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Highlights of the day: Chipmakers having growing demand for foundry services

Qualcomm, seeing Samsung 4nm process' weak yield rate, is likely to diversify its foundry sources for high-end Snapdragon SoCs to several different foundries, while Intel is set to visit TSMC in Taiwan to strive for any available 3nm capacity from the foundry. Micron is also seeking more 28nm foundry support from UMC for its eMMC device controller suppliers......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesDec 4th, 2021

Tritium Announces Record-Breaking Fourth Quarter and 2021 Results

BRISBANE, Australia, Jan. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Tritium Holdings Pty Ltd ("Tritium" or the "Company"), a global developer and manufacturer of direct current ("DC") fast chargers for electric vehicles ("EVs"), today announced record sales, backlog and revenue results for and as of the year ended December 31, 2021, and provided a business update. Except as otherwise indicated or unless the context otherwise requires, all financial figures are in U.S. dollars and references herein to "quarter," "year," "2020," "2021" or "2022" are to the relevant calendar period. For the three months ended December 31, 2021, Tritium booked revenue of approximately $41 million, equivalent to a last quarter annualized (LQA) run-rate of $164 million, and set a new quarterly record.  The Company more than doubled its Q3 2021 revenue, the next largest quarterly revenue in its 19-year operating history, and achieved more than 2.5x revenue compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. For 2021, revenue was approximately $78 million, which is only slightly lower than the previous forecast of $84 million, due in large part to logistics and supply chain challenges, including delays at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, which delayed certain product deliveries at year end. Tritium expects to record those revenues as products are received by customers in the first quarter of 2022. As reported by CNBC, the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles account for 40% of sea freight entering the United States, and the back-up escalated throughout the year. Tritium has begun to see supply chain constraints ease, with these ports reporting a 33% decline in lingering cargo containers in December 2021 compared to November 2021. The Company expects 2021 EBITDA and Free Cash Flow to be approximately $(39) million and $(43) million, respectively. Underscoring the record demand for Tritium's products, sales for 2021 were $141 million, which represents more than a 136% increase over 2020 sales of $60 million. The Company's sales grew significantly in the second half of 2021 to $98 million, an increase of 416% compared to the second half result of $19 million the previous year. Tritium believes that this growth in sales substantiates its thesis that DC fast charging infrastructure is rolling out at an accelerating pace to support the rapid shift towards electric vehicles globally. Tritium enters 2022 with the largest year-opening order book in its history. Tritium's backlog continued to grow throughout 2021, ending at approximately $82 million, an increase of approximately 316% since year end 2020. This backlog is expected to be completely delivered in 2022, and is now expected to account for over 48% of Tritium's 2022 revenue guidance, or approximately 5 months of forward production capacity at current production levels. Tritium continues to be engaged in a number of additional and potentially high-impact orders under several of its recently announced commercial partnerships and tender wins, and is expanding production capacity to fulfill growing demand in the United States and Europe. Other recent business highlights include: Won a Shell global EV charging tender to provide fast charging technology and services to the world's largest mobility retailer with over 46,000 retail sites. This agreement is expected to help accelerate the supply of Tritium DC fast chargers to their business operations in Europe, South Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North America, in pursuit of Shell's ambition to operate 500,000 charge points by 2025 and 2,500,000 by 2030. Refinanced $90 million of debt out to 2024, giving Tritium more cash following the listing on the Nasdaq to invest in its business to maintain and increase growth in line with the Company's customers' rollout plans, conditional on closing of the business combination. Unveiled the PKM, a groundbreaking line of EV fast chargers designed for more cost-effective operations and infrastructure deployment. The PKM150 is the first charger in the PKM line and the first charger that utilizes Tritium's shared power system, designed to reduce customers' capital investment while maintaining high charger availability and power output to EVs. Like Tritium's successful predecessor product launches, the PKM system was developed in response to customer demand pull for its features. Opened a world-class EV charger testing facility, featuring one of the highest power commercially accessible electromagnetic compatibility ("EMC") testing chambers in the world, with thermal testing capable of producing temperatures ranging from -70°C (-94°F) to +180°C (+356°F), and more to accelerate the time-to-market for new products. Tritium is in advanced stages of site selection for its new U.S. factory, expected to increase the Company's global production capacity up threefold in 2022. Two states – Texas and Tennessee – are the finalists in this process, and the Company expects an announcement in the first quarter of 2022 as engagement with private and public sector representatives related to this process nears conclusion. As of December 31, 2021, Tritium had sold more than 6,700 DC fast chargers around the world, compared to the more than 4,400 DC fast chargers sold as of May 26, 2021, the time of the announcement of the business combination. Business Combination Update The special meeting of stockholders of Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation II (NASDAQ:DCRN, DCRNW, DCRNU)) ("DCRN") to approve the proposed business combination with Tritium, among other related matters, is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 10:00am Eastern time. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC ("Credit Suisse") is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to a consortium of certain Tritium shareholders in connection with the business combination between Tritium and DCRN. DCRN engaged Credit Suisse as its lead placement agent and Citi Global Markets ("Citi") and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC ("JPMorgan") as placement agents for its PIPE Financing (as defined below). Raymond James & Associates, Inc. ("Raymond James") is acting as Capital Markets Advisor for DCRN. Citi and JPMorgan are acting as financial advisors to DCRN. The board of directors of DCRN has unanimously recommended stockholders vote in favor of the proposed business combination, ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaJan 4th, 2022

Acadia (ACHC) Buys CenterPointe Assets, Boosts Missouri Footprint

Acadia Healthcare (ACHC) acquires the assets of Missouri-based CenterPointe Behavioral Health System in order to offer high-quality behavioral healthcare services across the state. Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. ACHC recently closed the buyout of the leading Missouri-based behavioral healthcare provider CenterPointe Behavioral Health System. The purchased assets of CenterPointe comprise four inpatient hospitals (equipped with 260 acute care beds and 46 specialty beds for substance use) and 10 outpatient locations.Anticipated to be immediately accretive to Acadia Healthcare’s financial results, the transaction was financed by utilizing cash on hand and the borrowing capacity of ACHC’s revolving credit facility.The latest move highlights Acadia Healthcare’s collaborative approach to boost service offerings, provide enhanced patient care and expand its service accessibility to more patients. This, in turn, is anticipated to strengthen Acadia Healthcare’s presence in Missouri, which presents alluring prospects for acquisition deals. The recent development reflects ACHC’s efforts to bolster its foothold in high-growth markets. CenterPointe seems to be an apt choice for complementing Acadia Healthcare’s endeavors as the former operates behavioral health networks and boasts an expansive presence throughout Missouri.ACHC is committed to a prudent capital allocation framework for pursuing a growth strategy. Acadia Healthcare has been undertaking buyouts in numerous markets, which have added facilities, beds and hospitals to the company’s network. Following the acquisition of facilities and programs, ACHC undertakes further investments in a bid to broaden the facilities and introduce service offerings to address the solid demand for behavioral healthcare services. These buyouts provide added scale and cost savings to ACHC.In December 2021, Acadia Healthcare purchased the real estate of three non-operational facilities in Illinois to penetrate deeper into the greater Chicago region. In the beginning of 2021, ACHC acquired the 61-bed psychiatric hospital named Adventist Health Vallejo to cater to the behavioral health needs across Solano County.Apart from the buyouts, ACHC remains keen on entering into joint ventures (JVs) with established healthcare organizations. These efforts have not only bolstered the capabilities and treatment network of Acadia Healthcare but also enabled the healthcare provider to reach out to underserved communities. As of Sep 30, 2021, ACHC’s portfolio comprises 230 behavioral healthcare facilities across 40 states and Puerto Rico.The tie-up with Minnesota-based Fairview Health Services in December 2021 marked the 16th JV by Acadia Healthcare. In the same month, ACHC formed a JV with SCL Health for building a 144-bed freestanding behavioral health unit in the Denver area.Pursuing growth-related initiatives in the form of buyouts or JVs are not only beneficial to Acadia Healthcare but also to all of the United States, which has been grappling with the persistent incidence of behavioral health issues for quite some time. The resurgence of coronavirus cases with the advent of each new variant only highlights the dire need for accessible and improved behavioral healthcare services.Apart from Acadia Healthcare, healthcare providers like HCA Healthcare, Inc. HCA, Universal Health Services, Inc. UHS and Humana Inc. HUM offer high-quality behavioral healthcare services and can capitalize on robust demand for these services.HCA Healthcare operates as one of the leading U.S. acute care psychiatric providers. Behavioral healthcare services remain one of the fastest-growing business lines within the company. HCA continues to collaborate with hospital affiliates for better management of behavioral healthcare services.Making use of clinical resources and geographic presence, Universal Health Services enters into mutually beneficial collaborations with other healthcare systems. This has helped UHS to deliver enhanced and affordable behavioral healthcare services, thus resulting in better outcomes for patients.Humana follows an integrated approach of catering to the behavioral, physical and pharmacy needs of people. HUM follows a holistic approach to behavioral healthcare and provides web-based health coaching thereby resulting in better outcomes and reduced costs for members and employers.Price PerformancesShares of Acadia Healthcare have gained 20.2% in a year compared with the industry’s rally of 39.9%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchACHC currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.While shares of HCA Healthcare and Humana have gained 54% and 12.6%, respectively, in a year, Universal Health Services stock has lost 3% in the same time frame. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS): Free Stock Analysis Report Humana Inc. (HUM): Free Stock Analysis Report HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA): Free Stock Analysis Report Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (ACHC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 4th, 2022

