|Bid||157.57 x 900|
|Ask||157.66 x 900|
|Day's Range||156.42 - 162.23|
|52 Week Range||124.23 - 221.93|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.49|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||19.88|
|Earnings Date||Apr. 27, 2020 - May 03, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||5.00 (3.16%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Feb. 27, 2020|
|1y Target Est||204.34|
(Bloomberg) -- Some workers at Whole Foods Market stores across the U.S. called in sick on Tuesday, part of a coordinated action to demand more sick pay and protections for grocery store employees working through the coronavirus pandemic.It’s unclear how many people participated. An organizer said they didn’t have an estimate, and a Whole Foods spokeswoman didn't provide a tally, but said the strike hadn't disrupted operations.Bloomberg News interviewed workers in five states, from Illinois and Texas to the Eastern Seaboard, who say they joined colleagues calling in sick. They cite as reasons for participating fear of contracting or spreading the coronavirus to family members and disputes with managers about appropriate measure to protect themselves, among other things. The sickout strike is the latest in a string of efforts by employees of businesses that remain open during the pandemic to extract protections and better working conditions from their employers. Workers at Perdue Farms Inc., McDonald’s Corp., and General Electric Co. have protested. Walmart Inc. said this week it was experiencing higher than normal absenteeism among its workforce, but that it was "manageable." On Monday, some employees at Amazon.com Inc.’s Staten Island, New York, warehouse walked off the job to protest the company’s handling of coronavirus cases in the facility.Organizers of the Whole Foods action have circulated a petition signed by more than 10,500 people asking for paid leave for all workers who choose to isolate themselves, health care coverage for part-time employees and funds to cover testing and treatment of sick team members. Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, in January stopped providing health care benefits for part-time employees who work less than 30 hours a week. The upscale grocer has rolled out temporary raises of $2 an hour through April, increased overtime compensation, and says employees placed in quarantine or diagnosed with Covid-19 are eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave, policies in place throughout Amazon’s workforce. Rachel Malish, a Whole Foods spokeswoman, on Tuesday pointed to those actions and others the company says it’s taking to safeguard employees. “So far today we have seen no changes to overall absenteeism and we continue to operate all of our stores without interruption,” she said in an emailed statement. “There is no higher priority for us than taking care of our Team Members.” Malish said the critiques from “a small but vocal group” don’t accurately reflect the collective view of the grocer’s 95,000 employees. One Whole Foods worker in the Chicago area who joined the strike on Tuesday said working at the grocer felt like a public service a few weeks ago, when aisles were full of shoppers panic buying. But as business slowed to a more normal level—and the virus spread to communities across the country—the employee no longer thinks coming to work is worth the risk. “It’s really hard for people to stay safe,” the employee said. “Workers are being forced to choose between their safety and the safety of their loved ones and being able to pay their bills.”The worker spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation from her employer. Some Whole Foods workers said Amazon’s firing on Monday of Chris Smalls, an organizer of the Amazon walkout in Staten Island, made them reluctant to speak publicly. Amazon says he was dismissed for violating the terms of an company-ordered quarantine after he was sent home with pay for coming into contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19. Smalls disputes that. Strike organizers also called for Whole Foods to shut down any store where a worker tests positive for Covid-19, a demand grocery workers share with some of their colleagues employed in Amazon’s logistics network. Amazon, which says it’s doing enhanced cleaning of its facilities, has opted to keep warehouses where employees tested positive open, over the objection of some employees scared to return. The strike was called for by Whole Worker, a coalition of current and former employees that has been working to organize workers since 2018, initially with aid from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. An RWDSU spokeswoman said the New York based union isn’t involved in Tuesday’s action. Whole Foods, whose chief executive John Mackey once said was “beyond unions,” has resisted prior efforts by workers to organize, a similar stance to its corporate parent.(Updates with comments from Whole Foods spokeswoman)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Industries that missed out on the largest stimulus bill in U.S. history are already lobbying to ensure they get a piece of the next one.Restaurant owners are asking Congress for a new insurance program to cover pandemic-related losses. Hotel operators are pleading for larger loans. Renewable power developers want money to keep solar installers on the job. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pitching its initiative to rebuild roads and bridges.It’s a lobbying frenzy stoked by the $2 trillion spending bill signed by President Donald Trump on Friday to blunt economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.Lawmakers have made it clear further help is likely.“What we’ve done now is emergency relief,” Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, said on Bloomberg Television. “If the crisis continues for substantially longer I have no doubt that the Congress will have to act yet again.”White House officials have compiled lists of requests from government agencies totaling roughly $600 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The proposals include more state aid as well as financial assistance for mortgage markets and the travel industries.