Strong U.S. jobs data raises odds of Fed rate rise, hits Asian stocks

data appeared to have overshadowed other data including figures from China on Sunday that showed a surge in exports in February.

“The spectre is that of a Fed hiking rates into an economic slowdown, and a higher dollar and higher real rates taking further steam out of the economy. debt yields jumped, with the yield on 10-year notes surging to a 10-week high of 2.259 percent. Who should cheer that?” analysts at Reorient Research said in a note.

On Wall Street, the SP500 Index fell 1.4 percent to a three-week low on Friday. non-farm payrolls (NFP) data on Friday showed the unemployment rate hit a 6-1/2-year low of 5.5 percent in February.

In Asia, the Australian and New Zealand dollars hovered near one-month lows.

Money market futures prices were almost fully pricing in a first Fed rate hike by the summer.

(Editing by Edmund Klamann Kim Coghill)

The Aussie was at $0.7710, close to a six-year low of $0.7627 plumbed last month but finding some support after Australian job ads rose for the ninth straight month in February.

A man looks at electronic boards showing the graph of the recent fluctuations of the Japan's Nikkei average (L) and the Japanese yen's exchange rate against the U.S. Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner than previously thought.

“This sustained policy divergence with other major developed economies means that the dollar should continue to strengthen.”

Stock markets across Asia, including Japan’s Nikkei, Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia fell broadly, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropping 1.2 percent.

The dollar fetched 120.95 yen, having hit a three-month high of 121.29 yen.

U.S. SP futures were slightly weaker on Monday.

The dollar index, which rose 1.28 percent on Friday in its biggest daily gain since July 2013, advanced further to trade at 97.80, its highest level in 11-1/2 years.

While the futures markets were quick to price in improved odds of the Federal Reserve raising rates in June or September, analysts pointed to historically low inflation in the United States and slowing growth as reasons to be worried.

Wage gains were only slight, yet the data stoked expectations that the Fed was now likely to drop a reference to ‘patience’ on the timing of a rate hike at its next policy meeting on March 18, thus opening the door for a June rate rise.

Gold also fell to three-month low of $1,164.10 per ounce on Friday. dollar (2nd L) and various stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo December 24, 2014.

The euro fell as low as $1.0822 in early Monday trade and last stood at $1.0850.

The New Zealand dollar stood at $0.7350, having been one of the worst performers after a near 2 percent fall to a low of $0.7357 on Friday.. dollar (2nd L) and various stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo December 24, 2014. jobs data fanned expectations that the U.S. On Monday, the yield last stood at 2.249 percent.

Richard Jerram, Chief Economist, Bank of Singapore, expects to see the euro at $1.05 by year end, and yen at 125 per dollar.

A man looks at electronic boards showing the graph of the recent fluctuations of the Japan’s Nikkei average (L) and the Japanese yen’s exchange rate against the U.S. U.S. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files”/></p>
<p>Link this</p>
<p>Share this</p>
<p>Digg this</p>
<p>By Hideyuki Sano and Vidya Ranganathan</p>
<p>European stock markets were expected to do likewise, with financial spreadbetters expecting Britain’s FTSE 100 to open down 0.5 percent, Germany’s DAX off 0.5 percent, and France’s CAC 40 to ease 0.4 percent.</p>
<p>TOKYO Mon Mar 9, 2015 12:21pm IST</p>
<p>“The Fed will not jump the gun on this NFP read, and will be willing to wait, but we will not wager on unconditional patience indefinitely,” Mizuho said.</p>
<p>“Irrespective of whether the first interest rate hike comes in June or September, we are concerned that the market is underestimating the speed and scale of tightening over the following couple of years,” he wrote to clients.</p>
<p>Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino/Files</p>
<p>Analysts at Mizuho Bank said job growth was still uneven across sectors and wage inflation was soft, hence the February job data was not an “unequivocally green light” for a June rate rise.</p>
<p>But analysts also warned that the Chinese data was likely to be distorted due to the timing of the Lunar New Year.</p>
<p>The U.S. Early on Monday it traded at $1,169.90.</p>
<p>TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks buckled while the dollar held firm on Monday after strong U.S</p>
	</div><!-- .entry-content -->

	<footer class= Posted on Categories UncategorizedLeave a comment

Netflix announces Australian pricing and content after Reddit leak

The company has been smart in its move to the land Down Under by looking the other way with regards to Australians using VPN workarounds to access the U.S. On Monday morning, the leaked pricing details were confirmed via a Netflix press release emailed to Mashable.

