Self-service security screening is coming to airports, but PreCheck passengers are getting priority

The Department of Homeland Security is testing out self-service screening options and has awarded contracts to three companies developing prototypes. Vanderlande's prototype, the PAX MX2.Courtesy of Vanderlande via DHS.A self-service TSA screening model may be making its way to an airport near you. A pilot program will roll out in January at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas.The programs are meant to expedite screening while improving safety, the DHS said in a press release.As officials at the Transportation Security Administration grapple with air travel resuming at pre-pandemic levels, the Department of Homeland Security is testing out self-service screening options.Of course, customers with TSA PreCheck get first dibs.In January, passengers traveling through Las Vegas, Nevada's Harry Reid International Airport will be the first to test out a pilot of the "Screening at Speed Program," the DHS announced in a press release."Like self-ordering kiosks at fast food and sit-down restaurants, self-service screening allows passengers in the Trusted Traveler Program to complete the security screening process on their own," John Fortune, the program's manager, said in the press release. "Travelers will use passenger and carry-on screening systems at individual consoles or screening lanes themselves, reducing the number of pat downs and bag inspections" for Transportation Security Officers.The program will allow passengers to move through the screening "at their own pace" while minimizing in-person contact between officers and passengers, Fortune said. The DHS has awarded contracts to three US companies that are developing prototypes and working with the TSA.Selected passengers traveling through the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas in January will test out the PAX MX2 prototype by the company Vanderlande, according to the DHS press release.Similar to existing security equipment, passengers will place their bags on a conveyance system, but they will have the help of a video monitor with detailed instructions, as well as a help button to connect with a live security agent. Then they will go through a screening portal with automatic entry and exit doors, the latter of which will not open until the passenger has successfully cleared the screening. The entry doors will reopen so passengers can empty forgotten items from their pockets if needed."The airport security experience that we've all come to know could soon look and feel a lot different—in a very good way—for both passengers and TSOs," said Christina Peach, a branch manager for the TSA's Innovation Task Force.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt10 hr. 0 min. ago Related News

5 Reasons To Avoid Lowe’s Today

Most everyone has made at least one trip to Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) at some point in their life. It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a situation that calls for a trip to one of the leaders in home repair. Ever since 1921, Lowe’s has been helping people find their way and learn about different […] The post 5 Reasons To Avoid Lowe’s Today appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. Most everyone has made at least one trip to Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) at some point in their life. It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a situation that calls for a trip to one of the leaders in home repair. Ever since 1921, Lowe’s has been helping people find their way and learn about different ways to enhance the value of their homes. However, this doesn’t mean you should continue going to Lowe’s. There are more reasons than you’d think to not shop at Lowe’s anymore. It might seem strange or weird to hear, but it’s true. This is why you should avoid shopping at Lowe’s at all costs. Mostly Everything They Sell, You Don’t Need In today’s day in age, we try to show off as much as we possibly can. One of the ways we do this is by adding things to our house that we don’t need. Lowe’s is one of the places where you can easily do this. Now, that’s not to say everything they offer is something you don’t need. There are times when they can provide something you need. But 99% of the time, you’re just wasting time and money on stuff that’s not a necessity. With how expensive things like rent, groceries, and gas are these days, you’re better off not going and buying things that aren’t what you need to stay alive. You’ll Spend More Than You Should Even if you shop at a place like Amazon, you’re going to spend more money than you want. Whenever you do take a trip to Lowe’s, how often do you truly just go and get the one thing you have on your list? Never. This is on purpose. They make the things like screws and everyday items hard to find so that you’re forced to walk through the things they know you want. This is dangerous because if you have a budget of say $30 on your trip, you can easily find yourself spending $130 instead. It’s smarter to not put yourself in a situation where you might end up going over budget and not being able to buy the things you need to survive. Instead of worrying about having too much fun and spending too much money inside the department store, just don’t go. That will help solve all of your problems. You Can Get Better Deals Elsewhere If you ever do find yourself needing to complete home repairs, then Lowe’s isn’t the place you should go to. It’s well-known Home Depot (NYSE: HD) has much better deals when it comes to these tools and projects. If you’re shopping at Lowe’s for flowers and landscaping materials, you’re much better off going to a local flower shop. It makes you feel better to support local businesses because it means much more to the owners than it does to Lowe’s. If you buy a lawnmower or flower pot, odds are nobody at the top of Lowe’s will even notice. If you go to a local store, everyone will notice and be grateful. You’ll also be helping stimulate the local economy, giving you a much better feeling. Going to stores that aren’t Lowe’s will help you save money and keep local businesses going, something to feel good about. It Takes a Long Time to Shop at Lowe’s As most people know, going to Lowe’s isn’t a 15 to 20-minute activity. Sometimes, it can take the entire day. Why waste all day walking around a store, feeling like you’re being teased with so many different options? There are much better ways to spend your day, regardless if you’re single or have a family. If you have a family, you’ll get more out of spending the day with them. Odds are, if you don’t, you’ll either feel guilty for leaving them for the day, or you’ll get into an argument about it. If you’re single, you’re probably looking for a partner for your future. It’s rare to find them strolling the aisles of Lowe’s. The world is a big, amazing place, that’s worth exploring and living in. Lowe’s Runs Out of Their Stock Quickly Anyone who’s ever been to Lowe’s knows how hard it can be to find the product you’re looking for. There’s nothing more annoying and frustrating than going somewhere, just to not find what you’re looking for. You feel like you’ve wasted your time and gas for nothing. Lowe’s is known for having issues staying stocked, which means every time you go is a risk. There are plenty of other stores you can go to that don’t run out of their stock quickly at all. The next time you’re thinking about making a trip to Lowe’s, think again. It might end up saving you time and money in the long run. Sponsored: Attention Savvy Investors: Speak to 3 Financial Experts – FREE Ever wanted an extra set of eyes on an investment you’re considering? Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help guide you through the financial decisions you’re making. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free. Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions. The post 5 Reasons To Avoid Lowe’s Today appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallst11 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

I used, a free AI tool to make my emails sound more professional. Even as a writer, I found it helpful. is a free, AI-powered app designed for neurodivergent people. I use it to rephrase professional emails. Goblin.toolsI'm a professional writer, but I still struggle with sending emails sometimes.I've started using a free AI app that helps me tweak the tone of my emails.It helps me edit my emails to sound warmer or more direct depending on the circumstances.I'm a professional journalist. But no matter how many writing courses or public speaking workshops I've taken, I always run into the same problem: I clam up when I have to go off-script.I'm great at churning out certain emails when I'm able to follow the same concise format.But if I have to deliver bad news or push back in the slightest? I chronically reread those sentences back to myself, simultaneously trying to sound direct and empowered but also empathic and casual. I end up overthinking my words and pruning my punctuation for twice as long as I should.A while back, I stumbled upon, a free AI-powered app designed to help neurodivergent people with different tasks like breaking down daunting projects or correctly interpreting the tone of an email.Playing around on the app, I tried out the "Formalizer," which takes your text and tweaks the message to sound however you want it to.You can be more professional, sociable, sarcastic, polite, or passionate. Or, if you tend to over-explain like I do, it can help you get to the point and cut out unnecessary filler.A sample email I would send.Goblin.toolsI forgot about it for a few weeks, until I actually felt stumped on a professional email. I quickly typed in what I wanted to say, tried out a few settings, and felt happier with the final product.Since then, I've used it on several occasions, both in my professional and personal life. While it's AI-generated, it ironically makes me sound less stiff.I use it to sound more personable in professional emailsSometimes, I don't know what tone I want to go for, especially if I'm reaching out to someone for the very first time.Recently, I've been eyeing a professional opportunity I really want to go to. The 2024 dates hadn't been set yet, but I've wanted to get a head start on planning my year so I don't accidentally plan a vacation at that time.I didn't want to bother the organizers, but I also didn't want to let the fear of pestering them stop me from asking if they've set the time of the event. I could feel my self-consciousness in my writing, which sounded awkward and clunky when I read it back.Goblin.toolsWhile I didn't keep the entire suggested email ("awesome organization" isn't really my voice), one of my biggest takeaways was to be more open about why I cared about going. Adding "really eager" or "super excited" helped bring out my genuine interest in the event, so I kept those suggestions.It also helps me figure out which tone fits different situationsSometimes, I don't know which tone I want to strike. If I have to deliver disappointing news, do I want to sound more professional or more passionate?Goblin.toolsBased on the setting I pick, the tool translates "I know this is disappointing to hear" into:"I understand that this news may be disheartening" (professional)"I'm really sorry to share this news" (sociable)"I can't even begin to express the deep disappointment that fills my heart as I deliver these words" (passionate)"I'm sorry you're disappointed" (to the point)Reading all those options back, I can figure out which one best conveys what I feel (definitely not the last two!).It gives me confidence and saves me timeWhile I usually end up tweaking the final result, using this tool gives me the confidence that my message comes across how I want it to, whether it's more laid-back or unabashedly direct.With the advancement of AI technology, many people (myself included!) have concerns about how it will change how we communicate.But this tool might be one of the good ones. Without it, I'd probably bug my editor, partner, or friends more often, asking them for quick feedback on what to fix. While I appreciate everyone's input, it always leaves me feeling a little disempowered (and extremely annoying).Instead, using this AI tool lets me quickly try on different phrases as much as I want — until I end up with something that sounds just like me.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt18 hr. 0 min. ago Related News

Cruise lines may overbook more sailings as demand heats up — here"s what happens when your trip is oversold

Oversold cruises are rare. But when it happens, it could become a traveler's worst and costly logistical nightmare. While a rare occurrence, more cruises could be oversold in 2024 as demand for vacations at sea remains hot.Royal Caribbean InternationalRoyal Caribbean has overbooked a handful of its 2023 cruises.On Tuesday, several would-be Quantum of the Seas guests were left behind when the ship ran out of cabins.While a rare occurrence, the growing demand for cruises may lead to more oversold itineraries in the future.A serious issue for travelers could be quietly brewing amid the booming demand for cruises: oversold ships.Like hotels and airlines, cruise lines may overbook itineraries in anticipation of last-minute cancellations. Compared to other industries, oversold cruises are as rare as winning the lottery, Patrick Scholes, an analyst at Truist Securities, told Business Insider.But when it happens, the fallout could be more severe. Because cruises are almost always a multi-day affair, travelers facing an involuntary reservation cancellation could be left to figure out a logistical nightmare of refunds, new flights, accommodations, and replacement vacation days."It's a problem cruise lines could have only dreamed about two or three years ago," Scholes said.Royal Caribbean oversold at least two Wonder of the Seas itineraries in 2023.Brittany Chang/Business InsiderBefore the COVID-19-induced cruise industry pause, incidents of overbooked vessels were sparse.But throughout 2023, demand for vacations at sea has quickly picked up and surpassed 2019 levels. With this has come an influx of last-minute bookings that may be catching cruise operators off guard, leading to oversold cruises, Scholes said.This might include Royal Caribbean Group, which has overbooked a handful of its 2023 itineraries. Earlier in the year, the 7,084-guest Wonder of the Seas was twice over-reserved. On Tuesday, an oversold Quantum of the Seas ship left several travelers stranded at the embarkation port in Brisbane, Australia.Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas.Royal CaribbeanLooking ahead, bookings for 2024 itineraries are already heating up with more cruises expected to sell out. While hard to predict, Scholes said he "wouldn't be surprised" if there were a handful of oversold cruise incidents next year as well.But if your vacation at sea is coming up, there's no need to fret. Statistically, it's still unlikely: Only a handful of the millions of annual cruise travelers have ever been impacted by this.In prior incidents, the cruise giant notified impacted travelers before the sail dateThe Quantum of the Seas can accommodate 4,905 guests.Royal Caribbean InternationalBut with the Royal Caribbean incident on Tuesday, the worst-case scenario happened: Groups of would-be cruisers arrived at the Port of Brisbane, bags packed and ready for their eight-night Quantum of the Seas vacation, to the news that there were no cabins left.Cruise lines have offered travelers impacted by overbooking options like an alternative itinerary.Brittany Chang/Business InsiderDemand for the itinerary "went beyond the rooms that were available," a spokesperson for the cruise line told Business Insider.In a letter given to these impacted travelers, Royal Caribbean offered alternatives such as the ship's nine-night cruise in late January 2024, another seven or eight-night sailing "with price protection," or a full refund with 25% future cruise credit."While disruptions to plans can occasionally happen, we do our best to minimize those chances," the spokesperson said, referring to its guests' vacation plans. "We take these disruptions seriously, and we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We have worked with each guest that was affected to rectify the inconvenience this has caused."Book an individual stateroom to better your chances of boardingRaynor said the November 28 Quantum of the Seas sailing would have been his first cruise.Brittany Chang/Business InsiderReserving a "GYT" — or guaranteed — cabin leaves the specific stateroom assignment up to the cruise line. While hard to know for sure, Scholes says these bookings may be a common thread among travelers who have had their reservations aboard oversold ships canceled.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt18 hr. 0 min. ago Related News

Fuel for your thoughts

Nearly 50% of workers skip lunch at least once a week. But some busy people shared their tips and tricks for feeding themselves faster and easier. Skipping lunch can make it harder to get through the day.PCH-Vector/Getty Images This post originally appeared in the Insider Today newsletter. You can sign up for Insider's daily newsletter here. We made it to the weekend, friends. I just added this first-class train ride from Paris to Barcelona to my bucket list — the ticket is $177 and has wifi the entire ride. In today's big story, we're looking at hacks to make feeding yourself on a busy schedule easier.What's on deck: Travel: Underrated travel destinations that'll be popular next year.Careers: Check out seven obscure but high-paying jobs.Life: A list of 50 cities and whether their rents are surging or dropping compared to home values.But first, have you eaten yet?If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.The big storyFuel for your thoughtsNicolas AbelloFeeding yourself on a busy schedule can be hard. Nearly 50% of workers skip lunch at least once a week. Plus, fast food isn't that affordable of an option anymore. But some busy people shared their tips and tricks for feeding themselves faster and easier.Trent PheiferCulinary judge: Meredith Ochs uses shortcuts to quickly create meals that pack a ton of flavor and texture. Her favorite hacks include boiling water in a pan — instead of a pot — to cut down the wait time and using dried ingredients to save time from cutting.Registered dietician: Jordan Hill shared three quick, easy, and delicious high-protein meals for those with limited time to cook. She uses wild-caught salmon and firm tofu as go-to staples for quick meals.Michelin-starred chefs: Multiple Michelin-starred chefs shared their easy 20-minute meals. Val Cantu of Californios makes his favorite steak in 10 minutes and pairs it with an easy chimichurri sauce. Meanwhile, Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia's makes a carbonara pasta with only four main ingredients.Ina Garten: The celebrity chef has more than 1,000 recipes. One mega-fan spent years cooking many of her concoctions. Some dishes, like eggs in purgatory and chicken with a creamy mustard sauce, became his go-tos for an easy dinner.Catering hack: TikTokers were (controversially) ordering Chipotle's $100 catering spread as a meal-prepping hack. The boxes came with trays of rice, meat, and other toppings — enough for one week's worth of meals. Some were blown away by this time-saving hack, but others thought it was a waste of money.Instant meals instead of takeout. A frozen meal from Trader Joe's is a more affordable — and time-saving — alternative to ordering food. They're under $6 and have a variety of options, including potstickers, mini chicken tacos, pizza, and meatballs.Lazy girl lunch (instead of girl dinner). Easy, staple lunches like quesadillas and omelets helped this reporter maintain her weight loss for four years. She ensures that her meals are high in protein and fiber — but most importantly, easy.Most of these options take under 30 minutes and can keep you full for the rest of your day. Besides, even highly successful people like Mark Zuckerberg and Michelle Obama make time to fuel up during the day.3 things in travelRoman Babakin/ShutterstockA travel planner reveals nine underrated destinations that'll be popular in 2024. Their clients are looking at off-the-beaten-path destinations. Some unique spots that they're looking at for next year include Laos, Slovenia, North Dakota, and Tanzania.Russia reportedly wants to make foreigners entering the country sign a "loyalty agreement." It would ban foreigners from criticizing official policies and Soviet military history — among other contentious topics. The move could quell the criticism of Vladimir Putin's regime."I've finally visited all 50 states. As it turns out, I saved the best for last." This author thought the biggest, most remote state — Alaska — would be the best to visit last. It was filled with incredible food and activities and is so big each city almost felt like a different state.3 things in careersMany are leaving their high-paying dream jobs and have zero regrets. They chose to prioritize mental health and emotional wellbeing over their high salaries.Getty ImagesThe final straw: Former employees of prestigious companies share the moment they knew they had to leave their dream jobs. Many were walking away from high-paying jobs. But none of them regretted leaving, and one even wished they left sooner.Companies wanted to make Instagram-worthy offices. They got roasted instead. Some companies thought making a super-hip office would lure workers back. Instead, someone expressed how "this is cringe" and many said they'd rather just get paid more.Weird — but high-paying — jobs that people don't really know about. Thousands of Redditors revealed obscure, lucrative jobs. Some of the most upvoted answers include a teeth designer, artificial flavor maker, and pine cone harvester.3 things in lifeA cross-section showing Sagittarius A* at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.NASAThe black hole at the center of the Milky Way is spinning so fast it's squishing time-space. The black hole Sagittarius A* drags the surrounding space-time along with it and squishes it down like a football. But don't worry. The distortion won't affect us, since Earth is so far away.To rent or to buy: Experts share how to balance this tricky question. It's an individual choice based on finances and preferences. But experts shared a few numbers you can crunch to determine the best option for you.The magic discount number is 40. A sale isn't worth it anymore unless you're getting 40% off, according to a new study, because deep discounts are so common. Anything less is just a typical price cut at any given time of the year.In other newsWe Are/Getty ImagesSeven signs you're a highly sensitive person — even if you're a chatty extrovert.My mother gave me my $100,000 inheritance early. I struggled to pay my bills before — now I'm set up for life.I tried 40 of Trader Joe's holiday foods, and would buy at least 26 of them again.Royal Caribbean overbooked one of its giant cruise ships and left a group of travelers stuck at port.Walking slightly faster may help lessen your risk for type 2 diabetes.Another sign that the future of EV buying is leasing: Rivian leases its $73,000 truck.Welcome to "millennial core," the latest trend pointing out all the ways Gen Z thinks millennials are hilariously cringe.For your bookmarksBedroom trendsAnnaStills/ShutterstockInterior designers shared eight bedroom trends that'll be huge next year. They also revealed five trends on their way out, like minimalism and shutters.The Insider Today Saturday team: Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor, in New York City. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York City.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt18 hr. 0 min. ago Related News

A Florida Gen Xer who met his wife driving for Uber and Lyft details all the reasons he can no longer make a living and what he"s doing instead to boost his income

