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Yingli is set to report its Q3 earnings on Wednesday, reporting on a challenging quarter that likely saw the company forced to divert resources to manage its debt. Our pre-earnings note discusses our expectations.

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With a rate hike expected in the near term, JPMorgan stands to see an improvement in its net interest margin as well as its loan yields. We expect the company's commercial loan yields to improve but remain suppressed going forward.

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GES Logo
These Three Things Matter Most For Guess
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: GES GPS URBN
  • A new CEO with a successful track record on board and a five point turnaround strategy in place, can Guess   (NYSE:GES) meet the challenges of declining store traffic in a competitive retail industry and turn itself around? We believe so, given CEO Victor Herrero’s track record in Asia and the company’s focus on its Asian business growth.  These could be key driving factors for future growth. The company is working on a strategy to communicate customer feedback in several ways back to the product team so as to to adapt its products to changing customer needs in a more timely way.  This can improve its sales in future. Improving the cost structure is the new CEO’s priority and given Guess’ low margins, better supply chain management and low overhead costs can improve the valuation of the company. See our complete analysis for Guess Asian Markets Over the next five years, the Asian clothing and apparel sector is expected to grow at the rate of 9.5%, surpassing growth rates of all other regions in the world.  Consumer expenditure on clothing and footwear is expected to reach around $920 billion in 2018 from $625 billion in 2014.. Given this growth potential and Mr. Herrero’s successful track record of leading Inditex, where he built a $4 billion business in Asia from scratch, we believe this focus on Asian markets could be key for Guess’ growth.  Currently Asia contributes to around 10% of  Guess’ revenues and the new CEO aims to increase this contribution to 25% of total revenues.  Asian operations account for less than 10% of Guess’ valuation as per our estimates and we expect revenues from Asia to increase to around $300 million at the end of our forecast period.  However, if the company meets its targets of rapid expansion in Asia and revenues touch $750 million by the end of our forecast period, there can be a 10% upside to our price estimate. Adapting Products To Changing Customer Needs Guess plans to develop its sales executives as “product experts” who will develop in depth knowledge of latest trends, product composition and key product differentiators.  This team will act as sales experts and provide feedback to the production team, which can then adapt the product design to customer needs. To attract a younger customer base, Guess plans to use social media for marketing and digital channels for customer feedback from millennials. This feedback will again feed into idea generation.  It also plans to increase the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) in its stores to gather feedback and focus on fast growing product categories.  All these initiatives are aimed at adapting its products to customer needs and this could be the most important driver of Guess’ future growth. Improvement In The Cost Structure Guess’ margins are lower than most of the other industry players, indicating a high cost structure. Its declining sales add pressure on the margins, given the impact of fixed costs. Improving the profitability of the company by focusing on the cost structure, supply chain and overhead is one of the priorities of the new CEO and we believe this can have a significant impact on the valuation of the company. A 250 basis points increase in the EBITDA margins of Europe operations over our forecast period can lead to a 5% upside in our price estimate of the company. View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap |  European Large & Mid Cap |  More Trefis Research
    LNKD Logo
    Is LinkedIn Ready To Face Competition?
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: LNKD FB GOOG
  • LinkedIn  (NASDAQ:LNKD) could face intense competition from “Facebook at Work”, which was launched in beta version in the beginning of this year and might be rolled out by the end of 2015, and other new entrants such as Connectifier.. While currently LinkedIn competes with other local players such as Xing in Germany and Viadeo in France, given its nearly 400 million strong user base and global presence (spread across 200+ countries), it does not face a serious threat from these local players. However, Facebook@Work and innovative product offerings by smaller start- ups could have the potential to grab a piece of LinkedIn’s pie.
    EBAY Logo
    Here Are Some Key Triggers For eBay's Stock
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: EBAY eBay AMZN BABA
  • eBay  (NASDAQ:EBAY), one of the leading companies in the global e-commerce market, is presently trading at a market capitalization of around $35 billion with a P/E ratio of 11.7 (as compared to the industry average of 35.4, as per Morningstar). This is as eBay is battling increased competition and facing traffic-related headwinds, which lower its growth prospects. While our $29.34 price estimate  for eBay’s stock is almost at par with the current market price, we think there are probable scenarios that could impact where it trades significantly over the coming years. More specifically, eBay’s performance relative to the broader e-commerce market could be governed by certain scenarios that could lead to huge swings in eBay’s stock in the coming years. See our complete analysis for eBay eBay’s Growth Accelerates Over Our Forecast Period (+30%) In our present valuation model, we estimate eBay’s transaction revenues to rise at 4.2% CAGR between 2014 and 2022 to over $9.6 billion. These represent conservative forecasts as we think eBay could continue to under-perform the broader e-commerce market over the coming years, owing to increased competition from heavyweights such as Amazon and Alibaba and entry of newer players in the e-commerce sector. Moreover, we expect headwinds (due to Google Panda update and security breach) to continue to weigh on eBay’s demand in the short-run. However, under a scenario wherein eBay’s transaction revenues rise much faster at 8.2% CAGR over our review period, could lead to more than 30% rise in our price estimate to $39.50 (according to estimates using Trefis technology). We believe this scenario is possible, due to the following factors:  1) if eBay’s garners the benefits of its efforts to diversify traffic sources and to strengthen its search engine rankings by organizing data into catalogs;  2) if eBay improves the  seller experience so as to induce considerable growth in seller base, offering and product categories; and, 3) if new management is able to introduce innovative strategies that completely reverse the traffic decline caused by recent headwinds. eBay’s Growth Worsens Over Our Forecast Period (-15%) In contrast to the above upside scenario, another scenario is also plausible, wherein eBay’s transaction revenue growth falls to 2% CAGR over the 2014-2022 period. This scenario will take our price estimate around 15% lower to $24.80. We believe this scenario could occur, if the following takes place:  1) heavyweights such as Amazon and Alibaba, along with traditional brick-and mortar retail giants including Walmart and Target, continue to eat into eBay’s market share;2) the increased popularity of niche e-commerce websites (such as Etsy) result in lower demand on eBay’s marketplaces; and, 3) growth strategies being undertaken by new management fail to pay off. Profitability Slips Over Our Forecast Period (-10%) Although we forecast eBay’s EBITDA margin to decline in 2015 due to stand-up and dis-synergy costs caused by PayPal’s spin-off, we expect it  to stabilize at around 47% over our forecast period. This stems from our belief that eBay’s marketplaces business model will continue to deliver healthy margins, and its costs will see controlled growth over our review period. However, in the event that eBay’s EBITDA margin falls to around 42% by the end of our forecast period, then this scenario will take our price estimate 10% lower to $26.50. We believe this scenario seems plausible as eBay could step up its investments in the coming years, to diversify its product offerings and fasten its delivery network. These additional investments (along with limited ability to raise prices due to increased competition) could put pressure on the bottom-line. Moreover if demand continues to slacken on eBay’s marketplaces, then increases in expenses could outpace growth in the top-line. View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis):
