UL - The Unilever Group

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
59.15
-0.14 (-0.24%)
At close: 4:02PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close59.29
Open59.05
Bid0.00 x 900
Ask0.00 x 1400
Day's Range58.91 - 59.36
52 Week Range50.80 - 64.84
Volume823,694
Avg. Volume731,762
Market Cap153.033B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.43
PE Ratio (TTM)23.41
EPS (TTM)2.53
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield1.83 (3.09%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-08-08
1y Target Est70.00
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Ben & Jerry's new flavor gives a taste of criminal justice reform
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Ben & Jerry's new flavor gives a taste of criminal justice reform

    Ben & Jerry's launched a new ice cream flavor with a "sweet swirl of justice." Dubbed "Justice Remix'd" it combines chocolate ice cream with cinnamon bun dough and spicy fudge brownies. The flavor was created in partnership with civil rights organization "The Advancement Project National Office." It is meant to bring greater awareness to criminal justice reform. Payne Capital Management's Courtney Dominguez joins Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman, Kristin Myers for a scoop.

  • With refillable deodorant and naked products, Unilever thinks it can halve virgin plastic use by 2025
    MarketWatch

    With refillable deodorant and naked products, Unilever thinks it can halve virgin plastic use by 2025

    Consumer goods giant Unilever has committed to halving the new plastic for its goods by 2025 — a goal that if reached will cut its use to 386,000 tons of new plastic each year from around 772,000 tons in 2018.

  • How a Battery Can Lead a Quiet Revolution
    Bloomberg

    How a Battery Can Lead a Quiet Revolution

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- This week, the Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for their work developing the lithium-ion battery. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in announcing the award, said the three men “created a rechargeable world.” The ubiquitous battery is now found in items as varied as hearing aids and power grids. It is a testament not just to technological revolutions, but also to the power of advancements in performance and decreases in cost. Whittingham began working on the lithium-ion battery in an Exxon Mobil Corp. laboratory in the 1970s, when it was being considered for automotive applications. The lithium-ion battery wasn’t a fit for cars then, but research and development continued and the technology improved, to the point that it became a viable power source in search of an application. But it was Sony Corp., not Exxon Mobil, that would introduce the first lithium-ion battery for consumers. That new device in need of a suitable power source? The handheld 8 mm camcorder. In 1995, camcorders created the biggest source of demand for lithium-ion batteries. By 2000, laptops had become the biggest driver of demand; by 2005, it was feature phones. By 2010, the smartphone was the biggest source of demand for lithium-ion batteries. As this rather dramatic chart shows, passenger electric vehicles have vaulted past consumer electronics to become the single biggest source of demand for lithium-ion batteries, less than 15 years after Martin Eberhard built the first Tesla Roadster battery pack from 6,831 of the lithium-ion cells used in laptop computers.The lithium-ion battery has come a very long way in other ways, too. Battery costs have come down by more than 80% in nine years.And battery manufacturing capacity has increased more than 200-fold in 15 years. There is far more expansion planned. Next year will see more new capacity added than the global manufacturing capacity’s total in 2016. By 2023, total capacity will have more than doubled.The combination of cost, capacity and capability has in itself created a new market for the lithium-ion battery: energy storage within power grids. We need look no further than northern Indiana, where power utility Nipsco plans to replace coal-fired power with wind, solar and solar-plus-storage projects. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences concluded its announcement of this year’s chemistry prize rather poetically: “Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized our lives since they first entered the market in 1991,” the academy said. “They have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society, and are of the greatest benefit to humankind.” Sometimes being good enough is revolutionary, too.Weekend readingSome of 2019’s wackiest investment predictions are coming true. “Firms that align their business models to a net zero world will be rewarded handsomely,” Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said in a speech in Tokyo this week. “Those that fail to adapt will cease to exist.” Carbon Tracker estimates that Japan’s coal-fired power generation fleet could end up as $71 billion of stranded assets. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte has decided against investing in Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering, in part over environmental concerns. Unilever says that it will reduce its use of virgin plastic by 50% by 2025, and reduce its absolute use of plastic packaging by 100,000 metric tons. A new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study finds that obesity-related diseases will claim more than 90 million lives in the next 30 years, lower life expectancy by three years, and reduce gross domestic product by 3.3% in OECD countries. Three out of 10 low-income Americans do not have access to broadband of any kind. In the latest “Stephanomics” podcast, Bloomberg Economics’ Stephanie Flanders explores why birthrates are so low, and what those low birthrates mean for the global economy. Arkansas’s Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corp. is seeking a 4.5% decrease in its electricity rates, thanks to its solar power assets. Northrop Grumman Corp. has launched the Mission Extension Vehicle-1, the first satellite designed to service and extend the life of other satellites. Dyson Group Plc has pulled the plug on its electric vehicle plans, saying “we simply cannot make it commercially viable.” The most detailed map of U.S. automobile emissions. Get Sparklines delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. And subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You’ll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, the Bloomberg Open and the Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Nathaniel Bullard at nbullard@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nathaniel Bullard is a BloombergNEF energy analyst, covering technology and business model innovation and system-wide resource transitions.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Do Hedge Funds Love The Unilever Group (UL)?
    Insider Monkey

    Do Hedge Funds Love The Unilever Group (UL)?

    Hedge funds and other investment firms run by legendary investors like Israel Englander, Jeffrey Talpins and Ray Dalio are entrusted to manage billions of dollars of accredited investors' money because they are without peer in the resources they use to identify the best investments for their chosen investment horizon. Moreover, they are more willing to […]