The best streaming services you can sign up for in 2022

These are the best streaming services in 2022 to watch popular shows and movies on, including Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO Max, and more. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.The best streaming services include on-demand, live TV, and channel-specific apps.Google Play; Netflix; Disney+; Apple TV; Amazon Prime Video; Hulu; Alyssa Powell/Business InsiderThe streaming market has grown a lot in recent years, with newer services like Paramount Plus, Peacock, Discovery Plus, and HBO Max launching to compete with industry juggernauts like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus.Viewers now have more places to watch their favorite movies and shows than ever, and studios are producing more original content to fill their streaming libraries. These new choices come with a price tag though, and signing up for every streaming service out there will quickly start to weigh on your wallet.Choosing the right streaming service for your needs will depend on a number of factors, including your budget, which exclusive programs you like the most, how many screens you want to watch on, and more.To help you decide what to sign up for, we rounded up the best streaming services of 2022 and broke down what makes each of them unique. Our picks primarily focus on on-demand platforms like Netflix and Hulu, but we also included separate sections for live TV and specialty streaming channels.Here are the best streaming services:Best on-demand streaming services: Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, Apple TV Plus, Paramount Plus, Discovery Plus, and Amazon Prime VideoBest live TV streaming services: Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, FuboTV, Philo TV, and DirecTV StreamBest channel-specific streaming services: Showtime, Starz, and ESPN+NetflixArtur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesNetflix Gift Card$25.00 FROM AMAZONNetflix Monthly Subscription$8.99 FROM NETFLIXWith its exclusive shows and incredible 4K quality, Netflix continues to set the streaming standard for the competition.Netflix Basic: $9 a month for standard definition (SD) streamingNetflix Standard: $14 a month for high definition (HD) streaming on up to two devices at the same timeNetflix Premium: $18 a month for up to 4K HDR streaming with Dolby Atmos on up to four devices at the same timePros: Fantastic library of originals, industry-leading video quality, impressive app support, special interface for kids, no commercialsCons: Slightly more expensive than the competition, movie selection pales in comparison to newer servicesNetflix has spent the last few years producing a growing collection of original programming, including exclusive movies, ongoing TV series, documentaries, and comedy specials. Netflix Originals keep subscribers invested when their favorite classic show or movie leaves the platform for another service. The success of Netflix exclusives, like "Squid Game," "Bridgerton," "The Witcher," and "Tiger King," has helped the service justify its slightly higher price, and encouraged streaming competitors to prioritize creating their own original titles to generate more value. Netflix also has a large library of children's series and a separate interface designed to let kids choose their own shows without running into adult programming, making it a good choice for families in need of all-ages entertainment.When it comes to app support, Netflix is available on virtually any streaming device you can think of, including computers, smartphones, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, smart TVs, and more. It also offers support for all of the latest video and audio formats, including 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos — though it does charge extra for those features.HuluTed Soqui/Contributor/Getty ImagesHulu Streaming Service $6.99 FROM HULUDisney+/Hulu/ESPN+ Bundle Monthly Subscription$13.99 FROM DISNEY+Thanks to a mix of content and various plans, Hulu remains one of the most affordable streaming options with unmatched choice.Hulu with ads: $7 a month for ad-supported on-demand streamingHulu without ads: $13 a month for ad-free on-demand streamingHulu + Live TV: $70 a month for ad-supported on-demand and live TV streamingHulu (No Ads) + Live TV: $76 a month for ad-free, on-demand and ad-supported live TV streamingRead our full breakdown of Hulu plans and pricesPros: On-demand library with live TV option, can subscribe to "channels" like HBO, discounted bundle with Disney Plus and ESPN+Cons: Harder to share due to two-device limit on basic plan, basic plan includes commercialsHulu offers two main packages that provide on-demand streaming, including a basic option with commercials and a premium plan without commercials. The service also offers upgrade packages that add live TV channels.Hulu arguably boasts the most impressive TV show library of any on-demand streaming service, with a wider range of new and classic shows than Netflix or Amazon. This includes next-day streaming access to select broadcast series on networks like ABC, FX, and Fox. Hulu also offers a solid selection of original shows, like "Dopesick," "Nine Perfect Strangers" and "The Handmaid's Tale," but its slate of exclusives isn't quite as notable as some of its competitors.Though Hulu does offer 4K and HDR streaming on select devices, its 4K lineup is limited compared to Netflix, Amazon, and Disney Plus. Hulu allows only two devices to stream at the same time, but you can remove that limit with Hulu + Live TV subscription and the $10 add-on for unlimited screens. Hulu also lets subscribers add other channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz for an extra monthly price. You can even bundle Hulu's on-demand service with Disney Plus and ESPN+ for a 30% discount on the monthly price of all three. All of Hulu's live TV plans now include the bundle as part of a standard subscription.Amazon Prime VideoAmazonAmazon Prime Video Monthly Subscription$8.99 FROM AMAZON PRIME VIDEOAmazon Prime Monthly Subscription$12.99 FROM AMAZONAmazon Prime Video is a capable, competitive streaming service that's more than just a Prime membership perk.Amazon Prime with Prime Video: $119 a year or $13 a month as part of an Amazon Prime membershipPrime Video (Standalone): $9 a month for Prime Video on its ownRead our Prime Video guidePros: Included with Amazon Prime, offers extra movie rental and purchase options, lots of international titles, can add streaming channels, 4K HDR support is included in base planCons: The Prime Video library is less impressive than the competitionMore than 110 million Amazon Prime members help make Prime Video one of the largest on-demand services in terms of subscribers, even if they're not all streaming video on a regular basis. Prime Video features a mix of movies and shows that are included with your membership. The selection even includes exclusive titles like "Wheel of Time," "The Boys" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." You can also rent or buy just about any film that's available on home video for your personal collection and watch with the Prime Video app whenever you like. This is a feature that most subscription streaming apps don't offer.Prime Video has launched several award-winning original shows since 2013 and has successfully imported dozens of series from the BBC, as well as Hindi language films from India. The platform offers up to 4K streaming with support for HDR10+ playback on select titles. And, unlike Netflix, it doesn't charge extra to get the best video and audio quality.Though Prime Video is included with a Prime Membership, you can subscribe to the service on its own for $9 a month if you prefer. You can also sign up for add-on channels to other services, like Showtime, AMC Plus, Starz, and even Paramount Plus.Disney PlusHakan Nural/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesDisney Plus Monthly Subscription Service$7.99 FROM DISNEY+Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ Bundle Monthly Subscription$13.99 FROM DISNEY+Disney Plus is the top streaming choice for families and fans of blockbuster franchises like Marvel and "Star Wars."Disney Plus: $8 a month or $80 a yearDisney Plus with ESPN+ and Hulu: $14 a monthRead our Disney Plus guidePros: Disney's vault of classic movies and shows, 4K HDR support, blockbuster Marvel and "Star Wars" titlesCons: Lack of mature content limits the platform's potentialDisney Plus is the fastest growing streaming service on the market, having amassed more than 100 million subscribers since its launch in November 2019. The platform is the sole subscription streaming home of Disney's classic animated films, as well as franchises like "Star Wars" and "The Simpsons."With that in mind, the main draw of the service is its wide catalog of existing Disney, "Star Wars," Marvel, and Pixar content. There are some original films and series as well, but the lineup remains small compared to Netflix and Amazon. It's also important to note that Disney Plus is designed to be family-oriented, so even Disney's hit exclusive shows, like "The Mandalorian" "Loki," and "Hawkeye" are rated for teen viewers. Movies are also limited to PG-13 so you won't find any R-rated content here.That said, at $8 a month with no commercials, Disney Plus might offer the best combination of titles, streaming quality, and value. With an endless supply of family friendly entertainment, Disney Plus is a popular choice for parents, but adults who didn't grow up on Disney or "Star Wars" may want to find a second streaming service to fill their palette with more mature shows.On that note, you can bundle Disney Plus with Hulu and ESPN+ for $14 a month. The bundle saves you about $8 a month compared to signing up for each service separately. HBO MaxSOPA Images/ShutterstockHBO Max Monthly Plan (ad-free)$14.99 FROM HBO MAXHBO Max (ad-supported)$9.99 FROM HBO MAXHBO Max is a premium service for fans of prestige television, iconic films, and the latest movie releases.HBO Max (ad-free): $15 a month for ad-free access to full HBO Max libraryHBO Max (ad-supported): $10 a month for ad-supported access to HBO Max library with the exception of Warner Bros in-theater releasesRead our HBO Max guide and our breakdown of the ad-supported HBO Max planPros: Prestige shows and films, new Warner Bros. movies 45 days after they debut in theaters, collections from Adult Swim, TCM, Sesame Street, and moreCons: More expensive than most competitors, only a few 4K titles so farHBO Max combines critically acclaimed shows and movies from HBO's cable network with new originals, additional WarnerMedia films, classic shows like "Friends," and collections from channels like Adult Swim, TCM, DC Universe, and the anime streaming service Crunchyroll.Like the cable channel, HBO Max prides itself on having some of the best movies recently released on home video. HBO exclusive shows, like "Succession," "Insecure," and "Station Eleven" continue to define prestige television and HBO Max is the best way to catch up on past hits like "The Wire" and "The Sopranos."New episodes of "Sesame Street" are the highlight of HBO Max's family offerings; there's not a ton of educational content for young children, but there's enough to satisfy kids for a few hours on an indoor afternoon.HBO Max was also home to brand-new Warner Bros. movies on the same day they premiered in theaters throughout 2021. Warner Bros. won't continue this release strategy in 2022, but upcoming releases, like "The Batman," are expected to arrive on HBO Max just 45 days after they hit theaters.For now, the biggest drawbacks of HBO Max are technology related. Outside of the new Warner releases, HBO Max doesn't offer much support for 4K or HDR, limiting the quality of some movies and shows. For example, "Game of Thrones" is available in 4K on Blu-ray, but HBO Max streams are limited to 1080p.Paramount PlusParamount PlusParamount Plus Premium Monthly Plan (ad-free)$9.99 FROM PARAMOUNTParamount Plus Essential Monthly Plan (ad-supported)$4.99 FROM PARAMOUNTParamount Plus is a fantastic destination for classic cable TV shows, with potential for even more value in the future.Paramount Plus (Essential): $5 a month or $50 a year for ad-supported streaming. Paramount Plus (Premium): $10 a month or $100 per year for commercial-free streaming and live CBS.Read our Paramount Plus guide and our Paramount Plus reviewPros: Huge library of classic TV shows, live CBS with Premium plan, new Paramount films 45 days after theater releaseCons: Less original content than the competitionParamount Plus is a new on-demand streaming service from ViacomCBS, replacing CBS All Access. The platform gives viewers access to the live CBS TV channel (Premium Plan only), along with a large collection of TV shows and movies. In addition to CBS series, Paramount Plus draws programming from Viacom cable channels like MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. Paramount Plus is also home to exclusive content like the "Yellowstone" spin-off "1883," a reboot of "iCarly" and several "Star Trek" shows.The streaming service hosts newly released Paramount movies as soon as 45 days after they hit theaters. "A Quiet Place Part II" was the first film to get an early release on the service. "The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run" was a launch title for Paramount Plus, and "Mission Impossible 7" is due out next year.Sports fans can also tune into local NFL games broadcast on CBS, as well as UEFA soccer matches and March Madness college basketball matchups when each season is in session. PeacockPeacockPeacock Premium (Monthly Plan)$4.99 FROM PEACOCK TVPeacock Premium (Annual Plan)$49.99 FROM PEACOCKWith free and premium streaming options, Peacock is a convenient source for hit TV shows and movie nostalgia.Peacock: Free for ad-supported streaming access to a limited library of contentPeacock Premium: $5 a month for ad-supported streaming access to the full Peacock libraryPeacock Premium Plus: $10 a month for ad-free access to the full Peacock libraryRead our Peacock guidePros: Free to watch many shows and movies, live news and sporting eventsCons: Premium plan doesn't offer many exclusives, movie library lacks newer releases, no 4K or HDR supportPeacock is the free-to-watch streaming home for NBCUniversal shows like "30 Rock," "Cheers," and "The Office," as well as some new original titles. The service also offers a rotating slate of hit movies. Though few of the choices are less than 10-years old, Peacock has dozens of memorable films.Peacock's base plan is free but it offers a limited library and it's ad-supported. If you want access to all of the platform's content you can pay $5 a month, but this plan still features commercials. To unlock everything with ad-free access, you need to pay $10 a month for the Peacock Premium Plus plan.Starting in 2022, the service will stream brand-new Universal movies within four months of their theatrical releases. Select movies also debuted on Peacock at the same time they premiered in theaters, like "The Boss Baby: Family Business" and "Halloween Kills."Peacock has some live news and sports broadcasts as well. In 2021, the service became the exclusive streaming home of WWE Network, and it streamed highlights from the 2021 Olympics.Peacock doesn't stream in 4K resolution, though given the platform's emphasis on television and older films, the 1080p limit isn't a huge drawback.Discovery PlusDiscovery PlusDiscovery Plus Monthly Plan (ad-supported)$4.99 FROM DISCOVERY PLUSDiscovery Plus is the on-demand streaming home for TLC, Food Network, HGTV, and Discovery shows.Discovery Plus (ad-supported): $5 a monthDiscovery Plus (ad-free): $7 a month for commercial-free streaming.Read our Discovery Plus guidePros: A huge library of shows from 14 cable networks, including Food Network, HGTV, TLC, History, and Animal PlanetCons: Certain newly aired shows won't appear on Discovery Plus, no downloads for offline viewing, and no parental controlsDiscovery Plus is one of the the fastest growing streaming services in the business, delivering a ton of popular shows for fans of reality TV, true crime, cooking, and competition series, like "Chopped," "Dirty Jobs," "Extreme Makeover," and "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives." The service collects shows, documentaries, and movies from more than a dozen different cable channels, including Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, ID, A&E, History, Lifetime, OWN, Travel, and more.Discovery Plus boasts more than 55,000 individual episodes for on-demand streaming, and the service includes "channels" to let you watch a 24-hour stream of specific shows like "House Hunters" and "Chopped."Unfortunately, Discovery Plus is not as technologically advanced as some other streaming services. There are no parental controls to prevent kids from watching explicit content, and the app does not include downloads for offline viewing when traveling. Its library is also lacking when it comes to scripted series, so the service will really only appeal to fans of nonfiction programming. Apple TV PlusIt's possible to cancel your Apple TV Plus subscription using different Apple devices.Halfpoint/ShutterstockApple TV Plus (Monthly Plan)$4.99 FROM APPLE TV+Apple One Subscription$14.95 FROM APPLEApple TV Plus has a limited lineup, but its cheap price makes it a solid option for fans of its exclusive shows.Apple TV Plus: $5 a month or $50 a year for ad-free streamingApple One: $15 a month for Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, 50GB of iCloud, and Apple ArcadeFind out how to get three months of Apple TV Plus for freePros: Affordable price, exclusive shows, movie rental and purchase options, can add streaming channels, 4K HDR supportCons: The lineup of movies and shows is small compared to other services, no back catalog of programs from a major studio or networkApple TV Plus is one of the most affordable streaming services you can subscribe to. The platform costs just $5 a month for ad-free access to its entire lineup of on-demand movies and shows, and new Apple devices include a three-month trial.While that's an attractive price, the Apple TV Plus library is relatively small compared to competing platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu. Most notably, the service lacks a large back catalog of movies and shows from other networks and studios. That said, there are some standout exclusive series like "Ted Lasso," "The Morning Show," and films like "Macbeth."Like Prime Video, Apple TV Plus also lets you access a huge library of additional movies and shows that you can pay to rent or purchase. Though it would be great to have more programs included as part of your subscription, being able to order more titles within the Apple TV Plus app is convenient. You can also add extra channels to your subscription, like Showtime, for an extra fee.If you're someone who plans to use other Apple services, you should also consider the Apple One bundle. The base package includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $15 a month.  The best live TV streaming servicesFurboLive TV streaming services are marketed as a cheaper alternative to cable or satellite, offering tighter channel packages for potential "cord cutters." However, prices have gone up in this space, reducing the cost benefit that streaming has over traditional TV.That said, in many cases you can still save with certain services, but choosing the right package is essential for getting the most out of these platforms, so you'll want to figure out which TV stations are your must-haves before you choose a provider.If you plan to use a live TV streaming service to replace cable on multiple TVs in your home, be prepared to pay a bit extra so you can stream simultaneously on separate devices. Also, keep in mind that these TV services have the same commercials and general experience as cable even though they're broadcast online.Streaming quality can vary from channel to channel, but they all typically maintain 720p or 1080p resolution. Again, you'll want to check the specific channel packages and other perks offered by each service to figure out which is best for you.Here's a rundown of the leading live TV services available now:Sling TV - Sling TV offers two different packages, Sling Blue and Sling Orange, for $35 a month each, or for $50 a month bundled together.Sling Blue offers streaming on up to three devices and more channels, including MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and the NFL Network. Sling Orange offers Disney channel and the ESPN family of networks, but only allows one streaming device at a time. You can find a full breakdown of Sling channels here.Getting the bundle makes the most sense, since you'll get the full set of channels and features for $15 extra. It's worth noting that Sling viewers can't access their local ABC or CBS affiliates, so if you want those channels, you should look to another service or an antenna.Sling TV $35.00 FROM SLINGHulu + Live TV - Hulu's Live TV plan costs $70 a month for access to around 75 channels. You need to pay for an upgrade to stream on more than two devices at the same time, however, and it also costs extra if you want more than 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage. On the plus side, Hulu + Live TV automatically includes Hulu's entire on-demand service, Disney Plus, and ESPN+, so you get a bit more value there.The base package includes all the major local networks in most markets, the ESPN family of channels, Fox and NBC Sports channels, and SEC Network. However, the service lacks access to AMC, NBA TV, and the MLB Network, all of which are standard for YouTube TV. Hulu + Live TV$69.98 FROM HULUFubo TV - FuboTV starts at $65 a month for over 100 channels, 250 hours of cloud DVR space, and streaming on up to three devices. Unlike most of its competitors, Fubo charges extra for sports channels like the SEC Network, NBA TV, and the MLB Network. Local channels are included at no additional cost.Fubo TV (Starter Plan)$64.98 FROM FUBOTVYouTube TV - YouTube TV costs $65 a month for more than 85 channels with unlimited cloud DVR storage and streaming on up to three devices at once. YouTubeTV includes more sports channels in its base package than its competitors, including ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, the NFL Network, NBA TV, and the MLB Network.YouTubeTV is also the only live TV streaming service currently offering PBS alongside local affiliate networks from CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC. New members can get their first three months for a discounted rate of $55 a month.Youtube TV$54.99 FROM YOUTUBEOriginally $64.98 | Save 15%DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) - Starting at $70 a month for a no-contract plan, DirecTV TV provides more pricing and package options than most live TV streaming competitors — the service offers nearly every channel, but like standard cable, it can be hard to get all the channels you want in a cheap bundle.Because DirecTV Stream comes from AT&T, which is HBO Max's parent company, most of the packages also include an HBO Max subscription, which would cost $15 a month separately.DirecTV Stream$69.98 FROM DIRECTVPhilo TV - Philo TV is the most affordable option at $25 a month for 60+ channels. Unfortunately, Philo viewers don't have access to their local affiliate networks, and the service doesn't offer many upgrade options for watching sports or cable news. It does offer popular channels like Comedy Central, MTV, and AMC, though, so there's still plenty to watch.Philo TV$25.00 FROM PHILOThe best streaming channelsAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderSome streaming services act as an online portal for access to a specific channel. If you want to watch Showtime, for instance, but don't want to subscribe through a cable provider, you can simply sign up for the network's standalone streaming option. Some of these channel-specific platforms also include exclusive content you can't find anywhere else.In many cases, these types of streaming channels can also be added to existing platforms, like Hulu and Prime Video, while others are exclusive to certain devices and services. Be sure to check if the channel you want is available on your device before signing up.Here's a breakdown of some of the best streaming channel services you can subscribe to now:Showtime - Showtime offers a lineup of critically acclaimed original shows and blockbuster movies from the premium cable channel. Some of Showtime's most popular hits are "Billions," "Shameless," and "Homeland." You can stream Showtime directly from the official website or app for $11 a month, or sign up through Prime Video or Hulu.Showtime Monthly Streaming Subscription$11.99 FROM SHOWTIME$10.99 FROM AMAZONStarz - Like Showtime and HBO, Starz offers on-demand streaming of its original shows and a rotating catalog of movies. Notably, Starz is home to series like "Outlander" and "American Gods." The service costs $9 a month, though new subscribers can get their first three months for $3 a month.Starz Streaming Service Monthly Subscription$8.99 FROM STARZESPN+ - ESPN's service is another example of a channel-specific streaming platform, offering live broadcasts of sporting events that aren't normally aired on cable and exclusive access to niche coverage of sports like UFC and "League of Legends." With that said, ESPN+ does not actually provide live streaming access to the regular ESPN cable channel. The service costs $7 a month, and you can bundle it with Disney Plus and Hulu for $14 a month.ESPN+ Monthly Subscription Service$6.99 FROM ESPNWhat we look for in on-demand streaming servicesMaskot/Getty ImagesSubscription services, like Netflix, popularized streaming by providing a larger library of on-demand movies and shows than cable providers could offer, and at a cheaper price. Subscribers gain instant access to thousands of titles rather than paying more for dozens of channels or rental fees for new releases. Many streaming services have also launched their own exclusive programming that you can't see anywhere else. Since the goal is entertainment, choosing the best on-demand streaming service for your needs will largely come down to your personal tastes. However, we can judge the different on-demand platforms based on a few common factors, like their library size, selection of critically acclaimed exclusives, video quality, app functionality, and price.The best on-demand streaming services have set a standard for 4K video quality, with support for HDR color and contrast on compatible TVs. TV channels rarely broadcast in 4K, so we have lower expectations for live TV streaming services, which still use HD resolutions like 1080p or 720p.Quality can still vary based on the movie or show being streamed, and you'll need a strong, stable internet connection to stream consistently at 4K. Even if you don't have a 4K TV, these services will still deliver the best possible quality for your setup.We expect app support on iOS, Android, and most home entertainment devices, though the growing number of streaming services has led to slower releases on competitive platforms, like Amazon and Roku. The best on-demand services also give subscribers an option to save select movies for offline viewing while they travel, though an online check-in is still required occasionally.When comparing catalogs, we try to consider the range of entertainment offered by each streaming service, how much the platform has invested in exclusive programming, and which age ranges are best suited to watch. While most streaming services will have a rotating list of movies, it's important to pay attention to which series and franchises will remain platform exclusive, like "The Office," "Star Wars," and "Stranger Things."The best deals on streaming servicesdamircudic/Getty ImagesStreaming services offer frequent promotions and discounts for new members and students. Special packages are also common, allowing you to bundle services together and save.Check out some notable streaming deals you can take advantage of right now, below. We'll update this list of deals with more discounts as they become available.College students can save big on streaming services — check out deals from Amazon Prime, Hulu, Paramount Plus, and moreDiscovery's streaming service, Discovery Plus, is free for an entire year for some Verizon Unlimited customersNew Apple Music subscribers can get 6 months free from Best Buy, no purchase necessaryNew and returning Starz subscribers can stream 3 months of service for only $3 a monthGet 3 months of Apple TV Plus for free when you buy select Apple devices, or 6 months if you own a PS5You can save 16% off the monthly price of Paramount Plus if you sign up for an annual planYou can get up to 6 months of Disney Plus for free with an Amazon Music Unlimited subscriptionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 3rd, 2022

