Finimize - 🥤 Coke takes on inflation

Coca-Cola's going digital | War's expensive |

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Today's big stories

  1. Coca-Cola reported its highest quarterly revenue and profit since 2016
  2. There’s one sector your portfolio could do with at a time like this, and it’s not getting enough attention – Read Now
  3. Global military spending hit a record high last year

Pixel-Me-Up

Pixel-Me-Up

What’s Going On Here?

Coca-Cola posted its highest quarterly revenue and profit since 2016 on Monday, and the drinks maker has already found its next untapped market: dead-eyed avatars.

What Does This Mean?

You’ve got to hand it to Coke: the rising cost of its drinks didn’t put loyal customers off last quarter, but the company still went out of its way to cater to an inflation-hobbled market. It released smaller bottles at more affordable prices (which, less altruistically, probably had higher profit margins), and subsequently sold 8% more products last quarter than the same time last year. That helped push up the company’s organic revenue – which strips out the effects of currency swings and acquisitions – by a better-than-expected 18%. And even though it announced that suspending operations in Russia – one of its fastest growing markets – would bruise growth, the company stuck with its full-year revenue target for 2022.

Why Should I Care?

The bigger picture: Consumer staples aren’t invincible.
Coke’s results aren’t exactly surprising: it’s a consumer staples company that sells products people tend to buy no matter what. But Coke acknowledged that there’s only so far that it can put its prices up before customers put the bottle down, while admitting that even higher costs – of sugar, aluminum, and more – were on the way. Fellow staple Kellogg’s said similar things earlier this year, suggesting the typically recession-proof sector could eventually see profits melt away like yesterday’s soggy cornflakes.

Zooming out: Epic marketing, n00bs.
It’s good to know that if you’re ever feeling virtually parched, you can just slake your virtual thirst with a refreshing virtual Coke: the company announced earlier this month that it would be launching a new drink in the metaverse. But not to worry if you’re one of the dweebs still hanging out in the real world: you could get your hands on the super-limited edition “pixel-flavored” drink when it launches next month.  

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Analyst Take

Why Is Everyone Ignoring Utilities Stocks?

Why Is Everyone Ignoring Utilities Stocks?
Photo of Stéphane Renevier

Stéphane Renevier, Analyst

What’s Going On Here?

Utilities stocks are in a weird place right now.

They’ve barely outperformed the broader market since the start of the year, even as the prices of electricity, gas, and the other services they offer have skyrocketed.

Now, there are good reasons for that. For one thing, they might be making more money, but they’re paying more for the raw materials they use too.

But investors have been so pessimistic about the short-term outlook for utilities that they’ve arguably pushed their valuations too low.

So that’s today’s Insight: why utilities have a lot more potential than they’re getting credit for, and Goldman Sachs’s picks for the best stocks available.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Fighting Talk

Fighting Talk

What’s Going On Here?

Data out over the weekend showed that global military spending hit a record high last year, so… war, huh. That’s what it’s good for.

What Does This Mean?

Military spending has been on the rise ever since Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, pushing countries – European countries in particular – to start amping up their militaries. And data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) just revealed that this spending reached a new high last year, when the world spent an inflation-adjusted 0.7% more on defense than the year before. That brought the yearly total global spend to $2.1 trillion – a number the SIPRI expects to accelerate following the Ukrainian invasion. Certainly looks like it: a host of European countries have already pledged to spend more on their militaries, with Germany already launching a $110 billion fund earlier this year to do just that.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Make war, not love. 
All that extra military spending is ideal for defense companies, which are signing new contracts left, right, and center. Take MBDA: the European missile-maker posted record results in 2021, and said last week that this year’s orders are off to a strong start. Investors’ missiles are showing too: a global index tracking aerospace and defense stocks has outperformed an index of global stocks by 17% this year – the most in almost a decade (tweet this).

The bigger picture: Realism versus pacificism.
Conscientious investors have been shunning the defense sector for a while now, for obvious reasons. But some analysts think the Ukrainian war – which has laid bare the occasional need to swap pacifist ideals for military intervention – could change the way they think about it. And we’re starting to see signs of exactly that, with Sweden’s SEB Investment Management abandoning its weapons-snubbing principles and allowing some of its funds to invest in the sector this month.

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💬 Quote of the day

“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”

– Oscar Wilde (an Irish poet and playwright)
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🎉 Coming Up This Week

💪 How To Invest In Profitable NFT Drops: 6pm, April 27th
🪐 Impact Investor’s Guide to Web3: 6pm, April 28th
🎙 Live Crypto Community Q&A: 5pm, April 29th
💥 What Is ReFi Anyway?: 5pm, May 5th

💪 And then after that…

🚀 How Space Is Changing The World: 5pm, May 9th
👉 What’s Next For Crypto Regulation?: 6pm, May 11th
🏡 How To Buy A Digital Condo: 12pm, May 18th
🚘 The Leaders Of The EV Revolution: 5pm, May 19th

🎯 On Our Radar

  1. Tell us how you’re feeling. Twitter’s going to vibe check you now.
  2. Breeding season’s here. The coral reefs are getting it on.
  3. Meet insulin’s alternative. Scientists are working on a new diabetes treatment.
  4. Cartoon characters are having trouble sleeping. According to their snores, anyway…
  5. Cyclists are cooler than runners. Yup, we mean that literally.
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