Category Archives: Stocks

McDonald`s new name is Vkusno & Tochka

Historians do not fully agree on the starting and end of the «cold war», but the period is generally considered to span from the announcement of the Truman Doctrine on 12 March 1947 to the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991.

At the end of the cold war, corporations rushed into Russia and opened their businesses, and one of them was McDonald`s. They opened their first restaurant in Pushkin Square in Moscow on January 31, 1990. The same day they opened, thousands were lined up to try the new tasty burgers. And that ladies and gentlemen were synonymous with Capitalism, and its arrival symbolized Soviet Union`s impending demise. On May 16, 2022, McDonald`s announced that it was leaving Russia.

Photo by Rajesh TP on Pexels.com

Now, McDonald`s is selling all of its 850 restaurants in Russia after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. After 80 years of socialism, people in Russia rushed to McDonald`s and the American culture. The new Western way of eating. But now people in Russia rush to the new Russian burgers at the new Russian fast-food chain called Vkusno & Tochka, which means «tasty and that`s it».

Founded by businessman Alexander Govor, who acquired all the restaurants for an undisclosed sum. But he said he paid «far lower than market price.» Govor has been a McDonald`s franchisee since 2015 when he agreed to open 20 restaurants through his business GiD LLC.

Govor also made a lot of money in mining and oil refining in Siberia. He made his wealth in the coal business as co-owner of the coal mining company Yuzhkuzbassugol, in his hometown of Novokuznetsk. He bought the mine together with Evraz during liberalization in the 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin.

Evraz bought out Govor from the company, and one of the owners is Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich (Chelsea FC).

When McDonald`s opened their first restaurant in Russia, it had this slogan: «If you can`t go to America, come to McDonald`s in Moscow.» That slogan is over and out, and in comes Vkusno & Tochka`s new slogan; «The name changes – love stays».

Most of the things in the restaurants are similar to McDonald`s. The same quality, and taste. The same equipment and the same double cheeseburgers. The difference is that most of the money goes to Russia. Not America anymore.

Many people in Russia wanted to take part in the opening of the new fast-food chain, and the rebranding marked a new era in Russia on Sunday last week. The last big mac has finally left Russia.

Govor will pay about 60,000 Russian McDonald`s employees for the next two years, according to the agreement with McDonald`s. In the same agreement, he also agreed to pay suppliers and landlords.

Govor`s company will invest 7 billion rubles ($125 million) into the new business in 2022.

By the way: McDonald`s has the right to buy back its restaurants within 15 years, but «they made it clear to me that they would not buy back», Govor said. Really?

The S&P 500 plummeted -by 3,88% on Monday, but shares of Mcdonald’s outperformed the market, jumped +0,39% and closed «only» $32 below its 52-week high at $271,15.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shinybull.com. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Shinybull.com nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities, or other financial instruments. Shinybull.com and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

Leave a comment

Filed under Stocks

Old music in – new music out

As a former professional deejay, I spend a lot of time on music. But I`m also interested in other people`s tastes in music. I`m an uncle to four teenagers and I find it strange to hear that all of them are often listening to old music. Very often from the ’80s.

I very often say; «who`s playing that song?». What? Do you like that song? Yes, teenagers like a lot of old music. Sometimes more than new and so-called popular songs which are newly released. I very often think for myself that new popular songs aren`t good enough, but it seems like young people share my opinion.

Don`t get me wrong. I like new music, but I must admit that it isn`t many good ones. So, very often I`m listening to old music, and most of it is from the ’70s and ’80s. I very often ask myself why there was so much good music from that era? This is also a time when I used to work as a professional DJ.

Photo by Elviss Railijs Bitu0101ns on Pexels.com

The ’80s was a time for the free world and free trade. Republicans like Thatcher and Reagan had a lot to say at that time. I find it very interesting and think that it can be a hidden connection here.

It was a time with so much energy. People were smiling and dancing, and they had so much fun. The «king of pop» was the biggest of all the biggest, and he is still my favorite. Later on, Witney Houston came on the top lists as well. Two superstars with so many skills.

But, all of it came to an end. Michael Jackson got into a hell of a lot of trouble, and so did Witney Houston. Jackson spent more time in the court than in the studio. People didn`t have much fun the same way anymore, and we saw a shift in the market. Out with Jackson and Houston and in with Eminem.

And so is it today. It isn`t many skills like Jackson and Houston, but more like «keep-it-in-the-closet» rap songs like Eminem. I`m not a big fan of it, but it seems to me that you don`t need many skills to reach the top today.

