From Yahoo Finance: Trump's election has interest in private jets at the highest level since before the financial crisis

Author: Yahoo Finance's Myles Udland - Source Link

"We’ve written a lot about how Donald Trump’s election win is boosting business and consumer confidence.

And now we’ve got another segment of the economy getting a lift from Trump’s win: private jets.

In its latest survey of the business jet market, UBS’ aerospace team led by the David Strauss found its overall Business Jet Market Index hit 53, 5% better than its last survey and the fifth straight improvement for the reading.

But the biggest standout areas of the survey were, like the broader economic data we’ve been tracking, in the expectations and outlook responses.

UBS’ customer interest score hit 78 in February, the highest since January 2005. Sixty percent of the 153 respondents from UBS’ survey indicated that customer interest had improved since its last survey while just 3% said interest had declined. In January, 55% of respondents said customer interest had improved.

Additionally, 65% of respondents indicated that they expect the election to positive impact the market, though this is slightly less than the 72% who expected a positive impact in UBS’ last survey. Some of this optimism, however, is beginning to trickle into actual action from jet buyers or leasers.

“In terms of validating this optimism,” UBS writes, “49% have seen an increase in transactions since the election while only 5% have seen lower volumes.”

Now, this survey comes amid a private jet market that is still not in great shape, as UBS notes there exists an inventory overhang and weak utilization.

And as one professional in the market told UBS, “Trump Bump has given way to ‘wait and see’ — will there be a trade war? Will there be an import tax? Will manufacturing have to restructure? With any uncertainty in the overall economy or political environment, aircraft owners choose to wait. Expect to see pick up in sales late this year once we understand what a Trump government will look and act like.”

Perhaps not unexpectedly, then, the business jet market sounds a lot like the tension we’re seeing in markets between investors and analysts.

Last week, for the first time we saw some of this increased confidence turning into increased spending.

And while improving spending from consumers, and increased investment from businesses, are the sorts of trends that underwrite improvements in actual economic performance, better private jet markets probably won’t make any difference on Main Street."

The Systems Integrator’s Approach to Small Cells

Enersphere Communications is a provider of Smart Poles, a critical infrastructure for the deployment of small cell wireless networks. Traditional cell towers can no longer meet the technical or public aesthetic requirements for supporting the fast growing demand for mobile broadband access within our cities. The most efficient way to improve data capacity is by reducing cell radius, thus creating a more densely packed network of smaller cells.

According to HIS Infonetics, an industry research firm, global outdoor small cell deployments will increase from 75,000 sites in 2015 to 960,000 in 2020, a more than 10x growth rate. 

Smart Poles are designed to enable carriers, cities, real estate operators, college campuses, and small cell site owners to deploy their equipment as a concealed, well-designed, and economically efficient package in locations across communities. Enersphere’s ePole is designed to be the most zoning friendly design for city planners, the easiest and fastest installation of a smart pole, and can also provide cities an infrastructure to host smart city and internet of things sensors, devices, and other applications.

Below is an example of an Enersphere ePole installed for a small cell network in the city of Wake Forest, NC.

ePole

The following article is a reprint from AGL Magazine. The author is executive editor, Don Bishop.

Wireless carriers face technical challenges in making connections between the network core and small cells. Randall Schwartz, a senior analyst and consultant with Wireless 20/20, led a session about small cell connectivity at the Tower & Small Cell Summit in September 2016. He said the limited number of users for a given small cell could help boost throughput.

A panelist in the session, Mike Alt, is vice president of network design at ExteNet Systems, an independent provider of distributed wireless communications networks. The company builds, owns and operates indoor and outdoor networks, small cells, and distributed antenna system (DAS) networks — any kind of interconnected distributed network system, as Alt put it. “We don’t just refer to it as DAS anymore, because it’s not just one topology,” he said.

Alt said that ExteNet Systems has been deploying small cells in some way, shape or form for 11 years. As a result of a rapid increase in wireless carrier demand for small cell deployments, carriers are seeking the most cost-effective way of building small cells, along with preparing municipalities for rapid, imminent network densification.

Small cell throughput translates into the signal-to-noise and distortion (SINAD) ratio, Alt explained. “When we’re integrating a network, usually on behalf of a carrier, the network operator doesn’t usually specify a speed, such as 600 kilobits per second, or something like that,” Alt said. “They’re basically saying they have to have 12 dB of SINAD variation between systems. If there is one significant integration challenge from the technical perspective, it is creating the isolation between the macro network and the small cells.”

Heterogeneous networks are supposed to work together, but Alt said that, in reality, they’re supposed to serve their customers, and only their customers, and then hand off to each other. Integrators spend a significant amount of effort to isolate the small cell coverage footprint and its capacity from the macro network, both for indoor and outdoor systems. Integrators are engineering indoor venues with signal levels to overcome signals that enter from outside.

Concealing Installations

Companies deploying small cells often take steps to make small cell installations aesthetically pleasing so, for example, a street doesn’t present a view with a lot of cell equipment. Alt said some situations are more challenging than others, such as making a wood pole still look like a wood pole when fitted with cell equipment.

