How Amazon.com is better positioned to win the battle against Walmart

Background: Walmart Inc, the world’s largest retailer, took 77% equity stake in Flipkart, an Indian eCommerce company, on Wednesday. With Amazon.com establishing its presence organically, the fight to capture the Indian market has now shrunk to these two giants. So who has the better chance of winning this war?

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer, but its online rival, Amazon.com has better war chest when it comes to winning the Indian eCommerce market. Amazon’s cash at hand is thrice that of Walmart’s, though the online giant’s sale is only 36% of Walmart’s topline. Interestingly, Amazon.com has bigger long term debt than Walmart, but its interest cost is 50% lower than the offline retailer. Much more than cash at hand, Amazon’s valuation is thrice that of Walmart’s that gives US online retailer edge to acquire firms through non-cash transactions.

This table gives a preview of where the companies stand:

 

Walmart Inc. Amazon.Com, Inc
Cash 6.7 20.5
Sales 482 177.8
Net profit 15.08 3.03
Earnings Per Share (EPS) 3207 6.32
Market capitalization 252.35 776.43
Long term debt 36.7 45.6
Interest expenses 1.9 0.848

All in $ billion, except EPS
All numbers, except market capitalization, are December 2017.
Market capitalization is as May 9, 2018
Source: Company websites, NYSE

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New Battle Lines Are Drawn

 

77%

What is it?The percentage stake in Flipkartthat Walmart has agreed to buy for $16 billion.

Why is it important?This is the biggest e-commerce deal in the worldand Walmart’s biggest foreign investment. It would help the US retailer get access to India’s nascent e-commerce market, which is expected to grow to $200 billion in a decade. Walmart will also bring its US rivalry with Amazon to Indiaand new battlelines would be drawn between two of the world’s most deep-pocketed firms, in what is being seen as a game-changer for the Indian e-commerce market.

Tell me more:Of the $16 billion, $2 billion is the actual investment in the company, with the rest being used to buy out other stakeholders. Softbank has exited Flipkart, and the rest of the business will be held by co-founder Binny Bansal, China’s Tencent Holdings, Tiger Global Management and Microsoft.

 

4

What is it? The number of judges among the Supreme Court’s five senior-mostwho met on Wednesday to discuss the reiteration of Justice KM Joseph’s candidature for elevation to the apex court.

Why is it important? This is the first time the five judges—who make up the SC collegium that recommends SC judicial appointments to the Centre—met since May 2, when they discussed the Centre’s rejection of Justice Joseph’s candidature but deferreda decision on it. Justice Joseph’s appointment is one of the points of contention inside the SC, as well as between the SC and the Centre.

Tell me more: Justice J Chelameswar was on leave and was not present at the meeting. He is retiring on June 22 and he has declined an invite to a farewellfrom the SC Bar Association.

 

 

$4.6 billion

What is it? The amount Bharti Airtel is reportedly looking to pare from its net borrowings over the next three years.

Why is it important? The telecom firm plans to do this by listing its African unit and potentially sell partial stake in its tower business, in a move that would likely help it protect its investment grade rating. Bharti’s net debt increased 45% to $14.6 billion over four years as it invested in spectrum and infrastructure, and protected its market share, after Reliance Jio initiated a pricing war.

Tell me more: The Sunil Mittal-backed firm reported a net profit of Rs 83 crore in the January to March quarter, a 78% drop on a year-on-year basis. This was its eighth consecutive drop in quarterly net profit.

 

205

What is it? The number of companies whose shares will be delisted by the Bombay Stock Exchange beginning May 11.

Why is it important? The move comes in the backdrop of a government clamp down on shell companies. There are three lists: 188 companies that have remained suspended for above six months, 14 companies whose status on the Ministry of Company Affairs website shows “under liquidation/liquidated” and 3 companies delisted by the National Stock Exchange.

Tell me more: Promoters of these 188 companies have to repurchase shares from public shareholders as per the fair value determined by a BSE-appointed independent valuer.

 

105

What is it? The number of goals scored by Manchester City in 37 matches in the 2017-18 English Premier League season.

Why is it important? On Wednesday, champions Manchester City beat Brighton 3-1. In the process, they went past the single-season record of goals scored in a 20-team EPL format introduced in 1995-96: 103 goals by Chelsea in 2009-10.

Tell me more: Manchester City yesterday also broke the record for the most points in a single season. They now have 97 points, two more than Chelsea in 2004-05. They will be looking to hit 100 pointsin their last game on Sunday against Southampton, which is placed 17th.

