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Wawa vs. Sheetz: which Pennsylvania convenience store leads in revenue?

Cross-state rivals Wawa and Sheetz are two of the three largest private companies in Pennsylvania, according to new rankings by Forbes......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 25th, 2021

Wawa vs. Sheetz: which Pennsylvania convenience store leads in revenue?

Cross-state rivals Wawa and Sheetz are two of the three largest private companies in Pennsylvania, according to new rankings by Forbes......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 25th, 2021

Casey"s General Stores (CASY) Lags Q2 Earnings Estimates

Casey's (CASY) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of -11.30% and 3.46%, respectively, for the quarter ended October 2021. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock? Casey's General Stores (CASY) came out with quarterly earnings of $2.59 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.92 per share. This compares to earnings of $3 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items.This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of -11.30%. A quarter ago, it was expected that this convenience store chain would post earnings of $2.83 per share when it actually produced earnings of $3.19, delivering a surprise of 12.72%.Over the last four quarters, the company has surpassed consensus EPS estimates three times.Casey's, which belongs to the Zacks Retail - Convenience Stores industry, posted revenues of $3.26 billion for the quarter ended October 2021, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.46%. This compares to year-ago revenues of $2.22 billion. The company has topped consensus revenue estimates four times over the last four quarters.The sustainability of the stock's immediate price movement based on the recently-released numbers and future earnings expectations will mostly depend on management's commentary on the earnings call.Casey's shares have added about 13% since the beginning of the year versus the S&P 500's gain of 22.3%.What's Next for Casey's?While Casey's has underperformed the market so far this year, the question that comes to investors' minds is: what's next for the stock?There are no easy answers to this key question, but one reliable measure that can help investors address this is the company's earnings outlook. Not only does this include current consensus earnings expectations for the coming quarter(s), but also how these expectations have changed lately.Empirical research shows a strong correlation between near-term stock movements and trends in earnings estimate revisions. Investors can track such revisions by themselves or rely on a tried-and-tested rating tool like the Zacks Rank, which has an impressive track record of harnessing the power of earnings estimate revisions.Ahead of this earnings release, the estimate revisions trend for Casey's: favorable. While the magnitude and direction of estimate revisions could change following the company's just-released earnings report, the current status translates into a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) for the stock. So, the shares are expected to outperform the market in the near future. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.It will be interesting to see how estimates for the coming quarters and current fiscal year change in the days ahead. The current consensus EPS estimate is $1.57 on $2.92 billion in revenues for the coming quarter and $8.87 on $12.12 billion in revenues for the current fiscal year.Investors should be mindful of the fact that the outlook for the industry can have a material impact on the performance of the stock as well. In terms of the Zacks Industry Rank, Retail - Convenience Stores is currently in the top 1% of the 250 plus Zacks industries. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.One other stock from the broader Zacks Retail-Wholesale sector, J.Jill (JILL), is yet to report results for the quarter ended October 2021. The results are expected to be released on December 13.This retailer of women's clothes, shoes and accessories is expected to post quarterly earnings of $0.34 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of +126%. The consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has remained unchanged over the last 30 days.J.Jill's revenues are expected to be $151.3 million, up 29.1% from the year-ago quarter. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY): Free Stock Analysis Report J.Jill, Inc. (JILL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 8th, 2021

Labor Shortages And Inflation Are Affecting Everyone – But In Different Ways Than You May Think

It’s no secret that jobs have been hard to fill and that an employee shortage is having a significant impact on the economy. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted public health and created economic disorder on a global scale. Because of this, businesses worldwide are experiencing supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, while consumers are […] It’s no secret that jobs have been hard to fill and that an employee shortage is having a significant impact on the economy. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted public health and created economic disorder on a global scale. Because of this, businesses worldwide are experiencing supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, while consumers are dealing with the aftermath of inflation. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more There are 8.6 million potential employable workers and 10 million job openings in the U.S. today, reflecting the strong decrease in workforce participation that contributes to the ongoing supply chain disruptions impacting many industries, including suppliers, distributors, and consumers, with the most significant impact on consumers and the economic growth. For example, American Airlines canceled more than 460 flights earlier in November due to staffing shortages that led to travel disruptions for tens of thousands of people. Unfortunately, the labor shortages and supply chain issues also impact inflation and will only worsen before it gets better. These labor shortages and supply chain disruptions have created a destructive cyclical effect. Fewer employees result in fewer goods produced. As fewer goods are available with higher demand, prices rise, which has caused inflation to hit a 31-year high with no signs of abating anytime soon. While it's easy to think that these realities impact everyone similarly, some companies persevere through these times, and consumers notice. At the same time, many other companies struggle to adapt, and the volume of social and media activity around these issues demonstrates consumer frustrations. So, which companies are performing well, and which aren't? And how can you quantify the difference? Using AI And NLP To Analyze Data And Calculate Sentiment Using artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), financial services firms can quickly pull data from several sources, like news, social media reports, financial reports, and third-party data providers. AI and NLP can analyze the information gathered from these sources and rank the sentiment of the data with either a negative, neutral or positive sentiment score. At Accern, we’ve created a no-code AI platform that allows financial organizations to extract sentiment and insights from textual data for better risk and investment decisions. We recently analyzed the impact of labor shortages and inflation on companies and consumers. After gathering data on the companies most impacted, we analyzed the human emotion behind the news and issued a sentiment score for each piece of information pulled. Insights On Labor Shortages There are a few companies experiencing outsized negative sentiment among consumers, including Yum! Brands, Spirit Airlines, American Airlines, Ulta Beauty, Foot Locker, and Delta Airlines, to name a few. The most significant issues impacting these companies include airline labor shortages, food shortages, truck driver shortages, and supply chain disruptions. Additionally, restaurant employees and drivers are speaking out against low wages and harsh working conditions. To put things in perspective, roughly half of the news activity around these companies embodies a negative sentiment. Considering the lack of truck drivers, more drivers are voicing negative points of view around uncomfortable working conditions and resigning as shown in the snippets pulled from the dashboard above. The shortage of drivers has created a rift within the global economy and exacerbated the supply chain crisis as stores do not receive their goods in time to fill the empty shelves and meet shoppers' demands. Especially with holiday shopping, panicked consumers are experiencing the impact of the supply chain disruption and labor shortages. Stores like Ulta and Foot Locker, which have not fully adapted to the supply chain problems, are not only reporting lower earnings but are dealing with negative sentiment from the media, investors, and consumers. Although Ulta and Foot Locker expected higher growth once physical stores reopened, investors were disappointed to see the earnings for each store drop. As consumers have stuck to the pandemic habits of online shopping, they now look for convenience and digital experiences more than ever. Although Ulta and Foot Locker are doing their best to ensure that these digital experiences are available to consumers as fast as possible, there is still a long way to go. Conversely, companies like Anheuser Busch, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and JetBlue are seeing outsized positive attention despite the same labor shortages and supply chain disruption trends. The difference lies in increasing employee benefits and providing better digital experiences to consumers, leading to higher earnings reports. For example, PepsiCo’s response to the supply chain crisis was to digitize the supply chain and invest in technological innovation at scale to ensure that consumers all across the globe receive their products. Pepsi's response has generated positive sentiment from the news and consumers around the world. Consumers are happiest when brands meet their demands, act ethically, and innovate their services and products. Innovation is critical in keeping consumers interested in products as it shows that companies are adapting to new technologies to meet their consumers' needs. Insights On Inflation The supply chain and labor shortage crises are driving inflation. In the most recent CPI report, inflation came in at 6.2 percent, marking the highest increase in over 30 years. But companies that have navigated well around supply chain disruptions and labor shortages have also proven their ability to minimize the impact of inflation. Our recent analysis shows that companies like Discover, Peloton, Nike, and Capital One are receiving negative sentiment from consumers, while JB Hunt, American Express, Starbucks, and Costco are not drawing the ire of their customers. Nike is one company that has used digital acceleration to adapt during the pandemic and saw consumer demand rise as profits rose 16 percent in the last year. Despite its revenue growth, supply chain issues also inflate cotton prices and disrupt the flow of products to stores. As a result, Nike announced that it anticipates increasing prices in the second half of 2022 to offset supply chain-related costs. Contrarily, Costco is navigating higher labor and freight costs, transportation demand, and container shortages. Still, they manage to keep their prices low and membership fees the same while meeting the needs of consumers. Additionally, Costco acquired a logistic network to enable the company to deliver large items within days instead of weeks and has gone digital with e-commerce platforms like Instacart. These AI-generated insights demonstrate how certain companies are effectively navigating the most prominent issues affecting our economy today. Accern's AI and NLP analysis reveals that companies proactively innovating their products and services can meet consumers' demands without significantly cutting employee salaries or raising costs. These companies are the ones that are also driving positive sentiment from the media and consumers. With the amount of structured and unstructured data available today, AI and NLP are crucial in understanding the relative health of companies and how different players in the economy are handling challenges – and staying afloat. Article By Kumesh Aroomoogan, co-founder and CEO, Accern About Kumesh Aroomoogan Kumesh Aroomoogan is the co-founder and CEO of Accern, a New York-based, venture-backed AI startup. Founded in 2014, Accern accelerates AI workflows for financial enterprises with a no-code development platform and has raised $16m to date. In 2018 Kumesh was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Enterprise Technology list. Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of BrandingScholars, an advertising agency, a General Accountant at the Ford Foundation, an Executive Board Member, Chairman of Public Relations at ALPFA, Equity Researcher at Citigroup, and a Financial Analyst at SIFMA. Updated on Dec 3, 2021, 3:34 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 4th, 2021

Why Casey"s (CASY) Could Beat Earnings Estimates Again

Casey's (CASY) has an impressive earnings surprise history and currently possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely beat in its next quarterly report. Have you been searching for a stock that might be well-positioned to maintain its earnings-beat streak in its upcoming report? It is worth considering Casey's General Stores (CASY), which belongs to the Zacks Retail - Convenience Stores industry.This convenience store chain has an established record of topping earnings estimates, especially when looking at the previous two reports. The company boasts an average surprise for the past two quarters of 39.94%.For the most recent quarter, Casey's was expected to post earnings of $2.83 per share, but it reported $3.19 per share instead, representing a surprise of 12.72%. For the previous quarter, the consensus estimate was $0.67 per share, while it actually produced $1.12 per share, a surprise of 67.16%.Price and EPS SurpriseWith this earnings history in mind, recent estimates have been moving higher for Casey's. In fact, the Zacks Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction) for the company is positive, which is a great sign of an earnings beat, especially when you combine this metric with its nice Zacks Rank.Our research shows that stocks with the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better produce a positive surprise nearly 70% of the time. In other words, if you have 10 stocks with this combination, the number of stocks that beat the consensus estimate could be as high as seven.The Zacks Earnings ESP compares the Most Accurate Estimate to the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter; the Most Accurate Estimate is a version of the Zacks Consensus whose definition is related to change. The idea here is that analysts revising their estimates right before an earnings release have the latest information, which could potentially be more accurate than what they and others contributing to the consensus had predicted earlier.Casey's currently has an Earnings ESP of +1.72%, which suggests that analysts have recently become bullish on the company's earnings prospects. This positive Earnings ESP when combined with the stock's Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) indicates that another beat is possibly around the corner. We expect the company's next earnings report to be released on December 7, 2021.With the Earnings ESP metric, it's important to note that a negative value reduces its predictive power; however, a negative Earnings ESP does not indicate an earnings miss.Many companies end up beating the consensus EPS estimate, though this is not the only reason why their shares gain. Additionally, some stocks may remain stable even if they end up missing the consensus estimate.Because of this, it's really important to check a company's Earnings ESP ahead of its quarterly release to increase the odds of success. Make sure to utilize our Earnings ESP Filter to uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they've reported. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 3rd, 2021

Casey"s General Stores (CASY) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

Casey's General Stores (CASY) closed the most recent trading day at $197.34, moving +1.29% from the previous trading session. Casey's General Stores (CASY) closed at $197.34 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.29% move from the prior day. The stock lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.32%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.68%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.15%.Coming into today, shares of the convenience store chain had gained 1.72% in the past month. In that same time, the Retail-Wholesale sector lost 0.46%, while the S&P 500 gained 3.61%.Wall Street will be looking for positivity from Casey's General Stores as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be December 7, 2021. In that report, analysts expect Casey's General Stores to post earnings of $2.78 per share. This would mark a year-over-year decline of 7.33%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $3.15 billion, up 42.05% from the year-ago period.CASY's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $8.68 per share and revenue of $12.02 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +3.58% and +38.05%, respectively.Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for Casey's General Stores. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant within the past month. Casey's General Stores is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Digging into valuation, Casey's General Stores currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 22.46. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 20.11, so we one might conclude that Casey's General Stores is trading at a premium comparatively.The Retail - Convenience Stores industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 4, which puts it in the top 2% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com. Investor Alert: Legal Marijuana Looking for big gains? Now is the time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $13.5 billion in 2021 to an expected $70.6 billion by 2028. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could kick start an even greater bonanza for investors. Zacks Investment Research has recently closed pot stocks that have shot up as high as +147.0% You’re invited to immediately check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 29th, 2021

Buy These 2 Stocks Before December Earnings?

Investors likely want to remain on the hunt for strong stocks as we enter the final month of 2021. Here are two modern retail stocks that investors might want to consider buying... Stocks bounced back on Monday following Friday’s big Omicron variant-focused selloff. The quick pullback was driven by real fears and lower holiday volume. Investors began pouring back into the markets to start the week as Wall Street appeared to determine that the new covid strain likely won’t have as significant of an impact as initially feared.Covid and new strains are likely here to stay and investors and consumers have largely proven they are willing to focus on signs of progress in favor of fears. It is also worth constantly remembering that selling is a healthy aspect of all well-functioning markets, especially one that’s soared for over a year and a half.Looking back, investors helped wash away all of the losses from the September and early October downturn in a matter of weeks. And the bulls appear to be in control, at least for now, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both trading well above their 50-day moving averages despite Friday’s big drops.There could certainly be more selling and profit-taking in December. Luckily, the positive backdrop for stocks remains in place even in the face of continued supply chain bottlenecks, rising prices, and difficulty filling millions of open jobs.First off, interest rates will remain historically low for the foreseeable future no matter when the Fed starts to lift its core rate. Secondly, the S&P 500 earnings picture remains strong. And U.S. consumer spending was solid in October, which is a great sign for the entire pivotal holiday shopping period.With this in mind, investors likely want to remain on the hunt for strong stocks as we enter the final month of 2021. Here are two modern retail stocks that investors might want to consider buying…Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLululemon LULU– (Q3 Financial Results Due Out Thursday, December 9)Lululemon has transformed from a small high-end yoga clothing maker 20 years ago into a global apparel powerhouse. The company currently sells an array of athletic apparel for women and men, alongside clothing that can be worn to work, dates, the golf course, and beyond. LULU has also rolled out self-care items, more outwear such as coats, and other accessory-style products.The athletic retailer expanded beyond clothing and apparel last year when it bought digital-focused at-home fitness company Mirror. The purchase has already outperformed LULU’s expectations and it’s adding additional live and on-demand digital workout content and putting more Mirror ‘shop-in-shops’ within Lululemon locations—200 excepted by the holiday season.Lululemon closed last quarter with 534 total company-operated stores, up from 506 in the prior-year period. LULU is focused on expanding in Asia and Europe, while continuing to improve its digital offerings. The company topped our Q2 estimates and raised its guidance, with e-commerce accounting for 42% of revenue.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLooking ahead, Zacks estimates call for fiscal 2021 revenue to surge 42% to $6.26 billion, with FY22 projected to come in another 17% higher to hit $7.33 billion. This growth, which is driven in part by Mirror, follows 11% top-line expansion last year and FY19’s 21%. Meanwhile, its adjusted earnings are projected to soar 60% and 21%, respectively during this stretch.Lululemon has beaten our EPS estimates by an average of 25% in the trailing four periods, including a 36% beat last quarter. The company’s consensus earnings estimates have climbed recently and its Most Accurate estimates (or the newest) are higher. This bottom-line positivity helps LULU land a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) right now. Plus, 15 of the 21 broker recommendations we have for Lululemon are “Strong Buys,” with none below a “Hold.” The athleisure firm also boasts a strong balance sheet and its Textile-Apparel space sits in the top 20% of over 250 Zacks industries.LULU hit records in mid-November, with shares up 45% in the last six months. This run helped end an up-and-down stretch that saw the stock move roughly sideways for nearly a year. Longer-term, Lululemon stock has skyrocketed over 700% in the last five years to crush its industry’s 75% and the S&P 500’s 120%. Despite sitting near its records, LULU trades at a 20% discount against its own year-long highs in terms of forward earnings and sales. And the recent market pullback has it near neutral RSI levels at 56, which could give it room to run if it’s able to impress Wall Street next week.Chewy CHWY – (Q3 Financial Results Due Out Thursday, December 9)Chewy is an e-commerce pet store that went public in 2019. The company has expanded rapidly as consumers gravitate toward convenience in the form of delivery and beyond. CHWY sells pet food, supplies, treats, medications, and more for a variety of animals. Chewy has found success by adding loyal pet owners to its ranks, with roughly 70% of sales coming from its Autoship business that allows people to have food and more delivered at regular intervals.Chewy posted a banner year in 2020 on the back of the pandemic. The firm added 43% more users in 2020 to close the year with 19.2 million. The company, which has been in business for over a decade, has also moved far beyond food and toys. Its offerings include a telehealth service called Connect with a Vet and a beefed-up pet pharmacy platform.Unfortunately for Chewy, the near-perfect backdrop to succeed in business and on Wall Street is over as people return to their normal lives. The firm fell short of revenue estimates last quarter—which it rarely does—and it reported a larger-than-projected quarterly loss. Chewy did close Q2 with 20.1 million customers, up 21% from the year-ago quarter and its revenue climbed 27%. But Wall Street has continued to dump the stock amid rising costs and slowing growth.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks estimates call for CHWY’s FY21 revenue to climb 25% to $8.95 billion and then pop 19% higher in 2022. These estimates would follow a 47% climb last year and 37% expansion in FY19. Meanwhile, its adjusted earnings are projected to slip 11% this year to $0.08 a share, with its FY22 figure expected to skyrocket 320% to $0.33 a share.Chewy’s overall consensus earnings estimates have trended lower since its last report to help it grab a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) at the moment. And it’s part of a group that’s in the bottom 11% of all Zacks industries. That said, nine of the 15 brokerage recommendations Zacks has are “Strong Buys” and it operates a business that isn’t going out of style anytime soon, even though its days of huge 40% growth might be over.CHEWY shares dipped on Monday as the market climbed and it has now fallen over 20% this year, including a 23% drop since its Q2 release. Taking a step back, Chewy is still up 190% in the last two years and its current Zacks consensus price target of $98.33 a share represents 45% upside to Monday’s levels.The pullback has Chewy trading at over a 50% discount to its own year-long highs at 2.8X forward 12-month sales. And the nearby chart shows CHWY attempting to return to its 50-day moving average. That said, some investors might want to wait for more signs of a comeback, especially given that Wall Street is currently betting somewhat heavily against the stock—short interest at roughly 20% of the float. Investor Alert: Legal Marijuana Looking for big gains? Now is the time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $13.5 billion in 2021 to an expected $70.6 billion by 2028. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could kick start an even greater bonanza for investors. Zacks Investment Research has recently closed pot stocks that have shot up as high as +147.0% You’re invited to immediately check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report lululemon athletica inc. (LULU): Free Stock Analysis Report Chewy (CHWY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 29th, 2021