The cheapest monthly fee in the tiered-subscription model is the standard definition, single device plan for a measly A$8.99, while the HD, double-device plan is A$11.99 and a 4K ultra-high def package, which allows streaming on four devices, goes for A$14.99. is very similar to the Aussie offering — with standard definition streaming offered for U.S. $11.99.


The company is launching locally with a stable of programs such as Netflix originals Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, which will be the main draw cards for Australian consumers.

Data limits won’t be a problem for Aussie consumers of Internet service providers Optus or iiNet, with both companies previously confirming that they would allow un-metered Netflix watching.

Netflix has content deals with a range of production companies to bulk up its local catalogue such as BBC, FOX, NBC Universal, Village Roadshow Entertainment, Australian Broadcast Corporation, Walt Disney and Warner Bros.


The leaked pricing.

Pricing in the U.S. There will be no penalty for living on the other side of the world, with Netflix confirming that both shows will be available at the same time in Australia as in the U.S.

See also: Finally, Netflix announces launch date for Australia and New Zealand

The company has previously been coy regarding the local release of Orange is the New Black, with the rights in Australia thought to be tied up with pay television company Foxtel. $7.99, HD two-stream for U.S. Now, in another smart marketing ploy, Netflix Australia has undercut all its local competition in price for its standard subscription.. $8.99 and the family model for U.S. Competitor product Stan serves all definition models for A$10, with Presto available in standard definition for A$9.99 and Quickflix also sitting at A$9.99. To push strongly into the Australian market, Netflix will also offer consumers a month’s free subscription trial (a deal also available on Stan and Presto).

Netflix announces Australian pricing and content after Reddit leak

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Netflix Australia has released its content catalogue and pricing a day out from its March 24 launch, after the details were leaked on reddit on Sunday. version, therefore creating mass hype for a product before a local edition was even close to launch. It is likely, given the recent price drops from local players, that there will be further price point shifting in the near future

Why LinkedIn Stock Isn’t a Good Bet

In this case I believe it to be another example of “the triumph of hope over experience.” Investors seem to be willing to accept the high probability of low returns in exchange for the small chance of a home run or, possibly even more important, a great story to tell at the next cocktail party.

© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc..

1999 was a spectacular one for IPOs with 555 companies raising a record $73.6 billion. The amount raised surpassed the previous record, set in 1996, by almost 50 percent. That may explain why LinkedIn’s price jumped. Bancorp Piper Jaffray study covering the period May 1988-July 1998 and 4,900 IPOs found that less than one-third were above their IPO price by July 1998. By comparison, the SP 500 had a total return of 472% during the same period. He also found that 46 percent of IPOs produced negative returns.

LinkedIn’s (LNKD) stock has certainly had an outstanding start, jumping from its initial public offering of $45 per share to a high of $122 before retreating slightly. All Rights Reserved.

Last Updated May 19, 2011 4:39 PM EDT

More on MoneyWatch:

What Does Passive Management Actually Mean? Municipal Bonds: Was Meredith Whitney Right? Why Buying Money-Losing Investments Can Be a Good Strategy Investors Lose $113 Billion on Complex Investments Gold and Silver, What Goes Up…

Three ways I can help you become a wiser investor:

A study covering the period 1988-1995 and 1,232 IPOs found very similarly disappointing results with 25 percent of all offerings actually closing the first day of trading below their offering price. He found that the median IPO underperformed the Russell 3000 by 30 percent in the three years after going public. In addition, “almost a third weren’t even trading any longer (having gone bankrupt, been acquired or no longer trading in an active markets).”. However, rushing to buy the stock may not be a smart move, if history plays out like it has for most IPOs.

An important myth that needs exposing is that IPOs make great investments. Second, even when informed, investors often act in what appear to be irrational ways. The study also found that the IPOs defined as “extra hot,” meaning they rose 60 percent or more on the first day of trading, were the very worst performers going forward-over the next year they underperformed the market by 2-3 percent per month.

University of Florida finance professor Jay Ritter looked at 1,006 IPOs that raised at least $20 million from 1988-1993. Let’s look at the reality of actual performance of IPOs.

Another study examining the performance of 1993’s IPOs through the period of mid-October 1998 found that the average IPO had returned just one-third as much as the SP 500 Index. However, investors who bought at the first day’s closing price didn’t do nearly as well. The median increase after three months was zero percent, meaning that half of all issues lost money. Internet-related IPOs since mid-1995 were trading below their offering price at the time of publication.

