Costco (Nasdaq: COST) is currently the world’s 3rd largest retailer by revenue (behind Walmart and Amazon) and is well known for offering wholesale prices to its members. To start with a Costco stock forecast, it’s important to understand the business…
For just $60 per year ($120 if you go with the “Executive Member” plan), Costco members can save money on gas, groceries and just about every product in between. Costco also owns the highly-coveted title for “The World’s #1 Seller of Rotisserie Chickens.”
Costco opened its first store in Seattle in 1983 and today has grown to 815 warehouses. From the get-go, its strategy has been to eliminate all the “frills” associated with retailers in order to cut costs. By cutting its operating costs to the bare minimum, it’s able to save money and pass these savings on to its customers. Common retail expenses that you won’t find at a Costco location are salespeople, fancy buildings or delivery options (groceries excluded).
Costco Saves for Customers and Investors
Over the years, Costco has become popular for saving its members tons of money. However, to shop at Costco you need to join its membership program which currently sits at just under 110 million cardholders. This equates to at least $6.6 billion in annual recurring revenue for Costco. However, the loyalty that this membership builds is worth much more than $6 billion.
When you sign up for a Costco membership, Costco automatically becomes your de facto place to purchase goods. Almost without thinking, you’ll pick Costco over Target, Walmart or Amazon because you know that you’ll save money by shopping at Costco. On top of the savings, you also want to make sure that your $60 per year commitment doesn’t go to waste. When it gets a new member, Costco wins twice. It gets $60 in annual recurring revenue and it also gets a large chunk of that person’s daily spending, potentially for the rest of their life.
Programs like Amazon Prime and American Airlines’ AAdvantage program have been successful for similar reasons. After signing up, Amazon Prime members will slowly get in the habit of ordering everything from Amazon. They want to take advantage of free 2-day shipping. Also, some diehard AA members will not even consider booking with another airline because they want to ensure that they’re getting rewarded for flying (through AA miles).
With this in mind, should you include Costco stock in your portfolio, even if you don’t have a membership card at home?
Let’s take a quick look at a Costco stock forecast as well as a few predictions for the stock moving forward.
Costco Stock Price Forecast
Note: I’m not a financial advisor and am just offering my own research and commentary. Please do your own due diligence before making any investment decisions.
Costco is scheduled to announce earnings on September 23, 2021.
In today’s investing environment, so much relies on the coronavirus pandemic. Did the company have a business model that thrived during the pandemic? Did it capitalize on this position? Will this success continue now that the pandemic is mostly over? In Costco’s case, these answers are yes, yes and yes.
Costco was undeniably a Coronavirus winner (check out these telemedicine stocks as well). People were prepping for the COVID-19 quarantines like it was the apocalypse and Costco’s wholesale-style business is literally designed to help people save money while prepping for the apocalypse. What’s surprising, however, is that Costco is actually getting more traffic now than it was B.C. (Before-COVID).
According to foot traffic data from Placer Labs, Costco’s monthly visits were up 13.8% in July 2021 as well as 12.8% in August 2021 (when compared to 2019 numbers). During its December 2020 earnings report, it reported that revenue from memberships rose 7%. It’s likely that many people opened a new Costco membership in hopes of saving money while it stockpiled quarantine supplies. Now, even though the pandemic is over, this buying habit remains.
Notably, Costco’s success is not an outlier within the industry. Other wholesalers like Sam’s Club and BJ’s have also experienced higher traffic.
Costco Stock Predictions
Costco is scheduled to announce earnings on September 23, 2021. Analysts are expecting EPS of $3.54 and revenue of $61.45 billion. Both of these numbers are higher than the previous quarter where analysts were expecting EPS of $2.28 and revenue of $43.28 billion.
Costco has beaten its last four revenue predictions as well as three out of four of its EPS predictions. However, since investors have set a higher bar for Costco, it may be more difficult for it to reach it. It’s very possible that Costco reports an increase in revenue but still falls short of investors’ expectations, which could result in a lower stock price.
In 2020, Costco posted total revenue of $166.7 billion and a net income of $4 billion. This completed five years in a row of growing revenues with an average yearly growth rate of 7.57%. Costco also has a dividend yield of close to 1% and razor-thin profit margins of 2.4%.
Costco’s stock was up about 30% in 2020 and is up 200% over the past five years.
