Investors have been wary of retail stocks, but in 2020 there could be some great bets

Getty ImagesSome of the most beaten-down names in retail might end up being your best bets in 2020. Bed Bath & BeyondBed Bath & Beyond went through a rocky 2019. “[Tritton] has a lot of runway if he wants to fix Bed Bath.” Bed Bath & Beyond shares are up about 40% over the past 12 months, trading around $16.70. Michael’s shares are down about 45% over the past 12 months.


Getty ImagesSome of the most beaten-down names in retail might end up being your best bets in 2020.
Bed Bath & BeyondBed Bath & Beyond went through a rocky 2019.
“[Tritton] has a lot of runway if he wants to fix Bed Bath.”
Bed Bath & Beyond shares are up about 40% over the past 12 months, trading around $16.70.
Michael’s shares are down about 45% over the past 12 months.
Investors have been wary of retail stocks, but in 2020 there could be some great bets Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-06  Authors: lauren thomas
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, store, apparel, business, 2020, ceo, shares, retail, investors, sales, stocks, great, bath, stores, michaels, bets, wary, bed


Investors have been wary of retail stocks, but in 2020 there could be some great bets

Getty Images

Some of the most beaten-down names in retail might end up being your best bets in 2020. That’s not to say there isn’t reason to be wary about some of these companies. You’re taking a risk when you invest in a struggling business, especially in the challenged retail industry, which has faced management shake-ups, falling sales, bankruptcies and rampant store closures. But companies including Bed Bath & Beyond, Michael’s, Victoria’s Secret parent L Brands and DKNY owner G-III Apparel Group are looking like better and better investments in 2020, according to industry analysts. Their reasoning is that these companies either have new management with a fresh vision or have seen so much value shaved off their stocks that seemingly the only way to go from here is up. But just because a retailer has a new CEO doesn’t mean you want to put your money there. J.C. Penney, for example, is seen as a much riskier bet in retail today, despite it bringing in new CEO Jill Soltau in October 2018. Penney is especially weighed down by its heavy debt load and plethora of stores, many of which are struggling to grow sales. Still, there are other risks that could be worth taking. “After investors went on the defensive and flocked to lower-beta categories in 2019, we see opportunity for investors to ‘play offense’ (especially in early 2020) by coming back to some of the beaten-down names…” Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow said in a note to clients last week. Here’s a list of some battered retailers to watch out for this year. 2020 could be a pivotal moment for them.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond went through a rocky 2019. But it ended on a high note. The home goods retailer replaced its CEO in May under pressure from an activist investor. Then, after naming an interim replacement, it tapped Target’s chief merchant, Mark Tritton, to take over, beginning in November. Tritton ousted six senior executives shortly after he arrived, and said: “This is the first in a number of important steps we’re taking.”

On Monday, Bed Bath & Beyond followed up by saying it had completed a real estate deal with an affiliate of Oak Street Real Estate Capital, netting it $250 million in proceeds. It has sold roughly 2.1 million square feet of retail, warehouse and office space to the firm, and will now make rent payments instead of owning the properties. A sale-leaseback deal is often a tactic that companies will deploy when they are in a pinch for cash. Wall Street is watching to see if Tritton can find a way to compete with the likes of Amazon, Walmart and Target, which sell many of the same goods. One of Tritton’s focuses is expected to be launching more private-label brands. “Bed Bath was on my ‘watch list’ last year. But they’re not on my list at the moment,” Jan Kniffen, CEO at consulting group J Rogers Kniffen WWE, said in an interview. “[Tritton] has a lot of runway if he wants to fix Bed Bath.” Bed Bath & Beyond shares are up about 40% over the past 12 months, trading around $16.70. Shares hit an all-time high of $80.82 on Jan. 3, 2014. The company is valued at $2.1 billion.

Reusable shopping bags are displayed beneath a checkout counter at a Michaels craft store in Cincinnati, Ohio. Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Michael’s

Arts and crafts retailer Michael’s is in somewhat of a similar situation as Bed Bath & Beyond, with a new leader coming to the helm and fueling a hope for a turnaround. The company announced two days after Christmas that Walmart executive Ashley Buchanan will become CEO, effective Jan. 6, succeeding Mark Cosby. Buchanan joined Walmart in 2007 and moved from chief merchandising officer at Sam’s Club to become chief merchandising officer for Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business, when Walmart shuffled management at its digital business in July. Michael’s is trying to avoid the fate of rival arts and craft store A.C. Moore, which is in the process of shuttering all of its locations. It could really use some help getting the right products on shelves, analysts have said. The hope is Buchanan can bring what he learned at Walmart over to the craft chain. “In retailing, one man can make a difference,” Kniffen said about Michael’s new CEO. Michael’s shares are down about 45% over the past 12 months. The retailer is valued at $1.2 billion.

G-III Apparel Group

Poor performance in North American department stores and pressure on profits has caused investors to flee DKNY owner G-III Apparel Group. G-III Apparel Group shares, which were trading around $33 Monday, are up about 15% from a year ago. But they are still well below a record price above $70 hit back in 2015. The retailer is valued at $1.6 billion. But Wells Fargo’s Boruchow says there are reasons to be more positive about the company. Its outerwear business appears to be improving, it will benefit from reduced tariffs and is continuing to shutter its unprofitable stores and focus on its wholesale business. These efforts should boost profitability, Boruchow said. G-III has said one of its top priorities is to close stores. As of Jan. 31, 2019, the company said it operated 139 Wilsons Leather stores, 111 G.H. Bass stores, 42 DKNY stores, 11 Karl Lagerfeld Paris stores and 5 Calvin Klein Performance stores. Shares of G-III Apparel Group are up about 15% over the past 12 months, trading around $33.30. The stock traded as high as $73.93 in July 2015. The company has a market cap close to $1.6 billion today.

