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Smartphone Slumber, or Smartphone Surge?



Despite many industries being  affected in recent months due to a global pandemic, smartphone releases aren’t slowing down. Apple recently launched a more affordable iPhone SE, complete with formidable features for a fraction of its $1,000+ flagship models—and another phone is in the works for the tech giant with an expected reveal soon. Similarly, Samsung hosted an event in San Francisco in February to ship its Galaxy smartphone. But as the product supply keeps churning out new devices, will there be demand? 

While we can try to look at past recessions to establish a benchmark for how things may progress, our last economic decline in 2008 cannot provide a proper guide as to how this one may affect mobile device sales. More than a decade ago, devices weren’t nearly as vital as they are today when it comes to connectivity—both personally and professionally. So, on one hand, unemployment rates are surging and creating a deficit in durable spending, which includes gadgets. On the other hand, mobile devices today can easily be considered more vital and advanced than they were 10+ years ago, which has been proven in recent months.

With businesses and organizations of all types closed around the world, one of the emerging trends has been the work-from-home model. As the world adapts to different methods of communication, industries are discovering that working remotely may actually be feasible—not just on an as-needed basis, but as a permanent staple: CRN recently reported that “About 74 percent of CFOs surveyed by Gartner expect some of their employees who were forced to work from home because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic to continue working remotely after the pandemic ends.” As CFOs find ways to manage costs, a remote workforce—which reduces on-premises technology and real estate needs—is a great way to cut expenses. And if they move forward with a permanently remote workforce, they may need to make significant investments in devices for their employees, which could be good for brands.

Another side of the technological coin is the one that factors in the quality and life cycle of a device—so as consumers look to upgrade, they may be willing to spend more on a device that will last longer, extending its lifespan. Prior to the pandemic, global smartphone shipments had been in decline, as consumers were holding on to their phones longer. But if there’s still innovation happening, there’s a mixed batch in the market for different needs, all of which can be fulfilled:

  • Innovation will continue, creating a wave of trade-ins 
  • Consumers who may want an upgrade but don’t want the newest device can purchase a used device 
  • Both of these alternatives can offer carriers and manufacturers options for how they deal with devices

Over the next several months, we’ll see how the mobile market responds to the aftermath of the pandemic, as well as to new phone releases. 

In the meantime, there’s a secondary mobile marketthat larger carriers and OEMs can leverage to move their trade-in and excess devices. One of these channels is B-Stock. We operate the world’s largest B2B marketplace for trade-in and excess mobile phones.  Across our client marketplaces—which consist of large carriers, OEMs, and buy-back companies—we sell more than 3 million phones and more than 5 million mobile accessories every year.

For more information on selling via our mobile marketplace platform, please download our Mobile Brochure. And If you want to learn more about secondary market trends and how large carriers, OEMs, and buy-back companies are increasing the life cycle and pricing of phones via B-Stock’s B2B marketplace platform, request a demo. 

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TSX Energy Stocks: Dividend Bargain or Trap?



While stocks have been hit hard across the board recently, the energy sector has been hurting more than most sectors. This has driven investors to search for dividend bargains with TSX energy stocks.

However, the issues at hand for these stocks could amount to more than just some short-term market turbulence. Material changes to the way these stocks do business could have lasting effects on their yields and valuations.

It’s not enough to simply offer investors a large yield, as there are many blue-chip stocks doing the same. These stocks need to also instill confidence in investors that the business is resilient to economic headwinds.

Today, we’ll look at two TSX energy stocks and whether they might be dividend bargains or yield traps for investors.


Suncor Energy (TSX:SU)(NYSE:SU) is an oil production company based out of Calgary, Alberta. Given the state of the oil market recently, this TSX energy stock has been hit hard.

Recently, the company reported year-over-year quarterly revenue growth of -17.7% and huge losses. As a result, the stock cut its dividend by more than 50%.

As of this writing, SU is trading at $23.08 and yielding 3.64%. While the yield might be safer now given the recent large cut, its now quite paltry compared to other blue-chip dividend stocks.

That’s why I think SU might be a great cautionary tale for the next stock in this article.

SU was looking like a bargain buy when its yield was in excess of 7% in recent months, with investors citing its resiliency and strong backing.

However, with the yield cut by more than half, I’d say there are stocks with less risk and higher yields on the market today.


If Enbridge (TSX:ENB)(NYSE:ENB) is to follow a similar path to SU, it might be best to steer clear of the pipeline giant as well.

While this TSX energy stock isn’t a direct producer of oil, its entire business practically relies on the transportation of oil.

With less oil being produced as a result of cut-rate prices, it stands to reason that ENB could see a dip in business.

In fact, ENB posted year-over-year quarterly revenue of -6.6%.

As a result of these conditions, ENB’s payout ratio has skyrocketed. This might be another red flag to suggest that the yield could be on the chopping block.

As of this writing, ENB is trading at $41.23 and yielding 7.86%, with a payout ratio over 300%.

That doesn’t sound like a very sustainable yield for the time being. While the reward is certainly there for investors in the form of a nearly 8% yield, the risk is certainly there.