Is Costco Stock a Buy?
When making a Costco stock forecast, there are a few things to watch out for.
Mainly, record inflation numbers recently could hurt Costco’s profitability in the short term. Since Costco is known for low prices, it will likely do its best to avoid raising prices even as inflation pushed its costs higher. A similar situation happened with Kroger recently. Higher costs with the same prices would mean less profit for Costco, who already operates on razor-thin margins.
If you’re looking for stocks that can profit on inflation, check out these agriculture stocks. They can pass along increasing costs to customers over time.
On the bright side, Costco was able to use the pandemic to thrive in both the short term and (potentially) the long term. Costco added more memberships during the pandemic, which should result in more loyal shoppers and higher revenues for the years to come. When looking at the long-term Costco stock forecast, the outlook certainly looks rosy. This is especially true since Costco dominates the wholesale retail industry as it faces little competition from Sam’s Club and BJ’s.
The increase in Costco’s membership is also important because Costco is due to raise the price for its membership fee. On average, Costco increases its membership fee by about 10% every 5-6 years. Its last increase was a few years ago, so this fee should be coming in the next 18 months or so. Due to the immense size of this program, even a 10% price increase would boost revenue from memberships by at least $660 million.
Its membership fee is a significant contributor to its gross margin, so this extra revenue could have a big impact on profitability as well as Costco’s stock price. Of course, this is assuming that the membership price increase doesn’t also lead to a drop in total memberships.
As usual, assigning a Costco stock price prediction in the short term is always difficult. This is especially true because there are plenty of other factors that could hurt the market overall. Market-wide moves could hurt Costco stock.
For example, there are rumors that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. This increases concerns over inflation, as well as a stock market that has run 90% since its March 2020 low. These are all things to keep in mind when determining whether or not to buy Costco stock in the short term. With that said, Costco stock is certainly positioned well for continued success in the years to come.
Investing Beyond Costco Stock
I hope that you’ve found this Costco stock forecast to be valuable in helping you determine a Costco stock prediction! As usual, all investment decisions should be based on your own due diligence and risk tolerance.
If you’re looking for even better investing opportunities, sign up for Wealthy Retirement. It’s a free e-letter that’s packed with tips and tricks. You’ll hear directly from bestselling author Marc Lichtenfeld. He’s an income expert who literally wrote the book on getting rich with dividends.nasdaq stocks pandemic coronavirus covid-19 federal reserve quarantine interest rates
Parents were fine with sweeping school vaccination mandates five decades ago – but COVID-19 may be a different story
Public health experts know that schools are likely sites for the spread of disease, and laws tying school attendance to vaccination go back to the 1800s.
The ongoing battles over COVID-19 vaccination in the U.S. are likely to get more heated when the Food and Drug Administration authorizes emergency use of a vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, expected later this fall.
California has announced it will require the vaccine for elementary school attendance once it receives full FDA approval after emergency use authorization, and other states may follow suit. COVID-19 vaccination mandates in workplaces and colleges have sparked controversy, and the possibility that a mandate might extend to younger children is even more contentious.
Kids are already required to get a host of other vaccines to attend school. School vaccination mandates have been around since the 19th century, and they became a fixture in all 50 states in the 1970s. Vaccine requirements are among the most effective means of controlling infectious diseases, but they’re currently under attack by small but vocal minorities of parents who consider them unacceptable intrusions on parental rights.
As a public health historian who studies the evolution of vaccination policies, I see stark differences between the current debates over COVID-19 vaccination and the public response to previous mandates.
Compulsory vaccination in the past
The first legal requirements for vaccination date to the early 1800s, when gruesome and deadly diseases routinely terrorized communities. A loose patchwork of local and state laws were enacted to stop epidemics of smallpox, the era’s only vaccine-preventable disease.
Vaccine mandates initially applied to the general population. But in the 1850s, as universal public education became more common, people recognized that schoolhouses were likely sites for the spread of disease. Some states and localities began enacting laws tying school attendance to vaccination. The smallpox vaccine was crude by today’s standards, and concerns about its safety led to numerous lawsuits over mandates.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld compulsory vaccination in two decisions. The first, in 1905, affirmed that mandates are constitutional. The second, in 1922, specifically upheld school-based requirements. In spite of these rulings, many states lacked a smallpox vaccination law, and some states that did have one failed to enforce it consistently. Few states updated their laws as new vaccines became available.
