5 Stocks in the News Thursday: TSLA, TPUB, WFM, FIT, KHC


U.S. stocks are higher on Thursday, ending two straight days of losses, as oil prices rose nearly 3% to $45.08 a barrel. Several stocks are making headlines this morning, including Tesla, Tribune Publishing, Whole Foods, Fitbit and Kraft Heinz.

1.     Tesla Motors (TSLA) Boosts Production

Tesla announced that it would be boosting its production forecast, citing higher demand for its Model 3. An influx of pre-orders for the company’s lower-priced model will allow Tesla to boost its production to 500,000 cars per year in 2018.

To bump its production this high, the company will need to invest $2.25 billion in capacity expansion.

Tesla reported a loss of 57 cents per share in the first quarter, slightly lower than analysts’ estimates of a 58-cent loss. Revenue was up 45% year-over-year to $1.6 billion.

The electric car company’s stock was up 3.8% in premarket trade Thursday.

2.     Tribune Publishing (TPUB) Rejects Gannett (GCI) Offer

Tribune Publishing turned down a buyout offer of $815 million from Gannett, despite posting a loss for the first quarter. The Chicago-based publisher posted a $6 million loss compared to its $2.5 million gain during the same period last year.

The loss was partly driven by a decline in advertising revenue at its newspapers. Ad sales totaled $215 million, down 4.4%. Digital revenue, however, climbed 15% to $5 million.

Tribune Publishing has been struggling for years to stabilize a company plagued by lower advertising revenues from its print publications.

3.     Whole Foods (WFM) Expands Rewards Program

In an effort to win over more customers, Whole Foods is expanding its rewards program. The company announced on Wednesday that it would be bringing the program to stores in the Dallas area as well as its 365 by Whole Foods shop in Los Angeles. The program will allow loyal shoppers to earn points that can be redeemed for free items and discounts each time they shop.

If all goes well in Dallas, the company will expand the program nationwide.

The move comes as the health food store chain continues to struggle with falling sales. Same-store sales were down 3% in the first quarter, although earnings were higher than expected at 44 cents per share.

4.     Fitbit (FIT) Tops Expectations

Fitbit posted positive first-quarter results, beating expectations at 10 cents per share. Revenue was at $505.4 million, which also topped estimates.

The company projects earnings per share of 8-11 cents in the current quarter. Revenue is forecasted to range between $565 million and $585 million.

5.     Kraft Heinz (KHC) Beats Estimates

Kraft Heinz posted surprise earnings of 73 cents a share on $6.57 billion in revenue, topping estimates of 63 cents a share on $6.47 billion.



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