November 15, 2023

Today's Topics

Hello! Nepal has become the latest in an ever-growing list of countries to have called time on TikTok, arguing that the Bytedance-owned app has been disrupting “social harmony” in the country. Today we're exploring:

  • Lip service: Equity analysts have cooled on compliments to CEOs.
  • The gap: The female-male life expectancy gap has widened.
  • Airbus vs. Boeing: Orders are flying in at the Dubai Air Show.
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“Congrats” aren’t in order

Since October 1st, equity analysts have trimmed their estimates of fourth-quarter profits for America’s biggest public companies by some 4%... and, to make matters worse, execs can’t even rely on the congratulatory remarks they’ve become accustomed to from analysts on earnings calls.

Data reported by Bloomberg reveals that analysts have been tight-lipped with their praise so far in Q4, with just 378 utterances of “good quarter”, “great quarter”, “congratulations”, or the more casually ingratiating “congrats”. That’s 29% fewer compliments than were recorded last year, and a whopping 46% fewer than the same period in 2020.

Flattening flattery

Wall Street analysts have long blurted out back-slapping comments before asking questions on earnings conference calls, perhaps to signal how close they are with company management, win their favor, or maybe just to sincerely congratulate them. By 2019, Barron’s had counted more than 14,000 instances of the phrase “great quarter” on US calls — although research found that the most common recipients of analysts’ laudits actually tended to lag behind the market in terms of stock performance.

Related reading: How company execs can't stop talking about AI on investor calls.

The difference in life expectancy between men and women in the US has grown to its widest point in nearly 25 years, with females slated to live nearly 6 years longer on average in 2021, according to CDC data.

The CDC’s latest Vital Statistics Report revealed that overall life expectancy — in large part due to Covid-19 deaths — had fallen to 76.4 years, down from 78.8 only 2 years prior, concurrent with a 2.8-year decrease in life expectancy at birth for males, to just 73.5 years.

On the basis of sex

Since modern record-keeping began, women have consistently lived longer than men, a phenomenon observed around the world that has been linked to genetics, as well as social and economic factors, with everything from hormones to risk-seeking behavior posited as an explanation for the persistent gap.

But, in the US specifically, the gap between the sexes had been narrowing after peaking at 7.8 years in the 1970s. A new study published on Monday puts the more recent widening down to a rise in unintentional injuries (mostly drug overdoses), accidents, suicides, and the pandemic, which disproportionately affected men.

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Come fly with me

Boeing’s share price soared some 6% this week, after it secured a whopping $52 billion deal with Emirates for 95 of its aircraft — with the Eastern airline’s low-cost sister carrier, FlyDubai, ordering a further 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in an $11 billion purchase — all on the Dubai Air Show’s opening day.

Not to be outdone, Airbus, the European half of the aviation industry duopoly, is eyeing a potentially record-breaking deal of its own, as Turkish Airlines is reportedly considering buying 355 planes.

The mammoth deals suggest continued optimism from airlines in the resurgence of air travel after the pandemic, with the two companies shedding $193bn in market cap in a single month during the most uncertain early days of the pandemic. For Boeing specifically, the deals are also a much-needed continued restoration of confidence in its planes, following two major crashes in 2018 and 2019 involving the 737 MAX, in which a total of 346 people lost their lives.

Can I see a menu?

Every two years, anyone who is anyone in the industry gathers in Dubai for a five-day whirlwind tour of the aviation industry's latest, greatest innovations and products. Similar in nature to other major air shows in Paris and Farnborough, commercial giants Airbus and Boeing take center stage, with each showing off their latest aircraft in a bid to win orders from airlines looking to bolster their fleets.

Arms manufacturers also attend the air show — a presence that’s taken on a more solemn meaning given the ongoing violent conflicts around the world.

More Data

• During the search engine’s antitrust trial, an economist for Alphabet Inc. disclosed that Apple receives a whopping 36% of the search revenue that Google earns through the Safari browser.

Houston, don’t be mad… NASA astronauts accidentally dropped a tool bag worth $100k during a maintenance spacewalk on the ISS, which is now orbiting at ~200 miles above Earth.

• A survey has found that 55% of US workers rate their bosses positively — with the majority considering their boss to be capable (69%), confident (66%), fair (61%), and caring (58%).


• How Chinese e-com giants took over the world's online shopping carts.

Off the charts: Which shoemaker, a favorite with younger generations, is teaming up with McDonald’s on a new footwear collaboration? [Answer below].

Answer here.

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