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Amazon.com
  ...Сегодняшняя магическая цена в $1000 за одну акцию Amazon говорит нам о том, что отношение цены акции к прибыли, приходящейся на нее, равно 51. И в этом и состоит хищническая суть Amazon. В период с 2010 по 2016 год выручка этой компании взрывообразно выросла с $34,2 млрд. до $136 млр ...

 

...Сегодняшняя магическая цена в $1000 за одну акцию Amazon говорит нам о том, что отношение цены акции к прибыли, приходящейся на нее, равно 51.

И в этом и состоит хищническая суть Amazon. В период с 2010 по 2016 год выручка этой компании взрывообразно выросла с $34,2 млрд. до $136 млрд. При этом прибыль до налогообложения, будучи и так очень незначительной всего в 4,4%, к 2016 году снизилась до лишь 2,9%.

Скажем иначе, на рост выручки компании Amazon в $102 млрд. пришлось лишь $2,5 млрд. доналоговой прибыли. Если исключить облачный бизнес (AWS), то компанию Amazon нельзя назвать прибыльной компанией.

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Выбор редакции
16 августа, 14:12

Trump Lashes Out At Bezos: "Amazon Is Doing Great Damage To Retailers; Hurting Cities And Jobs"

Amazon stock dropped a much as 1.2% in the pre-market (down 0.7% last), after an early start of the Trump tweets on Wednesday where with his first tweet he attacked the giant online retailer, saying "Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost!" Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017 Trump's comment hardly conveys new information, and underscores what Dick's CEO Ed Stack said yesterday during his striking conference call in which he said the retail industry is in "panic mode", liquidating inventory to keep market share, and hit by a "perfect storm" in which Amazon is a key culprit:  "Dick's is another example of Amazon becoming the new middleman... Here we go down the gross margin rabbit hole just in time for the holidays." The question, of course, is whether the tweet is indicative of another policy shift by the Trump administration, one in which the president will focus on the giant online retailer as a potential monopoly and bring up anti-trust considerations, potentially sparking fears of a government mandated break up. Of course, Trump's tweet may have simply been prompted by something he read in the Bezos-owned WaPo this morning, resulting in the angry tweet. Indicatively, last week Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Amazon's HQ in Seattle, where CEO Jeff Bezos posted a photo of him showing Mattis around the headquarters.

Выбор редакции
15 августа, 20:38

Dick's CEO: "The Retail Industry Is In Panic Mode"

With Dick's stock crashing after reporting dreadful results this morning, in which both comp sales and EPS missed as the company slashed its full year guidance below even the lowest sellside forecast (it now sees full year EPS of $2.80 to $3.00, below the previous guidance of $3.65 to $3.75 and the Wall Street estimate of $3.62 ), the management team had no reason to hold back on today's earnings call, and luckily - unlike many other retailers who still hold out hope that the worst is behind them - it did not, for an unvarnished look into the retail space. Confirming just how little pricing power retailers have, CEO Ed Stack said "we have conducted extensive consumer research, and the customers have told us they feel our prices are not competitive in today's environment" in which everyone is slashing price to capture market share, and as a result the company is "intentionally joining this battle, and we will aggressively be promoting our business to drive market share to our stores and online." Stack said he observed heavier promotions and price cuts particularly on athletic apparel, electronics, and hunting, fishing and camping gear which started as early as Father's Day. "We started to see this happening a little bit before Father's Day, and it continued to be very promotional, not only from retailers but also from some of the brands on a direct-to-consumer basis." Having no other choice, Dicks has joined the battle of the "deep discounters", and has also launched a "best price guarantee" in which it promises customers that if they find a lower price on a product, Dick's will match it. Of course, by doing so, the retailer assures that both Dick's and its peers margins and net income shrink even more in the coming quarters. Another major concern on the call - and to management - was the recent partnership between Amazon and Nike. Asked "how can you ensure that your positioning is still differentiated from that of the Amazon offering" the CEO responded: "We'll see how this goes. They've been transparent talking to us about this test, and I suspect it will probably go well, and then Nike will decide what they want to do about it and how they want to handle the balance of the market. Our relationship with Nike has been - has always been very good. It continues to be very good. We continue to work with them on shops, on our footwear decks and exclusive products. They are a strategic vendor of ours and we've got great relationship and what we're going to test and what they'll do ultimately we'll deal with that when it happens." Speaking to CNBC, SW Retail Advisors' Stacey Widlitz said that "Dick's is another example of Amazon becoming the new middleman... Here we go down the gross margin rabbit hole just in time for the holidays." Of course, if Nike ultimately decides to go exclusively with Amazon at least Dick's terminal suffering will be greatly shortened. Meanwhile, as the call went on, there was the following striking admission by the CEO: "There's a lot of people right now, I think, in retail and in this industry in panic mode. There's been a difficult environment. I think people, I'm not going to speculate what they're thinking, but they seem to be in panic mode with how they're pricing product, and we think it's going to continue to be promotional and at times, irrational going forward." * * * Just in case the message was not clear the first time, there was more panic: "People need to get rid of the inventory, and then some people are panicked as to what's going to happen with their business from a growth standpoint." * * * And then, to top it off,  just a little more: "What's going on in the marketplace right now is that it's just very promotional, almost panicked in some cases, I think, especially in the hunt, fish categories. There's a lot of inventory in the pipeline, and people need to move it out, and it's going to continue to be promotional until this inventory gets moved out of the pipeline" * * * Finally, one can't possibly use the word "panic" 4 times in a conference call without also adding the occasional "perfect storm", and sure enough: "So I think it's just a perfect storm right now in retail, and I think sporting goods is in the center of it right now. There'll be further consolidation. We're seeing Gander Mountain closing right now. We'll see what happens with some other retailers, but it's a perfect storm right now. We're not particularly happy that we're in it." Meanwhile, as the legacy retail sector implodes and as US households drown under a record amount of debt (the two may be connected), the Fed is confused why credit card defaults as mysteriously surging at a time when the US economy is supposed to be recovering...

Выбор редакции
15 августа, 20:17

Chain-Store Stock Carnage Continues (Despite Biggest Jump In Retail Sales Since 2016)

Oh the irony - as bulls celebrate the best jump in retail sales since 2016, the scene for retailer stocks is an utter bloodbath... Earlier today, US Retail Sales in July rebounded dramatically to a 0.6% MoM gain - the most since Dec 2016 - driven a surge in motor vehicles (record incentives) and department stores (more inventives?). Year-over-year saw upward revisions and a rebound to a 4.2% rise in July. The last two month's declines in Retail Sales have been revised away magically and we have now gone 5 months without a decline...   But one glimpse at the carnage in chain-store stocks tells a very different story... Following a week of disappointing earnings from J.C. Penney Co. and Macy’s Inc., the drumbeat resumed Tuesday as results from Advance Auto Parts Inc., Coach Inc. and Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. sent their shares crashing...   As Bloomberg notes, at this rate, the group is poised for the worst annual decline in share prices since the financial crisis. “Everybody is being burned in retail and people are just questioning, ‘Is there any place that’s Amazon-free?’” Gary Bradshaw, a Dallas-based fund manager for Hodges Capital Management Inc., said by phone.   “There will be some winners in retail but boy, it’s just a land mine." However, Vitaliy Katsenelson more accurately states It’s not just Amazon’s fault. Changing consumer habits are killing old retail biz... Retail stocks have been annihilated recently, despite the economy eking out growth. The fundamentals of the retail business look horrible: Sales are stagnating and profitability is getting worse with every passing quarter.   Jeff Bezos and Amazon get most of the credit, but this credit is misplaced. Today, online sales represent only 8.5 percent of total retail sales. Amazon, at $80 billion in sales, accounts only for 1.5 percent of total U.S. retail sales, which at the end of 2016 were around $5.5 trillion. Though it is human nature to look for the simplest explanation, in truth, the confluence of a half-dozen unrelated developments is responsible for weak retail sales.   Our consumption needs and preferences have changed significantly. Ten years ago we spent a pittance on cellphones. Today Apple sells roughly $100 billion worth of i-goods in the U.S., and about two-thirds of those sales are iPhones.   Consumer income has not changed much since 2006, thus over the last 10 years $190 billion in consumer spending was diverted toward mobile phones. Between phones and their services, this is $340 billion that will not be spent on T-shirts and shoes.   But we are not done. The combination of mid-single-digit health-care inflation and the proliferation of high-deductible plans has increased consumer direct health-care costs and further chipped away at our discretionary dollars. Health-care spending in the U.S. is $3.3 trillion, and just 3 percent of that figure is almost $100 billion.   Then there are soft, hard-to-quantify factors. Millennials and millennial-want-to-be generations (speaking for myself here) don’t really care about clothes as much as we may have 10 years ago.   All this brings us to a hard and sad reality: The U.S. is over-retailed. We simply have too many stores. Americans have four or five times more square footage per capita than other developed countries. This bloated square footage was created for a different consumer, the one who in in the ’90s and ’00s was borrowing money against her house and spending it at her local shopping mall. But the bottom line, as we noted previously, is that America's malls, retail stores, and fast-food restaurants are hugely overbuilt.

