Ray Of Light For Big-Box Retail; Storm Clouds For VC-Backed Media

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Value Re-Stored

It’s been a long time since industry analysts expressed optimism about the fate of big-box retailers, but a ray of light just crept in. Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Home Depot each topped earnings estimates and demonstrated strong year-over-year growth. “Together, these results show a path forward for old-school retailers – if they move quickly and invest resources wisely,” writes Sarah Halzack at Bloomberg. With Amazon making deeper commitments to its own brick-and-mortar presence, analysts increasingly view physical locations as omnichannel growth drivers. More.

Trouble In VC-Backed Media

BuzzFeed will miss its $350 million revenue target by $50 million to $70 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. At a board meeting a few weeks ago, investors voiced frustrations with management. Based on these results, an IPO next year is unlikely. BuzzFeed isn’t the only VC-backed publisher in trouble. Vice will miss its $800 million revenue target, The WSJ added. And Mashable, once valued at $250 million, sold for $50 million to Ziff Davis today.  

Windows Of Opportunity

The IPO window has reopened – a crack – according to LUMA Partners’ State of Digital Marketing presentation, which was unveiled Thursday at its Digital Marketing Summit in Menlo Park, California. SendGrid just went public and is trading at a 6x revenue multiple, and the investment bank believes others will follow in the next 12 months. But there were no multilbillion-dollar M&A deals this past year in a space that increasingly favors fewer, larger players (Amazon, for example). Check out the State of Digital Marketing slide deck.

Print-Digital Pub ISO Same

Meredith is making a bid on Time Inc. in the range of $17 to $20 a share, according to The Journal. The stock rose from $10 to $16.20 in the wake of the news. Meredith, which focuses on content for women, wanted to buy Time Inc. earlier this year, but the publisher decided not to sell. But this time, Meredith is coming in with $600 million in private equity support from the Koch Brothers. Combined, the publications could cut costs and boost circulation by bundling similar food or home titles, the Journal theorized – and possess more leverage to take on the duopoly. Time Inc. declined to comment to AdExchanger.

More Cuts Hit Oath

Oath has initiated yet another round of layoffs, Digiday reports. This time, the company is cutting 560 people – or just under 4% of its 14,000-person workforce – citing “changes to further align our global organization to our 2018 road map.” More. The move comes just days after the company shuffled its ad tech leadership [AdExchanger coverage] and follows a much larger 2,100-person round of cuts, from when parent Verizon completed its merger of Yahoo and AOL.

But Wait, There’s More!

You’re Hired!

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