Big Change(s) at Weber - From sizzle to fizzle


 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Guru
Kind of getting ugly.

S&P Global downgrades Weber rating further into junk territory after profit warning and says it may downgrade again​

Yahoo! Finance Jul 29, 2022 08:40 AM ET
S&P Global Ratings downgraded Weber Inc.'s credit ratings further into high-yield, or junk territory, on Friday, and placed them on CreditWatch negative, meaning they could downgrade them again in the medium term. The rating agency cut the grill maker's issuer credit rating to CCC+ from B. The move came after Weber warned that sales and EBITDA for its third quarter to June 30 will be far weaker than previous estimates and withdrew its fiscal 2022 guidance.
 

MartinB

TVWBB All-Star
I'd be surprised if those patents wouldn't fall under a concerted challenge like a house of cards due to prior art. I built my gravity fed a couple of years prior to those patents being filed, and commercial GF smokers had been available for years earlier.
Haha those patents are garbage. There's no shortage of prior art. Waste of a lawyers fees to even file them
 

JKalchik

TVWBB Gold Member
Haha those patents are garbage. There's no shortage of prior art. Waste of a lawyers fees to even file them
Regretfully, once a patent has been granted, it's more difficult to challenge. I concur, the patent examiner should have rejected these applications on the basis of prior art alone, but the patent filers are hoping to get their application by.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Guru
Haha those patents are garbage. There's no shortage of prior art. Waste of a lawyers fees to even file them
I doubt Middlebury Corp (MIDD) who owns Masterbuilt and Char Griller both offering gravity feeds would agree with that assessment. They are over a 4 billion dollar company also own Kamado Joe by the way. They certainly have the means to defend that patent if anyone decided to currently challenge it.
 

MartinB

TVWBB All-Star
I doubt Middlebury Corp (MIDD) who owns Masterbuilt and Char Griller both offering gravity feeds would agree with that assessment. They are over a 4 billion dollar company also own Kamado Joe by the way. They certainly have the means to defend that patent if anyone decided to currently challenge it.
And unfortunately you can get a patent on anything, then it's up to lawyers to decide if it's valid. That is how all patents work. If nobody else has a patent on the wheel, you can go patent it. Good luck defending it.

Other small makers have been making gravity feed smokers and even selling them with controllers and fans for years.

I've been involved in a few Pat cases. My job requires me to file for them sometimes and I hold several through my employer. My job also entails me figuring out how to get around competitors patents and working with the patent attorneys to do it I've seen us actually in fringe on a patent, and win the case.... Because the other company's lawyer did not ask the right question. They went out of business and we bought them because their lawyers didn't ask me a simple question. It hinged on a readout of a single analyzer, and they never asked me "does it work". No it did not work and that would have proved their case, but they took a false reading as being fact. And of course I didn't open my mouth because you only answer questions you don't volunteer information.

I've also seen numerous patents by competitors that we challenged and won because they were simply not valid. From processes, to composition of matter etc. You can patent anything, the patent examiner doesn't care. That's not their job to decide.
 
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Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
Folks, I've given this thread a modest haircut. It's gone off the rails into cars, Run DMC, etc.

Please try to keep on-topic.
 

TonyS T-Bone

TVWBB Super Fan
Did anyone see this posting last night on Bloomberg? Ouch. 15 yards for piling on.... Frivolous? IDK.

INVESTOR NOTICE: Weber Inc. Investors with Substantial Losses Have Opportunity to Lead Class Action Lawsuit - WEBR

The law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP announces that purchasers or acquirers of Weber Inc. (NYSE: WEBR) Class A common stock pursuant and/or traceable to the registration statement and prospectus (collectively, the "Registration Statement") issued in connection with Weber's August 4, 2021 initial public offering (the "IPO") have until September 27, 2022 to seek appointment as lead plaintiff in the Weber class action lawsuit captioned Michalski v. Weber Inc.

The Weber class action lawsuit charges Weber, certain of its top executives and directors, and the IPO's underwriters with violations of the Securities Act of 1933.

The lawsuit further alleges that the IPO's Registration Statement was materially false and misleading to investors.

So, there's that...