A Gen Xer who met his wife driving for Uber and Lyft is transitioning away from gig driving to start his own travel agency. Charles met his wife driving for Uber.UberA Gen Xer is transitioning away from driving for Uber and Lyft to start his own travel agency.He met his wife and celebrities while driving, though high maintenance cost and lower pay is "frustrating."He's hoping to land more stable gig work so he no longer needs to work 70-80 hours a week.Charles, 43, met his wife while driving for Uber.One day, he picked up his future wife from a doctor's appointment. Knowing little English, she pulled out Google Translate and communicated with him the whole ride home. He gave her his business card in lieu of a phone number, and after two weeks, she texted him and set up a date.Charles, who asked to just use his first name to avoid professional repercussions, said while he's met all sorts of cool people over the years through driving, he's struggled to make ends meet. Costs to maintain his vehicle have risen, while he's received declining rates per mile over the last few years."It's frustrating with the rising cost and the reduction of pay, but I wouldn't trade any experiences I've had over the last 8.5 years for anything else," Charles, who drives in the Orlando area, told Business Insider.After realizing he couldn't subsist on just driving, he started working toward becoming a travel agent. As he transitions away from driving to full-time travel agent work, he said he's been advertising his new services to passengers — and has gotten quite a few clients.While many gig drivers value the flexibility that comes with setting their own hours, many are struggling to pay their bills as the industry becomes more crowded and competitive. More and more Americans are looking to gig jobs like ride-hailing platforms or grocery delivery for the freedom of crafting their schedules and working whenever they want, but some like Charles are looking for more stability, whether it means taking on new gig jobs or leaving the gig economy altogether.Putting in 70-80 hour weeks and still struggling to pay the billsCharles began driving for ride-hailing platforms nearly a decade ago after realizing he could make more than he was as an assistant manager at a restaurant. He started driving in Pensacola, Florida, but moved throughout the state to see where he'd get the best rates.He said he would get paid $1.25 a mile and $0.25 a minute, which allowed him to make a comfortable living with a flexible schedule. The rates stayed relatively constant for a few years, and he enjoyed being his own boss while making time for friends and family.He aimed to make $200 a day, which he could reach in four to six hours a few years ago.But at the start of the pandemic, he noticed a drop to around $0.99 a mile. Once these platforms adopted upfront pricing, these rates got slashed nearly in half. Now, achieving $250 a day — his new "magic number" given rising costs of living — takes him 10 to 12 hours.He works seven days a week averaging around $1,500 — $1,200 after accounting for gas. This amounts to around 150 to 200 rides a week, he said. He's seen rides for as low as $3.25, and sometimes cancellation rates are just $2."Instead of doing 15 to 20 rides a day, I'm doing 25 to 30 rides a day for the same amount of money," Charles said.Where he drives, he said he's gotten rates closer to around $1 a mile, but he's seen offers in Orlando and Tampa as low as $0.40 a mile.Screenshots shared with Business Insider show a nearly 70-mile ride that would take one hour and 23 minutes only netted him $31.62, which averages to $0.45 a mile.He said similar rides haven't taken into account accidents or traffic, as well as customer route preferences that could tack on a few minutes but don't land in his pay. He's been forced to decline more and more rides where he would lose money.He said it's been difficult to maintain his vehicle. Some mechanics used to charge around $75 an hour, though nowadays, some charge as much as $250 an hour in his area for comparable work. A new set of tires now runs him $750, compared to $350 in early 2021. Personal auto and health insurance has also been on the rise in Florida, which has further stripped away earnings. He estimates in the last two years, he's spent over $9,000 in vehicle repairs."Every industry has basically gotten a cost of living adjustment increase in their pay. Even a Florida minimum wage is going up a dollar every year up to $15 per hour," Charles said. "However, the Uber and Lyft pay continually goes down. We have all of the risk, all of the responsibility, and have to deal with all of the different customers that we get."Making it work one ride at a timeAfter often sitting in hours of traffic on major roadways, he decided to expand his services as a travel agent, often using his Uber rides as a time to pitch his expertise. He said he's recently been receiving hundreds of dollars from clients whom he's guided. He hopes to continue expanding his business, especially given he's based in a rather touristy area of the state.He's currently on the lookout for other gig-type jobs, as he said he's "been a free bird for way too long." He doesn't intend to stop driving until his income becomes more steady.What keeps Charles going, he said, are all the people he meets. Over the years, in addition to his wife, he's met professional football players, top business executives, and other celebrities, and he said he's valued getting to explore new places everyday.He tries to be as positive as he can be despite "how little I'm making," and he offers cold water and mints for passengers. He said he often goes the extra mile when picking up passengers, such as going around the building or giving them a big welcome greeting."A lot of the customers that I've been picking up lately are elderly customers who don't have anyone to talk to, so they love to get in the car and talk," he said. "There's someone that probably just lost their loved one and just needs someone to talk to."To increase tips, he installed a tablet from Play Octopus, a rideshare advertising network, so riders can play trivia games during their ride. He said he's made an extra $75 a month from Play Octopus rewards.He's also looking for a more fuel-economical vehicle, such as a hybrid car with over 50 miles per gallon. He's also considered a seven-passenger vehicle that could qualify for more expensive Uber rides."I'm just doing things to supplement my income to eventually phase out rideshare because I don't foresee Uber or Lyft making significant changes to help their drivers anytime soon," Charles said.Are you a gig driver who is considering other options for work? Reach out to this reporter at the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 hr. 0 min. ago Related News

Can"t afford a Cybertruck? You can get a great deal on any other Tesla right now.

Between price cuts, year-end discounts, and federal tax credits, it's a great time to buy a Tesla. Tesla has finally started to deliver the first few Cybertrucks in the US.SUZANNE CORDEIRO/Getty ImagesCybertruck order holders can get $1,000 off a different Tesla order.Some order holders were disappointed by the higher price for the Cybertruck.Even if the Cybertruck is more expensive, Tesla has the most affordable options right now.It's a great time to buy anything other than a Cybertruck from Tesla.Many order-holders were disappointed Thursday when the official prices for the Cybetruck came in at least $20,000 more expensive than originally promised. It's even encouraging some reservation holders who spoke with Business Insider to cancel their order.But if you're waiting in line and can't fork over the $80,000 for the cheapest available Cybertruck (the $60,000 variation won't be available until 2025), you could get a deal on a different Tesla model.Emails went out to order-holders Thursday informing them that while they wait on their Cybertruck, Tesla is offering $1,000 off any other model through the end of the year.Yes I got one too - good to know I’m in the queue. Would also be nice to know where I am in the queue.— Gort (@d4t4wr4ngl3r) December 1, 2023 Even if you're not a Cybertruck order holder, you can take advantage of Tesla's year-end deals. Earlier this month, the company slashed prices of the Model 3, Model Y, Model S, and Model X but as much as $6,300.This is the latest Tesla discount in a year when Elon Musk's electric car company has slashed prices and offered more traditional dealer-like incentives for purchasing a Tesla. The starting price for a Model 3 currently sits at nearly $39,000, well below the average EV price of about $50,000 and the average new car price of about $45,000.With a $7,500 federal tax credit and the $1,000 incentive for Cybetruck reservation holders, you could theoretically get that price down under $30,000.Tesla's price cuts this year have led the way on a nosedive in average EV transaction prices since the start of the year, giving them an edge over legacy competition as the wealthy early adopter pool of buyers dries up."The only way you create mass adoption is by going to the mass market, and the mass market isn't an $80,000 SUV," Martin French, managing director at automotive consultancy Berylls, told Business Insider. He said it's imperative for brands to start offering EV options in the $25,000-$30,000 range."I'm pretty sure it will be Tesla – or maybe BYD – that does it at scale before anyone else," French said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 hr. 0 min. ago Related News

The 20 best ankle boots for men in 2023

We've rounded up the most stylish and comfortable pairs of Chelsea boots, chukkas, Jodhpurs, and more in our guide to the best ankle boots for men. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreThursday Boot Co.Men's ankle boots are one of the most versatile categories of fall footwear. Whether you're looking to elevate a casual outfit of jeans and a sweater or want to give your suit a little swagger, go for a pair of Chelsea boots, chukkas, zipper boots, Jodhpurs, or plain or cap-toe boots. Any of these styles will accentuate the length of the leg, and give you a bit of added height, all with a refined sensibility that helps unify your look. A real standout in this roundup is the Taft Dylan boot, which is unique without being over the top. It's handcrafted in Spain using Italian leather and Blake stitching for a comfortable fit and easy resoling. Taft's boots, beyond their stellar looks, are also super comfortable. Another obvious winner is the Blundstone Chelsea boot. We've included the dark green version, which besides being handsome enough for a night out, is built to take on harsh conditions, so you don't have to fret when faced with rain, snow, or mud. While the boots in this roundup use standard men's sizing, many brands offer inclusive sizing. The styles you'll see here can suit anyone, but if you're looking for smaller sizes, see our guide to the best ankle boots for women.New Republic Sonoma Suede Chelsea BootNew RepublicNew Republic's Sonoma suede Chelsea boot can go toe-to-toe with much pricier brands thanks to its high-quality materials and construction, and impeccable style.Sizing options: 7-18 Color options: Six colorways, including a light tanNew Republic is a direct-to-consumer footwear brand that produces incredibly stylish, well-made boots that can go toe-to-toe with high-end brands and not drain your wallet. The Sonoma suede Chelsea boot is extremely comfortable straight out of the box, features a beautiful suede upper, is lined in leather, and has a natural crepe sole that's springy and supportive. No wonder The Sonoma is one of the brand's bestsellers.Florsheim Norwalk Zip Up BootFlorsheimClassic looks and comfort make these boots from the American heritage brand perfect for everyday wear.Sizing options: 7-14, medium or wideColor options: Black, Mocha, and BrownFlorsheim's Norwalk Zip Up Boots have looks and comfort in equal measure. These boots from the American heritage brand have handsome leather uppers and a traditional side zipper, while inside, they incorporate technology designed to keep your feet happy for all-day wear. They feature springy foam insoles and soft yet resilient midsoles — like you'd find in running shoes — and flexible outsoles, all at a reasonable price. They're likely to become your everyday ankle boots.Milwaukee Boot Company Lakefront BootMilwaukee Boots Co.Milwaukee Boot Company's Lakefront boots are the brand's "no-frills chukka" that are perfect for day-to-day wear thanks to straight-out-of-the-box comfort and rugged good looks.Sizing options: 8-13Color options: Black, gauchoMilwaukee Boot Company is a newer brand launched by the folks behind Moral Code, a DTC footwear brand we love for both its products and ethical stance. The Lakefront boot is the Milwaukee Boot Company's "no-frills chukka" and has become one of my everyday boots, thanks to its straight-out-of-the-box comfort and rugged good looks. These pair well with all my fall favorites — cords, cardigans, chore coats, and Western fedoras. Frye Paul Inside Zip BootFryeFrye, an American heritage brand, goes all out with the Paul Inside Zip Boot. Hand-burnished leather uppers, antiqued hardware, and Goodyear welting make for one elegant boot. Sizing options: 7-14Color options: Cognac, stoneFrye is a heritage boot brand that continues to produce outstanding footwear. The Paul is simply beautiful with its hand-burnished pull-up leather uppers, antiqued hardware, and Goodyear welting that allows for a cobbler to replace the outsole when the time comes.Blundstone Men's Classic Chelsea Boot in GreenBlundstoneYou can't have an ankle boot roundup without Blundstone. Their classic Chelsea boots in dark green are both tough and stylish.Sizing options: 4-14 Color options: Dark greenYou can't have an ankle boot story without Blundstone. The Australian heritage brand (still family-owned more than 150 years on) is the epitome of the hard-wearing Chelsea boot style beloved by everyone from farmers to fashion editors. This version in a dark green combines the best of what makes the brand so beloved: toughness (waterproof premium leather upper, a durable thermoplastic polyurethane outsole) and style (bold color, iconic look). Mark Nolan Lincoln BootsMarc NolanThe vibrant Marc Nolan Lincoln boots made using top-notch materials and techniques that are anything but ordinary.  Sizing options: 6-16Color options: Rose Pink suede, Black patent leather, White calf leather, and Mahogany snakeskinIf you're looking for ankle boots that stand out from the crowd and come in at a reasonable price, Mark Nolan is the brand for you. The Lincoln Boots, especially the Rose Pink colorway, highlight what makes Mark Nolan so special. Besides the eye-catching color, these cap-toe boots feature top-quality Mohawk suede and soft calf leather lining, Blake stitching for flexibility and easy resoling down the line, and leather outsoles with traction inserts. The other colorways are equally captivating, from a rich brown snakeskin to a bright white calf leather, each of these boots are a standout.La Canadienne Luca BootLa CanadienneLa Canadienne's Luca Boot is rugged yet refined and crafted in Italy from a gorgeous waterproof nubuck suede.Sizing options: 6-13Color options: BrownMontreal based-brand La Canadienne has recently ventured into men's footwear, and are clearly off to a strong start. The company combines style, sustainability, quality, and comfort in its products that are all either made in Canada, Italy, or Spain. They handcraft the Luca Boot from a waterproof Italian nubuck suede in Italy and line it in breathable leather. The look is rugged, thanks to its lug sole, but with a refined nubuck upper, to get you from a business casual workplace to a weekend spent outdoors.Clarks Wallabee BootClarksClarks Wallabee Boots have a distinctive silhouette and several unique colorways. These are great statement boots that you'll never want to take off.Sizing options: 7-13 Color options: Nine colorways, including an electric limeClarks Wallabee boots are as distinctive as the work of hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan, who loved these boots so much they rapped about them. The Wallabee, which is somewhere between a moccasin and a chukka, and is as comfortable as the former and as sturdy as the latter, comes in several colorways as unique as the silhouette, including lime. These should be your fall statement boots.Unmarked French Toe ChelseaUnmarkedThe Unmarked French Toe Chelsea is a supremely elegant boot that's handmade in  León, the heart of Mexico's renowned bootmaking industry, and has everything you'd want in an ankle boot.Sizing options: 5-13Color options: BlackUnmarked is a footwear company that perfectly combines traditional boot-making techniques with contemporary style and a sustainable approach. The French Toe Chelsea is a supremely elegant boot with a squared-off toe, beautiful leather uppers made in an environmentally friendly manner, and Goodyear welting. These handmade boots are manufactured in León, the heart of Mexico's renowned boot-making industry, in a workshop that pays its workers fair wages.Hush Puppies Detroit ChukkaHush PuppiesHush Puppies Detroit Chukkas are comfortable and casually cool and water resistant, in case you get caught in the rain.Sizing options: 7-13; regular and wideColor options: Three colors, including chestnut suedeHush Puppies is known for its casual, comfortable footwear and the Detroit Chukka has both in spades, along with a dose of cool. These boots will pair with all your fall looks, whether it's a sport coat and chinos or jeans and a leather jacket. They come in both full-grain leather and a soft suede, and are water-resistant. Astorflex Bitflex ChelseaHuckberryThe Astorflex Bitflex Chelsea is a sophisticated boot that's handmade in Italy using eco-friendly European leather and comes at a great price for what you get. Sizing options: 7-15Color options: Six colorways, including a handsome tanThe Bitflex Chelsea boot is handmade in Italy by Astorflex — a multi-generational family footwear company — using eco-friendly European leather. These boots are not only well made and sophisticated with leather outsoles and stacked heels, they're also comfortable thanks to ergonomic footbeds. They're also nicely priced for what you get. Thursday Boots Rogue Jodhpur BootThursday Boot Co.The Thursday Boots Rogue is a Jodphur boot that's urbane yet tough, built to last, and priced right.Sizing options: 6-15 Color options: Five colorways, including an elegant dark olive suedeThursday Boots, one of our favorite DTC boot companies, offers the Rogue, a Jodphur boot that's built to last, thanks to manufacturing techniques like Goodyear welting. It comes in at under $200. The dark olive suede is a particular standout. And like all the company's boots, they're comfortable thanks to glove leather interiors, cork-bed midsoles, and shock-absorbing insoles.Beckett Simonon Laval ChukkaBeckett SimononBeckett Simonon's Laval chukkas are a classic handmade in Colombia using full-grain Italian calfskin and Blake stitching for years of wear.Sizing options: 7-14 Color options: Five colorways, including a rich tan Beckett Simonon, another DTC footwear brand, uses a made-to-order model for their boots that are handmade by artisans in Colombia. The Laval chukka is made from Italian full-grain calfskin that's supple yet resilient, and will only get better with age. These boots are a true classic that will dress up whatever you pair them with and thanks to their Blake stitching, which (like Goodyear welting) means they can be resoled, and you'll get years of wear out of them.Taylor Stitch Trench BootTaylor StitchDon't be fooled by the good looks of the Taylor Stitch Trench Boots. Yes, they have a buttery soft sheepskin lining and antique brass hardware, but these boots are made to take whatever you throw at them.Sizing options: 7-13Color options: Whiskey, butterscotch suedeThe Taylor Stitch Trench boot takes a utilitarian style first used by soldiers during World War I and punches it up with a handmade version, incorporating a soft sheepskin lining, Goodyear welting, a Vibram outsole, and antique brass hardware. But don't be fooled by their good looks. These boots are built to take whatever you throw at them. Like some of the other selections in this roundup, the Taylor Stitch trench boots are made in León, Mexico. Tecovas The Chance Western ChelseaTecovasThe Chance, by the digital-first Western wear brand Tecovas, is a Chelsea boot with some cowboy swagger. It features calfskin uppers, a leather outsole and stacked heel, and Goodyear welting.Sizing options: 8-14; regular and wide sizesColor options: Chestnut calf and rust suedeTecovas, the "Warby Parker of cowboy boots," is a digital-first brand that offers beautiful handcrafted boots below the price point of older Western boot companies without sacrificing quality. The Chance is a Chelsea boot with Western flair that's made in León, Mexico, and features a leather sole and stacked heel; Goodyear welt construction; waterproof leather; and hand-hammered lemonwood pegs, a traditional Western boot manufacturing technique that helps maintain a tight fit between insole and outsole. Besides all that, it's a fine-looking boot.Read more in our full Tecovas Dean boots review.To Boot New York Providence JodhpursZapposTo Boot New York's Providence boots aren't your ordinary Jodhpurs. The boots are made in Italy of full-grain calfskin and will dress up everything you wear with them.Sizing options: 7-14 Color options: Dark brown, blackTo Boot New York's Providence boots are not your everyday Jodhpurs. These luxe boots are made in Italy of full-grain calfskin, and feature a polished silver buckle on the strap that helps secure them, as well as a side zipper. They're Blake stitched (which means they can be resoled), are lined in leather, and have a cushioned leather-covered insole. These Jodhpurs will add panache to whatever you pair them with. Clae GibsonClaeThe Clae Gibson is a boot that wears like a sneaker, for a perfect combination of style and comfort. Sizing options: 4-13Color options: Three colorways, including walrus brown The Los Angeles-based footwear brand Clae has mastered sustainability produced minimalist footwear over its two decades as an independent producer. The Gibson is a minimalist boot that wears like a sneaker. It features a premium leather upper on a cushiony rubber outsole, and comes in three colorways, including a striking walrus brown. Taft Dylan Boot in WovenTaftThe Taft Dylan Boot in Woven is a stunning interpretation of the Jodhpur boot that's handcrafted in Spain by this DTC company known for unique versions of classic silhouettes.Sizing options: 6-15Color options: Hand-burnished brownThe Taft Dylan boot is another unique interpretation of the Jodhpur boot from the DTC brand that's unparalleled in creating extraordinary iterations of dress boots and shoes using old-world techniques and high-end materials. There are four styles of the Dylan boot, but we're highlighting the woven version; it's not only unique but extremely attractive. The leather is handwoven in Spain and then burnished by hand using heat and different stains for a gorgeous finish. It's Blake stitched, so it can be resoled down the line. Grant Stone Chelsea Boot in Crimson ChromexcelGrant StoneThe Grant Stone Chelsea boot is a stellar example of the style that combines beauty and brawn, for boots that will continue to wow you for years to come.Sizing options: 6-13Color options: CrimsonThe Grant Stone Chelsea combines beauty and brawn in one package. The uppers are made from Chromexcel leather at Horween — one of the oldest tanneries in the United States — that's supple but strong, deeply hued and will only get better with age. The boots are Goodyear welted, and have a leather lining, insole, welt, and midsole. Because Grant Stone is a DTC brand, you get a lot of luxury for a fair price. Baabuk Sky Wooler Black EditionBaabukThe Baabuk Sky Wooler Black Edition is somewhere between a hightop and a boot that's made from Portuguese mulesing-free sheep wool and topgrain nubuck, and is perfect for fall. Sizing options: 5-14 Color options: Black with dark red accentsWe sometimes like to throw in an outlier in our roundups, and the Baabuk Sky Wooler Black Edition fits the bill. Somewhere between a high-top and a boot, the uppers are made from Portuguese mulesing-free sheep's wool that's water-resistant and extra thick for colder fall nights. The Sky Wooler, which is designed in Switzerland and produced in Portugal, has topgrain nubuck at the tongue, ankle, and heel counter and is easy to get in and out of thanks to the no-tie elastic laces. These minimalist beauties are super comfortable and look smart when paired with chinos and a cardigan, but also work with jeans and a henley. Read the original article on Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 1st, 2023Related News

