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Saturday August 24, 2019



Target's Revenue Hits the Mark

Target Corporation (TGT) released its quarterly and full-year earnings report on Tuesday, March 5. The retailer reported increased store traffic and better-than-expected revenue for the quarter, causing shares to jump more than 4% following the report's release.

Target reported quarterly revenue of $22.977 billion. This is down from last year's fourth quarter revenue of $22.983 billion, but above analysts' revenue expectations. The company reported revenue of $75.356 billion for the full year.

"We're very pleased with our fourth quarter performance, which capped off an outstanding year for Target," said Target CEO Brian Cornell. "Thanks to the dedication of Target's team, we delivered our strongest traffic and comparable sales growth in well over a decade, and our 2018 Adjusted EPS set a new all-time record for the Company."

The company announced earnings of $799 million for the quarter, down from earnings of $1.09 billion one year ago. On an adjusted earnings per share basis, the company reported earnings of $1.54 per share, down from earnings of $2.01 per share reported at this time last year.

The Minneapolis-based company saw its comparable digital sales increase 31% in the quarter, marking its fifth consecutive year of growth in this area. The company reported that comparable sales grew 5.3% due to a 4.5% increase of in-store traffic. For the full year, comparable sales increased 5%, marking Target's strongest growth since 2005.

Target Corporation (TGT) shares closed at $75.80, up 3.2% for the week.

Salesforce Reports Earnings

Salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM) released its latest quarterly and full-year earnings on Monday, March 4. Despite reporting a 26% increase in quarterly revenue, the company's stock prices dipped after the release of its earnings report.

The CRM platform giant reported revenue of $3.60 billion for the fourth quarter, up 26% from revenue of $2.87 billion at this time last year. This beat analysts' projected revenue of $3.56 billion. The company reported full year revenue of $13.28 billion.

"We had another year of outstanding revenue growth, surpassing $13 billion in revenue faster than any other enterprise software company in history," said Marc Benioff, Chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce. "As companies of all sizes turn to Salesforce, we're enabling them to put the customer at the center of their digital transformation through our intelligent Customer 360 platform. I've never been more excited about the opportunity ahead."

Salesforce reported quarterly net income of $362 million, up from $206 million last year. On an earnings per share basis, the company reported $0.46 per share, up from $0.28 during this time last year. Net income for the full year increased to $1.11 billion, or $1.48 per share.

The company expects its first quarter 2019 sales to range from $3.67 to $3.68 billion. Salesforce anticipates first quarter earnings to range between $0.60 and $0.61 per share. These predictions fell short of analysts' expectations of $3.69 billion in sales and earnings of $0.63 per share. Shares of Salesforce stock slipped more than 3% in response to the company's updated forecast.

Salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM) shares ended the week at $155.07, down 6.3% for the week.

H&R Block's Shares Slip

H&R Block, Inc. (HRB) reported its latest quarterly earnings on Thursday, March 7. Despite beating revenue estimates, the tax preparation service provider's shares fell more than 3% in pre-market trading following the earnings release due to a larger-than-expected earnings loss.

H&R Block announced revenue of $468.4 million for the third quarter. This is down 4.1% from revenue of $488.4 million reported in the same quarter last year, but is above the $465.5 million in revenue that Wall Street expected.

"The significant improvements we've made across our business have resulted in increased client satisfaction scores related to our new upfront and transparent pricing, third party accolades for our DIY products, and growth in our virtual offerings so far this tax season," said H&R Block President and CEO Jeff Jones. "H&R Block is leading the way in the tax industry with offerings that span the full spectrum of tax preparation, whether clients want little to no help, complete in-person assistance, or anything in between."

H&R Block reported a net loss of $126.5 million, which was better than the net loss of $245.6 million reported one year ago. On an adjusted earnings per share basis, the company reported a loss of $0.58 per share, which was more than the $0.55 loss per share that analysts predicted.

The tax-preparation service company attributed its lower revenue results to a slow start in the tax season and IRS filing delays. H&R Block noted in its earnings report that the third quarter is historically a loss quarter due to the seasonal nature of its business. The company experienced a 6.5% decline in its assisted returns segment, which was primarily offset by growth of 6.4% in Do-It-Yourself returns.

H&R Block, Inc. (HRB) shares ended the week at $24.95, up 3.2% for the week.

