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Revolut: the Uber of financial services

MarketLine

Traditional banks have long been at an advantage when it comes to customer data due to having access to vast amounts of information that financial technology (fintech) competitors cannot obtain. However, this situation has been changing recently, especially in Europe. New European legislation that was introduced in 2018 called Payment Services Directive (PSD2), and it has put traditional banking products and services under a threat from a new type of digital-first startups. A handful of them have already seen a big growth in users and have broken even operationally. What… Read more

McDonald’s: Tech-heavy strategy at the forefront of driving growth

MarketLine

McDonald’s recently announced its purchase of tech start-up Dynamic Yield Ltd for a price tag of $300m, making it the company’s biggest deal in decades. The fast food giant isn’t best known for embarking on M&A activity, but it has been investing heavily in more recent years in a bid to bring technology to its services, indicating that tech lies at the forefront of the McDonald’s future. McDonald’s recent acquisitions are the latest in a string of digital investments which have taken place over the last few years, which have… Read more

The Entertainer continues expansion with ELC acquisition: Retailer bucking the high street trend

MarketLine

The UK high street has seen a number of casualties in recent times, with many retailers collapsing and others significantly scaling down operations. In the toys & games market, Toys ‘R’ Us has been the stand out casualty with the retailer closing all of its stores in the UK during 2018 following bankruptcy. Prior to this, Toys ‘R’ Us had been the leading toy retailer in the UK for most of its history after entering in 1985. The Entertainer seized this opportunity, making 2018 the year for expansion. The retailer… Read more

Primark: Fashion giant continues to break the rules of retail

MarketLine

Associated British Foods, the parent company of Primark, announced in late February that it expects profits will be “well ahead” of last year despite a drop in underlying sales in its stores. The company also managed to perform well in 2018, despite the retail environment being particularly tough, with revenues reaching £7.4bn ($9.8bn), 6% ahead of last year at constant currency rates. Primark believes future growth prospects lies in further expanding its store portfolio and has ambitious plans to open more stores in the coming year, including 19 across, France,… Read more

AstraZeneca agrees $6.9bn deal with Daiichi Sankyo: UK drug maker could dominate the future breast cancer therapy market

MarketLine

The joint development and commercialization of a new breast cancer therapy indicated for the treatment of HER-2 positive breast cancer has the potential to help the AstraZeneca in its quest for a larger oncology market share. If approved, it will join Lynparza (olaparib) – a PARP inhibitor marketed by AstraZeneca for the treatment of HER negative breast cancer. The addition of a new breast cancer therapy to the AstraZeneca product portfolio will almost certainly increase the company’s market share. Roche currently dominates the treatment of HER-2 positive breast cancer with… Read more

Micro-transactions dominating the gaming industry: Gambling becoming a major issue

MarketLine

Micro-transactions have dominated the gaming industry in recent years, largely due to their ability to generate an income for games developers throughout the life-span of a game, rather than being dependent on the one-off payment at the point of sale. This new model facilitated revenues to sharply increase and has begun a new wave of ‘free-to-play’ games, whereby developers make profits based upon the additional features players can purchase within the game. From a business perspective in-game purchases have been a tremendous success; some companies have doubled their profits. However,… Read more

Saudi Aramco financials released: Despite huge net profit, financials reveal fundamental problems

MarketLine

For the first time in over four decades of operation state-owned oil major Saudi Aramco released financials, revealing the firm to have produced the highest net profit of any company in the world. Despite the attractiveness of headline figures, the financial condition of the firm falls far short of the $2tn valuation the government declared when launching an IPO was first mentioned publically. Evidence on which that valuation could be supported is lacking, exacerbating the economic problems the state has experienced of late, thus revealing the need for diversification. In… Read more

