The Uber Economy, the 'Netflixization' (NFLX - Get Report) of the world and the rise of the on-demand consumer has taken the world by storm and disrupted every industry from car ownership to retail to short-term rentals.
The affects were not lost today, either, as InterContinental Hotels Group plc (IHG) shares fell the most in more than 10 months after the Holiday Inn owner reported slower-than-expected second-quarter revenue thanks in part to a decline in business travel. Shares in Marriott International Inc (MAR - Get Report) , the world's biggest hotel chain, were also under pressure Tuesday, trading lower after the group trimmed its full-year forecast for North American revenue per available room (revPar) growth.
There are two big takeaways from the struggles of the hotel industry. One is that on-demand booking sites like Expedia and Priceline are doing very well as consumers search for low-cost deals (Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) , owner of KAYAK, Rentalcars.com and OpenTable Inc., is up more than 40% year-to-date) all the while private companies such Airbnb continue to thrive as well. The other is that collaboration tools like Go-To Meeting-now owned by LogMeIn Inc. (LOGM - Get Report) and Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL - Get Report) Google docs are continuing to make the 6-hour, $500 per day stipend business trip a thing of the past. That said, with Priceline itself reducing guidance for the second half of 2017, even it may not be safe from the unicorn onslaught.
Uber is no different, and despite its pitfalls at the governance level, there is still room for the company to grow. Imagine what the company could do if it were able to take advantage of the millions of idle cars parked on busy city streets. Imagine if it could drive ride-sharing to a new level? Imagine if car-renting as we knew it went away? It already kind of is.
The affects, again, are already being felt.
Just last month, three New York City car dealerships filed for bankruptcy, citing, among other things, the impact of ride-sharing businesses like Uber and Lyft. And Uber isn't alone in claiming victims. We are all familiar with the many retailers Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Get Report) has left for dead in its path as it provides consumers with on-demand shopping options, among its other services. And we know that it isn't done yet ... CVS Corp. (CVS - Get Report) , Autonation Inc. (AN - Get Report) and Pandora (P) ... you should all be aware you are on notice.
So as we look at the landscape for the Uber, on-demand economy, it's important to look at companies that are behind this growth. They are companies entrenched in the technology that helps keep this new economy going: artificial intelligence and autonomy.
Intel Corp. (INTC - Get Report) leads the way in AI, and having just completed its acquisition of Mobileye Corp., it looks poised to capture further demand. Nvidia Corp. (NVDA - Get Report) , the company behind many of the gaming-focused AI chips found in many PCs and consoles, also looks poised to continue its run. And then there's Microsoft Corp. (MFST) with its growing cloud business that seems ready to rival that of Amazon. Take your pick, but with Uber and Airbnb seemingly far off from IPOs, you might want to take a look at companies building the foundation for the future-not just building the services of today.
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Photo of the Day: Bausch & Lomb Can't Carry Valeant
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX) spiked Tuesday after the owner of Bausch & Lomb unveiled second-quarter numbers. The company isn't out of the weeds yet, however, and continues to carry a heavy debt burden tied to acquisitions. But it wasn't always so that Bausch & Lomb, was under control of a Canadian company. In 2013 Valeant spent $8.7 billion to acquire Bausch & Lomb, a company founded in Rochester, N.Y. Bausch & Lomb has a rich history in the New York State, having been founded in 1853 as a producer of eyewear. The company would eventually expand to other ocular products including contact lenses, lens care products, medicines and implants for eye diseases as well as binoculars and sunglasses. Bausch & Lomb was also the owner of the Ray-Ban sunglass line until selling the unit to Italy's Luxotica in 1999. Above is an ad from 1958 depicting the "Balomatic" as slide projector manufactured by Bausch & Lomb. Read more
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