Macy’s, Nordstrom and Kohl’s

Department store chains likely had another disappointing holiday season. The category of retailers that includes Penney and Macy’s saw overall sales decline 1.8% from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, according to a study by Mastercard Spending Pulse that tracked retail spending trends across all payment types, including cash and check. As the narrative builds that consumers are skipping trips to the mall to buy on Amazon instead, and apparel sales are growing at a meager rate compared with other categories, it has dragged department store retailers Macy’s, Nordstrom and Kohl’s down. But some think this presents a buying opportunity, especially as each of the three retailers is trying a different strategy to boost sales and drive traffic to stores in the New Year. Macy’s is investing in its off-price business, which it says has exceeded expectations in past quarters. Nordstrom is opening smaller-format shops in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles that tout faster delivery. And Kohl’s has a partnership with Amazon to accept Amazon returns in all of its stores, which is expected to be a boon to foot traffic in 2020, now that a fleetwide rollout is complete. “Macy’s pays a 10% dividend and has great cash flow,” Kniffen said. “Kohl’s … is not one to go away. Nordstrom is the same. … And yet nobody wants to own any of them.” Especially in the coming weeks, as these companies analyze their holiday sales, Wall Street will be watching closely to see which department store operators are shedding more real estate in 2020. Analysts say there are still too many department stores and getting rid of unprofitable locations should help boost these businesses. Macy’s, with a market cap of $5.3 billion, has watched its stock fall more than 41% over the past 12 months. Nordstrom, which has a market cap of $6.4 billion, has watched its stock drop about 12.5% over the same time period. Kohl’s shares are down about 24% from a year ago, bringing its market value to $7.9 billion.

Elsa Hosk, Adriana Lima, Behati Prinsloo, and Candice Swanepoel pose during the finale of the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on November 8, 2018 in New York City. Taylor Hill | FilmMagic | Getty Images

L Brands


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-06  Authors: lauren thomas
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, store, apparel, business, 2020, ceo, shares, retail, investors, sales, stocks, great, bath, stores, michaels, bets, wary, bed


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Peloton could run as much as 26% by March, trader bets

The firm, run by activist short-seller Andrew Left, set a $5 price target for Peloton’s stock, comparing it to two other fitness plays whose value eroded dramatically in the years following their public debuts: GoPro and Fitbit. It’s … hard to kind of build that content, where[as] Peloton, they’re producing the content themselves by highly paid professionals,” Gordon said on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” Because there were no options available that expire near Peloton’s early February earnings repo


The firm, run by activist short-seller Andrew Left, set a $5 price target for Peloton’s stock, comparing it to two other fitness plays whose value eroded dramatically in the years following their public debuts: GoPro and Fitbit.
It’s … hard to kind of build that content, where[as] Peloton, they’re producing the content themselves by highly paid professionals,” Gordon said on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.”
Because there were no options available that expire near Peloton’s early February earnings repo
Peloton could run as much as 26% by March, trader bets Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-20  Authors: lizzy gurdus
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, run, bets, stock, pelotons, trade, wife, peloton, think, trader, content, near, options, gordon


Peloton could run as much as 26% by March, trader bets

Peloton’s due for a pop.

That’s what TradingAnalysis.com founder Todd Gordon bet on this week as the struggling exercise equipment stock tumbled, falling over 6% in Friday’s trading session alone. Shares closed at $29.99.

Peloton has indeed become a target of Wall Street and Main Street criticism in recent weeks. An ad released by the company in early December about a husband buying his wife a Peloton bike encountered backlash from viewers who found it to have sexist undertones, and a note from short-selling firm Citron Research this week cast the company as flawed and “overly promotional,” with “an unrealistic valuation.”

But Gordon — who jokes that he’s guilty of being a “Peloton husband” because he bought his wife one of the company’s bikes as a gift — forecasts good things for the stock in the new year. Peloton shares are up less than 4% since the September IPO.

First, Gordon had his own critiques of Citron Research’s call. The firm, run by activist short-seller Andrew Left, set a $5 price target for Peloton’s stock, comparing it to two other fitness plays whose value eroded dramatically in the years following their public debuts: GoPro and Fitbit.

“GoPro, I think, failed in the social community because it relies on the end users to produce the content and also edit themselves. It’s … hard to kind of build that content, where[as] Peloton, they’re producing the content themselves by highly paid professionals,” Gordon said on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.”

“Fitbit I don’t even think came anywhere near [having] a community that either GoPro or Peloton has, so I don’t think it’s comparing apples to apples here,” he said.

Gordon also saw some encouraging signs coming to the fore in Peloton’s chart despite the stock’s nearly 15% decline so far this month.

“[It] looks like we’ve got resistance that should come in right about [$]34, and a break through there should allow us to go up and potentially challenge new highs,” he said, pointing to the stock’s 20-day moving average.

To play the potential bounce, Gordon turned to the options market. Because there were no options available that expire near Peloton’s early February earnings report, he looked out to late March to make his bet.

“What I’d like to do in this trade is buy in the March 20 options,” Gordon said.

He bought the $34-strike call and sold the $38-strike call, which cost him between $1 and $1.10. That trade represents a bet that Peloton’s stock could climb between 13% and 26.7% from its Friday closing price.

“I’d even be willing to pay up to $1.20,” adding that investors could reap “about $300 of potential reward” by buying in near those levels.

As always, Gordon recommended position-sizing such that investors can exit the trade if the $1-$1.10 premium contracts.

