|Bid||59.45 x 900|
|Ask||59.46 x 1200|
|Day's Range||59.23 - 59.93|
|52 Week Range||52.08 - 63.62|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.35|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||23.49|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.83 (3.04%)|
|1y Target Est||70.00|
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.
(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 email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Aaron Rutkoff at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tim QuinsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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.
(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 email@example.com;John Bowker in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at email@example.com, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Armed with gloves, rubber boots and a rake, "Mangrove Warrior" Willer Gualva, 68, comes to Freedom Island in the Philippines almost every day to stop it being engulfed by trash. No one lives on the island, yet each morning its shores are covered in garbage, much of it single-use sachets of shampoo, toothpaste, detergent and coffee that are carried out to sea by the rivers of overcrowded Manila. "We collect mostly plastics here and the number one type are sachets," said Gualva, one of 17 people employed by the environment agency to help preserve the island and its forest.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Wall Street was a very conservative place politically when I started working in the capital markets in 1999, but it seems to have lurched to the left lately. It’s not only that many of the people who work there have become more liberal, but more importantly, left-leaning behavior by publicly traded companies is being rewarded by the stock market.The decision by the Business Roundtable, which is an organization led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, to explicitly state that the purpose of a publicly traded company is social responsibility and not creating value for shareholders is just the latest example of this lurch to the left. For decades, most public companies have chosen to remain politically neutral. That remained the case even after the Citizens United Supreme Court decision on campaign finance in 2010 that held that the free speech clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for political communications by corporations. Most expected the Citizens United decision to result in conservative political speech, but it has been quite the opposite. Ben and Jerry’s, a unit of Unilever Plc, recently launched a flavor of ice cream designed specifically to support Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.Nike Inc.’s shares are up about 36% since the start of 2018, compared with 9.20% for the S&P 500 Index, despite backlash from some conservative outlets for signing controversial former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a marketing deal and then bowing to pressure from the left and pulling its special edition sneakers featuring the “Betsy Ross Flag” that some feel was a symbol of racism. I was recently in a Nike outlet store here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and it was packed with a checkout line 30 people deep in the middle of summer.The technology sector leans to the left, led by Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., whose Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post. Many consumers may complain about the liberal orientation of these companies, but there is not a lot they can do to avoid them. Sure, share prices of tech firms have stalled lately, but that’s more likely due to the threat of antitrust action than a reflection of their political orientation.The list of companies who have engaged in left-leaning speech, marketing or protest is getting long. The list of actions include pulling advertising from various Fox News programs, supporting the Women’s March, pulling products related to President Donald Trump from stores and banks dropping business with the certain gun makers. There have been few consequences, and no serious boycotts of these companies by conservatives, or at least none have been effective. Conservative media outlets had some fun with Procter & Gamble Co.’s $8 billion charge for Gillette, attributing it to backlash from an ad campaign asking men to “do better.” But the razor business has been bad for a while, with competitive threats coming from all sides. And more men are growing beards these days, so one is probably not related to the other.Corporate America may have declared a political orientation for strategic reasons. Companies today have more data and information than ever on their customers. What works for Nike may not work for Bass Pro Shops.Then there’s the waterfall of money that is earmarked for environment, social and governance, or ESG, investing strategies. It is the only form of active management that seems to be gathering assets even with a mixed track record when it comes to returns. The idea here is that companies engaging in socially responsible behavior should be rewarded by the stock market, but that isn’t always true. Indexing is widely considered to be a left-wing philosophy, the idea that you would invest in all companies