81.00 -0.41 (-0.50%)
After hours: 5:25PM EST
|Bid||81.43 x 900|
|Ask||82.75 x 1100|
|Day's Range||80.44 - 81.71|
|52 Week Range||73.19 - 82.74|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||N/A|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||12.95|
|Earnings Date||Nov 29, 2016 - Dec 04, 2016|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||3.18 (3.85%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Jan 23, 2020|
|1y Target Est||88.84|
Rating Action: Moody's places A3 ratings of various Morgan Stanley gas prepayment bonds under review for upgrade. Global Credit Research- 24 Feb 2020. New York, February 24, 2020-- Moody's Investors Service ...
(Bloomberg) -- Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, one of Canada’s largest pension funds, cut its stock holdings last year as its returns climbed and added to its infrastructure bets.The firm lowered its share of stocks to 29% of its portfolio in 2019, from 33% the year before, according to a statement released Monday. It generated returns from its public equity investments of about 20.3% from the prior year.“All asset classes generated positive returns, led by public equities,” Omers Chief Executive Officer Michael Latimer said in the statement. “Over the past five years, we have earned C$9.8 billion ($7.4 billion) of net investment income over the amount required to fund our pension obligations.”Omers returned 11.9% on its investments last year, pushing assets under management to C$109 billion. It also increased its exposure to infrastructure slightly, while decreasing its real state and private equity holdings moderately.The fund may have reduced its investments in stocks in the nick of time as markets globally were rocked as authorities struggled to keep the coronavirus from spreading more widely outside of China. Finance chiefs and central bankers from the largest economies warned this weekend that they saw the virus bringing downside risks to global growth.Other notable numbers:Total public investments returned 16.4% in 2019 -- its largest returns last year -- after losing 4.6% the year before. Private investments gained 11.9%, following a 2.3% advance in 2018.The fund reduced its government bonds and inflation-linked bond holdings by half during the year to 3% and 2% respectively.It cut its public credit exposure to 19% from 17% a year ago.The fixed income portfolio returned 6.7% in 2019 versus 1.8% the year before.Omers is not “overly confident nor complacent” going into this year, said Blake Hutcheson, who takes over as CEO of the fund in June when Latimer retires. The pension fund trimmed positions across the board to cut its economic leverage to virtually zero, he said Monday in a roundtable discussion with reporters in Toronto.Assets called “short-term instruments” in the fund’s 2019 results went to zero from negative 13% in 2018, according to its statement.“Our portfolio is not just very well diversified but it also got a very comfortable level of dry powder, which is a good place to be given the way markets are,” Hutcheson said. “It’s just been a prudent strategy to fortify our balance sheet going into this period.”While OMERS managed to beat its 7.5% return benchmark, results trailed the average 14% increase of Canadian defined pension plans, as estimated by RBC Investor Services. Last week, Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Canada’s second-largest pension fund, said it returned 10% on its investments last year. Its assets under management grew to C$340.1 billion from C$309.5 billion a year ago.New Chief at Omers Sees Canada Pensions as ‘Envy of the World’Founded in 1962, Omers oversees the retirement savings for nearly 500,000 municipal employees, school board, emergency services and local agency members across the province of Ontario. It plans to grow assets to C$200 billion over the next seven to 10 years, Hutcheson said.(Updates to add comments from Blake Hutcheson starting in sixth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Paula Sambo in Toronto at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nikolaj Gammeltoft at email@example.com, Divya Balji, Steven FrankFor 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.
Dr. Bill simplifies medical billing with a mobile-first platform that allows for on-the-go claims and direct payments. TORONTO , Feb. 24, 2020 /CNW/ - RBC Ventures has acquired Dr. Bill, a premium billing solution that simplifies and streamlines the billing and payment process for Canada's medical community. Currently available in Ontario , British Columbia and Alberta , Dr. Bill provides doctors with a user-friendly mobile billing platform, as well as dedicated live agents, to deliver an industry-leading billing success rate.
