal first-quarter revenue fell 5% to $856 million and earnings dropped 2% to 36 cents per share, citing weaker-than-expected results in emerging markets and a stronger U.S. dollar. The results were in line with analysts forecasts. The spirits giant also cited tough comparisons from a year ago on its flagship Jack Daniel’s, which lapped last year’s introduction of cinnamon-flavored Tennessee Fire in the U.S. Sales of Finlandia — the vodka brand rumored to be on the auction block — dropped 10% reported as results in Poland “stabilized somewhat” while they remained under pressure in Russia, given the “challenging economic backdrop” and ruble depreciation (press release). Brown-Forman has now filed its more detailed quarterly 10-Q report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Both classes of the company’s stock fell more than 4% in the first 45 minutes of trading before recovering. The more actively traded non-voting B shares ended the day at $48.55, down $1.78, or 3.5%.

PIZZA HUT: The manager of a Pizza Hut outlet in Tokyo’s Koto Ward and three accomplices were arrested for allegedly beating the store’s deputy manager with a lead pipe and stealing 1.4 million yen (U.S. $13,500) from a safe on May 1. The victim suffered serious injuries including a fractured left arm which required more than two months to heal, police said (Tokyo Reporter).

TACO BELL and KFC: In Houston, police are investigating a smash-and-grab attempted burglary after someone crashed a vehicle into a combination Taco Bell-KFC restaurant on the city’s northeast side early today. The front doors and some of the interior were damaged, but it didn’t appear anything of value was taken (KHOU).

KFC Pittsfield
The former KFC location has already gone to weeds (heh).

And in Pittsfield, Mass., the appropriately named Happy Valley Compassion Center is proposing to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a former KFC restaurant building. Side note: It occurs to Boulevard that opening a KFC or any other fast-food outlet next to a marijuana store would be an excellent way to sell to customers with the munchies (Berkshire Eagle).

Kindred said beating Q2 forecasts; in China, ‘bloom off the rose’ for Yum; and Papa John’s renews NFL deal, re-commits to Manning for TV commercials

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 5:16 p.m.

Smaller Kindred building detailKINDRED said second-quarter results came in at the high end of Wall Street’s expectations. Revenues were $1.8 billion and earnings were 23 cents per share (press release). Yahoo Finance has the forecast. The report was issued after stock markets closed; in extended trading, Kindred’s shares were unchanged at $11.17. The Louisville-based hospital and nursing giant also declared a regular quarterly dividend of 12 cents a share (press release). Kindred employs 2,200 workers in Louisville and 102,000 nationwide. More about the company.

YUM‘s dominance of China’s fast-food market is starting to slip as consumers shift to healthier options and Chinese-style food chains, from huoguo (hot pot) to tangbao (steamed dumplings). That might explain some of the middling interest in Yum’s China Division spinoff. “There would definitely have been more buyer interest five years ago, but at that time they were doing so well that they couldn’t bear to sell,” said management professor Li Weihua of China University of Political Science and Law. “With the bloom off the rose, if they don’t sell now, it would be worth even less five years later” (Bloomberg).

PAPA JOHN’S has renewed its multiyear sponsorship contract with the NFL, a deal in place since 2010. As the official pizza sponsor of the league, the chain said today it will continue using NFL logos and trademarks in advertising and marketing campaigns across marquee league events, such as the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and NFL Kickoff (press release).

In related news, Papa John’s won’t be replacing Peyton Manning in its TV commercials, even though the Denver Broncos quarterback has retired. “Peyton Manning is the Michael Jordan of football. Period. End of conversation,” CEO John Schnatter told Wall Street analysts during a teleconference yesterday on the chain’s better-than-forecast second-quarter financial results. He’ll play a different role, however, said COO Steve Ritchie. “I think you’ll see some very fun and interactive ways that the marketing team . . . has utilized Peyton in the spots” (Seeking Alpha). Here’s one with Manning, Schnatter and the Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, and long-retired Hall of Famer Joe Montana.