equally, instead of trying to pick the best stocks. It has even famously been called worse than Marxism by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. As everyone knows, index fund assets have been growing at an astronomical pace. By some estimates, passive strategies now make up 40% to 50% of all assets under management, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Even actively managed funds with great performance are losing assets.We’ve come a long way from suspender-snapping, bull and bear cufflinks and “lunch is for wimps.” Back then, the idea that you would invest your money and not seek the highest return would have seemed odd.I assume that decisions to engage in political speech are carefully considered by managements, but I still find it disconcerting. I’m from a generation that grew up believing the job of a public company was to “make money,” not “do good.” When they both align, then great, but what hasn’t changed is that people still like to see the value of their investments go up every year.To contact the author of this story: Jared Dillian at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robert Burgess at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Jared Dillian is the editor and publisher of The Daily Dirtnap, investment strategist at Mauldin Economics, and the author of "Street Freak" and "All the Evil of This World." He may have a stake in the areas he writes about.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.A Spanish startup best known for delivering takeaways is betting on building a network of convenience stores to expand its business -- just as the food delivery sector eyes a wave of consolidation.Glovo, a Barcelona-based web platform used mainly for ordering food from restaurants, is rolling-out so-called dark-supermarkets -- delivery-only convenience stores -- from Tbilisi to Lisbon in an attempt to tap into growing web-based demand for groceries.The company is also focusing on delivering groceries for existing supermarket chains. In May it announced a deal with Carrefour SA to handle their deliveries in under 30 minutes in four countries, and it has similar partnerships in different countries with Walmart Inc., Auchan Holding Sadir and Kaufland Stiftung & Co KG, among others.Glovo drew preliminary interest from Uber Technologies Inc. and Deliveroo, Bloomberg reported in August. The startup is in 180 cities spread across 24 countries, according to its website.But the company is increasingly marketing itself as an "app for anything" that allows users to request a rider -- as the delivery staff, who mainly ride bicycles, are known -- to buy any product. With this function, a user can send a rider to any store to pick up a product and the price is charged directly to the user’s credit card, together with a fixed service fee.Competitors are increasingly moving into delivering groceries alongside restaurant-delivery. Uber Eats has piloted delivery goods from Nestle and Unilever, and said in July that it’s in discussions with European supermarkets to roll out a grocery delivery service. Amazon.com Inc. is growing its grocery store delivery operations in several countries including Spain, one of its first markets.Germany’s Delivery Hero SE is already offering transport of consumer items such as groceries and toiletries in 12 markets and plans to raise that number in the coming months, Chief Executive Officer Niklas Oestberg said last month.Demand for online groceries in Europe’s largest economies set to grow by about 60% between 2018 and 2023, to more than $45.1 billion, according to estimates compiled by Delta Partners, a consultancy.Unlike online grocery shoppers such as U.K.’s Ocado Group Plc, which delivers weekly purchases the following day, Glovo is targeting small baskets at speed. Such deliveries are simply the latest twist in the “anything" strategy, according to co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Oscar Pierre, a wiry 26-year-old aeronautical engineer who started the company in 2015, shortly after a short stint working for airplane manufacturer Airbus SE.“The app aims to allow users to buy whatever they need from their phone", says Pierre.Glovo’s main food-delivery competitor in Latin America, Rappi, recently received an $800 million investment from two SoftBank units, the Vision Fund and the smaller, Latin America-focused Innovation Fund. Glovo is also in talks to receive an investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, after raising 150 million euros in a round earlier this year.To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Madrid at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Stefan NicolaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The takes are still coming in about last week’s pronouncement from the Business Roundtable, and one group, in particular, would like to see them put their money where their mouth is. Round Numbers Last week the Business Roundtable, a consortium of 181 of the top corporations in the world lead by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, released a statement rethinking “the purpose of a corporation.” In Dimon and Co.’s opinion, a business should no longer make decisions solely on whether it will drive profits for shareholders but should take into account “all stakeholders,” meaning