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Pickups, SUVs and CUVs – The Bright Future of the Specialized Equipment Market

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FNHI Worksport

Pickups form the largest share of the specialty equipment industry because they are simply a great platform for modification. The Specialized Equipment Market Association (SEMA) rated Ford Motor’s (NYSE:F) F Series as the most customizable truck and its majesty, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (NYSE:FCAU) Jeep Wrangler as the winner of the SUV category. And besides providing valuable opportunities for customization, pickups have taken the throne from traditional passenger cars and they show no signs of stopping.

Pickups are on the throne – and they are bringing Workhorse Group Inc along!

There are 55.9 million registered pickups in the United States, making 20% of all vehicles on the road. Led by Ford F-150, there’s also quite a bit of Toyota Motor’s (NYSE:TM) Toyota Tundra. As for a snapshot of the accesorization subsegment, total specialty-equipment sales in 2018 amounted to $12.03 billion and made 27% of the specialty-equipment retail market. These products include, maintenance oil, wax and cleaning products, trailer and towing accessories but also exterior appearance upgrades, batteries and truck bed liners. People love to add big wheels to their pickups, enhance exterior appearance so those products also always tend to do well and logically, trailer and towing products are most commonly purchased by pickup owners. But it is truck beds that provide valuable opportunities that aren’t present with other vehicle segments for utility products, such as racks and toolboxes, plus liners and bed covers.

Speaking of truck beds, no wonder Workhorse Group Inc (NASDAQ:WKHS) has its hands full with the electric start-up company occupying its strongest position to-date, both operationally and financially. During its third quarter, the company signed several partnership deals to leverage its intellectual property while more than doubling its loss of a year ago from $5.5 million to $11.5 million due to higher interest expense.
The company recorded sales of $4,000 which is quite down from $11,000 in the same period last year, however despite the fact that the company delivered fewer trucks, it did so at higher prices due to making a transition to a new generation, causing its R&D prices to increase 13%. Workhorse received a non-dilutive 10% stake in Lordstown Motors which purchased the 6.2-million-square-foot plant from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Nov. 7. Also on a brighter note, the company’s balance sheet of September 30th shows cash and cash-equivalents amounting to $9.3 million compared to only $1.5 million on December 31, 2018.

Franchise Holdings International

Meanwhile, Franchise Holdings International Inc (OTC:FNHI)’ Worksport was granted this year a third U.S. patent protecting its innovative covers that provide unique full-bed access for light trucks such as Ford F series from Ford (NYSE: F), it announced last week that it will sell their products on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and they announced today that they will invest in a productivity company that has created a calendar app. Previous companies to invest in calendars are Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), also Microsoft  (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) are active in the calendar space.  In September last year, the company received its second U.S. Patent Office trademark allowance, so now they have four in 2019 that add protection to its brand strategy. This innovative company is also looking to complete its Helios line with complimentary truck accessories able to transform sunlight into storable energy so that they can extend the driving range of forthcoming electric trucks. Worksport’s proprietary solar technology infused with its most advanced truck bed covers is more than a major breakthrough innovation, it represents an endless opportunity for future growth.

Pickup market outlook

The top pickups as far as accesorization goes are GM’s full-size pickups and surprise, Ford’s F series. But Toyota’s Tacoma and Tundra are on the list as well as Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY)’s Nissan Frontier. Of the roughly 56 million pickups in the United States today, nearly 60% of them are either GM Full-Size or Ford F-Series as these two models combined account for almost 12% of all vehicles on the road. GM and Ford’s market dominance is expected to continue with estimated additional 12 million trucks for 2026- speaking for a safe haven for the specialized car equipment industry! GM has 17.6 registered vehicles on the road with Ford following with 15.6 million. But, the rebirth of several mid-size models are also expected to provide an additional boost by bringing in new buyers, with Toyota and Nissan having quite a number of enthusiastic owners, creating a strong market for their specialty equipment. Great news for Toyota that is struggling to adapt to the ‘electrification’ era.

SUVs

With 36.7 million registered vehicles in the United States making 13% of all vehicles on US roads, top models are again led by Ford, and Ford Explorer to be exact. But then there’s Jeep taking second and third place, GM’s Chevrolet Tahoe, Toyota’s Toyota 4Runner, with Hyundai Motor Company (OTC:HYMTF) Kia Sorento taking 8th place and FCA’s Dodge Durango taking 9th place. But don’t worry about Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, as despite a miss on revenue targets, its stock gained 17.3% in October, mostly due to the good merger news with France’s Peugeout SA (OTC:PUGOY) which was announced on the same day of the earnings release.
The specialty equipment sales for the SUV segment amounted to $5.93 billion in sales in 2018, making 13% share of the market. While SUVs are not as versatile as pickups for accessorization, many owners upgrade their SUVs with utility parts and for off-roading as many SUVs topping the list are in fact often used to go off-the road.
But it is Jeep that dominates the after-market. The Jeep Wrangler is widely considered to be one of the most modified and versatile vehicles on the road today as nearly 40% of Jeep Wranglers are accessorized in some way, be it shape or form.

