Adidas reeling from Kanye colab
“The numbers speak for themselves. We are currently not performing the way we should,” CEO Bjørn Gulden said in a press release this week that also alluded to its inability to sell its Yeezy inventory with a potential impact of $1.3 billion. Last October the firm severed ties with Yeezy’s founder Kanye West after his well-publicised antisemitic tirades. In July 2021, shares traded at EUR319, today they’re at EUR139, with a dividend yield of 2.37%, and a PE ratio of 19. Adidas has all the hallmarks of a relatively unpopular large company.
Rinse and repeat
As if we didn’t get it first time around last week when the fed increased interest rates by 25 basis points, Fed chair Jerome Powell at the Economic Club of Washington said “the disinflationary process, the process of getting inflation down, has begun and it’s begun in the goods sector, which is about a quarter of our economy,”. Of the labor market, Powell ‘didn’t expect it to be this strong’ after a 517,000 print for jobs added in January. Those damned workers are just fouling the recovery. “My guess is it will take certainly into not just this year, but next year to get down close to 2%.” That’s a bet I’m willing to take.
Record profits at BP
Like ExxonMobil and Shell last week, the energy sector continues to reap the benefits of lockdowns and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine creating massive demand for oil with BP announcing record profits that more than doubled to $27.7bn (£23bn) in 2022. In the fourth quarter of 2021, Chief executive Bernard Looney said: ‘When the market is strong, when oil prices are strong and when gas prices are strong, this is literally a cash machine.’
A high dividend yield at Barrett Developments
With a dividend yield of nearly 8%, property developer Barratt Developments released its half-year results this week and decided to cut its dividend. David Thomas, Chief Executive said ‘Whilst we have seen some early signs of improvement in current trading during January, we will need to see continued momentum over the coming months before we can be confident that these challenging trading conditions are easing’. Pre-tax profits, earnings, and revenue all increased versus the same period last year. Forward sales were reported as 10,854 homes v 15,736 last year and the firm pointed to the pressure first-time buyers are under, roadblocking a clear pathway to recovery in 2023. Barratt has a PER of 5.78 and a price to tangible book of 1.03.
Disney cuts 7000 from workforce, proxy fight is over
Activist investor Nelson Pelz bought Disney stock at $92 a share in November 2022 for $865 million, launched a proxy fight and now the stock is worth $118 a share – a paper profit of $154 million after his stake increased in value to $1.1 billion. Peltz called off the fight this week after the announcement of a cost-cutting plan to the tune of $5.5 billion and a headcount cull of 7000 employees. Disney announced quarterly earnings per share of 99 cents, beating expectations, and revenue and subscriber numbers that came in as expected. Bob Iger said that “We believe the work we are doing to reshape our company around creativity, while reducing expenses, will lead to sustained growth and profitability for our streaming business, better position us to weather future disruption and global economic challenges, and deliver value for our shareholders”.
Bellway’s strengthening balance sheet
Like Barratt Developments, Bellway’s forward sales have declined and its customers are struggling with increased pressure from higher mortgage rates. Like all good housebuilders, it has large cash reserves and expects revenue to increase throughout 2023 despite the economic backdrop. ‘As the near-term economic outlook remains uncertain, we continue to take actions to maintain the Group’s balance sheet resilience. The measures include a freeze on new recruitment, limiting land approvals and a highly disciplined approach to production expenditure, as we align investment in work-in-progress to sales demand.’ When interest rates decline, you’ll find that demand for their homes will start to increase. In this climate, its easier for housebuilders to build their balance sheets rather than homes.
UK avoids recession
GDP fell 0.5% in December but that was not enough to impact growth for the final three months of 2022, coming in at 0% growth for the quarter. Last week The Bank of England said that it still expects a recession for the UK in 2023, but at a reduced severity than their previous forecast. The Office for National Statistics said that there were falls in services, education, and transport. Britain is scraping along the bottom quite nicely thank you.