Invesco Diversified Dividend Y (LCEYX) a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) seeks long-term growth of capital and, secondarily, current income.
Invesco Diversified Dividend Investor (LCEIX) a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) invests primarily in dividend-paying equity securities.
The fourth-quarter earnings season is on its last leg with 90.6% consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 cohort having already released their quarterly numbers.
Pinnacle Foods (PF) is slated to report fourth-quarter 2016 results on Feb 23.
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) is slated to report fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 results on Feb 24.
The Q4 earnings season has so far seen quarterly releases from 40.6% of the consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 cohort.
The Q4 earnings season has so far seen quarterly releases from 40.6% of the consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 cohort.
By Bill Coontz, President, The Dalton Agency (Atlanta) If a brand is looking to make a splash, there’s no better way than running an ad during the Super Bowl, which this year will cost $5 million for 30 seconds of air time. But do the ads actually help sell product or create lasting brand awareness? The answer is a resounding no, especially considering consumers’ fleeting attention span. A study by marketing data science company Genesis Media found that 90 percent of consumers aren’t likely to buy something they saw advertised during the Super Bowl. The reason? Brand metrics such as “favorability” or “recall” don’t result in purchases for products featured in Super Bowl ads. Maybe that’s why Kraft Heinz decided against spending $5 million on an ad that won’t sell one ounce of ketchup. The company announced that they’re giving all 42,000 of their salaried employees Super Bowl Monday off, hoping the earned media value will exceed what they would have paid for a coveted spot on Fox this Sunday. It’s a great example of how brands are thinking differently about creative ideas, tactics and execution. It is also a sign of the changing times. For the last few years, the strategic execution of Super Bowl ads has changed from a one-time event on Super Bowl Sunday, to using an ad as a springboard to launch integrated digital and social media campaigns. Research from last year’s Super Bowl suggested that Super Bowl ads in 2016 generated as much as $10M in incremental exposure for advertisers. Some brands go overboard on concept, like Mercedes-Benz, which last year relocated its N. American headquarters to Atlanta. The venerable luxury car brand hired The Coen Brothers to direct an “Easy Rider” themed Super Bowl spot featuring Peter Fonda. That’s easily an eight-figure budget for an ad that, if the studies are accurate, won’t sell many cars. So does that mean that Super Bowl ads are all about brand awareness? Not really. A full 75 percent of respondents from the Genesis Media study said they couldn’t remember ads from the previous year. Advertising technology company Fluent surveyed 1,600 Super Bowl watchers in 2015 to test the effects of five first-time ads, finding that the average "brand lift" – whether viewers could recall advertisers after their first Super Bowl ad – was just 12.7 percent. That’s not an ROI that many brands can readily justify, and the main reason why the Super Bowl will remain the ultimate arena for the advertising budget haves and have-nots. About the Author Bill Coontz brings large agency-management experience to the Dalton Agency. His resume includes such leading firms as Bozell Minneapolis, BBDO, Campbell Mithun, Martin Williams, and most recently, Kruskopf Coontz Advertising in Minnesota, where he served as president and partner. His network and knowledge enhance the Dalton Agency’s ability to serve clients requiring strategic marketing and communications on a national and international scale. Bill’s 25 years of advertising experience include work for many domestic and global brands, including United Healthcare, Optum, 3M, Cargill, General Mills, Kraft and Ameriprise. Bill has also served two terms as president of the Advertising and Marketing International Network (AMIN). His AMIN leadership was marked by the development and strategic integration of AMIN North America with AMIN Europe, forming AMIN Worldwide. As a result, he was elected Global Chairman of AMIN in 2011 and expanded the organization to include the Americas and Asia. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
The Q4 earnings season has so far seen quarterly releases from 25% of the consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 cohort.
Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Wal-Mart Stores, McDonald's, TJX Companies, Procter & Gamble and General Mills
Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Wal-Mart Stores, McDonald's, TJX Companies, Procter & Gamble and General Mills
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Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: General Mills, Procter & Gamble, McCormick and Kimberly-Clark
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General Mills (GIS) is currently pursuing many multi-year restructuring initiatives focused at improving operational efficiency. Will it support growth?