Выбор редакции
15 августа, 18:44

One Analyst Throws Up On Today's Retail Sales Data: Here's Why

Two weeks ago we reported that July auto sales were a disaster: recall sales for bloated with inventory GM were down 15% YoY, Ford off 7% and Chrysler down 11% - despite record incentive spending - as overall auto sales declined and disappointed for yet another month. And yet, according to this morning's retail sales report from the Census Bureau, sales for "motor vehicle & parts stores" rose much more robustly than anyone had anticipated, rising 1.2%, the fastest pace since December. This number was so bizarre, and so out of context with recent sales data, that SouthBay Research threw up all over it in its morning note today. Here's why: Retail Sales m/m: 0.6% Retail Sales ex Autos m/m: 0.45% Retail Sales ex Autos & Amazon m/m: 0.3% Consumer Retail Spending was Actually Mild, As Expected Auto Sales growth unbelievable Amazon Prime Day juiced the results   Don't believe the auto sales data.  Per the BEA, unit sales were flat m/m (+90K).  Meanwhile, per JD Power, July average retail prices were $950 lower than June's as auto dealers struggled to make sales and incentives averaged $3.9K, the highest on record and $100 higher than June. Hmmm, no rise in auto sales per the real world and the BEA.  Coupled with a fall in net prices. But in fantasy land, the Census Bureau announces a $1.2B m/m jump in sales and a 7%+ y/y rise.   Amazon Prime Day Was Huge...and will Cut August Sales Nonstore Retail Sales jumped $700M m/m.  That's the Amazon Prime Day effect. I modeled it lower and that's the source of my miss this month   Reasons for Caution: Government Data is Overstating Reality The Retail strength does reinforce my view that macro data favors the US in 2H and that the dollar is oversold. But the Retail headline figure is wrong and analysts were correct: consumer spending as captured by Retail is sluggish.  The fact that reality is badly captured by the Retail figures is concerning insofar as it affects the Fed's decision making.    The opportunity is to recognize that consumer spending in the real world will pull back and it will also be missed by the official data.  With Consensus unprepared for the pull back, it will deliver a greater shock. Meanwhile, here's a quick look at SouthBay's proprietary "Vice Index." For those who are unfamiliar, the vice index tracks US consumer spending on alcohol, marijuana, prostitution and gambling, Vices are a special form of discretionary spending that is highly sensitive to near-termeconomic conditions: i) Cash based: depends on free cash flow; ii) Luxury spending: wants not needs; iii) Significant dollar amount: not pricey but not cheap. Vice spending is broadly representative of the US consumer: i) Broad-based: Every socioeconomic and demographic group participates; ii) High-volume transactions: Over 100M discrete events per year. The reason why this index is of particular interest, is because vices predict retail spending with a 4-month lead. Luxury spending is the 1st thing to be affected by changes in household finances. This is what the index shows:

Выбор редакции
13 августа, 20:30

Retail Rout Returns (But Don't Blame Amazon)

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com, JCPenney announced a $62 million dollar loss for the quarter. With the announcement, its share price plunged 16% breaking the $4 barrier for the first time. Stocks under $5 are considered “penny” stocks. This was the worst week for Retailers since Dec 2016... Please consider JCPenney Nosedives to All-Time Low on Big Loss. Yup. JCPenney is now a penny stock — a Wall Street term for a company trading under $5. JCPenney (JCP) said it lost $62 million in its second quarter. That’s more than a year ago. The retailer also said that same store sales — a measure of how well stores open at least a year are doing — fell more than 1% during the quarter.   JCPenney is the latest department store chain to announce dismal results. Macy’s (M), Kohl’s (KSS) and Dillard’s (DDS) all reported a decline in same store sales on Thursday as they struggle to compete against Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) and Walmart (WMT).   The massive shift in the retail landscape has led many chains to shut down underperforming stores.   JCPenney is one of them, announcing earlier this year it would be closing 138 stores. JCPenney wound up delaying the closings by a month though after consumers rushed to many of the stores to take advantage of the massive liquidation sales.   Ellison also said during the analyst call that JCPenney expects many retailers to ramp up promotions and discounts to try and lure shoppers into their stores. The CEO warned these sales may be even more aggressive than “what we’ve traditionally seen.” Don’t Blame Amazon Amazon is not to blame, but Amazon sure does not help either. Retail is massively overbuilt. That’s the big problem. And it’s not just the box retailers. The fast food restaurants are all cannibalizing each other’s sales too. Vitaliy Katsenelson accurately states It’s not just Amazon’s fault. Changing consumer habits are killing old retail biz Retail stocks have been annihilated recently, despite the economy eking out growth. The fundamentals of the retail business look horrible: Sales are stagnating and profitability is getting worse with every passing quarter.   Jeff Bezos and Amazon get most of the credit, but this credit is misplaced. Today, online sales represent only 8.5 percent of total retail sales. Amazon, at $80 billion in sales, accounts only for 1.5 percent of total U.S. retail sales, which at the end of 2016 were around $5.5 trillion. Though it is human nature to look for the simplest explanation, in truth, the confluence of a half-dozen unrelated developments is responsible for weak retail sales.   Our consumption needs and preferences have changed significantly. Ten years ago we spent a pittance on cellphones. Today Apple sells roughly $100 billion worth of i-goods in the U.S., and about two-thirds of those sales are iPhones.   Consumer income has not changed much since 2006, thus over the last 10 years $190 billion in consumer spending was diverted toward mobile phones. Between phones and their services, this is $340 billion that will not be spent on T-shirts and shoes.   But we are not done. The combination of mid-single-digit health-care inflation and the proliferation of high-deductible plans has increased consumer direct health-care costs and further chipped away at our discretionary dollars. Health-care spending in the U.S. is $3.3 trillion, and just 3 percent of that figure is almost $100 billion.   Then there are soft, hard-to-quantify factors. Millennials and millennial-want-to-be generations (speaking for myself here) don’t really care about clothes as much as we may have 10 years ago.   All this brings us to a hard and sad reality: The U.S. is over-retailed. We simply have too many stores. Americans have four or five times more square footage per capita than other developed countries. This bloated square footage was created for a different consumer, the one who in in the ’90s and ’00s was borrowing money against her house and spending it at her local shopping mall. Hugely Overbuilt Malls, retail stores, and fast food restaurants are all hugely overbuilt. Analysts still have not put 2 and 2 together on what this means. It’s the overbuilding of all kinds of retail and fast food stores that has provided the high job growth, low wage growth environment that we are in. You can blame (or thank) the Fed for that, depending on your view. Regardless, the expansion will come to an end at some point. And when it does, the Fed governors will not know what hit them. Lowering interest rates further will not do a thing for the economy in this overbuilt setup, once the turn takes place.

