Salesforce ( CRM 0.65% ) reports better-than-expected profits and promotes Bret Taylor to co-CEO. Square ( SQ -2.91% ) plans to change its name to Block. Jack Dorsey steps down as CEO of Twitter ( TWTR -1.94% ). And Docusign ( DOCU -3.27% ) plummets on weak guidance.
Motley Fool analysts Maria Gallagher and Ron Gross discuss those stories and weigh in on the latest from Ulta Beauty ( ULTA -0.23% ), Okta ( OKTA -1.97% ), Allbirds ( BIRD -8.40% ), and Chipotle ( CMG -0.07% ). Our analysts share two stocks on their radar: DoorDash ( DASH -4.16% ) and NextEra Energy ( NEE 0.41% ). Plus, toy industry analyst Jackie Breyer talks holiday toys, supply chain, and bumper cars for toddlers!
To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool’s free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Dec. 3, 2021.
Chris Hill: It’s the Motley Fool Money Radio Show. I’m Chris Hill, joining me this week, senior analysts Maria Gallagher and Ron Gross. Good to see both.
Maria Gallagher: Nice to see you.
Ron Gross: How are you doing, Chris?
Chris Hill: We’ve got the latest headlines from Wall Street, we’ve got the hot toys for the holidays with industry expert Jackie Breyer, and as always, we’ve got a couple of stocks on our radar. But we begin with the big macro. The unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, which is two percentage points lower than where it was in January. The number of jobs added in November was just 210,000 well below expectations, but Ron, the one thing we know about monthly job numbers, they get revised and I’m going to be stunned if a month from now, this number is not revised higher.
Ron Gross: Yes, that jives perfectly with what I was thinking. I will first point out that this report differs pretty dramatically from Wednesday’s ADP private payroll report, which was better-than-expected. The reports often diverged from that report from the government survey, so I’m guessing, as you said, we may see an upward revision. It’s not unlikely that the two things diverge, but I do agree that this seems a little extra weak here and we may see upward next month. Despite that miss, as you pointed out, the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent. Professional and business services and transportation and warehousing led the way, but hiring in leisure and hospitality, which were really strong in October, which was nice to see, were weak this time around, unfortunately.
Retail jobs were down despite hiring for the holiday season, scratching my head a little bit on that one. Labor force participation rate increased for the month to 61.8 percent notably, highest level since March of 2020, indicating that people are returning to the workforce or at least are starting to look for work again and that all-encompassing U6 unemployment rate we talk about sometimes dropped from 8.3 percent to 7.8 percent. We’ll have to wait and see what the Omicron variant does, that’s going to maybe wreak a little bit of havoc with employment, maybe not, too early to tell. The Fed is walking a real tight rope here between a relatively strong economy and inflation and the risk of an economic shock due to Omicron. On Tuesday, Fed Chairman Powell said he expects to accelerate the timetable for the tapering of monthly bond purchases and potential interest rate hikes. I think that’s surprised investors who thought the Fed may pump the brakes a bit until we have more data on Omicron.
Chris Hill: Maria, like Ron, I was scratching my head at the retail number just in part because of seasonal hiring. Was there anything in the jobs report that stood out to you?
Maria Gallagher: Yeah, I was really interested in that participation rate as well. Prime age participation in the labor force is up as well. That’s at about 81.8 percent, which is people between the ages of 25 and 54. But the quits rates, which are workers who are leaving jobs as a share of overall employment is at or near record high. It’s another one of those, it’s a little bit interesting to look at the juxtaposition when you have both of those things in tandem. I think it’s taking it all into account is really interesting.
Chris Hill: Let’s get to some earnings and we’re going to start with Salesforce. Third-quarter profits and revenue came in higher than expected, but the bigger headline is that once again, CEO Marc Benioff is making way for a Co-CEO. Chief Operating Officer, Bret Taylor has been promoted, and hopefully, Maria, this goes better than the last time Benioff had a Co-CEO.
Maria Gallagher: Yeah, this is hopefully going to be second time is a charm for Marc Benioff. Previous Co-CEO, Keith Block left the company in 2020. Bret Taylor was also named Executive Chairman at Twitter this week, so he has a lot on his plate coming into 2022. Like you said, in terms of results, their revenue was up 27 percent, which was about in line with estimates. If you are thinking about and checking in on their acquisition, specifically of Slack, that was acquired earlier this year for about 27.7 billion. That is actually outperforming their expectations. Slack Connect, which allows inter-company messages between customers, saw 176 percent growth year over year. It’s going to be a couple of more quarters before it’s fully integrated, but that’s something that I’m going to be continuing to watch for Salesforce.
