The Banking and Strategy Initiative

Chillin' out till it needs to be funded

US Mid Week Trading Report: Amazon posts close to $20 Bln in Topline, Apple lets iPad slide, Pharma gets big deal traction in earnings season US:SBUX, US:AMZN, US:AAPL, US:NFLX, US:CAT, US:AZN, US:NVS

More brew from the Seahawk line

Seattle’s Best (as an Adjective clause, not just the coffee ) may well be Starbucks yet as it scored another 6% in comparable sales growth in today’s report with EMEA unexpectedly catching up ont he same growth rate and China and Asia Pacific markets remained strong with 7% comp growth. US markets responded well to price increases even as digital sales contributing largely to Operating income increase of 24% for the half year. The quarter’s Op Margins grew globally to 16.6%

Apple off color without iPad innovation

The iPad slide may well be an old story but the tablet wars are still ongoing and will probably wait till another substantial new product introduction is possible from Apple. Apple has already announced results after the Wednesday close, pandering to Icahn and stock buybacks with another $30 Bln for the buyback thru additional debt as the international cash pile keeps growing and Tim Cook prioritises other innovations. Amazon, meanwhile has made tremendous inroads in India in the last 6 months, pipping PE financed wannabes as it grows the network of sellers on the portal and expands offerings. Despite Capital Expenditure of close to $2 Bln ($1.85) it posted a billion plus in Free cash flow after hanging up on profit demanding investors for two consecutive quarters. US innovations continue to showcase technology in action including a Flow app that does not need interventions from the user like scanning etc as you move over everyday items, letting the app do the rest to order ( a sort of Min max one guesses)

Apple posted sales of $45.6 Bln in its second Quarter growing Earnings per share on massive buybacks and bbefore an eventual 7:1 split that makes the stocks highs seem puny at an adjusted $200 and its current price less than $75 except for the expected run up to the split being listed which can happen around $100-110while Amazon reported a $19.74 Bln in sales with Prime price increases being well received and its repertoire in Fresh also growing in International markets.

Amazons swinging it, but Capex absorbs any salutory Net Profits

Amazon remains the strongest warhorse of the electronic age, in many ‘real’ ways ahead of even Google and Facebook

Amazon also expects to report another $19.75 Bln at the upper end of guidance in June while Apple expects its slowest quarter ahead of new product launches to come to $38 Bln after iPad sales fell to a record $16 Bln or barely 33% in the march score.

AZN does not look like it can make it on its own, but Pfizer’s no shark
Pharma major and sitting duck target AStrazeneca tries to obscure its weak defence by copying acquirer Pfizers strategy of divesting businesses as it reported 50% lower profits on flat sales of $6.4 Bln

WSJ – Mr. Soriot said Thursday he planned to accelerate AstraZeneca’s specialization in its core disease areas: oncology; cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, and autoimmune diseases; and inflammation. Mr. Soriot said he was exploring all options for AstraZeneca’s previously identified “noncore” areas, anti-infectives and neuroscience, including selling them.

Big Pharma week

GSK and Novartis also announced a Capital swap deal which means PE may get a bigger play in both erstwhile biggies as Novartis buys Cancer drugs portfolios and invests in a joint consumer healthcare business, while GSK expands its vaccination business which already has long term deals (2010) with Global NGOs like the GAVI foundation in Africa. Goldman Sachs is acting for Novartis in the deal while Lazard gets a fillip from the boardroom action by GSK, long habituated to organic sales strategies in all its markets. Eli Lilly bought the Novartis animal health unit earlier.

Remember Netflix? Is it now a part of Prime?

Netflix added 4 mln subscribers in the previous quarter and revenues jumped a healthy 25% as House of Cards continues to draw new subscribers and a drive for original content and mega deals to ‘furnish’ the library


Meanwhile Aereo continues to enjoy big press as it waits court judgments on its workaround for Free to Air channels that currently come thru paid cable connections which pay the channels retransmission fee

The whole point was Wall Street, right?

The Dow and the NASDAQ finally continued north even as news of slow housing sales pickup allowed bond buyers to stay in once again lessening chances of any return of normal interest rates to well in the third quarter even on the longer end of the term structure

Oh that Russian Bride for the Economy

US Aid to Ukraine is probably too little but Russian supremacy in the state is also a foregone conclusion for many in Russinan majority areaas so the pressure on Oil prices may well be off and Gas prices continue to rise thru the rest of the China slowdown months as China reported another ugly manufacturing flash data on Tuesday

A Caterpillar powered revival Mr President
Meanwhile Caterpillar revealed on Monday that China may infact remain the improving business in its portfolio as the US and the Rest of the world remained tough markets even as President Obama’s terms end without adequate spending on infrastructure.

Facebook has been denied further loans
Facebook’s mobile growth in the meantime, finally grew out to 59% of revenues and 1.28 Bln subscribers allowing Zuckerberg to admit that facebook was unlikely to grow at the same rate as earlier. A company whose $2.5 Bln Topline is still 2.25 times its June 2012 report of the $1B in revenues (also near 1 B Active users), it reported $0.25 Cents in EPS that . Payments revenues continue to decline even as zynga exits top honors at the Facebook support system and compensation costs have been creeping up after the stock giveaway impact has likely been canceled out and Opex was up 32% this year.

Visa’s is even bigger and better
Visa posted another quarter of double digits growth but the third consecutive year of global currency weakness, that again took out a 2% of the revenues from profits has got markets ina twist as analysts following the leader expect the year to translate into nothing spectacular but markets will probably realise continuing currency weakness is unlikely to stump business volumes at the payments companies as the recovery stay the course.

We approve both FB and V for further buying and Twitter continues to lose for selling waves prompted by insiders cashing out.


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