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David Stafford
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Student of markets, enjoys following their course.
My book:
Around the World in Several Pieces
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  • A Brief Look Into The Source Of Sports Sponsorships.

    With endorsement deals involving famous golfers in the news, the question of the cash flows of sporting good/apparel companies has sort of peaked my interest per se. With the recent headline and common sort of pop-culture trope of multimillion dollar "endorsement" deals, it would seem as though sporting companies sit rather high on the hog if one will.

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    So to see where these sorts of endorsement deals are arriving from per se, which pool of liquidity from whence they surface, here are a few well-known sporting brands and a look at various ratios and line items per se, from their corporate profiles if one will;

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    For starters, perhaps lets have a look at the company which was supposedly famously started from the back of a mini-van, or car of some sort, Nike(NYSE:NKE). Sourcing its name from the Hellenic goddess of victory, Nike would seem to have good vibrations in its fortune per se. Either way, for Nike's figures we have the following; in general it seems to be operating with a sort of ever increasing value for operating income over the past few years. Actually seemingly more than doubling this figure over the past few years; rising from about 1.8 billion USD to about 3.7 billion USD in the most recent reports. With this we have a sort of interesting "cost of goods sold" or sales figure, which seems to grow along with revenues in a sort of uncanny way. Namely, while Revenues have grown by about 1.5x over the past five years, Cogs have seemingly risen according to much the same trend if one will. With revenues rising from 19 billion, to about 28 billion, over the past five years, and cogs, rising from 10 to about 15 billion USD over the course of this same time period. Nike's net income has gone from about 1.5 to about 2.7 billion over this same time period aswell. Perhaps its positive that Net Income would grow by a greater multiple than would the the constituents of said figure, but perhaps that can be attributed to some good management of financially pertinent aspects of the business if one will. Either way, perhaps it is hence not so surprising that such a company could offer 100 million USD sponsorship deals to key advertising targets per se.(source for financial data(link). It may also perhaps be worthy of note that Nike in general is believed to have a profit margin of around 8.9%(link)(quarterly).

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    "Winged Victory of Samothrace"(image source)

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    While delving into this sector per se, why not check out a few of the other major players. For example, our some-what newer acquaintance, Under Armor. Under Armor(NYSE:UA) supposedly has a somewhat higher profit margin per se, about 9.8%(link)(quarterly). Under armor, though not as big of a company per se, as Nike, does seem to none the less also maintain this sort of continuous trend relating Cogs to Revenue. For example, Under Armor's costs have grown from about 450 million USD to about 1.2 billion USD over the past five years or so, whilst also seeing its Revenue, go from 850 million to about 2.33 billion USD over this same time period. It may also be worthy of note, that somewhat different in regards to Nike, Under Armor's net income has grown in keeping with its constituents' trends per se, namely rising form about 412 million to about 1.14 billion USD over the past five years or so. Hence, one may perhaps see that though Under Armor perhaps might not be able to have the potential scale of endorsements as would a behemoth like Nike per se, that it may none the less have a decent amount of cash whereby to pursue similar in nature sponsorship trends if so desired.(source for financial data(link))

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    Another company in this space that perhaps attracts a lot of attention is "Lululemon". I must admit that I am not 100% familiar with Lululemon, but I believe they sell yoga related clothing, and things of a similar nature if one will. They also seem to have an attractive profit margin per se, actually beating out both Nike, and Under Armor, coming in with a profit margin, of supposedly, ~14%(this data found under comps. in upper right hand corner on "Ycharts" pages for Nike and Under Armor). As an investment I think if one has an ear to the ground per se in this sort of market that perhaps they may be savvy investments if played properly per se. However, as it may be of note, anything that's profitability relies on consumer discretion can have its own little consumer passion booms and busts per se, so I'm not really a consumerist pathos student if one will, but it seems interesting and dynamic none the less.

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    Thank you again for reading. I hope perhaps this has also satiated others perhaps passing curiosities into what partially makes these great sponsors of athletics tick if one will. Hence, regardless if one is stretching in some Lululemons, or "just doing it" in some Nikes per se, I hope everyone's investments are going well, and that one's portfolio is on a course charted by that winged muse represented in that sculpture found at Samothrace. Thanks again for reading.