Chris Hill: For the second time in five weeks, a major tech company is changing their name. CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Square is changing its corporate name to Block. In addition to Square, the company is also the parent of businesses like Tidal and Cash App. I guess I see the logic, Ron, but this seem different from the motivations that we recently saw from Facebook?
Ron Gross: Some differences, but also some similarities. Square represents its different businesses as building blocks, or at least that’s what they say they do now. The name is also making a reference, obviously, I actually didn’t realize this at first, but to blockchain, which along with Bitcoin, is a primary focus of Dorsey. Before, I realized blockchain was part of this and it was just changing the name from Square to Block, I was like a lame rebranding, I don’t get it. Now, I got to say I do get it a little bit more. Square had become synonymous with their seller business; the new name will distinguish the corporate entity from its businesses. In that sense, it’s a bit similar to what Facebook Meta did in that sense, I guess.
What you have at Square or what you have at Block is Square, which is a peer-to-peer payment service, Cash App, the mobile payment service that competes with PayPal‘s Venmo and it allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin, Tidal is their music streaming service, and they have their Bitcoin focus financial service segment which has a weird name, right now it’s TBD54566975, do with that what you will. Square Crypto is at a separate initiative, the company dedicating to advancing Bitcoin, that’s going to change its name to Spiral. Square has invested about $220 million in Bitcoin, currently considering creating a hardware wallet for Bitcoin to make its custody more mainstream. Here we go, Bitcoin clearly will be a big part of Square’s future. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out, really no predictions for me at this time, we’re going to watch it.
Chris Hill: Dorsey’s tenure as CEO of Square has really been great and shareholders have been rewarded as a result of that. So far, year-to-date the stock is down 20 percent and now that he doesn’t have other distractions, which we’ll get to in a minute, it really does seem like this is going to be one of the most interesting companies to watch in 2022 because they needed all to work.
Ron Gross: They do. As a shareholder, I’m rooting for them. I’m happy to see Dorsey focusing, the focus on Bitcoin is a little bit concerning to me, I want to make sure that they execute on this right, and I want to watch where it’s going. But I am glad to see that he is all in it.
Chris Hill: He is all in, and it’s been a busy week for him because on Monday, he resigned as the CEO of Twitter, and handed the keys to the corner office over to long time Chief Technology Officer, Parag Agarwal, and Maria, activist investors were looking for a change at the top, they got it, but so far, it’s not helping Twitter’s stock price.
Maria Gallagher: I think a lot of it’s going to be about what Agarwal decides to do with the company, he is apparently been on the same page with Dorsey about the value of blockchain, which I think was going to be interesting to see if that gets integrated, especially if he’s coming in from the CTO position. But I mean, we’ve seen a lot of lackluster reaction from users when Twitter rolls out new features, like they had fleets which got rolled back, they have their new Twitter Blue subscription service. Twitter is an interesting one because, it has a lot of value for users, it has 211 million daily active users, nearly nine in 10 of them say they use it for news, 74 percent use it daily. It clearly has a lot of value, but they haven’t really been able to capitalize and figure out the best way to rollout these features that these users are excited about. I think it’ll be interesting to see what he does and then maybe we’ll see the stock react a little bit to those changes.
Chris Hill: We were talking earlier today, this is one of the most important companies that I have no interest in owning shares of. I’m one of those people who’s uses it for news. I think if this company went away overnight, it would be seriously missed. But for some reason, they really haven’t been able to figure out a business that rewards shareholders.
Maria Gallagher: Yeah, I mean, since 2015, their shares are up 85 percent, which is compared to the S&P return of about 127 percent, you haven’t been beating the market if you’ve been a Twitter shareholder. I think it’ll be really interesting to see if they make any changes that can move their stock in more positive direction.
Chris Hill: Which group of shareholders had the worst week? The good news is, we found them, the bad news is, I’m one of them, details right after the break, stay right here. You’re listening to Motley Fool Money. Welcome back to Motley Fool Money, Chris Hill here with Maria Gallagher, and Ron Gross. Shares of DocuSign down more than 40 percent on Friday, after the e-signature company’s guidance for the fourth quarter completely overshadowed the positive results DocuSign reported in the third quarter. Ron, I’m one of these shareholders, please help me figure out how to think about this.
