|Bid||2,140.00 x 0|
|Ask||2,141.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||2,021.00 - 2,148.00|
|52 Week Range||19.62 - 2,249.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.06|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||Jul 14, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||985.69|
(Bloomberg) -- Moderna Inc.’s efforts to come up with a Covid-19 vaccine moved forward, with a report in the New England Journal of Medicine saying it was able to produce antibodies to the coronavirus in all patients in an early trial.Florida reported a record number of coronavirus deaths among residents even as the rise in new infections slowed. Arizona had the most new cases in 11 days and an infection rate of 22%, while California hospitalizations increased.A potential new wave this winter poses a serious risk to the U.K. and could lead to as many as 120,000 hospital deaths from September to June, according the country’s Academy of Medical Sciences. Face coverings will be compulsory in all shops in England from July 24.Hong Kong imposed its strictest social-distancing measures yet, and Japan said a new state of emergency is possible. The Australian state of Queensland imposed a quarantine on some visitors.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases top 13.1 million; deaths surpass 574,000U.S. testing czar rebuts Trump, warns of rising death tollCovid shot derived from tobacco-like plant tested in humansFlorida, haven for NBA and Trump, sets Covid death recordAmazon workers in Memphis spooked as virus rages in SouthDesigners envision urban living for a socially distanced eraSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus.Moderna Vaccine Trial Shows Early Promise (5:10 p.m. NY)Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine produced antibodies to the coronavirus in all patients tested in an initial safety trial, federal researchers said.The neutralizing antibody levels produced were equivalent to the upper half of what’s seen in patients who get infected with the virus and recover, according to the results published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Moderna vaccine is one of the farthest along for Covid-19.While stimulating production of neutralizing antibodies doesn’t prove a vaccine will be effective, it’s considered an important early step in testing.Earlier Tuesday, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based drugmaker posted details of its final-stage vaccine trial on an official government website, confirming that the widely anticipated trial was still on track to begin on July 27.California Revives Testing Task Force (5 p.m. NY)California is reviving its testing task force under the leadership of Bechara Choucair, chief health officer at Kaiser Permanente, and Gil Chavez of the state’s Department of Public Health. It is focused on building testing capabilities, fixing supply-chain vulnerabilities and improving turnaround times for results.Mark Ghaly, secretary for the state’s Health and Human Services agency, said new guidance will soon be issued on who should be prioritized to get tested, focusing on essential workers and those with symptoms.U.S. Cases Rise 1.8% (4 p.m. NY)Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 1.8% as compared with the same time Monday to 3.4 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That was slower than the average daily increase of 2% over the past week. Deaths rose 0.5% to 136,117.Florida deaths rose by a record 132, or 3.1%, to 4,409. Cases rose 3.3% to 291,629, compared with an average increase of 4.6% in the previous seven days.Arizona reported 4,273 new cases, the most in 11 days and a 3.5% increase that was above the prior seven-day average of 2.9%.Montana cases rose 5.9% to 1,952, according to the data from Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.California Hospitalizations Rise 4% (2:41 p.m. NY)California Tuesday saw a 4% increase in hospitalizations and a 2% rise in intensive-care unit cases because of the virus, the health department said. The state had 7,346 new cases, less than the seven-day average of 7,817. The rate of positive tests over the past 14 days was 7.1%, down slightly from 7.4% yesterday. The state has recorded 336,508 cases of Covid-19 and 7,087 deaths.Ireland Cases Rise Most Since June 13 (12:45 p.m NY)Ireland reported reported 32 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, the most since June 13. There were no new deaths for the third day in a row.The country is weighing random virus tests for travelers arriving from abroad, amid concerns about cases being imported, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said. Ireland has seen 25,638 cases so far, with 1,746 deaths.Arizona Reports Most Cases in 11 Days (11:40 a.m. NY)Arizona reported 4,273 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, the most in 11 days and a 3.5% increase that was above the prior seven-day average of 2.9%. The state Department of Health Services also reported 92 new deaths, bringing the toll to 2,337.The number of new cases reported Tuesday included some that weren’t tallied on Monday, the department said. Arizona also reported 19,488 new tests, with a positivity rate of 21.9% statewide. In Maricopa County, the state’s most populous, the positivity rate was 23.6%.N.Y. Adds 4 States to Quarantine List (10:55 a.m. NY)New York added four states to the 14-day quarantine list, bringing the total to 22. Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin meet the metrics to qualify for the quarantine advisory, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday in a statement. Delaware has been removed.The self-quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10% or higher rate of positive tests, either over a 7-day rolling average. In New York, once the epicenter of the outbreak, 1.5% of tests conducted on Monday were positive.Florida Posts Record 132 Deaths (10:40 a.m. NY)Covid-19 deaths among Florida residents rose by a record 132 to 4,409, according to a report Tuesday, which includes data through Monday.Florida reported 291,629 Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, up 3.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 4.6% in the previous seven days.Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 383, or 2.1%, to 18,881. On a rolling seven-day basis, hospitalizations have totaled 2,456, a record.The new rate of people testing positive for the first time climbed to 15% for Monday, from 11.5% on Sunday.Germany Considers Local Travel Restrictions (8:50 a.m. NY)Germany’s federal government is in discussions with states about rules that would prevent residents in an area hit by a coronavirus outbreak from traveling, Angela Merkel said Tuesday. People would only be allowed to leave the area if they have a negative test, the chancellor said, noting that she supports the plan.Iqvia, AstraZeneca Collaborate On Potential Vaccine (8:30 a.m. NY)Iqvia said the collaboration with AstraZeneca will drive faster delivery of clinical studies in the U.S. aimed at demonstrating efficacy of AstraZeneca’s potential Covid-19 vaccine.Virgin Atlantic Set for $1.25 Billion Rescue (7:13 a.m. NY)Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. is poised to announce a rescue worth at least 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion), after clearing the last major hurdle to the deal, according to people familiar with the matter. Negotiations with credit-card processors holding back some 200 million pounds of sales have been resolved, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing a confidential matter.The rescue will mark a coup for billionaire founder Richard Branson, who managed to secure a private bailout after the U.K. government refused to contribute taxpayer funds when Virgin Atlantic was grounded by the coronavirus crisis.Delta Sees U.S. Virus Surge Stalling Rebound (7:08 a.m. NY)Delta Air Lines said the virus resurgence and related travel restrictions have stalled a fledgling recovery in U.S. travel demand and prompted it to slash the number of flights it had hoped to return to its schedule next month. The airline will add back no more than 500 flights in August instead of the planned 1,000. It doesn’t expect to add much more through the end of this year.“Demand growth has largely stalled,” Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said in an interview. “The pace of improvement from this point is going to depend on consumers’ confidence in flying.”Tax-Haven Firms Shouldn’t Get Covid Bailouts, EU Says (7:08 a.m. NY)Companies linked to tax havens such as Panama and the Cayman Islands shouldn’t get subsidies from cash-strapped governments amid the pandemic, according to European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager.“We are in an unprecedented situation where exceptional volumes of state aid are granted” to companies during the outbreak, Vestager said in a statement on Tuesday. “It is not acceptable that companies benefiting from public support engage in tax avoidance practices involving tax havens.”Carnival Visits Debt Markets a Third Time (6:38 a.m. NY)Cruise ship operator Carnival Corp. is back in the debt markets this week, adding around $1 billion to the nearly $7 billion it’s borrowed since the pandemic devastated the international tourism trade.The world’s largest cruise group is selling bonds to international investors in both euros and U.S. dollars, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public yet.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Online grocery shopping will double its share of the UK market over the new few years, building on a huge increase during the coronavirus lockdown, internet supermarket and technology group Ocado forecast on Tuesday. "We'll see another doubling of the market in the next few years," Ocado CEO Tim Steiner told reporters. "You'll then see a continued channel shift to significantly greater market share and ultimately to be the mainstream market share."