    GPS Logo
    Gap Inc: Why A Slow 2015 Can Pave The Way For A Better 2016
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: GPS
  • The year 2015   so far has been weak for apparel major retailer  Gap Inc  (NYSE:GPS), and the holiday quarter is unlikely to be any better. This can be attributed to the fact that the retailer has spent a major part of the year trying to re-establish its mainline brands — Gap and Banana Republic . Through the year, the retailer has been clearing its old inventory to make way for the updated merchandise portfolio scheduled to hit its stores during the spring season next year. These short term headwinds are why Gap Inc’s performance has been below par this year. The company knows very well what its customers want and is working proactively to deliver on that. Thus we believe that a year spent with heavy markdowns on old merchandise was a small price to pay to ensure better customer response for next year and beyond. When the apparel industry started struggling with a pullback in consumer spending, a change in spending patterns and the growth in fast-fashion brands’ popularity, Gap Inc remained resilient for a while. However, its premium mainline brands ultimately fell behind as they were unable to compete with relatively cheaper merchandise from Zara, Forever 21 and H&M. Ever since, the retailer has been trying hard to revamp Gap and Banana Republic by infusing them with more and  Old Navy’s successful strategies. Our price estimate for Gap Inc stands at $43, which implies a significant premium to the current market price. However, we are in the process of updating our model in light of the recent earnings release.
    LVS Logo
    Casino Notes: Macau November Gaming Revenues Plunge 32% While Macau's GDP Shrinks 24% In Q3
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: MGM WYNN
  • Casino stocks remained weak this past month amid a continued decline in Macau gaming volume. Gaming revenues plunged 32% in November, marking 18th consecutive month of decline in the world’s largest gambling hub. Looking at the Las Vegas Strip, revenues dropped 5% in October as baccarat volumes remained weak. On that note, we discuss below some of the key developments in the casino industry over the past month.
    TWC Logo
    Time Warner Cable’s Pay-TV Subscriber Base Will Continue To Decline, But Growth In ARPU Will Lead To Pay-TV Revenue Growth
  • By , 12/1/15
  • Time Warner Cable  (NYSE:TWC) and other cable operators have been losing pay-TV subscribers for many years due to a combination of market saturation, fierce competition from satellite-TV companies & telcos, and consumers shifting to cheaper alternatives. However, Time Warner Cable managed a better subscriber retention rate in 2015 as compared to earlier years. This can be attributed in large part to the company’s triple play bundling packages. We continue to believe that the rise of alternative video platforms will negatively affect Time Warner Cable in the long run. We estimate that the company’s subscriber base will experience a sustained decline throughout our forecast period. However, continued growth in the pay-TV segment’s average revenue per subscriber will compensate for subscriber losses, and pay-TV revenue will grow from an estimated $8.9 billion in 2015 to $10 billion by 2022. Our price target for Time Warner Cable stands at $199, implying a premium of more than 5% to the market. See our complete analysis for Time Warner Cable Pace Of Decline Will Slow Down In Time Warner Cable’s Subscriber Base Pay-TV operations contribute 31% to Time Warner Cable’s stock value, according to our estimates. The cable-TV provider has been losing pay-TV subscribers for years now. Time Warner Cable’s overall subscriber base has come down from 13.3 million in 2007 to just under 11 million, as of September 30, 2015. Time Warner Cable is not the only cable-TV company which is losing subscribers. Top cable-TV providers lost around 1.7 million and 1.2 million subscribers in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The subscriber loss in the cable-TV industry can be largely attributed to a combination of market saturation, fierce competition from satellite-TV companies and telcos, such as AT&T (NYSE:T) & Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and more consumers opting for a lower-cost mixture of over-the-air TV and other over-the-top viewing options such as  Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Hulu, etc. Even though Time Warner Cable is losing subscribers, the company has been able to slow down the pace of decline in its subscriber base in recent quarters. The company’s pay-TV subscriber base shrank by 15,000 subscribers during the first half of 2015. By comparison, Time Warner Cable had lost 186,000 and 310,000 subscribers during the first six months of 2014 and 2013, respectively. The company continued this momentum in Q3 2015 and had its best third quarter performance since 2006, losing only 7,000 video subscribers. Much of the reduction in the pace of subscriber decline can be attributed to TWC’s strategy of triple play bundling. The company management has stated previously that 80% of the video subscriber base opt for the full bundle. Triple play bundling is the combining of the three services offered by Time Warner Cable — pay-TV, high speed internet, and voice — into one package. This bundling helps reduce the subscription fees for subscribers as it saves on infrastructure costs and leads to operational efficiency and economies of scale. Looking ahead, we believe that Time Warner Cable will continue to lose pay-TV subscribers in the coming years, albeit at a slower pace. We estimate Time Warner Cable’s subscriber base to be around 10 million by the end of 2022, reflecting a sustained decline throughout our forecast period. The primary reason for the sustained decline is the continued growth of alternative video platforms including free programming and online video services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Netflix, in particular, has been adding more and more subscribers every quarter due to its attractive pricing. Additionally, content providers such as Dish Network, Sony, Apple, HBO, CBS, etc., are also entering the lucrative streaming market. These services are priced somewhere in between the subscription fees charged by traditional pay-TV providers, and Netflix. As more and more consumers embrace these lower cost options, the pay-TV penetration will reduce in the coming years. Increasing ARPU Will Lead To Growth In Segment Revenues Time Warner cable’s pay-TV revenues have taken a hit in the past two  years due to the decline in the company’s subscriber base. However, the revenues could have decreased at a greater rate if not for the growth in the segment’s average monthly subscription fee. Time Warner cable’s pay-TV segment average monthly subscription fee has increased from $57.70 in 2008, to an estimated $68 in 2015. The company will need to continuously increase prices in the future for its existing customers in order to maintain profitability amidst the sustained loss of subscribers. Consequently, we believe that the uptrend in average monthly fees will continue in the coming years, and the metric will touch $82 by the end of the forecast period. Furthermore, we believe that the continued growth in average monthly subscription fees will be able to compensate for the negative effect of the decline in subscriber base in the later years of our forecast period. Resultantly, we believe that pay-TV segment revenues will grow from an estimated $8.9 billion currently, to $10 billion by 2022. View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
