Friday, August 12, 2022

Chinese Companies Go Dark

"Going dark" typically means that a company delists its stock from an exchange. Today, three Chinese companies announced plans to go dark from the New York Stock Exchange. What is interesting is that the companies will still be listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The reason for delisting from the NYSE is that American regulators have warned Chinese companies that they would be forced to leave U.S. exchanges unless they allowed regulators to see the records of the company auditors.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Stock Repurchase Tax

The Senate recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Major components of the Act include spending on climate change, increased IRS spending, and measures to lower the cost of prescription drugs. In order to pass the Act, a last minute change to get the necessary votes was a 1 percent excise tax on stock repurchases. As we showed in the text, dividends and stock repurchases affect a company and investors in much the same way. The tax may push companies toward dividends, although since the new tax wouldn't take effect until 2023, analysts are expecting large repurchases to be completed by the end of 2022.

Unexpected Inflation

As we discussed in the textbook, stock prices move when unexpected news comes to light. Economists expected that inflation for July would be 8.7 percent, lower than June's 9.1 percent. Instead, it was announced today that July's inflation was "only" 8.5 percent. The stock market reacted dramatically as the S&P 500 jumped about 2 percent and both the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 jumped almost 3 percent. And for investors in Disney the news was even better: EPS was $1.09 compared to the $.96 estimate, and the subscriber addition was 14.4 million streamers versus the expected 10 million. With the combined market news and company news, Disney stock jumped about 7 percent.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Bobby Bonilla Day

Every July 1st is Bobby Bonilla Day! You may not be aware that the now retired slugger signed a contract with the New York Mets in 2000 that deferred his $5.9 million salary in exchange for about $1.2 million per year from 2011 through 2035 on July 1st. And while this is a great payday, Bobby Bo recently announced that he was auctioning off his copy of the famous contract. The package includes a baseball signed by Bonilla, a game-used bat, a Zoom call, breakfast and dinner with Bonilla, and attending a Mets game with the slugger. The starting bid is $10,000, so it looks like he will make even more money from the contract.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Inventory Spikes

During 2021, much of the talk concerning inventory surrounded shortages due to a variety of factors. In response, many companies increased production and orders to combat supply chain disruptions and increased consumer demand coming out of COVID-19 lockdowns. Now, it appears that companies have overshot demand as inventories have surged. For example, inventories for global manufacturing companies reached a record $1.87 trillion. As a result, inventory turnover for manufacturers increased to 81.1 days. And retailers are no different: Inventory for Macy's, Target, Walmart and other large retailers has increased from 17 to 45 percent compared to last year. This increased inventory is a boon for off-price retailers like Ross and TJ Maxx, which have a larger supply from big retailers offloading inventory. For many corporations, the excess inventory will likely negatively impact the bottom line.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Bad Luck Investing

Hopefully you realize that the best time to invest is when stock prices are low and the worst time is when prices are high. But patience is a virtue and can have rewards. A recent article introduces Betty Badluck, who just happened to invest at the stock market tops during the past 35 years. So what happened to Betty? As you will see, while the returns were not fantastic, over time, the stock market has historically rebounded and she still has three times her investment in real terms. This is an important note on stock market history: While we can't predict the future, over the long-term, the stock market has historically provided positive returns.

Monday, May 9, 2022

TIE Increases

As we discussed in the textbook, in general, there is no absolute number that is best for a particular financial ratio. However, when the economy is bad or uncertain, it is better if leverage ratios are more conservative to help avoid financial distress. During the COVID lockdowns, this is exactly what happened to the times interest earned (TIE) ratio for most companies. The median TIE increased from 6.1X prior to the pandemic to 8.6X during the pandemic. This was true even for below investment grade companies, which showed an increase in the TIE from 2.8X to 4.1X. Given that the cost of borrowing is beginning to rise, this bodes well for companies.