Mon, Jan. 12, 11:57 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) won major awards at the Golden Globes last night in a further confirmation of the influence of the streamers.
- Amazon Studios won the Best Series - Musical of Comedy for Transparent.
- Kevin Spacey took home best actor in a TV drama for House of Cards. In a well-timed move, Netflix also released the trailer for season 3 of House of Cards today (YouTube).
- In another win by an upstart, IFC Films (NASDAQ:AMCX) landed the trophy for Best Film with Boyhood.
Mon, Jan. 5, 6:52 AM
Sat, Jan. 3, 7:51 PM
- The intense competition in retail over free shipping policies is expected to bring some pain to Q4 margins as big box and e-commerce firms scrap for market share, warn analysts.
- ComScore reports that free delivery on online purchases rose to 68% in 2014, up from 44% last year.
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN): 2014 shipping costs were up 32% through Q3. That mark comes before a holiday season in which the company says it saved customers a mere $2B in shipping fees.
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): The Bentonville giant has already warned investors it will spend heavily on e-commerce and fulfillment center expansion as it eyes +30% growth in online sales. The company may have difficulty dialing back its free delivery policies, say industry insiders.
- Target (NYSE:TGT): Wolfe Research projects a 1% shift in Target sales to e-commerce cuts into the firm's profit margin by 5 bps.
- What to watch: Online sales rose 16% in Q3 vs. 4% for broad retail, a differential that is expected to have widened in Q4. Retailers with a sharp shift in mix to online could have trouble hitting consensus EPS estimates.
- Related stocks: BBY, DKS, CAB, SPLS, TJX, BIG.
- Related ETFs: XLP, XLY, VDC, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXG, IYK, FXD, IYC, FDIS, RHS, SCC, FSTA, UCC, PMR, UGE, RCD, PEZ, PSCD, SZK
Fri, Jan. 2, 8:13 AM| Fri, Jan. 2, 8:13 AM | 3 Comments
Fri, Jan. 2, 2:43 AM
- As Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) finished its worst year on the market since 2008, CEO Jeff Bezos saw his holdings lose about $7.4B in value after shares plummeted more than 22%.
- Shareholders punished Amazon for its free spending on projects such as the Fire smartphone and a widening network of warehouses, despite other areas in the company's business model seeing growth, including Prime membership and Amazon Web Services.
Thu, Jan. 1, 2:19 AM
- Dow: INTC +41%; UNH +35%; HD +28%; CSCO +25%; MSFT +25%.
- S&P 500: LUV +125%; EA +106%; EW +95%; AGN +92%; AVGO +91%.
- Nasdaq: AAL +112%; EA +106%; AVGO +91%; GMCR +78%; ILMN +68%.
Dec. 30, 2014, 11:58 AM
- Instacart is now valued at $2B after bringing in $210M from investors.
- The online grocery delivery start-up is expected to clear $100M in revenue this year.
- An expansion outside of mainstream grocery products is expected to be unveiled by Instacart in 2015.
- The developments with Instacart have some bearing on Amazon (AMZN -0.5%) (rival) and Whole Foods Market (WFM +1.2%) (partner).
- Previously: Grocery stores 2.0: Place your bets (Dec. 06 2014)
- Instacart's SEC Form D filing
Dec. 26, 2014, 9:51 AM
- Though it still won't disclose its exact Prime subscriber count, Amazon (AMZN +0.9%) states today (in a holiday season sales update) it "[welcomed] more than ten million new members to Amazon Prime this holiday season." With the company providing a 30-day free trial for Prime, it won't know for another month exactly how many of the new users have become paid subscribers.
- Amazon announced a year ago it had "tens of millions" of Prime members. In September, RBC's Mark Mahaney estimated (following a U.S. survey) Amazon had 40M-50M Prime subs globally, and 30M-40M in the U.S. The company has been busy expanding Prime's free content offerings to help reel in subscribers, and keep existing ones loyal following a $20 price hike earlier this year.