Yooma Wellness Reports Results for Third Quarter of 2021

TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Yooma Wellness Inc. ("Yooma" or the "Company") (CSE:YOOM, AQSE:YOOM)), a Toronto-based vertically-integrated global wellness platform that develops and markets a portfolio of wellness brands, today released its interim financial statements (the "Financial Statements") for the three-month period ended September 30, 2021 (the "Reporting Period").   A summary of Yooma's operational and financial highlights during the Reporting Period are set out below and more detailed information is contained in the Financial Statements and related Management Discussion and Analysis which are available on Yooma's SEDAR page at www.sedar.com. Lorne Abony, Chairman at Yooma, commented: "Yooma's success in the third quarter solidly-positions the Company in the global CBD and wellness space. Based on actual revenue achieved in the third quarter of US$2.1 million, with only partial revenue contribution so far from key strategic acquisitions acquired during the quarter and subsequent to quarter-end, we believe that Yooma is significantly undervalued compared to its public competitors." Jordan Greenberg, CEO at Yooma, added: "We are extremely pleased with the progress Yooma made in the third quarter, including the dual listing of the Company's shares on the AQSE exchange in London, successful completion of a US$10.3 million capital raise, and the closing of two additional strategic acquisitions. We continue to integrate our existing assets to achieve both operational synergies and revenue growth." Yooma Highlights (Q3 2021) Yooma continues to grow in its quest to become a vertically-integrated global leader in the marketing, distribution and sale of wellness products, including hemp seed oil and hemp-derived cannabinoid ("CBD") ingredients. Significant operational highlights during the Reporting Period included: Capital Markets Transactions Completed the listing of the Company's common shares on the Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market ("AQSE"), a UK-based multilateral trading facility for entrepreneurial companies seeking visibility and access to growth capital in Europe. This dual-listing was successfully completed and the Company's common shares began trading on the AQSE on August 10, 2021. Concurrent with the dual-listing of the Company's common shares on the AQSE, an equity financing was successfully completed on August 10, 2021, raising proceeds of US$10.3 million, to be used for general corporate purposes and to complete several strategic acquisitions. Completed Acquisitions The first of these acquisitions was completed on August 19, 2021, when Yooma acquired UK market-leader Vitality CBD Ltd., a distributer of CBD products, including oils and sprays in a wide range of flavours and strengths, edibles, and a specially developed and formulated range of CBD skin care cosmetic products. On September 30, 2021, Yooma completed the acquisition of Big Swig, Inc., a US-based specialty drinks business with unique and inventive flavours which is sold through major retail partners including Whole Foods and HEB, as well as Circle K and independent convenience stores. Operational Highlights MYO Plant Nutrition CBD products were launched on Amazon UK as part of Amazon's selective CBD Pilot Programme. Blossom CBD skincare brand was relaunched, including nine new SKUs with a focus on expert holistic skincare. The brand achieved key listings into world-renowned Selfridges and John Bell & Croyden, which holds the Royal Warrant as Pharmacists to Her Majesty the Queen. Vitality CBD products continue to achieve premium rankings on Amazon UK for CBD search results, and significant quarter-over-quarter revenue growth. Greenleaf launched its hemp protein brand What the Hemp! in France's leading grocery retailer Casino, with 12 SKUs available in-store at a total of 414 Casino locations. Socati Corp. ("Socati") announced a collaboration with Impact Naturals on a new line of CBD products designed to uniquely configure CBD and other cannabinoids for better and faster absorption into the blood. It contains formulations of CBD with other cannabinoids, alongside ingredients including American Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, and Melatonin. Post period-end Highlights Completed Acquisitions On October 2, 2021, Yooma completed the acquisition of Vertex Co., Ltd., a wellness products company in Japan, with sales through major home shopping networks (QVC, Nihon-TV and Fuji-TV), as well as various ecommerce channels (Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping and the company's Shop-V platform). Yooma, through its subsidiary Socati, completed the acquisition of N8 Essentials LLC on October 13, 2021, adding downstream manufacturing capabilities for consumer finished products, a significant channel that has been underserviced, and providing Socati access to a broader segment of the US CBD market. Operational Highlights Vitality CBD completed a 300-store launch in ASDA, one of Britain's leading retailers, including 17 of Vitality's well-being and active CBD products in ASDA's vitamin aisles and in-store pharmacies, making Vitality CBD the most extensive CBD product range in ASDA. Socati completed an order for CBD stick packs; a beverage additive representing a product line extension which will be launched at retail by Socati's customer in early 2022. Big Swig accelerated its promotional activity with grocery retailer HEB, achieving an increase in sales volumes of 20% over the same period in the prior year; the company is also partnering with OCS Brands to enter the convenience services channel nationwide. Yooma completed the rebuild and integration of its UK e-commerce sites including hosting, management and fulfilment of all UK brands under one e-commerce business division, allowing the Company to quickly scale existing and future UK and European brands. Vitality CBD achieved commercial sales outside of UK/EU with customers in Poland and Brazil. The company was also selected for a pilot CBD launch on eBay in the UK. Selected Financial Highlights (Q3 2021) During the Reporting Period, the Company generated revenues of US$2.1 million, but experienced net and comprehensive losses of US$2.6 million, reflecting cost of sales of US$1.6 million and expenses of US$3.2 million, relating primarily to the integration of previously acquired businesses into Yooma's global platform, expenses incurred in connection with capital raising activities and the AQSE dual-listing, and business and administrative expenses incurred by the Company's operating divisions. All sums are in $US For the threemonth periodended   For the threemonth periodended   For the ninemonth periodended   For the ninemonth periodended   30 September   30 September   30 September   30 September   2021   2020   2021   2020   Revenue 2,128,620   -   4,909,637   -   Cost of sales (1,568,512 ) -  .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 29th, 2021

Why (And How) B2B Companies Should Raise Prices Right Now

In March, a massive ship named the Ever Given ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal, which had knock-on effects around the world. Since then, and as we have headed out of the pandemic, other serious supply chain issues have surfaced. More recently, the great resignation has made it harder than ever to find top talent, […] In March, a massive ship named the Ever Given ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal, which had knock-on effects around the world. Since then, and as we have headed out of the pandemic, other serious supply chain issues have surfaced. More recently, the great resignation has made it harder than ever to find top talent, and a recent study found that 88% of Americans are worried about inflation as we head into the holiday season. Nowadays, there is more concern than ever about something bad happening to the economy. All these issues can squeeze company profits. What should B2B companies do about it? .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more When profitability suffers, the first order of business is to lower company costs. For example, Lean Process Improvement can have lasting positive effects on the bottom-line. Businesses can and should also consider outsourcing functions like IT, payroll, and even manufacturing. There may be alternate raw material suppliers, contractors, or temps that are capable of bringing instant skills to your organization. Cost reductions aside, to maintain profitability in these strange times, companies will also need to take pricing action. Different approaches are available for raising prices, but increases must be carefully implemented, with an eye to the competition. It is also important to look out for possible disruptors lurking in the shadows. Strategy Any pricing initiative should start with an understanding of company growth engines and the important sources of volume. Don’t jeopardize those. It is also necessary to have good tabs on market participants, since competition and differential value sets the boundaries for pricing. Improving the differential value of offerings makes it easier for customers to pay more! At the core of business strategy is segmentation, based on a solid understanding of customers performance needs, purchasing process and criteria. Do they want to buy direct or through a distributor, and where are there price sensitivities? Less profitable SKUs can be sold through alternate channels like ebusiness. Be more aggressive with price in segments where there are no clear substitutes. Make sure value propositions are fine tuned for each target segment. Do the company offerings help customers reduce cost (e.g. faster adhering glue for speedy processing), or increase revenue (maybe enabling a green claim with water based auto paint). There is nothing wrong with charging different prices in different markets. Re-Frame The Price Products, services and parts can be classified by how unique they are. Custom products and parts can be marked up, while items like nuts, bolts and hose need to be lower priced to avoid substitution. Having Good, Better and Best products for entry level, target level and show off products allows pricing flexibility. Lower price offerings with higher margins, like private label items or insourced entry level products also have their place in the product range. Items that are usually bought together can be bundled into an assembly or dispersion that makes subsequent processing faster. Parts used for routine maintenance, including consumables, lend themselves well to bundling. Imagine the convenience of a kit for gasket replacement, saving time and trips to the hardware store. Bundles can be priced slightly lower than the sum of the parts, or higher if there are efficiency gains. If an offering is late in its life- cycle and sales are declining, customers can be migrated to SKUs with better margins. Exploit price elasticity when switching costs are high, or there is a great degree of customization. Re-Define The Product Product definition can be changed by adding a valuable service component like installation or vendor managed inventory to a physical product. Delivery or maintenance contracts can be branded and productized for better price differentiation. Changes in product packaging are relatively easy -adding color coding on boxes, or offering tote quantities of liquids both offer opportunities for price adjustments. Price structure can be modified with a different unit of measure, and charging by activity like hours flown, gallons pumped or number of students trained. Industrial customers often prefer renting over buying, whereas Government customers may have easier access to capital budgets. Subscription models are popular in software and can also be used for consumables or rental equipment. Automatic renewals make the relationship stickier. The same product can be offered with different variations of fixed and variable price. Certain customers will prefer a monthly fixed fee with a variable usage charge, over a higher fixed fee with a capped variable. Communicate Value Many companies are shy about communicating quality and value. Be explicit about a product's price position in the market. Don’t let prospects guess -if you have a unique or premium product, say so to justify a higher price. Research customer operations in detail, and determine what end benefit your product contributes. Then value- price accordingly, while being very collaborative around innovation and product development. Stimulate new demand with an offering and pricing configurator tool on the website. Active Use of Terms Change the price context and mark up freight and rush orders, and have a surcharge for small orders. New clients can be hooked with a basic service, then offered self-serve upsell for more functionality. Changing cut-offs and target levels for volume discounts and rebates helps improve margins. Enforce surcharge rules in contracts for fuel, shipping costs or raw material price pass-throughs. Optimize price for high use/ high utility SKUs. If price increases are risky, there might still be a share of wallet to be had. If there is a great need to differentiate pricing between customers, payment terms can be adjusted. Implementation Before implementing price increases, charter a cross-functional pricing team including Sales, Marketing, Finance, and Operations. When deciding on pricing adjustments, reexamine prices line by line. SKUs that have not had increases recently may be priced too low, hence there will be less resistance to increases. Always make sure to provide product and service options to retain price sensitive customers. Cheaper, stripped-down “Good” versions work well for retaining customers, as do lower priced offerings made available in limited quantities only. When communicating price increases, provide an explanation for your decision. Don’t shy away from mentioning how long it’s been since prices were previously adjusted, or highlighting how much the customer has raised their selling prices. It is also a good idea to signal pending price increases directly to important customers. Announcing upcoming price moves through trade press is not collusion, and gives competitors a chance to follow suit, increasing industry profitability across the board. Bottom Line It is difficult to make a conventional price increase stick. Effective pricing starts with segmentation of the market, based on customer needs. With pain points well understood, an offering meeting segment needs can be designed and priced according to the value it provides. Adding service components to products can add differentiation, as can innovative pricing models like subscriptions or activity-based pricing. No matter how a company arrives at a price, it is important to communicate the value of each product and service. About Per Ohstrom Per Ohstrom is a CMO with Chief Outsiders, the nation’s fastest growing “executive-as-a-service” company. Updated on Nov 29, 2021, 3:05 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 29th, 2021

These Are The Most In Demand Black Friday Brand Deals In 2021

New research by UK card payment provider Paymentsense has revealed the brands with the most in demand Black Friday deals this year! Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Ahead of Black Friday on the 26th November, the payment experts analyzed Google search data for over 1,000 of the world’s best known companies to […] New research by UK card payment provider Paymentsense has revealed the brands with the most in demand Black Friday deals this year! if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Ahead of Black Friday on the 26th November, the payment experts analyzed Google search data for over 1,000 of the world’s best known companies to discover which brands consumers are searching for the most in relation to Black Friday across the world. These Are The Top 20 Brands Globally With The Most In Demand Black Friday Deals Rank Brand Industry Global monthly Search Volume for the Brand Name only Global monthly Search Volume for "*Brand* Black Friday" 1 Target Retailer 45,500,000 5,000,000 2 Walmart Retailer 83,100,000 550,000 3 Best Buy Electronics 30,400,000 301,000 4 Amazon Online Retailer 414,000,000 301,000 5 Kohl's Department store 13,600,000 135,000 6 Home Depot Home improvement 68,000,000 90,500 7 Apple Electronics 30,400,000 90,500 8 Lowe's Home improvement 24,900,000 74,000 9 Nike Sportswear 30,400,000 74,000 10 Macy's Department store 13,600,000 49,500 11 Ikea Home 83,100,000 49,500 12 Dyson Electronics 5,000,000 49,500 13 Game Entertainment 37,200,000 49,500 14 Zara Clothing 37,200,000 49,500 15 Zalando Clothing 30,400,000 49,500 16 Costco Wholesaler 37,200,000 40,500 17 GameStop Electronics 11,100,000 40,500 18 Sephora Beauty 11,100,000 40,500 19 Lululemon Sportswear 7,480,000 33,100 20 Adidas Sportswear 20,400,000 33,100 The same 1,000+ brands were also analysed looking at global search volumes over the world. Overall, the retail giant Target was the most searched for brand with a staggering 5 million searches a month for “Target Black Friday”. Every year Target offers customers huge savings on gaming, electronics, clothing and more! With over 9 times fewer searches, multinational retailer Walmart takes second place with 550,000 searches a month. Electronics retailer Best Buy rounds up the top three with a huge 301,000 searches on average this month across the world! The Psychology Behind Black Friday: Why Do Consumers Spend More Online During This Time? Head of Consumer Insight, Jon Knott, at commented on the reason why consumers tend to spend more online on Black Friday. “With coronavirus restrictions affecting the way we shop, a slight decrease in Black Friday spending in 2020, according to Statista. However, this year it is predicted a record amount will be spent on Black Friday deals - with many customers purchasing through online channels. The infamous overnight queues of shoppers trying to secure their place in line have become less common in recent years. The move to online was always predicted to happen due to e-commerce convenience, easier price comparison, and quick delivery options. However, this transition was sped up massively to the pandemic as the demand for all these features was suddenly very apparent. Many companies now also expand their deals to start the week before exclusively on site, which has also encouraged people to move online. This deal also lengthens shopping momentum, which is the impulse to keep shopping after an initial purchase. E-commerce stores, especially fashion brands, have also emulated the real-in store experience by promoting add-ons with features such as ‘frequently bought with’ or ‘complete the set’. Alongside a minimum delivery spend, meaning customers are being tempted to spend more than intended. When paying for items physically via card or cash payments, it’s easier to keep note of how much you’ve spent. Whereas with online shopping, you can easily lose track of spending by either buying in bulk, such as multiple sizes, or purchasing items that you can ‘buy now’ but ‘pay later’. Additionally, office closures mean people are spending less money on amenities, such as traveling or parking. Working from home also frees up a lot of spare time. Online shopping is then a leisure activity and form of escapism that we can use to fill up the excess of free time we find ourselves with. This said, long physical queues are not a thing of the past just yet, as both online and offline Black Friday deals attract many customers to shop impulsively to secure limited time offers in fear of missing out.” About Paymentsense Founded in 2008 by George Karibian and Jan Farrarons, Paymentsense is one of the fastest-growing fintech companies in Europe, and proud to be an industry game-changer. They currently supply card machines and e-commerce solutions to over 80,000 businesses in the UK and Ireland. Combining cutting-edge technology, extraordinary customer support and unconventional thinking, they offer low rates and peace of mind to their customers. Their smart proprietary technology platform enables small businesses to process payments online, in-store and over the phone. About Jon Knotts Jon has over ten years’ experience in consumer research and delivering data-led thought leadership. He is a seasoned conference speaker in the hospitality sector, including at the Takeaway Expo, and is known for being an active data advocate in the fintech space. Jon has previously worked with some of the biggest retailers and brands globally and now leads the research team as Head of Insight at Paymentsense, Europe’s biggest merchant services provider. He is responsible for identifying and understanding industry & consumer trends. Methodology Google Search volume data for each brand name followed by “Black Friday” was analysed, for example “Aldi Black Friday”. Figers correct as of November 18th 2021. Updated on Nov 24, 2021, 1:04 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 24th, 2021

The best early Cyber Monday 2021 deals include the Always Pan, Xbox Game Pass, and Roku Streaming Stick

