Today - Sunday, March 9, 2014
- Lyft, the developer of a ride-sharing mobile app, has raised $80M in a Series D fundraising round, with reports saying that the company was given a pre-money valuation of $700M.
- Andreessen Horowitz was one of the investors.
- The company is looking to bring in another $70M as part of the round.
- Lyft competes with Uber, which raised $250M at a $3.5B valuation last summer.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received over 260 complaints about GM's (GM) faulty ignition switches but declined to investigate, an NYT analysis shows. The agency has said that it didn't act because there wasn't enough evidence to show that the problem existed beyond isolated incidents.
- GM has said that the defect, which can shut down a car's engine and power system, and disable airbags, is linked to 13 deaths. The company has recalled over 1.6M vehicles because of the problem.
- Meanwhile, the WSJ looks at how GM's "bureaucratic complexity" hampered the firm's inability to address the fault much earlier.
- "Ross Perot once said that where he came from, if you see a snake, you kill it. But at General Motors, if you see a snake, you hire a consultant on snakes, then you form a committee on snakes, and then you discuss it for a couple of years," the WSJ writes. Perot made the comment over 25 years ago, "but he could have said it yesterday."
- Wayfair has raised $157M in a Series B round led by one-time Twitter investor T.Rowe Price, the online home-furnishings site has said. TripAdvisor CFO Julie Bradley also participated in the fundraising.
- Wayfair's valuation was $2B, Bloomberg reports. The company's sales jumped 55% last year to $915M.
- Wayfair has already reportedly started talks with banks about underwriting an IPO.
- Previously (PR)
- Boeing (BA) has put together a technical assistance team to help in any investigation of what happened to the the Malaysia Airlines 777 that has gone missing over Vietnam airspace.
- With the search continuing, officials and aviation experts have declined to speculate on what happened to the jet, although it seems that the identities of four passengers are under investigation, two of whom were traveling on stolen passports. That has sparked suggestions that terrorism might have been involved.
- A major problem is the lack of a signal from the plane's Emergency Location Transmitter.
- Freescale Semiconductor (FSL) said 20 employees from its operations in Asia, including senior managers, were on the flight.
- In total, the plane was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
- Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) has ordered America Movil (AMX) and Grupo Televisa (TV) to share their infrastructure with rivals as part of an attempt to increase competition in the country's telecom and broadcasting markets respectively.
- The IFT will also regulate Telefonica's prices, and it will force Televisa to publish its advertising prices and stop pressuring advertisers to purchase space on its billboards, cable TV and magazines.
- In addition, IFT has called for bidders for two national broadcast-television networks.
- The upside for America Movil is that once it has complied with the IFT's demands, the regulator may allow the company to start offering TV services.
Friday, March 7, 2014
- Sportsman's Wearhouse, owner of 47 outdoor sporting goods stores across 18 states, has filed for a $201.3M IPO under the symbol SPWH. The underwriters: Credit Suisse, Goldman, Baird, William Blair, Piper, Wells Fargo, and D.A. Davidson.
- Sportsman's is being taken public by P-E firm Seidler Equity Partners (82.8% stake). During the 39 weeks ending Nov. 2, the company had revenue of $467.4M (+38% Y/Y), and net income of $14.4M.
- Sportsman's store count grew by 14 over this period, and same-store sales rose 7.2%.
- Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) cuts its FQ4 outlook after it says severe weather led to 464 times a store was closed for a full day and 1,923 times a store was closed for a partial day.
- Forecasts FQ4 (March) EPS of $1.57-$1.61 vs. prior guidance of $1.60-$1.67 and analyst consensus estimate of $1.65, and sees comparable store sales up 1.7% vs. previous guidance of 2%-4% gains.
- BBBY +0.2% AH.
- Boeing (BA) says a manufacturing problem had caused hairline cracks in the wings on some of its 787 Dreamliner jets, requiring inspections on 42 aircraft and delaying the delivery of some to airlines.
- The defect is another headache for Boeing, which is working to consistently produce 10 Dreamliners per month this year; the company says it still plans to deliver around 110 of the jets in 2014.
- Boeing says none of the 123 787s already delivered are affected by the wing issue.
- BA -1.1% AH.
- The FBI reportedly has taken over Idaho's criminal investigation into private prison company Corrections Corporation of America (CXW -0.5%).
- CXW already has agreed to pay Idaho $1M to settle claims it had understaffed the state's largest prison by thousands of hours in violation of the state contract and that employees falsified reports to cover up the vacancies.
- Tesla Motors (TSLA -1.8%) has eliminated California as a site for its Gigafactory, according to The Los Angeles Times.
- The cost of the real estate needed to build the Gigafactory on is believed to be the primary reason the EV automaker would shun the state where its sales are the strongest.
- Though Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico are in the running for the massive battery plant, Nevada appears to be the best bet to win out.
- A line of clothes inspired by McDonald's (MCD -0.5%) was the surprise inclusion at recent fashion shows in Europe as part of Moschino's latest designs
- The fashion house is also displaying styles from Anheuser-Busch InBev and Hershey in an Andy Warhol-inspired homage to pop culture.
- Seeing is believing: $1,265 McDonald's-inspired Moschino handbag
- Big Lots (BIG +20%) says it will add freezers and coolers to hundreds of stores this year in a move that will help it capture some of the food stamps business.
- The company noted that stores with refrigeration units out-performed in recent quarters.
- Dollar General (DG -0.6%) and Family Dollar (FDO -1%) have adopted a similar tactic to draw in consumers with food stamps.
- Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS -5.3%) as lower after lawmakers in California start to work on and publicize proposed legislation in the region to phase out Orca Whale captivity.
- The group points out that other states already limit the practice of displaying the large marine animals in enclosed spaces.
- The company is likely to be called out during a press conference later today by Assemblyman Richard Bloom.
- MasterCard (MA +0.3%) and Visa (V +0.5%) will form a new group with a focus on pushing forward the adoption of EMV chip technology in the U.S.
- The entity will work across financial and retail sectors to advocate for the use of the technology in the payments industry.
- Banks and retailers have been slow to warm up to the EMV initiative due to front-end costs, but the high-profile data hack at Target has teed up the issue in Washington DC.
- K-Cup data from IRI gives a look at which coffee companies are showing the most momentum.
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) is the market leader at 20% share, a tally which doesn't include partner brands such as Donut House (6%) or Revv (1%). Starbucks (SBUX) claims 13% and Folgers (SJM) is at 12% share.
- On a unit growth sales basis, Starbucks was up 47% Y/Y (period ending 1/26/14) to power past Green Mountain's 29% pace and Folgers at 22%.
- Private labels saw K-Cup unit growth of 471% as new brands emerged over the last year following patent freedom.
- Dish Network (DISH -0.2%) and DirecTV (DTV -0.7%) are pleased as punch that a House committee released a draft satellite bill which addresses joint negotiating agreements among broadcasters.
- The companies thinks legislation in the area will help lower consumer costs and assist in keeping service available to distant signal customers. Presumably, there's some benefit to the satellite players as well.
- The joint PR is boiler plate stuff, but anytime Dish and DirecTV get in the room together there is some merger chatter.
11:10 AM| Comment!
- LA Fitness plans to sell 40% of its gyms as it seeks to lower its debt load.
- The health club chain is owned by P-E firn MidOcean Partners.
- The downward spiral of LA Fitness follows a general trend in the sector as low-cost fitness shops apply significant pressure.