Ron Gross: It’s painful, Chris. I feel for you. I don’t think we can talk about DocuSign price declines today without some context, give me a minute here. Prior to the pandemic, let’s say February 2020, DocuSign was trading around $85 a share. The pandemic pulled demand forward, got lots of investors excited about remote technologies, and the stock shot to a high of $314 in September of 2021, a 270 percent increase in a year-and-a-half. Even after this dramatic sell-off, painful sell-off, which I think is an overreaction by the way, shares are still up 65 percent from pre-pandemic levels, small consolation if you bought it at the higher levels, but it’s important to have that context. Moving to specifically talk about the business, DocuSign, while it’s widely used, likely has a bright future, I like this business, it’s not profitable yet, that’s important to understand, their cash-flow positive, if you don’t count their large stock-based compensation expense, I’d be careful about doing that though, that is an actual expense at some point.
As far as this actual quarter right now, the report goes, results were strong, they beat expectations, customers continue to spend aggressively with dollar net retention at 121 percent for the quarter, they added 59,000 new customers in the quarter, including UPS, which is modernizing its contracting process using DocuSign. But as you noted, it was the future guidance that really spooked investors, specifically the concern of slowing demand as businesses return to the office, Omicron being a wildcard here, we’ll watch that, on the conference call, management noted that demand is slowing, and the urgency of customers buying patterns have tempered. CEO Dan Springer said, « The environment shifted more quickly than we anticipated. » Investors obviously don’t like to hear comments like that, selling the stock off dramatically, I think it’s a bit of an overreaction, the stock shouldn’t be worth 40 percent less than it was yesterday.
Chris Hill: Is this a buying opportunity for people who think it also has a bright future as you do?
Ron Gross: Since I think they are on the customer profitability, I do think now would be a good time to nibble on this weakness, yes.
Chris Hill: Ulta Beauty’s third-quarter profits, and revenue came in higher than expected. They also boosted guidance for the fourth quarter, but despite all that, shares of Ulta Beauty down just a little bit on Friday. Maria, this does seem like what you want to see if you’re an Ulta Beauty shareholder.
Maria Gallagher: Yeah, I mean they are continuing to deliver especially before the holidays, these numbers are really exciting for me to see, they had almost two billion in sales for the quarter, up about 28.6 percent, their comp sales were up about 26 percent as well, with a 16.8 percent increase in transactions, and a 7.7 percent increase in average ticket volume, I think that’s an important thing to note that they have both more people coming in, and more people spending more, they’re expanding their ultimate rewards loyalty program to nearly 36 million members, which is up about 13 percent, Ariana Grande’s latest fragrance, which is called God Is A Woman, is exclusive to ULTA, and that’s coming out soon, stay tuned for details on that, and I just think that this space is going to continue to grow because 65 percent of beauty enthusiasts believe beauty is significantly connected to wellness and you see a lot of push for that in today’s society talking about wellness, and self-care, and beauty is a really important part of that, and ULTA has more brands than many other corporations, and so I think they’ve really capitalize on this market will continue to do so. I think it’s a really strong quarter for them.
Chris Hill: Are celebrity endorsements like that, are those the type of things that move the needle in this industry, because if you look at sports apparel endorsements, if you look at things like fast food, and celebrity endorsements, and value meals, and that thing, it seems like they have a mixed record, what is the record like in this industry?
Maria Gallagher: I think there’s a difference too between celebrities endorsing products, and then celebrities having their own products, you have Selena Gomez with her Rare Beauty, and Kylie Jenner with her Kylie Lip Kit, that’s Kylie’s, that’s her lip kit, and so that becomes really popular, I think that really ends up moving the needle when it is the celebrities product themselves because they’ve spent a lot of time then endorsing it because it’s theirs as opposed to just saying, I like this thing, and so I think that that’s the distinction you see a lot of times with this skincare as you see more of the celebrities actually owning them as opposed to just endorsing them.
Chris Hill: Shares of Okta rose more than 10 percent on Thursday, third quarter revenue was higher than expected for the ID security company, and so was guidance for the fourth quarter. Okta, still not profitable, Ron, but the loss this quarter was smaller.