employees, customers and the greater community. This move elicited a great number of opinions, ranging from measured support to skepticism to outright derision. And the takes are still coming in! Queen Bs The main criticism against the Roundtable statement is that the companies are not legally required to be true to their word. But they could be, if they meant it, according to some. In an open-letter full-page ad in The New York Times and an editorial in Fast Company, a coalition of 30 Benefit Corporations, aka B Corps, including Ben and Jerry’s, Patagonia and Kickstarter, had some advice for the Roundtable. Being a B Corporation means you’re legally allowed to value long-term goals and social concerns such as the environment, ahead of short-term profits for shareholders. In the letter, the B Corp founders urge the Roundtable companies to move to a similar model of stakeholder governance over shareholder primacy, arguing that “People are demanding a new social contract between business and society in which business and the capital markets create long-term value for all stakeholders.” In other words, the Roundtable businesses need to prove they are serious by joining the ranks of the other 9,000 B Corps who publicly adhere to rules that prioritize purpose over profit instead of letting a company’s directors make those calls piecemeal via a non-binding pledge. Opinions. Everyone Has Them The Roundtable sure does appreciate the feedback, as it released a statement thanking the B Corporations and the socially-minded non-profit Just Capital foundation, which also urges further action, saying it looks forward to working with everyone on some as of yet undefined “next steps.” Meanwhile, the pro-shareholder group Council of Institutional Investors isn’t exactly thrilled with all of this shareholders shade, and has pointed out that so far the Roundtable is being too vague about how they are going to make these changes, which the organization believes should be the government’s job, not businesses. -Michael Tedder Photo: Fred Prouser/REUTERS
(Bloomberg) -- Naspers Ltd. said a newly created entity containing assets including a stake in Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. will be valued at about $100 billion.Africa’s largest company by market value received shareholder backing last week to proceed with the listing of Prosus NV in Amsterdam next month. Alongside the Tencent stake, the new company will hold businesses from Brazil to Germany in industries such as online food delivery and classified advertising.A value of $100 billion would make only Royal Dutch Shell Plc and consumer-goods giant Unilever bigger in Amsterdam by market capitalization. The company would overtake ASML Holding NV, a semiconductor gear-maker priced at about 80 billion euros ($89 billion).Naspers opted to spin off Prosus -- in which it will keep a 73% stake -- to ease its dominance of Johannesburg’s stock exchange and help reduce a valuation gap between the Cape Town-based company and its stake in Tencent. The new group’s assets were valued at about $34 billion as of end June, Naspers said in a statement on Monday.Naspers Looks to Invest in AI as Prosus Listing ApprovedNaspers shares erased gains after the publication of the anticipated market value of Prosus, and traded 0.1% higher at 3,421.11 rand as of 11:52 a.m. in Johannesburg.The stock could gain by a further 40% to 4,800 rand, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts led by JP Davids said in a note published Monday. “In addition to Tencent’s outperformance, we expect the recent compression in the holding company’s discount to be sustained as it reduces its South African sovereign exposure.”Prosus had net income of about $1.4 billion for the three months through June, compared with $1.1 billion the previous year, Naspers said.JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are the main financial advisers on the Prosus listing.(Updates with Amsterdam ranking in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Joost Akkermans.To contact the reporters on this story: Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.org;Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at firstname.lastname@example.org, John Bowker, Frank ConnellyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Big food is salivating over fake meat after the blockbuster initial public offering of Beyond Meat Inc., the leading plant-based protein brand, in May. Traditional producers have rushed into the booming market for meat substitutes, which threaten to take a slice of their business. Tyson Foods Inc. was an early investor in Beyond Meat, but sold its stake before the company’s trading debut and announced its own line of faux meat. Other U.S. companies, such as Smithfield Foods Inc., are introducing alternative protein products. European giants are getting in on the act too, with Nestle SA snapping up California-based Sweet Earth two years ago and Unilever NV buying The Vegetarian Butcher last year.It’s a familiar playbook. The big drinks companies have bought craft brewers. Major cosmetics houses are blending more artisan scents into perfumes. But there’s one segment where the similarities – and potential pitfalls -- are striking: tobacco, which is trying to woo smokers with the products they describe as