The Motley Fool is on the road in Seattle!�Recently we visited Coinstar -- now officially renamed�Outerwall� (NASDAQ: OUTR ) --�to speak with CFO-turned-CEO Scott Di Valerio about the 22-year-old company's well-known coin-cashing machines, as well as its more recent acquisition of Redbox, and future initiatives to expand into other aspects of the automated retail market.
We're all familiar with Coinstar and Redbox. In this video segment Scott reveals other Coinstar projects including Rubi machines -- which will dispense Seattle's Best coffee -- and several other initiatives being tested in the food, beauty, and entertainment markets. The full version of the interview can be watched�here.
A full transcript follows the video.
The retail space is in the midst of the biggest paradigm shift since mail order took off at the turn of last century. Only those most forward-looking and capable companies will survive, and they'll handsomely reward those investors who understand the landscape. You can read about the 3 Companies Ready to Rule Retail in The Motley Fool's special report. Uncovering these top picks is free today; just click here to read more.
Best Freight Companies To Buy Right Now: Asbury Automotive Group Inc (ABG)
Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (Asbury), incorporated on February 15, 2002, is an automotive retailers in the United States. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated 99 franchises (79 dealership locations). It offers a range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicles; vehicle maintenance; replacement parts and collision repair services; new and used vehicle financing, and aftermarket products, such as insurance, warranty and service contracts. As of December 31, 2011, it offered 30 domestic and foreign brands of new vehicles. Its brand mix is weighted 84% towards luxury and mid-line import brands, with the remaining 16% consisting of domestic brands. As of December 31, 2011, it operated dealerships in 18 metropolitan markets throughout the United States. As of December 31, 2011, its retail network consisted of eight locally-branded dealership groups. As of December 31, 2011, its brand names included Nalley Automotive Group, Courtesy Autogroup, Coggin Automotive Group, Crown Automotive Company, David McDavid Auto Group, North Point Auto Group, Gray-Daniels Auto Family and Plaza Motor Company. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company sold its heavy truck business in Atlanta, Georgia, two franchises and one additional ancillary business. On May 2, 2011, the Company sold its luxury brand dealership in California. In December 2012, the Company acquired a Volkswagen and a Bentley store in the Atlanta, Georgia market.
New Vehicle Sales
As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned a range of 30 American, European and Asian brands. Its new vehicle unit sales consist of the sale of new vehicles to individual retail customers (new vehicle retail) and the sale of new vehicles to commercial customers (fleet). During the year ended December 31, 2011, it sold 71,449 new vehicles through its dealerships. During 2011, new vehicle sales were 54% of its total revenues and 22% of its total gross profit. The Company�� new vehicle revenues include new vehi! cle sale and lease transactions arranged by its dealerships with third parties.
Used Vehicle Sales
The Company sells used vehicles at all of its dealership locations. Used vehicle sales include the sale of used vehicles to individual retail customers (used retail) and the sale of used vehicles to other dealers at auction (wholesale). During 2011, it sold 55,805 used retail vehicles through its dealerships. During 2011, sales of used retail vehicles accounted for approximately 25% of its total revenues. During 2011, wholesale sales represented 4% of its total revenues.
The Company�� new vehicle operations provide its used vehicle operations with a supply of trade-ins and off-lease vehicles. It also purchases a portion of its used vehicle inventory at auctions restricted to new vehicle dealers and open auctions, which offer vehicles sold by other dealers and repossessed vehicles. Its used vehicle inventory is sold as wholesale if a vehicle is not sold at retail within 60 days, except for used vehicles, which does not fit within its inventory mix. The reconditioning of used vehicles also generates revenue for its parts and service departments.
Parts and Service
Asbury sells replacement parts and provides vehicle maintenance and collision repair service at all of its franchised dealerships, for the vehicle brands sold at those dealerships. As of December 31, 2011, in addition, it maintained 25 free-standing collision repair centers either on the premises of, or in close proximity to, its dealerships. During 2011, parts and service revenues accounted for approximately 14% of its total revenues.