Online grocer and Kroger partner Ocado said on Tuesday it had seen unprecedented demand in the U.K. amid the coronavirus pandemic and predicted the trend would continue.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors have their first snapshot of what Ocado Group Plc’s trading looks like in exceptionally favorable trading conditions for its online supermarket business.Its core customer-facing retail business, now a joint venture with Marks & Spencer Group Plc, lifted sales by 27% in the six months to May 31. The frantic buying of groceries driven by the pandemic began about halfway through the period, and so isn’t fully reflected in the numbers. Sales were running about 40% up going into the second half of the financial year.Ocado has always argued that its model, which generates economies of scale as orders are fulfilled in its huge robotic warehouses, is more profitable than supermarket employees plucking flour and toilet paper from shelves. The evidence supports that, with Ebitda (a measure of profit) in retail almost doubling to 46 million pounds ($58 million). But Ocado’s shortage of capacity prevented it from fully capturing demand, which was worth five times more in terms of revenue at the peak of the crisis.Much of that opportunity was taken by traditional retailers that were able to quickly increase their ability to fulfill online grocery orders from their vast store networks by adding more delivery vans. The challenge for Ocado is to ensure it gets its share of the growing online grocery market rather than let it slip to the incumbent supermarkets. It’s building a smaller warehouse in southwest England, which takes half as long to construct as its traditional facilities. On Tuesday it said The Kroger Co., whose online operations it helps run, would build a mini-warehouse too.These and other moves will add about 40% more capacity in the U.K. from next year. But they won’t be enough on their own. Where Ocado provides delivery services for other retailers, it should work with them to provide click-and-collect services from the stores. It should also find a way to enable its own customers to order online but collect from a designated location — in the U.K., M&S’s big store base provides such an opportunity.Shares in Ocado have risen nearly 60% since the start of this year, to about 20 pounds, valuing the company at 15 billion pounds. At a group level, it still makes a net loss as it continues to invest in growth.Ocado has always divided investors. To some it is the best thing since a loaf of sliced bread arrived in a delivery van. To skeptics it is a money pit, devouring capital and never managing to make an adequate return.For now, this is probably as good as it gets for Ocado. To justify investors’ faith in supporting a recent 1 billion pounds fundraising, the group must prove it can satisfy demand in its home market. And it must do so without suffering any slippage in its international roll-out. Investors’ expectations are riding on a lot going right.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Despite making yet another record high in the Nasdaq yesterday US markets rolled over into the close, closing sharply lower, as concerns that the continued rise in infection cases will prompt more US states to push back their re-opening plans as California followed Texas and Arizona in shutting downs bars, restaurants and cinemas, as hospitalisations soared. There was also increasing nervousness about the fragility of any recovery ahead of the start of US earnings seasons later today.
Old ghosts came back to haunt markets as a surge in U.S. virus numbers cast a shadow over the third-quarter recovery and a fresh flare-up in U.S.-China trade tensions doused the stocks rally. Global stocks retreated on Tuesday following a reversal on Wall Street late on Monday that saw the S&P slumping 1% after briefly scaling post-pandemic highs and turning positive on the year. Safe havens were back in demand, with the dollar gaining U.S. Treasury and German bund yields slipping.
The online grocery company posted a solid set of first half numbers as group revenue increased by 23.2% to £1.08 billion. Retail revenue rose by 27.2% to £1.02 billion, and fees from its international business jumped by 58% to £73.7 million.
The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. - The incoming Chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility Richard Hughes said Britain should not kid itself that soaring national debt can be addressed by high inflation because roughly a third of the 2 trillion pounds ($2.51 trillion)debt stock is linked to the retail prices index. - Three lenders, Nationwide, Coventry Building Society and Co-operative Bank's Platform, have returned to offering mortgages on small deposits, giving a boost to first-time buyers who have grappled with a credit crunch in recent weeks.
Monkey labour to harvest coconuts for commercial products "is almost non-existent" in Thailand, the commerce minister said on Monday, after British retailers announced bans on products campaigners say use the animals in their production. Waitrose, Co-op, Boots and Ocado vowed not to sell products that used monkey labour, while Morrisons has already removed Thai products amid an appeal by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's fiancée Carrie Symonds. Symonds on Friday backed a call to supermarkets to stop selling Thai coconut products over accusations of monkey "slaves" by the rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) published in the Telegraph newspaper.