Cannabis market: Aurora Cannabis leading the market

MarketLine

Quite a few countries before Canada had legalized recreational marijuana use, or enacted laws partially allowing it. However, none of those countries created a legal market for marijuana. For a market to emerge it has to be backed by serious economic and political power; Canada is just such a country. On October 17th 2018 the Canadian parliament approved the Cannabis Act, giving the green light for using and growing marijuana and initiating the process for a market to emerge. The creation of companies specializing in producing marijuana for recreational purposes… Read more

Estonia: Only 1.3m people, but 4 unicorn start-ups

MarketLine

The former Soviet-controlled nation of Estonia, home to just 1.3m people, is one of the most tech-savvy countries in the world. It holds the world record for the number of startups in the country per capita, has one of the world’s fastest broadband speeds, and its education system teaches every child how to code. It is also leading in the development of online governance infrastructure – participating in elections by internet voting takes just 90 seconds. Its highly flexible, transparent, and hassle-free infrastructure makes it a great place for business… Read more

Argentine agricultural exports: Tax on exports not helping to initiate economic recovery

MarketLine

Even during numerous economic crises during the early 2000s Argentina routinely registered a trade surplus, but that is no longer the case. To combat biting economic conditions the government has imposed austerity alongside a plethora of policies which include higher taxation on exports. The decision to tax exports at a higher rate to lower the deficit is therefore flawed. Instead of agriculture being helped to improve the economy, higher export taxation makes key Argentine products more expensive in an industry which is notoriously price sensitive. Instead of targeting the agricultural… Read more

Vale disaster: Mining giant will survive, but repercussions will be severe

MarketLine

The collapse led to the flooding of the town of Brumadinho with 12 million cubic meters of mining waste, wreaking havoc across the landscape. This has not only caused a huge environmental disaster but also led to the deaths of an estimated 169 – a figure which is expected to rise. While Vale is a metal and mining and logistics company, it derives the bulk of its revenue from the ferrous minerals segment, which accounted for 74% of total revenue in FY2017. Vale expects that the anticipated decline in output… Read more

Weight Watchers: A poorly timed rebranding has crushed investor expectations and collapsed the share price

MarketLine

On February 26th 2019, dieting and weight-loss company Weight Watchers released its annual report for 2018. The share price settled in the week following the announcement, but not before the company suffered the second-largest share price drop in its history, dropping nearly 35% overnight. While the financial performance was remarkable – revenues and operating incomes grew more than $200m and $100m respectively – investors were primarily interested in what is perhaps Weight Watchers’ most important metric: its number of end of period subscribers. Historically Weight Watchers has found subscribers following… Read more

Nigerian e-commerce market will lead economic growth: However companies are struggling in the current market environment

MarketLine

Nigeria is seen by many investors as a gateway to the African market: the country has the highest GDP in Africa. Investment has enabled the country to develop its digital market; improving internet services and accessibility has created opportunities for digital businesses. E-commerce has become one of the most lucrative online markets in Nigeria; the rate of internet usage and purchases has continuously increased over the years. The rising amount of online retail purchases has resulted in the e-commerce market in Nigeria reaching a value of $13bn within just ten… Read more

Amazon Prime Dominating: revenue streams key to success

MarketLine

Amazon has become a phenomenon in the retail industry. Through the use of Prime, originally just a subscription to fast delivery at a fixed rate, has become a method to foster customer loyalty in an otherwise ruthless sector. Through continually pushing to add more value towards the mere $119 a year subscription, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has smashed through analysts’ forecasts, reaching an astonishing 100 million subscribers to the service. The two-day delivery feature Amazon has so boasted proudly about for many years now continues to be a… Read more

Kraft Heinz Company: What has caused this food giant’s share price to nosedive?

