|Bid||170.80 x 1000|
|Ask||170.85 x 900|
|Day's Range||170.39 - 171.29|
|52 Week Range||141.82 - 176.22|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.11|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||26.66|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||4.18 (2.45%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Aug. 06, 2019|
|1y Target Est||185.23|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Growing up in the U.K. in the 1980s, the Christmas season was associated with particular foods and drinks. Pies made from fruit “mincemeat”; the same dried fruits cooked into Christmas pudding; grandparents passing round glasses of sherry.Believe it or not, that nostalgic memory hints at a long-term risk to the most bullish corner of the global liquor market: China’s sorghum-based firewater, baijiu.The past few years have seen extraordinary growth for baijiu makers. Kweichow Moutai Co., the maker of the most prestigious brand, overtook Diageo Plc to become the world’s biggest distiller by market capitalization in 2017. Now it’s in a whole other league, overtaking even Anheuser-Busch InBev SA and PepsiCo Inc. on that measure and within spitting distance of taking Coca-Cola Co.’s crown as the world’s largest beverage company.What’s more, this success has been built on the back not of a valuation bubble, but of relatively pedestrian assumptions about earnings. Kweichow Moutai is on a lower price-earnings multiple than Brown-Forman Corp., Davide Campari-Milano SpA and Remy Cointreau SA. Luzhou Laojiao Co. is cheaper on that measure than any major western distiller.What could possibly put a cloud on the horizon of this thriving market? The most serious looming risk is embodied in those nostalgic memories of a British Christmas: demographics.Throughout baijiu’s boom, it’s struggled to shake the perception that it’s primarily a drink for older men. Its former image as an unofficial currency of corrupt government officials has receded since a campaign against official graft in the early years of President Xi Jinping’s reign. Still, the connotations of rich older men exchanging drunken toasts remain, even if the drinkers in the stereotype are now more likely to be employed in the private than the public sector.“Many young people still think that baijiu isn't for them, that no matter the flavor, it's not a drink for the young,” according to a China Daily article this year. “Drinking baijiu is increasingly seen as a dated behavior by younger Chinese uninterested in banquets and bravado,” wrote Jing Daily, a site specializing in the Chinese luxury market.That association with oldsters is a problem Spain’s sherry industry has been enduring for several decades. In the 1970s and 1980s, exports to the U.K., the Netherlands and the U.S. boomed in an unprecedented manner, to the point that bodega conglomerate Rumasa was reported to account for as much as 2% of Spanish GDP.Since then it’s been in long-term decline. Sherry’s core consumers outside Spain have reached a more abstemious age or died out, while younger drinkers shun a product they associate with their grandparents. For all that many wine connoisseurs sing its praises and lament sherry’s fall from grace, it’s hard to see the glory days returning.This trajectory is a common one in the alcohol business, which lives and dies on the changing demographics of its consumers. One reason Japan’s brewers have been so desperate to acquire overseas businesses while Vietnamese ones have been M&A targets is that beer is drunk by thirsty workers, and Japan’s labor force is declining while Vietnam’s is rising. The same goes for clear spirits like baijiu. Its success is hard to separate from the fact that China’s population of men aged 40 to 60 increased by more than half over the past two decades, adding about 78 million people to the core baijiu-drinking market. That demographic is set to stagnate over the coming decade, though, before beginning an accelerating decline after 2030.To the extent that the industry is making any inroads with women and younger people, it’s in lower-cost, lighter-flavored “rice aroma” products where margins are tighter. The giant listed baijiu-makers specialize in the complex, higher-cost “sauce aroma” and “strong aroma” varieties such as Maotai and Luzhou Laojiao, which is quite a different product.This needn’t be the end of the world. The drinks market’s best defense against unfavorable demographics is “premiumization” — counting not on a larger number of consumers, but a small group paying more and more. Premiumization is already the strategy of the high-end listed baijiu companies, so there's no reason they can’t keep going with it.Still, chasing the luxury market is notoriously expensive in marketing terms, and baijiu makers for years have been able to rely on a product that sells itself.Major distillers typically dedicate a third or more of their revenue to selling, general and administrative costs — mostly marketing and distribution. Baijiu makers are far more thrifty, one reason their profit margins are so much fatter than those of peers. As their core demographic ages out of its drinking