School vaccination laws underwent a major overhaul beginning in the 1960s, when health officials grew frustrated that outbreaks of measles were continuing to occur in schools even though a safe and effective vaccine had recently been licensed.
Many parents mistakenly believed that measles was an annoying but mild disease from which most kids quickly recovered. In fact, it often caused serious complications, including potentially fatal pneumonia and swelling of the brain.
With encouragement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all states updated old laws or enacted new ones, which generally covered all seven childhood vaccines that had been developed by that time: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella. In 1968, just half the states had school vaccination requirements; by 1981, all states did.
Expanding requirements, mid-20th century
What is most surprising about this major expansion of vaccination mandates is how little controversy it provoked.
The laws did draw scattered court challenges, usually over the question of exemptions – which children, if any, should be allowed to opt out. These lawsuits were often brought by chiropractors and other adherents of alternative medicine. In most instances, courts turned away these challenges.
There was scant public protest. In contrast to today’s vocal and well-networked anti-vaccination activists, organized resistance to vaccination remained on the fringes in the 1970s, the period when these school vaccine mandates were largely passed. Unlike today, when fraudulent theories of vaccine-related harm – such as the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism – circulate endlessly on social media, public discussion of the alleged or actual risks of vaccines was largely absent.
Through most of the 20th century, parents were less likely to question pediatricians’ recommendations than they are today. In contrast to the empowered “patient/consumer” of today, an attitude of “doctor knows best” prevailed. All these factors contributed to overwhelmingly positive views of vaccination, with more than 90% of parents in a 1978 poll reporting that they would vaccinate their children even if there were no law requiring them to do so.
Widespread public support for vaccination enabled the laws to be passed easily – but it took more than placing a law on the books to control disease. Vaccination rates continued to lag in the 1970s, not because of opposition, but because of complacency.
Thanks to the success of earlier vaccination programs, most parents of young children lacked firsthand experience with the suffering and death that diseases like polio or whooping cough had caused in previous eras. But public health officials recognized that those diseases were far from eradicated and would continue to threaten children unless higher rates of vaccination were reached. Vaccines were already becoming a victim of their success. The better they worked, the more people thought they were no longer needed.
In response to this lack of urgency, the CDC launched a nationwide push in 1977 to help states enforce the laws they had recently enacted. Around the country, health officials partnered with school districts to audit student records and provide on-site vaccination programs. When push came to shove, they would exclude unvaccinated children from school until they completed the necessary shots.
The lesson learned was that making a law successful requires ongoing effort and commitment – and continually reminding parents about the value of vaccines in keeping schools and entire communities healthy.
Add COVID-19 to vaccine list for school?
Five decades after school mandates became universal in the U.S., support for them remains strong overall. But misinformation spread over the internet and social media has weakened the public consensus about the value of vaccination that allowed these laws to be enacted.
COVID-19 vaccination has become politicized in a way that is unprecedented, with sharp partisan divides over whether COVID-19 is really a threat, and whether the guidance of scientific experts can be trusted. The attention focused on COVID-19 vaccines has given new opportunities for anti-vaccination conspiracy theories to reach wide audiences.
[Over 115,000 readers rely on The Conversation’s newsletter to understand the world. Sign up today.]
Fierce opposition to COVID-19 vaccination, powered by anti-government sentiment and misguided notions of freedom, could undermine support for time-tested school requirements that have protected communities for decades. Although vaccinating school-aged children will be critical to controlling COVID-19, lawmakers will need to proceed with caution.
James Colgrove has received funding from the National Library of Medicine, the Greenwall Foundation, the Milbank Memorial Fund, and the William T. Grant Foundation.cdc disease control emergency use authorization covid-19 vaccine fda spread
How Robots and A.I. are About To Change This $11 Trillion Industry Forever
TikTok’s nearly 700 million users seek medical advice from random individuals and charlatans, since anyone can claim to be a medical expert on this raging social media machine.
Dr. Google is also working overtime, receiving more than one billion…
TikTok’s nearly 700 million users seek medical advice from random individuals and charlatans, since anyone can claim to be a medical expert on this raging social media machine.
Dr. Google is also working overtime, receiving more than one billion healthcare questions every day.
Web MD is recording over one billion searches a year, too.