According to MBW, catalog music claimed 73,1% of the US music consumption market in the second half of 2021. This is in line with my observations. People are listening to old music. Not new releases.

Across the whole of 2021, catalog music actually claimed 69,8% of Total Album Consumption in the U.S.

The best-selling artist in 2021 was Adele (traditional album sales, not including streaming). But, unfortunately, the biggest success story in the U.S had nothing to do with a new release: it was catalog music.

Catalog records accounted for a stunning 82,1% of total recorded music consumption in the U.S in the second half of 2021.

Current records made up just 17,9% of U.S music consumption in the last months of 2021. That`s less than a fifth of the market.

Not only that; total consumption (sales plus streams) of current music actually fell, in real terms, by 37,4% in the second half of 2021 compared to the same period of 2020. This is exactly in line with my observations.

So, in the year 2021, the total on-demand streaming volume in the U.S increased 9,9% YoY to 1,13 trillion. And total album consumption saw a YoY increase of 11,3%.

So, people are listening to more music, and the market is growing, but the shrinking presence of new music in the U.S record industry may leave some frontline record labels scratching their heads.

At the same time; catalog music acquisition specialists are smiling from ear to ear. Especially Hipgnoses Song Management has, using cash from its Blackstone-backed private fund, acquired the song catalog of superstar artist and songwriter Justin Timberlake.

Hipgnosis says it has acquired «100% of all of Timberlake`s copyright, ownership and financial interests of the Writer and Publisher`s share of Public Performance income, and the catalog of musical compositions written by Justin Timberlake.

Justin Timberlake’s sales are currently in excess of over 150 million, including 88 million as a solo artist and 70 million with NSYNC. Timberlake sold everything to Hipgnosis and its $1 billion-backed Blackstone fund. Wow. What a deal.

In March, Hipgnosis Song Management announced the acquisition of a career-spanning catalog created by legendary Canadian artist and composer Leonard Cohen. But Timberlake and Cohen is not alone.

Bob Dylan has also sold his music catalog for $400 million, and it is a trend among top artists. Bruce Springsteen did it. Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, David Bowie, Dire Straits, John Lennon, Fleetwood Mac, and Shakira did the same.

40,000 new songs are being uploaded to Spotify every single day, but who cares? People are listening to old music and that market is skyrocketing.

Let me end this story by saying this: Good music is good business. That`s it.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shinybull.com. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Shinybull.com nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities, or other financial instruments. Shinybull.com and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

Leave a comment

Filed under Stocks, Curiosity

EU doesn`t like big tech

European Union doesn`t like big companies like Apple. Google, Facebook, and Amazon to name a few. They believe that companies should be small and compete with each other. The more competition, the better.

Now, Apple faces a possible hefty fine and may have to open its mobile payment system to competitors after EU`s antitrust regulators charged the iPhone maker with restricting rivals’ access to its technology used for mobile wallets.

EU`s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said on Monday: «Mobile payments play a rapidly growing role in our digital economy. It is important for the integration of European Payments markets that consumers benefit from a competitive and innovative payments landscape.»

«We have indications that Apple restricted third-party access to key technology necessary to develop rival mobile wallet solutions on Apple`s devices. In our Statement of Objections, we preliminarily found that Apple may have restricted competition, to benefit from its own solution Apple Pay. If confirmed, such conduct would be illegal under our competition rules.»

The investigation will now follow into suspected violations of EU antitrust rules. The European Commission and Margrethe Vestager think Apple is violating the block`s antitrust rules with its limits on rival providers of mobile wallets.

They believe that Apple «abused its dominant position» in giving a boost to its own contactless payments system.

I can only speak for myself, and I have an iPhone, but I use my Fitbit to pay with my Visa card. It`s easy, fast, and contactless. So, Apple didn`t have an advantage in my world. But the main reason is that Apple only accepts a Mastercard.

This is not the first time the EU is attacking U.S tech giants. A year ago, they attacked Apple`s handling of rival music apps. They also want major changes to the App Store and iMessage, as well as services from Google and Amazon.

Last year, Amazon was hit by the biggest ever European Union privacy fine after its lead privacy watchdog hit it with a $888 million penalty for violating the bloc`s tough data protection rules. Amazon said the decision is «without merit.»