    RL Logo
    Here Are Ralph Lauren’s Key Growth Drivers
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: PG RL GAP BBBY
  • A focus on improving its brand image, an integrated omni channel strategy and expansion efforts in Asia could be the key growth drivers for Ralph Lauren  (NYSE:RL)  in future. The company is merging its luxury brands into one label for men and a single label for women to drive brand efficiency.  This initiative, coupled with its brand popularity, can generate revenues in future. Ralph Lauren is also working on a next generation e-commerce platform to support its omni channel efforts, which will be an important distribution channel in future. China continues to remain a strong market for the company and we believe luxury spending in this region will continue and drive growth for Ralph Lauren. See Our Complete Analysis For Ralph Lauren Here     Strong Brand Portfolio In order to drive efficiency in its brands, Ralph Lauren is merging its many luxury brands to create a single label for men and one for women to simplify the luxury status around these brands. This strategy has been well received in its elementary stages. The company is working on product innovations such as launch of Polo for women and expansion of the Ricky handbag line in accessories. We believe Ralph Lauren has a strong brand appeal and popularity; it was ranked in the top five favourite brands among teens.. Given the recent restructuring measures, improving its brand image could be a key driver of revenue growth in future. Continued Investment In Its E-Commerce Platform Ralph Lauren’s increase in retail revenues during FY2015 was primarily due to a 16% revenue growth in its global e-commerce operations. The company is currently working on a next generation e-commerce platform to support its investment in the integrated omni channel strategy used in its business operations. In 2015, Ralph Lauren enhanced its e-commerce website to provide quick shopping capabilities and a more streamlined checkout process. Global retail e-commerce sales are expected to cross $1.5 trillion by 2019, although the rate of growth will slow in the out years. An A.T Kearney connected consumer study reported that 76% of the survey respondents globally mentioned that they had bought fashion and apparel goods online in the past three months.., making it one of the most popular products online.  The report also mentions that two thirds of the customers purchasing online use a physical store either before or after the purchase, thus indicating the importance of an omni channel strategy. We believe, given the consumer trends an integrated omni channel strategy will be key for Ralph Lauren’s growth in future. Expansion in Asia China is an important market for Ralph Lauren, since the “new” Chinese middle class which emerged after a long stint of double digit growth in the economy has an aspiration for luxury products.  Ralph Lauren had expected its Asia division to account for about a third of its sales, up from 12% currently.  However as growth in China slowed down to high single digits and its “anti-extravagance” drive took shape, luxury spending in China took a hit. Despite this, we believe China is still a lucrative market for Ralph Lauren and at a 7% growth rate; the absolute size of the Chinese economy would huge. Once this economy settles down from its transition phase to a “new normal” it could hold a strong growth potential for the company.  In FY2015, the company opened 18 stores internationally and a luxury flagship store in Greater China. View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
    GOOG Logo
    Reasons Why Google’s Latest AI-TensorFlow is Open Sourced
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: GOOG IBM MSFT
  • Alphabet’s  (NASDAQ:GOOG) subsidiary Google recently announced that it was open-sourcing its latest machine learning engine engine called TensorFlow. Machine learning is a subset of the intellectual domain of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which comprises the study of various sorts of intelligent, self-learnig machines.Specifically, machine learning refers to algorithms that have the ability to self-optimize through repetition without additional programming of the underlying software.  This marks an important chapter in Google’s history as the company relies heavily on deep machine learning algorithms to develop products and features that have superior user experience compared to existing product. For example, Google’s personal photo app uses machine learning (ML) algorithm (deep learning) to scan through images and surface relevant images—i.e., a search for an image of a dog by a user that surfaces images of dogs owned by the user based on its deep learning algorithm and user data. Google uses its machine learning engine broadly across its businesses, most notably for its basis search engine (the latest termed RankBrain), but also for recognizing spoken words (natural language processing) and translating  languages (Google translate). With the ever-increasing profusion of data, the need for additional techniquess has grown.  In order to keep up with this influx of data and expedite the evolution of its machine learning engine, Google has open sourced its engine TensorFlow. In this note, we explore the trends shaping AI systems powered by ML and reasons behind releasing parts of TensorFlow. Click here to see our complete analysis of Alphabet Why AI-powered By ML Is Important? Artificial Intelligence systems are computer systems that can mimic, to some extent, the cognitive functions of a human brain Machine learning (ML) addresses the question of how to build computers that improve automatically through experience. ML encompasses concepts from both  computer science and statistics, and is at the core of artificial intelligence and data science. Computers today are indeed very powerful, given advances in processing power and memory and storage, they remain inanimate assemblages of circuits that derive any intelligence from the software they run and, by extension, the programmers who developed it.   Additionally, with the increasing penetration of Internet, users around the world are generating copious amounts of data. However, most of this data is unstructured, i.e., not organized in a pre-defined manner. As a result, sieving through this data to surface relevant information is arduous. While machine learning  is one way of dealing with this problem in the short term, the long-term solution is developing an AI engine that can not only analyze the data but also make necessary connections (mirroring the human brain that understands the context of language) to filter the necessary information. In a nutshell, AI systems should be able to mimic (and exceed) intelligence as observed in a human being. However, for a ML system to evolve ( a precursor to AI), large swaths of data need to be fed to it so that it can learn and perform with complex datasets in the future. What is TensorFlow? According to its site, TensorFlow is an open source software library for numerical computation using data flow graphs. For a layman, TensorFlow can be considered as a system that takes heterogeneous data (as input) and subject it to mathematical computation to produce an output, i.e., a set of software libraries. A user can use these libraries for his/her application for tasks such as language translation, image and speech processing. It is thus a flexible archetecture that can be deployed to single or multiple CPUs and GPUs within systems ranging from Smart phones to large server arrays as needed.   