Internet sales at Wal-Mart rose by 30% to $10 billion during the year ended Jan. 31, surpassing Amazon's 20% sales growth during the year ended Dec. 31.
Amazon still dwarfs Wal-Mart's online sales in scale. Amazon's online sales of $67.8 billion of electronics, media and other products last year were more than six times bigger than Wal-Mart's.
Wal-Mart is intent on catching up. It is expected to announce the purchase of Adchemy, a search-engine marketing company that helps retailers optimize their use of search terms. It marks Wal-Mart's 12th e-commerce acquisition in three years.
In the year ended Jan. 31 it plowed roughly $500 million into e-commerce investments, including opening three new online fulfillment centers in Texas, Pennsylvania and Brazil and hiring 1,000 employees in Silicon Valley.
In the U.S. it is currently testing same-day delivery and online grocery ordering in various markets, as well as expanding online offerings such as car insurance.
With the purchase of Adchemy Wal-Mart plans to take on about 60 employees, though not its founder Murthy Nukala. "We get to go faster as a result of them being part of our team," said Neil Ashe, chief executive of Wal-Mart's global e-commerce division, in an interview.
Mr. Nukala said the acquisition would help Wal-Mart boost its e-commerce business, but that he didn't want to come along because after "a number of years in the entrepreneur saddle I just needed time to recover and recuperate."
In January Mr. Ashe predicted the world's largest retailer would be able to match Amazon's range of products and quick shipping times within two years.
In February Wal-Mart told investors it planned to spend an additional $150 million on e-commerce investments, and reach $13 billion in online sales this year.
Online sales were around 2% of Wal-Mart's nearly half a trillion dollars in revenue last year.
Perhaps Wal-Mart should buy our biotech.
From a presentation after the results of the NTM study were released:
Question: "Has there been a lot of dialogue (with regard to a partnership in Asia) taking place already?"
Lewis: "We certainly have had quite a bit of outreach ..... The question from here is how do we describe that market opportunity in a way which allows us to put a framework around this?
There's been somebody who has been chasing us for the opportunity to do this - actually two people - for some time. The NTM data changed the dynamic of that whole assessment."
China has a huge problem with multi-drug-resistant Tuberculosis with an estimated 120,000 new cases each year. India has the second-highest number of cases.
MDR-TB is treated with a five-drug combination for at least eighteen months, the first six of which usually involve aminoglycoside injections.
Because of loss of hearing and kidney damage aminoglycosides are now used only for drug-resistant infections.
Substituting an inhaled aminoglycoside for the injected aminoglycoside would probably increase the cost of treatment by $30,000. But if you're the only people selling the product .....
Wal-Mart has around 400 outlets in China The Sam's Club outlets definitely stock imported products. Wal-Mart also has 20 Best Price stores in India.
With such a large target population there are bound to be a substantial number who can afford to pay the extra to avoid the risk of hearing and kidney damage.
To avoid confusion here's the original Erebdragons "Dark Ages" post, which predated the British PM's official involvement by a couple of weeks -
[ Within two or three years the current approach to treating pulmonary infection will seem like something out of the Dark Ages.
Pulmonary antibiotics work by establishing a blood concentration a safe distance below the level associated with a risk of irreversible damage - and then maintaining that level for as long as it takes for antibiotic diffusing from the blood into the tissues and airways of the lungs to create a concentration lethal to pulmonary bacteria.
But the antibiotic also diffuses into other organs, often resulting in nasty side effects.
Mycobacteria (TB, NTM) present an additional challenge in that they can survive within the pulmonary macrophages which destroy other bacteria. Enough antibiotic has to find its way into the macrophages to create a lethal concentration.
Unsurprisingly the combination of an inefficient route of delivery and the additional problem posed by mycobacteria can result in a longer course of antibiotics than usual.
Treatment for MDR-TB must be given for a minimum of eighteen months, and shouldn't be stopped until the patient has been culture-negative for a minimum of nine months.
Inhaled antibiotics have been tried. But the lung has evolved into its present structure because of its efficiency in transferring whatever is in the airways into the blood.
However delivering an antibiotic via inhaled liposomes prevents it from going straight through the lungs. Furthermore the pulmonary macrophages recognize the liposomes as foreign particles and ingest them, releasing concentrated antibiotic within the strongholds of the mycobacteria.
This solution is about to transform the treatment of Tuberculosis, pneumonia and many other pulmonary conditions. ]
Problem is WalMart wouldn't be the only bidder. The guys running the major pharmas wouldn't be in their jobs if they weren't capable of seeing everything outlined in the Erebdragons "Dark Ages" post. What would they be prepared to pay for a technology about to revolutionize the treatment of pulmonary conditions?
Way2retire pointed out last week that the British PM has now called for more urgency in the global response to the threat posed by antibiotic resistance. A higher profile will do no harm at all to the valuation of a technology which will substantially reduce the opportunity for antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria to evolve in the first place -
[ Antibiotic-resistant superbugs threaten to plunge the world back to the "dark ages" of medicine, according to David Cameron, who pledged that the UK will lead a global effort to develop new drugs. The prime minister went on to call for a coordinated global response to the emergence of untreatable bacteria, which he described as one of the biggest health threats facing the world today.