Investing with ENB today would essentially be placing a bet that the yield won’t get cut as it did for SU.

For risk-loving investors, this might be worth a look. However, many blue-chip stocks with more stable yields can be found on the TSX today.

TSX energy stock strategy

The TSX energy stocks are in a precarious position these days. With great economic pressures, yields have already been sliced for stocks like SU and could be on the chopping block for stocks like ENB.

While there’s some reward to be had here for risk-loving investors, the risk-to-reward ratio seems heavily skewed towards risk.

For now, it seems like these two TSX energy stocks might be closer to yield traps than dividend bargains.

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Fool contributor Jared Seguin has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Enbridge.

The post TSX Energy Stocks: Dividend Bargain or Trap? appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.

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The IPOX® Week, July 13, 2020



  • IPOX Indexes continue broad-based rally. IPOX 100 U.S. (ETF: FPX) closes week at highest level on record.
  • IPOX 100 U.S. (ETF: FPX) adds +3.64% to +10.20% YTD. IPOX International (ETF: FPXI) rises +3.40% to +35.56% YTD. IPOX 100 Europe (ETF: FPXE) gains +1.70% to +12.81% YTD.
  • “Hot” IPO market: Big initial openings characterize the week’s IPOs in the U.S. and Hong Kong.

IPOX Indexes continue broad-based rally. IPOX 100 U.S. (ETF: FPX) closes week at highest level on record. The IPOX Indexes surged last week as: 1) Momentum buying continued to press technology and select consumer/health care stocks into uncharted territory amid the continued historical divergence in equity indexes spreads ahead of U.S equity option expiration week (NDX: +4.78%, RTY: -0.64%), 2) Falling U.S. yields amid Covid-19 anxiety provided further support to equity risk (VIX: -2.03%). Momentum in the IPOX Indexes, however, slowed into the week-end as investors took profits in some recently well-performing portfolio holdings. In the U.S., e.g., the FANG-free and broad-based $1.4 billion IPOX-100 U.S.-linked “FPX” ETF, the world’s largest IPO-focused ETF, added +3.64% to +10.20% YTD, extending its YTD lead vs. the S&P 500 (SPX) by +188 bps. to a large +1162 bps. Here, 62/100 firms rose, with the average (median) equally-weighted IPOX 100 U.S. portfolio holding adding +2.61% (+1.03%), significantly underperforming the

FPX: World’s largest U.S. IPO-focused ETF sets All-time High

Chart: IPO asset allocation with the “FPX” ETF since fund launch in 2006.

index. Big momentum also drove the diversified IPOX International, underlying for the $153 million “FPXI” ETF, to a fresh weekly all-time high, adding +3.40% to +35.56% YTD, a massive +4673 bps. ahead of the MSCI World (ex. U.S.) (MXWOU Index) YTD. In the IPOX 100 U.S., firms including biotechs Livongo Health (LVGO US: +45.14%) and Principa Biopharma (PRNB US: +14.34%), social networker Snap (SNAP US: +9.95%) and recreational vehicle distributer Camping World (CWH US: +8.98%) stood out, while phone maker H.K.-traded Xiaomi (1810 HK: +18.37%) and property servicing firm Country Garden Services (6098 HK: +14.09%), Brazils IPO M&A multichannel retailer Magazin Luiza (MGLU3 BS: +11.36%), and Riyadh-traded Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services Group (SULAIMAN AB: +6.91%) recorded notable gains in the IPOX International. Firms including U.S. real estate website firm Redfin (RFIN US: -11.47%) and Germany’s online food ordering platform operator Delivery Hero (DHER GY) ranked amongst the worst performing IPOX portfolio holdings on the week.

Select IPOX® Indexes Price Returns (%) Last Week 2019 2020 YTD
IPOX® Indexes: Global/International
IPOX® Global (IPGL50) (USD) 4.13 27.93 31.67
IPOX® International (IPXI)* (USD) (ETF: FPXI) 3.40 31.37 35.56
IPOX® Indexes: United States
IPOX® 100 U.S. (IPXO)* (USD) (ETF: FPX) 3.64 29.60 10.20
IPOX® Indexes: Europe/Nordic
IPOX® 30 Europe (IXTE) (EUR) 0.76 34.55 22.93
IPOX® Nordic (IPND) 1.45 38.52 30.67
IPOX® 100 Europe (IPOE)* (USD) 1.70 30.97 12.81
IPOX® Indexes: Asia-Pacific/China
IPOX® Asia-Pacific (IPTA) (USD) 1.97 4.41 16.75
IPOX® China (CNI) (USD) 6.64 26.31 44.32
IPOX® Japan (IPJP)** (JPY) 3.00 37.91 0.69

* Basis for ETFs: FPX US, FPX LN, FPXE US, FPXU FP, FPXI US, TCIP110 IT and CME-traded e-mini IPOX® 100 U.S. Futures (IPOM0). Source: Bloomberg L.P. & Refinitiv/Thomson Reuters. For IPOX Alternative Strategies Returns, please contact

