The steep decline in the prices of oil is always an interesting topic for discussions. When I met with these guys from www.perth-web-design.com.au/ we got to talking about the impact of the low oil prices on business and consumer spending based on the latest breaking news.
The general consensus is lower prices of oil is good for the economy but the truth is there are winners and losers. For Australia, the impact on energy exports and capital imports are complex. A US$40 decline in oil prices will equate to an income transfer of around US$3 trillion from oil producers to oil consumers. If the 40% cut in oil prices is sustained it is generally assumed to increase global GDP by at least 80% per annum.
The favorable effects of low prices of oil are the increased propensity for consumers to spend. On the other hand, low prices of oil will force the government to curtail programs and subsidies because oil companies who are financing these ambitious public spending programs have limited ability to sustain the projects from their oil incomes. A stronger dollar may offset some of the benefits of low oil prices to reduce savings. A factor that is often overlooked is that in local currency terms, oil was still trading at near record highs until very recently particularly in emerging markets.
Low oil prices will also reduce investments in energy exploration, development and production. Oil producers are already reducing costs and renegotiating contracts with oil service groups. This lower level of spending will have an adverse effect on activity and growth.
In Australia, the low prices of petrol are offset by lower prices in energy exports like LNG and coal, because their prices are linked to oil. Lower investments in the commodity sector and the deferral of existing projects will reduce the benefits gained from low oil prices. The Australian Stock Market has a high concentration of resource companies and banks that lend to these businesses. This means that any problems in the energy sector will affect the income from and value of the financial investments. A large movement in oil prices also has the potential to create significant financial instability particularly in debt markets.
Houzz is the leading home remodeling and design platform and each year, they give recognition to the different companies that have shown excellence in their performance through their ‘Best of Houzz’ awards. This year, the Best of Houzz award for Customer Satisfaction was given to the Portland-based Macadam Floor and Design.
Macadam Floor and Design is known to provide their customers a wide selection of high quality and beautiful floorings, window coverings and countertops for new home designs. Through their exceptional performance, especially when it comes to customer satisfaction, the company was selected by Houzz as the leading company for customer satisfaction this 2015. Macadam Floor and Design was chosen among a group of 500 companies and professionals in the home building, remodeling and designing industry.
One of the criteria for judging in this award is the number of favorable and positive customer reviews that the company has received last 2014.
Houzz gives out home improvement information to more than 25 million online and mobile users. Houzz is also able to connect countless of companies around the nation and the world.
Anthony Ivelia, the general manager of Macadam Floor and Design, said that they are truly honored to have received the award from Houzz and that the award is well deserved because they have been an industry leader for 30 years and that their aim is to provide less-worry service that will be from start-to-finish.
Macadam is one of the biggest flooring companies in the Northwest and they always give their customers the easiest and most affordable price for their service and products. The company is also flexible as they are always up-to-date with the latest changes, trends and styles in their industry and use them to further enhance their services.
Ivelia had commended and gave recognition to their employees as they are the ones that contribute the most to the success of the company through their professionalism, knowledge, customer service and performance. He also says that they are the main reason for Macadam’s good reputation.
Ivelia also goes on to say that their contractors are the best and the business and they do not waste the trust that their customers have given them.
A couple was approached by a paving company and offered to patch the holes in their driveway. But they did not expect the next happenings and that it would cost them a lot of money.
It was just a regular day for the Silva family when a knock came from their door. When they answered it, they found a paving company called Georgie’s Driveways and Landscaping waiting outside. One of the employers of the company then told Joyce Silva that they still had some asphalt left and that they could patch up the holes in the driveway for only $2/sq. ft if they wanted to.
Since it was a good enough deal, she agreed to have the holes on the driveway filled but that is not the only thing that the paver did. Joyce said that when she had left, the men started to pave the entire driveway and that she had no choice but to allow it because it already has begun. When they had finished, she found out that the whole cost for the service amounted to $2500. But the driveway was not the only problem she had experienced.
The wheelchair of her son, Michael Silva, had sunk into the asphalt causing him to get stuck. Unfortunately now, whenever it rains, there are puddles everywhere and the edges of the driveway were crumbling.
What is upsetting for the Silva family is that they have wasted a lot of money for something that did not help them and instead, had only caused more trouble for them.
The family immediately filed a complaint at the Contractor’s Registration and Licensing Board and had even sought the help of 12 for Action. An inspector arrived Wednesday to check out the driveway and the work made there.
Through 12 for Action’s help, the family had found out that the company is owned by George Stanley and that he is not a registered contractor which was required by the law to make you qualified in working on paving and driveways.
One of the men who worked on the driveway was found. He said that they did everything to make the family happy although he did acknowledge that he could’ve compact the asphalt much tighter. He also blamed the poor quality of work on the quality of the asphalt.
The theme of this year’s The Philadelphia Flower Show is “Celebrate the Movies” and will be a tribute to all films produced by Disney.
All Disney props and characters will be interpreted by garden and floral designers rather than replicate them. This means there will be no decorations made of life size images of Disney characters.
