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Industry News

Economic Metrics of Top Performing Cities

Recently Andrew Rivkin was doing some reading on economic growth when he came across the Milken Institute’s latest study which focuses on the economic metrics of America’s top performing cities. The findings are known as the Best Performing Cities Index, and the annual study has provided very useful economic insight for over a decade.

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit economic research group that seeks to improve the world by discovering solutions that create jobs, spread wealth and improve health. The in-depth, independent economic research is conducted by global leaders involved in business, finance, government, and philanthropy, and from 2012 they gathered valuable metrics that helped pinpoint where work and pay are high and where business is thriving. This allows economists to better understand what it takes to sustain a metropolitan area in the twenty-first century and beyond, as well as the potential for advancement through innovation.

By considering job, wage and technology metrics the institute is able to peer into the working parts of America’s “Best-Performing Cities of 2012” index, which provides a comprehensive measure of economic strength across metropolitan areas. Each year the study reveals which cities are prospering as well as which are struggling. Here are the top five Large Performing Metro Areas of 2012:

  1. San Jose, California, which was the Best Performing Large city in 2001 reclaimed its position at the top after jumping up on the list by fifty spots. San Jose, according to Ross DeVol, the CRO at Milken “continues to have the top regional innovation ecosystem,” and shows that technology know-how continues to expand beyond Silicon Valley.
  2. Austin, Texas ranks number two on the list, even though future rankings are in jeopardy due in part to the slowing of natural gas and oil production.
  3. Raleigh, North Carolina has really been booming over the last decade and we don’t expect this city to drop down the list any time soon.
  4. As with Austin, Houston, Texas tops the list as a prospering city, but with an economy that relies heavily on natural gas and oil production.
  5. The nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. comes in as number five.

These are the Top 5 Small Performing Metros:

  1. Logan, UT
  2. Morgantown, WV
  3. Bismarck, ND
  4. Odessa, TX
  5. Fargo, ND

In 2012, not surprisingly, it was found that communities and industries that embrace technological innovation have a clear advantage, and the survey also highlights that both tech and manufacturing are on the rise. The rise of investments in business equipment in general, and information technology and software in particular, has presumably been one of the key findings that can be attributed to the economic recovery, as businesses resumed updating IT equipment which might have been deferred. It becomes no surprise that these tech embracing cities advanced in 2012 when you recognize the environmentally friendly innovations that run them efficiently for a sustainable future. As these, and other top metropolitan areas around the globe continue to embrace an advancing, eco-friendly world, they will create jobs, increase wages and create an economically sustainable environment that is compatible with the latest technology. A recovery in traditional manufacturing is crucial as well, especially the automotive industry and heavy capital goods such as mining equipment.

Check out the whole study to see all the top performing cities. The knowledge gained from this research can be used by businesses, government, academics, public-policy groups and investors like Andrew Rivkin to assess, understand and learn from each city’s performance in relation to one another. The study doesn’t just give us a list of the top performing cities; it also provides data that can help improve a region’s performance as well as understand economic opportunities as we recover from the financial crisis of our generation’s recession.

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Industry News

The iPhone Faces Tough Competition in 2013

We’re not far into 2013, but already Apple is seeing far more competition to the iPhone.

The Samsung Galaxy 3 is earning big headlines this week as Major League Baseball announced they will be using the phone in every stadium. No longer will managers pick up an old-school corded telephone to call the bullpen for a new pitcher. Instead, they will be using cellphones-the newest Galaxy to be exact-and they will do so with T-Mobile.

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Industry News

Looking for More from The Facebook Mystery Press Event

Next week, Facebook will be announcing something significant. But no one knows what. A mystery press conference has been schedule for Tuesday, January 15th, and while there is plenty of speculation, investors are hoping that whatever it is, it helps shares.

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Industry News

Rivkin’s Review of the Fiscal Cliff

Now that the saga that has been the fiscal cliff ordeal of the United States has finally been resolved, most are left unsatisfied by the drama, if not completely confused by the jargon and results of what many saw as a cat fight among politicians.

In fine governmental fashion, the House and Senate waited until the last minute (literally three hours before the January 1st deadline) to reach a deal, and United States President Obama signed into law a bill preventing this so called fiscal cliff, which has been a term used when referring to the potential dilemma that would be encountered at the end of 2012, when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 were scheduled to take effect. But what does that mean?

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Industry News Investor Relations

Mood Media: Progress & Strategy

Mood Media continues to experience sustained growth in its visual customer base, and now the company introduces their new and innovative services to even more premium brands; continuing its positive business momentum.

Mood Media recently announced that one of its ongoing investment programs, which focuses on creating and building best-in-class visual solutions, was in the final stages of completing the all new, state-of-the-art visual laboratory in Charlotte, N.C. Part showroom and part mad scientist lab, the space will be utilized as the staging for the latest, cutting-edge concepts from Mood Media’s visual design team.

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Industry News Investor Relations

Mood Media Reports for Third Quarter 2012

In a November, 2012 press release, Mood Media Corporation (ISIN: CA61534J1057) (TSX:MM / LSE AIM:MM), shared its third quarter operating and financial results. Mood Media is one of the world’s largest integrated providers of in-store customer solutions, and the company for which Andrew Rivkin acts as a business consultant, boasted revenues of $120 million; a 38% improvement from 2011 Q3, which was driven by acquisitions, advancements in the North American and International markets, increased customer growth, and rising blended ARPU.