Papa John’s loses court ruling on Panera exec poaching, and stock hits record high; Humana nails Q2 revenue and earnings; and Taco Bell’s three-step entry to new foreign markets

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:42 p.m.

PAPA JOHN’S: A federal judge sided with restaurant chain Panera Bread and issued a temporary restraining order barring a former IT executive from working at Papa John’s. U.S. District Judge John A. Ross said Panera would likely win its lawsuit, filed last month, accusing former vice president Michael Nettles of violating his noncompete agreement and misappropriating trade secrets by taking a job as the chief information officer at the Louisville pizza chain (Law 360).

Also today, Papa John’s shares closed at $77.38, up 4.6%, or $3.37, after the chain reported second-quarter results beating Wall Street forecasts after markets closed yesterday afternoon. Earlier today, the stock hit a new record intraday high of $78.09 before easing back. The company has also filed its quarterly 10-Q report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

HUMANA: Racing to save its $37 billion merger with Humana, Hartford-based Aetna has urged a judge to hear its case in the fall — and before considering a second merger of two other insurance companies that Justice Department antitrust enforcers are trying to stop (Reuters).

Earlier today, Humana reported second-quarter results that beat forecasts on both the top and bottom lines. Revenue was $14 billion vs. $13.7 billion a year ago, and adjusted earnings per share were $2.30 vs. $1.77. Analysts were expecting $13.6 billion in revenue and $2.21 EPS. The Louisville-based health insurer also reaffirmed its full-year 2016 financial guidance increase on July 21 to earn $9.25 a share vs. the previous $8.85 EPS. Humana’s stock closed at $173.48, up $3.91, or 2.3%.

Bruce Broussard

“Our second quarter and year-to-date results show the improvement in the effectiveness of our clinical programs and increasing clinical engagement by our members,” CEO Bruce Broussard said in the earnings release. “The improved health outcomes from these programs is not only lowering healthcare costs, but allowing more affordable options for our Medicare members.”

The insurer said it wouldn’t hold a customary conference call with analysts to discuss the report because of the pending merger with Aetna, and doesn’t expect to hold any in the quarters ahead, either (press release and MarketWatch).

Finally today, Humana filed its second-quarter report with the Securities and Exchange Commission — the full 10-Q (SEC document). Humana has 12,500 employees in Louisville and about 50,000 nationwide; more about the company.

TACO BELL follows a three-step process to decide whether to enter a foreign market for the first time, according to Pizza Marketplace:

  1. Move a team to the city under consideration to learn what everyday life is like in the target city, including how people get to work and what they do for fun.
  2. Get to know the locals through focus groups to see how outsiders can become part of the community.
  3. Cook and prepare food to understand what flavors work — and don’t work. In Tokyo, for example, prospective customers wouldn’t order nachos and cheese because they didn’t they want to get messy. Solution? Nachos became seasoned chips with dipping sauces.

Wag n' Wash logoIn other news, franchiser Wag n’ Wash of Denver expects its first Kentucky pet food and grooming store to open soon in Louisville with an in-house bakery menu that includes pumpkin ravioli, sushi, pies and cakes using human-grade ingredients (Courier-Journal). This will be Wag n’ Wash’s 15th store since opening in 1999.

The former publisher of The Voice-Tribune — Tracy Beale, formerly Tracy Blue — is launching online magazine TAB’s View next month with a staff of six, including herself. She left the Voice-Tribune last winter amid her high-profile divorce from the weekly’s then-owner, Blue Equity CEO Jonathan Blue. Blue Equity recently sold the Voice-Tribune and other publications to the owner of LEO (Insider Louisville).

Papa John’s Q2 report beats forecasts on revenue and profits; shares up modestly after hours

Papa John's logoThe Louisville-based pizza chain reported second-quarter revenues of $423 million, a 6% increase from the year-ago quarter’s $399 million. Earnings were 61 cents per diluted share, a 29.8% bump from a year ago. The results beat forecast estimates. On average, analysts had been expecting 414.8 million in revenue and 54 cents EPS, according to Yahoo Finance.

