Pharmacy Business Owners: When to Consider Retirement

Will the pharmacy business experience declining profits over the next few years, and if this happens will the local community pharmacy be able to stay in business?Does it seem that business profits for pharmacy owners are being attacked from every angle? Have you read the articles detailing these points:• Reimbursements for diabetic testing supplies are being reduced.• For patients who have recurring monthly prescriptions the government is nudging the public to purchase by mail-order instead of visiting their local pharmacy.• The multipliers used to calculate reimbursements for Medicaid are expected to be lower than the pharmacy owner’s actual costs.• Dispensing fees regulated by many state agencies are being reduced.• The average wholesale price (AWP) paid to drug stores is being trimmed.The federal government’s Health and Human Services (HHS) negotiates pharmacy reimbursement rates for prescription drugs plans. Many states may take longer to provide the reimbursements. Other federal and state legislation may affect both the profits and the viability of staying in business. There are also issues regarding higher personal taxes and higher capital gain taxes that need to be considered.Over a number of years many independent drug stores have already been sold. These owners are gone and they are not looking to buyout their local competition. There are fewer young people willing to take the chance of business ownership. Some pharmacies have been closed due to the fact there was not a qualified buyer in the area. National and regional drug store chains have been sold during the past few years. The consolidation of pharmacy industry is seen as an advantage for the buyer, but for the local community pharmacy owner the consolidation provides added uncertainty to their business.It is expected that in the coming years, if circumstances don’t change, that current pharmacy owners will receive considerably lower purchase prices than their associates did 10 years ago. With the average pharmacy owner closer to the age of 60 than 40, many of the current pharmacy owners will need to take a hard look at their retirement expectations.When ready for an exit strategy, what does a pharmacy owner do when there are fewer willing buyers? Who will pay them an adequate amount for a business they have spent a life time building?Pharmacy owners, who do not plan on exiting the pharmacy industry until a few more years, will waiting a year or two really put the most amount of money in the bank for the pharmacy owner’s retirement account? If the business is sold now, can the proceeds be injected into other investments that would offer a higher return? The pharmacy owner should have their accountant calculate some projections, and the pharmacy owner will need to personally keep a diligent eye on any new regulatory proposals. By not being on top of what is affecting the industry, a pharmacy business owner could see a serious impact to the person’s retirement plans.Pharmacy owners are small business people. Financially they have done well during their career, but most would not categorize themselves as wealthy. The pharmacy is probably the largest asset they will ever own so any consideration of selling the business at the right time should come with a great deal thought.In a normal flow of transferring a drug store to a new owner, the process typically takes about nine months. This is important for a business owner to understand. To deposit the largest sum of money into the bank for retirement the decision to sell the business cannot be a quick decision, nor should the business be put on auction block for a quick sale. When it is time to consider retirement the appropriate planning needs to take place.

E-Commerce Web Design: Design A Store That Will Sell Well

When it comes to designing an e-commerce website, creativity is good – but usability is better! Flash animations can needlessly slow down the shopper when he is heading to the checkout; attractive, innovative design elements may prove to be too puzzling for the average user, and too creative color schemes can send the customers the wrong brand signal. A confused visitor is the one that will hit the back button to look elsewhere! An online storefront needs to be designed in order to convert that browser into a buyer!An e-commerce website that not only looks good, but also converts well, is the ultimate goal of any e-commerce web design. Creating a positive user experience on your e-commerce websites directly translates into improved conversion rates. Improved conversion rate equals extra revenue added to your bottom line. An average e-commerce website has a conversion rate from one to five percent, a percentage that could stand to be improved.A profitable e-commerce website is the one that knows its target audience well. When designing an e-commerce website, ask yourself: who are the people who will buy that product from that website? What makes them tick? Do they need a lot of details to make a buying decision, or they just want to make it as quickly as possible? Give them exactly what they are looking for, in a way that they like to be given, and then make it easy for them to buy it from you.Design everything from a buyer’s point of view! Keep things simple and straightforward: the navigation should be smooth and simple to understand, and the customer should never feel “lost” on your website. Make sure that the basic tools like the shopping cart, website’s help and FAQ, or shipping information, are available from every page of the site.Make it easy for them to see the catalog of products; showcase all products properly, using high-quality photos. It is a good idea to use neutral backgrounds when displaying the pictures of the product – preferably detailed pictures, and more than just one. In product descriptions, it is better to use descriptive, rather than technical, terms.Failing to provide a good user experience will result in high shopping cart abandonment rates. Don’t make your visitors frustrated with any aspect of the buying process, or they will never become the paying customers. There are many e-commerce websites on the internet, so why would they buy from yours?
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S&P 500 Biotech Giant Vertex Leads 5 Stocks Showing Strength

