Theo Eckert-Budis ‘22 pitched Walmart Incorporated (NYSE: WMT) on May 2, 2022. Walmart Incorporated is a retail and wholesale business that operates discount superstores around the world. The company is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, but its operations span much further. The company sells a variety of products that can be grouped into four major categories: groceries, consumables, merchandise, and pharmacy services. Walmart has 5,342 stores in the United States and 5,251 stores internationally. Walmart is the world’s largest company in terms of revenue, with a total of $559 billion in 2021. Theo highlighted Walmart has seen substantial growth in its eCommerce business and membership income over the past two years. Theo also discussed Walmart’s strong price management practices, which are crucial in a high inflationary environment. With growing concerns about an economic recession, Theo showed Walmart’s strong outperformance during the past two recessions. The class voted to purchase 100 shares of Walmart and sell 40 shares of XLP. The rest of the purchase was funded with the portfolio’s excess cash.
Nora Bennett‘22 pitched Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) on April 25, 2022. Target Corporation is a general merchandise retailer offering everyday essentials and fashionable differentiated merchandise at discounted prices. With just under 2000 stores across all U.S. 50 states, the company’s “Expect More, Pay Less” motto embodies its mission of delivering trusted products and services to guests at an affordable price point. Incorporated in 1902, the Minneapolis, MN based company bears a proud history of giving back to communities and has donated 5% of its profits for over 70 years. Building on two years of strong revenue growth, Target has made effective investments toward building capacity and scale through additional distribution centers and sortation centers. Nora highlighted their ability to capitalize on consumer trends such as omnichannel retail, with an emphasis on their industry-leading same-day fulfillment services, as well as movement towards sustainable goods via the company’s Target Forward initiative. Additional components of her thesis included the company’s continued strength in its private label presence and profitable ongoing store remodels and partnerships. Furthermore, Target’s diverse portfolio of products and services makes it a top shopping destination as consumers look for trip consolidation. SMIF voted to buy 175 shares of TGT at market price, funded through the sale of their position in DIS.
Luke Grover ’22 pitched UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) on April 18, 2022. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated is a health care company focused on well-being. This company operates within four reportable segments: Optum Health, Optum Insight, Optum Rx, UnitedHealthcare. Sectors within United Healthcare include: Employer & Individual, Medicare & Retirement, Community & State and Global. Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota UnitedHealth Group has a mission to help people live healthier lives and help create a modern system for healthcare that accommodates all. With the analyzation of data and healthcare expertise UnitedHealth aims to optimize care quality and delivery while reducing the costs. Insurance and pharmaceuticals are at the forefront of the globes demand as COVID-19 and the lasting pandemic has created an even greater need for present and future healthcare. UNH’s innovation and enthusiasm to expand into different aspects of the healthcare sector has created continual long-term gains. SMIF voted to buy 100 shares of UNH funded with cash held in the portfolio.
Tory Walworth ‘22 pitched ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) on April 4, 2022. ConocoPhillips is a leading upstream energy company involved in the exploration and production of oil and gas commodities and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. ConocoPhillips has had a strong revenue performance over the past year with the ongoing global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as heightened supply constraints in the oil market due to Western sanctions on Russian oil. Tory discussed the continuance of global reliance on oil and gas, as well as ConocoPhillips’ exposure to the growing liquid natural gas market. She also highlighted the company’s main guiding strategy, known as their “Triple Mandate.” This includes prioritizing returns to shareholders, maintaining disciplined capital spending so as to be able to fully meet global energy demand, and being a leader in the oil and gas industry on ESG policies. The class voted to purchase 400 shares of COP stock while simultaneously selling two May 105 calls. The decision to partially cover the position with options was made in order to provide limited downside risk protection due to the volatility in the oil market caused by the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe. To fund this position, the class voted to sell 355 shares of Progressive.
Claire Burton ‘22 pitched Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) on April 4th, 2022, which is a biotechnology medicines company that focuses on the treatment and curability of serious illnesses. Amgen was founded in 1980 as Applied Molecular Genetics, shortened its name to Amgen, and went public on the NASDAQ in 1983. The stock is currently a member of the S&P 500 Index, the Fortune 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Company sales are generated in one business segment, Human Therapeutics, and operations are segmented into inflammation, oncology/hematology and general medicine. The company is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California, and operates around 180 properties around the world primarily in the US. Amgen has proven to be relatively defensive and resistant to changes in economic cycles given the inelasticity of health care demand and disease treatment to economic conditions. Claire’s investment thesis was focused on Amgen’s innovation, industry domination, ESG focus, and ability to return capital to shareholders. SMIF voted to buy 250 shares of Amgen (AMGN) at market price and fund the position with 500 shares of Morgan Stanley (MS) and 34 shares of SPY.
Abby Tate ’22 pitched Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) on March 28th, 2022. Marriott International Inc. is one of the leading operators and franchisers of hotels worldwide. The hotelier operates or franchises over 7,300 hotel, residential, and timeshare properties worldwide. Their hotel portfolio consists of 1.4 million guest rooms and 30 brands, some of their biggest brands being Delta Hotels, Renaissance Hotel brands, Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, JW Marriott luxury brands, and their flagship Marriott Hotels & Resorts. The main drivers of Abby’s pitch were the expected travel recovery trending towards luxury brands, younger travelers, and domestic travel, the rise of “laptop luggers”, and Marriott’s ability to adapt to market and industry demand. The class voted to buy 300 of shares of Marriott at $174 and cover this by selling 3 at the money calls expiring in June 2022. This derivatives strategy was implemented as the stock price had risen significantly since the start of Abby’s research, and this provided some downside protection by lowering the breakeven price to $160.65.
Erin Cleary ’22 pitched The Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) on March 28th, 2022. The company was founded in 1963 and is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Comcast Corporation is a global media and technology company that operates three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Throughout these business segments, Comcast serves customers worldwide, offering video streaming, television programming, high-speed Internet, cable television, and communication services. Comcast’s competitive advantage consists of being known as the largest U.S. cable television company, constantly expanding the growth of their high-speed internet services, being a highly diversified business, obtaining both their NBCUniversal and Sky segments, and by their management team’s commitment to return cash to their shareholders. SMIF voted to buy 700 shares of CMCSA at market price and funded this by selling out of our entire CRWD position and 2 shares of SPY.
Rachel Martin ’22 pitched Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) on March 7th, 2022. Procter & Gamble is a multinational consumer goods giant that holds many reputable brands of household products. It operates in five segments: Fabric & Home Care, Baby, Feminine & Family Care, Health Care, Grooming, and Beauty. The company owns 65 brands including names such as Tide, Gillette, and Bounty. This is a mature and stable company that can provide defensive qualities to our portfolio in times of market volatility. Historically, P&G has benefitted from their pricing strategy, and has seen little to no price elasticity with price increases. With commodity-related inflation running very high, P&G has implemented and will continue to implement price increases on their products. This can be beneficial to the company being that consumers are willing to pay increased prices for the distinguished brands they produce. SMIF voted to buy 300 shares of PG at $149.50 and funded this by selling out of our entire BABA position and 55 shares of SPY.