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BenzingaEditorial

The Growing Specialty Car Equipment Industry Brings Unlimited Opportunities

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Ford News

There are 225 million licensed drivers in the U.S with 85% of total adults. And they drive 278.1 million vehicles, made of 158.6 million light trucks and 119.5 million passenger cars that are on the road. The vast majority of the 278 million vehicles are less than 20 years old. Despite the fact that there is a constant flux in the ownership of cars and trucks, currently, the number of cars coming on to the road outpaces those being retired. This expanding vehicle population offers more opportunity for the aftermarket- the industry of specialty car equipment.

Future trend

Over the next few years, passenger car sales are expected to drop whereas demand for light trucks is expected to increase as the growth in CUVs is coming largely at the expense of traditional car sales. By 2025, SEMA projects that light trucks that include: pickups, SUVs, CUVs and vans, will represent 69% of all light vehicles sold. And if gas prices and the economy don’t become limiting factors, light truck sales are expected to continue outpacing passenger cars.

While accessorizing can occur anytime during a car’s lifecycle, most modifiers tend to upgrade their vehicles within the first few months of purchasing their vehicle, whether it is new or used. But vehicle preferences are changing and so is this overall landscape with 27% of drivers purchasing specialty-equipment parts each year with 34.9 million households accessorizing their vehicles also on a yearly basis.
Overall, the specialty-equipment market has been growing about 5% per year, reaching a new high of nearly $45 billion in 2018 and it is expected to continue unless prevented by a weakening macroeconomy.

Electrification

Despite the increasing interest for this trend that will shape the future, electric vehicles comprise less than 1% of light vehicles on the road whereas hybrids are now the only alternative to have a notable share of registrations. So, it will take some time to change the landscape of the U.S. light vehicle fleet.

Opportunities exist across vehicle segments

Pickups remain the largest segment for the industry and besides being a versatile platform for accesorization, they are the most common segment on the road and are expected to sell well in the future. CUVs are an emerging opportunity with a lot of them on the road and their popularity growing further, and supposedly they will be accessorized similar to SUVs. But despite the growth of CUVs, full-size pickups remain the most common vehicle subtype on the road. In 2018, pickups are what drove the most sales in the specialized equipment sector.

Tops vehicles for accesorization – pickups

Based on its opportunity scores, full-size pickups top the overall list as they are the perfect platform for accessorization, both in terms of utility enhancement as well as ‘enthusiastic’ additions.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) is taking first place with its full-size pickup with 17.6 million vehicles in operation. GM is the fourth major company who left the Plastics Industry Association this year possibly due to pressuring environmental policies although they didn’t disclose the reason why they didn’t renew their membership. The company just unveiled its electric pickup with two BOLT EV batteries. Their Chevrolet E-10 Concept combines vintage style with the futuristic technology needed to achieve zero-emissions.

The second place is taken by Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) F series pickup with 15.6 million operating vehicles. Ford has also just revealed a one-off electric Mustang for this week’s annual Specialty Equipment Market, a place where lots of futuristic prototypes are born. With just two weeks until Ford unveils its first mass-market EV, a Mustang-inspired SUV codenamed Mach E, you can imagine where Ford’s multibillion-dollar investment into electric vehicles is headed.

Third place goes to Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s (NYSE:FCAU) RAM who just got patriotic with “built to serve” editions that honor the US Military. Its pickup has 7.6 million operating vehicles on the road.

Fourth place is taken also by FCA’s Jeep Wranger (2.9 million vehicles), followed by Ford’s Mustang (2.2 million), GM’s Chevrolet Tahoe (4 million) and Camaro (1.3 million,), FCA’s Dodge Challenger (529K), GM’s Chevrolet Corvette (814K) and last but not least, Toyota Motor Corporation’s (NYSE:TM) Toyota 4Runner with 1.9 million operating vehicles.

But older cars still represent an important market for the equipment industry and there are some notable differences within their rankings as Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft’s (OTC:BMWYY) BMW 3 Series with a long history of model generations appears, as well as Chevrolet’s Corvettes make an appearance on that list. Interestingly, it is BMW’s new SUV models that boosted the company’s net profit that increased 11.5 percent from a year ago to $1.72 billion in the third quarter despite increased spending on electric technology. The fact that revenues increased 7.9 percent is great news after the company was quite disrupted in the same period last year due to new emission policies that impacted costs and distorted its supply chain.

