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Crypto Needs a “Netscape Moment”

Dear Rundown Reader,

We’re back from The Crypto Alert editor Rich Jacobs’ Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Blockchain Superconference in Dallas this past weekend.

Leaving aside the travelogue, here are major takeaways:

  1. Most cryptocurrencies could and many should go to $0 as the “speculation fever” phase of the crypto boom ends and the real winners emerge.
  1. Those winners are going to use blockchain tech in new ways to solve real problems in the real world that real folks face on a daily basis.
  1. If we compared today’s crypto boom to the early days of the Internet, Netscape still hasn’t been released. A consumer product that makes everyone grasp the full tech implications isn’t here yet. We’re still in very early days, in other words.

The release of Netscape, you’ll remember, is widely credited with making “The Internet” a household term. It gave everyday folks access to what previously had been reserved for savvy insiders.

Next, as to last week’s discussion about options, based on a reader question about how to use them and how they work:

We have a project underway right now with a Chicago options veteran who has an uncanny ability to spot which options are about to move the most in the shortest amount of time.

The Wall Street Journal, for example, once sought him out to tell the story of how he found an option no one was looking at that jumped in a massive spike. More on that soon.

And now, your Rundown for Wednesday, February 21, 2018…

Walmart Underwhelms, Gets Smacked…

For much of 2017, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) looked like a real contender.

The company made significant moves last year in an effort to combat the ever growing presence of Amazon.

And for the first three quarters of 2017, it seemed like they had everything figured out.

But WMT’s Q4 earnings fail sent shares on a major slide premarket Tuesday eventually losing over 10% on the day.

Timber!

Adjusted earnings came in at $1.33 a share, well below Wall Street’s $1.37 per-share estimate, as reported by Market Watch.

Sales however were up 4.1% to $136.3 billion, including a 23% growth in online sales.

At the same time, net income dropped 42.1% to $2.18 billion from $3.76 billion.

The mixed bag of results was considered a fail for WMT.

But were the numbers really bad enough to warrant such a knee jerk reaction by the herd?

Digging a little deeper, a telling truth emerges.

After investing millions into expanding its online presence WMT fell well short of expectations in online sales growth.

At a glance 23% online sales growth may sound good, but this is actually down from 50% in the previous quarter, as reported by the Washington Post.

But despite Tuesday’s slide, WMT owners still have a lot to look forward too in 2018.

The company has struck up a number of partnerships that look promising in mirroring Amazon’s online success.

Lord & Taylor and Google both announced partnerships with WMT in the second half of last year.

And most recently the company announced a partnership with Japan’s Rakuten Kobo Inc.

According to the WMT press release, the deal allows Walmart to start selling eBooks and audiobooks, as well as Rakuten Kobo eReaders.

But perhaps even more interesting is that the deal includes a provision for the “launch of a new online grocery delivery service in Japan beginning in the third quarter of 2018.”

There’s a lot on the horizon that could boost WMT shares this year.

It’s way too early to count this stock out.

Now, turning to the markets this morning…

Market Rundown for Wed., February 21

S&P 500 futures are off slightly at 2,709 this morning.

Oil’s down $0.51 at $61.28.

Gold’s flat at $1,331.

Bitcoin goes for $10,954 this morning, according to CoinDesk.

We’ll talk again on Friday.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown. Aaron’s been with Agora Financial/Seven Figure Publishing for 13 years. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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