RBC Global Asset Management Inc. lowers administration fees for certain RBC Funds, BlueBay Funds and RBC Corporate Class Funds
(Bloomberg) -- Royal Bank of Canada’s dealmaking division is back to proving its worth.The RBC Capital Markets unit had record earnings in the fiscal first quarter, helping Canada’s largest lender post results that beat analysts’ estimates. Fees from investment banking jumped 82% from a year earlier amid a better dealmaking environment, and fixed-income trading more than doubled.The turnaround, which follows back-to-back profit declines in the division, helped Royal Bank post an 11% jump in earnings for the three months through January. The comeback follows a similar rebound at U.S. investment banks, which reported an improvement in trading revenue when they announced fourth-quarter results last month, and sets a benchmark for the other large Canadian lenders when they report their earnings next week.“Both trading revenues and underwriting and advisory revenues easily surpassed our forecasts and pushed earnings past our above-consensus estimate,” Robert Sedran, a CIBC Capital Markets analyst, wrote in a note to clients Friday.Trading revenue rose 21% to C$1.27 billion ($954 million). The increase helped make RBC Capital Markets the bank’s top-performing business for the quarter. Profit in the division surged 35%. Royal Bank’s adjusted per-share earnings of C$2.44 beat the C$2.30 average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey.Royal Bank rose 1.2% to $109.31 at 9:37 a.m. in Toronto. It has gained 6.4% this year, making it the top performer in the eight-company S&P/TSX Commercial Banks Index, which has climbed 3.6%.The lender has the biggest investment-banking operations among Canada’s large banks, with significant business in Canada and the U.S. and a growing platform in Europe. That helped Royal Bank land more deals, lifting underwriting and advisory fees to C$627 million from C$345 million a year earlier.Soured LoansThe Toronto-based lender set aside less money for soured loans, after rising credit losses caused concern among investors last year. Provisions for credit losses fell 18% to C$419 million from a year earlier, when it was hurt by bad loans to a U.S. shopping-mall owner and bankrupt California utility PG&E Corp.Plans for slowing expense growth, however, have yet to come to fruition: Net interest expenses rose 7.9% to C$6.4 billion, the largest increase in three quarters. After years of spending big on technology and investments, Royal Bank executives said in December they expected expense growth to moderate to “low single digits” this year. The increase was largely due to growth in staff-related costs, including higher variable compensation, Chief Financial Officer Rod Bolger said on a conference call with analysts.Also in the earnings report:Royal Bank saw little change in net interest margins, while gains in key businesses including Canadian banking and wealth management drove overall earnings to a record C$3.5 billion.Canadian personal and commercial banking is the lender’s biggest division, and its largest source of profit. Earnings from the unit rose 5.2% to a record C$1.62 billion in the quarter. Wealth management, meanwhile, had a 4.4% increase in profit to C$623 million.The growth in Royal Bank’s domestic mortgage book has accelerated for four straight quarters. In the three months through January, mortgages rose 8.6%, their biggest increase from a year earlier in at least five years.(Updates with shares in sixth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Doug Alexander in Toronto at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at email@example.com, ;Derek DeCloet at firstname.lastname@example.org, Daniel Taub, Steve DicksonFor 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.
"We want to broaden the product and service offering that we have (in the U.S.), similar to what we have in Canada," CFO Rod Bolger said. RBC's consumer bank would initially focus on high-net-worth clients in U.S. but eventually target the "mass affluent" as well, he said. With this strategy, RBC is joining U.S. rivals including Bank of America, which are expanding their private banking arms.