habit, though, they’re likely to have to spend more and more converting younger drinkers.Every cellar manager knows that liquors can get better with age, but the process of maturation has to be carefully monitored and cultivated if the precious drink isn’t to turn into drain-cleaner. Marketing departments of baijiu companies will have to be no less careful over the coming decades maintaining the shine on their storied brands. To contact the author of this story: David Fickling at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s a grim time in Washington, and not just because of the impeachment hearings. The Washington Redskins, for decades the city’s most beloved institution, are simply awful.So far this season, they’re 1-9, and with six games left, they’ll be lucky to win another. Last Sunday they were thoroughly outplayed by the lowly New York Jets, losing 31-17. That loss prompted the Washington Post’s great sportswriter Thomas Boswell to declare that, with the Washington Nationals winning the World Series this year and the Washington Capitals the Stanley Cup in 2018, Washington no longer lives and dies by the Redskins.The game photograph that accompanied Boswell’s column showed something that has rarely been seen at Redskins games: lots and lots of empty seats.Everyone in Washington knows exactly who to blame for this state of affairs: 54-year-old billionaire owner Dan Snyder. After making his fortune with a marketing business (he eventually sold it for $2.1 billion), Snyder bought the Redskins in 1999 for $750 million. In the subsequent 20 years, they’ve had six winning seasons, eight last-place finishes, and exactly two playoff victories — and the last one was in 2005.Snyder has hired bad coaches and fired good ones. He’s made terrible free-agent signings. He would sometimes dictate to his coaches who to bench and who to play. In early October, when Snyder fired head coach Jay Gruden five games into the season, Mark Cannizzaro, the New York Post’s pro football columnist, wrote, “If the Redskins owner truly wanted what was best for his franchise, he would have fired himself.”But why would he? Despite Snyder’s 20-year record of football ineptitude, he’s made a boatload of money as the team’s owner. Last year, according to Forbes, which publishes annual rankings of sports franchises, the Redskins had $120 million in operating income(1)on $493 million in revenue. Among the 32 teams in the National Football League, only six teams earned more. Forbes also ranks the Redskins the seventh-most-valuable franchise, with an estimated valuation of $3.2 billion. (The Dallas Cowboys are ranked first with a $5.5 billion valuation.) Last year, despite another losing record, the team still rose 10% in value, according to Forbes.Which leads to the obvious question: Does it even matter whether Snyder — or any other pro football owner — has a winning team or a losing one? From a financial standpoint, the answer, plainly, is no. As the sports consultant Marc Ganis told me, “NFL teams don’t lose money.”This is in large part because the NFL has a “share the wealth” philosophy. (Or to put it the way the late Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell once did, the NFL is run “by a bunch of fat-cat Republicans who vote socialist on football.”) The NFL has multiyear, multibillion-dollar contracts with CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and DirecTV. That money is equally divided among the 32 teams, along with certain marketing and licensing deals negotiated by the NFL. In 2018 that pool of money amounted to $8.1 billion, or $255 million per team.The biggest expense for any team is player contracts. But don’t forget the salary cap, which places a limit on how much any NFL team can collectively pay all the players on its roster. It is currently $188.2 million. Michael Ozanian, who compiles the sports franchise rankings at Forbes, told me that when you include insurance, pensions and the like, most teams pay well over $200 million in salary-related expenses. Even so, the national TV contract alone more than covers the owners’ biggest expense.Then there’s gate revenue. In the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, the home team keeps all the money generated from ticket sales. In the NFL, the visiting team gets 40 percent of the gate. The Redskins, for instance, had $43 million in gross ticket sales last year, and netted $28.5 million after giving the visiting teams their cut.All told, about 75% of the revenue that a team gets comes via money that is shared among all the teams. That still means that the other 25% has to be self-generated. Here is where you would think the Redskins would have a problem, given the way they’ve alienated their fans.But you would be wrong. One of the first things Snyder did after buying the team was cut a $205 million, 27-year deal with FedEx Corp. to change the name of the team’s stadium in Landover, Maryland, from Jack Kent Cooke Stadium to FedEx Field. (Cooke owned the team from 1974 until his death in 1997.) Snyder has since plastered FedEx Field with corporate sponsorships. In 2002, he cut a deal with Diageo Plc, the big