- 50M paid Prime subs would bring in nearly $5B/year in subscription fees to help pay for the service's content and two-day shipping costs. Bernstein has estimated Amazon's content costs will top $2.5B in 2015.
- Amazon also states: 1) Orders for its nascent same-day delivery service rose over 10x Y/Y during the holiday season. 2) Black Friday Fire tablet and Kindle sales (boosted by price cuts) respectively rose ~3x and ~4x Y/Y. 3) Nearly 60% of customers shopped using a mobile device during the holiday season, with app-driven U.S. smartphone sales doubling.
Dec. 23, 2014, 7:25 PM
- It’s pretty clear why many energy stocks are hurting amid falling crude oil prices, but Morgan Stanley has researched across industries to determine some less clear-cut winners and losers.
- Airlines consume huge amounts of fuel, but the firm says American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) and Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ:ALGT) should benefit more than most from lower oil prices since they do not hedge the price of fuel to reduce price volatility.
- Among autos, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) draws concern because "lower-for-longer oil certainly hurts the case for mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.”
- Since lower gas prices should reduce shipping costs, Stanley sees the benefit trickling into Q1 per-unit shipping costs at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
- The firm likes Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) on the idea that Americans getting cheaper gas might be more ready to splurge on energy drinks, and gas stations and convenience stores account for 75% of MNST’s sales.
- Among apparel companies and retailers, Stanley likes brands that are most popular with lower-income consumers, who they believe are most likely to put the money they save into new purchases: PLCE, FL, FINL, BWS, SKUL, ARO, BURL, ROST.
Dec. 23, 2014, 2:59 PM
- The strong reads on consumer spending (ICSC, Redbook) bode well for Q4 earnings in the retail sector, note analysts.
- Electronics sellers (BBY, HGG) and the luxury sector (RL, TIF, COH, KORS, KATE, FOSL, VRA) are viewed as being in a good position to see a December boost.
- Companies which eased off on pulling a bulk of their sales forward with Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals are also seen as potential winners with sub-$2 gas resetting some holiday budgets.
- Though e-commerce is expected to dazzle again this holiday season. It's not all fun and games for analysts looking at margins. The extension by Amazon (AMZN -0.1%) of its free shipping offer could be a signal that inventory levels are higher than anticipated and that the growth-at-all-costs mentality at the company is as entrenched as ever, notes Nasdaq Advisory Services.
- The S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) has doubled up the return of the S&P 500 over the last 3 months, 10.8% vs. 5.1%.
- Previously: Retail trends to watch: Athleisure, P-E buyouts, and new online channels (Dec. 20 2014)
- Related ETFs: XLP, XLY, VDC,VCR, RTH, RETL, FXG, PBJ, IYK, PEJ, FXD, IYC, FDIS, RHS, SCC, FSTA, UCC, PMR, PSL, UGE, RCD, PEZ, PSCC, PSCD, SZK
Dec. 20, 2014, 10:17 AM
- The S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) is up 3.4% over the last month to outpace the S&P 500 Index as consumer spending trends improve. Analysts have honed in on some categories which show some promise for growth.
- Drugstores: The transition by the sector into more health/wellness services sets it up for new growth channels. CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) reported strong comparable-store sales despite the full tobacco exit, while Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) is prepping for a roll-out of RediClinics and HealthSpot kiosks. The visibility on Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) is somewhat clouded by the giant Alliance Boots integration, although it's ahead of rivals on the tech front with its rewards program, pharmacy app and developing online doctor concept.
- Athleisure: There's some gender initiatives going on in the athletic apparel sector with Under Armour (NYSE:UA) and Nike (NYSE:NKE) growing their women's business and Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) expanding on the men's side. All three companies have been closely on-trend with their assortment in a category with explosive demand. Importantly, pricing has held up this holiday season in the U.S., note retail watchers.