In the face of this poor performance, why do investors continue to chase the latest IPO? I believe there are two explanations for this seemingly irrational behavior. Amazingly, more than one-half were trading below their offering price, and one-third were down more than 50 percent!

A U.S. Even more amazing, nearly three-fourths of all U.S. Wall Street loves IPOs because they generate great fee income. First, unless an investor happens to read scholarly publications such as the Journal of Finance, he or she is unlikely to be aware of the facts. For all IPOs, the median first day performance was 30 percent. Investors seem to buy them with almost the same frenzy with which they buy lottery tickets as they desperately search for the next Microsoft (MSFT), AOL (AOL) or Cisco (CSCO)

The Other Side Of The Big Game

“They just have to ignore it, and it’s really difficult in this area because of all the hype about the Eagles,” said Harvey Fogel, a compulsive gambling counselor. “You want to hear every nuance, every detail, every injury report. Like others in his group, he did not want his name published.

carousel, British adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild sails as the ‘Plastiki’ arrives at Sydney Harbour, completing the 12,860 kilometre journey from San Francisco to raise environmental awareness on July 26, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. That starts thinking in people like, `Well, maybe this one time, I can do it,”‘ Warner said.

It is an opportunity to salvage a losing season, a chance to erase debts with one big victory – lots of chances, in fact: There are dozens of possible bets, including who wins the coin toss, whether the game’s first punt will hit the ground or be caught cleanly and whether the reigning champs’ point total will be an even number or an odd one.

And come Monday, the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline run by the New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling expects to see its annual spike, with bottomed-out gamblers seeking help. “It’s the trifecta: We’ve got football, the Super Bowl and my favorite team playing.”. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

For gambling addicts like these, the Super Bowl is anything but. One remembered the Super Bowl Sunday he spent babysitting his granddaughter, only to find himself with an uncontrollable urge to bet $10,000 on the game, 10 years after his last bet.

Nevada sports books anticipate taking up to $100 million in legal bets on Sunday’s game. I told myself I had to stop the insanity,” he said.

Others spend the week scrambling to raise money to pay their debts and end up calling for help the following week.

That’s a difficult proposition, especially here – in a southern New Jersey community awash in Philadelphia Eagles fever. But not for me. It’s a whole thing. All a gambler needs is a telephone or a computer.

“I’ll watch the game and my family will have a pool and it’s just normal for them. Millions more dollars are expected to be wagered on the Internet.

To recovering gamblers whose passion was sports betting, the Super Bowl means super temptation.

“They say ‘I’ve had it,’ or ‘I thought for sure so-and-so would win,’ or ‘I took the points,”‘ said Weed.

By John Curran

Then there was the newcomer, facing his first Super Bowl since he quit a lifelong addiction in which he bet up to $12,000 a game on the NFL.

“There’s a romanticism to it,” said one recovering sports bettor, a 41-year-old man from New England who asked that his name not be used. There, the game also is the subject of advertising, news media coverage, office pools and watercooler talk.

“It’s kind of a ‘We can’t lose’ attitude and I’m sure that’s sending signals to people that it’s a sure bet, that if you’re going to bet, this is the time to do it. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. “If they were in Minnesota, it wouldn’t be that big a deal. It’s worse here, there’s more hype because of the Eagles.”

“Certainly, this is a hard time for folks in recovery from sports betting,” said Marlene Warner, program director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. Typically, the lines see a 50 percent increase in calls in the week following the game, according to Ed Weed, who runs it.

“It’s a tough week,” he told the gathering. “In particular, the media’s hyping the Super Bowl, saying it’s a dynasty here in New England and the Patriots are favored to win.

Many others will bet with bookies who accept wagers on credit. The buildup can be even worse: It is a time to relive bad memories, to fight gnawing temptations, to avoid thinking about the event everyone seems to be talking about.

For the Gamblers Anonymous newcomer who placed his last bet in mid-November, this Super Sunday will be unlike any he can remember. CBS

One by one, they filed in for a Tuesday night meeting of Gamblers Anonymous.

One man wore an Eagles sweatshirt. There are “Go Eagles” signs on cars, grocery store circulars advertising Super Bowl snacks and seemingly non-stop coverage of Terrell Owens’ injury on radio and TV.

© 2005 CBS Interactive Inc. You’re romantically connected to the sport and to the players.”

The same is true in New England, where Patriots fans are immersed in the team’s hunt for a third NFL title in four years. All Rights Reserved

Some Sports Betting Basics

Do you desire to be a destructive or conventional games investor? Are you a skilled sports gambler or a beginner? How you recognize yourself as an investor will help out you decide the amount of your stake.