The exhibits will be an interpretation of the films. Take for example the exhibit inspired by Mulan which is called Stoney Bank Nurseries made by Glen Mills. In that certain exhibit, audience will see resemblance to the movie Mulan such as the Chinese gardens with more character, reflecting pool which contains ceramic koi, water lilies and iris and sculptured rocks that was made to look like real natural limestone because of the added effects such as etched cavities, smoothed edges and the weathered holes.
According to one of the head of the family business, the Mulan-inspired garden was made to give the audience a feeling of tranquility and to trigger reflections. This is the 36th time that the business has appeared on the Flower Show.
Another exhibit was inspired by the film, Pirates of the Caribbean but with a more modern approach. The exhibit was made by Mark Cook, owns a landscaping business in Doylestown, and it features a treasure-chest bigger than life with overflowing cannons and gigantic palm trees. Cook’s business has been joining the Flower show since 2009.
The Philadelphia Flower Show may be checked out at the Convention Center from March 1 to 8, 2015.
Gene London will also be gracing the Flower Show with his presence and is expected to bring around 50 costumes to the Show which will all be displayed at Room 203. The admission fee to view all the outfits is $5.00. London is known for his passion in collecting movie memorabilia since he was in the early 20s. He is now 83 years old and residing at Hallandale Beach, Fla. London’s collection includes 60,000 dresses, gowns and accessories which are prized at $3 million.
Another sponsor of the Flower Show is the Bank of America which has been a generous financer for some of the most well-known films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, West Side Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Hunger Games and many more.
Australia’s bold decision to regulate the cigarette packaging has stirred rumors of UK following suit. The British American Tobacco is already expressing its discontent and planned lawsuit once the UK government impose such regulations upon cigarette companies. Legal actions will be acted upon by the manufacturers of Lucky Strike and Dunhill cigarettes. The new cigarette packaging will be plain and is said to be launched next month.
These legal actions will be asking for compensations since the effectivity of such law may impact the business of either big or small cigarette manufacturers.
The UK parliament will be dissolving soon and matters regarding the plain cigarette packaging are expected to be brought into light this March. The votes will decide whether cigarette manufacturers and big companies get to keep their branding in the cigarette packaging or not. If passed, this new law will be effective as early as the month of May next year, 2016.
Legal actions are already being discussed by tobacco industry after it has lost its battle to Australia which is now the only country with rules for plain cigarette packaging. These rules will also be included in the future plans of Ireland.
There have been rumors after a full year sales report has been revealed by the second largest tobacco company in the world. The report shows how the fluctuations in the currency are responsible for the diminishing profit in the tobacco industry.
Adjusted profits are revealed to have fallen by 7.2% because of the weakening of the pound currency. If the currency rates continues to stay in this track, the tobacco industry is expecting a 10% effect in the profits for the while financial year due to currency.
Volume of cigarettes manufactured has also decreased by 1.4% because of the smoking rate which continues to decrease. In Western Europe, the decline is around 5.9%. The volume decrease is not felt in countries such as Ukraine, Turkey and Iran since smoking rate in the following continues to rise.
BAT is also keen on buying the 24.7% left in Souza Cruz, a Brazilian subsidiary. The conditions are favorable because the Brazilian real is now quite weak.
Following Endo International PLC’s aim to dedicate its resources to its core businesses which is in the pharmaceuticals area, the company decided to sell some of its business. For $1.6 billion, the businesses concerning men’s health and prostate owned by Endo International will be turned over to Boston Scientific Corp.
Premarket trading shows a less than 1 per cent decrease in the shares owned by Endo International, a company based in Dublin. Meanwhile, shares owned by Boston Scientific have increased to 1.2 per cent.
According to a representative from Endo International, the sales between them and Boston Scientific has paved way for the company to focus more on their pharmaceuticals businesses and its core financially. Another $50 million will be paid to Endo as milestone payments based on predicted sales by 2016.
The urology and women’s health department of Boston Scientific will be merged with men’s health and prostate businesses by the American Medical System. The men’s businesses which have delved on finding treatment for erectile dysfunction, inconsistency when urinating and other issues related to urology has generated $400 million last year in sales while the income was revealed to be around $130 million.
Mike Mahoney, Chief Executive of Boston Scientific, shared how after this deal, the annual sales are expected to rise to $1 billion after creating further businesses. Those treatments will be able to complement the existing ones done on the disorders experienced by female gynecology and urology. It also one way for Boston Scientific to gain more diverse product portfolio and be separated from the cardiac devices – products responsible for half the sales made by the company.
Earnings from the deal are expected to be even in the year 2015 while another three cents will be added on every share come 2016. Before 2018 ends, pretax synergies will have risen to $50 million. The deal is expected to be final by the third quarter.
Endo International is reported to be suffering from a decrease of 35 cents per share or $53 million in losses during the fourth quarter. Year prior to that, the company has also experienced a loss of $776 million the entire year, bringing the share to $6.74 each.