United Parcel Service, Inc.NYSE
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  • Sat, Oct. 22, 10:42 AM
    • While Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) may have grabbed some headlines this week for its ambitious goals with autonomous driving (SAE level 5), the technology is being widely discussed across industries as a potential future reality.
    • At a real estate conference in New York this week, a panel member called autonomous vehicles the biggest tech news concerning real estate in the last ten years. Some see a future reversal of urbanization trends in a development that could have significant investment implications.
    • City planners and architects are already thinking of next-gen design. A paper titled "Beyond Google's Cute Car" (.pdf version) is a good example of how cities are being reimagined.
    • Then there's this from the man who designed the 2015 Ford Mustang. "The next 10 years in this business is going to be the biggest change and challenge since the turn of the last century when cars took over for horses," said Ford design chief Moray Callum. Ford (NYSE:F) aims to have a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle in commercial operation in 2021.
    • Self-driving car development is a topic of discussion on FedEx (NYSE:FDX), UPS (NYSE:UPS), Lyft (Private:LYFT), Uber (Private:UBER), Hertz Global (NYSE:HTZ), Google (GOOGL, GOOG), Avis Budget (NASDAQ:CAR), Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). Earnings season is just heating up, but a host of companies -- including OTCPK:TMOAF, OTCPK:DDAIF, OTCPK:VOLVY, MXIM, CPRT,  WBC, GNTX  and XLNX -- have already talked up the trend on their conference calls. GM reports earnings this week and will update on any self-driving Chevy Bolt plans.
    • Looking ahead, insurance companies, chipmakers, truckers and cybersecurity firms (NYSEARCA:HACK) will be firmly in the self-driving conversation.
    • So who has a profitable trade idea off of the evolution of cars?
    | Sat, Oct. 22, 10:42 AM | 217 Comments
  • Sat, Oct. 15, 11:43 AM
    • E-commerce sales during the holiday season are forecast to increase 17.2% this year to $94.71B, which represents a record 10.2% of all retail sales for the period.
    • The +17% growth also represents the fastest pace for holiday e-commerce sales since 2011.
    • Impressively, Amazon is expected to grow its holiday e-commerce market share above the 25% it took down last year.
    • Outside of Amazon, investors can bet on online retail broadly through the Amplify Online Retail ETF (NASDAQ:IBUY). IBUY aims to match the price and yield performance of the EQM Online Retail Index.
    • The IBUY is up 8% since launching in April, compared to a 5% drop for the S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT).
    • The top ten holdings of the Amplify Online Retail ETF are Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB), Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE), eBAY (NASDAQ:EBAY), RetailMeNot (NASDAQ:SALE), Copart (NASDAQ:CPRT), (NASDAQ:FLWS), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), (NASDAQ:STMP), and NutriSystem (NASDAQ:NTRI).
    • This year's e-commerce boom will also be a net positive for shippers FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and UPS (NYSE:UPS), despite the increasing logistical challenges amid a higher mix of large packages. There's also Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) to consider after the company made a dramatic commitment to invest more in e-commerce during an investor meeting a few weeks ago.
    • Previously: Winners and losers from the retail sales report (Oct. 14)
    | Sat, Oct. 15, 11:43 AM | 14 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 6, 2:59 PM
    • RetailNext forecasts that Black Friday will lose the distinction of being the busiest shopping day of the year. The research firm expects December 23 to be the day with the most sales and December 17 to be the busiest shopping day in terms of store traffic.
    • "As retailers have continued the trend to open more stores on Thanksgiving Day, it has pilfered away both sales and traffic from Black Friday," says RetailNext VP.
    • Black Friday falls to the third busiest shopping day of the year in the RetailNext forecast on sales.
    • Even slight shifts in consumer buying trends can have an impact on the strategy of retailers, as well as the logistics planning at FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and UPS (NYSE:UPS).
    • Source: Press Release
    | Thu, Oct. 6, 2:59 PM
  • Wed, Sep. 28, 9:52 AM
    • Amazon (AMZN +0.6%) continues down a path of building out its own delivery network as it looks to lower shipping costs, reports The Wall Street Journal.
    • Despite growing evidence that Amazon's shipping ambitions are more than just a passing fancy or negotiating chip, analysts as well as execs at FedEx (FDX -0.3%) and UPS (UPS -0.5%) are somewhat skeptical that Amazon can self-ship at scale.
    • "The level of global investment in facilities, sorting, aircraft, vehicles, people to replicate the service we provide, or our primary competitor provides, is just daunting, and frankly, in our view, unrealistic," says FedEx CFO Alan Graf.
    • UPS execs have expressed similar thoughts. Chief Commercial Officer Alan Gershenhorn noted recently that matching the UPS network would be "very difficult" for a rival.
    | Wed, Sep. 28, 9:52 AM | 38 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 28, 9:38 AM
    • UPS (UPS -0.5%) announces it broke ground on a new package sorting and delivery center in Bielefeld,  Eastern North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
    • The $80M project is expected to be operational by the end of October 2017.
    • The center is part of UPS’s commitment to invest $2B in the company’s European infrastructure through 2019.