Ron Gross: Stock hasn’t done much this year actually down year to date, but this was a strong report which reversed a really weak stock earlier this week as the high-growth stocks really across the board got whacked on Omicron, and other economic fears. But this report was strong, revenue of 61 percent that was helped by the acquisition of Secure Platform, Auth0, hate that name, excluding the 46 million in revenue that Auth0 contributed, Okta’s revenue was up 40 percent, still a nice strong number. CEO Todd McKinnon said, « We’re already seeing early success cross-selling into each other’s customer basis, » that’s obviously what you want to see when you make an acquisition.
Some other metrics bode well for the future, their remaining performance obligations, which is basically their subscription backlog, grew 49 percent, but they are continuing to invest heavily in their business, which they have to do it at this point, and that will continue to impact profitability. On an adjusted basis, they had a net loss of $10 million, management did increase their revenue, and profit outlook, investors like to see that for sure. They expect revenue to increase 53 percent in the fourth quarter, but investors should still expect an operating loss of about $35 million.
Chris Hill: Maria touched on this when she was talking about Salesforce, and their acquisition of Slack, as you mentioned with Okta and Auth0. It is a nice reminder for investors that when acquisitions happen, they take time, they really take a lot of time for the company to absorb those costs, to really account for them, even when they work out well, which not all of them do.
Ron Gross: Yeah, you can’t overpay, you have to wring out costs that are not necessary, you have to capture synergies, we hate that word, but it’s true, and they have to be properly integrated from a culture perspective, it’s hard to get right.
Chris Hill: Allbirds went public a month ago, and their first earnings report probably makes some of them wonder if they should have stayed private. Revenue was up, but they lose nearly doubled, and shares of Allbirds down more than 25 percent this week. Maria, if I love this business as much as I love the shoes that I’m wearing, I would buy the stock, but I don’t.
Maria Gallagher: Yeah, I think you see with Allbirds, they’re continuing this trend of lackluster IPOs of about 49 percent of companies that raised more than one billion are trading below their listing prices that came public this year. With Allbirds specifically, which what I think to watch for them is their growth in performance, and how they compete against Nike and Adidas in that space, and then their growth in physical retail. At the end of the quarter, they had a total of 31 physical locations, which is one of the explanations for that widening loss, they opened for this quarter, so it will be important for them to see that consistent growth, see how loyal customers are, if they like Allbirds, the leisurewear, if that then translate to liking Allbirds performance wear. I think those are things that I’m personally going to watch before I would invest with them.
Chris Hill: This is a company that made their bonds as direct to consumer. Do they maybe need to rethink the store openings?
Maria Gallagher: I think it’s going to be interesting to see, a lot of times, you see these bigger companies, they have stores and they say the stores are a marketing tool. We get the interest in the story about of walking past, try them on walking around to them, and then you might buy them online, and so seeing how they can track that performance, and seeing how useful physical retail, as I think it’s going to be important for them.
Chris Hill: All right, Maria Gallagher, Ron Gross, we will see you a little bit later in the show. But up next, Jackie Breyer has got the hottest toys this holiday season, as well as advice for parents who are looking to do a little shopping. Stay right here, you’re listening to Motley Fool Money.
Welcome back to Motley Fool Money. I’m Chris Hill. Time for the holidays, which means it’s time to get the latest on the toy industry which means it’s time to talk with Jackie Breyer, editorial director of the Toy Insider. She joins me now from where else? Her home. Jackie, great to see you. Thanks for being here.
Jackie Breyer: Chris. Thanks for having me.
Chris Hill: Let’s start with the three-word phrase that’s getting a serious workout this year and that is global supply chain. How has it been affecting the toy industry and how is it currently affecting it?
Jackie Breyer: It has dramatically affected the toy industry. But things are starting to ease up. Over the past most of this year, so many toy companies spent five, six times what they normally would spend to get their toys into containers onto ships from China to LA and Long Beach ports. By the time they spent all that money and got them over here, there was the delays, the backups, the congestion unreal, unbelievable like never seen before as you know, just like every other consumer category and retailers, we’re finding holes in their shelves over the past month. Hot toys, any toys will just be somewhere on the water and manufacturers, some said they should be here in a few weeks. We don’t really know. There’s so much uncertainty, which I’ve never seen before. This is just an unreal situation this year. It’s starting to get better. We’re seeing the congestion easing in the port.