Выбор редакции
11 августа, 17:06

Amzon- Largest bearish reversal in 20 years takes place, says Joe Friday

Just the Facts….Amazon has done well for years and years and the trend remains up. This past month something took place in AMZN that has not happened in the past 20-years, see chart below- CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE The Power of the Pattern applied Fibonacci to the lows in 2001 and highs in 2013 at each (1) and looked to see if any Fibonacci Extension level could come into play, that could impact the price of Amazon. The 261% Extension level came into play near the $1,007 level. Joe Friday Just The Facts– Amazon last month, created the largest bearish reversal pattern, since the highs back in 1999! For sure, one months action does NOT make a trend. In 1999 when AMZN created a large bearish reversal in lost over 50% of its value the next couple of years. The past months huge bearish reversal pattern does not mean it will lose 50% again. Joe’s point is this...AMZN is a global leader and for some reason this reversal pattern last month at the Fibonacci extension level, could be presenting a very important clue about future prices for this stock and broad market in general. Amazon bulls want to see support hold at (3)!   from Kimble Charting Solutions.  We strive to produce concise, timely and actionable chart pattern analysis to save people time, improve your decision-making and results Send us an email if you would like to see sample reports or a trial period to test drive our Premium or Weekly Research   Website: KIMBLECHARTINGSOLUTIONS.COM Blog:  KIMBLECHARTINGSOLUTIONS.COM/BLOG   Questions:[email protected] call us toll free 877-721-7217 international 714-941-9381                                                            

10 августа, 17:36

Fourth Turning's Neil Howe Warns The Amazon-Walmart Rivalry Will Determine The Future Of Retail

Authored by Saeculum Research's Neil Howe, via MauldinEconomics.com, The two firms are aggressively scaling up and branching out: Who will rise as the rest of retail sinks? Amazon turned heads last month when it acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. On the exact same day, Walmart announced its own $310 million purchase of clothing e-tailer Bonobos. The timing is no coincidence: As the de facto leaders of U.S. retail, Amazon and Walmart are each spending heavily in an attempt to unseat the other. Which company has the advantage? Amazon is a forward-thinking e-commerce heavyweight with many far-flung (if not profitable) business lines. Walmart is unmatched in brick-and-mortar retail, with a surging (if still small) e-commerce business. With the future headed online, investors are betting heavily on Amazon—but is this a mistake? The two retail giants have been stepping on each other’s toes lately. Amazon’s Whole Foods deal has been widely interpreted as a defensive move against Walmart’s thriving grocery business. Amazon is also playing offense: The company is going after Walmart’s predominately lower-income customer base by offering a discounted Amazon Prime membership to U.S. consumers who rely on government assistance. Walmart, meanwhile, has been even more aggressive. It all started when Walmart bought e-commerce firm Jet.com for $3.3 billion back in 2016. The company earlier this year rolled out free two-day shipping for all orders over $35, and is testing a pilot program that pays work­ers overtime for delivering packages on their commute home. Walmart is even barring some prospective tech vendors from building apps and services on top of Amazon’s cloud—and is telling its for-hire truck drivers that they cannot haul Amazon goods on the side. Each company has scored some direct hits in this battle. But which one is positioned to win the war? Amazon’s utter dominance of e-commerce sets it apart in an era when ever-more sales are moving online. As the leading e-tailer, Amazon has been the largest beneficiary of a massive shift online: Nearly half (43 percent) of all U.S. online retail sales take place on Amazon.com. One key ingredient to this success has been Prime, which now tallies 66 million subscribers—equal to roughly one in five U.S. consumers. Arguably the company’s greatest strength is its ability to build successful tech-enabled businesses seemingly from scratch. Take cloud computing. In a few short years, Amazon has transformed from a cloud newcomer to the unques­tioned market leader: Fully 57 percent of survey respondents say that their business is currently running appli­cations in Amazon Web Services, 23 percentage points ahead of Microsoft Azure. Meanwhile, Amazon Home Services—a platform on which home­owners can find credentialed experts to carry out a rebuild—is now competing with the likes of Lowe’s and Home Depot. (See 77: “Home Services, At Your Serv­ice.”) In 2012, Amazon even began renting out excess warehouses to create yet another profit stream. But for all of its success, Amazon has yet to generate much in the way of actual profits. Jeff Bezos is not interested in growing the company’s profit margin, but rather in keeping prices low in order to steadily gain market share—that is, grow faster than its competitors. With a lofty P/E ratio of 187.8, Amazon is clearly benefitting from investors who believe that the company will eventually focus on profitability. Such a huge bet on deferred earnings is fraught with downside risk. So what’s the argument for Walmart? First, it is still a much larger company, with revenues of nearly half a trillion dollars—nearly four times Amazon’s. That scale alone enables it to put a much bigger squeeze on suppliers than Amazon. Second, Walmart generates a large profit—and generates it today. Walmart (P/E of 17.0) is a better value proposition than the majority of the S&P 500 (average P/E of 21.6). The company is also a reliable dividend machine: Walmart will pay out dividends of $2.04 per share in 2018, marking the 44th consecutive year of dividend growth. Walmart’s main revenue driver is its brick-and-mortar retail business, which continues to gain steam amid a collapsing retail space. According to Credit Suisse, 2,800 U.S. brick-and-mortar retail stores closed up shop in Q1 2017, a record full-year pace. Commercial real estate firm CoStar reports that U.S. retailers must eliminate 1 million square feet of brick-and-mortar space just to grow their sales per square foot back to where it was a decade ago. In this low-margin environment, cost efficiency is key—and nobody does cost efficiency better than Walmart, a company that uses its clout to negotiate favorable deals with suppliers and finance its “Everyday Low Prices.” While mall anchors like Macy’s and JC Penney continue to announce store closures, Walmart plans to add 10,000 retail jobs and 59 new/renovated properties by the end of the fiscal year. So what does the future hold? Amazon certainly has the look and feel of a winner in the digital age. The company epitomizes a blue-zone, mold-breaking, Silicon Valley mindset. Its leaders aren’t afraid to spend big today to solve tomorrow’s problems. Walmart, on the other hand, was founded in the deep-red, lower-middle class Bentonville, Arkansas (where it still keeps its headquarters) and built upon the paradigm of penny-pinching—hardly the type of company that inspires effusive praise as a forward-thinking leader. But this line of thinking may be off the mark. For one, both companies acknowledge that tomorrow’s retail likely will be a blend of online and brick-and-mortar. As TechCrunch columnist Sarah Perez puts it, “Amazon wants to become Walmart before Walmart can become Amazon.” And the fact is that it may be easier—and cheaper—for Walmart to become Amazon. Walmart has already shown that it is willing to spend big on top tech talent. It would be a lot tougher, on the other hand, for Amazon to pour enough concrete to become a brick-and-mortar powerhouse while still maintaining the company’s culture. The assumption that Amazon is far ahead in the court of public opinion is also untrue. Decades ago, Walmart was panned for decimating communities with bargain-bin consumerism. But today, Amazon is reviled by many consumer advocates who say that its e-commerce dominance—powered by its robot-filled warehouses—is killing retail jobs. In an era when consumers pride themselves on buying local to support their community (see SI: “The New Localism”), Amazon represents a faceless global entity without roots. Even Millennials, who at first glance should be overwhelmingly pro-Amazon, show strong support for Walmart. According to YouGov BrandIndex, Walmart ranks as the fifth-favorite brand among Millennial consumers—just one spot behind Amazon and ahead of brands such as Netflix (#6) and Apple (#8). Why? Community-oriented Millennials likely realize the value of a company that creates 1.5 million U.S. jobs—and are won over by its ultra-low prices. Both companies may very well outperform the broader market in the years to come. But don’t be surprised if Walmart eventually emerges on top. And even if the homely Bentonville retailer does no more than stick around, that makes it a big long-short winner relative to its Seattle-based rival. TAKEAWAYS Take notice: The Amazon-Walmart rivalry will determine the future of retail. Each firm is making moves in the other’s area of expertise: Amazon bought Whole Foods to scale up in the grocery business, while Walmart is ramping up its own e-commerce capabilities. Which company has the upper hand? Conventional wisdom points to Amazon, which has a dominant foothold in a surging e-commerce space and owns a reputation as a forward-thinking market leader. But the future of retail will likely be a blend of online and brick-and-mortar—which favors Walmart. Why? It may be easier to acquire tech capabilities (i.e., buying talent) than a physical footprint (i.e., building thousands of stores). Keep in mind that market “duopolies” can save consumers money. Look at Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, two companies that together control roughly three-quarters of the soda market. Their duopoly status has helped to keep prices lower: The CPI for carbonated beverages has risen less than half as quickly as the CPI for all food since the early 1980s. Similarly, it’s easy to see how the Amazon-Walmart price wars are already benefitting consumers. In February, shoppers had to buy $49 worth of Amazon goods to qualify for free shipping. Today, that same perk costs just $25. Walmart.com shoppers can now save up to 5 percent on more than 1 million items through in-store pickup. Expect Amazon and Walmart to continue to play hardball with suppliers. All of these discounts come at a price—to vendors. Walmart recently told suppliers that it wants to offer the lowest price on 80 percent of the products that it sells—a feat that would require some suppliers to shave 15 percent off of their rates. Amazon is equally notorious for its tough negotiations. The company often threatens to boot unprofitable products (known as “CRaP,” short for “can’t realize a profit”) from its virtual store shelves if the vendor won’t budge on prices. Insiders suspect that this is why all Pampers products mysteriously disappeared from Amazon.com earlier this year. Keep tabs on the hotly contested grocery market. Today, Walmart controls more than one-quarter of the U.S. grocery market—more than double the share of its closest competitor (Kroger). But an influx of competition, especially from abroad, threatens this market share. German discount chain Lidl recently opened its first U.S. outposts, and its fellow German competitor Aldi is planning a $5 billion, 900-store U.S. expansion. Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition will further turn up the heat on Walmart—though the move may be far more damaging to Target, which has been trying to get into the fresh grocery game for ages.

