Nasdaq 100 Movers: MNST, SNDK | 09/18/2014
In early trading on Thursday, shares of SanDisk (SNDK) topped the list of the day’s best performing components of the Nasdaq 100 index, trading up 3.5%. Year to date, SanDisk registers a 47.0% gain.
And the worst performing Nasdaq 100 component thus far on the day is Monster Beverage (MNST), trading down 0.4%. Monster Beverage is showing a gain of 33.5% looking at the year to date performance.
Two other components making moves today are Liberty Media (LMCK), trading down 0.4%, and Tripadvisor (TRIP), trading up 3.0% on the day.
A Perfect Score | 09/18/2014
Sometime ago an elderly man in his 80s walked into a hospital Emergency Room. He had a fever and associated symptoms of influenza. The symptoms cleared after two days in the hospital. Yet he stayed on in the hospital, moving from the Internal Medicine unit to the Intensive Care unit and thence to the Orthopedic unit and finally to the rehabilitation unit.
The crossroads of guidelines and mandates and the cross-currents of ambiguous thoughts create the bed where the conflicts between implied welfare and the resulting seeds of disastrous medicine take root.
On the third day, the potential day of his discharge he (our patient) became slightly confused. The order for an MRI was placed immediately and the results within 24 hours were negative for any pathology. The confusion continued and with it he developed a minor headache. Acetoaminophen (Tylenol) was prescribed that helped abate the headache temporarily. The confusion continued till the fifth day when he became slightly irritable. The reporting nurse asked the physician for assistance and that help came in the form of a sedative tranquilizer. The irritability subdued a bit but for the patient’s sake he had wrist restraints placed on him to protect him from falling off the bed at night.
On the seventh day, he developed constipation and an enema was ordered. During the daytime with assistance he walked to the toilet to relieve himself. Upon returning he had difficulty maintaining his balance and fell on the floor, in spite of the assistance. He was helped onto his bed. He laid there for 12 hours undisturbed due to his ordeal. On the eighth day while changing the bed sheets and rolling him over, the nurse determined his left leg was abnormally rotated. Xrays were called for and a diagnosis of a left hip fracture was made.
After recovering from his surgery and a short stint in the Intensive Care Unit he was transferred to the orthopedic unit. All medications were renewed as before. His blood sugar levels rose requiring periodic dosing with Insulin for control. His mental disorientation waxed and waned along with the rising and falling tides of headache.
On the fourteenth day the patient’s daughter asked the nurse what medication her father was being given. A list was proffered reluctantly. She questioned the need for the Statin drugs and a host of others including, Thorazine, Compazine, Insulin. She received appropriate answers for each of the medication and their need.
On the fifteenth day the daughter asked that no further Statin be given to her father. The health care workers protested but the physician acquiesced to the daughter’s demand. The Statin was discontinued and on day twentieth her father was back to his former mental frame. He was discharged for home on day 21 with outpatient rehabilitation services.
This drama plays out in our institutions and at homes daily. In this case the need for the Statin to lower Cholesterol was a requirement at the institution based on the set guidelines. Not heeding to the guideline would not win the hospital some useless award for the hospital and potentially risk the wrath of Insurers who would heave a financial penalty upon it. So they followed their protocol to the “T.” A Perfect Score! Yet, the entire chain of reactive medicine stems from the use of that particular drug in this case. Speaking of harm in medicine, maybe it is time to find the keys to that harm where there is no lamplight.
Trace back the history and you will see the folly in the Universal Guidelines that litter the medical scene. Population medicine harms the individual in such subtle ways that more harm follows if not for a careful and dedicated daughter in this case. How many daughters would question such benevolent dictates of the guidelines? Not many, I venture.
So, clearly much is to be reflected upon in our current state of medicine. As physicians are being trained to abrogate their right as critical thinkers, and legions of notepad -carriers scour the halls of the hospitals and other medical facilities in hopes of finding fault, something is gravely wrong in the field of medicine. The “evidence” we all seek to mollify our desire for the “best” practice of medicine through the lens of such correlational science is harming the very people we seek to heal.
Maybe it is time to rethink.