The 15 best wallets for women in 2023

Whether you're in the market for a bifold, a zipper wallet, or something to store your passport in, these are the best wallets for women you can buy. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreDagne Dover/InstagramThe best wallets for women balance aesthetics, fit, and convenience of use. If you're here looking to replace your old wallet with a new one, or even seeking one as a thoughtful gift, think about what materials look and feel best, as well as how much storage space you need. You may also want to consider bonus design elements like radio-frequency identification (RFID) blocking, water-resistant finishes, and your own sustainability standards.Our top pick we tested is Lo & Sons' The Leather Wallet for its easy access to the ample horizontal and vertical card slots — plus, it comes in a wide range of colors. For a neat, slim card holder, the Tory Burch Kira Chevron Card Case carries the bare essentials in a buttery soft, luxurious quilted leather. To see wallet options with more minimalist features, check out our guide to the best men's wallets.Learn more about how Insider Reviews tests and researches products.Best overall: Lo & Sons The Leather WalletLo & SonsPros: Tons of storage space, including a spacious interior coin pouch. There are both horizontal and vertical credit card slotsCons: The wallet may be too large for some smaller everyday handbagsThere are pockets galore inside this top wallet for women by direct-to-consumer line Lo & Sons, yet its exterior does nothing to suggest there's a world of organizational possibilities within. An especially nice touch is the inclusion of horizontal and vertical card pockets — something no other wallet tested included — which made for easier insertion and removal. The style we tested was a stiffer Saffiano leather, although Nappa is also available. With the Saffiano, the leather has been treated to resist scratches and water damage. The options also include a range of leather-and-metal-zipper combinations. Overall, this is a larger wallet well suited for those who prefer a maximalist approach to packing a bag. It's sturdy, practical, and luxe-looking sans any major branding details.Read more on the brand in our guide to best Lo and Sons bags.Best small: Coach Wyn Small WalletCoachPros: Scratch-resistant leather, convenient single-card slot under the envelope snapCons: None to speak ofIconic leather goods brand Coach makes this list with its small envelope-style wallet. Note that the leather is not quite as buttery to the touch as other brands that offer the best wallets for women. Instead, it's made of cross grain leather that's a bit stiffer but also scratch-resistant — good news for when your wallet and keys are jingling around in the same handbag. The interior pocket space fits a bunch of essentials: six credit cards and eight bills, with quite a bit of space to comfortably add more of each. There's an exterior coin pouch, as well as a single card slot right under the envelope flap. Consider this the perfect place for storing your go-to credit card or ID card that you can conveniently grab in a rush without rummaging through the rest of your things.Best large: Leatherology Windsor Flat Zip WalletLeatherologyPros: Ample storage space for cards, bills, and more. It has soft leather and can be converted into a wristlet bagCons: No coin pouchLeatherology is a Dallas-based, vertically integrated brand that creates highly impressive leather goods, especially given its affordable price points of the best wallets for women. This zip wallet — tested in a truly optimistic shade of turmeric — has a super supple leather exterior and ample amount of organization for anyone who finds their wallet to be consistently packed. The inside holds six credit cards, two bill slots, and two other open pockets to fill as you see fit. There isn't a designated coin purse, which could be a deterrent for some.The zip-around wallet also might be too large for those who wear a smaller everyday bag. However, since it can carry quite a decent amount — it zipped right up with passport, keys, or phone — Leatherology sells wristlet straps if you prefer to use this piece as a bag itself.Best RFID-blocking: Royce New York Continental RFID Leather Zip WalletNordstromPros: RFID-blocking fabric, 12 credit card slots, and an extra exterior pocket on the outside of the walletCons: The wallet may be too large for some smaller everyday handbagsMade by long-standing family business Royce New York, this zip-around wallet is one we haven't tried in person yet. This wallet, however, is known for its high-quality leather and RFID-blocking finish that is great for everyday protection. It also comes with 12 credit card pockets and two bill slots. In spite of its brag-worthy storage, it has a minimalist look. Complimentary monogramming is available too.Best sustainable leather: Cuyana Duo Zip WalletCuyanaPros: Ample storage space, Leather Working Group certified, dual purpose designCons: May be too large to fit in smaller handbagsCuyana's Duo Zip Wallet doubles as a wallet and a wristlet, so you can condense your everyday carry into one sleek, leather envelope. It comes in four colorways with options for crocodile, metallic, or pebbled finishes. This wallet has a zipper pouch you can remove to make space in its middle compartment for your phone, and features a cleverly designed wrist strap that's easy to tuck away. This wallet is made in Turkey with leather audited by the Leather Working Group, an organization that works with brands, tanneries, suppliers, and more to create a responsible global supply chain.Best with pen: Bellroy Travel FolioBellroyPros: Can fit multiple passports, has hidden pockets for secure storage, features RFID-blocking technology, and comes with a mini travel penCons: Has three credit card slots, which is fewer than other styles. Also, it doesn't have a zippered coin pouchThe exterior of Bellroy's Travel Folio is smooth and sleek, with a zip-around closure, and RFID-blocking technology. Meanwhile, the inside houses a ton, including at least two passports. The design only includes a couple of card slots and doesn't have a coin purse, but it makes up for these potential inadequacies with its many organization pockets. Some of these slots are even hidden, making this a top wallet for women that safely ensures your belongings never spill out in your carry-on bag. Plus, a super slim pen is included in the center crease, ensuring you always have one on hand to fill out a customs form. Combined, these considerate touches will speak right to the heart of the most organized travelers you know.Read our full Bellroy review here. Best slim travel: Dagne Dover Accordion Card CaseDagne DoverPros: This is a slimmer design that holds bills, cards, and a passport and can still comfortably fit in almost any everyday handbagCons: It doesn't have a coin pouchThis Dagne Dover design lies somewhere between a passport holder and wallet, offering just a small bit of additional storage for frequent flyers. The direct-to-consumer, waste-conscious line is no stranger to organization and pieces for on-the-go, but the wallet stands out for its looks and function. While it's a much slimmer travel wallet than the other top wallets for women we tested, it still includes six slots for credit cards and one for bills. The magnet closure is also a thoughtful choice as it eliminates fumbling often caused by zippers. Unlike bulkier travel designs, this wallet is also a good size for slipping into everyday handbags, not just larger travel carryalls. Plus, the leather is soft and comes in lovely shades of cream, gray, and blue. You can find more insight into Dagne Dover products in our guide to the best work bags for women. Best designer card case: Tory Burch Kira Chevron Card CaseBloomingdale'sPros: Slim profile, sleek designCons: Only holds the bare necessitiesThe Tory Burch Kira Chevron Card Case was the best slim wallet for women I tested for carrying the bare essentials in a feminine design. Its buttery leather exterior and gold hardware accent complimented anywhere I put it— including my front pocket (and we all know how infamously tiny the pockets in women's pants are). Such a sleek profile easily fits just as well inside my purse and allowed me some extra storage space.The card case securely held my transit card, ID, and debit card in its outer slots, plus a couple folded bills in the innermost pocket. If you're trying to pare down all the extra receipts and business cards you usually lug around, this cardholder will help you lighten the load. —Gabrielle Chase, style & beauty associate editorBest travel wristlet: Tumi Voyageur Travel WalletTumiPros: Wrist strap for easy carrying, plenty of storage for travel documentsCons: Too large for small pocketbooksTumi is one of our favorite luggage brands we've tested, and their smaller accessories are the perfect acquaintance for safe-keeping your onboarding necessities. Here there are 10 card slots, a divider for papers and a passport, and an ID window, all enclosed in a zip closure.Best crossbody: Fossil Penrose Small Wallet CrossbodyFossilPros: Removable shoulder strap, made with recycled materials, comes in three colorways Cons: Shoulder strap length maxes out at 21 inchesFossil's reputation for fine watches lends itself to more leather goods, like this patent leather wallet with metallic hardware detailing that doubles as a crossbody mini purse. Its interior is outfitted with recycled polyester and features two pockets and four card slots.Best waterproof: Caraa Cloud Coin WalletCaraaPros: Lightweight, waterproofCons: Only carries bare essentialsIf you're someone who carries everything on one lanyard, Caraa's Cloud Coin Wallet can clip to your keyring and won't weigh it down. Called "Cloud" for its featherweight recycled nylon material, this top wallet for women has a bill pocket divider and three slots for your main cards.Read our full Caraa Sport Convertible Work Gym Bag review. Best novelty card case: Susan Alexandra Watermelon-ita Card HolderSusan AlexandraPros: Handmade, one-of-a-kindCons: Only carries bare essentialsThis colorful beaded card holder from beloved trinket brand Susan Alexandra is handcrafted in New York's Chinatown. It makes a great gift as a stylish wallet for women who enjoy unconventional accessories, whether that's you or a loved one.Best bandolier: Bandolier KimberlyBandolierPros: Carries both your phone and wallet, quality smooth leatherCons: Only fits iPhonesA bandolier is a hands-free way to carry all your essentials in one petite package, which is extra convenient as the best wallet for women to accommodate those infamously tiny pockets on women's jeans. The shoulder strap adjusts to generous lengths so you can wear it at whatever height you prefer, and the snap closure carries cards behind the open-face phone case. Read our full Bandolier phone case review.Best money clip: Quince Italian Leather Money-Clip WalletQuincePros: Fits into pockets and small purses, carries cash efficientlyCons: Only comes in black Quince's direct-to-consumer business model translates from luxury grade materials to competitive prices when you compare to other retailers of top-grain Italian leather goods. One of the best wallets for women who prefer to carry cash on hand, this money clip wallet has room for up to eight cards with an ID window packed into a slim, minimalist silhouette. Read our full Quince review.Best with mirror: Fomiyes Felt Lipstick CaseAmazonPros: Mirror panel with room for lipstick, affordable price Cons: Only one main storage pocketThis wallet-sized cosmetic compact mirror is handy for tucking cards behind lipstick, lip gloss, or chapstick — whatever you need to touch up your look on the go.Read the original article on Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 1st, 2023Related News

The 20 best black jeans for women in 2023

Dark denim is in season, and our guide to the best black jeans for women includes pairs with stretchy waistbands and flattering hemlines. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreA sleek pair of black jeans are an essential part of any well-rounded denim collection.Spanx/Everlane/Driftwood//Business InsiderElevated yet still casual, the best black jeans for women can be dressed up more easily than your average blue jean. They're versatile enough for both office settings or an evening out, and they're tough to stain, so they come in handy on days when the rest of your pants are in the hamper. There are so many pairs to choose from, but we've done the work of narrowing down our 20 favorite pairs of the best black jeans for women.Our top pick overall are the Levi's Wedgie Icon Jeans, which have a universally flattering fit that give your bum a lift. Or, if you prefer lots of stretch, we recommend the super comfy Universal Standard Joni High Rise Curve Slim Leg Jeans, which come in an inclusive size range. Read on to find stylish selections for every occasion.Best overall: Levi’s Wedgie Icon JeansLevi'sMaterial: 100% CottonSizing options: 23-32These high-rise, tapered jeans are beloved for their universally flattering fit, which highlights curves and gives your bum a boost. The five-pocket style hits just above the ankle and is perfect for pairing with ankle-length boots. Since they don't offer any stretch, it is recommended to size up in these jeans, which fit snug through the hip and thigh.Best skinny: Mott & Bow High Rise Skinny Bond JeansMott & BowMaterial: 63% Tencel, 30% Cotton, 5% Polyester, 2% ElastaneSizing options: 24-33, 28 or 30 inseamThe best black jeans for women keep their deep black color long-term. For a high-rise skinny style that won't wash out despite laundering, we recommend Mott & Bow's power stretch version. It's crafted with fade-resistant technology to help the pants keep their color and shape — just turn them inside-out before tossing them in the wash.Best high rise: Universal Standard Joni High Rise Curve Slim Leg JeansUniversal StandardMaterial: 64% Cotton, 24% Polyester, 10.5% Rayon, 1.5% ElastaneSizing options: 00-40, regular or long inseamWhen you're wearing high rise jeans, a bit of extra stretch is always welcome. That's why this slim-fit style made our list of the best high waisted jeans: They're engineered for comfortable all-day stretch without gaping, dipping or any need for readjusting.Best curvy: Abercrombie & Fitch Curve Love High Rise Skinny JeanAbercrombieMaterial: 99% Cotton, 1% ElastaneSizing options: 23-37; extra short, short, regular, long, and extra long inseamsAbercrombie 's Curve Love line of jeans makes some of the best black jeans for women because it features an additional two inches through the hip and high to help eliminate waist gap. Plus, these high-rise skinny pants have built-in stretch for added comfort. Learn more about our favorite curve-loving bottoms in our guide to the best plus size jeans.Best ripped: American Eagle AE77 Premium Mom JeanAmerican EagleMaterial: 93% Organic Cotton, 6% Recycled Cotton, 1% EcoMade LycraSizing options: 00-14, short or regular inseamIf you love rigid jeans, this high-rise option with destroyed knees is a great pick. Still, there's a bit of stretch at the waist to up the comfort just a bit. The retro-inspired mom jeans feature a design that's slim through the hip with a relaxed, tapered leg that skims the ankle at the bottom.Best sculpting: Spanx Flare JeansSpanxMaterial: 91% Cotton, 7% Polyester, 2% Lycra Elastane. Lining: 70% Polyester, 30% CottonSizing options: XS-3X; regular, petite, and tall inseamsSpanx is one of our favorite brands for figure-flattering bottoms, and their denim collection is no exception. This button-less pull on style uses hidden core-shaping technology to smooth and shape your tummy area. The high-waisted flared pants hit at the natural waist to prevent spillage over the top, and they have a comfortable stretch throughout. Keep in mind that these run slightly small and long when picking a size. Read more about the brand's black pant offerings in our full Spanx Perfect Black Work Pants review.Best flared: Good American Good Legs Flare Never Fade JeansGood AmericanMaterial: 79.5% Cotton, 7% Recycled Polyester, 5% Recycled Cotton, 4.5% Polyester, 4% ElastaneSizing options: 00-32 PlusThese flare bottoms make our list of the best black jeans for women because we obviously appreciate a pair designed to their deep black color for the long haul. These mid-rise jeans from Khloe Kardashian's denim brand have a gap-proof waistband and a five-button closure in the front. They're super sculpting and crafted to hug your butt in all the right places.Best baggy: Everlane The Baggy JeanEverlaneMaterial: 60% Organic Cotton, 40% Tencel Lyocell x RefibraSizing options: 23-33These pants earned the top spot in our guide to the best wide leg jeans because they're made with super soft denim and a roomy fit that delivers on comfort and versatility. The lightweight organic cotton jeans sit high on the waist and fall floor-length with an intentionally slouchy look. Plus, they're made with recycled materials for any sustainable fashion enthusiasts browsing this guide.Best extra long: Paige Leggy Extra Long Ultra SkinnyPaigeMaterial: 54% Rayon, 23% Cotton, 22% PolyesterSizing options: 23-32With a 35.5-inch inseam, these black jeans offer extra length for those of us on the taller side. The mid-rise pants with a nine-inch waist rise hug the leg all the way down to the ankle, but they're still soft and stretchy with plenty of comfort. For more feminine pairs designed for long legs, see our guide to the best jeans for tall women.Best petite: Madewell The Petite '90s Straight JeanMadewellMaterial: 99% Cotton, 1% ElastaneSizing options: 23-33Included in our guide to the best petite jeans, these 29-inch inseam bottoms are specifically designed for women 5'3" and under, with plus size, tall inseam, and regular inseam variations available as well. These have a curvy cut, which offers extra room in the hip and thigh for a squeeze-free fit while preventing waist gap. They're made from vintage-inspired structured denim with a touch of stretch for a broken-in feel.More of the best black jeans for womenBest straight leg: DU/ER Performance Denim Mid Rise Slim Straight JeanDU/ERMaterial: 70% Organic Cotton, 28% Coolmax All Season Ecomade Polyester, 2% LYCRA Ecomade SpandexSizing options: 24-34, 30-inch or 32-inch inseamWhen searching for a straight leg version of the best black jeans for women, you'll want a pair that hits at just the right spot on your ankle. That's why we love the cut of these mid-rise jeans from DU/ER. They're crafted from the brand's signature stretch performance denim, which is designed to sculpt and features temperature-regulating fabric. Best mom jeans: Lee Legendary Mom JeansWalmartMaterial: 85% Cotton, 7% Polyester, 7% Rayon, 1% LycraSizing options: 0-18; 26.5-inch, 28.5-inch, or 30.5-inch inseamsA modern take on the '80s-inspired pants, these cropped tapered jeans have a high-rise waist for an extra flattering fit. The stretchy denim hugs and accentuates curves while still allowing for plenty of room for movement. Like all of the best black jeans for women, they're easy and versatile to style with nearly anything in your wardrobe.Best mid-rise: Mavi Emma Slim Boyfriend JeansMaviMaterial: 43% Lyocell, 33% Cotton, 17% viscose, 5% polyester, 2% elastaneSizing options: 24-33With a super smooth texture, these medium-weight, mid-rise jeans offer a maximum amount of stretch, making them one of the comfiest pairs on our list of the best black jeans for women. Still, they offer a stylish touch in the form of a rolled hem at the ankle, which looks especially slick when paired with high top sneakers.Best low-rise: RE/DONE Low Rider LooseRE/DONEMaterial: 64% cotton, 36% LyocellSizing options: 23-32These slouchy bottoms are meant to puddle at the hem and perfectly encapsulate the return of the early aughts revival trend. They have a cool relaxed look about them, and are just as comfortable as they look with a low-rise waist and an extra loose fit throughout the leg. Still, if you prefer a more streamlined mid-rise fit, you can size down to change up the look of the pants.Best raw hem: Mother Denim The Mid Rise Dazzler Ankle Step FrayMother DenimMaterial: 92.5% Cotton 5% Polyester 2.5% ElastaneSizing options: 23-34A raw hem can add a bit of edge to your look without going into full-on destroyed territory. This pair by LA-based brand Mother Denim has a step hem for added flair. The mid-rise, ankle-length jean looks polished with ankle boots and a blazer, or you can dress it down with sneakers and a tucked in tee.Best dad jeans: Levi’s Baggy Dad JeansRevolveMaterial: 100% CottonSizing options: 24-32With a slightly baggier fit than mom jeans, dad jeans have their own certain low-effort charm. These subtly tapered Levi's wear just as well with a casual look as they do with a tight-fitted crop top and shiny pumps, which gives them eye-catching and intentionally mismatched appeal.Best jegging: American Eagle Real Good AE Dream High-Waisted JeggingAmerican EagleMaterial: 63% Cotton, 22% Polyester, 10% Viscose, 5% LycraSizing options: 000-24; short, regular, and long inseamsWhen you're going for maximum comfort but still want a super skinny fit, jeggings are an excellent bet. This high-rise pair gives great booty support for a lifted and sculpted look that holds its shape — yet still feels super comfy with a high, four-way stretch level that rivals your favorite leggings. Short, regular, and long lengths are available.Best coated: Rag & Bone Nina Coated Skinny JeansRag & BoneMaterial: 68% Cotton, 29% Polyester, 3% ElastaneSizing options: 23-34A shiny coating livens up these jeans, which have a leg-lengthening skinny silhouette. They're crafted from an extra soft fabric with high stretch, so they'll hug your figure but won't squeeze your legs. The ankle-length pants are designed to hit just above the waist.Best criss cross waist: Agolde Criss Cross Upsized Jean in ShamblesAgolde Material: 100% Organic cottonSizing options: 23-34Though a black jean is a classic look, the best black jeans for women don't have to be boring. Take these non-stretch, mid-weight Agolde bottoms, which have an interesting detail in the form of an overlapping waist. This is contrasted by a relaxed and roomy leg. Though these are intended to be oversized, you can also size down for a higher-waist and closer fit.Best embellished: Driftwood Royce StraightDriftwoodMaterial: 99% Cotton, 1% SpandexSizing options: 23-33Driftwood denim focuses on embroidered designs that turn your average pair of jeans into a fashion statement. Their Royce Straight jeans have a rigid fit with a raw trim that reaches the ankle for pairing with heeled boots, and of course, eye-catching silver grommet stones for an added shimmery flair.Read the original article on Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 1st, 2023Related News