05 августа, 23:29

Amazon isn’t the No. 1 villain in retail sector’s demise

Retail stocks have been annihilated recently, despite the economy eking out growth. The fundamentals of the retail business look horrible: Sales are stagnating and profitability is getting worse with every passing quarter. Jeff Bezos and Amazon get most of the credit, but this credit is misplaced. Today, online sales represent only 8.5 percent of total retail sales. Amazon, at $80 billion in sales, accounts only for 1.5 percent of total U.S. retail sales, which at the end of 2016 were around $5.5 trillion. Though it is human nature to look for the simplest explanation, in truth, the confluence of a half-dozen unrelated developments is responsible for weak retail sales. Our consumption needs and preferences have changed significantly. Ten years ago we spent a pittance on cellphones. Today Apple sells roughly $100 billion worth of i-goods in the U.S., and about two-thirds of those sales are iPhones. Apple's U.S. market share is about 44 percent, thus the total smart mobile phone market in the U.S. is $150 billion a year. Add spending on smartphone accessories (cases, cables, glass protectors, etc.) and we are probably looking at $200 billion total spending a year on smartphones and accessories. Ten years ago (before the introduction of the iPhone) smartphone sales were close to zero. Nokia was the king of dumb phones, with sales in the U.S. in 2006 of $4 billion. The total dumb cellphone handset market in the U.S. in 2006 was probably closer to $10 billion. Consumer income has not changed much since 2006, thus over the last 10 years $190 billion in consumer spending was diverted toward mobile phones. It gets more interesting. In 2006 a cellphone was a luxury only affordable by adults, but today 7-year-olds have iPhones. Our phone bill per household more than doubled over the last decade. Not to bore you with too many data points, but Verizon's wireless's revenue in 2006 was $38 billion. Fast-forward 10 years and it is $89 billion — a $51 billion increase. Verizon's market share is about 30 percent, thus the total spending increase on wireless services is close to $150 billion. Between phones and their services, this is $340 billion that will not be spent on T-shirts and shoes. But we are not done. The combination of mid-single-digit health-care inflation and the proliferation of high-deductible plans has increased consumer direct health-care costs and further chipped away at our discretionary dollars. Health-care spending in the U.S. is $3.3 trillion, and just 3 percent of that figure is almost $100 billion. Then there are soft, hard-to-quantify factors. Millennials and millennial-want-to-be generations (speaking for myself here) don't really care about clothes as much as we may have 10 years ago. After all, our high-tech billionaires wear hoodies and flip-flops to work. Lack of fashion sense did not hinder their success, so why should the rest of us care about the dress code? In the '90s casual Fridays were a big deal – yippee, we could wear jeans to work! Fast-forward 20 years, and every day is casual. Suits? They are worn to job interviews or to impress old-fashioned clients. Consumer habits have slowly changed, and we now put less value on clothes (and thus spend less money on them) and more value on having the latest iThing. All this brings us to a hard and sad reality: The U.S. is over-retailed. We simply have too many stores. Americans have four or five times more square footage per capita than other developed countries. This bloated square footage was created for a different consumer, the one who in in the '90s and '00s was borrowing money against her house and spending it at her local shopping mall. Today's post-Great Recession consumer is deleveraging, paying off her debt, spending money on new necessities such as mobile phones, and paying more for the old ones such as health care. Yes, Amazon and online sales do matter. Ten years ago only 2.5 percent of retail sales took place online, and today that number is 8.5 percent – about a $300 billion change. Some of these online sales were captured by brick-and-mortar online sales, some by e-commerce giants like Amazon, and some by brands selling directly to consumers. But as you can see, online sales are just one piece of a very complex retail puzzle. All the aforementioned factors combined explain why, when gasoline prices declined by almost 50 percent (gifting consumers hundreds of dollars of discretionary spending a month), retailers' profitability and consumer spending did not flinch – those savings were more than absorbed by other expenses. Understanding that online sales (when we say this we really mean Amazon) are not the only culprit responsible for horrible retail numbers is crucial in the analysis of retail stocks. If you are only solving "who can fight back the best against Amazon?" you are only solving for one variable in a multivariable problem: – Consumers' habits have changed; the U.S. is over-retailed; and consumer spending is being diverted to different parts of the economy. As value investors we are naturally attracted to hated sectors. However, we demand a much greater margin of safety from retail stocks, because estimating their future cash flows (and thus fair value) is becoming increasingly difficult. Warren Buffett has said that you want to own a business that can be run by an idiot, because one day it will be. A successful retail business in today's world cannot be run by by an idiot. It requires Bezos-like qualities: being totally consumer-focused, taking risks, thinking long term. Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, CFA I am the CIO at Investment Management Associates, which is anything but your average investment firm. (Seriously, take a look.) I wrote two books on investing, which were published by John Wiley & Sons and have been translated into eight languages. (Polish is one of them – go figure.) In a brief moment of senility, Forbes magazine called me “the new Benjamin Graham.” (They must have been impressed by the eloquence of the Polish translation.) Smitten by this article? Don’t let your love remain unrequited.   Sign up here to get my latest articles in your inbox.

