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Feb 26, 2014

Icahn, eBay trade barbs as feud over governance escalates

NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Carl Icahn
and eBay Inc took their war of words up a notch on
Wednesday.

Icahn, who last month called for eBay to sell off its
fast-growing PayPal payments business, called corporate
governance at the e-commerce giant “dysfunctional” in his second
letter to eBay shareholders this week.

Feb 26, 2014

Barnes & Noble posts profit, may yet split up company

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a profit for the holiday quarter after it scaled back its money-losing Nook digital business and its core bookselling business stabilized.

Michael Huseby, who became chief executive officer in January, also said on Wednesday that Barnes & Noble was “still studying” the possibility of separating its businesses, which include superstores, college bookstores and Nook.

Feb 26, 2014

Barnes & Noble posts quarterly profit, plans new Nook device

Feb 26 (Reuters) – Barnes & Noble Inc returned to
profitability during the holiday quarter after it scaled back
its money-losing Nook tablets business and its core bookselling
business stabilized.

Shares of the company, the largest U.S. bookstore chain,
were up 2.6 percent at $18.19 in premarket trading.

Feb 26, 2014

For J.C. Penney, e-commerce is no easy fix

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – First the good news for J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz): online sales rose 26.3 percent during the holiday quarter.

Now the bad: the surge mostly reflects how far the one-time e-commerce pioneer has fallen.

Feb 25, 2014

Macy’s sticks to forecast despite slow Valentine’s Day sales

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Macy’s Inc’s (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sales this year were weak until Valentine’s Day, the department store operator said on Tuesday, but it stuck to its full-year forecast because it expects business to return to normal when the weather improves.

Shares of Macy’s were up 3.1 percent at $54.81 in morning trading after the company reported a higher-than-expected profit for the holiday quarter.

Feb 24, 2014

Icahn, eBay trade accusations as fight escalates

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Carl Icahn
accused eBay Inc Chief Executive John Donahoe of
failing to spot – or ignoring – conflicts of interest on the
company’s board and called again for the spinoff of its
fast-growing PayPal payments business.

Icahn, who also disclosed a 2.15 percent stake in the
e-commerce giant on Monday, said in a letter to shareholders
that two long-time board members, Marc Andreessen and Scott
Cook, had business interests that directly competed with eBay.

Feb 21, 2014

Wal-Mart forecast disappoints as grocery business struggles

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – The struggles of the low-income U.S. consumer are playing out in Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) grocery aisles.

The world’s largest retailer, which gets more than half its sales from groceries, on Thursday gave a disappointing full-year forecast. It blamed sharp cuts in food stamp benefits and higher payroll taxes that are will hit disposable income for its core customers. Wal-Mart shares fell 2.2 percent in morning trading.

Feb 20, 2014

Avon bets Hispanics, smaller selection, price hikes can fix U.S. sales

NEW YORK/BOCA RATON, Fla (Reuters) – Avon Products Inc (AVP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) hopes higher prices, a growing Hispanic market and smaller selection of beauty products will help it reverse years of declines in U.S. sales, top executives said on Thursday.

The company’s North American sales have fallen by half since 2007, and last year, the size of its army of Avon Ladies sales representatives, shrank 15 percent.

Feb 20, 2014

Wal-Mart forecast disappoints, food-stamp cuts hurt customers

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc forecast a lower full-year profit than analysts expect, as fewer food stamps, higher taxes and tighter credit erode its sales, news that sent its shares down 1 percent in premarket trading on Thursday.

The world’s largest retailer expects net sales growth this year to be at the lower end of its forecast range of 3 to 5 percent, Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley said on Thursday.

Feb 19, 2014

Kay Jewelers parent Signet to buy rival Zale for $690 million

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Signet Jewelers Ltd (SIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is buying smaller rival Zale Corp (ZLC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for about $690 million, an acquisition it said would strengthen its place in the U.S. jewelry sector and let it tap new markets.

The deal, announced on Wednesday, would combine the two largest U.S. mid-tier jewelry store chains, Zales and Signet’s Kay Jewelers. The price of $21 per share is a 41 percent premium over Zale’s close on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Wahba joined Reuters in 2008 and has covered the exchanges, equity capital markets (IPOs), corporate bankruptcies and now covers retailers such as department stores and booksellers."
      Hometown:
      Montreal
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish, German and Danish.
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