Papa John’s also boosted its earnings guidance for the rest of the year, to a range of $2.35 to $2.45 a share from the prior range of $2.30 to $2.40, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing after stock markets closed. In the after-hours session, shares were trading for $74.40, up less than 1%. In the regular session, they closed at $74.01, down 20 cents.

UnitedHealthcare protests $40.5B Humana contract; Roadhouse dives 12% on Q2 report; Trump eats KFC with metal utensils — Internet howls; and Taco Bell workers in Calif. gone after cop-taunting report

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 5:09 p.m.

HUMANA: UnitedHealthcare has filed a formal protest against a Defense Department decision to award the next round of Tricare contracts to Humana and another competitor. The Pentagon selected Humana Government Business to manage the brand new East region, a consolidation of the North and South regions, in a contract worth as much as $40.5 billion. Health Net Federal Services got the West region contract. Humana manages the current South region and Health Net the North (Military Times).

Humana and Aetna logos 250Also, Humana and Aetna announced this morning a deal to sell some of their Medicare Advantage assets to Molina Healthcare for $117 million in cash, in the health insurers’ latest effort to win Justice Department approval for their proposed $37 billion merger. The transactions are subject to the successful completion of the merger, plus approvals from regulators. Under the deal, Molina would get about 290,000 Medicare Advantage members in 21 states, the two companies said, “preserving robust competition for seniors choosing to receive Medicare coverage through Medicare Advantage plans and addressing a key concern of the U.S. Department of Justice in its challenge to the Aetna-Humana transaction” (press release). Today’s announcement followed a July 21 DOJ lawsuit against the two companies to block their tie-up over fears it would be anticompetitive and raise consumer prices.

Aetna, meanwhile, reported better-than-expected second-quarter results this morning, in a report where it also became the last of the five major national health insurers to project a loss on Affordable Care Act plans for 2016. The Hartford-based insurer said it would re-evaluate its participation in the business and cancel a planned expansion. It also said it was setting up a $65 million reserve to account for expected losses on individual plans over the rest of this year (Wall Street Journal).

Kent Taylor

TEXAS ROADHOUSE shares fell sharply, closing at $41.80, down 12.4%, or $5.90, after the Louisville-based steakhouse chain reported disappointing second-quarter results yesterday after stock markets had already closed (Google Finance). Founder and CEO Kent Taylor discussed the results with Wall Street analysts in a transcript (Seeking Alpha). The chain has nearly 500 company-owned and franchised restaurants in 49 states plus five foreign countries with 48,000 employees. About 500 of those workers are in Louisville; more about Texas Roadhouse.

FORD said total truck sales, including pickups and vans, grew 5% in July versus a year ago with 87,104 sold. Overall company U.S. sales were down 3%, with 216,479 total vehicles sold (press release). Shares closed at $11.94, down 4.3%, or 53 cents (Google Finance). Ford’s Kentucky Truck Factory employs about 5,100 workers, producing F-250 and F-550 Super Duty pickups, plus Expeditions, and Lincoln Navigators.

KFC: The World Wide Web is chowing down on a photo of GOP White House nominee Donald Trump eating a KFC meal last night aboard his gold-plated private jet, using real cutlery (as opposed to the plastic utensils most everyone else uses or, let’s be clear, hands). Trump tweeted a photo of the moment near 10:30 p.m.; see Tweet, above. “It’s tiny finger lickin’ good,” wrote the New York Daily News, which then went on to quote one Twitter user saying: “Eating KFC with a fork and knife is like eating a candy bar with chopsticks.”

Britain’s Telegraph was even more over-the-top pretend aghast: “What kind of madman — what kind of abominable lizard in an orange human skin suit, a Sunny Delight scare story incarnate — would eat a biscuit with a knife and fork? The same madman who was last night pictured eating a bucket of KFC with a knife and fork, that’s who.” And then there was the whole KFC vs. Popeyes vs. Bojangles’ contretemps (Daily NewsTelegraph and Daily Caller). Here’s yet more news coverage — plus, all the Twitter reaction.