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04 августа, 22:22

Bankrupt Apparel Stores Finally Learn That Rent Is Expensive; Try To Make A Comeback Online

After retail bankruptcies soared an astonishing 110% in the first half of 2017 (something we discussed here: The Amazon Effect: Retail Bankruptcies Surge 110% In First Half Of The Year), it seems that the new wave of retail operators are finally figuring out that in-store payrolls and excessive mall rents are simply an insurmountable economic disadvantage in the post-Amazon world.  The following info-graphic from the Wall Street Journal helps to put the offline vs. online cost structure of apparel retailers into perspective:   Retail private equity investors have purchased a number of failed apparel companies over the past 12 months.  But, while they're buying the brand name and maybe some manufacturing equipment, these PE firms are not assuming many mall leases. Gordon Brothers purchased Wet Seal for $3 million in March, the same month that the teen retailer sold its inventory and closed the last of its stores, and is now working to restart Wet Seal’s manufacturing. It aims to open an online store in the fall.   Private-equity firm Sycamore Partners in 2014 hired Newmine LLC to relaunch Coldwater Creek, a fashion brand that had closed that year but retained a following among middle-aged women. Clothes were available for sale online four months later after a “fast-paced, SWAT-team-like” effort, said Newmine Chief Executive Navjit Bhasin.   After a liquidation, “all that’s left is the brand name and the customer following,” Mr. Bhasin said. “If it takes 2½ years to revive, the customer is gone.” Companies like Onestop Internet, which handles orders for dozens of websites out of a warehouse in Compton, Calif., make it easier for former brick-and-mortar chains to transition to online-only fashion labels.  Brand owners “need to extract the value of the intellectual property [but] they don’t want to have to worry about customer service, digital marketing and web developers,” said Daniel Brewster, a senior vice president at Onestop. But, it's not just wall street investors pouring money into taking apparel retailers offline.  T-shirt wholesaler Gildan recently scooped up American Apparel's brand name and manufacturing equipment and plans to relaunch an online store later this summer. American Apparel’s new owners are planning the brand’s online-only future even as its liquidation is under way. Canadian T-shirt wholesaler Gildan Activewear Inc., which paid $88 million for the brand name and some manufacturing equipment, is aiming to relaunch American Apparel this summer—though the brand’s website currently is just a landing page.   Gildan opened an office in Los Angeles, hiring a few American Apparel marketers to keep the brand on “life support,” as Garry Bell, Gildan’s vice president of marketing and communications, put it. The company has already revived American Apparel’s wholesale business, lining up suppliers for a “Made in the USA” line and a less expensive one to be manufactured in South America.   “It’s really important for us to do that as quickly as we can,” Mr. Bell said. Of course, converting to an online business model for apparel manufacturers may be a short-term gain but a long-term disaster as it will eventually serve to further commoditize apparel prices.  Moreover, we're pretty sure that anything these small, disparate brand owners can do online, that Amazon can do better.

01 августа, 11:05

How Can America Afford A Universal Basic Income? Simple: "Tax The Robots"

By replacing low-wage cashiers and other retail workers with robots, the retail sector’s struggling companies can engineer a potentially life-saving boost in profits. But as advances in artificial intelligence continue to accelerate, according to the World Economic Forum, large swaths of laborers are going to lose their jobs, leading to unprecedented levels of unemployment. How to distribute the profits that will accrue to corporations thanks to this paradigmatic shift in labor-market conditions has been the subject of intense debate, as it has the capacity to create a sharp drop in living standards across developed economies. So how can governments ameliorate this diminution of the American workforce? The WEF has an idea: Tax the robots and use the proceeds to fund a universal basic income for all Americans. As the paper notes, the once-controversial UBI has never been more poplar, thanks to tech luminaries like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Bill Gates – all of whom have spoken in glowing tones about the policy’s potential to save America from dystopia. Yet, for all this talk, Zuckerberg & Co. have glossed over a crucial question: How, exactly, will taxpayers afford this? The WEF says it looked to the private sector for answers, and came up with this simple conclusion: Tax the robots. “Companies will profit significantly from workforce automation,” WEF writes. “So the private sector will be able to afford shouldering this burden, while at the same time still making greater profits.” The WEF cites a small, yet successful, experiment that was conducted in the UK, and Ontario, as justification for its plan, which it fleshes out in greater detail below: “As the robots take over, people will begin to lose their jobs, but companies will be fine. More likely than that - they’ll thrive. The profits generated from automation could be used to pay a basic wage to those displaced by robots. To use the welder example from before, a company could slash the cost of their production by at least a third in a short period of time, and would continue to see greater profits as efficiencies increase and the price for parts drops. If that company eventually arrives at the $2 an hour mark that BCG predicts, the company’s bottom line would have been improved by 1250%.   Given all of the savings and massive profits companies are going to reap from these new technologies, they should be responsible for using part of this monetary kick-back to help the workers they’ve displaced. Legislators might consider a sliding-scale automation tax, where a company qualifying itself as using an automated workforce would be taxed depending on how many human workers they have performing tasks compared to how many tasks are performed by automated workers that a human could rightly do. This money could then be put into a UBI fund that is then distributed by the government to citizens affected by automation—or to the entire population.” While startup costs associated with building a robotic workforce might appear daunting, the WEF notes that they’ve fallen sharply in recent years, and will likely continue to decline as advances in AI technology sharpen robots’ ability to work side-by side with humans. Some of the largest some of the largest food-service and retail companies have announced initiatives centered around providing customers with a more seamless shopping experience. Cowen's Andrew Charles, the analyst calculates the jump in sales at McDonald’s as a result of the company's new Experience of the Future strategy which anticipates that digital ordering kiosks (shown above) will replace cashiers in at least 2,500 restaurants by the end of 2017 and another 3,000 over 2018. This trend will only continue to accelerate. McDonald’s, an early pioneer of automation, is already replacing human workers with automated kiosks. They expect a 5% to 9% return on investment in just the first year; in 2019 they expect this return to balloon to double digits. And this is only one sector: PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that 38% of US jobs will be in danger of being replaced by automation by 2030. To this, WEF adds that Micky D’s expects a 5% to 9% return on investment in just the first year; in 2019 they expect this return to balloon to double digits. Amazon.com’s nearly $14 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market has spurred (long overdue) calls from a handful of Congressional Democrats for an investigation into Amazon’s business practices on anti-trust grounds. Over the past few years, the company’s push for speedier delivery times (it offers same day delivery in certain markets through its Amazon Prime service) and an increasingly expansive away of products is devastating smaller retails and brands. Some smaller retailers, having ascertained the existential threat Bezo’s blatantly monopolistic business practices pose, have started to push back, setting the stage for a full-scale battle between Amazon and its smaller rivals. In an email sent to authorized retailers, the CEO of Birkenstock USA threatened to cut off any retailers who violate the company’s strict policies surrounding reselling by turning over their stock to Amazon. The e-commerce giant has allegedly been reaching out to individual Birkenstock retailers, offering to buy out their entire stock at full price. Amazon has denied these claims. Already, retail bankruptcies have surged 110% in the first half of this year, according to a report by Fitch as retail surpasses battered energy as the most distressed industry in the US. Unfortunately, US officials aren’t treating the problem of creeping automation with the deference that the WEF says it deserves. Case in point: “At the exponential rate of robotization, there isn’t a lot of time for legislators to figure out the intricacies of a solution - but they don’t seem to be in too much of a rush. Steven Mnuchin, the US’s treasury secretary, is already completely ignoring this issue, for example.” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen acknowledged the severity of the problem during her Congressional testimony following questions from two Republican senators. To be sure, the Fed doesn’t have the authority to raise taxes (though it could easily choose to monetize these handouts by agreeing to buy more government bonds). Stagnant wages, worsening labor-force participation and expanding deflationary prices have been linked by economists to increasing automation. In a recent study, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that 38% of US jobs will be in danger of being replaced by automation by 2030. 

