Articles

Live: Answering Your Questions About Investing & the Stock Market


Chris Hill: Hey, everyone! Thanks for watching!
Coming to you from Motley Fool Global Headquarters here in Alexandria, Virginia. I’m Chris Hill.
With me, Ron Gross, Jason Moser. We’re going to be taking your questions in just a second,
so please get those going. We’ve already got a few questions coming in via e-mail, Twitter,
all those other things. Let’s get right to them! First up from Warren Kissel, who asks, “What does Shopify do exactly,
and is it part of the war on cash?” Ron Gross: What do they do?
Hill: Jason, what do they do? Jason Moser: It’s very good question. Chances
are, if you’ve gone to a website or a mobile app and bought something from some entity,
Shopify might very well be the commerce engine, the solution, making that that website work.
Shopify, it’s not necessarily part of the war on cash. They make most of their money via subscriptions
to their merchant customers. However, there is a Shopify payments side of the business.
When you’re on a Shopify-supported site and you buy something, Shopify
payments is supporting that. However, Shopify payments is actually
supported by Stripe. Stripe is very similar to Square. Warren, you know that Square is part of the
war on cash. Stripe is not a public company yet. It may be in the near future. Similar
in a lot of ways to Square, both in what they do and the size of the business. While Shopify
is not necessarily part of the war on cash, they do play in that arena.
Hill: Just to be clear, when we talk about “the war on cash,” that goes back to an executive
from Visa who talked about their business very much being at war with cash. When we
talk war on cash, we’re talking MasterCard, PayPal, etc. Gross: And an amazing basket of stocks that Jason
has put together, as well, that crushes the market. Hill: Thank you, Warren, for the question!
Next up, from Devin Smith, a question about watch lists, which is something we like to
put together here at The Motley Fool. Devin asks, “Any tips on how many stocks to have
on a watch list, or general processes to manage the information flow?”
What do you think, Ron? Gross: I like to keep my watch list
relatively tight. It’s not this crazy thing where I lose track of the 75th stock on the list. 10 to
20 stocks, stocks that I would actually be interested in investing in if something happened
where I could, in a sense, pull the trigger. I like to keep track of them in Excel. There’s
lots of online tools you could use, even Google Finance for example. Just pop them into either
a fake portfolio or a watch list. Then, I like to make sure that I put the date I last
looked at the stock, the price of the stock, and a couple of things that would spark my
interest and make me want to then invest. Moser: I like exactly what Ron’s saying.
I’ll take one more stab at this just by saying you have to know your goal going in. The longer
you’ve been invested, the longer you’re investing, probably the shorter your watch list gets
because you’re building your portfolio up. I like to go back to that old Peter Lynch
saying, the best stock to buy may very well be the one you already own. It’s very nice
to be in a position where the stocks that you want to buy are the ones that you’re adding
to because you already have them in your portfolio. Gross: Just one caveat. If you’re waiting
for a certain price, if you get that price, don’t just buy automatically. Make sure you
understand what’s going on that day, that week, that month, in that
stock before you pull the trigger. Hill: Alright. Thanks for the question, Devin!
From David Rooney. This goes into a company we talk a lot about, the Walt Disney Company.
David asks, “I had my eye on Cedar Fair and Six Flags. Is this a very seasonal business?
Is it smart for the long term? Are there any reasons these stocks should be avoided?”
Disney obviously has a lot of different parts of the business. Amusement parks is one of them.
Cedar Fair, Six Flags, those are much more pure-play amusement parks.
Moser: Disney, you say? Hmm … Gross: [laughs] Yeah, I like them as pure
plays, both of these companies, actually. They’re regional monopolies. They take a lot
of land, takes a lot of capital to build them. Once you have the area, the neighborhood,
the district, you’re kind of the guy, the company that has the
amusement park in that area. Now, both of these companies happen to be
fantastic income plays. Cedar Fair has a 7% dividend yield. Six Flags has a 5% dividend
yield. The stocks have been not so great over the last 12 months. A lot of stocks
haven’t been. But I think they’re going to have an opportunity to raise prices. We just saw Disneyland
announce a price increase, which should give these guys the ability to increase prices
as well. For income, I certainly like them, and I think I like them
for appreciation as well. Moser: Yeah, that’s my takeaway. I think they’re
decent income plays. I’m not sure they’re my favorite businesses in the world. It really
all boils down to operating leverage with these kinds of businesses. You’ve got all
these fixed expenses in these parks. You have to keep them open and staffed. So, then you
have to figure out ways to generate traffic. A lot of times, some of these less-known parks
have to resort to cutting prices to bring traffic in. Disney does that so well. They have
so much IP, so much content, the characters, they’ve actually been able to raise prices
every year, it seems like for eternity. Given my druthers, I would invest in
Disney first. But to Ron’s point, these are some pretty impressive income plays.