TensorFlow has been developed within Google for its own uses, though it is now to shared within an Open Source community. Why Is TensorFlow Open Sourced? According to a TensorFlow website, the open source software will spur innovation and make it easier for researchers to share their ideas and code. However, Trefis believes that there are some valid points that this might not be the only reason. TensorFlow is a sophisticated software (some industry experts say that it is 6-7 years ahead of the competition), and it needs data to learn and evolve. These systems rely on neural networks, which mimic networks of neurons inside your head, that needs to be fed vast amounts of data to learn and perform tasks. Therefore, access to data is the most critical component for the evolution of an ML system. For example, for Google’s translate app to work it needs to have access to words in different languages and how they are related to each other. Before releasing TensorFlow, Google used to train these neural nets using a vast array of machines equipped with Graphic Processing Unit chips (its proprietary hardware) with its proprietary data. But in order to expedite the evolution of its ML and move towards a robust AI, TensorFlow needs to be exposed to new data sets, some of which might be proprietary data of the company/user that decides to use TensorFlow for applications. Google hopes that once TensorFlow is deployed across applications by different user, these users can then contribute to the original source code of TensorFlow with their upgraded code, as mandated under the Apache 2.0 license. This would aid the company to roll out a comprehensive AI engine in the future. This strategy is similar to the strategy that Google adopted for its smartphone Android OS, which currently has a market share of over 80% in global smartphone market. It not only helped the company to have the most applications for smartphones, but also gave it an army of willing developers that helped in building better apps. Considering that AI industry, specifically machine learning, is heating up with companies such as IBM (Watson) and Microsoft eying the market, it makes sense for Google to set the precedence in the industry and make its machine learning engine a gold standard. New users are more likely to deploy a system that they are familiar with then a proprietary engine. However, this is an industry in the intermediate stage and we will continue to monitor the AI landscape as it unfolds in the future. At present, we have a  $719.06  price estimate for Alphabet, which is 4% below its current market price. Understand How a Company’s Products Impact its Stock Price at Trefis View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap  |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap  |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
    BUD Logo
    Impact Of The Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller Deal
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: BUD DEO SBMRY
  • The decision by  Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD), the world’s largest beer company, to acquire SABMiller, its greatest competitor, for a massive sum of $107 billion, will have a definite impact on the beer industry. The deal isn’t really about the U.S. market; rather it would give the newly formed company a leading presence in almost every major market and control over the production of a third of the world’s beer. Although it will take months to cross all the legal hurdles, less competition, higher beer prices, and further consolidation is expected in the industry. SABMiller’s Presence in South Africa and Latin America AB InBev’s strategy of inorganic growth by way of acquisitions had left it encumbered with slow growing markets. The U.S. and Brazil, which account for half of the company’s sales, witnessed a fall in beer volumes by almost 4% in the first half of the year. A majority of the global growth is expected to come from Africa, where expansion at a rate of 5% will be seen between 2013 and 2017, according to a report by Canadean. SABMiller’s 34% market share in the continent will be greatly beneficial to AB InBev. According to Carlos Brito, AB InBev’s Chief Executive, Africa would be “a critical driver of future growth for the combined company.”  The company has already sent staff to the continent to appraise the opportunities to improve beer sales, with the growth of the middle class. SABMiller will also give access to the fast growing Latin American market, which formed the largest proportion of the company’s EBITDA at 35%. The figure has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 11% from 2011 to 2015. SABMiller has practically a monopoly in countries such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Panama. Further Consolidation Is Expected In The Beer Industry The beer industry has already undergone massive consolidation, with almost 50% of the global volume being controlled by the top 4 companies by 2014, as opposed to 10 brewers in 2004. As part of this deal, Molson Coors will get SABMiller’s 58% share in MillersCoors in order to ease regulatory concerns in the U.S. This is just one of the possible deals in the aftermath of the acquisition. Forced sales may also occur in China, Latin America, and Europe. Other companies will also look to build their global reach, with speculations of a tie-up between Heineken and Molson Coors, and a spin-off of the Guinness brand by Diageo floating around. Further mergers are expected, as other companies need to get similar economies of scale, scope, and leverage with distribution, to survive in the industry. Could It Be The Best Thing Or The Worst To Happen To Craft Beer? In the last year, there have been over a dozen craft beer mergers and acquisitions by larger breweries. The thought of the biggest acquisition in the beer industry may sound like bad news for craft beer; but it may actually bode well for them. The sudden popularity and the growing threat of craft beer to big beer companies, has led to companies such as AB InBev and SABMiller buying up craft breweries in the last few years. Many craft brewers do not consider the creation of the so-called “beerhemoth” to have any effect of their business. According to Paul Gatza, Director of Brewers Association, “When something helps or hurts a brewer [people] care about, they internalize it and want to do something about it. People may see [the merger] as a time to rally around their local brewery.” U.S. craft beers have been progressively selling more of their products internationally. The brewers association estimated a rise in craft beer export volume by 35% in 2014. However, the AB InBev-SABMiller combo could impede the expansion of U.S. craft beers in overseas territories. A spectacular expansion of its distribution network would give them the ability to focus on its own brands at the expense of the craft beers. This strategy has been adopted in the U.S., where a distributor de-emphasizes one beer (such as a craft brewer’s product) in favor of another (product made by the company that owns the distributor). A Possible Loss For Beer Drinkers An upshot of a big merger is always higher market power resulting in rising prices and lesser options. Enormous cost savings are expected with substantial economies of scale and scope. However, more often than not these savings are not passed on to the consumers and actually result in higher prices. After a wave of consolidation in 2008, the prices of beers, by companies involved, increased from below $10 to nearly $10.40 for a 12-pack. Though there is no evidence of any explicit agreement to fix the price, speculation still exists of price coordination between the big companies. Research shows that fewer competitors in an industry would result in higher profits and subsequently, less consumer choice. Such an occurrence in the beer industry, where significant consolidation has already taken place, and which exhibits enormous levels of profitability, could further hamper consumer choice. View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
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    How Has JPMorgan's Revenue Structure Changed From 2009, When It Acquired Bear Sterns?