  • Doritos, Snickers and Pizza Are Under Attack
    Bloomberg

    Doritos, Snickers and Pizza Are Under Attack

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Why should society permit the existence of food companies that contribute to poor health? The standard answer is that people should be allowed to make bad choices about what they eat and drink. But that’s a slippery defense when the consumers are children and the choices they face are loaded against their wellbeing, as Thursday’s British government report on childhood obesity makes clear.The snacks industry — from Mondelez International Inc. to Coca-Cola Co. and from Nestle SA to the Kraft Heinz Company — needs to rethink its purpose, and strategy, if its license to operate is to endure.Former U.K. chief medical officer Professor Sally Davies, the report’s author, cites multiple causes for a saddening rise in obesity among England’s 10-11-year-olds since 1990. The giant food brands are only part of the problem but that hardly absolves them from leading the solution. As Davies says, cheap unhealthy food tends to be the most readily available. Portion inflation is rampant. Advertising or sponsorship is pervasive. Healthy options are often unaffordable for those on low incomes, while the unhealthy options are cheap.Davies’s recommendations include some radical ideas. The U.K. public may be banned from eating and drinking on public transport. Industry faces calorie caps on food portions consumed “out-of-home,” tiered VAT on unhealthy food, plain packaging and the end of tax deductibility of marketing costs for unhealthy products. These may just be proposals. But the direction of travel is clear.This is what happens when an industry fails to self-regulate to mitigate its worst effects. Governments wake up. The food and drink industry is a big employer and a big taxpayer. Even so, the economics favor intervention. The medical costs of obesity, coupled with lost productivity, are 3% of global GDP, according to McKinsey research from 2014. Today’s unhealthy children are tomorrow’s sick workforce.The U.K. Food and Drink Federation, the lobby group, says “punitive action” might hinder continuing the progress the manufacturers have already made in cutting salt, sugar and calories from their products over the last four years. It says the industry must “take the consumer with us.” The question is whether it is taking itself and its customers to an early grave. The industry needs to see this problem as an opportunity not a threat. First, it should be clear about its role in society. Making treats that people want to eat can be a good reason for a corporation to exist, but not when it adds to a public health crisis. This doesn’t mean PepsiCo Inc. ending production of Doritos. But it does mean defining responsibly what the target market — and age group — is for such products. And it requires combining marketing with education.At the same time, food manufacturers should redouble their efforts to innovate healthier, cost-effective alternatives to sugar and salt. This is a chance for the food giants to think about the huge market for healthy snacks. Food technology has a vital role here and it’s best mediated by the private sector. R&D has already helped, as with the development of Nestle’s so-called hollow sugar.This week the OECD proposed reforms to corporate taxation, which would allow governments to tax digital companies that generate revenues in countries where they have no physical presence. The food industry faces a similar revenue challenge. Its products will be subject to extra taxes in certain markets until they start to use their well-funded research labs to help meet national health objectives.It’s not clear that the sector sees obesity as a strategic issue yet. Unilever NV is recycling plastic packaging but still aiming to sell lots more Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The debate among investors about what stocks to divest centers on fossil fuels right now. If food companies don’t act, they’ll join tobacco and oil in the sin bin.\--With assistance from Lara Williams.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at chughes89@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Unilever pledges to cut plastic use in half
    American City Business Journals

    Unilever pledges to cut plastic use in half

    Consumer goods giant Unilever has pledged to cut its use of plastic in half by 2025 by using more refillable containers and leaving some of its products unwrapped. The manufacturer of brands including Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Skippy peanut butter also set a 2025 goal for increasing the recycled plastic content of its packaging to at least 25 percent and collecting and processing more plastic than it uses. “The linear ‘take-make-dispose’ model of consumption means that products get manufactured, bought, used once or twice for the purpose they were made, and then thrown away,” Unilever (NYSE:UL) said.

  • Unilever Announces Ambitious New Commitments for a Waste-Free World
    Business Wire

    Unilever Announces Ambitious New Commitments for a Waste-Free World

    Unilever, owner of brands including Dove, Ben & Jerry’s, and Lipton, has announced ambitious new commitments to reduce its plastic waste and help create a circular economy for plastics. Halve its use of virgin plastic, by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and accelerating its use of recycled plastic. This commitment makes Unilever the first major global consumer goods company to commit to an absolute plastics reduction across its portfolio.

  • Reuters

    Unilever pledges to halve its use of new plastic by 2025

    Consumer goods giant Unilever vowed to halve the amount of new plastic it uses over the next five years, by shifting to more recyclable and alternative materials and refillable options to meet consumer demand for less waste. The company, which sells Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Dove soap and Knorr soup, said it would achieve this target by cutting its use of plastic packaging by over 100,000 tonnes and accelerating its use of recycled plastic. The Anglo-Dutch firm currently uses more than 700,000 tonnes of virgin plastic - created using raw materials instead of recycled materials - each year and expects to halve that usage by 2025.

  • Financial Times

    Unilever vows to reduce use of plastic packaging

    It is also the first time a big consumer goods company has committed to a numerical target to reduce absolute plastic packaging use, although some retailers, such as Sainsbury’s in the UK, have done so.

