Lowe’s says pandemic-fueled residence enchancment demand might cool in 2022

An employee organizes buckets for sale at a Lowe’s Cos. Store in Burbank, California.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Lowes The sales outlook disappointed investors on Wednesday, voicing concerns that the pandemic-induced boom in home improvement and decoration projects is cooling.

In pre-market trading, the company’s share even lost up to 4%. Then the stock rose slightly later on Wednesday morning as new data from home builders showed a great appetite for housing – even during a normally weak season and a period of inflation. That backdrop, coupled with Lowe’s comments about the possibility of market share gains, is helping the stock bounce back.

During an analyst meeting, Chief Financial Officer Dave Denton said the retailer expects its sales to outperform competitors and attract more home improvement deals. Still, he acknowledged that Lowe’s is preparing for a “modest sector retreat in 2022,” compared to a year of such high demand and sales, fueled by government incentives.

Lowe’s sales were fueled by Americans during the Covid pandemic. Even as some of these “nesting trends” declining, but sales were driven by the strong real estate market.

The company forecast that sales in the same business in fiscal 2022 could decrease or stay about the same by up to 3% compared to that fiscal year. Total sales in the same business for the coming year will be between $ 94 billion and $ 97 billion. According to Refinitiv, this was below analyst estimates of $ 97.64 billion.

Lowe’s estimates total sales for this fiscal year at approximately $ 95 billion, which is a week shorter than the next fiscal year.

For fiscal 2022, Lowe’s expects earnings between $ 12.25 and $ 13.00 per share. On average, according to Refinitiv, analysts expected Lowe to make $ 12.93 per share.

CEO Marvin Ellison said the company can continue to grow by introducing new private label brands, expanding and closing its e-commerce business a one stop shop for supplies that help the elderly grow older in their own home. For example, he said that it will debut a modern decor brand called Origin 21. He said it is expediting shipments of large and bulky purchases like home appliances with a new pilot in Florida and Ohio. This more efficient process increases bottom line and customer satisfaction, he said.

Together, he said, these efforts will “expand our share of the wallet for both home improvement and professional customers”.

Ellison said the retailer will also benefit from a favorable environment, including more cash in consumer savings accounts, historically low interest rates, rising home values ​​and an aging US home inventory. About two-thirds of the company’s sales come from repairs and maintenance, he said.

Also, Ellison said the pandemic has inspired people to invest more in their homes, from millennials first buying homes to baby boomers adapting older homes.

“There has been a longer term shift in the way consumers think about the importance of home ownership,” he said. “Our view of home is a haven that may have to serve several different purposes: residence, office, school, gym, and a meeting place for indoor and outdoor entertainment. And given the expansion of remote work, we expect a permanent increase in the repair and maintenance cycle. “

Regardless, the company announced that it plans to buy back approximately $ 12 billion worth of shares both this year and next.

At the close of trading on Tuesday, Lowe’s shares were up 57% in 2021. The stock closed Tuesday, down $ 252.46 1.86%. The company’s market value is $ 170.10 billion.

High Glove shares fall as Covid-induced demand eases

Stocks of Malaysia Upper glove, the world’s largest manufacturer of medical gloves, are down more than 50% this year as the global roll out of Covid-19 vaccinations dampened demand for gloves.

“As in any business, there are always ups and downs. And you can’t expect super wins to last for a long, long time. So we’re glad we had a good run last year, “Lee Kim Meow, Top Glove CEO told CNBC:”Road signs Asia” on Monday.

The company on Friday announced a 48% year-over-year decline in net income to 608 million Malaysian ringgits ($ 145.11 million) for the June-August period. Sales were around 2.1 billion ringgits, 32% less than a year ago.

The results were “weaker due to the normalizing demand for the global introduction of vaccines, resulting in lower sales volumes and [average selling prices]that weren’t offset by a corresponding cut in commodity prices, “Top Glove said in his annual accounts.