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31 июля, 20:19

Corporate America Is Suddenly Freaking Out About Amazon

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Last night we showed the dramatic impact Amazon has had on the retail sector, where over $6 billion in retail debt has filed for Chapter 11 protection YTD... ... a 110% surge compared to the first half of 2016, and pointed out that there was one recurring name mentioned among 2017's bankrupt retailers listed in the chart below: brands such as Gymboree, Payless, rue 21 and the Limited all cited Amazon affect as a contributor to their downfall. It's not just the direct casualties of Amazon's encroachment on the retail sector that are having nightmares about Jeff Bezos' $500 billion juggernaut, however. As Bloomberg, which picked up on the topic of Amazon references this morning points out, "it's It isn’t the chaos in Washington or rising worker pay" that is keeping corporate America up at night: "It’s what Amazon.com Inc. is, or could be, doing to their business models." With the expanding online behemoth morphing from a retail category killer to a much broader enterprise that now competes with everything from high-end grocers to technology developers, "America has taken notice - and is increasingly concerned about the competition. So much so that Amazon’s overshadowed the Trump administration’s inability to claim a signature legislative achievement after more than six months in office." Bloomberg has quantified this by looking at the last 90 days of earnings calls and other corporate events such as investor days, which reveals a trend: "Amazon comes up a lot. It was mentioned a staggering 635 times over that time frame, while President Trump came up just 162 times and wages were discussed 111... It’s become even more pronounced over the past 30 days, with Amazon garnering 165 mentions compared with 32 for Trump and 22 for wages." As Bloomberg adds, the trend holds over the past 12 months, which encompasses the period when Trump pulled off his surprise election victory. Yet, Amazon was mentioned 1,800 times on earnings calls over that span, compared with 1,000 for Trump and 406 for wages. On the surface this would suggest that while Trump may be taking credit for the market's upside, corporate America is terrified by Amazon (and not Washington politics, and certainly not Trump) as catalyzing the next move lower, if not for the market, then certainly for thousands of mostly-public US corporations. Some more from Bloomberg:  Amazon typically comes up in discussions about efforts to expand into new business lines in a shifting retail landscape. For instance, on the McDonald’s Corp. second-quarter earnings call this month, Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook pointed to Amazon’s purchase of the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. as an example of how rapidly the food industry is being transformed. “It just demonstrates how disruptive the business world is and how quickly it moves,” he said. So quickly, in fact, the the Washington Post itself - a newspaper owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos - issued a front page article asking "Is Amazon Getting Too Big", i.e. a monopoly. The answer, remarkable, is as close to yes as a WaPo editorial would be allowed to go: If Amazon is so small and its growth so benign, she asks, then why does the prospect of Amazon’s entry into a market dramatically drive up its own stock price while driving down those of its rivals? Why, she asks, have so many large and successful bricks-and-mortar retailers been unable to make significant inroads into online retailing while so many small retailers feel they have no choice but to use Amazon’s platform to reach their customers?   Antitrust analysis generally assumes dominant firms often exercise their market power by raising prices, but what if Amazon exercises its market power, Khan asks, by squeezing the profit margins of its suppliers? What if its strategy is to keep prices low in markets it dominates to gain entry into new markets that will generate still more sales and profits?   How, she asks, can antitrust regulators analyze the structure of a market, and Amazon’s bargaining power in it, when so many of Amazon’s competitors are also its customers or suppliers? Why did Sears stock rise 19 percent on the day that it announced its Kenmore line of appliances would be sold through Amazon? Why do Walmart, Google, Oracle and UPS all consider Amazon their biggest threat? And if Amazon is not a monopolist, Khan asks, why are financial markets pricing its stock as if it is going to be?   “Antitrust enforcers should be . . . concerned about the fact that Amazon increasingly controls the infrastructure of online commerce and the ways it is harnessing this dominance to expand and advantage its new business ventures,” Khan wrote in her law review article. All good questions, and ones which we are confident, will be asked by Congress, the FTC and the administration in the not too distant future.

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31 июля, 04:58

The Amazon Effect: Retail Bankruptcies Surge 110% In First Half Of The Year

As Amazon flirts with a $500 billion market cap, letting Jeff Bezos try on the title of world's richest man on for size if only for a few hours, for Amazon's competitors it's "everything must go" day everyday, as the bad news in the retail sector continue to pile up with the latest Fitch report that the default rate for distressed retailers spiked again in July. According to the rating agency, the trailing 12-month high-yield default rate among U.S. retailers rose to 2.9% in mid-July from 1.8% at the end of June, after J. Crew completed a $566 million distressed-debt exchange. Meanwhile, with the shale sector flooded with Wall Street's easy money, the overall high-yield default rate tumbled to 1.9% in the same period from 2.2% at the end of June as $4.7 billion of defaulted debt - mostly in the energy sector - rolled out of the default universe. In a note, Fitch levfin sr. director Eric Rosenthal, said that “even with energy prices languishing in the mid $40s, a likely iHeart bankruptcy and retail remaining the sector of concern, the broader default environment remains benign." He's right: after the energy sector dominated bankruptcies in the first half of 2016, accounting for 21% of Chapter 11 cases, in H1 2017 the worst two sectors for bankruptcies are financials and consumer discretionary. And if recent trends are an indication, the latter will only get worse as Fitch expects Claire’s, Sears Holdings and Nine West all to default by the end of the year, pushing the default rate to 9%. "The timing on Sears and Claire’s is more uncertain, and our retail forecast would end the year at 5% absent these filings," Rosenthal wrote. Putting the retail sector woes in context, Reorg First Day has calculated that retail bankruptcies soared 110% in the first half from the year-earlier period, accounting for $6 billion in debt. The list includes name brands such as Gymboree, Payless, rue 21 and the Limited, all of which cited the Amazon affect as a contributor to their downfall. “Many retailers have echoed the familiar cries of those that filed before them—the proliferation of online shopping, rapidly deteriorating brick-and-mortar retail, the rise of fast fashion, hefty lease obligations and shifting consumer preferences,” Reorg First Day said in a midyear review. While it is far from empirically, and certainly scientifically established, every incremental retail bankruptcy should add approximately $5-10 billion to AMZN's market cap, further cementing Jeff Bezos as the world's richest monopolist man.

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30 июля, 18:52

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Stock Heading to $1,200 Despite Q2 Earnings Miss

Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) got hammered on Friday, falling about 3% after the e-commerce giant reported a huge bottom-line miss in its second quarter earnings result after the market close Thursday. AMZN CEO Jeff Bezos has built his company and his wealth by embracing risk. Given that Bezos rose briefly to become the world’s richest person on Thursday, those investments have paid off.

29 июля, 15:14

Book Bits | 29 July 2017

● The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives By Jesse Eisinger Interview with author via Bloomberg.com Like many of us, Eisinger was perplexed and even infuriated by the utter lack of prosecution following the great financial crisis and recession. Fraud was rampant, with an obvious paper trail leading to senior management […]

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29 июля, 10:56

Singapore slings? Taking on Alibaba, Amazon launches Prime Now in the city state

Amazon.com Inc launched its two-hour delivery service in Singapore on Thursday, marking the e-commerce giant's biggest push into Southeast Asia and its first head-on battle with Chinese rival, Alibaba Group Holding. While Amazon already delivered to Singapore, higher-end services had not been available, including Prime subscriptions which elsewhere provide free delivery, e-books as well as access to the company's video-streaming service. Amazon provides video streaming separately in Singapore.

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29 июля, 02:45

Paul Craig Roberts Questions "What Really Explains Amazon.com's Share Price?"

