Hedge Fund News Wrap: Week Ending 10/2/15

Dunkin’ Donuts Will Close 100 Stores 

(Fox Business) – Just a few days after “National Coffee Day,” one of the major players in coffee is taking a step back. Dunkin’ Brands Inc., the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced that they are closing 100 stores over the next 15 months. The stores that are getting the hatchet only make up 0.1% of U.S. sales.

The news sent shares down by more than 10% on Thursday, with shares falling 20% over the past three months. It is tough for the brand to point the finger at any one problem, as there has been no scandal, leadership issues, or negative spotlight placed on Dunkin’ recently. Nevertheless, there has been a 0.7% decline in traffic in the stores, leading one to think that may America does not indeed “run on Dunkin’.”

The coffee giant also maintained its full-year forecasts of adjusted earnings of $1.87-$1.91 per share and revenue growth of 6-8%, according to its investor day presentation. With three-quarters of its total revenue from its Dunkin’ Donuts stores in the United States throughout it’s 8,000+ stores, it does not seem that closing 100 stores is the be-all and end-all for DD.

Read the entire article at Fox Business
More coverage: Business Insider and CNBC

Car Sales Speed Up For September

(USA Today) – When it comes to sales, most companies in the car industry are cheerfully humming “Vroom vroom,” while Volkwagen is in the time-out chair begging for forgiveness following its scandal.

The month of September was very generous to Ford, Nissan, Subaru and Fiat Chrysler as U.S. auto sales grew. In first place, Subaru had an impressive 28% increase, Ford reported a 23% increase, followed by Toyota with 16%, then 14% up for Fiat Chrysler, and last but not least, 12% for General Motors. Amazingly, Fiat Chrysler extended its sales streak to 66 consecutive months of gains.

It was noted that compared to last year, Labor Day fell into the month of September this year, giving sales a boost. In fact, sales were the highest since July 2005, totaling 18.17 million

“All the domestic manufacturers have done quite well in large part because of the strength in sport utilities, crossovers and trucks,” Kelly Blue Book analyst Alex Gutierrez said in a conference call, according to USA Today.

Read the entire article at USA Today
More coverage: Wall Street Journal and The Seattle Times

Twitter Is Becoming Best Friends With Retailers

(CNBC) – If you’re anything like me, you have seen someone tweet about a product and thought to yourself, “I want to buy that,” and now Twitter is making your wildest dreams come true. Unless the tweet included information about where to buy the product or you had prior knowledge, it is a mystery as to how one could go about purchasing it. So Twitter decided to do something and has launched the “Buy Now” button for retailers.

Through e-commerce software companies like Shopify Inc. (SHOP), Bigcommerce and Demandware (DWRE) merchants are allowed to sell products directly on Twitter. Staggering numbers indicate that more than 50 million tweets in a single month include “I want” or “I need,” while over 100 million people follow a brand or a merchant on Twitter. The “Buy Now” button creates a seamless thought of “I want” to an action of “I bought,” a dream turned reality for shoppers of all types.

“We think of Twitter as the world’s largest direct-to-customer channel,” Twitter’s head of commerce Nathan Hubbard said. “We have been from the beginning working to try to make those conversations transactional while appropriate. Brands are building direct relationships with customers and they’re using platforms to build those direct relationships. What they don’t always have is distribution.”

Apparently Pinterest and Facebook have also been playing with the idea, but have yet to report numbers. What about you, Instagram? I suppose time will tell.

Read the entire article at CNBC
More coverage: Fortune and StreetInsider.com