Mom’s constipation turns into $30 million cult juggernaut

It stars a Prince Charming character and a unicorn that poops ice cream. “This is where your ice cream comes from,” says the prince. Hence, the ice cream. “It’s not OK to talk about poop, but it’s OK to talk about ice cream,” said Bill. At last count, it had over 100 million hits, and sales have surged.


It stars a Prince Charming character and a unicorn that poops ice cream. “This is where your ice cream comes from,” says the prince. Hence, the ice cream. “It’s not OK to talk about poop, but it’s OK to talk about ice cream,” said Bill. At last count, it had over 100 million hits, and sales have surged.
Mom’s constipation turns into $30 million cult juggernaut Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2016-08-23  Authors: jane wells, jeniece pettitt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sales, constipation, cult, million, moms, ice, squatty, 30, juggernaut, edwards, going, poop, cream, talking, talk, turns


Mom's constipation turns into $30 million cult juggernaut

In the beginning Bobby sent free Squatty Potties to health bloggers to generate buzz, and success has flowed with more regularity than Metamucil. Dr. Oz’s show called (Bill Edwards thought it was a crank call from his kids), then Howard Stern started talking about the product.

Finally, on their second try, Squatty Potty qualified for “Shark Tank.” They sold $1 million in product within 24 hours of the TV appearance, and the company also received a $500,000 investment from Lori Greiner which led to high-profile shelf space in Bed Bath & Beyond.

First year sales in 2011 were $17,000. In 2016 sales hit $19 million and continued to rise from there.

The Edwardses made all products in the USA, which Bobby Edwards said saved on transportation costs and gave them the ability to scale production up or down quickly as needed. “It’s actually much trimmer and leaner manufacturing in the United States for our product.”

The biggest challenge had always been finding a marketing balance between humor and health. “You can get really gross, or you can get so ambiguous that people don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Bobby.

The Squatty Potty YouTube ad is a good example. It stars a Prince Charming character and a unicorn that poops ice cream. “This is where your ice cream comes from,” says the prince. “(Unicorns) are good at pooping, but you know who sucks at pooping? You do.”

When first presented with the idea for the video, the Edwards family thought it was too cheeky and too expensive. “We’re talking about a subject nobody wants to talk about,” said Judy, “and if a unicorn, or anything, is going to show poop, we don’t want it to be poop, we want it to be something that people like and enjoy.” Hence, the ice cream. “It’s not OK to talk about poop, but it’s OK to talk about ice cream,” said Bill.

They eventually decided to spend $250,000 to make the ad. At last count, it had over 100 million hits, and sales have surged. “We’re going to make more videos, and they’re going to cost a lot more than that,” Bill laughed.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2016-08-23  Authors: jane wells, jeniece pettitt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sales, constipation, cult, million, moms, ice, squatty, 30, juggernaut, edwards, going, poop, cream, talking, talk, turns


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Evercore ISI calls Priceline a top big-data play

In a note about the monetization of big data collection, Evercore ISI singled out Priceline as being particularly good at this practice because the travel site uses algorithms to increase hotel bookings and other travel services. Evercore upgraded the stock to buy from hold. “Priceline shares offer scale advantage, execution track record, and value.” Because of Priceline’s technological prowess, Sena makes it one of his top big data investment ideas alongside Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba and Google


In a note about the monetization of big data collection, Evercore ISI singled out Priceline as being particularly good at this practice because the travel site uses algorithms to increase hotel bookings and other travel services.
Evercore upgraded the stock to buy from hold.
“Priceline shares offer scale advantage, execution track record, and value.”
Because of Priceline’s technological prowess, Sena makes it one of his top big data investment ideas alongside Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba and Google
Evercore ISI calls Priceline a top big-data play Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2016-08-18  Authors: giovanny moreano
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, particularly, priceline, calls, big, play, bigdata, sena, execution, way, pricelines, evercore, wrote, travel, isi, data


Evercore ISI calls Priceline a top big-data play

In a note about the monetization of big data collection, Evercore ISI singled out Priceline as being particularly good at this practice because the travel site uses algorithms to increase hotel bookings and other travel services.

Evercore upgraded the stock to buy from hold.

“In terms of execution, Priceline’s growth leads peers on 2x the base, the company is expanding into large and underpenetrated markets, and it is doing more for its hotelier customers in the way of enterprise services, which we see as creating additional stickiness for it as a platform, especially among independents,” analyst Ken Sena wrote. “Priceline shares offer scale advantage, execution track record, and value.”

Because of Priceline’s technological prowess, Sena makes it one of his top big data investment ideas alongside Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba and Google.

“Fewer platforms will handle greater need. The result is that the amount of data handled by businesses is set to explode,” he wrote. “This supports the ‘software is eating the world’ view of things, particularly as machine learning and generative design begins to find its way into a growing number of industries.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2016-08-18  Authors: giovanny moreano
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, particularly, priceline, calls, big, play, bigdata, sena, execution, way, pricelines, evercore, wrote, travel, isi, data


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Santoli: Market making volatility calls look silly

With yield-centric stocks now so important to the indexes, bond-market calm is also suppressing equity volatility. Google “market volatility is here to stay” and the page fills with this assertion repeated by the likes of Jamie Dimon, Vanguard Group, Russell Investments and Wells Fargo investor survey respondents. So it’s little wonder the unusually calm stock market of recent weeks is seen by many investors as more eerie than soothing. In 2013, the most imperturbable year of this bull market, V


With yield-centric stocks now so important to the indexes, bond-market calm is also suppressing equity volatility.
Google “market volatility is here to stay” and the page fills with this assertion repeated by the likes of Jamie Dimon, Vanguard Group, Russell Investments and Wells Fargo investor survey respondents.
So it’s little wonder the unusually calm stock market of recent weeks is seen by many investors as more eerie than soothing.
In 2013, the most imperturbable year of this bull market, V
Santoli: Market making volatility calls look silly Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2016-08-14  Authors: michael santoli
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, volatility, range, silly, points, markets, months, calls, investors, santoli, vix, market, making, stocks, look, trading


Santoli: Market making volatility calls look silly

The question now is whether this confluence of market-friendly forces has largely played out, or if we’re in for a prolonged stretch of unhurried markets with an upside tilt.