Your stocks to watch for the week ahead are Cheniere Energy (LNG), S&P 500 biotech giant Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), Cardinal Health (CAH), Steel Dynamics (STLD) and Genuine Parts (GPC).

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While the market remains in correction, with analysts and investors wary of an economic downturn, these five stocks are worth adding to watchlists. S&P 500 medical giants Vertex and Cardinal Health have been holding up, as health-care related plays tend to do well in down markets.

Steel Dynamics and Genuine Parts are both coming off strong earnings as both the steel and auto parts industries report optimistic outlooks. Meanwhile, Cheniere Energy saw sales boom in the second quarter as demand in Europe for natural gas continues to grow.

Major indexes have been making rally attempts with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 testing weekly support on Friday. With market uncertainty, investors should be ready for follow-through day breakouts and keep an eye on these stocks.

Cheniere Energy, Cardinal Health and VRTX stock are all on IBD Leaderboard.

Cheniere Energy Stock
LNG shares rose 1.1% to 175.79 during Friday’s market trading. On the week, the stock advanced 3.1%, not from highs, bouncing from its 21-day and 10-week lines earlier in the week.

Cheniere Energy has been consolidating since mid-September, but needs another week to forge a proper base, with a potential 182.72 buy point formed on Aug. 10.

Houston-based Cheniere Energy was IBD Stock Of The Day on Thursday, as the largest U.S. producer of liquefied natural gas eyes strong demand in Europe.

Even though natural gas prices are plunging in the U.S. and Europe, investors still see strong LNG demand for Cheniere and others.

The U.K. government confirmed last week that it is in talks for an LNG purchase agreement with a number of companies, including Cheniere.

In the first half of 2021, less than 40% of Cheniere’s cargoes of LNG landed in Europe. That jumped to more than 70% through this year’s second quarter, even as the company ramped up new export capacity. The urgency of Europe’s natural gas shortage only intensified last month. That is when an explosion disabled the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia that had once supplied 40% of the European Union’s natural gas.

In Q2, sales increased 165% to $8 billion and LNG earned $2.90 per share, up from a net loss of $1.30 per share in Q2 2021. The company will report Q3 earnings Nov. 3, with investors seeing booming profits for the next few quarters.

Cheniere Energy has a Composite Rating of 84. It has a 98 Relative Strength Rating, an exclusive IBD Stock Checkup gauge for share price movement with a 1 to 99 score. The rating shows how a stock’s performance over the last 52 weeks holds up against all the other stocks in IBD’s database. The EPS rating is 41.

Vertex Stock
VRTX stock jumped 3.4% to 300 on Friday, rebounding from a test of its 50-day moving average. Shares climbed 2.2% for the week. Vertex stock has formed a tight flat base with an official buy point of 306.05, according to MarketSmith analysis.

The stock has remained consistent over recent weeks, while the relative strength line has trended higher. The RS line tracks a stock’s performance vs. the S&P 500 index.

Vertex Q3 earnings are on due Oct. 27. Analysts see EPS edging up 1% to $3.61 per share with sales increasing 16% to $2.2 billion, according to FactSet.

The Boston-based global biotech company dominates the cystic fibrosis treatment market. Vertex also has other products in late-stage clinical development that target sickle cell disease, Type 1 diabetes and certain genetically caused kidney diseases. That includes a gene-editing partnership with Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP).

In early August, Vertex reported better-than-expected second-quarter results and raised full-year sales targets.

