Led by its Fashion and Leather Goods and Perfumes & Cosmetics businesses, LVMH's organic revenues increased by 12% in the first nine months of 2017. According to the company's earnings release: The Fashion & Leather Goods business group recorded organic revenue growth of 14% for the first nine months of 2017. Louis Vuitton is still driven by its exceptional strength in the field of innovation, illustrated by its first smart watch and the many creations across all of its activities. The qualitative development of its distribution network continues, as illustrated by the opening of the … [Read more...]
Archives for November 2017
What do I think of Bitcoin? Part III
The late great Richard Russell, writing about the third phase of a bull market, called it the speculative phase. The third phase was when the average Joe couldn’t stand missing the boat. The third phase was when momentum would take over, and any reasonable measure of valuation would be kicked to the curb. Bitcoin certainly seems to me to be in a third phase, but it also feels too young to even begin measuring which phase we’re in—the whole thing feels like a speculative third phase to me. Steven Russolillo of the WSJ, an expert on bitcoin writes, “Bitcoin, which started 2017 at … [Read more...]
Are Telecoms Doing Better than They Seem?
Jack Hough writes in Barron's that there's more than meets the eye to telecom performance. Verizon Communications shares have been laid low by the Great Wireless Price War of 2017. But how many of its customers feel as though service has suddenly gotten cheap? Not many, we’d wager. The truth is, cellular competition this year has been little different than before, apart from some statistical quirks that made it appear as if the bottom were falling out of the market this past spring. If anything, a long price war is now easing, not worsening. For the third quarter, Verizon reported its … [Read more...]
What do I think of Bitcoin? Part II
While I don’t like bitcoin as an investment, blockchain technology is here to stay. What is blockchain technology? Imagine all the costs, paperwork, and third parties involved to buy a home. Just to refinance a mortgage costs around a percent, to do what? Answer: To make sure there is trust. To make sure there’s a system of recourse in case trust isn’t enough. Blockchain technology allows two parties to do business by locking an agreement into a public ledger for all to see. Sound crazy? So did the internet back in the early 90s. So did Airbnb. Let someone stay in another person’s house for … [Read more...]
Brands Relying Heavily on Amazon for Holiday Season Success
It seems every year brands must focus more of their attention on e-commerce sales if they want to thrive. This year looks no different. Wonder Workshop, a company that makes toy robots aimed at tweens who are into coding, is focusing the majority of its attention on e-commerce sales. The decision to think of brick and mortar retailers as a secondary concern comes as many physical stores are facing difficulties. Toys R' Us, long a staple of Christmastime present buying, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in September. Companies need to think differently than they have in the past about … [Read more...]
Remember the Last Time the Tech Sector Did This?
The last time the global tech sector outpaced the next best performing sector as much as it is this year was in 1999. This year alone the NASDAQ Composite has closed at a new record 67 times, so far. As Riva Gold reports in the Wall Street Journal, "Just eight companies—Facebook Inc., Apple, Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc., Alphabet Inc., Baidu Inc., Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent—have increased by $1.4 trillion in market cap in 2017, a sum roughly equivalent to the combined annual GDP of Spain and Portugal." Gold continues: While technology companies have helped take U.S. and some Asian … [Read more...]
YWMF Bull and Bear Portfolio Update 11.22.2017
About two months in, how is my Short-term bull-bear model performing? I couldn’t be happier. The bull-bear model has made almost 8.8% on the longs and lost only 6.4% on the shorts. If you started with $90,000 in capital and invested $10,000 in each of the long positions and sold short $10,000 of the three short positions, you are sitting on a gain of 6.4% in only two months. The Dow is up 5.6% over the same time-period. So six of one, half dozen of the other, right? Not exactly, a 6.4% return in the bull-bear portfolio was achieved with only two-thirds of the stock market exposure … [Read more...]
States Scrambling to Refinance before Tax Reforms
With the possible elimination of tax exemptions for state and local debt in the tax reform bill being pushed through Congress, states that rely on debt refinancing are scrambling to borrow before the end of the year. Any investor or stakeholder in industry tied to a government tax break or subsidy should consider this a wake up call. What the government can give with the stroke of a pen, it can also take away with the stroke of a pen. Ethanol mandates, electric vehicle subsidies, renewable energy programs, R&D tax deductions, and on and on. If your business, or a business you invest in … [Read more...]
Bogle: What to Expect for Stocks in the Coming Decade
In a recent interview with Morningstar's Christine Benz, Jack Bogle outlined his views of return possibilities for stocks and fixed income over the next decade. Here's what he had to say about equities: My reasonable expectations for the coming decade--as in my new book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, 10th anniversary edition just coming out--I'm pretty conservative. I look at the sources of returns, that's all I do, and the fact that other people don't do it that way doesn't bother me in the slightest. I look at investment return and that's today's dividend yield, which is less … [Read more...]
Will the AT&T-Time Warner Merger Be Stopped?
The Justice department is suing to block the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. The challenge of a so-called vertical merger is rare because the two parties operate in different parts of an industry. The WSJ has more: On Monday, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit challenging AT&T’s $85 billion cash-and-stock deal for Time Warner Inc. after a nearly 13-month review. It was around this time in 2011 that AT&T was forced to withdraw its application with the Federal Communications Commission for a $39 billion takeover of wireless rival T-Mobile US Inc., amid opposition … [Read more...]
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