3 Crypto Mining Stocks to Watch for 2022

Here is a sneak peek of the crypto mining stocks, such as NVDA, MARA and HUT, which are well positioned to capitalize on the crypto buzz in 2022. The buzz around the cryptocurrency market is likely to continue in 2022 and beyond. Higher uptake of digital and contactless trading and payments via blockchain-backed cryptocurrencies in this coronavirus-hit world is expected to sustain the momentum in this particular market.Per a Fortune Business Insights report, the said market is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2028, seeing a CAGR of 11.1% from 2021 to 2028.Solid adoption of bitcoin, the most popular and widely used digital currency despite being highly volatile, has been acting as a key catalyst for the crypto miners so far.The bitcoin space has been on a roller coaster ride throughout 2021. Currently trading at $46,904.30, the bitcoin hit an all-time high of $68,990.90 on Nov 8 from a low of $27,882.79 on Jan 4 and again dropping to $45,588.83 on Dec 20, per coindesk.com data.This topsy-turvy situation is expected to remain due to the ongoing regulatory concerns over crypto transactions and crypto mining that witness greater governmental control over the cryptocurrency market.Nevertheless, the great hedging opportunities that bitcoins offer to investors against inflation are expected to continue bolstering the bitcoin adoption rate as well as driving growth in the cryptocurrency market.The blockchain technology based on which the entire cryptocurrency market stands minimizes the risks of monetary losses, double counting and hacking as it leverages a distributed consensus that makes tampering with the records very difficult.In addition, the growing momentum across other digital currencies like litecoin, ethereum and zcash, will likely continue to boost prospects of the crypto miners further.Cryptocurrencies, which hold the potential to revolutionize the process of peer-to-peer and remittance transactions, are gaining strongly from the decentralized system, low fees, transparency of distributed ledger technology, protection from consumer chargebacks and quick international transfers.Given this upbeat scenario, many companies worldwide are now adopting the idea of cryptocurrencies as payment options and increasing their bitcoin holdings. This remains another tailwind.All these factors bode well for the crypto mining companies that are making concerted efforts to capitalize on the pool of opportunities present in the cryptocurrency market.Per a Data Bridge Market Research report, the global crypto mining market is likely to witness a CAGR of 11.5% between 2021 and 2028.Stocks to WatchAgainst this backdrop, here we focus on three crypto mining stocks with strong fundamentals that poise them well to capitalize on the cryptocurrency boom in the near term.The following stocks have gained strongly in the year-to-date time frame, outperforming the S&P 500 Index’s rally.Year-to-Date Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchNVIDIA’s NVDA shares have returned 129.8% on a year-to-date basis. NVDA is strongly gaining from the growing momentum of its GPUs in the cryptocurrency space, which is also providing it with a competitive edge against other chipmakers.NVDA remains well-poised to capitalize on strong demand for cryptocurrency mining on the back of its notable launch of Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP), which is ideal for professional mining. These processors are well-equipped to boost the mining power efficiency as these feature a lower peak core voltage and frequency.In third-quarter fiscal 2022, this currently Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) player generated revenues worth $105 million from the inclusion of Cryptocurrency Mining Processors in its market platform.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Marathon Digital Holdings’ MARA shares have gained 224.8% on a year-to-date basis. MARA is one of the largest enterprise bitcoin self-mining companies in North America. It is benefiting from the increasing deployment of miners, growing production of bitcoins, robust bitcoin holdings and a hike in its hash rate.The currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player produced 1,252 self-mined bitcoins in the recently reported third-quarter 2021, up 91% from the previous quarter’s output. Further, its number of miners deployed reached the 25,272 mark at the end of the same quarter. Marathon Digital held 7,035 bitcoins as of Sep 30, 2021.This apart, the purchase of 30,000 S19j Pro miners from BITMAIN remains a major step toward expanding the bitcoin production. Further, Marathon Digital recently signed a contract with BITMAIN to buy ANTMINER S19 XP (140 TH/s) bitcoin miners, which are expected to be shipped between July 2022 and December 2022. This is a major positive as well.Hut 8 Mining’s HUT shares have gained 78.3% on a year-to-date basis. HUT is counted among the digital asset mining pioneers. The same is gaining from the solid momentum across its self-mining operations and expanding hosting services. Further, HUT’s increasing bitcoin holdings and prospects around its purchase of NVIDIA GPUs are noteworthy.The presently Zacks Rank #3 player’s bitcoin holdings exceeded the 5,000 mark in third-quarter 2021. Further, HUT’s bitcoin balance stood at 5,053 as of Nov 10, 2021.Additionally, Hut 8 Mining received the entire fleet of high-performance NVIDIA GPUs, which got deployed at its Medicine Hat site. HUT strives to mine the Ethereum network via Luxor pool with the help of these servers. Moreover, the move is likely to boost its aggregate operating rate by approximately 1,600 Gigahash. This apart, Hut’s building of the third mining site in North Bay, Ontario, remains noteworthy. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>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 NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA): Free Stock Analysis Report Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. (MARA): Free Stock Analysis Report Hut 8 Mining Corp. (HUT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 2nd, 2022

Mastercard (MA) Partners to Boost Digital Growth in Pakistan

Mastercard (MA) ties up with RUDA for offering the facility of seamless digital payments in Pakistan. The move reflects MA's sincere efforts to infuse digitization throughout the country. Mastercard Incorporated MA recently inked a strategic collaboration with the Pakistan-based Ravi Urban Development Authority (“RUDA”) in a bid to boost digital evolution throughout the country. It is worth mentioning that MA has been pursuing digital transformation efforts across the globe, and the latest deal is a testament to that.Shares of Mastercard lost 1% on Dec 17, replicating declines in broader markets.The latest move intends to usher in a cashless society, and thus Mastercard will extend its smart city solutions to the urban development project supervised by RUDA. Consequently, citizens of Pakistan will be able to utilize digital channels for undertaking daily payments and pay for bills and utility services.Consequently, the recent alliance with Mastercard will enhance RUDA’s processes of fee collection and other administrative services.Initiatives similar to the latest one underscore Mastercard’s sincere efforts to boost presence in Pakistan. It seems to be the apt time for accelerating digitization efforts in the country, which has been witnessing a growing digital economy buoyed by rising smartphone usage and increased Internet penetration. MA continues to follow its public-private partnerships strategy in Pakistan and works in unison with the government to infuse digitization across various sectors of the economy. In October 2021, the company collaborated with Special Technology Zones Authority with an intention to establish Pakistan’s first cash-free zone and simultaneously bring about advancements in the nation’s technology space.Apart from strengthening presence in Pakistan, the recent tie-up aims to harness the robust digital growth prospects prevailing amid the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) region (Pakistan is part of the same). MA keeps on partnering with several organizations and rolls out cost-effective solutions throughout the region. The company has been undertaking significant investments aimed at modernizing the digital payments space of the MENA region.With enhanced digital capabilities in place developed through tie-ups and investments, Mastercard continues to cater to the growing demand for cashless payments worldwide amid the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic compelled people globally to transition to contactless payments as it minimizes contact. And when it comes to partnerships, MA remains the preferred choice of governments and private institutions owing to its strong brand name, local knowledge, expanded capabilities, extensive network and global presence.Similar to Mastercard, other companies such as Visa Inc. V, Global Payments Inc. GPN and PayPal Holdings, Inc. PYPL have also been pursuing digital transformation efforts and launching several contactless payment solutions from time to time.Visa makes use of advanced technologies for rolling out newer payment solutions. V has been striving hard to integrate blockchain technology with the payments platform. The launch of diversified payment alternatives, including mobile payments through Visa Checkout and Visa payWave, highlights the company’s commitment to ensure enhanced online checkout experiences for consumers.Global Payments is a pure-play payments technology company boasting deep expertise in payments technology. GPN continues to roll out a wide array of payments technology and software solutions for customers on a worldwide basis backed by its expertise. Global Payments has joined forces with several organizations for extending its nationwide reach in the digital payments space.PayPal offers cost-effective digital payment solutions equipping customers and merchants to access and move their money anywhere, anytime and through any connected device. PYPL enables customers to trade cryptocurrencies, which can be done through the company’s digital wallet. Being a secure gateway, PayPal provides for biometric and QR-based payments to its customers.Shares of Mastercard have gained 4.5% in a year against the industry’s decline of 19.3%. MA currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhile Visa stock has gained 1.4% in a year, shares of Global Payments and PayPal have lost 36.1% and 21.7%, respectively, in the same time frame. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>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 Visa Inc. (V): Free Stock Analysis Report Global Payments Inc. (GPN): Free Stock Analysis Report PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 20th, 2021

Visualizing The Global Semiconductor Supply Chain

Visualizing The Global Semiconductor Supply Chain Our digitally-driven society is powered by an extremely robust semiconductor supply chain, and until the COVID-19 pandemic, not many people thought about it. But, as Visual Capitalist's Omri Wallach details below, a sudden surge in demand for digital goods, improved technologies, and recovering economies put the strain and spotlight directly on semiconductors. The millions of digital devices we use, from smartphones to electric cars, computers, robotics, and the businesses they enable, only function thanks to the intricate chips built on semiconductors. By some estimates, up to 22.5% of global GDP is made up by the global digital economy. This graphic from ASE Global highlights the complex and global semiconductor supply chain that powers our modern world. How Important are Semiconductors and Chips? Fully understanding the importance of semiconductors to the modern world is sometimes tricky, especially when the devices themselves are so small. But a semiconductor device—also known as an integrated circuit (IC) or chip—actually contains many smaller circuits comprised of millions of transistors, all packed onto a few millimeters of silicon (the semiconductor). These semiconductor devices allow electronics to make computations, and in essence, function and operate. That makes them vital for modern electronics, with semiconductors being the fourth-most traded product in the world behind crude oil, motor vehicle parts, and refined oil. Here’s a breakdown of different applications of semiconductor devices by market sizes in 2019: Modern smartphones, for example, utilize semiconductor devices with many different smaller integrated circuits for different functions. For example, these modern chips can include the phone’s CPU, GPU, neural processing, and image processing cores. And as the recent strain on automotive manufacturing demonstrated, semiconductors are even vital for vehicles. Cars are packed with up to 1,400 semiconductor devices controlling everything from airbags to the engine, and electric vehicles utilize even more. What the Semiconductor Supply Chain Looks Like So how do these complex devices make their way from concept to your devices? An integrated semiconductor supply chain that involves thousands of companies, millions of people, and billions of dollars. The chain can be broken up into stages which happen across the globe, better known as the foundry model: Design: Semiconductor chip designs are created for specific or general device usage. Manufacturing (Front End): Silicon wafers are processed through an extensive series of manufacturing steps then diced into multiple chips (also called dies or devices). Manufacturing (Back End): Chips are layered and assembled into packages that can be mounted onto circuit boards. Packaged chips are then tested under different electrical and temperature conditions. End Product Integration: Chips are integrated by electronics and equipment manufacturers to create end products for consumers. Consumption: End products are shipped to companies, retailer, and consumers worldwide. The entire process, from starting design and production to end product integration, takes months. But in the end, those manufactured chips end up in smartphones, computers, cars, servers, smart homes, and other technology all around the globe. Different Types of Companies in Semiconductor Manufacturing In 2020, despite an economic slowdown from the pandemic, an estimated 1.4 trillion semiconductor chip units were shipped around the globe. Those chips were manufactured by many types of companies that occupy different parts of the supply chain. Some are household names in electronics, while others are lesser-known manufacturing stage companies responsible for most of the world’s chip consumption. These companies operate under the foundry model, which is also known as fabless design. The model outsources different stages of production to specialized companies: Fabless semiconductor companies and electronics manufacturers (and independent design companies) create the design and specifications required for their chips. Foundries are contracted to manufacture the designed chips. OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly & test) companies assemble, package, and test the chips for consumption. ASE Global is the market leader in assembly and testing services, capturing 30% of the global OSAT market in 2021. OEM (original equipment manufacturers) and contracted EMS (electronics manufacturing service) companies integrate the packaged chip into devices. ASE Global is also a leading EMS provider, and over the course of the company’s history, has helped manufacture more than three trillion chips. Devices are then sold by the fabless companies and electronics manufacturers at the start of the chain. At the same time, there are also IDMs (integrated device manufacturers) that design, manufacture and sell their own chips. This was the traditional model of chip development and IDMS generally weren’t considered a part of the foundry model, but many IDMs now outsource part of their production cycles as well. Unlocking the Potential of the Digital Economy The companies that make up the semiconductor supply chain are spread all over the globe, from the U.S. to China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany. A finished chip can contain components that have traveled more than 25,000 miles by the time of final product integration. It’s a complicated but necessary supply chain that empowers the technology of the present and the future. From advances in 5G and AI to smart factories and advances in automotive and quantum computing, the companies in the semiconductor supply chain make it all possible. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/16/2021 - 22:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 16th, 2021