The press release noted:
Adjusted EBITDA rose by 16% relative to the prior year’s quarter to $32.1 million reflecting acquisitions, improvements in ARPU and offset by lower equipment sales, lower non-recurring revenues and unfavourable translation of Euro results.

Net loss per share from continuing operations was ($0.03) compared with ($0.09) in the prior-year period. Lower losses in the current period were driven by the improvement in EBITDA and a foreign exchange gain on financing transactions, offset by higher transaction and restructuring costs and unfavourable translation of Euro results to our reported U.S. dollar results.

“Mood Media is establishing market-leading capabilities in media, interactive and sensory solutions to enhance in-store consumer experience, and we are seeing the results of this strategy in our strong growth in ARPU for the third quarter,” said Lorne Abony, Chairman and CEO of Mood Media.

Mood-Media-logoMood Media Corporation is a well known and successful in-store media company that specializes in consumer experiences through audio, visual, interactive, scent, voice and advertising solutions. The aim is to appeal to the human senses while helping businesses better communicate with consumers, with an ultimate goal of driving incremental sales at the point-of-purchase. Mood Media works with over a half million commercial locations in dozens of countries around the world, and their products and services reach hundreds of millions of people every day. The company works with over 850 U.S. and international brands in diverse market sectors including retail, fashion, financial services, hospitality and dining.

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Industry News

Team RAM Plays Polo for a Cause

June 2012 was yet another successful year for the life saving efforts of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, as well as the sport of polo, as the Toronto Polo Club hosted the 33rd annual PACE Polo for Heart charity event. Andrew Rivkin is a tremendous supporter of this, and many other polo events in which team Rivkin Asset Management can participate and contribute to a great cause. Team RAM sponsors the Rivendell Polo Team at the Polo for Heart event in order to raise funds for various Canadian charities. This past June $150,000 was raised for Heart & Stroke related charities, and proceeds went to the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Cardiac Care Centre at Southlake Regional Health Centre. Team RAM contributes to a number of other charitable organizations as well, such as the annual Polo for Cancer tournament held in Ontario, which helps raise funds for cancer patients.

Polo For Heart has been the most successful, and is the longest running, charity hosted by the Toronto Polo Club. For more than three decades, the three day annual event delivers an exiting combination of polo competition, a colorful backdrop of corporate tents and tables, general public picnic areas, boutiques, live entertainment and fabulous half-time shows. The whole family can enjoy an abundance of entertainment both on and off the field, and most importantly, Polo For Heart has raised millions of dollars for the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario. The weekend summer outing entertains thousands of guests with world-class international polo competition, so come out and join team Rivkin Asset Management and watch players from around the world play polo for a cause June 14-16 and have a blast at Polo For Heart 2013! The general public are welcome to come out and support these great causes, and can either tailgate or buy a reserved table or corporate tent. There really is no better way to spend a summer afternoon in the country, and it’s all for a great cause!

Polo for Health is another annual polo charity event which takes place in August at the Upper Canada Polo Fields near Alliston. The refreshing Autumn setting is the perfect place to play polo for a great cause. The event raises money each year for Stevenson Memorial Hospital and over the past eight years the Rotary Club of Alliston and the Toronto Polo Club have worked together to raise nearly a quarter million dollars for the Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation.

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Investor Relations

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act, and the Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act) greatly increased the importance of investor relations in the financial markets. The United States federal law enacted new requirements for corporate governance and regulatory compliance, with greater emphasis on accuracy in auditing and public disclosure. Notable provisions of the act which apply to investor relations include enhanced financial disclosures and accuracy of financial reports, real-time disclosures, off-balance-sheet transaction disclosures, pro forma financial disclosures, management assessment of internal controls, and corporate responsibility for financial reports.

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Investor Relations

Top Investor Relations Organizations

The most highly regarded professional organization for Investor Relations in the United States (and largest in the world) is the National Investor Relations Institute, or NIRI. Founded in 1969 and located in Vienna, Virginia, NIRI is the professional association of corporate officers and investor relations advisers responsible for effective communication among corporate management, shareholders and securities analysts. NIRI’s 4,400 members represent nearly 2,100 publicly held companies and $5.4 trillion in stock market capitalization. NIRI has 33 chapters located throughout the United States.

In Canada, the professional association is known as the Canadian Investor Relations Institute, or CIRI, and this not-for-profit association of executives handles communication between public corporations, investors and the financial community.

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Investor Relations

Investor Relations Defined

Investor Relations is a strategic management practice that combines finance, marketing and ethics to create the most effective communication between a company, the financial community and other relevant parties, which is responsible for a company’s securities achieving fair valuation. Investor Relations often refers to the department of a company responsible for handling inquiries from shareholders and investors, as well as others who might be interested in a company’s stock or financial well-being. The department generally reports to the Chief Financial Officer or Treasurer, and in some companies, investor relations is managed by the public relations or corporate communications departments. Investor Relations is considered a specialty of public relations by the U.S. Department of Labor and may also be referred to as financial public relations or financial communications.

Many larger companies have dedicated investor relations officers (IROs), who oversee the majority of shareholder meetings, press conferences, private meetings with investors, investor relations sections of company websites and annual reports. The investor relations function also may include the conveyance of information relating to intangible values such as the company’s policy on corporate governance or social responsibility.

Any investor relations department must be aware of current and upcoming issues that an organization or issuer may face, especially those that relate to trustee duty and organizational impact. It must be able to assess the various patterns of stock-trading that a public company will likely experience, often as the result of research reports issued by financial analysts. The investor relations department must also maintain regular communications with the Corporate Secretary on legal and regulatory matters that affect shareholders.