Cyber Monday is coming November 29. Here's what to expect from the event and deals you can shop now. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Alyssa Powell/InsiderCyber Monday is the online-focused sibling to Black Friday, and the event brings equally great discounts and sales straight to you. It's coming November 29, but tons of deals are already available now.Historically, the event has always been a great time to shop for tech, smart home, and gift cards — though stock is typically very limited. Acting fast is key to getting a good deal, so it's important to know what you're shopping for ahead of time.Below, we rounded up some of the best early Cyber Monday deals available now, plus answers to any questions you might have before the event.The best deals available nowNintendo eShop $50 Gift CardThe Nintendo eShop is the best place to shop for digital copies of Nintendo's games. This gift card is the perfect gift or investment for anyone with a Nintendo Switch. Better still, Nintendo's eShop offers several sales throughout the year. This means, patient shoppers can double their savings.$45.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $50.00 | Save 10%$50.00 FROM BEST BUY$45.00 FROM NEWEGGOriginally $50.00 | Save 10%Tineco Pure One S11 SpartanIt's no Dyson, but the Tineco Pure One S11 Spartan still has all of the convenience of a cordless stick vacuum for a lower price. Down to $220, it's a solid deal for a barebones S11 model without the extra attachments.$169.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $299.99 | Save 44%Instant Pot Duo Plus Pressure Cooker BundleThis bundle is a Target exclusive, and it includes an extra silicone egg rack and stainless steel steam rack for your pressure cooking needs. It’s only $60 right now — an excellent value for such a multifunctional kitchen appliance.$59.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $129.99 | Save 54%iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550) Robot VacuumThe i3+ costs considerably more than your average robot vacuum, but it also does a lot more than the average robot vacuum. It develops personalized cleaning schedules and empties itself. $399.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $599.99 | Save 33%$399.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $599.00 | Save 33%$399.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $599.99 | Save 33%$599.99 FROM IROBOTAmazon Echo (4th Gen)The latest Echo speaker from Amazon takes on a spherical design for more effective room-filling audio. $59.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $99.99 | Save 40%$59.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $99.99 | Save 40%$59.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $99.99 | Save 40%Our Place Always PanOur Place's Always Pan is multi-functional nonstick pan that's taken the internet by storm. It promises to replace eight different pieces of cookware in your kitchen. It can function as a steamer, saute pan, frying pan, and more. $99.00 FROM OUR PLACEOriginally $145.00 | Save 32%Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 SoundbarVizio's Elevate soundbar offers a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos experience with performance that rivals many full-fledged home theater systems.$799.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $1099.99 | Save 27%$799.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $1099.99 | Save 27%GoPro Hero 9 BlackThe Hero 9 Black is GoPro's newest flagship camera, capable of shooting videos up to 5K and photos up to 20 megapixels.$349.99 FROM REIOriginally $450.00 | Save 22%$349.98 FROM GOPROOriginally $449.95 | Save 22%$349.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $449.99 | Save 22%$449.99 FROM B&H$449.99 FROM ADORAMACuisinart Chef's Classic 17-Piece Hard-Anodized Cookware SetThis nonstick set includes nine different pans, lids to match, and a steamer for a total of 17 pieces. $219.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $399.99 | Save 45%Fitbit LuxeThe Fitbit Luxe is the company's latest fitness band that comes with a sleek design and advanced health features like stress management and the ability to measure heart rate variation.$99.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $149.99 | Save 33%$99.95 FROM FITBITOriginally $149.94 | Save 33%Xbox Game Pass for PC (3-Month Membership)Typically, you can get a 3-month Game Pass subscription for $30. Right now, it's only $20, a solid deal. This is the PC version, which gets you EA Play, exclusive member discounts, and unlimited to access to over 100 games. $1.00 FROM MICROSOFTOriginally $30.00 | Save 97%$19.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $29.99 | Save 33%$19.98 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $29.99 | Save 33%Roku Streaming Stick 4K (2021)Compared to the Roku Streaming Stick+, the new Streaming Stick 4K provides an improved viewing experience by adding support for Dolby Vision. This advanced high dynamic range (HDR) format can provide better picture quality on TVs that support it.$29.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $49.99 | Save 42%$29.99 FROM ROKUOriginally $49.99 | Save 40%$29.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $49.99 | Save 40%Bodum Chambord French PressThe Bodum Chambord is about as timeless as French presses get. It's unfussy and operates smoothly, and replacement parts (screens, braces, etc.) are affordable and easily attainable. $25.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $38.00 | Save 34%Mirror from lululemonThis isn't just a mirror. It's a cardio class, it's a yoga studio, it's a boxing ring, it's your new personal trainer, and it's so much more. For Cyber Monday, Mirror is on sale for $500 with the code "CYBERMONDAY20"$995.00 FROM MIRROROriginally $1495.00 | Save 33%When is Cyber Monday?Cyber Monday falls on the Monday after Black Friday every year. In 2021, the shopping event will land on November 29.As a continuation of sorts to Black Friday, Cyber Monday gives shoppers another opportunity to save on tech, home goods, clothing, and more that you might've missed while digesting Thanksgiving dinner. Unlike Black Friday, though, Cyber Monday is entirely online.What time does Cyber Monday start?Cyber Monday officially begins at 12 a.m. ET on November 29. That said, the event is expected to carry over many deals from Black Friday, so some discounts will likely already be available before that time.What is Cyber Monday?Cyber Monday began as the online version of Black Friday, where online retailers offered big discounts to match their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Now, Cyber Monday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, often surpassing even Black Friday in terms of revenue and sales. Previously, the main distinction between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was that Black Friday focused on in-store sales and Cyber Monday on online sales. But as shopping habits have increasingly favored the internet, shoppers can look forward to a very online-focused Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Cyber Monday offers a great opportunity to save on all your holiday gifts. How long do Cyber Monday sales last? Though Cyber Monday sales once took place on Monday only, we've seen them extend to longer and longer durations, with a handful lasting through the rest of the week. However, the best discounts we see are in limited supply and expire soon after they become available.What's better, Black Friday or Cyber Monday?With more and more buyers shopping online, the debate over which shopping holiday wins, is practically moot. Both events will be held predominantly online, and more than a few deals overlap. In fact, many Black Friday deals become Cyber Monday deals when the dates change. If possible, buyers should shop on both holidays. We've seen different products receive better discounts on each day, and the deals that each retailer offers will vary. Generally speaking, consumers shopping for big-ticket items, such as laptops, TVs, and kitchen appliances, can expect more opportunities on Black Friday. Shoppers looking for last year's models, smart home gadgets, digital subscriptions, and gift cards will likely find more luck during Cyber Monday.What should I buy during Cyber Monday?If a retailer offers Black Friday deals, it's a near guarantee that it will offer Cyber Monday deals, too. Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart are some noteworthy retailers that we know will participate in the shopping event, with deals across many product categories.We will likely see massive discounts on some of our favorite direct-to-consumer products during Cyber Monday, such as retail startups like Leesa and Brooklinen. For some online stores, Cyber Monday (or Cyber Week) will be one of the few times of the year when their products see major markdowns.Will there be Cyber Monday shipping delays?Shipping delays and shopping holidays are inextricably linked, so there's always a risk of late deliveries.To help you avoid the shipping crunch and get your stuff sooner, several retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, offer in-store pickup and contactless curbside pickup. This means shoppers can grab their orders at a nearby location, provided that the retailer has it in stock. Best Cyber Monday deals we saw last yearLast year, we saw a lot of great sales on Cyber Monday ranging from sitewide discounts to specific products. Everything from home and kitchen, to subscription services were on sale during last year's annual savings event.Here are a few of the best Cyber Monday deals from 2020.  Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Classic Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush was $179 from Kohl's, originally $229.FujiFilm Instax Mini 11 Camera Bundle was $70 from Kohl's on Cyber Monday last year, originally $120.Keurig K-Supreme Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker was $84 from Target on Cyber Monday last year, originally $140.How we select the best Cyber Monday dealsWe only choose products that meet our high standard of coverage, and that we've either used ourselves or researched carefully.We compare the prices among top retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart and only include the deals that are better than all others offered (not including promotional discounts that come from using certain credit cards).All deals are at least 20% off, with the occasional exception for products that are rarely discounted or provide an outsized value.Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 24th, 2021

Casey"s General Stores (CASY) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Casey's General Stores (CASY) closed at $200.60 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.32% move from the prior day. In the latest trading session, Casey's General Stores (CASY) closed at $200.60, marking a +0.32% move from the previous day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.17%. At the same time, the Dow added 0.55%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.4%.Prior to today's trading, shares of the convenience store chain had gained 3.34% over the past month. This has outpaced the Retail-Wholesale sector's gain of 1.41% and the S&P 500's gain of 3.19% in that time.Casey's General Stores will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be December 7, 2021. The company is expected to report EPS of $2.78, down 7.33% from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $3.15 billion, up 42.05% from the year-ago period.Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $8.68 per share and revenue of $12.02 billion. These totals would mark changes of +3.58% and +38.05%, respectively, from last year.Any recent changes to analyst estimates for Casey's General Stores should also be noted by investors. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection remained stagnant. Casey's General Stores currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).Digging into valuation, Casey's General Stores currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 23.05. This represents a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 20.49.The Retail - Convenience Stores industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 3, putting it in the top 2% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.To follow CASY in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 23rd, 2021

NCR to Streamline Starbucks" Technology Management in EMEA

NCR (NCR) partners with Starbuck EMEA to provide technology management solutions, while improving visibility and customer satisfaction of the coffee store. NCR Corporation NCR and Starbucks SBUX EMEA recently entered a partnership agreement under which the enterprise technology provider will help the coffee chain operator streamline technology management in Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) region.Per the agreement, NCR will be providing its Digital Connected Services solution and multi-lingual Service Desk team services.NCR’s Digital Connected Services is a one-stop shop for technology management for running business across software, hardware and services. The solution along with NCR’s multi-lingual Service Desk team provides organizations real-time monitoring, remote resolution, maintenance and reporting to run store operations from end to end.NCR’s solutions will help Starbucks EMEA streamline its technology use and increase visibility across its coffee store operations while maximizing customer satisfaction and lowering costs.In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to lower costs, food and restaurant chain operators globally have been seeking technology to automate their processes. Thus, NCR’s growing exposure in the store operation automation space is likely to act as a catalyst in the days ahead. NCR Corporation Price and Consensus NCR Corporation price-consensus-chart | NCR Corporation QuoteIn the recently concluded quarter, NCR’s revenues were $1.9 billion, reflecting a year-over-year surge of 20%, driven by contributions from the Cardtronics business, and solid growth across its banking and hospitality segments. In particular, hospitality revenues surged 29% to $223 million, primarily driven by increase in point-of-sale revenues across the company’s enterprise and small-and-medium business customers.Recently, NCR partnered with the Baltimore-based convenience store retailer, Royal Farm, to provide self-checkout solutions in more than 250 stores. Before that, it expanded its long term relationship with PenFed Credit Union, America’s second-largest federal credit union, to provide 2.4 million PenFed members cash deposit capabilities at more than 1,200 Allpoint ATMs.NCR has also been supplementing its business growth through acquisitions. In August, it signed two definitive agreements to acquire LibertyX, a cryptocurrency software provider, and Foremost Business Systems, a Minneapolis-based point-of-sale and restaurant solutions provider.NCR currently provides self-service kiosks for the financial services, retail, hospitality, travel and gaming industries. The kiosks are well-equipped to support numerous retail self-service functions, including self-check in/out, way-finding, bill payment and gift registries. These solutions create pleasant and convenient experiences for consumers, while reducing costs for NCR’s customers.Zacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderNCR currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Advanced Micro Devices AMD and Qualcomm QCOM, carrying Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Advanced Micro Devices’ fourth-quarter 2021 earnings has been revised upward by 8 cents to 76 cents per share over the past 30 days. For 2021, earnings estimates have moved upward by 15 cents to $2.65 per share in the past 30 days.Advanced Micro Devices’ earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the preceding four quarters, the average surprise being 14%. Shares of AMD stock have rallied 66.3% in the year-to-date (YTD) period.The consensus mark for Qualcomm’s first-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings has been raised to $3 per share from $2.63 in the past 30 days. For fiscal 2022, earnings estimates have been revised upward by 1 cent to $10.52 per share in the past seven days.Qualcomm’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 11.2%. Shares of QCOM stock have gained 19.1% YTD. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM): Free Stock Analysis Report Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD): Free Stock Analysis Report Starbucks Corporation (SBUX): Free Stock Analysis Report NCR Corporation (NCR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 23rd, 2021

Hepsiburada Announces Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results