  • By , 12/1/15
  • See the links below for more information and analysis about JPMorgan Chase: What Proportion of JPMorgan’s Revenues and Profits Are Contributed By Various Divisions? How Much Is Each of JPMorgan’s Operating Divisions Worth Individually? How Will JPMorgan’s 2016 EPS Be Affected If Rate Hike Boosts Its NIM To 2.4% in 2016 From 2.1% Now? Mortgage Banking Growth, Cost Improvements Highlight JPMorgan’s Lukewarm Q3 Results See the full Trefis analysis for JPMorgan Chase View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
    JPM Logo
    What Proportion of JPMorgan's Revenues and Profits Come From Its Various Divisions?
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: JPM BAC C MS GS
  • See the links below for more information and analysis about JPMorgan Chase: How Much Is Each of JPMorgan’s Operating Divisions Worth Individually? How Is JPMorgan’s Current Revenue Structure Different From What It Was In 2009, When It Had Just Acquired Bear Sterns? How Will JPMorgan’s 2016 EPS Be Affected If Rate Hike Boosts Its NIM To 2.4% in 2016 From 2.1% Now? Mortgage Banking Growth, Cost Improvements Highlight JPMorgan’s Lukewarm Q3 Results See the full Trefis analysis for JPMorgan Chase View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
    JPM Logo
    How Has Mortgage Industry Upheaval Impacted JPMorgan's Mortgage-Related Revenues?
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: JPM C BAC USB WFC
  • See the links below for more information and analysis about JPMorgan Chase: What Proportion of JPMorgan’s Revenues, Profits And Value Are Contributed By Various Divisions? How Will JPMorgan’s 2016 EPS Be Affected If Rate Hike Boosts Its NIM To 2.4% in 2016 From 2.1% Now? Mortgage Banking Growth, Cost Improvements Highlight JPMorgan’s Lukewarm Q3 Results See the full Trefis analysis for JPMorgan Chase   View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
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    Storage Notes: NetApp, HP, IBM Not Really Impacted By Dell-EMC Deal
  • By , 12/1/15
  • Storage systems manufacturers such as EMC (NYSE:EMC), NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Hitachi Data Systems and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) have had a tough year in terms of storage hardware product sales, owing to a decline in worldwide spending on information storage. According to data compiled by IDC quarterly reports, global factory revenues for storage systems declined by over 2% year-on-year to $11.2 billion through the first half of 2015. The trend was consistent with 2014 numbers when global factory revenues for external storage systems declined by 0.4% year-on-year to $24.5 billion in 2014. Over the last couple of years, customer preference is shifting to low-cost original design manufacturer (ODM) storage boxes, which is cutting into the addressable market for large vendors. This has impacted large storage systems vendors, leading to revenue declines. Despite the decline in global factory revenues this year, smaller vendors have witnessed growth. The combined revenues generated by companies outside the top five vendors saw a 9% increase through the first half of 2015. Below we take a look at how the companies have fared in storage system sales through the first half of 2015 and their strategies to compete with smaller vendors. EMC EMC has been the largest storage systems vendor over the last few years, commanding a nearly 30% share in the external storage systems market. EMC’s share grew from under 23% in 2009 to 31.3% at the end of 2013, before declining to 31% in 2014. Corresponding to the share decline, EMC’s storage hardware revenues declined by 1.5% to $7.6 billion for the full year. Similarly, EMC’s storage hardware revenues have fallen by over 5% through the first half of the year. As a result, its share in the market stood at 28.6% for Q1 and Q2 combined, which is significantly lower than prior year levels. With Dell acquiring EMC for $67 billion, the presence of the combined entity in the storage systems market is expected to consolidate further. Dell’s share in the market has stood at 6-8% over the last few years. The combined entity could have a nearly 35% share in the market, further consolidating EMC’s hold over the storage systems market in the coming years. However, with smaller vendors gaining share at a rapid pace, it is imperative for larger manufacturers to provide customizable and cheap storage solutions to customers to sustain product sales in this slowing market. See our full analysis for EMC’s stock Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Hewlett-Packard announced its split into HP Inc (HPQ) and HP Enterprise (HPE) on November 24, with the enterprise business including storage, servers, networking, financials and  services to be handled by HPE. Hewlett-Packard is the only large company besides Hitachi Data Systems to post an increase in storage hardware revenues in the first half of 2015. Over the last year or so, HP has improved its position in the mid level storage-attached network (SAN) market. It is now the leading seller of mid-range SAN products this year, from being the third largest last year. Moreover, the company is the second largest all-flash vendor in the storage market, which is an improvement from last year. Consequently, HP’s external storage systems revenues were up by over 1% y-o-y to $1.1 billion in the first half of the year, while its share in the market stood at 9.8%, up from 9.6% in 2014. HP gained share due to higher demand in the mid-range market and comparatively higher declines faced by competing storage companies. Storage revenues contributed to about 4.5% of the company’s top line in 2014 and the first half of 2015. We are in the process of revising our model after the split. See Full Analysis For HP Here NetApp NetApp’s revenues have fallen significantly in the first three quarters of 2015. The company’s storage hardware revenue fell by over 14% through the first three quarters of this year to $2.2 billion. As a result, its share in the external storage systems market stood at 12.2% for the period, compared to a 12.8% share in 2014. The company attributed the decline in revenues, the corresponding drop in market share and compressed margins in the storage division to an unfavorable product mix coupled with the negative impact of FX fluctuations – a trend which is likely to continue through the December quarter as well. The company announced a change in management in June, naming George Kurian as the new CEO. Shortly afterwards, NetApp announced the release of its sub $25k AFF8000 all-flash array. The company intends to compete with smaller flash-array