Saturday, June 24, 2017

Casamigos purchased by Diageo for $1 billion; Clooney and Gerber are ALCO studs!!!

Four days ago, Diageo made a huge transaction in the Alcohol, Spirits, beverages (ASB) world. The London based company bought Casamigos Tequila for $1 Billion, in a record breaking deal. Diageo owns Don Julio Tequila already, but Diageo continues to add to their arsenal in the Beverages and Spirits industry. In late 2012/early 2013, George Clooney; Rande Gerber; and Mike Meldman started Casamigos in Malibu, California. The three successful people come from diverse backgrounds, and their collaboration turned into a lucrative partnership. The $1 billion price tag breaks down to an initial $700 million, plus $300 million more based on increased sales over the next decade. Casamigos Tequila is a top brand in the growing tequila category, selling 120,000 cases in 2016. Furthermore, most of the sales of Casamigos are domestic. The brand is found in many high end stores; and restaurants around the USA. Casamigos is expected to top 170,000 cases sold in 2017. Some of the most popular brands of tequila are Jose Cuervo, Don Julio, Avion, and Patron. Did you know that sales of super-premium tequila are up more than 700 percent nationwide, since 2002? Tequila is the main ingredient in a margarita, or mixed with Sprite/7 UP as a good summer drink. For myself, Casamigos became a high end tequila to try in 2015. Mixing it with 7 UP was the right thing to do, on a hot May day in the AZ summer. It was Primo Greenleaf's birthday, and we had to celebrate in the right way. Primo had a margarita with Patron, as he perused the beautiful ladies in the speakeasy in Scottsdale. Let's fast forward to Cinco de Mayo 2017! On that day, mixing Casamigos and sprite became a cool concoction for me to sip on another hot AZ sumer day. Personally, the gold Casamigos tequila is a much better tasting flavor than their silver tequila. Back to Diageo's other alcoholic (ALCO) spirits collection, the company has the following brands: Johnnie Walker Scotch, Crown Royal Canadian Whisky, Smirnoff vodka, Captain Morgan rum, Baileys Irish Cream, Don Julio tequila, Tanqueray gin and Guinness beer. The Casamigos sale is expected to close in the second half, of 2017. Congratulations to the ALCO trio (Clooney, Gerber, and Meldman)!! Diageo wants to sell Casamigos internationally, as the tequila is going to be distributed to 20 countries on 5 continents. By 2020, Diageo should look to sell the brand in 30 countries on 6 continents. Diageo is a public company on NYSE, and it can be found under 'DEO' stock symbol. They compete with Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), a personal favorite ASB company of mine. Enjoy the image of George Clooney, and Rande Gerber drinking Casamigos in a cool Floridian bar! Cheers, Salute!!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mayday Mayday, Or Theresa Maybe! British PM's top aides are quitting in major Political shakeup in UK

First, Theresa May is the current PM in the UK. She is not resigning, as the Conservatives party’s grip on the UK government slipped in a recent major election. Theresa May has been the Prime Minister for the past 11 months, in the United Kingdom. A 'hung parliament' is the main result in the last UK general election, which happened four days ago. The major cities in England are losing confidence in the government, as the Conservative party won less than 50% of the seats in the UK region. Today, Theresa May lost two of her top aides when Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill announced their dual resignation. Nick served as the chief of staff, under Theresa May for the past 11 months. Fiona served as the Joint Chief of Staff at 10 Downing Street, for the past 11 months. Both of them helped Theresa May on a daily basis, to shape May's political agenda before the shocking UK election result. Now, the world is wondering 'can Theresa May weather the new political storm, as many of her supporters have turned into major detractors?' The UK election could mean a softer 'BrExit'; or could the UK will their way back into the European Union somehow. The mandate of 'Brexit' is in trouble, and the hung parliament means that Northern Ireland and Scotland, Wales; will see changes in leadership soon. Theresa May has contacted Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party in order, to get enough votes to govern. After the UK general election results, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson; and Brexit secretary David Davis will keep their roles in Theresa's minority government. Also, Chancellor Philip Hammond; Home Secretary Amber Rudd; and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon will retain their roles in the new minority government. How does all of this news change the exchange rates, between the US Dollar and the Great Britain Pound? One GB Pound is exchanging/converting to $1.275 US dollars. The GB pound remains one of the few currencies, which exchanges into a weaker foreign US dollar. One Euro is equivalent to $1.12 US dollars. Can the Euro and the US Dollar have a 1:1 monetary ratio one day? It would be incredible to see the 1 GB Pound equal to $1.10 US dollars. In the end, the British citizens that live in different countries (US, France, India, Australia, etc.) have become deprecators of the UK and their governmental decisions. Nine months ago at Universal Studios Hollywood, a tour guide and myself were chatting about the UK government for handful of minutes. The informative tour guide mentioned that Theresa May is called 'Theresa Maybe' in many wealthy parts of London. He mentioned to me that Theresa May received this moniker due to her inconsistent governmental decision making. As a final statement, US president Donald Trump has lent his support to Theresa May. How will the rest of the world, including the EU and other European countries feel about May in the upcoming months of 2017? It is a probing question, with many various answers. Enjoy the image above of each political party, from the recent UK general election results.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Drake winning multiple awards at Billboard Music Awards 2017. Vanessa and Ludacris shine as hosts

