Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY): Current price $33.59
Shares are almost just under 10 percent Tuesday as Best Buy posted its rising net income in the second quarter. To make it happen, the number-one specialty electronics retailer deeply cut costs and made its website more competitive. The company surpassed Wall Street predictions and its shares hit a two-year high.
Best Buy Co. has been closing underperforming stores and reconfiguring others so as to fend off rivalry from discounters and online retailers. Further, under Chief Executive Hubert Joly, the firm has set in place a price-matching policy, initiated more in-store areas for manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, and spent more to train its employees.
J.C. Penney & Co. (NYSE:JCP): Current price $14.10
On Tuesday, the iconic retailer posted a wider second-quarter loss as comparable sales fell farther than had been forecast at 12 percent. Penney’s shares initially rose 4 percent after it gave some encouragement over improvement in sales and its cash position, but are down about 1.5 percent in later morning trading.
The company said that its comparable sales improved by 4.7 percent quarter-over-quarter and that they improved each month within the second quarter, a trend which it hopes to continue. Also, its online sales fell by 2.2 percent, marking an improvement of more than 17 percent from the previous quarter. Beyond that, the company professed to be encouraged about its back-to-school sales and that its cash and cash equivalents increased by $647 million to $1.54 billion. It expects to end 2013 with over $1.5 billion in overall liquidity.
Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO): Current price $33.87
Altria’s Philip Morris USA division has posted a tentative win in a California class-action trial regarding claims that smokers were misled about the health risks of Marlboro Lights. In San Diego, California Superior Court Judge Ronald Prager decided in a proposed decision Tuesday that the plaintiffs failed to provide a reliable measure of restitution. Further, Prager stated that a court order mandating that Philip Morris reword its labeling of light cigarettes would be redundant because the contested wording is no longer used on cigarette packs.
Prager said that, “Plaintiffs’ claim of restitution rests exclusively on the validity of their conjoint analysis survey. But the survey does not attempt to measure restitution as defined by California law and in any event is fatally flawed, as amply demonstrated by nonsensical results and contradictory real world data.”