players including Pure Storage, Violin Memory and Nimbus Data with the product release. We have a $33 price estimate for NetApp’s stock, which is slightly higher than the current market price. See Full Analysis For NetApp Here IBM Similar to NetApp, IBM has witnessed a 12% decline in revenues from the sale of external disk storage systems in the first half of the year. As a result, its share stood at 9.4% in the same period, compared to 10.8% in 2014. Weakness in IBM’s standalone storage systems can be partially attributed to the termination of the IBM-NetApp deal in May last year. Moreover, IBM sold off its x86 servers business to Lenovo in Q4 2014, which further contributed to low product sales. Subsequently, the company announced virtualization software for its IBM Spectrum Storage family of storage software. The addition of virtualization will help the company reap benefits in the growth software-defined storage (SDS) market. According to research firm MarketsAndMarkets, the SDS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of almost 35% from 2014 through 2019. Storage product sales contributed to about 4% of IBM’s net revenues in 2014 and in 2015 thus far. We have a  $154 price estimate for IBM  ,which is about 10% higher than the current market price. See Full Analysis For IBM Here View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
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    How Much Are Each Of JPMorgan's Operating Divisions Worth?
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: JPM BAC WFC C MS GS
  • See the links below for more information and analysis about JPMorgan Chase: What Proportion of JPMorgan’s Revenues and Profits Are Contributed By Various Divisions? How Is JPMorgan’s Current Revenue Structure Different From What It Was In 2009, When It Had Just Acquired Bear Sterns? With The Mortgage Industry Witnessing A Major Upheaval Since 2008, How Has This Impacted JPMorgan? How Will JPMorgan’s 2016 EPS Be Affected If Rate Hike Boosts Its NIM To 2.4% in 2016 From 2.1% Now? Mortgage Banking Growth, Cost Improvements Highlight JPMorgan’s Lukewarm Q3 Results See the full Trefis analysis for JPMorgan Chase View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
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    How Will JPMorgan's EPS Be Affected If Rate Hike Boosts Net Interest Margins To 2012 Levels From Current Record Lows?
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: JPM BAC C WFC USB
  • See the full Trefis analysis for JPMorgan Chase See the links below for more information and analysis: What Proportion of JPMorgan’s Revenues and Profits Are Contributed By Various Divisions? How Much Is Each of JPMorgan’s Operating Divisions Worth Individually? With The Mortgage Industry Witnessing A Major Upheaval Since 2008, How Has This Impacted JPMorgan? How Is JPMorgan’s Current Revenue Structure Different From What It Was In 2009, When It Had Just Acquired Bear Sterns? View Interactive Institutional Research (Powered by Trefis): Global Large Cap |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
    12 High Dividend Stocks that may be Reasonably Valued
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: SPY TLT
  • Submitted by Value Stock Guide as part of our contributors program 12 High Dividend Stocks that may be Reasonably Valued High dividend stocks are attractive if they can be bought for a reasonable valuation. There is always a balance to find when looking for such stocks. We do not want to pick out the very high yielders, as they may indicate a company in distress and where the dividend may be unsustainable. The following list of 12 stocks includes companies that yield comfortably more than 3%. In the current low interest environment, this is a very good dividend yield. 10 year treasury notes today yield about 2.22% so these stocks have a dividend yield that is about 100 bps or more higher than the 10 year treasury benchmark. High Dividend Stocks and Dividend Safety Sometimes high dividends can be transient as the business may not be able to support it long term. In compiling this list, we have also considered the safety of the dividend and this is indicated by a high dividend coverage ratio. These companies have also grown their dividends at a nice clip over the last 5 years which shows their commitment to dividend payments and shareholder returns. While nothing is certain, this is a great list to start with and conduct further research in each of these stocks to figure out if they are good investments for your portfolio or not.   Symbol Company Name Price Market Cap Dividend Yield Dividend Growth Rate (5 Yr Avg) Dividend Coverage (TTM) P/E CALM Cal Maine Foods Inc 55.97 $2.7B 3.74 73.27 2.73 9.8 MERC Mercer International Inc 10.83 $698.6M 4.25 55.87 3.83 12.3 M Macy’s Inc 39.99 $13.2B 3.60 48.41 2.74 10.5 WNR Western Refining Inc 45.74 $4.3B 3.32 44.65 4.01 8.4 MOS Mosaic Company (The) 31.05 $10.9B 3.54 40.63 3.07 9.4 ALJ Alon USA Energy Inc 17.71 $1.3B 3.39 30.26 2.84 11.4 CMI Cummins Inc. 99.73 $17.7B 3.91 30.01 2.66 10.7 HCI HCI Group Inc 37.26 $405.9M 3.22 24.57 5.12 6.1 WU Western Union Co 18.785 $9.5B 3.30 20.90 2.61 11.6 PRU Prudential Financial Inc 86.31 $38.7B 3.25 19.48 3.22 11 GPS Gap Inc. (The) 27.36 $11.1B 3.36 18.13 2.65 11.2 IBM International Business Machines Corp 138.46 $134.3B 3.76 14.87 2.91 9.5   Brief Description I have listed brief description of the first 5 stock ideas. You may wish to review the entire list, as this list is in no particular order. No recommendation is implied as further due diligence is required. CALM: Cal Maine Foods Inc. The company pays a dividend that tends to be different each quarter. In the last quarter, the company paid 98 cents/share dividend which was almost triple the dividend amount in each of the previous 3 quarters. If annualized, the last dividend represents a 7% yield. The egg producer has benefitted tremendously from record high egg prices this year with revenues in the previously reported quarter up 79% from the comparable period. Whether this is sustainable or not is the question, and will be the primary determinant of the investment thesis behind this stock. MERC: Mercer International Inc. The Vancouver Canada based company produces pulp for paper and paper products industry. The business is steady and the company has set its quarterly dividend to 11.5 cents/share giving it an yield of 4.25%. This may be a hidden stock that eludes many screens due to adverse EPS comparison from last year which benefitted from a non cash credit. M: Macy’s Inc Retail sales and profits have suffered as more and more consumers shop online. As we wait for the company to figure out