Disclosure: CNBC parent Comcast-NBCUniversal is an investor in Peloton.

Disclaimer


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-20  Authors: lizzy gurdus
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, run, bets, stock, pelotons, trade, wife, peloton, think, trader, content, near, options, gordon


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Investors are terrified of something a year from now and they’re placing bets to hedge themselves

“To hedge out past the election, the price of downside puts relative to upside calls is literally pricing an election apocalypse,” said Emanuel. Emanuel said it’s unclear which way investors think the election would go. On the other hand, investors could fear President Donald Trump’s trade war with China will continue and get worse after the election. Emanuel and other analysts say investors are placing bets on the election early, in this presidential cycle, relative to other years. Emanuel said


“To hedge out past the election, the price of downside puts relative to upside calls is literally pricing an election apocalypse,” said Emanuel.
Emanuel said it’s unclear which way investors think the election would go.
On the other hand, investors could fear President Donald Trump’s trade war with China will continue and get worse after the election.
Emanuel and other analysts say investors are placing bets on the election early, in this presidential cycle, relative to other years.
Emanuel said
Investors are terrified of something a year from now and they’re placing bets to hedge themselves Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-09  Authors: patti domm
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, placing, price, upside, investors, 500, terrified, calls, bets, election, theyre, hedging, hedge, way, puts


Investors are terrified of something a year from now and they're placing bets to hedge themselves

By this time next year, the Nov. 3 election will have been over for a little over a month.

The price of buying downside puts, meaning a negative bet on the S&P 500 is at a historical level compared to the price for upside calls, or an opposite bet in the option markets for higher prices, according to Julian Emanuel, head of equity and derivatives strategy at BTIG.

Stock investors are hedging in a big way against something scary coming at them this time next year and it could be related to the outcome of the presidential election.

“To hedge out past the election, the price of downside puts relative to upside calls is literally pricing an election apocalypse,” said Emanuel. “We have said it forecasts either a less business friendly attitude or a civilizational conflict with China after the election.”

Emanuel said it’s unclear which way investors think the election would go. “The left, the right and the center are all worried about highly unstable electoral outcomes,” said Emanuel.

Those fearing a less business friendly environment could be hedging against a Democrat, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Sen. Bernie Sanders winning. On the other hand, investors could fear President Donald Trump’s trade war with China will continue and get worse after the election.

Emanuel said if the hedging was for a month out it would not be that unusual. “But’when you’re pricing an option a year out, that volatility is a big deal,” he said.

Source: BTIG

Emanuel calls it “unprecedented apprehension” on the part of investors. He said the S&P 500 skew, meaning how expensive puts are to calls, is in the 99th percentile and at a historic level over the election date.

Emanuel and other analysts say investors are placing bets on the election early, in this presidential cycle, relative to other years. He said sectors are also moving ahead of the election. For instance, health care started outperforming a couple weeks ago

“You’re getting paid to take those risks. [Health care] is trading relatively cheap against the S&P 500, and its own price history, compared to 2016 when it came into the election season expensive and traded off the entire year,” he said.

Emanuel said he expects a 10% gain in the S&P 500 in the coming year, and has a target of 3,450.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-09  Authors: patti domm
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, placing, price, upside, investors, 500, terrified, calls, bets, election, theyre, hedging, hedge, way, puts


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Wall Street bets international stocks will top US equities in 2020 after a decade-long slump

Several investors and strategists are betting on international stocks outperforming the U.S. in the new year, something that has only happened twice since 2010. “A reacceleration in global growth, a weaker US dollar, and favorable valuations should all support non-US stocks next year.” Callum Thomas, head of research at Topdown Charts, notes there is a “50% valuation gap” between U.S. and international stocks. These moves could spur a resurgence in global economic growth, which would “disproport


Several investors and strategists are betting on international stocks outperforming the U.S. in the new year, something that has only happened twice since 2010.
“A reacceleration in global growth, a weaker US dollar, and favorable valuations should all support non-US stocks next year.”
Callum Thomas, head of research at Topdown Charts, notes there is a “50% valuation gap” between U.S. and international stocks.
These moves could spur a resurgence in global economic growth, which would “disproport
Wall Street bets international stocks will top US equities in 2020 after a decade-long slump Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-07  Authors: fred imbert
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, valuation, growth, bets, stocks, wall, global, international, equities, msci, index, street, economic, slump, europe, decadelong, 2020


Wall Street bets international stocks will top US equities in 2020 after a decade-long slump

A pedestrian walks past a stock indicator displaying numbers of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the world’s major markets in Tokyo. Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP | Getty Images

(This story is part of the Weekend Brief edition of the Evening Brief newsletter. To sign up for CNBC’s Evening Brief, click here.) U.S. equities have been the best place to invest during the past 10 years, but that dominance could shift in 2020. Several investors and strategists are betting on international stocks outperforming the U.S. in the new year, something that has only happened twice since 2010. U.S. stocks have blown their international counterparts out of the water in that time. The S&P 500 is up more than 180% and the MSCI ACWI ex U.S. exchange-traded fund (ACWX) has gained just 18% since 2010. Emerging markets have fared even worse this decade against the S&P 500. The iShares MSCI Emerging Market Index is up just 4% since 2010. However, market experts think international stocks are poised for a comeback in 2020 versus the U.S. due to attractive valuations and a potential trough in global economic growth as world central banks take up more stimulative measures. “Having underperformed for more than ten years, non-US stocks are set to gain the upper hand over their US peers,” Peter Berezin, chief global strategist at BCA Research, said in a note. “A reacceleration in global growth, a weaker US dollar, and favorable valuations should all support non-US stocks next year.”