MarketLine

Kraft Heinz Company is a global food producing giant capable of strengthening its position as the fifth largest food producer in the world, but an overvalued 2015 merger has harmed the immediate outlook for the company. Charges as a result of the goodwill and intangible assets in its latest results capped off a terrible 2018 for the company, in which attributed to a common shareholder loss of $12.6bn and diluted loss per share of $10.34 – representing a huge write-down in a sector that seldom sees figures of that magnitude… Read more

Toshiba operational profit downgrade: Japanese company now more dependent on turnaround plan succeeding

MarketLine

The announcement of a five-year turnaround plan towards the end of 2018 was met cheerily by stock markets; even though several profit-making businesses had been sold, expectations were the company would begin to recover after being flushed with funds from the NAND sale. Yet now the company has reported results that are well down on original expectations, casting doubt over how soon the company can return to being a safe bet for investors. The stated ambition is to reach profit margins of at least 10% when the five-year plan concludes… Read more

African ports are driving economic growth: Expanding the port network will bring big benefits

MarketLine

According to SAP, 90% of imports and exports to and from Africa are transported by sea, and with the global middle-class population predicted to balloon to five billion people in just over a decade, expectations are African ports will take on greater economic significance. Problems, therefore, must be solved. Durban in South Africa is one of the more egregious examples of ports failing: the port is highly expensive and suffers from crippling congestion in the surrounding areas, causing it to only operate at 75% of the efficiency expected of an… Read more

Airbnb: Uncertain future of short-term rental platforms

MarketLine

Airbnb’s rapid expansion and takeover of the world’s home-sharing community is subsequently changing the landscape of travel accommodation. However, it is becoming clear the formerly touted benefits of posting vacation rentals on short-term rental websites are becoming more of a hassle for property owners. Several cities around the world have expressed concerns that platforms such as Airbnb stand as unfair competitors to hotels and can turn some neighborhoods into sterile, tourist-only zones. This resulted in the introduction of stricter regulations concerning short-term rentals France is Airbnb’s second-largest market after the… Read more

Huawei exerting soft power: International relations strained as Chinese giant seeks overseas expansion

MarketLine

Many governments fear, to varying degrees, the signing of contracts with Huawei will grant intimate access to the government of China – certainly that is the line being pushed by the US government. The New Zealand government gained international attention towards the end of 2018 after the Communications Security Bureau successfully banned mobile phone company Spark from using Huawei equipment in the planned 5G network upgrade. An abrupt cancelling of official Chinese representation at the launch of the much vaunted Year of Chinese Tourism campaign was a rare public statement… Read more

Future of Ford in Europe and China seems uncertain after reported losses

MarketLine

Ford has reported a 50% decline on revenues since last year in China and Europe, facing with job cuts. Investors’ behavior had a big impact on Ford’s losses due to the company’s struggle to restructure their core business and persuade the investors that they are willing to do so, making them to lose their trust in the company. Ford aims a £14bn ($18.2bn) cuts focused outside of North America region, in order to revive flagging international businesses. Bridgend and Dagenham sites in UK will face significantly more dramatic cuts than… Read more

e-rikshaws: Three-wheelers power India’s EV revolution

MarketLine

Electric vehicle (EV) revolution is gaining stronger ground in India and the country has surpassed China in terms of the number of EVs in use currently. The revolution, however, is not spearheaded by electric cars but by an electric alternative to pedal-driven rickshaws. The Indian nation is home to about 1.5 million battery-powered, three-wheeled rickshaws. This means a fleet bigger than the total number of electric passenger cars sold in China since 2011. Previous attempts to boost electric-car production in India have flopped, mainly due to the lack of clear… Read more

The $1000 iPhone: The future of Apple is in services

MarketLine

On the 3rd of October 2018, Apple’s share price hit an annual high of $232. On the 18th of January 2019, it had fallen to $156, a 33% decrease. Stagnating Chinese growth and the ongoing trade war between the US and China meant expected sales revenues fell below investor expectations. Over the previous year, the price-points of the latest iPhone and iPad had increased 20%, to around $1000. Simultaneously in their earnings call, Apple announced the company’s would move the focus of its strategy from iPhone sales to its service… Read more

No hope for HMV after second administration in six years: HMV will not be able to survive long-term due to recent difficulties

