Journalist, New York
Phil's Feed
Feb 5, 2014

CVS to become first major U.S. drugstore chain to drop cigarettes

Feb 5 (Reuters) – CVS Caremark Corp said on
Wednesday that it would stop selling tobacco products at its
7,600 stores by October, becoming the first national drugstore
chain in the United States to take cigarettes off the shelf.

Public health experts called the decision by the No. 2 U.S.
drugstore chain a precedent-setting step that could pressure
other retailers to follow suit.

Feb 5, 2014

CVS to become first major U.S. drugstore to drop cigarettes

By Phil Wahba and Julie Steenhuysen

(Reuters) – CVS Caremark Corp said on Wednesday that it would stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 stores by October, becoming the first U.S. drugstore chain to take cigarettes off the shelf.

Public health experts called the decision by the No. 2 U.S. drugstore chain a precedent-setting step that could pressure other stores to follow suit.

Feb 5, 2014

U.S. retailers face pressure to raise cybersecurity spending

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Target Corp’s decision to speed up a $100 million program to adopt the use of chip-enabled smart cards is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to what retailers need to do to defend themselves against future cyber attacks, according to security experts and IT service providers.

The pressure to boost security spending comes at a time when merchants are already spending millions to fend off online retailer Amazon.com and facing an October 2015 deadline set by payment networks Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc to accept new payment cards that store information on computer chips rather than on traditional magnetic stripes.

Feb 4, 2014

Penney shares slammed as holiday quarter sales disappoint

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shares fell 10 percent on Tuesday after the struggling retailer reported a disappointing rise in comparable sales for the holiday quarter, prompting fears its business is recovering too slowly.

Penney also did not provide details on its gross profit margin, leading Wall Street analysts to conclude the department store operator had to resort to bigger discounts during the holiday season.

Feb 4, 2014

Penney holiday sales up modestly; liquidity at $2 billion

Feb 4 (Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc on Tuesday
reported a modest rise in quarterly comparable sales but gave no
details on its gross profit margin, leading Wall Street analysts
to conclude the department store operator had to resort to
bigger discounts during the holiday season.

Still, Penney said it had $2 billion in liquidity available
at the end of the quarter, in line with its earlier forecasts,
reassuring investors concerned about how much cash it was using
up as it attempts to fix its business.

Jan 28, 2014

J.C. Penney cuts poison pill trigger by half, extends to 2017

By Phil Wahba and Siddharth Cavale

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday it extended its poison pill until 2017, and lowered the threshold at which it would dilute the holdings of any shareholder, to prevent a takeover of the department store chain.

The retailer lowered the trigger of its shareholder rights plan, as poison pills are formally known, to 4.9 percent from 10 percent, saying that would “reduce the likelihood” of an ownership change.

Jan 24, 2014

Emerging markets lift Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Kimberly-Clark Corp (KMB.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), two of the world’s biggest household products makers, forecast strong sales gains in emerging markets on Friday, quelling investor fears that slowing growth in some countries would hurt their prospects.

P&G, the maker of Pampers diapers and Tide detergent, said revenue rose 8 percent in developing countries in its fiscal second quarter, but barely edged up in mature markets like the United States and Europe. It stuck to its 2014 sales and profit forecasts.

Jan 24, 2014

EBay reliance on PayPal for growth lowers chances of spinoff

NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) – EBay Inc is fighting
the proposal by activist investor Carl Icahn to spin off PayPal
because it views the payments service as crucial to long-term
growth prospects of the e-commerce company.

The marketplaces business, eBay’s biggest, is growing at a
slower rate than both PayPal and eBay rival Amazon.com Inc.
PayPal, estimated to be worth as much as $40 billion on its own,
helps bolster eBay’s share price.

Jan 24, 2014

Exclusive: Icahn’s stake in eBay close to 2 percent – source

By Nadia Damouni and Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Activist investor Carl Icahn’s stake in e-commerce company eBay Inc is more than previously reported at close to 2 percent, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

EBay said this week that Icahn had taken a 0.82 percent interest in the company earlier this month and made a non-binding proposal for eBay to spin off its PayPal payments business. EBay has a market capitalization of about $70 billion.

Jan 23, 2014

EBay dismisses Icahn proposal to spin off Paypal

By Phil Wahba and Nadia Damouni

(Reuters) – Carl Icahn has taken a stake in eBay Inc and is proposing a spin-off of the its fast-growing PayPal division, but the e-commerce giant rebuffed the overture, setting the stage for a potential battle with the activist investor.

EBay, which bought PayPal for $1.5 billion in 2002 and has considered hiving off the multibillion-dollar payments service, argued on Wednesday that the business would lose synergies with the overall e-commerce business as an independent unit.

    • 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.
    • Follow Phil