As in any business, there are always ups and downs. And you can’t expect super wins to last for a long, long time.

Lee Kim Meow

Managing director, top glove

In addition, the company’s sales were increased by a US import ban on charges of forced labor. The ban has been lifted earlier this month.

Top Glove shares in Malaysia fell more than 5% on Monday, increasing their year-to-date losses to over 52%.

Other Malaysian glove inventories also declined, with Hartalega, Super max and Kossan recorded losses of between 3% and 5% on Monday.

In comparison, is the benchmark stock index FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index down less than 1% on the same day.

Last year, Top Glove’s shares rose 290% as they posted record sales and earnings, thanks increasing demand for gloves during the pandemic.

Listing in Hong Kong

Upper glove delayed a plan to pursue “dual primary listing” to raise $ 1 billion on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after the company was hit with the US import ban.

Lee told CNBC the company wanted to continue listing. Top Glove already has a main listing in Malaysia and a Second listing in Singapore.

“We felt that, for the sake of long-term business, in order to move forward and see the benefits of being listed in Hong Kong, we had to see this as something we had to go through,” said the executive director.

“A listing in Hong Kong will put us in a good position to be where we want to be to achieve our dream of being a Fortune Global 500 company in 2030,” he added.

Pent-up client demand, federal cash drive Iowa tax income

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CEDAR RAPIDS – Fueled by pent-up consumer demand and state incentive payments, Iowa’s tax revenue increased 15 percent in June compared to the previous June, and state revenue increased 15 percent over the past 12 months.

Net tax revenue for June was $ 928 million, according to the Legislative Services Agency monthly report. That’s $ 121 million more than in June 2020.

Corporate income tax, gambling tax, fuel tax, and sales / use tax all made high gains for the month, both in dollars and as a percentage of growth.

In the past 12 months, net sales rose $ 1.541 billion, or 17.4 percent, the LSA reported, noting that economic activity was low for much of that time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For the year ended June 30, net income from all taxes paid to sovereign wealth funds was $ 10.413 billion, an increase of $ 1.541 billion compared to the previous 12 months.

During that time, individual income tax receipts rose 18.2 percent, but LSA found that federal and state delayed income tax due dates “have significantly changed the normal flow of individual income tax receipts over the past 14 months.”

The annual growth rate of 18.2 percent is “unusually high” compared to net tax growth on individual income, which averaged 4.2 percent over the past two years, added LSA.

Other key contributors to the dollar and percentage changes year over year were corporate tax revenue, which increased $ 367 million, or 68.5 percent. Sales tax revenue increased $ 411.1 million, 68.5 percent. That included $ 85.3 million more sales tax revenue paid to the Road Use Tax Fund and a $ 332.1 million (10.4 percent) increase in sales tax revenue to the State General Fund.

However, sales tax revenue, which was transferred to other state funds, primarily the Flood Mitigation Fund, Reinvestment District Fund and two water quality funds, fell by $ 6.8 million, the LSA said.

And lower sales / use tax refunds increased net income by $ 6.2 million, and increased sales tax payments to the school infrastructure account, recorded as tax refunds, decreased net income by $ 5.7 million.

Banks’ tax revenue declined 20.3 percent, or $ 14.1 million, and fuel tax revenue declined $ 35.7 million, or 5.1 percent. According to Treasury Department’s monthly fuel sales reports, the total gallon subject to fuel tax decreased 3.3 percent over the past 12 months.

Gambling tax revenue increases by $ 90.9 million, or 37 percent, despite Iowa’s 19 state-regulated casinos closed on March 17, 2020 due to the governor’s declaration of the COVID-19 state health emergency. Most reopened in early June this year.

Tax revenues for cigarettes and tobacco fell by $ 9.5 million, or 4.5 percent, the LSA reported.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

Golf tools makers look to purchase extra factories to fulfill demand

The golf industry has seen a surge in demand during the pandemic, with the PGA Tour Superstore reporting a 55% year-to-date increase in total sales.