  • When Deal Genius Fails: Hard Lessons From 3G to SoftBank
    Bloomberg

    When Deal Genius Fails: Hard Lessons From 3G to SoftBank

    (Bloomberg) -- They’re the big dogs of modern mergers and acquisitions—rapacious dealmakers that have devoured mighty corporations, bankrolled young disrupters and upended entire industries. And they’re not looking so tough anymore.Since 2014, when the latest wave of mergers and acquisitions began to build, three names have inspired fear and envy in the M&A world. In doing so, each has been totemic of a particular vogue in the capital markets:3G Capital, the Brazilian investment firm that has picked off some of America’s most famous brands and aggressively squeezed out costs and jobs Valeant Pharmaceuticals, the ill-fated Canadian company that gobbled up drugmakers, drove up prices and fueled outrage over high prescription costs And SoftBank, the big-dreaming—and big-spending—Japanese conglomerate that has backed the likes of Uber and WeWork and remains one of the most powerful forces in Silicon ValleyFrom the start, the three M&A powerhouses adopted wildly different strategies. But for any investor, the similarities deserve attention. Wall Street believed them and their many imitators to be exceptional. Turns out, they weren’t, and aren’t.(4)That’s worth remembering at a moment when the financial world is struggling to come to grips with the yawning gap between what the pros think companies are worth and what those companies actually fetch on public markets. (See WeWork’s botched initial public offering).Not long ago, 3G, co-founded by billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, seemed unstoppable. Lemann became a global name by cobbling together the world’s biggest beermaker, Anheuser-Busch InBev; picking up brands like Burger King and Tim Hortons; and driving the 2015 merger between Kraft and Heinz to create one of world’s largest food companies.3G has since stumbled—hard. Mixing Kraft and Heinz turned out to be a disastrous idea, and not just for those two companies.The investment firm’s usual combine-and-cut formula failed miserably at Kraft Heinz. Since Lemann teamed up with none other than Warren Buffett to do the deal, sales and profits have tanked. 3G’s dream of turning Kraft Heinz into the savior of Big Food ended when Unilever rebuffed its $143 billion takeover offer in 2017. This February, Kraft Heinz took a staggering $15.4 billion writedown. The company’s stock has plunged more than 70% from its peak, helping to drag down rivals like Kellogg, Campbell Soup and General Mills.Former management consultant Michael Pearson had a similarly radical idea at Valeant: that drugmakers like itself had no business actually making drugs.Instead, it would borrow money to acquire rivals, dramatically increase the price of their treatments and fire almost everyone. Rinse, repeat. Valeant’s ambition peaked in 2014 when it teamed up with activist investor Bill Ackman to mount an audacious $54 billion takeover offer for Allergan, the maker of Botox.The bid was spurned, but Ackman and Pearson were undimmed and, as if to prove their theory, took the company on a buying spree that included gastrointestinal drugmaker Salix ($11.1 billion) and Sprout, a developer of female libido stimulants ($1 billion). For a while investors approved, sending Valeant’s market value to $90 billion in August 2015. Then things went spectacularly wrong.Accounting irregularities, mounting debts and political angst over surging drug prices destroyed not only the Valeant dream, but those of the entire specialty pharmaceuticals industry. Among those that followed Valeant to that 2015 peak, Perrigo, Endo International, and Mallinckrodt have since lost, respectively, 74%, 96%, and 98% of their market values. For its part, Valeant is 93% lower, with a new management, board and shareholder base, and has renamed itself Bausch Health.There is no nice way to bring SoftBank into this part of the story.By almost any conceivable measure, it is having a diabolical 2019. The quixotic Masayoshi Son, a startup kingmaker of undoubted brilliance, has staked SoftBank’s billions—and its reputation—on three companies: Uber, the ride-hailing app which has lost about a third of its value, or $19 billion, since its May IPO; Slack, a messaging platform which debuted in June and is down 35% from where it ended its first trading day; and WeWork.(5)The scale of these blowups, so starkly at odds with SoftBank’s recent esteemed status, has dislocated the U.S. IPO markets as investors and would-be public companies look skeptically at one another across a widening gulf of value perception.In hindsight, the impermanence of the three dealmakers’ strategies is easy to skewer. But the success of 3G and Valeant was fueled by some of the most well-known names in finance. SoftBank, meanwhile, tapped entire nations to bankroll its ambitions of creating a future of robot-human harmony.These failures could end up restricting Son’s access to future funding, but it’s unlikely to diminish his vision for what he has said is a 300-year plan to grow the company he started 38 years ago.Nor, probably, will it dampen his enthusiasm for what he has called the gold rush of investing in nascent technology. “It’s just a money thing. It’s not important, it’s just a process. What is more important is humans’ happiness. How do we help ourselves, humans, become happier?” Son said in 2017, calling himself a “super optimist.” “There’s always a solution.”What’s more likely is the end of the burgeoning trend of taking loss-making companies public in the hope the future will come to them. Perhaps, too, some doubt will attach itself to the idea that pumping a young business with money and expecting it to succeed isn’t an idea of wheel-inventing novelty.Either way, there will be something else to worship soon enough. There always is.(1) Another area of commonality is a tolerance for bad corporate governance. In the case of Kraft Heinz and (to be very charitable) Valeant, there was sloppy accounting. For SoftBank, it was willing to put up with the various untraditional practices of Travis Kalanick and Adam Neumann.(2) I can’t add anything revelatory to the mass that has been written about SoftBank and WeWork, the fact that it valued it at $47 billion, whether or not Messrs. Son and Neumann met for 10, 30, or 60 minutes, etc. So I won’t. But it’s hard to feel not a little sad for Adam Neumann. The Disney prince/founder/ex-CEO of WeWork, who just weeks ago was gallantly riding toward his public market destiny, has been banished from the kingdom, leaving a regency of lesser mortals to seize the reins.To contact the author of this story: Ed Hammond in New York at ehammond12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Hauck at dhauck1@bloomberg.net, David GillenBen ScentFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Here is Hedge Funds’ 20th Most Popular Investment Idea
    Insider Monkey

    Here is Hedge Funds’ 20th Most Popular Investment Idea

    With the first-quarter round of 13F filings behind us it is time to take a look at the stocks in which some of the best money managers in the world preferred to invest or sell heading into the second quarter. One of these stocks was Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C). Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) was in 83 hedge […]

  • Tesco Boss Leaves Before His Sell-By Date
    Bloomberg

    Tesco Boss Leaves Before His Sell-By Date

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- In the five years since Tesco Plc was plunged into the biggest crisis in its history, Dave Lewis, its chief executive officer, has executed an (almost) textbook turnaround of Britain’s biggest retailer.He’s now decided that his job is done and he will hand over the reins next year to Ken Murphy of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.“Drastic Dave” — a moniker Lewis picked up because of his cost-cutting zeal in a former job at Unilever Plc — took Tesco out of intensive care. He revived sales growth, restored profit, cut debt and reinstated the dividend. The shares are 18% higher than they were back in 2014, when Tesco announced a bombshell 250 million-pound ($307 million) profit black hole. That stock price increase is twice that of the FTSE 100 index.There’s still a vague sense of disappointment, though. One might have expected some Lewis initiatives, such as taking prices closer to those of the German-owned discount grocers Aldi and Lidl, to bear more fruit. While Tesco is managing to grind out incremental growth in an ever-more-competitive market, it’s hard to get too excited by that.Lewis did deliver on his key turnaround target: lifting the company’s operating margin to between 3.5% and 4% six months earlier than expected. So he’s making the wise move for a CEO of going out on a high note.But it’s curious that he didn’t appear to be in the running for two other high-profile CEO posts that have been filled recently, at the consumer goods giants Unilever Plc and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc. Lewis doesn’t have another job to go to and plans to take some time off before thinking about his next move.The choice of replacement is certainly a surprise. Lewis’s natural successor was Charles Wilson, the popular ex-boss of Booker, which Tesco bought in 2018. However, he stepped back from running Tesco’s British arm last year due to illness. Murphy was joint chief operating officer at Walgreens’ British pharmacy chain Boots before being promoted at the American parent. So he does have experience in the fiercely competitive U.K. retail market.Still, he has no direct experience of the cutthroat grocery sector, which has been transformed by the price-slashing antics of Aldi and Lidl. This is Tesco’s greatest challenge. At least Murphy will benefit from the advice of Wilson, who still has a senior role at Tesco.While the supermarket giant has prospered from the weakness of its great rival J Sainsbury Plc, the latter appears to have gotten its act together lately. And while the British shopper has remained pretty immune to Brexit so far, a no-deal departure from the European Union might change that.It won’t be easy to balance these challenges against an investor base that’s expecting a special dividend or buybacks from next year. Already Tesco’s U.K. sales growth has slowed. That may reflect a broader deceleration across the grocery market, after a strong 2018, but a slowdown is a slowdown. Shareholders are naturally cautious about the management change, although the stock did rise 2% in a falling London market on Wednesday.At least Lewis didn’t hang around beyond his sell-by date, unlike so many other CEOs.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis 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/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Why Dividend Hunters Love The Unilever Group (AMS:UNA)
    Simply Wall St.

