P&G’s Vicks ZzzQuil Expands Consumer Selection

The Procter & Gamble Company (PG) supplies branded consumer packaged goods to consumers across the globe.

It is no secret that Americans often experience trouble when it comes to falling asleep, especially when they live a high-stress lifestyle. For the last six years, Americans have used the top-selling non-habit forming sleep-aid Vicks ZzzQuil to help with occasional sleeplessness. The brand is now offering another sleep-aid, which is also non-habit forming, to their product line-up. Vicks ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs Melatonin Gummies provide an optimal level of melatonin and also contains a blend of lavender, chamomile, valerian root, and lemon balm that allows consumers to fall asleep naturally and wake up with no grogginess the next day. The gummies, which are a wildberry vanilla flavor, are drug-free, vegan, vegetarian, and free of artificial flavors, gluten, lactose, and gelatin.

Along with new gummies, Vicks has also launched their new Vicks Pure Zzzs Soothing Aromatherapy Balm.

To learn more about Procter & Gamble (PG) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Procter & Gamble Coverage Page.
Vista Partners LLC (”Vista”) is a California Registered Investment Advisor based in San Francisco. Vista delivers timely and relevant insights via the website: www.vistapglobal.com with daily stories, weekly market updates, monthly macroeconomic newsletters, podcasts, & Vista’s proprietary equity and market research to help you stay informed and stay competitive. Vista’s mission is to invest partner capital while arming investors with a comprehensive global financial perspective across all market sectors. Vista also seeks to provide select issuers with actionable advice regarding fundamental development, corporate governance, and capital market directives.
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Seven Common Misperceptions About Distracted Driving According to Travelers Risk Index

Dow 30 component, The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV) is an insurance provider of property casualty insurance for home, auto, and business.

The Travelers Companies, Inc. recently released the results of the 2018 Travelers Risk Index. The Index focuses on distracted driving and the how drivers perceive the risks. While 85% of drivers stated that is was extremely risky to use smartphones and tablets while driving, almost a quarter of those respondents said they do it.

The findings of the Travelers Risk Index was compared to data found on TrueMotion‘s smartphone telematics app, and found the about 40% of drivers are distracted for 15 minutes of every hour driven.

Other findings from the Travelers Risk Index include:

  • 1 in 10 respondents say they are frequently distracted by technology while driving
  • 61% of responders say they respond to texts, emails, and call while driving because there might be an emergency
  • 23% said they respond because they feel they might miss something important
  • 25% mulitask while driving because they believe they can do so in a safe manner
  • Only 12% use safety features such as “auto-reply” even though the feature are available on many phones

These survey results are very telling. There’s clearly a disconnect between drivers’ perception of what is safe and the reality of what is happening on our roads. Lives are being lost to distracted driving–related collisions, and we created the Every Second Matters initiative to help change perceptions about this problem so people start taking it seriously.” -Joan Woodward, Executive Vice President, Public Policy, and President of the Travelers Institute

Tips on how to be safe behind the wheel and more information on distracted driving is available on the Travelers Prepare & Prevent website.

To learn more about The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Travelers Companies, Inc. Coverage Page.

Vista Partners LLC (”Vista”) is a California Registered Investment Advisor based in San Francisco. Vista delivers timely and relevant insights via the website: www.vistapglobal.com with daily stories, weekly market updates, monthly macroeconomic newsletters, podcasts, & Vista’s proprietary equity and market research to help you stay informed and stay competitive. Vista’s mission is to invest partner capital while arming investors with a comprehensive global financial perspective across all market sectors. Vista also seeks to provide select issuers with actionable advice regarding fundamental development, corporate governance, and capital market directives.

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Press Release | Travelers Insurance

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Music Innovator Spotify’s Direct IPO & CEO Daniel Ek’s Newsletter

Spotify, a music service innovator, is due to go public today under the ticker SPOT on the NYSE via a direct listing. It is not raising capital via this share offering and it has chosen not to pay the fees to Wall Street’s “IPO machine” or the “traditional way” of going public as continues on its innovative path.

CEO Daniel Ek offered the following newsletter which helps explain their situation and which is found within Spotify’s F1A filing with the SEC :

LETTER FROM DANIEL EK

Our Path—A Note from Daniel Ek, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman

From the age of four, my life was about music and technology—never one without the other. Over time, I realized that by combining my two passions, I could create a new paradigm, one that helped fans and the creative community—singers, songwriters, bands, everyone in the creative process—chart a new course for an entire industry.

Spotify is the manifestation of those dreams. Music was too important to me to let piracy take down the industry. There had to be a way to give people access to the music they loved while allowing creators to get paid for their work, and to expand their creativity.
So I built a company based on a core set of values: innovation, passion, collaboration, transparency, and fairness. These values drive how we work with the creative community and how we treat our users. They’re why we’re committed to a diverse workforce in an open, trusting company culture.

Today, Spotify is one of the largest drivers of global music revenue. We’ve helped restore a rapidly shrinking industry to growth, and connected over a million artists with hundreds of millions of fans.

People constantly tell me how music has helped them through life’s biggest moments—birth and death, euphoria and heartbreak. At Spotify, we want to enrich, strengthen, and extend those moments and connections. So while some companies rely entirely on data, we take a different approach. We start with human creativity, augment it with our expertise and understanding, and then leverage it with the efficiency of algorithms.

Music has just been the beginning. We’re an audio first platform—as a top provider of podcasts, we’re also connecting audiences to the conversations that we think will shape the future.

And we have even bigger aspirations. We envision a cultural platform where professional creators can break free of their medium’s constraints and where everyone can enjoy an immersive artistic experience that enables us to empathize with each other and to feel part of a greater whole. But to realize this vision, professional creators must be able to earn a fair living doing what they love, where monetization is at the core of a creative proposition and not an afterthought. We care deeply about our creators and our users and we believe Spotify is a win-win for both.

That’s our mission—to unlock the potential of human creativity—by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.
Everyone who partners with us—employees, users, the creative community, brands, investors—should understand what our mission means to us, how we make decisions, and why.

We know that if we’re going to succeed as a company and as an industry, we have to think, build, plan, and imagine for the long-term.

To build a better world by unlocking human creativity, we are committed to creating a better experience for users—and to enabling more creators to live off their work. We firmly believe that in the long run, these priorities will provide greater returns to all of our stakeholders.

That’s because the future is markedly different from the past.

The old model favored certain gatekeepers. Artists had to be signed to a label. They needed access to a recording studio, and they had to be played on terrestrial radio to achieve success. Today, artists can produce and release their own music. Labels, studios, and radio still matter, but in a cluttered landscape, artists’ biggest challenge is navigating this complexity to get heard. We believe Spotify empowers them to break through.

With access to unprecedented amounts of data and insights, we’re building audiences for every kind of artist at every level of fame and exposing fans to a universe of songs. In this new world, music has no borders. Spotify enables someone in Miami to discover sounds from Madrid. It links immigrants in Boston to songs back home in Bangkok.

We’re working to democratize the industry and connect all of us, across the world, in a shared culture that expands our horizons.

With a catalog that grows by tens of thousands of new creative works every day, Spotify is like a flywheel. Creators and consumers engage and react to each other, building momentum. These reactions generate even more buzz, which we believe, in turn, fuels even more creativity. Now, we are going to take the lessons we’ve learned in music and apply them across culture. In the future, Spotify will strive to more meaningfully connect people to the cultural experiences they care about—or don’t yet know they care about—to fit the mood and moment they’re in.

Today’s creators can collaborate with audiences across time zones. They incorporate video and interactive technology to create new and inspiring art, and more. They release their own work and directly make and reach fans. As we evolve, Spotify will meet creators where they are and empower them with even more tools to do what they love in their own authentic way, and reach even more people. What started out as an application and grew into a platform must now become a global network—one that recognizes and nurtures the interdependent relationships between creators, producers, publishers, labels, fans, and everyone in between.

To get there, we need transparency. We need discovery. We need new tools of creativity.

Artists’ greatest barriers to success are achieving exposure and earning money. That’s why Spotify wants to create a fair and open market, where fans can support the artists they love and creators can understand how they’re paid and earn a living.
Musicians, for example, compete against the entire history of music and a daily flood of new content. The central paradox for fans is that access gives you everything—but everything isn’t enough. Discovery is hard without a compass. Unprecedented choice at an affordable price must come with effective personalization to help audiences navigate a sea of content, and to help artists directly reach a sea of listeners. With the right mix of data insights contextualized by human experts, Spotify reunites fans with old favorites, and lets them discover new ones.
We intend to give the creative community the data, technology, and connections to not only make a living but also accelerate the exposure of their work. We believe that these tools we’re building will go far beyond music, building bonds between creators and consumers across every genre and form.
And when we get there, the possibilities for culture will completely change. Again.

Today, art has an even greater opportunity to be a transformative cultural force. And culture is the force that binds us all—no matter who we are or where we’re from—in a shared human experience. It’s what helps us understand one another across differences. It’s what breaks us out of isolation and brings people together.

That’s why, everywhere I go around the world, I see artists finding inspiration across oceans, drawing on sounds born in one part of the world and making them their own—from punk music in Myanmar to rap in Mongolia.

This is the future we envision; where artists cross genres and cultural boundaries, creating ideas that propel society forward; where fans can discover something they never would have otherwise; where we’re all part of a global network, building new connections, sharing new ideas, across cultures.
We really do believe that we can improve the world, one song at a time.

Vista Partners LLC (”Vista”) is a California Registered Investment Advisor based in San Francisco. Vista delivers timely and relevant insights via the website: www.vistapglobal.com with daily stories, weekly market updates, monthly macroeconomic newsletters, podcasts, & Vista’s proprietary equity and market research to help you stay informed and stay competitive. Vista’s mission is to invest partner capital while arming investors with a comprehensive global financial perspective across all market sectors. Vista also seeks to provide select issuers with actionable advice regarding fundamental development, corporate governance, and capital market directives.

Stay Informed! Stay Competitive!

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Disney Ranks No. 5 in Harris Poll

The Walt Disney Company (DIS) and its subsidiaries is a diverse worldwide entertainment company that operates in four business segments: Studio Entertainment, Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, and Consumer Products & Interactive Media.

The 2018 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient ranked the Walt Disney Company as No. 5 in its list of 100, two places higher than in 2017. The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient is a study that rates the reputations of the 100 most visible companies as recognized by U.S. consumers.

The poll takes top-of-mind companies of the American public and examines how the consumer perceive each company. Consumers are asked to rank 100 companies in six categories that include Emotional Appeal, Products & Services, Social Responsibility, Vision & Leadership, Workplace Environment, and Financial Performance. Disney received high marks in both Financial Performance (No. 2) and Vision & Leadership (No. 4).

Overall the poll found “that consumers value brands that are standing by their values, building deep community relations and fueling momentum in science, health and education.”

Congratulations to The Walt Disney Company!

 

To learn more about The Walt Disney Company (DIS) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Walt Disney Company Coverage Page.

Disney Ranks High in Harris Poll on Corporate Reputation – The Walt Disney Company

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The Home Depot Will Put $50 Million Towards Skilled Trades Training

The Home Depot, Inc. (HD) is the world’s largest home improvement retailer with retail stores all across North America. The Home Depot sells building materials and home improvement products, as well as lawn and garden supplies, and provides installation, home maintenance, and professional service programs.

The Home Depot Foundation has committed $50 million to the training of 20,000 tradespeople over the course of the next 10 years. This commitment will help to fill the growing skilled labor gap.

Last year, The Home Depot Foundation partnered with Home Builders Institute, a nonprofit, to start a pilot trades training program for separating military members at Fr. Stewart and Ft. Bragg. The first class from the 12-week pre-apprenticeship certification program is set to graduate this month. The program is provided to its students at no cost and will roll out on additional United States bases.

We want to bring shop class back, from coast-to-coast. We’re thrilled to train 20,000 next-generation plumbers, electricians, carpenters and beyond. It’s a true honor to welcome our first classes of separating soldiers as they transition to civilian life and into successful careers in the trades.” -Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation

The company’s foundation is also working with the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia to establish an advanced level trades training program for the residents of Atlanta’s Westside community, and eventually into under-served high schools across the US.

To learn more about The Home Depot, Inc. (HD) and to continue to track its progress please vista Partners The Home Depot, Inc. Coverage Page.

The Home Depot Foundation Commits $50 Million to Skilled Trades Training

The Home Depot Foundation Commits $50 Million to Skilled Trades Training Foundation to train 20,000 new tradespeople by 2028 to fill labor gap ATLANTA, March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today,..

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Will the Cost of a Can of Coke Go Up with Aluminum Tariffs?

Coca-Cola drinkers beware, many expect the price of canned food and soft drinks in cans to increase. Under the new contemplated tariffs out of the White House on steel and aluminum imports, the cost of getting a Coca-Cola in a can could be getting more expensive.

Robert Budway, the president of Can Manufacturers Institute, the company that represents the makers of the Coca-Cola Cans as well as many other manufacturers, commented that “A tariff on these aluminum and steel products will harm our industry and put food and beverage cans at a disadvantage among competitive packages, such as plastic and glass, which are not subject to tariffs.”

While can manufacturing companies are in an uproar about the new tariffs, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says that the new tariffs are “no big deal” and will only add six-tenths of one cent to cost of a Campbell’s soup can.

Without the release of more details on the tariffs, there is no way to measure the precise impact that the tariffs will have on the price of goods. There is also the possibility that certain countries could be excluded. It is suggested that most likely companies who manufacture steel and aluminum products will feel the effects of the tariff rather than consumers.

To learn more about The Coca-Cola Company (KO) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Coca-Cola Company Coverage Page.

Yes, a can of Coke will cost more under Trump’s steel tariffs

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said tariffs would add just six-tenths of one cent to the price of a can of Campbell’s soup…

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Nike (NKE) Will Announce Q3 Fiscal Results March 22

NIKE, Inc. (NIKE) is the world’s top designer, marketer, and distributor of athletic footwear, equipment, apparel, and accessories. The Beaverton, Oregon based company offers products for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities.

NIKE, Inc. will announce their third quarter fiscal 2018 results on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 1:15p.m. PT after the close of regular stock market trading hours. The release of the results will be followed by a conference call hosted by NIKE management at 2:00p.m. PT.

The conference call can be accessed online at http://investors.nike.com.

To learn more about NIKE, Inc. (NIKE) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners NIKE Coverage Page.

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Disney Donates to Boys & Girls Clubs of America Supporting High-tech Skills In Light of Black Panther Success

Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has experienced unprecedented success so far with Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER where high-tech skills were a major theme in the plot.

In light of this success, Disney is donating $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The donation will help expand Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s youth STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs.

Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company stated, “Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is a masterpiece of movie making and has become an instant cultural phenomenon, sparking discussion, inspiring people young and old, and breaking down age-old industry myths. It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film, so it’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want.”

To learn more about The Walt Disney Company (DIS) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Walt Disney Company Coverage Page.

Disney Donates $1 Million to Youth STEM Program in Celebration of BLACK PANTHER

In celebration of the record-breaking success of Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER, The Walt Disney Company is donating $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America …

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Dow Reveals 2018 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation Competition

The Dow Chemical Company is a part of the DowDupont Holding Company (DWDP), a business that is focused on agriculture, materials science and specialty product sectors that will lead their respective industries through productive, science-based innovation to meet the needs of customers and help solve global challenges.

Dow has announced the call for entries for the 2018 30th Annual Packaging Innovation Competition. Entries for the independently judged competition can be submitted until April 12, 2018. The program was established in 1986 and recognizes companies that advocate technological advancements and enhanced customer experiences to create responsible packaging.

The program does not require the applicant to use Dow or DuPont materials in their entries, and the products must already be commercially available upon entry.

DowDupont (DWDP) reported earnings on 2/1/2018 of $0.83 per share.

To learn more about Dow and DowDuPont (DWDP) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners DowDuPont Coverage Page.

Dow Unveils the 2018 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation Competition

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McDonald’s Reports 2017 Was A Strong Year – Declares Q1’18 Dividend

McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook stated, “2017 was a strong year for McDonald’s as customers responded to the many ways we are making their experience more convenient and enjoyable. We served more customers more often, achieved our best comparable sales performance in six years, gained share in markets around the world and made tremendous progress with growth platforms such as delivery, mobile order and pay and Experience of the Future.”

McDonald’s further highlighted the following:

  • Global comparable sales increased 5.5%, reflecting positive guest counts in all segments
  • Due to the impact of the Company’s strategic refranchising initiative, consolidated revenues decreased 11% (15% in constant currencies)
  • Systemwide sales increased 8% in constant currencies
  • Consolidated operating income increased 9% (6% in constant currencies)
  • Diluted earnings per share of $0.87 decreased 40% (42% in constant currencies), reflecting a net tax cost associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“Tax Act”), which totaled $0.84 per share. Excluding the impact of the Tax Act, diluted earnings per share was $1.71, an increase of 19% (16% in constant currencies)
  • Global comparable sales increased 5.3%, reflecting positive guest counts in all segments
  • Due to the impact of the Company’s strategic refranchising initiative, consolidated revenues decreased 7% (8% in constant currencies)
  • Systemwide sales increased 7% in constant currencies
  • Consolidated operating income increased 23% (23% in constant currencies), which benefited from a gain of approximately $850 million on the sale of the Company’s businesses in China and Hong Kong. Excluding the impact of the gain, as well as current and prior year impairment and strategic charges, consolidated operating income increased 9% (9% in constant currencies)
  • Diluted earnings per share increased 17% (17% in constant currencies)
  • Returned $7.7 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. In addition, the Company announced a 7% increase in its quarterly dividend to $1.01beginning in the fourth quarter, demonstrating management’s continued confidence in the Company’s performance

On January 25, 2018, McDonald’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.01 per share of common stock payable on March 15, 2018 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 1, 2018.

McDonald’s Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2017 Results And First Quarter 2018 Cash Dividend

OAK BROOK, Ill. , Jan. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — McDonald’s Corporation today announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017. “2017 was a strong year for McDonald’s as customers …..

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