Facts from the Week: Nov 13, 2021
Highlights from $DS $BLDE $IDN $FRG $BBQ $VAC Kayak $ZIP $DHX $6098.t $UROY $BRK $DIS Consumer, Travel, Energy, Labor, Sports Betting
Drive Shack - $DS
Blade - $BLDE
Intellicheck - $IDN
Department stores, particularly those predominantly selling apparel, were down 7% to 10% in transaction volumes during the quarter. While those retailers selling electronics, appliances and our banking clients were up almost the same amount. Interestingly, those same retailers that were down in the quarter had October volumes that were up 15% over September. -CEO
Franchise Group - $FRG
Vitamin Shoppe's positive trends from the second quarter continued as well as the brand benefited from consumers focus on health and wellness and the growing demand for Vitamin Shoppe products. Once again, store traffic increased as consumers gain comfort, leaving their homes to shop on-premise. These trends are evidenced by Vitamin Shoppe's third quarter same-store sales growth of over 13%, consisting of positive 17% in-store and negative 1.7% for direct-to-consumer. Vitamin Shoppe ended the third quarter with 713 stores in the system. -CEO
BBQ Holdings - $BBQ
Marriott Vacation Club - $VAC
Kayak - Flight searches vs 2019
ZipRecruiter - $ZIP
The COVID pandemic has been a different type of recession. More than a year-end, the labor force is still smaller by 3 million workers yet retail sales are now $90 billion higher than they were before the crisis, having recovered after only 4 months. As a result, employer demand for workers is immense. There are about 50% more job openings now than there were before the pandemic. However, millions of job seekers still have not come back to work. Further, we've seen record high numbers of workers who voluntarily quitting their jobs each month, finding new workers is critical for businesses to fill orders on time, expand production and grow. Businesses know that success depends on their ability to win the war for talent. -CEO
Dice Holdings - $DHX
Today, the unemployment rate for technologists is still within the range of its 2018 to 2019 lows. At the same time, Microsoft forecasts approximately 140 million new digital jobs will be created by 2025 across the world as companies rely on tech talent to advance innovation. -CEO
Indeed - Recruit Holdings - $6098.T
Job openings declined for the second straight month, fueled again by a pullback in demand in the leisure and hospitality sector. About 50% of the decline in total job openings was in the sector that contains restaurants, bars, hotels and concert venues. The recent wave of the pandemic is the likeliest culprit behind this demand slowdown. The stronger employment growth in October suggests this ebb in demand was temporary.
France on Nuclear: LINK
"We are going, for the first time in decades, to relaunch the construction of nuclear reactors in our country and continue to develop renewable energies," Macron said in a televised address to the nation.
This was meant "to guarantee France's energy independence, to guarantee our country's electricity supply and achieve our objectives, in particular carbon neutrality in 2050," he said. - President Macron
Uranium Royalty - $UROY
Berkshire Hathaway - $BRK- Railroad segment from 10Q:
Operating revenues from coal were $867 million in the third quarter and $2.3 billion in the first nine months of 2021, increases of 33.2% and 18.5%, respectively, from 2020, attributable to higher volumes of 12.2% in the third quarter and 8.8% in the first nine months, as well as from higher average revenue per car/unit. Volume increases in 2021 were attributable to increased electricity generation, higher natural gas prices and improved export demand.
Odds and Ends
Disney - $DIS
We're also moving towards a greater presence in online sports betting. And given our reach and scale, we have the potential to partner with third parties in this space in a very meaningful way. Suffice to say, we continue to see enormous opportunity in sports and all of this, the rights deals, our innovative programming and the flexibility achieved through our DTC business, which saw ESPN+ subscribers increased by 66% over the past fiscal year alone. All of this is a testament to the clear ambition we have in sports.
We have done substantial research in terms of the impact to, not only the ESPN brand, but the Disney brand in terms of consumers' changing perceptions of the acceptability of gambling. And what we're finding is that there is a very significant installation. Gambling does not have the cache now that it had, say, 10 or 20 years ago. And we have some concerns as a company about our ability to get in it without having a brand withdrawal. But I can tell you that given all the research that we've done recently that, that is not the case. It actually strengthens the brand of ESPN when you have a betting component, and it has no impact on the Disney brand. Therefore, to go after that demographic opportunity plus the, of course, not insignificant revenue implications, that is something that we're keenly interested in and are pursuing aggressively. -CEO
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!