Euronet"s (EEFT) REN, Jalin to Enhance Payments Platform

Euronet's (EEFT) REN platform collaborates with Jalin to boost Indonesia's largest state-owned banking network. Euronet Worldwide, Inc.’s EEFT REN payments platform will be utilized by the largest state-owned bank-switching network in Indonesia, PT Jalin Pembayaran Nusantara (“Jalin”).Studies suggest that 85% of customers in Southeast Asia were using digital payments platforms in the beginning of 2021. Digital payment became a much-preferred option around the world because it offers hassle-free, cashless transactions that can be completed in a few simple steps. It is a fact that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of cashless payments mode. With digital payments, people can avoid the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. Even though most of the population across the globe is vaccinated, digital payments are poised to grow given the conveniences they provide.Owing to demand for cashless payments from participant financial institutions, Jalin is set to adopt a platform modernization strategy that will enable it to launch services and improve the current offerings.Euronet and the REN platform were given the project after an RFP process. The financial transaction services player has the ability to boost Jalin and turn it into a digital enabler. The unveiling is expected to reduce fraudulent activities and connect individuals to financial and non-financial ecosystems.For dealing with large transaction volumes, Euronet is using the REN platform to support transaction switching from POS terminals, QR codes and ATMs as well as activate digital wallets, etc.  The services will be available through APIs as well.This unique project will mitigate workloads from the current system to REN and start new services like ATM driving and processing of digital wallet-based QR code payments.In the initial stage of the project, cross-border QR code payments will be activated, which include developing an incoming and outgoing payment interface with the central infrastructures of Thailand and Malaysia. Other services will be activated through the next 12 months.Digital payment is undoubtedly one of the most attractive new-normal trends that customers adopted and will continue to use even in the future. Better authentication controls, centralized clearance and networks will make payment technologies inexpensive and lead to mass acceptance of this fast-growing payment technology.Jalin is one of Southeast Asia's most digitally savvy payment networks while Euronet’s REN platform is the perfect fit for this particular move. This latest move highlights the capacity of EEFT’s REN payments technology.In September, EEFT announced that it will license its REN payments platform to the Las-Vegas based company Marker Trax, LLC to serve physical casinos, virtual casinos and the sports-betting operators. In June, Euronet announced that its REN Connect software will allow the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) to take part in the region’s real-time payments network called Instapay. The currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player has also been gaining from constant expansions across the globe and strong results of the Electronic Funds Transfer and Money Transfer segments. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Price PerformanceShares of EEFT have lost 13.7% in a year’s time against its industry’s growth of 16.9%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchStocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks in the same space are Alerus Financial Corporation ALRS, Houlihan Lokey, Inc. HLI and Guild Holdings Company GHLD. While Alerus Financial and Houlihan Lokey sport a Zacks Rank of 1 at present, Guild Holdings carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Alerus Financial is a financial services company. Through its subsidiary Alerus Financial, National Association, ALRS offers financial solutions to businesses and consumers. ALRS’ earnings managed to beat estimates in three of its trailing four quarters (while missing the mark in one), the average beat being 23.58%.Houlihan Lokey is an investment bank focusing on mergers and acquisitions, financings, financial restructurings and financial advisory services. HLI delivered a trailing four-quarter surprise of 39.53%, on average.Guild Holdings Company provides financial services. GHLD’s bottom line managed to beat estimates in three of its trailing four quarters (missing the mark in one), the average beat being 57.31%.While shares of Alerus Financial and Houlihan Lokey have gained 5% and 49.1%, respectively, the Guild Holdings stock has lost 3% in the past year.  5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>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 Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (EEFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Houlihan Lokey, Inc. (HLI): Free Stock Analysis Report Alerus Financial (ALRS): Free Stock Analysis Report Guild Holdings Company (GHLD): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 15th, 2021

ETFs to Bet on Popular Investment Themes of 2021

Here we discuss some ETFs that can lend investors exposure to the thematic investing trends of 2021. This year’s headlines were mostly dominated by pandemic-related updates, leaving investors in a continuous quest for good options for putting their money in. Amid the pandemic-related concerns, thematic investing continues to be a popular trend.Meanwhile, the discovery of variants like Delta and Omicron made investors increasingly apprehensive about another round of lockdowns in 2021. Presently, market participants remain concerned about the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s decision to speed up the tapering prices or hike the interest rates sooner.Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at some of the themes that are trending in the investment world:Blockchain and CryptocurrencyBlockchain came into the limelight as the underlying technology for the most popular cryptocurrency — Bitcoin. An article on Investor’s Business Daily has defined blockchain technology as a shared public ledger, also known as a distributed database, which tracks and records transactions in a transparent and tamper-proof way.The estimates for the uptake of this technology are mind-boggling. Deutsche Bank expects blockchain systems to record transactions for about 10% of worldwide GDP by 2027.Cryptocurrency also ruled the headlines as investors kept on tracking the major movements in some digital coins like Bitcoins, Ethereum, Dogecoin and many others. Notable events ranging from the IPO of the biggest cryptocurrency trading platform, Coinbase Global, Inc. (COIN), to El Salvador accepting Bitcoin as legal tender to the launch of the first bitcoin futures ETF in the United States, all highlight the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies.Here are some options for investors to consider to join the trend, one of them being the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF BITO. Those aiming to have an indirect exposure can consider ETFs with exposure to Coinbase. Coinbase has exposure to funds, including VanEck Digital Transformation ETF DAPP and Simplify Volt Fintech Disruption ETF (VFIN). Blockchain ETFs like Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF BLOK may also be tracked by investors (read: Should You Invest in Bitcoin ETFs Now?).Meme Stock FrenzyMeme stocks caught investor attention due to hype on social media and online forums like Reddit, WallStreetBets and Robinhood, instead of focus on the company fundamentals, leading to a surge in trading volumes and share price. Thus, these are considered speculative trades. Meme stocks are triggered by small traders who cause a short squeeze on the stock. Some popular meme names of 2021 are videogame retailer GameStop (GME), movie theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC) and Blackberry (BB).In order to ride the meme stocks frenzy, Tuttle Capital Management introduced The Fear of Missing Out ETF FOMO in 2021 that could lower the risk of investing in a single stock. FOMO ETF offers investors a new tool for leveraging the retail trading boom by investing in all the buzziest “meme stocks” and funds.Clean Energy ETFsAlternative energy includes any energy source that acts as a replacement for conventional and non-renewable fossil fuels. This space has been in the spotlight of late for many reasons. Increasingly, large corporations are making or promising investments to gain a carbon-neutral status.Favorable government initiatives and federal policies, including tax incentives to encourage installation, have continued to accelerate global market growth for clean energy in 2021. Moreover, despite turbulences stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, both solar and wind energies have been dominating the global renewable space.President Joe Biden is expected to talk about climate emergencies on global platforms and ensure that the United States will achieve 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions, at least by 2050. Moreover, he pledged to reduce the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to half by 2030, as stated in a Yahoo Finance article.Thus, investors can consider the following ETFs, such as iShares Global Clean Energy ETF ICLN, Invesco Solar ETF  TAN,  First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (QCLN) and ALPS Clean Energy ETF  (ACES) (read: Best ETFs for the Infrastructure Boom & Megatrends).Digital Payment ETFsThe world is gradually moving toward digitization, increasing the dominance of technology in the financial sector. A Market Data Forecast (MDF) report also highlights the growing opportunities in the global financial technology market, which is expected to see a CAGR of 23.4% between 2021 and 2026. According to the report, the fintech space is expected to reach a market value of around $324 billion by 2026.Along with an increased interest in online shopping, customers are resorting to digital payments to clear their bills. At the same time, merchants and utility providers are increasingly advocating the same.In such a scenario, investors can check out ETFMG Prime Mobile Payments ETF  IPAY,  Ecofin Digital Payments Infrastructure Fund  TPAY and  Global X FinTech ETF  (FINX) (read:  A Comprehensive Guide to Fintech ETFs).AI, Robotics & Cyber Security ETFsAI is fast changing the business landscape by expanding opportunities, driving revenues and enhancing efficiencies. It helps enhance almost everything, including advertising, healthcare, robotics, retail, video streaming, gaming and urban development.We live in an era largely dominated by AI applications and technological advancements. Amid the coronavirus crisis, demand for online services increased, which led to the dominance of AI. Globally, the AI market is estimated to see a CAGR of 29%, rising from $42.8 billion in 2019 to $152.9 billion in 2023, according to an Analytics Insight article.The robotics market is flooded with opportunities as robots are being used for jobs, such as sanitizing hospitals, homes and workplaces, along with monitoring, surveying, handling, and delivering food and medicines.However, the increasing adoption of these technologies is exposing businesses, governments and organizations to cyber risks. Given the severity of the situation, Cybersecurity Ventures expects the worldwide expenditure on cybersecurity to surpass $1 trillion cumulatively from 2017 through 2021.Per a Grand View Research report, the global cybersecurity market is expected to reach $241.1 billion, witnessing a CAGR of 11% from 2019 to 2025. Accordingly, our investors can consider  Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF  BOTZ,  First Trust Nasdaq Artificial Intelligence and Robotics ETF  ROBT,  ROBO Global Robotics & Automation ETF  (ROBO),  iShares Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Multisector ETF  (IRBO),  First Trust Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF CIBR and  ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF  (HACK). Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>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 Invesco Solar ETF (TAN): ETF Research Reports iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN): ETF Research Reports First Trust NASDAQ Cybersecurity ETF (CIBR): ETF Research Reports Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ): ETF Research Reports ETFMG Prime Mobile Payments ETF (IPAY): ETF Research Reports Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK): ETF Research Reports First Trust NASDAQ Artificial Intelligence and Robotics ETF (ROBT): ETF Research Reports Ecofin Digital Payments Infrastructure Fund (TPAY): ETF Research Reports VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP): ETF Research Reports FOMO ETF (FOMO): ETF Research Reports ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 12th, 2021

Mastercard (MA) Ties Up to Unveil Biometric Card in Jordan

Mastercard (MA) ties up with JKB to introduce the first World Elite card backed with biometric authentication in the MEA region, thereby leading to seamless and secured contactless payments. Mastercard Incorporated MA recently collaborated with Jordan-based banking institution, Jordan Kuwait Bank (“JKB”), in a bid to introduce the first-ever Mastercard biometric card, which is commercially available across Jordan. The card called the Jordan Kuwait Bank Biometric World Elite Mastercard becomes the first World Elite card equipped with biometric authentication in the Middle East and Africa (“MEA”) region.The tie-up will enable JKB’s cardholders to use a registered fingerprint at any standard sale terminal point instead of a PIN for conducting fast and seamless digital payments. This provides an added layer of security within the card. Additionally, the new product offering is anticipated to generate hassle-free checkout experiences for in-store purchases by consumers.Mastercard intends to tap the growing demand of consumers for flexible payment options, with biometrics being one of them. With the latest partnership, MA intends to offer the technologically advanced cards to cater to the inclination of Jordanian consumers toward emerging payment technologies. This is also likely to bolster Mastercard’s capabilities, network and presence across the MEA region.The Mastercard New Payments Index highlights the consumers’ affinity toward adopting biometric mode of payments. Two thirds of people surveyed relied more on utilizing biometrics than a PIN number for payment verification purposes. Meanwhile, nearly 50% of respondents in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) remain optimistic about utilizing biometric verification methods in future.The Mastercard Biometric Card has been devised with the help of MA’s cutting-edge technology and combines chip technology with a unique fingerprint template on the card for safe and secured verification of cardholders’ identity. Such offerings offer protection to merchants, who otherwise might suffer from substantial losses due to inefficient payment verification methods and growing incidence of payment frauds that goes hand-in-hand with surge in contactless payments.This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) technology company in the global payments industry has been rolling out a diverse range of contactless payment solutions to tap on the prevailing scenario. Though the global economy is gradually recovering from the COVID-19 induced volatilities, specific woes continue to linger. Thereby, contactless transactions will continue even in the post-pandemic era, which hints toward persistence of payment frauds.Thus, companies offering a comprehensive portfolio of fraud detection solutions for varied industries with higher accuracy will be best positioned to gain in the current scenario. Mastercard has been one such company, which has made consistent efforts to enhance its suite of digital identity services. In June 2021, MA acquired Ekata for extending its identity verification efforts, while assuring safe and securing digital transactions for merchants and customers.Similar to Mastercard, other companies such as Visa Inc. V, PayPal Holdings, Inc. PYPL and American Express Company AXP resorted to launching several contactless payment solutions and simultaneously, have a comprehensive portfolio of fraud detection solutions in place.Visa, being a trusted payment facilitator, has more than 25 digital currency wallets linked to its systems. This reinforces the belief of individuals in increased usage of crypto and digital currencies. V’s portfolio also comprises biometric payment cards. Meanwhile, Visa launched the Advanced Identity Score in 2020 to minimize digital identity frauds and reduce operational costs linked with identity-related forgeries.PayPal enables customers to trade cryptocurrencies, which can be done through the company’s digital wallet. Being a secure gateway, PYPL provides for biometric and QR-based payments to its customers. For minimizing fraud incidence, PayPal made substantial investments to utilize blockchain technology for boosting digital identity capabilities.American Express has been making every effort to enhance its digital solutions suite for assisting its merchants and Card members globally. AXP also partnered with online fraud prevention companies namely Accertify, Microsoft and Riskified in June 2021. The move paved the way for integrating American Express fraud identification solution Enhanced Authorization into the fraud management platforms of the three partners with an aim to detect and block fraudulent transactions.Shares of Mastercard have gained 3.3% in a year against the industry’s decline of 19.8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhile shares of Visa and American Express have gained 38.2% and 1.2%, respectively, in a year, PayPal's stock has lost 9.4% in the same time frame. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 Visa Inc. (V): Free Stock Analysis Report American Express Company (AXP): Free Stock Analysis Report PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 10th, 2021