Gross: And it is a seasonal business. But in the offseason, they try to sell annual
passes, and there’s other ways to generate revenue. But to a certain extent,
yes, it is a seasonal business. Hill: Let’s get to more questions and keep
them coming. By the way, lower right-hand corner, just go ahead and click the little
jester cap icon, you can subscribe to The Motley Fool’s YouTube channel with one click
of the button. We’ll be doing more of these in addition to all the other content
we’ve got on the YouTube channel. Question from Dave, who asks,
“Axon has struggled lately after a nice period of growth. Do you still see them as a good investment?”
For those unfamiliar with Axon, this is the parent company of Taser. They own the stun guns,
but they’re moving increasingly into body cameras, evidence.com, that sort of thing.
Moser: I remember going through the company’s filings back when it was Taser. The business
impressed me from a number of perspectives. They seemed to own the hardware side of that
market. It seems that more and more police forces and security forces are finding the
benefits in having body cameras in order to be able to document everything that’s going on.
They were selling the hardware along with the technology behind that, the cloud services
and the ability to store all of that data. That said, I haven’t looked up on Axon lately.
It’s hard for me to give you a current assessment of the business. But I do very well remember
that I was impressed with the business when it was Taser because it had that position
where no one else was able to compete with it on that same playing field.
Hill: Alright, Dave, thanks for the question! Question from Bob. “Do I actually need to
own bonds in my portfolio?” Great question! Obviously at The Motley Fool, we’re big
fans of stocks. But as people get older, start to look for more safer vehicles,
bonds are the obvious candidate there. Gross: Obvious candidate. It’s not a necessity
to own bonds, but it might be a necessity at some point to own less stocks. So, then
the question is, what do you do with the money that is not in the stock market? Certainly,
no matter what age you are, you don’t want to have money in the stock market that
you need, let’s say, over the next three years or so. It’s just too risky. Then, when you
get into retirement, as you get older and older, there’s a certain percentage of your
portfolio that you really should have in something safer. That can be CDs, it can be bonds,
it can be annuities. If interest rates ever get above nothing it could
be a savings account or a CD. Bonds is certainly one alternative. I like
a lot of the bond ETFs. You don’t need to own bonds outright, in and of itself, a company
bond. One way to play it is through an ETF or a mutual fund.
Hill: To go back to the dividends you were talking about before, we’ve seen over the
last five years, bonds in part because the rates are lower, and in part because you see
an increasing number of companies hiking that dividend, we’ve seen stable blue-chip companies
essentially replace bonds in people’s portfolios. They’re going to get that dividend, it’s higher
than the bond, and if the stock does any sort of appreciation, that’s a double win.
Gross: It’s a double win but it has its consequences. So much money has flowed into stocks because
it’s the only place to get yield, those stock prices have been bid up to the point of where
you’ve got to be careful. Make sure you understand what you’re buying.
Hill: Thanks for the question, Bob! A question from Tosha, who asks, “What are your
thoughts on the cannabis industry?” Few industries in the investing world have been in the spotlight
over the past 12 months like the cannabis industry. Moser: Yeah. I’ve been on record number of times saying that I’m all for the legalization
of marijuana. I think Canada’s got its act together and I’m glad to see that they’re
leading the way. I think it’s only a matter of time here domestically. It seems like the
legislative environment is a bit more difficult to work through, but I feel like that toothpaste
is out of the tube and you’re not going to be able to go back. I like
the market opportunity in general. Now, I will say that what we’ve seen here
recently seems like a mania. Everybody and their mother wants to get in on this action.