The future of grocery shopping will involve shopping from home using virtual reality headsets and deliveries via drones and self-driving cars, according to this banker.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Covid-19-related lockdowns have ushered in plenty of consumer behaviors that I don’t expect to last, including cutting one’s own hair and baking enough homemade bread to spark a run on yeast. But there’s at least one spending shift brought on by the pandemic that is bound to be quite sticky: buying groceries online. Many shoppers tried this format for the first time in the past several months, and there’s good reason to believe they won’t give it up. It’s a dynamic that will further strengthen retail heavyweights Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Costco Wholesale Corp., while putting more pressure on traditional grocery chains.Nearly half of respondents in a survey by Coresight Research reported trying online grocery shopping for the first time or increasing their use of it because of the novel coronavirus. Importantly, the study was conducted March 17-18, when state and local stay-home mandates were just starting to take effect. It stands to reason, then, that even more consumers may have been pushed in this direction later. I’ve always thought it was revealing that Walmart and Target have long said their curbside pickup services have unusually high net promoter scores, a commonly used industry metric that is a proxy for customer satisfaction. In other words, once people try these services, they tend to really like them. The hard part is getting them to take the initial plunge. The pandemic just provided shoppers a forceful reason to do just that. Target, for example, has said that 2 million people used its drive-up service for the first time in the first quarter.(1) Sales to the retailer fulfilled by its grocery-centric same-day delivery service, Shipt, were up more than 300% in the quarter from a year earlier. U.S. shoppers have tended to eschew online grocery shopping because they want to squeeze their peaches and nab that just-perfectly-sized steak. But this unusual moment will make some of them realize just how much of their typical grocery haul is comprised of replenishment-type items that are, in fact, easy to hand off to someone else. After all, a box of Cheez-Its or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s tastes the same no matter who selects them. Also, retailers and services such as Instacart have fine-tuned their app experiences so it’s generally very easy to reorder favorite items after you’ve done it once. These factors, I expect, will drive a sharp increase in e-commerce penetration of a corner of retail that has remained relatively insulated from digital change. Walmart and Target, two retailers that already have shown themselves to be holding up well amid the pandemic, stand to benefit from this shift. Both long ago realized that online grocery was going to be key to avoiding further wounds from Amazon.com Inc. and invested accordingly. Walmart has hired tens of thousands of workers who focus on filling these orders; Target acquired Shipt to help it gain and protect grocery market share. If both these chains can also convince customers to add higher-margin items such as apparel and home goods to these orders, that could help make them more lucrative. Costco, which recorded booming online grocery sales in the latest quarter, also showed potential to emerge from the lockdown phase with a large group of digital converts. When Kroger Co. reports earnings later this week, we’ll see to what extent the supermarket giant’s online business got a boost from shoppers under stay-at-home orders. The cornerstone of Kroger’s e-commerce strategy — a partnership with Britain’s Ocado Group Plc that will bring that company’s technology to the U.S. — is one that, by design, won’t bear fruit for a long time. That doesn’t leave me particularly confident in the company’s positioning for winning digital dollars right now.It’s unclear what a stronger uptake of online grocery shopping means for Amazon. Bloomberg Opinion has frequently noted that Amazon’s strategy around the grocery business seems as ill-defined as the day exactly three years ago that it plunked down $13.7 billion for Whole Foods Market. According to the Coresight survey, far more consumers have bought groceries recently with Amazon than with any other retailer, an encouraging sign for the Seattle shopping juggernaut. The problem is, its base of shoppers is not growing much, even as some of its competitors see huge gains on that measure. The real losers from the swing toward digital grocery shopping are likely to be the regional grocery chains such as Ingles Markets Inc. or Publix that have already suffered in recent years as customers have shifted their grocery dollars away from supermarkets to warehouse clubs, discounters such as Aldi or even Dollar General Corp. Smaller, traditional grocers simply don’t have the massive capital-expenditures budgets and talent pool of their larger competitors that could help them hold their own in the digital realm. In this way, the rise of online grocery shopping will help strengthen the retailers already in the winner’s circle and may accelerate the demise of others.(1) Curbside pickup is available at Target for non-grocery purchases, too, so not all of these new customers necessarily bought food.