Internet ETFs Looking Great Bets Amid Omicron Uncertainty

Strong demand for online gaming, shopping, video streaming and work-from-home trends is expected to remain, thereby making Internet indispensable to our daily lives. The ongoing pandemic and discovery of new variants are subtle reminders that the dependency on the Internet might increase with time instead of reducing. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the severity of the Omicron variant, which might once again bring the Internet ETFs in focus to rake in some good returns.The pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for the e-commerce industry to date as people continue to practice social distancing and shop online for all essentials, especially food items. Thus, in sync with the digitization trend, the upcoming U.S. holiday season is expected to see a significant surge in online sales. The National Retail Federation projects online and other non-store sales increase of 11-15% to reach between $218.3 billion and $226 billion in 2021 compared with $196.7 billion registered in 2020.Expanding digitization and the growing dependency on the Internet owing to some new normal trends like work from home, digital payments, digitization of healthcare, rising demand for video gaming among others are painting a rosy picture for the space.The world is gradually moving toward digitization, increasing the dominance of technology in the financial sector. A Market Data Forecast (MDF) report also highlights the growing opportunities in the global financial technology market, which is expected to see a CAGR of 23.4% between 2021 and 2026. According to the report, the fintech space is expected to reach a market value of around $324 billion by 2026.With an increased level of interest in online shopping, customers are resorting to digital payments to clear their bills. At the same time, merchants and utility providers are increasingly advocating the same. Payment services from tech titans like Google Pay, Facebook Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay,  PayPal  (PYPL) and  Square Inc.’s  (SQ) Cash App are the key winners amid the increasing shift to digital payments.Industries like cloud computing have been thriving, with most people working from home. Even though the vaccine rollout has begun globally, demand for cloud computing is set to stay robust even beyond the pandemic. In the wake of the pandemic, cloud technology adoption is projected to witness robust growth in sectors where the work-from-home initiatives are sustaining business functions.Video-gaming lovers in the United States spent generously in October again. The industry continues to gain amid the health crisis. For 10 months, the total consumer spending on gaming is up 12% year over year to $46.67 billion (per The NPD Group data). Market experts are optimistic about the video gaming industry's strength in terms of solid sales growth despite tough year-over-year comparisons, highlighting the momentum in the space.Internet ETFs to GainAgainst this backdrop, let’s look at some Internet ETFs that will continue to gain from increasing demand for online gaming, shopping, video streaming and work-from-home trends due to the coronavirus crisis:First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund FDNFirst Trust Dow Jones Internet Index seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield of the Dow Jones Internet Composite Index. FDN amassed $9.76 billion in assets and charges 51 basis points (bps) in expense ratio. First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) with a High-risk outlook (read: Tech Tops the Winners List of Past Decade: Best ETFs).ARK Next Generation Internet ETF ARKWARK Next Generation Internet ETF is an actively-managed ETF that seeks long-term capital growth by investing under normal circumstances, primarily (at least 80% of its assets) in domestic and the U.S. exchange traded foreign equity securities of companies that are relevant to ARKW’s investment theme of next-generation internet. ARKW has AUM of $4.14 billion with an expense ratio of 79 bps. ARK Next Generation Internet ETF has a Medium-risk outlook (read: ETFs in Trouble as Tesla Takes the Hit of Musk's Twitter Poll).Invesco NASDAQ Internet ETF PNQIInvesco NASDAQ Internet ETF is based on the Nasdaq CTA Internet Index. PNQI will normally invest at least 90% of its total assets securities that comprise the index. The index is designed to track the performance of a the largest and the most liquid US-listed companies engaged in Internet-related businesses and listed on one of the major U.S. stock exchanges. Invesco NASDAQ Internet ETF amassed $911.9 million of assets and charges 60 bps as expense ratio. PNQI presently has a Zacks Rank of 2 with a High-risk outlook (read: 5 Top-Ranked ETFs to Invest in December).O’Shares Global Internet Giants ETF OGIGO’Shares Global Internet Giants ETF is a rules-based ETF designed to provide investors with the means to invest in some of the largest global companies that derive most of their revenues from the Internet and e-commerce sectors that exhibit quality and growth potential. OGIG has AUM of $500.9 million with an expense ratio of 48 bps. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it 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 ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW): ETF Research Reports Invesco NASDAQ Internet ETF (PNQI): ETF Research Reports First Trust Dow Jones Internet ETF (FDN): ETF Research Reports OShares Global Internet Giants ETF (OGIG): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 8th, 2021

Highlights of the day: Chipmakers having growing demand for foundry services

Qualcomm, seeing Samsung 4nm process' weak yield rate, is likely to diversify its foundry sources for high-end Snapdragon SoCs to several different foundries, while Intel is set to visit TSMC in Taiwan to strive for any available 3nm capacity from the foundry. Micron is also seeking more 28nm foundry support from UMC for its eMMC device controller suppliers......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesDec 4th, 2021