(Bloomberg) -- Hard-currency bond investors have already downgraded South Africa to junk.The premium investors demand to the country’s dollar debt rather than U.S. Treasuries climbed above the emerging-market average in October, shortly before Moody’s Investors Service cut the country’s credit outlook to negative. It has now been above the mean for the longest period since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 1997. Previously, South Africa’s sovereign spread crossed above the average for brief periods only during times of stress.Many investors expect South Africa to lose its last investment-grade rating. Their only question is when.Moody’s is scheduled to review the assessment shortly after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s key budget statement. To escape a downgrade, Mboweni would have to convince Moody’s that the government is on track to restructure ailing state-owned companies, and has credible plans to curb the budget shortfall and fuel growth.“We are skeptical the government will make sufficient progress on fiscal consolidation in time for the 2020 budget,” analysts at RBC Securities wrote in a note. “We expect Moody’s to downgrade South Africa to non-investment grade in March, though the decision is likely to be a close call.”Others, including Morgan Stanley’s Johannesburg-based Andrea Masia, expect the downgrade to be delayed until November.To contact the reporter on this story: Colleen Goko in Johannesburg at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Robert Brand, Srinivasan SivabalanFor 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.
All amounts are in Canadian dollars and are based on financial statements prepared in compliance with International Accounting Standard 34 Interim Financial Reporting, unless otherwise noted. TORONTO , Feb. 21, 2020 /CNW/ - Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) today reported net income of $3,509 million for the quarter ended January 31, 2020 , up $337 million or 11% from the prior year, with strong diluted EPS growth of 12%. Results were driven by record earnings in Capital Markets, as well as by strong earnings growth in Personal & Commercial Banking reflecting continued robust volume growth in our Canadian Banking franchise.
NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / February 21, 2020 / Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY) will be discussing their earnings results in their 2020 First Quarter Earnings call to be held on February 21, 2020 at 8:00 ...
(Bloomberg) -- Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec returned 10.4% last year as stocks and fixed income shielded Canada’s second-largest pension fund manager from a poor performance in real estate.Net investment income for 2019 amounted to C$31.1 billion ($23.5 billion), compared with C$11.8 billion a year earlier, the Montreal-based fund manager said Thursday in a statement. Net assets rose to C$340.1 billion (C$257 billion) as of Dec. 31, from C$309.5 billion at the end of 2018.Public and private equity returned 15.3%. The Caisse said its public equities portfolio trailed its own benchmark by slightly less than one percentage point, partly due to its strategy of prioritizing value stocks, which are a longer term play. Chief Executive Officer Charles Emond said the portfolio delivered during a year that saw markets getting “carried away” and seem disconnected from real growth.“We are seeking to build a portfolio that is more diversified, more stable, more reliable, less vulnerable to market moves,” Emond said Thursday at the pension fund’s headquarters in Montreal.Fixed income assets returned 8.9%, as the pension fund increased its exposure to corporate credit, real estate debt, specialty finance and sovereign credit. It’s also investing more in credit assets outside of Canada. Like other asset managers, the pension fund is trying to increase its holdings of higher-yielding private credit, but is doing so slowly because finding and screening companies is labor intensive, head of corporate credit James McMullan said last November.Malls SufferThe Caisse’s real assets portfolio, which includes infrastructure and real estate, was its worst performing asset class, returning 1%. Real estate holdings lost 2.7%. It was affected by the weak performance of Canadian shopping centers, whose valuations are declining as a result of a consumer shift toward e-commerce, and by residential real estate in New York, in light of new regulations to control rent increases.The Caisse manages the pension plan of retirees in Quebec, Canada’s second most populous province, as well as various provincial insurance plans.Its 2019 results trailed the average 14% increase of Canadian defined pension plans, as estimated by RBC Investor Services. The Caisse results were 1.6% below the fund manager’s own benchmark, mostly due to the performance in the real estate and infrastructure portfolios.Still, the pension fund said it has generated C$11 billion in value added compared to its benchmark portfolio over five years and more than C$18 billion over ten years. The Caisse said its weighted average annual return was 8.1% and 9.2% for five and 10 years, respectively.To contact the reporters on this story: Paula Sambo in Toronto at email@example.com;Sandrine Rastello in Montreal at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nikolaj Gammeltoft at email@example.com, Derek DecloetFor 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.