Valuation favors international

The S&P 500’s price-to-earnings ratio, a widely used valuation metric on Wall Street, currently sits above 20. That’s the average’s richest valuation since August 2018. That high valuation follows the S&P 500 hitting all-time highs despite a year-over-year earnings decline. International stocks, however, are trading at a much lower valuation. Through Friday’s close, the ACWI fund’s price-to-earnings ratio rested around 14.7. Callum Thomas, head of research at Topdown Charts, notes there is a “50% valuation gap” between U.S. and international stocks. “Yes global ex-US has its problems, but are they 50% discount problems? At a certain point if the valuation gap is wide enough it kind of starts to speak for itself,” he said in a note. This wide valuation gap comes as global economic growth has slowed down while the U.S. economy keeps humming. Last week, the Commerce Department said U.S. GDP expanded by 2.1% in the third quarter. Economies around the world, meanwhile, have been stuck in the mud as manufacturing activity falls and trade conditions tighten. In Europe, manufacturing activity hit a seven-year low in October. It rebounded slightly in November but remained in contraction territory, data from IHS Markit showed. On the trade front, the U.S.-China conflict continues as both sides try to sign a so-called phase one deal. President Donald Trump also said Monday the U.S. will restore tariffs on metal imports from Brazil and Argentina. These factors, however, have led global central banks to ease monetary policy. The European Central Bank launched a new bond-buying program earlier this year. The People’s Bank of China lowered its short-term funding rate for the first time since 2015 last month, and the Bank of Japan has kept monetary policy easy throughout 2019.

Global economic rebound?

The trade tensions between China and the U.S. have eased slightly in recent months as both sides show they are willing to reach some sort of deal. These moves could spur a resurgence in global economic growth, which would “disproportionately benefit” international stocks relative to the U.S., BCA’s Berezin said. “The sector composition of international stocks is more skewed towards cyclicals than defensives compared to US stocks,” Berezin said. “As a result, non-US stocks generally outperform their US peers when global growth accelerates.” To be sure, global stocks may be pricing in these scenarios already. Mike Wilson, chief U.S. equity strategy at Morgan Stanley, said the MSCI All-Country World Index — which measures the performance of global stocks including the U.S. — has already produced returns that are “meaningfully higher” since hitting its December 2018 lows. “That is consistent with a bottoming in global economic growth, meaning that markets are sending a signal about the turn in growth and pricing it in many cases,” Wilson said.

What to buy overseas

Wilson recommends investors buy into Japanese and Korean stocks in 2020. He also has an underweight rating on U.S. stocks heading into next year. The iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) is up more than 18% this year, on pace for its biggest annual gain since 2017. The ETF rose 22.7% that year. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index is also up 16.4% for 2019. Korean stocks, however, have not fared nearly as well this year. The iShares MSCI South Korea ETF (EWY) is down more than 2% for 2019, and the main stock index, the Kospi, is barely up year to date. Europe is another international market eyed by experts heading into 2020. Stocks in the continent are on pace for their biggest annual gain since 2009, when they surged 28%. The Stoxx 600 index, which tracks a broad number of European stocks, is up 19.3% in 2019. Cameron Brandt, director of research at EPFR, said money flows into European assets are “certainly indicating that all the bad news in Europe has been priced in.” “Given that the ECB is back in full backstop mode, and that Europe has a lot of dry powder in terms of fiscal stimulus … it’s probably fair to say the greatest potential for upside next year may be in Europe,” Brandt said. Within Europe, one market that could see further upside in 2020 is Germany, said Nuveen’s Brian Nick. The German Dax has rallied more than 20% in 2019 and is headed for its biggest one-year gain since 2013. “If we get a stabilization in growth in 2020, the internationally oriented countries should do a bit better, especially if China looks a little more solid as it seems to,” the firm’s chief investment strategist said. “Those two economies are more closely tied together than the U.S. is to either of those.”

Buy international for the new decade?


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-07  Authors: fred imbert
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, valuation, growth, bets, stocks, wall, global, international, equities, msci, index, street, economic, slump, europe, decadelong, 2020


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Sundar Pichai just got the worst job in Silicon Valley

But even as the new leader of Alphabet, Pichai is stuck between a rock and a hard place. (In fact, some Other Bets like the smart home company Nest and cybersecurity company Chronicle have been folded back into Google.) If Pichai decides it’s time to cut back on some Other Bets, he could still be outvoted by Page and Brin. Beyond the power dynamic between Page, Brin and Pichai, Google faces crisis after crisis, ranging from employee protests to antitrust investigations that threaten to break up


But even as the new leader of Alphabet, Pichai is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
(In fact, some Other Bets like the smart home company Nest and cybersecurity company Chronicle have been folded back into Google.)
If Pichai decides it’s time to cut back on some Other Bets, he could still be outvoted by Page and Brin.
Beyond the power dynamic between Page, Brin and Pichai, Google faces crisis after crisis, ranging from employee protests to antitrust investigations that threaten to break up
Sundar Pichai just got the worst job in Silicon Valley Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-04  Authors: steve kovach
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, worst, sundar, silicon, bets, job, google, alphabet, employees, pichai, valley, page, brin, business, company, googles


Sundar Pichai just got the worst job in Silicon Valley

And poor Pichai has been tasked with navigating Alphabet through all of it, while Page and Brin get to shield themselves from all of the scrutiny and challenges.

Now, after spending the last several years effectively AWOL from the public and much of Alphabet, Page and Brin, both 46, are out just in time for the company to muddle through its biggest challenges in its history.