The demand is so great that suppliers are struggling to keep up, Dick Sullivan, CEO of PGA Tour Superstore, told CNBC’s “The exchange” on Friday.

“We hear factories buying additional factories overseas to keep up with this incredible demand,” said Sullivan.

“The demand was unprecedented,” he said – and unexpected.

“There are no factories in the world that predicted such growth,” Sullivan said.

“In many cases it was assumed that once we are vaccinated and people can go back in, there will be fewer people out, and we don’t see that,” he said. “We continue to see that people want to be outside.”

The PGA Tour Superstore also faces the same supply chain challenges as others in the retail industry, with Congested ports, shortage of containers, and Covid-19 outbreaks are slowing shipping.

“We are not immune to what we see everywhere in all industries, but we work with all of our suppliers and unfortunately the lead time of just a few days turns into weeks.” said Sullivan. “But I was in California this week working with suppliers to see how we can speed up lead times to make sure we meet that demand.”

Excessive demand for tickets to reside leisure venues, leaves some patrons out of luck

Ricky Askey, who lives in Grandview Heights, required serious planning to attend live music concerts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m probably more on Facebook than I should, and I see these events pop up and get involved as soon as I see them,” said Askey, 37. “Within a few days, I’d be saying these shows.” are sold out. “

If Askey hadn’t bought tickets to the Trippin ‘Zoo at Natalie’s Music Hall & Kitchen or the High Definitions and Caroline Louise in Ace of Cups, he probably would have missed it altogether – as he did when he thought about checking it out Worn flints at Ace of Cups, but swayed.

“I hesitated,” said Askey. “Then, literally, three days later, I couldn’t get tickets.”

Given the pandemic-era capacity constraints that limited the number of attendees at indoor entertainment venues – restrictions that won’t officially end until early next month – the Askey experience is far from unusual: there are more eager fans than tickets.

“More and more people are feeling like they’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Charlie Jackson, co-owner of Natalie’s Music Hall & Kitchen in Grandview Heights and Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Live Music in Worthington (both) again late last summer open for live music, closed later in fall and reopened earlier this year).

A potential trailblazer came Wednesday when Governor Mike DeWine announced that government health contracts, including those with limited audience capacity in theaters, concert halls and clubs, would be lifted on June 2.

However, many venues don’t plan to return to full capacity immediately.

Both of Natalie’s locations were operating at half their normal capacity with tables about two meters apart (equivalent to about 60 people in Grandview Heights and 40 in Worthington).

With the governor’s announcement, Jackson said he expected to move the tables closer and eventually reintroduce individual seating in the bar, but all changes will be gradual.

“Our game plan will be to watch the (coronavirus) numbers between now and early June,” Jackson said. “I see how we get involved.”

The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA), which runs the Ohio Theater, Southern Theater, Palace Theater and other venues, welcomed the end of health care contracts but made no commitment in a statement Thursday on when it would increase its capacity Venues – even after government restrictions are over.

This means that the current shortage of tickets may continue for some time.

“For the most part, the bands we book there is a demand for them,” Jackson said. “And because it has so little capacity, we usually sell it out before the show.”

The situation is similar with Ace of Cups, which reopened its doors in March and offers up to 60 seats at tables one meter apart. According to owner Conor Stratton, most shows sell out within a week of being announced.

“Sometimes it can take a little longer based mostly on whether the band is raising awareness or not,” said Stratton, unwilling to announce changes to capacity. “But one way or another, they’re pretty much all sold out.”

To deal with the situation, some venues are adding additional performances.

Last month when the Hoodoo Soul Band sold out an evening show at Natalie’s in Grandview Heights, Jackson spontaneously added a late afternoon show.

“We definitely want as many customers as we can safely accommodate, and we want to be sensitive to people who are genuinely disappointed,” he said.

Columbus Funny Bone comedy club has allowed less than half of its 385-seat capacity since opening in August and plans to slowly add more capacity after the health orders are lifted. Business has been strong so far.