TACO BELL: In California, several employees in northwest Bakersfield no longer work at a Taco Bell there after reports they had taunted a local police officer last week, according to the manager of the outlet. A customer had told a local TV station he could hear the employees making “oink oink” sounds and laughing while the officer was ordering. The manager said the employees no longer work there; he could not say how many employees were involved (Kern Golden Empire).

Roadhouse whiffs Q2 sales, and shares plunge 8%; McD done with antibiotics-fed chicken; Kindred closes $39M Arkansas deal; and Pizza Hut workers in S.C. score $50 touchdown

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:11 p.m.

TEXAS ROADHOUSE said today it missed second-quarter revenue estimates, and also disclosed that same-store sales in the current quarter had slowed vs. Q2. The results were released after markets closed. In after-hours trading, shares tumbled 7.9% to $43.94. The Louisville-based steakhouse chain said earnings were 47 cents per share on revenue of $508.8 million. Wall Street had forecast EPS of 45 cents and $509.8 million in revenue (Investors Business Daily and press release). Today’s report came less than a week after several analysts downgraded Roadhouse’s stock, sending shares down 6%.

KFC bucket of chickenKFC: Raising pressure on KFC to follow suit, McDonald’s said today it’s completely stopped buying chickens raised with antibiotics meant for humans, a step completed months ahead of schedule. The chain previously estimated the change would be completed by March 2017 (CNBC). The longtime KFC critic on the issue, the Natural Resources Defense Council, reiterated its call for the Yum unit to stop buying from chicken suppliers using antibiotics. “KFC,” the group said today, “stands out as the signature chicken purveyor that is far behind” (NRDC).

KINDRED and the Arkansas Department of Health said they had completed a previously announced agreement for the Louisville hospital and nursing company to buy the state agency’s in-home health care operations for about $39 million. The deal includes licenses to provide home health, hospice and personal care services throughout the state. Kindred won the award through a bidding process (press release).

AMAZON shares shot up to a new record high today — $770.50, up 1.5% — before closing lower at $767.74. The retailer’s stock is now up 43% from a year ago vs. a much smaller 3% for the broader S&P 500 index (Google Finance). Amazon employs 6,000 workers in the Louisville area at mammoth distribution centers in Jeffersonville, and in Bullitt County’s Shepherdsville. (More about Amazon.)

Ford DAV car
One of the newest DAV vans.

FORD received a city building permit today to proceed with $14 million of planned improvements at its Kentucky Truck Plant on Chamberlain Lane (Courier-Journal). Also today, the automaker said it donated another eight vans to the DAV Transportation Network, a volunteer group that takes ill and disabled veterans to VA medical centers across the country. The automaker said today it has now given 207 vehicles to the group over the past 20 years; the program dates back 94 years to when founder Henry Ford provided Model Ts as transportation for disabled vets (press release). In Louisville, Ford employs nearly 10,000 at its truck and vehicle assembly factories; more about its local operations.

Cam Newton

PIZZA HUT employees in Spartanburg, S.C., didn’t learn the mysterious customer in black who showed up 15 minutes after closing time for a cheese pizza was Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton until after he’d driven away. But he did leave a big tip last Thursday, paying $50 for the pie. “It definitely came in handy,” manager Amanda McCluney told WCNC, “because I was actually short $50 because I’m moving and I needed that to go towards my U-Haul and my storage unit” (WCNC).

In other news, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell said there’s a “great likelihood” that he’ll seek a seventh term in 2020. “I’m at the top of my game,” McConnell, 74, told WKYT in Lexington. “I think I’ve been effective in serving our people, and there’s a great likelihood I’ll run again” (Associated Press via ABC). In office since 1985, the Republican is Kentucky’s longest-serving U.S. senator (Wikipedia).