New Derek Jeter Gatorade TV Commercial Allows Him To Thank Fans | 09/18/2014
With the Yankees nearing mathematical elimination, Derek Jeter’s days as a player are dwindling down.
The shortstop’s final homestand begins Thursday against Toronto. One of Jeter’s top sponsors, Gatorade, will air a TV commercial beginning Saturday featuring Jeter walking to Yankee Stadium and interacting with fans. Watch it:
The commercial enables Jeter to salute his many fans as he greets them while Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” plays in the background.
As eventful as the retirement tour of Mariano Rivera was last season, Jeter’s may have topped it. As the Nationals’ Bryce Harper recently expressed: “Jeter is not just the captain of the Yankees but the captain of all of baseball”.
Jeter, in his 20th season, has been honored with gifts and checks to his Turn2 Foundation at ballparks all season and has received countless standing ovations.
Beginning Monday against the Orioles, the Yankees’ dugout will feature Gatorade coolers, cups and towels with altered No. 2 logos in place of Gatorade’s G. A print ad will also appear in the New York Daily News and the New York Times that helps Jeter thank his fans.
Jeter will end his career on the road against Boston on Sept. 28.
S&P 500 Movers: BTU, SNDK | 09/18/2014
In early trading on Thursday, shares of SanDisk (SNDK) topped the list of the day’s best performing components of the S&P 500 index, trading up 3.1%. Year to date, SanDisk registers a 46.4% gain.
And the worst performing S&P 500 component thus far on the day is Peabody Energy (BTU), trading down 5.1%. Peabody Energy is lower by about 31.0% looking at the year to date performance.
Two other components making moves today are Owens-Illinois (OI), trading down 2.4%, and Tripadvisor (TRIP), trading up 2.7% on the day.
Who To Promote? 10 Keys To Identifying People With High Potential | 09/18/2014
Many organizations, either formally or informally, compile a list of people they believe will have high potential for promotion. These high potential individuals, (HIPOs), often receive extra developmental opportunities beyond what’s available to the rest of their peers.From an individual’s point of view, being selected to be on the high potential list has enormous benefits. It becomes a boost to careers and a high acknowledgement
From the organization’s point of view, however, there is a great deal at stake in this process. If they select the wrong individuals, then they are pouring valuable development resources into the wrong container. Even worse, a wrong choice means highly talented people whose development is ignored. The graph below shows 360 ratings for 54 HIPO’s compared to other leaders in the organization. Note that the HIPO’s are rated more positively on overall leadership effectiveness by all rater groups. The disquieting fact in the data, however, is that in this group of high potentials 35% of the leaders were rated below average on their leadership effectiveness and 7% were rated at the 30th percentile or lower.
Given this data it is hard to determine the criteria that various executives are using when they nominate individuals for this high potential list. My colleague Joe Folkman and I found that we can predict with a high level of certainty that the yardstick being used by one executive is not the same yardstick being used by another. Should there be more consistency? Having more rigor in that process would be valuable for both the organization and the individuals affected as well.
One way of determining the criteria for selection is to examine the individuals they’ve selected before. Through reverse engineering, you can analyze the characteristics and behaviors that set these individuals apart. This allows you to back into a better understanding of the specific qualities you should seek.
Fortunately, we have the data at hand that has enabled us to exercise this approach across a variety of organizations and industries. While there were some differences among differing industries, there was also a surprising consistency of the traits and behaviors that executives appear to use in deciding who they will likely promote.
Results of our research:
Because our data emerged from different groups using somewhat different methodologies, we will not attempt to compare or rationalize our findings. But at a high level, we can report the themes that stood out.
1. Strategic perspective, direction and clarity. The competency that often stood out by a large margin was the leader’s ability to keep a strategic perspective. This appears to be the competency that most differentiates those executives who ultimately rise to the most senior positions. This was sometimes described as the ability to develop winning strategies.
2. Inspires and motivates to high performance. The second competency is the ability to be inspiring and motivating to those about you.
3. Focus on results. Highly promotable leaders show the ability to produce excellent results.
4. Collaboration and Teamwork. The world has moved from a culture of fierce competition and rivalry to greater emphasis on collaboration and teamwork, especially within firms.