Crossovers are becoming more popular

Although a crossover (CUVs) are becoming more and more popular and their distinction is not always clear, they are a separate segment because SUVs are built on truck platforms whereas CUVs are built with unibody construction. With SUVs showing a long tenure, consumer interest is expected to continue in the coming years. They are more profitable for auto-manufacturers to make but there are economic factors like increased gas prices and uncertain economy could decrease consumer buying power. But when it comes to accessories, they will persevere for all those who wish to optimize their utility with a lot of specialty after-market upgrades.

CUVs

The fastest developing segment makes 17% of all vehicles on US roads amounting to 48.3 Million registered CUVs are being led with Honda Motor Co (NYSE:HMC)’s CR-V, the one and only model that crosses in between not being a true pickup nor an SUV, a true jewel for this ever evolving company. Then there’s of course, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet, Nissan, Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee. CUVs created 11% share of the specialized equipment market. Having outpaced even pickups, it is logical to assume consumers will turn to accessorizing CUVs like they do with SUVs. That being said, there are obstacles. The segment is fragmented as there are 120 models in operation and just as many models are expected to be sold in the future. As a consequence, it will be difficult to create products that will function across all platforms. The large number of platforms limits the opportunity for companies seeking to sell specialty parts as there is no clear single model that dominates the market. The Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 lead the pack in terms of registrations having been out longer. However, there are many other CUVs close behind and all this diversity makes it challenging to focus on to a single model. The popularity of CUVs is not expected to subside soon but, many CUV models are relatively new and have little history with the accessorization market so there will be a challenge to decide which models to focus on. But one thing is certain, while the conventional car market continues showing signs of fatigue, pickups, SUVs and crossovers are booming- and show no signs of stopping. And even if this wasn’t case, there’s so still so much room in upgrading older models so all is bright for the specialized equipment industry when it comes to this segment. Worksport has its future guaranteed with its breakthrough solar technology that can surely disrupt the truck accessories market but Workhorse Group is also in for the ride once the company finishes its transition to the new generation as pickups are definitely here to stay.

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

Apple, Amazon and Microsoft in a Race Greater Than Even COVID-19

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Tech Company News

For the first-time ever, the Nasdaq composite hit 10,000 last Tuesday. The tech-heavy index’s rally was led by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which both hit all-time highs Tuesday. Shares of Apple surged nearly 4% to a record high on reports that the company will use its own processors in its Mac computers. Amazon shares also gained nearly 3% Tuesday to an all-time high.

Big day for big tech

It was a big day for other big-name tech stocks as well. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) jumped nearly 3%, while Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) rose 2.4%. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) surged 5.7%, and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) gained nearly 3% at intraday highs. Meanwhile, on the same day, the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average both slumped, falling 1.2% and 1.5%, respectively. But the S&P 500 at least erased its 2020 losses last Monday.

Apple and Microsoft $2 trillion race

Both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft(NASDAQ:MSFT) touched market capitalization values over $1.5 trillion last week. The next stop would be $2 trillion. But although both stocks have made adding about $500 billion to their market caps seem easy over the last couple of months, the next $500 billion milestone might be harder to come by.

Can Apple keep going?

After setting its previous all-time high in February, Apple shares did it again despite a slowdown in iPhone sales and supply chain disruptions amid the coronavirus pandemic. The reason why Apple pulled it off is its switch from hardware-based to services-based revenue model. Moreover, with governments all over the world imposing lockdown measures, App Store revenue surged. This could be a permanent step up in revenue for the high-margin services business. Additionally, wearables like AirPods and the Apple Watch continued to enjoy increased demand and growing sales are expected to continue. But its major star remains innovation-free for quite some time and due to supply chain disruptions that could delay the next release, its sales could be depressed throughout the year.

Microsoft’s work-from-home boost

Microsoft’s offerings are all about the environments in which businesses operate. Computing capabilities have never been more in demand as during the pandemic. And social distancing is here to stay for quite a while. This shift to home offices has benefited not only one but two key components of Microsoft’s business.

First, its cloud computing business, Azure. Although Microsoft still trails Amazon’s AWS by a wide margin, it did win the JEDI wars. Moreover, being selected for the Pentagon’s $10 billion contract will only further position Microsoft as an enterprise cloud solution. And there is the fact that it doesn’t compete with most of the companies it serves could help it catch up in the current environment. The second being its Office offerings along with Microsoft Teams achieving a record of 44 million daily active users.

