JD DURKIN: All right, let's do it, folks. Good morning, subscribers. Chris Versace and I are back to help answer all of your latest questions. We will kick things off with AMN health care, something I know Chris loves to talk about. We have a member with a background in health care, Chris. Wondering how AMN will be able to find nurses as the shortage of health care workers continues. Is this something that you are concerned about?
CHRIS VERSACE: Well, it's a natural question, right? We keep talking about the pain point that is the nursing shortage, it's a natural question. How does AMN outperform others in luring nurses to go to its clients? Well, I think there's a twofold answer there. I think one is the client base that AMN has, really looking to fill critical nursing care positions. They tend to have higher billing rates.
And I think that's really what AMN is leaning into. And when we look at the revenue per day in the December quarter, it was not only up 9% year over year, but it was up 6% compared to the September quarter. So that kind of supports our thesis that AMN kind of has the jobs that clients want and it's attracting the right people with the right skill sets to fill them.
JD DURKIN: And AMN also inspired a bit of an overall education question. So let's get smarter together, Chris. What is beta, and how do you use it in your thinking?
CHRIS VERSACE: So we had a note out to members last week, trying to further their education about investing. And the topic was beta. The long and the short of it is that a stock's beta measures its volatility relative to the market. So we have to understand that when we say the market, there's a lot of different things that people can use. We prefer Bloomberg data because it tends to mark them to the S&P 500, which is, of course, the market barometer that we use as do most institutional investors.
You can get beta from a variety of other sources. I think Yahoo Finance has it, for example. But you need to, again, understand what are they correlating against and how often do they update the data. Again, we like Bloomberg because we know it's tied to the S&P 500.
But they also update it every day. So there's number 30 or 45 day lag. In terms of how do we use beta, we really try to understand what each incremental position brings with it into the portfolio, whether that's end market exposure or is it likely to make the portfolio more volatile. So we try to have a nice balance of that.
Members would note that the second half of last year, we were concerned about the overall market direction. We actually weighted into a number of positions that had lower betas. And by that, we mean lower than the market less than one.
JD DURKIN: All right, a timely question now ahead of the latest read on consumer sentiment Friday. Let's talk Costco. Does that company's membership model and price structure enough to compete with Walmart-- We're having this conversation during the week of Walmart's earnings, of course-- enough to compete with Walmart if consumer confidence continues to slow?
CHRIS VERSACE: So they're really two very different animals. Walmart is by and large a general retailer that they have a wonderful infrastructure, wonderful supply chains, and, yes, they can hammer suppliers with prices when they need to. Although, recently, we've been hearing that even Walmart is saying to its suppliers, hey, no more price increases, our customers are not going to tolerate it. That, to me, speaks even more about the differentiated business model that is Costco.
Remember, depending on the quarter, 60% to 70% plus of its net income is derived from membership fees. So the key here for Costco is, yes, they will continue to pull consumers in, looking to extend the shopping dollars they do have. But the real leverage point here is them opening more warehouses, growing the membership base. That's the key. And they continue to do that rather well.
JD DURKIN: All right, let's talk McCormick while we have you. McCormick, you've called it a show me story, at least after earnings. How much of the performance of CEO Brendan Foley playing into your thinking, Chris, as you consider the stock's future within the portfolio itself?
CHRIS VERSACE: So it's always easy to get angry with the management team during a challenging environment. And candidly, that's really what McCormick faced over the last six to nine months as its input costs really skyrocketed. And again, it took a while for their pricing actions to kind of catch up.
And this is not something we heard just from McCormick. We heard it from other companies as well. And it looks like that tide is finally turning. Our concern is can the stock rally back to our cost basis. We don't think so given some ongoing company specific issues.
And again, it's easy to blame the management team. But I think when you look around at the CEO's experience, he's been in and around the company, he's probably very well versed in the various operations, the puts and takes, if you will. So again, I know it's frustrating, but I wouldn't necessarily finger him for everything that is going on with the company. I think that's a little erroneous.
I also think too that McCormick has a wonderful track record of grooming management teams. They've been able to continue to execute on their stated strategy of extending their brands not only through organic growth and new products, but also nip tuck acquisitions. And remember, this is a quality company that has continued to grow its dividend for several decades. So again, I wouldn't get all wrapped up in one particular CEO.
JD DURKIN: Yeah, of course. Much like sports, right? When your team's not winning, everyone wants new coaches. It's always easier to say when you're on the outside.
All right, let's go over to a fan favorite here and talk ChargePoint. I know you love to talk about ChargePoint. Have you baked in, Chris, the potential impact of disruptive technology into your ongoing thesis on ChargePoint? What should we know?
CHRIS VERSACE: So disruptive technologies is a great thing that we need to continue to monitor, right, because disruption can come from almost anywhere, right? I think a great example, if we look at Deere and what they're doing in precision ag, well, that's disrupting the need for fertilizers. So of course, whenever we bring a position into the portfolio, we want to be aware of what the strengths, the weaknesses, the opportunities, and the threats are. So we continue to look at that across the board.
But with ChargePoint, it means are there new charging technologies out there, but it also means are they ready for prime time, can they scale. Those are some of the things that we need to constantly evaluate, and it's something we'll be doing.
JD DURKIN: All right, let's end here on a question on bullpen name universal display. We have one member wondering why AAP has not upgraded it to the portfolio yet. Can you give us your latest thinking on that?
CHRIS VERSACE: Sure. So we added that several months ago. The stock was around I think 163, and we were concerned about the end markets, predominantly smartphone, to a lesser extent televisions and displays. And what have we heard really year to date, or more specifically the last several months, is the smartphone market continue continues to have excess inventories. We've heard that from a number of sources.
The middle of the year is when it is expected to burn off. So we're closely watching that. We have to remember too that the seasonal strength for most of universal displays and markets is the back half of the year. So to us, the middle of the year is likely to be a very big inflection point for OLED shares. And that's what we're watching
JD DURKIN: All right, Chris. Thanks a lot. As always, great to get your perspective.
CHRIS VERSACE: Thank you, JD.
JD DURKIN: All right. And with that, members, please keep sending us all of your questions. You can do so by sending those questions to email@example.com, and we will continue answering as many of them as we can. Have a fantastic trading day. We'll see you next time.