"This is not some distant threat, but something happening right now," Cameron told the Times. "If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine, where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again. That simply cannot be allowed to happen and I want to see a stronger, more coherent global response." ]
You'd think it would be obvious that treating a pulmonary infection with concentrated antibiotic delivered via inhaled liposomes would allow far less time for antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria to evolve - and that the WHO, CDC, FDA, EMA, TATFAR etc must view this inhaled amikacin as just the first step towards a key objective of phasing out delivery of pulmonary antibiotics by tablet or injection.
This is a cash where you need to look at the real numbers. Its easy to fool people by how you word things. Last year, Amazon's online sales rose by 13 billion while WMT's rose by 2.2 billion. WMT is losing ground fast.
You also have to factor in what is happening with WMT's same store sales. They are going down by a large amount more than their 2.2 billion sales increase online. It appears that some WMT customers are buying more online that they used to buy at the store but not nearly enough to make up for the loss of store sales. Amazon's 13 billion is all new money, not coming from anywhere else at Amazon, its new money. amazon is burying WMT and there is no indication that the carnage is not going to continue. WMT is a dying company. They're the Sears, Kmart, or Woolworth of the 21st century. Remember when Sears was the king of retail and every home in America had a Sears catalog on their table? All large retailers die out and dying out is exactly what WMT is doing. Each time one of these large retailers started dying, they started trying new things to try and keep their sales going but in all cases, it just hastens the demise of the company. WMT has announced a lot of new things recently and its the exact template of what those other retailers that died did. Its just natural but it always leads to a quicker death.
I'm beginning to wonder why they don't hold more.
The current 'standard of care' regimen for MDR-TB is a pretty toxic combination of ethionamide, kanamycin, pyrazinamide, ofloxacin and either cycloserine or terizidone.
Substituting the inhaled aminoglycoside for the kanamycin (an injected aminoglycoside) would mean less risk to the patient and potentially a shorter period of therapy.
5% of the 630,000 with MDR-TB are thought to live in high-income countries, suggesting a target population somewhere above 31,500 with some use in middle-income countries.
20,000 six-month courses priced at $35,000 would warrant a share price of $84 with a multiple of six times sales and a share count of 50 million.
That wouldn't include sales for the two initial target diseases, Pseudomonas infection in Cystic Fibrosis and infection by Non-tuberculous Mycobacteria.
Approval by any one of the FDA, EMA or Health Canada will open the door to off-label sales in MDR-TB.
What am I missing here?
I got scorched by the Easy Lay dragon last year. The recent guidance was encouraging ...
"The Company expects current cash balances will be sufficient to fund operations into 2015. The Company plans to provide additional cash guidance in the third quarter once additional discussions with the regulatory authorities have taken place."
... however I'm still not ruling out the possibility of another cheap date for the Street. But if their drug really is a major advance in the treatment of TB in disguise, the effect of a low-priced offer would soon be nullified by expectation of off-label sales next year.
If you missed it and have spare time this weekend I recommend Thursday's investor presentation. Insemed also plans to release a lot of additional clinical trial data during the upcoming ATS meeting.
Their plan to match Amazon will work out about as well as their plan a while back to destroy Netflix. They have no chance of ever getting close to Amazon. Amazon will destroy WMT.
Annual revenue of nearly half a TRILLION dollars?!
Your reading of the resident basher is right on point. How dumb must he be to pretend he could make the slightest difference posting on the board of a stock with such a monster market cap?
Somewhere a village is missing an idiot.
As for that biotech, I suspect it could we way out of your comfort zone. But fwiw the dragons I've found only eat traders.
1. After the change of CEO in 2012 the company became a bit of an easy lay for the Street as regards the timing and pricing of its share offers. A momentum-killing sub-$20 share offer can't be ruled out.
2. There will probably be a significant move either higher or lower when the FDA replies to the request for Breakthrough designation.
Looking longer term though we could see share price appreciation similar to that seen in AAPL over the last ten years.
The analysts are currently focusing investor attention upon the pending FDA response to the proof of efficacy from this latest study - ignoring the implications for EMA approval / European launch next year of the additional proof of safety.
The AAPL-scale potential resides in the likely use of the drug in Tuberculosis - off-label, as is most often the case with TB.
A major concern of the WHO, FDA and other regulatory bodies with regard to off-label TB therapies is the unquantified risk posed by the various toxic chemical cocktails in the bloodstreams of these patients. I suspect this new inhaled therapy may privately be viewed by the key opinion leaders as a major step forward in the treatment of TB.
My gut feeling is that there will be plenty of money to be made here even for those who wait for the FDA decision. Unless there is substantial buying interest lurking on the sidelines this is unlikely to shoot up $100 overnight.
But if you secretly hanker for that "I bought AAPL at $13" experience you might consider buying a few shares while it still suits the analysts to play down the potential.