- Online replenishing: Fresh research into shopping trends indicates certain categories see continued buying through the online channel as consumers become attuned to a brand. Retailers positioned well to see more gains from the trend include Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM), Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP), Sephora (OTCPK:LVMHF), Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS), and of course Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
- P-E buyouts: There are plenty of candidates in the retail sector for a leveraged buyout similar to the action that helped propel shares of PetSmart (NASDAQ:PETM) +40% from their lows. Keep an eye on Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO), and Ann (NYSE:ANN).
Dec. 18, 2014, 8:14 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) confirms it has rolled out Prime Now in Manhattan.
- The delivery service promises one-hour delivery for qualifying products at a price of $7.99.
- The company has set up a base of operations and fleet of bikes at a building on 34th street in the middle of the island.
- Customers of Prime Now must pay the $99 per year Prime membership fee to qualify for the service.
- Amazon expects to roll out the service to other cities next year.
- Previously: Amazon testing bike messengers to enable 1-hour delivery
Dec. 17, 2014, 12:59 PM
- Online sales of beauty and personal care products are booming, according to a new report from A.T. Kearney.
- A survey by the research firm indicated 47% of all shoppers increased the amount of beauty and personal care products they bought online this year.
- The category is proving to be defined by online "replenishing" shopping after consumers become attuned to a brand.
- The overall e-commerce penetration rate for prestige beauty/personal care is 11% vs 6% for mass products.
- Companies benefiting from the trend include Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA), and Sephora (OTCPK:LVMHF).
Dec. 16, 2014, 3:59 PM
- Internet stocks have posted substantial losses after a morning market rally proved short-lived. The Nasdaq is down 1.2%.
- In addition to Google, which has made new 52-week lows, Facebook (FB -3%), Twitter (TWTR -4.7%), Amazon (AMZN -3.5%), and Netflix (NFLX -3.2%) are among the underperforming names. Other decliners: Z -5.5%. TRLA -5.4%. MELI -5.4%. ZNGA -4.9%. ZU -3.2%. ANGI -3.4%.
- The selloff comes even though Goldman upgraded its rating for the sector to Attractive from Neutral today. The firm noted Internet stocks are collectively down 16% over the last 12 months (maybe 18%-19% after today), and that forward EV/EBITDA multiples have contracted significantly.
- Internet/social media ETFs: FDN, PNQI, SOCL
Dec. 15, 2014, 7:43 PM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) adds HBO Go to the Fire set-top box in a move that it hopes will increase the device's attractiveness with consumers.
- HBO and Amazon already have an online licensing deal which gives Fire owners an exclusive crack at streaming HBO shows three years after they premiere.
- The addition of HBO Go to the Fire TV gives HBO subscribers instant access to the network's current programming
Dec. 15, 2014, 7:02 PM
- The WSJ reports Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has "approached retailers about creating a 'buy' button" for Google Shopping that would work much like Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) one-click ordering feature.
- Google is also said to be "considering a [Google Shopping] marketing program that would allow merchants to promote two-day shipping." The program would be similar to one from ShopRunner that provides unlimited two-day shipping from various retailers for $79/year. Amazon Prime, of course, provides unlimited two-day shipping (among other things) for $99/year.
- Sources caution several retailers approached by Google were cool to the "Buy" button concept, fearing more price competition and a loss of control over the shopper experience. Google could profit from the button either by charging a transaction fee, or by simply seeing higher conversions when it's used (thus raising ad prices). The company might also get better conversion data than it's currently receiving.
- As ChannelAdvisor's data drives home, Google Shopping ads (deeply integrated with Google search) have been seeing rapid growth; Wal-Mart, Best Buy, eBay, and Sears are among their many buyers. Amazon, though spending plenty on standard Google search ads, is a high-profile holdout.
- Google officially launched its $95/year Shopping Express same-day/next-day delivery service (competes against Prime's same-day services) in October. Around the same time, Eric Schmidt called Amazon Google's biggest search rival, due to the fact Amazon shoppers are more likely to bypass Google search.
AMZN vs. ETF Alternatives
Amazon.com Inc is an online retailer. The Company sells its products through the website which provides services, such as advertising services and co-branded credit card agreements. It also offerselectronic devices like Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.
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