Dollar General's CEO Comeback

Plus, LendingClub to lay off 14%.

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Today is Friday, October 13, 2023.

The Early Bird Index today is 55.06.

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Dollar General's CEO Comeback

Dollar General (NYSE: DG) popped 8.27% in after-hours trading on Thursday after announcing a leadership change.

Details: Former CEO Todd Vasos is returning to the chief executive role. He will succeed Jeff Owen, who resigns immediately. Vasos previously served as CEO from June 2015 to November 2022.

Background: During Vasos’ time as CEO, Dollar General expanded its store base and increased annual sales revenue by over 80%. Since he left, the company has performed poorly. Financial results were lower than expected and several analysts downgraded the stock.

Quote: “At this time the Board has determined that a change in leadership is necessary to restore stability and confidence in the Company moving forward.” - Michael Calbert, Chairman of Dollar General’s Board of Directors.

Also: Dollar General gave a financial update on Thursday. The company expects both earnings and same-store sales growth to decline in the quarter.

Stock Price: Dollar General is down 58% this year, including a 15% drop in the last 30 days.

Final Thoughts: Going back to go forward? That’s what Dollar General has to do by bringing back its former CEO. 2023 has not been kind to the company.

This platform’s 77% return is an outlier, but there's more

The news is true: Masterworks’ 15th sale just weeks ago returned an impressive 77% to investors. While such a high return is an outlier for the blue-chip art investing platform, every one of their sales to date has returned a profit to investors. 

In full, Masterworks has over 300 paintings and their 16 exits have delivered: 32%, 39.3%, 36.2%, 27.3%, 9.2%, 33.1%, 21.5%, 17.8%, 13.9%, 35%, 10.4%, 325.5%, 4.1%, 17.6%, and 77.3%, net annualized returns*. 

Even more impressive, every sale but one outperformed the stock market in the period from when it was offered to when it was sold. 

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Notable Earnings Today: Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM), UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), Citigroup (NYSE: C), BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), PNC (NYSE: PNC).

Notable IPOs Today: N/A.

Notable Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns Ending Today: Inrive (Honeycomb), Death Comes Lifting (Honeycomb), XSurgical (Netcapital), CheeseCaked (Mainvest).

Notable Economic Events Today: Export Price Index / Import Price Index (8:30 a.m. ET), Michigan Consumer Expectations / Sentiment (10:00 a.m. ET).

LendingClub to Lay Off 14% of Workforce

Shares of the financial services company LendingClub (NYSE: LC) increased by 5.13% in after-hours trading on Thursday after the company announced that it is laying off 14% of its staff.

Details: LendingClub said that the layoff would impact 172 employees and it would save the company between $30 million to $35 million.

Quote: “We continue to proactively implement various measures to navigate the persistent and ongoing macroeconomic headwinds and the resulting pressure in our marketplace, primarily driven by higher interest rates.” - CEO Scott Sanborn.

Also: The company also gave preliminary financial results for the quarter. LendingClub expects revenue to be between $198 million to $200 million.

Stock Price: LendingClub is down 35% this year, including a 17% drop in the last 30 days.

Final Thoughts: It’s been a tough year for financial services companies, and that includes LendingClub. These stocks are tough to trust in the short term.

Rite Aid Has More Problems

Shares of Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) fell by 9.84% in after-hours trading on Thursday after the company said it would file its quarterly report late.

Final Thoughts: Rite Aid, down 76% this year, is in financial peril. Hundreds of stores have shut down and the company is reportedly considering bankruptcy.

Trends to Watch

Interest Rates: The Fed Is Putting Too Much Faith in Markets (Wall Street Journal)

Starting Off on the Wrong Foot: Birkenstock's stock loses footing in second day on Wall Street (Reuters)

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