And we must not forget that Microsoft has grown both earnings per share and free cash flow considerably faster than Apple over the last five years.

Both of these stocks are trading at or near valuation levels they haven’t seen for over a decade. This also makes them somewhat risky. And it’s not like they don’t have challenges of their own. Amazon is being criticized for its employee management practices. Microsoft and Apple have abandoned facial recognition. But investors turn to big tech during downturns for a reason. And they are betting on continued multiple expansion as these companies hold the potential for accelerating revenue growth and margin expansion.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. 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 Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

7 Telehealth Stocks Paving the way Towards Digitalized Healthcare

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Telemedicine stock news

Even when the acute phase of the crisis has passed, this pandemic will leave a lasting impact. But telehealth stocks are among the lucky ones to be on the winning side. If we learned anything from this pandemic, it is the value of healthcare. The virus exposed many gaps in the current healthcare system, to say the least. And telemedicine is a big part of the solution.  By digitalizing healthcare services as much as possible, we can reduce strain on the system, lower costs and increase access for patients with mobility issues.

An emerging industry

There aren’t many names when it comes to pure telehealth stocks as companies are just entering the arena. But don’t fear, there are a bunch of quality combinations of healthcare and technology stocks that will benefit just as much as telehealth continues to flourish. And these stocks have plenty of growth potential over the next decade:

  • Teladoc Health

COVID-19 made a star out of Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC) for a reason. It is ahead of competitors due to a combination of good product, great marketing and first-mover advantage. It has grown its platform capacity by 5x over the past year. Another astounding figure is that it can handle up to 100 million members. So no wonder that the share price has also rocketed up and resulted in a $12 billion market capitalization. Along with a 20x price-to-sales ratio, both being quite abundant for an early-stage growth company that still hasn’t reached profitability, it has a world of potential ahead.

  • Zoom

We know Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) is among those who saw skyrocketing demand from the pandemic. But its telehealth superpowers are still not as well known. Back in 2017, Zoom launched an offering that is pushed as the “first scalable cloud-based video telehealth solution.” It didn’t immediately take off as Teladoc but as video conferencing boomed during the pandemic and health professionals benefited from it. Zoom’s video healthcare solution has the built-in patient privacy protections, remote waiting rooms, remote camera control and support for cameras, digital stethoscopes, just to name a few. Along with signing key clients, such as Moffitt Cancer Center, one cannot afford to follow up on Zoom Video’s progress in telehealth over the coming quarters.

  • Humana – insurance

Did you really think we can speak of healthcare without mentioning insurance? Humana (NYSE:HUM) has been among the very first adopters of virtual doctor visits even before the pandemics. And when COVID-19 swept through the globe, it provided more than 150 different but digitalized health services.

  • Anthem

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) was just as quick in taking its place at virtual healthcare, entering the field already in 2016. With more than 200 digital kiosks that allow patients access to community resources, telehealth services, video conferences and insurance benefits information, it provides time help in dozens of languages to everyone in need.

  • CVS – drugstores

Moving on to drugstores, CVS (NYSE:CVS) differs greatly with its all-in-one approach from its key rival Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) and its namesake pharmacies. It ties together the pharmacy and the insurance plans. Whether it will be profitable is another question as it’s too soon to tell. However, once it realizes its full potential, it could become a massive telehealth player.

  • iRobot – more than vacuum cleaners!

Believe it or not iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) also helped create the first telemedicine robot. IRBT, along with parter InTouch, received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2013 for a robot that could facilitate virtual meetings between doctors and patients. Their RP-Vita robot was useful for allowing doctors to collect information, via iPad, when they couldn’t meet with a patient in person. With COVID-19, it seems as a great area to direct research and development funds.

  • Castlight Health- software

Castlight Health (NYSE:CSLT)  is a software company that connects various players in the healthcare space: from doctors all the way to insurance firm. It did stumble under its prior CEO which lead to the company losing major customers, but we all know the value of networking! And new management has delivered improved and strong operating results recently. Although it’s too soon to see if this progress is sustainable, it helped patients identify COVID-19 test locations. Large revenues are usually not the result of such endeavors, but this did show the value of the network it provides.

The benefits of a digitalized healthcare

Adopting virtual medicine should not only reduce costs but more importantly, improve patient outcomes. The pandemic revealed the enormous inefficiencies in the healthcare systems. Whoever removes the red tape will surely score in its top and bottom lines. And even after COVID-19 is is gone, telemedicine has a lot of potential ahead.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. 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 Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Could Datadog Be an Even Better Bet than Cloud Leaders?