Projected sales – optimistic

GM and Ford’s market dominance in the pickup segment is expected to continue with sales of an additional 12 million trucks by 2026, followed by RAM Pickup of 3.7 million. But Toyota’s prospects are looking up with Toyota Tacoma (1.7 million) – 4th place and Toyota Tundra (769K) 6th place, with Chevrolet Colorado at 5th place (1.1 million). Newer pickups from Toyota tend to get the most attention from accessorizers, especially the mid-size Tacoma. With 3.2 million Tacomas on the road today and 2 million Tundras, it is an indication that strong market exists for specialty-equipment markets within the Toyota pickup space. On Tuesday, the company announced significant changes in its North America division, such as establishing the Manufacturing Project Innovation Center and naming new leaders to enable its manufacturing team to better respond to customers’ needs. The Japanese giant plans to invest $13 billion in its U.S. manufacturing plants by 2021.

Ford Ranger (648K) took 7th place, but the list also introduces Nissan Motor Co’s (OTC:NSANY) Frontier (506K). Nissan just unveiled its Ford Ranger Raptor rival, also as a tease for the 2019 SEMA auto exhibition. At the recent Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan executives said the company is working on hybrid technology.

Speaking of hybrid, one of the companies that will surely benefit from this light truck accesorization is Worksport that is owned by Franchise Holdings International Inc. (OTC: FNHI). The company which is one of the fastest growing manufacturers of truck bed covers in the US, just won its third U.S. Patent for innovative and affordable truck bed cover system, surely a monetizable development for the company. The patented hybrid model will be officially launched later this year. The company also launched a new website in its effort to become synonymous with the experience of driving a pick-up truck. Worksport was launched with a mission to create a brand-new market for all those truck drivers who weren’t satisfied with the available market offerings and not only did they succeed in creating that segment, but they have quite a perspective for future growth!
Bright future for pickups- even brighter for specialized equipment!

The conclusion is that consumer demand for pickups is expected to continue well in the future, so they should remain highly accessorized platforms. Yet, as large and often more expensive vehicles, trucks can be more susceptible to changes in the economy. So, in case of a weakening economy, consumers may tend to hold on to their older vehicles or switch to more economical options, but this is even better news for specialized equipment industry. But provided consumers feel confident in the current economic environment, both pickup sales and of their accessories will continue to grow. So, either way, specialized equipment for light trucks has a bright future ahead!

This article is contributed by IAMNewswire.com. It was written by an independently verified journalist and is not a press release. It should not be construed as investment advice.

Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com
Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

BenzingaEditorial

Disney’s Stock Hits Its New All-Time High With Even Roku Benefiting Its Disney+ Momentum

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Disney News

Shares of Disney (NYSE:DIS) were in breakout mode after reports surfaced about momentum in its Disney+ program. According to Apptopia, the momentum is nearing to 1 million subscribers per day. If true, expectations may still not be high enough for Disney+. November was surely quite a month for Disney as the iconic powerhouse couldn’t have asked for a better start of its streaming service debut! And there is never a dull moment nor a dull month when it comes to the House of Mouse.

Disney+ signups exceed expectations

The biggest new streaming service of 2019, Disney+, debuted on Nov. 12 and despite some initial difficulties on the technical front, it topped 10 million sign-ups on its very first day, free trials included. As a result of Apptopia’s reports suggesting stronger than even expected demand, its shares hit a new all-time-high last Tuesday.

December dates

Disney is about to make quite a bit of fireworks before Christmas. December 3, Disney is scheduled to add another special jewel to its vault: One Day at Disney. This special documentary follows 75 Disney cast members around the globe, during their typical day. Enabling its employees to tell their stories and giving meaning to their tasks is both a perfect HR and PR strategy to both elevate employees and enchant the audience. And it can surely further increase the appeal of the media giant. Next, on December 5th, Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida are in for a high-tech and immersive game-changing addition. Although Disney World is somewhat better off, Disneyland has been struggling with year-over-year declines in attendance. Well, on Thursday, Star Wars addition will be welcoming visitors at Disney World so it will hopefully raise the bar as it will also join Disneyland next month. Otherwise, entry to Mickey’s world will only get more expensive. In other words, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance cannot afford to fail visitors. And last but not least, and also Star Wars, The Rise of Skywalker premieres on December 20. Although no movie can please everyone, there are strong expectations to set box-office records for the franchise. And it needs to keep the audience’s interest for the next Starts Wars trilogy which is expected in 2022. And it could even affect Disney + since the company’s unique eco-system has shown a hit often sets everything else in motion.

