Stocks opened higher Tuesday but drifted lower in lackluster trading, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) closing essentially flat. The consumer sector led the market while industrials lagged.
As for individual stocks, Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB) rose on news that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is shuttering its restaurant food delivery service, and Casey’s General Stores (NASDAQ: CASY) reported a strong quarter.
Amazon is no longer a threat to Grubhub
Shares of food delivery specialist Grubhub jumped 8.3% on a report that Amazon will shut down its Amazon Restaurants food delivery service in the U.S. later this month. According to GeekWire, an Amazon spokesperson said the service will be discontinued as of June 24.
Grubhub has been feeling the heat of competition, but it hasn’t been from Amazon. According to Edison Trends, DoorDash has surpassed Grubhub to lead the market, and Uber isn’t far behind. Amazon’s share is insignificant compared with the 94% controlled by the top five entrants, but the specter of competition from the online giant weighs on investor sentiment for any stock that it seems to threaten.
Amazon Restaurants appears to be a failed experiment, something founder and CEO Jeff Bezos embraces as a sign of healthy risk-taking, but the company is continuing to invest in food delivery. Just last month, Amazon was the lead investor on a $575 million financing round for British food delivery service Deliveroo, and the company expanded grocery delivery from Whole Foods to 88 U.S. metro areas.
Casey’s reports strong sales gains
Casey’s General Stores beat expectations for its fiscal fourth quarter and gave an upbeat forecast for sales growth in the coming year, causing its shares to jump 10%. Revenue increased 4.3% to $2.18 billion and earnings per share came in at $0.68. Analysts were expecting Casey’s to earn $0.52 per share on revenue of $2.1 billion.
Same-store fuel gallons sold decreased 2.8%, but overall gallons sold rose 2.6% due to the contributions from new stores. Higher margin meant that total gross profit dollars from fuel rose 17% in the quarter. Grocery same-store sales were up 5.7% and margin improved 30 basis points to 31.5%. Same-store sales of prepared food grew 2% and margin jumped 2.5 percentage points to 62.2%.
Looking forward, Casey’s expects fiscal 2020 same-store sales of groceries to increase 2.5% to 4%, prepared food to rise 3% to 6%, and fuel sales to come in between a decline of 0.5% and growth of 1%.
Casey’s was once a consistent growth stock, but a two-year stretch of missing stated goals took a toll on its share price. Retiring CEO Terry Handley seems to have gotten the company back on track, and investors were celebrating that today.