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Oracle News

It’s no secret that “working-from-home”-related stocks have has surged during the pandemic. But the “stay-at-home” tech stock has a bright outlook even after the pandemic has been won. Overall, COVID-19 only accelerated existing technology trends such as e-commerce, remote working and learning, as well as tele-medicine. More than ever, enterprises are forced to digitize their organizations as quickly as possible. And this involves reaching out to customers who are now spending most of their time indoors. Among the leading companies that can help businesses accomplish this transition is Datadog (NASDAQ:DDOG). It is a cloud infrastructure monitoring service that provides monitoring of servers, databases, tools, and services through a Saas- based data analytics platform.

A relatively young company but in line with industry leaders

As cloud adoption increased, Datadog grew rapidly and expanded its product offering to cover service providers including Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet’s Google Cloud Platform (NASDAQ:GOOG). This is why we dare we compare this newbie to such big tech such as Google? Not only can these stocks compare but it is debatable which one is the best buy.

Google even managed to beat the ad slump

If there is something you need answered, you go to Alphabet’s Google search engine. And don’t forget that it also acquired YouTube’s online video service which you also most likely use. With many stuck at home, usage of these two skyrocketed in the first quarter, leaving even the Super Bowl behind. YouTube premium subscriptions increased during the quarter with the lack of live sports and people cutting the cord on traditional cable. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the U.S. hard during the final two weeks of the quarter, YouTube was a notable outperformer when it comes to advertising.

Strong COVID quarter

YouTube exited March with revenue up 9% year-over-year. This growth was caused by an increase in demand response advertising. This is even more impressive if we consider that search advertising went down mid-teens and Google’s network partner advertising down low double digits. Even other non-core Alphabet products and services saw a pickup in demand in Q1. Chromebook sales spiked 400% over the prior year in the week ending March 21. Obviously, it was also a strong quarter for Google’s Meet video conferencing service, which saw a tremendous increase in usage as it competes directly with Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM) which also saw a skyrocketing demand. Overall, as businesses start to reopen and look to attract and notify their customers that they are coming back to life, Google’s properties are a true gold mine to advertise on.

And let’s not forget the cloud – an investment that is paying off

Alphabet has done a great job of growing its Google Cloud Platform into a formidable number three player in the cloud infrastructure sector. Realizing the importance of cloud, Google has invested heavily over the past few years to catch up to the cloud leaders along with hiring ex-Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) executive Thomas Kurian in 2018.

Its strategy is paying off even faster due to COVID-19. The company’s cloud segment surged 52% in the first quarter. According to a recent report from research firm Canalys, Google Cloud grew its infrastructure service by 87.8% in 2019, increasing its market share from 4.2% to 5.8%. So along with Microsoft and Amazon, you would think these are the only three players that count in the cloud game. But there is also Datadog.

Datadog’s powerful combination

Unlike Alphabet which has been public for 16 years, 2004, Datagod had its IPO in September last year. But Datadog is keeping tabs on all your tech. While there are many other competitors that offer infrastructure monitoring, cloud monitoring, application monitoring, or log management, Datadog incorporates all of these in an easy-to-use interface at a very powerful platform of its own. And 11,500 customers over the course of 10 years are in love with it. Moreover, even after a decade of its existence, the company is still growing at an impressive pace. Last quarter, revenue surged 87% and management also raised full-year guidance on the recent surprising strength.  Datadog also now has over 400 different third-party integrations, making it a very important unifying platform for any organization. So, it is certainly a company that is worth mentioning.

Differences

While both help corporations digitize their infrastructures, they are very different in terms of business models and overall characteristics.

Alphabet – the diversified giant

To start off, Alphabet has a market cap of nearly $1 trillion. It is highly diversified in core digital advertising, cloud computing, hardware and app store. Also, we must not forget its ‘other bets’ segment with moonshot projects. Alphabet is also highly profitable, with operating margins of 22% over the past 12 months – even while ad revenue was affected by the pandemic.

Datadog – less diversified but with impressive results

Meanwhile, Datadog is more of a one-product platform, making it less diversified, and much more risky. But, Datadog showed a slight operating profit in its recent quarter. It is more than common for such high-growth software-as-a-service companies to post operating losses as a cost of growth. Impressively, Datadog expanded its gross margins from 73% to 80% over the past year.

Datadog is a fine candidate

Datagod’s performance indicates that strong profits could be in the near future as the company continues to scale. The only downside is that grow so fast often trade at seemingly high valuations, yet Datadog can still be winning stocks over the long-term. Thus, for those willing to overcome volatility for higher growth potential, Datadog would make a fine candidate. For better of worse, social distancing is here to stay, at least until COVID-19 vaccine sees the light of the day. These trends will only further accelerate its growth.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by Ivana Popovic who is a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . Ivana Popovic does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. 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 Questions about this release can be send to ivana@iamnewswire.com

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