Moody's Investors Service has assigned an A1 rating to Public Energy Authority of Kentucky (the Issuer) Gas Supply Revenue Bonds, 2020 Series A (the Bonds). The Issuer will sell gas acquired under the GPA to municipal utilities and a joint action agency (the Project Participants) pursuant to Gas Supply Agreements.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission just ordered major technology companies to fork over details on waves of small acquisitions made during the last decade. A more sizable deal is also seen as a target for the regulator: Google’s $1.1 billion purchase of mapping app Waze.The FTC quickly approved the 2013 transaction, but antitrust experts say the regulator will take a second look because it combined two popular digital mapping services under the same corporate roof, eliminated a fast-growing Google rival and solidified the internet giant’s grip on valuable data.Bilal Sayyed, the FTC’s director for the Office of Policy Planning, told reporters on Tuesday that the agency is planning to examine many deals that were reviewed in the past, while declining to share specific examples.“Certainly, Waze is one of them,” said Robert Litan, a partner at Korein Tillery LLC and former Justice Department antitrust official. Google declined to comment.Alphabet Inc.’s Google has acquired dozens of startups over the years to add technical talent, fill product holes, gather new users and accumulate more data. Few of these transactions rang traditional antitrust alarm bells, but in aggregate they helped the company build the western world’s largest online search, digital mapping and advertising businesses. Global watchdogs are now investigating whether this dominance is harming business customers and consumers. Reassessing past acquisitions is part of this effort, and the Waze deal is a clear candidate.“It was literally Google acquiring its number one competitor in maps,” said Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute, which is pushing for a crackdown on big internet platforms. “It was a bad deal that should have been blocked.”Back in 2013, the acquisition was a strategic coup. Google faced two existential threats at the time: social media and smartphones. Social networks, like Facebook, were stealing eyeballs and advertising, while mobile apps risked displacing key Google services, including its digital maps, that were mainly used on desktop computers. Waze was riding both trends. The startup’s mobile app drew in dedicated fans who posted frequent updates on traffic and interacted with one another, generating social and location-related data in new ways that Google couldn’t match.When Google announced the deal, Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said the “move eliminates Waze as a potential acquisition target for competitors who could use the app’s collection of data and 50 million users to bolster their own location-based products.”Antitrust regulators in the U.K. launched a more in-depth investigation of the Waze deal, asking Google to keep Waze separate from the rest of its businesses while conducting the probe. The final report from the Office of Fair Trading, published in December 2013, cited concerns from other companies that Google was knocking out a threat to its mapping service. One complainant said “the acquisition removed Google’s closest competitor.”Read more: How Tech’s New Monopolies Test Old Antitrust Thinking: QuickTakeTrustbusters didn’t have to rely on rivals. Waze Chief Executive Officer Noam Bardin offered the same assessment two months before joining Google. “We’re the only reasonable competition to [Google] in this market of creating maps that are really geared for mobile, for real-time, for consumers -- for the new world that we’re moving into,“ he said at an industry conference.A Google spokeswoman said the company’s former employees have created “more than 2,000 startups -- including companies like Pinterest, Quip and Instagram -- that’s orders of magnitude more than the number of companies we’ve acquired. We always seek to work constructively with regulators and we’re happy to provide information about our business.”In late 2012, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook suggested his customers should use map apps, including Waze, sparking a surge of downloads.By 2013, the Israeli startup was close to a deal to pre-install its app on devices made by an unnamed smartphone company, according to the U.K. investigation. There was also the potential to work with Facebook Inc. to enable people to chat and meet up with friends driving to the same location, which could have given Waze more users, the report said. Google’s acquisition abruptly halted those initiatives.The regulator concluded that the deal would not damage competition in the U.K., citing Apple’s Maps app as a rival. But last year, it asked economists to evaluate some of its past decisions, including the Waze ruling. That study found that the U.K. agency didn’t consider how Google and Waze would make money from their maps -- even though this was already relevant when the deal happened.