“We sell out at least a week in advance,” said Blake Blessinger, who oversees the Funny Bone clubs in the Midwest, including the Columbus Club.

Typically, when a particular show is pre-sold 80% to 85% per week, additional shows are added.

“The faster the shows sell, the faster we can add a show (and) more opportunity for the community to come out, see it, support it,” said Blessinger.

Of course, other shows can also be sold out: At Natalie in Grandview Heights, the Peter Mayer Group’s recent back-to-back performances, hosted by the lead guitarist of the Coral Reefer Band by Jimmy Buffet, were both sold out.

Classical music concerts, which may attract older people than other genres, have also been constantly or near-busy.

Last September, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra was among the first performing arts organizations in the region to return to live performances, from outdoor and drive-up performances to indoor relocation.

“I think a lot of that summer was attributed to being one of the first to go live again after a six-month hiatus,” said CEO Janet Chen, but even as the orchestra faced greater competition for audience attention , The most recent concerts at The Fives with around 100 seats are sold out or come close to that.

Chen notes that there are usually few no-shows at concert time, an indication of the enthusiasm of the audience.

“Almost everyone who bought a ticket shows up,” said Chen. “In a time when there is no pandemic, you sell a certain number of tickets and a handful of people don’t show up,” said Chen. “I notice that not only are tickets being sold quickly during this time, but the people who bought the tickets are also coming.”

The directors of the Columbus Symphony, which this spring allowed around 230 people to perform at the Ohio Theater due to both capacity constraints and ongoing renovations, paint a similar picture.

“We sell it out pretty regularly now,” said managing director Denise Rehg, adding that both newcomers and long-term customers have recently been in the audience.

“Our regulars show up and they are a group that got vaccinated early,” said Rehg.

Opera Columbus reports that its latest production of Don Giovanni, which was performed at COSI in late April and early May to 150 viewers per performance, was also sold out.

For those looking to dip their toes back into the central Ohio arts scene, hope is not lost.

Sound engineer Sam Beaumier gives his thumbs up to recently starting a Peter Mayer Group show at Natalie's in Grandview Heights.

Andy Basista, a Columbus resident who is a regular at Natalie, Ace of Cups, and the Rambling House, hasn’t missed too many shows since the venues reopened. When he sees an announcement for an action he’s interested in, he immediately orders tickets.

“I’ve always been good at getting in there quickly,” said Basista, 57. “They fill up pretty quickly, but I always manage to beat them.”

In the end, this is the advice of the pros: keep an eye on the websites or social media channels of your favorite venues or performers, and if you like a show, don’t hesitate to buy it.

“Every time we get confirmed action, we put it on the website,” said Blessinger, who encourages prospects to check back frequently to see when tickets go on sale. “Buy these tickets ASAP as we sell out a lot in advance.”

In the case of Columbus Funny Bone, when a show is advertised on social media, it’s almost too late to pick up tickets, Blessinger said.

At Natalie, Jackson will not hold unoccupied tables for more than 15 minutes after a concert has started. Jackson therefore suggests that those who haven’t received tickets just show up, have a drink or eat, and hope that a table will become available.

“Let us know, ‘Hey, I’m here. If something opens up, can you let me know? Asked Jackson. “We’re trying to accommodate everyone.”

While government-mandated capacity restrictions will soon be a thing of the past, the transition to full capacity could be difficult for some venues.

For example, Columbus Funny Bone has fewer employees than before due to the downsizing – not enough to accommodate changes that result in greater capacity or less strict social distancing.

“Staffing will be a big problem across the hospitality industry,” said Blessinger. “With a snap of your finger (officials might say), ‘Hey, you don’t need those six feet anymore – you only need three.’ Well, that will add another 75 people. With those 75 people, I need four more servers. “

Headache and inconvenience aside, many concert-goers in central Ohio are just happy to get out – even if a sold-out show doesn’t quite mean the same thing as it does in a pre-COVID world.