They’re managing to clear away some of these empty containers, which was becoming the new problem at the ports. They were unloading containers and then just leaving them everywhere so there’s no way to put new things. Because every step of the supply chain is a problem, even down to the truckers and the warehouses. What I’m expecting is that as we continue to move through these last few weeks of the year, shelves are going to be more filled. Some of the products that we were saying, these are hot toys, they’re going to be sold out. They did sell out, but some of them are back. Things are moving, things are moving through. It’s great news. The hope now is now that some products that had been very delayed, that should’ve been in stores months age are now arriving.
Some stores, particularly target, such an influx of product right now, the shelves are packed, which is great for consumers. But for target, they’ve got to get through this product because this is all 2021 product and they’re going to carry it into next year if they don’t sell it. We saw a lot of big toys sales, especially this weekend for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We saw the buy-one-get-one half-off sale, which we’ve seen from them. Then assorted categories 30, 40, 50 percent off these different toy categories, trying to move through that stock. We’re still saying if you see a product that you want that your kids has to have if you haven’t gotten it by now. Now is the time. If you were unable to get it before, give it a shot now, you may be able to find it.
Chris Hill: You mentioned Target. I remember when you and I spoke at this time last year, we talked about major retailers like Target and Walmart, and Amazon. A year ago, you said Target was winning the toy war. Has the competitive landscape shifted? Are Walmart and Amazon not experiencing the same challenges that you described with Target?
Jackie Breyer: I don’t think I would necessarily say that. No, I would say that Target right now, if I was a consumer looking to go shopping for toys as so many are, I would go to Target because their shelves are stocked, they’ve got tons of product and they’re going to be able to give people what they want. Walmart, lots of holes, not a great mix of products out there on the shelves. Not as appealing as the displays that you’re seeing at Target. They did have some deals, not to the extent, I don’t think that Target did this weekend. I’m not sure what we’ll see this week, but we shall see. Then Amazon, they’ve been doing a pretty good job, I would say, Amazon and they are getting people products generally on time. Of course, there’s some problems here and there as you would expect. But I think they’re doing a decent job. I think it’s pretty apparent. They’re making it clear to people. This is when your product’s going to come, so people are more aware. It’s the people who are ordering products and then they’re not getting them when they thought they would and it’s getting pushed and it’s getting pushed. That’s really turning people off.
Chris Hill: One last thing before we get to the hot toys for 2021. With more options than ever before when it comes to online shopping, do you actually expect to see a rise in-store traffic? It just seems to me more so than years past, this is one of those times where if you’re a parent and you’re looking to get a toy, you’re going to feel more confident if you can go to a store, pick it up, pay for it, and walk out rather than you’re hoping that the shipping comes through.
Jackie Breyer: There’s multiple reasons for that. One is, if you are shopping online and more people than ever, still, I think 85 percent of consumers were planning to buy toys online. That’s even five percent more than it has ever been before. There’s still going to shop online, but there’s so much uncertainty. Is the product really going to come when they say it will? Is the price the right price? I don’t know if I’m actually buying from a third party. Is this the right product? Even Walmart and Amazon have third-party sellers that you’re not totally sure whether you can trust so you have to be very careful. We are actually seeing more stock available in stores. If you go into stores if it’s there, you’ve got it. You don’t have to wait, you don’t have to hope. There’s more availability. It’s very interesting and you’re finding more stuff maybe you were looking for when you’re in-store. Definitely, the way to go, and of course, year-over-year foot traffic in stores is going to be higher, but this 2020 is very little traffic.
Chris Hill: Let’s get to a couple of the hot toys for this year. One of them I’m very excited about even though are not going to be buying this because I don’t have a child of this age to buy it for, but there’s a home version of bumper cars that I’m personally very excited is on the shelves and available for people.
Jackie Breyer: Yes. Flybar bumper cars. These are the cutest things that every adult wants in their own size. These are mini bumper cars for kids as young as 18 months old. Imagine your baby, your toddler in a bumper car taking control with very easy-to-move joysticks. It only goes one mile per hour. That’s the max speed. You don’t have to worry about, some real bumping and hurting themselves or your furniture, your walls. It’s very sturdy, soft rubber bumpers, so your stuff’s not going to get rugged. It turns 360 degrees and goes in every direction. It’s got flashing LED lights around the bottom. It’s just a really really cool product that I think every kid is going to want to cruise around their house in.