    Why Dividend Hunters Love The Unilever Group (AMS:UNA)

    Could The Unilever Group (AMS:UNA) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn...

  • Top Tech Investor Bets India Corner Shops Can Fight Amazon
    Bloomberg

    Top Tech Investor Bets India Corner Shops Can Fight Amazon

    (Bloomberg) -- One of the most successful Silicon Valley-Asia venture capital firms is counting on the humble mom-and-pop store that dominates India’s retail landscape to hold its own against Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.Menlo Park, California-based GGV Capital, a $6.2 billion investor in some of the biggest unicorns in the U.S. and China including Airbnb, Xiaomi Corp., and Slack Technologies Inc., is backing startups that serve the tiny, family-run businesses known as kiranas.“It’s all about powering the little guys,” said Hans Tung, managing partner, in a recent joint interview with fellow investor Jixun Foo in Bangalore, where the duo was meeting a dozen entrepreneurs. “We’re backing startups that provide technology and working capital to make kiranas more efficient, so that these mom-and-pops can become e-commerce and lending enablers in their communities,” Tung added.From the poshest neighborhoods to teeming slums, typical Indian kiranas are cramped spaces that can just about fit a king-size bed but are chock-full of sacks of rice, lentils and dried chili peppers. Their floor-to-ceiling shelves are stacked with toothpaste and cooking oil, and their shopfronts festooned with colorful bags of potato chips, tiny sachets of shampoo and pickles. With their personalized service, the stores usually offer door-step delivery and interest-free credit.GGV, which has focused almost exclusively on China and the U.S. for two decades, is bullish about India. “We are seeing the same movie played out a little differently in emerging economies,” said Tung. “India can be very big over the next 10 years.” As much as 20% of the $1.9 billion fund raised by the VC firm last year will be allocated to India as well as Southeast Asia.India has the market size and talent pool to make things happen and now investors are lining up with capital, said Foo. GGV Capital will write $5-10 million in checks in the case of very early-stage entrepreneurs and $50 million checks for later-stage startups, he said.The firm has built an investment strategy around kiranas based on the premise it’s better to play with a model that already exists rather than building new supply chains that could take as long as a decade to materialize. GGV’s first such investment amounting “to tens of millions of dollars” is in Udaan, a Bangalore-based B2B marketplace for small businesses, the partners said. More recently, GGV has put money in Khatabook, a mobile app that’s a digital version of the bahi khata, or the hand-written ledger that owners of tiny businesses traditionally use to keep track of daily accounts. It’s an earlier-stage bet so the investment is “lower”, Tung said.Large global investors like Tiger Global Management, Lightspeed Venture Partners and even consumer giant Unilever’s investing arm are backing technology startups that serve kiranas but GGV Capital is the first to crystallize a proposition that goes beyond India to include the neighborhood-store equivalents of kiranas in Indonesia, Vietnam and Latin America.“Across these countries, the value of the average online order is still low and the cost of last mile logistics is very high,” said Foo. “Entrepreneurs are finding a different way by empowering the mom and pops and that can get e-commerce going.”In India, even the biggest conglomerates including Tata and Reliance have been unable to diminish kiranas’ dominance while newer online retail entrants Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart are trying to embrace them, using the shops to facilitate deliveries or offer assistance to customers going online for the first time. Reliance has already said it will equip kiranas with technology as part of its online-offline e-commerce model.GGV also sees the neighborhood stores as more than a place to shop. “If you power them up and earn their trust, they can be the place to serve the community far beyond just groceries and daily necessities,” said Tung.To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at srai33@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Alibaba’s Luxury Venture With Richemont Goes Online in China
    Bloomberg

    Alibaba’s Luxury Venture With Richemont Goes Online in China

    (Bloomberg) -- Richemont and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s luxury joint venture has gone live in China, presenting 130 brands in one location on the Tmall e-commerce site.Tom Ford, Brunello Cucinelli and Jimmy Choo join Richemont brands Cartier, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin on the site. Investors have awaited details on the partnership since the companies announced it about a year ago.The venture, called Feng Mao, will start a launch campaign for the platform in the second week of October, after China’s Golden Week holidays, the companies said Monday. That gives time to promote the business ahead of China’s Nov. 11 Singles’ Day holiday, when unmarried couples shower each other with gifts.Richemont is leading luxury-goods makers in e-commerce expansion after acquiring high-end internet retailers YNAP and Watchfinder. It’s a way for the Swiss company to capture Chinese consumers -- who Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang has said may make up almost half of the global luxury market by 2025 -- without the expense of opening physical stores.Last year, Singles’ Day brought in $31 billion in revenue to Alibaba, making it one of the biggest events in e-commerce ever.Feng Mao is 51% owned by Richemont, while Alibaba holds 49%, and will operate the site under the Swiss company’s Net-a-Porter brand. The venture hired Yating Wu, a former Unilever manager, as its chief executive officer in recent months.(Updates with details on timing in third paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Mulier in Geneva at tmulier@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at epfanner1@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Amazon accounts for tiny fraction of overall sales - Unilever CFO

    Unilever gets a tiny fraction of its sale from Amazon.com as most of its products sold on the website are priced below $10, the company's chief financial officer said at a conference. "People are surprised that our Amazon business is only a couple of hundred million," CFO Graeme Pitkethly said at the Bernstein conference in London, adding that the company generated less than 200 million pounds ($246.32 million) in sales from the online behemoth last year. "No one makes money on Amazon if you sell below $10 ... and a lot of our business is in products below $10," he said.