5. High ethical standards, upholding values, acting as role model. This quality of being perceived as a person of extremely high moral character, one who upholds corporate values and displays high ethical standards continues to be a key for those who are considered good candidates for higher levels in the organization.
6. Deep Expertise and Business Acumen. High potential leaders had a deep understanding of how the business works and the technical issues that are fundamental to success. Others seek out their opinions and knowledge. It would be very difficult to hire someone from outside the business with this level of knowledge and expertise.
7. Champion Change. Highly promotable leaders have the courage to make changes that improve the organization. They embrace change instead of resist it.
8. Willingness to Innovate and Take Risks. Leaders are more willing to take calculated risks and to encourage others to innovate.
9. Powerful Communication. A skill that seems essential to those in high level leadership positions is the ability to powerfully communicate with others. When they speak, others listen and take action.
10. Develops Others. High potential leaders are effective at developing talent in the organization. These leaders take the time and have the desire to develop others. They provide excellent feedback and coaching to others.
Implications for Individuals
Younger aspiring individuals in the organization, in particular, have questions about an organization’s policies and practices regarding getting promoted. It begins with the obvious, “What does it take to get promoted around here?” and then, “Am I being considered?” Some organizations tell their HIPO’s that they are being considered; but many do not. Even for those who ultimately figure out that they are included in the company’s “HIPO” program will likely question why they were specifically chosen to participate.
People may stand out for a variety of reasons, but if you are interested in being promoted, you should find the list above to be extremely useful. And if you are a senior executive wanting to groom the executives of the future, these competencies can be your touchstone in the selection process.
Ten competencies may be a difficult challenge for most individuals to face. Do you need to be great at all of these to be promoted? No. According to our research, if you have just three profound strengths, you will be in very good shape. Start by identifying the three competencies that are critical in your current job and that are also the things you have a passion to do. Then take another look at the list. While you don’t need to be great at every item, it is unlikely that you could be promoted if you are terrible at any of these things. Do you have a fatal flaw in one or more of these areas? If so, focus on improvement on those competencies first. If not, you can look for ways to create a profound strength in 3-5 of these competencies you are drawn to the most and you will be well on your way.
To learn more on this topic attend my webinar, Who To Promote?, next Wednesday by registering HERE. You can also join in this conversation below or on my Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Dow Movers: INTC, GS | 09/18/2014
In early trading on Thursday, shares of Goldman Sachs Group (GS) topped the list of the day’s best performing Dow Jones Industrial Average components, trading up 1.1%. Year to date, Goldman Sachs Group registers a 5.4% gain.
And the worst performing Dow component thus far on the day is Intel (INTC), trading down 0.2%. Intel is showing a gain of 34.5% looking at the year to date performance.
Two other components making moves today are Caterpillar (CAT), trading down 0.1%, and American Express (AXP), trading up 1.1% on the day.
Is Hollywood On Its Way To The UK? | 09/18/2014
Bona fide film investments have long been the preserve of the rich, famous and ultra-connected. I look at the three reasons why, and how this might be all about to change as the UK leads the charge for innovation in film financing.
1. You weren’t “in the know”
Who were the investors behind the latest box office hits? Well it certainly wasn’t Joe Bloggs. The film industry’s exclusivity extends well beyond the red carpet, and ordinary investors are rarely given access to Hollywood investment opportunities.
It’s not surprising that your average investor doesn’t have access to invest in the big-budget film franchises that everyone’s heard of: the Spidermans and Iron Mans. The “Big Five” Hollywood studios have monopolised this space. They operate under a largely self-supporting model; the hundreds of millions of dollars of funding needed to churn out the next mass-market blockbuster is fueled by profit made from the previous one. As such, the big studios don’t need to open the door to anyone else, nor do they need to touch anything that might sell when they can be fairly certain that yet another superhero franchise will sell.
So Hollywood studios have pretty much turned their backs on anything smaller, cooler, different (read: riskier). But with higher risks there is also the potential for higher returns. Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech had $15 million production budgets and they grossed $378 million and $414 million at the global box office respectively. So who’s investing in these films?