The companies that are most vocal about environmental and social issues tend to be big, mass-market brands — well-known retailers, consumer products giants, and tech firms that are telling a new story to consumers who increasingly care about sustainability. It might seem that luxury goods companies would not feel the same pressure, but the high-end brands face important questions about the way their businesses impact the world. These companies can’t ignore sustainability. One luxury leader, LVMH, provides a great example of how to build a robust sustainability program. The company is a €36 billion decentralized collection of valuable brands — which they call houses (or maisons) — covering fashion, wine and spirits, cosmetics, and jewelry. To understand its sustainability journey better, I spoke with the company’s head of environment, Sylvie Benard, and the CEOs of two of its wine and spirits brands. The center of the corporate program is a framework it calls LIFE (LVMH Initiatives for the Environment), a “strategic backbone” for programs that address nine environmental challenges. LIFE focuses attention on the full life cycle of products, from supply chain to production excellence to designing longer-lasting and repairable products. Each brand’s strategic business plans now include a LIFE plan, with actions and targets laid out for the next five years. Looking at LVMH’s efforts, I’ll highlight three areas where I see great impact and innovation: managing carbon and energy, building a connection with customers around brand purpose, and working closely with suppliers. I’ll then discuss some of LVMH’s challenges. Managing Carbon and Energy Since 2001 LVMH has studied its life cycle carbon footprint, focusing on both the obvious energy hogs — its stores and distribution — and brand-specific issues, such as packaging in spirits and personal care. The company has aggressively reduced its own energy demand and ramped up the use of clean energy. By the end of this year, 100% of the electricity for LVMH facilities in France will be renewable. Belvedere Vodka, a brand with sales in 120 countries, has pursued many large-scale projects to reduce its CO2 footprint. Belvedere’s distillery in Poland shifted from oil to gas for energy generation and added heat recovery systems to capture wasted energy. Charles Gibb, Belvedere’s CEO, says it made a strategic choice to invest in this project, even though it had a longer payback period than normal. It was part of a larger overhaul that included automating some distillery operations, which gave it better data and helped slash energy and water use. As a result, Belvedere’s greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 40%. The most innovative part of LVMH’s carbon strategy is the use of an internal carbon fund. Dozens of the world’s largest companies use “shadow prices” to model how a carbon tax would affect their investment decisions. But only a few big companies actually collect real money from their divisions or brands (Disney and Microsoft were early leaders). LVMH’s approach is somewhat unique. Where others have collected funds internally to create a central pool of money for carbon-reducing projects, LVMH instead requires every maison to spend €15 for every ton of carbon emissions (either on-site or from grid-based electricity) on efficiency and energy reduction, clean energy, or research to understand that brand’s greenhouse gas emissions better. Like its carbon-taxing peers, LVMH has created a powerful virtuous circle of emissions reductions. In total, LVMH has invested about €6 million in the first year of the program. Brand-Building and Customer Connection The LVMH leaders I spoke with believe strongly that Millennials, more so than previous generations, care about sustainability. As Gibb puts it, “Until recently, marketing would focus mainly on product and brand image. But now people look for whether you’re both socially and environmentally responsible. People look at brands and ask what they do for the world. If you don’t do this stuff, you’re not a modern brand.” One of the ways the company is telling a more sustainable story to customers is through the use of the “Butterfly Mark,” a symbol — a first in the luxury industry — that “at a glance helps people identify brands committed to social and environmental sustainability.” (Disclosure: I’m an unpaid advisor to Positive Luxury, the company behind the mark.) The Butterfly Mark will soon appear on Krug’s Champagne. Krug also uses a fun, innovative tracking system to share information with consumers. Every bottle has a unique six-digit number, which you can input on its website to get that bottle’s story. Supply Chain Partnerships Maggie Henriquez, CEO of Krug