  • African Free Trade Stumbles With Nigerian Blockade of Benin
    Bloomberg

    African Free Trade Stumbles With Nigerian Blockade of Benin

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Nigeria and Benin are embroiled in a trade dispute two months after signing an agreement to free up the movement of goods and services in Africa.Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the partial closing of its boundary with Benin last month to curb smuggling of rice and other commodities. The blockade has had a ripple effect across West Africa, with factories and traders struggling to import key raw materials and having to use alternative routes for their exports, according to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce.The border restrictions come after Nigeria and Benin in July agreed to join the African Continental Free Trade Area, which targets greater economic integration through the removal of trade barriers and tariffs on 90% of commodities. The duty-free movement of goods is expected to boost trade in the market of 1.2 billion people, similar in size to India, and a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion.“Over 80% of West African cross-border trade is by road,” said Muda Yusuf, the head of the Lagos business chamber in the Nigerian commercial hub. “The cost is quite enormous and the closure is not sustainable.”Benin is a key transit route for traders and operates a system that allows landlocked neighboring countries to use its harbors for imports.The impact of the dispute is being felt as far afield as Ghana, which is separated from Nigeria by Benin and Togo. Manufacturers have complained about the impact on costs, John Defor, research director at the Association of Ghana Industries, said by phone. In Nigeria, units of multinational companies including Unilever NV are in talks with the government to find a solution.The restrictions are the latest taken by Nigeria to protect its foreign-currency reserves by curbing imports. The central bank has restricted access to dollars for the import of more than 40 items from cement to soap, while the government wants Africa’s most populous nation to become self-sufficient in the production of staples such as rice.Protectionist PoliciesTraders and smugglers in Benin have taken advantage of Nigeria’s protectionist policies to import and re-export goods to their bigger neighbor, said Ahmadou Aly Mbaye, an economics professor at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal’s capital, Dakar.Rice is a good example. Benin, with a population of 11 million that is barely 5% of Nigeria’s, is the biggest buyer of the grain from Thailand, the world’s second-largest exporter. Official shipments from Thailand to Nigeria have dwindled to almost nothing from more than 1.2 million tons in 2014, while those to Benin have increased by more than half.“Benin is basically importing for Nigeria,” Mbaye, who is a senior fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Brookings Institution, said by phone. “Protectionism is difficult to implement in a globalized world, because people find ways around it.”Buhari defended the blockade at a meeting in Japan with Beninese President Patrice Talon at the end of last month. He said Benin and its northern neighbor, Niger, should take “strict and comprehensive measures” to curtail smuggling across their borders.While Nigeria is committed to the African free-trade deal, the agreement “must not only promote free trade, but legal trade of quality made-in-Africa goods,” Buhari said in a Sept. 20 speech, which a spokesman shared in response to questions.A spokesman for Talon declined to comment.Countries which have ratified the African free-trade agreement are expected to start trading with slashed tariffs from July 2020.(Adds date for implementation of free-trade agreement in final paragraph)\--With assistance from Demetrios Pogkas.To contact the reporters on this story: Yinka Ibukun in Accra at yibukun@bloomberg.net;Ruth Olurounbi in Abuja at rolurounbi4@bloomberg.net;Virgile Ahissou in Accra at vahissou@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andre Janse van Vuuren at ajansevanvuu@bloomberg.net, Paul RichardsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 6 Guru Stocks Beating the Market
    GuruFocus.com

    6 Guru Stocks Beating the Market

    Novartis, Toyota top the list Continue reading...

  • Long-Term Investors Should Consider Buying SHOP Stock Near $250
    InvestorPlace

