Everything Really Is Awesome for Lego; Southwest Gets Grounded; Target’s Earnings Hit and Miss;

Everything is awesome…

Image courtesy of ArtJSan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of ArtJSan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Lego Movie movie might have been very rudely snubbed at this year’s Oscars but that didn’t stop Lego CEO Joergen Vig Knudstorp from belting out the hit tune “Everything Is Awesome” to reporters recently.  That’s because for him everything really is awesome. The privately held Danish company released its yearly earnings report and the consensus is that Lego is in demand. My basement, however, could have told you that. Demand in China, Russia, France, etc is only getting stronger and this year’s release of “The Lego Movie,” which earned a staggering $468 million, helped propel that awesome demand precipitously upward. Lego’s profits were 15% higher this year hitting about $1 billion. I can truly say I contributed considerably to that figure. Revenue for the company came in at $4.3 billion and move over Mattel because Lego has become the number one toy company in the world. There’s also a Lego Movie sequel in the works set to be directed by Rob Schrab with a 2018 release date. But if the Oscars snubs Lego again, it’ll have to answer to the forces of Ninjago, not to mention Batman,  whose Lego movies are set to be released in 2016 and 2017.

Yeah…that could be a problem…

Image courtesy of Master isolated images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Everything is not awesome over at Southwest as the airline had to ground 20% of it’s fleet. In case you were wondering that is about 128 of its planes. Apparently Southwest missed inspections and immediately notified safety regulators, according to an airline spokesperson. How very diligent of them. Eighty flights bore the brunt of this gaffe but fear not intrepid traveler, as the FAA and Southwest have figured out a way to get those flights up into our friendly skies until all the aircraft can get properly inspected. How very reassuring.  In case you were still wondering, the part of the aircraft that requires immediate inspection on all these airplanes is the backup hydraulic system. It helps control the aircraft…in the event of a  main system failure. Awesome. The bulk of inspections ought to be completed by now and if you happen to be on one of the few remaining aircraft that have yet to be inspected? Well, then have a nice flight.

Oh Canada!

Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Target reported its earnings this week and the good news is that it lost $2.6 billion. That amounted to a loss of $4.10 per share. It’s good news because it’s a one-time loss from closing up shop, literally, on its disastrous foray into our neighbor to the north. But if you take into account that Canada is now officially off the Target grid, then you can calculate that the mega-retailer actually pulled in $1.50 a share. Which is really great news because analysts only thought that the retailer would gain about $1.46 per share. So you see, there is a bright side here. Somewhere. Sort of. Listen it’s not Canada’s fault. Canadians are really lovely people. Some of my best friends are Canadian. But they just didn’t appreciate all those empty shelves at their 133 stores, not to mention some annoying pricing discrepancies – among other issues, mind you. But back on our turf, Target’s sales increased to $21.8 billion – almost $2 billion more than last year, Canadian failure and all.

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A Big Slice of Heaven, Are You There Shareholders? It’s Me, Warren and Russia’s Closer Than You Think

I’m in the mood for pizza simply because…I’m watching Oscar goers eat some…

Image Courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It may not be a publicly traded company, but Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria can expect some big earnings in the near future.  TMZ expertly timed Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres’ pizza bit and estimated that the pizzeria got itself about $10 million worth of FREE AIR TIME. Other telecast sponsors pony up close to $2 million for a slice of the Oscar publicity pie. And what of the newly-minted celebrity pizza delivery guy, Edgar?  No word yet on how much of a tip he made on that run, but rumor has it Ellen collected a whopping $300 – most of which reportedly came from the illustrious wallet of Harvey Weinstein.

From the mouth of babes…er…billionaires…

Image Courtesy of jscreationzs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of jscreationzs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Oracle of Omaha has spoken…that is in his annual letter to his shareholders over at Berkshire Hathaway.  The billionaire believes (as many of you do) that the economy is growing.  And, if he says it then it must be true.  FYI, his company is continuing to buy stock in a company in the United Kingdom.  Just no word on which company that is.  He also said he likes to focus on a business’ prospects and not on the state of the economy or world events.  Feel free to disagree with that investing philosophy but clearly the man seems to know what he’s doing because he’s ranked number four in Forbes magazine’s latest billionaire rankings.  And in case you were wondering, Bill Gates took the top spot.

So far away yet so very very close…

Image Courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Just because the Olympics In Russia are over doesn’t mean the drama coming out of there is.  Don’t kid yourself for even the teeniest tiniest second that the tensions between Russia and Ukraine can’t affect your wallet.  Next time you fill up your car with gas take a look at how much more it cost you.  Crude prices are rising about 1.5%.  You might want to think about making that Tesla dream more of a reality. Financial markets don’t like tension, especially when major world powers are involved.  There’s more than a few reasons we should give peace a chance.  And some of them are coming out of your bank account.