When you combine this voracious hunger for digital diagnosis, symptom checkers and immediate medical assistance, with a global mobile app market whose revenues had already hit $365 billion in 2018, and are now on track to generate over $935 billion by 2023 ...
You get one of the best bets on disrupting the virtual medicine industry to date. You get Big Tech built by doctors for doctors in the Global Library of Medicine (GLM).
You get Cara, the new, sophisticated AI, powered by the unique Global Library of Medicine, that has been trained by hundreds of doctors to think just like them.
Cara will be launching at the end of November, marking the first time in our medical history that we can check our symptoms online, at the touch of a button, and truly trust what we are being told.
Over the past five years, Treatment.com (CSE: TRUE; OTC: TREIF) has been developing the world’s next-generation AI symptom checker, picking up where the billions of requests were left hanging by Google and WebMD … and certainly by TikTok.
Now, the app is about to launch as Treatment Mobile with an intelligent digital assistant, Cara, with over 400 diagnoses by a global team of hundreds of doctors who are adding more every day.
A Digital Fix for a Broken Healthcare System
An overwhelming majority of Americans find the healthcare system impossible to navigate.
Nearly three-quarters have no idea how they will afford their healthcare.
Those two facts have led to a shocking increase in at-home health solutions.
Need a healthcare big tech vendor who knows North American Healthcare
From 2019 to 2020--even before the COVID-19 outbreak--telemedicine grew by 46%.
In 2020 alone, wellness apps were downloaded 1.2 billion times.
Major investment into the telemedicine space combined with a massive increase in uptake and rapidly rising favor among consumers has seen telehealth increase 38X so far in 2021 from pre-COVID levels.
In April 2020, right at the start of the pandemic, telehealth use was 78X higher than in February 2020, according to McKinsey.
Total VC investment into the digital health space in H1 2021 was $14.7 billion. That’s more than VC investment for all of 2020, and twice the amount for 2019. That leads McKinsey to project that 2021 could see total investment in the sector hit $30 billion.
The bottom line is this: American healthcare is broken, and digital offerings are a major element of the fix. Cara steps in at exactly the right time to provide the first sophisticated AI that can help bring it all together. This is where big money is going in the healthcare sector.
The Digital Doctor Is In
Working with the University of Minnesota Medical School, Treatment.com (CSE: TRUE; OTC: TREIF) has gathered the best doctors and tech engineers that built the Global Library of Medicine (GLM) from around the world to teach Cara to do two things that no other digital health platform has been able to do successfully:
1) Think like a real doctor
2) Provide consumers with a personalized health assessment and full-on health management
Cara integrates everything by providing consumers with a bridge to wellness, telemedicine, pharma and health products ...
Cara asks you questions about your symptoms and then sorts through millions of pieces of information that include historical medical cases, demographic data and advances in medical knowledge. The end result is a more accurate recommendation than any other digital tool in the world.
Cara helps you understand what your symptom could be. It helps you monitor and track health changes and understand your general health and prevent illness. It gives you personalized support and follow-up and even allows you to track and manage your entire family.
And it can all be integrated with Apple Health Kit, Apple Watch and FitBit.
Treatment’s AI has been so effective, in fact, that the University of Minnesota Medical School licensed it to test medical students.
How Does Cara Make Money?
The initial app will be free, but there is an impressive scalability here.
This is how the wildly lucrative world of apps works. Once the upfront costs of development and AI learning are paid for, it’s all revenue, all the time. And app revenue streams are recurring, which is exactly why the mobile app industry continues to surge.
Consumers will pay for recommendations through premium app subscriptions, and Treatment.com’s next move with Cara will be to add a series of paid plugins for everything from dermatology specialty segments, to cardiology.
Additionally, Treatment.com will seek health and wellness partners to integrate to access qualified referrals and improve efficiencies, while simultaneously reducing costs.
There are three revenue-generating avenues here: corporate licenses, health and wellness products and university medical school training.
But the biggest value here is that Cara is a goldmine of data …
Cara’s access to individualized health trends will help insurance providers and governments to provide better health services.
In healthcare, big data like this helps avoid preventable diseases by detecting them in their early stages.
The market for big data analytics in healthcare could be worth an astounding $68 billion by 2025, and Treatment.com will have a major advantage with Cara.