Bonhoeffer 3Q21 Commentary: Case Study – Millicom

Bonhoeffer Capital Management commentary for the third quarter ended September 2021, providing a case study for Millicom International Cellular SA (NASDAQ:TIGO). Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dear Partner, The Bonhoeffer Fund returned -2.8% net of fees in the third quarter of 2021. In the same time period, the MSCI World ex-US, a […] Bonhoeffer Capital Management commentary for the third quarter ended September 2021, providing a case study for Millicom International Cellular SA (NASDAQ:TIGO). if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dear Partner, The Bonhoeffer Fund returned -2.8% net of fees in the third quarter of 2021. In the same time period, the MSCI World ex-US, a broad-based index returned -0.7% and the DFA International Small Cap Value Fund, our closest benchmark, returned -2.5%. Year to date, the Bonhoeffer Fund has returned 22.9% net of fees. As of September 30, 2021, our securities have an average earnings/free cash flow yield of 14.3% and an average EV/EBITDA of 4.7. The DFA International Small Cap Value Fund had an average earnings yield of 11.1%. These multiples are lower than last quarter primarily due to increasing earnings and declining share prices. The difference between the portfolio’s market valuation and my estimate of intrinsic value is greater than 100%. I remain confident that the gap will close over time and the portfolio quality will continue to increase as we increase allocations to faster-growing firms. Bonhoeffer Fund Portfolio Overview Our investment universe has been extended beyond value-oriented special situations to include growthoriented firms using a value framework, including companies that generate growth through consolidation. There have been modest changes within the portfolio in the last quarter in line with our low historical turnover rates. We have sold Cambria Automotive which is in the process of being acquired and used the proceeds to increase our holdings in Asbury Automotive, Countryside Properties, and Millicom. As of September 30, 2021, our largest country exposures include: South Korea, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, and Philippines. The largest industry exposures include: distribution, telecom/media, real estate/infrastructure, and consumer products. We added to some smaller positions within the portfolio and are investigating additional consolidation plays with modest valuations in industries that have nice returns on invested capital such as fiber rollouts, convenience stores, and IT services. Compound Mispricings (37% of Portfolio; Quarterly Average Performance -8%) Our Korean preferred stocks, the nonvoting share of Telecom Italia, Wilh. Wilhelmsen, and some HoldCos all feature characteristics of compound mispricings. The thesis for the closing of the voting, nonvoting, and holding company valuation gap includes evidence of better governance and liquidity. We are also looking for corporate actions such as spinoffs, sales, or holding company transactions and overall growth. Throughout the year, Net1 UEPS has been accumulating cash from the sale of its non-core assets including a Korean transaction processing network and its stake in a crypto bank. This cash, in addition to issuing some debt, was used to purchase Connect, a merchant transaction processor catering to small and medium businesses. This acquisition will complement its consumer fintech EasyPay transaction and ATM network and expand Net1 UEPS’s total addressable market to include small and midsized businesses and lead to profitability. The Korean preferred discounts in our portfolio are still large (25% to 73%). The trends of better governance and liquidity have reduced the discount in names like Samsung Electronics, and more preferred names trade at a premium to common shares. We continue to like the prospects for LG Corp preferred post LX Holdings spinoff from both a business and discount perspective. The current discount to NAV is 74% for the LG Corp preferred. In addition, this discount is based upon a base value of LG Corp with reasonable implied EV/EBITDA multiples of LG Corp subsidiaries of 4.7x for LG Electronics, 13.6x for LG Chemical (including LG’s EV battery division), and 16.7x for LG Household & Health Care. Public LBOs (37% of Portfolio; Quarterly Average Performance -1%) Our broadcast TV franchises, leasing, building products distributors, and roll-on/roll-off (RORO) shipping fall into this category. One trend I’ve noted in these firms is growth creation through acquisitions which provide synergies and operational leverage associated with vertical and horizontal consolidation and the subsequent repurchasing of shares with debt. The increased cash flow is used to pay the debt and the process is repeated. Millicom, this quarter’s case study, is a public LBO that has financed many of its investment opportunities with debt. The recently announced buyout of its Guatemalan JV partner illustrates this. The debt, when used in situations like this, has been paid down over time as Millicom generates a lot of free cash flow and can increase returns like leveraged rollups, as described below. Distribution Theme (41% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance +3%) Our holdings in car and branded capital equipment dealerships, convenience stores, building product distributors, and capital equipment leasing firms all fall into the distribution theme. One of the main KPIs for dealerships and shopping is velocity or inventory turns. We own some of the highest-velocity dealerships in markets around the world. There have been challenges in some markets hit by COVID, like South Africa and Latin America; but there should be recovery now that vaccines have been approved and distributed. GS Retail, the second largest convenience store operator in Korea (with 14,600 convenience stores and 320 grocery stores), is the security we received for the buyout of GS Home Shopping. We have applied our growth methodology described in the last quarterly report. The following is a summary: The convenience store business is growing and consolidating worldwide. As a result of the acquisition, management is planning on using the younger customer data from GS Retail, the older customer data from GS Home Shopping, and the GS distribution network (42 logistics centers supporting convenience, grocery, and home shopping customers) to provide older and younger customers their products instore (convenience store) or next-day home delivery across Korea. Management expects 10% growth overall, composed of underlying convenience store growth of 4-5% and 5% from cross selling and digital commerce from the merger. Given the fixed costs in the convenience store network and distribution infrastructure, management expects cost synergies to generate net income margins of 5.0%. If these revenue and growth rates are realized, then a P/E closer to comparable convenience stores BGF Retail (Korea), Seven & I, and Alimentation Couche-Tard of 15-20x is not unreasonable. This range has significant upside from current P/E multiple of 5.9x and five-year forward P/E of 4.3x. Telecom/Transaction Processing Theme (36% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance -2%) The increasing use of transaction processing in our firms’ markets and the rollout of 5G will provide growth opportunities. Given that most of these firms are holding companies and have multiple components of value (including real estate), the timeline for realization may be longer than for other firms. Telecom Italia continues to work with the Italian government and Fiber Corp to merge their telecommunications infrastructures together. Vivendi has called an emergency board meeting to ensure Telecom Italia will retain control of the combined telecommunication infrastructure after the merger. We view this action as a positive despite the decline in Telecom Italia’s share price. The updated sum-ofthe- parts analysis (as detailed in previous letters) implies an upside of 80–100%. In my opinion, much of the recent decline is due to concerns that Telecom Italia will give up control of the combined telecommunications infrastructure. Consumer Product Theme (10% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance -7%) Our consumer product, tire, and beverage firms comprise this category. The defensive nature of these firms has led to lower-than-average performance due to the stronger performance from more recoverycorrelated names. One theme we have been examining is the increase in sales of adult products (tobacco, alcohol, and lottery) in convenience stores as other stores are removing these products from their product offerings. GS Retail is taking advantage of this trend in Korea. Real Estate/Construction Theme (23% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance -3%) In my opinion, the pricing of our real estate holdings has been impacted by both a recession and the communist takeover in Hong Kong. The current cement and construction holdings (in US/Europe via BFS and Countryside and in Korea via Asia Cement) should do well as the world recovers from COVID shutdowns and governments start infrastructure programs. Asia Standard also declined during the quarter due to the concern over the decline in its Chinese real estate developer bond holdings. Asia Standard holds a large number of Chinese real estate developer bonds, including those of Evergrande and Kaisa. The Evergrande bonds have declined to about 20% of face value as of September 30 (they were at 40% of face value on July 31, 2021, the last market-to-market valuation date for Asia Standard’s bond portfolio) while the Kaisa bonds have declined to 85% of face value. I ran a stress test assuming a 25% decline in the bond portfolio from July 31, 2021. This is 2x the 13% decline in the portfolio from Evergrande and Kaisa bond prices between July 31, 2021, to September 30, 2021. The resulting NAV/share is $8.09 versus the $10.09 NAV as of July 31, 2021. The September 30 stock price of $0.85 is at a 91% discount to the stressed NAV and 92% to the July 31, 2021, NAV. Consolidation Frameworks In our Q1 letter, we described how we are examining growth opportunities associated with consolidation in fragmented industries. Growth from consolidation can be a resilient form of growth as it is dependent upon the availability of target firms and associated cost and revenue synergies versus overall market growth. When consolidation growth is combined with modest industry growth, some exciting growth can be realized. If the firms also exhibit operational leverage from economies of scale/scope, then the combined effect can be significant growth in earnings or free cash flows. The advantage of this type of growth is that it is realized over time and not recognized by the market in advance. This can be seen in the price charts of many of these firms moving from the lower left to the upper right over time as the growth is realized. Fragmented markets can have long runways associated with consolidation and economies of scale and scope which can lead to cash flow growth in excess of the market growth for many years. We try to identify these markets and firms that can ride the consolation wave over a long timeframe. Some of these firms have valuations reflecting some of the future growth and some have little to no premium reflecting future growth from consolidation. Currently, the internet (an innovation) is providing more consolidation via additional fragmentation of retail demand from offline, online, and omni-channel selling channels. An example is traditional auto dealers using an omni-channel sales approach and Carvana who is exclusively online. Bonhoeffer is looking for businesses that are adopting the innovation (internet distribution) which will enhance growth going forward but where it is not recognized by the market yet, as evidenced by the current stock price. Some analysts have developed useful frameworks to evaluate consolidation or serial acquirer situations. Scott Capital has developed a useful framework1 for categorizing consolidators, shown below: Scott has categorized these types of firms depending upon the level of target integration. Most of the firms we have been examining recently have been rollups (firms in the same industry) with scale-driven synergies and operational leverage. We also hold one platform (Wilh. Wilhelmsen) and one holding company (LG Corp). Another way to look at these firms is cross-sectionally based on total addressable market (TAM) size and integration of operations, as described by Canuck Analysts Substack2 below: Using this framework for our current areas of interest (rollups), I have been monitoring acquisition multiples in the car dealers (Asbury Automotive), local TV and radio firms (Gray Television), building supply distribution (Builders First Source), Latin American telecommunications (Millicom), cement firms (Asia Cement), equipment leasing firms (Ashtead), and network processing (Net 1 UEPS). In each of these segments, multiples have been modest. None of these firms have done international “diworsifying” deals to date and some have recently divested unrelated firms (Net 1 UEPS, Daelim Industrial and LG Corp). In each of these markets, the market share of the top firms is less than 10% except for GS Retail, where itself and FRB have a dominant share of 31% each, and Millicom, where it has a leading or number two position in eight of its nine markets where it competes. The small market shares provide a large runway for consolidation in its existing industry for years to come. Also, none have made international expansion into new markets outside their existing footprints. A return benchmark developed by the Canuck Analysts Substack3 is shown below: This framework, used in combination with calculating return on incremental capital, can illustrate where the invested capital returns can be modest. As an example, we will look at Asbury Automotive. Asbury’s returns on invested capital averaged 13%, and the return on equity averages 31% over the past 10 years plus an organic growth rate of 2 to 3% per year based upon US auto sales and maintenance service costs. This results in an ROIC plus ½ of annual organic growth of about 15%. The size of Asbury’s acquisitions has been about $1.4 billion over the past five years. Below is Asbury’s return on incremental invested capital over the past 10 years which has averaged in the upper teens during that period. For other serial acquirers like Ashtead, the organic growth rate is 6% and its ROICs over the past 10 years is 14% resulting in an ROIC plus ½ of annual organic growth of about 17%. The size of Ashtead’s acquisitions has been about $2.0 billion over the past five years. Conclusion As always, if you would like to discuss any of the philosophies or investments in deeper detail, then please do not hesitate to reach out. Until next quarter, thank you for your confidence in our work and have a safe and warm year-end holiday season. Warm Regards, Keith D. Smith, CFA Case Study: Millicom International Cellular SA (TIGO) Millicom International Cellular SA (NASDAQ:TIGO) provides mobile and broadband telecommunications services to consumers and businesses in Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama) and South America (Columbia, Bolivia, and Paraguay). TIGO provides legacy voice, wireless and data services, and fiber-based services to firms and individuals. Currently, TIGO has 43.1 million wireless subscribers, including 20.3 million 4G subscribers and 4.9 million home customers, including 8.4 million revenue generating units (RGUs) and 4.1 million broadband subscribers. In addition, TIGO’s network includes 5,400 points of presence and 300,000 business customers. TIGO is the number one or two broadband and wireless provider in eight of the nine markets in which TIGO competes. Recently, TIGO announced the purchase of its joint venture (JV) partner’s share of its JV in Guatemala for $2.2 billion. This transaction will be financed by debt and a shareholder friendly common stock rights offering. TIGO provides mobile money/banking services for five million customers in six countries. TIGO also has 10,000 towers and 13 data centers which can be sold and leased backed. TIGO is in the process of separating its towers and data centers (like Telefónica and América Móvil) and its mobile money/banking service to facilitate sales or investments by third parties. In 2017, TIGO sold 3,410 towers in Columbia, El Salvador, and Paraguay for $417 million or $122,287 per tower. Historically, TIGO operated in both Africa and Latin America. Over the past five years, TIGO has divested its African telecommunications assets and purchased additional assets in Latin America. TIGO’s network passes over 12.2 million homes (24% penetration of total homes) and covers 80% of mobile phones. The firm is in the midst of rolling out fiber to homes to provide broadband connectivity to Latin American customers. This rollout is being funded by cash flow from operations. The firm has been described as building a Charter Communications under a wireless Verizon umbrella. This is similar to our Consolidated Communications play with the additional benefit of having a wireless network and a mobile money business. In most countries in which TIGO operates, they have joint ventures or minority interest local partners. TIGO currently has an average high-speed internet (HSI) penetration rate (a take rate of HSI for homes passed) of about 39% across the countries it serves. This has increased by 1.4% since year-end 2020. To put this in context, most cable broadband penetrations are in the 50% plus range. In seven of the nine countries they serve, TIGO is the number one or two competitor in wireless and broadband in two-player markets (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, and Paraguay) and number three in two markets (Nicaragua and Costa Rica). The Q3 2021 mobile average revenue per RGU was $6.40 per month, and the broadband revenue per RGU was $28.10 per month. The largest shares of proportional EBITDA are from Guatemala (38%), Bolivia (11%), Paraguay (11%), Panama (10%), and Columbia (9%). In terms of regions, 70% of EBITDA is from Central America and 30% from South America. TIGO has developed a customer-focused culture at the corporate and country level using NPS as a metric which is collected and used as a management incentive to increase customer satisfaction. In addition, the countries that TIGO serves have stable currencies versus the US dollar. Since 2000, the EBITDA weighted average currency movements have been only 0.7% per year. Another positive trend is the movement of suppliers to US-based firms moving from China to a closer location with political and currency stability—Central America. If we look at the index of economic freedom for the Central American countries in which TIGO primarily operates, they have a moderately free ranking. For the subcategories most of interest to suppliers (tax burden and trade and business freedom), they all are ranked free or mostly free (highest ratings). Millicom and Fiber-optic Rollout The Latin American telecommunications services market is a local, fragmented market. Consolidation has occurred over the past 10 years amongst these local players, and the next generation of technology (fiber-optic connections) is being rolled out. Fiber-optic rollouts are generating organic growth and economies of scale with high incremental user profitability. Millicom has created economies of scale depending upon the geography of the acquired telecommunications firm. There is also the vertical integration across telecommunications services (like wireless, voice, data, cable, and hosting) in a given geography which can create additional economies of scale. With these rollouts, telecommunications companies compete with the local cable companies—and in some cases wireless providers—to provide HSI and other services to customers in their local footprints. Historically, telecommunications and cable firms have had poor customer service, as evidenced by low net promoter scores (NPSs). Keith Rabois, a founder of PayPal, has tweeted, “Formula for startup success: Find large highly fragmented industry w low NPS; vertically integrate a solution to simplify value product.” Part of simplifying the solution is providing multiple services and good customer service. The telecommunication services market fits this description. The new fiber rollouts are analogous to organic startups and thus can also be successful in the vertical integration into these markets. Business and Service Analysis One way to look at telecom business is to divide it into slowly growing (wireless) and quickly growing segments (HSI). The slower-growing wireless business is mature and is growing about 2% per year. The HSI business is growing at an 8% annual rate driven by fiber rollouts in TIGO’s countries. Millicom’s overall mix of wireless and HSI revenue is 33% HSI and 67% wireless, with 67% recurring subscription revenue (HSI and post-paid wireless) but varies by country. The current revenue growth rate is 4.3% and will increase to 5%, by the end of 10 years and the HSI/wireless mix approach 50%/50%. If we look at unit economics of the fiber rollout, it is also quite favorable. According to management, the estimated cost to pass each new customer is about $150; and the cost to connect a customer is $100. This is similar to the cost reported by Oi, a telecommunications firm rolling out a fiber-optic network in Brazil. If you have a final penetration rate of 45% using the current HSI monthly charge of $28/month, and a steady-state EBITDA margin of 45% (which management believes are both achievable at scale; the current margin is 40%), then the payback time is between six and seven years, and the unlevered IRR is 26% and a levered return of 52%. See Exhibit A for details. Latin America Broadband Telecommunications Market The broadband telecom business in Latin America is a fragmented market on an international basis and a concentrated market on a country-by-country basis. The market is a local market, so the smaller country markets only have a few competitors. This leads to less price competition for TIGO than in larger, more urban markets where there are more competitors. Gig speed internet and wireless are core infrastructure services that will be required in the internet service economy. Currently, broadband usage is growing at a 30-40%/year rate and is expected to increase going forward, as more bandwidthintensive applications are developed and rolled out over time. Since most of TIGO’s competition is from cable companies and incumbent telecom firms (that have low NPSs), TIGO has an opportunity to provide improved customer service versus the cable companies. This highlights the importance of the decentralized management system, incentivized and shareholding country managers, and including NPSs in management’s incentive compensation at the corporate and country levels. Of the other publicly traded Latin American telecommunications firms, TIGO has the largest potential to increase HSI organic revenue growth (by 8%) via a fiber rollout in its incumbent territories. This can be seen in the projections based upon the currently planned and financed fiber rollout shown in Exhibit B. The tilt toward the faster-growing Central American countries (which should get some opportunities to replace China as exporters to the US) versus the slower-growing South American countries will also add a nice tailwind. The countries TIGO services had an average real GDP growth rate of 3.2% per year over the past five years versus the overall 0.7% GDP growth rate for all of Latin America. Downside Protection TIGO has been reducing debt over the past few years with a current proportional debt/EBITDA of 2.7x and a goal of 2.0x. TIGO has a bond rating of Ba2 and yields 3.5% for five- to 10-year bonds. TIGO is in a defensive business—telecommunications services—which has a large amount of recurring revenue. HSI data revenues are increasing, while wireless revenues are increasing at a slower rate. See below for projections and Exhibit B for more detailed projections. Below is the proportional historical and projected revenue, EBITDA, and FCF since 2016 when the Guatemalan and Honduran JVs were deconsolidated. Management and Incentives One of the risks in emerging-markets investing is management, as they may have different incentives than those to which Western investors are accustomed. In this case, you have a management team based in the US (Miami) that has been historically influenced by the firm’s domicile, Sweden. TIGO is led by a former Liberty Latin America executive, Mauricio Ramos. He brings the Liberty Media playbook (a successful leveraged rollup strategy of cable-related properties and associated shareholder friendly corporate actions) to the markets that TIGO serves. TIGO is listed in Sweden and the United States and brings the corporate governance practices, capital allocation, and shareholder renumeration approaches to its operations throughout Latin America. In many countries, TIGO has local JV partners which provide TIGO with access to the local connections. TIGO has management incentives, including TIGO stock (with minimum levels for country managers) at both the corporate and country levels. The capital allocation is also done at both the corporate and country levels. This country-level capital allocation, incentives, and stock ownership is unusual for a Latin American company. The major categories of capital allocation for TIGO are: 1) purchasing minority interests from partners, 2) investing in the HSI broadband rollout described above, 3) selective acquisitions, 4) repurchasing shares, or 5) distributing dividends. Categories 1, 2, 3 and 4 have the most well-defined and highest returns and have been used by management in the past. In 2020, the CEO’s management compensation was 20% base salary and 80% incentive-based bonus, of which short-term incentive (STI) is 50% equity based (TIGO shares) and 50% cash based and long-term incentive (LTI) is 100% equity based (TIGO shares). The 2020 STI compensation was based on service revenue growth, EBITDA growth, operational cash flow growth, NPS, and other operational goals. The 2020 LTI compensation is based upon service and EBITDA growth and relative total shareholder return versus peers. The 2020 equity-based shares were issued at $38.09 per share, and the 2019 shares were issued at $42.70 per share. Overall, 700,000 shares were granted in 2020 (about 0.7% of shares outstanding per year). The management team owns 0.7% of TIGO common stock. TIGO has stock ownership guidelines of 5x the salary for the CEO, 3x for other senior managers, and 1x for country managers. Valuation The valuation of TIGO is an interesting exercise because its expected growth rate is accelerated by the fiber rollout and share buybacks described above. The implied growth using the Graham Formula, adjusted to today’s interest rates ((8.5 + 2g)*(4.4/AAA bond rate)) and the current P/E, is -1.8%, clearly implying that the market expects TIGO’s cash flows to continue to decline. Some benchmarks for growth are the projected sales growth rates of 4.5% per year (based upon the fiber rollout), an EBITDA growth rate of 6% per year, and an adjusted free cash flow growth of 12%. The question is whether this growth rate is sustainable over the next seven years. Given the key penetration, margin, investment, and timing assumptions in the projection model, I believe it is. TIGO is the only Latin American publicly traded telecom firm that has a rollout of this magnitude (adding 18% to revenue) scheduled over the next five to seven years. One firm that also has a Latin American footprint is Liberty Latin America (LILA). LILA has grown revenues and EBITDA at about 8% per year since 2015. The EBITDA margin is similar to TIGO, but historically the conversion to FCF from EBITDA was 50% less than TIGO—25% for TIGO and closer to 12% for LILA. The current FCF multiple of LILA is about 16x. If that multiple is applied to TIGO’s FCF, it yields a value of $74 per share, which I believe is a reasonable 12-month target. If, over the five to seven years, a 12% FCF growth is attained, then the earnings will be $8.19. Applying a 23.8x multiple to these earnings (implying a 4% growth rate over the subsequent seven years) means a value of $195 per share is obtained. Another way to look at valuation is on an enterprise basis. If we value TIGO on a forward EBITDA basis of 9x EBITDA (the current multiple of cable overbuilder WOW!), then the resulting value is $200 per share. If we consider both benchmarks, then a $200 price target is not unreasonable. See Exhibit B for details. This results in a five-year IRR of about 42%. In addition to the core assets, TIGO has about 10,000 towers (with an additional 2,000 under construction), 13 data centers, and a mobile banking division. According to management, these non-core assets are being prepared for either sale-leasebacks or investments by third parties. The estimated value of the towers and data centers is about $2 billion—$1.1 billion for the towers and $900 million for the data centers. The tower valuation of $1.4 billion is based upon an estimated value per tower of $120k based upon tower transaction values (TIGO’s historic transactions averaged $122k/tower and a 2021 Telxius transaction was $110k/tower, 9,300 Latin American towers for €900 million) and Telesites’s current valuation of $252k/tower times 12,000 towers. The data center valuation of $750 million is based upon an estimated value per data center of $58k which is based upon Latin American data center transactions (Anxel data centers were purchase by Equinix for $58k/center, three data centers for $175 million, and Telefónica data centers were purchased by Asterion for $58k/data center, nine data centers for €550 million) times 13 data center. Adding together the towers and data centers, the total valuation of these assets is $2.1 billion. The mobile banking division (TIGO Money) can be valued using a range of values based upon the value of African mobile banking firms and Latin American neobank firms. The mobile banking business had 5 million customers and 48 million transactions in 2020. If we use African mobile banking transactions (20 million Airtel customers were purchased for $2.6 billion and 46 million MTN customers were purchased for $5.0 billion), the average value per user is $121. If we use $121/customer times 5 million transactions, it implies a $600 million value for TIGO Money. If we use recent Latin American neobank transactions (40 million Nubank (Brazil) customers were purchased for a $30 billion valuation and 3.5 million Ualá (Argentina) customers were purchased for a $2.45 billion valuation), the average value per user is $750. If we use the midpoint of the African mobile banking and Latin American neobanks of $435, we get $435 times 5 million customers, and the resulting value is $2.2 billion. This is additional value of $2.7 to $4.2 billion ($27 to $42 per share) in addition to the core business value estimated above. So, for example, if you assume a 12% FCF growth rate and the value of non-core assets, you get a total value of $255 to $270 per share. Comparables Given the fiber rollout and the size of TIGO, the comparable firms include US and Italian small-cap telecommunications firms. One of the larger issues in Latin American firms versus developed markets is currency risk, however; as described above, TIGO’s currency risk is similar to developed markets’ risk. The following are the comparable firms in the US and Italian telecommunications markets. The smaller Italian telecom firms have smaller floats than the US firms and are majority controlled (70%+) by the original owners. There have been some private equity acquisitions in the US rural local exchange carriers (RLEC) space, namely Cincinnati Bell and Alaska Communications. These firms have a similar dynamic associated with their respective fiber rollouts, and private equity firms have invested in these firms for similar reasons that make CNSL attractive. Cincinnati Bell has been purchased by the private equity firm Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, which outbid an original offer from Brookfield Asset Management. Alaska Communications is also in the process of being purchased by ATN International and Freedom 3 Capital. The EV/EBITDA paid by these buyers was 6.5 to 6.9x EBITDA for assets with lower margins than the current price of TIGO (4.6x EBITDA). Benchmarking In comparison to other US and Italian firms, TIGO has above-average (but good) FCF ROE and a high EBITDA margin. With TIGO’s fiber rollout and customer take-up, the fixed asset turns and ROEs should increase. With these favorable operational metrics, TIGO has one of the lowest current and 2021 P/FCF ratios of either group. Risks The primary risks to achieving a target valuation of $72 per share for TIGO include: a lower-than-expected broadband penetration of fiber rollout communities; and a quicker-than-expected decline in the legacy telecom lines. Potential Upside/Catalysts The primary upsides/catalysts include: faster-than-expected penetration of uptake of broadband services; operational leverage due to economies of scale; and re-rating to reflect higher growth. Timeline/Investment Horizon The short-term target is $72, which is more than double today’s price. I think the investment thesis can play out over the next three to five years. By that time, TIGO’s net income and earnings should have appreciated by 75%, and the fair multiple could triple with a 4% increased growth rate. If that is the case, then TIGO will attain a 6.7x return to $235 over five years or 46% annualized. This is similar to a “Davis double,” where both underlying earnings increase along with the fair value multiple. Updated on Dec 1, 2021, 1:24 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 1st, 2021

Why Seasoned Investors are Retaining Acadia (ACHC) Stock

Acadia Healthcare's (ACHC) buyouts are helping the company to add facilities, beds and hospitals to its network and contributing to its top line. Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. ACHC is well-poised to grow on the back of robust volumes and operational improvement in the U.S. segment. Streamlining portfolio in order to boost profits is also commendable.Acadia Healthcare — with a market cap of $6.1 billion — provides behavioral health care services in the United States and the U.K. The Franklin, TN-based firm is primarily involved in developing inpatient psychiatric facilities, outpatient behavioral healthcare facilities, residential treatment centers, substance abuse facilities and others.The company beat earnings estimates thrice in the last four quarters and met once, the average surprise being 20.2%.Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. QuoteCourtesy of solid prospects, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock is worth holding on to at the moment.Major PositivesThe company’s revenues witnessed a CAGR of 3.1% in the 2015-2020 period owing to strong organic and inorganic growth. Even though revenues were affected by the coronavirus outbreak initially, a strong performing U.S. business drove the top line. For 2021, revenues are estimated between $2.295 billion and $2.315 billion, the mid-point of which indicates growth of 10% from the 2020 reported figure. Acadia Healthcare’s growth strategy, which includes network expansion through addition of beds, setting up of wholly-owned de novo facilities by strategic joint ventures and acquisitions, bodes well for the top line.Acadia Healthcare has been emphasizing on buyouts for expedited growth. This strategy helped the company to add facilities, beds and hospitals to its network and contributed to the top line. The company remains actively engaged with its acquisition pipeline and expects buyout and joint venture activity to be heavily skewed toward acute facilities in the domestic market. In fact, the company added 104 beds to its existing operations in the third quarter.Acadia Healthcare is also actively pursuing joint ventures (JVs) with renowned healthcare systems, which is helping the company to expand its capabilities through bed additions. The healthcare provider has a robust pipeline of JV projects, which are yet to be completed. This makes the company optimistic about the year 2022. The year 2022 is likely to be its strongest year with respect to JVs as four or five facilities are expected to commence operations. This month, it entered into a JV with California’s renowned integrated healthcare system, Scripps Health, for operating an inpatient behavioral health hospital in the Eastlake community of Chula Vista. The hospital will house 120 beds and a speciality unit, which will cater to the behavioral health treatment of active-duty military and veterans.Its strategic moves to streamline portfolio in order to boost profits are also praiseworthy. It separated the underperforming U.K. operations this year, which was negatively impacting growth. The move enables Acadia Healthcare to improve profitability and achieve growth by focusing on more profitable business.Key ConcernsHowever, there are a few factors that are impeding the growth of the stock lately.ACHC expects 2021 adjusted earnings per share within $2.51-$2.59 down from the earlier view of $2.50-$2.70. Shrinking bottom line can be worrisome. Also, the company’s high leverage remains a cause of concern for investors. Its long-term debt of $1.44 billion is way higher than cash and cash equivalents of $196.3 million, which highlights the company’s weak solvency position. This can affect its financial flexibility. Nevertheless, we believe that a systematic and strategic plan of action will drive its long-term growth.Stocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked players in the medical space include Co-Diagnostics, Inc. CODX, Doximity, Inc. DOCS and Harrow Health, Inc. HROW, each having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Salt Lake City, UT-based Co-Diagnostics’ bottom line for 2021 has witnessed one upward estimate revision in the past 30 days and no movement in the opposite direction. During this time period, its earnings estimates have risen 17.9%. CODX beat earnings estimates thrice in the last four quarters and missed once, the average surprise being 35.6%. The molecular diagnostics company provides a wide range of testing services to customers. Its joint venture CoSara in India is likely to have boosted its addressable market size. Also, Co-Diagnostics’ Logix Smart™ ABC test received a green signal from the Mexican watchdogs. Deals like these will keep strengthening its client base around the world.Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Doximity’s bottom line for 2021 has witnessed four upward estimate revisions in the past 30 days and no movement in the opposite direction. During this time period, its earnings estimates have risen 39%. DOCS’ cloud-based digital platform for medical professionals is expected to keep growing in the coming days. As the coordinated patient care and virtual patient visits are expected to increase, backed by improved technologies, demand for Doximity’s platform will keep rising.Based in San Diego, CA, Harrow Health’s bottom line for 2021 is expected to soar 346.2% year over year. It has witnessed one upward estimate revision in the past 30 days and no movement in the opposite direction. HROW beat earnings estimates thrice in the past four quarters and missed once, the average surprise being 38%. It is an ophthalmic-focused healthcare firm. Its recent acquisitions of ophthalmic surgical drug candidates from Sintetica and Wakamoto Pharmaceutical are major positives. Moves like these will likely bolster Harrow Health’s commercial success in the U.S. and Canadian markets.In the past six months, stocks of Co-Diagnostics, Doximity and Harrow Health rose 15.3%, 25.8% and 8.6%, respectively. Tech IPOs With Massive Profit Potential: Last years top IPOs surged as much as 299% within the first two months. With record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs and a record-setting stock market, this year could be even more lucrative. See Zacks’ Hottest Tech IPOs Now >>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 Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (ACHC): Free Stock Analysis Report Harrow Health, Inc. (HROW): Free Stock Analysis Report CoDiagnostics, Inc. (CODX): Free Stock Analysis Report Doximity, Inc. (DOCS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 30th, 2021

Twitter (TWTR) Down 13.3% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

Twitter (TWTR) 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 Twitter (TWTR). Shares have lost about 13.3% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Twitter 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 catalysts. Twitter's Q3 Earnings Miss Estimates, Ad Revenues RiseTwitter reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted loss of 54 cents per share in contrast to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of earnings of 17 cents per share. The company had reported earnings of 19 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.Revenues increased 37% year over year to $1.28 billion that missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.3%. The year-over-year top-line growth was driven by strong performance across all major products and geographies. Strength in brand advertising as well as accelerating year-over-year growth in Mobile App Promotion (MAP) revenues aided growth.Twitter stated that the impact of Apple’s iOS 14.5 privacy change was less than expected in the third quarter and will be modest in the fourth quarter.Earlier this year, Apple introduced a major privacy feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT) that allowed users to opt out of third-party app tracking. This means apps can no longer collect data about users from third parties and use that data to better target them with ads unless a user specifically gives the app permission to do so.Other tech giants including Snap and Facebook cited Apple’s new privacy features as the key factor that made ad-targeting difficult in the latest quarter.Advertising Revenue DetailsAdvertising revenues increased 41% year over year to $1.14 billion driven by strong demand in the United States and continued momentum across key markets around the world, fueled by revenue product improvements, strong sales execution, and increased demand for digital ads in general.U.S. advertising revenues totaled $647.4 million, up 51% year over year. International ad revenues increased 30% to $493 million.The company’s advertising revenues witnessed strong contributions from SMB customers, with revenues accelerating in double digits. This reflected increased investments across sales and products with higher spending per advertiser.Twitter benefited from strong advertiser demand as it looked to launch products and services across a number of key verticals, including technology, retail, media & entertainment, and financial services.Total ad engagements increased 6%, driven by steady growth in ad impressions due to growing audience and increased demand for ads.Cost per engagement (CPE) increased 33%, primarily driven by the mix shift to lower funnel ad formats and like-for-like price increases across most ad formats.Twitter launched a new brand measurement service for third-party partners in the third quarter that provides real-time ad impressions, engagements, and viewability data to support Viewability Verification and Audience Verification for ads.The company also more than doubled the available language targeting options, making 25 new languages available for targeting in the Twitter Ads Manager and through Ads API.Besides, for Website Clicks, Twitter introduced Multi-Destination Carousels, enabling advertisers to market and drive traffic to multiple products inside the same ad.For MAP advertisers, Twitter released an updated Learning Period model in the third quarter. The model delivers more consistent campaign performance, leading to a 36% increase in the number of campaigns that achieved the minimum viable threshold for campaign performance and advertiser retention.User DetailsAverage monetizable daily active users (mDAU) grew 13% year over year to 211 million, driven by global conversation around current events and ongoing product improvements. Average mDAU grew 5 million sequentially.The average U.S. mDAU was 37 million, up 4% from the year-ago quarter and 2% from the previous quarter. The average international mDAU was 174 million, rising 15% year over year and 3% from the previous quarter.In the third quarter, Twitter launched more than 2,300 new Topics, bringing the total number of Topics that people can follow up to 11,800 across 11 languages. Markedly, 230 million accounts now follow at least one Topic.Twitter made it easier for new customers to sign up in the third quarter, with a single sign-on, allowing people to sign up or log into Twitter with their Google Account or Apple ID.The company launched three new monetization products for creators in the third quarter, including Tips, Super Follows, and Ticketed Spaces. Tip Jar enables people to directly support creators through tipping. Ticketed Spaces allows people to pay for access to exclusive live audio experiences and other exclusive content is available via monthly subscription through Super Follows. These features helped Twitter gain subscribers in the reported quarter.The company also started to roll out Communities, an easy way to find and connect with people who have similar interests.Twitter continued to enhance the global conversation on its platform with live and on-demand video content. The company extended its existing partnership with Dow Jones Corporation to include a renewal of the successful WSJ What’s Now series, as well as new Barrons, Investor’s Business Daily, and MarketWatch content on its platform.The company also signed a deal with Fox Sports to bring the best of college football content to its platform with real-time highlights.In the third quarter, Twitter also introduced Safety Mode to protect user privacy. This new feature aims to reduce disruptive interactions by temporarily blocking accounts for using potentially harmful language (such as insults or hateful remarks) or sending repetitive and uninvited replies or mentions.Revenue DetailsU.S. revenues (58% of revenues) surged 45% year over year to $741.8 million. International revenues (42% of revenues) increased 28% to $541.9 million.Japan remained the company’s second-largest market in the reported quarter. Revenues from the country (12% of total revenues) increased 20% to $159 million.Data licensing and other revenues increased 12% from the year-ago quarter to 43 million, driven by MoPub.Operating DetailsTwitter’s total costs and expenses were $2.03 billion, up 130% on a year-over-year basis, driven by a one-time litigation-related net charge of $766 million, as well as higher sales-related expenses, headcount growth, and infrastructure costs.Research and development expenses jumped 55% year over year to $324 million, primarily due to higher personnel-related costs. Sales and marketing expenses increased 40% to $301 million, primarily due to higher sales-related expenses. General and administrative expenses rose 60% to $151 million, primarily due to higher personnel-related costs offset by a decrease in supporting overhead expenses.Adjusted EBITDA loss was $444.8 million against the year-ago quarter’s adjusted EBITDA of $294 million.Twitter incurred operating loss of $743 million, which included a one-time litigation-related net charge of $766 million against the year-ago quarter’s operating income of $56 million. Adjusted operating income, which excludes the $766 million litigation-related net charge, was $23 million, reflecting an adjusted operating margin of 2%.Balance SheetAs of Sep 30, 2021, Twitter had $7.41 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, reflecting the repayment of an aggregate principal amount of $954 million in senior convertible notes due in September 2021. The company had $8.61 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of Jun 30, 2021.Net cash provided by operating activities in the reported quarter was $389 million, up from $382 million in the previous quarter.In the third quarter, adjusted free cash flow was $20 million compared with $105.8 million in the previous quarter.The company repurchased $169 million of stock during the third quarter, bringing the total repurchase amount to $915 million to date.OutlookFor the fourth quarter of 2021, Twitter expects total revenues between $1.5 billion and $1.6 billion. GAAP operating income is expected between $130 million and $180 million.For 2021, Twitter expects headcount, along with total costs and expenses, to grow 30% or more with a focus on engineering and products. The company continues to expect total revenues to grow faster than expenses in 2021.How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?It turns out, estimates revision flatlined during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted -31.69% due to these changes.VGM ScoresCurrently, Twitter has an average Growth Score of C, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with an F. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the lowest quintile 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.OutlookTwitter has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>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 Twitter, Inc. (TWTR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 25th, 2021