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    Prose of the X; an athletics related poem;

    An excerpt on "The Song of Ungirt Runners" by Charles Hamilton Sorley;(link)

    "

    We swing ungirded hips,

    And lightened are our eyes,

    The rain is one our lips,

    We do not run for prize.

    "

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    Image source; (link)

    Feb 06 4:43 AM | Link | Comment!
  • A Look At Some Preffered Stock Etfs.

    With the US stock market seemingly at quite high heights per se, and such macro indicators as the Baltic Dry index, and other general global commerce indicators in troubled waters, one may be tempted to at times think about the downside exposure per se, that sometimes comes with asset price growth.

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    It is perhaps one of the more seemingly tangential but sort of none the less sort of oft overlooked qualities of an asset in general(or often sort of taken for granted if one will), but liquidity can in a sense be a good sort of hedge if perhaps viewed from the proper perspectives if one will. Just as if there are no sellers per se, an assets price will most likely not "drop" if one will(even if its abstract value per se does), a few sure hands may help to keep a certain amount of stability within a portfolio or investment per se.

    Image source(link)

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    With preferred stock and the presumed smaller market and perhaps less volatility in general which one may tend to observe in preferred stocks one may see these sorts of particular investments as perhaps somewhat benefiting from this "sure hands" idea per se. However, in this current "interest rate environment" and the speculation surrounding it per se, one may also at times have some "textbook" sort of concerns about preferred's all the same.

    Image source(link)

    (click to enlarge)

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    Though the relative illiquidity(in turn potentially lessened average volatility), and presumed concentration of holdings of preferred stocks may seem as a sort of potentially behaviorist downside hedge per se, it is also commonly believed that preferreds are somewhat more reliant upon interest rates in the determination of their "value" and hence yield, price etc. and hence that in an interest rate "conversation" like that we are currently witnessing that there are actually perhaps increased risks(to individual stock price negative directionality per se) to investing in preferred stocks, given that interest rates are in a state laden with perhaps what one might call speculation, with questions like "will the Fed raise rates" seeming ever more talked of, brought up and pondered, in general.

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    None the less, perhaps its good to have a little extra perspective on specific preferred stock investment opportunities, to at least know what's on the investment menu these days per se. Hence, without further adieu here a few preferred stock etfs and some identifiable characteristics of them if one will.

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    SPFF is one such fund/etf and is currently going for around 14-15 USD per share. Its yield is supposedly around 6.75% or so, and it seems to represent a portfolio which is comprised of heavily concentrated positions in general one might say. Another preferred etf/fund is PFXF. One of PFXF's claim to name per se is that it is one of the more non-financial sector focused preferred funds if one will. PFXF seems to instead be more drawn to such sectors as healthcare, municipality related investments, energy and real estate. Surely there is a sort of strong financial underpinning to such fields as real estate etc. but perhaps its not as overt as some other funds. For its sort of mirror one might say, one might turn to PFF. PFF as might be guessed by its ticker to a certain extent, is more financial-focused, and also has one of the larger yields for funds of this type. Namely its yield is roughly 6.28% as opposed to PFXF's yield of 5.84%, which though not representing a truly dramatic difference one might argue is still higher none the less. PXFX's price is also about half of that of PFF, with PXFX being priced at ~21 USD per share with PFF coming in at around 40 USD per share.

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    Hence, perhaps as an overview if one will, perhaps SPFF provides one with a sort of more tactically managed sort of an investment, hence focused more on specific plays if one will, and hence with a relatively high yield. For the more balanced preferred funds, PFF/PFXF, we have PFF which is more financial sector heavy which carries with it a yield somewhat more comparable to SPFF, showing a difference in yield of roughly less than half a percent between the two. For a similarly somewhat lower yield, we have a more diversified, and less financially focused preferred fund represented in PFXF.

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    Needless to say there does seem to be at least some variety out there in regards to preferred funds. For preferred stocks, one may have a more indirect route than normal when it comes to acquiring them per se, but there's great finds to be had there aswell, with the likes of Bee-b.cl, and other great preferred hospitality REIT stocks for example giving one the opportunity to make a very healthy yield on various lodging investments per se, and the like.