WebMD--a private company--is valued at $2.8 billion, and it doesn’t even have any AI to back it up.
Treatment.com, (CSE: TRUE; OTC: TREIF) which listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange on April 19th, 2021, is about to launch a healthcare app that could completely change the way we view and access healthcare.
Global Medical and AI Expertise
Founded by John Fraser and Dr. Kevin Peterson, Treatment.com International Inc. (CSE: TRUE)(OTC:TREIF) is a sophisticated big-tech setup from the roots up.
Fraser is a computer scientist and entrepreneur with a background in healthcare technology. He’s a 20-year IT software veteran who has done this before. He sold his first unicorn--Vision Share (now Abilities Network)--for over $1 billion.
Dr. Peterson is a leading doctor and tenured professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He was also the architect of an international disease surveillance and research system, the first such in the world.
Add to this a global team of doctors in the United States, Canada, Singapore, India, Ethiopia and South Africa and you have the makings of the most intelligent AI symptom checker and health care management platform on the planet.
Again, that’s why it’s been licensed to train medical students at the University of Minnesota.
The Next Healthcare Wave
The healthcare industry is overripe for disruption, and it’s being disrupted in waves.
The most recent wave saw Babylon Health, valued at $4.2 billion in its latest funding round, explode on the scene with an AI-powered platform for virtual clinical operations. Babylon is about to go public via a SPAC deal through a $4.2-billion merger with Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp., led by former Groupon executives.
It’s also been disrupted by Teladoc Health, the $25-billion telemedicine behemoth that has nicely rewarded investors. Investors who jumped in on this in early 2018 could have seen gains of over 1,500% by January this year.
When we miss one wave, we move on to the next because the healthcare industry is set to see wave after wave of disruption, and Cara comes next.
Set to launch by the end of October, Cara is about to go mainstream, and because of the global experts behind it, it stands a good chance of becoming the next app to go from zero to hero--and perhaps to billions.
Treatment.com International Inc. (CSE: TRUE; OTC: TREIF) has:
1) unfettered access to a data goldmine
2) A Global Library of Medicine (GLM) that is continually updated and referenced by its AI engine that will eventually scale up to all ~10,000 diseases known to man
3) Proprietary IP that could one day be worth billions of dollars
4) Massive growth runways
The next healthcare disruption is about empowering consumers to take better care--and control--of their health, and early-in investors may have a unique opportunity here with a new app that puts another big patch on a broken healthcare system.
Other companies looking to transform healthcare:
3D Signatures Inc. is a high-tech Canadian firm that has found itself in the center of two explosive sectors. It’s armed with an innovative new software platform which uses 3D analysis to target various diseases and help clinicians identify a diagnosis and optimize treatment plans. 3D Signatures’ software is saving doctors time which could be the difference of life and death for some patients. 3D Signatures sets itself apart from its competition through creating individualized treatment plans for patients. Using its mapping platform, the software can determine how a disease will progress and whether or not the patient will respond to treatment
3D Signatures’ broad scope and futuristic technology brings a promising opportunity to potential investors. It truly is at the forefront of a new era in medicine, and investors should not overlook this company’s massive potential.
CRH Medical Corporation specializes in products and services designed for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases in the United States, Canada, and internationally. With a long history within the space, CRH has positioned itself as a leader in the field, trusted by medical professionals all over the world.
CRH also made a majpr acquisition at the beginning of the year, buying out Anesthesia Care Associates, LLC, an Indiana-based gastroenterology anesthesia practice. The estimated $2.6 million deal will increase CRH’s footprint in the space, and has been well received by investors.
AEterna Zentaris Inc. (TSX:AEZS) is a major biopharmaceutical up and comer. The company has seen steady growth, and an array of new developments over the recent years. With a focus on oncology, endocrinology, and women's health solutions, AEterna has created a variety of new products, including Macrilen, the first and only FDA-approved oral test for the diagnosis of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency.
Recently, AEterna received European approval to market Macrillen which has pushed its value even higher. Dr. Christian Strasburger, the Head of Clinical Endocrinology at Charité Unversitaetsmedizin Berlin and the principal investigator for macimorelin explained, “Clinical studies have demonstrated that macimorelin is safer and much simpler to administer than the current methods of testing for insulin-induced hypoglycemia, and is well-tolerated by patients and reliable in diagnosing the condition.”