What that’s resulted in is, we have a lot of money chasing this market, and it’s investing
in the good businesses and a lot of the bad ones, too. Before you jump into this market,
you really have to make sure you understand the companies involved. Don’t just buy a
producer or a grower of marijuana. Perhaps look for the companies that are going to
leverage that property and do something else with it. That’s where the
competitive advantage can lie. Again, as this market matures and becomes
a little bit more stable, we’ll see the pretenders fade away. We’ll see the real players step
up to the mic there. There’s a lot of money flowing into it right now, which is pushing valuations
up on everything, including the bad businesses. Gross: And as it matures,
which we’re nowhere near that yet, you see it become more of a
commodity business. In the end, that is what it is, with margins that are probably nowhere
near high enough to support some of these lofty evaluations that we’ve seen as a result
of the hype. Buyer beware, for sure. Hill: One other thing makes it a little bit
more complicated for investors to evaluate is, we see these giant companies come in to make
investments in these smaller cannabis companies. You look at Altria. Pepsi and Coca-Cola
apparently have been kicking the tires on investments as well. That can be promising
in some ways. But I feel like, as an individual investor, it makes it a little bit harder
to evaluate, is this a legitimate opportunity? Or is this just because these companies have
so much money, they can afford to write something down if it doesn’t go well for them?
Moser: That’s a really good point. They can make those bets and more or less just write
it off at the end of the year if it doesn’t work out. Now, with that said, it’s also worth
noting when these companies do make those bets. Talking about taking the commodity and
doing something else with it, that’s ultimately what we’re talking about, whether it’s a beverage company or
a pharmaceutical company or something else. It does take a little bit of investigation
to fully understand, but your point is very true. These big businesses, they can pretty
much do anything they want when they have bank accounts that big.
Hill: Thanks for the question, Tosha! Michael asks, “I love Zendesk. I picked that
recommendation up from Motley Fool Rule Breakers. Are there any companies in that software-as-a-service
space that you’re interested in?” Great question! Software-as-a-service, I feel like we didn’t
even use that phrase five years ago, and it’s increasingly become not just relevant for
our everyday lives, it’s certainly become increasingly relevant for investors.
Moser: Yeah. The software-as-a-service business that’s really killing me, it sounds like it’s
going to be off our radar here very soon, is Ellie Mae. I’m sure a lot of people saw
the announcement that Ellie Mae, it sounds like they’re going to be
snapped up by private equity. A great example of a powerful
software-as-a-service model. Jumped into a fairly regulated industry
there in mortgage lending, developed an ecosystem of all of these different products and services
that lenders need in order to get these loans taken care of — refinancing, purchasing.
So, yeah, to that point in regard to software-as-service, look for those companies that are treading
in markets where no one else is able to compete due to regulations or barriers to entry.
Then you’ll see, over time, switching costs. With switching costs tend to come pricing power.
Those make some great investment ideas. Hill: You look at a company like DocuSign,
that’s one we’ve talked about a bunch on our show. Gross: Absolutely. HubSpot is a nice one, as well.
Moser: Chances are, if you’re signing something on DocuSign, it was probably a document that
was powered by Ellie Mae’s mortgage engine, too. Hill: Exactly. So, a couple of names to put on your watch list. Thanks for the question,
Michael! Travis asks, “Is it bad if my portfolio only contains stocks with high dividend yields?”
Great question, Travis! Is it bad? I don’t know, bad seems like the wrong word.
Gross: It’s not bad in and of itself. Investing should always be about total return,
dividends plus appreciation. If you buy a stock with a high dividend yield, OK, fine. But if the
stock goes down, what have you done for yourself? You’ve hurt yourself, actually. You always
have to think about the ability of the stock price to go up in conjunction with
a hopefully nice, fat yield. Now, yields are all about a management team’s decision to allocate capital
in a way such that they’re going to give it back to the shareholders, rather than put
it into a growth project or any capital expansion. That’s a management decision.
Some management teams are better at it than others. To answer the question directly, not bad in
and of itself, but you have to make sure that your total return is
what you have your eye on. Hill: Every now and then, we talk about dividend
aristocrats, those companies that have a tremendous history of paying out a dividend,
increasing that dividend. If you’re looking specifically at dividend stocks, it seems like the closer
a company gets to being a dividend aristocrat moves it higher up the list in terms of their
ability and your belief that they’re going to be able to sustain this.
Gross: That’s what I actually like to seemore, the S&P 500 aristocrats, 25 years of
increase in dividends. I like to see that steady increase in dividends rather than just
a big, fat yield. Be careful, sometimes a company could have a big yield because the
stock price has taken a large hit. That’s just the way the math works. When the stock
price goes down, the yield goes up. Make sure you understand what you’re buying. I love
to see a company that has enough cash flow and enough growth that it can continually
increase the dividends year after year. Moser: Those aristocrats are huge. You go
home every night, you look at your kids, and you’re proud of your kids. Those dividend
aristocrat companies, every year, they had that track record, they look at that with
the same level of pride. Take that into consideration because it really is meaningful.
Hill: Gerald asks, “How can I take advantage of being a pessimist? Shorting is too risky.
