4 Consumer Stock Stories Making Monday Waves

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT): Closing price $74.78

In Wal-Mart’s exuberant desire to become America’s top beer retailer, it has been selling Budweiser, Coors, and other brands almost at cost in some stores. Internal documents seen by Bloomberg indicated that the markup on a 36-pack of Coors Light cans at a Los-Angeles-area store came to 0.6 percent, versus 16.2 percent for a package of Flaming Hot Cheetos. Retailers rarely divulge data regarding markups, so the March data allow an unusual glimpse of Wal-Mart’s alcohol pricing strategy.

The giant retailer’s move into beer is part of a plan to double alcohol sales by 2016, and grab a bigger piece of the domestic beer market, which is worth around $45 billion.

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Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS): Closing price $41.81

For the first time in some four years, Gap is running TV ads for its namesake brand as it seeks to build on the chain’s recent rebound. On Monday, two videos were launched that feature musicians performing modern renditions of songs that their fathers made famous. In one, Alexa Ray Joel sings Billy Joel’s Just The Way You Are accompanying herself on the piano. In the other, Dhani Harrison, son of George Harrison, sings and plays For You Blue on guitar. The spots promote Gap’s “Back to Blue” campaign for the brand’s array of fall denim.

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Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA): Closing price $166.58

Analyst Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities has reiterated an Overweight on Tesla Motors and raised his price target from $150 to $225, pointing to hybrid battery packs being developed by the company, noting that in July, Tesla filed Patent Applications 20130181511 and 20130187591. These patents cover “Electric Vehicle Extended Range Hybrid Battery Pack System.”

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Saks Inc. (NYSE: SKS): Closing price $15.87

On Monday, Saks said that upon finalization of the merger with Hudson’s Bay Company, both Chairman and Chief Executive Stephen I. Sadove, and President and Chief Merchant Ronald L. Frasch, will exit the firm. The planned merger transaction between Saks and HBC was confirmed by each company’s board and should close before the end of the calendar year, if cleared by Saks shareholders and other customary closing conditions.

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