Press Release Here
 

TimA

TVWBB Pro
Lawyers trying to make money. No one has filed a lawsuit so they’re going to make one up and look for a lead. This should be illegal and be a lifetime sentence for the involved parties.
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Platinum Member
Did anyone see this posting last night on Bloomberg? Ouch. 15 yards for piling on.... Frivolous? IDK.

INVESTOR NOTICE: Weber Inc. Investors with Substantial Losses Have Opportunity to Lead Class Action Lawsuit - WEBR

The law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP announces that purchasers or acquirers of Weber Inc. (NYSE: WEBR) Class A common stock pursuant and/or traceable to the registration statement and prospectus (collectively, the "Registration Statement") issued in connection with Weber's August 4, 2021 initial public offering (the "IPO") have until September 27, 2022 to seek appointment as lead plaintiff in the Weber class action lawsuit captioned Michalski v. Weber Inc.

The Weber class action lawsuit charges Weber, certain of its top executives and directors, and the IPO's underwriters with violations of the Securities Act of 1933.

The lawsuit further alleges that the IPO's Registration Statement was materially false and misleading to investors.

So, there's that...

Press Release Here
There’s a few law firms seeking investors that lost money on WEBR. It’s quite common for the sharks to circle.
 

PDay

TVWBB Member
IMO you're way off base here. They lost when they shifted production to poorer Chinese quality and then relied on their name to allow them to continue to raise prices to crazy levels. All while reducing quality of materials and assembly.
I completely agree with this sentiment. I'm a relative newcomer to the Weber brand buying my first OTP in 2011 I think and a Spirit S320 on 2013. I subsequently bought a LE Red 22" in 2018 and a Performer deluxe in 2017, neither of these grill are anywhere near the standard of the OTP. In fact, my rotisserie ring barely fits the PD and I have to use the old lid.

Don't get me started on the spatulas, tongs etc
 

PDay

TVWBB Member
I've been following several of their last couple conference calls, and they have spoken a lot about where they see future growth coming from.

Emerging markets keep growing quickly - at double the rate of established markets.

They are expanding into new retail channels like REI and Best Buy.

Lots of cost savings (especially in-bound freight) from the new Poland plant that is in the process of coming on line.

Direct to Customer has been growing steadily. Places like weber.com and their own Weber stores.

New products like Weber Traveler, Weber Crafted, Smokefire Stealth, 70th anniversary, new Genesis line with larger cooking area and built in lights

1952 Ventures which is looking for bolt-on acquisition opportunities.

Personally, I think their biggest hopes are being pegged on Weber Connect, and their June Life acquisition. They have mentioned that there are 40 million millennials who will soon be turning 35, settling down, and getting ready to buy grills. Weber is going all in on the technology stack, trying to appeal to these millennials. If you look at the June Oven, it is pretty impressive with things like internal HD camera that monitor your food and stream it to your phone. Perhaps the holy grail of profitability is June's $10/mo subscription service that lets you order new June Oven recipes to your oven. My guess (*suspicion*) is that the long game for Weber is to develop a compelling enough Weber Connect product to eventually justify a $10/mo subscription service. To be clear - they haven't mentioned this on any of the calls - but I feel certain that it has got to be the end game from their June Life purchase.

I can't really give much of an opinion about these plans because I am a charcoal/wood guy through and through, and have zero interest in any grill that requires an outlet or LP tank (I wish they made a solar powered Signals and Billows). Execution will be really critical for these long term ventures to be successful. We already saw how difficult a time they had with the Gen 1 Smokefire (although to be fair, everyone seems to really like the Smokefire now that they worked out the kinks).
The problem is that these millennials as well as lots of other people now order a lot of their food via apps and don't wish to spend their time cooking.,
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Guru
Its interesting how fast the grilling mkt started to tank, BBQ Guys had also filed for an IPO was going to be a Spac deal in July which was not going to close until end of year unlike Weber who was out the door in August. In early November they pulled the plug citing supply chain.

 

Scott Smith

TVWBB Pro
The problem is that these millennials as well as lots of other people now order a lot of their food via apps and don't wish to spend their time cooking.,
This a great point. However, I suspect that the people doing most of the food apps are college kids, the elderly, super busy professionals, and city dwellers. Not exactly Weber's demographic so it really doesn't matter from Weber's point of view what they eat or do.

If I'm wrong, then those same people that have money for food apps would have money for a grill. Weber could market to that.
 

 

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