FR: Avoid the Post Office With This Industry Leader

Article: Avoid the Post Office With This Industry Leader

My first “Fool Revisited” piece in a while looks to be about a company that has done quite well for itself in the nearly seven years that I wrote the article. I’d like to think that my stupid little piece had an impact on that, but I am also humble enough to know that that is not the case.

If you listen to any number of podcasts, you might here advertisements for Stamps.com (Nasdaq: STMP). The pitch is that they send you a free scale and you can “buy and print postage” from your house, avoiding the post office altogether. Even then, this seemed like a quaint idea, as if a majority of people were still going to the post office to mail things. With the advent of social media and wider acceptance of email, it seemed to me that the act of mailing things to folks was going to be reserved for packages and companies like FedEx (NYSE: FDX) and UPS (NYSE: UPS), among others. Continue reading

PepsiCo Buys SodaStream

Note: I’ll occasionally pop up back on here to write stuff about the stocks that are in my mother’s portfolio (which I manage). Though I missed the latest round of earnings for all of those companies – a complete failure on my part – I do continue to keep abreast of what is happening to those companies. If you want to read the bulk of my writing these days, check out SportMuse.net (@SportMuseNet on Twitter), where I spend a lot of time writing about sports. I am also looking for freelance writing opportunities, so feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @GuruEbby if you have any available. Feel free to peruse the archives here to see what I’ve written before, or even some of my published stuff that I once got paid to write for the Motley Fool.

In news that took me by surprise, PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) announced plans to purchase SodaStream Internation (NASDAQ: SODA) for $3.2 billion. This was quite a substantial premium on the current market price of the stock – as evidenced in the chart below (that big jump at the far right is after the announcement) – but something that seems totally in character for out-going Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi.

Back in my earliest Motley Fool days, I wrote about my appreciation of SodaStream, primarily because of the affection that one of my friends had for the product (and stock). After submitting myself to a taste test, I was sold. I bought myself a SodaStream machine, which remains buried somewhere in my mother’s basement because it was taking up counter space when I went away to college, and even owned the stock for a while too. Continue reading

Parks & Movies Boost Disney, While the Media Segment Struggles

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) reported earnings (PDF link) after the market closed on Tuesday, May 8th, and the “House of Mouse” posted solid results, driven primarily by blockbuster movies and attendance at its amusement parks:

  • Net revenue of $14.5 billion, up from $13.3 billion (9% increase year-over-year)
  • Net income of $2.94 billion, up from $2.39 billion (23% increase YOY)
  • Earnings of $1.95 per share, up from $1.50 per share (30% increase YOY)

If you’ll recall from a few weeks ago, Disney was one of two investments that I was keeping a close eye on. I was concerned about the subscription base of the company, with carriage fees from cable companies providing a steady stream of revenue for the entertainment behemoth. However, in recent years, Disney has been losing subscribers as more and more people “cut the cord” and access their entertainment through non-cable providers like Hulu or Netflix. The draw of live sports just hasn’t been enough to keep people subscribed to cable, especially when most major sporting events are televised on stations that can be viewed by using an antenna if so desired. Continue reading

Solid Earnings from PepsiCo Point to Continued Growth Overseas

PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) reported earnings last week, and the beverage and snack purveyor posted solid results:

  • Net revenue of $12.7 billion, up from $12.0 billion (4% increase year-over-year)
  • Net income of $1.34 billion, up from $1.32 billion (2% increase YOY)
  • Earnings of $0.94 per share, up from $0.91 per share (3% increase YOY)

If you’ll recall from a few weeks ago, the main thing I was watching for in my investment in PepsiCo was its non-soda business (through its ownership in Frito Lay and Quaker Foods) and its impact on the bottom line as people drink less sugary drinks in general. The company specifically mentioned a decrease in operating profit for both segments during the quarter, primarily driven by cost inflation and bonuses paid in response to the Tax Cuts and Job Act. However, productivity gains helped offset the losses felt, with Frito Lay and Quaker Foods showing an overall increase in 3% between the two segments. Continue reading