“With wood poles, many installers use shrouds around the equipment,” Alt said. “Municipalities require some of it, and many have restrictions on how many attachments you can place on a pole. A single shroud that conceals 16 or 18 pieces of equipment behind it may be deemed one attachment.”

Smart poles, which are light poles with small cell equipment installed inside them, offer concealment, and they blend in with other light poles. The smart pole has functionality combined with aesthetic appeal. It may have Wi-Fi connectivity for a smart city application. The cell antenna could be concealed by a shroud at the top, and a uniform structure within the pole could contain a microwave backhaul solution.

“Another form of smart pole has LCD information displays, the ‘you are here’ kind of interactive map,” Alt said. “Cities are starting not only to see the aesthetics, but also applications for themselves. That’s where a smart pole provides a significant benefit. If you can go in a municipality and not only show the installation is not disruptive, it actually offers you something the city can use for its own benefit. That’s usually the win-win situation you try for.”

Neutral Host

Alt said that when it comes to wireless networks, neutrality has a different meaning than it did three or four years ago. “With previous DAS deployments, neutrality was based on a fine demarcation between the carrier-owned equipment and the neutral-host DAS owner’s equipment,” he said. “Today, neutrality has numerous complex demarcations. The carrier will take its equipment to a point where then it joins with the host’s fiber, and then it goes back to their equipment, and then goes up to the host’s antenna.”

With blurred demarcation and neutrality, a small cell deployment may have a baseband unit and remote radio head combination owned by the carrier, and yet the infrastructure is owned by the neutral host. Alt said this changes the business, technical and operational structures need to be supported. “It is different than what it was when it was just a DAS deployment situation,” he said. “As a result, for both indoor and outdoor systems, when you start talking about a neutral-host scenario, the neutrality involves the attachment and the use of the fiber in many instances for any kind of small cell deployment.”

With indoor systems, the neutral host could think about supplying any combination of the antenna, the connection with the radio, the baseband, the power and the backhaul. Alt said that typically the host would own the antenna, the coax and the fiber. The venue or the host might own the small cell. The host has two customers: the carrier that is interested in serving subscribers in the building and the building owner itself. The venue may or may not have a financial interest in the system, but Alt said the venue certainly has an interest in the aesthetics of the system.

“The venue wants the antennas to be hidden,” Alt said. “The carrier wants ubiquitous capacity delivery. Suddenly, you are catering to two different masters. One wants ubiquitous coverage. The other says, ‘I don’t want to see any equipment. I don’t care what sacrifice you have to make on that.’”

When a venue has more than one wireless system operator, a given area might have to have more than one antenna. “Small cell deployments are becoming much more popular within venues, and the venues have to be resigned to the fact that they may see multiple sets of equipment,” Alt said.

Who Pays

It’s possible to view wireless service as a utility today more so than it was years ago, Alt said, when it was viewed as a luxury. He compared it with Wi-Fi service that most hotels used to charge for, and sometimes the Wi-Fi connection wasn’t even very good. Today, many travelers won’t use hotels that don’t provide good Wi-Fi service, and they expect it to be provided without an extra charge. Alt said many venues are taking responsibility for providing wireless service to remain competitive.

Nevertheless, Alt said there is a piece of the installation for which venues often expect the system operator to pay, and that’s the space for the equipment. “If the venues are allocating some space for the equipment, it’s very challenging for a venue to give that up for free because its goal is to rent space for money.”

 

Business Aircraft Activity Report Results

ARGUS International, Inc. (ARGUS) is a specialized aviation services company whose mission is to provide the aviation marketplace with data and information necessary to make informed decisions and manage risk. ARGUS provides world-class aviation software and business management solutions, including AMOOSSS business management software, TRAQPak, CHEQ, and AROOR SOS. Founded in 1995, ARGUS is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and actively engaged around the globe. 

The following report from ARGUS shows that Part 135 traffic was up 4.0% from January 2016 to January 2017. FlyExclusive is leading Part 135 certified jet charter operator, and operates mid-size jets. Traffic for Part 135 operators of mid-size jets grew 10.8% in January 2017 compared to the same period a year ago. These growth numbers far exceed GDP growth for the U.S. economy.

ARGUS' report

Design Trade Service Featured in Editor At Large

Design Trade Service was featured in Editor At Large, a leading publication for the residential interior design industry. 

https://editoratlarge.com/articles/behind-the-curtain-with-design-trade-service

DTS, based in Austin, TX, is the first ecommerce marketplace that is focused on enabling transactions between interior designers and the furniture manufacturing industry. While other new entrants into the online furniture market are focused on transactions between retailers and consumers and consumers and designers, there is a gap in the market between designers and manufacturers. DTS features a highly capital efficient business model with no inventory, receivables, or returns.

DTS is currently generating an average of $60,000 in Monthly Recurring Revenues ($1,500 average order), with approximately 1,100 design members, close to 50 major manufacturers, and close to 100,000 products.

Highlights include:

  • First mover in a large market segment - $9.1B market size (Association for Interior Designers).
  • Addresses market pain points for both Designers and Manufacturers.
  • Multiple recurring revenue streams, including product sales, membership fees, and product catalogue fees.
  • Barriers, including exclusive transaction platforms for some of the leading furniture manufacturers.