“We’re dying for it,” said Askey. “The live music experience for those who appreciate it is something that has nothing else to do with it.”


Demand for COVID reduction for leisure venues shuts down web site

By Maria Recio and Peter Blackstock, Austin American-Statesman, USA TODAY NETWORK

Almost four months after Congress approved spending on coronavirus aid to suffering entertainment venues, the money is now available. However, the pent-up demand was so great that the Small Business Administration website crashed, including from venues in the Austin area.

Venues looking to take advantage of the $ 16 billion program include Antone’s, the Long Center, the Zach Theater, and the Elephant Room.

The scholarship program was supported by two part-time Austin residents: US Representative Roger Williams (R-Austin) and US Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and signed by President Donald Trump in December.

COVID-19 help website crashes

However, the online system for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program was so overwhelmed with applications on Thursday that the website crashed. The SBA closed the portal and was still closed on Friday afternoon when the agency tried to fix the problem. SBA spokeswoman Andrea Roebker said no applications had been received and agency officials would announce a new launch date when the system is ready.

Williams, who prides himself on the fact that the legislation he co-authored, which was first known as Save Our Stages, was non-partisan, is angry with the debut. “The rollout of the SBA. . . was torture for event organizers promised relief more than three months ago, ”Williams said.

A Cornyn official said Friday that the senator “wants this grant program to be reopened to filings as soon as possible.” Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday at Antone, Cornyn said that live music venues are among the first to close and one of the last to reopen, and that Congress “recognized the need to save jobs and businesses to keep alive so that when we got the virus in the rearview mirror, we could restore it. We couldn’t do this without throwing a lifeline to the companies and the people who work in those companies. “

But Williams is calling for a Congressional investigation into the program’s slow roll out.

“Under the Biden administration, the program has been fraught with delays and mismanagement at all times,” said Williams.

Some Austin venues have been forced to reduce hours

Elisbeth Challener, General Manager of the Zach Theater, was not that tough, even though she and her team were ready to start at 11 a.m. on Thursday and continued to try to enter their information as they were aware that the grants system was working a first- Come first serve basis.

“We are waiting with bated breath to resume the filing process,” she told the statesman. “We are cautiously optimistic.”

Since its closure last March, the Zach Complex, which has three indoor lounges, has had limited outdoor programs – including live music performances – and online educational programs.

“This is a lifeline for so many companies,” said Challener. The Zach, who is celebrating his 100th anniversary this year, had to lay off 80% of his employees last year, she said.

The SBA program is structured to provide grants based on 45% of a venue’s pre-pandemic 2019 revenue, giving priority to venues that have lost 90% of revenue. The maximum grant amount for a single venue is $ 10 million.

The Zach Art Complex is looking for about $ 2 million federal funding, which Challener says will be used to reinstall workers, pay actors for upcoming productions, make improvements to keep the theater space clean, e.g. B. Install air filter systems and pay other operating costs.

The first indoor show is scheduled for late November – Charles Dickens’ musical “A Christmas Carol” – and currently there are plans to require guests to wear masks, depending on guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the Long Center, Chief Executive Officer Cory Baker fondly remembers the last performance of Harry Connick Jr. over a year ago before he had to shut down.

“We quickly switched to online,” she said, and to outdoor concerts with “pods” for up to four people who were considered socially distant.

Performing Arts Center officials laid off 40% of the staff and she said with the federal scholarship, “The hope is to restore the team as much as possible.”

The Red River Cultural District is losing nightclubs

Cody Cowan, executive director of the Red River Cultural District, who represented 12 clubs along Red River Street before the pandemic began, said their number had dropped to nine with the closure of Barracuda, Plush and Scratchouse.

Red River venues, Stubb’s and Empire Control Room, held limited outdoor shows during the pandemic, while others, like Mohawk and Cheer Up Charlies, closed their doors all the time.