The move comes over four years after Page orchestrated the most genius retirement plan in the history of business. Growing bored of Google’s day to day chores, he split the company into several “Other Bets,” or separate companies exploring science projects like self-driving cars and smart cities, while leaving the main internet search business to his trusted deputy Pichai. That freed Page to explore his passion projects.

On Tuesday, Google’s parent company Alphabet dropped the bombshell that co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down as CEO and president , respectively, and that the 47-year-old Pichai will become CEO of all of Alphabet.

But even as the new leader of Alphabet, Pichai is stuck between a rock and a hard place. And Page and Brin will still loom over all of it.

The rock: Pichai is now in charge of a focus-free smattering of money-losing Other Bets that are noodling around with everything from curing death to beaming the internet to the Earth from high-altitude balloons. But none of those Other Bets has turned into the major businesses Alphabet hoped for.

Google is still Alphabet’s cash cow, generating effectively all of its revenue thanks to its lucrative digital ads business. There are no signs that the “next Google” will grow out of an Other Bet any time soon. (In fact, some Other Bets like the smart home company Nest and cybersecurity company Chronicle have been folded back into Google.)

Pichai’s task will now be to decide what to do with Alphabet’s duds. Do they spin back into Google? Do they pack it all up and call it quits? Does Alphabet invest less in them?

But that brings us to …

The hard place: Page and Brin may have stepped down from their day jobs, but they’re still lurking. They have controlling stakes in the company and said they’d remain “active” board members. If Pichai decides it’s time to cut back on some Other Bets, he could still be outvoted by Page and Brin. Good luck to Pichai if he ever wants to persuade them to put their favorite science projects on ice and focus on ways to keep Google growing instead.

But wait, there’s more.

Beyond the power dynamic between Page, Brin and Pichai, Google faces crisis after crisis, ranging from employee protests to antitrust investigations that threaten to break up the company.

Google’s employees are openly revolting over the company’s handling of sexual harassment and controversial executives hires like Miles Taylor, the former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff who defended the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban. Last month, 200 employees in San Francisco protested Google’s various contentious decisions. Shortly after, four of the protesters were fired. Google has denied that the employees were fired for organizing. Now those former employees, dubbed the “Thanksgiving Four” plan to file charges against Google with the National Labor Relations Board.

Meanwhile, Google is investigating its own executives over inappropriate relationships they may have had with subordinates, CNBC first reported last month. That includes Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, who recently married an employee in Google’s legal department and faces a string of damaging allegations from another former employee with whom he had an extramarital affair.

Next, there’s YouTube, which has faced controversy after controversy in recent years, ranging from pedophiles lurking in video comments where underage children appear, to the spread of conspiracy theories about victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last year. (We’d be here all day if I listed every recent YouTube crisis and failure.)

And then there are the dollars and cents. Growth in Google’s core digital advertising business is slowing, and the pressure is mounting for the company to find new areas of expansion. While its cloud and hardware businesses are showing some promise, they still make up a tiny fraction of Google’s overall revenue. At its core, Google is still an advertising company.

But that’s just the internal stuff. Outside the company, nearly every state attorney general in the country is looking into antitrust violations related to Google’s ad business. CNBC reported last month that the probes may expand into Google’s search business as well. The FTC and Department of Justice are also said to be looking at Google’s potential antitrust violations.

With so much scrutiny from regulators and attorneys general, there will almost certainly be some sort of action taken, and Pichai is now the one who has to steer the ship as various government agencies seek to punish his company. Page and Brin picked the perfect time to step down and protect themselves.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-04  Authors: steve kovach
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, worst, sundar, silicon, bets, job, google, alphabet, employees, pichai, valley, page, brin, business, company, googles


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Larry Page steps down as CEO of Alphabet, Sundar Pichai to take over

More recently, a group of former Google employees known as the “Thanksgiving Four” have claimed their pre-holiday dismissal amounted to retaliation for their attempts to organize workers. The company is not conventional and continues to make ambitious bets on new technology, especially with our Alphabet structure. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He’s worked closely with us for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Al


More recently, a group of former Google employees known as the “Thanksgiving Four” have claimed their pre-holiday dismissal amounted to retaliation for their attempts to organize workers.
The company is not conventional and continues to make ambitious bets on new technology, especially with our Alphabet structure.
Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet.
He’s worked closely with us for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Al
Larry Page steps down as CEO of Alphabet, Sundar Pichai to take over Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-03  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, steps, google, technology, bets, employees, structure, sundar, larry, letter, googles, page, person, alphabet, company, ceo, pichai


Larry Page steps down as CEO of Alphabet, Sundar Pichai to take over

Google has been forced to back off of certain projects have pushback from employees. In 2018, Google’s cloud chief at the time said the company would not renew its contract with the Department of Defense after it was set to expire in March 2019. The decision followed a petition signed by thousands of employees urging Pichai to keep Google out of the “business of war.” Google employees have also urged the company to back off its plans to build a censored search engine for China after The Intercept reported on the plans cryptically called Project Dragonfly.

More recently, a group of former Google employees known as the “Thanksgiving Four” have claimed their pre-holiday dismissal amounted to retaliation for their attempts to organize workers. The former employees have promised to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming unfair labor practices. Google denies any retaliation and has insisted the workers were let go for sharing confidential documents and breaching security.

Here is the full letter from Page and Brin:

Our very first founders’ letter in our 2004 S-1 began:

“Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one. Throughout Google’s evolution as a privately held company, we have managed Google differently. We have also emphasized an atmosphere of creativity and challenge, which has helped us provide unbiased, accurate and free access to information for those who rely on us around the world.”