Disney Plus Bundle: How to save over 40%

The Disney Plus Bundle with Hulu and ESPN Plus gives members a big discount. Duo bundles start at $10/month, and Trio bundles start at $15/month. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreDisney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus are available in a discounted bundle.Hulu; Disney+; ESPN+Disney Plus is among the best streaming services you can sign up for, hosting popular brands like Marvel, Pixar, and "Star Wars." Subscribers can watch original series like "Loki" and "Ahsoka," along with classic movies from Disney's vault, animated Pixar features, and holiday specials. But Disney Plus isn't the studio's only streaming platform. ESPN Plus and Hulu are also owned by Disney, and all three services can be packaged together as part of the Disney Plus Bundle for one discounted price.The Disney Bundle can save you more than 40% compared to the regular combined cost of all three subscriptions. And together, the three services give members a more versatile assortment of programs to watch, helping to fill in some of Disney Plus' gaps in mature content and sports. Hulu supplements Disney Plus with lots of network series and shows geared toward adults, like "The Bear," "Only Murders in the Building" and "The Handmaid's Tale." Meanwhile, ESPN Plus adds live NFL, MLB, and NHL games, along with other sports. Subscribers can also watch UFC matches and can buy exclusive PPV fights.If you're thinking about signing up for the Disney Plus Bundle, we're here to help answer all your questions about pricing, plans, and deals. Here's everything you need to know about all of the Disney Bundle options.How much does the Disney Plus Bundle cost?The Disney Plus Bundle is available in four different packages, with Duo prices starting at $10 a month and Trio prices starting at $15 a month. Here's a full breakdown of Disney Plus Bundle pricesDisney Bundle planPriceDuo Basic: Disney Plus (Ads) and Hulu (Ads)$10/monthDuo Premium: Disney Plus (No Ads) and Hulu (No Ads)$20/monthTrio Basic: Disney Plus (Ads), Hulu (Ads), and ESPN Plus$15/monthTrio Premium: Disney Plus (No Ads), Hulu (No Ads), and ESPN Plus$25/monthHow to sign up for the Disney Plus BundleIf you live in the US, signing up for the Disney Plus Bundle with Hulu and ESPN Plus is as simple as visiting the Disney Plus website and selecting the plan you want. After entering your email address and payment information, you'll be able to activate your account on each service. You can use the same account information across each platform, but you will need to access each service's app separately.Can I get the Disney Bundle for free?Though Verizon previously offered free access to the Disney Bundle with its 5G Play More Unlimited and 5G Get More Unlimited phone plans, this promotion is no longer active for new members. We'll update this section if a new deal becomes available.Can current subscribers upgrade to the Disney Bundle?Yes, current subscribers to Disney Plus, Hulu, or ESPN Plus can upgrade any of their existing subscriptions to the bundle. You just need to sign up for the Disney Bundle using the same email address you have on file for your current membership. Disney will then adjust the bundle cost to account for your existing subscription fees.Keep in mind, however, members who have existing subscriptions through special promotions — like Spotify's Student Plan with Hulu and Showtime — are not eligible for an upgrade to the bundle. Can I watch Disney Plus and Hulu content in the same app?In the US, Disney Plus and Hulu programs are currently only available through their respective apps, which means people who subscribe to the Disney Bundle still need to switch between apps in order to access each platform's library. But according to Disney CEO Bob Iger, this limitation is set to change before the end of the year.As detailed in the studio's Q4 2023 earnings call, Iger plans to combine Hulu and Disney Plus content into a "one app experience." This means bundle subscribers won't have to use two different apps to watch their favorite Disney Plus and Hulu titles. That said, users will still need to pay for both services, either as standalone subscriptions or through one of the Disney Bundles.Does Hulu + Live TV include the Disney Bundle?Hulu + Live TV plans come with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus automatically. Hulu + Live TV subscribers don't have to pay extra or adjust any options in order to get the bundle. The service also lets you stream more than 90 live TV channels.Hulu + Live TV plans cost $77 a month for ad-supported on-demand streaming, or $90 a month for ad-free on-demand streaming. To sign up for the Disney bundle with Hulu + Live TV you simply need to visit the Hulu + Live TV page.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 1st, 2023Related News

Fitbit Versa 3 review: Impressive health and fitness tracking features and multi-day battery life

Fitbit's Versa 3 lacks the bells and whistles of advanced smartwatches but still offers extensive activity tracking and five days of battery life. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreThe Fitbit Versa 3 is a capable, well-rounded fitness tracker.Mark Knapp/InsiderFitbit's legacy of offering flexible smartwatch fitness trackers is on full display with the Versa 3, a wearable that offers a solid blend of capabilities for the price.With a number of sensors for tracking health and regular activity, the Fitbit Versa 3 is well-equipped for general fitness. Fitbit's operating system may not be as robust as some of its competitors but it continues the company's trend of designing some of the best fitness trackers and carries support for both Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant onboard. The most health-conscious users or serious athletes may prefer something with more robust tracking, like one of the best Apple Watch models or something from Garmin. But outside of special use cases, the Versa 3 shines as a capable all-arounder and is one of the best Fitbits.SpecificationsSize options: 40mmBand sizes: 5.5-7.1" Small, 7.1-8.7" LargeCase dimensions: 1.59" x 1.59" x 0.49" Display: 1.58" AMOLEDSensors: GPS + GLONASS, SpO2, Optical heart rate, 3-axis accelerometer, Altimeter, Ambient light, Microphones, TemperatureHealth tracking: 24/7 heart rate tracking, heart rate variability, blood oxygen saturation nightly average, sleep stage/score tracking, skin temperature variation, menstrual health tracking,Features: Automatic activity tracker, movement reminders, smart wake, always-on display, fast charging, Fitbit Pay, voice assistant (Alexa/Google Assistant), custom watch faces, app notifications/replies, Battery life: Up to 6 daysDurability: Water resistant up to 50 metersConnectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11nFinishes: AluminumColors: Black/Black Aluminum, Midnight/Soft Gold Aluminum, Pink Clay/Soft Gold AluminumThe Versa 3 ditches all hardware buttons in favor of an easy-t0-use touchscreenThe Fitbit Versa 3 features a sleek and smoothly curved case design found in other Versas. It also continues the trend of diminishing hardware buttons — it has none, opting instead for a touch-sensitive area on the left side of the watch case. At almost a half-inch thick, the Versa 3 isn't the thinnest watch but its curved edges go a long way to help keep it from feeling overly large and snagging on sleeves and pockets too much. The case is built of aluminum and features a subtle antenna line around its circumference. It features a 1.58-inch AMOLED display that gets plenty bright for use in direct sunlight. It's also a pleasure to look at as the pure black pixels of the AMOLED panel help it blend in with the black bezels around the display. It's a considerable step up from the LCD display on the original Versa. The watch has a mic on each side and even features a speaker on the right side. The pairing of these allows for phone calls on the watch, though it's not loud enough for practical use outdoors on busy streets. The Versa 3 features a new watch band design and attachment mechanism that's easy to open. The new straps included with the Versa 3 are similar to the Apple Watch's Sport band that feature two loops. This keeps the loose end from flopping about but does make finding a good fit trickier, as the bit of band that tucks back under reduces space in the loop.It excels as a smartwatch thanks to an intuitive interface and useful notifications Mark Knapp/InsiderThe display is easy to navigate with simple swipes and taps but I still find a lot of basic actions require that much more of my attention due to the lack of hardware buttons. Animations in the software are also relatively smooth.The touch-sensitive button takes some getting used to. It does an interesting job mimicking a physical button, as it doesn't respond to a light touch, instead requiring a more forceful press. And it gives satisfyingly tactile haptic feedback, too.The watch supports tons of features through its software. App notifications from my phone come through promptly and allow me to reply with pre-set messages, emojis, and even voice dictation. Having Google Assistant available on my wrist is also excellent for setting timers and reminders as well as controlling smart home gadgets. The Fitbit Versa 3 has Fitbit Pay by default, unlike the original Versa which only offered it on a special edition of the watch. It worked promptly when I paid in a cafe. This is not to say there aren't a number of hitches with the Versa 3's software. I regularly catch it displaying the wrong time for a moment, long enough that if I just glimpsed the watch for the time, I'd be misled. This may be a glitch displaying 24-hour time, as I've seen the watch display 29:00 at 9:00 PM. It has always corrected itself after a few seconds though.I often find myself in a tug-of-war with the display waking as well. I often press the side button to wake the screen manually but sometimes it wakes before my button press registers, and then the button press puts it back to sleep. This wouldn't be an issue, but the auto-wake isn't always reliable, so I often find myself manually waking the watch.There are a variety of trackable activities and it offers plenty of health tools like sleep tracking and blood oxygen readingsOn top of its smarts, the Fitbit Versa 3 adds a considerable helping of tracking features.The heart rate sensor runs all day and night but does require a snug fit. I've often found it able to keep consistent track without being uncomfortably tight. However, that snug fit can run into issues with workouts that require a lot of forearm work.I've mostly done rock climbing with the watch on and while it starts out comfortable, it can become constricting after only a little climbing. While working out, the watch also provides vibration feedback to indicate when you enter different heart rate zones.There are a number of activities the watch can track. Some are typical, like running and biking, while it also has more general options like "workout" and "boot camp" as well as specialized options like tennis and yoga. Naturally, I was a little disappointed to have to settle for the catchall workout mode for climbing.The Versa 3 can also automatically detect some activities, as it did for two of my recent bike rides. The Fitbit mobile app allows for more accurate labeling of activities at least, so I can tag workouts as rock climbing after the fact. The watch also uses its sensors to track sleep. Afterward, it provides sleep charts and a sleep score. And if you use the watch's alarm clock, it can wake you up during an optimal period outside of deep sleep. It measures SpO2 levels through the night but it can't provide instantaneous blood oxygenation readings. Fitbit also tracks menstrual health, but like many features, a lot of it comes down to the Fitbit app, and not the watch itself. The Versa 3's battery life can last for up to five full days, though I tended to get three days when using the always-on displayThe battery life of the Fitbit Versa 3 hinges largely on what features it's using. For most of my review period, I ran 24/7 heart rate monitoring, wore the watch at night for sleep tracking, and tracked five to six hours of exercise throughout the week. I also frequently checked notifications and regularly used Google Assistant throughout the day. With these settings and the always-on display active, I got a little over 48 hours of battery life. By disabling the always-on display, I was able to stretch the battery life to a full 5 days. That shows how much of a hit the display has on the battery.Fitbit makes keeping the watch powered easy. I get a notification whenever the watch hits 25% and another when it gets closer to dead. This gives me plenty of opportunity to charge it back up. Even if I forget, the watch can almost fully recharge in just an hour, and just 10 minutes of charging would be more than enough to get through the day. Should you buy it? Mark Knapp/InsiderIf you're looking for a wearable that accurately tracks activities, has solid battery life, and serves as a quality extension of your smartphone, the Fitbit Versa 3 is it. Like some of the best smartwatches, it's simple and intuitive to use, even for first-time smartwatch wearers.It's also a good, but not great, health tracker, as it offers things like sleep tracking and blood oxygen monitoring. However, for more robust health monitoring features, you may get more out of the Fitbit Sense 2 which has advanced health features like stress tracking, in-depth sleep monitoring, and skin temperature-sensing. It is almost $150 more expensive, though.But price is a big deciding factor in why the Fitbit Versa 3 is one of the best Fitbits you can buy. It costs almost half as much as some of Fitbit's premium offerings, yet offers a quality fitness tracker and smartwatch experience. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 1st, 2023Related News

Mastercard (MA), Pluto to Enhance B2B Payments in the UAE

Mastercard (MA) aims to upgrade the solutions suite of Pluto through the utilization of its well-established payment technology as well as contribute to the digitization efforts of the UAE. Mastercard Incorporated MA recently teamed up with the UAE-based financial corporate spending management solutions provider, Pluto, to enable the widespread uptake of business-to-business (“B2B”) payment solutions across the Gulf Cooperation Council. This promises to infuse greater innovation and efficiency in the region’s B2B payments landscape.Integral to the tie-up, Mastercard will extend a varied array of efficient and reliable payment options to Pluto’s client base. This, in turn, is expected to upgrade the solution suite of Pluto and empower it to bring about safety in payments as well as pave the way for better management of finances for businesses of all sizes.The recent partnership reflects Mastercard’s broader motive of infusing greater digitization across the UAE and broadly, in the Middle East region. MA’s intensified focus on establishing a solid footprint in the region can be explained by its rapidly expanding digital economy, spurred by increased Internet penetration and the higher usage of smartphones. This provides a perfect ground for MA to capitalize on with its suite of advanced payment solutions that promise safe and seamless transactions for businesses.The support of a global payment technology leader like Mastercard, whose digital arm is built with the help of partnerships and substantial technology investments, infuses a sense of confidence and security into the minds of business owners.The tie-up with Pluto is expected to lead to increased utilization of Mastercard’s solutions. This, in turn, is likely to boost the revenues for the tech giant, which it derives from providing its value-added services and solutions suite to customers. Also, Pluto seems to be a prudent choice for Mastercard to capture a significant share of the digital payments market of the Middle East. The reason can be attributed to a remarkable expansion strategy pursued by Pluto through which its areas of operations are not just restricted to the UAE but is also set to bring Saudi Arabia and Bahrain under the radar.Last month, Mastercard joined forces with Middle East’s leading payment processing service provider, areeba, to extend the benefits of upgraded payment platforms, such as Mastercard Card-as-a-Service and Bank-as-a-Fintech, to new market segments and demographics of the region. A few days before this, it collaborated with Saudi Awwal Bank to enable the bank to access its advanced AI-based cybersecurity technology to protect Saudi Arabia’s customers from cybercrimes and payment frauds, and subsequently, bring about safe digital transactions across the country. Such frequent moves undertaken in the Middle East reflect Mastercard’s endeavor to harness the digital growth prospects of the region.Shares of Mastercard have gained 14.7% in the past year compared with the industry’s 11.4% growth.  MA currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchStocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks in the Business Services space are RCM Technologies, Inc. RCMT, APi Group Corporation APG and SPS Commerce, Inc. SPSC.  While RCM Technologies sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), APi Group and SPS Commerce carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The bottom line of RCM Technologies outpaced estimates in two of the last four quarters and missed the mark twice, the average beat being 13.28%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RCMT’s 2023 earnings suggests an improvement of 1% from the prior-year reported figure. The consensus mark for RCMT’s 2023 earnings has moved 11.1% north in the past 30 days.APi Group’s earnings outpaced estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 5.94%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for APG’s 2023 earnings suggests an improvement of 18.1% from the prior-year reported figure. The consensus estimate for revenues suggests growth of 6% from the prior-year reported figure. The consensus mark for APG’s 2023 earnings has moved 4.7% north in the past 30 days.The bottom line of SPS Commerce outpaced estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average beat being 15.34%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for SPSC’s 2023 earnings suggests an improvement of 19.2% from the prior-year reported figure. The consensus estimate for revenues suggests growth of 18.7% from the prior-year reported figure. The consensus mark for SPSC’s 2023 earnings has moved 0.4% north in the past 30 days.Shares of RCM Technologies, APi Group and SPS Commerce have gained 83.2%, 56.6% and 18.7%, respectively, in the past year. Zacks Names #1 Semiconductor Stock It's only 1/9,000th the size of NVIDIA which skyrocketed more than +800% since we recommended it. NVIDIA is still strong, but our new top chip stock has much more room to boom. With strong earnings growth and an expanding customer base, it's positioned to feed the rampant demand for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things. Global semiconductor manufacturing is projected to explode from $452 billion in 2021 to $803 billion by 2028.See This Stock Now for Free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Mastercard Incorporated (MA): Free Stock Analysis Report SPS Commerce, Inc. (SPSC): Free Stock Analysis Report RCM Technologies, Inc. (RCMT): Free Stock Analysis Report APi Group Corporation (APG): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2023Related News

Interior designers share 5 bathroom trends that"ll be huge next year and 5 that will be out

Interior designers said statement tile and nature-inspired elements will be in and rustic decor will be out for the bathroom space in 2024. Expect to see more tile and less rustic decor.Victor Dyomin/Getty Images; Education Images/Getty ImagesBusiness Insider asked interior designers to share the bathroom that will be in and out in 2024.  Monochromatic warm shades and nature-inspired elements are becoming more popular.On the other hand, the designers said to stay away from minimalistic and overly rustic trends.Business Insider asked interior designers which bathroom trends will be in and out in 2024.Here's what they said.Nature-inspired elements help to create a serene environment.Stone sinks look calming.Prasit photo/Getty ImagesInterior designer and founder of Dream Home Making Elizabeth Grace said there's a rising trend in embracing nature-inspired elements like organic materials and botanical accents.According to the expert, the trend promotes "a sense of tranquility and wellness, fostering a connection with nature amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life."People can incorporate organic elements into their spaces through natural-stone sinks, wooden vanities, or even calming potted plants.Eco-friendly fixtures are a growing trend. Bamboo in the shower space brings in eco-friendly elements.kendoNice/Getty ImagesAccording to Nicholas Kaiko, interior designer at Kaiko Design Interiors, there has been a growing interest in eco-friendly bathroom fixtures."These fixtures allow customization of water temperature, flow, and timing, offering both luxury and eco-friendliness," he told Business Insider.The designer recommended opting for smart fixtures that have water-saving functionalities and blend well with the overall design aesthetic of the bathroom.A tile statement wall makes a big impact. Statement tile walls can impress guests.Victor Dyomin/Getty ImagesAccording to Samantha Polkow, principal designer and founder of Studio HB, tile is being used to create a statement and emulate a luxe, high-end feel.The designer said the rising trend in bathroom statement walls is due to homeowners' desire to impress guests as they get back into entertaining.She said tile designs coming to the market in 2024 will have beautiful textures and intricate yet subtle designs.Warm monochromatic colors help foster a spa-like environment.Warm, monochrome colors on the walls and in the shower can look luxe.Nazar Abbas Photography/Getty ImagesAccording to Alexander Adducci, senior designer at 210 Design House, warm monochromatic bathrooms are moving away from stark whites and instead focusing on a spa-like ambiance."Monotone colors amplify the tranquility of the space, elevating the overall atmosphere and providing a sense of calm," Adducci said.The designer recommends creating a serene, inviting bathroom with wall paint, tiles, and accessories in warmer, monotone colors.Floating vanities offer a sophisticated aesthetic and save on space. Floating vanities can look cool and modern.The Washington Post/Getty ImagesGrace and Adducci told BI that wall-mounted vanities can help create a streamlined and contemporary bathroom design."Floating vanities, whether single or double, introduce dimension and open up the visual space in a bathroom," Adducci said.According to Grace, they can also foster a sense of spaciousness and order, promoting a calming and unobtrusive bathroom environment that encourages relaxation and mindfulness.On the other hand, vessel sinks have seen their day. Vessel sinks don't leave much countertop space.View Pictures/Getty ImagesThough vessel sinks were all the rage at one point, they're expected to fall out of favor in the next few months. Polkow said clients have learned that vessel sinks take up valuable counter space and can create a "splash zone" when you're washing your face or brushing your teeth.Instead of a vessel sink, use an under-mount sink with a nice curved shape to emulate elegance without the hassle.Rustic overload can overwhelm the design balance. Rustic bathroom decor can look outdated.Education Images/Getty ImagesThe rustic look, which may include distressed wood, vintage fixtures, and country-style accessories, is officially considered outdated.According to Grace, an abundance of rustic features can appear out of sync with contemporary sensibilities.If you still desire that rustic charm, Grace recommends integrating subtle accents like natural wood or vintage-inspired accessories within a contemporary design framework.Generic bathroom sconces are being replaced by artistic lighting fixtures.Basic sconces are out.Bravo/Getty ImagesMore people are replacing simplistic scones with creative lighting fixtures that can act as art or conversation pieces."For so long, very basic, chrome sconces were offered to clients for their bathroom lighting," Polkow said. "Most looked the same and had no visual interest at all."For 2024, the designer recommends placing sconces asymmetrically, hanging pendants from the ceiling, or dressing up the space with more decorative lighting.Minimalist bathrooms can lack vibrancy and warmth.Minimalism can look too sparse.View Pictures/Getty ImagesKaiko said minimalism is losing its appeal due to its restrained design palette and sparse aesthetics."The trend might have become too simplistic for many, lacking the vibrancy and warmth people are currently seeking," the expert said. "It's also extremely difficult to do well."Instead, they suggest bringing life and personal touches to a space by embracing maximalism or balancing a mix of textures, colors, and patterns.Body spray shower systems are losing their luster. Some luxe shower systems will be out in 2024.picture alliance/Getty ImagesThough they can be relaxing, many shower systems require a lot of maintenance and may waste water.According to Polkow, more people are moving toward environmentally conscious shower options and looking for simpler solutions to reduce water waste.The designer instead reccomends achieving a serene, spa-like space with a rain-shower head, a shower bench, or eucalyptus.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 1st, 2023Related News

Why Is Seattle Genetics (SGEN) Down 0.7% Since Last Earnings Report?