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday she did not expect agreement on another bill before April 20 and vowed that a future package would do more to protect workers and help states.“We are not coming back for a few weeks but I do think we can do our committee work in the meantime,” Pelosi told reporters on a conference call.Here are some of the industries that will be in line when the legislation comes together:Restaurants want insurance to cover shuttered eateriesRestaurateurs are looking to Congress to fill the gap for businesses that had business interruption insurance policies but haven’t been able to use them to cover Covid-19 claims. Many of those policies require a property to have suffered physical damage and some contain explicit exclusions for losses tied to viruses.Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs of the National Restaurant Association, said the group may intensify calls for the federal government to create a federally-backed business interruption insurance program. The group supports creating a $100 billion initiative, akin to safeguards established for the airlines after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, that could be used to pay for coronavirus and other future pandemic-related claims.Restaurants rely on business interruption insurance to weather “acts of God -- force majeure,” said Kennedy, whose group which represents thousands of restaurant owners and chains including McDonald’s Corp. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. “If this pandemic isn’t a force majeure with the federal government, with state governments ordering that we’d be closed, I don’t know what is.”Calls to raise the gas tax for Gateway, other projectsThe next stimulus bill should be heavy on infrastructure spending with the construction season approaching, and it should include raising the federal gas tax to pay for it, said Ray LaHood, a Republican and former transportation secretary under President Barack Obama who promotes infrastructure funding through the Building America’s Future coalition.“It’s got to be big, it’s got to be bold,” LaHood said.States have major projects underway or ready, and federal funds could finish them with state dollars used for other work, LaHood said. The bill should specifically provide money for the Gateway commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River between New Jersey and Manhattan that has been embroiled in a dispute with the Trump administration over funding, LaHood added.The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Democrat Peter DeFazio of Oregon, has already promised to “double down on an infrastructure package that repairs the breach left by years of neglect -- that rebuilds failing bridges, restores damaged highways and puts people to work on projects with jobs that cannot be exported.”Trump joined in on Tuesday, saying in a tweet that with interest rates close to zero, the time is right to enact a “very big and bold” $2 trillion infrastructure bill.Avoiding the ‘shovel-ready’ trapStimulus packages during the 2008-2009 recession sought to finance “shovel-ready” projects, only to have Obama later concede that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” because of the long lead times needed for major work.The best way to get projects done is to increase federal dollars for existing programs and funding streams, said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.“When you’ve got programs that you know already work, let’s utilize those to get the money out on the street as quickly as possible,” Tymon said.Doctors and hospitals say they need more money fasterHospital and doctors’ groups say they’re pushing on two fronts: getting the emergency funds to providers right now and persuading lawmakers to provide more money.Health organizations are asking the Department of Health and Human Services to start dispensing the emergency funds included in the rescue package signed into law Friday as soon as possible to help keep afloat hospitals, health centers, and doctors’ offices.“More will need to be done to deal with the unprecedented challenge of this virus,” the head of the American Hospital Association, Rick Pollock, said in a statement.Hospitals and surgery practices in particular have been warning they’re short of cash needed to pay staff partly due to the halt on most elective surgeries, which are more lucrative than emergency services typically related to treatment for Covid-19.Hotel groups want loans of up to 400% of costsThe American Hotel & Lodging Association is pushing lawmakers to lift a cap on small business loans that was set at 250% of monthly payroll last week. The trade group wants the threshold raised to 400% of operating costs -- a sum it says is needed so that owners can both pay employees and pay off their debts as travel business slowly returns.Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and policy for the U.S. Travel Association, said expanding the loan amount would “help folks retain employees.”“We view the bill that just passed as a relief package and in all likelihood we’re really going to have to probably seek replenishment and extension.”While the package passed last week set aside more than $70 billion to airlines and airports, some portions of the aviation industry weren’t included and may be asking for money in future legislation. For example, there are 256 towers at smaller U.S. airports operated by private companies that could seek federal assistance.Clean energy backers tie aid to oil purchaseA Trump administration plan to spend $3 billion buying as much as 77 million barrels of crude oil for the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve was cut from last week’s legislation, after Democrats made clear they would demand clean energy investments in exchange.That same trade could arise in another round, and lobbyists for electric vehicles, power storage companies and renewable electricity developers are already preparing.Wind and solar developers are asking for more time to get projects in service and still collect the full value of renewable energy tax credits that are set to begin phasing down next year.Direct payments sought for renewablesSome renewable advocates are asking Congress to allow companies to take direct payments from the Treasury in lieu of the existing tax credits, an approach that was used after the financial crisis a decade ago. They say the flexibility is needed as tax equity markets dry up, blunting the effectiveness of existing credits used to finance wind farms and solar arrays.