Two nights ago, the Billboard Music Awards happened in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena. Rapper/actor, Ludacris; and Vanessa Hudgens, young beautiful 'High school musical' actress; were the hosts. Ludacris was hilarious, just like his name means; at the show in terms of being the cool MC. Vanessa Hudgens did a rendition of Celine Dion's 'Power of Love' hit song. Some people enjoyed Vanessa's version, but others tweeted some negative comments about Miss Hudgens. Since twitter is not an app. on my Samsung Galaxy s6 smartphone, it was not possible for me to read the negative tweets. Do not tweet between the sheets, or do twitter on the $hitter. Vanessa did a rendition of Nicki Minaj's song too. Back in the day, she used to date Zac Efron. Zac was her former costar on 'high school musical,' and off screen romance. Back to the BBMA's, Drake was quite funny in one of his acceptance speeches after winning one of his 13 awards. Yes, Drake won many awards and it was 13 to be precise. He won more awards than Adele's previous record of 12 awards in the 2012 BBMA's. BBMA is short for billboard music awards. FYI!! Celine Dion performed at the awards show, and she got many fans wanting to see her after the show to pay their respects. Drake met Celine in the after party, and he wants to get 'celine' as a tattoo on himself. Drizzy, please don't do that!! Drake thanked Nicki Minaj, and Lil' Wayne in one of his speeches. Drake and Nicki got in some LA, aka Lip Action. He gave a shoutout to Vanessa Hudgens too, and he may have 'the hots' for Vanessa. Drake should get Vanessa's digits. Drake won most of his awards for his 'views' album, from 2016. Drake's new album, 'More Life'; is getting some airplay on the radio. Some good songs are 'Portland', 'Fake Love', and 'Free Smoke.' Back to the music awards, the Chainsmokers performed with Halsey. Kevin Hart and Ed Helms were some of the many presenters. The show was probably one of the best, as many radio stations are talking about it each day of this week on their morning and evening shows. One of my favorite musical artists, John Legend; performed his song 'surefire.' It is a great track. Then, he performed with Florida Georgia Line for their country music songs. Way to be diverse, JL!! Ok, that's a wrap for the talented g. ripley on this BBMA's 2017 review. Peace! Enjoy the picture of Vanessa, and Ludacris before the awards show started.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

FBI Director Comey fired in shocking manner. But, was it overdue?

If you are a democrat supporter, you may been have shocked by today's stunning news of James Comey's termination as FBI director. James Comey is no longer the FBI director. He found out the news, by watching it literally on TV. James was in the Los Angeles area, as he was supposed to speak at an FBI recruiting event in nearby Hollywood on Tuesday night. Instead, he did not even make it to the Directors Guild Awards (DGA) building in Hollywood. It is a sad way for Mr. Comey to learn, that he was fired by President Donald Trump. Mr. Comey went into a motorcade, and went on a private jet en route to Washington to get the official word. Furthermore, Mr. Trump has fired some well known prosecutors in his first four months. In addition to FBI Director Comey, both Preet Bharara and Sally Yates were dismissed in eccentric ways. Yet, Comey could have lost his job at the end of January. Many Republican supporters wanted Comey to be replaced, as many government officials are replaced when a new presidential regime takes over. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. is a longstanding senator that is calling the Comey firing, as another big mistake by the Trump administration. Schumer is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump-Russia probe. Many politicians are stating that the DOJ (dept. of Justice) should have been investigating the Trump-Russia probe, not the FBI itself. In the end, it appears that some Democrats including Schumer had lost confidence in James Comey. With James Comey's tenure at the FBI ending, who could be the next FBI director? It is the first time since 1993, that an FBI director was fired. Andrew McCabe will oversee the FBI, until the POTUS appoints a new director. Some Democratic politicians, like Sen. Bob Casey from Pennsylvania, are terming the firing as a 'Nixonian' move. It is a direct comparison to the Richard Nixon days as President, almost 45+ years ago. In closing, James Comey came under fire for his handling of the Hillary Clinton private e-mail server investigation in summer/fall of 2016. What's next on the career front for Mr. Comey? James Comey could join the faculty, of a prestigious law school at a DC University a la Georgetown. Or, he could retire from the public eye. Doubt that is going to happen. Nonetheless, we wish Mr. Comey the best in his future endeavors. Remember the best revenge is living well!

