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This basket consists of brick and mortar who have lost considerable market share to online competition.
Nike (NKE) is set to report its first-quarter fiscal 2020 financial results after the closing bell on Tuesday, September 24. So let's see what investors should expect from the sportswear powerhouse...
(Bloomberg) -- It’s time to stop crediting corporate sustainability efforts as acts of altruism. For big business, protecting the environment often means padding the bottom line.Nike Inc. has come up with a way to weave more efficiently, reducing the raw material and labor time needed to make each shoe. That has kept more than 3.5 million pounds of waste from reaching landfills since 2012. But the good news doesn’t stop with the environmental impact. The company is spending less on transportation, materials and waste disposal.The shoemaker’s “more environmentally conscious product has been a source of cost savings,” said James Duffy, an analyst at Stifel.Those flimsy plastic water bottles sold by Nestle SA? The ultra-thin design has a smaller impact on the environment while pushing down costs associated with packaging and shipping. Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. have poured tens of millions of dollars into a fund that builds out recycling infrastructure, reducing landfill tipping fees and recovering material that could be sold as new products.Tech giants have spent billions of dollars on solar and wind power, cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and energy expenditures at the same time. Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon and Facebook Inc. are now some of the largest buyers of green power in America.Turns out it’s not just easy being green—it’s also profitable.“We’ve moved past this concept that business versus the environment is a tradeoff,” said Tom Murray, who advises companies on reducing emissions at Environmental Defense Fund, including Walmart, McDonald’s Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. “The business benefits were always there, but more and more companies are going after them.”The business case for going green has never been stronger as companies find ways to make more from less. Here’s a look at the ways corporate sustainability is making environmentalism pay.Lightweight Flights Cost LessUnited Airlines Holdings Inc. has been making its planes lighter, driving down fuel use and costs. Airlines account for almost 2% global carbon emissions. Not even the in-flight magazine has been spared in the search for unnecessary heft: changing to a lighter paper stock saved almost $300,000 per year on fuel. United redesigned airplane bathrooms, switched out beverage carts and ended duty-free sales. The company was also working on reducing its cabin waste to zero. What it pays: United has saved more than $2 billion on fuel so far.Hanging Hotel Towels Saves More Than Water It turns out that simply asking guests to hang up towels to dry and forego daily sheet changes can save hotel operators 25% off annual energy costs. “To some surprise within the hotel industry, this option was quickly embraced by hotel guests as a small way to engage in energy conservation,” according to a report by the Urban Land Institute. Clarion Partners LLC does that at all of its hotels and went a step further by reducing flows through toilets, faucets and showerheads.What it pays: Cutting water use saves Clarion hotels about $17,250 per year.Idle Trucks, Real MoneyWalmart runs one of the biggest trucking fleets in the U.S. That means scores of semis standing in traffic at any given time. At that scale, the introduction of technology that reduces energy use when trucks or idling and software that creates more efficient routes can improve fuel efficiency by 90%, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.What it pays: Diesel averages almost $3 a gallon in the U.S. Tech’s Green Power PayoffGoogle, Facebook and Amazon are among the largest energy consumers in the U.S., and a lot of that power is now emission-free. Each company committed to getting 100% of their power for their data centers from renewable resources such as wind and solar. Exxon Mobil signed up to energize its operations in Texas with solar and wind energy starting next year, which would place the oil producer among the top 10 buyers.What it pays: With renewables now cheaper than fossil fuels, these green energy commitments shave an estimated 10% off tech giants’ gargantuan utility bills.Paperless Bathrooms Are CheaperRestaurants, movie theaters and others have been making the switch from paper towels to hand dryers in their restrooms for years. Dryers have become the norm because of the savings on the cost of paper towels and the expense of sending garbage to the landfill. Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, made the switch and cut carbon emissions by 76% per use.What it pays: A football stadium can save more than $12,000 a year over the cost of paper towels. Re-Sold Clothes Are a MoneymakerPatagonia Inc. has been repairing and recycling clothes since its inception in the 1970s, making the practice a core part of the brand’s environmental image. Two years ago, however, the company added incentives for customers who return used items. This wasn’t just an act of urgency to keep clothing out of landfills. A 3-in-1 Snowshot Jacket that retails new for about $400 was recently listed on Patagonia’s Wornwear website for $187 to $207, more than twice the amount paid to customers in a voucher.What it pays: Each re-sale of a high-quality used jacket can net $100. “It’s a profitable business unit,” said Phil Graves, director of corporate development at Patagonia.Slender Plastic SavingsNestle has been saving money with ever-thinner plastic bottles, cutting the content in its half-liters by more than 60% since 1990. That also reduces the harmful chemicals and emissions produced from making plastic and saves on transportation costs. There’s also been a push to use more recycled material. Nestle recently started offering a 100% recycled bottle for its