We believe those central tenets are still true today. The company is not conventional and continues to make ambitious bets on new technology, especially with our Alphabet structure. Creativity and challenge remain as ever-present as before, if not more so, and are increasingly applied to a variety of fields such as machine learning, energy efficiency and transportation. Nonetheless, Google’s core service—providing unbiased, accurate, and free access to information—remains at the heart of the company.

However, since we wrote our first founders’ letter, the company has evolved and matured. Within Google, there are all the popular consumer services that followed Search, such as Maps, Photos, and YouTube; a global ecosystem of devices powered by our Android and Chrome platforms, including our own Made by Google devices; Google Cloud, including GCP and G Suite; and of course a base of fundamental technologies around machine learning, cloud computing, and software engineering. It’s an honor that billions of people have chosen to make these products central to their lives—this is a trust and responsibility that Google will always work to live up to.

And structurally, the company evolved into Alphabet in 2015. As we said in the Alphabet founding letter in 2015:

“Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence.”

Since we wrote that, hundreds of Phoenix residents are now being driven around in Waymo cars—many without drivers! Wing became the first drone company to make commercial deliveries to consumers in the U.S. And Verily and Calico are doing important work, through a number of great partnerships with other healthcare companies. Some of our “Other Bets” have their own boards with independent members, and outside investors.

Those are just a few examples of technology companies that we have formed within Alphabet, in addition to investment subsidiaries GV and Capital G, which have supported hundreds more. Together with all of Google’s services, this forms a colorful tapestry of bets in technology across a range of industries—all with the goal of helping people and tackling major challenges.

Our second founders’ letter began:

“Google was born in 1998. If it were a person, it would have started elementary school late last summer (around August 19), and today it would have just about finished the first grade.”

Today, in 2019, if the company was a person, it would be a young adult of 21 and it would be time to leave the roost. While it has been a tremendous privilege to be deeply involved in the day-to-day management of the company for so long, we believe it’s time to assume the role of proud parents—offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!

With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and the Other Bets operating effectively as independent companies, it’s the natural time to simplify our management structure. We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet’s investment in our portfolio of Other Bets. We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we’re passionate about!

Sundar brings humility and a deep passion for technology to our users, partners and our employees every day. He’s worked closely with us for 15 years, through the formation of Alphabet, as CEO of Google, and a member of the Alphabet Board of Directors. He shares our confidence in the value of the Alphabet structure, and the ability it provides us to tackle big challenges through technology. There is no one that we have relied on more since Alphabet was founded, and no better person to lead Google and Alphabet into the future.

We are deeply humbled to have seen a small research project develop into a source of knowledge and empowerment for billions—a bet we made as two Stanford students that led to a multitude of other technology bets. We could not have imagined, back in 1998 when we moved our servers from a dorm room to a garage, the journey that would follow.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-03  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, steps, google, technology, bets, employees, structure, sundar, larry, letter, googles, page, person, alphabet, company, ceo, pichai


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Molson Coors bets on turmeric seltzer and aloe water with new investment

Molson Coors Brewing announced Monday it has bought a stake in L.A. Libations, a drink company and incubator that makes products like turmeric seltzer and aloe water. As part of the deal, Molson Coors will receive a stake in new products created by L.A. Libations and the option to purchase new brands in full. People familiar with the matter said that Molson Coors is taking a 49% stake. Molson Coors said last month it will drop “Brewing” from its name next year and instead call itself “Molson Coo


Molson Coors Brewing announced Monday it has bought a stake in L.A. Libations, a drink company and incubator that makes products like turmeric seltzer and aloe water.
As part of the deal, Molson Coors will receive a stake in new products created by L.A. Libations and the option to purchase new brands in full.
People familiar with the matter said that Molson Coors is taking a 49% stake.
Molson Coors said last month it will drop “Brewing” from its name next year and instead call itself “Molson Coo
Molson Coors bets on turmeric seltzer and aloe water with new investment Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-18  Authors: amelia lucas
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, coors, seltzer, water, molson, bets, products, investment, company, libations, aloe, stake, deal, turmeric, partnership, alcohol


Molson Coors bets on turmeric seltzer and aloe water with new investment

Molson Coors Brewing announced Monday it has bought a stake in L.A. Libations, a drink company and incubator that makes products like turmeric seltzer and aloe water.

As part of the deal, Molson Coors will receive a stake in new products created by L.A. Libations and the option to purchase new brands in full. The brewer will also get two seats on L.A. Libations’ board.

Financial terms were not disclosed. People familiar with the matter said that Molson Coors is taking a 49% stake. Coca-Cola previously held a 25% stake in L.A. Libations, but the companies’ partnership ended May 31.

The deal comes as Molson Coors and its rivals grapple with falling alcohol consumption — particularly beer. Global alcohol consumption fell 1.6% in 2018 to 27.6 billion cases, according to data from IWSR, which tracks alcohol trends.

Molson Coors said last month it will drop “Brewing” from its name next year and instead call itself “Molson Coors Beverage Company.” The company has already started branching out beyond beer. It bought Clearly Kombucha last year and launched canned wine spritzers and an alcoholic cold brew in partnership with La Colombe.

Molson Coors has been working with L.A. Libations for the last year to expand Clearly Kombucha.