lower risk, such as electronic cigarettes. Just as the tobacco industry has turned to vaping products to cope with high taxes and declining rates of smoking, big food sees a growing market for meat substitutes as people eat less animal protein and governments slap taxes on their other unhealthy products (and even consider levies on red meat). But traditional food manufacturers eager for vegan profits may struggle with some of the same obstacles tobacco has faced with vaping: adoption and regulation.Just look at Japan. It’s the most developed nation for devices that heat, rather than burn, tobacco, accounting for about 25% of the market. While tech-savvy early adopters were quick to switch to the new devices, older generations were slower to follow suit.Meat substitutes could see a similar trajectory. Analysts at Barclays Plc point out that men drive demand for meat. Convincing them –particularly older generations to switch -- will be crucial. Plant protein substitutes also tend to be more expensive. The premium will need to be whittled away for consumption to be widespread.While there’s no suggestion that fake meat products cause harm in any way – as has been alleged in some cases with vaping – not everyone agrees that they are healthier than animal protein. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said it would not be stocking meat alternatives because they are too processed for the burrito chain. Beyond Meat has hit back at the claims, saying that its products and facilities are more transparent than those in the meat industry. More importantly, faux meat manufacturers will need to keep innovating – and investing – to grow, just as tobacco companies have had to come up with ways to make electronic cigarettes more satisfying for smokers to encourage them to switch. Plant-based protein producers will need to stay one step ahead of the competition with new ingredients, akin to how the market for milk substitutes expanded from soy to embrace soaring demand for nut and oat drinks. Beyond Meat and Nestle’s Sweet Earth use peas for their meatless dishes; Unilever’s The Vegetarian Butcher uses lupine beans to give some meals a fatty, nutty flavor. The possibilities are endless.Yet with innovation comes the risk of alienating consumers and inviting regulation. The magic ingredient at Impossible Foods Inc. – the other big independent plant-based protein maker – is heme, which gives its burgers a bloody meat-like taste. The ingredient is genetically engineered. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently found heme to be safe as a color additive, paving the way for sales in supermarkets. But using a genetically-engineered ingredient could turn off the very ethical, health-customers Impossible wants to attract.As big food courts vegans, it will confront pickier consumers than smokers-turned-vapers. Already some are worried about Burger King cooking the Impossible Whopper on the same grill as meat burgers, unless the customer asks for it to be prepared separately.A bigger danger would be if any plant products were found to contain animal traces. Impossible recently partnered with meat processor OSI Group to add more manufacturing capacity and ease supply constraints. It has dedicated capacity at OSI’s facilities, and the production line is not shared with animal-derived products. But it’s a risky move, and one that traditional meat producers going vegan will also have to manage.Like big tobacco, food manufacturers are already confronting challenges to the way they label products. States including Arkansas and Mississippi have banned companies from using the word “burgers” or “dogs” to describe plant-based alternatives. That’s a regulatory breeze compared the crackdown on vaping. In June, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes. But it’s still a headwind in what is a nascent industry. While the path of big tobacco highlights some of the challenges facing plant-based protein, there’s one more appetizing similarity. Last year, Altria Group Inc., which owns Philip Morris, took a 35% stake in Juul Labs Inc., the U.S. market-share leader in electronic cigarettes, valuing the company at $38 billion. Beyond Meat is now valued at a staggering $9 billion, almost a third of what food giant Tyson is worth. Such lofty valuations reflect long-term consumer trends. But as the tobacco industry has learned from its foray into alternatives, big food producers shouldn’t assume fake meat is an easy recipe for success. To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis 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.
A new group focused on “inclusive growth” — backed by prominent names in business and finance — is expected to launch on Friday during the Group of Seven (G7) Summit.
Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Unilever...
The company said it continues to expect full-year underlying sales growth to be in the lower half of its multi-year 3% to 5% target range and operating margin to reach 20% in 2020. Unilever's shares were down 1.1% in morning trade, compared to the broader FTSE 100 index , which was flat. Wet weather in Europe dampened ice-cream sales following two straight seasons of hot summers, while growth in India slowed again as a late monsoon season and lower food inflation weakened rural demand.