Cowan credits the National Independent Venue Alliance, which was formed last year to coordinate action between U.S. venues to help Cornyn and Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Pass legislation on closed venues in the pandemic – Help package included.

Cowan said that Austin city support programs helped fill this void, although the city’s limited resources mean these programs were “like spoons pouring water on a patient on their deathbed. That money stopped the venues from dying instantly, but this (federal program) is what will turn us away from life support. “

“Lots of paperwork”

Laura Mordecai and her husband Mike Mordecai own the BBA Management & Booking and the record label Fable. BBA booked the downtown jazz club the Elephant Room for three decades, and Laura Mordecai has spent much of her time in recent weeks gathering the venue’s records for the closed venue application.

“It’s a lot of paperwork,” she said. “Most of it is pretty straightforward, so it’s just about doing it. They want to see that you are a legitimate music venue and I’m glad they do, but it’s a lot of documentation. “

She credits the owners of the Elephant Room, Jean-Pierre Vermaelen and David Chamberlain, for keeping the club afloat during its 13-month closure. “It was so commendable that they were willing to hold on to it and not just close the doors,” she said. “They want it to open up again, so they got through the tough times.”

Mordecai said owners might “open” until May 18 at the earliest, with the caveat that they continue to closely monitor the area’s COVID-19 numbers.

Many Austin venues are hoping for a return to normal

Joe Ables, who opened the Saxon Pub in South Austin in 1990, kept the doors of the famous venue closed during the pandemic. His employees were on leave during this time. The Saxon Pub recently received help from a Long Center-administered city scholarship program and a fund from the New York Live Music Society.

The application process for the closed venue grants “was very good for a government program,” Ables said. “I’m impressed with the detail you put into this.” He attended a few webinar sessions where he understood what information he needed to gather in order to apply.

“They want a declaration of need,” he added. “The main thing they want is the stability of the venue. I think a long story like ours will help.”

Ables said he intends to reopen the Saxon Pub on June 1, likely with noted Austin guitarist David Grissom, who is resuming his longstanding happy hour residency on Tuesday. “We don’t know what to expect in business,” he added. “I don’t know if people will never come out or what. But I hope that in six or seven weeks we can be a regular venue again. “

Drivers, riders demand misplaced cash from driving for rideshare app

BAYONNE, NJ – When Rodney Robinson saw an ad on Facebook looking for drivers in September 2020, the retired plumbing worker said the $ 19 an hour sounded like a good gig.

“This company served families who needed a ride for their children, especially during the pandemic,” Robinson told PIX11 News in late January. “They also delivered groceries and things like that.”

Robinson signed with Ride Along, which provided services to football teams and minor league hospitals, among other things.

Alissa Roost, a college professor in Manhattan, used the service to take her 3-year-old son to a day care center downtown. She liked having Rodney as the same driver every day.

But she said the company’s co-founder, Norbert Sygdziak, kept changing the weekly rate.

“It was originally $ 170,” said Roost. “After three weeks, he raised the price to $ 350 per week and then lowered it to $ 270 per week.”

Robinson said he started work in early September 2020 but didn’t receive his first paycheck until October 12. He received more than $ 1,400 with an ADP stub listing the prints. He expected to be paid every two weeks.

Read more investigative reports from Mary Murphy at PIX11 News

When he didn’t get a paycheck by October 26th, he was frustrated. Robinson said he had started texting the owner: “Norbert, why don’t you text me or communicate with me?”

The owner wrote back, “Rodney, I’m sorry to be a man who does 185 things.”

Robinson received a direct deposit into his account for more than $ 1,100 on October 29, 2020, but said his salary then dried up.

“I didn’t receive a check in November. I didn’t get a check in December, ”said Robinson.

He stopped working before January 1st.

Another former driver, Brian Comeau, said he was recovering from a stroke and wanted a job when he signed up for Ride Along in the summer of 2020.

“I got a disability release because I wanted to work and then he started not paying me,” said Comeau.