Aptose Biosciences Inc. (TSX:APS) is a biotech company specializing in personalized therapies to address Canada’s unmet oncology needs. The company uses genetic and epigenetic profiles to gain insights into certain cancers and patient populations in order to develop new treatments within the space.
Aptose has an exclusive partnership with Ohm Oncology to develop, manufacture and commercialize APL-581 in order to treat hematologic malignancies and related molecules.
Toronto-based Field Trip Health (TSX:FTRP) is taking a three-pronged approach in their work in the transformative psychedelic medicine sector. Not only are they involved in drug development, but they’re also involved in manufacturing and run a number of treatment clinics.
Field Trip has hit the ground running. With clinics currently operating in Toronto, Los Angeles, and New York, they have plans to ramp up to 75 clinics – providing psychotherapy along with psychedelic treatments. As one of the frontrunners in this exciting new industry, investors are keeping a close eye on Field Trip.
By. Charles Kennedy
** IMPORTANT NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER -- PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! **
PAID ADVERTISEMENT. This article is a paid advertisement. Advanced Media Solutions Ltd. and its owners, managers, employees, and assigns (collectively “the Publisher”) is often paid by one or more of the profiled companies or a third party to disseminate these types of communications. In this case, the Publisher has been compensated by Treatment.com International, Inc. Inc. (“Treatment.com” or “Company”) to conduct investor awareness advertising and marketing. Treatment.com paid the Publisher to produce and disseminate six articles profiling the Company at a rate of seventy-five thousand US dollars per article. This compensation should be viewed as a major conflict with our ability to be unbiased.
Readers should beware that third parties, profiled companies, and/or their affiliates may liquidate shares of the profiled companies at any time, including at or near the time you receive this communication, which has the potential to hurt share prices. Frequently companies profiled in our articles experience a large increase in volume and share price during the course of investor awareness marketing, which often ends as soon as the investor awareness marketing ceases. The investor awareness marketing may be as brief as one day, after which a large decrease in volume and share price may likely occur.
This communication is not, and should not be construed to be, an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. Neither this communication nor the Publisher purport to provide a complete analysis of any company or its financial position. The Publisher is not, and does not purport to be, a broker-dealer or registered investment adviser. This communication is not, and should not be construed to be, personalized investment advice directed to or appropriate for any particular investor. Any investment should be made only after consulting a professional investment advisor and only after reviewing the financial statements and other pertinent corporate information about the company. Further, readers are advised to read and carefully consider the Risk Factors identified and discussed in the advertised company’s SEC, SEDAR and/or other government filings. Investing in securities, particularly microcap securities, is speculative and carries a high degree of risk. Past performance does not guarantee future results. This communication is based on information generally available to the public and on interviews with company management, and does not (to the Publisher’s knowledge, as confirmed by Treatment.com) contain any material, non-public information. The information on which it is based is believed to be reliable. Nevertheless, the Publisher cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information.
SHARE OWNERSHIP. The Publisher owns shares and / or options of the featured company and therefore has an additional incentive to see the featured company’s stock perform well. The Publisher does not undertake any obligation to notify the market when it decides to buy or sell shares of the issuer in the market. The Publisher will be buying and selling shares of the featured company for its own profit. This is why we stress that you conduct extensive due diligence as well as seek the advice of your financial advisor or a registered broker-dealer before investing in any securities.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS. This publication contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this publication include, but are not limited to, the size and anticipated growth of the market for the company’s products, the anticipated growth of the market for AI-assisted products generally, the anticipated growth of the market for app-based products generally, the anticipated launch date for the company’s products, the anticipated growth of the market for health care app-based products generally, the anticipated launch date for the company’s products, and the anticipated growth and expansion of the medical library to which the company’s products have access. Factors that could cause results to differ include, but are not limited to, the companies’ ability to fund its capital requirements in the near term and long term, the management team’s ability to effectively execute its strategy, the degree of success of the AI technology used in the company’s products, the company’s ability to effectively market the company’s products to customers within its three anticipated revenue streams, supply chain constraints, pricing pressures, etc. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
INDEMNIFICATION/RELEASE OF LIABILITY. By reading this communication, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this disclaimer, and further that to the greatest extent permitted under law, you release the Publisher, its affiliates, assigns and successors from any and all liability, damages, and injury from this communication. You further warrant that you are solely responsible for any financial outcome that may come from your investment decisions.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. oilprice.com is the Publisher’s trademark. All other trademarks used in this communication are the property of their respective trademark holders. The Publisher is not affiliated, connected, or associated with, and is not sponsored, approved, or originated by, the trademark holders unless otherwise stated. No claim is made by the Publisher to any rights in any third-party trademarks.tsx pandemic covid-19 otc treatment testing fda genetic singapore africa india canada european
UK Banks – Digital Dinosaurs
UK Banks – Digital Dinosaurs
Authored by Bill Blain via MorningPorridge.com,
“Tuppence wisely invested in the bank…”
As UK bank reporting season kicks off, the dull, boring, predictable UK banks should look good. But the reality…
“Tuppence wisely invested in the bank…”
As UK bank reporting season kicks off, the dull, boring, predictable UK banks should look good. But the reality is they are dinosaurs – their failure to digitise and evolve leaves them vulnerable to tech-savy FinTechs and Challenger filling their niche. If the future of modern finance is a Tech hypersonic missile… British Banks are still building steam trains.