In November last year, Google lost its appeal against a €2,4 billion EU fine over its shopping service. The Commission argued that Google had unfairly used its dominant search engine to redirect traffic to Google shopping.

Brussels claims Google began to systematically favor its shopping service in the results of its popular search engine, whose market dominance exceeds 90% in most EU countries. Google Shopping now routinely appears at the very top of search results.

Six years ago, I wrote an article about The European Commission, that said Irland had enabled Apple to pay «substantially less tax than other businesses over many years.» But the EU`s general court decided that the commission failed to prove that the Irish government had given the U.S tech giant a tax advantage.

In 2020, Apple won a landmark court case against the European Commission over the dispute concerning $14,9 billion in Irish taxes. And these are some of the few attacks on U.S tech giants.

Over twenty years ago, I can remember that Microsoft was attacked by rumors. Don`t use Windows, because it`s a virus in it. That will kill your computer, they said. Bill Gates was also attacked multiple times. Again and again. Today, we see the Marxist Media Mob use words like Oligarchs about the rich.

Sometimes, the EU should attack the rules. Not the companies.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shinybull.com. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Shinybull.com nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities, or other financial instruments. Shinybull.com and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

Leave a comment

Filed under Stocks

When will Apple fall from the tree?

Apple is another company I have been following for about 30 years now, and this is another one that survived, along with Microsoft, the dot-com bubble. I bought my first mobile phone in 1992, and that was Ericsson from Sweden. I know the rest of that story and know that Apple can go the same way. But not today.

Apple`s revenue in the quarter ended in March, grew nearly 9% YoY, and the company continues to impress. The company said on Thursday that they have strong growth, and that is exactly what I have been wondering about in times of lockdown, covid-19, and distribution challenges that could affect the global demand for smartphones and computers.

The stock went up 4,52% on Thursday, but it went down -by 2,22% in after-hours of trading on Thursday. CFO Luca Maestri warned of several challenges in the current quarter, including supply constraints related to Covid-19 that could hurt sales by between $4 billion and $8 billion. Luca also said that the demand in China was being sapped by the Covid-related lockdown. CEO Tim Cook said that Apple was «not immune» to supply chain challenges.

Apple`s revenue jumped to $97,28 billion YoY. iPhone revenue was up 5,5% and jumped to $50,57 billion. EPS is $1,52.

Apple had a habit of beating Wall Street by 3% to about 8% since 2020, but this time they «only» exceeded the estimates by 0,51%. CEO Tim Cook said the financial performance was «better than we anticipated.»

When will the Apple fall from the tree?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shinybull.com. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Shinybull.com nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities, or other financial instruments. Shinybull.com and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

Leave a comment

Filed under Stocks

Microsoft beat Wall Street

Software Powerhouse Microsoft Corp beat Wall Street expectations for quarterly revenue on Tuesday. They have a strong demand for the software giant`s cloud-based services from the pandemic-triggered shift to hybrid work models.

Some companies lost big during the pandemic, but Microsoft profited big from it as individuals and organizations turned to products like Outlook and Teams workplace messaging app. People shifted their behavior as they were working from home during the pandemic.

But it seems like people loved the idea to work from home because after the economies opened up again, people and businesses tend to use a hybrid model of allowing staff to alternatively work from home. And that is strengthening Microsoft`s cloud services, including their flagship cloud offering Azure.

Microsoft reported revenue of $49,36 billion in the third quarter, compared with $41,7 billion a year earlier.

Net income rose to $16,73 billion, or $2,22 per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $15,46 billion, or $2,03 per share, a year earlier.

«Continued customer commitment to our cloud platform and strong sales execution drove better-than-expected commercial bookings growth of 28% and Microsoft Cloud revenue of $23,4 billion, up 32% YoY,» Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said in a news release.

For the current quarter, Microsoft expects to generate sales of $52,8 billion, based on the midpoint of its guidance. That matches Wall Street`s target for the June quarter. In the year-earlier period, it posted $46,2 billion in sales.

Microsoft stock fell 3,7% on Tuesday to close at 270,22 amid a broad market sell-off, but in after-hours trading (as I write this article), the stock is up 4,47%. It happened on a day were Nasdaq plummeted 3,7%, while Tesla went down 12,18%. I have been following Microsoft since the 90s, and this is one of the few that survived the dot-com bubble. This company continues to impress.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shinybull.com. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Shinybull.com nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities, or other financial instruments. Shinybull.com and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

Leave a comment

Filed under Stock market, Stocks, Uncategorized