It's inevitable: no matter where you turn, growth stocks generate the most headlines. Typically, these are companies involved in next-generation technologies. As a result, they simply attract risk-takers wanting to speculate on the next big thing. However, investors with longer-term and more realistic goals should consider dividend stocks.For one thing, dividend stocks obviously provide passive income. Therefore, they provide a platform of stability which will likely come at a premium. We all know that this is the longest-running bull market in history. Therefore, the best stocks to buy might not be related to companies that move under risk-on environments.Second, many if not most dividend stocks are levered toward secular industries that feature consistent demand irrespective of economic conditions. Areas such as consumer staples, healthcare, and even energy are increasingly becoming safe bets because they represent unavoidable expenditures. That's a key concept to consider as the ugly U.S.-China trade war rages on.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsFinally, the Federal Reserve is all but incentivizing dividend stocks. Although the economy is doing well on paper, the Fed will likely lower benchmark interest rates at July's end. Essentially, the central bank is determined to nip any sign of a broader slowdown in the bud. * 10 Tech Stocks That Are Still Worth Your Time (And Money) Under such circumstances, it's almost criminal not to consider dividend stocks to buy. Here at the best ones to buy, divided among investments appropriate for conservative, balanced, and speculative portfolios. Home Depot (HD)Source: Shutterstock Whenever discussions arise about safe dividend stocks to buy, Home Depot (NYSE:HD) immediately rises near the top. Obviously, the company generates strong secular demand. Recession or not, people still have to renovate their properties or rebuild after a calamitous weather-related event. Thus, HD stock steadily inches higher, even though it's hardly the sexiest name.That said, HD stock is enduring a rare PR crisis. Billionaire co-founder Bernie Marcus recently pledged his support for President Donald Trump's re-election bid. After the initial word got out, the social media circus responded with outrage, calling for a Home Depot boycott.But is this enough of a reason to dump HD stock? Absolutely not! No matter what the circumstance, Home Depot is easily one of the best stocks to buy. Perhaps folks should realize first and foremost that this is America. The beauty about living in this country is that the people can vote for whomever they want.Secondly, Home Depot's business is largely Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)-proof. With products like power tools or kitchen tiles, you really want to try before you buy. Right now, e-commerce just doesn't suit this consumer need, which bolsters the case for HD stock. TD Ameritrade (AMTD)Under almost any circumstance in the pre-mass digitalization era, TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD) represented one of the best dividend stocks to buy. For one thing, AMTD stock brought steady capital returns, and for good reason: if you want to build wealth, the equity markets offered a simple and intuitive platform.But in the current era where millennials reign in the workforce, AMTD stock doesn't seem like such a smart bet. That's because millennials eschew the markets for cash, more so than any other generation. And why? Primarily, most millennials came of age during the 2008 financial crisis. Understandably, that event scarred young workers and put them off investing.So why even mention AMTD stock? Because no matter what happens, we'll always have a stock market. I'm saying this even though I personally hold cryptocurrencies in high regard. * 7 Stocks to Sell This Summer Earnings Season Moreover, emerging and transformative investments like legal marijuana have enticed young buyers. As our own Will Ashworth reported, millennials consider companies like Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) among the best stocks to buy. Therefore, we haven't heard the last from AMTD stock. Unilever (UN)Unilever (NYSE:UN) represents the more traditional route of safe dividend stocks to buy for purely obvious reasons. As a producer of common household goods such as soap, deodorant, and skincare products, UN stock rides on secular demand. Even in a recession, you still need to take care of yourself.And the latter point is especially compelling for investors seeking the best stocks to buy in a possible downturn. Although the fact that we're on the longest bull market in history is an oft-discussed topic that may have lulled some to ignore the implications, a correction can come at any moment. If it does, passive-income generating investments like UN stock will probably suffer the least damage.Plus, you can have confidence in Unilever's solid financials. Sure, it doesn't have the cool factor of a fast-rising tech