MarketLine

HMV entering administration was triggered by the current struggle of the retail industry, and now the company will find it difficult to recover in the current retail conditions. Uncertainty over Brexit has caused the value of the pound to drop, which has increased the cost of supplies from abroad. An increase in business costs and online shopping has also put HMV in jeopardy, making it harder for HMV to gain traction in the retail industry. HMV needs to find a buyer that has the resources and ability to turn around… Read more

President Trump: Twitter, crimes and misdemeanors are leading the US economy into a recession

MarketLine

Ongoing turmoil in the US surrounding the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, is reaching dramatic heights. An ongoing FBI investigation into the President, led by Special Counsel Robert Muller is reaching its end, resulting in a series of upcoming political decision points for opposing democrats. As the clock ticks, an ongoing trade war with China is resulting in severe short-term consequences to the American economy. Meanwhile, as the erosion of trust in American politics and democracy looks to be at its worst point in… Read more

Music Industry is booming: However artist’s revenue continues to decline

MarketLine

The music industry has seen resurgence over the last few years, displaying relatively strong growth after a decade of decline. Online music streaming is the major factor for this trend, with nearly 40% of the revenue being generated from streaming services. Live concerts are also providing an important boost, with millennials driving the demand for an authentic experience away from the unlimited entertainment options at the click of a button. Vinyl sales have reached the $1bn mark for the first time this century, as consumers increasingly value the tangible nature… Read more

Tesla brand image basis of strength: Brand perception lies behind recent success and high prospects for 2019

MarketLine

Tesla remains a leading player in the global electric vehicle market, and now it is one of the most globally recognisable car brands. Much of the recent success in overcoming serious problems and building a loyal clientele is attributable to the strength of brand image. No other mass-production car firm can at present rival the positive perception among investors and consumers alike in the brand. Even though Tesla will come under increasing pressure over the next few years, for the time being the company is secure as the first company… Read more

Apple’s Share Price Plummets: An end to the tech giant’s perceived monopoly on innovation?

MarketLine

On November 1 2018, Apple announced its Q4 2018 results. The limelight was stolen, however, by the warning of poor sales over the next quarter – the crucial Christmas shopping period. This announcement scared off many investors and since the start of the month the company’s share price has fallen by more than 20% – now down to $172.29 a share as of the close of markets on Friday November 23. The sell-off has effectively wiped all of Apple’s gains since the start of 2018, with the share price currently… Read more

Netflix: Self-created growth shows no signs of stopping

MarketLine

In October 2018 Netflix Inc. announced its 2018 Q3 results, showing a continuation of its subscriber volume growth with 5% growth on the previous quarter and 25% growth year-on-year. The company has performed well historically too, with a 500% increase in subscriber volumes expected between 2011 and 2018. Netflix has performed so well for three main reasons. Firstly, the company was one of the first to make a serious commitment to online media streaming. The company has since established itself as the name in on-demand streaming and has no real… Read more

Angling Direct: Attempt to consolidate fishing industry

MarketLine

Angling Direct is the largest specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer in the UK. The company had humble beginnings, starting as a single tackle shop in the Norfolk Broads. As of 2018, it sells a comprehensive range of over 21,500 fishing tackle products and associated angling paraphernalia, including its successful own brand, ‘Advanta’, launched in March 2016. In July 2017, the company cast off into the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on the London Stock Exchange, entering the next stage of growth. The initial public offering raised GBP9m ($11.6m) to fund… Read more

BP back in Libya: British oil major is taking risks returning to chaotic country

MarketLine

For BP, a company which has suffered following massive bills incurred from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, entering such a market may not immediately appear to be an example of prudent business decision making. Provided BP can drill oil reliably, and the country remains sufficiently stable to enable foreign companies to operate freely, the partnership with Eni to begin exploratory drilling in the early part of 2019 could prove fruitful. Exploring for oil at this stage could prove to be a valuable strategic move when viewed… Read more