Today see’s the start of the UK bank reporting season. Yawn….
I wrote a piece for the Evening Standard y’day – Another set of numbers to disguise the rot. (I’ve reused some of it this morning – lazy, eh?) Exactly as I predicted in that note, Barclays came in strong this morning with a decent lift from its investment banking businesses. Lloyds and HSBC will also produce acceptable numbers and limited losses on post pandemic recovery. The sector outlook looks positive, the regulator will allow them to increase dividends, and there is higher income potential from rising interest rates.
But… would you buy the UK banks?
They face substantial market and ongoing pandemic risk. The cost of economic reality falls heavy across them all. This morning the headlines are about Medical groups screaming out for a renewal of lockdown measures to protect the NHS – a move that will 100% nail-on recession and cause multiple small businesses to give up. The threat of recession in the UK is pronounced – exacerbated by global supply chain crisis and risks of policy mistakes. The worst outcome for banks would be stagflation resulting in exploding loan impairments.
Lloyds is the most vulnerable to the UK economy – hence it’s underperformed the others. Even without renewed Covid measures, potential policy mistakes by the Bank of England in raising interest rates too early, or by government by raising taxes and austerity spending, will hit business and consumer sentiment hardest, causing the stock prices to crumble back towards its low back in Sept 2020 when it hit £24.72. It’s got the largest mortgage exposure – but no one really expects a significant housing sell-off. (When no-one expects it – is when to worry!)
If you believe the UK’s economic potential is under-stated, then Lloyds has the best upside stock potential among the big three. If the economy recovers strongly, Lloyds goes up. If it stumbles, then so will Lloyds!
Barclays is a more difficult call. It’s a broader, more diversified name. It retains an element of “whoosh” from its markets businesses – which have delivered excellent returns from its capital markets businesses fuelled by low rates, but it also runs a higher-than-average reputational risk for generating embarrassing headlines. But, when the global economy normalises, higher interest rates will impact the fee income of all the investment banks, thus impacting Barclays to a greater extent than Lloyds. Barclay’s international business gives it some hedge against a UK economic slide.
HSBC is the most complex call. The UK banking operation is a rounding error compared to the Bank’s Hong Kong business. The bank is pivoting towards Asia, orbiting China and other high-growth Far East economies where it seeks to attract rising middle-class wealth. It’s underperformed due to a distaste among global investors for its China business, but also the perception it’s just too big a bank to manage effectively.
If its China strategy was to pay off, it will be a long-term winner. But that’s no means certain – Premier Xi’s crackdown on Chinese Tech threatens to morph into a China first policy, and the space for a strong foreign bank in China’s banking system looks questionable, even as the developing crisis in real-estate could pull it lower.
Ok – so good for UK banks…
Whatever the respective bank numbers show this week, the banks will remain core holdings for many investors. Generally, big banks are perceived to be “relatively” safe. Regulation has reduced their market risk profiles, and strengthened capital bases since the post-Lehman unpleasantness in 2008 which saw RBS rescued by government.
Conventional investment wisdom says the more “dull, boring and predictable” a bank is, the more valuable it will be perceived in terms of stable predictable dividends, sound risk management, and for not surprising investors. Strong banks are perceived to be less vulnerable to competition with deep moats around their business.