PIX11 News learned that the company was based in a townhouse in Bayonne, New Jersey.

When we went there and called the intercom, a woman’s voice said, “We’re working from home right now.”

Pity! More investigative coverage from Arnold Diaz of PIX11 News

Norbert Sygdziak called us back quickly after we left a message on his cell phone

We later interviewed him on the phone when we met with ex-driver Brian Comeau in Brooklyn.

“We are a registered company,” said Sygdziak. “We have logs for people who leave the company to submit their time.”

Comeau claimed he owed more than $ 6,000 in salary, but Ride Along emailed him informing Comeau that this was incorrect.

“We looked into this matter and found that your calculation was wrong,” the email said. “Your last paycheck will be $ 3,574.32.”

The email concludes: “According to your request, a letter is finally attached stating that you will be leaving the company in November 2020.”

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GM’s first-quarter gross sales up 3.9% on sturdy client demand

A customer looks at a General Motors Co. Chevrolet vehicle on sale at a Colma, Calif. Car dealership on Monday, February 8, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

DETROIT – General Motors’ Vehicle sales in the first quarter were driven by strong consumer demand as fleet sales cratered and semiconductor chips remained in short supply closed some assembly plants.

The Detroit automaker announced Thursday it had sold 642,250 vehicles in the first three months of the year, up 3.9% year over year when Covid-19 began to force dealers and auto plants to close in March.

GM and the majority of the other major automakers in the US are expected to report first-quarter sales on Thursday. Analysts expect sales across the industry to grow 8% or 9% compared to the first quarter of 2020, despite automakers being hit by a shortage of semiconductor chips.

According to GM, retail sales to individual consumers rose 19% in the first quarter, while fleet sales to corporate and government customers declined 35% year over year. The automaker expects consumer demand to remain stable this year.

“Consumer confidence and spending will continue to rise due to incentives, rising vaccination rates and the gradual reopening of the economy,” said Elaine Buckberg, GM’s chief economist, in a press release. “Demand for automobiles should remain strong all year round.”

GM’s Buick, Cadillac, and GMC brands saw double-digit sales increases in the first quarter, while Chevrolet – the largest brand – fell 1.7%. Chevrolet’s decline was due to a 12.5% ​​drop in sales of its full-size Silverado pickups, which the automaker attributes to a shortage of inventory due to production and shipping disruptions due to the coronavirus and chip shortages.

Hyundai’s record month

Automakers, traditionally less reliant on US fleet sales, had better sales than GM in the first quarter. They include: Volkswagenincreased by 21%; Toyota Motorincreased by 21.6%; Hyundai Motor, increased by 28%; and Kia Motors by 22.8%. While Stellantis – the merged automaker of Fiat Chrysler and France-based Groupe PSA – posted a 5.1% increase in sales, including a 25% increase in retail sales. Ford engine Sales increased 1% in the first quarter.

Hyundai’s sales were particularly impressive. For the quarter, the South Korean automaker’s results relied on a 38% increase in retail sales, including the best monthly retail and total sales ever in March.

“We had a great month. I mean, almost unexpected all-time records,” said Jose Munoz, CEO of Hyundai North America, on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Thursday. “I have to be optimistic, but there are a lot of challenges in the automotive industry these days.”

Semiconductor shortage

Automakers and suppliers warned of a semiconductor shortage At the end of last year After the demand for vehicles after a two-month shutdown of the production facilities last spring due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Among other things, semiconductor chips are extremely important components of new vehicles for infotainment systems, power steering and brakes. The parts can contain different sizes and different types of chips.

“This chip shortage affects everyone. We are no exception,” said Munoz. “We hope that the situation will improve in the next four to five months, maybe a recovery in the third and fourth quarters. But for now we have to be very careful and try to optimize ourselves as we have done so far.”

Hyundai has been less affected by the chip shortage than others such as the Detroit automakers, each of which has announced significant production cuts for domestic plants.