    Long-Term Investors Should Consider Buying SHOP Stock Near $250

    September has been a tough month for Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) stock, one of Canada's most coveted tech names. On Aug. 27, SHOP stock reached an all-time high of $409.61. Despite the recent drop in price, year-to-date, Shopify stock is still up an eye-popping 135%.Source: justplay1412 / Shutterstock.com Although SHOP stock's revenue growth continues to impress Wall Street, there might be further volatility and profit-taking in the shares. However, long-term investors are likely to find value in the stock as the price declines more. * 7 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500 in 2019 Let's look at what may be next for Shopify stock in the final quarter of the year.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips How SHOP Stock Makes MoneyIn a nutshell, Shopify sells out-of-the-box e-commerce solutions. The company's growth comes from two main segments: Merchant Solutions and Subscription Solutions. Many on Wall Street credit the company's success with a wide range of tools that enable store owners to easily manage their businesses.On Aug. 1, SHOP stock reported strong Q2 results that beat analysts' average estimates, thanks to strong demand for its subscription solutions. On an adjusted basis, the group earned 14 cents per share.Shopify stock's revenue of $362 million surpassed the $350 million expected by analysts. It was a 48% increase from the comparable quarter in 2018.Merchant Solutions revenue grew 56%, to $208.9 million. Merchant Solutions includes tools that enable sellers to serve their customers better and sell more products. Within Merchant Solutions, SHOP offers payment services, shipping services, and a working capital management tool.Subscription Solutions revenue grew 38% to $153 million. Subscription Solutions offer merchants of all sizes monthly recurring subscription plans that cost from under $10 to over $2,000 per month.Shopify Plus, the premium version of Shopify, has over 5,300 customers, including names like Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Unilever (NYSE:UL), and the Obama Foundation.A quarter of the company's monthly recurring revenues comes from Shopify Plus merchants. SHOP recently launched a multi-currency feature for Shopify Plus merchants who also use Shopify Payments.CEO Tobi Lutke recently stressed that SHOP would continue to innovate and launch new products and services for both merchants and their customers. Wall Street also expects the company to continue to grow via acquisitions.As of June 30, 2019, Shopify had an impressive $2.01 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. A year ago, that number stood at $1.97 billion. Shopify Stock Is Growing InternationallyManagement has also been looking at expanding overseas, especially in non-English-speaking countries, as the company's next key growth area. In Q2, the company's overseas customer base grew, enabling its international revenue growth to accelerate.The leading multi-channel commerce platform has recently announced that Shopify would be extending its cannabis e-commerce platform features to allow U.S. merchants to sell hemp and and hemp-derived cannabidiol where allowed by law. Several of Canada's provinces have already used Shopify to start online cannabis stores.Earlier in the year, Shopify launched its payment gateway, Shopify Payments, in Germany, making bank account transfers possible there. In its efforts to expand beyond core English-speaking countries, the company has recently made the Shopify website available in eighteen other languages, including Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish.In other words, Shopify is an attractive company with excellent growth prospects in cloud-based e-commerce, both in North America and globally. However, investors also need to be aware of some question marks facing SHOP stock. SHOP Stock Has High ValuationCould valuation worries be behind the recent decline in price in Shopify shares?SHOP stock bears point out the stock's high valuation. Different analysts have been warning how the increase in SHOP stock price cannot be justified by various metrics.Furthermore, in case of an upcoming slowdown in the U.S. or global economy, then the momentum of high-flying names like SHOP stock will slow down, too.On Aug. 23, CNBC's Jim Cramer sold SHOP stock, which he was holding in his charitable trust. He is possibly one of the most public commentators to raise the alarm bell on the company.One of the metrics I pay attention to is SHOP stocks's price-to-sales (P/S) ratio. Despite the recent price decline, it is still high enough to make value investors run for cover. Shopify stock's P/S ratio stands at about 27x. To put the metric into perspective, the S&P 500's average price-sales ratio is 2.1x.Another way to look at this number is to compare the company's current P/S ratio with its P/S ratios over time. Since going public, SHOP stock's lowest and highest P/S level has respectively been 6.86x and 32.78x. That essentially means that the owners of SHOP stock are paying a lot more for Shopify stock now than they were when the P/S ratio was 6.8x.Another way to analyze the P/S ratio is to compare it with the ratios of companies in similar sectors. Alibaba's (NASDAQ:BABA) P/S ratio stands at 8.5x. MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) stock's P/S is 14x, and the P/S ratio of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is 3.6x.Although the P/S ratio of SHOP stock is very high, investors should also remember that it is only one of many valuation metrics. Moreover, it does not take into account the profitability or costs of Shopify. What Else Could Derail Shopify Stock?SHOP bulls are happy to point out that the company's revenue growth is showing no sign of slowing down. On the other hand, Shopify has not yet reported any profits. In Q2, Shopify stock's operating loss was $39.6 million, or 11% of revenue.If SHOP cannot keep meeting the Street's aggressive growth forecasts, then owners of SHOP stock may become more concerned about its lack of profit, and Shopify stock could drop.During Q1, SHOP launched its TV and film content division, Shopify Studios, Wall Street is debating why Shopify has decided to create such content. In June, SHOP announced that it would be launching a fulfillment network and offer two-day shipping across 99% of the continental U.S. Analysts believe this ambitious strategy is likely to be quite costly for Shopify. The company expects to invest about $1 billion in the network over the next five years.Instead of focusing on profits, management wants to expand the company by launching new businesses. Therefore, those who plan to own SHOP stock over the long-term need to pay attention to the cash flows from its new ventures.Many investors have also been quite concerned about the various reports by short seller Citron Research, which regards Shopify's business model as a "get-rich-quick-scheme." Moreover, several analysts have recently downgraded SHOP stock in response to its stellar bull run.Shopify stock's price decline in September accelerated when management announced the group would raise about $603 million in a secondary offering, selling 1.9 million Class A shares. Investors are clearly not impressed with this dilution.Finally, those investors who follow short-term technical charts will be interested to know that Shopify stock has spent a good portion of 2019 in overbought territory. It is possible that some further profit-taking will negatively impact SHOP stock in the near future, possibly prior to its next earnings report, expected in late October. Bottom Line on Shopify StockIn a few weeks, SHOP stock is likely to release another strong quarterly report. However, SHOP stock is simply too expensive for me to hit the "buy" button on it at these levels.SHOP is a growth stock and a speculative stock. Therefore, in the coming weeks, I expect SHOP to be a battleground between investors and traders. While long-term investors would like to see Shopify stock go back over the $350 level, traders are likely to keep it between $300 and $250.Markets offer investors plenty of choices to invest their hard-earned cash, and SHOP stock's fundamentals might not offer the best prospects right now. Therefore, I'd consider buying SHOP stock as the price declines toward $250, or even $200, and not before.Those who have benefited from SHOP's 2019 gains may consider taking profits as we look ahead to the next earnings report. Alternatively, they may consider hedging their positions with covered call or put spreads.When Shopify stock reports Q3 earnings in a few weeks, investors may want to do due diligence to assess whether the number of stores and merchants will continue to grow, whether SHOP stock's subscription revenue will continue to grow, and whether Shopify will continue to offer merchants a technological lead in the e-commerce platform.Well-performing stocks tend to keep on winning, and the recent strength of Shopify stock might be a good indication that within three or four years, investors who buy SHOP on weakness are likely to be rewarded handsomely. Shopify could also be acquired by a giant retailer such as Walmart (NYSE:WMT).As of this writing, Tezcan Gecgil did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500 in 2019 * 7 Reasons to Own Intuit Stock -- The Unsung Hero of Fintech * Apple and 4 Other Tech Stocks on the Move The post Long-Term Investors Should Consider Buying SHOP Stock Near $250 appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • UPDATE 2-European shares log fifth week of gains, Novo Nordisk shines
    Reuters

    UPDATE 2-European shares log fifth week of gains, Novo Nordisk shines

    European stocks clocked their fifth straight week of gains on Friday with investors buying into the oil and gas and banking sectors, and Novo Nordisk rising after U.S. approval of its oral diabetes drug. Investors also sought refuge in the so-called defensive sectors such as utilities, real-estate and food and beverages ahead of a week packed with economic data. The United Nations (UN) general assembly will also provide clues on the fallout from attacks on Saudi oil facilities last weekend and indications of a potential meeting between the presidents of Iran and the United States.