Chris Hill: One question, this is more of a broader question than hot toy specific. But look, this is what you do for a living. You and your team at the Toy Insider. Is there ever a year where you’re doing your research, you’re looking at the trends, you’re looking at the hot toys, and you’re genuinely surprised at something? Is there ever a time where you just say, this is a really hot toy and I’m not really sure why? Like the bumper car thing, I totally understand why that’s a hot toy this year. But I’m just wondering if there is ever an occasion where you just whether it’s a craze like cabbage patch kids. Yes, I’m dating myself with that reference. But have there been years past where you’re genuinely surprised by a hot toy?
Jackie Breyer: Yeah. Look a couple of years ago with those fidgets spinners. Remember, you couldn’t get a spinner for your life. They are just things that you just spin and spin. Now, fidget toys actually made a huge comeback this year, especially when it comes to the fidget poppers and things like that. But I would say that’s one example of something where I was like I don’t get it.
Chris Hill: We got the bumper cars for much younger kids. For kids who are a little bit older, grades school, that sort of thing, what’s hot this year?
Jackie Breyer: I love for preschoolers big playsets that they can role-play, they can act out, and it works for girls, for boys or any child really. A lot of times on the doll side, we see really great dollhouses where kids can bring in their different dolls, their little figures, and have them interact in playhouse and live the dream life and all of that great stuff. We’re seeing so many dollhouses this year that are really cool. On that end, we have the L.O.L. Surprise O.M.G House of Surprises. This one is four feet tall and four feet wide. It’s got four stories and 10 rooms, including a movie theater at a rooftop patio and all of that. They’re all fully furnished rooms, they have interactive lights on the fire-pit, and there’s a working elevator and the dishwasher. It’s all the things you would want in your dream house.
Chris Hill: I was just going to say, I think I want to buy this just so I can take it to a contractor and say build me a life-sized version of this.
Jackie Breyer: I would like a big slide that loops around a palm tree. Then of course, there’s the Barbie Dreamhouse, which similar concept for that similar sized doll. Barbie Dreamhouse is always one of the top-selling toys every holiday, I think because parents grew up with it. They know it, they trust it, grandparents, and what kid doesn’t want the Barbie Dreamhouse? Another amazing dream home that we’d all like to live in [laughs] definitely going to be big this year as well. Then, we’ve got a newcomer, Gabby’s Purrfect Dollhouse, which is based on the new kids Netflix Show, Gabby’s Purrfect Dollhouse, which maybe we haven’t seen so much of since our kids are a little older, but the younger kids are obsessed. This right now is actually sold out. I don’t want to go too much into detail, but that’s how obsessed kids are with this particular show and the characters in it. It could come back in stock. Nothing’s definite this year, and similarly, for more of your action figure fans, the Batman Bat-Tech playset. Look, it’s a similar thing. It’s a big Batman. It’s a nearly three-foot-tall Batman, but he opens up into an epic Batcave. Now, kids are taking their action figures, their Batman, and moving their action figures to this giant playset, there’s an escape trap and all kinds of booby traps and tons of accessories, it comes with an exclusive Batman action figure. There’s just so much play value in all of these items and really kids get into it. They become the figures they’re living out, full storylines in their minds while they play. I personally think that kind of imaginative play is always fantastic and always a hit.
Chris Hill: Do your kids think that you have the greatest job in the world or are they blase about it?
Jackie Breyer: It’s funny because everyone always tells them their mom has the greatest job in the world. They hear it all the time, and I feel like at this point they’re like, « Yeah. » Well, Dad works with computer screens in the New York Stock Exchange. [laughs] I’ve become boring almost to them. I think they’re a little toy spoiled maybe.
Chris Hill: Last thing before I let you go. One of the trends that is getting a lot of attention in the investing world and getting a lot of investors excited is the prospect of the metaverse and the applications for gaming, social media interaction, all kinds of things. Is that something that is starting to make its way into the toy industry or do you think we’re probably a few years off from that?
Jackie Breyer: You can see it growing in the entertainment world, and we’re going to see it move into toys I think for sure. We’re already seeing it. There’s so many collaborations and pop-ups of one brand into another. I think it’s definitely something that’s very interesting and something that engages both parents and kids.
Chris Hill: If you want more information, if you’re looking for hot toys and if you’re like me, and you really want that indoor bumper car, go to thetoyinsider.com. Jackie Breyer, always great talking to you. I know it’s the busiest time of year for you. Thanks so much for being here.
Jackie Breyer: Thanks, Chris.