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Sarah Halzack is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She was previously a national retail reporter for the Washington Post.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One of the talents of Tim Steiner, chief executive officer of Ocado Group Plc, is knowing how to negotiate from a position of strength.Over the past decade, the U.K.-based trailblazer for online grocery sales has been able to clinch contracts with British food retailers Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc and Marks & Spencer Group Plc, offering digital capabilities just when they were most desperate to expand online. Now Steiner is again living up to form, as he raised 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) this week. The move exploited a soaring share price, a big increase in online grocery orders and a shortage of investment opportunities in the convertible bond market. Quite a feat for a company that has made a pre-tax profit in only a handful of its 20 years of operation.The capital raising is certainly opportunistic. Ocado already had about 1.2 billion pounds in the bank. The excitement around online shopping has also elevated Ocado’s share price, from around 13 pounds at the start of the year to more than 20 pounds before the fundraising announced late Wednesday. The company is right to take advantage of these factors while it can, because they may not be around forever.Steiner clearly thinks there are more gains to be wrung out of the post-pandemic retail landscape. Mindful of the accelerating switch from buying food in stores to simply clicking a mouse or tapping on a smartphone, its online partners around the world, such as U.S. grocer Kroger Co., may want to attack the online grocery market even faster. Ocado also anticipates a surge of interest from other big international supermarkets wanting to use its automated warehouses.Ocado raised 657 million pounds by selling a roughly 5% stake in itself at a 6% discount to Wednesday’s closing price. The rest of the windfall came from selling bonds that will convert into stock if the share price hits 26.46 pounds a piece — more than one-third above where the shares are now. The deal effectively offers Ocado the chance to raise equity at a higher price in the future, minimizing dilution for shareholders.But investors should be aware of another Ocado trait: plowing money into expensive infrastructure with little to show for it by way of returns.Since 2000, Ocado has invested about 1.4 billion pounds in its retail business, according to Mike Dennis, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. But since going public in 2010, it has made a cumulative operating profit of only about 100 million pounds from this division, which is now a joint venture with Marks & Spencer.The company’s thesis has been that more grocery shopping will soon shift away from physical supermarkets and take place online instead. It also believes that relying on big state-of-the art warehouses and robots to fulfill orders is a far more efficient approach than stocking store shelves.It’s right on the first point. Online’s share of food shopping has almost doubled in the U.K. in recent months, according to Nielsen, from 7% before the pandemic to 13% in May. The second point is not as certain. The trouble with Ocado’s model is it needs expensive infrastructure. The more sales grow, the more warehouses and robots are required. As I have pointed out before, stores with employees are more flexible: They don’t need to add huge distribution centers or install whizzy technology — both of which are costly and time-consuming — to scale up. Employees in existing supermarkets can simply pluck more toilet rolls or cans of beans off of their shelves and put them into crates. Ocado’s need for capital gets even more acute when it agrees to operate the online grocery businesses of big international retailers, such as Japan’s Aeon Co., with whom it struck a deal late last year. While these contracts should eventually generate lucrative fee income, they entail a substantial upfront capital cost. The company’s fundraising has preempted a possible spate of new agreements with grocers around the world, tantalized by the prospect of more online shopping, and put an extra billion pounds into its coffers. If Steiner doesn’t use this wisely, he won’t be able to win over shareholders so easily next time around. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
U.K. grocer Ocado raised more than £1 billion on Wednesday to capitalize on a boom in demand for online groceries caused by coronavirus. It will use the funds to develop its worldwide network of online grocery warehouses.
Ocado, the British online supermarket and technology group, plans to raise 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion), giving it more firepower to capitalise on the rapid growth of the online grocery market triggered by the coronavirus crisis. "This capital raise gives Ocado Group the opportunity to accelerate our role in creating sustainable change in the industry, allowing us the flexibility to move at increased pace and capitalise on the full opportunity set over the medium term," CEO and founder Tim Steiner said. Ocado said globally, online grocery penetration is currently low with significant scope for expansion.