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts, PCR Takes a Look at Today’s “Top Stories” on Bloomberg “Jeff Bezos briefly overtook Bill Gates as the world’s richest person. A surge in Amazon shares Thursday morning in advance of its earnings report gave Bezos a net worth of $92.3 billion, surpassing the Microsoft founder’s $90.8 billion fortune.     In afternoon trading, Bezos remains ranked second on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates has held the top spot since May 2013.” Amazon’s stock closed yesterday at $1,046 per share. Amazon’s profits do not support this extraordinary price. Apple, a very profitable company, has a share price of $150.56, an overprice itself. What or who is making Bezos so rich from an online sales company? Note, amazon.com is just sales. It is not some new manufacturing technology that produces valuable output at low cost. amazon.com is what Walmart, Sears, and Macy’s do, the difference being that amazon.com is online and Walmart, Sears, and Macy’s are in physical locations where real merchandise can be experienced hands on and tried on for fit. In other words, online purchases are convenient, but you don’t know what you are getting. Does it fit? What is the quality? And so forth. How many times do you send it back before you get what you want? There are two answers to the question about who is making Bezos rich. One is that Wall Street is betting that the collapse of US anti-trust law and regulatory authority - it is still on the books but not enforced, just look at the Big Banks - and the ability of Bezos to use his ownership of the Washington Post, the newspaper of the country’s capital, to support those who support him, ensure that amazon.com will be an online monopoly. Once this is put in place, amazon’s prices and profits will rise, and the extraordinary amazon.com P/E ratio will come into line with reality.   Another is that Bezos’ cooperation with Washington’s spy network over all Americans is paid for by the CIA’s many front companies driving up the price of amazon.com’s stock. As the price of amazon.com rises, so does Bezos’ wealth.   [ZH: perhaps there is another reason related to the latter...]   I don’t know that either of these answers is correct. What I notice is that Bill Gates who heads the largest digital technology company is on occasion second fiddle to Bezos who heads an online Sears or Macy’s. Apple with a share price of $150 earned $52.9 billion during the second quarter of 2017. Earnings per share were $2.10. Amazon.com earned $38 billion. Earnings per share were 40 cents. Why is amazon.com’s price $1,046 per share and Apple’s price is $150.56 per share. Apple’s earnings per share are 5.25 times higher than amazon’s, but amazon’s stock price is 6.9 times higher than Apple’s. What explains this? The free market answer is that amazon.com, a company that sells other companies’ products, is more promising than a high tech leading manufacturing company of our time. Does that make sense to you? Keep in mind that it was Bezos’ government propaganda sheet, the Washington Post, that gave credibility to the shadowy organization, PropOrNot, an entity better hidden than an offshore money laundering operation, that produced a list of 200 truth-tellers which it libeled as “Russian dupe/agent.” Monopolies are inconsistent with free market capitalism and with democracy. Monopolies and government bond together to create fascism.

28 июля, 23:13

Here's Why Apple (AAPL) Discontinued the iPod Nano and Shuffle

Apple (AAPL) removed iPod Nanos and iPod Shuffles from its website and online store on Thursday, discontinuing its last two devices that didn't run the iOS software system.

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28 июля, 21:40

Amazon Hires 10 Part-Time Workers For Every Full-Time

Among Amazon's disappointing earnings reported yesterday, the world's biggest online retailer reported something that has so far flown under the rader yet has a significant impact, if not so much for shareholders as the broader economy: Amazon reported that its global workforce rose by more than 31,000 in the second quarter to 382,400, its highest employment number yet in what increasingly looks like an exponential chart. Furthermore, in an attempt to underscore its dedication to jobs, earlier on Wednesday Amazon revealed plans to host a giant job fair next week to hire for its 50,000 current U.S. warehouse openings, part of its pledge to hire 130,000 U.S. workers through mid-2018. It was Amazon's employee chart that we thought of first, when on Friday afternoon, Minneapolis Fed's dovish president Neel Kashkari, once again lamented that there is little inflation and that, more apropos, there is even less wage growth: FED'S KASHKARI SAYS THE U.S. JOB MARKET CONTINUES TO BE STRONG, BUT 'CURIOUS' THAT WAGES GROWTH NOT STRONG Actually, it's not at all that curious Neel. For the answer, look at the chart above (or read our 2012 article on America's transition to a part-time worker society). While on the surface, this aggressive hiring spree is fantastic for the economy and would suggest a surge in demand for labor, the reality of what is taking place below the surface is very different. So what is happening? For the answer we go the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which reports the details of Amazon's first Missouri distribution facility, in the Hazelwood Logistics Center. Hazelwood officials announced recently that Amazon would lease space in two warehouses there. The city said Amazon would occupy all 348,480 square feet in the park’s Building 3, at 462 Hazelwood Logistics Center Drive. That building will be used as a sorting center and Amazon will take an additional 100,000 square feet in Building 4 at 441 Hazelwood Logistics Center Drive for use as a delivery station. But while the details of the sorting facility and the delivery station are trivial, what isn't are Amazon's hiring intentions. Here are the details: Amazon is hiring nine full-time employees to operate the sorting center in Building 3 and will have 25 full-time employees working at the delivery station in Building 4. The company plans to hire 350 part-time associates for both locations, according to the announcement from Hazelwood. An Amazon spokeswoman said the company plans to have the facilities open later this year and that hiring has already begun. To summarize: as part of its latest expansion, Amazon will hire 9 full time employees in one location, 25 full time employees at a second location, or a total of 34 new full-timers, and will fill the rest with 350 part-timers, a ratio of 10 new part-time workers for every new full-time hire. We hope we don't need to go into the compensation details of why part-time worker compensation leverage is non-existent, and thus there is virtually no wage inflation among the group. We also hope we don't have to explain why Amazon therefore chooses to hire part-time workers over full-time. We do, however, want to point out that we are impressed at the PR effort Amazon put together: after all both full and part-time workers will soon be gone, replaced by robots as we explained in "Amazon Hosts Robotics Competition To Figure Out How To Replace 230,000 Warehouse Workers." So, dear Mr. Kashkari, the next time you find it "curious" that wage growth in the US is not strong, look at the case study of Amazon. And then, when you notice that wage growth in the next decade is not only "not strong" but declining, watch the video below, and all your questions will be answered.

28 июля, 19:45

Рынок США не находит сил для роста

В пятницу, 28 июля, фондовый рынок Соединенных Штатов в первой половине торговой сессии демонстрирует умеренно негативную динамику основных индексов. Давление на биржевые настроения сегодня оказала разочаровывающая квартальная отчетность Amazon.com. На остальные факты инвестиционное сообщество закрыло глаза, хотя в течение дня публиковалась неплохая макроэкономическая статистика. Предварительный расчет роста ВВП США за второй квартал показал +2,6% к/к, вровень с прогнозами, а индекс потребительского доверия университета Мичигана в окончательном расчете за июль подрос с 93,1 пункта до 93,4 пункта. Внешний фон для американской сессии сегодня складывается отрицательный – азиатские и европейские площадки торговались в минусе. К 19:17 МСК индекс широкого рынка Standard & Poor's 500 торгуется с понижением на 0,20% на отметке в 2470,36 пункта, индикатор голубых

28 июля, 17:52

Internet Stocks to Report Earnings on Jul 31: P, SOHU, XOXO

Tech sector results have been strong so far but this does not ensure earnings beat for all companies in the space. Let's see what's in store for these tech stocks this earnings season.

16 июля, 03:52

Константин Семин. Агитблог от 15.07.2017. Троянские Кони

Троянские кони не испортят выбранной в 90-е борозды. Но есть большие сомнения в том, что старые неолиберальные рецепты, сопровождающиеся гигантским облаком из труднопроизносимых слов, помогут стране сократить технологическое отставание, появившееся именно благодаря либеральным реформам. Искусственный же интеллект — и у нас, и за океаном — всё чаще используется как пугало для тех, у кого проблемы с естественным.

