The Morning Badger (2/14/17): Happy Valentine’s Day. Chocolate Is Cheaper

Valentine's Day chocolate

Here’s what’s happening that you should know about:

A Chocolate Surplus?

The world’s cocoa suppliers are seeing a surplus this year as growers in Latin America and Africa harvested more cocoa than expected. This increase in production and steady demand means that cocoa is cheaper (and will continue to be cheaper) for chocolate manufacturers. If you haven’t bought chocolate for your loved one today, you might find yourself paying less at the store. (In case you forgot, it’s Valentine’s Day today, so you might want to get on that if you haven’t already.)

What does this mean for investors? Cocoa ETFs are a real thing that you can buy. $CHOC is one of them. $NIB is another. Since supply for cocoa is up but demand is the same, the value of both funds is currently decreasing. If you wanted to invest in cocoa, now might be the time before demand increases or supply decreases.

America’s Firearms Superstore

Gander Mountain is a small-ish outdoorsman chain that bills itself as “America’s firearms superstore.” While the company opened dozens of stores within the last decade, they also piled on the debt to do so. Unfortunately, sporting goods stores aren’t doing so hot these days. Also, guns (and gun stocks) aren’t doing well in the last few months, either. While the company hasn’t officially announced plans for bankruptcy, sources familiar with the company say that’s exactly what’s about to happen to them. Head over to Reuters for the full report on the company’s troubles and their checkered history.

No One Wants to Give Soundcloud Money

Aside from iTunes/Apple Music and Spotify, Soundcloud is one of the most popular places to listen to music on the internet. It’s a place where musicians post their music, mixes, and more. Unfortunately, the company will allegedly run out of available cash in 2017 and loses over $50 million a year. They also just lost their COO and Finance Director, two positions necessary to crunching the numbers and raising funds for a major company.

Last year, Soundcloud also became a second-rate Spotify competitor, one that isn’t drawing a lot of paying customers. Though they raised $100 million last year, they’re still allegedly begging for money to stay afloat, according to the Financial TimesTo stay afloat, Soundcloud would need to convince those customers used to their popular free service to pay money. They could also sell themselves to the highest bidder and integrate their service with a Spotify or an Apple Music. (As a Soundcloud users and musician, my money’s on the latter.)


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