The competitive landscape is getting more and more intense- but Roku triumphs!

As a consequence of Disney’s fame, Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) is losing its loyal customers, but also due to raising prices for the second time since 2017. And there is also Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV+ who just debuted as well and Amazon.com Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) service bundle. Not to forget, AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) will launch its HBO Max in May next year and the telecom giant expects 50 million subscribers during the first five years, which are also bound to take a toll on Netflix. Netflix seems to be forced to drop its pricing or risk losing a lot of subscribers. But, the question of content is the one thing ‘money can’t buy’ and the one category in which Disney is the ultimate winner. But there’s the streaming pioneer Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) which overcame fears that intense competition would dent its unique business model. Despite losing more than a third of its value when Apple announced its aggressive pricing strategy, it turned out that all these additions actually helped Roku, just like its management predicted. And Disney’s soaring demand also helped Roku grow. The strong demand for its app was an ‘unintended’ benefit making Roku the unintended beneficiary as Disney+ service was available to stream across Roku’s infrastructure of devices and ecosystems, so it was a win-win. Data shows that over the past 13 days that downloads of Roku apps jumped almost 30% in comparison to the previous 13-days period. And this is only a small addition comparing to the impressive growth Roku exhibited this year as it grew 54% in the first nine months of 2019 comparing to the same period last year. Its platform revenue grew at an even more impressive rate of 81% and active subscriber base expanded 36% year over year in the third quarter, reaching 32.3 million.

Outlook

Disney+ momentum is showing impressive results, but Disney has a lot of fronts to compete on. The House of Mouse is on a quest to defeat Netflix as the emperor of streaming as the company made a goal to achieve 60 million and 90 million subscribers by 2024. And despite some initial technical glitches that Disney says were due to heavy demand, it’s doing rather well considering it signed on 10 million subscribers within the first 24 hours of Disney+’ existence, but there’s no autopilot in this competitive landscape.

Meanwhile, Roku has shown it benefits from all this competition, and Disney+ was another plus for Roku, whose stock has gained more than 400% this year. And it seems that Roku’s business model is by far the fiercest one on the market, not to say the ‘bullet-proof’ unbeatable one as it’s going strong against headwinds and even benefiting from its so-called competitors!

This article is contributed by IAMNewswire.com. It was written by an independently verified journalist and is not a press release. It should not be construed as investment advice.

Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Salesforce Might Have Quite a Few Surprises Up Its Sleeve

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Sales Force News

Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM) is set to report its third quarter financial results for the fiscal 2020 after the closing bell on Tuesday, December 3. There are solid fundamental indicators but its stock has struggled to keep up with the market. Its shares did go upward 18% this year but on the other side, they lagged behind the software industry which exhibited a 41% increase. But it seems that Salesforce has more than a few value-adding surprises up its sleeve which is why it expects to double its revenues by 2024.

Dreamforce Investor Day 2019

At this year’s conference, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff stood in front of a screen that displayed major tech industry players around Salesforce: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com Inc’s AWS (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM), Hewlett Packard Enterprises Company (NYSE:HPE), Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO), Dell (NYSE:DELL) and Alibaba Group Limited (NYSE:BABA). Benioff explained that Salesforce goal not to create boundaries but to work in a community as it partnered with all the major companies. And Salesforce is showing it can be unifying centre between and across all these technologies!

Competitors

Salesforce has already played the multi-cloud game. Last week, it announced that its Marketing Cloud will make use of Microsoft’s Azure. This was quite a surprise considering the two companies are fierce CRM competitors! In July, the company made a deal with Alibaba to extend its services in China. Back in 2017, also at Dreamforce Investor Day, the company announced a partnership with Google Cloud, as it named as its preferred cloud provider for international expansion. Back in 2016, it made Amazon Web Services as its preferred infrastructure vendor but the 4th year contract is nearing its end date, so the company is playing it safe to be in the multi-cloud business regardless of its renewal. And it developed Trailhead Go for Apple’s iPhones and iPads, so it’s pretty much everywhere.

Fiscal year results

This year the company is expected to generate $17 billion in revenue for its whole fiscal year. Moreover, it expects its revenue to be in the range of $34 billion and $35 billion by 2024, which is an impressive growth rate of about 20% annually. But management announced that the acquisition of MuleSoft was finally starting to come together. But the consequence of all those acquisitions is that after accounting for expenses, the company not generating as much profit, compared to its market peers. But the last time the CRM provider issued quarter earnings was in August with $0.66 EPS, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.09, net margin of 6.45%, a return on equity of 7.26%, with revenue amounting to $4 billion, also exceeding analysts’ expectations of $3.96 billion.