ISTANBUL, Nov 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- D-MARKET Electronic Services & Trading (d/b/a "Hepsiburada") (NASDAQ:HEPS), a leading Turkish e-commerce platform (referred to herein as "Hepsiburada" or the "Company"), today announces its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021. Third-Quarter 2021 Financial and Operational Highlights Gross merchandise value (GMV) grew by 49.8% compared to Q3 2020, reaching TRY 6.5 billion. This growth was achieved against a strong baseline from the Covid-19 pandemic last year, and was driven by strong order growth supported by our progress in our growth drivers as well as robust NPS performance. In the first nine months of 2021, GMV growth was 54.9% compared to the same period in 2020. Number of orders increased 71.5% to 13.8 million, an all-time quarterly high, compared to 8.0 million orders delivered in Q3 2020. In the first nine months of this year, the number of orders increased 53.6% compared to the same period in 2020. Active Customers reached 10.7 million from 8.5 million in Q3 2020 on 26% increase. Frequency grew to 4.4 in Q3 2021 from 3.7 in Q3 2020 on 21% increase. Active Merchant base increased to 67 thousand from 36 thousand in Q3 2020 while number of SKUs reached 77 million as at September 30, 2021 compared to 37 million at September 31, 2020. Share of Marketplace GMV reached 70%, compared to 57% in Q3 2020, reflecting our commitment to a hybrid business model. The GMV shift to Marketplace is expected to result in long-term strategic advantages, enabling a wider selection of products with improved availability across long-tail products and services.  Revenue slightly decreased by 0.8% compared to Q3 2020, reaching TRY 1,658.3 million. Despite the 49.8% GMV growth, the revenue outcome is mainly a reflection of the shift in GMV mix in favor of Marketplace and an increase in customer discounts in response to slowdown in market growth rate and intensified competition.   EBITDA was negative TRY 659.4 million in Q3 2021 compared to positive TRY 8.9 million in Q3 2020. The decline is mainly due to lower gross contribution driven primarily by higher customer discounts offered to stimulate customer demand. These discounts were also supported by an increase in advertising. Compared to Q3 2020, we experienced higher unit cost of advertising. As a result, net loss for the period was TRY 778.4 million compared to a net loss of TRY 79.6 million for Q3 2020. Free cash flow was negative TRY 639.0 million, compared to negative TRY 76.5 million in Q3 2020, driven by the increase in cash flow from operating activities to negative TRY 582.4 million which is mainly due to the TRY 698.8 million increase in our net loss for the period. Commenting on the results, Mr. Emirdag, CEO of Hepsiburada said: "In the third quarter, we observed challenging market conditions with competition intensifying and online consumer activity slowing as Turkey began to emerge from the COVID 19 restrictions. We responded to this new environment by increasing total customer discounts and expanding advertising and marketing spend. However, we also continued to invest in our growth drivers, brand, customer and merchant experience, and our infrastructure across operations, logistics and technology. As a result, we saw strong momentum in growth drivers of our business including active customers, order frequency, active merchants, and selection. Our NPS performance is a strong sign of the value of our differentiated customer experience, including frictionless return. Furthermore, considering the encouraging progress in our strategic assets, particularly HepsiPay, HepsiExpress and HepsiJet, we believe we are well positioned for long-term value creation. Based on the current trends, we expect to achieve around TRY 24 billion GMV in 2021. As the Turkish e-commerce market is expected to double its penetration within total retail by 2025, we are committed to delivering on our drivers of sustainable growth, key differentiators and strategic assets with a disciplined cash management." Summary: Key Operational and Financial Metrics The following table sets forth a summary of the key operating and financial data for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2021, and September 30, 2020. The following table contains selected quarterly operational and financial information derived from our unaudited quarterly and nine months consolidated interim financial information, which are reported under IFRS applicable to interim financial reporting. The interim consolidated financial information included herein have not been audited. (in TRY million unless indicated otherwise) Three months ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30, 2021 2020 y/y % 2021 2020 y/y % GMV (TRY in billions) 6.5 4.3 49.8% 16.8 10.9 54.9% Marketplace GMV (TRY in billions) 4.5 2.4 84.5% 11.7 6.3 84.1% Share of Marketplace GMV (%) 70% 57% 13pp 69% 58% 11pp Number of orders (millions) 13.8 8.0 71.5% 36.1 23.5 53.6% Active Customer (millions) 10.7 8.5 26.1% 10.7 8.5 26.1% Revenue 1,658.3 1,671.7 (0.8%) 4,798.9 4,176.0 14.9% Gross contribution 280.0 380.6 (26.4%) 1,187.3 1,065.8 11.4% Gross contribution margin (%) 4.3% 8.8% (4.5pp) 7.1% 9.8% (2.7pp) Net loss for the period (778.4) (79.6) 877.9% (1,339.8) (151.7) 783.2% EBITDA (659.4) 8.9 n.m (951.6) 94.9 n.m EBITDA as a percentage of GMV (%) (10.2%) 0.2% (10.4pp) (5.7%) 0.9% (6.6pp) Net cash provided by operating activities (582.4) (47.8) n.m 44.6 182.9 n.m Free Cash Flow (639.0) (76.5) n.m (92.3) 120.1 n.m Note that EBITDA and free cash flow are non-IFRS financial measures. See "Presentation of Financial and Other Information" section of this press release for a definition of such non-IFRS measures, a discussion of the limitations on their use, and reconciliations of the non-IFRS measures to the most directly comparable IFRS measures. See the definitions of metrics such as GMV, Marketplace GMV, share of Marketplace GMV, gross contribution, gross contribution margin, EBITDA as a percentage of GMV and number of orders and Active Customer in the "Certain Definitions" section of this press release. Financial Outlook The below forward-looking statements reflect Hepsiburada's expectations as of November 23, 2021, considering trends year to date and could be subject to change, and involve inherent risks which we are not able to control. The financial outlook is based on management's current views and estimates with respect to market conditions, customer demand, the uncertainty of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the broader competitive environment.  Please refer to the Forward Looking Statements section below.  Management's views and estimates are subject to change without notice. Based on the recent performance and current outlook, as we reported on November 12, 2021, our guidance of full year 2021 GMV is at around TRY 24 billion. We remain committed to our long term value proposition and to delivering on our drivers of sustainable growth, key differentiators, strategic assets and value-added services for customers and merchants with a disciplined cash management, which we believe will result in long-term value for our company and shareholders. We believe in the significant long-term market opportunity in the digitalization of the Turkish market. As we address these growth opportunities, we have no plans to go to capital markets to raise any funds in the next 18 months. Key Business Developments GMV and Order Growth Our Q3 2021 GMV grew by 49.8% compared to the same period of last year to TRY 6.5 billion. This solid growth was registered against an already strong third quarter of 2020 (i.e. 127% GMV growth in Q3 2020 compared to Q3 2019). At a two-year compounded annual growth rate1, our Q1 2021, Q2 2021 and Q3 2021 GMV growth rates were 68%, 86% and 84%, respectively. Total number of orders in the third quarter was 13.8 million, a 71.5% increase compared to the same period of last year and a 5.2% increase compared to the second quarter of 2021. The continued growth in orders is also supported by our strategic assets, particularly HepsiExpress and underpins our success in attracting and engaging customers to shop on the Hepsiburada platform. The GMV growth was achieved via a larger Active Customer base and rising frequency since our Active Customer base increased to 10.7 million in Q3 2021 from 8.5 million in Q3 2020 while our frequency grew to 4.4 in Q3 2021 from 3.7 in Q3 2020. Our last twelve month GMV per Active Customer grew by 32.8% in the third quarter compared to the same period of Q3 2020. Marketplace In the third quarter, Marketplace's share of overall GMV rose 13 percentage points to 70% compared with the third quarter of 2020. This performance matched the first half of 2021, during which Marketplace accounted for roughly 70% of GMV. We believe a greater share of Marketplace in our hybrid model (1P, direct sales and 3P, Marketplace) is essential to offer greater availability, wider selection, and more long-tail products and services. Accordingly, our Active Merchant base continued to increase reaching 67 thousand in Q3 2021 from 36 thousand in Q3 2020 while number of SKUs reached 77 million as at September 30, 2021 compared to 37 million as at September 30, 2020. In line with our strategy, we continued to provide a set of value-added-services to our merchants on our platform. As such, during the third quarter, our last mile delivery service, HepsiJet delivered around 53% of total Marketplace parcels. HepsiLojistik, our fulfillment services provider, has increased its focus on scaling its volume from merchants on our platform, running its operations at our six fulfillment centers. Meanwhile, approximately 12 thousand merchants used our adtech solution through our advertising platform, HepsiAd in the third quarter, generating our advertisement revenues. Moreover, in the first nine months, around 39 thousand training sessions were completed on HepsiAkademi (our training portal) by our merchants, accelerating their integration. We continued to make it easy for our merchants to maximize their success on our platform by providing them with a comprehensive set of advanced tools and services. Our merchant portal and proprietary merchant store management tools contribute to efficiency both from the merchant and the platform perspective and help to boost their sales. We continuously invest in enhancing the toolkits on our merchant portal and, in the third quarter, introduced new capabilities regarding campaign management as well as financial performance analytics. Furthermore, we developed a new merchant app, namely HepsiPartner, which became available in app stores in November. We believe HepsiPartner app will bring along further convenience and efficiency for our merchants. As the total number of SKUs on our platform reached 77 million at the end of the third quarter, we successfully onboarded one of the leading local department stores in Turkey (Boyner) and one of the leading mother and baby product retailers (ebebek) among others. During the past 12 months, over 50 thousand brands were introduced on our platform, expanding our selection largely in fashion & lifestyle, books & hobbies and home & garden domains. In the third quarter, HepsiGlobal Inbound also continued to increase its selection nearly by five times compared to the previous quarter by onboarding nearly 300 additional merchants. Customer Experience Based on the results of the market research by Future Bright (a local research company) conducted for Hepsiburada, our NPS performance marked the highest at 65% in the Turkish e-commerce market in September. This score underpins superior customer experience on our platform. As a household brand name in Turkey with 99% total awareness2, we welcomed 240 million sessions on our platform on a monthly average, up from 164 million during the same period of last year. During the third quarter, we continued our focus on excelling customer experience by scaling key differentiators. Being instrumental to our strong performance in customer experience, HepsiJet is highly focused on increasing its delivery speed through its operations in 81 cities with 153 cross-docks and around 1,800 carriers as of the end of the third quarter.  In the third quarter, HepsiJet delivered 75% of the orders from retail (1P) on the next day. With regards to delivery speed, in the third quarter, we introduced an option to filter "Next-day Delivery" products across our platform, facilitating further convenience. Our aim is to widen the range of such products across the platform as we partner with more merchants committing to this operational speed. By the end of October 2021, our logistics footprint reached over 190 thousand sqm, following the rental of a new warehouse in Tuzla (Istanbul) along with the rise in number of transfer hubs from 9 to 14. Thanks to our robust logistics capabilities, we offer "frictionless return" where we pick up returns from customers' doors at their preferred schedule across the country at no additional fee (subject to certain exceptions). To our knowledge, we are the only e-commerce player that offers this service in Turkey. With this service, we were awarded with the Golden Stevie at the International Business Awards in the "Best User Experience" category in October. During the quarter, HepsiJet also expanded the coverage of cities where it provides the two-man cargo handling service, called HepsiJet XL, and began offering scheduled return pick-up for such oversized products. Addressing the need for high quality and reliable service in that particular segment, HepsiJet's two-man cargo handling service is highly appreciated by customers, recording nearly 97% customer satisfaction score in September according to our internal reporting. New Strategic Assets: HepsiPay and HepsiExpress With its license to operate as an open wallet, HepsiPay aspires to evolve into best-in-class payment companion enabling frictionless platform experience across payments, money transfers, and incremental fintech capabilities across online and offline. Since its debut in June 2021, HepsiPay has continued its rapid penetration, recording 2.7 million HepsiPay Wallet customers and TRY2.4 billion GMV passing through its wallet as of the end of October. HepsiPay is focused on developing new use cases linked with the Hepsipay Wallet and payments landscape including seamless integration with other Hepsiburada assets. HepsiPay is also expanding its partner ecosystem. Accordingly, in November, HepsiPay has agreed with Paycell, a fintech subsidiary of Turkey's leading telecom operator Turkcell, to enable direct carrier billing capability at HepsiPay Wallet. By doing so, Turkcell subscribers will be able to shop at Hepsiburada without a credit or debit card. HepsiExpress, our on-demand grocery delivery service with instant and slotted delivery options, had expanded its ecosystem to include over 50 brands and roughly 1,950 stores at the end of the third quarter. Aiming to offer the widest selection for grocery shopping, HepsiExpress continues its progress in its partnership ecosystem. Migros, a leading national retailer, also agreed to join our HepsiExpress partner ecosystem in November. By the end of the third quarter, HepsiExpress delivery resources (i.e. pickers, vehicles and motorbikes) exceeded 3,400. With its scaled operational resources and optimization efforts, HepsiExpress has increased its daily order capacity. The introduction of cross-service search capability provided easy product discoverability as well as frictionless price and product portfolio comparison among different stores. By expanding into adjacent offerings such as Water and Flower, HepsiExpress began providing a greater spectrum of services in a hyper-localized way. Moreover, HepsiExpress enlarged its addressable audience by accepting payments via debit card. Social Consciousness, Diversity and Inclusion Our "Technology Empowerment for Women Entrepreneurs" program providing numerous benefits to women entrepreneurs on our platform covered approximately 24,000 entrepreneurs from across Turkey as at the end of the third quarter. Since August, through our collaboration with one of the mid-tier banks in Turkey, women entrepreneurs in our program have easier access to funding alternatives. We remain committed to continuing this inspirational program which was awarded with The Stevies For Women in Business in November. In July, together with TOBB (Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey), we initiated the "HepsiTurkiye'den" program ("Everything from across Turkey") which gathers over three thousand long-tail products from local manufacturers and entrepreneurs with local practices including specialty food products, traditional handcrafts, organic farming and such with a geographical indication. By doing so, we aim to provide wider reach to local selection from local manufacturers and entrepreneurs. Hepsiburada Financial Review (in TRY million unless indicated otherwise) Three months ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30, 2021 2020 y/y % 2021 2020 y/y % GMV (TRY billion) 6.5 4.3 49.8% 16.8 10.9 54.9% Marketplace GMV (TRY billion) 4.5 2.4 84.5% 11.7 6.3 84.1% Share of Marketplace GMV (%) 70% 57% 13pp 69% 58% 11pp Revenue 1,658.3 1,671.7 (0.8%) 4,798.9 4,176.0 14.9% Gross contribution 280.0 380.6 (26.4%) 1,187.3 1,065.8 11.4% Gross contribution margin (%) 4.3% 8.8% (4.5pp) 7.1% 9.8% (2.7pp) Net loss for the period (778.4) (79.6) 877.9% (1,339.8) (151.7) 783.2% EBITDA (659.4) 8.9 n.m (951.6) 94.9 n.m EBITDA as a percentage of GMV (%) (10.2%) 0.2% (10.4pp) (5.7%) 0.9% (6.6pp) Net cash provided by operating activities (582.4) (47.8) n.m 44.6 182.9 n.m Free Cash Flow (639.0) (76.5) n.m (92.3) 120.1 n.m Revenue (in TRY million unless indicated otherwise) Three months ended September 30, 2021 % of Revenues 2020 % of Revenues y/y% Sale of goods1 (1P) 1,432.5 86.4% 1,420.8 85.0% 0.8% Marketplace revenue2 (3P) 30.0 1.8% 151.1 9.0% (80.1%) Delivery service revenue 173.3 10.5% 94.9 5.7% 82.6% Other 22.5 1.3% 4.9 0.3% 359.2% Revenue 1,658.3 100.0% 1,671.7 100.0% (0.8%) 1: In 1P model, we act as a principal and initially recognize revenue from the sales of goods on a gross basis at the time of delivery of the goods to our customers.2: In 3P model, revenues are recorded on a net basis, mainly consisting of marketplace commission, transaction fees and other contractual charges to the merchants. Revenue slightly declined by 0.8% to TRY 1,658.3 million in Q3 2021 compared to the ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 23rd, 2021