“The merger with Waze might have made Google an even more relevant provider of location data, reinforcing its competitive position for the provision of online advertising across all its services,” according the study from consulting firm Lear.European regulators have since targeted the data that big internet companies collect as a competition issue. If the FTC takes a similar approach, the agency could probe how much of Waze’s driving data feeds back into Google’s ads business. “These free map apps are just data-suction tools,” Hubbard said. “Regulators are starting to figure it out.”Google has kept Waze a separate service, but the internet giant has used data from the app to improve its ads, according to RBC’s Mahaney. “New ad formats in Google Maps have clear similarities to existing formats in Waze (coincidence?),” the analysts wrote in a September note to investors. “Google has now collected enough data through Waze to effectively roll out broader solutions for advertisers in Google Maps and provide them attractive returns on investment without severely impacting the user experience.”Read more: Google Flips the Switch on Maps, Its Next Big Money MakerFiona Scott Morton, a Yale University economist and former Justice Department antitrust official, said Waze may be of particular interest to the FTC because location data makes Google’s dominant Search advertising much more potent. “Another party that wanted to be good at search advertising would need a good map,” she added.On Tuesday, the FTC demanded internal documents from Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to see if they “are making potentially anticompetitive acquisitions of nascent or potential competitors.”The regulator is eyeing deals that weren’t reported under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act, which requires companies to tell enforcement agencies about acquisitions of a certain size. While Google declared plans to buy Waze, it never filed the purchase under HSR, likely relying on an exemption related to the startup’s lack of U.S. revenue at the time.The FTC can investigate deals even when there’s no HSR filing. The agency also has the power to probe acquisitions that it cleared in the past. In some ways, the recent attention on the tech sector in Washington and Europe is an attempt to revisit the earlier laissez-faire approach to industry consolidation.“They weren’t examined carefully by the agencies,” said Scott Morton. “Now that they understand that these companies have acquired market power, they’re interested in finding out how that happened.”(Updates with comment from Google in 11th paragraph)\--With assistance from David McLaughlin and Aoife White.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alistair Barr at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew PollackFor 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world threatened by trade wars. Sign up here. Less than a month before a U.K. budget intended to set out Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit economic vision, the reset button has been hit.The resignation of Sajid Javid, the man due to present what’s traditionally a closely watched piece of political theater, has upended economic policy. It calls into question the government’s fiscal prudence -- a long-standing trait of Johnson’s Conservative Party -- and even when the blueprint will be unveiled.In short, it’s a mess. Javid quit as chancellor of the exchequer because he was asked to fire his most senior advisers. His position is second only to that of prime minister and enjoys a degree of autonomy. The interference suggests Javid’s reputation as a fiscal hawk clashed with a desire in 10 Downing Street for looser purse strings.Now, with Johnson having greater control, an even more generous tax and spending program could be in the works. In a sign of just how much is up in the air, the prime minister’s own spokesman couldn’t confirm that the fiscal rules Javid himself had set would still apply. The March 11 budget might be deferred. On Friday, cabinet minister Robert Jenrick said the budget will go ahead in March but declined to confirm the precise date.Anticipation that new chancellor Rishi Sunak, previously Javid’s deputy, will be less of a brake on spending ambitions prompted the pound to rally Thursday and pushed gilts lower.“Trump-style stimulus could return,” said Benjamin Nabarro, an economist at Citigroup Inc. “Javid’s resignation makes it more likely that the Conservatives jettison their 2019 fiscal framework sooner, paving the way for large fiscal easing.”The budget was already expected to deliver a fiscal stimulus, with more money for cash-strapped public services and billions of extra pounds for infrastructure to “level up” struggling regions.Taken together, the infrastructure boost and an additional 12 billion pounds ($16 billion) for public services announced in September could deliver a stimulus of well over 1% of GDP in 2020-21. Excluding the financial crisis, that would represent the biggest fiscal loosening since the early 2000s when Tony Blair was prime minister.What Our Economists Say:“The risk is Sunak changes the rules to give him more space to open the spending taps. That would create upside risks to our growth and inflation forecasts and also make it more likely the Bank of England’s next move will be up rather than down.”\-- Dan Hanson, Bloomberg Economics. For the full U.K. INSIGHT, click hereNabarro says new plans could include tax cuts, which would provide a much more immediate boost to the economy than investment projects.RBC economists Cathal Kennedy and Peter Schaffrik agree that something more could be on the way.