IPOX-linked ETFs (FPX, FPXI, FPXE) Movers (Last Week in %):


IPO Deal-flow Review and Outlook: E-cigarette maker Smoore doubles on largest deal of the week in Hong Kong. Busy week for IPOs ahead. At least 13 sizable IPOs commenced trading across the global regions last week, with the average (median) equally-weighted deal adding +59.53% (+39.13%) based on the difference between the final offering price and their respective market’s close. Pre-clinical biopharmaceutical company Nkarta (NKTX US: +166.11%) almost tripled, while Chinese LGBTQ dating app BlueCity (BLCT US: +53.13%) also rose strongly on debut. H.K. had the busiest week YTD with e-cigarette vaping device maker Smoore (6969 HK: +150.00%) and 1896x oversubscribed ophthalmic company Ocumension (1477 HK: +152.39%) recording big initial returns. Lined up for this week in the U.S. are Financial software developer nCino (NCNO US) and Chicago-based health insurance marketplace GoHealth (GOCO US), while H.K. is set for another busy week with H.K.’s largest IPO YTD, China Bohai Bank (9668 HK) lined up. Other IPO news include: 1) Data analytics titan Palantir, U.S. largest mortgage lender Rocket Companies (Quicken Loans) and egg & butter producer Vital Farms filed for IPO 2) Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase, Apollo-backed Rackspace prepares for listing 3) SoftBank backed Chinese real estate brokerage Beike Zhaofang, Goldman Sachs-backed payment card issuer Marqeta eyes U.S. IPO 4) Brazilian energy and infrastructure group Cosan considers to spin off its sugar and fuel distribution units Raizen Combutiveis and Raizen Energia in IPO, Brazilian mobile network operator Surf plans U.S. listing 5) French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi proceeds with its $2B+ active ingredient unit IPO 6) Postmates IPO off the table with Uber’s $2.65B takeover in place.

The post The IPOX® Week, July 13, 2020 appeared first on Low Cost Stock & Options Trading | Advanced Online Stock Trading | Lightspeed |.

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The Rise of Grocery E-commerce and Returns



Grocery e-Commerce as a temporary change…

As a global pandemic and quarantine swept the world, consumers fled to grocery stores to stock up on essentials. Then ensued the shortage of items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and purchases of items such as fresh produce spiked by as much as 600%. As quarantine regulations went into effect, shoppers started opting for online grocery orders rather than going into the physical stores, creating a surge in grocery e-commerce. So much so that Instacart—the San Francisco-based grocery delivery service—had a sales increase of 55% in the month of May; a 30% increase from February that has allowed it to secure a $225 million in new funding to scale its operations. 

The future of grocery e-commerce 

So, what does this translate to in the grocery e-commerce landscape? As it turns out, about $38 billion. In 2019, online grocery orders increased by 22% and accounted for about 2.6% of U.S. food and beverage retail sales. But recent figures show that in light of the pandemic and consumer purchase shifts, these same orders are expected to surge to about 40% in 2020, bringing the projected growth in online grocery purchases to 3.5%—or roughly $38 billion. 

Without a doubt, the impacts of COVID-19 have been felt across all sectors of retail, and consumer shopping habits are changing. In fact, whether we look at actual online grocery orders or plans to place online grocery orders, both figures have more than doubled in the last two years. 

Year Purchased groceries online in the last 12 months  Planned to purchase groceries online in the next 12 months
2018 23.1% 25.8%
2019 36.8% 39.5%
2020 52% 62.5%

But what about grocery returns? 

Remember those purchase spikes we talked about earlier? Well, considering the fact that grocery stores remained open and supplied with most items during the quarantine, how much of that over purchasing was necessary, and how much of it will be returned? On the other side of the purchase boom, there is typically a return boom. Over the past several months, items of various types have sold out, such as hygiene products, canned, and bottled goods. So, with a surge in grocery e-commerce fueled by a global pandemic, what will happen with the items that consumers over-purchased and no longer need? 

As quarantine restrictions ease, different retailers have updated their return policies. Costco is not accepting returns of toilet paper, paper towels, sanitizing wipes, water, rice, or disinfecting spray. CVS on the other hand, has stated that “Most new, unopened items purchased from CVS Pharmacy or can be returned to any CVS Pharmacy store within 60 days.” Walmart is restricting returns of essential goods, but is also recommending that consumers start a return process online—for products in any category. And grocers in Michigan are now accepting can and bottle returns

What Can Grocers Do?

In a world where a global pandemic has created a pathway for grocery e-commerce to thrive, grocers need a liquidation solution to sell overstock items that can no longer be sold in grocery stores that extends beyond their omnichannel strategies. That’s where B-Stock can help. We provide retailers a private, online marketplace to auction off their returned and overstock merchandise to a large network of vetted business buyers from all over the globe. It’s why nine of the top 10 U.S. retailers are currently using our solution to offload their excess inventory—regardless of product type. 

If you’re ready to tap into an e-commerce solution for your excess grocery products, request a demo.

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