Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Ford Edsel

The Edsel was an automobile marque by the Ford Motor Company during the 1958, 1959, and 1960 model years. With the Edsel, Ford expected to make significant inroads into the market share of both General Motors and Chrysler.

The Edsel never gained popularity with contemporary American car buyers and sold poorly. The Ford Motor Company lost millions of dollars on the Edsel's development, manufacturing and marketing.

The very word "Edsel" became a popular symbol for failure.
Ford announced the end of the Edsel program November 19, 1959. Total Edsel sales were approximately 116,000, less than half the company's projected break-even point. The company lost $350 million, or the equivalent of $2.8b in 2014 dollars. 118,287 Edsels were built, including 7,440 produced in Ontario. By U.S. auto industry standards, these production figures were dismal, particularly when spread across a run of three model years.

One of 76 convertibles built in 1960 with power from the optional 300hp, Super Express V-8. Sale price $ 70,000k
Historians have advanced several theories in an effort to explain the Edsel's failure. Popular culture often faults the car’s styling. Consumer Reports has alleged that poor workmanship was the Edsel's chief problem.

Marketing experts hold the Edsel up as a supreme example of the corporate culture’s failure to understand American consumers.

Friday, May 29, 2015

2017 Ford GT

At the 2015 North American Auto Show Ford pulled the curtain off of the all-new 2017 Ford GT. With a super-light carbon fiber and aluminum construction, a 600-plus horsepower, EcoBoost V-6 and a race-ready cockpit, the latest Ford GT is hands down the best supercar in the history of the Blue Oval brand.

The 2017 Ford GT was conceived to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company’s legendary victory at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race, in which three Ford GT40 race cars swept first, second and third place.
It had to be fast tracked from concept to production, with testing and development compressed into the next 18 months in order to go on sale by the end of next year

Power will be sent to the rear wheels courtesy of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Said force is transmitted to the rear wheels with 20-inch alloy wheels wearing specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires.
The all-new GT starts production in 2016.

Ford has taken a page out of Ferrari’s book, and given the GT an F1-inspired steering wheel with all the needed controls for car function mounted to it. This opens up the steering column and gives uncluttered access to the shift paddles used to control the ’GTs transmission.
The GT should easily break the four-second barrier in the 60-mph sprint, and top speed should be in the 200-mph range.

Ford indicated it would be priced competitively with the Lamborghini Aventador – which carries a base sticker price approaching $400,000

AltaGas Ltd. - ALA.t

AltaGas Ltd. - ALA.t is a geographically diverse energy infrastructure company comprised of three distinct business units: Gas, Power and Utilities.

The Gas business gathers, processes, transports, stores and markets natural gas and natural gas liquids. The Power business is comprised of 932 MW of conventional power and 440* MW of renewable power. AltaGas owns and operates utilities in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Michigan and Alaska that safely and reliably serve nearly 550,000 customers across North America.


On April 30, 2015 the company released numbers

 Increased dividend by $0.0125 per share per month ($1.92 per share annualized) beginning with the June 15, 2015 payment;
 $178 million in normalized EBITDA;
 $140 million in normalized funds from operations;
 $57 million in normalized net income;
 Strong operating results from Forrest Kerr and Volcano Creek; and
 McLymont Creek nears completion.

AltaGas Ltd. ("AltaGas") (TSX:ALA) today reported first quarter normalized EBITDA of $178 million, compared to $179 million in the same period 2014. Normalized funds from operations were $140 million ($1.05 per share) for the first quarter 2015, compared to $132 million ($1.07 per share) in the same period 2014. Normalized net income was $57 million ($0.43 per share), compared to $74 million ($0.60 per share) in first quarter 2014. "Throughout the quarter we faced one of the weakest energy environments we have ever seen, including the lowest power prices in Alberta since deregulation. Despite this, we still delivered on cash flow growth driven by our diverse infrastructure assets,” said David Cornhill, Chairman and CEO of AltaGas. “Our Forrest Kerr and Volcano Creek hydroelectric facilities performed better than expected in the quarter and with the addition of McLymont Creek mid-year we expect significant growth in cash flow in 2015 and 2016. Our dividend increase underscores our commitment to creating shareholder value.”



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

AirBoss of America Corporation - BOS.t

AirBoss of America Corporation - BOS.t is one of North America’s largest custom rubber mixers serving a diverse group of rubber products manufacturers.

The company engineers and moulds rubber products for the transportation, defense and industrial markets as well as for proprietary designs of personal protective wear.
AirBoss Virtual
Plant Tour  > 

On May 13, 2015 the company released Numbers

"Q1 2015 versus Q1 2014 Highlights:

 Net sales increased by 7.6% to $76.9 million
 Gross margin improved to 16.2% from 13.2%
 EPS increased by 27.3% to US $0.14 from US $0.11
 EBITDA increased by 12.6% to $7.1 million”

The first quarter of 2015 showed continued momentum across all of our divisions, demonstrating management’s focus on executing our business plan with a keen focus on margin improvement and delivering excellent returns to our shareholders. Net income increased 28% to $3.2 million and gross margin improved to 16.2% from 13.2% driven by strong performances across all of our divisions. We are very encouraged by these results and our team’s ongoing efforts.

For the quarter, Rubber Compounding volumes (expressed in pounds shipped) increased 1.6% over the same period in 2014. Volume increases in our mining, solid tire and defense segments more than offset declines in off road tire retreading, which were negatively impacted by the severe winter weather conditions in the US, and the forecasted decline in our conveyor belting segment. Gross margin, both as a percentage and on a dollar basis, showed impressive improvement over Q1 2014. Tolling, as a proportion of overall volume, was down 1.1% however we are seeing strong demand in this segment for Q2 2015 and we have several positive opportunities which we expect to commercialize in the second half of the year.