There is no room for Joe Bloggs here either, we’re afraid. A few choice producers receive money from the kitties of dwindling organisations like the British Film Council, which pledged £1 million to The King’s Speech. Otherwise, so-called “mini studios” are plugging the gap in the mid-budget film market. These amount to committees of people who draw on an elite network of wealthy friends to top up funding targets. They then micro-manage the production team, debating between themselves whether or not to allocate a few hundred dollars for a given set prop.
Not only does Joe Bloggs lose out, this nepotistic and bureaucratic model is far from ideal for the filmmakers.
2. You weren’t really investing (‘thanks for your free money’ T-shirt anyone?)
Rewards-based crowdfunding has been on the film industry’s radar for a number of years now. Would-be fans duly oblige producers’ requests to contribute small amounts in exchange for a thank you of some sort, such as a t-shirt or shout-out from the producer. Sometimes the rewards are more exciting: higher spenders might get the film’s lead character named after them, for example. Yet big or small, the contributions certainly add up. ‘The Veronica Mars Movie Project’ received $5.7 million, almost three times its $2 million goal, and Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ was pledged over $3 million.
Great for the producers, and Joe Bloggs may well be pleased with the T-shirt, but once again the chance to invest with a view to a serious financial return eludes her.
3. It was all a bit dodgy
A quick search on Google and it’s easy enough to find a number of film funds raising money for mid-budget films. Has Joe’s IFA mentioned any of these opportunities to her?
Maybe as a tax dodge. Many film funds out there – aka “film partnerships” – have been investigated by HMRC, accused of facilitating tax avoidance. As such, not only are they renowned for their mammoth fees, they are not even primarily focused on returns. The most recent headlines were ignited by the fact that MPs, such as the former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell, had been investing in these funds.
Serious equity investments in films
Let’s get serious. Savvy producers have always scanned widely for possible investors – but struggled to find them. This is a problem the emergence of equity crowdfunding is beginning to address. Equity crowdfunding platforms allow producers looking for finance to connect with individuals seeking to broaden their investment portfolio, who can then also carry out an investment through the platform.
If You Said 'iPhone' And 'Creepy' Recently, You Might Need To Grow Up | 09/18/2014
I’m being hyperbolic with the affront here, but it’s a creepy precedent, and over the weekend I did have to skip over U2 songs I never asked for on my phone.
Whether it’s a precedent or not is arguable, but I’m more interested in whether it is creepy.
Two years ago Evan Selinger, in an article you can also find on Slate, concluded an argument about technology creepiness by saying, “Objectors to new technologies need better reasoning than, ‘I don’t know why—it’s just creepy, all right!?!’”
Calling a technology creepy these days is a way of saying that we’ve been naive, up to now, about the possible reach of an application … and the ways humans are willing to use them. Or it means we are still so afraid of technology’s abilities and trade-offs that we’ll never get used to them. The origin of the word, to creep, means to move close the ground and/or slowly. Creepy has a bug-spider connotation and there is an element of slow-surprise that can quickly become terror. Exposure to life’s realities tends to calm down the feeling of creepiness. In the tech sense, creepy is understandable with the revelation of a new invasive ability or action. You were probably more creeped out by the breach of iCloud if you hadn’t recently considered the depravity of certain people or the ability of scripts to get at your password or both. If you already know that some people are sick—and some of those sick people can code—the iCloud breach was more likely pathetic, unfortunate and a reminder that we need better security strategies (users) and technologies (developers).
Apple’s decision to give you a free album was not on that scale. Understanding that creepy does not equally apply to those scenarios is about growing up.
Grow up in the sense of a technology user, that is. Creepy is a little childish as a word, but that’s okay. It is a symbol that has come to mean something with context and so it is a useful word. In fact, it’s massive increase of use in books the past 10 years signifies something important.