Learning From James Dyson

When you look back in history at some of mankind’s greatest achievements, one of the things that stands out in almost every case is that those successes came with a lot of blood, sweat and tears and an incredible amount of persistence. Often what appeared on the surface to be an “overnight success’’ actually took […] When you look back in history at some of mankind’s greatest achievements, one of the things that stands out in almost every case is that those successes came with a lot of blood, sweat and tears and an incredible amount of persistence. Often what appeared on the surface to be an “overnight success’’ actually took years to achieve. Henry Ford and his self-propelled vehicle, Walt Disney and his animated pictures, Alexander Bell and his telephone and even the Wright Brothers and their aeroplane; all were examples of people who failed many, many times before they eventually succeeded, often facing distressing financial hardship along the way. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Icahn eBook! Get our entire 10-part series on Carl Icahn and other famous investors in PDF for free! Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet or print it! Sign up below. NO SPAM EVER (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more But if you were one of these people and were inventing something that could be potentially momentous and change things forever, at what point would you give up after encountering multiple failures? After 10 attempts? 50? What about 1,000? You’d have to think you were on a road to nowhere if you had failed that many times. So how about 5,127 times? How does that grab you? Incredibly, that’s the number of hand-made prototypes James Dyson built over a four year period before he finally achieved success with his cyclonic vacuum cleaner. Labouring through trial and error, Dyson overcame a brutal patent abuse, endless rejections from both venture capitalists and the world’s leading appliance manufacturers whilst managing an ever expanding overdraft he didn’t extinguish until the age of forty-eight. Contrast that with today, Sir James Dyson is the UK’s fourth richest resident with a net worth of c.US$9.7 billion. Dyson struck on the idea of a cyclonic vacuum from his experience manufacturing his first product, the ‘Ballbarrow.’ Applying paint to the metal frame created havoc in the factory - excess waste and mess. Seeking a solution, Dyson asked around the trade and eventually arrived at a cyclonic separator. He recalled, ‘I found the centrifuge dust extraction principle of the cyclonic separator utterly fascinating.’ James Dyson’s recently published memoir, ‘James Dyson - Invention: A Life,’ is a tale of constant innovation, incredible challenges overcome and the deep resilience required to create one of today’s leading technology companies. One of my favourite insights from the book relates to the opportunity set afforded Dyson by the vacuum industry’s incumbent players. Hamilton Helmer labelled this power ‘Counter-Positioning’ in his best-selling book on competitive strategy, ‘7 Powers.’ The opportunity arises when a newcomer adopts a new, superior business model which the incumbent doesn’t mimic due to anticipated damage to their existing business. In the case of vacuum cleaners, the incumbents were making billions selling replacement bags to their customers. Why create a product which puts at risk that perpetual revenue stream? If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about successful business founders, it’s that there is no straight line to success. Without perseverance and resilience beyond the scope of all but the rarest of people, these businesses would die on the vine. I’ve included some of my favourite extracts below. Failure and 'Trial & Error' “This might sound boring and tedious to the outsider. I get that. But when you have set yourself an objective that, if reached, might pioneer a better solution to existing technologies and products, you become engaged, hooked and even one-track-minded. Folklore depicts invention as a flash of brilliance. That eureka moment! But it rarely is, I’m afraid. It is more about failure than ultimate success. I even thought about calling this book ‘James Dyson: Failure’, but was talked out of it because it might give the wrong impression.” “The failures began to excite me. ‘Wait a minute, that should have worked, now why didn’t it?’” “Research is about conducting experiments, accepting and even enjoying failures, but going on and on, following a theory garnered from observing the science. Invention is often more about endurance and patient observation than brainwaves.” “Learning by trail and error, or experimentation, can be exciting, the lessons learned deeply ingrained. Learning by failure is a remarkably good way of gaining knowledge. Failure is to be welcomed, rather than avoided. It should not be feared by the engineer or scientist or indeed by anyone else.” “The Ballbarrow - my first consumer product, my first solo effort - was a failure but one from which I learned valuable lessons. There was a lesson about assigning patents, another about not having shareholders. I learned the importance of having absolute control of my company and not undervaluing it.” “One of the really important principles I learned to apply was changing only one thing at a time to see what difference that one change made. People think that a breakthrough is arrived by a spark of brilliance or even a eureka thought in the bath. I wish it were for me. Eureka moments are very rare. More usually, you start off by testing a particular set-up, and by making one change at a time you start to understand what works and what fails. By that empirical means you begin the journey towards making the breakthrough, which usually happens in an unexpected way.” “I worked on the [production] line for two weeks to understand how to make the vacuum cleaner more efficiently and have watched all of our lines ever since .. I learned which components were difficult to assemble and encouraged our engineers to visit lines frequently. Most importantly, this experience helped me look as all our subsequent products to understand where production inefficiencies fell.” “Of the 5,127 prototypes I made in the coach house of the cyclone technology for my first vacuum cleaner, all but the very last one were failures. And yet, as well as painstakingly solving a problem, I was also going through a process of self-education and learning. Each failure taught me something and was a step towards a working model. I have been questioning things and learning every day ever since.” “Learning by doing, Learning by trial and error. Learning by failing. These are all effective forms of education.” “When I was trying, unsuccessfully, to raise capital to start my vacuum cleaner business, all the venture capitalists turned me down, with one even saying that they might consider the opportunity if I had someone heading up the company from the domestic appliance industry. This was at a time when that industry was vanishing from Britain because, taken as a whole, its products were uncompetitive.” Life Lessons “Every day is a form of education.” “It was playing games, however, that taught me the need to train hard and to understand teamwork and tactics. The planning of surprise tactics, and the ability to adapt to circumstance, are vital life lessons. These virtues are unlikely to be learned from academic life and certainly not from learning by rote.” “Long-distance running taught me to overcome the pain barrier: when everyone else feels exhausted, that is the opportunity to accelerate, whatever the pain, and win the race. Stamina and determination along with creativity are needed in overcoming seemingly impossible difficulties in research and other life challenges.” “Doing things with my hands, often as an autodidact and with an almost absence of fear, became second nature. Learning by making things was as important as learning by the academic route. Visceral experience is a powerful teacher. Perhaps we should pay more attention to this form of learning. Not everyone learns in the same way.” Creativity & Invention “In order to stay ahead we need to focus increasingly on our creativity.” “At Dyson, we don’t particularly value experience. Experience tells you what you ought to do and what you’d do best to avoid. It tells you how things should be done when we are much more interested in how things shouldn’t be done. If you want to pioneer and invent new technology you need to step into the unknown and, in that realm, experience can be a hindrance.” “[You] need to listen to your customers, aiming to improve products wherever necessary and, if you are an inventor, simply for improvements sake. This is not to say we at Dyson ask our customers what they want and build it. That type of focus-group-led designing may work inn the very short term, but not for long.” “I still find myself saying and putting into practice some of the same things Jeremy Fry [an early mentor/employer] said and did when I worked for him half a century ago. As an inventor, engineer and entrepreneur, he believed in taking on young people with no experience because this way he employed those with curious, unsullied and open minds.” “The inventing mind knows instinctively that there are always further questions to be asked and new discoveries to be made.” “The Land Rover, the Swiss Army penknife, the Citroen 2CV, the Bell 47 helicopter and Alec Issigoni’s Mini - what I liked so much about these machines - and my affection for them remains undimmed - is their ingenuity and the fact that the power of invention invested in them made for designs that re-imagined and revolutionised their market sectors and even created wholly new markets. And yet, for all their functionality, each is a highly individual product with a character and charm of its own. What is equally interesting is that these radical machines made use of pre-existing ideas and components.” “A design might be considered ahead of its time and, sometimes because of this, even ridiculous. The hugely successful Sony Walkman was dismissed when first launched because who could possibly want a tape recorder that couldn’t record. And it was received knowledge, until Volkswagen and, later, Honda crossed the Atlantic with the Beetle and the Accord that Americans were wedded resolutely to big cars.” “The Sony Walkman is another fascinating success story because, at first, its design appeared to defy common sense. Priced at $150, the compact silver and blue Walkman wasn’t cheap, while within Sony it was controversial and brave because it was unable to record, and no one made a ‘tape recorder’ that wouldn’t do so before… With lightweight foam headphones and no function other than playback, the Walkman emerged. The press lampooned it. Even the name was ridiculous. The Japanese press was wrong, although the market hadn’t known it wanted a tiny personal stereo. When it saw the attractive little device, and heard it in action, it fell in love with it… By the mid-1980’s, the word had entered the Oxford English Dictionary. Sony’s Masura Ibuka - one of the Japanese company’s founders - hoped to sell 5,000 Walkmans a month. He sold 50,000 in the first two months. By the time production ended in Japan in 2010, more than 400 million had been sold worldwide.” “Without entrepreneurship, an inventor may not be able to bring their radical or revolutionary products to the marketplace or at least not under their own control. Without becoming an entrepreneur, they have to licence their technology, putting them at the mercy of other companies that may or may not have a long-term commitment to a particular new idea or way of thinking about the future.” “The idea [for the cyclonic vacuum cleaner] had been in my head since welding up the giant metal cyclone for the Ballbarrow factory. Now it made increasing sense. Here was a field - the vacuum cleaner industry - where there has been no innovation for years, so the market ought to be ripe for something new. And, because houses need cleaning throughout the year, a vacuum cleaner is not, like my Ballbarrow, a seasonal product. It is also recession proof. Every household needs one. It seemed to tick all the boxes. In any case, I’d used one since childhood and knew from experience that there had to be a better vacuum cleaner.” “If you believe you can achieve something - whether as a long distance runner or maker of a wholly new type of vacuum cleaner - then you have to give the project 100% of your creative energy. You have to believe that you’ll get there in the end. You need determination, patience and willpower.” “Bio-mimicry is clearly a powerful weapon in an engineer’s armoury.” “It’s a part of the Dyson story that I made 5,127 prototypes to get a model I could set about licensing. This is indeed the exact number. Testing and making one change after another was time-consuming. This, though, was necessary as I needed to follow up and prove or disprove every theory I had. And, however frustrating, I refused to be defeated by failure. All of the 5,126 I rejected - 5,126 so-called failures - were part of the process of discovery and improvement before getting it right on the 5,127th time. Failure, as I had already begun to learn with my experience with the Ballbarrow business is very important. I find it important to repeat that we do, or certainly should, learn from our mistakes and we should be free to make them.” “Every judgement in science stands on the edge of error and is personal… I have long had great admiration for engineers like Alec Issigonis [designed the Mini] and Andrew Lefebvre of Citroen .. they questioned orthodoxy, experimented, took calculated risks, stood on the edge of error and got things right. And when they got there, they continued to ask questions.” “One of the ways we made Dyson distinctive is by not allowing ourselves to rest on our laurels.” “A jet engine spins at 15,000 rpm, a Formula 1 engine at 19,000 rpm and a conventional vacuum cleaner motor at 30,000 rpm. Why go very much faster? Although at the time we were neither designers nor manufacturers of electric motors, we wanted to come up with a breakthrough in their design, creating a quantum leap in performance: many times faster, much lighter and smaller, brushless for a longer life and no emissions, more electrically efficient and above all controllable for speed, power and consumption.. The turbine speed we initially aimed for was 120,000 rpm.. Today, Dyson pioneers the world’s smallest high-speed motors. These have enabled us to reinvent the vacuum cleaner again with a pioneering new Dyson format. They have also allowed us to improve products in wholly new areas.” “People often ask if we would supply other companies with our motors. Although it might be profitable to do so, we supply no one other than ourselves. This is because I want Dyson engineers to be 100% focused on our next exciting motor development and not retrofitting our motors to someone else’s product.” “With each new motor we aimed to double its power output and halve it’s weight.” “We had been experimenting for some time with blades of air and working with sophisticated computational fluid-dynamics models for a project that remains secret… We had accidentally developed a new form of hand dryer. What’s more it didn’t need a heater… It has a carbon footprint six times smaller than that of paper towels… Despite our inroads, the paper towel industry retains 90% of the hand-drying market, worth billions of dollars each year. The big players want to defend a highly lucrative status quo.” “As often happens, our observations during the development of the Dyson Airblade hand dryer led us to the principles used in other products, like our Air Multiplier fans and, in turn, to heaters, humidifiers and air purifiers.” “For me, [the hairdryer] was another of those products, used frequently by hundreds of millions of people, stuck in a technological time warp. Existing hairdryers were heavy and uncomfortable to use.” “Ever since the Industrial Resolution, inventions had tended to compound inventions.” “It is hard for other people to understand or get excited about an entirely new idea. This requires self-reliance and faith on part of the inventor. I can also see that it is hard for an outsider to understand the challenge and thrill of inventing new technology, designing and manufacturing the product then selling it to the world.” “After the event, a revolutionary new idea can look so obvious - surely no one could possibly have doubted it? At their conception, though, new ideas are not blindingly obvious. They are fragile things in need of encouragement and nurturing against doubting Thomases, know-it-alls and so-called experts. Just as Frank Whittle discovered, it is easy for people to say ‘no,’ to dismiss new ideas and to be stick-in-the-muds, pessimists, or even cynics. It is much harder to see how something unexpected might be a success.” “We certainly have taken big risks, with the digital electric motors, the washing machine, the electric car and our research into solid-state batteries. Not all have been commercially successful. That is the point. By its very nature, pioneering will not always be successful, otherwise it would be all too easy. We don’t start these ventures with the inevitability of success - we are all to aware we may well fail.” Obliquity “Inventors rarely set out to make money per se, and if they do theirs is more often than not a pipe dream.” “I didn’t work on those 5,127 vacuum cleaner prototypes or even set up Dyson to make money. I did it because I had a burning desire to do so. And as do my thousands of colleagues, I find inventing, researching, testing, designing and manufacturing both highly creative and deeply satisfying.” Focus Groups & Experts “Just before the launch of the Mini car, Austin Morris did indeed consult a focus group, and nobody wanted this tiny car with small wheels. So they cut the production lines down to one. When the public saw it on the street, they were most enthusiastic for it. Austin Morris never caught up with demand, missing out on serious profits.” “The bestselling British car of all time is the Mini - If market research had ruled Alec Issigoni’s roost at BMC, it would never had existed… Alec’s view [was] that ‘market research is bunk’ and that one should ‘never copy the opposition.’” “I am cautious of experts .. Experts tend to be confident that they have all the answers and because of this trait, they can kill new ideas. But when you are trying to break new ground, you have no interest in getting stuck in engineering conventions or intellectual mud.” “Venture capitalists proved to be no help. [Six] venture capitals turned me down.” “I had been warned that at £200, or at least three times as expensive as most other vacuum cleaners, the DC01 would prove to be too expensive. It sold really well.” “The marketing team, who I listened to, said to me, ‘If you make it £200 cheaper you will sell a lot more [Dyson washing machines],’ and I believed them. We made it £200 cheaper and sold exactly the same number at £899.99 as we had a £1,089 and ended up losing even more money. I had made a classic mistake. This might sound counter-intuitive, but I should have increased the price. The Contrarotator was not meant to be a low cost washing machine.” “Although there is no guarantee of success, disruptive ideas can revolutionise a company and its finances through intuition, imagination and risk-taking as opposed to market research, business plans and strategic investment.” “Early on in our story, the [Dyson vacuum cleaner’s] clear bin was another ‘clear’ example of going our own way regardless. Trusting our own instincts, we decided to ignore the research and the retailers. Pete and I had been developing the vacuum cleaner and we loved seeing the dust and the dirt. We didn’t want to hide all the hard work the machine had done. Going against established ‘experts’ was a huge risk. No one could confirm that what we were doing was a good idea. Everyone, in fact, confirmed the reverse. The data were all against it. If, however, we had believed ‘the science’ and not trusted our instincts, we would have ended up following the path of dull conformity.” Innovation, Constant Improvement & Change “I greatly admire Soichiro Honda for his addiction to the continuous improvement of products. and Takeo Fujisawa. Their genius was to think against the grain while focusing on continuous improvement. The company [Honda] continues to invest a sizeable chunk of its income into R&D, aiming for constant improvement and innovation.” “Rather like the way some sharks have to keep moving to stay alive, innovative engineering-led manufacturers need continuous innovation to stay competitive. Striving for new and better products is often what defines such companies. At Dyson, we never stand still. In a quarter of a century, we have gone from making a revolutionary vacuum cleaner to prototypes of a radical electric car. Invention tends to compound invention and companies need to be set up for this.” “What was exciting is that, although our main focus was the vacuum cleaner, our thinking was that of a tech company. How else could we evolve cyclonic technology? What other uses could we put it to?” “Investment in new technologies requires many leaps of faith and huge financial commitment over long periods.” “I believe that it is critical to keep on improving and never to relax with a product that appears to be selling well. Permanently dissatisfied is how an engineer should feel.” “Our product development process is now truly a twenty-four hours a day process.” “What I can say is that if you came back to see what Dyson’s up to in five, ten, twenty or a hundred years from now, whether with our products or through our farms, things will be very different indeed. It’s all tremendously exciting and we should have cause for optimism.” “Every day is an adventure and a response to the unexpected. Even if things appear to be in some kind of stasis, a company must move on. It has to get better, evolve and improve in order to survive. There is no greater danger than satisfaction.” “What we do know is that companies always have to change to get better at what they do, plan to do and even dream of doing in the future. The adage that the only certainty is change is true, and this means not being afraid of change even if, for a company, it means dismantling what you have built in order to rebuild it stronger or killing your own successful product with a better one, as we did with our new format battery vacuum cleaners.” Counter-Positioning “Anyone watching me at work might reasonably have wondered why Electrolux and Hoover weren’t making and selling a vacuum cleaner like mine. With all their resources, surely they could have leaped ahead of me - one man and his dog, as it were, in a rural coach house - and cornered the market between them. There were though, at least three good reasons why they didn’t even think of pursuing a similar path to me. One, which went without saying, was that the ‘No Loss of Suction’ vacuum cleaner had yet to be invented. The second was that the vacuum cleaner bag replacement business was highly profitable. And the third, to my surprise, was that well established electrical goods companies seemed remarkably uninterested in new technology. With no outside challenges, they could afford to rest on their laurels. For the moment at least.” “I went to see Electrolux, Hotpoint, Miele, Siemens, Bosch, AEG, Philips - the lot - and was rejected by every one of them. Although frustrating, what I did learn is that none of them was interested in doing something new and different. They were, as I had already understood, more interested in defending the vacuum cleaner bag market, worth more than $500 million in Europe alone at the time. Here, though was an opportunity. Might consumers be persuaded to stop spending so much on replacement bags, which, by the way, are made of spun plastic and are not biodegradable, and opt for a bag-less vacuum cleaner that offered constant suction instead? If so, I might stand a chance against these established companies.” Multi-Disciplinary Approach “I loved my time at the Royal College of Art not least because of its lively and inventive cross-disciplinary approach. Here, as I progressed, I realised that art and science, inventing and making, thinking and doing could be one and the same thing. I dared to dream that I could be an engineer, designer and manufacturer at one and the same time.” Commerciality & The ‘Art of Selling’ “Inventions, though, no matter how ingenious and exciting, are of little use unless they can be translated through engineering and design into products that stimulate or meet a need and can sell.” “Even the most worthwhile and world changing inventions, from ballpoint pen to the Harrier Jump Jet, need to be a part of the process of making and selling to succeed.” “Selling goes with manufacturing as wheels do with a bicycle. It is far more than flogging second-hand cars or contraband wristwatches. Products do not walk off shelves and into people’s homes, And when a product is entirely new, the art of selling is needed to explain it. What it is. How it works. Why you might need and want it.” “Jeremy Fry taught me not to try to pressure people into buying but to ask them lots of questions about what they did, how they worked and what they might expect of a new product. Equally, I learned that most people don’t really know exactly what they want, or if they do it’s only from what they know , what is available or possible at the time. As Henry Ford said, famously if he asked American farmers what they wanted in terms of future transport, they would have answered ‘faster horses.’ You need to show them new possibilities, new ideas and new products and explain these as lucidly as possible. Dyson advertising focuses on how our products are engineered and how they work, rather than on gimmicks and snappy sales lines.” “Word of mouth and editorial remain the best way to tell people what you have done. It is far more believable than advertising and a real compliment when intelligent journalists want to go off and talk about your product on their own free will. If you have new technology and a new product, a journalist’s opinion and comment is far more important and believable than an advertisement.” “Within eighteen months, the DC01 vacuum cleaner was the biggest seller in the UK market. Our first sales were through hefty mail order catalogues. These devoted a few pages to vacuum cleaners. We were among the last pages, at the bottom, with a small, square picture of the DC01… Ours was the most expensive in these catalogues by some margin and they were not the sort of place you would expect expensive items to be sold. Both we and the buyers at the catalogue were, in fact, astonished that DC01 did so well through their pages, with repeat orders coming in. I have never, though, believed that someone’s income is a bar to them wanting to buy the best product and a vacuum cleaner is an important purchase.” “We decided to highlight the Achilles’ heel of other vacuums - the bag and its shortcomings.” “I love the fact we tackled prosaic products, making the vacuum cleaner into a high-performance machine.” “From the beginning we decided that we would create our own publicity materials and advertising. We would not use outside agencies. This is because we want to talk fearlessly about technology, which, of course is what had driven Dyson into being. Since we have developed the technology, we should know how to explain it to others.” “I didn’t want anyone to buy our vacuum cleaner through slick advertising. I wanted them to buy it because it performed. We could be straightforward in what we said, explaining things simply and clearly.” “I believe that trustworthiness and loyalty come from striving to develop and make high performing products and then looking after customers who have bought them. I am not a believer in the theory that great marketing campaigns can replace great products. What you say should be true to who you are.” Manufacturing “Experience taught me that, ideally, a manufacturer - Dyson certainly - should aim to source as little as possible from outside the company. Those of us who drove British cars made in the 1970’s know pretty much exactly why. Poor assembly aside, what often let these cars down were components sourced from poor-quality external suppliers. Electrical failures were legion.” “Obviously at Dyson we cannot make absolutely everything on own own, but we work with suppliers so that they are in tune with us, with our manufacturing standards and our values. Because what we’re doing is special and different, we can’t go to a company like Foxconn, for example. which makes well known American, Canadian, Chinese, Finnish & Japanese electronic products. Those products are mostly made from off-the-shelf components. We design our own components. We don’t buy them off the shelf.” “You can manufacture good-quality, pioneering technology much more readily when you sit side by side with your suppliers rather than 10,000 miles away in a different time zone.” “We build close relationships with owners of factories so we can build our machines in their premises. The tooling, assembly lines and test stations are ours and we control the purchasing and quality. We don’t approach a sub-contractor and say, ‘Make me a product of this or this design.’ We tend to go to outfits which have never made vacuum cleaners before or hairdryers, robots, fans and heaters or purifiers or lights, and we teach their people to make things using our production methods. It’s a heavily engaged and involved process of learning and improvement.” “We need other factories because, expanding at the rate of 25% each year, we simply couldn’t cope with the planning and building of new factories even in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philiipines.” Going Global “I knew that if Dyson was to be a successful technology company, rather than just a British vacuum cleaner manufacturer, we couldn’t be Little Englanders. We needed to become global, and quickly. England, and the rest of the United Kingdom, is simply not a big enough market on its own to sustain the constant and huge investment technology requires.” “In 2004, we took the DC12 cylinder vacuum to Japan, calling it the ‘Dyson City.’ It was engineered specifically for the tiny, perfectly formed homes of Japan. We were amazed by its success. Within three months it had captured 20% of the Japanese market.” “Dyson has become as much an Asian business as a British one: our products are sold in eighty-three countries around the world, so we are arguably a truly global company. Having started in Britain and consistently grown in Britain, we, for some time now, sell over 95% of our products in our global markets.” Acquisitions “We are not in the business of buying up other companies. It may be a quick way to acquire technology or a business that would augment a company, but it can be difficult to assimilate the people and their ways of doing things. Usually, I feel, it’s better to start your own research project or your own business, which, although slower to begin with, develops organically and is stronger for it.” Dyson Electric Car “Because of the shifting commercial sand, we made the decision to pull out of production [of our electric car] at the very last minute. N526 was a brilliant car. Very efficient motors. Very aerodynamic. Wonderful to drive and be driven in. We just couldn’t ever have made money from it, and for all our enthusiasm for the project we were not prepared to risk the rest of Dyson.” “Fortunately, we were able to stomach the £500 million cost and survive. We did, though, push ourselves to learn a great deal in areas including batteries, robotics, air treatment, and lighting. We also learned more about virtual engineering as a tool in the design process and how, we would be able to make products more quickly and less expensively. These were all valuable lessons for the future.” Private Company & Long Term Thinking “Today, Dyson is a global company. I own it, and this really matters to me. It remains a private company. Without shareholders to hold back, we are free to take long-term and radical decisions. I have no interest in going public with Dyson because I know that this would spell the end of the company’s freedom to innovate in the way it does.” “When you own the whole company, and especially if you are free of debt, from the early days and for better or worse, all decisions are your own. So you take these very seriously and follow your own view of risk balanced, hopefully, with reward. This certainly sharpens the mind.” “We’re one family-owned company following its interest and passions.” “The advantages of a family business are that they can think in the very long term, and invest in the long term, in ways public companies are unable to do. I also believe that family-owned enterprises have a spirit, conscience and philosophy often lacking in public companies.” Win-Win & ESG “In our first year in Currys [retailer], Mark Souhami, one of the bosses alongside the founder Stankley Kalms, invited me to lunch with them both. They explained that because of Dyson they were now making a profit in their vacuum cleaner section and he wanted more Dyson products.” “I have always loathed companies that use ‘greenwash’ as part of their marketing. I would rather reduce our environmental impact quietly and by action. We were, and remain, a company primarily of engineers and because of this we have sought from the outset to use as little energy or materials as possible to solve or complete one particular task. Lean engineering is good engineering.” “For me, as for all Dyson engineers, lightness - lean engineering and material efficiency - is a guiding principle. Using less material means using less energy in the process of making things. It also means lighter products that need less energy to power them and are easier to handle and so more pleasurable to use.” “Dyson has always focused on making long-lasting machines that use fewer resources while achieving higher performance. Lighter machines resulting from developing new technology and reinventing the format, consumer less energy and are not only better for the planet but also more pleasurable to use. Our cord-free vacuum cleaners, for instance, are a fraction of the weight and use a fraction of the electricity than their predecessors did. This has come about by taking an entirely different approach and developing new technology, motors and batteries, from the ground up.” “We must move ever closer to a culture whereby we minimise the use of materials through lean engineering along with the recycling of products at the end of their lives. It’s not just okay to politely offset our carbon footprint. We have to deal with it at source.” “As Dyson, we are trying at every turn to touch the ground lightly in everything we do, to make more from less and to create a circular system through which we aim to recycle everything we use.” Removing Middlemen “Over the past three years we had been striving to sell more products direct to our customers ourselves, either online or through Dyson Demo stores. By early 2021 we had 356 Dyson stores. We have been opening them around the world so that customers can try our Dyson products in the best possible way. There are two reasons for this. First, we like to have a direct relationship with our customers, who are buying our product for which we are responsible, and we want to know how we can help them. Secondly, retailers around the world are declining in numbers and sales. They are nothing like the force they were, due of course to the decline of the high street and the rise of internet shopping. If you want to buy from a website, why not buy from the Dyson website! Why not deal directly with the manufacturer?’” “When I started out with the vacuum cleaner business, wholesales and retailers made most of the money .. which is why today a lot of our sales at Dyson are direct.” “Cutting out the middleman, and those who add no value, ought to be a popular national campaign. It would mean a possibility of profit for risk takers and producers, and lower prices for consumers.” Listen to Customers “Listening to what our users say is gold dust and I really enjoy reading or hearing about complaints. We devised a system of reporting all remarks heard by customers in stores or by store salespeople from all over the world, so that everyone in the company can see this priceless intelligence.” Optimism “I have great faith that science and technology can solve problems, from more sustainable and efficient products to the production of more and better food, and a more sustainable world. It is technological and scientific breakthroughs, far more than messages of doom, that will lead to this world. We need to go forwards optimistically into the future as if into the light, and with bright new ideas rather than darkness and end to human ingenuity portrayed by doomsayers.” “The depressing thing is that harbingers of doom and gloom get far more attention than optimists and problem solvers. I feel very strongly that progress should be embraced and encouraged, and it is a duty of governments and companies to catalyse the ideas of the progressive and harness them to achieve good ends.” Summary Most people would consider someone who’d failed 5,126 times and succeeded just once, a failure. Yet, that’s exactly what James Dyson did. That one success was the acorn that grew into a $US10 billion dollar fortune (talk about asymmetric returns!) There’s a myriad of lessons for inventors, investors and entrepreneurs in the pages of this book. Many of the lessons are equally applicable to each endeavour; maintaining focus, taking a long term view, continuously learning, challenging conventional wisdom and adopting a multi-disciplinary mindset. As you delve into the story an investment case emerges and the pieces of the puzzle start to fit together. An inventive fanatic full of passion, tenacity, resilience and self-belief recognises a prosaic industry that’s been neglected by technology and ripe for disruption. The target market is huge and somewhat immune from the vagaries of the economic cycle. A kernel of inventive insight, a variant perception on consumers preparedness to pay more for quality products and constant iteration leads to the development of a revolutionary product. Driven by a purpose beyond wealth accumulation (obliquity), a ‘technology’ business emerges. Full control of the ecosystem and intellectual property become further competitive attributes difficult to challenge. As technology compounds (a’la Brian Arthur) the barriers to competition widen. The tone is set from the top - a culture of continuous innovation and rejecting the status quo flourishes. Risk taking on a scale where failure is tolerable (a’la Palchinsky principle) is encouraged, creating new possibilities. Private ownership and low debt affords a long term view - no one is watching the quarterly shot clock. While there is no spreadsheet or financial model, there is a full scale mental model, or theory, developing. The component mental models, together, shed light on the Dyson company’s extraordinary success. My contention is this latter model will prove more useful in determining whether Dyson will continue to prosper in the future. Let’s not forget however, that without James Dyson, there would be no Dyson. Like many of the great businesses we’ve studied, it started with a fanatic. Source: ‘James Dyson - Invention: A Life,’ James Dyson, Simon & Schuster, 2021. Further Learning: ‘James Dyson - Invention: A Life - Interactive Portal.’ Follow us on Twitter : @mastersinvest * NEW * Visit the Blog Archive Article by Investment Masters Class Updated on Nov 22, 2021, 3:44 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 22nd, 2021

