4 Consumer Stock Stories to Close Out a Busy Earnings Month

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX): Closing price $71.29

On Wednesday, Starbucks and Google said that the coffee shops will be transitioning to Google as Starbucks’ free WiFi provider, dropping AT&T. During the next 18 months, Starbucks will convert over 7,000 domestic stores to Google, which will quicken speeds and permit users to surf the web as much as 10 times faster. Head digital officer at Starbucks Adam Brotman observed, “Every day, our customers rely on the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks to study, work, connect with friends or just relax. We want to make sure that they can access the web effortlessly and quickly, no matter what they’re doing, or what device they are using. Our goal is to continue to provide our customers with the best in-store experience possible, and we are excited to offer these kinds of unparalleled experiences at a broad scale.”

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SBUX-20130731

Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP): Closing price $41.80

The online review and recommendation firm Yelp on Wednesday posted a second quarter loss of $878,000, or one cent per share, on revenue of $55 million, versus a loss of $2 million, or 3 cents a share, on $32.7 million in sales year-over-year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had predicted that Yelp would lose 4 cents per share on sales of $53.3 million. In the third quarter, Yelp estimates that it will report sales between $58 million and $59 million, while analysts forecast revenue of $57.3 million.

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YELP-20130731

Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT): Closing price $71.25

Using trained staff at 10 Illinois stores, Target is testing a baby section in a push to gain a larger share of the decreasing, but quite competitive, market for baby apparel and accessories. The domestic birthrate has declined lately, provoking more rivalry among mass merchants like Target, specialty shops such as Toys R Us Inc.’s Babies R Us, and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.’s buybuy BABY, and online retailers like Amazon.com Inc. and its diapers.com site. Households with children spend roughly 20 percent more annually at Target than patrons with no children, according to Target Senior Vice President of Merchandising Trish Adams.

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TGT-20130731

J.C. Penney & Co. (NYSE:JCP): Closing price $14.60

Penney’s shares closed down more than 10 percent on the day on Wednesday, subsequent to a report that CIT, the number one lender in the clothing industry, has ceased providing financial support to small suppliers selling to Penney stores. Citing unnamed sources, an online report by The New York Post published Wednesday said that CIT made the decision after a meeting with Penney officials to examine the retailer’s financial statements.

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JCP-20130731

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