a strategy for the changing times, investors can enjoy a 3.6% dividend yield that is amply covered by the earnings. The valuation of the stock also reflects the reduced expectations on the business performance. The stock price is down almost 36% in the last 52 weeks. WNR: Western Refining Inc. The company owns oil refineries, distribution and transportation assets, as well as convenience stores. The stock has gained about 13% in the last 52 weeks despite the free fall in the oil prices as the company has stayed profitable and the revenue declines have been contained. MOS: Mosaic Company The company produces potash and phosphate fertilizer and related products. I like the valuation and the dividend and long term I believe that food/crop stocks will do well as the world becomes more populated. Also, the prospect of inflation bodes well. The industry is commoditized though, so efficiencies of scale and scope matter to maintain and grow operating margins. Please note that the HCI Group is one of the former Value Stock Guide portfolio stock. We do not own it now. We do not currently own any of the stocks in this list but could initiate a position in one or more stocks if further review indicates a sufficient valuation gap exists between the company intrinsic value and the stock price.
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership – Biggest Winners
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: HRL VMN
  • By Carl Delfeld, Special Correspondent On Friday, I gave an overview of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deals and how the proposed changes will affect the United States. I also revealed one American company poised to benefit from those changes: Hormel ( HRL ). Today, I’m back to finish this thread by identifying two Pacific Rim countries that are poised to be the biggest winners. In trade pacts, it’s not difficult to figure out who the big winners will be. They’re usually the least-developed countries in the grouping because they have less to lose and the most to gain. For certain sectors, however, more-developed countries can hold a winning hand. Ahead of the Pack New Zealand, for example, is poised to come out ahead. New Zealand represents 35% of world dairy exports, so it’s basically the “Saudi Arabia of dairy.” Fully 37% of its land mass is devoted to agriculture with 48% contributing to total exports. Ninety percent of farm production is exported. Clearly I’m not the only one who thinks New Zealand is an exceptional place from a risk-reward perspective. Many of the wealthiest people in the world, who have the resources to go anywhere and buy anything, have been quietly establishing escape hatches there. Two of the TPP’s others winners hail from Southeast Asia – Malaysia and Vietnam, which still lack bilateral trade agreements with four countries in the pact, including the United States. Both count on TPP members for roughly one-third of their trade, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates that the TPP would push Malaysia’s exports up roughly 10% and Vietnam’s up 30%. And the Winner Is  . . . While Japan and America will get a modest boost of economic growth as this agreement takes effect, the big winner will be Vietnam. According to UBS report, the TPP could potentially boost Vietnam’s economy by 14% over the next five years. This country of 93 million is bursting with youthful energy, with 50% of its tech-savvy citizens under the age of 30. Its manufacturing wages are 60% of China’s, which is why Samsung makes half of its cell phones here. About 20% of Vietnam’s GDP is attributed to foreign investment, and that will likely surge even higher. So far in 2015, foreign direct investment is up a stunning 53%, most of it headed to the manufacturing sector. A consumer boom is already underway. To put the potential in perspective, right now only 1.7% of Vietnamese own a car; in Thailand, that figure is 40%. Vietnam also has the lowest GDP per capita among TPP member states: $1,900. Peru is the next lowest at $6,800. Vietnam will become a manufacturing destination for industries that require low-wage labor to remain competitive. Sectors that need cheap wages, such as apparel, footwear, and textiles, should greatly benefit. Eurasia Group estimates that footwear and apparel exports will see a 50% boost over the next 10 years due to the trade pact. “Vietnam has already made huge gains in garment and footwear production, and these deals will help boost its comparative advantage as factories look to relocate from China, promoting more job creation and technology transfer,” said Johanna Chua, an economist at Citigroup. This explains why Vietnam’s exports have tripled in U.S. dollar terms since 2007 and its exports to North American markets are up an amazing 30-fold since 2000. The TPP should lessen the country’s reliance on the Chinese market and widen its appeal to markets such as Canada and Mexico. Meanwhile, the country’s macro situation has markedly improved. A few years ago, inflation was running at 20%, but it’s now down to 2%. Interest rates have fallen from 15% to 6%, property markets have stabilized, and credit growth is up. Despite this progress, Vietnam’s stock market is still well off its high and trading at just eight times earnings. In addition, the current market value of all publicly traded companies in Vietnam is 30% of its GDP, while Thailand and the Philippines are trading at 95% and 115%, respectively. These gaps won’t last forever, so I encourage you to take action by blending the Market Vectors Vietnam ETF ( VNM ) into your global portfolio. The ETF is a bit top heavy with its top 10 holdings representing 60% of total holdings. Don’t wait too long. This ETF has surged in the wake of the TPP negotiations, but has plenty of room to grow. Good investing, Carl Delfeld The post The Trans-Pacific Partnership – Biggest Winners appeared first on Wall Street Daily . By Carl Delfeld
    S&P 500 Monthly Seasonality
  • By , 12/1/15
  • tags: SPY TLT