Pure Life water brand. Coca-Cola Inc. has decided to ditch plastic altogether for its Dasani line by pumping water into aluminum cans. That switch will make it easier to recycle and boost profitability. The cans weigh less, which cuts transportation costs. What it pays: 72 cents per pound of plastic resin.Beer With Less Spent on WaterLagunitas Brewing Co. was growing so quickly that its local water utility couldn’t process all the highly concentrated wastewater produced by its manufacturing process. Managing it all might have required costly upgrades to the municipal system. The brewer instead bought a new type of treatment system onsite that cleans the 7 gallons of high-strength wastewater made with every gallon of beer. The methane byproduct is used to produce electricity. Its one of the many breweries and vineyards out there that have now installed these systems.What it pays: Estimated savings more than $1 million a year on utility bills.This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to highlight climate change.(Adds zero-waste effort in ninth paragraph)To contact the authors of this story: Chris Martin in New York at email@example.comMillicent Dent in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Aaron Rutkoff at email@example.com, Lynn DoanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Ever since Amazon.com Inc. bought Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion, shoppers and investors alike have wondered how the e-commerce giant would integrate the upscale grocer into its sprawling online operation. Now, after two years of tinkering, Amazon is betting big on quick delivery from Whole Foods.In August, the company began a pilot project in select cities including Denver and Portland, Oregon. Mining the purchase histories of Whole Foods shoppers who use their Prime memberships for discounts, Amazon zeroed in on items they buy routinely in physical stores. Then, the company began suggesting the same products on its main website with an enticement: free two-hour delivery. Previously, Prime subscribers looking for speedy grocery delivery needed to download a separate Prime Now app, which limited use of the service. Amazon is betting that offering the service on the main site will pull in more shoppers. The Prime Now app had only 1.8 million monthly average users in August, according to monitoring firm App Annie. Amazon’s website draws more than 200 million unique monthly visitors while its primary shopping app attracts 125 million users on average each month.As it has done before, Amazon wants to change shopping habits—in this case getting consumers more comfortable buying perishable products like bananas and yogurt online. That’s crucial if Amazon is to take on Walmart Inc. in the $840 billion U.S. grocery market.Encouraged by what it calls “very positive” customer feedback, the company has quickly extended the service to almost 30 cities, including Los Angeles, Houston and Detroit. “Most grocery customers buy the same things over and over again,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in an e-mail after Bloomberg asked about the program. “The past purchases feature enables customers to quickly add favorite products to their cart.”The industry is grappling with how best to mesh physical and online grocery stores, a topic that drew 3,000 executives to the GroceryShop conference in Las Vegas in mid-September for panels on delivery, the future of stores and consumer behavior.Despite trying upend the grocery market for more than a decade, Amazon remains a tiny player. Walmart and its Sam’s Club capture 25% of all grocery spending in the U.S., according to Morgan Stanley, compared with 2% for Amazon and Whole Foods. Walmart has more than 4,500 U.S. stores, about 10 times the number of Whole Foods locations.Meanwhile, competition is intensifying. Walmart and Target Corp. are both investing in delivery options as well as in-store pickup of online orders, all geared toward time-strapped customers looking to simplify their errands. Walmart this month announced it was expanding its $98 annual grocery delivery service to 1,400 cities, undercutting Amazon Prime's $119 annual fee.Persuading shoppers to buy fresh food online isn’t Amazon’s sole challenge. Getting groceries to customers quickly is another. Offering two-hour delivery requires Amazon to show shoppers only products that are close to them, which isn’t easy because the 25-year-old website was designed to let anyone with an internet connection buy a product anywhere in the world. For that reason, Amazon launched its two-hour delivery service Prime Now in 2015 as a separate app detached from the main website, according to a personal familiar with the matter. That enabled Amazon to get the service up and running more quickly but limited participation because users had to download a new app. Moreover, Prime Now has offered a narrow selection of convenience store-style staples. The expanded service could help solve those challenges. Shoppers in cities where the option is available see a Whole Foods storefront on Amazon’s website. The storefront offers visitors discounts to entice them to try fast delivery of perishables and shows them previous purchases they made in stores. An optional filter lets them limit their search to what’s on the shelf in nearby Whole Foods locations in case they’d rather pick up the order themselves. “Amazon has been critiqued for not making full use of the Whole Foods acquisition, and this is about to change that,” says Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of New York e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. “Having local stores act as two-hour delivery hubs is exactly why Amazon acquired the company.”(Updates with Prime Now app data. )\--With assistance from Matthew Boyle.To contact the author of this story: Spencer Soper in Seattle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at email@example.com, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Walmart is exiting the e-cigarette category completely, as a rash of mysterious deaths linked to vaping draws intense scrutiny.