Returning To Sound Money

Returning To Sound Money Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, With the threat of dollar hyperinflation now becoming a reality it is time to consider what will be required to stabilise the currency, and by extension the other fiat currencies which regard the dollar as their reserve. This article takes its cue from Ludwig von Mises’s 1952 analysis of what was required to return to a proper and enduring gold standard —metallic money, particularly gold, having been sound money for thousands of years, to which everyone has always returned when government fiat currency fails. When Mises wrote his 1952 article the dollar was nowhere near the state it is in today. But Mises had had practical experience of what was involved, having advised the Austrian government during and after its hyperinflation of the early 1920s, making his analysis doubly relevant. As a remedy for the developing collapse of the dollar, this article can do little more than address the major issues. But it shows how an economic and monetary collapse of the dollar can be turned to advantage - the opportunity it creates through the destruction of Keynesian and other inflationist fallacies to secure long-term economic and monetary stability under which economic progress can be maximised. Introduction There are two charts which sum up why the dollar and fiat currencies tied to it will collapse if current monetary policies persist, shown in Figure 1. The growth in the M1 quantity since February 2020 has been without precedent exploding from $4 trillion, already an historically high level, to nearly $20 trillion this September. That is an average annualised M1 inflation of 230%. It is simply currency debasement and has yet to impact on prices fully. Much of the increase has gone into the financial sector through quantitative easing, so its progress into the non-financial economy and the effects on consumer prices are delayed — but only delayed — as it will increasingly undermine the dollar’s purchasing power. The more immediate impact on the High Street is also alarming, shown in the second chart. A combination of the covid lockdowns and Federal Government money ending up in consumers’ pockets has driven their liquidity relative to goods purchases to unprecedented and unaccustomed heights. This is the more worrying chart because it quantifies the immediate fuel for a potential crack-up boom. A crack-up boom is the condition whereby consumers finally discard the currency, spending it to just get rid of it. We are not there yet, but clearly, if consumers take the view en masse that prices will continue to rise, then they will attempt to reduce their cash balances all at once by bringing their future purchases forward, thereby driving prices up even further and more rapidly, and therefore the purchasing power of the currency down. But for the moment, it is mostly creating a scramble for real assets, such as housing, which for the moment can be bought with mortgage finance fixed at deeply suppressed interest rates. Given supply constraints, rising commodity prices, and other production costs rising as well as unaccustomed levels of consumer liquidity, the rise in prices can only accelerate. Unless there is a fundamental change in monetary policy, which requires the expansion of currency to be stopped completely, there will come a point where consumers finally realise that it is not prices rising but the purchasing power of the currency falling. This is a difficult concept for most people to grasp because they are used to regarding currency as always possessing the objective value in their transactions. The history of monetary inflations confirms that ordinary folk have always been reluctant to understand that the currency is declining until too late. But today, a significant minority of the population has already been alerted to this development by their participation in or observation of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. And if the wider population learns the same lesson and acts accordingly all hope for the currency will be lost. The reason that changes in the quantity of currency recorded by narrow measures such as M1 must be closely watched is that it is the underlying base upon which bank credit is expanded. When interest rates inevitably begin to rise, rates paid to bank depositors are likely to lag, improving lending margins for banks. Improved lending margins will encourage the banks to expand credit, for the benefit of government and agency bonds, and for speculators such as hedge fund managers looking to arbitrage the difference between borrowing rates and the dollar’s future purchasing power. The narrow currency quantity therefore has a multiplier effect with respect to bank credit when it begins to expand. A dispassionate consideration of these established facts leads the independent observer to conclude that unless today’s fiat currency system is secured with a sound money regime a collapse of everyone’s circulating medium is inevitable. Putting to one side minor central banks, the most egregious debaser of currency is the Fed, as the charts above attest. But with the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, where the dollar goes, so will all the other western currencies. Fixing the dollar must be the priority. In a revised 1952 edition of his The Theory of Money and Credit, Ludwig von Mises added a section on The Return to Sound Money. Mises, who had cut his teeth as an economist dealing with Austria’s 1920s inflation made proposals which are still relevant. Under the influence of Keynesianism, the monetary situation facing America today is rapidly deteriorating towards the circumstances faced by Austria in 1920-22, but with technical differences. This article attempts to update Mises’s section on the return to sound money for current conditions to provide a framework for the benefit of monetary stability and long-term prosperity. The intractability of current inflationism Central banks and their governments like to say that the reasons for an acceleration of monetary expansion are short-term and justified by being expedient. But these policies, often termed extraordinary measures to validate them, become normal as we have seen with quantitative easing. We can reasonably assume therefore that no meaningful attempt to rein in currency debasement will occur, more extraordinary measures will be invented, and that the explosion in the M1 quantity is far from over. Changing the official mindset is proving an impossible task so long as currency expansion is available. The Federal Government relies on it as a growing source for its funding, which allows it to ignore budget deficits. The state employs bureaucrats who agree with this policy and is advised only by economists who are prepared to justify it. The whole establishment is in groupthink mode and brooks no criticism over its inflationism. Furthermore, the administration has been democratically elected on a platform of continuing to provide free and easy money. This is not a sudden phenomenon, being progressively ingrained in the establishment’s mindset for a century. It commenced with the establishment of the Fed before the First World War, which then fuelled an artificial boom in the 1920s after the brief post-war recession. The American state gradually subsumed control over money, removing it from transacting individuals and finally replacing it with completely fiat dollars in 1971. The course that the state had set itself was bound to lead to where we are now; the expansion of dollar currency getting out of control. Nowhere in the Fed’s regular FOMC statements is there any mention of monetary policy per se. It is as if the quantity of currency in circulation is irrelevant to its purchasing power. It is an important cover-up, because if the relationship between the quantity of money and its purchasing power was admitted, then the Fed would have to exercise control over it. And not only would an admission of the relationship be a public acknowledgement of currency mismanagement, not only would the US Treasury come down on the Fed like a ton of bricks for jeopardising its source of non-fiscal revenue, but inflation of the currency would no longer be freely available as a policy tool. One likes to think that there are policy makers with an understanding that inflation is of the quantity of dollars in circulation and not its effect on prices. But for a long time, it has not been in anyone’s interest to think this way — anyone who did so has been re-educated, sacked, or left the building. This is the essence of groupthink. It is worth noting that elsewhere, Jens Weidmann who is a well-known inflation hawk is resigning from the Bundesbank. And Andy Haldane has resigned as Chief Economist from the Bank of England, with a parting shot on inflation. Both these gentlemen appear to have decided it is a fight they cannot win. The only chance of reform is from circumstances leading to the final abandonment of the neo-Keynesian policies that have promoted statism over free markets. And that is unlikely to occur before economic and currency destruction has become too obvious for anyone in control of economic and monetary policy to ignore. We cannot be certain that this realisation in official circles will occur before the public finally loses all confidence in the currency. But so long as any hope for its recovery lingers, it seems unlikely that monetary policy will be reformed. To statist economists, the argument for sound money and its adoption would not only be a negation of everything they have come to believe, but it will be seen as destroying all their so-called scientific progress, particularly since the adoption of Keynes’s General Theory as the economists’ vade mecum. Additionally, the use of statistics to guide policy, particularly of GDP and CPI, will have been found to have badly misled policy makers and markets. Along with statist management of the dollar, they must be abandoned. They are primarily tools for imposing state control on economic activity. The objective of the reformed approach is to return to free markets and sound money, which means handing responsibility for their actions back to economic actors, those who divide their labour and use money as the bridge between their production and consumption. These are a volte-face from current policies and are sure to be strongly resisted even in the face of contrary evidence. Monetary reform is bound to be delayed until the last possible moment. The state’s preference is always to retain and build on the control it already has. This is why there are plans to introduce central bank digital currencies, which, it must be noted, are designed to continue with inflationary stimulation by other means. But as revolutionary France discovered, the substitution of one fiat (the assignat) by another (mandat territoriaux) merely leads to the more rapid failure of the second. Once public trust in the state to not debauch the first currency is gone, it cannot be restored for a succeeding unbacked state currency. We can only assume that at some point in the dollar’s descent towards worthlessness the US Treasury will be prepared to mobilise its gold reserves to stop it becoming completely worthless. We shall now look at the measures that are required from that point to return to sound money, that is to back the dollar credibly with metallic money, only gold and silver coinage — anything less will not be a permanent solution. Initial actions to stabilise the currency At the time when monetary stabilisation becomes a practical proposition, interest rates and bond yields will have already been driven to previously unimagined levels, reflecting the currency’s collapse thus far. Write-offs from non-performing loans and losses on bond valuations will have almost certainly wiped out all the equity of weaker banks, and the survivability of the stronger ones will have become questionable as well. The Federal deposit insurance limit of $250,000 will have become meaningless and a banking crisis will become integral to the currency collapse as depositors attempt to flee from bank deposits into goods and gold. A collapse of the fiat banking system was not a material factor when Mises tackled the problem in 1952. He was absorbed with preventing the currency’s collapse in the future, a future which was some way off but is now almost upon us. The first action must be for the Fed to cease expanding the quantity of money and to introduce regulations to stop the expansion of total bank credit. The former is a simple task. In practice, controlling bank credit is also not difficult. If one bank increases its balance sheet, the increase must be matched by a decrease in the balance sheets of the other banks. This means that new loans can only be extended with the permission of the central bank centralising the information on bank and other licenced credit providers’ balance sheets. And net drawdowns of existing credit facilities must similarly be matched by repayments of others. This is intended as an interim measure pending further reform of the banking system. But the consequences for surviving banks will be significant and immediate. The stabilisation of the currency will lead to increased savings. The allocation of these increased savings to investment capital will be routed through bond markets instead of across the collective balance sheets of the banking system. It will be up to savers and their agents to decide individual borrowing terms. And all taxes on savings must be removed to enable them to recirculate into productive investment. However, these measures will be consistent with the plans for subsequent bank reform described below. The US Treasury will be competing for savers’ savings and will no longer have unrestricted access to bank credit. A bank wishing to increase its exposure to Treasury stock be able to do so by disposing of other assets, Alternatively, if other banks reduce their balance sheets permission might be obtained from the Fed on the lines described above. Whether buying Treasuries is a sensible commercial decision must be left to the individual bank, and Basel-originated regulations designed to give preference to government bills and bonds over other classifications of assets must be repealed. The objective is to permit the government and its agencies to borrow but only on a non-inflationary basis, with the investment decision purely decided by investors, their agents, and bankers making their own risk assessments without regulatory bias. It is doubtful at this stage of the hyperinflation that economic activity would suffer overall from the loss of state intervention. The economy will already be in the deepest slump in living memory, with interest rates at unimaginable heights and beyond the Fed’s control. Anyone going bust will have most probably done so already. In these conditions there cannot be a better time to ensure the state withdraws from economic and monetary intervention and to introduce plans to stabilise the currency. But on their own measures to halt currency and credit expansion would be insufficient to stabilise the dollar and dollar interest rates beyond a temporary basis without further measures, which must be our next consideration. The return to a gold standard To stabilise the dollar the US Treasury must recognise that gold is money and the dollar an inferior currency. Accordingly, all taxes on physical gold and silver must be removed, and both metals be permitted to be freely exchanged by the public for dollars. Given that the circumstance of the reintroduction of a gold standard are likely to be those of a last resort, we can assume that the market will have already repriced the dollar in gold terms. That being the case, the exchange ratio between gold and the dollar can be fixed along with the arrangements permitting gold coin and the dollar to circulate together, with the dollar and dollar-credit being converted into reliable gold-backed substitutes. Legislation would have to be enacted to enshrine gold convertibility as an inalienable property right, never to be taken away from the public in future. This must also remove future devaluations as a government option, and even in the event of a crisis, such as a war, full convertibility must be maintained. A new body must be established, or the role of the Exchange Stabilisation Fund amended to act only as the custodian for the relationship between dollars and gold, with the nation’s gold reserves transferred to its control. We shall call this fund the Exchange Stabilisation Fund (ESF) hereafter. Dealing in foreign currencies and SDRs by the ESF must cease, and no other government or central bank entity be permitted to deal in gold. After acquiring its initial reserve from the Treasury, the ESF cannot be permitted to initiate gold transactions. Only dealings initiated by the public, exchanging gold for dollars or dollars for gold are to be permitted. Thenceforth, the expansion of dollars in circulation must be backed 100% by gold to be held transparently in a special account for that purpose. The basis of convertibility must be on coins freely demanded by holders of dollars without limitation. Legislation must be passed for gold coins to be struck in suitable currency denominations to ensure their practical circulation. Silver coins must also be reintroduced by law for smaller amounts, and the issuance of paper notes suited for smaller purchases must be rescinded to ensure that silver coins and the smaller gold coins circulate. The purpose of coin circulation is to permit the public to continually vote on the government’s adherence to the new rules. The slightest indication that it is considering breaking them will, in accordance with Gresham’s Law, drive the good money out of circulation: in other words, gold coin will be hoarded, and its paper substitutes disposed through spending. The knowledge that this is so will discourage politicians from considering watering down the standard. The gold/silver ratio should be struck to give silver coins a minor premium over their bullion value to ensure they remain in circulation and are not diverted for industrial use or arbitraged into gold. This will avoid the pitfalls that plagued bimetallic standards in the past. The introduction of a working gold coin standard on these lines will lead to a rapid fall in borrowing rates from their hyperinflation highs. The sooner it is operating and the currency stabilised, the quicker the economy can return to normality, which will be an obvious benefit for those persuading the public the merits of sound money. Interest rates will then correlate with the general level of wholesale prices. The reason for this correlation is that sound money allows producers to calculate for their business plans with a high degree of certainty about final prices. With that certainty in mind, they can then assess the rate of interest they are prepared to pay savers for an enterprise to be profitable. The disciplines of a working gold coin standard will also require other changes to take place. Government reform The time during a currency collapse when it might be adapted into a proper gold standard is also the most dangerous politically. The population will be suffering real hardships and dangerously disaffected from the establishment that steered them onto the economic and monetary rocks. The middle and professional classes will have lost nearly everything. It is a political situation ripe for violent revolution. It drove the French revolution and following the First World War drove Germany into Nazism. It is the setting described by Hayek in his The Road to Serfdom. The departure from proper economics and the move towards increasing state control over the people militates for yet more socialism and violence, with a total monetary collapse being the excuse for total oppression of the people by the state. If that happens, the outcome is a different course of events from the constructive one proposed here. But we must assume that the great American nation, for all its recent faults and having lost its way with economics and socialist drift, pulls back from the brink of the abyss. Unlike Germany following its hyperinflation of the 1920s, America’s population is ethnically diverse, comprised in the main of the descendants of refugees from political and economic oppressions elsewhere. We should accept that when the outlook is darkest, a Hayekian-described dictator might not emerge, but a statesman instead, like an Erhardt, who emerged for Germany in the late 1940s. Paradoxically, public support for a reform of the American currency system probably offers a better chance of success than similar measures taken elsewhere. We must proceed with that assumption. The popular mandate for the role of government in the economy to be radically revised will therefore become available. Without the cover of inflationary financing, an economy based on sound money is more obviously incompatible with a high-spending government, which must then reduce its burden on the productive economy to the minimum possible. At its most fundamental, its obligation to provide mandated welfare must be strictly curtailed. The ambition is to reduce the role of government to framing and upholding the law and maintaining national defence — not to be confused with funding military adventures abroad. Foreign policy must return to that of Britain in the days of Liverpool, Castlereagh, and Wellington following the Napoleonic Wars: never to interfere in another nation’s internal affairs. And regulations must be rescinded to permit free markets to regulate themselves. It will require economic understanding, statesmanship and perhaps a few years to fully achieve all these objectives. But given that the purchasing power of the dollar will have already depreciated substantially, the costs of welfare, such as state pensions and unemployment benefits, will have already degenerated in real terms. Furthermore, the population will be staring into an economic and monetary abyss, reducing their opposition to substantial cuts in state spending. Only in these circumstances will it be possible to take the necessary action, and the opportunity will be there. An initial target of reducing Federal government spending to under 20% of GDP and cutting taxes accordingly should be followed by a target of less than 15% of GDP in due course. Banking reform Following extensive debate between the currency and banking schools, England’s Bank Charter Act of 1844 was the watershed that validated bank credit cycles. The destabilising effect of these cycles led to Walter Bagehot’s concept of the role of The Bank of England being the lender of last resort, the excuse for central banks in the future to increase their powers of intervention. By the time of the 1844 Act, banking law and double entry bookkeeping had established the method of credit creation, which is different from that which is commonly understood. A bank commences the expansion of bank credit by making a loan to a customer, which appears on its balance sheet as an asset. At the same time, double entry bookkeeping demands a contra entry, which is achieved by the bank crediting the customer with a matching deposit, which continues to balance as the loan is drawn down. The bank’s balance sheet has expanded without its own capital being involved. The expansion of credit is monetary inflation, which eventually feeds through to rising prices, leading to increasing interest rates. Economic calculations made earlier in the credit cycle begin to go awry, and bankers eventually become cautious, contracting their balance sheets mindful of the gearing ratio between their equity and total liabilities. Alternatively, carried away by the apparent improvement in trading conditions, banks speculate in areas where they lack expertise or became overexposed and lack an exit. These were the respective reasons that Overend Gurney in 1866 and Barings in 1890 failed. Whatever the cause of their contraction, these cycles of bank credit lasted about a decade on average. A reformed gold coin standard must be complemented by the elimination of bank credit cycles. To eliminate it entirely would require banking to be segregated into two distinct functions, one to act as a custodian of deposits with ownership remaining with the depositor, and the other to act as an arranger of finance for fees or commission. This would eliminate bank credit entirely. The evolution of modern finance has led to the development of shadow banking, some of which has led to the creation of credit off-balance sheet by the banks or by unregulated entities. Measures should be taken to identify and end these practices. But given that shadow banking is the product of the interaction between the growth of fiat money and purely financial activities, shadow banking is likely to decline, or possibly even disappear with the end of fiat and the introduction of a gold standard. Furthermore, the speculative bubble in cryptocurrencies, whose rationale is purely to hedge against the relative expansion of fiat currencies, will lose the reason for their existence beyond the purely technical innovations, such as the blockchain, that they bring. The ending of these speculative activities generally will reduce even further the perceived need for bank credit expansion, particularly for those banks funding purely financial activities. Once the public and foreigners are confident that the dollar’s gold standard is firmly established it is likely that gold will flow back into the Exchange Stabilisation Fund, giving it yet more cover for future dollar redemptions and therefore credibility for the standard. The benefits and workings of a new gold standard With the dollar on a credible gold standard, there can be little doubt that other fiat currencies will develop similar monetary policies. The whole world works with the dollar as the international currency, even Russia whose energy earnings are paid to her in dollars, and China whose raw materials from abroad are sourced nearly entirely in dollars. The replacement of fiat dollars with dollar-denominated gold substitutes will change currency priorities for all other nations. They will confront the same issues that faced the European nations in the second half of the nineteenth century, when Britain with her empire dominated global trade. Not only was there a drift towards free trade (for example, the Cobden-Chevalier Trade Treaty between France and Britain in 1860) but the European nations adopted similar gold standards. If America establishes a credible gold standard, any nation not following suit is likely to see its currency collapse. Critics may say that instead of operating their own gold standards, other nations will simply operate dollar currency boards, throwing the burden on America to provide a global monetary standard. This would not be a problem, so long as the rules of 100% backing are followed by America. A country adopting a dollar standard for its own currency will have to acquire dollars, which it can only do for gold submitted to the Exchange Stabilisation Fund. By providing a simple solution to other national currency problems the ESF would therefore see substantial gold inflows, further securing its domestic and international currency position. The key is for the ESF to administer the new monetary rules, enshrined in law, to the letter. Once the new gold standard is fully established, demand for circulating dollars will be set by markets and can be met by the ESF issuing dollars only on a 100% gold backed basis. Imports must be paid for in gold-backed dollars, and because monetary discipline will force government deficits to become a thing of the past, trade deficits will tend to be as well. Changes to gold’s domestic purchasing power might be expected through changes in the savings rate, being the allocation between consumption and deferred consumption. Variations in the savings rates may be expected to drive price differentials between nations, but this would be an error. This is because a rise in domestic savings will tend to reduce domestic prices and increase exports, leading to an importation of gold. But the extra gold or gold-backed dollars in circulation from an export surplus will have a contrary effect, supporting prices so that there would be little change. By way of contrast, a fall in the savings rate would be expected to lead to a tendency for domestic prices to rise and therefore to an increase in imports, and a corresponding outflow of gold. But the outflow of gold will then tend to act to reduce domestic prices, thus stabilising the effects of increased domestic consumption. In terms of cross-border trade, the benefit of a gold standard and its associated rules is to eliminate trade imbalances and price differentials as a cause of economic disruption, depoliticising global trade and promoting overall price stability. The peoples of individual nations can therefore set their savings preferences without affecting the general price level. It permits producers to make business calculations with a high degree of certainty of output prices, not only for domestic markets, but international ones as well. Gold supply factors Unlike proposed distributed ledger cryptocurrencies acting as the future form of money, the merits of a working gold standard are found in its flexibility. The growth of the amount of above-ground gold has tended to match the increase in the world’s population over time. But not all gold is held for monetary use, with more than half of it being estimated to be in jewellery, and a smaller amount allocated to industrial use. But much of the gold jewellery is quasi-monetary, being regarded as a reserve store of monetary value particularly among the populous Asian nations. There is, therefore, a flexible stock of non-monetary gold available through market mechanisms to support a global monetary standard. The difference between a gold or gold exchange standard and fiat currencies is that the allocation of gold between its uses is determined by people through markets, and not by governments and their monetary policies. This means that the course of prices both generally and for individual products are set only by supply and demand. Price stability is the outcome, with competition, improved production methods and technology tending to reduce prices over time and rising living standards for all. This is the background which encourages savers to put aside some of their earnings, knowing that their savings’ purchasing power will be maintained, and even likely to increase over time. For these savers, financial asset values will no longer be driven by excessive quantities of fiat currency. With the infinite feed of fiat currency removed, outright speculation will become a thing of the past, replaced by genuine risk assessments of individual bond issuers and of equity participations. The expansion of fiat currency will no longer be available as the principal fuel driving financial asset values. It will be a different monetary environment, where capital will be scarce and therefore valued. Capital will be less wasted on spurious projects. It will be the basis for recovering economic progress, so sadly lost at an increasing pace since the dollar became purely a fiat currency. It is apt to end by quoting von Mises’ concluding paragraph to his 1952 addition on currency reform in his The Theory of Money and Credit, the inspiration for this article: “Cynics dispose of the advocacy of a restitution of the gold standard by calling it utopian. Yet we have only the choice between two utopias: the utopia of the market economy, not paralysed by government sabotage on the one hand, and the utopia of totalitarian all-round planning on the other hand. The choice of the first alternative implies the decision in favour of the gold standard.” Tyler Durden Sat, 11/20/2021 - 08:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 20th, 2021