Seattle Genetics (SGEN) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues. It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Seattle Genetics (SGEN). Shares have lost about 0.7% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Seattle Genetics due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers. Seagen’s Q3 Earnings Miss, Revenues Beat ExpectationsSeagen Inc. reported a loss of $1.15 per share in the third quarter of 2023, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 71 cents. The company had incurred a loss of $1.03 per share in the year-ago quarter.Total revenues in the reported quarter were $649 million, increasing 27.3% year over year. The top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $640 million. Net product revenues in the third quarter were $571 million, up 33.4% year over year, driven by the strong uptake of Seagen’s portfolio of marketed cancer drugs.Quarter in DetailSeagen’s top line mainly comprises product, collaboration and license agreement revenues and royalties. The company currently markets four drugs, Adcetris, Padcev, Tukysa and the newly approved Tivdak.Adcetris generated net sales of $246 million in the United States and Canada, up 13% year over year. The drug, which is the major contributor to SGEN’s revenues, is being evaluated in several label expansion studies. The reported figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $268 million.Padcev sales in the reported quarter totaled $200 million. Sales of the drug rose 89% on a year-over-year basis. Padcev sales also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $181 million.Tukysa’s third-quarter net sales were $102 million, up 16% on a year-over-year basis.The newly launched Tivdak generated sales worth $23 million in the third quarter of 2023, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 40%. Seagen commercializes Tivdak in collaboration with Zai Lab Limited.In September 2022, Seagen entered into an exclusive collaboration and license agreement with Zai Lab for the development and commercialization of Tivdak in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. ZLAB obtained exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Tivdak in the given territory.Collaboration and license agreement revenues were $14 million in the reported quarter, marking a significant decrease (63%) over the year-ago quarter. This was primarily due to an upfront payment received in the year-ago quarter.Royalty revenues of $64 million rose by 45% from the year-ago quarter’s $44 million. Seagen records royalty revenues on the sales of Adcetris from Takeda Pharmaceutical in the ex-U.S. markets as well as from Polivy’s sales under its collaboration with Roche. The uptick in royalty revenues was primarily fueled by royalties from sales of Polivyby Roche as well as by sales of Adcetris by Takeda.Polivy is an antibody-drug conjugate that uses Seagen’s technology and commercialized by Roche.Research and development expenses of $449 million increased 16.6% year over year, primarily driven by continued investment in the development of approved drugs and pipeline programs.Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 26.7% year over year to $266 million, mainly on account of higher costs related to the recent commercialization activities as well as costs incurred on other corporate activities associated with the pending acquisition by pharma goliath, Pfizer.Seagen entered into a definitive agreement in March 2023 to be acquired by Pfizer for $229 per share, bringing the valuation of the company to a whopping $43 billion. The acquisition, if followed through, will add Seagen’s portfolio of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and technology to Pfizer’s already robust portfolio of oncology drugs. The company will gain access to Pfizer’s resources to continue the development of its ADC technology. Pfizer should be able to bring new innovative cancer treatment options to patients by combining Seagen’s prowess in ADCs with Pfizer’s existing portfolio across both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies, bolstering its position in the market and driving growth.Cash, cash equivalents and investments amounted to $1.2 billion for Seagen at the end of the third quarter of 2023 compared with $1.3 billion as of Jun 30, 2023.How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?It turns out, fresh estimates have trended downward during the past month.The consensus estimate has shifted -48.32% due to these changes.VGM ScoresCurrently, Seattle Genetics has a subpar Growth Score of D, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of F. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.OutlookEstimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Seattle Genetics has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.Performance of an Industry PlayerSeattle Genetics belongs to the Zacks Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry. Another stock from the same industry, Qiagen (QGEN), has gained 7.8% over the past month. More than a month has passed since the company reported results for the quarter ended September 2023.Qiagen reported revenues of $475.89 million in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of -4.8%. EPS of $0.50 for the same period compares with $0.53 a year ago.For the current quarter, Qiagen is expected to post earnings of $0.54 per share, indicating a change of +1.9% from the year-ago quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has changed -4.4% over the last 30 days.Qiagen has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) based on the overall direction and magnitude of estimate revisions. Additionally, the stock has a VGM Score of D. Zacks Names #1 Semiconductor Stock It's only 1/9,000th the size of NVIDIA which skyrocketed more than +800% since we recommended it. NVIDIA is still strong, but our new top chip stock has much more room to boom. With strong earnings growth and an expanding customer base, it's positioned to feed the rampant demand for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things. Global semiconductor manufacturing is projected to explode from $452 billion in 2021 to $803 billion by 2028.See This Stock Now for Free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Seagen Inc. (SGEN): Free Stock Analysis Report QIAGEN N.V. (QGEN): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2023Related News

KBR (KBR) Up 2.6% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

KBR (KBR) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues. A month has gone by since the last earnings report for KBR Inc. (KBR). Shares have added about 2.6% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is KBR due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers. KBR Q3 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues MissKBR reported mixed third-quarter 2023 results, wherein earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate, but revenues missed the same.Earnings beat the consensus estimate for the eighth straight quarter. Revenues, on the other hand, surpassed the mark in three of the trailing eight quarters and missed on other five occasions.Inside the Headline, NumbersAdjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 75 cents surpassed the consensus estimate of 73 cents by 2.7% and increased 15.4% from a year ago. The upside was due to increases in gross profit and equity in earnings from unconsolidated affiliates. These were partially offset by increases in selling, general and administrative expenses and interest expenses.Total revenues inched up 8.9% year over year (all organic) to $1.77 billion but missed the consensus mark of $1.78 billion by 0.5%. The growth was attributable to the increase in new contracts and on-contract growth within all Government Solutions business units, as well as a rising demand for the Sustainable Technology Solutions portfolio.Adjusted EBITDA increased 9% year over year to $186 million in the quarter. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 11%, the same as the year-ago level. Our model expected adjusted EBITDA to grow 7.3% year over year to $183.5 million in the quarter.Segmental & Backlog DetailsRevenues in the Government Solutions or GS segment increased 4% year over year to $1,345 million. The upside was backed by new and on-contract growth across its four business units.Adjusted EBITDA was $133 million (same as the prior-year quarter), and adjusted EBITDA margin of 10% (at par with the year-ago level). The segment benefited from the favorable international mix, excellent award fees and strong project execution.Sustainable Technology Solutions’ (STS) revenues rose 27.6% year over year to $425 million, driven by increased sustainable services and technology. Meanwhile, the segment generated more revenues than we expected.Adjusted EBITDA increased to $89 million from $66 million a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the segment was up 100 basis points to 21%. This was attributable to a favorable revenue mix, the achievement of certain licensing milestones, joint venture performance and increased demand.As of Sep 29, 2023, the total backlog (including award options) was $21.8 billion compared with $19.76 billion at 2022-end. Of the total backlog, Government Solutions booked $12.28 billion. The Sustainable Technology Solutions segment accounted for $4.98 billion of the total backlog.At the third-quarter end, the company delivered a trailing 12-month book-to-bill of 1.2x and recorded $3.5 billion in bookings and options.Liquidity & Cash FlowAs of Sep 29, 2023, KBR’s cash and cash equivalents were $348 million, down from $389 million at 2022-end. Long-term debt was $1.52 million at September 2023-end, up from $1.38 million at 2022-end.In the first nine months of 2023, cash provided by operating activities totaled $248 million, down from $336 million in the year-ago period. It had an adjusted free cash flow of $320 million during the same period, up from $297 million a year ago.2023 GuidanceKBR still expects total revenues in the range of $6.9-$7.1 billion and an adjusted EBITDA between $730 and $750 million. Also, it expects an effective tax rate between 24% and 25% and adjusted EPS in the band of $2.76-$2.96. Adjusted operating cash flow is projected to be in the range of $425-$460 million.How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates.The consensus estimate has shifted -6.85% due to these changes.VGM ScoresCurrently, KBR has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with an F. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.OutlookEstimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, KBR has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months. Zacks Names #1 Semiconductor Stock It's only 1/9,000th the size of NVIDIA which skyrocketed more than +800% since we recommended it. NVIDIA is still strong, but our new top chip stock has much more room to boom. With strong earnings growth and an expanding customer base, it's positioned to feed the rampant demand for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things. Global semiconductor manufacturing is projected to explode from $452 billion in 2021 to $803 billion by 2028.See This Stock Now for Free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report KBR, Inc. (KBR): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2023Related News

Podcast links: an investing paradox

Fridays are all about podcast links here at Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s links including a look at the... ListeningYoung Americans are boosting their consumption of spoken audio. ( look at your best options for audiobooks. ( Castro podcasting app may be going away. ( is adding video creation tools. ( best podcasts of 2023 including “The Big Dig.” ( top podcasts of 2023 via Apple Podcasts, including the Huberman Lab. ( top podcasts of 2023 via Spotify, including the Joe Rogan Experience. ( one hour introduction to LLMs for a general audience. ( Klein talks with Kevin Roose and Casey Newton about the impact of GPT one year in. ( Buhrman and Paul Buser talk with Jeff Marrazzo who is the Co-Founder of Spark Therapeutics. ( Golden talks the car market with Car Dealership Guy. ( capitalPatrick O'Shaughnessy talks with Peter Fenton and Victor Lazarte who are General Partners at Benchmark. ( Ferriss talks with Steve Jang who is the founder and managing partner at Kindred Ventures. ( Ritholtz talks with Peter Atwater author of "The Confidence Map: Charting a Path from Chaos to Clarity." ( Stotz talks with Larry Swedroe why a great company does not always make a great investment. ( Carboneau and Jack Forehand talk with Joel Tillinghast the long-tenured portfolio manager of the Fidelity Low-Priced Stock Fund. ( Swisher talks with Rob Copeland author of "The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend." ( Rice talks with Stephen Winterstein, founder of SP Winterstein and Associates, about the muni market. ( Parrish talks peak performance with Todd Herman. ( McKay talks with Dr. David Rosmarin author of "Thriving with Anxiety: 9 Tools to Make Your Anxiety Work for You." ( Shankar talks psychedelics with Michael Pollan. ( Maron talks comedy with Jesse David Fox, author of "Comedy Book." (»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsDec 1st, 2023Related News

The AZEK Company Inc. (NYSE:AZEK) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

