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Instacart confidentially files for U.S. IPO

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© Reuters. Smartphone with displayed Instacart logo is seen in this illustration taken March 25, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files

(Reuters) – Grocery delivery app Instacart Inc said late Wednesday it has confidentially filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with U.S. securities regulators.

The San Francisco-based startup did not specify its IPO size, price range nor details on when the listing is expected to hit the market.

The company, a pandemic darling as doorstep delivery boomed, had cut its valuation by nearly 40% to about $24 billion in March, in an unusual move that showed how market volatility affected high-flying private companies.

Reuters had reported last year that the delivery platform is considering going public through a direct listing, concerned that it could leave money on the table through a traditional IPO.

A listing could happen as soon as this year though the timing could slip, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday, adding that the company could still remain private.

Instacart is working with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) on an offering, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter.

Representatives for Instacart, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for a comment.

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Kim Kardashian Named Beyond Meat’s First Chief Taste Consultant, Shares Fail to Hold on to Gains

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© Reuters. Kim Kardashian Named Beyond Meat’s (BYND) First Chief Taste Consultant, Shares Fail to Hold on to Gains

Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND), the maker of plant-based meat substitutes, announced it is launching a campaign with the beauty icon Kim Kardashian.

Kardashian will help the California-based company’s unique product portfolio attract more attention through advertising, signature recipes, and fresh creative content.

“I’ve been focusing on going more plant-based and can tell you that Beyond Meat is my absolute favorite – I love how all their products not only taste amazing but are also good for me and my family. Plus, my kids are obsessed with my Beyond Beef® taco recipe, the Beyond Burger® for BBQs, and Beyond Chicken® Tenders for a quick snack,” said Kim Kardashian.

Kardashian added she is honored to be involved in the new Beyond Meat campaigns as the company’s Chief Taste Consultant “to inspire people to include Beyond Meat in their diets.”

Furthermore, the celebrity will also share thoughts on her favorite Beyond Meat offerings through the newsletter which will contain exclusive offers, recipes, and more.

Even though Kardashian is very cautious when teaming up with brands, her decision to collaborate with Beyond Meat was not surprising as she has been a long-time fan of the company’s products and vision.

Apart from Kim, Beyond Meat collaborates with a number of beloved celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Liza Koshy, Kevin Hart, and Shay Mitchell, among others.

“I am really inspired by Beyond Meat’s mission and love that they are not only making plant-based eating delicious and accessible but are doing so in a way that benefits both people and the planet. It’s empowering to know that the small changes I’m making for my family, like incorporating more Beyond Meat into our meals, can add up to make a big impact,” Kardashian added.

Beyond Meat stock price initially rose 10% on the news before erasing all gains to trade over 5% in the red.

By Senad Karaahmetovic

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Ralph Lauren expects margins to grow as rich customers shrug off inflation

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks past Ralph Lauren Corp.’s flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, U.S., April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Praveen Paramasivam

(Reuters) -Ralph Lauren Corp forecast higher sales and improved margins for the year as demand for its luxury apparel in its biggest markets in North America and Europe stays strong at a time when inflation is denting profits at major U.S. retailers.

The spending power of higher-income customers has stayed unaffected by higher prices of essentials, and they are now splurging on fashion as they venture out more with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the globe.

“Consumers are starting to go out during the day, so there’s a need for sports coat, outerwear and dresses. And then they return to social activities in the evenings or on the weekend,” Chief Executive Officer Patrice Louvet said on an earnings call on Tuesday.

The 55-year-old brand also forecast revenue to increase in high single digits, versus Wall Street’s expectation of a 3.6% increase, according to Refinitiv IBES.

Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL), which said it could raise prices further to counter increased freight and product costs, forecast fiscal 2023 gross margin to increase 30 to 50 basis points on a comparable, constant currency basis.

Major discount chains, meanwhile, have seen their profits dwindle. Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Inc, Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) and Kohl’s Corp (NYSE:KSS) have reduced their earnings expectations.

Shares of Ralph Lauren fell 2% amid broader declines, after the company also forecast gross margin to be down for the first half of fiscal 2023 due to higher expenses and a strong dollar.

The brand said its forecasts take into account a potentially softer consumer sentiment in Europe and the impact of Chinese lockdowns. Still, Ralph Lauren expects its business in China to grow this year.

For Ralph Lauren, which increased its quarterly dividend by 9%, fourth-quarter net revenue rose 18% to $1.52 billion, beating estimates of $1.46 billion. Adjusted per-share profit was 49 cents, above estimates of 36 cents.

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Snowflake Stock Plunges 7% Despite Rosenblatt Upgrade to Buy on Valuation and Growth

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© Reuters. Snowflake (SNOW) Stock Plunges 7% Despite Rosenblatt Upgrade to Buy on Valuation and Growth

By Senad Karaahmetovic

Shares of Snowflake Inc (NYSE:SNOW) are down more than 7% today on broader sector weakness despite the fact that Rosenblatt analyst Blair Abernethy upgraded it to Buy from Neutral.

A new price target is $255.00 per share, down from the prior $325.00. The upgrade call comes as the company prepares to report Q1 results on Wednesday after market close.

“Given the ongoing enterprise Digital Transformation momentum, strong Q1 growth reported by the leading Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), and Snowflake’s healthy +160% Net Revenue Retention (NRR) rate, we expect Snowflake to meet or marginally exceed our Q1 Product Revenue growth estimate of 81% y-o-y,” Abernethy said in an upgrade note.

The price target implies a near 100% upside from current levels.

As of 10:15 EST, Snowflake stock price trades at $128.89.

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