The Dow started the week of 3/4 at 26,122 and closed at 25,450 on 3/8. The S&P 500 started the week at 2,814 and closed at 2,743. The NASDAQ started the week at 7,637 and closed at 7,408.

Yields Sink on Weak Job Growth

Yields on U.S. Treasury bonds retreated on Friday in response to domestic and foreign pressures. Yields reacted to the announcement of disappointing U.S. job growth and a scheduled stimulus plan by the European Central Bank.

On Friday morning, the Labor Department released the latest nonfarm payroll data, which showed that nonfarm jobs increased by a mere 20,000 in February, missing analysts' expectations of 180,000 jobs added. Unemployment dipped to 3.8%.

"Generally you don't see the economy downshift from 300,000 to 20,000 [jobs added]," said Mike Feroli, chief U.S. economist at J.P. Morgan Chase. "This in conjunction with the jobless claims number that has been drifting higher; momentum in the job market is probably slowing."

During morning trading on Friday, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was trading at 2.62%, after opening the week at 2.77%. The 30-year Treasury bond started the week at 3.13% and slipped to 3.01% on Friday morning.

On Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced it would launch a stimulus program from September 2019 to March 2021. The ECB also signaled that it intends to postpone interest rate hikes until 2020.

"The weaker economic momentum is slowing the adjustment of inflation towards our aim," said ECB President Mario Draghi at a press conference. "The persistence of uncertainties related to geopolitical factors, the threat of protectionism and vulnerabilities in emerging markets appears to be leaving marks on economic sentiment."

The 10-year Treasury note yield closed at 2.62%, while the 30-year Treasury bond yield was 3.01%.

Mortgage Rates Rise

Freddie Mac released its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday, March 7. The report showed rates were higher this week than they were one week ago.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.41%, up from 4.35% last week. At this time last year, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.46%.

This week, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.83%, up from last week when it averaged 3.77%. During this time last year, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.94%.

"In late 2018, mortgage rates rose over a full percentage point from the prior year, which was one of the main reasons that weakness in home sales continued into early 2019," said Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. "However, the impact of recent lower rates and a strong labor market has led to a rise in purchase mortgage demand as we start the spring homebuying season."

Based on published national averages, the money market account finished the week of 3/8 at 1.50%. The 1-year CD finished at 2.76%.

Published March 8, 2019
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Previous Articles

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Shelby Harder, 2018
Dr. Irving Auld and Dorothy
Roher Auld Scholarship

"Many students take for granted what a university has to offer. However, I am thankful every single day for the opportunity to attend this prestigious school. At Lawrence, you have the ability to engage in Socratic debates about the world we live in at dinner, play recreational or NCAA sports, and talk one on one with brilliant professors. At Lawrence, you don't just 'learn' a subject, you are immersed in it. You dive into the liberal arts and these professors show you the beauty in it all, and how everything is tied together. I am a Biochemistry major with a soft spot for rocket science, philosophy, and evolution. Lawrence is my dream school, and it would have never been possible without the Dr. Irving Auld and Dorothy Roher Auld Scholarship. I am forever grateful for their generosity."

Juliana E. Olsen-Valdez, 2018
Carroll Family Scholarship

"Lawrence University is a great place for students looking to embrace their multi-interested approach to learning. As a Geology major, I have spent many long hours in laboratories. But, I have also had the opportunity to organize and lead students on outdoor backpacking trips, help build a stronger community for International students, participate in dialogues on campus initiatives, attend dozens of musical events, and study abroad in a field-based geology program, all while taking classes in a variety of academic spheres on campus. Lawrence, as an institution and student body, creates a collective of learners, listeners, and leaders who are continuously evolving their understanding of the world around them. I am fortunate to have the support of the Carroll Family Scholarship, so that I can say I am a part of this exceptional community too!"

Weiqi "Vicky" Liang, 2019
Marian H. Cuff Endowed Scholarship

"Lawrence is a special institution with nice people around the campus. I better myself by trying out different things and using new ways to think critically. Even though I am a Philosophy major, I have successfully taken classes in Anthropology, Biology, Economics, and Government. In addition, I still find many great extracurricular opportunities to explore, such as singing with Viking Chorale, even though I am not a music major. While having the great experience of volunteering at the elderly center last year, I became an elder advocacy coordinator at the Volunteer Community Service Center. At Lawrence, I've learned to handle difficult academic problems while looking forward to exploring possible opportunities. I am very grateful to be awarded the Marian H. Cuff Endowed Scholarship for every year I have been here, and appreciate that the scholarship has provided this wonderful Lawrence experience to me."