Shares of the brewer, which has a market value of $11.3 billion, were trading down about 1% on Monday afternoon. The stock is down more than 7% year to date.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-18  Authors: amelia lucas
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, coors, seltzer, water, molson, bets, products, investment, company, libations, aloe, stake, deal, turmeric, partnership, alcohol


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Ford bets on Mustang’s reputation with Mexico-made Mach-E SUV

Ford is betting the Mustang name will resonate with consumers and assist the company’s first all-electric SUV in standing out in an increasingly crowded field. Importing such a well-known American name to the U.S. could be risky amid President Donald Trump’s America-first policies and ongoing negotiations of a new North American trade deal. American automakers have traditionally attempted to keep well-known American vehicles such as Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Jeep Wrangler in the U.S. becau


Ford is betting the Mustang name will resonate with consumers and assist the company’s first all-electric SUV in standing out in an increasingly crowded field.
Importing such a well-known American name to the U.S. could be risky amid President Donald Trump’s America-first policies and ongoing negotiations of a new North American trade deal.
American automakers have traditionally attempted to keep well-known American vehicles such as Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Jeep Wrangler in the U.S. becau
Ford bets on Mustang’s reputation with Mexico-made Mach-E SUV Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-15  Authors: michael wayland
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, mache, vehicle, vehicles, suv, ford, mustangs, automakers, mustang, american, political, bets, wellknown, mexicomade, reputation


Ford bets on Mustang's reputation with Mexico-made Mach-E SUV

DETROIT – The Mustang Mach-E is a groundbreaking vehicle for Ford Motor that marks the beginning of a new-generation of all-electric vehicles and the first time the iconic name has been used on anything but a two-door pony car.

Ford is betting the Mustang name will resonate with consumers and assist the company’s first all-electric SUV in standing out in an increasingly crowded field. It’s a bold decision that could dilute the Mustang name if unsuccessful. There’s also chance of political backlash since the vehicle is being produced in Mexico and imported to the U.S.

“Car shoppers typically place little importance on where a vehicle is built, but the Mustang Mach-E will be debuting in the midst of a highly contentious election cycle where automotive manufacturing jobs and plant locations could present a ripe opportunity for political grandstanding,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of Industry Analysis at auto research firm Edmunds.

Ford previously confirmed production of the vehicle would be south of the border, however that was before it became a Mustang. Importing such a well-known American name to the U.S. could be risky amid President Donald Trump’s America-first policies and ongoing negotiations of a new North American trade deal.

Trump, many times through Twitter, has attacked automakers for importing vehicles from Mexico, China and other countries. He also earlier this year attacked Ford and other automakers for not supporting his administration’s plan to roll back Obama-era fuel efficiency rules.

American automakers have traditionally attempted to keep well-known American vehicles such as Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Jeep Wrangler in the U.S. because it’s part of their appeal.

Ford’s crosstown rival, General Motors, received significant backlash, mainly from politicians and unions, for its decision to resurrect the Chevrolet Blazer, a well-known American SUV for decades, and import it from Mexico.

“The last thing Ford wants is for one of its new vehicles to be swept up in such a polarized political environment, especially when big competitors like Tesla can emphasize that their vehicles are American-made,” Caldwell said.

Ford spokesman Mike Levine said the Mustang Mach-E will live up to its storied name, while providing customers looking for a larger vehicle an option under the “Mustang family.”

“This is a Mustang. It provides something Mustang customers are looking for,” he said. “Now we have this great all-electric performance SUV that’s the newest member of the Mustang family.” Ford is expected to release additional details of the vehicle during its unveiling on Sunday.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-15  Authors: michael wayland
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, mache, vehicle, vehicles, suv, ford, mustangs, automakers, mustang, american, political, bets, wellknown, mexicomade, reputation


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Common Networks bets 5G wireless technology will replace cable internet in your home

For about $50 a month, Common Networks is offering 300Mb/sec to 1Gb/sec download speeds for households around Silicon Valley and Alameda (Oakland is coming soon). Partnership with Facebook technologyZach Brock, CEO of Common Networks. Common Networks doesn’t lay any fiber nor does it need government permits to provide internet. Regulations in certain cities could delay expansion, and being first to market is an important advantage for Common Networks, Doherty said. “I think you’ll see more and m


For about $50 a month, Common Networks is offering 300Mb/sec to 1Gb/sec download speeds for households around Silicon Valley and Alameda (Oakland is coming soon).
Partnership with Facebook technologyZach Brock, CEO of Common Networks.
Common Networks doesn’t lay any fiber nor does it need government permits to provide internet.
Regulations in certain cities could delay expansion, and being first to market is an important advantage for Common Networks, Doherty said.
“I think you’ll see more and m
Common Networks bets 5G wireless technology will replace cable internet in your home Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-12  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, replace, common, wireless, verizon, bets, theyre, moffett, cable, theres, companies, internet, technology, broadband, networks


Common Networks bets 5G wireless technology will replace cable internet in your home

A Common Networks field technician installing Terragraph technology on a roof in San Francisco

At first blush, inventing a start-up to challenge AT&T, Verizon and Comcast for high-speed broadband dominance seems crazy. It takes billions of dollars to lay fiber in the ground — historically, the only way to deliver ultrafast internet speeds to residential homes. The prohibitive cost has stopped some of the largest companies in the world from making a national dent in constructing high-speed broadband networks, including Verizon and Google. Meanwhile, Verizon and AT&T already plan to roll out 5G fixed broadband services in cities across the U.S., using wireless technology to compete with cable companies to provide home internet. But Zach Brock, the CEO of Common Networks, a company he founded with three other ex-Square employees, said he believes he has helped design a technology that can upend the U.S. telecommunications market. For about $50 a month, Common Networks is offering 300Mb/sec to 1Gb/sec download speeds for households around Silicon Valley and Alameda (Oakland is coming soon). That’s about $20 or $30 less per month than what Comcast charges for about the same speed without promotional pricing. “Our focus is proving out of technology and showing we can deliver at an affordable cost,” Brock said in an interview. “Our vision for the company is that everyone is connected to true broadband internet.”

