📈 Whoa-tly!

That's some strong oat milk | What does Kohl's want? A medal? |

Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for May 21st in 3:15 minutes.

♻️ You’re getting a chance to hear from Blackrock’s Evy Hambro tomorrow, you lucky things. You’ll find out why a building a “circular economy” – one that benefits businesses, society, and the environment – is so essential to achieving a sustainable future. Sign up here

Today's big stories

  1. Oatly listed on the stock market on Thursday, and investors lapped it up
  2. There's a market that's set to surge after trading at a massive discount to stocks for the last ten years – Read Now
  3. American department store Kohl’s posted expectation-busting earnings as demand for apparel surges

Hot Milk

Hot Milk

What’s Going On Here?

Oatly floated on the US stock market on Thursday, and investors gave the plant-based milk maker a warm welcome: its share price immediately frothed up 30%.

What Does This Mean?

It’s no surprise Oatly’s newly public stock was in such high demand. Consumers’ environmental and nutritional concerns have pushed plant-based products into the mainstream, and investors have long been looking for ways to back the companies fueling the category’s rise.

Their enthusiasm allowed Oatly to price its initial public offering (IPO) at the top end of its intended range, raising more than $1.4 billion in the process. The company plans to spend part of the proceeds on paying back a sustainability-linked loan, with the rest funding its ongoing expansion in the particularly fast-growing oat milk market – as well as the development of new products like plant-based cheese.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Competition? What competition?
The IPO valued Oatly overall at $10 billion – a tidy step up from $2 billion just ten months ago (tweet this). That valuation amounts to 24x last year’s sales, compared to Beyond Meat’s 16x and Danone’s relatively paltry 2x (which might be because its two plant-based milk brands – Alpro and Silk – are just small cogs in a much bigger dairy machine). But even as new competition keeps coming onto the scene, Oatly’s ubiquitous brand means its growth is – at least for now – continuing to outstrip its rivals’.

The bigger picture: There’s even more room for plant-based milk to grow.
Oatly’s successful IPO came the day after website-hosting service Squarespace’s shares fell 13% on their own market debut. The difference might in part be down to a precedent set by Beyond Meat: the company’s stock price has risen more than 300% in the two years since it went public, despite a few ups and downs along the way. Investors, then, may well expect Oatly to be to plant-based dairy what Beyond Meat’s been to plant-based meat.

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2. Analyst Take

Vaccines Have Changed The Markets

What’s Going On Here?

Back in 2008, commodity prices were six times higher than those of global stocks. But in the decade since, it’s stocks that have led the way.

Even now, in spite of their recent rally, commodities are still trading at 50% less than their stock market counterparts – the biggest discount on record.

Still, there are a couple of good reasons to think the vaccine-fueled recovery will help commodities not just close the gap, but actually overtake stocks altogether.

And if that turns out to be true, it could be well worth moving your portfolio in a new direction.

So that’s today’s Insight: why there’s so much potential upside for commodities, and how to buy in before they show stocks who’s boss.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Doors Wide Shut

Doors Wide Shut

What’s Going On Here?

Kohl’s posted quarterly earnings that beat analysts’ expectations on Thursday – though that’s not too hard to do when your chain of department stores has been… well, closed.

What Does This Mean?

Kohl’s sales were a whole lot better than expected, climbing 70% compared to the same time last year. And that seems to have left the company feeling pleased with itself: it upped its sales expectations for the rest of the year too.

Still, “better than expected” is a relative statement, and the bar wasn’t exactly high: Kohl’s stores were shuttered this time last year, which meant its sales were down 40% compared to 2019. What’s more, last quarter’s sales were still lower than they were in the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic ever darkened our doors. And that – alongside investors’ concerns that demand will vanish when stimulus checks run out – might be why its shares initially fell 6%.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: This time, it’s personal (spending).
Kohl’s isn’t the only US retailer to nod to surging demand this week: Walmart, Macy’s, and Target all reported strong earnings this week, thanks to what some economists are dubbing “revenge spending”. Those economists noticed it first in China as early as April last year, and they’ve suggested watching the country’s developments closely to get a better sense of what’s to come elsewhere.

The bigger picture: Activists get their way, for better or worse.
If the pandemic weren’t scary enough, Kohl’s has also had to stave off dreaded activist investors – major shareholders that try to effect change in hopes of boosting a firm’s share price. They were criticizing Kohl’s for its long history of lackluster sales, until the company finally gave in last month and agreed to expand both its board of directors and its share buyback plan. So far, though, it has nothing to show for it, with its shares having underperformed department store rivals Macy’s and Nordstrom ever since.  

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💬 Quote of the day

“This is your time and it feels normal to you, but really, there is no normal. There’s only change and resistance to it and then more change.”

– Meryl Streep (an American actress)
Tweet this

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📈 Quick Take

Should You Buy In London?

With this new living-at-work lifestyle here to stay, would-be homebuyers are starting to reassess where they want to put down roots.

Suddenly a pokey apartment in a big city just doesn’t cut it, for some reason.

Thing is, that’s not just driven people out of big cities: it’s driven down prices in those places.

So we looked at one of those big cities – our home turf of London – to look at what’s going on with house prices there, and whether this is an opportunity you can afford to miss.

Check out the Quick Take here

📚 What we're reading

  • Should you buy a home in London? Uh… (Vice)
  • Make crypto less cryptic – invest with eToro (eToro)*
  • Work from home at your peril (The Atlantic)
  • We’re one step closer to instant power naps (IFL Science)

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⚠️ Crypto safety first

You wouldn’t just leave your bike unlocked or your front door open when you leave the house, would you? It’s the same for your crypto: its security should be your number one priority. So join Ledger’s Chief Experience Officer for How To Keep Your Crypto Safe, and he’ll give you all the crypto security basics so you can sleep soundly.

💪 Investment Opportunities In The Circular Economy: 5pm UK time, May 25th
🌍 Why You Should Invest in Emerging Markets: 6.30pm UK time, May 25th
🚨 How To Keep Your Crypto Safe: 12pm NYC time, May 26th
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🐦 Weekly Community Stocks Chat: 6pm UK time, May 27th
📲 How to Profit From The AI Industry: 6pm UK time, May 28th
🇨🇳 How To Profit From Chinese Innovation: 5pm UK time, June 1st
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😎 How To Make Your Own Investing Rules: 5pm UK time, June 9th
🛒 How To Not Get Lost In Supermarket Stocks: 6pm UK time, June 10th
💰 How To Get Yield From Crypto: 12pm NYC time, June 14th
💡 How To Build A Robust Portfolio: 5pm UK time, June 15th
💵 How To Bet On The Rise Of Open Banking Payments: 1pm UK time, June 16th
🤑 How To Earn A Passive Income From Crypto: 12pm NYC time, June 24th
💄 How To Give Your Portfolio A Beauty Makeover: 6pm UK time, June 30th

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