The AZEK Company Inc. (NYSE:AZEK) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 28, 2023 The AZEK Company Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.36, expectations were $0.29. Operator: Welcome to The AZEK Company’s Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2023 Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the speakers’ presentation, there will […] The AZEK Company Inc. (NYSE:AZEK) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 28, 2023 The AZEK Company Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.36, expectations were $0.29. Operator: Welcome to The AZEK Company’s Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2023 Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the speakers’ presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session. Please be advised that today’s conference is being recorded. I’d now like to hand the conference over to Eric Robinson, please go ahead. Eric. Eric Robinson: Thank you, and good afternoon, everyone. We issued our earnings press release and a supplemental earnings presentation this afternoon to the Investor Relations portion of our website at The earnings press release was also furnished via 8-K on the SEC’s website. I am joined today by Jesse Singh, our Chief Executive Officer; and Peter Clifford, our Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. I would like to remind everyone that during this call, we may make certain statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including remarks about future expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, plans, and prospects. Such statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties as described in our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that could cause actual results to differ materially. We do not undertake any duty to update such forward-looking statements. Additionally, during today’s call, we will discuss non-GAAP financial measures, which we believe can be useful in evaluating our performance. These non-GAAP measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for results prepared in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliations of such non-GAAP measures can be found in our earnings press release which is posted on our website. Now, let me turn the call over to AZEK’s CEO, Jesse Singh. Jesse Singh: Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us. The AZEK team once again delivered strong results this quarter, including a 27.6% net sales growth year-over-year, a net profit margin of 11%, and a record fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA margin of 27.4%. Our Residential business grew 37.6% in the fourth quarter and approximately 5% year-over-year, delivering an eighth straight year of net sales growth. I’m very proud of how the AZEK team was able to navigate in an uncertain market and consistently deliver against our commitments. The team outperformed by driving above-market revenue growth and by delivering against productivity initiatives, resulting in significant adjusted EBITDA margin expansion in the second half of the year. Our focus on cash conversion and capital allocation throughout the fiscal year, including working capital efficiencies and disciplined capital expenditures, delivered strong free cash flow generation of $274 million and returned a $115 million to shareholders through share repurchases. AZEK sales performance was driven by continued double-digit sell-through growth in our Residential business overall and in each of our leading Deck, Rail and Accessories, and Exteriors categories, which outperformed in an uncertain repair and remodel market. We saw growth in both our Residential Pro and our Retail channels as we benefited from the execution of our initiatives. In addition to our shelf space gains and core decking interim growth, we saw great results from new products and planning in our Exteriors business and aluminum rail in outdoor living. Our Residential segment’s 5% year-over-year net sales growth in fiscal year 2023 was stacked on top of 12% growth in fiscal 2022, and 35% growth in fiscal 2021. On a calendar year basis, we see similar results with the business growing 31% in calendar 2021, and 4% in calendar 2022 during the inventory unwind within our channel. We expect this growth to continue in this calendar year. Assuming the midpoint of our December quarter-end guidance for calendar 2023, we would expect our Residential segment to grow approximately double digits year-over-year in calendar 2023. We believe that this highlights not only the resiliency of our sub-segment but also the specific and unique capability of the AZEK growth model. Our fiscal fourth quarter margins improved significantly and we delivered 750 basis points of adjusted gross margin of 45% and 600 basis points of adjusted EBITDA margin expansion to 27.4%, as we realized the benefits of excellent execution by our operations team delivering on productivity initiatives and increased production levels while reinvesting in marketing and branding. Cash conversion and disciplined capital expenditures continue to be a focus and in the fourth quarter, we generated free cash flow of $92 million, growing $83 million year-over-year. Our strong free cash flow generation during the quarter supported approximately $61 million worth of share repurchases. Channel inventories have been conservatively positioned through our fiscal year-end and we are proactively managing our finished goods inventory levels to maintain high levels of service. In addition, the business has operated with normalized operating and inventory cadence with lower lead times and our channel partners continuing to purchase as needed and managing inventory below historical averages. In October, we also announced the sale of our Vycom business which closed earlier this month. Vycom is a great business and is a leader in industrial plastic sheet manufacturing. We believe that the transaction puts both businesses in a better position to achieve future success. This strategic move simplifies our portfolio and further focuses AZEK on our strategic higher growth and margin opportunities in the repair and remodel and outdoor living markets associated with our Residential segment. As stated in our strategy, we also take a portfolio approach to revenue growth and margin expansion. During 2023, we successfully launched new products including TimberTech Advanced PVC Landmark in Boardwalk and TimberTech Composite Reserve, and retrained Chestnut along with railing options and an expansion of our Exteriors portfolio. We recently hosted hundreds of our contractor and dealer partners in our TimberTech Championship PGA Tour Champions event where we had the opportunity to engage in valuable discussions, gather feedback, and preview our new products for the 2024 building season. Among these product launches are the introduction of the new and improved TimberTech Composite Terrain+ Collection, new TimberTech Aluminum Substructure Framing, new TimberTech Railing Horizontal Cable Infill, and new AZEK Exteriors Bevel Siding. We are expanding our position with the homeowner with better style, design, and performance and strengthening our already strong position with Pro, with an expanded offering of products that increase contractor labor, productivity, and efficiencies. Our partners are excited about the opportunity created by these new products. During the year, we continued to make progress on our recycle initiatives and increased the amount of recycled content we use in our TimberTech Advanced PVC decking and our Exteriors products. We also expanded the geographic reach of our high recycle content, PaintPro Prefinished Siding and Trim solutions, and welcomed Lumbermen’s and Weyerhaeuser as new prefinishing partners. The expansion enables us to provide high-quality Prefinished Siding and Trim from the Northeast to Washington State. Overall, we are well positioned to capitalize on the momentum from both our shelf space gains and brand awareness increases in 2023 as well as our slate of new products for 2024. We are also pleased to be recognized for several workplace awards this past quarter. For the first time, AZEK was named a 2024 Best Company To Work For in the construction and materials category by U.S. News and World Report, as well as a top Chicago Workplace for the third year in a row. One of our core values is, the best team wins, and we’re pleased to be recognized for our commitments and actions towards this shared goal, further strengthening AZEK’s position as an Employer of Choice. As we look towards 2024, we are confident in our business strategy and our ability to deliver long-term above-market growth and margin expansion. Key digital metrics highlight continued elevated interest in our TimberTech brand and we continue to see growing consumer engagement with website traffic, leads, and sample orders showing year-over-year growth during the fourth quarter. Outdoor living spaces have been ranked the number one most popular Home Exteriors remodel for the last 10 years according to the American Institute of Architects. Our October quarterly total contractor and dealer surveys indicate they remain busy and have a cautious outlook for growth in 2024. Contractors continue to add backlogs of approximately eight weeks overall and anecdotally, some have indicated that their sales process is returning to a pre-pandemic normal. In addition to the stability of our existing contractors and dealers, we continue to expand our network, allowing us to access more of the market and drive incremental share and wood conversion. In fiscal 2023, we added over 1,000 contractors into our Pro Loyalty Program, driven by continued education and awareness of the composite category, and the TimberTech brand. We continue to see positive Residential sell-through growth and demand indicators such as our customer surveys and digital metrics remain constructive as we begin the fiscal year 2024. While we continue to see favorable demand indicators, we acknowledge the continued macroeconomic uncertainty, mixed consumer confidence, and the potential for a slower repair and remodel market. Our fiscal year 2024 planning assumptions assume a flat to down repair and remodel market and consistent with our historical track record, we would expect to outperform the market driven by AZEK-specific initiatives, including materials conversion, channel expansion, new product innovations, and customer journey initiatives. We believe that our business model combined with our margin opportunities, will provide us an opportunity to continue to grow sales and EBITDA for our Residential business in fiscal 2024. For the full fiscal year 2024, we expect that the sale of the Vycom business will reduce Commercial segment sales by approximately $77 million and adjusted EBITDA by approximately $17 million on an annualized basis. Taking that adjustment into account, AZEK expects consolidated net sales in the range of $1.335 billion to $1.395 billion and adjusted EBITDA in the range of $320 million to $335 million. Adjusting for the Vycom sale, our net sales guidance would imply 3% to 8% year-over-year growth and 15% to 20% year-over-year adjusted EBITDA growth. Peter will provide more context on our guidance as we continue to see the opportunity to drive above-market growth and margin expansion. I will now turn the call over to Peter to provide some additional context on our financial results and outlook. Peter Clifford: Thanks, Jesse, and good afternoon, everyone. As Eric highlighted at the beginning of the call, we have uploaded a supplemental earnings presentation on the Investor Relations portion of our website. Before we get into the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2023 results, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year. When we offered our planning assumptions back in November 2022, we were operating in an uncertain environment at the time the market was digesting the unknown impact of the Fed’s cumulative interest rate hikes on both the repair and remodel spend and consumer sentiment. At the time of our guidance, we were getting questions around, would material conversion continue in a down market. Would pricing hold in a deflationary environment? Would we see the expected deflation and a slowdown? Could we manage our plants effectively from both an efficiency and capacity perspective to see if the upside of the market was better than expected? Could we manage our channel inventory conservatively and keep best-in-class service levels? Could we drive strong cash conversion to support a repurchase program to take advantage of dislocations? On all these points, the AZEK team was able to effectively manage the business and outperform expectations in fiscal 2023. Our new product development and growth initiatives drove continued material conversion. We were able to sustain pricing in a more normalized commodity environment. We appropriately managed capacity and manufacturing costs and were able to quickly react to stronger decking season by ramping production, while continuing to maintain industry-leading service. And finally, our strong results and healthy cash generation allowed us to support our share repurchase ambitions during the year. To sum it all up, we had set challenging targets at the outset of the fiscal year in a period of uncertainty, and we led the business to exceed those commitments. And when we talk about fiscal 2024, we once again encounter a similar economic backdrop. Despite this backdrop, we have confidence and credibility to deliver in fiscal 2024 based upon the execution we demonstrated in fiscal 2023. As Jesse mentioned upfront, during the fourth quarter, we continued to see a positive demand environment in our Residential business. Sell-through remained equally strong through the season, and contractor backlogs have been stable for the last four quarters at approximately eight weeks. At the same time, our digital KPIs remained strong and we used our positive sell-through and results to continue to accelerate investment and brand awareness in both the quarter and the year. We believe we are already reaping the benefits of these brand investments. From an operating perspective, our production returned to normalized levels in the fourth quarter, albeit up substantially year-over-year due to the lapping of a large fiscal 4Q ’22 channel inventory reduction. We continued to maintain strong service levels during the quarter while executing against our own full-year inventory reduction plan, drawing down inventory year-over-year by $79 million. On the commodities front, key raw materials have remained stable at meaningfully lower input costs, supporting our material savings. The combination of double-digit residential sell-through growth, coupled with strong execution against our material savings, conversion cost, and recycling initiatives, helped us achieve record adjusted EBITDA margins during the fourth quarter. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023, we grew net sales by 28% year-over-year to $388.8 million, which was above our guidance expectations. The fourth quarter growth was driven by the strength in the Residential segment, partially offset by declines in our Commercial segment. 4Q ’23 gross profit increased by $77.8 million, or 108% year-over-year to $149.7 million. 4Q adjusted gross profit increased by $60.6 million or 53% year-over-year to $174.8 million. Our adjusted gross profit margin percentage increased 750 basis points year-over-year to finish at 45%. The adjusted gross profit increase was driven primarily by material deflation, manufacturing productivity, execution against material cost productivity initiatives, and a one-time utilities reimbursement of approximately $2 million. SG&A expenses increased by $17.5 million to $85 million. The bulk of the year-over-year increase was driven by our continued commitment to make investments in marketing and brand awareness. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter increased by $41.3 million, or up 63% year-over-year to $106.4 million. The adjusted EBITDA margin rate for the quarter increased 600 basis points year-over-year to 27.4%. The primary driver of the year-over-year change in adjusted EBITDA was the impact of material deflation, manufacturing productivity, execution against material cost productivity initiatives, and a one-time utilities reimbursement of approximately $2 million, partially offset by continued investment in marketing and branding. Net income for the fourth quarter increased by $47.4 million to $42.6 million, or $0.28 per share. Adjusted net income for the fourth quarter increased by $29 million to $53.5 million, or adjusted diluted EPS of $0.36 per share. Now turning to our segment results. Residential segment net sales for the fourth quarter was $350 million, up 38% year-over-year. Within the Residential segment, we saw positive growth in both Deck, Rail, and Accessories, and Exteriors, while our StruXure smart pergolas business navigated some destocking during the year. Residential segment adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter came in at $118 million, up approximately 83% year-over-year. Residential segment adjusted EBITDA margins were up 830 basis points year-over-year to 33.7%. Commercial segment net sales for the quarter were $39.2 million, down 22% year-over-year. These results were in line with our previous quarter’s commentary and expectations. Within our Commercial segment, Vycom net sales came in at $17.5 million, down approximately $8.6 million year-over-year. Commercial segment adjusted EBITDA for the quarter came in at $9.2 million, a decrease of $5.3 million year-over-year. Within our Commercial segment, Vycom adjusted EBITDA was $3.3 million. It is important to note, despite a softer demand backdrop, we were able to hold our EBITDA margins for the segment at 23.6% in the quarter. From a balance sheet and cash flow perspective, we ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $278 million and approximately $147 million available for future borrowings under our revolving credit facility. Working capital defined as inventory plus accounts receivable minus AP was $223 million, down $118 million year-over-year. We ended the quarter with gross debt of $672 million, which included approximately $79 million of finance leases. Net debt was $394 million and our net leverage ratio stood at 1.4 times at the end of the fourth quarter. Net cash from operating activities was $127 million during the fourth quarter, an increase of $87 million year-over-year. Capital expenditures for the quarter were approximately $35 million. For the full year fiscal 2023, free cash flow increased by $339 million year-over-year to $274 million. As expected, we were active during the quarter with our share repurchase program, repurchasing approximately $61 million worth of shares at a weighted average of $32.70 per share. Given the strength of our cash position, we expect to be active again in the fiscal first quarter with our share repurchase activity. As a reminder, the remaining authorization under our share repurchase program is approximately $202 million. Our capital allocation priorities remain the same. As we previously communicated, we will continue to invest in our business, both organically and inorganically, and to the extent we have excess cash flow, we will look to repurchase shares opportunistically. As we turn to the outlook, let me provide some context and color on what we are assuming for the upcoming fiscal year. As a reminder, we announced the divestiture of our Commercial segment’s Vycom business in October 2023. Starting in fiscal 2024, from a reporting perspective, we expect to combine all corporate expenses into the Residential reporting segment and will continue to report Scranton Products within the Commercial reporting segment. In other words, the new Residential segment adjusted EBITDA definition combines Residential EBITDA plus corporate expenses. We believe this change in segment reporting will help investors more easily compare our Residential business with fellow building products peers. To assist with modeling, Vycom net sales and adjusted EBITDA ended the fiscal year 2023 at $77 million and $13 million, respectively. As a result of the divestiture, we will incur new expenses associated with an arm’s length supply agreement between Vycom and Scranton Products to supply sheet with a total additional impact of approximately $4 million per year. Adjusted EBITDA for fiscal 2024 as a result of the transaction will be impacted by approximately $17 million, which is reflected in our planning assumptions for fiscal 2024. As previously communicated, the Vycom sale will result in cash taxes of approximately $21 million to $23 million and an effective tax rate of approximately 53% to 56% in the first quarter due to the gain on the sale and a 32% to 33% effective tax rate for the full year. Normalized to exclude the gain on the sale from the Vycom transaction, the effective tax rate is approximately 27%. I also wanted to revisit the previously communicated known carryover tailwinds that we have headed into fiscal 2024, adding to our confidence and conviction heading into the year. As a reminder, about what we’ve discussed over the past few quarters, we experienced approximately $20 million of negative impact from underutilization in the first half of fiscal 2023, which we expect not to reoccur in fiscal 2024. We also carry approximately $20 million in known deflation currently on our balance sheet, which will flow through the P&L in 2024. The sale of Vycom business modestly reduces some of the underutilization and deflation carryover tailwind by approximately $5 million, and we will continue to expect to invest in marketing growth activities. Finally, on the revenue side, recall that in prior year 1Q ’23, we experienced approximately $30 million to $35 million of net sales headwind from our channel inventory reductions, which we expect not to reoccur in fiscal 2024. With that context, let me move to the planning assumptions for fiscal 2024. We are assuming for the full year that repair and remodel will be flat to down low single digits. For the items in our control, we are confident in our execution skills and ability to continue to drive above-market growth. We are carrying over AZEK-specific initiative wins into 2024. We will lap the 1Q ’23 channel inventory reduction, which gives us confidence in our ability to grow our Residential net sales by approximately 5% year-over-year in fiscal 2024 at the midpoint of our planning assumptions. The sum of these carryover impacts and growth assumptions drives our high-level planning assumptions for the year to $1.335 billion to $1.395 billion in revenue and $320 million to $335 million in adjusted EBITDA. Adjusting for the Vycom sales, our net sales guidance range would imply 3% to 8% year-over-year growth and 15% to 20% year-over-year growth in adjusted EBITDA. Our Residential segment planning assumptions for the year is $1.262 billion to $1.318 billion in net sales, and $306 million to $319 million in segment adjusted EBITDA, representing 3% to 8% sales growth year-over-year and 18% to 23% segment adjusted EBITDA growth when combining corporate expenses with our Residential reporting segment, as mentioned earlier. A few other assumptions to share include the following. We expect strong gross margin performance, enabling us to continue to invest in growth-oriented marketing and brand awareness initiatives. We’re expecting capital expenditures in the range of $70 million to $95 million, consistent with our publicly stated target of CapEx of approximately 5% to 7% of revenue. We are expecting depreciation of approximately $87 million to $90 million. We are targeting working capital reduction of approximately $10 million to $20 million for the year. And finally, as detailed earlier, we are expecting a GAAP tax rate for the full year of 32% to 33%. For additional planning assumptions to assist with modeling fiscal ’24, please refer to the supplemental earnings presentation we have posted on our Investor Relations website. Before we turn to our guide on the first quarter, I wanted to provide context for the operating environment we expect in fiscal 1Q ’24. For the quarter, we are expecting sell-through growth in the mid-to-high single-digit range, which as we know, is a seasonally smaller quarter as much of the country winds down the building season. From an inventory staging perspective, we expect the channel to remain conservative in line with last year’s behavior. As a reminder, this is the period of the year in which the industry negotiates shelf space positions and stages inventory in the channel ahead of the upcoming building season. AZEK historically ships the majority of our channel inventory build, otherwise known as early buy, in our second fiscal quarter, and we are assuming that effectively all of this volume will ship in fiscal 2Q. Channel inventories were positioned conservatively at fiscal year-end and we are proactively managing our own finished goods inventory levels to maintain high levels of service. As a reminder, we are lapping a fiscal 1Q ’23 channel inventory reduction of approximately $30 million to $35 million. From a margin perspective, we expect to have approximately $20 million of carryover benefits, including approximately $10 million from lapping the prior year’s underutilization and $10 million of deflation in the first quarter. Taking these factors into consideration, our guidance for the quarter is $230 million to $236 million in revenue, and $45 million to $48 million in adjusted EBITDA. Adjusting for the Vycom sales, our net sales guidance range would imply 17% to 20% year-over-year growth and $33 million to $36 million year-over-year growth in adjusted EBITDA. We are expecting an effective tax rate of approximately 53% to 56% for the quarter, which again is higher as a result of the gain on the sale of Vycom business. Our team is excited, engaged, and well-prepared to tackle the environment in front of us in fiscal 2024. With that, I’ll now turn the call back to Jesse for some closing remarks. Jesse Singh: Thanks, Pete. I would again like to thank our dedicated team members, channel and supplier partners, and contractors that support the AZEK Company. Thank you for your contribution and a strong finish to the fiscal year. We remain incredibly excited about the long-term material conversion opportunity ahead of us in the large and fast-growing Outdoor Living and Home Exteriors markets that AZEK plays in. Our Residential segment has continued to show remarkable resiliency and growth capability. The business has delivered a compounded annual growth rate of 11.6% over the last 10 years and 17.7% over the last five years. Our fiscal year 2023 results reflect the strength of our industry-leading position, our focus on strategic growth initiatives, the resiliency of our markets, and the significant margin expansion opportunities ahead of us. Our strong free cash flow generation puts us in a great position from a capital allocation perspective to invest in growth opportunities and opportunistically participate in share repurchases. Our team’s focus on operational excellence to drive above-market growth and margin expansion across any market condition puts us in a position of strength as we begin fiscal year 2024. With that, operator, please open the line for questions. See also 12 Best High Yield Dividend Stocks To Buy According to Billionaire Gabelli and 25 States With Highest Tourism Revenue in the US. Q&A Session Follow Azek Co Inc. (NYSE:AZEK) Follow Azek Co Inc. (NYSE:AZEK) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Operator: [Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Tim Wojs from Baird. Please go ahead. Tim Wojs: Yeah. Hey, guys. Good afternoon. Nice job. Maybe just kind of starting on the sales guide. So, I guess at the midpoint, you’re guiding about 5% to 6% Residential growth. In an R&R market that’s maybe down, 1% to 2%. So, 7% to 8% outgrowth. Maybe just talk about, the big pieces of that and kind of what’s internal, what do you kind of have visibility to? And if there is outperformance in your eyes in fiscal ’24, does it really come from internal initiatives or is it really going to be a better market at this point? Peter Clifford: Yes, Tim. This is Peter. The geography of the 7%, there about two points of that is the inventory lap, and then the other 5% is really our initiatives. And I would say right now, a little more than maybe half of that is carryover from Commercial initiatives and shelf space wins from last year at both Pro and Retail. Tim Wojs: Okay. Good. And then just on shelf space, I mean was there anything, I guess, unique in fiscal ’23 on some of the shelf space gains? Just double digits, kind of sell-through growth, I think it’s faster than what some of your peers are reporting. I’m just kind of wondering if there’s anything in there that’s kind of chunky or is it really just, representative of some of the investments you guys are making? Jesse Singh: Hi. Excuse me. By the way, I apologize for my voice. Apparently, I’ve been talking to customers a bit too much here. So, relative to your question, most of the pickups we’ve had or, expansions that you talk about, were pretty normalized volume feathering in. And so, as Pete pointed out, you should think of it as, as we expand our position, there’s not a huge amount of sell-in. A lot of it is just incrementally being added to a position which then yields benefits, month-to-month. And obviously, we added it in some cases at the beginning of last year, in some cases in the middle of last year. So, you start to see the benefit as we move forward. And just as you highlighted, we saw double-digit sell-through growth in both of our core channels, both Retail and in the Pro channel. Tim Wojs: Very good. Good luck on the — to you guys. Thanks. Operator: Your next question comes from the line of Keith Hughes from Truist. Please go ahead. Keith Hughes: Yeah. Thanks. Building on that, you talked about double-digit sell-through in the quarter, kind of mid-single digits in the fiscal first quarter that’s coming up. I guess the question is, has something slowed or is this a function of comps or taking a conservative stance? Maybe just talk around what’s happening in these periods. Jesse Singh: Yeah. There’s a natural question of, where we sit now. Have we seen any kind of a slowdown from what we described in the fourth quarter? And I would say things continue as we’ve seen it in the last quarter, as we moved into this quarter. We just think it’s appropriate, given that December tends to be a light month, to assume a more conservative average as we go through the end of this quarter. But in general, things have continued pretty consistently for the last six months with that double-digit sell-through growth. And if we do happen to see some incremental volume, I mean, we would probably use that as best we can to, to manage inventory even more conservatively in the channel. Keith Hughes: Okay. And you’re at the point that your customers, your distributor customers, are just ordering to replace things that are going out the door. Is that correct? Jesse Singh: Yes. Keith Hughes: Okay. One final question. In the reported quarter and in your guidance, have you seen or are you expecting any price, or is the growth you’re describing here all volume? Peter Clifford: You should think price is kind of negligible for the year, to be modestly positive, but again, negligible. Keith Hughes: Okay. Great. Thank you very much. Thank you. Operator: Your next question comes from the line of Matthew Bouley from Barclays. Please go ahead. Matthew Bouley: Hey. Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for taking the questions. Sticking on the same topic of sort of outperforming the end market growth next year. Did I hear you say that a lot of that outperformance is actually just kind of the carryover of some of the wins that you built on last year? And so, if that’s the case, my question is, do you have line of sight the potential for new business wins, additional new products as you kind of roll out through the year, things like that? Things that are sort of reminiscent of your Investor Day, where you spoke about that kind of annual, internal drivers of above-market growth. Is there room for additional, beyond just that kind of carryover that you’re speaking to? Peter Clifford: Yes. I, first, on the point of carryover. As Pete mentioned, we have a little bit of inventory lapping carryover pretty modest, and then we’ve got some additional carryover where we feel confident that the wins we’ve already secured will give us an opportunity. And then on top of that, we expect to continue to drive our initiatives. I think the way you should think of, our focus on driving above-market growth is, we’re not trying to land the plane at a specific number or a specific percentage. I think our intent is to always continue to drive over-performance. And in this particular case, we’re giving you a range that we feel comfortable that we’re able to achieve given an uncertain market, and given the execution that we already see ahead of us. We’re going to constantly, focus on expanding our portfolio. We announced a number of new products, and many of those allow us to access some adjacencies and incremental positions. And so, you should assume we’re always striving for something bigger. We’re just giving you what we think is an appropriate planning assumption as we move into next year. Matthew Bouley: Got it. Thanks for that, Jesse. Second one, just thinking about recycling and the progress there, again, going back to the Investor Day, you guys had outlined, a potential material uplift to margins from mixing towards, greater usage of recycled materials. So, my question is, where are you on that now, and kind of thinking about that EBITDA bridge for next year, what’s implied in the guide around, benefit from, mixing towards recycled materials?.....»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyDec 1st, 2023Related News

Noah Holdings Limited (NYSE:NOAH) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

Noah Holdings Limited (NYSE:NOAH) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 30, 2023 Operator: Good day and welcome to Noah Holdings Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in listen only mode. [Operator Instructions]. After today’s presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Please note that this event is being recorded. […] Noah Holdings Limited (NYSE:NOAH) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 30, 2023 Operator: Good day and welcome to Noah Holdings Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in listen only mode. [Operator Instructions]. After today’s presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Please note that this event is being recorded. I’d like to turn the conference over to Melo Xi, Investor Relations Director, please go ahead. Melo Xi: Thank you, operator, and good morning, and welcome to Noah’s 2023 third quarters earnings call. Joining me on this call today are Ms. Wang Jingbo, our Co-Founder, Chairlady and CEO; and Mr. Grant Pan, our CFO. Ms. Wang will begin with an overview of our recent business highlights, followed by Mr. Pan, who will discuss our financial and operational results. They will both be available to take your questions in the Q&A session that follows. I would like to generally remind you that we just held our annual Investor Day on November 14 in Hong Kong, where Noah’s executive management team provided an in-depth review of the business and laid out our strategic priorities for the future. The presentations and the panel discussions focus on our resilient standardized product offering, overseas expansion plans, solution driven advisory services, global product leadership, as well as the client service strategies. A full replay of the event and presentation materials can be found on our Investor Relations website, which I encourage all of you to watch. Before we begin, please note that the discussion today will contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in our forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to those outlined in our public filings with the SEC and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Noah does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required under applicable law. In addition, today’s call will include discussions of certain non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation of the non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures can be found in our earnings release. Lastly, this call should not be interpreted as a solicitation to sell or purchase the interest in any Noah or Noah affiliated products. Please also be aware that the link to a live webcast with presentation materials is available on our Investor Relations website. With that, I would like to pass the call to Ms. Wang. Please go ahead. Jingbo Wang: Thank you all for joining us. I would like to begin today’s call by sharing some recent insights gleaned from the face to face interactions I had with Noah Clients and my thoughts on the state of the wealth management industry. After that, I’ll cover the recent progress in our overseas business, provide a comprehensive overview of our third quarter performance and go over some updates from our business segments. Over the past two months, we have held numerous annual meetings with over 1200 domestic clients at our new headquarters in Shanghai, where we offer each of them an asset allocation assessment paired with strategic advice tailored to their unique circumstances. Subsequently, in Singapore and Hong Kong, we held meetings with over 150 and over 800 international black card clients, respectively, allowing us to gain valuable insights into their needs while promoting Noah International’s product and service offerings. Our close discussions revealed an encouraging evolution in the wealth management needs of Noah’s high network clients. In particular, there has been a noticeable shift and focus from specific products and returns to a broader array of considerations encompassing asset security, enterprise and family succession plans, and global strategic asset allocation. This transition is particularly pronounced among Noah’s international clients reflecting their journey from product-centric to asset allocation driven wealth management needs. Over the past two to three years, Noah has overhauled its offering transitioning from a product driven to a solution driven approach. In our international wealth management segment, we rollout the CCI model comprising of the Chief Investment Office, Client Strategy Office, and Investment and Product Solution Office, through the CCI model, which directly align our macro health views with the client demand to build product and solutions and improve relationship manager service standards and client satisfaction, Noah international wealth management’s product offering and services matrix provides high network clients with our four global account allocation schemes embedded in our technology infrastructure, significantly enhancing the ability of Noah’s relationship managers to provide asset allocation advice and continuity of service. We believe to achieve success, wealth and asset management firms must have a solid track record, offer a diverse product portfolio, maintain efficient sales channels and built high quality AUM base. At Noah, we recognized the pivotal role of talent and focused on cultivating a strong team through a long term talent screening and development system. We also believe it’s crucial to have a mission, vision, and values that resonate with our clients. Our organizational and technological architecture underscores our commitment to providing high quality client centric services with client satisfaction serving as the cornerstone of our long term relationships, Noah remains dedicated to serving high network Chinese clients globally. Leveraging Hong Kong as a hub, we have begun building teams of relationship managers in key locations such as Singapore, Europe and the United States to cater to Chinese clients’ comprehensive asset allocation needs. As the international wealth management team continues to mature, we’re confident that we’ll sustain our growth and expand our reach to serve a growing number of clients globally. Now turning to our financial performance for the first three quarters of 2023, we generated total revenues of RMB2.5 billion, a year-on-year increase of 11.9%. The domestic business contributed RMB1.5 billion and year-on-year decrease of 11.6%, accounting for 59.9% of the total net revenues. The growing client demand for global asset allocation coupled with Noah’s ongoing investments in channels, products and comprehensive services propelled overseas revenues to RMB1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 85.1% accounting for 40.1% of revenue, up from 24.3% in the previous year. Breaking it down by segment, wealth management contributed RMB1.9 billion, a significant year-on-year increase of 20.9%. The domestic wealth management business contributed RMB1.1 billion, a slight year-on-year decrease of 0.2%. The overseas wealth management business contributed RMB784 million a year-on-year increase of 72.3% as it benefits from the growth in overseas transaction value and comprehensive services income. The asset management segment contributed RMB582 million, a year-on-year decrease of 5.4%. The domestic asset management business contributed RMB358 million, a year-on-year decline of 31.8%, while the overseas business contributed RMB223 million a year-on-year increase of 150.3% primarily driven by the growth of our overseas AUA and AUM. On the comprehensive services front, we continue to see robust demand for wealth protection and inherited solutions from high net worth clients. Our domestic insurance brokerage business achieved a remarkable year-on-year growth of 63.4% in the first three quarters of 2023. Meanwhile, revenues from overseas insurance, trust and other comprehensive services surged 381.8% year-on-year. The number of active overseas insurance clients increased more than fourfold in year-on-year in Q3. Over the past quarters, we have increased our investments in digitalizing our insurance and comprehensive services program. Our technology team has begun integrating our systems with insurance companies worldwide making us the first company in Hong Kong market to offer fully digital insurance applications and premium payments to Noah’s nominee accounts. This has made insurance application a significantly more efficient experience for our clients, while enhancing our ability to provide high quality fulfillment services. For the first three quarters of 2023, operating profit is due at RMB877 million with an operating profit margin of 35.2%. Our domestic wealth management strategy continues to focus on first year and other highly populated cities in China. We have also implemented organizational structure adjustments to ensure business compliance. As of the end of the third quarter, the number of domestic relationship managers increased by 6.7% year-on-year and 0.9% quarter-on-quarter to 1,331. Our domestic wealth management funds, we have continuously invested in technology infrastructure, rolling now functions such as CCI portfolio report in one click. The asset allocation review through our mobile app. This enhances the client experience while generating new business leads within the fulfillment service process. In the first three quarters, the transaction value of mutual funds exceeded RMB36.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 19.3%. The transaction value of private secondary products exceeded RMB14.2 billion, a substantial year-on-year increase of 46.2%. In terms of corporate and institutional clients, the Smile Treasury Platform launched in 2022 has successfully onboarded nearly 6,000 clients in the first nine months of 2023, active clients increased by 73.7% year-on-year with an average client AUA exceeding RMB600,000. On the international wealth management side, we continue to recruit private bankers in Hong Kong and Singapore. As of the end of the third quarter we had 77 relationship managers in Hong Kong and Singapore, up 37.5% quarter-on-quarter as we make steady progress towards our annual recruitment goal of 120 overseas relationship managers. Additionally, in the third of 2023, we opened a client service center in Los Angeles, relaunched our US insurance products and continued setting up our Dubai office to better serve the wealth management needs of Chinese clients around the world. As of the third quarter of 2023, Noah International had more than 14,200 international clients with the number of clients in Hong Kong and Singapore growing by 12.8% and 315.2% year-on-year, respectively. Cash management product AUM reached US$570 million reflecting a quarter-on-quarter increase of 14.4% with the number of active clients in Q3 increasing by 30.3% quarter-on-quarter and the number of cumulative clients reaching 2,598, up 3.5% quarter -on-quarter. Clients AUA with no discretionary investment basis reached US$300 million up 15.1% quarter-on-quarter with the active clients during the quarter increasing 48.5% quarter-on-quarter and cumulative number of clients hitting 653, up 38.6% quarter-on-quarter. In terms of international online wealth management, we continue to expand the product offerings on our wealth management app, expanding the client service categories to provide different solutions to individual clients, institutions and in particular agency clients which we have made significant progress during the quarter. In Q3, the number of overall active overseas clients increased by 78.6% year-on-year and 14.6% quarter-on-quarter to 2,284. Overseas transaction value reached US$957 million reflecting a year-on-year increase of 106.9% quarter-on-quarter and quarter-on-quarter increase of 22.9%. The number of active clients in the U.S. dollar mutual funds reached 1,758 reflecting a year-on-year increase of 105.6% with transaction value reaching US$269 million up 59% year-on-year. As of the end of Q3, we have successfully attracted more than 210 overseas corporate and institutional clients. The transaction value of overseas mutual funds reached over US$120 million year-to-date. In addition, the international online wealth management business began trial operations for its two agent business, which drives the development of EAMs and multifamily offices, leveraging SaaS platform and Noah’s comprehensive product offering. Our objective is to develop diverse sales channels and targeting the goal of serving 300 overseas EAMs and multifamily offices. In terms of asset management, Gopher’s total AUM was RMB154.9 billion, representing a year-on-year decrease of 0.9% driven by the continued excess of RMB private equity funds and decrease in NAV of some public market security products. As of the end of the third quarter, Q3, RMB AUM decreased by 5% year-on-year reaching RMB119.4 billion. Third quarter of 2023 was categorized by significant volatility in public markets with the Shanghai Composite Index and Shenzhen Component Index falling by 4.1% and 9.4%, respectively. Gopher’s actively managed target strategy product team remains committed to balancing drawdown volatility and maximizing long term yields. As of the end of the third quarter, annualized returns for active investment products was negative 1.6% with the volatility of 6% and the sharp ratio of negative 0.5%. The balanced investment products generated an annualized return of 3.1% with volatility of 5.7% and a sharp ratio of 0.3. Stable investment products generated annualized return of 8.2% with volatility of 2.1% and a sharp ratio of 3.2%. Internationally, we are fully committed to enhancing our global investment product matrix. The overseas AUM of actively managed products reached US$4.9 billion reflecting a year-on-year increase of 13.4% and its proportion of group’s total AUM also increased to 22.9%. In the primary market, beyond traditional TVC products, we have gradually launched infrastructure, GPs stake, private credit, secondary funds resulting in a more comprehensive product matrix. Narrowing the domestic strategy, our ESG strategy deployed across the Silicon Valley VC ecosystem focused on fundraising from the top GPs first, followed by investing as an LP through a funnel fund with a goal to ultimately establishing a long cooperative relationships with GPs to secure core investment opportunities, we expect to deploy our DSC strategy across a wider spectrum of product segments in the future. As of the end of Q3, overseas PE AUM reached US$3.8 billion reflecting a year-on-year increase of 5.7%. In public markets, we have intensified our screening and coverage of top hedge fund managers worldwide, 10 of the top 50 hedge fund managers globally have been on boarded with nine more in the due-diligence process. Our offering encompasses a diverse range of strategies including long, neutral, hedging, trend following and multi strategy. At the same time, our investment team is developing new actively managed products such as fund of hedge funds and discretionary investment products. In terms of our ESG efforts, Noah’s management places premium on promoting effective corporate governance and organizational decision making mechanisms, we employ a committee based operation and collective leadership decision making progress across our business units to ensure that Noah remains a dynamic organization and an industry leader. We maintain our strong focus on data security as well and prioritize in the confidentiality and security of client information. We have established separate domestic and foreign data centers governed by stringent client data usage audit mechanism to create a robust firewall between domestic and foreign data and ensure that we safeguard client privacy at all times. In conclusion, as an independent wealth management institution, Noah’s core competitive advantage stems from its profound client insights and strong track record. We are firmly committed to investing in the digital capabilities and infrastructure needed for our relationship managers to grow the business and provide the best client experience. We pride ourselves in providing high quality asset allocation solutions rooted in prudent research based house views. While acknowledging the significant role of technology, we recognize that the human touch, trust and personalized relationship remains indefensible, particularly in meeting the complex needs of Noah’s high net worth clients. Our core competencies are centered on creating real and long term client value, encapsulated in the essence of client metrics with the survival as to the bottom line. We firmly believe that only by helping our clients thrive can we succeed as a business and thereby creating enduring value for our shareholders. Finally, a note on our updated shareholder return policy. Noah’s Board of Directors recently approved the plan to allocate upto 50% of company’s annual non-GAAP net profit towards dividends and share repurchases. In this strategic decision underscores management’s confidence in the company’s stable operations and long-term growth potential. I’ll now hand over to Mr. Grant Pan for a detailed overview of our third quarter financial results. Thank you, everyone. Qing Pan: Thank you, Melo. And thank you, Chairlady, for walking us through the quarter three operations, and good morning, investors, analysts, and good evening. For today’s presentation, I’d like to start by sharing the latest insight of our client’s profile and how Noah’s strategy has been adapting to meet their needs in order to drive the growth of the business. According to a recent survey, more than half the clients were engaged in the past, in export oriented manufacturing, trade or internet industries with very deep, foreign currency assets already, including cash, equity and stock options. Age wise, most of black card and diamond cart clients are in their mid-50s or even 60s. They predominantly reside in China’s major metropolitan centers, echoing our recent strategy of consolidating operations in key cities. In terms of their wealth management objectives, we’re seeing two key shifts in investments, appetite taken place from our expanse base. China’s first generation entrepreneurs continue to be the primary decision makers within their families and are seeking more balanced and security driven allocation strategies for their wealth. This is marked by distinct shifts along we are aggressively seeking high returns on investment in the past to a focus on wealth protection. Definitely, many of our clients are now entering a new phase of globalization in business and also capital. Not only is there personal demand for global asset allocation service increasing, but the enterprise side need to enter global markets as entrepreneurs is also growing. This will lead to an accelerated wealth accumulation effect for our high net worth of clients in the coming years. According to a survey, 70% of the clients demand global asset allocation. And as a result, the ability to provide global solutions is a key requirement for wealth management firms. With years of in-depth experience in building a business in the high net worth wealth management industry, we now possess a deep understanding of our clients and is capable of providing comprehensive solutions for their globalization needs. Our results for the first three quarters of 2023, which featured solid revenue growth driven by insurance product sales and robust expansion in our overseas business demonstrated how we’re successfully leading client demand in both situations. Furthermore, our healthy financial position ensures we are well positioned to further expand with close to RMB5 billion in cash balance sheet, a healthy debt to asset ratio and zero interest bearing debt on the balance sheet. Crucially, we also have a very clean AUA, free from any legacy domestic private credit or residential real estate exposures. In addition, we have a deep bench of talents across our key functions, product investments, sales teams, both domestically and globally. These factors give us confidence that Noah is ideally positioned to meet the ever evolving needs of Mandarin speaking high net worth individuals in the next phase of China’s globalization. With that, let’s get into the details of our quarter three financial performance. In the third quarter, our top line continued to see robust year-over-year growth with net revenues reaching RMB750 million, close to 10% increase compared to the same period last year. Additionally, our third quarters are relatively quiet due to seasonality as our sales and marketing teams prepare for the [rate] (ph) opening season at the beginning of the fourth quarter, net revenues for the first three quarters of 2023 increased by 12.5% year-over-year to RMB2.5 billion, mainly driven by the 90% year-over-year growth of one time commission fees, which amounted to RMB780 million. Insurance products contributed 94% of total one time commission fees in quarter three and have emerged as important component of our revenue structure. This can be attributed to the more defensive positioning being adopted by our clients with an emphasis of safeguarding assets and wealth in light of ongoing market volatility and geopolitical factors. We believe the trend of clients’ increasing allocation towards protection driven products will continue for the near future. That being said, we’ll continue to strengthen our overseas alternative product offerings, including global primary market and hedge fund solutions to provide clients with more balanced solutions that can deliver long term return, while minimizing volatilities and risks. Overseas net revenues accounted for 39% of total net revenues during the Q3, a figure we anticipate will continue to grow going forward. Notably, we officially opened our Los Angeles office in the third quarter, which will provide client service interface for local clients in the United States, expanding our US insurance business and promote our investment business. Additionally, we have an exciting lineup of events planned for our clients including a flagship annual conference exclusively for esteemed black card clients. In addition, we recently began establishing a dedicated product selection team based in New York City, specifically focusing on US hedge fund managers. We expect overseas revenue contribution to increase further as we continue to expand our global footprint. Recurring service fees, which are a key stabilizer in our revenue mix were RMB1.4 billion year-to-date, a slightly decrease of 3.2% year-over-year due to a decrease in our AUM as we continue to exit RMB investments. Performance based income was RMB125 million in the first nine months of 2023, down 45% year-over-year. This decline can be attributed to the relatively low valuation of assets resulting from a high yield environment. That being said, our Silicon Valley team we’re still able to achieve exits in this tough market, contributing to the performance based income for this year. Other service fee income in the first nine months of the year was RMB205 million up 37.2% year-over-year, primarily due to more value added services provided to our clients. Operating profit for third quarter was RMB250 million up 7.4% year-over-year and down 28% quarter-over-quarter. Operating profit margin for the third quarter remained largely stable year-over-year at 33.2%. Our compensation and operating expenses decreased by 15% quarter-over-quarter, but increased by 10% year-over-year, mainly due to the high phased effect created by COVID lockdown in 2022, which curtailed both marketing activity and business travel as well as the increase in international travel this year in support of our global expansion. In addition, we incurred a number of one-time expenses related to the relocation to the Shanghai headquarter and the consolidation of our domestic network, among others, amounting to RMB40 million. Over the long term, however, we’d expect to reduce annual cost savings by RMB50 million. Government subsidies for the quarter were RMB105.3 million, a sharp increase of 141% year-over-year, but flat on a year-to-date basis due to the delay in distribution of government subsidies across various regions this year. Non-GAAP profit for Q3 was RMB232 million, up 21.8% year-over-year and RMB785 million year-to-date, down 8.7% year-over-year due to a soft first quarter earlier this year. Transaction values reached RMB22.3 billion in the Q3, representing a strong increase of 24% year-over-year and 21% quarter-over-quarter. By region, the total domestic transaction value in the first three quarters of 2023 was RMB15.3 billion, up 4.5% year-over-year and 20% quarter-over-quarter. The total overseas transaction value was US$957 million, up 106.9% year-over-year and 22.10% quarter-over-quarter. The increase in transaction value was primarily driven by mutual funds and overseas private secondary products, thanks to the introduction of US dollar cash management and structured products. In the Q3, mutual funds contributed RMB14.9 billion in transaction value, up 28.1% year-over-year. The total transaction value for overseas private secondary products was USD530 million in the third quarter, up 17 times year-over-year, 65% quarter-over-quarter, driven mainly by strong demand for discretionary investment products and structured products. Going forward, we expect to increase the share of global investment products and foster the growth of overseas AUM. As of September 30, our overseas AUM grew 13.4% year-over-year to US$4.9 billion. Turning to the results of each segment in the first nine months. Net revenues from wealth management were RMB1.9 billion and net revenues from asset management were RMB0.6 billion accounting for 75% and 23% of total revenues, respectively. As at the end of the quarter, we had 7,461 diamond card clients and 2,250 black card. The total number of diamond and black card clients were 9,711, up 0.3% quarter-over-quarter and down 0.7% year-over-year rather flat. The number of active clients of quarter three was 9,489, down 58% year-over-year, primarily due to individual clients adopted a rather conservative approach towards RMB public securities product. In light of 4.1% and 9.2% pull up in Shanghai Securities Compositive Index and Shenzhen Securities Competitive Index, respectively, during the third quarter. That being said, transaction value during the quarter was not negatively impacted by this as our corporate and institutional clients continue to transact with us. On the other hand, overseas active clients increased close to 80% year-over-year to 2,284 as we continue to build up our overseas distribution channels with 77 overseas RMs by end of this quarter. Turning to the balance sheet. Our debt to asset ratio and current ratio improved sequentially. We have maintained a very healthy liquidity position with our current ratio at 3.5 times and our debt to asset ratio at 18.4% with zero interest bearing debt. We have RMB5.0 billion in cash and cash equivalents providing ample resources to support our global expansion plans, we also saw a decrease in accounts receivable in quarter three, primarily with accelerated collection of domestic insurance commissions. The Board has always placed shareholder return and capital management efficiency as a priority based on strong and clean balance sheet and strong liquidity position and after considering the necessary investments associated with our global expansion plan, the Board has authorized new shareholder return policy where we will allocate up to 50% of total annual non-GAAP net income attributable to shareholders to corporate actions budgets to be used for purposes including dividends and share repurchases. Under this new policy, we will allocate no less than 35% of its annual non-GAAP net income attributable to shareholders towards dividends subject to various factors. The final dividend payout ratio for fiscal year 2023 and still in timing of any share repurchase program will be determined at the company’s fourth quarter board meeting in March 2024 and announced thereafter. To sum up, we remain optimistic for the high net worth individual wealth management industry. The third quarter showcase our ability and the resilience to drive robust revenue growth and generate strong cash flow given a relatively quiet market environment. Looking ahead, with a robust balance sheet and nearly RMB5 billion in cash and cash equivalents, ample liquidity and the standardized product offering and AUA, we’re well positioned to fuel future growth and execute our strategy as well as increased returns for shareholders. Our other balance sheet, ‘a clean AUA’ with no legacy private credit or residential real estate exposure has built us a solid reputation as trusted advisor to our clients which we’re leveraging to drive our global expansion as demand for global asset allocation grows. We will continue to scale our international operations following the successful launch of our office in the third quarter are still preparing to commence operations in Dubai and continue to recruit relationship managers in Hong Kong and Singapore and other talents actively. As we continue to execute our growth strategy, we will embrace evolving landscape and maintain our corporate flexibility. In the long term, we’re very confident that our diverse offerings and commitment to globalization will enable us to meet the needs of global client, investors and continue creating value for our shareholders. Thank you for listening. We’ll now open the floor for questions. See also 20 States with the Highest Rates of Smoking in America and 12 Best High Yield Dividend Stocks To Buy According to Billionaire Gabelli. Q&A Session Follow Noah Holdings Ltd (NYSE:NOAH) Follow Noah Holdings Ltd (NYSE:NOAH) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Operator: Thank you. We’ll now begin the question and answer session. [Operator Instructions]. First question will be from Helen Lee of UBS. Please go ahead. Helen Lee: Thanks, management. This is Helen from UBS. I have two questions if I may. First, the gross increase in Gopher AUM was RMB4.7 billion in the third quarter, almost double that of the second quarter, but why did one time commissions from Gopher managed funds decline sharply to RMB32,000? That’s my first question. And second question, in terms of the transaction value mix, I noticed that a proportion of Gopher products increased to 21% in the third quarter. I’m just wondering whether you have any longer term target for the transaction value mix from Gopher products and what are Gopher’s product pipelines for the fourth quarter and into next year? Thank you. Qing Pan: So, Helen, I’ll explain your first question. So basically, a good chunk of the AUM increase, go for product actually came from US dollar cash management products and some of the discretionary portfolio investments for deposits. So basically, majority of the revenue structure will come from management fees going forward. The same quarter revenue actually doesn’t reflect as we actually don’t charge very high, so called, subscription fee for this type of products. Jingbo Wang: Thank you, Helen. So, in terms of Gopher international front, we are committed to increase our capabilities in actively managed product space, including primary, secondary public securities, as well as cash management. So, that is kind of more of a long term process. Now, in terms of the third party distributed products versus our actively managed products, we don’t have quite a clear picture in terms of the split yet, but then, going forward, it will be depending on what the client really needs. And also, our investment in increasing our research and investment capabilities in Gopher’s overseas market. Operator: Thank you, Alan. Next question will be from Peter Chung of JPMorgan. Please go ahead. Peter Chung: I have two questions. First one is on the wealth management transaction volume. We noticed that the transaction volume increased sequentially in third quarter. We wish to understand what’s the driver behind, is this mainly driven by the transaction of, say, in [Pingtan] (ph) from international client overseas client and management also mentioned that Noah engage with a client in third quarter, what’s the latest client Investment sentiment you’ll get back. This is the first question. Second question, we noticed that on the cost side for the quarter, there’s large contribution from the government subsidiary, which helped you reduce the OpEx in third quarter. We wish to understand what does that represent or what’s the driver behind it. And what’s the, say, the trend going forward? Thank you. Qing Pan: So, Peter, the first question, the contribution actually mainly came from the US dollar side, which we managed to actually distribute around US$1 billion in the transaction value, which have seen a significant increase about 132% year-over-year. At the same time, we maintained a rather healthy distribution on RMB side, which is attributable to the corporate client transaction institution, client from smart treasury that account for about actually RMB12.9 billion of RMB mutual funds transactions. So both actually added and contributed to a rather healthy transaction values this year. And to your second question, in terms of I’ll leave the client sentiment observation to Chairlady and also, I will share a little bit of my insights as well. The second question in terms of the government subsidy, the total year-to-date actually remained pretty stable, the first three quarters comparing to last year. But the timing of the grant of the actual cash, the timing usually is, I will say pretty spontaneous based on the government’s fiscal situation. So this year, we happen to receive the subsidies in the Q3, but the total amount actually remained rather stable from the last period of the year. Jingbo Wang: So, we have held various conferences and annual gala events in the past couple of months, In Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong, we have interacted with over 1,000 clients lately. So, what we have witnessed was that, first, overall that the clients have remained rather rational and they are seeking kind of a more balanced solution and diversity in their global asset management or global asset allocation needs. And also, we have witnessed a very obvious shift from focusing on products and rates and returns from the past comparing to know that the clients are more focusing on the comprehensive solutions on their overall wealth management needs, including their family and enterprise inheritance and succession plans. We have seen that basically the maturity and sophistication of clients have increased, which is a good news for independent wealth managers like Noah. We have spent quite a lot of investor education and building our internal research capabilities. So, now that we kind of are it’s easier for us to reach our consensus with our clients. And, I has also commented that in the past year or so basically, the general market or high network individuals in China in general, not just only Noah’s client, have seen many risk related events in the past, and their demands and needs have become more clear, and more focusing on asset protection and security and more focusing on global macro views, including currency risks and such. So, we’re spending more time to investor education on those front. Hope that answers your question, Peter......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyDec 1st, 2023Related News