liquor company, to put billboards in FedEx Field; they were strategically located to make sure that TV cameras would have to show them.The median ticket price for a Redskins game is $235. By one estimate, when you throw in parking and food, two people will pay $567 to attend a game, the ninth-highest cost for attending a league game. Snyder charges for fans to attend preseason practices (he charges for parking, too). He has come up with all kinds of schemes to extract fees from fans: fees to cut the security line on game day, for instance, or to get season tickets ahead of people who had signed up earlier. Indeed, all those empty seats may be held by season ticket holders who decided not to bother going to the game.One area where revenue has fallen for the Redskins is their haul from premium seating and luxury suites. In 2016 and 2017, that number was around $70 million, according to league data. More recently, it has dropped to around $65 million. It is hard to know whether that’s a function of the Redskins’ losing ways or the result of the elimination of the 50% tax deduction for client entertainment expenses that was part of the 2018 tax bill (corporations have traditionally liked booking suites to entertain clients).Of course, what smart team owners understand is that the best way to field a winning team is to hire really good football minds — and get out of their way. Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, was a meddler like Snyder in the early years of his ownership. But once he hired Bill Belichick as his head coach, he stopped getting involved in most football decisions.Twenty years in, it seems unlikely Snyder will ever learn that lesson. Redskins fans loathe him and most other NFL owners view him as a lightweight. But given the NFL’s business model, none of this matters. Most likely, Snyder will keep wrecking a once-great franchise while he keeps raking in the profits. Why should he change when there’s no consequence?(1) Forbes defines operating income as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Timothy L. O'Brien at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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AB InBev (BUD) decides to list shares for its Asia Pacific subsidiary on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at HK$27 per share. Net proceeds from the offering will be utilized to lower its debt load.
The FTSE 100 index ended 0.6% higher and the mid-cap FTSE 250 index rose 0.2%, with the financial sector boosting both the indexes. Central banks around the world have been loosening monetary policy to stem a slowdown in economic growth. CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said the Fed's signal to hold back on further cuts was probably not priced in.
The Johnnie Walker whisky and Tanqueray gin maker said it continues to expect organic net sales growth to be towards the mid-point of a 4% to 6% range and organic operating profit to grow roughly one percentage point ahead of organic net sales. The company also said it expects first-half organic operating profit growth to be in-line with or slightly behind organic net sales growth, due to stronger prior year comparables. "We would not be immune from significant changes to global trade policy and continue to monitor this closely," Chief Executive Ivan Menezes said in a statement.
The two-year deal includes a 3% pay increase in the first year and then a cost of living increase and a performance-based incentive bonus in the second year, the company said. More than 1,000 workers at Diageo's Scottish distilleries were set to go on strike, starting 2100 GMT on Tuesday. "The offer is a two-year commitment on pay and also sets out a time frame for the negotiation of a new collective agreement," GMB Scotland said http://bit.ly/2ZYXsJC.
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A Diageo spokeswoman said that the unions had initially demanded 5% pay hikes when talks started in May, but had since come down to 3.5%. Members of Scotland's Unite and GMB unions, who make up half of Diageo's 3,000 Scottish workforce, are set to go on rolling strikes at the company's Cameronbridge, Leven and Shieldhall sites in Scotland between Sept. 17 and 27, after talks with Diageo collapsed last month. The unions on Aug. 30 again rejected Diageo's offer to increase wages by 2.8%, after rejecting a prior offer of 2.5%.
The union said in August that 500 workers at Diageo's Cameron Bridge, Leven and Shieldhall sites had voted in support of industrial action, with strikes at the company's distilling and bottling plants likely to begin in September and go on till November. Unite said that strikes would take place between Sept. 18 to 19 and between Sept. 26 to 27 at Diageo's Cameron Bridge and between Sept. 19 to 20 and between Sept. 26 to 27 at the Leven plant. "Unite warned weeks ago that unless Diageo made a fair offer then our membership would take strike action", Unite regional industrial officer Bob MacGregor said adding that "The door always remains open to further negotiations but strike action is now imminent".
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