Newell CEO hopes this year’s back-to-school season will return to normal

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The 2020 back-to-school season was interrupted by COVID-19, but the CEO of Newell Brands Inc. does not expect a repeat in 2021. The consumer products company, which is the parent company of brands such as Sharpie, Elmer’s and Paper Mate pens anticipates something closer to what we’ve seen in the past.

“We are looking forward to a more normal back to school season this summer. We believe schools will open in the fall, ”said Ravi Saligram, Newell’s CEO, during a call with MarketWatch. “We are closely monitoring the school year,” Saligram said. “There seems to be a real desire to open schools. With the vaccine launch happening, we’re hopeful. “See: ‘I can be a CEO three times because I’ve never been infected by systemic racism’: Newell CEO vows to level the playing field Another reason to be Upbeat was the increase in the company’s writing business in January, which Saligram says could be a “good omen of what’s to come.” He’s not as sure about offices as companies are reluctant to give back to the workers to the workplace, and some say that won’t happen this year. However, Saligram says, overall, Newell’s businesses are benefiting in a variety of areas of consumer lives, including its appliance brands such as Oster and Mr. Coffee; food brands like Foodsaver containers and Calphalon cookware; and outdoor items like Marmot clothing and Coleman coolers and tents. Saligram hopes that to Some COVID-related behaviors, such as cooking at home and camping, continue even after the pandemic is over. With options limited by the pandemic, millions more were out in the open. With new equipment and a new appreciation for nature, he predicts that many will continue to spend their free time outdoors. Looking at Newell’s numbers, analysts are optimistic about next year. Newell posted better-than-expected earnings and sales in the most recent quarter. Plus: January Retail Data Shows Additional Stimulus Key to ‘Stellar Growth’ “While recent outperformance is not a surprise, we remain impressed that recovery efforts have advanced, if not accelerated, during the pandemic, ”wrote Truist Securities. “We believe these efforts will result in a higher sustainable growth rate and margin profile once it overcomes the impacts of COVID in its categories.” Truist rates the purchase of Newell stock with a price target of $ 30. JPMorgan is more cautious. “While we believe that the return to the evergreen model on the top line deserves credit, we believe that the uncertain back to school and difficult comparison for the categories at home with the reopening will bring volatility in the second half,” analysts said. . “When we combine the headwinds in commodities and freight with limited visibility into underlying trends (especially in the second half), we would prefer to stay on the sidelines at this juncture.” JPMorgan rates Newell’s shares as neutral with a price target of $ 26. Newell’s shares have gained 18.8% over the past year, outperforming the benchmark S&P 500 SPX index, -0.44%, which it is 15.6% more during the period.