Chris Hill: Up next, Ron Gross, Maria Gallagher are coming back with a couple of stocks on their radar. Stay right here. You’re listening to Motley Fool Money. As always, people on the program may have interest in the stocks they talk about, and the Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don’t buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. Welcome back to Motley Fool Money. Chris Hill here once again with Maria Gallagher and Ron Gross. Last year, Chipotle launched Chipotle goods and online stores selling branded apparel and products. All profits from the store go to charity. Chipotle just sold out of their newest item, cilantro soap among other things, Ron. This seems like a cruel jab at those small percentage of people for whom they can’t eat cilantro because it tastes like soap.
Ron Gross: Yes, now, because I love our listeners, I did a little research here. [laughs] Aldehydes are in cilantro and they’re in soap, but aldehydes don’t inherently smell like soap, but since they’re often added to soap, people learn to associate the smell of aldehydes with soap, and that’s where you get in trouble if you are one of those folks who have that issue. That’s a shame. I think cilantro is great. Interesting to note, the soap is sold out. If you click on the link, you get a 404 error, and you’re out of luck until they either restock or wait till next year.
Chris Hill: I don’t know, Maria. Seems like an opportunity for more soap somewhere down the line in Chipotle’s store.
Maria Gallagher: Yeah, definitely. It’s going to be like the tequila for test slides, but people give the people what they want, what they’re interested in.
Chris Hill: Let’s get to the stocks on our radar. Our man behind the glass, Rick Engdahl, is going to hit you with a question. Ron Gross, you’re up first. What are you looking at this week?
Ron Gross: Continuing with my theme from last week about adding an energy allocation to my portfolio, I’m revisiting NextEra Energy, NEE. It’s already a recommendation in our Total Income Service. They’re the largest electric utility in Florida, and they’re the largest producer of wind and solar energy in the US. They’ve got a fast-growing backlog of renewable energy products that gives great visibility into their future revenue and earnings growth. The Biden infrastructure package will likely help companies like NextEra. Skilled management team, great capital allocation, industry-leading margins, love all three of those things. They’ve increased their dividend for 25 consecutive years. They’re aiming for a 10 percent growth rate in dividends per share through at least 2020. The current yield is 1.7 percent for those dividend investors. I think I’d like NextEra Energy right here.
Chris Hill: Rick, question about NextEra Energy?
Rick Engdahl: Ron, I looked at the website. It’s beautiful. It makes me feel [laughs] really good about the future of the energy industry. This is going to sound harsh, but the last time I saw a website that made me feel that good about the future of the energy industry, it was a little company called Enron. I just want to make sure, this one’s real, right?
Ron Gross: I knew you were going to say that. Yes. No, this is nothing like Enron. This is a strong operating business. I don’t think you have anything.
Rick Engdahl: I think they hired the same web [laughs] designer. That’s all.
Chris Hill: Maria Gallagher, what are you looking at this week?
Maria Gallagher: This week, I’m going to spend some time looking at DoorDash, ticker symbol DASH. I think as we’re adjusting to this new version of life, I think what’s interesting is to understand what are permanent behavior shifts versus what our COVID behavior shifts. Something that picked up a lot of traction in the pandemic was online ordering. Revenue for DoorDash was up 266 percent in 2020, total orders were up 210 percent, global online food ordering is continuing to grow. I think it’s just going to be important to understand the dynamics within the industry and how much is going to grow, especially as people are talking about Omicron, we’re going into another winter. What is that going to look like for us for food and how long do these habits need to take before they become permanent for us?
Chris Hill: Rick, question about DoorDash?
Rick Engdahl: Maybe this is an obvious question, but DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, there can be only one. How many of these can there be out there? [laughs]
Maria Gallagher: I don’t know. They talk a lot about the promiscuous customer, which are the customers who will go back and forth depending on what are the deals they can get from Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates. As a customer, you want them all around so that you can get the best deal.
Rick Engdahl: Too much effort for me. I can only fit so many apps on my phone. [laughs]
Chris Hill: What do you want to add to your watch list, Rick?
Rick Engdahl: [MUSIC] I think Ron tells me it’s real, and then we go with NextEra Energy.
Chris Hill: Sweet. Presumably, executives at that company are not calling their customers promiscuous. [laughs] Maria Gallagher, Ron Gross, thanks so much for being here.
Maria Gallagher: Thanks for having us.
Ron Gross: Thanks, Chris.
Chris Hill: That’s going to do it for this week’s edition of Motley Fool Money. This show is mixed by Rick Engdahl. Our producer is Mac Greer. I’m Chris Hill. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.