Partnership with Facebook technology

Zach Brock, CEO of Common Networks. Source: Common Networks

“Providing internet service is a very large market,” said Kyle Doherty, a managing director at General Catalyst, whose venture capital firm led a $25 million Series B funding round in Common Networks last year. “High-speed broadband still isn’t ubiquitous, but it will be in the future. There’s a fair share of incumbents, but we’re pretty compelled by the approach they’re taking.” Common Networks doesn’t lay any fiber nor does it need government permits to provide internet. Eschewing the enormous upfront costs of broadband infrastructure gives the company a chance to compete against much larger players if pricing is lower and customer service is dramatically better, said Doherty.

High-speed broadband still isn’t ubiquitous, but it will be in the future. There’s a fair share of incumbents, but we’re pretty compelled by the approach they’re taking. Kyle Doherty managing director, General Catalyst

Still, it remains to be seen how quickly Common Networks can provide its technology outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. Regulations in certain cities could delay expansion, and being first to market is an important advantage for Common Networks, Doherty said. Verizon’s 5G Home Internet is currently available in limited areas of Los Angeles, Sacramento, Houston and Indianapolis. Verizon is charging the same $50-per-month price for households with a Verizon wireless account and $70 per month for homes that don’t. Verizon is also giving away the first three months of home Internet for free. Still, the technology needs to work reliably in all neighborhoods, said telecommunications analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson. Architectures based on millimeter wave spectrum suffer from wave-strength issues, he said. “The signal doesn’t travel far enough, or penetrate through obstructions well enough, to make it economically interesting,” Moffett said. But Common Networks “may have a better story to tell than the larger incumbents” because they’re “all about keeping costs down,” said Moffett, citing the company’s use of unlicensed spectrum and limited spending on traditional network facilities. “It’s not clear how successful companies like Common Networks will be competing against the large incumbent ISPs, but there’s certainly a place for them in the broadband landscape,” Moffett said. “I think you’ll see more and more companies like Common Networks.”

Capitalizing on poor customer service


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-12  Authors: alex sherman
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, replace, common, wireless, verizon, bets, theyre, moffett, cable, theres, companies, internet, technology, broadband, networks


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SoftBank Group plunges to $6.5 billion quarterly loss as tech bets stumble

SoftBank Group Corp plunged on Wednesday to a quarterly loss that was far larger than analysts’ estimates, hit by the falling valuations of some of its biggest tech bets such as WeWork and Uber Technologies. The Japanese investment giant recorded an operating loss of 704 billion yen ($6.46 billion) in the July-September quarter. SoftBank recorded an operating profit of 706 billion yen in the same period a year earlier. The loss compared with an operating loss of 48 billion yen forecast on averag


SoftBank Group Corp plunged on Wednesday to a quarterly loss that was far larger than analysts’ estimates, hit by the falling valuations of some of its biggest tech bets such as WeWork and Uber Technologies.
The Japanese investment giant recorded an operating loss of 704 billion yen ($6.46 billion) in the July-September quarter.
SoftBank recorded an operating profit of 706 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.
The loss compared with an operating loss of 48 billion yen forecast on averag
SoftBank Group plunges to $6.5 billion quarterly loss as tech bets stumble Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-06
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, recorded, operating, stumble, investment, wework, group, bets, uber, tech, loss, yen, quarterly, billion, softbank, plunges


SoftBank Group plunges to $6.5 billion quarterly loss as tech bets stumble

SoftBank Group founder, chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son announces his group’s earnings results on May 9, 2019, in Tokyo.

SoftBank Group Corp plunged on Wednesday to a quarterly loss that was far larger than analysts’ estimates, hit by the falling valuations of some of its biggest tech bets such as WeWork and Uber Technologies.

The Japanese investment giant recorded an operating loss of 704 billion yen ($6.46 billion) in the July-September quarter. SoftBank recorded an operating profit of 706 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.

The loss compared with an operating loss of 48 billion yen forecast on average by four analysts, according to Refinitiv.

The group’s first quarterly loss in 14 years casts doubt on founder Masayoshi Son’s high-risk strategy of investing in cash-burning startups, as he is trying to raise a second giant investment fund.

The investment conglomerate said its $100 billion Vision Fund recorded an unrealised loss of 537.9 billion yen for the six months as the value of its tech bets such as WeWork and Uber tumbled.

The Saudi Arabia-backed Vision Fund, which is run by ex-Deutsche Bank banker Rajeev Misra, has invested $70.7 billion in 88 companies at the end of September. Those investments are now worth $77.6 billion excluding exits, it said.

Last month SoftBank was forced to spend more than $10 billion to bail out office-sharing startup WeWork after its IPO attempt flopped.

With increased market scrutiny over the path to profitability for many of its bets on unproven startups, SoftBank is struggling to take them to market – an essential step to unlock capital to keep its investment juggernaut growing.

The value of most of the fund’s listed investments, including Uber, Slack Technologies and Guardant Health fell over the quarter.

At Uber that slide has continued as losses continue to mount and a post-IPO share lock-up ends, with its shares hitting new lows this week.

SoftBank’s investing activities are propped up by other pillars of Son’s empire including domestic telco SoftBank Corp, which on Tuesday reported a 9% rise in second-quarter operating profit, beating estimates, buoyed by its cash-cow mobile business.

SoftBank did not release a forecast for the current business year, saying there were too many uncertain factors.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-06
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, recorded, operating, stumble, investment, wework, group, bets, uber, tech, loss, yen, quarterly, billion, softbank, plunges


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