So we do not need to mature linguistically to find a better common term. We need to grow cognitively. The last time the use of creepy had a spike, though much more humble, was in the 1920s … another era when paradigm-shifting technologies were entering common life. That might be a correlation without a common cause, but it is interesting to compare the two eras. This time the increase in “creepy” usage is much greater and I would argue that the paradigm shift is too. I have lived through all of the Digital Age and it still kind of blows my mind. But maturity implies you are not spooked at every turn of the corner.
What Cook wrote today was glossed but also decently revealing. He writes, “We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t ‘monetize’ the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud.”
He also writes: “One very small part of our business does serve advertisers, and that’s iAd.” He goes into what that means and concludes that paragraph with, “… and you can always just opt out altogether.”
I know a lot of commentators cringe at this notion, but that has to be part of the solution. Short of regulation nightmare, customer savvy has to increase while technology companies’ hubris declines. On top of hinting that he’s sorry for shoving Bono on your phone, I think Cook is also very subtly hinting at that need for us all to mature.
Top Buys by Top Brass: Chairman and Chief Exec. Off. Stack's $4.9M Bet on DKS | 09/18/2014
A company’s own top management tend to have the best inside view into the business, so when company officers make major buys, investors are wise to take notice. Presumably the only reason an insider would take their hard-earned cash and use it to buy stock of their company in the open market, is that they expect to make money — maybe they find the stock very undervalued, or maybe they see exciting progress within the company, or maybe both. So in this series we look at the largest insider buys by the ”top brass” over the trailing six month period, one of which was a total of $4.9M by Edward W. Stack, Chairman and Chief Exec. Off. at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc (NYSE: DKS).
Click here to find out which other top insider buys by the ”top brass” you need to know about »
Stack bets big on DKS:
||Edward W. Stack
||Chairman and Chief Exec. Off.
Stack’s average cost works out to $42.56/share. Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc were changing hands at $45.85 at last check, trading up about 0.3% on Thursday. The chart below shows the one year performance of DKS shares, versus its 200 day moving average:
Looking at the chart above, DKS’s low point in its 52 week range is $41.30 per share, with $58.87 as the 52 week high point — that compares with a last trade of $45.85.
According to the ETF Finder at ETFChannel.com, DKS makes up 1.01% of the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (AMEX: XRT) which is trading higher by about 0.3% on the day Thursday.
Special Offer: Find out how Dave Moenning is trading around the most recent insider transactions with a free 30 day trial and a special 20% off coupon from Forbes.
As Apple Pay Hits, Visa Signals Hopes To Be Mobile Payment Player | 09/18/2014
The masses lining up to get their hands on Apple’s new iPhones Friday will also gain access to the tech company’s new payment platform — Apple Pay. Visa wants it known that as purchases go mobile it plans to maintain its spot in your pocket.
Thursday morning Visa announced that it is working with J.P. Morgan Securities to explore options for exiting its 5.5% stake in Monitise, an early leader in mobile payments. As the battle heats up among tech companies to define the burgeoning space, Visa plans to build out its internal mobile payments capabilities.
Visa first invested in Monitise in 2009, buying a 14.4% stake and entering into a platform development partnership. Back then it saw the young and relatively small British company as, “an early thought leader” that had “a vision of making mobile banking mainstream and extending that functionality to mobile payments,” said Bill Sheedy, Visa’s executive vice president of corporate strategy, in a statement.
Visa maintains that tapering off holdings over time is consistent with its investment practices and driven (at least partially) by Monitise impressive growth. Yet it is clearly no coincidence that the world’s largest payment card company is looking to unlock funds for its own mobile ventures as Apple’s platform is unleashed.
When Apple announced Apple Pay earlier this month Visa announced its Visa Token Service would be compatible with the product. Tokens replace the payment information on plastic debit and credit card and are stored on your mobile device.
“Combining the trust, scale and security of Visa payments with Apple Pay will accelerate adoption of mobile payments,” said Visa CEO Charlie Scharf in a statement the day of the Apple Pay unveil. “We said from the beginning that token services would provide great new consumer and merchant experiences, and you’re seeing it today in our efforts with Apple, and there’s more to come.”
Visa’s stock did not move on the news but shares of Monitise, which trades on the London Stock Exchange, were down close 30% with about an hour and a half left in the European trading day.