This gambling method is one of the most fashionable games betting methods accomplished by many sports gamblers. The standard at this juncture is that they be capable of forever adding some more financial credit out-of-the-way from what they usually have in their bank account.

Bankroll and Risk Capital

The next standard is to recognize what type of saver you would like to be. For skilled gamblers, they make convinced that they recognize how a lot of money they ought to have in their fund in order to defend their funds from the threat of trash.

Unit volume

Sport gambling is such an excellent speculation specially that it doesn’t need any special talents and familiarity unlike any additional form of speculation that you actually have to spend your time and stab. If you are a fresh sports gambler, you have perhaps heard concerning some gamblers chatting about a variety of schemes that need a boost in the bet volume for the reason that of the hypothesis that you are forcing to win in the future.

Many sporty gamblers suffer that they are by now on their lofty end when they gamble within the variety discussed above. Nevertheless, this is barely for the reason that the true finance of many sports gamblers is typically privileged than the sum of cash they have in their bank account. Nevertheless, there are several sports gamblers who hunt or enlarge the dimension of their bet founded on the final bet they prepared and this is not suggested since gambling on matches is also hazardous. The perception following this is to stake the same quantity of money for every match or sports cooperated. Nevertheless, there are basic ideologies that any sports gambler should study and comprehend and like any other speculation, the objective should be to gain return rather than losses.

Betting on Flat

Manchester United vs Tottenham: Team news, kick-off time, probable line-ups, odds and stats for the Premier League clash

Here is all the information you need for Manchester United’s home clash with Tottenham.

Manchester United

Midfielder Angel di Maria and defender Jonny Evans are suspended for Manchester United’s game against Tottenham on Sunday.. Manchester United have won none of last five meetings with Tottenham

Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino has a fully fit squad to choose from

They were previously unbeaten in past 22 against Spurs (17 wins) 

By Pa Reporter

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino has a fully-fit squad to choose from for Sunday’s trip to Manchester United.


Spurs have kept just one clean sheet in their last 12 Premier League away matches.

Emmanuel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue will be hoping to be included in some capacity having not been involved in a matchday squad since January.

Manchester United vs Tottenham (Old Trafford)

The Red Devils have won 11 of their last 13 Premier League matches at Old Trafford (D1 L1).

Wayne Rooney has scored seven goals in his last eight Premier League starts against Spurs

Wayne Rooney has scored seven goals in his last eight Premier League starts against Spurs.

Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo could miss his his side’s match against Tottenham

Manchester United vs Tottenham: Facts, stats and betting odds

Manchester United vs Tottenham

Manchester United have lost just two of their last 18 Premier League matches (W12 D4 L2).

Football data analysts BSports believe a Manchester United home win is easily the most likely outcome

Following a run of 17 wins and no defeats in 22 Barclays Premier League matches against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United have won none of the last five meetings (D3 L2).

Similarly, after 26 games without defeat at home to Spurs in all competitions, having won the previous nine in a row, Man Utd have lost their last two home games against Tottenham.

De Gea, Lindegaard, Valdes, Shaw, Blackett, Rojo, Smalling, Jones, McNair, Rafael, Pereira, Young, Blind, Fellaini, Herrera, Valencia, Januzaj, Mata, Falcao, Rooney, Wilson.

With only league fixtures remaining, Pochettino has been able to give his squad a two-day break in the lead up to the game at Old Trafford.

Share or comment on this article

Key match facts (supplied by Opta) 

Spurs are only the third team in the Premier League era to go five league games unbeaten against the Red Devils, after Liverpool (2000-2002) and Blackburn Rovers (2004-2006).

Centre back Marcos Rojo is doubtful because of a groin problem.

Team news

Provisional squad: De Gea, Lindegaard, Valdes, Shaw, Blackett, Rojo, Smalling, Jones, McNair, Rafael, Pereira, Young, Blind, Fellaini, Herrera, Valencia, Januzaj, Mata, Falcao, Rooney, Wilson.

Tottenham have recovered more points from losing positions than any other team in the Premier League this season (16). 

Provisional squad: Lloris, Vorm, Friedel, Walker, Rose, Davies, Chiriches, Kaboul, Fazio, Dier, Vertonghen, Bentaleb, Mason, Capoue, Paulinho, Stambouli, Dembele, Lamela, Townsend, Eriksen, Chadli, Soldado, Adebayor, Kane.


