Opinion | The Anti-Gay Agenda

Williams-Sonoma Gains On Upbeat Earnings, Higher Dividend, Share Buyback

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM) shares are rising more than 16 percent on Thursday morning trade after the company reported a higher profit that beat estimates.
The company declared a quarterly cash dividend increase of 20.3 percent to $0.71. The Board of Directors also approved a new $1.25 billion stock repurchase authorization.

The sustainable home retailer raised full-year 2021 revenue growth expectations to high teens to low twenties, while the previous outlook was for low double-digit to mid-teen net revenue growth. The company now sees an adjusted operating margin between 16 to 17 percent.

The company announced 12.6 percent increase in second-quarter earnings to $246.07 million or $3.21 per share from $134.56 million or $1.70 per share in the previous year. On an adjusted basis, earnings were $3.24 per share. On average, 21 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $2.6 per share. Analysts estimates usually exclude special items.

Net revenues for the quarter climbed to $1.948 billion from $1.490 billion last year. Wall Street was looking for $1.81 billion. Comparable brand revenue growth of 29.8 percent.

Currently, shares are at $190.80, up 11.66 percent from the previous close of $170.74 on a volume of 1,202,661. For the 52-week period, the shares have traded in a range of $81.77-$204.41 on average volume of 942,003.

Dollar General Shares Fall 5% On Lower Q2 Profit

Shares of variety store company Dollar General Corp.(DG) are down 5 percent as the company reported lower earnings during the second quarter.

Second-quarter earnings per share decreased 13.8% to $2.69 from $3.12, last year. On average, 22 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $2.57 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. Net income was $637.0 million, a decrease of 19.1%.

Net sales decreased 0.4% to $8.65 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $8.59 billion, for the quarter. The company’s same-store sales also saw a 4.7 percent decline in the period due to lower customer traffic.

Currently at $222.15, the stock has traded between $173.50 and $239.35 during the 52-week range.

‘Kate Warne’ And ‘Youth In Revolt’ Screenwriter Gustin Nash Inks With WME

EXCLUSIVE: Gustin Nash, the screenwriter of Amazon Studios’ in-the-works movie Kate Warne, which has Emily Blunt attached to star in the story of the first female Pinkerton Detective, has signed with WME. The agency deal for the scribe comes after Deadline scooped earlier this month that Amazon acquired Nash’s pitch at the end of a six-studio bidding war.

Blunt is also set to produce Kate Warne alongside Dwayne Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions and Kristina Sorensen. Nash is executive producer on the project, an action adventure take on Warne, whose sleuthing skills in a male-dominated field paved the way for women in law enforcement and forever changed how detective work was done.

Nash’s writing credits include 2007’s Charlie Bartlett for MGM which starred Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr and Kat Dennings, and 2009’s Youth In Revolt directed by Miguel Arteta and starring Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi and Rooney Mara.

Both of those scripts first appeared on The Black List.

Watch on Deadline

Nash continues to be repped by Industry Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson.

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Opinion | Stop Politicizing the Misery in Afghanistan

By Frank Bruni

Mr. Bruni is a contributing Opinion writer who was on the staff of The Times for more than 25 years.

Explosion Outside Kabul Airport Resulted in 'A Number of U.S. and Civilian Casualties,' According to Pentagon

An explosion took place outside the Kabul airport on Thursday, resulting in “a number of U.S. & civilian casualties,” according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, who added that at least one other explosion took place nearby.

The explosions came a day after the U.S. embassy warned Americans to stay away from the Hamid Karzai Airport, citing an unspecific threat. “U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately,” the advisory read.

Kirby noted that the explosion on Thursday, which he described as a “complex attack” took place outside the Abbey Gate, a main entry point to the airport. Multiple outlets have reported that the blast was the work of a suicide bomber.

It’s unclear how many were killed or injured in the attacks. Reporters noted that at least 20 people had been brought to a nearby emergency room, according to The New York Times. The Times also noted that a witness told Afghanistan’s TOLO News that “dead bodies and wounded people were scattered everywhere after the explosion happened.”

The Hamid Karzai Airport has been swarmed with people as the U.S. continues to evacuate Americans and vulnerable Afghans from Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of the nation less than two weeks ago.

This story is developing.

Opinion | The Anti-Gay Agenda

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist