"In the pharmacy services segment, fourth quarter revenues of 39.3 billion increased by 8.2% year over year, driven by increased pharmacy claims volume, growth in specialty pharmacy, and brand inflation, partially offset by the impact of continued client price improvements"


Management fees increased 14% year-over-year, which included more than 20% growth in our credit real assets businesses and transaction fees were up 19% year-over-year, while fee-related expenses grew 19%, reflecting our comp and non-comp-driven investment for growth.

Tyson Foods:

We're also making sure that our pricing incorporates inflationary cost pressures on our business. In the quarter, our cost of goods sold was up 18% relative to the same period last year. We are seeing higher costs across our supply chain, including higher input costs, such as feed and ingredients.

We're also managing the higher cost of labor, transportation due to strong demand and limited availability. With these higher costs, we work closely with our customers to achieve a fair value for our products. As a result, our average sales price for the quarter increased 19.6% relative to the same period last year. This helped us capture some of the unrecovered costs due to the timing lag between inflation and price.


This performance was broad-based across segments where continued strong consumer demand and effective pricing to mitigate the impact of inflation drove higher earnings.

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Feb 12, 2022·edited Feb 12, 2022

It takes a kind of strength, courage and tenacity to research the cheerful CEOs gloating about the "pricing power to drive rent growth" and I don't have it today, but I looked into poverty and food hardship and found that they improved temporarily in 2021 because of government handouts to people in 2021! That's good news! The monopolists will never admit that socialism is becoming more popular (than vulture capitalism, poverty and hunger) but eventually the politicians will have no choice to admit it or get turfed out of office.

Mitch McConnell (the leader of the Republican party) is not the answer, unless the question is "how can we help Blackrock drive more people into homelessness?" I don't like the Democrat Party, WELFARE, censorship or the wokeness of the woke fuckers, but I like vulture capitalism, poverty and "food hardship" even less. American voters don't have a good choice available to them (except to primary every single incumbent in both parties).

If the Democrat Party doesn't want to get wiped out this year they will need to play up the benefits of the welfare they doled out and the great things that Linda Khan has accomplished and warn about the corruption of Mitch McConnel (who is incredibly unpopular in opinion polls). Democrats will not get any help from corporate media or billionaire donors in bragging about anti-trust and welfare or criticizing Mitch McConnel (who is a hero to wealthy donors of all ideologies because of tax cuts for the rich) and and they don't have any principled ground of their own to stand on, so they will talk only about Trump and lose very badly. Bad things happen when you sell your soul, liberals.

I realize that this is an economic forum but business and politics are very closely intertwined these days (it's called corruption) and you can't easily talk about one without the other.


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Feb 17, 2022·edited Feb 17, 2022

Columbia Sportswear, Feb 3, 2022:

"Gross margin performance in the quarter was better than planned as high demand and lean inventory in the marketplace resulted in a highly favorable full-price selling environment. The combination of net sales growth, gross margin expansion, and SG&A leverage fueled an 18.7% operating margin in the quarter.

This was the highest fourth quarter operating margin performance since 2004. We exited the year with cash and short-term investments of $895 million and no bank borrowings. Our profitable growth trajectory and fortress balance sheet have given our board of directors the confidence to approve a 15% increase to our quarterly cash dividend. For the year, we generated 25% net sales growth, expanded operating margin by 890 basis points, and delivered 229% earnings-per-share growth compared to 2020.


Our 2022 gross margin outlook of 50% represents the second-highest gross margin performance in our company's history just behind our record 2021 performance...


As we look at renewing our ocean freight contracts, we expect some degree of normalization in the latter part of '22. Frankly, those as we look out further into '23 and beyond, we do believe that certain of the product costs, inflationary pressures that we've seen that they're transitory in nature.

You'd see that in the case of certain of the commodity and raw materials, those fluctuate from time to time and that they're at elevated levels currently. And as ocean freight goes down or normalizes more over time, we've taken advantage of the strength of our brands, the pricing power that we have. And that should -- as those events occur, that should put us in a stronger place from an overall gross margin and operating margin perspective."


I mean consumer trends, the full-price selling environment we've been in has continued. So we're continuing to see good healthy margins in the DTC space with not much in the way of promo and markdowns.


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Feb 17, 2022·edited Feb 17, 2022

Boston Beer Company (from last fall): Analyst asks "what gives you guys the confidence that you have that kind of pricing power" to raise prices 3-6% next year given a decelerating market and potential "shakeout" in the industry. CFO says that the price increases are driven by inflation and observes that so far no one in the industry is cutting prices to capture market share.

But then the CEO adds "if there is a shakeout does occur in hard seltzer, fewer brands actually would support higher -- would support the ability to take more price." https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-transcripts/2021/10/21/the-boston-beer-company-inc-sam-q3-2021-earnings-c/

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But inflation is international and America exports so little, so the companies that are using their market power must also be foreign, no? How much have prices from China Inc, Japan Inc, Korea Inc, and Taiwan Inc increased?

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And here I was thinking that here across the pond, where workers have traditionally had relatively strong rights, have been laid off en masse thus enabling the profits, but perhaps I was wrong.

It may be strange to the American reader but in several countries it has been very hard to get rid of employees who turn up and follow the rules but don't necessarily produce a lot of value. With a pandemic, anything goes, it seems.

Two other points: I am seeing a real pricing push on small subcontractors from the major players, e.g. forestry firms are making a killing with high lumber prices, curiously those running a man-and-machine woodcutting business are not seeing rate increases, on the contrary, while operating costs run up. Same with farming. Finally with record high energy prices a tipping point is being reached.

Last but not least. I see a lot less effort from companies into activities like quality, safety, even preventive maintenance too. It seems like everything not directly generating profit was massively scaled back at the start of the pandemic and then normal service just never resumed.

I can tell you, making a week long audit via Teams with 10 experts sitting at home sure costs a lot less than shipping 10 experts to a foreign country for a week. The downside is, you are not getting nearly the same effectiveness, and after all auditing is a sampling based approach. Also, the intervals are pushed to the maximum and everything seems postponed.

On more heavily affected travel industry you will find another example, as at airlines flights are resuming but people nearly starve as catering is severely cut back on.

Actually, a place where both saving on customer service and laying off people is definitely on cruise lines. A relative worked the same terminal since 1985. Finally he was let go along with every salaried employee, sans the managers. The replacement was a skeleton crew of poorly paid employees with varying amount of competence and bad terms of employment. Too bad that captains absolutely need to know every person that goes on their ship, and already there have been cases where ticketed passengers are refused entry due to some discrepancies in passenger manifests.

Probably the ship operator is making more money due to spending less, but the level of service is much worse and even unpredictable for the consumer. I guess this sums up what I am trying to say about the costs aspect of record profits. Thanks for reading.

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