Rooney has scored 94 goals at Old Trafford, only Alan Shearer with 97 at St James Park (two for Blackburn) and Thierry Henry with 114 at Highbury have scored more goals on one single ground in Premier League history.

Striker Robin van Persie is still out with an ankle problem, but midfielder Ashley Young has overcome the leg injury he suffered in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat by Arsenal on Monday.

Harry Kane has scored in his last six Premier League away games; only one player in the competition’s history (Robin van Persie, nine in a row) has scored in seven consecutive away games.

Harry Kane will lead the line for Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester United at Old Trafford

Published: 15:17 GMT, 13 March 2015 | Updated: 20:36 GMT, 13 March 2015

Ahead of this weekend’s Premier League action, Sportsmail will be providing you with all you need to know about every fixture, with team news, provisional squads, betting odds and Opta stats

Attention Required! | CloudFlare

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

Chelsea keeping tabs on £30m Gonzalo Higuain

He wants to fight for the title but was on the bench against Barcelona at the weekend when Real lost 3-1 and he knows where his place is now.

Torres, who signed for the west London club in a £50m deal in January, could be sold when the transfer window re-opens next month.

The future of Fernando Torres also remains unclear.

By Sportsmail Reporter Updated: 07:12 GMT, 15 December 2011

Manager Andre Villas-Boas is short of options in attack after selling Nicolas Anelka earlier this month, while Ivory Coast international Dider Drogba will leave to play in the African Cup of Nations in January.

On the way out? Chelsea flop Torres could be sold in JanuaryOn the way out? Chelsea flop Torres could be sold in January

Share or comment on this article

Higuain is out of favour at Real Madrid and while there has been no official contact between the two clubs, Chelsea are monitoring the situation.

Paris Saint-Germain and River Plate are also considering a move for the 24-year-old striker.

Chelsea are preparing a £30million bid to land Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.

‘He would be interested in what people have to say to him.’

All white on the night: Chelsea are monitoring Real Madrid striker Gonzalo HiguainAll white on the night: Chelsea are monitoring Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain

. The £150,000-a-week striker has scored just three Barclays Premier League goals since his move to Stamford Bridge and Chelsea are prepared to listen to offers.

A source is quoted in the Daily Star as saying: ‘Higuain is unhappy at being left out all of the time

Horse Racing Regulations: The Basics

Florida similarly lags behind states such as New York and Pennsylvania in racehorse drug regulations, with “antiquated state laws, lenient penalties and a system that tolerates repeat offenders and sometimes leaves violators unpunished for years.” Bringing all these jurisdictions closer together on their drug regulations is the first step to having healthier horses and a respectable racing industry.

Horse racing dates back to the 1100s in Europe, and came to America with the colonists. Some people push for a move to a zero-tolerance policy: no drugs, ever. This is a fairly minor issue – sometimes, horses run on one or a combination of steroids that are legal in one jurisdiction but not in another, so the trainer only needs to head to a jurisdiction where the drug is legal. Additionally, the trainer likely received little more than a small fine – equivalent to a slap on the wrist – for getting caught. As with many legal issues, the answer is that it depends: responsibility can fall on the horse’s owner, trainer, or veterinarian. In contrast, New York continues to allow administration of several drugs and it was only recently that the state significantly restricted the list of drugs that could be used on racehorses, particularly on race day. We saw a great example of this issue in May, when New York decided whether California Chrome would be allowed to race with a nasal strip. A group of breeders and racers established The American Jockey Club in 1750 to oversee the sport and the Thoroughbred breed. During the Great Depression, Americans united to cheer on everyone’s favorite underdog: Seabiscuit. Trainers are generally considered responsible for the care of their horses, but sometimes a trainer can overcome that presumption by evidence demonstrating the lack of trainer responsibility – lawyers call this a “rebuttable presumption.” For example, the trainer could produce evidence that the owner or veterinarian gave instructions to administer a medication, and the trainer had no role in the decision. Others believe the benefits of using some drugs outweigh the costs. Some states have addressed this issue by agreeing to operate under one set of rules.. Of course, in order for ANY drug policy to be effective, it must be universally adopted, and that seems unlikely with the way the racing industry is divided into different sovereign jurisdictions.

Individual racing jurisdictions also cause problems when horses travel between jurisdictions to race. For example, the language contained in Pennsylvania’s horseracing statute essentially creates a ban on using drugs in racehorses, stating that any person who administers a drug, administration of which results in a positive test, is in violation of that state’s regulations. These agencies have a few different functions:

To continue with the topic of drug use in racehorses, please see my other hubs and my article in the forthcoming volume of the Journal of Animal Natural Resources Law, published by Michigan State University College of Law!