“Why go through the trouble of reorganizing the workings of the Treasury and essentially push an unacceptable arrangement on the Chancellor, if there are no big changes planned, both in substance and in size,” they wrote.Javid’s fiscal rules allow extra infrastructure spending but also require day-to-day public spending and revenue to be in balance within three years. That goal is much tighter than had been expected, and Javid had also asked ministers to find savings ahead of a spending review due this year.Even before Thursday’s political shock, there were questions over how the government could fund its spending plans and meet targets. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimated a 10 billion-pound gap and said the framework may have to be revisited.In his resignation letter, Javid said the Treasury must retain “as much credibility as possible.”Sunak, who was chief secretary to the Treasury under Javid and previously worked at Goldman Sachs, has a very short timeframe if Johnson’s administration wants to recast the rules before its first budget.“The new chancellor will want to put his own mark on the budget, leading us to believe it will be much more expansionary,” said David Zahn, head of European fixed income at Franklin Templeton. “This news also solidifies Boris Johnson’s position giving him more free reign to get things done.”(Adds Jenrick comment on budget in fourth paragraph)\--With assistance from Joe Mayes, Robert Hutton and Andrew Atkinson.To contact the reporters on this story: Lucy Meakin in London at email@example.com;Jessica Shankleman in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at email@example.com, ;Fergal O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org, Brian Swint, Paul GordonFor 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.
For love…and money: Financial chemistry helps create winning formula for long-term romantic relationships
Canadian defined benefit pension plans generated second-highest returns in a decade: RBC Investor & Treasury Services
Among them is the efficient and cost-effective management of accounts receivables which is critical to maintaining a healthy cash flow. For many Canadian businesses, the manual task of notifying and reminding hundreds or thousands of customers to fulfill outstanding payments via mail, personalized emails and phone calls can be a massively time-consuming and costly ordeal. To streamline and automate the process, RBC is the first bank in Canada to offer the Interac e-Transfer: Bulk Request Money feature to its business banking clients.
(Bloomberg) -- L’Oreal SA expects demand for high-end beauty products to help it outperform beauty rivals, even as the coronavirus outbreak causes a temporary slowdown in the key market of China, Chief Executive Officer Jean-Paul Agon said.The shares rose as much as 4% to a record Friday in Paris after the company reported its highest operating margin ever and the strongest revenue growth in more than a decade, driven by Asia.“It’s all about sales growth,” RBC analyst James Edwardes Jones wrote. Earnings per share missed the consensus, “but who cares?”The French owner of the Lancome and Kiehl’s brands said late Thursday it’s confident demand in China will bounce back quickly once the epidemic eases. Agon said L’Oreal will beat rivals again this year in terms of sales and profit growth.Estee Lauder Cos. also said Thursday it expects a short-term hit from the coronavirus, which has killed more than 600 people and prompted travel restrictions.After China decided to extend the Lunar New Year holiday, all of L’Oreal’s offices and factories are closed in China until Monday.The company “had a good January in China,” Agon said, saying it’s too early to assess the impact of the outbreak. L’Oreal’s strength in e-commerce in that market will help the company deal with the crisis, he said.“The good news is we have 12,000 employees in China and I am in communication every day with the general manager in China and no one in our teams is sick,” the CEO said.Chinese LuxuryL’Oreal’s sales have been fueled in recent quarters by Chinese consumers splashing out on luxury skincare products and makeup, which has made up for a sluggish performance by the company’s mainstream brands like Maybelline in the U.S. The cosmetics maker said its performance for China’s Singles Day holiday in November was exceptional.The beauty market maintained its pace last year, growing about 5%, driven in large part by online sales of beauty products and consumers buying more expensive products, CEO Agon said on a call with analysts.China was the main driver of growth in Asia Pacific, which has become L’Oreal’s largest region. Sales rose 18% in both Indonesia and Vietnam, while the Philippines and South Korea also had double-digit growth.“It was the best year for a very long time in all the countries of Asia,” Agon said. Although there will be an impact from the virus, the CEO said the company’s experience with previous virus outbreaks, shows that after a period of disturbance, consumption “resumes stronger than ever.”The company has nine brands with annual revenue exceeding 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion), with La Roche Posay being the latest to reach that level.\--With assistance from Albertina Torsoli.To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Pfanner in London at email@example.com;Deirdre Hipwell in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at email@example.com, Thomas MulierFor 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.