“Companies are in dire need of emergency relief,” said Bill Parsons, chief operating officer for the American Council on Renewable Energy.Other clean energy advocates are looking for Congress to heighten spending on weatherization, efficiency and research and development programs.The nuclear power industry is seeking a 30% tax credit for some expenditures converted into grants among other aid, citing “severe financial strain” being experienced among utilities and reactor operators, according to the Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute.Auto-parts makers want tariff reliefThe trade association representing auto parts manufacturers intends to ask lawmakers to provide relief from tariffs on steel and aluminum products as well as imports from China, said Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs at the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.At a minimum, lawmakers should extend current exemptions to those tariffs for one year so that companies that have obtained waivers already don’t have to re-apply, the association’s president, Bill Long, said in a March 18 letter.MEMA and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents nearly every major automobile manufacturer, had asked lawmakers to provide loans and loan guarantees as vehicle production comes to a standstill.While the stimulus plan put “very important credit facilities and other programs in place” to help dealers, automotive suppliers and manufacturers, “we’re going to keep looking at the situation and we’ll have to see what more might be required,” said John Bozzella, president of the alliance.Broadcasters, newspapers want help with ad ‘carnage’Local broadcasters slammed by an abrupt slowdown in advertising say they, too, will seek relief in coming legislation.“The carnage in the local ad business is the worst in decades, if not ever,” said Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters. “Some radio and TV stations are not going to survive without additional steps.”Two newspaper trade groups also appealed for help “to sustain our local news ecosystem.”“The rapid contraction of advertising markets is dealing a brutal blow,” the News Media Alliance and America’s Newspapers said in a letter to Trump and congressional leaders. “While many publishers have seen increases in online traffic and digital subscriptions, the additional revenue has in no way made up for the sharp losses in ad revenue.”More help for governors to buy equipmentStates as well will be lining up for aid.Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who serves as the head of the National Governors Association, said Monday he has requested that “half of the next stimulus package go to states.”“No one in the country has enough gear,” Hogan said at a press conference Monday. “Every governor in America is concerned about that.”House Democrats -- including Pelosi -- already indicated that they would be receptive.(Updates with Trump tweet on infrastructure in 18th paragraph and section on hospital aid.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc., Instacart Inc. and other companies providing food, medicine and other essentials are about to find out whether the pandemic can accomplish what organized labor has struggled to do: give employees and contractors the leverage to extract better working conditions.Some employees at Amazon’s Staten Island, New York, warehouse walked off the job on Monday, calling for the company to shut the facility for extended cleaning after they say a number of their colleagues were diagnosed with Covid-19. Instacart workers called for a nationwide strike on Monday over safety and pay concerns. And, if a petition circulating online gets traction, workers at Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market plan to call in sick en masse on Tuesday.As coronavirus cases pop up at warehouses and supermarkets, workers -- cheered on by politicians and labor activists -- have begun demanding better pay, sick leave and on-the-job protections from the deadly respiratory virus. Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the U.S., has long been the target of efforts to organize its workforce. They have generally failed.“These things do sometimes take on a life of their own, and I wonder if we’re in one of those moments where workers are starting to stand up in greater and greater numbers because of the magnitude of the threat they’re facing,” said Brishen Rogers, an associate law professor at Temple University.Organizers face long odds should they pursue formal unionization. Forming unions in the U.S. is difficult, and the coronavirus has both flooded the market with potential new hires and made large labor rallies impractical. Organizers of the Staten Island walkout say more than 60 employees participated; video from a protest appeared to show a sparser crowd.“You could come out of this seeing much greater levels of worker organization within Whole Foods and Amazon that could in the future grow into formal unions,” Rogers said. In the meantime, “I think they’ll respond by changing policies, in part to avoid unionization.”In an emailed statement, Amazon said 15 people out of a workforce of 5,000 participated in the Staten Island demonstration, and called their critiques “completely unfounded.”