Grocery and drugstore chain Kroger (NYSE: KR) revealed its plans to build a trio of new Customer Fulfillment Centers (CFCs) across the U.S. to support the company's online business. The distribution centers will stand in the Great Lakes, West, and Pacific Northwest areas. CEO Luke Jenson of Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO), its partner in the project, says this is part of Kroger "building an e-commerce ecosystem across the U.S. that will deliver unrivaled online experiences to more customers, in more ways and in more markets."
The Kroger Family of Companies (NYSE: KR), America's largest grocery retailer, and Ocado (LSE: OCDO), a world leader in technology for grocery ecommerce, today announced the continued expansion of their partnership with plans to construct three new Customer Fulfillment Centers (CFC) in the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest and West regions.
As countries easing lockdowns bring businesses and workers back online, these tech solutions are popping up to make sure people keep up social distancing
Ocado stock surged to all-time highs on Wednesday as the U.K. online grocer said retail revenues were up 40% since the start of April.
The robots in Ocado warehouses have never been busier. Sales at the British-based online grocer soared by just over 40 percent year-on-year in the second quarter. The jump came as its home market went into lockdown. Ocado was forced to block new registrations and impose a queue system after web traffic surged by hundreds of percent. The company says it took a few weeks to adapt, and admits service standards suffered for a while. It has increased its delivery capacity by about 40% in response. And its high-tech warehouses are running at maximum output. But the firms says it can only do so much to meet demand. Pre-crisis, about 7% of UK grocery sales were delivered. Tesco and the country’s other big supermarkets have all been ramping up capacity to meet the rising demand. But even if delivery capacity doubles, that still leaves about 85% of grocery shopping being served by bricks-and-mortar stores. Now Ocado says there are signs that shopping habits are returning to normal. But it expects the shift to online grocery shopping to keep accelerating, even after the current crisis ends.
British online supermarket Ocado has seen retail revenue soar 40.4% year-on-year in its second quarter to date as it ramped up capacity to meet unprecedented demand during the country's coronavirus lockdown. Britain has been on lockdown since March 23, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the country is past the peak of the pandemic and is expected to set out a plan on Sunday on how it might gradually ease restrictions. In March, Ocado was forced to stop registrations from new customers and impose a queuing system online after it saw a several hundred percentage increase in web traffic.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Ocado Group plc and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. The review was conducted through a portfolio review in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers. Since 1 January 2019, Moody's practice has been to issue a press release following each periodic review to announce its completion.
The stock market's big rebound keeps on climbing, which has been great news for investors, and the stocks I've been telling readers about since mid-March. I continue to expect great results from these investments over the coming months. But at the same time, I expect the road ahead will be a bumpy one, full of periodic setbacks.Source: Shutterstock As this zigzag action plays out over time, the best stocks will progress higher. But many others will not.We are seeing this divergence play out in real time, as investments such as the so-called "shelter in place" stocks are rising or even hitting new all-time highs, while stocks heavily exposed to brick-and-mortar retail struggle to gain any ground whatsoever. And I expect these divergences to persist for a long time.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsMany retailers have suffered life-threatening financial trauma that will send them into bankruptcy. Meanwhile, a workforce with 20% unemployment is unlikely to rush back to shopping malls, even if the virus suddenly posed zero threat to their health. * 9 Healthcare Stocks to Buy Even After the Coronavirus Fades In other words, brick-and-mortar retail now faces even greater challenges than what it had been over the past few years.In today's report, I'll go over why brick-and-mortar retail will continue to fail, even if the coronavirus epidemic ends tomorrow. I'll show you three retail stocks that are beating the odds. And I'll show you how to go about betting on the ongoing "retail apocalypse"… "Going the Way of the Woolly Mammoth"Over the past 10 years, online retail sales growth has outpaced non-online retail sales growth in the U.S. by 7 to 1, more than doubling as a percentage of total retail sales.The "Amazon-ification of commerce" has crushed the brick-and-mortar retailing industry from coast to coast.Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) just hired hundreds of thousands of new workers during a period when millions of Americans filed for unemployment. And on the other side of the epidemic, a large percentage of folks who have boosted their online shopping activity will maintain a higher level of online commercial activity than they did before the epidemic.Clearly, Amazon is a net winner from the crisis -- as it always seems to be.But Amazon and Covid-19 aren't the only destroyers of conventional retailing.Some retailers like Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) have developed robust online sales channels to complement their select brick-and-mortar locations. This "omnichannel" approach is producing great success for a few savvy retailers.And Kroger (NYSE:KR) is demonstrating an impressive level of flexibility and innovation to revive its fortunes. The company's forward-looking team-up with Ocado Group PLC (OTCMKTS:OCDGF) to build robotic grocery warehouses around the country demonstrates its ambitious efforts to get out in front of changing consumer buying habits.But most brick-and-mortar retailers are failing to innovate. As a result, they are sinking slowly into irrelevance. These stores are going the way of the woolly mammoth.In 2019 alone, an estimated 12,000 retail stores closed. And the tally of store closures continues to grow by the day. Investment bank UBS estimates that U.S. retailers will shutter another 75,000 physical stores by 2026.Many leading retailers are showing a drop in revenue, while the very best companies are producing negligible revenue growth. Meanwhile, debt loads are soaring. These negative trends are weighing on stock prices throughout the retail sector.Source: Chart by InvestorPlace Although this downtrend is well established, it shows no sign of stabilizing or reversing. To the contrary, the sector continues to exhibit market-lagging performance. A Way to "Short Sell" Dead MallsLong before the coronavirus hit, e-commerce was growing rapidly worldwide. That's hardly a secret.According to Statista, retail e-commerce sales worldwide totaled $3.46 trillion in 2019 - nearly double the 2016 tally. And e-commerce volumes are on track to soar another 8.5% over the next three years, according to eMarketer.com.As online retailing gains momentum, it is taking a very visible bite out of traditional brick-and-mortar retailing. That's no secret either.Source: Chart by InvestorPlace Still, e-commerce represents less than 15% of total U.S. retail sales. That share is similar to the percentages worldwide.But e-commerce isn't just about destroying the old ways of retailing and taking market share. It is about establishing an entirely new mode of commerce.That's a big reason why "big box" retailers have been struggling for many years. Sears, Blockbuster, RadioShack, Circuit City, Borders, Sports Authority, and Toys "R" Us have all gone to retail heaven (or are almost there).Even before the coronavirus, many "best of breed" retailers were struggling to compete. During the last three years, revenues at Walmart (NYSE:WMT) have grown a meager 7%, while Amazon's have doubled.The coronavirus is supercharging this trend.That's why I recently recommended that members of Fry's Investment Report reestablish a position in an investment that allows them to bet against brick-and-mortar retail… and on the retail apocalypse.I first recommended this hedge trade back on Feb. 6. Less than two months later, as the stock market was cratering, we closed out that position for a gain of 43.8%.But I think this investment has further to go. After all, a rallying stock market does not change the fact that brick-and-mortar retail is facing a world of hurt.You can find out all about it by joining us here.If my analysis is correct, this investment will be a solid winner in a falling market, or a worthwhile hedge in a rising one.Regards,Eric FryP.S. Opportunities for extraordinary gains exist in any market, bullish or bearish. Some of the best stock traders in U.S. history made fortunes because of big moves they made while others sat on the sidelines during turbulent times. And I believe there are four companies you must buy right away to capture the biggest gains in the market going forward.You probably haven't heard of a single one of these firms… but I hope you'll listen. To date, I've found 40 investment opportunities in which folks could have made 1,000% gains or more following my recommendations. Check out my new presentation on what to buy now here.Eric Fry is an award-winning stock picker with numerous "10-bagger" calls -- in good markets AND bad. How? By finding potent global megatrends … before they take off. And when it comes to bear markets, you'll want to have his "blueprint" in hand before stocks go south. Eric does not own the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * America's 1 Stock Picker Reveals Next 1,000% Winner * 25 Stocks You Should Sell Immediately * 1 Under-the-Radar 5G Stock to Buy Now * The 1 Stock All Retirees Must Own The post Betting On Retail Stocks At the End of the Brick-And-Mortar World appeared first on InvestorPlace.