Strategic Partnership and Investment with ATGStores.com

Design Trade Service is one of our technology clients, and we are excited about their recently announced strategic partnership and investment from ATG Stores, a wholly-owned affiliate of Lowe’s Corporation. Press release below.

 

ATGStores.com, Design Trade Service Form Exclusive Partnership Supporting Independent Interior Designers

Online home furnishings retailer ATGStores.com and trade-only e-commerce website Design Trade Service form an exclusive partnership focused on providing better sales, service and selection to interior designers.

Kirkland, Wash (PRWEB) November 14, 2016 -- Online luxury furnishings retailer ATGStores.com and trade- only e-commerce website Design Trade Service are now exclusive partners in a shared mission to provide premium sales, service and product selection to independent interior designers.

The new partnership adds greater selection to the current Design Trade Service offering and also provides its clients with an exclusive discount on nearly one million ATGStores.com products.

“We’re very excited to partner with Design Trade Service,” said ATGStores.com president Michelle Newbery. “We want to help more interior designers take their projects from concept to completion, and we hope their clients enjoy all that we have to offer.”

Design Trade Service trade professionals will also have access to ATGStores.com Pro Services, which offers award-winning U.S.-based customer care and account management for the company’s commercial sales clients. ATGStores.com Pro Services clients will also have access to Design Trade Service member benefits.

Pro Services has spurred significant growth in ATGStores.com commercial sales, and the new partnership is a key to future market opportunity.

“We’re looking forward to working with Design Trade Service to provide their clients with elite service and a wider selection for their interior design projects,” said Anthony Paterno, ATGStores.com Pro Services director. “We like working with people one on one so we better understand their needs, and we think interior designers could especially benefit from that level of service.”

“We’re thrilled to be aligned with such a great strategic partner,” said Kitric Kerns, president of Design Trade Service. “We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services, all with the goal of helping interior designers, and we believe they will immediately see the benefit of this new partnership.”

Design Trade Service is an “exclusive to the trade” e-commerce business that provides interior designers with the products and services they need at competitive prices by leveraging partnerships like the one now established with ATGStores.com.

“This is an opportunity for us to expand our presence in the North American interior design community, which is important to us as we evolve our brand,” Newbery said. “We want interior designers and other trade professionals to know how much value and product knowledge we can deliver in the space.”

ATGStores.com, a Lowe's company since 2011, takes projects from concept to completion by offering every customer high-touch customer care, a curated selection of high-quality home furnishings, interior design services and professional installation for a seamless shopping experience. The company features more than one million products in a host of different categories, from lighting and furniture to hardware and decor. To learn

more, visit ATGStores.com or email questions to press(at)atgstores(dot)com.

Design Trade Service is an e-commerce website for professional interior designers to source home furnishing products from industry leading manufacturers at a better than typical to-the-trade pricing. From a single purchase to a complex multiple manufacturer order, DesignTradeService.com - with only one account and one point of contact - handles all fulfillment issues start to finish, reducing time and cost for both the interior designer and the manufacturer. To learn more, visit http://www.designtradeservice.com

CFG Advises Telecom Client on $32.5M Financing

CFG successfully helped Atlanta-based Simplifi Wireless Group raise $32.5 million of debt and equity.  The funds are being used to finance the build-out of the Simplifi's telecommunications business.  Simplifi Wireless was founded in 2015 by former telecommunications executives from Connectivity Wireless.   Simplifi designs, builds, finances and owns carrier-supported neutral-host in-building wireless networks ("DAS" networks).

CFG took advantage of long standing relationships with multiple debt and equity providers to generate significant interest in the Simplifi financing.    CFG was able to provide Simplifi with multiple financing options and ultimately chose to close with a combination of equity and debt from Orlando-based Penta Mezzanine Fund and New York City-based Raven Capital Management.

Steve Keaveney - CFO of Simplifi Wireless - "CFG structured and completed a capital raise for Simplifi and the result was an extremely creative structure and provided management the flexibility to grow the business without suffering extensive dilution.  CFG identified superb partners with a very strong cultural fit.  We now have the capital and an excellent team and are positioned to execute on our business plan to achieve excellent returns for our investors based on the efforts of John Stanier and the full team at CFG."

CFG Advises Saas Client on $10.5M Acquisition Financing

CFG is pleased to announce that it served as the investment banking adviser to Columbus, Ohio-based MBA Focus and its merger with CSO Research. Cozzins Road Capital and C3 Capital Partners, L.P. provided a total of $10.5M in capital to complete the financing.

MBA Focus, a provider of graduate business school career service software and recruitment technology, has merged with Austin, Texas-based CSO Research, a provider of undergraduate career service software, to create a network of 1,000 schools and career service centers around the world. The two companies can now effectively match more than one million job-seeking students with employers seeking undergraduate and graduate talent via the proven algorithmic approach that has made MBA Focus the world’s go-to resource for business leadership talent.

CFG investment banking clients include growth companies led by proven operators. We look for companies with recurring revenue streams, above-industry growth rates, loyal customers, strong market positions, and a track record for delivering consistent earnings.