Investors are responding rather strongly to reports of a new COVID variant of concern the WHO designated “Omicron” on Friday. But the former Walmart CEO Bill Simon is confident it doesn’t pose much of a threat for the retail sector in the short term.
Simon’s remarks on CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell’
Bill expects consumer strength and holiday season to help the retail sector absorb this news with minimal reaction. On CNBC’s “Closing Bell”, he said:
People were out shopping today, looking for deals. Stores were crowded, prices were very good and aggressive, particularly in the big-box chains. So, in the short run, with the Black Friday weekend and everything else going on, I don’t think you’ll see much of a reaction.
He refrained from commenting on the long-term impact of the new variant on the retail sector and said it would depend on how the situation unravels. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is down more than 3.0% on Friday.
Retail has been divided into winners and losers
During the same interview, BMO Capital Markets’ Simeon Siegel said the retail sector was no longer moving in unison; the pandemic had split it into winners and losers.
The question is, who has the pricing power versus who saw fewer promotions. All of them will deal with externalities, whether it’s the variant or the supply chain. But what brands actually structurally improved their business through the pandemic; that’s the dynamic.
According to Siegel, the recent earnings season already made this division evident. On the one hand, we had companies like Capri Holdings that jumped about 20% after reporting results for the latest quarter, and on the other, there was Nordstrom that was down the same after its quarterly report.
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Is Biotech ripe for investment yet?
It’s a great time to be looking for opportunities in biotech as the sector is near the bottom, says MPM Capital’s Dr Christiana Bardon. Biotech has…
It’s a great time to be looking for opportunities in biotech as the sector is near the bottom, says MPM Capital’s Dr Christiana Bardon.
Biotech has been in correction over the past eight months
What many see as a sharp decline in biotech, Dr Bardon dubs an overdue correction after a prolonged period of “too much enthusiasm” due to the COVID pandemic. Speaking with CNBC’s Leslie Picker, she said:
The long-term prospects for this industry look as great as ever. The demographics of the aging population means we’ll need new drugs, the support of regulatory environment, and finally the third fundamental is innovation at record high levels.
The iShares Biotech ETF is down 25% from its high in August 2021, but Dr Bardon is focused on the long term. She sees an upward trend in biotech over the next thirty years.
Dr Bardon is particularly interested in Oncology within Biotech
According to the Harvard-trained medical doctor, investors should focus on areas within Biotech that are committed to addressing unmet medical needs, such as Oncology. She added:
Oncology continues to be an exciting area of Biotech. Within Oncology, we’re seeing incredible innovation primarily because of the genomics revolution. And then the regulatory environment is very supportive of cancer drug development.
Dr Bardon sees the U.S. as a global leader in biotech and reiterates that it was this industry that helped the world pull out of the Coronavirus crisis.etf pandemic coronavirus
ironSource CEO: gaming is more than just a COVID play
The VanEck Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO) is up nearly 100% since the start of the pandemic, and ironSource Ltd (NYSE: IS) CEO Tomer Bar Zeev doesn’t see an end to this trend in the near future. Highlights from Zeev’s interview on CNBC’s ‘TechCheck’.
The VanEck Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO) is up nearly 100% since the start of the pandemic, and ironSource Ltd (NYSE: IS) CEO Tomer Bar Zeev doesn’t see an end to this trend in the near future.
Highlights from Zeev’s interview on CNBC’s ‘TechCheck’
Zeev agrees that video gaming and eSports was a beneficiary of the global pandemic but says the segment is now much more than just a COVID play. On CNBC’s “TechCheck”, he said:
When COVID started, we saw an uptick of roughly 10% in the time that users spent within games. As the world reopened, it pretty much stayed the same. So, we think it’s the new norm. We don’t think we’ll see any change in that regard.
According to Statista, much of the increase in hours spent on video games was attributed to the new gamers in 2020 who turned to the industry in search of indoor means of entertainment amidst COVID restrictions.
Gaming is bigger than film and music combined
According to Zeev, gaming is the fastest-growing segment within the app economy, and it will continue to lead the industry on growth in gaming library as well as relevant platform software.
The gaming ecosystem within the app economy is growing super-fast. Gaming is the biggest part of the app economy, it’s bigger than the film industry and the music industry combined. So, it makes perfect sense that it will grow all around. It will continue to lead the app economy.
Earlier this week, Take-Two Interactive said it will buy Zynga Inc for $12.70 billion in cash and stock to expand its footprint in mobile gaming. Zeev expects such consolidation to continue as companies move to benefit from the fast-growing gaming economy.
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Vera Bradley Q2 Results Miss Estimates; Shares Fall 10%
Vera Bradley (VRA) delivered second-quarter Fiscal 2022 results that fell short of Wall Street expectations. The company also warned that the retail environment remains uncertain amid supply chain challenges and
The post Vera Bradley Q2 Resul
Vera Bradley (VRA) delivered second-quarter Fiscal 2022 results that fell short of Wall Street expectations. The company also warned that the retail environment remains uncertain amid supply chain challenges and an increase in freight charges. VRA shares fell 9.42% to close at $10.38 on September 1.
Founded in 1982, Vera Bradley designs and sells women’s handbags, luggage, and other travel items. It also deals in home accessories and unique gifts. (See Vera Bradley stock charts on TipRanks)
Fiscal Q2 revenue increased 11.6% year-over-year to $147 million as Vera Bradley bounced back to pre-pandemic levels on a comparable basis. The increase came on customers responding to product innovations and sales for travel-related products bouncing back. However, revenue fell short of analyst expectations of $153.61 million.
Meanwhile, consolidated second-quarter net income landed at $9.5 million, or $0.28 per diluted share. Analysts were expecting earnings of $0.33 a share.
According to CEO Rob Wallstrom, Pura Vida revenues were negatively affected by the Apple iOS 14.5 update. The update impacted Facebook and Instagram advertising, which have been vital in driving sales.
Wallstrom stated, “Our team is working diligently to quickly diversify a portion of our marketing resources to other platforms, and consequently, we began to see Pura Vida direct-to-consumer sales volume build momentum throughout the balance of the second quarter and into the beginning of the third.”
For Fiscal 2022 Vera Bradley expects revenues to land at between $550 million and $565 million compared to $468.3 million delivered in Fiscal 2021. Consolidated diluted EPS is expected at between $0.80 and $0.95 compared to $0.63 for Fiscal 2021.
In June, Robert W. Baird analyst Mark Altschwager reiterated a Hold rating on the stock with a $14 price target, implying 34.87% upside potential to current levels.
Consensus among analysts is a Moderate Buy based on 1 Buy and 2 holds. The average Vera Bradley price target of $15 implies 44.51% upside potential to current levels.
VRA scores 8 out of 10 on TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that the stock has strong potential to outperform market expectations.
The post Vera Bradley Q2 Results Miss Estimates; Shares Fall 10% appeared first on TipRanks Financial Blog.etf pandemic
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