“Our employees are heroes fighting for their communities and helping people get critical items they need in this crisis,” the company said. “Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable.” Amazon says it has stepped up cleaning inside its facilities, and that it is supporting employees diagnosed with Covid-19.Instacart said it has seen “absolutely no impact” from the strike and that workers’ earnings are up on average. The company added about 50,000 new workers as so-called Instacart shoppers in the last week, and there were 40% more people working on Monday compared with the same day last year, the company said. “Our goal is to offer a safe and flexible earnings opportunity to shoppers, while also proactively taking the appropriate measures to operate safely,” a spokeswoman for Instacart wrote in an email.A Whole Foods spokeswoman said the grocer is “committed to prioritizing our team members’ well-being, while recognizing their extraordinary dedication.” Despite the walkout and threatened sick-out at Whole Foods, Amazon shares climbed 3.4% Monday, closing at $1,963.95, alongside market-wide gains in the U.S.Worker protests over coronavirus workplace conditions have also recently hit companies like Perdue Farms, McDonald’s Corp. and General Electric Co., where employees at a Massachusetts site Monday protested -- standing six feet apart -- to demand the company deploy workers to manufacture ventilators in-house.Amazon boosted its $15 an hour starting pay in the U.S. by $2 an hour through the end of April, and raised overtime pay. Workers at an Amazon warehouse in northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe’s coronavirus outbreak, on Friday said they’d reached an agreement that guaranteed workers an additional five minute break to help practice personal hygiene, and made permanent temporary enhanced cleaning protocols rolled out during the pandemic.It remains to be seen whether Amazon will be pushed into broader concessions for the workers who pack and ship packages to customers. The U.S. labor market is teeming with millions of newly unemployed workers as large portions of the economy shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. Amazon has said it hopes to hire an additional 100,000 workers to deal with a surge in online shopping by people asked to stay home. Wholesale closings of large chunks of Amazon’s logistics network seem unlikely, say people who follow the company.Amazon’s responses to worker agita have been rolled out in piecemeal fashion over the last two weeks. When the first coronavirus cases appeared in European warehouses, the company began doing things like removing chairs from break rooms and turning off the metal detectors employees were previously asked to go through on their way out of buildings. Over the weekend, Amazon said it would begin screening some employees in the Seattle and New York areas for fevers, a program Amazon plans to roll out at sites nationwide.In the U.S., Amazon has also reoriented some work to spread out employees and closed locker rooms. Still several employees who work at facilities across the country have expressed alarm at the decision to keep some facilities with confirmed coronavirus cases open. The only Amazon warehouse known to have closed for an extended period -- a warehouse in Shepherdsville, Kentucky -- was set to reopen last week before the state governor intervened.Amazon says it follows public health recommendations for cleaning its sites, and that it reviews video footage to determine who sick employees came into extended contact with. Those workers are asked to go home and into a 14-day quarantine.Amazon has promised two weeks of sick pay to all employees diagnosed with Covid-19 or ordered into a quarantine; some workers, and a group of U.S. senators, say that’s insufficient.Emboldened workers can expect consumers to back them if they don’t think companies are protecting their health, said Nelson Lichtenstein, a history professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. “Here’s a crisis,” he said, “which makes it absolutely clear how important they are.”(Updates with Instacart reporting in the ninth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Some of the roughly 200,000 workers at U.S. online grocery delivery company Instacart said they were striking on Monday as labor unrest grows globally over safety and wages for people working through the coronavirus crisis. Workers at an Amazon.com Inc warehouse in Staten Island, New York also plan to walk off the job on Monday. It was not immediately clear how many Instacart workers were participating in the strike, organized by a group called the Gig Workers Collective, or what impact it might have on operations.
Yahoo Finance speaks with Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol on the state of his restaurant business amidst the coronavirus.
Grubhub founder and CEO Matt Maloney talks with Yahoo Finance about how the food delivery business is navigating the coronavirus pandemic.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: American Express, McDonald's, Walt Disney, UnitedHealth Group and International Business Machines
Yahoo Finance catches up with Yum! Brands CEO David Gibbs to discuss how his business is faring during the coronavirus.
Many major retailers say they can’t pay rent for the month of April — and they are asking their landlords for deferrals.
Restaurants in the United States have been forced to either shut doors or limit service to delivery and takeaway, pressuring operators that are struggling with staffing and plunging traffic, among other issues. "To simplify operations in our kitchens and for our crew ... we are working with our franchisees and local restaurants to focus on serving our most popular choices and will begin temporarily removing some items from the menu over the next few weeks," said Bill Garrett, senior vice president of operations for McDonald's USA in a statement to Reuters. The world's largest burger chain, McDonald's, was also considering deferring rent and service fees for its franchisees, who operate a majority of the company's restaurants in the United States.