Should I start thinking about options? I would have bet against Snap if I understood how.”
I like this question. I have to say, I’m right there with Gerald. There are definitely businesses
that I’m pessimistic about. I’ve never pulled the trigger on shorting a stock simply
because I feel like I would lose sleep at night. The upside just isn’t there for me
unless I’m positive it’s going to zero. Gross: It’s interesting, is he
a pessimist now or a pessimist in general? If you’re a pessimist in general and that keeps you out
of the stock market in a meaningful way for a lifetime, that’s going to hurt you. I think
you do need to be invested in the stock market for a lifetime over years and years and years.
If you happen to be pessimistic right now because of what you see going on in the world,
that’s a little different. Nothing wrong with sitting on some cash, staying on the sidelines.
There are inverse ETFs that you can buy that play the market downturn. Be careful about
what you’re buying. Some of them are a little bit shaky. Nothing wrong with waiting for,
as Warren Buffett says, that fat pitch. Sit on your cash. Then, when you see
something you like, move into the market. Moser: My biggest problem with shorting —
and I don’t do it — your downside is essentially unlimited. If you buy a stock, the most you
can lose 100% of your money. That would stink, but at least you know the downside. Shorting,
you could sit there and be right the whole way along, and the market will totally stick
it to you. Everybody likes to be a glass-half-empty guy, Chris, myself included. But what I like
to do is basically look at the companies through that pessimistic lens and avoid
investing in them altogether. Hill: Question from Todd, who asks, “Tencent has
had a tough run of late. Are you guys worried about China’s increased regulation around
video games?” Thanks for the question, Todd! If the cannabis industry has been the industry
in the spotlight over the last 12 months, certainly another storyline in the investing
world is China. 2018, Jason, a rough year for some of the biggest
names in China. Tencent, Alibaba, etc. Moser: China has always been a little bit
of a point of contention for me, because I feel like there’s a part of that regulatory
environment that we’ll never really understand. Even if we had boots on the ground studying
that market in its homeland, it’s just going to be a difficult one to fully understand
compared to the transparency that we get here. With that said, if you’re interested in investing
in China, there are two ways to go about it. You either, A, invest in the market leaders
over there. We’re talking about businesses like Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba. I think those
are good businesses. Generally speaking, when you’ve got that type of a market share position,
you’re going to be OK, regulations notwithstanding. The other option is to basically look for
the big domestic companies that are making a lot of money in China. We have plenty of
great companies here domiciled in the United States that have a great amount of revenue
that they’re bringing in from China year in and year out. Hill: Isn’t that the big thesis, or one of the big theses, for Starbucks right now?
Not just how they’re doing here in North America, but China as a growth opportunity?
Gross: For sure, that’s their biggest growth opportunity. You’ll see stocks come down when
you see China announce that their economy or their GDP has weakened. It’s been pretty
much the fastest-growing major economy for a long time, and now they’re seeing weakness.
One problem I have is, you can never actually believe what their larger macroeconomic numbers
are because the government there is notorious for playing around with those numbers.
You have to look through to see how Starbucks is actually doing. Those are
the numbers you can trust. Moser: Apple, too. Think about the phone
situation there. It’s obviously becoming a bit more of a price-sensitive issue. China’s responsible
for something like 20% of Apple’s overall revenue, but it’s more like 30% of operating profit.
It’s very meaningful from that perspective. Hill: Question from Vijay, who asks,
“How do you avoid the temptation to trade often with the fear of a recession coming?” I love
Vijay’s question because it goes to something that we overlook a lot of times as investors,
and that is our own emotions. Fear is certainly one of the dominant emotions that we
deal with. I don’t know, how do you avoid that temptation to trade out?
Moser: It’s one of the most difficult parts of our job, actually helping people deal with
those emotions, teaching someone. I could sit there and tell you, “Don’t worry,”
but that’s not going to make you not worry, right? I look back to myself, I think about for how
long I have been investing. My father started talking to me about this 100 years ago when
I was a kid. It really does take experience. I think it also takes going through some really
tough times of your own. I look back to the financial crisis, the Great Recession.
While that was a tough time for a lot of people, I look at that as perhaps the most amazing
and educational period of my investing life because it taught me how to deal with those
ups and downs, those turbulent, headline-driven times, really learning how to take my emotions,
put them aside and just be calm and rational. It just does take experience,
I think, in some cases. Gross: For sure. And when the question uses
the word “trading,” I assume it’s not about trading in and out, in and out, in and out.