  • Submitted by Wall St. Daily as part of our contributors program S&P 500 Monthly Seasonality By Alan Gula, Chief Income Analyst ‘Tis the season for a stock market rally. December is the best month of the year for equities… and it begins tomorrow. Since 1990, the S&P 500’s average price change for December has been +1.83%, which exceeds that of every other month, including October’s 1.77% average gain. The stock market’s positive end-of-year seasonality is shown in the chart below: As you can see, December also has both the highest minimum and the highest maximum gains since 1990. In December of 1991, the S&P 500 surged an incredible 11.2%, the best monthly advance over the past 25 years. The worst December for the S&P 500 during this timeframe was a 6% decline in 2002. Clearly, there’s an edge to owning stocks in December. These data also further support the “ Sell in May and go away ” market adage, as the average returns for June, August, and September are all negative. August has been the worst month of the year on average, even if you exclude this past August’s harrowing 6.3% decline. Cash in Your Chips? In general, I think these seasonality patterns are extremely interesting – but they aren’t particularly useful. Some traders may want to adjust their exposures based on the month of the year or even the day of the month. However, for most investors, holding a diversified portfolio of global stocks and bonds is the best way to take advantage of any stock market strength at the end of the year. This way we can rebalance our portfolios and reduce risk, yet weather the bad months when seasonality fails us. It’s also important to keep in mind that the prevailing market environment is far more important than seasonality factors. The worst months shown in red on the chart above were all associated with one of the following events: the Russian default of 1998, the collapse of the technology bubble, the credit crisis of 2007-09, and the European sovereign debt crisis. An assessment of the macro situation will always provide us with a more profitable course of action than seasonality. Now, we’re not currently in a crisis, but we are in the midst of a merger mania, and credit conditions are tightening. Therefore, this December may prove to be an opportune time to raise cash, regardless of whether the month is positive for stocks. Safe (and high-yield) investing, Alan Gula, CFA The post S&P 500 Monthly Seasonality appeared first on Wall Street Daily . By Alan Gula
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    Why Accenture Is Increasing Investment In Artificial Intelligence
  • By , 11/30/15
  • tags: ACN GOOG IBM
  • Accenture  (NYSE:ACN), which provides management consulting, technology and outsourcing services, is structured around five operating groups – communications, media & technology, financial services, health & public service, and products and resources – which together make up 13 industry groups serving clients globally. On a broader level, over 50% of its revenues come from consulting for its 13 industry groups, while the rest comes from outsourcing services. However, in light of the advent of artificial intelligence system, which is expected to disrupt businesses and industries on a global scale, Accenture has announced that it is accelerating its research and development efforts in artificial intelligence. In this note, we will explore the broader trends in the AI industry and how Accenture plans to capitalize on it. See our full analysis on Accenture Expected Trends In The AI industry Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are advanced computing systems that are programmed to display specific intelligent operations. For example, a traffic management system can be programmed to observe levels of congestion amd effect changes in the timing of traffic lights to minimize back-ups at bottlenecks.  Closer to home, both Google and Facebook monitor user preferences so as to optimally deliver interesting content and advertisements.  Given the profusion of data and the need for ongoing analysis, the use of AI techniques and processes in expected to mushroom in coming years.   According to IDC, the global market for content analytics, discovery and cognitive systems software is projected to reach $9.2 billion at a CAGR of 15% by 2019, double of what it was in 2014.  Some other research firms cite these systems as a catalyst that will have a US$5-US$7 trillion potential economic impact by 2025 with Business Intelligence emerging as one of the biggest addressable market. Accenture Is Increasing R&D Spend For AI To be in the mix of things, Accenture is significantly increasing investment in R&D for Artificial Intelligence in all of its Technology Labs, additionally establishing a new Accenture Center for Innovation in Dublin. The company is focusing across three key areas: pilot projects to balance automation with augmentation, tackle select industry challenges and develop new business concept prototypes. The company’s press release said that its technology Labs network will collaborate with other Accenture teams and new partners in the startup ecosystem to achieve the following objectives: Create more intelligent tools by teaming with Accenture Digital to advance capabilities in cognitive computing, machine and deep learning, natural language processing, data augmentation and predictive analytics to help clients become an insight-driven enterprise Integrate and apply artificial intelligence into Accenture Operations solutions that improve both front- and back-office operations, including customer support, procurement, supply chain and warrantee services Embed artificial intelligence capabilities into architectures, tooling and service management analysis conducted by Accenture Technology Design and scale artificial intelligence capabilities for Accenture Consulting around the world across multiple industries, including healthcare, public safety and financial services. How Will This Impact Its Topline And Bottomline? While in the short term, increased R&D spend would result in lower margins and cash flow for the company, the consequences of not catering developing expertise in AI system can have long-term repercussion for the company as it relies heavily on engaging its closest clients in the consulting practice with its great strengths in strategic advisory services. If Accenture can build up its expertise in the AI systems domain, it can advise its clients to deploy the technology across different spheres such as business intelligence, etc. Considering that AI has a potential of close to generate spending of $9.2 billion in content analysis alone, the company stands to make significant revenues by leveraging its existing client base in data, optimization and measurement vertical.  Accenture’s digital expertise is recognized as it leads the industry of digital experience service providers. If the company captures 20% of this market, its top-line in the future can increase by $1.84 billion. However, the AI systems industry is still evolving and we continue to monitor the AI landscape as it unfolds in the future. At present, we have a  $80.07 price estimate  for Accenture, which is 25% below its current market price. Global Large Cap   |  U.S. Mid & Small Cap   |  European Large & Mid Cap More Trefis Research
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