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    Whether one has a preference for preferreds or a craving for common stock per se, I hope everyone's portfolio is doing great. Even though the winter may still be upon us, groundhogs, or no, I hope everyone's portfolio and situation in general is warm and pleasant, and hence, comfortably non-volatile regardless of any market or meteorological conundrums one may be privy to per se. Thanks again for reading.

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    For a perhaps imaginary respite, one might say, from winter weather here is an excerpt from a poem by Pablo Neruda entitled, "Bird"(link)

    Image source(link)

    (click to enlarge)

    "

    I stayed suspended and green

    between sun and geography -

    I saw how wings worked,

    how perfumes are transmitted

    by feather telegraph,

    "

    Tags: SPFF, PFXF, PFF
    Feb 02 9:42 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Cool Desktop Software, And The Trials And Tribulations Of Switzerland.

    Well, it seems like today is perhaps not so usual a day in regards to the financial markets. It seems as though Switzerland has perhaps changed tack once again if one will in regards to the policies of its central bank and that this has had a sort of peculiar effect albeit perhaps not a completely unexpected one upon the financial markets. According to various sources it seems that essentially the Swiss currency is somehow re-finding places that it had traveled in years gone by before what I believe was the adjudication of essentially price limits on its currency several years ago. This seems to have caused quite a few moments of angst across various populations that were betting directly on the Swiss currency its self one way or another, and hence it was with a certain amount of stoic curiosity if one might call it that, that I checked the price change of EWL(the previously mentioned Swiss index fund) recently; only to find that it has actually improved in price throughout the day. This, despite news of Swiss indices supposedly falling. I guess one could say that this was perhaps fortunate.

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    Image source(link)

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    Apart from the good fortune of EWL not being caught up like a toy boat in a squall there are perhaps other cool findings popping up as of late. Perhaps I am the last one to the party per se, but perhaps this little desktop stock ticker might be of use to other investment folk as well. I was recently looking for a little stock ticker to have sort of inconspicuously scrolling along the upper limits of my screen and I seem to have found one here(link). I've been running it for a bit now, and not to question the link creators integrity or anything(all sorts of mysterious links for free software downloads on the net), but my computer has yet to explode, so I presume its safe to run on others' computers aswell. It comes with a few preloaded ticker symbols per se, but for the sake of simplicity I threw in a few beta centric, if one will, ticker symbols for good measure just to make the data it streamed a bit more comprehensive. Namely I went to the options for the software which one simply accesses by right clicking the ticker and selecting "change stocks", and then added in the following in the appropriate field;( All "select sector spyder" etfs;(link)(also deleted a few already present ticker symbols which weren't updating)

    Xly; consumer discretionary

    Xlp; consumer staples

    Xle; energy

    Xlf; financials

    Xlv; healthcare

    Xli; industrials

    Xlb; materials

    Xlk; technology

    Xlu; utilities

    Hence, one now has a nifty little application about the size of a 10 or 12 point size line of text scrolling at the users selected speed across the top of one's window if one is using a pc, displaying how each of these sectors is doing for the day per se, and refreshing its self regularly, if one so chooses.

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    Regardless of Swiss trials and tribulations per se, I hope everyone is having a great January. Hopefully this time of the year famed for being a season of planting new ideas if one will, will in the future provide the intellectual grounds for ones own future material harvests, and whatever else kinds of bounties one may reap per se. Hopefully the stock ticker is handy as well if its to anyone's liking(thanks to whoever made it), and hopefully everyone's' investments are going great.

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    To continue the so far brief run of the prose tradition per se here is a brief bit of prose related to things running smoothly;

    From Emily Dickinson's; "A bird came down the walk";(link)

    (capitalization from the text of the poem)

    "Than Oars divide the Ocean,

    Too silver for a seam-

    Or Butterflies off Banks of Noon

    Leap, plashless as they swim."

    Tags: EWL
    Jan 15 2:39 PM | Link | Comment!
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