With all the controversy surrounding use of drugs, the lingering question is who ends up being responsible. Kentucky is known to be the most lenient state when it comes to permissible substances. The trainer could also produce evidence that a third party administered medication to the horse without the trainer’s knowledge or consent.

Racing Jurisdictions

Unfortunately, because each jurisdiction is run by different people, there is a concerning lack of uniformity among regulations.

America has 38 racing jurisdictions, each of which has an agency designed and authorized by the legislature to regulate horseracing. Betting on racing – known as pari-mutuel wagering – was allowed at over 300 racetracks in 1900, but gambling corruption led to a ban on betting until after World War I. After World War II, horse racing again lost some popularity, but has been rising in recent years, helped by increased media coverage and Triple Crown hopefuls.

License trainers owners

Create new rules

Resolve disputes

The Origins of American Horse Racing

Drug use in racehorses continues to be an issue that the industry must overcome

Michaels Reports Higher Profits, Soft Outlook

The company had enjoyed big-box exclusivity for the bracelet kit, lifting the company’s sales, but the product’s popularity has since faded.

Updated March 19, 2015 12:30 p.m. In the most recent quarter, exclusive brands such as Isaac Mizrahi yarn sold well.

For the current quarter, the company expects same-store sales to be flat or up to 0.9% and per-share earnings of 31 cents to 33 cents. In response, the company has re-evaluated its signs, remodeled stores and focused on offering do-it-yourself projects, which have become more popular because of sites like Pinterest Inc., the image bookmarking site that often features craft ideas.

“We’re very big on Pinterest,” Chief Executive Chuck Rubin said on a call with analysts. The company cited unfavorable Canadian exchange rates and the West Coast port slowdown that has affected many retailers, though it added that inventory may be back to normal by midyear.

Accordingly, Michaels recently added online crafts-making classes to augment the ones already offered in-store. reported better-than-expected results for the holiday quarter, boosted by rising interest in do-it-yourself projects, but the arts-and-crafts retailer provided soft guidance for the current year.

For the year that started Feb. For the year ended Jan. It also introduced Make Market, a private-brand label that features “on-trend” materials such as chalk, denim and cork that can be purchased together with instructions on how to make a specific project, such as a chalkboard desktop organizer.

Shares of Michaels, which fell as low as $27 Thursday, recently traded at $29, down 20 cents, in midday trading. Rubin said the company is “in the early stages of kind of evolving from an arts and crafts retailer to a retailer that’s there to help customers understand how to personalize.”

In addition, Michaels also pointed to the declining popularity of the Rainbow Loom toy, which had remained popular through the first half of last year. The Irving, Texas, retailer blamed its disappointing forecast on currency issues, port delays and the declining popularity of the Rainbow Loom toy, which allows crafters to weave bracelets out of multicolored rubber bands.

At the end of January, the company operated 1,168 Michaels stores and 120 Aaron Brothers stores.

Michaels expects sales excluding newly opened or closed locations to increase 1.5% to 2% in the current fiscal year, or 2.7% to 3.2% on a constant currency basis. 1, Michaels expects per-share earnings of $1.65 to $1.71; analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting $1.71, on average. The year-earlier period saw a 4.6% increase in same-store sales, driven mostly by the success of Rainbow Loom.

Overall, for the holiday quarter, Michaels posted a profit of $157 million, or 75 cents a share, up from $133 million, or 74 cents a share, a year earlier.. 31, the company’s same-store sales rose 1.7%, or 2.4% on a constant currency basis.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast 74 cents a share in earnings on revenue of $1.6 billion.

Write to Angela Chen at

Products exclusive to the company will be key to gaining market share, added Mr. Rubin. ET

Michaels, which had been taken private in 2006 by a Blackstone Group LP-led consortium of private-equity firms, started trading on Nasdaq in June with an offer price of $17 a share amid a tough retail environment marked by bargain-conscious shoppers.

Michaels Cos.

Mr. Analysts had expected earnings of 35 cents a share.

While Michaels dominates the arts-and-crafts retail segment, it faces growing competition from a number of smaller and online-only outlets. “We think Pinterest is a great thing for us, because it inspires customers, and our opportunity is to enable those customers.”

Sales in the fourth quarter grew 3.4% to $1.61 billion. Same-store sales grew 1.4%, or 2.2% excluding the impact of foreign exchange