Finance and Insurance
The Company refers to the finance and insurance portion of its business as F&I. Through its F&I business, it arranges, and receives commissions for, third-party financing of the sale or lease of new and used vehicles to customers, as well as offers a range of aftermarket products, such as extended servi! ce contra! cts, guaranteed asset protection (GAP) debt cancellation, pre-paid maintenance and credit life and disability insurance. It also generates F&I revenues from the receipt of marketing fees paid to it under agreements with preferred lenders. During 2011, its F&I business generated approximately 3% of its total revenues. Extended service contracts cover repair work after the expiration of the manufacturer warranty. GAP debt cancellation covers the customer after a total loss for the difference between the value of the vehicle and the outstanding loan or lease obligation after insurance proceeds. Prepaid maintenance covers routine maintenance work, such as oil changes, cleaning and adjusting of brakes, multi-point vehicle inspections and tire rotations. Credit life and disability covers the remaining amounts due on an auto loan or a lease in the event of death or disability.
The Company earns sales-based commissions from third-party lenders, including manufacturer captive finance subsidiaries which arranges on behalf of its customers. It may be charged back (chargebacks) for these commissions in the event a finance contract is cancelled or repaid, typically within the first 90 days of such contract. During 2011, it arranged customer financing on approximately 70% of the vehicles it sold. The Company is a party to a range of preferred lender agreements. These payments are determined by the lenders based upon an agreed-upon earnings schedule.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
What: Shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE: ABG ) were revving up today, gaining as much as 15% after posting a strong earnings report.
Top Retail Companies To Invest In 2014: Yum! Brands Inc.(YUM)
YUM! Brands, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a quick service restaurant company in the United States and internationally. It develops, operates, franchises, and licenses a system of restaurants, which prepare, package, and sell various food items, as well as operates Chinese casual dining concept restaurants. The company?s restaurants specialize in chicken, pizza, and Mexican-style food categories. It operates approximately 37,000 restaurants in 110 countries and territories under the KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands, as well as approximately 450 casual dining concept restaurants in China. The company was formerly known as TRICON Global Restaurants, Inc. and changed its name to YUM! Brands, Inc. in May 2002. YUM! Brands, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dan Caplinger]
McCormick has certainly been hitting it out of the park lately, with the stock rising to all-time highs in early April after the company announced positive earnings in its previous quarterly report. Between its solid balance sheet and its all-pervasive business model, McCormick has a stranglehold on its industry in a way that Fool analyst Jason Moser believes makes it a must-own for a long-term investor like Warren Buffett. Although the commercial side of the business, which supplies spices to companies like food giant General Mills (NYSE: GIS ) and restaurant chain Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM ) , had relatively flat performance, the consumer side had strong growth.
- [By Gregory Wallace and Charles Riley]
Most have ended their relationship with the company or stopped selling its products. Among them are Yum Brands (YUM) (owner of KFC and Pizza Hut), Burger King (BKW), Papa John's (PZZA) and Starbucks (SBUX).
Top Retail Companies To Invest In 2014: Pier 1 Imports Inc (PIR)
Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (Pier 1 Imports), incorporated in April 30, 1986, is a global importer of imported decorative home furnishings and gifts. As of March 2, 2013, the Company had 1,062 stores in the United States and Canada. During the fiscal year ended March 2, 2013 (fiscal 2013), the Company opened 22 new Pier 1 Imports stores and closed 12 stores. The Company operates regional distribution center facilities in or near Baltimore, Maryland; Columbus, Ohio; Fort Worth, Texas; Ontario, California; Savannah, Georgia, and Tacoma, Washington. The specialty retail operations of the Company consist of retail stores and e-Commerce operations conducting business under the name Pier 1 Imports, which sell a range of furniture, decorative home furnishings, dining and kitchen goods, candles, gifts and other specialty items for the home.
As of March 2, 2013, the Company operated 982 Pier 1 Imports stores in the United States and 80 Pier 1 Imports stores in Canada. During fiscal 2013, the Company supplied merchandise and licensed the Pier 1 Imports name to Grupo Sanborns, which sold Pier 1 Imports merchandise primarily in a store within a store format in 49 Sears Mexico stores and one store in El Salvador. The stores consist of freestanding units located near shopping centers or malls and in-line positions in major shopping centers. Pier 1 Imports operates in all major United States metropolitan areas and many of the primary smaller markets.
This merchandise group constitutes the range of category of merchandise in Pier 1 Imports��sales mix. These items are imported primarily from Asian and European countries, as well as some domestic sources. This merchandise group includes decorative accents, lamps, vases, dried and artificial flowers, baskets, ceramics, dinnerware, bath and fragrance products, candles, seasonal and gift items.
