4 Consumer Stock Stories Making Monday Headlines
Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT): Closing price $68.24
A customer-satisfaction rating survey conducted by Forum Research places Target at the bottom of a list of major retailers in Canada. The retailer arrived in Canada in March, luring huge numbers of shoppers, but the survey indicates that the excitement failed, and that Target has not been able to live up to its mostly self-created high expectations. Shoppers complain that its stores have been low on inventory and that prices are above those at its American outlets. Meanwhile, the company’s arch-competitor, Wal-Mart Canada Corp., improved from four months earlier, and Costco Canada came out the clear winner.
Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM): Closing price $128.20
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. has once again raised its 2013 sales target. Senior Vice President, Automotive Operations, Bob Carter, told dealers at Toyota’s recent national dealer meeting in Atlanta that he expects Toyota and Scion divisions to sell over 2 million units this year. Including Lexus, the figure should surpass 2.25 million, marking another rise from Toyota’s initial expectations for 2013. At the end of 2012, Toyota’s forecast for all three brands was around 2.15 million, which was up from 2.08 million in 2012.
21st Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ:FOXA): Closing price $31.44
The new entity has increased the amount it is reserving to cover additional legal costs connected with the alleged use of illegal reporting tactics at News Corp’s United Kingdom newspapers by $110 million. A spokesperson for 21st Century Fox would not comment on possible reasons for the raised provision. The film and television firm finished the spinoff of its News Corp publishing unit in late June, but agreed through its separation agreement to cover future legal costs linked with allegations that News Corp journalists illegally intercepted voicemail messages and emails.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM): Closing price $34.49
Chief Executive Ran Poliakine of Powermat Technologies Ltd. said that General Motors will begin offering wireless charging for smartphones in some vehicles in 2014. Rather than plugging in cables to replenish battery power, drivers of certain 2014 GM models will be able to place mobile devices onto a Powermat surface inside the car through which to draw electricity. Phones must be able to recharge using built-in tech, or use a case created for the purpose. GM, which is an investor in Powermat, would be the first carmaker to build the tech into its models, according to Poliakine, as his company competes with Toyota Motor Corp. and Chrysler Group LLC, which have also indicated they will have the feature in some their 2014 models.