 

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Record-breaking women’s cricket

1.54

What is it? The consumer price index for June, 2017 – the lowest in five years.

Why is it important? The inflation is much lower than central bank’s target of 4%. The government is urging the central bank to cut key interest rates to boost the economy. Index of industrial production expanded at a slower rate of 1.7% in May, as compared to 3.1% in the previous month.

Tell me more: Retail inflation was low mainly due to falling falling food prices, as consumer food price index was -2.12 in June, 2017.

 

 

6,028

What is it? The total number of runs scored by Indian cricketer Mithali Raj.

Why is it important? She is the first player to cross 6,000 runs in women’s one day internationals (ODIs). With an average of 51.8 runs per innings, Raj is one among the five women players who have an average of 50 and above.

Tell me more: Raj’s teammate, Jhulan Goswami, is the world’s highest wicket taker in ODIs.

 

 

17,771

What is it? The number of dengue cases in government hospitals and dispensaries in Mumbai in 2016-17, according to NGO Praja Foundation.

Why is it important? The number cases has jumped by over 265% since 2012-13 (4,867). It is a 16.6% rise over last year’s count at 15,244 dengue cases, despite Mumbai having health budget of Rs 3,312 crores for 2017-18.

Tell me more: The incidence of malaria, another mosquito-borne disease, seems to have gone down from 21,939 cases in 2012-13 to 11,607 in 2016-17 (14,631 in 2015-16).

 

 

Rs 900 crore

What is it? The investment by US retail chain, Walmart, in Maharashtra to open 15 modern cash and carry wholesale stores.

Why is it important? After the break-up with Bharti Enterprises in 2013, Walmart has been slow to expand, restarting in 2015. The new slew of stores would be in addition to the 21 stores Walmart operates out of India.

Tell me more: FDI rules do not allow international retail brands to serve end-customers through single-brand retail, except in the cash and carry wholesale format.

 

 

25.1 million tonne

What is it? The sugar output forecast by the Indian Sugar Mills Association for 2017-18.

Why is it important? The estimate is higher than last year’s 20.3 million sugar produced, a seven-year low. Above-average monsoon rainfall and its timely arrival have encouraged sugarcane farmers to plant more crops.

Tell me more: The three major sugar producers — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka — are expected to yield over 19.8 million tonne (over 78%) of the estimated sugar output.

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News In Numbers – July 31

News In Numbers: July 31

 

7 years

India will become the world’s most populous nation, overtaking China, by 2022. By that time, the two Asian neighbours will have 1.4 billion people each. A report by the United Nations released two years back projected India to overtake China only by 2028. Population projection depends on fertility rates, which in turn is dependent on family planning. Countries that have high fertility rates are the ones that have low usage of modern contraceptive needs and high percentage of people not using any method of contraception.

67%

The percentage of rural households that use firewood and chips for cooking, underlining the stark disparity between urban and rural India. Around two-thirds of urban households use the smokeless, user-friendly and government-subsidised alternative, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Between 1993-94 and 2011-12, the proportion of households using LPG in urban areas has grown faster than in rural areas. As a result, the LPG subsidies have gone more into urban households. Last year, the average subsidy per LPG cylinder was Rs410. After a government appeal, more than 1 million consumers have voluntarily given up LPG subsidies.

Rs203.28 crore

The amount the company that runs online payment processor and marketplace Paytm will pay to the Indian cricket board for title sponsorship rights to all international and domestic matches to be played in India for the next four years. On a per international match basis, that works out to Rs2.42 crore, a 20% increase over the Rs2 crore paid by last title sponsor Micromax. For Paytm’s parent, the sum is 5.5% of the $575 million (about Rs3,600 crore) in funding—at the last valuation of $1.83 billion—committed by China’s Alibaba Group. Paytm is the first e-commerce company to bag these title rights.

49%

The government has allowed 49% foreign portfolio investment in multi-brand retail under the automatic route, in a significant departure from its earlier stand of not permitting external investment. The move is short of what international retailers like Walmart, Carrefour and Tesco are demanding, as these firms won’t be allowed to exert management control under the portfolio route. The Indian retail sector is fragmented with 12-15 million small stores. Together, they hold more than 90% market share in the estimated $534 billion market.

50,000

India’s top three software firms — TCS, Infosys and Wipro — added only 50,000 employees in their workforce in the 12 months ended June 2015. Though they hired 150,000 during the same period, attrition was also high. Industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has predicted a 6% hiring increase iin 2015-16 on a base of 3.5 million.

 

 

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