upstart. However, with UN stock, you get robust net income, which in turn helps generate consistently strong free cash flow.Where the market is right now, stability and trust may come at a premium. Therefore, keep UN stock close to your chest. Welltower (WELL)One of the most compelling dividend stocks to buy, Welltower (NYSE:WELL) is a real-estate investment trust specializing in senior care. In addition to this critical provision, Welltower brings to the table other highly-demanded services such as post-acute care and outpatient medical solutions. As a result of its diverse portfolio, WELL stock has jumped about 20% year-to-date.If you follow demographic trends, you'll recognize very quickly how much potential upside this company has. Earlier this year, I discussed the generational tailwinds that should drive WELL stock higher over the longer-term. Primarily, baby boomers are the largest living generation in the U.S. Logically, as more of these people transition to retirement, they'll require senior-care services.Of course, the countering argument against WELL stock is that a majority of Americans are not prepared for retirement. This includes a great number of baby boomers. * 10 Stocks to Buy From This Superstar Fund Certainly, that's an issue for WELL stock. But at the same time, an increasing number of millennials support their senior parents or even grandparents. Therefore, in my opinion, the long-haul picture for Welltower remains robust. Exxon Mobil (XOM)Source: Shutterstock Historically, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) has been one of the best stocks to buy, to the chagrin of drivers everywhere. Unlike many other investments, XOM stock is perpetually stuck in an awkward situation. If Exxon Mobil shares rise, it obviously pleases stakeholders. However, the lift also implies that gas prices have spiked, drawing scorn from the public.Now, XOM stock has another challenge, but one that's more impactful than road-raging drivers: the advent of electric vehicles. Companies like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) have demonstrated that EVs can transition effectively from conceptual drawings to the production floor. Despite the rumblings in the TSLA share price, Tesla EVs have dominated the California luxury-auto market.Naturally, this presents a dark cloud over XOM stock. But should stakeholders worry?They should, but maybe not for a while. Although EV automakers have forwarded profound innovations, it will take time for societies to catch up. For instance, the U.S. transportation network is largely fossil-fuel based. Transitioning this network to an electrical-based infrastructure will probably take decades. That's why you're safe with XOM stock for now. AbbVie (ABBV)Another high-profile name mired in an awkward circumstance is AbbVie (NASDAQ:ABBV). Ordinarily, top-shelf pharmaceutical specialists experience generally steady market increases due to their critical, and sometimes life-saving products. However, ABBV stock hasn't been among the best stocks to buy this year; indeed, it's very much the opposite.Since January's opening price, ABBV stock has shed an alarming 25%. What's more, shares were holding steady between late January until late June. That was when AbbVie's management team disclosed their intent to buy out Allergan (NYSE:AGN). Investors didn't like the move, which would balloon the acquiring company's debt to unsightly levels.Also weighing on ABBV stock throughout this year is the specter of federal regulation. Specifically, rising drug prices have rankled patients. Aggressively, politicians from both sides of the aisle have directed criticism at drug-makers and our failing healthcare system. * 7 Stocks Top Investors Are Buying Now Still, AbbVie has such a broad and viable drug pipeline that I think these issues will eventually fade. Plus, the dividend yield for ABBV stock stands at a remarkable 6.2%. AT&T (T)Source: Shutterstock If you're looking for high-yielding dividend stocks to buy, telecom giant AT&T (NYSE:T) is a name that comes up often. With a yield of more than 6%, T stock provides a lot of safety buffer, especially if we head into a recession. That said, the company also attracts a lot of criticism.Even though I'm a fairly recent shareholder, I can't say that I completely disagree with the naysayers. What comes up most often is that T stock has an extremely heavy debt load. In addition, as our own Vince Martin noted, AT&T is a low-growth entity. At some point, if core financial metrics don't improve, that lofty dividend may not last.However, as InvestorPlace contributor Laura Hoy explained, T stock might work out for those willing to exercise patience. For instance, management is focusing on profitability as opposed to market share. And as the 5G rollout becomes an increasing reality, AT&T should experience a sizable demand lift. Altria Group (MO)As with AT&T, Altria Group (NYSE:MO) attracts investors for its massive 6.4% dividend yield. But in