Monthly Archives: July 2016

Companies Caring About the Environment: Republic Services & Mas Energy

It’s always refreshing to see companies that think about their footprint and try to save the environment while doing their work. One such example is Republic Services and Mas Energy. These companies have just unveiled a renewable energy project that will be serving the Metro Atlanta area. And it really takes care of the environment around them.

The landfill is one where there are gas-to-energy capabilities at the three area landfills (in Buford, Griffin and Winder). They can generate 24.1 megawatts of electricity and then provides enough renewable energy to power 15,665 houses.

As Jamey Amick, the area president of Republic Services explained,

“We believe in leading by example in everything we do. The modern landfill presents new opportunity to harness energy from yesterday’s waste and convert it to meet tomorrow’s energy needs. We are proud to partner once again with Mas Energy to generate a renewable energy source that makes a meaningful and lasting environmental difference in the state of Georgia.”

The way that it works is that the landfill can capture methane from subsurface of the area landfills and then route it to convert the gas to electricity. Certainly, there are many people involved in the project with Republic Services and Mas Energy including: Georgia Power, I Squared Capital, Crowder Construction Company and Nixon Energy.

Don Slager Reflects on Second Quarter for Republic Services

In the second quarter of the year, Republic Services had promising result. Their revenue growth was a 2% increase in average yield and a .5% increase in volumes. They generated $177.3 million of adjusted free cash flow in the quarter which met their expectations. They were able to return all of that cash flow – and even a bit more – to shareholders with the $211 million in dividends and share repurchases.

CEO Don Slager, responding to the second quarter analysis said,

“Our second quarter results continue to demonstrate the stability and predictability of our business, and the strength of our operating model. Strong pricing performance, positive volume growth and contributions from our strategic initiatives keep us well positioned to achieve our full year financial guidance.”

The Republic Services model, with CEO Don Slager, plans to meet the full-year projections to grow revenue 2.5% to 3%. They are boosting their payout by 7%, which is the seventh straight year they have increased their payout.

Verizon Buys Yahoo for $4.8 Billion

Verizon Communications Inc, America’s largest wireless operator, said it is purchasing Yahoo Inc’s core internet properties for $4.83 billion in cash. The deal signals the end of an internet pioneer and the beginning of a new, huge internet push by the telecommunications giant.

The deal will combine Yahoo’s messenger, email and search abilities and its advertising technology tools with Verizon’s AOL division, which it purchased last year for $4.4 billion. The deal is part of Verizon’s plan to generate more revenue via mobile video and advertising, veering away from the oversaturated wireless sector.

A month ago Barclays said that Verizon could potentially save $500 million annually in the cost of getting internet traffic, as well as other expenses, if they bought Yahoo’s internet business.

Observers are predicting that the deal will most likely will mean more investment in popular sites like AOL’s Huffington Post and Yahoo Finance, since they will become part of a much larger business.

“It now becomes somewhat easier to justify investing in content,” said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research.

Delta Dives into Denim

denimIsaac Dabah, CEO of Delta Galil,  is “returning to [his] first love” with the company’s purchase of 7 For All Mankind, Ella Moss and Splendid from US firm VF Corporation. The transaction – costing Dabah’s firm $120 million – is said to be Delta Galil’s “largest-ever acquisition.”  It is expected that this enterprise will boost the firm’s per-share earnings from 2017.

Dabah said that the reason the firm made the purchase now was due to the decline in prices and these particular firms “completely suits Delta’s strategy,” while having a great “profit potential.” The firm has not made such deals for any years, choosing not to take chances, but now is a good time.  The stock market complimented the move, with a jump in share prices by 13.7% to $26.80, its largest one-day gain in more than four years.

Denim has been around for centuries, having been first introduced in America for use in the middle of the 19th century.  Its popularity began some years later in 1873 from Nevada-based tailor Jacob Davis manufactured the first pair of rivet-reinforced denim pants.  According to an article in Cotton Incorporated, “Denim jeans represent an estimated $60 billion global market for retailers.”

 

Herbalife Must Pay Fine and Restructure Operations

HerbaLife_logo.svgThe case of the US Federal Trade Commission against diet supplement giant Herbalife has come to an end as neither side fully gets what they wanted.

Herbalife was able to escape the lawsuit without being labeled as a “pyramid scheme,” worth a lot more than the $200 million fine they were forced to pay, as expressed by an immediate 15 percent rise in the company’s stock.

The FTC accused Herbalife of cheating their own salespeople out of hundreds of millions of dollars by thrusting a hard-sell, multi-level, marketing scheme on them.

The FTC is also demanding Herbalife to restructure its operations. It will need to track and reward sales which end in purchases by consumers, instead of tricking the junior retailers, which was the contention of the lawsuit.

The chairwoman of the FTC, Edith Ramirez said that the regulator decided not to label Herbalife as a pyramid scheme company, or shutting them down. Instead they decided to just go for the less serious charge of “unfairness.”

First Fatality in Semi Self-Driving Car Will Spur Growth in New Technology

Elon Musk at the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting today. Photo by  Steve Jurvetson

Elon Musk at the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting today. Photo by
Steve Jurvetson

The death of Joshua Brown, owner of a high-tech company in Ohio, in a Tesla Motors Model S while in Autopilot mode, has caused concern but has also spurred further determination to get the technology right.

Brown’s death is expected to quicken the adoption of improved technology which will allow cars to see better and drive themselves more safely. This will in turn increase demand on the fledgling autonomous vehicle technology industry, say analysts.

Goldman Sachs predicts that the market for more sensitive driver assistance systems and the autonomous vehicles they are used in, will climb. Projections predict that the industry, valued at $3 billion last year, will expand to $96 billion in less than 10 years, and in 20 years GS says the industry could be worth $290 billion.

GS says that over half of that revenue in the next 20 years will come from the sale of radar, cameras and lidar, all equipment essential for the safe running of autonomous vehicles. Lidar is a sensor that uses laser technology.

Tesla’s autopilot system uses radar and cameras, but does not include lidar. The company said their system could have had trouble distinguishing between a white semi-trailer sitting across the road and a brightly lit sky.

Executives in the autonomous car industry said that they believe the Tesla crash will drive investment in self-driving cars which combine several technologies to guide the car, including lidar.

“As we move to a higher level of autonomy in vehicles, you’re going to want to have more redundancy,” which radar and lidar can provide, Dan Galves, senior vice president at vision safety system maker Mobileye NV(MBLY.N) , said in an interview. “The more sensors, the better.”

Some Classic American Jobs are Quickly Disappearing

Some jobs are just not necessary any more.

Some jobs are just not necessary any more.

Our high tech age is quickly changing the world we live in. Try and remember the last time you wrote a letter, or called someone from your land-line phone? As a result of this upheaval in the prevailing lifestyles of Americans, it is no wonder that certain jobs are heading for extinction.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by the time 2024 rolls around, there will be 28 percent fewer postal-service jobs, a decline of about 136,000 jobs from 2014. And its not just the mailman that is disappearing.

Here is a list of the ten jobs whose futures are less than bright:

1.    Locomotive firers
2.    Motor vehicle electronic-equipment installers and repairers
3.    Telephone operators
4.    Postal service sorters, processors, and processing-machine operators
5.    Switchboard operators, including answering service
6.    Photographic-process workers and processing-machine operators
7.    Shoe-machine operators and tenders
8.    Manufactured building and mobile-home installers
9.    Foundry mold and core makers
10.    Sewing-machine operators