How Ryan Kaji Became the Most Popular 10-Year-Old in the World

In human years, Ryan Kaji is 10. In YouTube views, he’s 48,597,844,873. If, in our digital age, a person’s life can be measured by their online footprint, Ryan’s is the size of a brachiosaur’s, which, as a lot of Ryan’s fans know, is gargantuan. Another way of putting it is that even if every one… In human years, Ryan Kaji is 10. In YouTube views, he’s 48,597,844,873. If, in our digital age, a person’s life can be measured by their online footprint, Ryan’s is the size of a brachiosaur’s, which, as a lot of Ryan’s fans know, is gargantuan. Another way of putting it is that even if every one of Ryan’s YouTube views were just 30 seconds, he has been watched 4,500 times longer than he has been alive. There’s a sacred text that talks about an era of peace and harmony, where lions lie down with lambs. The kicker is that a child is in charge of it all. Except for the part about peace and harmony, we are in an age where a child does indeed rule a significant subsection of the Internet. Ryan has been the highest paid YouTube star for three years straight, partly because he has nine channels on the platform. His revenue last year, according to Forbes, was about $30 million. Most of that was from his far-flung merchandise empire: he (or his parents) has lent his name to 1,600 licensed products in 30 countries, including Skechers, pajamas, Roblox, bedding, watches, sporting goods, water bottles, furniture, toothpaste and, of course, toys. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] As well as a legion of YouTube videos, Ryan has shows on Nick Jr. (the Emmy-nominated Ryan’s Mystery Playdate) and Amazon Kids+ (Super Spy Ryan) and his own streaming channel. His animated superhero alter ego, Red Titan, will appear for the second time as a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. “Ryan is bar none the crown prince of YouTube,” says Quynh Mai, founder of Moving Image & Content, a creative agency for digital content. (She does not represent him.) Yuki Iwamura—Sputnik/APThe Red Titan balloon will float in its second parade this Thanksgiving   How did we get to a place where a person can be the linchpin of a media empire before he has armpit hair? And of all the exuberant folks on YouTube, why has this kid raked in the most cash? Part of the answer is that this is no ordinary child, but another part is that Ryan’s rise speaks volumes about the way entertainment, business, technology and family life have changed in the past decade. Ryan’s prominence, and the existence of the genre of human known as “kidfluencer,” is a source of consternation to many parents, authorities and child-development experts. Four of the 10 U.S. YouTube channels with the most subscribers are geared toward young children. Legislation has recently been introduced in the Senate that may curtail the activities of Ryan and his fellow YouTube toycoons. But his ascent has also shown how profoundly childhood has been and is being reshaped, and that it may be too late to put the jack back in the box. One thing that everyone agrees on is that much of Ryan’s fame was a result of timing. He was about 3½ in 2015 when he asked his mom Loann Guan—the family changed its name to Kaji to preserve some anonymity as they got famous—if he could be on YouTube like other kids. Loann, 37, was a science teacher on spring break looking for kid-friendly activities. She and her husband Shion, 34, had watched YouTube in college and had a grasp of the format and how the algorithm worked. Read More: Meet TIME’s First-Ever Kid of the Year At the same time, technological changes were making online video more accessible to kids. “It was like a perfect storm when Ryan came in,” says Mai. Laptop prices had dropped enough that people were moving away from tablets. The YouTube Kids app had launched. “Parents gave their iPads to their children as entertainment devices, and that made it so easy for kids to navigate the Internet,” she says. Feeling stretched in terms of childcare, lots of parents needed to keep their kids occupied. “When young children see lots of colors and sounds and movement on a screen, it’s almost like a mobile above the crib,” says Dr. Jenny Radesky, a developmental behavioral pediatrician at the University of Michigan. “They calm down. They focus. Studies have shown that it often leads to less body movement.” The period after 2015 also marked a growth phase for the so-called creator economy. With the advance of digital ad technology, advertisers realized they could get more traction from microtargeting followers of a regular person—an influencer—than from a celebrity. Among the most popular figures when the Kajis began were the unboxers, people who filmed themselves opening shoes or makeup, or kids opening toys. So that’s what Loann and Ryan did. Ironically, Ryan had not really liked playing with toys as a baby, except one: a remote-control car, which, his dad says, he could more or less operate by the age of 6 months. This meant every relative gave him toy cars. When the unboxing trend spun off into the Giant Egg trend, Loann hid those cars in a papier-mâché egg she’d made. The resulting video, “GIANT Lightning McQueen Egg Surprise with 100+ Disney Cars Toys,” shot Ryan’s ToysReview, as the channel was then called, into the stratosphere. “That one video became his most popular video on our channel for the next two years,” says Shion. It currently has more than a billion views. At first, strange comments below the video alarmed them. “It was all gibberish,” says Shion. Then he saw Ryan typing random letters beneath videos and realized other kids were doing that too. Some of them may not have spoken English. “We noticed a huge percentage of the viewership coming from Asia,” says Shion. Ryan’s channel had launched just as YouTube was spreading to Asia, and videos like Ryan’s filled a void that TV had overlooked. Shion was born in Japan, and Loann in Vietnam. “For a lot of minorities,” says Mai, “YouTube was the place where you saw people like you.” Read More: I Raised Two CEOs and a Doctor. These Are My Secrets to Parenting Successful Children Ryan’s ToysReview quickly became one of YouTube’s most popular channels. By 2016, both parents had quit their jobs to make videos full time. Shion is a Cornell-educated structural engineer, which may be why he sensed the danger of having Ryan, just 5, carry the bulk of the show. He beefed up the production team to avoid burnout and had animators create characters based on Ryan’s personality for more content. Shion and Loann also appear in the videos and play with toys and games on their own channel. There may be a place in which one small family can produce so much intellectual property and be left in peace, but that place is not the USA, circa 2017. Ryan caught the eye of Chris Williams, who as a former Disney and Maker Studios executive had watched media habits change in real time. “I saw linear television’s ratings fall off a cliff,” he says. “I saw kids and family audiences flocking to YouTube.” His experience at Disney had also taught him about the power of building a franchise. “There are stars, characters and intellectual property on YouTube that have bigger audiences than the entire Disney Channel network. Why are we not thinking about them in the same way?” In 2017, he started Pocketwatch to do licensing deals with YouTube stars, and the Kajis, who had formed their own production company, Sunlight Entertainment, were among its first partners. Read More: How Dr. Becky Became the Millennial Parenting Whisperer The move came just in time. Merchandisers were not the only ones who noticed how much content was directed at the very young. Parents, child-development experts, media watchdogs and eventually legislators did too, and many didn’t love what they saw. There were videos of adults playing with toys in inappropriate ways. Some of the families on YouTube fell apart. Others seemed to be treating children badly to draw clicks. Advertisers pulled back. YouTube removed comments sections from and kept ads off some videos. It wasn’t enough. In 2019, YouTube and its parent company Google paid $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New York State attorney general that it collected data about minors and violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. By 2020, YouTube required creators to specify whether their videos were for kids and stopped feeding personalized ads to those that were. Many kid-centric channels lost the bulk of their revenue. But thanks to the merch deals, the Kajis sailed on. Williams says the franchise is his company’s biggest earner. The reforms may have lessened the problem of advertising to children, but they did nothing to change the thorny fact that watching endless hours of a child opening toys is of dubious—at best—educational or social-development value. There’s not much definitive research on what that kind of media diet does to a developing brain, but the small amount out there is dismaying. In a study out of the University of Colorado, Boulder, 78% of parents reported their kids watched unboxing videos on a regular basis, with almost 17% estimating it at between three and nine hours per week. “The more time a child spends watching unboxing videos,” says Harsha Gangadharbatla, an associate professor of advertising, who presented the paper at a journalism conference in 2019, “the more likely they are to ask for things and throw tantrums if the parents weren’t purchasing those things.” Studies have shown that children form para-social relationships with the media figures they encounter. “They’re dealing with a developing brain that is figuring out the world,” says Dr. Michael Rich, a pediatrician and the director of the Boston Children’s Hospital’s Digital Wellness Lab. “And if one of the very powerful inputs into that developing brain is ‘Look at how happy Ryan is with his toy!’ of course they’re going to say, ‘I want that.’” Read More: I Was Constantly Arguing With My Child. Then I Learned the “TEAM” Method of Calmer Parenting Just before YouTube and Google paid the fine, the nonprofit Truth in Advertising (TINA) filed a complaint with the FTC against the Kajis—who then changed the name of their channel from Ryan’s ToyReview to Ryan’s World. The group had found that Ryan played with toys that would appeal to kids 5 years of age or younger in 90% of the channel’s 200 most popular videos. TINA claimed the sponsored videos were not clearly enough delineated. “Sometimes, they weren’t adequately disclosing such that an adult would know, and other times, it’s just the fact that this vulnerable population of toddlers cannot differentiate between organic content and ads,” says Bonnie Patten, TINA’s executive director. (The FTC does not talk about pending investigations.) Richard Drew—APRyan’s family made merchandising deals early and often, with 1,600 products to date Williams says the Kaji family has been unfairly singled out because they offer the biggest target. He points out that they have shifted to more educational content, with science experiments and travel videos. At the same time, he is open to greater research and regulation. “I worry about the effects of all of it. Not just what we see on YouTube and other platforms, but movies and TV,” he says. “Nobody wants to do the work around researching this stuff. They just want to make proclamations: ‘Hey, it’s different from what I grew up on. It must be bad.’” The Kajis maintain that they “follow the guidelines” for labeling their content, but, says Loann, “if I could do it over, I would try to incorporate more of the educational component right from the get-go.” A legal team screens their videos, but they do not have a child-development expert on staff. One solution would be to take down the old unboxing videos and stop putting up new ones. After all, Sunlight Entertainment releases 25 new videos a week across its channels. But surveys show that in the U.S., “the No. 1 thing for our channel is that they still want Ryan playing with toys,” says Shion. In August, however, YouTube announced that it would remove “overly commercial content” from the YouTube Kids app and mark sponsored videos more clearly. And on Sept. 30, as Congress began to take a closer look at social media companies, Democratic Senators Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut reintroduced the KIDS Act, which would force sites like YouTube to stop recommending unboxing videos for kids. YouTube declined to answer specific questions from TIME, but pointed to a raft of policies, developed with child-development experts, intended to keep young viewers safe. Nevertheless, Pandora has already completed her unboxing. Ryan’s branded toys are everywhere. And he’s not alone. There’s a new crop of stars coming, on Tik Tok, Instagram and YouTube. Vlad, 8, and Niki, 6, Russian-born brothers who live in Florida, released their first toy figures in June. Nastya, 7, also a Russian-born Floridian, launches her dolls Nov. 15. Kidfluencers no longer have to hawk toys; they can just become them. Any discerning viewer who watches Ryan’s videos notices within a minute that they don’t offer much in the way of entertainment. The production is amateurish. There’s no narrative arc. This is intentional. The Kajis are not artists; they’re parents. They started making videos, they say, because their kid wanted to and was good at it. “We don’t really do multiple takes,” says Loann. “What I get from him, that’s what I’m going to use.” The DIY nature of the videos also mimics, they hope, what it’s like to go on a playdate. “We don’t want the viewers to watch our videos one after the other,” says Shion. “What we ideally want is kids to watch our video and then that inspires them to have an idea for what they want to do and they put down their iPad.” At the onset of the pandemic, they put up several videos of Ryan doing homework, so kids could feel like they were studying with a friend. Brendan George Ko for TIMERyan-themed products generated about $250 million in retail sales in 2020, according to Pocketwatch It’s difficult to ascertain if kids do indeed go play after watching the videos. The fact that some Ryan’s World videos are hours long suggests that a certain amount of sedentariness is allowed, if not encouraged. Many parents loathe them; they overwhelmingly garner one-star reviews on sites like Common Sense Media. It was Ryan’s World that caused Mike Lutringer, in Houston, to swear off YouTube Kids forever. When his second daughter was born and he and his wife needed to attend to her, he’d put on an educational Ryan video for his older child. “But very rapidly it’ll transition over to marketing and sales and reviews,” he says. “You can see how they’ve designed it to really capture the attention of the child.” Dylana Carlson, in Galesburg, Ill., on the other hand, says that during the pandemic, her two children would watch Ryan or another kidfluencer and then try to play the way they did. Occasionally they’d ask for a playdate with their Internet friend. “I think that they assume that they can just go meet these kids,” she says. “I have thought about this stuff, like, Is that depressing? Or is that weird? But corporations pay to have a dress-up Spider-Man come to the grocery store. How is this different?” Quynh Mai, the marketer, thinks this is one of the secrets of Ryan’s success. “These kids, I think, are really lonely,” she says. “Ryan provides the emotional connection.” As online friends go, Ryan is a Hallmark-level cherub. He appears to have a bottomless vat of enthusiasm for any toy/room/situation he encounters. In interviews, he is cheerful and eager, with an age-appropriate inability to be self-reflective. He loves school, especially math! He swims, plays soccer, does tae kwon do, but gymnastics is his favorite! He hates when he can’t find his lunch box! If he could have any superpower, it would be super speed! When he grows up, he wants to be a “game developer or a comedian who is a YouTuber who makes funny videos!” During the pandemic, Loann homeschooled the kids, and when the Kajis tested Ryan to see if he had fallen behind, they found he was several grades ahead. One of the reasons they moved to Hawaii this year is for a more academically challenging school than his public school in Houston. The other, interestingly, is that they felt the kids were spending too much time on screens. In Hawaii, they take more walks, which Ryan at first found exhausting. He’s also learning piano and Japanese, but he’s not crazy about either. Bea Oyster for TIMEThe Kaji family—Loann, Emma, Shion, Ryan and Kate—moved to Hawaii during the pandemic, partly to get the kids off their screens There are two ways to look at the Kaji parents. One is that they have dragooned their offspring into living out their lives on camera to get rich. The other, the one they present, is that they stumbled into a world where their child became a star and they tried to keep up. Ryan’s onscreen ability, they say, is as big a surprise to them as to anyone. He often takes a video in a new direction during shooting, telling the editors what effects to add as he goes. “On or off camera he is the exact same way,” says Shion. “He genuinely connects with his viewers.” Lest anyone think that’s pure parental boasting, Loann says Ryan’s 5-year-old twin sisters also love making videos, but “it’s not as natural to them.” (Yes, they already have their own line of toys.) The journey hasn’t always been a thrill ride. In 2003, Loann spent a month in jail for shoplifting, and after Ryan got famous, her arrest record became public knowledge. The family did exactly one in-person event with Ryan, in Bentonville, Ark. Thousands of families turned out, and the resulting melee shook them up. They reject the accusation that Ryan is their workhorse. Loann cites an incident on the set of Playdate when Ryan hurt his ankle. The production adjusted the scenes he’d shoot so he could sit and, after a break, kept filming. Loann agreed with the decision, but adds that “if that happens at home, we would not be filming for the next week or two.” The Kajis also say that while the family will go to L.A. for a spell to shoot his shows, Ryan’s YouTube videos take just a few hours a week. He belongs to local sports clubs and goes to school like other kids. Read More: ‘What Do People Want Me to Do? Wear Black Every Day?’: How Child Star JoJo Siwa Built Her Sparkly Empire What most worries Shion are families who try to emulate the Kajis’ success more recklessly. Ryan is the public face of kidfluencers, so any YouTube parent who is less than exemplary might reflect badly on him. Pocketwatch and YouTube issue manuals on how to be both parent and programmer, and Shion hints that he’s trying to start a working group of YouTube families to set industry standards. He won’t go into details, but says he would like more input from YouTube, especially on how families manage their finances, their kids’ time and fame. After all, the platform is taking a healthy cut of the money, and the minors who have made their name on it have few legal protections. The Kajis say a portion of the revenue from the family business goes into trust accounts they’ve established for their children, and they have put all of Ryan’s TV earnings into another trust. There are children on YouTube now with more subscribers than Ryan. His parents seem somewhat relieved. “I don’t want YouTube to be his future career,” says Loann. “We really want him to do something else. We’re continuing right now because he’s enjoying doing it.” The question remains: having found the perfect platform for their child, can they persuade him to leave it? —With reporting by Simmone Shah and Nik Popli.....»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 12th, 2021