I would never recommend doing that. It’s much too difficult for the average investor,
let alone the professional investor, who I don’t think does it very well, either. I assume
they mean trading out of stocks and moving to cash. That can be tempting, but when we
look at the history of the stock market, decades and decades and decades long, you see
that you need to be in the market for the most important days of the market. If you’re just
out of the market for the best five or 10 days over a certain period of time, your returns
get destroyed. Trying to time the market will really take a bite out of your long-term performance.
Moser: One final point here. This is why we preach diversification. If you can have your
portfolio well diversified, it’s amazing how that’s an automatic way for you to be able
to cope with these times. Even in times of recession, there’s still ways to invest in good
businesses out there. It’s not like everything’s going to hell in a handbasket. Make sure your
portfolio is well diversified. You’re going to have some up days and down days, but that
diversification is a real way to combat those emotions. Gross: Finally, back to the psychology angle. Don’t look at your stocks every day.
Don’t look at them. Don’t even look at them every month, especially in a time where things are
really volatile. Just understand that you own good companies for very long periods of
time, and the rest will take care of itself as long as you don’t panic.
Hill: Alright, Lori asks, “What are your thoughts on investing in gold or silver?”
Thank you for the question, Lori! Are either of you guys into commodities?
Moser: Not me personally. I don’t own any. I can understand why someone would want
some exposure. If you’re going to own gold or silver, the actual metal, understand you have
to have some place to put it. Understand why you want to own it. In most cases, it’s a
hedge against inflation. Perhaps when you get a little bit older, it seems a bit more
of a defensive way to give yourself some stability, but I just don’t find it to be all that attractive
an investment because it doesn’t produce anything. There’s no value there.
Gross: That’s the exact reason. Warren Buffett is famous for saying, if aliens
looked down on us, they would see us digging gold out of the ground here and putting it in a vault
over here because it doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t produce any cash flow. If it doesn’t
produce any cash flow except for the small amount that’s used for jewelry, then there’s
no way to value it. If there’s no way to value it, then I don’t know if I’m getting a good
price or a bad price, and therefore, how could I possibly invest in it? That’s a controversial
thing to say. It’s a hedge against inflation. If ever we get hyperinflation, gold will go
up. It’s just the way it goes. But I won’t be the beneficiary
of it because I’m not buying it. Moser: You want a cash-producing commodity,
buy a coffee farm. I’m pretty sure in recessionary times, coffee is still going to be doing pretty well.
And, at least you know that coffee farm’s going to produce some cash.
Hill: Alright, last question before we get to the stocks to watch next week,
that’ll be making headlines next week. We’ll get to those in a second. Last question. From Dominic,
who asks, “Ron gross, do you have any barbecue tips? I know we’re in the dead
of winter, but I’m always game.” Gross: [laughs] Oh, Dominic!
How much time do we have? Hill: We don’t have that much time.
Gross: Alright. Always let your beef come to room temperature. There’s no such thing
as too much salt. That’s the one mistake amateur cooks make vs. professional cooks. This guy’s
not too shabby, either. Hit them with one. Moser: OK. I’m going to tell you go to https://dizzypigbbq.com. Check out the family of spices they’ve got. They’ve got literally anything for anything
that you want cook. Talk about flavor. And I know I always
talk about McCormick! Gross: Yeah. Moser: Dizzy Pig, they’re a local
provider here, they have some really good stuff. Hill: You’re not getting stuff like that on
Bloomberg. That’s all I’m telling you. Moser: And that was
not a paid spot, by the way. Hill: [laughs] Let’s get to the
stocks to watch next week. Before we do that, one we talked about on
last week’s show, TripAdvisor, reported after the bell yesterday. That was one of the ones
you talked about, Jason. 2018, good year for TripAdvisor shareholders.
We’re seeing a pullback in shares today. Moser: Yeah. We don’t really play that expectations
game. They beat on the revenue side, missed slightly on the earnings side. But when
I go through the earnings release in the call, on the whole, everything looked pretty good.
The hotel revenue is starting to pick back up. The experiences revenue is accelerating. They’re doing
some good stuff with the restaurant business. But all in all, the thing that’s
most important to me, because we know they’re recovering from a bit of a stumble, the constant
there is that the platform remains engaged. They continue to bring in more users, generating
more reviews, more great content pictures. It’s working, they’re just taking a little
time here to recover. When I looked through that actual quarter, I’m still
encouraged with what I saw. Hill: Alright, stocks to watch next week reporting
earnings. Next Thursday, Domino’s Pizza. Ron, Domino’s Pizza, speaking of stocks that
have had a good 12 months. That stock’s up somewhere in the neighborhood of 40% over the past year.
