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  • The Insanity That Is Mattel's Leadership [View article]
    Very true Matthew. Especially when you consider most of the revenue comes during the holidays and all the toys for this holiday season are already developed to be mfg. Don't expect exciting new products for another year.
    Apr 4, 2015. 11:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Insanity That Is Mattel's Leadership [View article]
    A little over the top, I think. It is true the culture and thinking is deeply entrenched but but the jury should still be out on Richard Dickson. Very innovative guy who likely has the smarts to take Mattel in a better direction. Biggest issue is revamping a culture that has focused on retail slots and price points more than consumers and redirecting a culture of cost cutting to one of innovation. That's probably a harder road...
    Apr 4, 2015. 06:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Campbell Soup Is Obsolete [View article]
    Whether CPB belongs in someone's portfolio depends on a number of factors but 'organic' is not one of them. A recently published article by Stanford University in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that organic foods did not offer any better nutritional value though it costs significantly more. In other words, it doesn't live up to the hype. Once the organic fad moderates when the facts become more widely known, the bloom will be off the rose. This is not to say CPB doesn't need a more contemporary product portfolio, however.
    Feb 25, 2015. 09:26 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mattel Builds On Lego's Success [View article]
    I'm a big fan of Mattel (a client of mine) and CEO Bryan Stockton. I think their move into the construction play category makes a lot of sense given the growth driven by market leader Lego. Should make for interesting toy wars going forward. More importantly for the long term, I'm watching to see which company in the physical toy industry figures out how to innovate their product portfolio towards the digital world. While my very young grandkids like physical toys, they spend a significant amount of "play" time with iPhones, iPads, and streaming games. A seamless integration of traditional toys and the latest consumer technologies will be what produces the real winners in the industry.
    Mar 4, 2014. 11:20 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Productivity Measures Will Drive EPS And Dividend Growth At Procter & Gamble [View article]
    P&G could use the productivity model we had at Kraft Foods. They're (PG) good on the growth side but when it comes to productivity to enhance margins, they have a lot to learn.
    Jan 13, 2014. 02:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Apple Will Repeat History And Plunge Into The Abyss: Time To Call It Quits [View article]
    Nope. Very bad idea. "Get in line with the competitors" is the equivalent of relinquishing all its points of differentiation. That would be catastrophic strategy. As soon as Apple takes this course of action, I'll agree they're on the road to perdition. Until then, they remain a money-making machine...
    May 29, 2013. 09:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Private label brand breakthrough: A survey released by Deloitte on brand loyalty could rattle the food and grocery sectors as a whopping 94% of consumers indicate they will stick with private-label or store brands instead of reverting back to costlier options. Industry insiders think even if the economy comes roaring back, a paradigm shift  of consumer attitudes toward food purchases may already be entrenched. The trend could favor Treehouse Foods (THS), Safeway (SWY), Kroger (KR), Costco (COST), Whole Foods Market (WFM) - while creating a headache for Kellogg (K), Post Holdings (POST), Campbell Soup (CPB), Kraft Foods (KRFT), and General Mills (GIS). [View news story]
    Depends entirely on the product category. While some private label products are equivalent to their branded counterparts (e.g., milk, natural cheese), other product categories test significantly different with consumers even in blind tests.
    Apr 16, 2013. 10:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 'New' Kraft: Reinventing Itself And Paying A 4.1% Annual Dividend Yield [View article]
    KRFT may stumble when it comes to innovation. They need more than three $100+ million new products each year (more like 7) to replace leaky bucket volume and provide very modest revenue growth. Increased marketing spending will help assuming they have the discipline to stick with it. I'm holding KRFT for the dividend but not yet convinced about its future.
    Apr 12, 2013. 10:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Mattel (MAT) sees a downgrade from KeyBanc to Hold from Buy after shares made a sneaky run to new highs despite being continuously maligned as ill-positioned for the transition of toys to a digital format from physical. SA contributor Travis Giarde considers Mattel a good buy ~$38 on the company's prospects for global growth and its attractive dividend yield. [View news story]
    Good company with very strong leadership that's producing very good performance even though technology is having an impact both on the nature of kids' play and also in the design and manufacture of new toys. Keep in mind their closest competitor in the physical toy space, LEGO, sells little plastic bricks. I'd bet on Mattel leveraging strong brands and making tech-induced transitions just fine.
    Apr 7, 2013. 11:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment