The Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs of nearly 200 major U.S. corporations, gave a new definition of the "purpose of a corporation."Marketsread more
Stocks rose sharply on Monday as Treasury yields rebounded, quelling fears of a possible recessionUS Marketsread more
J.P. Morgan estimates the average annual tariff cost per household will be $1,000 with the new round of Trump's tariffs.Marketsread more
Since its IPO 15 years ago, Google has become more and more powerful. Today, that power is being highly scrutinized.Technologyread more
Sequoia's Michael Moritz says that direct listings worked for Spotify and Slack and will become more common for companies with "courage and intelligence."Technologyread more
Shares of embattled utility PG&E plummeted after a judge ruled that a jury can decided whether it should pay up to $18 billion in damages.Marketsread more
The attacks come after state and local ransomware attacks in New York, Louisiana, Maryland and Florida resulted in the loss of significant sums.Technologyread more
The New York City police officer who used a chokehold on Eric Garner in an encounter that ended with Garner's death has been fired, New York City Police Commissioner James...Politicsread more
These are the stocks posting the largest moves midday.Market Insiderread more
The president said the Fed has been hampered by a "horrendous lack of vision" and said it should institute 100 basis points worth of reductions in its benchmark rate.Marketsread more
Investors should be careful not to buy or sell stocks based on last week's brief inversion of the yield curve in the bond market, CNBC's Jim Cramer warns.Investingread more
* Q3 sales 2.003 bln euros, up 2.5 pct like-for-like
* Sees full year underlying op. profit growth around 8 pct
* Shares dip, raised guidance now in-line with consensus (Adds details from CEO interview, shares, analyst)
PARIS, April 18 (Reuters) - French spirits maker Pernod Ricard, which is being targeted by activist investor Elliott, raised its profit outlook on bets cost savings and Chinese demand will offset a slowdown in quarterly sales growth.
Pernod, the world's second-largest spirits group after Diageo, is hoping cost cuts, expansion into profitable premium brands such as Malfy gin and sustained demand for Martell cognac in China will underpin sales growth and profits.
"We upgraded our ambition for the year. This truly reflects the efficiency of our strategy plan," CEO Alexandre Ricard told Reuters.
Pernod, which also makes Mumm champagne, Jameson whiskey and Absolut vodka, is now targeting a rise of around 8 percent in profit from recurring operations for its 2019 financial year, at the top of 6-8 percent growth guidance given in February.
Nevertheless, Pernod shares slipped 0.6 percent in early trading. The stock has risen around 10 percent so far in 2019, as some analysts said Pernod's new guidance was reassuring but in line with what investors were already expecting.
A slight slowdown in Pernod's sales growth also contributed to the dip in Pernod shares.
"While the guidance for the top of the range is reassuring, the consensus is already on an 8 percent rise for FY 19, so we do not see upgrades from there," wrote brokerage Liberum.
THE SHADOW OF ELLIOTT
Pernod is under pressure from U.S. hedge fund Elliott to improve profit margins and corporate governance.
In February, Pernod vowed to lift its margins and shareholder returns under a three-year strategic plan that Elliott described as a first small step..
Ricard said Pernod was in regular contact with Elliott.
"There is a regular dialog between the teams, but we do not see them more than other shareholders. My ambition remains to deliver on our strategic plan, that's my motto," he said.
Pernod Ricard has announced plans for 100 million euros in cost savings to drive this margin expansion. It reiterated on Thursday that it expected to deliver 200 million euros in savings by June, a year ahead of initial target.
Pernod has said its goal for the 2019-2021 period is to lift group operating profit margins by 50-60 basis points per year, provided it could deliver annual organic sales growth of 4-7 percent.
Given its organic sales growth of 6.3 percent in the first nine months of the current financial year, Pernod Ricard said on Thursday that it was looking for a 50 basis points improvement in its operating profit margin for the full year.
($1 = 0.8854 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)