The company is pushing its Customer 360 as a platform that is able to bring all the clouds together as this is what customers want: a simple solution which can bear it all. Customer 360 promises to be ‘a single source of truth’ for customer data, no matter where the data resides, and that is no easy task.

Outlook

The projections that Salesforce shared were definitely encouraging. The 26% and 25% revenue growth rates in fiscal 2019 and 2018, respectively, are a proof of the company’s ability to deliver on its new target. But to drive this revenue growth, the company has made a series of acquisitions that weighted on its margins. The company also has stakes in other companies like Dropbox (NASDAQ:DBX) through which it expanded its reach in the tech industry. So overall, it is no surprise that analyst estimates are in line with Salesforce’s new 2024 predictions.

This article is contributed by IAMNewswire.com. It was written by an independently verified journalist and is not a press release. It should not be construed as investment advice.

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BenzingaEditorial

Guess Is Far From Being a Fashionable Stock But It At Least Reported a Profit

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Guess News

Guess Inc (NYSE:GES) released its earnings report after the market closed on Tuesday, November 26th. The shares of Guess’, Inc. have decreased 8 percent this year alone. But after reporting a loss in the comparable quarter last year, the Los Angeles-based company just reported a net income of $12.4 million resulting in 18 cents per share. Shares were slightly up, 1.15 percent to be exact, after third quarter EPS exceeded even the highest analyst estimate.

Third quarter

Revenue amounted to $615.9 million in the period, increasing 1.7% but missing estimates as analysts expected $620 million. Adjusted earnings increased from 13 cents to 22 cents a share. The company operates directly via 1174 stores in America, Europe and Asia as of November 2. Revenues of these segment revenues changed as follows comparing to last year: Americas Retail dropped 5%, while Americas Wholesale climbed 7%. Europe also increased 9% remaining as the company’s bright spot but Asia dropped 8% in US dollars.

The company recorded adjusted net earnings of 14.9 million dollars, which is a 41.2 percent increase from the comparable quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Overall, the clothing company expects full-year unadjusted earnings of $1.20-$1.25 per share and adjusted earnings in the range of $1.31-$1.36 per share. Consolidated net revenues are expected to increase 2.7-3% in fiscal 2020.

Challenged industry

Tariffs placed on almost 90% of Chinese clothing and textile imports by the Trump administration have been posing a significant challenge for apparel stocks throughout the year. But savvy industry players continue to win over shoppers by refining their marketing strategies, forming strategic alliances, and enhancing their digital footprint. Apparel companies with international exposure are also finding opportunities in unsaturated markets like Asia and Europe to boost sales growth.

The whole sector is struggling- but some manage to remain at the forefront

Some of these fashion apparel companies that have taken proactive steps to ensure that they remain at the industry’s forefront is the $7.73 billion New York-based Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL) present in America, Europe, and Asia. It owns well-known brands including Polo Ralph Lauren, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Chaps, and Club Monaco. To attract younger buyers, the firm has boosted its marketing investment by 18% in fiscal 2019 compared with last year and plans to increase that budget to 5% of total sales. Recently, the company has worked with social media-savvy celebrities that helped sell its products. The fashion retailer’s shares dropped roughly 37% between May and August, but price has rallied 24% from its August low and the stock continues to show increased momentum. So, Ralph Laurent’s strategy is starting to paying off as it gains attractive attention from investors.

Outlook

Guess’, Inc. is an apparel giant that markets and licenses lifestyle collections of apparel and accessories for men, women, and children. Its iconic fashion brands such as Guess, Marciano, and G by Guess are sold through wholesale channels, retail outlets, and online. Growth efforts in the company’s brightest spot, Europe, include optimizing distribution networks and improving efficiency in sourcing and product development. Management is pleased with the results that show operating earnings and earnings per share for the period above the high-end of expectations while raising the low end of the guidance for the full year. But Guess’ management has more tweaking work to do on its agenda in order to engage customers of today and tomorrow. Such initiatives, if effective, will surely help to offset the increasing expenses and weakening macroeconomic effects.

This article is contributed by IAMNewswire.com. It was written by an independently verified journalist and is not a press release. It should not be construed as investment advice.

Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com

Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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