Champagne, says that its focus on environmental and social impacts, and the story the company tells about it, stems from looking inward at its own history. Like many luxury brands, Krug was struggling after the 2008 financial crisis. Henriquez says there was a deeper problem than just economic conditions: It had lost its connection to the founder’s 19th-century ideals about craftsmanship, humility, and quality. A critical part of going back to its roots, Henriquez says, required connecting in a deeper way to growers. The quality of the crops, and the care of the growers, are key to the success of the business. Henriquez started a program to work with growers on sustainability and quality, going plot by plot to review harvest times and implement modern best practices. Together they reduce waste and agricultural inputs (such as fertilizer and water) to get better yields, which reduces the overall footprint. Some of LVMH’s other businesses, such as jewelry brand Bulgari, have also implemented supply chain tracing programs for critical inputs with potentially troubled histories (like some metals and diamonds). In one sense, none of this is surprising or cutting edge. Most large companies with agricultural supply chains, like Kellogg and General Mills, have developed elaborate, robust supplier programs to improve yields and cut water use and greenhouse gas emissions. And on the jewelry side, companies like Tiffany employ extensive tracking programs to avoid conflict minerals and blood diamonds. But LVMH does some unusual things. Henriquez decided that growers were so important to the Krug story that she wanted them engaged in a deeper way. Hernandez, growers, and the winemaking team enjoy product tastings together, allowing growers to enjoy the end results of their work and their crops. It sounds so simple, but Henriquez says, “It’s not normal in our business, and it’s such a moment of connection.” The Challenges The sustainability and operating execs at LVMH talk openly about some of the challenges they face. As usual, short-term pressures on financial performance are a concern, and change takes time. Environmental exec Sylvie Benard comments that changing behavior can take a few years, and you have to keep hammering home the message and “find the right moment” to act. However, it’s a bit easier for the brand CEOs to stay focused on the long term when some of the maisons are three centuries old. They have to plant trees today, for example, to have the right wood for casks 150 years from now. As Gibb puts it, “If you’re not thinking about the brand over a 10-year period, you’re not doing your job.” Perhaps the biggest hurdle is more existential: Can luxury goods ever be sustainable? On one level, probably not, since these products almost by definition are not an inherent human need. But while it would be easy for sustainability people to assert that “none of these products should exist,” that’s more than just unrealistic — it’s probably counterproductive. Everyone has different definitions of what makes for a thriving life; for many, it can easily include some wants, or things that provide fun and beauty. The challenge, then, is to make sure sustainability and beauty are inseparable. LVMH is on the right track, talking about sustainability as core to excellence, quality, and brand image — and central to how the company operates. As Sylvie Benard says, when “the marketing director, financial director, logistics director, and so on take the environment into account when making a decision, then life will be beautiful.”
A few years ago, General Mills tricked its customers into forfeiting their legal rights to go to court if, for example, a child were poisoned by a tainted bowl of cereal. The public outcry was immediate. "How can they do that? "Why would they do that?" "What are they hiding?" Within days, the company made a smart business decision and reversed itself, restoring everyone's rights again. Most people will never file a lawsuit in their life. But as the public's reaction to this incident showed, it is a bad mistake to underestimate just how strongly Americans feel about having that right - should they ever need it. It may not surprise anyone that a big corporation like General Mills would try to pull a fast one like that. But what should shock everyone is that some elected officials - including ones just sent to Washington to "fix things" - are pursuing policies that are far more drastic. Take some of our new national leaders, who have promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. One of those people is Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), picked to be the new Secretary of Health and Human Services. As the New York Times wrote upon his