Most recently, Ford announced plans to cut production on Wednesday in six plants in North America due to the problem, including plants that produce highly profitable pickup trucks.

The consulting firm AlixPartners estimates that the shortage of chips will decrease $ 60.6 billion in sales from the global automotive industry this year.

Boat reveals are again and drawing massive crowds amid strong demand

Queen of the Show from the Orlando Boat Show.

Source: Marine Industry Association of Central Florida (MIACF)

Boat shows are back!

For both new and avid boaters, boat shows are one of the most important ways customers connect with the boat market. Last year, many events were canceled by the pandemic and organizers turned to online platforms instead. However, personal events are experiencing a revival, giving visitors the opportunity to discover a variety of boat types, sizes, brands, and additional equipment.

As the boat shows return, organizers find they are attracting more than expected crowds. The trend can reflect that strong demand for boats that the industry has seen over the past year. In 2020, boat, ship product and service sales hit a 13-year high of $ 47 billion as people flocked to the water to safely enjoy the outdoors.

The Orlando boat show hosted a personal indoor event earlier this month after a year-long hiatus due to Covid concerns. The event, attended by 21 dealers and more than 70 manufacturers, drew the largest crowd in a decade. According to a press release, attendance increased 66% compared to the event in 2019.

David Ray, executive director of the Central Florida Marine Industry Association, which hosted the event, said the group was stunned by its success as it expected a 20% to 25% decline in 2019.

“This was the best show we’ve ever had,” said Glenn Adams, the yacht and ship broker for Boat Max USA, who attended the event. “We were expecting fewer visitors than our first show in a showroom in over a year, but this was not the case.”

The event had over 500 boats to choose from, and sales at the event exceeded dealer expectations, Ray said. He wouldn’t reveal any specific sales data.

According to DiscoverBoating.comThis year 15 shows are slated to run, only two of which are virtual, including the Seattle Boat Show.

The Seattle Boat Show took place in January with 218 business partners. The four day online event consisted of live and recorded seminars on boating and fishing. Usually their personal shows showed over 1,000 boats while their virtual event could only show around 600.

More than 5,200 households have paid to take part in the online show. By comparison, the 2020 in-person event drew more than 45,000 people.

George Harris, president and CEO of the Northwest Marine Trade Association, the organizer of the event, said virtual events will never replace the experience of a personal boat show.

“A boat is an emotional purchase for people. They want to see it, they want to touch it, they want to smell it,” Harris said in an interview. He said he hoped they could hold a face-to-face event next year.

The National Marine Manufacturer’s Association, the largest boat show maker in the country, canceled its winter and spring shows this year due to the pandemic. However, most of their shows took place last year before Covid hit in March, association spokeswoman Sarah Salvatori told CNBC in an email.

The boat show season usually takes place in the fall and winter to prepare boaters for the high season in the warmer months of spring and summer.

In a research report, Jefferies analyst Randal Konik said recent channel checks showed that consumer appetite for boats remains high. Traders are pledging to buy inventory and internet traffic trends are still growing faster than they were before the pandemic.

Consuming Contests: End result Uncertainty and Spectator Demand for Contest-based Leisure

Author summary

Competitions intended to be used by non-participants for entertainment are an integral part of economic, cultural and political life. In this article, we examine whether individuals prefer contests that have more uncertain outcomes. We focus on professional sport and use injury-related changes in the line-up of teams to assess the impact of result uncertainty on audience demand for competitions. Based on several seasons with game-level data from the Australian Football League, we find that the uncertainty of the game results has a major effect: an increase in the uncertainty of the outcome of a game by one standard deviation leads to an average increase in attendance of 11.2%. We show that this effect is greater: 1) when there is more at stake about the outcome of the competition; and 2) for teams with larger, more dispersed fan bases. Our results expand research on competition design and information preferences by indicating that viewers are strongly drawn to balanced competition, behaviors that are compatible with people making entertainment value from tension, and the resolution of uncertainties.

Paper information