  • One Way to Slow Climate Change: Pay CEOs to Protect the Planet
    Bloomberg

    One Way to Slow Climate Change: Pay CEOs to Protect the Planet

    (Bloomberg) -- The executives tasked with introducing Seventh Generation’s line of eco-friendly laundry detergents, dish soaps and cleaners to Southeast Asia faced a dilemma earlier this year. If the Unilever NV unit proceeded with the planned product launch before enough recycled plastic could be found for packaging, it could undercut sustainability goals tied to 20% of employee bonuses. Picking a non-recycled material could cost them all a chunk of money.   “If you don’t have access to recycled resins, then we just won’t launch,” Seventh Generation Chief Executive Officer Joey Bergstein said the company decided at the time. His team eventually found suitable material from the region’s fledgling recycling infrastructure, and Seventh Generation hit store shelves there without lowering standards—or bonuses. The search paid off for Unilever, too, with the same supplies of recycled resins going into the packaging of the European consumer giant’s other brands in Southeast Asia.Most large companies now set sustainability goals, but few impose consequences on employees who fail to meet them. Around 500 corporations worldwide tie executive pay to environmental, social or governance goals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Not all of these are related to climate impact—diversity and safety are more prevalent than environment targets among this group.That’s beginning to change. “It’s is coming up more and more, but five years ago this wasn’t part of the conversation,” said Seymour Burchman, a managing director at Semler Brossy, a consultant that advises on compensation plans. With companies creating better data around environmental impact and risks, he said, the case for linking compensation gets stronger. “The board can’t ignore it.”The employers that most often link compensation to environmental impact aren’t crunchy consumer brands like Seventh Generation but gritty miners. Extractive industries need to measure environmental impact to get licenses required to operate in local communities, and Burchman said that incentive pay has been an effective way for miners to improve these results.Cameco Corp. links 40% of annual bonuses to safety, environment and community measures. Vale SA started linking emission reductions to annual bonuses in 2018. Rio Tinto Plc said in April it was considering how to link greenhouse gas cuts to short-term incentive plans. BHP Group—the world's largest miner—said Tuesday it will increase the amount of short-term incentives CEO Andrew Mackenzie has tied to carbon emissions reductions and climate metrics in 2020 from 4% currently. As more companies reckon with their carbon footprints and face pressure to embrace renewable energy, links between climate-related targets and compensation are spreading. General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra had seven sustainability objectives last year, including reaching 200,000 electric vehicle sales in the U.S. GM’s proxy statement denoted each one with a little green leaf, alongside other traditional financial goals for CEO pay like revenue, dividends and share repurchases. There are other executives at the Detroit automaker with sustainability goals included in their compensation, although a GM spokeswoman didn’t say how far these targets extend down the line.Climate goals for executive pay are more common in Europe, where companies like Novozymes A/S, the Copenhagen-based maker of industrial enzymes, gives each employee his or her own incentives for meeting financial, social and environmental targets. Food and beverage maker Danone SA bases about 10% of CEO Emmanuel Faber’s pay on meeting climate commitments and creating a sustainable supply chain.Sustainability is increasingly creeping into traditional financial incentives for companies — and even their suppliers.  Walmart, for example, has pledged to cut a gigaton of greenhouse gases out of its business by 2030, extending all the way into its supply chain. Earlier this year, in an effort to spur suppliers to do better, Walmart offered better financial terms to anyone who delivered on green goals. Walmart specifically links diversity and culture to 15% of executive incentive pay and 10% of pay for associates, but doesn’t break out environmental goals in its proxy.  In the credit markets, nearly $70 billion of green- and sustainability-linked loans were issued this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The loans let companies lower the cost of their debt if they meet specific sustainability targets. At Seventh Generation, the entire workforce sees pay change along with company-wide sustainability metrics. That puts the unit on the far end of adoption, which makes sense for an environmentally-minded consumer brand. “When you bake it into the incentive system people really feel compelled to go after it,” said Bergstein, the chief executive.Meeting goals on packaging and greenhouse-gas reduction prompted the launch of an ultra concentrated laundry detergent in 2018. The detergent weighs less, which the company claims will cut emissions from shipping by about 70%.Scientists working for Seventh Generation, however, have concluded that 92% of the company’s greenhouse-gas footprint stems from people washing and drying clothes at home—something very difficult for executives to change. Working with manufacturers to design washing machines that are more efficient didn’t seem like it would address that problem fast enough. So the company took an unorthodox approach.Seventh Generation set a target that 100 U.S. cities would need to pledge to shift to clean energy by 2030. If they didn’t, employees would lose out on incentive pay. Bergstein will admit that it sounds crazy: “What kind of control do we have over 100 cities across America to make that kind of commitment?” he said. “But we looked at each other and said if we’re really serious about cleaning up the energy grid, then we’ve got to do something like this.”Seventh Generation spent $1 million on lobbying efforts and worked with the Sierra Club and other groups to sway local officials. It worked — and its 160 employees got to keep their bonuses. “It would have been a lot easier to take that $1 million and spend it elsewhere,” Bergstein said. “But it really keeps your feet to the fire.”This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to highlight climate change.To contact the author of this story: Emily Chasan in New York at echasan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Aaron Rutkoff at arutkoff@bloomberg.net, Tim QuinsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • We Need to Get Serious About the Sustainability of Shopify Stock’s Growth
    InvestorPlace

