China's Hebei province sets up $7 bln financing vehicle to shore up economy

Stamps.com Q4 Results Top Estimates; Sees Lower Earnings, Higher Revenue In FY20

Stamps.com Inc. (STMP), a provider of postage online and shipping software solutions, reported that its fourth-quarter net income was $20.3 million, down 52 percent from last year’s $42.7 million. Earnings per share were $1.13, down 51 percent from $2.30 a year ago.

Adjusted income per share was $2.12, compared to $3.73 in the fourth quarter of 2018.

On average, four analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.03 per share. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Adjusted EBITDA fell 28 percent to $51.4 million from last year’s $71.3 million.

Total revenue was $160.9 million, down 5 percent from $170.2 million last year. Analysts expected revenues of $144.68 million.

For fiscal year 2020, the company currently expects net income in a range of about $41 million to $53 million, or about $2.08 to $2.92 per share, adjusted income per share in a range of approximately $4.00 to $5.00, and total revenue in a range of approximately $570 million to $600 million.

For the year, analysts expect earnings of $3.23 per share on revenues of $537.65 million.

The company expects non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA to be in a range of approximately $135 million to $155 million.

In fiscal 2019, net income was $59.2 million or $3.33 per share, adjusted income was $5.73 per share, and total revenue was $571.9 million.

L Brands set to sell Victoria’s Secret, which would go private

L Brands Inc. is near a deal to sell control of Victoria’s Secret to a private-equity firm in a transaction that values the lingerie brand at about $1.1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Sycamore Partners is expected to buy 55% of Victoria’s Secret and take the struggling business private, the people said. L Brands LB, +2.12%  is expected to keep a 45% stake in the separate company, which will include the Pink chain. After shedding several brands in recent years, L Brands’ operations would be reduced to running the Bath & Body Works chain.

Leslie Wexner, the embattled billionaire who has run the retail company for more than 50 years, will step down from his roles as CEO and chairman, the people said. He is expected to remain on the L Brands board and retain stakes in both companies, they said. He currently owns about 17% of L Brands shares.

A deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, these people said. The Wall Street Journal first reported that L Brands was in talks with Sycamore and that Wexner was in discussions to step aside as chief executive of the company.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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HNI Q4 Profit Rises On Higher Sales; Sees Higher Sales In FY20

HNI Corp. (HNI), an office furniture and health products company, reported that its fourth- quarter attributable net income was $47.60 million, higher than $32.36 million last year.

Earnings per share climbed 50.7 percent to $1.10 from prior year’s $0.73.

Adjusted net income per share was $1.12, compared to $0.97 in the prior year.

Fourth-quarter sales grew 3 percent to $616.1 million from last year’s $598.1 million.

Looking ahead for fiscal 2020, the company projects sales to be $2.30 billion to $2.35 billion, representing a growth of 2.5% to 4.5% versus the prior year. Full
year adjusted earnings per share is expected to be in the range of $2.60 to $2.90.

The company said, “Looking ahead to 2020, we expect solid revenue growth in both Office Furniture and Hearth Products. Our key markets are showing greater stability; our e-commerce efforts are driving growth; and our recent investments are generating results.”

Lenovo profit surges, beating expectations

Lenovo Group Ltd. (0992.HK) said its net profit for the fiscal third quarter rose 11% on year, on the back of record-high quarterly sales and better profitability due to improvement in its product mix.

Net profit for the October-to-December period was $258 million, compared with $233 million over the same period a year earlier, the world’s largest PC maker by shipments said Thursday. The figure was higher than a FactSet consensus estimate for the quarter’s net profit at $217 million.

Revenue edged up to $14.10 billion from $14.04 billion a year earlier, breaking its quarterly sales record, Lenovo said.

Gross margin also expanded by 1.5 percentage points on year to 16.1%, as the company continued to shift to premium and high-growth PC products such as gaming computers, it said.

As the coronavirus epidemic continues to evolve, the company said it expects potential volatility in business performance in the short term.

Although the company’s factories in China have resumed partial production, its suppliers and logistics partner’s operations remain disrupted due to manufacturing suspension and transportation restrictions to contain the outbreak, Lenovo said.

The company said it believes its global manufacturing capacities would help it weather the situation well.

Write to Yifan Wang at [email protected]

China's Hebei province sets up $7 bln financing vehicle to shore up economy

BEIJING, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The northern Chinese province of Hebei has set up a special financing project worth 50 billion yuan ($7.12 billion) with China Development Bank to help get the regional economy up and running again after coronavirus disruptions.

The project will help businesses to resume production, stabilize investment and guarantee major infrastructure projects in the first half of 2020, the Hebei Development and Reform Commission said on its website on Thursday. ($1 = 7.0209 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Min Zhang and David Stanway; Editing by Kim Coghill)