Since 2008 that’s changed – in ways the incumbent banks have completely missed. The costs of entry have tumbled as banking has evolved into a completely different service. New, more nimble Fin-Techs like Revolut, digital challenger banks such as Starling, and cheaper foreign competitors, including the Yanks, are not only eating their lunch, but dinner as well.
The old established UK banks don’t seem to have a clue it’s happening. These incumbent banks look like dinosaurs wondering what that bright shiny light getting bigger in the sky might be. Despite proudly boasting of hundreds years of history, they are constrained by old tech ledger systems and never built centralised data-lakes from their information on individuals or the financial behaviours of crowds to improve and develop their services and income streams.
The future of banking is going to be about Tech and how effectively banks compete in a marketplace of online digital facilities and services. Banks that you use tech smartly will see their costs tumble, freeing up resources to do more, better! (When I ran a major bank’s FIG (Financial Institutions Group) about 100 years ago – the best banks were those with lowest cost-to-income ratio!)
There is an excellent article outlining FinTechs and Challengers from Chris Skinner this morning: Europe’s Challenger Banks are Challenging (and worth more than the old names). Let me pluck a bite from his piece: “Revolut is the most valuable UK tech start-up in history and the eighth biggest private company in the world, worth an estimated US$33 billion, according to CB Insights. Revolut has more than 16 million customers worldwide and sees over 150 million transactions per month.”
The new generation of nimbler Fin Techs and Challengers can innovate product offerings with sophisticated new systems and software. In contrast, UK bank IT departments are engaged in digital archaeology. I understand only 17% of Senior Tech positions are held by women. Within the banks, I’m told its still a boys club, where the best paid IT jobs are for ancient bearded D&D playing coders brought into to patch 50 year-old archaic systems. Legacy systems leave the big banks with impossible catch up costs.
It’s probably unfair to say the big UK banks don’t know what’s happening – their management can’t be that unaware? Surely not…. But…. Maybe..
Although the banks brag how well diversified they are with over 37% of UK board members female – how much have they really changed? Hiring on the basis of diversity is a fad. At the risk of lighting the blue-touch paper and this comment exploding in my face, I would hazard to suggest the appointment of senior ladies who’ve worked their way up the existing financial system simply risks confirmation-bias on how things are conventionally done in banking.
They might do better hiring outside movers and shakers – rather than listening to themselves.
The bottom line is its not just their failure to innovate tech that’s a crisis. Over the years the UK banks have become increasingly sclerotic – slow to shift and adapt. The middle to senior levels of banking are hamstrung by bureaucracy, a satisficing culture, stifled innovation, a compliance fearful mindset, and senior management fixated on impressing the regulators first and foremost.
If the future of modern finance is a Tech hypersonic missile… British Banks are still building steam trains.
Copper Price Update: Q3 2021 in Review
Jim Chanos: China’s “Leveraged Prosperity” Model Is Doomed…And That’s Not The Worst Of It
How to Read Stock Charts: A Guide for Beginners
Navigating the debt legacy of the pandemic
Walmart Rolls Out Bitcoin ATMs Across 200 Stores Nationwide
The FDA’s War Against The Truth On Ivermectin
Tesla share price forecast after Q3 results
Robotic Textiles for Breathing Recovery
What is COP26? Here’s how global climate negotiations work and what’s expected from the Glasgow summit
Zinc Prices Hit 14 Year High as Power Costs Rise
Crypto13 hours ago
Walmart Rolls Out Bitcoin ATMs Across 200 Stores Nationwide
Stocks18 hours ago
Tesla share price forecast after Q3 results
Stocks9 hours ago
Zinc Prices Hit 14 Year High as Power Costs Rise
Stocks6 hours ago
PayPal Stock Forecast: Everything You Need to Know Before Investing
Stocks16 hours ago
Stocks That Miss Expectations Are Being Hammered By The Most On Record
Crypto14 hours ago
Shanghai Man: Blockchain Week with Vitalik still happening, ‘Bitcoin’ searches on WeChat hit 26M in a day
Science22 hours ago
JPM: “We Could Be Just Weeks Away From Cushing Effectively Running Out Of Crude”
Economics22 hours ago
MLB Trade Rumors and News: Braves and Astros both on the verge of World Series berths