    We Need to Get Serious About the Sustainability of Shopify Stock’s Growth

    If there was any doubt to the power of Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) and its e-commerce business, SHOP stock removed it all. At a time when we have so many questions about the viability of the domestic and global economies, SHOP represents the bright beacon of hope. Since the start of the year, shares have jumped an astonishing 146%.Source: Beyond The Scene / Shutterstock.com Even more remarkable, Shopify stock had slowed down noticeably last year. Once the dust settled on a volatile end to 2018, shares of the upstart e-commerce firm were only up 36%. That gave ammunition to the bears -- including yours truly -- to criticize the company's business model. At the time, it also seemed like the bubble was bursting, given that SHOP stock skyrocketed 133% in 2017.Of course, I was dead wrong about Shopify stock. Part of the reason why shares have done so remarkably well in 2019 was due to the fundamentals, the very thing that bears have criticized. For example, in the company's most recent second-quarter earnings report, management knocked it out of the park.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn terms of per-share profitability, SHOP delivered earnings of 14 cents per share. That figure easily surpassed analysts' consensus call for earnings-per-share of 2 cents. On the revenue front, Shopify rang up $362 million, besting consensus estimates for $350 million. Not surprisingly, SHOP stock flew substantially higher on the news.Additionally, the granularity was also very positive in Q2. For instance, gross merchandise volume (GMV) hit $13.8 billion, shooting Merchant Solutions revenue up 56% year-over-year to $153 million. Also, the number of merchants is over 800,000 (although Shopify didn't specify in their Q2 summary). * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy All in all, that's tremendous news for Shopify stock, right? Not so fast. SHOP Stock Is a Deceptively Attractive InvestmentOn the surface, it seems you can't lose with Shopify stock. For one thing, it's levered to the broader e-commerce revolution that drove up names like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). More importantly, they're demonstrating that more merchants are boarding the Shopify train.For the bulls, the below chart represents one of many reasons why they're excited about SHOP stock. Whether you're talking about the price of shares or corporate revenue or GMV and merchant count, several metrics are exercising the positive end of the vertical scale. Click to EnlargeBut while it's crucial to have the right numbers moving higher, the reality is that context matters. And this is where some of the optimistic narrative for SHOP stock dies down for me.While Wall Street toasted Shopify stock for the underlying company producing another strong earnings report, I was left wondering what they were talking about. Principally, I don't see the same sustainable growth story that has tickled the suits covering the e-commerce firm.Let's break down what we actually have here. Over the trailing year since Q2 2019, Shopify merchants have generated GMV of $49.7 billion. Although I don't have the actual merchant figure, I'm going to conservatively estimate that they have 870,000 stores. That gives me an average annual GMV per merchant of $57,126.That's probably a bit on the high end. For instance, in 2014, annual GMV per merchant was $26,061. A year later, this metric increased to $31,399. Between 2016 and 2017, GMV per merchant averaged just under $42,000. Last year, the stat registered $50,122. Click to EnlargeMy question is, what business can survive on gross sales of $50,000 a year? In the U.S., the median household income is $56,516.You're better off working for a living, which means the rally in SHOP stock is probably not sustainable. Follow the LogicOf course, calculating averages is merely an arithmetic exercise. In reality, we know that merchants can't live off of $50,000 a year. Just off the top of my head, I can think of overhead expenses and inventory outlays. These and other costs and expenses can really start eating into profits in a hurry. * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now Logically, then, we know that Shopify gets the bulk of its GMVs from its top-tier, high-level merchants. We're talking about the names that management always brags about in their quarterly summaries, such as Unilever (NYSE:UL), Kylie Cosmetics, Allbirds, and MVMT.What about the other 869,996 merchants? Well, most of them will fail because they have to. Mathematically, if the lion's share of GMVs are produced by a handful of elite organizations, that leaves very little for everybody else. And that means, revenue sources like Merchant Solutions are threatened because they could drop off as the merchants do.Plus, if we have a recession, it's game over. There's no way that merchants making far less than $50,000 a year can compete with the scale of big-box retailers like Walmart (NYSE:WMT) or Target (NYSE:TGT).Don't get me wrong: SHOP stock can get interesting at a lower valuation. But right now, it has simply gotten well ahead of itself.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Big IPO Stocks From 2019 to Watch * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession * 7 Stocks to Buy Benefiting From Millennial Money The post We Need to Get Serious About the Sustainability of Shopify Stock's Growth appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Naspers Unit Soars in Debut to Close Discount With Tencent
    Bloomberg

    Naspers Unit Soars in Debut to Close Discount With Tencent

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Naspers Ltd.’s newly listed internet unit received an enthusiastic early response from investors, soaring on its trading debut to close a valuation discount to its biggest investment, Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.Prosus NV, as the new Amsterdam-listed company is known, jumped as much as 32% in early trading to value the business at about 125 billion euros ($138 billion). The group’s 31% stake in WeChat creator Tencent is worth about $131 billion, the result of a timely investment made almost two decades ago.The investor reaction is an early vindication of the strategy masterminded by Naspers Chief Executive Officer Bob van Dijk, who took the helm of the Cape Town-based company five years ago. His plan to carve out Prosus into a new listing in Amsterdam was designed to attract a more global investor base and realize more value, while weakening the group’s dominance over the Johannesburg stock exchange.The move to Euronext is “to facilitate our next phase of growth,” Van Dijk said in an interview with Bloomberg TV just after the market opened. Prosus’s classified-ads business is the largest in the world, while the group also sees fast expansion in internet payments, food delivery and online trading in second-hand goods, he said.While the discount to Tencent was all but wiped out, the firm is still trading below the sum of its parts when you add other assets, including shareholdings in Russia’s Mail.Ru Group Ltd. and Delivery Hero SE of Germany. Van Dijk’s next challenge will be to generate higher returns from those investments and prove that Prosus isn’t merely a proxy for holding Tencent stock.“Our next step will be to bed down and invest in our core business units,” Chief Financial Officer Basil Sgourdos said by phone.Shares in Prosus -- a Latin word meaning ‘forwards’ -- declined slightly after the early surge. The value as of 11:28 a.m. in Amsterdam was 121 billion euros, making it the third-largest publicly traded company in the Netherlands, behind Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Unilever NV. Its market value rivals that of Europe’s biggest tech company, Germany’s SAP SE.Naspers is retaining a 73% stake in Prosus, and will keep hold of South African businesses including the newspapers that form the basis of the company’s origins a century ago. Its stock rose in Johannesburg, trading 5.4% higher as of 11:28 a.m. local time.“Naspers has been looking to unlock value in the steep discount applied to its Tencent holding and the successful listing of Prosus today has certainly gone some way to achieving that target,” said Neil Campling, an analyst at Mirabaud Securities. “Prosus is not only the Tencent holding though.”(Updates with CFO comment in sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Swetha Gopinath, Anna Edwards, Matthew Miller and Kit Rees.To contact the reporters on this story: Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at lprinsloo3@bloomberg.net;John Bowker in Johannesburg at jbowker2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at tpfeiffer3@bloomberg.net, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Moody's

    WEI Sales LLC -- Moody's affirms WEI Sales LLC's CFR following announcement to acquire Halo Top; outlook negative

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") today affirmed WEI Sales LLC's ("WEI") Corporate Family Rating (CFR) at Ba3 and its Probability of Default Rating at Ba3-PD. At the same time Moody's affirmed the company's first lien term loan due 2025 at B1.

  • Unilever Group (AMS:UNA) Has A Pretty Healthy Balance Sheet
    Simply Wall St.

    Unilever Group (AMS:UNA) Has A Pretty Healthy Balance Sheet

    Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility...