Walmart Expanding Latin American Footprint With Cornershop Acquisition

Wal-mart Stores, Inc. (WMT)  is a worldwide retailer that operates in various formats.  The three segments of the company include Wal-mart U.S., Wal-mart International, and Sam’s Club.  The company is comprised of discount stores, supermarkets, supercenters, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, cash and carry stores, home improvement stores, specialty electronics stores, apparel stores, drug stores, convenience stores, and membership-only warehouse clubs; and retail Websites.

Walmart has further expanded its footprint into Latin America with the purchase of the Cornershop, Inc., an online marketplace for on-demand delivery from supermarkets, pharmacies, and specialty food retailers in the countries of Mexico and Chile. The retail-giant acquired Cornershop for $225 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

The current acquisition follows the company’s recent investment in Dada-JD Daojia in China and a strategic alliance in Japan with Rakuten.

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

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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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Walmart to Acquire Cornershop, for $225M | FinSMEs

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Toyota Invests $500 Million in Deal with Uber In Race To Make Autonomous Vehicles

According to Bloomberg and many different sources this week, Uber Technologies Inc. will be receiving a $500 million dollar investment from the Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. The investment comes as Toyota’s effort to catch up on self-driving technology. With General Motors Co. and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo leading the race in autonomous vehicles, the Japanese company is looking to catch up.

With this deal in place, Toyota will now manufacture Sienna minivans that will be loaded with Uber’s software. The testing will begin on Uber’s ride-sharing network in 2021. With Toyota’s new stake in Uber, the ride-hailing company is predicted to be valued at $72 billion. This investment is not Toyota’s first in a ride-sharing company. Toyota put $1 billion into Southeast Asia’s Grab Holdings Inc. earlier in 2018 and also has a partnership with China’s Didi Chuxing Inc. Japan Taxi, a rival of Uber is also backed by Toyota.

Both carmakers and technology companies are laboring toward a future with autonomous robotic taxis. Toyota is placing bets across the board for a shot at these beginning technologies which boast the ability to change the traditional way of making and selling cars to individuals.

The big three ride-hailing companies- Uber, Didi, and Grab- are all backed by SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese internet giant. Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank, has invested $9.5 billion into Didi, another $9.3 billion in Uber, and also has stakes in Grab and India’s Ola. Son also is an investor in GM’s Cruise autonomous car unit.

Technology companies need the automakers to bring these unruly ideas to life with their knowledge of car manufacturing and their factories and facilities to do it.

Toyota is partnering with Uber and Didi to make the vision of a fleet of autonomous, modular boxes that can shop anything from people to food a reality. The concept, dubbed e-Palette, was unveiled at CES in Las Vegas in January, and both Amazon.com Inc. and Pizza Hut signed on.

Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group stated, “Since 2015, we’ve been working to bring safe, reliable self-driving technology to the Uber network. We knew we couldn’t do it alone, which is why we continue to partner with world-class vehicle manufacturers to make our vision a reality.”

Both Uber and Toyota expect that the mass-produced autonomous vehicles will eventually be owned and operated by a third-party company that will be agreed upon mutually.

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Goldman Sachs & CIC Close $1.5 Billion For Cooperation Fund To Invest In American Companies…

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.  (GS) is one of the world’s leading investment bankers & also a securities and investment management firm that offers a wide range of financial services with a diversified client base.

Goldman Sachs recently announced the first close of $1.5 billion of the China-US Industrial Cooperation Partnership, L.P., also known as “the Cooperation Fund”. The Cooperation Fund has an authorization to invest in American companies involved in the industrial, manufacturing, consumer and healthcare industries, along with others that may have or have the potential to develop a material business connection to China. The China Investment Corporation or CIC is a mainstay investor in the Cooperation Fund.

Through the Merchant Banking Division, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. sponsors and acts as the investment manager for the Cooperation Fund. As an anchor investor, CIC’s role is to give support to Goldman Sachs to name possible value-added opportunities in China for the portfolio companies of the Cooperation Fund, but CIC does not provide advice on investments to the Cooperation Fund.

The US-China Business Summit that was held in April 2018 and hosted by Goldman Sachs and CIC brought together government officials from and senior business leaders from both China and the United States to deliberate the opportunities available to build and strengthen the commercial investment ties between both countries. The discussion was centered around the increased and reciprocal trade and investment relations between China and the United States that will allow businesses to grow, open new markets, and create more jobs.

To learn more about The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Coverage Page.

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Goldman Sachs | Press Releases – Goldman Sachs Announces $1.5.Billion First Close of the Cooperation Fund

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“It’s Gettin’ Rocky!” Vista Partners Weekly Market Update 8-18-18

Vista Partners has published “It’s Gettin’ Rocky!” Vista Partners Weekly Market Update 8-18-18 and is accessible on our Newsletters Page. Each issue is written by the Managing Director, John Heerdink and speaks to the activities of the market, influencers and specific featured stories from Vista’s Coverage Universe that spans the Dow 30, International and Select Emerging Growth Companies & “Investor Picks”, where we have begun to selectively add those companies/ideas that we are receiving from investors around the world.

Newsletter topics include but are not limited to the following: investing, banks, world news, entertainment & movie industry, cryptocurrencies, healthcare, biotech, mining, technology, cybersecurity, & consumer trends.

Each weekly update issue is sent out via email directly to the thousands of investors around the world that have elected to be updated each week. Please “Join us” Today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Caterpillar Beats Earnings Estimates as Sales & Revenues Increase 24% YOY

Dow 30 Component Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT) is the world’s chief manufacturer of diesel and natural gas engines, construction and mining equipment, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. Caterpillar, Inc. also works to make sustainable progress possible and contributes to driving positive change on every continent.

Caterpillar beating estimates of $2.747 per with reported earnings of $2.97 per share for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018. The company, which reported its earnings on July 30, 2018, saw its sales and revenues increase 24 percent with $14.0 billion in comparison to $11.3 billion in the second quarter of 2017.

The Machinery, Energy, and Transportation reported an operating cash flow of $2.1 billion. Caterpillar repurchased $750 million in common stock and in June 2018 the company’s board of directors authorized a quarterly dividend increase of 10 percent, raising it to $0.86 per share. Overall, Caterpillar concluded Q2 2018 with an enterprise cash balance of $8.7 billion.

Jim Umpleby, Caterpillar CEO “Caterpillar delivered record second-quarter profit per share. Our team is doing a great job executing our strategy for profitable growth, focusing on operational excellence, expanded offerings and services.”

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

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World Cup Ratings Rebounding

A week into the first round of the group stage of the 2018 World Cup, ratings in the US were down 44% in comparison the first round in 2014. Bloomberg even wrote that “World Cup ratings are a complete nightmare for Fox and Comcast.” Fortunately, the first week’s trend has changed.

Sweden’s June 23 loss to Germany attracted 5.4MM viewers on Fox, and is now the most-watched non-US men’s group stage game on an English-language TV in 28 years. Argentina’s win against Nigeria on June 26 also set a 28-year record for mom-US men’s third round group stage with 2.6MM viewers.

June 27, Day 14 of the 2018 World Cup’s total viewership was up 34% from the same day of the 2014 cup and 22% from Day 14 of 2010. The increase of viewers is due to huge games between Mexico and Sweden, and South Korea and Germany. At the end of the full group stage Thursday night, Fox reported that their viewership of the World Cup was up 1% overall when compared to the average of the past four World Cup’s, including the U.S. matches.

Although 1% may sound small, it beats that larger overall trend currently being seen in all live sports viewership. The NFL is seeing ratings trending downwards as well as NASCAR, Major League Baseball, college football, and even the Olympics. The PyeongChang 2018 was the least watched Winter Olympic Games ever.

Despite the trend, the large drop in viewership in the first round of group stage in the World Cup should not be shocking. It hurt Fox that the United States was not in the tournament, but factors such as a tougher time difference due to the games being in Russia and many games were on FS1, which is not as easily found as ESPN by viewers. The viewer improvement after the first round shows that the United States’ absence from the games only damage viewer interest in the early stages. Viewers are paying attention to the high stake, close games and Fox is seeing big growth in its streaming viewership. June 27 boasts the highest day for authenticated streaming viewership in Fox Sports history.

With the improvements, viewership of the World Cup is still currently down from 2014, and the large drop of viewers in the first round did cause damage that World Cup sponsors are most likely not happy about.

Brian Cristiano, CEO of the ad agency Bold Worldwides stated, “There is no way sponsors and advertisers anticipated a drop in ratings of 44%. Brands are either hoping the ratings shoot up as we get closer to the finals or they are writing requests for refunds on ad dollars. It’s not like broadcasters can just run a few make-goods on that much media.”

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World Cup ratings are bouncing back after initial drop

TV ratings for the first round of the 2018 World Cup were down significantly compared to four years ago—but then they reversed course…

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Intel’s CEO Resigns, Robert Swan Steps Up As Interim CEO

Intel Corporation (INTC) seeks to expand the boundaries of technology to provide the most amazing experience possible while designing, manufacturing, and selling integrated digital technology globally.

Intel has announced CEO and Board of Directors member, Brian Krzanich’s resignation and has named the company’s Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan the Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

The resignation comes as a result of Krzanichs past consensual relationship with an Intel employee. After an ongoing investigation by both internal and external counsel, it has been confirmed that the now former CEO was in violation of the company’s non-fraternization policy that applies to all managers. It is expected that all of Intel’s employees respect and adhere to the values and code of conduct of the company.

Intel Chairman Andy Bryant stated, “The Board believes strongly in Intel’s strategy and we are confident in Bob Swan’s ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO. Bob has been instrumental to the development and execution of Intel’s strategy, and we know the company will continue to smoothly execute. We appreciate Brian’s many contributions to Intel.”

Intel’s Board of Directors has a strong succession planning process prepared and has already started the search for a permanent CEO. The search includes both internal and external candidates.

Intel is off to an excellent first half of 2018 and is currently expected to bring in a record-breaking second quarter with revenues of nearly $16.9 billion.

To learn more about Intel Corporation (INTC) and to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Intel Corporation Coverage Page.

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Intel CEO Brian Krzanich to step down, Bob Swan to step in as interim CEO

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich to step down, Bob Swan to step in as interim CEO|| 105275540..

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“Hello Volatility” Vista Partners Weekly Market Update 6-16-18

Vista Partners has published “Hello Volatility” Vista Partners Weekly Market Update 6-16-18 and is accessible on our Newsletters Page. Each issue is written by Managing Director, John Heerdink and speaks to the activities of the market, influencers and specific featured stories from Vista’s Coverage Universe that spans the Dow 30, International and Select Emerging Growth Companies & “Investor Picks”, where we have begun to selectively add those companies/ideas that we are receiving from investors around the world.

Newsletter topics include but are not limited to the following: investing, banks, world news, entertainment & movie industry, cryptocurrencies, healthcare, biotech, mining, technology, cybersecurity, & consumer trends.

Each weekly update issue is sent out via email directly to the thousands of investors around the world that have elected to be updated each week. Please “Join us” Today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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The Fed Raises Interest Rates As Expected

No shocker for the markets here as The Fed raised interest rates for the seventh time since the financial crisis. The new target range for interest rates increased by .25% to a new range if 1.75%-2%. This is the highest it has been since September of 2008.

All eight of the voting members of the FOMC voted in favor of this decision. The Federal Reserve has stated that in raising the benchmark interest rate, the economy is growing at a “solid” rate and improvement from the May characterization of an economy that is growing at a “moderate” rate. The Fed also cited that there has been a “strong” gain in jobs in recent months, and its data suggests that household spending has increased and fixed investments of businesses are continuing strong growth.

The change in language from the Federal Reserves May report to June report suggests that the Fed officials see monetary policy nearing its neutral rate setting, that is the rate of interest at which the economy experiences full employment and price stability, or 2% inflation.

In its most recent summary of economic projections, the Fed’s outlook for growth and inflation for this year has been raised, and the expectations for unemployment rate have decreased.

Taking a look at employment rates, the Fed officials lowered the median expectation rate for unemployment for the year from 3.8% to 3.6% in March. The rate has also been lowered from 2019 to 2020 from 3.6% to 3.5%.

The Fed now forecasts an economic growth of 2.8% in 2018, raising previous year predictions by 0.07%. The expected growth rate of the U.S. economy for 2019 is 2.4% and 2% for 2020.

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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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Fed hikes rates, signals two more for 2018

The Fed hiked rates and updated its forecasts…

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Microsoft to Purchase Leading Software Development Platform GitHub

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) will acquire the world’s leading software development platform GitHub for $7.5B in Microsoft stock. . The platform is used by over 28 million developers to learn, share and collaborate ideas for future software development. With the purchase of GitHub, the two companies will work to increase the enterprises of the software development platform, as well as bring tools and services to new audiences.

GitHub will operate independently and continue its developer-first mentality. Developers will still be able to take advantage of the programming languages, tools and operating systems of their choice for projects, as well as use their code for any operating system, cloud, and device.

Nat Friedman, the Microsoft Corporate Vice President, will take over the role of CEO for GitHub. The current CEO of GitHub, Chris Wanstrath will work as a Microsoft technical fellow on strategic software initiatives. The purchase is expected to close at the end of 2018.

Chris Wanstrath, current CEO of GitHub stated, “I’m extremely proud of what GitHub and our community have accomplished over the past decade, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. The future of software development is bright, and I’m thrilled to be joining forces with Microsoft to help make it a reality. Their focus on developers lines up perfectly with our own, and their scale, tools and global cloud will play a huge role in making GitHub even more valuable for developers everywhere.

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Microsoft to acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion

Acquisition will empower developers, accelerate GitHub’s growth and advance Microsoft services with new audiences. REDMOND, Wash., June 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced it has reached an agreement to acquire GitHub, the world’s leading software development platform..

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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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