This merchandise group consists of furniture and furniture cushions to be used in livin! g, dining, office, kitchen and bedroom areas, sunrooms and on patios. Also included in this group are wall decorations and mirrors. These goods are imported from a variety of countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Brazil, Thailand, China, the Philippines, India and Indonesia, and are also obtained from domestic sources. This merchandise group is made of metal or handcrafted natural materials, including rattan, pine, beech, rubberwood and selected hardwoods with either natural, stained, painted or upholstered finishes.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Marc Bastow]
Decorative gifts and products distributor Pier 1 (PIR) raised its quarterly dividend 20% to 6 cents per share, payable on Feb. 5 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 22.
PIR Dividend Yield: 1.1%
- [By Rich Smith]
This series, brought to you by Yahoo! Finance, looks at which upgrades and downgrades make sense, and which ones investors should act on. Today, our headlines feature a pair of upgrades for home furnishings store Pier 1 (NYSE: PIR ) and engine technologist BorgWarner (NYSE: BWA ) . Let's address those two real quick, before we get to the day's really big news (about American Tower (NYSE: AMT ) ).
Top Retail Companies To Invest In 2014: Groupon Inc (GRPN)
Groupon, Inc. (Groupon) is a local e-commerce marketplace that connects merchants to consumers by offering goods and services at a discount. Each day the Company e-mails its subscribers discounted offers for goods and services that are targeted by location and personal preferences. Consumers also access its deals directly through its Websites and mobile applications. The Company operates in two segments: North America, which represents the United States and Canada; and International, which represents the rest of its global operations. Customers purchase Groupons from the Company and redeem them with its merchants. As of September 30, 2011, the Company featured deals from over 190,000 merchants worldwide across over 190 categories of goods and services. Groupon primarily addresses the worldwide local commerce markets in the leisure, recreation, foodservice and retail sectors. In February 2012, the Company announced the launch of Groupon Thailand. In September 2012, it acquired Savored.
In May 2010, the Company acquired CityDeal Europe GmbH (CityDeal). In August 2010, the Company acquired Qpod.inc (Qpod). In November 2010, the Company acquired Ludic Labs, Inc., a company that designs and develops local marketing services. During the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company acquired Mobly, Inc. In February 2011, the Company launched Deal Channels, which aggregates daily deals from the same category.
The Company distributes a featured daily deal by e-mail on behalf of local merchants to subscribers. It offers daily deals from more than 40 national merchants, including Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop, Hyatt Regency, InterContinental Hotels, Lions Gate, Redbox, Shutterfly and Zipcar across subsets of the North American market. Daily deals that do not appear as a featured daily deal appear as Deals Nearby. Each Deal Nearby is summarized in fewer than 20 words next to the featured daily deal. Deals Nearby often extends beyond the subscriber's closest market or buying preferences.
National merchants also have used the Company�� marketplace as an alternative to traditional marketing and brand advertising. On August 19, 2010, the Company e-mailed and posted a Groupon daily deal offering $50 of apparel at Gap for $25 to 9.2 million subscribers across 85 markets in North America. It sold approximately 433,000 Groupons in 24 hours. Of the consumers who purchased Groupons, approximately 200,000 were new subscribers. As of September 30, 2011, it had 142.9 million subscribers to its daily e-mails.
Groupon NOW is a deal initiated by a merchant on demand and offered instantly to subscribers through mobile devices and its Website. Subsequent to the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company launched Groupon NOW in 25 North American markets. Deal Channels aggregate daily deals from the same category and are accessible through its Website and through e-mail alerts that subscribers sign up to receive. It offers Deal Channels in home and garden and event tickets and travel. Merchants can register their deals to be included in a Deal Channel. Subscribers can use Deal Channels to focus on deals that are of interest to them.
Self-Service Deals allows the Company�� merchants to use a self-service platform to create and launch deals at their discretion. The use of the platform is free and allows merchants to establish a permanent e-commerce presence on Groupon that can be visited and followed by subscribers. The Company receives a portion of the purchase price from deals sold through Self-Service Deals based on the extent to which it marketed the deal. In December 2010, it launched Self-Service Deals in selected North American markets.
Groupon Goods enables consumers to purchase vouchers for products directly from its Website. The Company e-mails deals for Groupon Goods weekly to a targeted subscriber base. The Company offers deals for a variety of product categories, including electronics, home and garden and toys. In September 2011, the Compa! ny launch! ed Groupon Goods in select North American and International markets.