Monday, April 24, 2017

First round of French elections results show Emmanuel Macron, and Marine Le Pen heading to runoff

Yesterday, the first round of the French presidential elections happened. There will be a runoff election, as Emmanuel Macron received 24% of the popular vote. He was in first place. Marine Le Pen got 2nd place, with 21% of the vote. Emmanuel is 39 years old, and he is a former investment banker. The runoff election will be on May 7, and it will pit Le Pen vs. Macron. Furthermore, let's discuss Marine's political agenda. Le Pen's message is anti-immigration, anti-European Union. Her message is France with borders. She is 48 years old. She stepped down as the main leader of the National Front party, in order to get more votes for the runoff election. Le Pen wants to have a temporary ban on legal immigration to France. She wants France to leave the EU (European Union), like the UK did in June 2016. UK had 'Brexit'; and France could have 'Frexit' in 2018. In contrast, Emmanuel Macron's political party is called 'En Marche.' It means moving forward in French literally. The party was created in September 2016. Macron did better in the recent nationally televised debates. Macron is an inexperienced politician, as he has not served in any political office or position. He was a former economy minister under prime minister Manuel Valls, and a former member of the Socialist party. In closing, Francois Hollande is the incumbent French president. He decided not to run for a second term, as his popularity rating was under 20%. May the best candidate win the French presidential election runoff, which happens in almost two weeks. Enjoy the picture above of both candidates, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Au Revoir toutes les personnes!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

2017 first quarter profit prediction for Samsung, plus Galaxy S8 preview

Last year, Samsung had to deal with its Galaxy Note 7 device being prone to producing fires at inopportune times. In 2017, the global memory chip leader will announce its best quarterly profit in more than three years. What a difference that nine to twelve months makes for the South Korean company to recover? First quarter operating profit will be $8.8 billion, and the semiconductor business sales is the main product/component for the great profits. Sales of the company's mid to low tier smartphones also helped the mobile division stay profitable. Eleven days ago, the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone was launched in NYC. The new smartphone will hit the market globally on April 21. Without a doubt, there will be a huge wait for this new premium device. Next, researchers are foreseeing that the S8 will set a new first year sales record. The Galaxy S8 will have the largest screen (5.8 in.) for its high end smartphones ever. Android version 7 will be the OS for this new smartphone. Let's discuss more facts about Samsung, and the Galaxy S8 product. Samsung is South Korea's biggest family run conglomerate. The multifaceted company makes TVs; smartphones; refrigerators, laptop computers; among other products. On the back of a memory chip super-cycle, the company and its main rivals should produce very high profits for the first quarter. In addition, Samsung is releasing the Galaxy S8+ in China and South Korea. This new smartphone will battle the Apple Iphone 7 plus product in the second quarter of 2017. The Galaxy S8 smartphone should be available to most Samsung mobile phone customers by June, or July 2017 in the US. The phone will supposedly cost $750-$850 in the US, if you buy it new. The mobile smartphone wars between Apple, and Samsung are heating up in the second quarter and beyond. Enjoy the picture of the new Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone. It looks pretty slick to me.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Water.org and their mission for clean water in 2020

You may have seen Matt Damon doing a commercial with Stella Artois in the past few weeks. But, it is not for alcohol fully. The advertisement has to do with Water.org and bringing long-term clean water to the world. The commercial has been on TV for the past month or two. Matt Damon and Gary White are the cofounders of Water.org. Water.org has a mission to bring clean water to 3.5 million more people in developing countries, by 2020. Damon and White want to inform the American public about the global water crisis, which many US citizens are unaware of. For instance, the global water crisis is affecting over 600 million people worldwide. Matt and Gary have partnered with Stella Artois for the Buy A Lady A Drink campaign, which will help raise awareness about the global water debacle. Gary mentioned that their organization was discussing the water crisis to the audience in Davos, Switz. recently. Matt and Gary started water.org in 2009. Another goal of water.org is to provide safe water and sanitation, which is a growing concern. Next, water.org is a website which makes about $4-$5 million annually. Water.org has a new ventures fund, that acts as a source of innovation funding to pilot, disseminate and scale initiatives that address the main causes of the water crisis. The new ventures fund is for private capital for building wells, and other ways to get running clean water to everyone. Also, Matt and Gary are working with PepsiCo to provide access to safe water and sanitation. Their partnership has been an ongoing one for almost a decade. Finally, Hope you like the picture of Matt and Gary at the Clinton Global Initiative's 10th Annual meeting. Matt Damon and Gary White have definitely informed me about water.org, and it is good to see Matt helping others in a cosmopolitan fashion. Hope they continue their hard work, and that water can be provided to the 2.4 billion people who don't have access to it.