selection, "In debate on the Affordable Care Act in 2009, Mr. Price railed against "a stifling and oppressive federal government," a theme that pervades his politics. His most frequent objection to the law is that it interferes with the ability of patients and doctors to make medical decisions -- a concern he will surely take with him if he wins Senate confirmation." While ACA repeal/replace plans currently remain "a vague list of not-always-coherent ideas" (as Dean Clancy, former senior budget official in the George W. Bush administration, recently wrote), they all share one big idea. Each ACA replacement bill would deprive every patient in America of legal rights guaranteed by their state and local governments. Under these plans, anti-patient federal law would kick in if a doctor, hospital or nursing home negligently harmed or killed someone. The bills vary as to how Congress would rewrite state laws to rob these patients of their rights. One common feature, advocated by Mr. Price (H.R. 2300 in the last Congress), would empower the federal government to select and issue "one size fits all" guidelines for the treatment of every patient. You read that right. The "stifling and oppressive federal government" would become the sole authority for how to treat every medical condition. Doctors would be pressured to use a guideline even if, based on their clinical judgment, it is wrong for the patient. And then, if the patient is seriously harmed, the patient would have little or no recourse. Medical industry tribunals or panels would get to decide disputes without meaningful input from patients. Families wanting to have their case heard in court would face nearly impossible obstacles. Other common provisions in ACA replacement proposals include severe "caps" on compensation for patients injured by negligent hospitals or physicians. Laws that impose caps essentially allow politicians, who have never heard a word about a case or have any idea about the depth of someone's loss, to substitute their judgment for that of a local jury. "How can they do that?" "Why would they do that?" "What are they hiding?" Well, they think they can do it because, while professing to care about the U.S. Constitution, they really don't. At least not all of it. For example, these laws would undermine the 7th Amendment, which preserves the right to civil jury trial. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist once wrote about this right, noting, "[T]hose who oppose the use of juries in civil trials seem to ignore [that] the founders of our Nation considered the right of trial by jury in civil cases an important bulwark against tyranny and corruption, a safeguard too precious to be left to the whim of the sovereign, or, it might be added, to that of the judiciary." (I guess tyranny, corruption and the "whim of the sovereign" are all the rage again.) Why are they doing it? Dean Clancy explains, "This is one of the half-baked ideas, and unconstitutional to boot (Congress has no authority to regulate local civil justice rules). But that won't stop Republicans from pushing it, because they firmly believe damage caps reduce health care costs and thus generate budget savings." Indeed, check out Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)'s recent TV appearance. This whole discussion stems from an outdated Congressional Budget Office report, now almost a decade old, suggesting that an extreme set of tort limits would lower health care costs exactly $54 billion between 2010 and 2019. That's $11 billion a year, or just 0.5 percent of health care costs. I personally met with CBO about their numbers because, low as they were, they still seemed quite exaggerated. I was shocked both by wrong assumptions CBO made and by troubling facts to which they seemed indifferent (such as studies showing that more people would die). But they assured me that they were open to learning about any new studies showing their estimate to be off. Turns out, they weren't. Since that time, study after study has shown CBO to be completely wrong, and that limiting patients' legal rights would actually increase health care costs. Dean Clancy's article describes some of these studies, too. This Kaiser Health News/Washington Post piece talks about the views of other experts. And our 2016 studies, which examine insurance industry's own data, found that state limits on patients' legal rights have no impact whatsoever on insurance rates for doctors, and that in any event, medical malpractice premiums and claims per doctor are now the lowest level in four decades. Where exactly is the crisis? And what are they hiding? Maybe that fact that they have no idea what they're doing. Or maybe they don't want to address an actual medical malpractice crisis - that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in America. Taking way patients' rights and reducing the accountability of bad doctors and negligent hospitals seems like the last thing policymakers should be doing. Of all the reasons voters may have sent these new politicians to Washington, eliminating constitutional rights, which have been around since our nation's founding, isn't one of them. Clearly, our newly elected leaders haven't yet suffered the wrath of the people on this point. You saw what happened by when the House tried to abolish its ethics office. Wait until the public hears about this. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