28 ноября 2015, 18:39

20 лет назад заработал легендарный интернет-магазин Amazon.com

Вот как выглядела страница его сайта летом 1995 года (сайт стал доступен для покупателей 6 июля 1995):Сегодня нам трудно представить жизнь без интернет-магазинов; но 20 лет назад это только начиналось.Amazon.com не был "первопроходцем" в этой области. Несколько интернет-магазинов по продаже книг работали ещё с 1992 года. Но Amazon удивительно быстро стал одним из самых успешных интернет магазинов: если первого "реального" заказа сайту пришлось ждать целых 10 дней с момента своего открытия, то уже в октябре 1995 на сайте заказывали по 100 книг в день; а ещё через несколько месяцев - по 100 книг в час. Всем остальным бизнесам мира оставалось только клацать зубами от зависти, смотря на такой невиданный рост продаж.Гараж в пригороде Сиэтла, в котором зародился Amazon (какой же компьютерный start-up без гаража :-)):Первое офисное здание компании:Упаковка заказанных книг на складе компании:

08 сентября 2015, 21:26

Какой планшет предложит Amazon за $50?

Американская Amazon, владеющая крупнейшим в мире одноименным онлайн-сервисом по продаже товаров и услуг, планирует выпустить планшет, стоимость которого не превысит $50. Такой информацией с изданием The Wall Street Journal поделились анонимные источники.

16 октября 2012, 11:30

10 брендов, которые резко подешевели в 2012 г.

Coca-Cola в очередной раз признана самым ценным брендом в мире в 2012 г. Лидеру лишь немного уступает Apple. Между тем, по мнению экспертов аналитической фирмы Interbrand, есть все основания полагать, что в 2013 г. производитель iPhone и iPad возглавит престижный рейтинг. Между тем, когда одни бренды - Amazon.com, Samsung, Oracle - увеличивают стоимость, другие – Goldman Sachs, BlackBerry – резко обесцениваются, интернет-издание 24/7 Wall St. составило список 10 мировых брендов, которые в 2012 г. больше всего потеряли в цене. № 10: Dell Процент снижения: 9% Стоимость бренда: $7,6 млрд Компания-учредитель: Dell Inc. Изменение прибыли : -2.36% Индустрия: техника Стоимость бренда Dell неуклонно снижается последние 4 года, с тех пор как компания объявила о постепенном переходе от производства компьютеров к предоставлению различных IT-услуг. В 2012 г. Interbrand оценил бренд Dell в $7,6 млрд, самый низкий показатель за 11 лет. И хотя американская компания до сих пор остается крупнейшим в мире производителем ПК, во II квартале этого года отгрузка компьютеров упала на 11,5% по сравнению с 2011 г. № 9: Thomson ReutersПроцент снижения: 11% Стоимость бренда: $8,4 млрд Компания-учредитель: Thomson Reuters Corp. Изменение прибыли : 1,5% Индустрия: бизнес-услуги Несмотря на доминирующую роль Thomson Reuters на рынке финансовых новостей, его основной конкурент Bloomberg в последние годы значительно потеснил лидера. Для изменения ситуации крупнейший акционер Thomson Reuters Corp. решил поменять руководство, уволив президента корпорации Тома Глосера с его поста в декабре прошлого года. № 8: Honda Процент снижения: 11% Стоимость бренда: $17,3 млрд Компания-учредитель: Honda Motor Company Ltd. Изменение прибыли : 4,6% Индустрия: автомобили Стоимость крупнейших автомобильных брендов демонстрирует признаки роста после резкого снижения во время рецессии, поднявшись с $128 млрд в 2010 г. до $160 млрд в 2012 г. Согласно оценке Interbrand рост стоимости был зафиксирован у всех брендов, кроме Honda и Kia. Негативная тенденция для японской компании объясняется рядом объективных причин, в том числе последствиями мощного землетрясения в Японии и разрушительного наводнения в Таиланде. Не сыграли на пользу имиджа Honda и многочисленные массовые отзывы автомобилей в последние годы. № 7: MTV Процент снижения: 12% Стоимость бренда: $5,6 млрд Компания-учредитель: Viacom Inc. Изменение прибыли : 9,7% Индустрия: СМИ Принадлежит ли буква М (музыка) названию телекомпании MTV? По мнению экспертов Interbrand, MTV продолжает все больше отходить от своих музыкальных корней, заполняя эфир малобюджетными программами. Для восстановления имиджа каналу необходимо срочно найти что-то новое, смелое и привлекательное для молодежной аудитории. Даже самое популярное в истории канала шоу Jersey Shore начало терять рейтинги в 2011 г. № 6: Citi Процент снижения: 12% Стоимость бренда: $7,6 млрд Компания-учредитель: Citigroup Inc. Изменение прибыли : -5,2% Индустрия: финансовые услуги После пятилетнего падения стоимость бренда Citi в 2012 г. достигла $7,6 млрд, что на треть ниже пикового уровня. Для сравнения, стоимость бренда JP Morgan Chase & Co., другого крупного американского банка, росла дважды в течение последних трех лет. Против Citi подано несколько судебных исков, среди которых обвинение финансовой организации в создании кризиса субстандартного ипотечного кредитования. № 5: Yahoo! Процент снижения: 13% Стоимость бренда: $3,9 млрд Компания-учредитель: Yahoo Inc. Изменение прибыли : -10,6% Индустрия: интернет-услуги В течение последних нескольких лет Yahoo! неуклонно уступает долю рекламного рынка Google Inc. и Facebook Inc. Согласно прогнозу экспертов, в 2012 г. Yahoo! будет иметь 9,3% рекламного рынка (в 2010 г. этот показатель был равен 14%), Google - 15,4%, а Facebook - 14,4%. № 4: Moët & Chandon Процент снижения: 13% Стоимость бренда: $3,8 млрд Компания-учредитель: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Изменение прибыли: 22,4% Индустрия: алкоголь Бренд французского производителя товаров люкс обесценился в прошлом году более чем на $500 млн. Снижение произошло, несмотря на различные рекламные кампании, в том числе подписание спонсорского контракта с гонками морских судов America’s Cup. По мнению экспертов, бренд остается довольно популярным в мире, но проблема в том, что люди начинают отмечать праздники и годовщины без шампанского. № 3: Nokia Процент снижения: 16% Стоимость бренда: $21 млрд Компания-учредитель: Nokia Corp. Изменение прибыли: -20,5% Индустрия: электроника Прошедший год был довольно тяжелым для Nokia: корейская Samsung обошла финскую компанию и стала крупнейшим в мире производителем мобильных телефонов. Рухнула не только стоимость бренда, но цена акций Nokia. Сейчас вся надежда на новый смартфон Lumia 920, который решит судьбу недавнего лидера рынка. № 2: Goldman Sachs Процент снижения: 16% Стоимость бренда: $7,6 млрд Компания-учредитель: Goldman Sachs Group Inc Изменение прибыли: -23,2% Индустрия: финансовые услуги Бренд Goldman Sachs довольно сильно пострадал во время финансового кризиса, а также из-за участия в скандале с продажей обеспеченных залогом долговых обязательств. О компании вновь заговорили в СМИ в марте, после того как менеджер лондонского подразделения ушел в отставку и написал скандальную разоблачительную статью. Прибыль Goldman Sachs Group в первой половине 2012 г. была самой низкой с 2005 г. по причине вялой торговли на фондовом рынке. № 1: BlackBerry Процент снижения: 39% Стоимость бренда: $3,9 млрд Компания-учредитель: Research in Motion Ltd Изменение прибыли: -25,2% Индустрия: электроника Еще недавно BlackBerry доминировала на рынке смартфонов. Но провал компании с последними моделями, а также жесткая конкуренция со стороны Apple и Samsung привели к резкому падению стоимости бренда. Доля BlackBerry на рынке смартфонов упала с 21,7% в 2011 г. до 9,5% в начале этого года. Компания Research in Motion возлагает большие надежды на модель BlackBerry 10, которая должна появиться в магазинах в начале 2013 г.