Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is not worried about an economic slowdown as the U.S. consumer is still in a strong place.Banksread more
Target CEO Brian Cornell says he's encouraged by Trump's decision to postpone some consumer-oriented tariffs that were supposed to start Sept. 1.Retailread more
Corporate debt recently passed the $1 trillion mark in a continuing sign of global financial displacement.Marketsread more
President Trump insists the economy is healthy and says the only thing holding U.S. growth back is the Federal Reserve.Marketsread more
Trump said he has "been thinking about payroll taxes for a long time" — and he cautioned that "whether or not we do something now, it's not being done because of recession."Politicsread more
Target shares opened at record high after the retailer beat second-quarter earnings expectations and boosted its full-year estimates.Retailread more
Transports are stuck at a red light this month, but Old Dominion Freight Line has managed to steer clear of the trouble.Trading Nationread more
Sanders' sweeping proposal would make it easier for workers to join unions and end the so-called right-to-work laws recently favored by the GOP.2020 Electionsread more
Fitbit is hoping to shift its business model from relying on hardware sales to selling health plans and governments on software and services.Technologyread more
Lowe's also tops rival Home Depot on same-store sales growth in the U.S.Retailread more
"Under the guidance of the new CEO, Lowe's is getting its act together," says Oppenheimer's Brian Nagel. "If we're right here and this continues, this stock has a long way to...Retailread more
* M&S due to publish full-year results on May 22
* 2018-19 pretax profit at M&S forecast down 11%
* Underlying clothing and food sales both seen lower
* Cutting dividend to part-finance Ocado deal
LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) - Profit at Marks & Spencer is expected to fall for the third year in a row next week, with underlying sales poised to slip as the British retailer works through a painful "transformation plan."
M&S set out on its latest turnaround, which follows a decade of failed reinventions, shortly after retail veteran Archie Norman joined as chairman in 2017 to work alongside Steve Rowe, who became chief executive in 2016 and has been with the company for almost three decades.
The 135-year-old mainstay of British shopping streets said in May last year it was targeting sustainable, profitable growth in three to five years by closing weaker stores, re-shaping its clothing and food businesses, cutting costs and investing in technology.
M&S wants to make at least a third of its clothing and home sales online by 2022 and as part of its transition struck a 1.5 billion pound ($1.9 billion) online food joint venture with Ocado in February, giving it a home delivery service from September 2020 at the latest.
But the plans have yet to have an impact its shares, which are down nearly a third over the past two years, once again putting M&S in danger of dropping out of the FTSE 100 which it has been a member of since the index began in 1984.
Once a British institution, M&S has fallen out of fashion over the last decade and its recovery is being hampered by difficult market conditions, particularly in clothing.
"The UK apparel market still looks under pressure, and Kantar data suggests M&S full price sales have been lagging peers. Not all of this seems due to the space closure program," UBS analyst Andrew Hughes said.
Analysts on average expect M&S to report a pretax profit before one-off items of 519 million pounds for its year to March 31, 2019, down from the 581 million pounds made in 2017-18.
They are forecasting a fall of 1.4% in like-for-like clothing and home sales, while like-for-like food sales are forecast to be down 2.4%, partly reflecting management's moves to make the business more competitive by cutting prices.
"The downward trend to estimates is clearly unhelpful for M&S and needs to be slowed and reversed for the shares to perform," analysts at Barclays said.
M&S is financing the cost of the Ocado deal by raising up to 600 million pounds in a rights issue, with details due to be revealed after next week's results, as well as a 40% dividend cut, with a reduced final dividend for 2018-19 of 7.1 pence. ($1 = 0.7843 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Alexander Smith)