More than 600 businesses are demanding that President-elect Donald Trump’s administration uphold U.S. commitments to low-carbon policies and the Paris Climate Agreement. Over 630 companies signed a letter released Tuesday urging Trump, members of Congress and outgoing President Barack Obama to continue low-carbon policies, increase investments in renewable energy and keep commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement ― which Trump has threatened to quit. The U.S. ratified the accord last year. The companies, which range from large corporations to family-owned businesses, wrote: We, the undersigned members in the business and investor community of the United States, re-affirm our deep commitment to addressing climate change through the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement. We want the US economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy. Cost-effective and innovative solutions can help us achieve these objectives. Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost US competitiveness. We pledge to do our part, in our own operations and beyond, to realize the Paris Agreement’s commitment of a global economy that limits global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The companies that signed the letter together have more than $1 trillion in annual sales and nearly 2 million employees, organizers said. IKEA’s North American division, one of the signatories, emphasized the importance of businesses banding together against climate change. “All parts of society have a role to play in tackling climate change, but policy and business leadership is crucial,” IKEA spokeswoman Mona Astra Liss told The Huffington Post. “The Paris Agreement was a bold step towards a cleaner, brighter future, and must be protected. IKEA will continue to work together with other businesses and policymakers to build a low-carbon economy, because we know that together, we can build a better future.” The signatories include those known for environmental activism, such as outdoor gear retailer Patagonia, paper and cleaning supplier Seventh Generation, and disposable products retailer Eco-Products. They also include California utilities provider Pacific Gas and Electric, and solar energy companies Sungevity and SolarCity. Other large companies that signed the letter include DuPont, General Mills, HP, Johnson & Johnson, VF Corp. and Unilever. Trump’s cabinet appointees generally oppose the type of environmental progress outlined in the letter. His picks include Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, whose company is under investigation for climate denial, as secretary of state; Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, which he is suing to stop power plant regulations; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to lead the Department of Energy, which he once pledged to eliminate; and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to lead the Department of Justice. All four of those Trump cabinet picks have either downplayed the effects of climate change or denied its existence. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
В сельском хозяйстве и пищевой промышленности занято более одного миллиарда человек в мире или треть всей рабочей силы. И хоть данный сектор играет ключевую роль в жизни человечества, как это ни парадоксально, его контролируют крайне небольшое число транснациональных компаний. Согласно докладу компании Oxfam International, 10 компаний, специализирующихся на производстве продуктов питания и напитков, могут формировать продуктовую корзину большей части населения планеты, влиять на их условия труда, а также окружающую среду. Associated British Foods Выручка: $21,1 млрд Расходы на рекламу: неизвестно Прибыль: $837 млн Сотрудники: 112,6 тыс. Штаб-квартира: Лондон, Великобритания Associated British Foods – это британская компания-производитель продуктов питания, которой удалось выстроить глобальную сеть с помощью приобретений. В результате постоянного прироста за счет покупки новых компаний, Associated