Atlas Technical Consultants Plans to Go Public via Combination with Boxwood Merger Corp. By John Jannarone From New York’s airports to crumbling roads in California, it’s no secret that U.S. infrastructure needs a helping hand. Fortunately for investors, there’s a soon-to-list company whose job is to be just that. Atlas Technical Consultants is a leading […]
Target's (TGT) healthy cash flow generation capability and efficient capital allocation efforts help it to enhance shareholder value. The company announces share repurchase plan of $5 billion.
Bernstein downgraded Costco stock to “underperform” due to its high valuation and competitive pressure. Jim Cramer suggests a “buy” on the downgrade.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. contributed more greenhouse gas emissions last year than some big competitors in retail, logistics and technology, but less than rival Walmart Inc. and the world’s biggest energy companies, highlighting the growing scale and diverse businesses of the conglomerate.The disclosure by Amazon of its 2018 carbon emissions, 44.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, including purchased electricity and indirect emissions, came Thursday when the company committed to powering all of its business operations by renewable energy sources by 2030, and achieving carbon neutrality a decade later.Amazon’s emissions exceed the reported totals of United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. as well as Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Target Corp. in data compiled by CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project. Amazon’s total is 38% less than rival Walmart, the group said.“It’s a big number,” said Bruno Sarda, president of CDP North America, adding that Amazon’s emissions compare to a large power company. “They probably wouldn’t make the top 50, but when you look at what’s up there, it’s mostly all the large fossil fuel companies.”An Amazon spokesman said the company’s disclosures, which accounted for emissions generated by customer trips to retail stores such as Whole Foods, captured a fuller picture than those of some competitors.Amazon for years has frustrated climate advocates by refusing to participate in increasingly common corporate social responsibility and environmental disclosures. But employees and shareholders have been pressuring the company to change. A shareholder proposal in May requesting an Amazon climate policy failed -- but drew 30% of votes cast.“We’ve been requesting this information from them for 15 straight years,” Sarda said. “They’re just not big fans of transparency, or using frameworks that others have developed to measure their performance.”Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos acknowledged that Amazon had work to do. “We’ve been in the middle of the herd on this issue and we want to move to the forefront,” Bezos said at a news conference in Washington where he encouraged other companies to set similar goals. “We want to be leaders.”Some corporate governance and environmental groups praised the Seattle-based company for the steps they announced on Thursday.“It’s very important when a company like Amazon or Walmart take major steps to be proactive on climate,” said Tim Smith, a director at Walden Asset Management and a longtime advocate of corporate action on issues of social responsibility. “I hope they’re getting the message that they received in the votes in the shareholders meeting, and from their customers, that they expect much of them.”Amazon’s carbon footprint reflects the company’s move from a humble online retailer into a plethora of energy-intensive businesses, including running massive cloud-computing server farms, and, increasingly, hauling its own packages by plane and truck and delivering them to customers’ doorsteps. The figures the company disclosed include emissions produced by Amazon’s own operations, the electricity that powers its facilities and more indirect sources like the cost of producing Amazon’s packaging and electronic devices, among other things.The company’s turn toward transparency on climate issues wasn’t the first time a major technology company decided to go out and grab the mantle of leadership on climate change. Apple has released an environmental impact report with increasing levels of detail for the past decade and stepped into the spotlight during in 2013 when it hired Lisa Jackson, a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, as vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives.Apple started submitting investor disclosure information to the U.K. nonprofit CDP in 2014, the same year that CEO Tim Cook publicly snapped at a critic that if he didn’t like the company’s environmental policies he should “get out of this stock.”To contact the reporters on this story: Matt Day in Seattle at firstname.lastname@example.org;Eric Roston in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew Pollack, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Microsoft (MSFT) stock appears to be one of safest mega-cap tech buys out there at the moment, even at its new all-time highs. And it just raised its dividend and announced a new share buyback program.
Given the sharp rise in Target stock, the upside could be limited. However, we expect Target to continue to post healthy comps and earnings growth.