Meantime, global interest rates have stayed anchored by central-bank exertions abroad and a broadening sense that the bar for a Federal Reserve rate boost was set quite high. With yield-centric stocks now so important to the indexes, bond-market calm is also suppressing equity volatility. And the breakout by the S&P 500 to new highs after 14 months in the red got the trend-followers aboard.

It seems the market panic following the Brexit vote in late June drove an outsized selling response that was quickly reversed – in large part because professional investors were already positioned defensively. The rebound coincided (by happenstance) with a marked firming in U.S. economic data and better-than-feared corporate earnings.

The market lull is not just about late-summer doldrums. In fact, August – as widely noted two weeks ago – is among the weakest and most unsettled months of the year.

Not so much. On 19 of the past 21 trading days, the has moved less than 0.5 percent, a record of static action not seen since September 1995.

This unease with a steady tape with indexes at record highs is even tougher to take because bulls and bears alike came into this year and out of the wintertime panic insisting that jarring volatility would likely persist. Google “market volatility is here to stay” and the page fills with this assertion repeated by the likes of Jamie Dimon, Vanguard Group, Russell Investments and Wells Fargo investor survey respondents.

Horror movies and approaching storms have trained us to fear a quiet stillness. So it’s little wonder the unusually calm stock market of recent weeks is seen by many investors as more eerie than soothing.

The CBOE Volatility index settled at 11.5 Friday, near the very low end of its usual range and about seven points below its long-term median level.

VIX is mostly just a coincident indicator of stock-index jumpiness (or its absence), but traders habitually see a low VIX as a sign of “complacency” or a market heading for a shock.

The record doesn’t quite support this view. A study by Mark Hulbert of Hulbert’s Financial Digest showed the performance of stocks up to two months after the VIX sinks below 12 is indistinguishable from when it’s gone above the 18.6 average level.

And without suggesting any comprehensive similarities between today’s world and economy and conditions a decade ago, low-volatility conditions persisted for most of the 2004-2006 period.

Still, there has been a spurt in volatility during August in each of the past seven years. And since 1990, even in the calmest September (again, in 1995) VIX reached a high of 14. In 2013, the most imperturbable year of this bull market, VIX spent September in a range of 12.5 to 17.5.

Professional investor and blogger Urban Carmel cites the August pattern and speculates that the recent volatility drought and tight trading range could give way to a choppier market just as the S&P 500 nears another round number: 2200, less than 1 percent higher than Friday’s close.

There would be a nice synchrony in stocks’ new trading range topped by 2200 the way 2100 essentially capped the market for months on end after stocks had run ahead of corporate fundamentals.

Dana Lyons, of J. Lyons Funds Management, points out that securities dealers (often seen as the “smart money” in futures markets) are currently holding unusually large positions in VIX futures that would profit from a spurt in volatility.

So the odds strongly suggest that the market won’t stay quite this placid. Yet a few points tacked on to this gauge of options-trader expectations wouldn’t necessarily come with severe downside for stocks. A little late-summer storm and a pullback of a couple or few percent in the indexes from all-time highs would not endanger the strong uptrend that began six months ago.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategist Michael Hartnett asserted late last week that “the next thrust higher in risk assets will likely complete the rally from the February lows.” The time to turn more cautious on equities and risker corporate bonds will be when investor positioning turns clearly bullish, monetary-policy expectations becomes complacent and corporate-profit forecasts get more optimistic.

“We think the optimal moment for this is likely after a mini-melt-up in risk [markets] ahead of Jackson Hole which causes expectations of a ‘zero rate, zero vol’ future to peak,” Hartnett says. The Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole retreat, which has featured market-moving policy pronouncements in years past, takes place next week, with Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaking on Friday, Aug. 26.

Hartnett counsels investors to stay long stocks, but also to own bets on higher volatility. This is reasonable, though investors have been treated badly by their voracious appetite for “volatility plays.” The most popular instrument is the iPath VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (VXX), which is really a day-trading instrument that is forced to pay up for expensive volatility insurance that erodes its value inexorably over time. Even after declining 54 percent this year, the fund has more than $1.4 billion in assets.

Other prudent-seeming hedged strategies all impose some cost. The Janus Velocity Volatility Hedged Large Cap ETF (SPXH) owns index ETFs along with volatility-futures funds as partial protection. This year it’s up 4.5 percent compared to 6.8 percent for the S&P. Two percentage points might be worth paying for some peace of mind, but that’s a healthy chunk of what the market’s gained for 2016.

Only a nasty bear market will make such hybrid strategies truly satisfying to most investors.

For now, perhaps the best approach to a possible volatility eruption is to expect it, get stock exposure to a comfort level before the storm, and and ride it out in the knowledge that most pass without inflicting crippling damage.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2016-08-14  Authors: michael santoli
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, volatility, range, silly, points, markets, months, calls, investors, santoli, vix, market, making, stocks, look, trading


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