British Foods производит практически все виды продовольствия, начиная от сахара, заканчивая кукурузным маслом и чаем. ABF один из основных поставщиков важных пищевых ингредиентов, в том числе эмульгаторов, ферментов и лактозы. Coca-Cola Сo. Выручка: $46,9 млрд Расходы на рекламу: $3,0 млрд Прибыль: $8,6 млрд Сотрудники: 130,6 тыс. Штаб-квартира: тланта, Джорджия, США Coca-Cola является одним из самых дорогих брендов в мире. Совокупный объем продаж в 2013 финансовом году в стоимостном выражении превысил отметку $47 млрд. Coca-Cola Сo. крупнейший мировой производитель и поставщик концентратов, сиропов и безалкогольных напитков. Крупнейшим акционером этой компании является фонд Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (8,61%), контролируемый легендарным инвестором Уорреном Баффетом. Groupe Danone Выручка: $29,3 млрд Расходы на рекламу: $1,2 млрд Прибыль: $2,0 млрд Сотрудники: 104,6 тыс. Штаб-квартира: Париж, Франция Французская компания Groupe Danone имеет обладает колоссальным присутствием в во всем мире. Его крупнейшим рынком, по объемам продаж, является Россия, далее следуют Франция, США, Китай и Индонезия. Компания является крупнейшим в мире продавцом свежих молочных продуктов, больше половины от всего объема продаж данной продукции в мире в 2013 году пришлось на Groupe Danone. General Mills Выручка: $17,9 млрд Расходы на рекламу: $1,1 млрд Прибыль: $1,8 млрд Сотрудники: 43 тыс./LI] Штаб-квартира: Голден-Вэлли, Миннесота, США Компания General Mills владеет рядом одних из наиболее известных американских брендов, таких как Pillsbury, Colombo Yogurt, Betty Crocker, «Зеленный великан». Производственные мощности компании размещены в 15 странах, однако, продукция реализуется более чем в 100. Полоска продукции компании невероятно широкая : хлопья для завтрака, йогурт, замороженное тесто, консервированные супы, пицца, мороженое, соевые продукты, овощи, мука и др. Kellogg Выручка: $14,8 млрд Расходы на рекламу: $1,1 млрд Прибыль: $1,8 млрд Сотрудники: 30,2 тысячи Штаб-квартира: Батл-Крик, Мичиган, США Американская компания Kellogg зарабатывает меньше всех среди пищевых гигантов, по итогам 2013 года объем выручки составил лишь $15 млрд. Kellogg является одним из крупнейших в мире хлебообработчиков и производителей печенья. Компания специализируется на производстве сухих завтраков и продуктов питания быстрого приготовления. Mars Выручка: $33,0 млрд Расходы на рекламу: $2,2 млрд Прибыль: нет данных Сотрудники: 75 тыс. Штаб-квартира: Маклин, Виргиния, США Из всех компаний, представленных в данном списке, Mars –единственная, которая находится в частной собственности. Mars владеет такими "шоколадными" брендами, как M&Ms, Milky Way, Snickers и Twix. Компания владеет продовольственными брендами, такими как Uncle Ben's, а также производителем жевательных резинок и конфет Wrigley. Mondelez Выручка: $35,3 млрд Расходы на рекламу: $1,9 млрд Прибыль: $3,9 млрд Сотрудники: 107 тысяч Штаб-квартира: Дирфилд, Иллинойс, США Компания Mondelez появилась в результате разделения пищевого гиганта Kraft Foods. Во время разделения мировые бренды (Oreo, TUC, Cadbury, Milka, Alpen Gold, Jacobs) достались Mondelez, вто время как американские - Kraft Foods Group. По итогам прошлого года, выручка компании составила $35 млрд выручки при капитализации более чем $72 млрд. Nestle Выручка: $103,5 млрд Расходы на рекламу: $3,0 млрд Прибыль: $11,2 млрд Сотрудники: 333 тыс. Штаб-квартира: Веве, Швейцария Nestle по всем показателям является крупнейшей пищевой компанией в мире. Выручка компании за прошлый год составила 92 млрд швейцарских франков. Компания производит растворимый кофе, минеральную воду, шоколад, мороженое, бульоны, молочные продукты, детское питание, корм для домашних животных, фармацевтическую продукцию и косметику. Более 2000 товарных знаков на 461 фабрике в 83 странах мира. PepsiCo Выручка: $66,4 млрд Расходы на рекламу: $2,5 млрд Прибыль: $6,7 млрд Сотрудники: 274 тыс. Штаб-квартира: Пёрчейз, Нью-Йорк, США Помимо известных "содовых" брендов, PepsiCo владеет рядом продуктовых торговых марок, таких как Tostitos, Doritos, Quaker. Более того, компания является крупнейшим рекламодателем в мире, расходы компании в этой области в 2012 году превысили $2,5 млрд. История вопроса Выручка: $68,5 млрд Расходы на рекламу: $7,4 млрд Прибыль: $6,7 млрд Сотрудники: 174,3 тысячи Штаб-квартира: Лондон, Великобритания и Роттердам, Голландия Unilever трудно назвать пищевой компанией, так как большую часть ее прдуктовой линейки представляют средства личной гигиены и бытовая химия. Однако, на еду и напитки проходится более трети выручки. По итогом прошлого года выручка компании составила 50 млрд евро. Компания владеет такими брендами, как Lipton, Brooke Bond, Calve, Rama, Creme Bonjour и другие.