RBC Global Asset Management Inc. announces January sales results for RBC Funds, PH&N Funds and BlueBay Funds
(Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. topped analysts’ projections for fourth-quarter revenue and added more new daily users than expected, citing product improvements and more personalized content on its social network. The shares rose the most in almost a year.Revenue rose 11% to $1.01 billion, slightly higher than the $994.5 million predicted in a Bloomberg analyst survey. Twitter’s user growth was a bigger surprise. The company added 7 million daily active users in the period, and now has 152 million people logging in daily on average, up 21% from the same period a year earlier. Bloomberg Consensus estimates were for the company to finish 2019 with just 148.1 million total users.In a statement Thursday, Twitter said that more than half of the 26 million daily users it added in 2019 were “directly driven by product improvements,” and its daily user base grew by “double-digit increases in all of our top 10 markets” in the fourth quarter. The company has made a public effort to improve user interactions on its service, and make it easier for users to find posts about topics they care about.On a call with analysts, Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said that he sees Twitter “more as an interest network than a social network,” and plans to push deeper into products that highlight that distinction. That includes products like curated lists of followers, which Dorsey likened to a music playlist, and the ability to follow interests, not just other people.The stock rose as much as 15%, the most intraday since April 23. That brings gains in the last 12 months to 11%. Despite the positive numbers, Dorsey told analysts that Twitter needs to work faster. The company is notoriously slow when it comes to shipping new products and features. “The time it takes to go from an idea to shipping something wonderful to customers still takes too long,” he said.The fourth quarter numbers provide a stark contrast to Twitter’s third-quarter earnings report, in which the company missed its revenue projections, and the stock fell by more than 20%. At the time, Twitter also lowered its fourth-quarter outlook, and Thursday’s revenue total was at the high end of that revised guidance, but still lower than what analysts had initially projected heading into the quarter.Last quarter, Twitter blamed some of its business challenges on a “bug” that enabled the company to mistakenly target people with ads using personal data uploaded for security purposes. Removing that data from its targeting arsenal hurt the company in the third quarter, and was still a problem for Twitter in the fourth quarter, according to the company’s shareholder letter, which said that revenue growth was down “four or more points” as a result of the bug.Still, Twitter beat estimates and said it plans to post $825 million to $885 million in revenue in the first quarter. Analysts on average are predicting sales of $868.9 million.Things are going well enough that Twitter said it plans to increase spending by 20% in 2020, including a plan to increase headcount by 20% and build a new data center. Dorsey said Twitter plans to grow its workforce globally, and emphasized the need to add employees outside of San Francisco, where the company has its headquarters. It was just three years ago that Twitter was headed in the opposite direction, cutting staff and selling off assets to other tech giants like Google in an effort to reach profitability.The company posted net income of $1.47 billion for 2019, its second straight year of profitability after nearly 12 years of losses. Profit excluding certain items in the fourth quarter was $135 million, or 17 cents a share.Questions remain as Twitter heads into a year featuring the Olympics and a U.S. presidential election. Twitter often cites major worldwide events as an advertising and user-growth opportunity, though the company has also said that it will not sell political ads ahead of the 2020 U.S. election. Dorsey has also announced plans to work for at least three months in Africa this year, a decision that promises to test Twitter’s corporate structure. Dorsey already has two jobs -- he’s also CEO of Square Inc.(Updates shares in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Kurt Wagner, Molly SchuetzFor 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.