Anthony Cardella, 2018
Ansorge Family Scholarship

"I am so excited that I am able to attend Lawrence University. I know that I will make great progress studying piano with Dr. Michael Mizrahi. Since being at Lawrence I've already made a lot of progress and I really love it here. I am so grateful for the Ansorge Family Scholarship that made it possible for me to come to Lawrence because without it, I might not have been able to afford the cost of attending a school that is a great fit for me and a place where I will learn so much and go so far."

Milwaukee-Downer Scholarships and Professorships

Some of the many recipients of Milwaukee-Downer scholarships gather for a photo with Carolyn King Stephens M-D'62 and Marlene Crupi-Widen M-D'55 in January 2014 at the annual scholarship luncheon.

Rosamund Victoria Bille Adler Scholarship
Dr. Charles E. Albright Scholarship
Helen Daniels Bader Scholarship
James G. and Ethel M. Barber Scholarship
Catharine Beecher Endowed Fund for Downer Women
Bessie A. Bell Scholarship
Berk Scholarship
Frederick C. Best Scholarship
Beta Study Club Scholarship
Lynde Bradley Scholarship
Lucia R. Briggs-Alumnae Scholarship
Edith Lange Brooks Scholarship
Anne Barman Caldwell Scholarship
Alice Miller Chester Scholarship
City of Milwaukee Student Funds Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1940 Fund
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1942 Fund
College Endowment Association Scholarship
Janet Cope Crawford Scholarship
Jessie Mabbott Daniels Scholarship
F. T. Day Scholarship
Rufus Dodge Scholarship
Julia P. Ely and Hannah R. Vedder Memorial Scholarship
General Endowed Scholarship - M-D College
Dr. Alfred W. and Mrs. Ada F. Gray Scholarship
Berenice E. Hess Scholarship Endowment
Lucille Ray Hibbard Scholarship
Belle Austin Jacobs Scholarship
Helen McDermott Jurack and Ronald J. Mason Scholarship
Marjorie S. Logan Scholarship
Nellie Maxwell Scholarship
S. Annabelle & Paul McGuire Scholarship
Memorial Scholarship Fund - Milwaukee-Downer
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1953 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1955 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1956 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1957 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1958 and 1959 50th Reunion Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Club Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer/Lawrence College Consolidation 50th Anniversary Scholarship
Francis Evelyn Kelley Morgan Memorial Scholarship
O'Neill-Anderson Family Scholarship Endowment
Elizabeth A. Olson Scholarship
Gilbert Haven Peirce, Sr. and Emma Elizabeth Manor Peirce Milwaukee-Downer Scholarship
Aleida J. Pieters Scholarship
Matilda Siefert Puelicher Scholarship
Elizabeth Ann Richardson Scholarship
William M. Ross Memorial Scholarship
Elizabeth Rossberg Scholarship
Charles Frederic Sammond Scholarship
Mildred L. Schroeder Scholarship
Sivyer Educational Fund for Women
Marion Merrill Smith Scholarship
Dr. Elizabeth A. Steffen Scholarship
W. Mead and Elizabeth McKone Stillman Scholarship
Strzelczyk Family Scholarship
Clare Scherf Sweetman Scholarship
Raymond H. and Jane K. Taylor Scholarship
Jerline E. Walfoort Memorial Scholarship
Barbara E. Wehr Fund
Harmony Weissbach Scholarship
Martha and Frances Wheelock Scholarship
James G. and Ethel M. Barber Professorship of Theatre and Drama
T. A. Chapman Professorship in Music
Alice G. Chapman Professorship in Physics
Alice G. Chapman Librarianship
Milwaukee-Downer College and College Endowment Association Professorship

Angela Small Fry Intia, 2019
Maurine Campbell Scholarship

"Thanks to the Maurine Campbell scholarship, I have been able to attend the amazing school that is Lawrence University. With the help from this scholarship, I have been able to pursue my dream career in chemistry working with the outstanding and extremely helpful faculty here. Even outside of chemistry I take the time for exploration into my interests and want to give back through my work as a resident life advisor, stock room assistant, and student supervisor at Bon Appetit. Everything I have learned here, academically or not has forever molded the person I am today."

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