Rite Aid (RAD) Stock Dips 13% YTD: Can It Get Back on Track?

Strength in online services and the PBM market will likely aid Rite Aid (RAD) in the times ahead. However, higher costs related to the Bartell acquisition and COVID-19 vaccines remain concerning. Rite Aid Corporation RAD has been reeling under a drab bottom line stemming from weak adjusted EBITDA and the loss of assets due to the sale of CMS receivable. In second-quarter fiscal 2022, adjusted EBITDA declined nearly 30% year over year due to higher SG&A expenses, costs related to the Bartell acquisition, and other costs incurred to drive COVID-19 vaccines.The company has been witnessing elevated expenses for the past few quarters. This is mainly due to a rise in wages and increased investments to drive revenues. Notably, SG&A expenses grew 13.6% year over year to $1,267.8 million in the fiscal second quarter.Consequently, management slashed the bottom-line view for fiscal 2022. The adjusted net loss is envisioned to be 90-53 cents, which compares unfavorably with the previously mentioned loss of 79-24 cents.Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock declined 13.9% year to date against the industry's growth of 33.4%. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Efforts to Overcome HurdlesRite Aid is leaving no stone unturned to get back on track. Continued strength in its underlying business, accelerated COVID-19 vaccine program, and enhanced retail and digital experiences bode well. It also witnessed higher COVID-19 testing demand. This led to year-over-year revenue growth of 2.2% in second-quarter fiscal 2022, with a solid performance in Retail Pharmacy, driven by gains from the acquisition of Bartell and same-store sales growth. Prescription count at same-store sales, adjusted to 30-day-equivalent, rose 7.1% on the back of COVID-19 vaccinations, higher acute prescriptions (up 1.5%) and maintenance prescriptions (up 2.4%).Management remains focused on strengthening its foothold in mid-market PBM, innovation across its retail and mail-order pharmacy channels, enhancing the in-store experience by curated digital offerings, improved merchandises, and rebranding its image with a new logo. The company is progressing well with its exterior refresh program, with nearly 2,200 stores updated, representing 90% of its store chain.Rite Aid launched the first three Stores of the Future and concluded the acquisition of Bartell, which will help expand its customer base. The company continues to witness solid performance in PBM, in terms of mail orders. Its new RxEvolution strategy, with the help of which Rite Aid is expected to become a leader in mid-market PBM, remains on track. Management expects PBM revenues of $7.7-$7.8 million for fiscal 2022.The company has long been benefiting from the expansion of delivery services to its customers. It has been providing home delivery service to customers with an eligible prescription, with the benefit of zero delivery fees. Rite Aid is also providing pick-up and drive services for prescriptions and over-the-counter products at its stores. The company launched the Buy Online Pickup In Store initiative to offer better drive-through and curbside pick-up options. Rite Aid remains on track with plans to invest in its online scheduling platform, which will allow customers to schedule appointments for COVID-19, flu and other vaccines.Rite Aid also expanded the Instacart delivery facility and made partnerships with Amazon, Postmates and Instacart for home delivery, which are contributing to digital sales growth. Online revenues skyrocketed 183% year over year in the fiscal second quarter on continued strength in on-demand delivery, third-party marketplaces, and buy online, pick up at store options.The company partnered with DoorDash to offer same-day delivery of non-prescription health, convenience and wellness essentials, along with ScriptDrop, to expedite the prescription delivery process. Shipt and Rite Aid have entered a partnership to provide same-day delivery of health and wellness products to Rite Aid's retail footprint across 17 states.Other notable retailers partnering with DoorDdash to improve delivery facilities are Walmart WMT, Macy's M and Casey's General Stores CASY.Walmart was one of the first companies to unveil an alliance with DoorDash for its online grocery delivery program. It has also extended its partnership to deliver prescriptions from pharmacies of Sam's Club.Macy's tie-up with DoorDash will not only expedite delivery service but also enable the retailer to offer on-demand and same-day delivery service at roughly 500 Macy's stores throughout the nation. Casey's also expanded its delivery capabilities by bringing DoorDash to 890 stores.Shares of WMT, M and CASY have risen 4.2%, 167% and 12.8%, respectively, year to date.ConclusionDespite cost headwinds, we hope that Rite Aid will get back in the right direction on continued and rising customer demand for COVID-19 vaccines, strength in mid-market PBM and expanded delivery services. Tech IPOs With Massive Profit Potential: Last years top IPOs surged as much as 299% within the first two months. With record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs and a record-setting stock market, this year could be even more lucrative. See Zacks’ Hottest Tech IPOs Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Rite Aid Corporation (RAD): Free Stock Analysis Report Macy's, Inc. (M): Free Stock Analysis Report Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 11th, 2021

Casey"s General Stores (CASY) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

Casey's General Stores (CASY) closed at $200.09 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.91% move from the prior day. Casey's General Stores (CASY) closed at $200.09 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.91% move from the prior day. This change lagged the S&P 500's 0.82% loss on the day.Coming into today, shares of the convenience store chain had gained 8.12% in the past month. In that same time, the Retail-Wholesale sector gained 6.59%, while the S&P 500 gained 6.74%.CASY will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $2.78, down 7.33% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $3.15 billion, up 42.05% from the year-ago period.Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $8.68 per share and revenue of $12.02 billion. These totals would mark changes of +3.58% and +38.05%, respectively, from last year.It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for CASY. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant within the past month. CASY currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).Looking at its valuation, CASY is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 23.27. This valuation marks a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 21.12.The Retail - Convenience Stores industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 4, putting it in the top 2% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.To follow CASY in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 10th, 2021

A lumber CEO who raised his minimum wage to $15 an hour and embraced "overstaffing" explains why companies need to be "pro-employee" to solve the labor shortage

Stinson Dean told Bloomberg that if employers don't realize the economy is on workers' side and pay them $15/hour, they'll be running a business solo. A Now Hiring sign hangs near the entrance to a Winn-Dixie Supermarket on September 21, 2021 in Hallandale, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images So-called labor shortages are still cropping up across the country, as employers struggle to staff up. But Stinson Dean, CEO of Deacon Lumber, told Bloomberg that his company is overstaffed. He says that's because he doesn't overwork his team and he pays them a reasonable wage. Labor shortages have stuck around for months now, as businesses continue to say they can't find enough workers. But one lumber CEO say's his company is "overstaffed" - and he knows why."We have a very happy workforce and we're not working everyone to death because we refuse to pay higher wages," Stinson Dean, the CEO of Deacon Lumber, told Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway on the Odd Lots podcast.The key to hiring, said Dean, may be understanding that employees have a newfound leverage, and accepting that it's time to be "pro-employee."During a wave of newfound worker power, cleaning companies are turning down projects and canceling on customers because they don't have enough workers. A childcare company in California is shuttering because it can't hire. One jewelry store owner said that her husband had to come out of retirement to work, because she's so understaffed.Some businesses have compensated by working their current workforces longer and harder. But that might only be aggravating shortages, since it leads to rampant burnout among workers, who then continue the trend of quitting."I just think it's such a short-sighted and stubborn practice by business owners to cry and complain about the cost of labor and take their most loyal, longest tenured, dedicated employees and work them down to the bone," Dean added.It's a matter of meeting the labor market and employees where they're at, he says. The past year has been one of rethinking work, and what people want out of it. It's also a period where workers are taking action on changing their working conditions. For some, that's meant simply just quitting their jobs. In August, the last month that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has collected data on, over 4 million workers quit their jobs; it marked the fifth month of near record high quits.Others are changing conditions from the inside out, with a wave of strikes cropping up and thousands of workers taking to the picket line to demand better contracts."We accept the fact that this economy is pro-employee," Dean said. "And if you're not good at that part, you just won't have a business, or you'll be running every aspect of the business yourself, because no one would want to work for you."Dean isn't the only one to find himself overstaffed during a moment of chronic shortages. He notes that $15 is what he calls a "clearing wage" - even though it's still not law as the federal minimum wage, which has remained stagnant at $7.25 for 12 years.Fellow business owners who haven't struggled with staffing have boosted wages into the $15 realm, Insider's Grace Dean reports. One MaidPro franchisee in Florida, Andrea Ponce, told Insider she was also overstaffed after she brought wages up from $11 to $14 in May. In June, Iowa coffee shop Greene Bean Coffee raised wages to $15 an hour. Owner Rich Osborne told Insider he got about 50 applications in two weeks."That kind of upended the entire narrative out there that people don't want to work after the pandemic anymore," Obsborne said. He said that "smart people" realize investing in employees is an investment in business, and that he trusts his workers to run his business.And for Dean, keeping pay high and conditions good is also a matter of business: "It's great business practice to pay lower level employees and treat them as if they're revenue producing high commission salespeople."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 9th, 2021

I"m a 30-year-old car dealership owner in California. We make up to $500,000 a month and haven"t seen a decline in customers.

Used cars are more expensive and harder to come by now, but it hasn't impacted Mark Beneke and his brother's business. Mark Beneke bought Westland Auto Sales from his father in 2015. Courtesy of Mark Beneke Mark Beneke is the co-owner and acting sales manager at Westland Auto Sales in Fresno, California. He bought his father out of the business in 2015 and runs a "buy here, pay here" model. He brings in upwards of $500,000 a month. Here's his story, as told to freelancer Kim Dahlgren. This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Mark Beneke, a 30-year-old car dealer from Fresno, California, about his business. It has been edited for length and clarity.Alongside my brother Eric, I own Westland Auto Sales. We took over the business in 2015 and have grown the portfolio by over $1 million this year alone to a total of $5 million (it was $500,000 in 2015).I was born in El Salvador, but in 2000 my family immigrated to the United States in search of the American Dream My father started Westland Auto Sales in 2007, which he owned and worked at until my brother and I bought him out in 2015.Our company is different from traditional car dealerships in that we're a "buy here, pay here" dealership, which means we don't finance our cars through lenders but in house. Using this model means a higher return on investment, but a somewhat riskier business due to the type of clientele.For the past five years, I've been the acting sales manager Each morning begins with a meeting that includes our sales team and lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the day. We disperse any leads and finalize the paperwork for any deals we have pending. Because we do all of the underwriting in house, we have to evaluate each customer based on income and other contributing factors. From there, we make sure the sales team is taking calls with customers, greeting them in store, and leading them through the steps to buy a car. We have about 15 employees (up from seven in 2015), with four currently in sales roles.One of the reasons we've been successful is because we're able to differentiate ourselves - we never try to compete with bigger dealerships or those that work with lenders We're trying to become the best buy here, pay here dealership in our area.With the buy here, pay here model, our clientele tends to be lower income or people with poor credit scores that can't get a loan anywhere else. We treat our customers like people. To us, they are top-tier clients. We care, and they see that.We also provide a free warranty for customers and start with down payments as low as $500 - many in-house dealerships in the area don't. Other buy here, pay here dealerships require 50 or 60% down and sell older cars with hundreds of thousands of miles on them. It's a "bleed" model - you're bleeding the customer for everything they've got. You don't care whether they come back. We wouldn't feel good about running our business that way.Our primary method of acquiring inventory is going through retail auctions, which are only available to licensed dealers We also take trade-ins, though the supply-chain effects of the pandemic have impacted our business, too. Pre-pandemic, we'd buy around 15 cars per week to sell on our lot - now we're purchasing about three. The prices have also increased across the board. What you might have bought for $10,000 a couple years ago may be closer to $13,000 or $14,000 now. Once we identify and purchase the vehicles we're interested in and those that fit the criteria of what we sell at the dealership - family cars, SUV's, sedans, and trucks - we bring them back to our in-house shop to do a safety check. We fix up those that need it, then put them out on the lot for sale.How many cars we have on our lot depends on the time of year Near the end of the year we stock up on new inventory for tax season, our busiest time of year. When people get their tax return, the first thing a lot of them want to do is buy a new car. At the start of Q4, we're usually sitting on about 100-120 cars. By January, we may have 130-140. But by May, we'll be back down to 70. Right now, because of supply-chain issues, we're about at 70 right now.Even so, we're currently focused on increasing sales. The amount of sales we average per month is about 35 cars for the entire dealership, which puts us at a good increase on our portfolio already. We recently increased our "quota" of car sales per month to 42, and so far we've met our goals.Our average revenue per month is upwards of $500,000And aside from having to close for a month or two in the beginning of the pandemic, we're seeing the same amount of buyers now than we were pre-pandemic.In July, my brother and I recruited two new hires to take over our front-facing roles at the dealership. While we're still involved in the day-to-day, we focus more on the backend of the business - growing, with the ambition of opening additional locations.Working with family is great because you know you have somebody you can trust You can depend on them to pull their weight and follow through. You know the way they work, and you have each other's best interests in mind. And even though we've had our disputes, we've always been able to settle it really quickly. We understand and respect each other's roles in the business.And although we've created a great business, after working in the car industry for over a decade, I can say that a car is just transportation. Luxury vehicles - while gorgeous - are just the same as a little Chevy Sonic. While we still get excited about certain vehicles coming into the lot, cars don't wow us anymore. Still, we can't wait to see Westland Auto Sales grow and expand to serve more people.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 3rd, 2021