OOH …Here’s One Thing
by Jim Johnsen,
Managing Director, Johnsen, Fretty & Company
(or if you are purist like me, then here):
Great song. Let me repeat…f’ing phenomenal song. On many levels. But did I say 500 miles? Whoops, I meant to say 500 days. Yes you heard it right, this brave woman just spent 500 days in a cave, alone, with no communication with anyone but herself. And yes she broke a Guinness Book of Records doing so.
I have always admired those few among us that have super -human mental or physical (or both) endurance and tolerance for pain. Beatriz Flamini, you are goddess among titans, a bit off the rocker or a little of both!
My favorite quote from Beatriz…”It’s not that time passes more quickly or more slowly…simply that it doesn’t pass because it’s always 4 in the morning.” Now that’s something to ponder in this insta-moment world where we burn time like a jet engine.
Mr. Johnsen, your ability to bring us irrelevant snippets of off the beaten path trivia is unprecedented, but once again I am missing the point. Well boys and girls…and all those in between, since the world moves stupidly fast, I thought it would be fun (and perhaps a bit educational in the process) to explore what has transpired in outdoor world over the last 500 days. Quick, can you remember what you sold in November, 2021? Probably not…but if so I hold you up there with Ms. Flamini!
Okay, so first off (in unabashed self promotion) I had just completed another electrifying drivle piece for OOH Today titled “Ramble On” If you missed it, here it is. https://oohtoday.com/ramble-on/
And in general news:
The Atlanta Braves had recently beat the Astros to win the World Series, The Cleveland Indians changed their name to the Guardians, Lots of individuals were searching for “covid booster shots”, President Vladimir Putin receives his booster dose of the Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine, Germany officially closes its Christmas Bazaar due to covid concerns, Switzerland officially lifts its covid restrictions while many other countries double down on restrictions. Wibur Smith, American novelist dies, Five people are killed and over 40 injured by a hit and run driver who drove through an early Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin and in a couple days the three men who killed Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, United States, in February 2020 are found guilty of murder and aggravated assault.
In financial news:
Nasdaq blew past 16,000 on that Monday 11/22 (it’s now at 12,100 aka 33% lower). Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 35,600 (its now at 33,800 and only 5% off), bitcoin traded at 57,800, almost twice as high as its current value, Fed funds rate was about 0.5% versus 4.75% now, Outfront Media was trading at about $27/share versus $16 today, Lamar was at $116 versus about $101 now, CCO was at $3.28/share in contrast to Friday’s close of $1.21. Also of note, Carvana was at $291/share versus about $9/share now.
And finally in outdoor world:
- The industry as a whole delivered $7.1B of revenue for the year ending 2021, up 16.4% from the nadir pandemic year of 2020, but still nowhere near as good as $8.6B in 2019 (which was repeated in 2022 by the way).
- Covid financial performance was still very much a “thing”. Meaning wholly shit our numbers are going to suck this year (although compared to 2020 we look like heros)…ad in my little M&A world…I am not selling my plant based on what I have done during covid…please Mr. advisor, show them another year…
- 2021 was the year that Carvana owners really decided to jump into the outdoor business with the purchase of the majority of Renfroe and the entirety of Avery Outdoor.
- Oh, and here is a fun one. Just a few months earlier in August of 2021 Volta Charging went public through a $2B SPAC merger. At the time it projected doing $800+MM of revenue and $250+MM of EBITDA. Lest you missed it, Shell Oil acquired Volta in January of this year for a reported $169MM. Wonder if investors including Blackrock and Fidelity are still chatting about that at cocktail parties?
- Outfront, Lamar, Link and several other acquirers had true animal spirits as my esteemed partner Gabe Oliverio likes to say and purchased companies, plants and outdoor assets like jujubes at the movie theater in 2021 (oh but I forgot, no one goes to the movies any longer).
- ChatGPT wasn’t even a thing yet (thought I would sneak that one in there)
- Oh, and before I forget one last one…Geopath/OAAA decides to hold its annual conference virtually in 2021.
So in short, in the past 500 days…nothing has changed…and everything has changed. Looking forward to seeing you all in Houston this week.
- Please let me know if you can remember anything of import from November 2021 to the present.
Securities transacted through StillPoint Capital Member firm FINRA/SiPC
Johnsen, Fretty and Co. is an advertiser with OOH Today