Consumer Sector Update for 01/30/2018: HSY,HOG,ALV,UAL,MCD

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Top Consumer Stocks

WMT -1.52%

MCD -3.11%

DIS -1.14%

CVS -4.09%

KO -0.31%

Consumer stocks continued to outperform the broader U.S. market in afternoon trading, resisting some of the deeper declines affecting most other sectors, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 sinking about 0.5% this afternoon while shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 also were slipping 0.5%.

Among consumer stocks moving on news:

The Hershey Company ( HSY ) was narrowly lower Tuesday afternoon, slipping back under its $109.67 starting mark and following analysts at Susquehanna today boosting their price target for the candy-maker by $2 to $110 a share and also reiterating their Neutral rating for the company’s stock. The move follows RBC Capital Markets similiarly increasing their Hershey price earlier today by $2 to $122 a share and restating its Sector Perform investment recommendation. The company will release its Q4 financial results on Thursday, Feb. 1.

In other sector news:

+ Autoliv ( ALV ) sped to a fresh record high on Tuesday of $149.30 a share after the Swedish auto-parts supplier reported adjusted Q4 net income of $2.03 per share, beating Wall Street expectations by $0.27 per share. Net sales rose 5% to $2.73 bln, also exceeding the $2.69 bln analyst mean. The company is projecting 7% sales growth during Q1 compared with year-ago levels; analysts, on average, are modelling 7.1% growth for the January-to-March period.

+ United Continental ( UAL ) was flying about 1% higher this afternoon following an upgrade today of the airline carrier to Overweight from Underweight at JP Morgan.

– McDonald’s ( MCD ) was ending slightly lower today after reporting non-GAAP Q4 net income and revenue topping Street expectations. Excluding $0.84 per share resulting from federal tax changes and other one-time charges, the fast-food restauranteur earned $1.71 per share, beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.12 per share. Net sales fell 11.4% to $5.34 bln but also came in ahead of the $5.22 bln analyst mean.

– Harley-Davidson ( HOG ) sputtered Tuesday, with the motorcycle manufacturer falling almost 8% after reporting Q4 GAAP earnings of $0.05 per share, down from $0.27 per share during the same quarter last year. Net income and per-share earnings were hurt by a $53.1 mln tax charge following recent changes in federal tax law as well as a $29.4 mln, pre-tax charge after a voluntary product recall. Excluding one-time items, it earned $0.54 per share, beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.09 per share. Net sales rose 12.5% to $1.05 bln, topping the analyst mean by $40 mln. The company today also said it will close its plant in Kansas City, Mo., consolidating its final assembly operations, as part of broader cost-cutting efforts.

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