As a $2 trillion relief package makes its way through the U.S. Congress, some investors are finding bargains in consumer discretionary stocks that have been battered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Provisions in the bill aimed at expanding unemployment benefits and supporting industries hit hardest by the pandemic - and thus keeping consumers' paychecks intact - would provide a boost to the sector, said Brian Jacobsen, a multi-asset strategist at Wells Fargo Asset Management. Nancy Tengler, chief investment officer of Laffer Tengler Investments, said her firm recently bought shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and off-price retailer TJX Companies Inc, and added to positions in Starbucks Corp and McDonald's Corp.
The Dow posted its best day since 1933 after lawmakers said that they were close to a deal on coronavirus rescue package. We have, thus, highlighted such components of the benchmark index that were up 10% or more.
In New York most restaurants are still offering takeout. Chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio says this is a bad idea.
Brands Inc's KFC fried chicken chain , Coca-Cola Co unit Costa Coffee and Subway sandwich shops were among restaurants that shuttered all locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland by the end of Monday to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The breadth of the closure ordered by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday reflects rising global urgency over the severity of actions needed to stop the virus. McDonald's, which had shut its dining rooms, extended closures to include take-out and drive-thrus, which have been spared so far in the United States.
Fast-food chains extending a hand to franchisees slammed by the fast-growing coronavirus pandemic. Wendy's said Thursday it's deferring rent and easing royalty and marketing fee payments for franchisees. Restaurant operators have been hit hard as customers stay home and governments force restaurants to switch to drive-through, take-out and delivery. Wendy's is extending payment terms for royalties and marketing funds by 45 days for the next three months. It's also deferring base rent payments by 50% during that period. It's joining other fast-food operators like Dunkin' Brands to provide some relief to its franchisees. McDonald's is also considering reducing some payments including rent. Wendy's also reported that same-store sales last week plummeted about 20%. And although it saw sales of its newly launched breakfast menu rise about 15% in the first week of March, it now plans to scrap additional marketing spending on that menu this year. Over at McDonald's, CNBC reports the Golden Arches is pulling its all-day breakfast menu to simplify operations so it can focus on serving the most popular items. The introduction of that all-day menu five years ago was one of the key factors in its turnaround. Shares of Wendy's and McDonald's rose in early trading Thursday. Fast-food chain Wendy's Co WEN.O/web/apps/quotewebapi?RIC=WEN.O said on Thursday it would defer rent and ease royalty and marketing fee payments for franchisees, amid growing pressure in the restaurant industry due to coronavirus-related outlet closures. The Ohio-based restaurant chain also reported same-store sales growth of only 2.8% so far in the first quarter and withdrew its forecasts, suspended share buybacks as the company prepares to battle the financial fallout of the pandemic.The U.S. restaurant industry is likely to be among the most severely hurt by the outbreak, as scared customers cook at home instead of dining out and governments force restaurants to shut dining rooms and switch to drive-thru, delivery and take-out only. The company said same-restaurant sales in the week ended March 22 fell about 20%. Analysts had anticipated a 4% growth in same-store sales for the quarter ending March, as the restaurant chain was expected to benefit from the launch of a breakfast menu earlier this month. The breakfast launch saw sales rise about 15% in the first week of March. However, Wendy's said on Thursday it now plans to scrap any additional marketing spend on its breakfast menu this year. The company joins a list of fast-food operators, who are providing some relief to its franchisees. Dunkin' Brands Group Inc DNKN.O/web/apps/quotewebapi?RIC=DNKN.O last week vowed to ease royalty payments, while McDonald's Corp MCD.N/web/apps/quotewebapi?RIC=MCD.N is considering a reduction in some payments, including rent for franchisees. (Full Storyreuters://REALTIME/verb=NewsStory/ric=nL1N2BC2K2)"This is an unprecedented time, and we are focused on the actions where we can make a positive difference," Wendy's Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor said. (Full Storyreuters://REALTIME/verb=NewsStory/ric=nPn7fvwrXa)Wendy's said it would extend payment terms for royalties and marketing funds by 45 days for the next three months and also defer base rent payments on properties owned by the company and leased to franchisees by 50% over the next three months.As seen across the globe, Wendy's is also seeing a surge in its delivery business and drive-thru services. It said that in the United States, the services saw a "significant increase", especially through last week.
Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi spoke to Yum! Brands CEO David Gibbs about the restaurant business amid the coronavirus pandemic and what his company is doing to adapt as consumers change their expectations and dining behavior.