Auto Parts Retailer Sent To Junkyard

One of these auto parts retailers is not like the other… 🤔

The troubles at Advance Auto Parts continue, with S&P Global Ratings downgrading the retailer’s credit rating to ‘junk’ status. The rating agency cut its issuer-credit rating to BB+, the highest speculative-grade rating. The downgrade from BBB- was accompanied by its outlook being cut from stable to negative. ⚠️

As for why it downgraded the company, S&P cited inconsistent execution in improving its inventory and product availability. Its ‘misguided strategic decision’ to try to preserve and expand its margins while competitors cut prices caused the company to lose already dwindling market share. Its revenue growth is flat YoY, while its peers have seen low-teen percentage growth.

Overall, its competitive standing in the industry has weakened due to major operational missteps that will take several quarters (or years) to address properly. 🗓️

While the downgrade pressured the stock further today, it likely didn’t come as a major surprise to anyone following the auto parts retailer space. Advance Auto Parts has lagged competitors AutoZone and O’Reilly Automotive for about eight years, with performance really diverging at the beginning of 2022. 😮

The news sent $AAP shares down 8% to 12-year lows as market participants look to salvage what’s left of their ‘junky’ investment. Today’s move brings the stock’s year-to-date return to -60%, with no turnaround in sight. 😬

GM Throws A Bone To Shareholders

Just weeks after securing a deal with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union that brought its employees back to work, General Motors is making a big move to appease investors.

The automaker announced today that it’s initiating a $10 billion buyback, increasing its dividend by 33%, and reinstating its full-year guidance. That’s despite a roughly $1.1 billion in EBITDA-related impact from the six weeks of labor strikes. 💰

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Several Corporate Shakeups

There were several high-profile management changes announced today. We’ve got you covered with a summary below. 📝

First up, the founder and CEO of dating app Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd, is planning to step down early next year as she transitions to a new role as executive chair. She’ll be replaced by Lidiane Jones, the current CEO of Salesforce’s cloud-based messaging platform Slack. The announcement came ahead of Bumble’s earnings results, which will be released Tuesday after the bell. Like other pandemic-era companies that came public during the bull market, Bumble’s share price has struggled since day one and is currently sitting at all-time lows. 📉

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“Meme Stock” Trend Misses $SDC

Investors hoping that SmileDirectClub would receive the same “meme stock” treatment as Yellow Corporation, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other bankruptcy filers were left severely disappointed. 😢

Friday after the bell, the dental aligner company announced that it filed for bankruptcy four years after raising $1.35 billion in its initial public offering (IPO). Its Chapter 11 filing and a loan of at least $20 million from the company’s founders will allow it to operate as it tries to reorganize. 

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Canon Pivots From Pics To Chips

The Japanese conglomerate is best known for its printers and cameras but hopes a business pivot will help get its stock price going again. 💡

Today, the company launched a tool that helps manufacture the most advanced semiconductors. Its “nanoimprint lithography” (NIL) system is the company’s attempt to compete with Dutch firm ASML, which leads the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machine industry. 

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