S&P 500 stock Vertex ranks second in the Medical-Biomed/Biotech industry group. VRTX has a 99 Composite Rating. Its Relative Strength Rating is 94 and its EPS Rating is 99.

CRISPR Stocks: Will Concerns Over Risk Inhibit Gene-Editing Cures?

Cardinal Health Stock
CAH stock advanced 3.2% to 73.03 Friday, clearing a 71.22 buy point from a shallow cup-with-handle base and hitting a record high. But volume was light on the breakout. CAH stock leapt 7.3% for the week.

Cardinal Health stock’s relative strength line has also been trending up for months.

The cup-with-handle base is part of a base-on-base pattern, forming just above a cup base cleared on Aug. 11.

Cardinal Health, based in Dublin, Ohio, offers a wide assortment of health care services and medical supplies to hospitals, labs, pharmacies and long-term care facilities. The company reports that it serves around 90% of hospitals and 60,000 pharmacies in the U.S.

S&P 500 stock Cardinal Health will report Q1 2023 earnings on Nov. 4. Analysts forecast earnings falling 26% to 96 cents per share. Sales are expected to increase 10% to $48.3 billion, according to FactSet.

Cardinal Health stock ranks first in the Medical-Wholesale Drug/Supplies industry group, ahead of McKesson (MCK), which is also showing positive action. CAH stock has a 94 Composite Rating out of 99. It has a 97 Relative Strength Rating and an EPS rating of 73.

Steel Dynamics Stock
STLD shares shot up 8.5% to 92.92 on Friday and soared 19% on the week, coming off a Steel Dynamics earnings beat Wednesday night.

Shares blasted above an 88.72 consolidation buy point Friday after clearing a trendline Thursday. STLD stock is 17% above its 50-day line, definitely extended from that key average.

Steel Dynamics’ latest consolidation could be seen as part of a larger base going back six months.

Steel Dynamics topped Q3 earnings views with EPS rising 10% to $5.46 while revenue grew 11% to $5.65 billion. The steel producer’s outlook is optimistic despite weaker flat rolled steel pricing. STLD reports its order activity and backlogs remain solid.

The Fort Wayne, Indiana-based company is among the largest producers of carbon steel products in the U.S. It engages in metal recycling operations along with steel fabrication and produces myriad steel products.

How Millett Grew Steel Dynamics From A Three Employee Business

STLD stock ranks first in the Steel-Producers industry group. STLD stock has a 96 Composite Rating out of 99. It has a 90 Relative Strength Rating, an exclusive IBD Stock Checkup gauge for share-price movement that tops at 99. The rating shows how a stock’s performance over the last 52 weeks holds up against all the other stocks in IBD’s database. The EPS rating is 98.

Genuine Parts Stock
GPC stock gained 2.8% to 162.35 Friday after the company topped earnings views with its Q3 results on Thursday. For the week GPC advanced 5.1% as the stock held its 50-day line and is in a flat base.

GPC has an official 165.09 flat-base buy point after a three-week rally, according to MarketSmith analysis.

The relative strength line for Genuine Parts stock has rallied sharply to highs over the past several months.

On Thursday, the Atlanta-based auto parts company raised its full-year guidance on growth across its automotive and industrial sales.

Genuine Parts earnings per share advanced 19% to $2.23 and revenue grew 18% to $5.675 billion in Q3. GPC’s full-year guidance is now calling for EPS of $8.05-$8.15, up from $7.80-$7.95. The company now forecasts revenue growth of 15%-16%, up from the earlier 12%-14%.

During the Covid pandemic, supply chain constraints caused a major upheaval in the auto industry, sending prices for new and used cars to record levels. This has made consumers more likely to hang on to their existing vehicles for longer, driving mileage higher and boosting demand for auto replacement parts.

Fellow auto stocks O’Reilly Auto Parts (ORLY) and AutoZone (AZO) have also rallied near buy points amid the struggling market. O’Reilly reports on Oct. 26.

IBD ranks Genuine Parts first in the Retail/Wholesale-Auto Parts industry group. GPC stock has a 96 Composite Rating. Its Relative Strength Rating is 94 and it has an EPS Rating of 89.