It’s another edition of the Weekly Financial Digest! Each week, the team here at Lola bookmarks our favorite articles about corporate finance. Then, I take those and summarize them for you.This week, we’ve got an article about Spiderman! Just kidding. It’s actually about how Marvel Studios went from bankruptcy to a $4 billion acquisition in just thirteen years.
That, and so much more in this week’s edition. Get to it...
How Heroic Financial Moves Took Marvel from Bankruptcy to Box Office Behemoth
In 1996, Marvel filed for bankruptcy. Thirteen years later, in 2009, they sold to Disney for $4 billion. The obvious question is: how did they go from bankruptcy to a $4 billion acquisition in thirteen years?
Teampay decided to dive into the data and figure out how the company behind the Avengers movies pulled this off.
- Hire someone with experience. Marvel hired Peter Cuneo, who had plenty of experience turning companies around, as their new CEO and CFO
- Cut costs, except where it matters. Cuneo’s first task was drastically cutting costs. The one area he wouldn’t cut from was talent. He knew that the company would rely on its employees to turn things around.
- License, license, license. Next, Cuneo licensed everything that had value.
There’s so much more to learn from this post. Read the full article.
SaaS payments: How to easily manage company subscriptions
With so many companies relying on SaaS to run their businesses, it’s easy to get caught up in a “SaaS collection” where you’re paying for tools you’re not even using.
Spendesk, for example, recently found that they were paying for 50 SaaS tools, and they’re just a small company.
So, how are you supposed to stay on top of all of these tools that your company is using? One solution is by using a virtual credit card. These help you clear up what you’re paying for and why. Leveraging virtual card payments also enables you to use one credit card number per tool so you can easily keep track of how long you’ve been paying for each tool. That will help you audit the tools you use.
SaaS Pricing Strategies for Short- and Long-term Success
Speaking of SaaS companies, pricing is one of the most talked about topics in SaaS companies. Lola’s CEO, Mike Volpe, recently wrote about pricing strategies for OpenView.
In Mike’s view, finding a pricing strategy that works for your company depends on three things:
- Find a pricing structure that makes sense for your company. This is likely going to change on a company-by-company basis.
- You’ll also need to add a multi-dimensional element to your pricing that accounts for different customer scenarios.
- Third, you need to make sure you’re not leaving money on the table.
The full post goes into plenty of detail about each of those points, and includes examples from actual companies that helps tie everything together.
Are Women CFOs Less Prone to Financial Misreporting?
Here’s some interesting news from CFO.com: companies with women serving as chief financial officers are significantly less likely to misreport financial results.
This newsworthy stat comes from an academic study published in the August issue of the Academy of Management Journal. The study covered 2,186 companies over a ten year period, and found that women were 2.6% less likely to misreport financial results.
That might seem like a small number, but when dealing with financial misreporting, even 0.5% is big.
The Drumbeat of Digital: How Winning Teams Play
Leaders, particularly in the digital age, are struggling to keep up with the pace of change in digital. But, leaders at top performing companies are clearly doing something different to keep up.
So what is it? According to McKinsey, top performing leaders are moving four times faster than their peers at other companies.
The research from McKinsey covered 11 different strategic practices that leaders at top companies excel at. Here are a few:
- Using multiple sources of customer data
- Dedicating time to learn about digital technologies
- Sharing findings across the organization
- Assessing the business model for digital efficiencies
Plenty more to learn from this article!
Even though there aren’t any interesting IPOs coming up this week, there are plenty of articles to read about IPOs.
First, Forbes has a great piece about the fact that the top tech IPOs of 2019 have mostly been started by immigrants.
Barron’s also published an article about why today’s IPO market is very different from the dot-com bubble. It mostly comes down to the fact that companies having their IPOs in 2019 are doing so at a much later stage.