THE WEEK’S OUTLOOK – CORPORATE

Items of interest that might have been missed in the press of events:

  • Apple’s latest announcements about their new product offerings included the sentiment that they planned to balance their penchant for premium products with an emphasis on value.  Along with iPhone offerings, the company also announced that its TV+ videogame and streaming service and Arcade streaming service would  be available for $4.99/month, dramatically undercutting rivals in the field.  TV+ is free for a year with purchase of a new iPhone, iPad or Mac.
  • Gap Inc.’s Old Navy is bucking a current trend in retail by announcing plans to add 800 stores.  Old Navy opened 145 stores between 2016 and 2018.  The budget brand will separate from the parent company, creating two publicly traded companies.
  • General Electric plans to net millions from sale of some assets..  The company has sold its transportation business and airplane-finance operation and is in the process of selling its biotech business to Danaher Corp for $21 billion, while at the same time beginning the selling down of its Baker Hughes holdings, giving up majority status and setting net proceeds at $2.7 billion.  CEO Larry Culp has said that he expects overall sales of assets to bring in about $38 billion in cash as the company begins its paring down of its debt load.  He added, “We know that we have a lot more to do both with respect to the balance sheet and the way we run the busiess,” (ref. WSJ).
  • Kroeger Company showed a sales turnaround during last quarter, due largely to investments to draw in new customers.  CEO Rodney McMullen has said that the company’s investments in digital operations and new product lines are paying off.
  • Amazon has agreed to taking a stake in a first-of-its kind 3-story warehouse in Seattle.  The new kind of distribution center is said to reduce delivery times in congested areas to hours rather than days.  This practice is common in Asia and Europe, but the use of warehouses with multiple floors has not been used, to date, in the U.S. (ref. WSJ).  Proponents of the practice say that going vertical is necessary because it’s impossible to find 50-acre sites in the middle of a city.  It’s expected that the overall costs might be lower with the multiple-floor complex, due to lower labor and transportation expenses.

 

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