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Yahoo’s Google Move Makes Current Sense

Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:$YHOO) revealed last month that it will start using its rival Google’s (NASDAQ:$GOOG) advertising services Adsense and AdMob as it looks to increase its revenue base. In an official blog post dated 6th February, the company said that it has entered in a non-exclusive agreement for contextual advertising to be displayed on Yahoo and its co-branded sites for autos, finance, news and sports. This is in line with Yahoo’s CEO and a former Google executive Marissa Mayer’s strategy to give a better experience to Yahoo’s users through more customized ads so that they can spend more time on Yahoo properties. Although Yahoo’s users won’t notice any significant change it is almost certain that Yahoo will see increasing revenues through its partnership with Google.

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Retail Coffee War in Vietnam

Last year, when Starbucks (SBUX) announced its plans to expand into Vietnam by opening its first store in Ho Chi Minh City in February, it was part of its grander strategy to expand into emerging markets. In fact, Starbucks now predicts that within a couple of years, China will replace Canada as the company’s second biggest market after the U.S. The Vietnam expansion was welcomed by analysts because, unlike India, Vietnam is already a coffee loving nation and is the world’s second biggest coffee exporter – though mostly of Robusta which Starbucks does not normally serve. Yum Brands (YUM) is already operating in the country and has made expansion in emerging markets a focus of its growth strategy. The country now has also gotten the attention of Dunkin’ Donuts, owned by Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN), which has signed a franchise deal with Vietnam Food and Beverage Co. to open its first café in Ho Chi Minh City.starbucks-7

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Disney’s China Parks Facing Both Growth and Competition

Disneyland is going strong in Hong Kong as the theme park posted its first annual profit since its opening seven years ago.  Attendance set a record of 6.7 million visitors, up 13% from a year ago. The park, which is 52% owned by the local government and 48% owned by Walt Disney (NYSE:$DIS), swung to profit of $15.05 million (HK$109 million) for the fiscal year ended Sep-2012 from a loss of $30.56 million (HK$ 237 million) in 2011.  This is a significant turnaround considering the difficulty we saw in the Chinese economy in 2012 that saw gaming revenues in Macau slow down.  Revenues went up by 18% to $550 million while resort occupancy per 1000 rooms increased by 1 point to 92%. Not a bad year for a park that has been under serious criticism for the past year. But, just in time given the 2015 projected opening for Shanghai Disneyland.disneylandhk

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Lack of China Growth Limits Nike’s Upside

nike-hyperdunk-china-pe-0Nike (NYSE:$NKE) broke above $50 per share, a significant resistance level, after announcing better than expected results coming from North America in their last earnings report.    Overall, global future orders are due to rise 6% through April, out of which the North American and Western European future orders are up 14% and 10% respectively.  But, Nike’s future growth is not predicated on North American growth, a saturated market, but rather China and other major emerging markets and there the picture is more muddied.  In this article we’ll go over the earnings report and lay out a potential trade based on Nike’s current performance and price.

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Pfizer Fights Patent Losses With Divestments

110Pfizer Inc (PFE), the world’s biggest pharmaceutical company, posted an enormous increase in quarterly profits from $1.4 billion in Q4-2011 to $6.3 billion in Q4-2012 because of the $11.85 billion cash sale of its infant nutrition unit to Nestle. Pfizer completed the sale in November and booked the whole gain of $4.83 billion. The company was also able to lower its costs and expenses and as a result performed better than analysts’ estimates. Excluding one-off items, Pfizer’s adjusted quarterly earnings were $3.52 billion or $0.47 per share which off 6.9% year over year. The company is still recuperating from the loss of patent of some of its best drugs such as Geodon, Xalatan and, of course, Lipitor.

Read the rest at Seeking Alpha.

Peter Pham is an author, international fund manager, and a registered financial director by the Cayman Monetary Authority (CIMA). In 2013 he published his first book entitled, The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns. He currently manages the portfolio of a global hedge fund and runs an asset management company, Phoenix Capital.  (read more)

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