Supervalu, Inc. (NYSE:SVU) shares have been surging early Monday since a buyout of the supermarket chain has gained credibility. JPMorgan’s debt analyst Carla Casella upgraded SUPERVALU bonds from Underweight to Neutral on Monday due to a 50 percent chance of a LBO. “We are upgrading the credit from Underweight to Neutral as we believe the solid liquidity and now potential interest in the business will support the bonds,” Casella claims.
Whole Foods Market (NYSE:WFM): Now, customers have begun to divide up their food shopping amongst various stores, and it has begun to harm grocery stores, suggests research from Kantar Retail. As specialty players such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s grab market share in many high-margin categories, dollar store chains and Wal-Mare have continued to expand their reach.
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Safeway (NYSE:SWY) operates 1,666 stores in the United States and Canada, and the company had annual sales reaching $43.6 billion in 2011. Safeway reported that income from ongoing operations reached $108.0 million for Q3 of 2012 versus $130.3 million in the Q3 of 2011. Supervalu is one of the most prominent companies in the U.S. grocery channel, and its annual sales reach about $35 billion. The company reported a Q2 loss of $111 million versus a profit of 60 million during the previous year’s quarter. On Tursday, Supervalu reported that they are currently in talks about the potential sale of the company.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) will cease selling sprouts because of its possible food safety risk, and of sprout deliveries to Kroge distribution centers and stores will be discontinued today, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.
Costco (NASDAQ:COST): This week, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., which is a case that will have fundamentally effect the global flow of books, music, movies, and other copyrighted material. Costco has written that the “first-sale doctrine plays an important role in Costco’s ability” to sell “genuine brand-name merchandise to its members at prices lower than its competitors,” and that Wiley’s position “that copies made abroad would have enjoyed significantly greater copyright protection than those made at home is inconceivable.”