CollPlant Biotechnologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CLGN) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

CollPlant Biotechnologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CLGN) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 29, 2023 CollPlant Biotechnologies Ltd. misses on earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $-0.38 EPS, expectations were $-0.13. Operator: Greetings. And welcome to the CollPlant Biotechnologies Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like […] CollPlant Biotechnologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CLGN) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 29, 2023 CollPlant Biotechnologies Ltd. misses on earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $-0.38 EPS, expectations were $-0.13. Operator: Greetings. And welcome to the CollPlant Biotechnologies Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Dory Kurowski with LifeSci. Thank you. You may begin. Dory Kurowski: Good morning. I would like to welcome everyone to CollPlant Biotechnologies’ financial results conference call for the third quarter ended September 30, 2023 and corporate business update. With us on the call today from CollPlant are Yehiel Tal, Chief Executive Officer, who will provide an overview of the company’s programs and forthcoming updates; and Eran Rotem, Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer, who will provide a summary of CollPlant’s financial results for the third quarter ending September 30, 2023. Before we get started, I would like to remind everyone that statements made on this conference call may include forward-looking statements. Actual events or results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements as a result of various risks, uncertainties and other factors, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section of CollPlant’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A medical technician examining a device used in laser and energy-based aesthetics systems. These filings can be found at or on CollPlant’s website at In addition, any forward-looking statements made on this call represent CollPlant’s views only as of today, November 29, 2023 and should not be relied upon as representing the company’s views as of any subsequent dates. CollPlant management specifically disclaims any obligation to update or revise any of these forward-looking statements. Finally, CollPlant management will refer to certain financial measures not reported in accordance with GAAP on this call. You can find reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the GAAP financial measures in the earnings press release that CollPlant published earlier today and which is available on CollPlant’s website at With that, let me turn the call over to Yehiel Tal, Chief Executive Officer of CollPlant Biotechnologies. Please go ahead, sir. Yehiel Tal: Good morning, everyone. And thank you for joining us today on CollPlant investor conference call to discuss our third quarter 2023 financial results and corporate development. As you know, Isarel has been in a state of war since October 7. First on and foremost, I want to communicate to you about how we have been managing CollPlant during this time. It has very unfortunately been a significant part of our daily life. When the war started, CollPlant’s management team implemented two key objectives. The first one was maintaining company operations, including R&D and general operations, in support of the company’s objectives, and the second objective was to maintain employees’ safety and security. At the beginning of the war, we established a crisis team comprised of management members that are closely monitoring all aspects of our company operations. This team is charged with key responsibilities, including maintaining ongoing communication with business partners, critical suppliers, major shareholders, analysts, bankers, and others, as well as strengthening ties with CollPlant’s employees. In addition, approximately 10% of CollPlant’s employees were drafted to the army at the beginning of the war, and of course, we keep in touch with them. As of today, we can report that CollPlant ‘s production plan and main development programs have been minimally affected as a result of the war. Specifically, we can say that collagen production continues according to plan and that we continue to maintain an ongoing dialogue with our partners. The moral of our employees these days is reasonable according to the circumstances and their desire to come to the site and contribute to CollPlant is commendable and at a good level. As Eran will expand upon later, we also took the initiative to make the necessary adjustments to the company’s budget to accommodate the current challenging market conditions as well as the situation that Israel is in today. The company is now focusing on advancing its key programs that I will discuss shortly. We all pray that the war which was imposed upon us will end soon and life will get back to normal so that we can continue to contribute to our part to make life better and longer. CollPlant is developing collagen technology and regenerative medicine products to improve and prolong lives. We have historically remained steadfast in the use of our cash and very conservative about utilizing the capital markets. We will continue to direct very careful focus on our core programs and our supportive partners in order to continue in this manner. Our goal is to create products that enable the regeneration of tissues and organs using our novel proprietary recombinant human collagen technology. Our collagen, which is produced in genetically engineered tobacco plants, is differentiated from the other types of collagens by its regenerative properties and also because it is xeno tissue free. Now, on to our development programs. On this slide is the dermal filler product candidate that we are partnered with AbbVie. This product candidate, which is in clinical phase now, has the potential to create a paradigm shift in the fillers market, since in addition to tissue filling, it would provide regenerative properties for new skin growth. This program is our top focus and is planned AbbVie continuous to advance this filler program towards commercialization. Last quarter, we announced the achievement of a very important company milestone related to this product candidate, which triggered a $10 million payment to CollPlant in the third quarter. CollPlant has the potential to receive additional milestone payments as well as future royalties in accordance to its long-term collaboration with AbbVie for this dermal filler. This month, we announced that a U.S. patent was granted related to our photocurable dermal filler product candidate being developed by CollPlant for the aesthetics market. The patent is related to our method of use and application, and we believe that this patent will strengthen our position in the aesthetic market for many years to come. Now, I will discuss our other in-house development programs that are our core focus. The next leading program is our regenerative breast implants. Based on three years of development, we are now establishing the infrastructure for the next large animal study, which we plan to begin in December. The upcoming study will be conducted with clinically relevant commercial-size implants and will serve as the basis for the pivotal large animal study. This study follows the completion of our first large animal study, the result of which were announced in January of this year. The first preclinical study demonstrated progressive stages of tissue regeneration after three months, as highlighted by the formation of maturing connective tissue and neurovascular networks within the implants, with, importantly, no adverse events reported. We have previously stated, according to the FDA, patients with breast implants have an increased risk of developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma. This is a very serious risk. In the U.S. alone, hundreds of thousands of people per year experience adverse events that range from autoimmune symptoms to these more serious side effects. CollPlant breast implants are comprised of its proprietary plant-derived rhCollagen and other biomaterials, and therefore are not expected to pose such a risk. Further, our breast implants are expected to regenerate breast tissue without eliciting immune response and thus may provide a revolutionary alternative for aesthetic and reconstructive procedures. The additional safety and efficacy data that we will generate from the large animal studies that I mentioned will be used to optimize the development of the regenerative breast implant and to support future regulatory submissions and clinical studies. Here is an example of a breast implant printed with our collaborators at Stratasys using CollPlant’s rhCollagen-based bioinks. We look forward to reporting initial results from this study by the second half of next year. Last but not least is our Gut-on-a-Chip program. This is an area where we have an opportunity to disrupt the market in terms of drug discovery and personalized medicine. We are developing a 3D bioprinted gut tissue model that is intended to evaluate the therapeutic response in patients suffering from ulcerative colitis. This model is designed to mimic the tissue of the human intestine to assay drug response metabolism and other factors in humans. A device as this would allow medical professionals to identify drug targets and personalized therapeutic responses that could lead to improved patient outcomes by providing a predictive, personalized platform in medicine. Tissue and achieved devices are typically comprised of plastic chambers or channels that aim to recapitulate the distinct compartments and structures of the targeted tissue or organ. The multi-chip array that we are developing will be charged with our microfluidic chips that contain the bioprinted scaffolds and is intended to support high-throughput therapy screening. Our system being developed is designed to enhance the physiological environment of the human intestine tissue and enable us to provide a predictive personalized platform. CollPlant mimics the gut structure by 3D printing the gut tissue geometry in high resolution using its unique rhCollagen -based bioink formulation. Recently, the CollPlant team managed to successfully grow epithelial cells on the 3D bioprinted scaffolds. In many ulcerative colitis patients, failure to respond to a specific therapy can be determined only after three months of treatment. This is a significant amount of time to remain in therapy with an unknown outcome, which of course is not ideal for the patient. In addition to delaying what could be the initiation of an effective treatment, this option also bears the risk of exposing the patient to unjustified adverse events. With the large and growing inflammatory bowel diseases market and the many new biological treatments being launched to address the needs of these patients, it is important to note that a need also exists for a reliable screening tool to provide a personalized prediction of treatment response. In various areas of personalized medicine, we expect that this approach could be a groundbreaking improvement over the existing use of animal models for drug development. This could be a sustainable means for drug development and patient diagnosis without the use of animals and we remind you this program is also very much in line with our ESG initiatives. Recently, we have made strides in blustering our ESG environmental, social and governance initiatives. After approving our company’s sustainability roadmap for the upcoming year, we have initiated a range of projects aimed at reducing CollPlant’s carbon footprint and aligning with our vision and mission related to sustainability. Being able to communicate our planned initiatives was a mandate for us after we conducted a formal analysis of our current operations and identified what we are doing correctly or where we can further improve. In our commitment to advancing sustainability and ESG principles at CollPlant, we produced a ranked list of material topics forming the foundation of our ESG strategy. These priorities were reviewed and approved by our senior leadership and board of directors. One of our key initiatives in the forthcoming publication in 2024 of our inaugural ESG report for 2023, which will outline for the first time precise ESG objectives. In September, CollPlant proudly announced its participation in the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest initiative for sustainable and responsible corporate governance. This alliance unites over 23,000 companies and 4,000 non-business signatories across 166 countries and more than 62 local networks. By joining this voluntary leadership platform, CollPlant reaffirms its unwavering dedication to sustainable practices and further blusters its mission to provide sustainable alternatives to existing regenerative and aesthetics, medicine products, and technologies. This concludes my initial remarks about our core programs that we remain very excited about in terms of their prospects. Now, I will turn the call over to our Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer, Eran Rotem to provide a recap of the financial results. Eran? Eran Rotem: Thank you, Yehiel. Good morning, everyone. I will now review our financial results for the three and nine months period ending September 30, 2023. GAAP revenues for the third quarter ended September 30, 2023 were $43,000 and included mainly income from sales of our bioink and rhCollagen, a decrease of $66,000 compared to $109,000 in the third quarter ended September 30, 2022. GAAP revenues for the nine months period ended September 30, 2023, were $10.7 million and included mainly revenues from AbbVie, CollPlant’s business partner. Revenues increased by $10.5 million compared to $241,000 in the same period last year. The increase is mainly related to the achievement of a milestone with respect to the AbbVie agreement, which triggered a $10 million payment, and in addition, an increase in income from sales of CollPlant’s rhCollagen products. As we said previously, according to the agreement with AbbVie, CollPlant is also eligible to receive up to an additional $26 million in milestone payments for the dermal filler product, as well as royalty payments and fees for the manufacture and supply of rhCollagen once the product will be in the commercial phase. GAAP cost of revenues for Q3 2022 was $278,000 compared to $264,000 in Q3 2022. Cost of revenues includes mainly the cost of the company’s rhCollagen -based products and royalties to the Israeli Innovation Authority, or IIA, for the company’s sales. GAAP cost of revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2023 was $1.2 million compared to $338,000 in the nine months ended September 30, 2022. The increase in the amount of approximately $880,000 is mainly comprised of $312,000 in royalties expenses to the IIA, mainly related to the milestone payment received from AbbVie, and $430,000 relating to the sales of BioInk, VergenixFG and rhCollagen. GAAP operating expenses for Q3 2023 were $4.4 million, compared to $4.3 million in Q3 2022. Operating expenses, including G&A expenses and R&D expenses that are related to supporting the company’s development effort in different programs, including the regenerative breast implants and Gut-on-a-Chip programs. The increase of approximately $100,000 is mainly related to the general and administrative expenses which are share-based compensation. On a non-GAAP basis, operating expenses for Q3 2023 were $3.9 million compared to $3.7 million in Q3 2022. Non-GAAP measures exclude certain non-cash expenses. GAAP operating expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, were $11.9 million, compared to $12.3 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2022. The decrease of approximately $438,000 includes a $247,000 reduction of product development activities and approximately $191,000 in general and administrative expenses mainly for share-based compensation expenses. On a non-GAAP basis, the operating expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2023 were $10.6 million compared to $11 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2022. GAAP financial income net for the third quarter of 2022 totaled $225,000 compared to $89,000 in the third quarter of 2022. The increase in financial income net in Q3 2023 is attributed to an increase in interest rate and interest received from the company’s short-term cash deposits. GAAP net loss for Q3 2023 was $4.4 million or $0.38 basic loss per share compared to a net loss of $4.4 million or $0.40 basic loss per share for Q3 2022. Non-GAAP net loss for Q3 2022 was $4 million or $0.75 loss per share compared to a net loss of $3.7 million or $0.34 basic loss per share for Q3 2022. GAAP net loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2023 was $2.3 million or $0.20 basic loss per share, compared to a net loss of $12.5 million, or $1.14 basic loss per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2022. Non-GAAP net loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2023 was $1.2 million or $0.11 basic loss per share, compared to $11.2 million loss or $1.02 basic loss per share for the nine months ended September 30, 2022. During the third quarter, our cash balances increased upon receiving the payment from AbbVie for achieving the milestone. In this period of continued weakness in the global capital markets, the war situation in Israel, and the uncertainties in general, we carefully maintain CapEx work plan while keeping goals for the progress of the main programs. Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash as of September 30, 2023 were $29 million. We believe these cash balances represent as of today, November 2023, a company cash runway of at least two years of operation based on our currently contemplated operations and plans. Cash provided by operating activities during the third quarter of 2023 was $6.8 million compared to cash used for operating activities of $3.2 million during the third quarter of 2022. Cash provided in Q3 2023 is including the $10 million milestone payment [inaudible] Cash used in operating activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2023 was $418,000 compared to $10.4 million during the nine months ended September 30, 2022. Cash provided by financing activities during the third quarter of 2023 was $216,000 compared to no cash from financing activities during the third quarter of 2022. Cash provided by financing activities during the nine months ended September 2023 was $1.1 million compared to $1.5 million during the nine months ended September 30, 2022. Cash provided by financing activities is mainly attributed to proceeds from the exercise of options and warrants into shares. This now concludes the financial summary. Operator, I believe that we can now open the call for questions. See also 12 Best High Yield Dividend Stocks To Buy According to Billionaire Gabelli and 14 Most Undervalued Industrial Stocks To Buy According To Hedge Funds. Q&A Session Follow Collplant Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ:CLGN) Follow Collplant Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ:CLGN) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Operator: [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Swayampakula Ramakanth with H.C. Wainwright. Unidentified Analyst : Thank you. This is RK from HC Wainwright. Good afternoon, Yehiel and Eran. I hope you and your families are safe and doing well. I know it’s tough times out there. Just thinking about the different development programs that you folks are focusing on, and to start off with the dermal and soft tissue filler. So, Eran, thanks for telling us that there is $26 million still out there in terms of milestone payments. Just for us to understand, what’s the next milestone that you need to achieve to receive the next payment from AbbVie? Eran Rotem: Thanks, RK, for your kind words. And to your question, yes, it’s correct. We have regarding — only regarding the dermal filler product, which is one product out of the agreement with AbbVie. We are left now with an additional $26 million that will come against the milestone. Just to remind the audience, we already received $24 million, $14 million as an upfront and another $10 million in the third quarter of this year. So we may disclose the details of the agreement only in accordance with our partners’ agreement, only with agreed agreement. And accordingly, in the past, we did disclose that the milestone payments will be triggered upon the achievement of the following topics. One is a milestone for development, clinical trial, regulatory, and commercial sales. So those are the milestones that we disclosed that, at the beginning of the agreement, we disclosed that those are the milestones that are in front of us. And at this stage, we are unable to share information about the timeline for the next milestone. Unidentified Analyst : Fair enough. And then regarding the breast implant. So what’s the development strategy, especially after the next large animal study that you’re planning to initiate soon? Yehiel Tal: Thank you, RK, for the question. This is Yehiel speaking. The large animal studies, this is, I’ll give you the long answer, the large animal study that we conducted so far were intended to practice the surgical protocol and optimize the design of the implant. We reported the results of these studies as demonstrated tissue regeneration, muscularization, and no adverse events. The upcoming large animal study is intended to evaluate commercial-sized implants, and we plan to launch it in December of 2023. In this study, we have two endpoints. The longer one is 12 months. The first one is three months. And this study will help us to converge into the final implant design in terms of geometry and the biomaterials that the implant is made of. This 100 TC study will be followed by a GLP pivotal study, is that its data will serve us for the ID submission to FDA. In any case, discussions with the FDA, for example, like Type C meeting, these discussions are planned for 2025. And regarding the time to commercialization, it is premature to address this question. The timing can be determined only after we get the IV approval, which by itself would be a major achievement of the company. At this point of time, I would say it is going to take few years before this product hits the market and at this point of time it is too early to be more precise than that. And I would like to emphasize that breast implant is a multidisciplinary program, and this program involves developing of technological building blocks that were not existing until now, until we developed them. And consequently, we are developing a product in a very detailed manner to ensure that the product will eventually perform over time and, of course, maintaining the patient’s safety. So I hope that this is addressing your question. Unidentified Analyst : Yes, thank you very much, Yehiel. And then the last question from me is on Gut-on-a-Chip. So I believe you terminated your agreement with Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center recently. Just trying to understand the rationale behind that and also how keen are you in trying to get either a development partner or a commercial partner for the Gut-on-a-Chip product? Yehiel Tal: Yes. Thank you, RK, for the question. So first of all, after one year of collaboration, we have decided that CollPlant can take upon itself the Gut-on-a-Chip product development and we evolved an in-house resource based on the knowhow that has been accumulated. The product development team has been restructured and the development plan was adjusted and optimized to accommodate the new program organization. Now, of course, by the time that we will validate, we go by stages in the development process. So the next stage will be to develop a model to mimic a healthy gut tissue. And then later on, we will use the ulcerative colitis disease onto this model and add other components such as PDMC and also microbiome to have a full model. So we believe that when we will have a healthy tissue model, we will be in a position to start seeking for a collaborator. The collaborator can be for drug discovery purposes, but also for personalized medicine applications. So I hope that this is addressing your question. Operator: Our next question comes from Ben Haynor with Alliance Global Partners. Ben Haynor: Good day, gentlemen. Can you hear me, okay? Excellent. So just a quick one on the runway, the two-year runway. Can you remind us, does that include expected payments from AbbVie milestone payments? Yehiel Tal: So we are talking about the dermal filler, right? Ben Haynor: Or the option products. I mean other AbbVie, potential for AbbVie milestones or options to be, are they included in that two-year runway? I guess is the shorter way of asking......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyDec 1st, 2023Related News