    • Source: Press Release
    | Wed, Sep. 28, 9:38 AM
  • Fri, Sep. 23, 8:38 AM
    • Working with drone maker CyPhy Works, UPS yesterday staged a mock delivery of urgently needed medicine from Beverly, MA to Children's Island.
    • Part of the test involved delivering an asthma inhaler to a child at  a camp on the island - located just a few miles offshore, but not accessible by car. The drone took about six minutes to make the deliver with "very extreme precision," says UPS's Mark Wallace. A boat ride to do the same would have taken about a half hour.
    | Fri, Sep. 23, 8:38 AM | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 20, 5:00 AM
    • United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) has been sued over shipments that contained more than 683K cartons of untaxed cigarettes and for repeatedly ignored signs that showed its deliveries came from American Indian reservations.
    • The state lost millions of dollars as a result, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is demanding that UPS pay $872M for the illegal activity.
    | Tue, Sep. 20, 5:00 AM | 19 Comments
  • Mon, Sep. 19, 9:49 PM
    • A day ahead of its earnings report, FedEx (NYSE:FDX) says its will raise its shipping rates effective Jan. 2, including an average increase of 3.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services, and an average of 4.9% for its ground and home delivery services.
    • FDX also says it will increase freight shipping rates by an average of 4.9% and charge more to ship large packages.
    • Earlier this month, rival UPS announced a 4.9% average rate increase.
    | Mon, Sep. 19, 9:49 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Sep. 19, 5:36 AM
    • After rolling out a similar hub in the U.S., UPS is expanding its 3D printing services to Asia with a new facility in Singapore run by its partner Fast Radius.
    • The company sees 3D printing as a potential threat to its warehousing business - where it stores parts for manufacturers - so it has looked to incorporate the technology into its business model.
    | Mon, Sep. 19, 5:36 AM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Sep. 14, 9:53 AM
    • UPS (UPS) announces that it expects to hire about 95K seasonal employees to help it handle the holiday rush of package volume that will begin in November. Last year, the UPS target was for 90K to 95K seasonal add-ons.
    • The company ended up giving full-time offers to about 37% of last year's seasonal hires.
    • Source: Press Release
    | Wed, Sep. 14, 9:53 AM | 3 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 9, 3:57 AM
    | Fri, Sep. 9, 3:57 AM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 2, 9:47 AM
    • Ground and freight rates have been raised by an average of 4.9% and are set to take effect on Sept. 9 (freight) and Dec. 26 (ground). UPS Air and International Services, included UPS Air Freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico will rise 4.9%, effective Dec. 26.
    • The rate increases are consistent with what was seen in 2015, but the timing of the announcement is six week ahead of last year's, says Oppenheimer's Scott Schneeberger. He notes this puts the company's rate hike announcement before the one likely coming from FedEx on Sept. 20.
    • Shares +0.7%
    | Fri, Sep. 2, 9:47 AM | 4 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 16, 4:08 PM
    • A major announcement from Ford that it will develop a 100% autonomous vehicle in 2021 could have far-reaching implications in a variety of sectors.
    • “The first application of the fully autonomous vehicle will be commercial applications, whether it’s ride-hailing or parcel delivery,” Ford CEO Mark Fields told Recode. Companies that could be eyeing the implication of purchasing self-driving car fleets include FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), UPS (NYSE:UPS), Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ), and Papa John's International (NASDAQ:PZZA).
    • There's also relevance on Ford's big bet on autonomy for Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) and Hertz (NYSE:HTZ).
    • The trucking and shipping sectors (ARCB, KNX, MRTN, CGI, YRCW, HTLD, UACL, SWFT) will also be monitoring how autonomous vehicle technology fits into the future.
    • Previously: Ford to produce mass market autonomous vehicle (Aug. 16)
    | Tue, Aug. 16, 4:08 PM | 43 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 15, 6:12 PM
    • UPS CEO David Abney urges Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement by the end of the year, warning that Asian countries will sign their own trade agreements if the U.S. fails to take action.
    • “We would much rather see the U.S. involved in setting the standard for trade with Asia, than to have China do it," the CEO says. “Other countries aren’t sitting by if we pass up on this opportunity.”
    • “Trade is not the demon that sometimes people think it is,” Abney says, adding that trade agreements in the past have resulted in a 20% increase in exports to that country and that every 22 international packages that either enter or leave the U.S. supports a UPS job.
    | Mon, Aug. 15, 6:12 PM | 14 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 11, 9:10 AM
    • Two major recent developments in the retail sector that reinforce the commitment of major players to e-commerce also appear to be long-term sales drivers for FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and UPS (NYSE:UPS).
    • Wal-Mart's acquisition of last week is a significant doubling-down on e-commerce from the Bentonville company, while Macy's announcement that it would close 15% of all its full-line stores is another crack in the brick-and-mortar wall.
    • The impact of the sector news hasn't been dissected yet by analysts covering the two shippers. Both FDX and UPS have double-digit YTD returns to easily top the return on the S&P 500 Index.
    | Thu, Aug. 11, 9:10 AM | 12 Comments
  • Fri, Aug. 5, 4:28 PM
    • United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) declares $0.78/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 2.87%
    • Payable Aug. 31; for shareholders of record Aug. 16; ex-div Aug. 12.
    | Fri, Aug. 5, 4:28 PM | 3 Comments