What should investors be looking for when they report next week?
Gross: Almost 300% over five years, they’re really unbelievable. A lot of us are familiar
with what they did back in the day, when they really revamped their menu and made their
pizza edible. Kudos to them for doing so! Now, it’s really about their use of technology.
It’s very, very impressive, whether it’s their Points for Pies campaign, which uses machine
learning technology, or, they rolled out Hotspots, which allows you to order a pizza
to a park, for example, or the beach. Here’s what to watch. January 29th, they warned
a slowdown in overseas markets would put a dent in their 2018 profit. It made the stock
take a pretty big hit. I’m going to look for their guidance on overseas. They’re trying
to make it a very big growth area for them, but they’re having a little bit of trouble.
Hill: Also next Thursday, Zillow reporting. Jason, that’s a stock that’s had a rough
12 months, down about 20% or so. This is one of those businesses that seems like the platform
itself is popular for people looking to buy a home, but they’re having trouble
turning on the money machine. Moser: It is. I will say this until I’m dead
and gone, they really do have the best platform for looking at houses. It’s so easy to use
and so helpful and so robust. But they’re having a lot of trouble turning that into money.
Something they noted in last quarter’s call, they’re entering this period of transformational
innovation. I mean, excuse me, but I feel like that’s what these last eight years were supposed
to be about. Now, they have to innovate again. I’m not sure what to make of that. 
A lot of people are going to be focusing on the homes business. That’s neat, I guess,
but it’s not meaningful at all. They’re losing money on it. It’s not necessarily like they have
some big advantage in buying and flipping homes. What this business still boils down
to is that premiere agent network that they have. They’re not disclosing the full numbers
on how many agents they have. We know that they really started focusing on the higher-spending
agents and culling out those lower-spending agents. Churn was a big problem in 2018.
Spencer Rascoff feels like that churn is going to abate here in 2019. But when you look at their
financials, they’re still not profitable, and it’s not looking like they’re going to
be lighting that profit model on fire anytime soon. I like what they’re doing. I like the app.
Man, I wish this business would just get it straight. Hill: Walmart is reporting on Wednesday.
The stock basically flat over the past year, Ron. They’ve done a pretty good job in terms
of innovations, particularly when it comes to ramping up the online purchasing.
Gross: Which they had to do. We’re living in the age of Amazon. What choice do you have
but to try to compete there? And they have done well. They’ve done well in turning their
U.S. business around, which for years was just a mess. Keep an eye
on e-commerce sales. They were up 43% last quarter. We want to see how that’s
trending. They did raise their full-year outlook. It’ll be interesting to see how they did vs.
that new outlook. Grocery sales, a big deal. They make up 56% of Walmart’s revenue.
Need to see how that continues to trend. Finally, margins were hurt lately as a result of higher
transportation costs, rising e-commerce from fulfillment costs. Keep an eye
on margins. We’ll see how they trend. Gross: Alight, we started with pizza, let’s end
with beer. Boston Beer reporting on Thursday, Jason. A good past 12 months for Boston Beer
after a couple of years of real struggles. Moser: Yeah, real struggles. It wasn’t really
of their own doing. They’re the ones that started this fight. You go back to the day
when craft beer just started taking hold, Boston Beer help blazed that trail. But what
it did is it opened up the doors for a million and one competitors to come in and try to
take a little bit of share along with them. So, now, consequently, if you go to the store
and you look at the beer aisle, it’s almost impossible. You get paralysis from so many choices.
That’s a good thing and a bad thing. For Boston Beer, it’s ultimately been troublesome
in that they’ve had a lot of trouble growing that top line like we thought it would.
Still waiting for them to hit that $1 billion in revenue. The good news is,
I think 2019 marks the year where they do it. It looks like the depletions
numbers are coming back on track. Those depletion are sales from the distributors to the retailers.
That’s the metric we keep an eye on with them, along with that gross margin because that
gives us an idea of how they’re doing on the pricing side. There’s no question, the craft
beer market today is so incredibly competitive. It’s going to be tough going
no matter which way you look at it. Hill: Alright. Jason Moser,
Ron Gross, guys, thanks for being here! Gross: Thank you!
Hill: Thank you so much for watching! Thank you for the questions! Keep those coming.
Click the subscribe button in the lower right-hand corner. We’re going to be doing more of these live Q&As.
I’m Chris Hill. Thanks so much for watching! Fool on!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *