Saturday, August 24, 2013
As of 10:00:00 ET on 08/15/2013
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHM has been conducting for more than 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good”, “fair” or “poor”. The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as high to very high, average or low to very low. Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
Posted by Joel Salus at 5:59 AM
Article by Victoria Stilwell & Lorraine Woellert, reporting for Bloomberg.com, Aug 23, 2013
Link to article:
Posted by Joel Salus at 5:48 AM
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Link to article on Forbes.com
Posted by Joel Salus at 8:03 AM
Staples stock was down $2.25 per share when I checked it a few minutes ago.
Article by Saabira Chaudhuri on Aug 21st, reporting for MarketWatch.com
Staples Inc.'s SPLS -13.54% fiscal second-quarter earnings slumped 15% as the office-supply giant continued to be pressured by weak sales abroad, while North American retail sales also declined.
Citing weaker-than-expected results for its second quarter, Staples lowered its view for the year, now expecting sales to decline in the low single digits and per-share earnings to be $1.21 to $1.25. Staples previously said it expected sales to rise in the low single digits from a year earlier, along with per-share earnings of $1.30 to $1.35.
Staples, the largest office-supply chain in the U.S., has seen its profit challenged by an increasingly digitized office, broad-based weakness in Europe and Australia, and greater competition from mass merchants and online sellers. However online sales recently have been a relative bright spot, a trend that continued in the latest period, with the company logging 3% growth from Staples.com sales.
"We drove online sales growth and aggressively managed expenses during the second quarter, but this progress was offset by weakness in our retail stores and international businesses," Chief Executive Ron Sargent said Wednesday.
The company reported its North American same-store sales--which exclude sales from Staples.com--fell 3%, reflecting a decline in traffic and in order size. Meanwhile, Europe same-store sales slid 6% amid lower traffic.
For the quarter ended Aug. 3, Staples posted a profit of $102.5 million, or 16 cents a share, versus a year-ago profit of $120.4 million, or 18 cents a share, a share.
Sales fell 2.2% to $5.31 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently expected per-share earnings of 18 cents on revenue of $5.37 billion.
Gross margin narrowed to 25.6% from 26.1%. Operating expenses fell 1.7%.
At the North American commercial segment, which sells office products and services directly to businesses, sales grew 1.3%. North American stores and online sales slipped 2.3%. Meanwhile international sales declined 8.3%.
Shares of Staples closed Tuesday at $16.84 and were inactive in recent premarket trading. The stock has risen 14% in the past three months.
Posted by Joel Salus at 7:50 AM
Positive Trend Continues for Architecture Billings Index
All regions and buildings sectors see increasing demand for design services
For immediate release: Washington, D.C. – August 21, 2013 – The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) saw a jump of more than a full point last month, indicating acceleration in the growth of design activity nationally. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the July ABI score was 52.7, up from a mark of 51.6 in June. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).
The new projects inquiry index was 66.7, up dramatically from the reading of 62.6 the previous month.
“There continues to be encouraging signs that the design and construction industry continues to improve,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “But we also hear a wide mix of business conditions all over the country, ranging from outstanding and booming to slowly improving to flat. In fact, plenty of architecture firms are reporting very weak business conditions as well, so it is premature to declare the entire sector has entered an expansion phase.”
Key July ABI highlights:
• • Regional averages: Northeast (54.3), South (54.2), West (51.1), Midwest (50.8)
• • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (56.9), commercial / industrial (54.2), multi-family residential (53.3), institutional (50.6)
• • Project inquiries index: 66.4
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.
Contact: Scott Frank
Posted by Joel Salus at 7:10 AM