recent years, MO stock hasn't really belonged on a list of best dividend stocks to buy. Although Altria -- which is most famous for the iconic Marlboro brand -- is a vice play, it has one crucial problem: people aren't smoking like they used to.That's especially true for millennials, who have largely shunned the behavior. Logically, this is a huge headwind for MO stock, which explains its volatility. However, what I like here is that management hasn't given up. They're going after what millennials do like, and that's weed.In the tail end of 2018, Altria made headlines when it invested $1.8 billion in Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON). But once was massive optimism has faded this year. Did Altria make a mistake? * 10 Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy to Pay the Bills I don't think so. Marijuana firms have suffered because of legal and administrative challenges beyond their control. But once these obstacles fade, cannabis should rise. Therefore, I wouldn't give up yet on MO stock. AMC Entertainment (AMC)If you're basing your dividend stocks to buy on irrelevancy, AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) would probably jump to the top of the list. When you have streaming companies like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) dominating in-home entertainment, AMC stock seems anachronistic. Also, it doesn't help that the company's cineplexes are almost always located in shopping centers, which themselves are fading.So why gamble on AMC stock, especially since it has lost so much money? Unlike other risky names, I know the pain because my stake isn't in the black. However, I genuinely believe that the markets are overreacting to bad news. For instance, it's not the company's fault that most of this year's top draws will be released toward the latter end of this year.Beyond that, AMC stock offers an experience that you can't replicate in the living room. And relative to other forms of entertainment, the box office is cheap. That's going to play a major role if the economy stumbles into a recession.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long T stock and AMC stock. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Tech Stocks That Are Still Worth Your Time (And Money) * 7 Marijuana Stocks With Critical Levels to Watch * 7 of the Best Smart-Beta ETFs to Target Right Now The post 9 Dividend Stocks to Buy to Suit Any Investing Style appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Sigma Holdco BV and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. The review was conducted through a portfolio review in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers. This publication does not announce a credit rating action and is not an indication of whether or not a credit rating action is likely in the near future.
In the news release, Capricorn Business Acquisitions Announces Letter of Intent with Tikun Olam Skincare, issued 15-Jul-2019 by Capricorn Business Acquisitions Inc. over CNW, we are advised by the company that the biographical information for Gerald Goldberg has been amended. TORONTO , July 15, 2019 /CNW/ - Capricorn Business Acquisitions Inc. (CAK-H.V) ("Capricorn" or the "Company"), a capital pool company, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a letter of intent dated July 1, 2019 ("LOI") with Delaware -based Tikkun Pharma, Inc., d/b/a Tikun Olam Skincare ("TO Skincare") that outlines the general terms and conditions pursuant to which Capricorn and TO Skincare would be willing to complete a transaction that will result in a reverse take-over of Capricorn by the shareholders of TO Skincare, and which is intended to constitute the "Qualifying Transaction" of Capricorn (the "Qualifying Transaction") pursuant to the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange (the "Exchange").
TORONTO , July 15, 2019 /CNW/ - Capricorn Business Acquisitions Inc. (CAK-H.V) ("Capricorn" or the "Company"), a capital pool company, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a letter of intent dated July 1, 2019 ("LOI") with Delaware -based Tikkun Pharma, Inc., d/b/a Tikun Olam Skincare ("TO Skincare") that outlines the general terms and conditions pursuant to which Capricorn and TO Skincare would be willing to complete a transaction that will result in a reverse take-over of Capricorn by the shareholders of TO Skincare, and which is intended to constitute the "Qualifying Transaction" of Capricorn (the "Qualifying Transaction") pursuant to the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange (the "Exchange").
Unilever (NYSE: UN) USA had a problem at its distribution center in Newville, Pennsylvania. Working with the Canadian-based carrier Kriska, Unilever piloted a program called Safe Haven to allow drivers to park at the distribution center. "Unilever was motivated to allow parking onsite in order to become a ‘shipper of choice' for drivers," a 2018 report from the DOT Parking Capacity Working Group noted.