Washington State’s New High, Uber Vs. NYC Cabbies and Bed Bath Not Above and Beyond

On a high note…

Image courtesy of Paul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Paul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A big shout out goes to Washington today as it becomes the second state to legalize selling and using recreational marijuana. Medical use of the buzz-inducing plant has already been legal there for quite some time. While you might wonder if Washington is doing this out of the kindness of its heart or to increase revenue of the snacking industry, you might also consider the $200 million in taxes and fees related to marijuana that the state expects to rake in over the next four years. “I think they’ve got a good handle on what they’re doing,” says Andrew Freedman, Colorado’s Director of Marijuana Coordination. I wonder what he listed as skills and relevant experience on his resume. Colorado, which had the financial prescience to legalize marijuana much earlier this year, has already generated tens of millions of dollars for the state. Tourists and residents of Washington can expect some shortages and unusually high – no pun intended (well maybe just a little)  – prices until the state can work out the supply and demand kinks of the newly legalized substance but it should be worth it as experts say that legalization leads to better pot potency.

Uber Vs. New York Cabbies…

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Uber made a big in your face decision to temporarily reduce prices on its Uber X service in New York City. The app, which is still fighting numerous regulatory hurdles in numerous cities, wants to take a big bite out of the Big Apple’s market share. Uber’s alleged logic is that even in a city where hailing a cab is easier than looking at your smartphone, if it can lure customers away with cheaper fares, than those customers will just get used to using the app, even if and when those fares go back up. And in case you were wondering, yes, the folks behind Uber are probably taking a huge hit by dropping its prices by 20%. But the company figures that’s what it takes to compete against the already reasonably priced NYC taxis. No doubt that $1.2 billion in funding it just received probably softens the blow. That and the fact that the company is currently valued at $17 billion.

Buybuy shares…

Image courtesy of John Kasawa/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of John Kasawa/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Bed Bath & Beyond announced plans to buy back $2 billion in shares over the next fiscal year. Perhaps all those coupons I regularly use are responsible for the the company’s stock slump. But the board seems to think (and hopes) a buyback will help alleviate that and cause shares to go back up. The board clearly feels confident about the company and its long term growth and potential. Sounds like a middle school report card. The company, which also owns Buy Buy Baby and Cost Plus World Market, and has about 1500 stores, has seen its stock tank this year by around 26%. It wouldn’t be right if some of that blame wasn’t attributed to bad weather. But culprits, like Amazon and other e-commerce sites have been giving the chain some fierce competition as well. And even though the company did post a profit this quarter, it was still down 8% over last year’s gains.

 

 

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