Groupon Rewards enables consumers to unlock special Groupon deals from local merchants through repeat visits. Consumers earn reward points at participating merchants by paying with the credit or debit card they have registered with the Company. Merchants set the amount the consumer must spend to unlock a reward deal, and once a consumer is eligible to unlock a deal, it automatically notifies them. The Company distributes its deals directly through several platforms: a daily e-mail, its Websites, its mobile applications and social networks.
In December 2010, the Company partnered with Redbox to offer a daily deal to their user base and it acquired over 200,000 new customers through that offer and in March 2011, it partnered with eBay to offer a daily deal to their user base and it acquired over 290,000 new customers through that offer. The featured daily deal e-mail contains one headline deal with a full-description of the deal and often contains links to More Great Deals Nearby, all of which are available within a subscriber's market.
Visitors are prompted to register as a subscriber when they first visit its Website and thereafter use the Website as a portal for featured daily deals, Deals Nearby, national deals, and where available, Deal Channels and Self-Service Deals. Consumers also access the Company�� deals through its mobile applications, which are available on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows mobile operating systems. It launched its first mobile application in March 2010. The Company publishes its daily deals through various social networks and its notifications are adapted to the particular format of each of these social networking platforms.
Groupon competes with Google, Microsoft, Eversave, BuyWithMe and LivingSocial.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Coupons.Com Inc (NYSE: COUP) is the most recent small cap digital coupon or daily deal stock to emerge in a spectacular IPO to challenge existing players like mid cap Groupon Inc (NASDAQ: GRPN) and small caps LiveDeal Inc (NASDAQ: LIVE) and RetailMeNot Inc (NASDAQ: SALE). However and since the recent IPO, small cap Coupons.Com has been a relatively flat deal for investors.
- [By WALLSTCHEATSHEET]
Groupon allows consumers and companies to find a happy medium when transacting for goods or services. The company said Monday that it acquired online flash sales fashion retailer Ideeli to expand in the apparel sector. The stock has been surging higher over the past several months, but is currently pulling back. Over the last four quarters, earnings and revenues have been increasing, leaving investors pleased. Relative to its peers and sector, Groupon has been a poor year-to-date performer. Look for Groupon to OUTPERFORM.
Top Retail Companies To Invest In 2014: Starbucks Corporation(SBUX)
Starbucks Corporation purchases and roasts whole bean coffees. It operates approximately 16,858 stores, including 8,833 company-operated stores and 8,025 licensed stores. The company offers approximately 30 blends and single-origin premium arabica coffees. It also provides handcrafted beverages, such as fresh-brewed coffee, hot and iced espresso beverages, coffee and non-coffee blended beverages, Vivanno smoothies, and Tazo teas; and merchandise products, including home espresso machines, coffee brewers and grinders, coffee mugs and accessories, packaged goods, music, books, and gift items. In addition, it offers fresh food items, which comprise baked pastries, sandwiches, salads, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, and fruit cups. Further, it also provides VIA ready brew coffee, bottled frappuccino beverages, discoveries chilled cup coffee, doubleshot espresso drinks, iced coffee, whole bean coffee, and ice creams. The company?s brand portfolio includes Tazo tea, Ethos water, Seatt le?s Best Coffee, and Torrefazione Italia Coffee. Starbucks Corporation sells its products in approximately 50 countries worldwide. Starbucks Corporation was founded in 1971 and is based in Seattle, Washington.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Steve Heller]
Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX ) appears to be gearing up to capture a piece of the $195 billion worldwide carbonated soft drink market. The company has begun testing made-to-order sparkling beverages at some of its Seattle stores. Beverage-lovers can choose among made-to-order sparkling teas, refreshers, root beer, ginger ale, and lemon ale.
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) seems an obvious choice if more people will be driving. How do you stay up for a long 200 to 300 mile drive? The legal way is coffee. Starbucks shares are now down 5% from their highs, as well due to the market sell-off. If Americans are going on a long driving trip, their favorite coffee is likely to end up in their stomachs.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Noodles & Co. have dropped 8% to $42.92 today at 11:47 a.m. Noodles is also dragging down other high-flying restaurant stocks. Potbelly (PBPB), for instance, has fallen 4.4% to $25.78, while Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) has declined 1.9% to $529.18 and Starbucks (SBUX) is off 1.5% at $79.92.