Humana (HUM) Ties Up With Allina Health to Boost Value-Based Care

Humana (HUM) expands value-based agreement with Allina Health, which is aimed at offering enhanced outcomes for HUM's MA members in Minnesota. Humana Inc. HUM recently extended the value-based agreement with Minnesota-based Allina Health in a bid to offer enhanced health outcomes to Humana Medicare Advantage (“MA”) members across the state.Effective from the beginning of 2022, the multi-year deal with Allina Health underscores Humana’s consistent efforts to deliver value-based care across the United States. The agreement is primarily focused on devising personalized care plans with the aid of well-versed medical teams, and offering proactive health screenings and programs best suited for each patient’s needs.Value-based agreements utilize advanced technologies to enhance care coordination between physicians and patients. This integrated care delivery model is basically a transition from fee-for-service, which reimburses physicians on the basis of the number of services provided, to the value-based payment model that reimburses the physicians on the basis of the recovery of the patients they treat.Initiatives similar to the latest one are expected to strengthen Humana’s MA business. Concurrently, the move aims to include additional members within HUM’s value-based relationships. As of Sep 31, 2021, roughly 68% of the individual MA members of Humana were in value-based relationships under its integrated care delivery model compared to 66% in the prior-year comparable period.The latest initiative also highlights HUM’s efforts to bolster its presence in Minnesota, wherein it provides cost-effective HMO-POS and local PPO plans. Meanwhile, Allina Health, with its robust healthcare network, seems to be the apt partner for expanding Humana’s Minnesota footprint.Humana boasts of a strong Medicare business across the United States, where it has been offering a minimum of one Medicare plan across 50 states. HUM has been providing private health plans coming under the Medicare program for more than 30 years. The COVID-19 outbreak coupled with an aging population in the United States has further spurred the demand for MA plans, which remains the preferred choice for consumers owing to several bundled benefits, improved care coordination and affordable nature.Humana continues to pursue collaborations with physicians and well-established health care professionals to deliver enhanced care to patients. These initiatives have enabled HUM to bolster its nationwide footprint and delve into underserved areas.The MA business of Humana continues to witness increased membership, which has fetched higher premiums. Several contract wins and renewals similar to the latest one have been driving the Medicare business.Higher premiums have been contributing the most to Humana’s revenues, which have risen consistently since 2010, except in 2017. HUM’s Medicare products contribute significantly to the consistent top-line growth and the nine months of 2021 was no exception to the trend. In the said time frame, Medicare products accounted for around 83% of the total premiums and services revenues fetched by Humana.Similar to HUM, other medical stocks such as Cigna Corporation CI, Centene Corporation CNC and UnitedHealth Group Incorporated UNH also cater to healthcare needs of people through MA plans.Cigna’s MA business has performed well courtesy of constant product expansions, growing membership, and new collaborations or contract extensions with renowned healthcare systems. This has been bolstering CI’s partner networks and strengthening its U.S. footprint. Cigna remains on track to achieve MA customer growth in the targeted range of 10-15% this year.Centene caters to more than 1.1 million MA members across 33 states. Several contract wins and renewals have resulted in higher membership growth for the MA business. For 2022, with enhanced MA offerings, Centene has plans to foray into 327 new counties and three new states, namely Massachusetts, Nebraska and Oklahoma. This will bring the count of MA states to 36.UnitedHealth Group remains well-poised to benefit from a strong MA business. The business has performed well courtesy of numerous business wins and robust membership rise in individual MA business amid the annual enrollment period. The 2021 Medicare enrollment season marked the largest MA footprint expansion of UNH in five years. UnitedHealth Group expects to add nearly 900,000 people to its Medicare plans in 2021.Shares of Humana have gained 5.9% in a year compared with the industry’s rally of 26.9%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchHumana presently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Shares of Cigna, Centene and UnitedHealth Group gained 0.8%, 16.9% and 30.2%, respectively, in a year. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH): Free Stock Analysis Report Humana Inc. (HUM): Free Stock Analysis Report Cigna Corporation (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report Centene Corporation (CNC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 23rd, 2021

Boeing (BA) Secures Deal Worth $9B for 737 MAX Airplanes

The Boeing Company (BA) clinches order for 72 737-800BCF aircrafts from Akasa Air. Valued at nearly $9 billion, the deal gives Boeing a platform to grow in the expanding Indian aviation market. The Boeing Company BA recently clinched an order for 72 737-800BCF airplanes from Akasa Air, a brand of SNV Aviation, at the Dubai Airshow. Valued at nearly $9 billion, the deal provides an opportunity to Boeing to expand its presence in India, one of the fastest growing aviation markets.The order comprises two variants from Boeing’s 737 Max family of aircrafts, the 737-8 and the high-capacity 737-8-200. This marks Akasa Air’s first airplane order in a bid to operate its new airline services in India. The new fleet of 737 is anticipated to take flight from summer 2022.Growth Prospects of Boeing in IndiaIn November last year, Boeing’s 737 Max family of aircrafts got the flight approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”). Since then the aircraft has been witnessing robust growth primarily on account of increase in demand for commercial flights as restrictions on domestic and international travelling ease. Evidently, the company delivered 66 737 aircrafts in the third quarter compared with only three in the year-ago period. The current deal provides a competitive edge to Boeing with regard to expanding in the Indian commercial aircraft market as 737 MAX family delivers superior efficiency, flexibility and reliability while reducing fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 14% compared to airplanes it replaces. Such enhanced features open more avenues for Boeing to clinch orders for 737 MAX going forward, as demand improvement is being witnessed in air travel.To this end, it is imperative to mention that as per Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook (“CMO”), India’s passenger traffic is projected to beat the global growth. The growth is anticipated to double from the pre-pandemic levels by 2030 amid the COVID-19 induced challenges.Boeing further anticipates the need of 2,200 commercial flights in South Asia over the next 20 years to meet the rising demand. Valued at nearly $320 billion, the requirement of 2,200 flights clearly highlights Boeing’s strong prospects in the Indian commercial aircraft space over the long haul. The latest order secured by the jet giant is a further testimony to that.Global Growth OpportunitiesPer Boeing’s CMO, requirement for aircraft by airlines globally is projected to be over 43,000 valued at $7.2 trillion over the next 20 years. Meanwhile, 19,000 airplanes valued at $3.2 trillion will be needed to meet the rising demand for the next 10 years. Such projections will not only benefit Boeing but other aerospace majors namely Airbus SE EADSY, Embraer SA ERJ and Textron TXT.For instance, Airbus SE family of commercial aircrafts comprises A220 Family, A320 family, A330 family, A350 family and A380. Airbus SE made shipments of 127 commercial aircraft in the third quarter of 2021. In the Dubai Air Show, the company clinched a deal from Air Tanzania for its A220s family of aircrafts and Uganda Airlines for its A330s family of aircrafts, thus adding two African airlines to its list of fleet customers.Interestingly, Airbus has delivered an earnings surprise of 7.14% in the last reported quarter while the average earnings surprise for the last two quarters was at 69.70%. The company’s earnings estimates have increased 1.7% in the last 60 days to reach $1.14. Airbus stock has gained 23.1% in the last one year.Embraer’s family of jets consists of family of E-JETS E2, E-JETS and ERJs.  At the Dubai Airshow, Embraer won an order worth $2.9 billion for three new E175 E-Jets, plus three purchase right aircraft from Overland Airways of Lagos, Nigeria.In the last reported quarter, Embraer had delivered a negative earnings surprise of 28.57%. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 42.21%, on average. Embraer has returned a whopping 151.8% in the last one year.Another aerospace giant, Textron, recently announced the launch of a pair of its next generation business jets namely Cessna Citation M2 Gen2 and Cessna Citation XLS Gen2 at the National Business Aviation Association - Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition. Textron expects the delivery of jets to begin by the end of the first and second quarters of 2022.Interestingly, Textron has delivered an earnings surprise of 13.33% in the last reported quarter. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 27.89%, on average. The earnings estimates have been revised upward by 1.5% in the last 60 days. Shares of Textron have appreciated 63.9% in the last one year.Price PerformanceShares of Boeing have gained 11.5% in the past year against the industry’s decline of 26.9%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks RankThe company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>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 The Boeing Company (BA): Free Stock Analysis Report EmbraerEmpresa Brasileira de Aeronautica (ERJ): Free Stock Analysis Report Textron Inc. (TXT): Free Stock Analysis Report Airbus Group (EADSY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 18th, 2021

Will CARZ ETF Gain Despite Mixed Auto Earnings?

Let's look at the impact of major automakers' earnings releases on automobile ETF amid the coronavirus crisis. The automobile, tires, trucks sector has come up with mixed results this reporting season. Notably, 75% of the S&P automobile companies beat on earnings and revenues. However, earnings declined 12.3% year over year and revenues were down 2.6%, as reported by the Earnings Trends issued on Nov 10. Notably, the First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund CARZ has gained 26% in the year-to-date period, outperforming the SPDR S&P 500 ETF’s SPY rise of 25%.The U.S. automobile sector has been attracting investor attention as the gradual reopening of U.S. and global economies highlights brighter prospects. The coronavirus vaccine rollout is gradually helping control the outbreak's spread across the globe. Accordingly, the global demand and economic growth levels are on the path of recovery from the pandemic-led slump. Vehicle demand is on the upswing, courtesy of the growing inclination toward personal mobility and easier credit conditions. Electric vehicles (EVs) are seeing greater popularity with each passing day and are likely to boost the prospects of automakers.However, consumers seem disturbed about the rising prices of homes, vehicles, food and household durables. The Michigan survey has also highlighted that the buying conditions for household goods have declined to the second-lowest level since the recording of data began in 1978. The metric came in at a reading of 78 (per a Bloomberg article).Against this backdrop, we take a look at some big automobile earnings releases and check if these can impact ETFs exposed to the sector.Automobile ETF in FocusGiven the current scenario, it is prudent to discuss the following ETF that has relatively higher exposure to the major players in the space:First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto ETFThe investment objective of First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto ETF is to seek investment results that generally correspond to the price and yield, before the Fund's fees and expenses, of an equity index called the NASDAQ OMX Global Auto Index.First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto ETF comprises 34 holdings, with the below-mentioned companies carrying about 25% weight. CARZ’s AUM is $77.4 million and expense ratio, 0.70%. First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto ETF currently carries a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold), with a High-risk outlook (read:  U.S. Inflation at a 30-Year High: 5 Sector ETFs to Win).Earnings in FocusTesla TSLA is the market leader in battery-powered electric car sales in the United States, owning around 60% of the market share. In fact, the company’s flagship Model 3 accounts for about half of the U.S. EV market. On Oct 20, Tesla reported earnings per share of $1.86 for third-quarter 2021, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.39.  The outperformance stemmed from higher-than-expected automotive gross profit, which came in at $3.67 billion, outpacing the consensus mark of $3.33 billion.  The earnings figure also compared favorably with the prior-year quarter’s earnings of 76 cents per share. Revenues rose to $13.76 billion, surpassing the consensus mark of $13.16 billion. The top line also witnessed year-over-year growth of 56.8%. During the third quarter, Tesla reported delivery and production of 241,391 and 237,823 vehicles, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 73% and 64%, respectively.Tesla had cash and cash equivalents of $16.07 billion as of Sep 30, 2021, compared with $14.53 billion as of Sep 30, 2020.Ford Motor Company F designs, manufactures, markets and services cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles, electrified vehicles, and Lincoln luxury vehicles. On Oct 27, Ford reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings per share of 51 cents, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 28 cents. Higher-than-expected profits, primarily in the North America and South America markets, drove the earnings results. However, in the prior-year quarter, the company had reported earnings of 65 cents.During the reported quarter, Ford reported automotive revenues of $33.2 billion, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $31.7 billion. Ford had cash and cash equivalents of $27.43 billion as of Sep 30, 2021, compared with $25.24 billion on Dec 31, 2020.One of the world’s largest automakers, General Motors GM, leads the U.S. market share with 17.1% of the industry’s total sales in 2020. On Oct 27, General Motors reported adjusted earnings of $1.52 per share for third-quarter 2021, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.07. Stronger-than-expected contribution from its Financial segment led to this outperformance. The bottom line, however, compares unfavorably with year-ago quarter’s earnings of $2.83 per share. General Motors reported revenues worth $26.78 billion, down from the year-ago figure of $35.48 billion. Also, the revenue figure lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $31.17 billion.General Motors had cash and cash equivalents of $17.4 billion as of Sep 30, 2021, compared with $19.9 billion at the end of 2020.  The company recorded adjusted automotive free cash flow (FCF) of $4.39 billion for third-quarter 2021 comparing unfavorably with FCF of $9.12 billion in the prior-year period. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it 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 Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY): ETF Research Reports First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto ETF (CARZ): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 16th, 2021

Western Union (WU) Ties Up to Enhance Money Transfer Needs

Western Union (WU) strengthens ties with Mastercard for addressing domestic and international money transfer needs of clients. The Western Union Company WU recently expanded its longstanding ties with Mastercard Incorporated MA in a bid to meet domestic and cross-border money transfer needs for their respective global client base.The extended collaboration between Western Union and Mastercard, which have been working together for a decade now, revolves around two initiatives this time.The first move encompasses integration of Mastercard Send within the worldwide money movement network of Western Union in an effort to boost transaction speed and ease the receive procedure. By utilizing the capabilities of Mastercard Send, WU intends to bolster payout capabilities for its beneficiaries of U.S. domestic money transfers. Receivers can now seamlessly receive funds from any domestic transaction in the United States to their respective accounts linked to a debit card.Apart from benefiting the U.S. customers, Mastercard Send can also be availed by Western Union customers across 16 European markets. Clients of these markets can directly transfer money to the Mastercard debit card of receivers. Keeping in mind both senders and receivers, more countries are likely to join the network within the coming months.The second initiative involves utilization of the global network of Western Union Business Solutions (WU’s unit) to boost fund dispensing on behalf of Mastercard Cross-Border Services to existing bank and trade network relationships.The latest move reflects the faith that Mastercard, one of the world’s top financial service companies, has on the Western Union’s technological prowess and omni-channel global financial network for providing innovative cross-border payment solutions.The recent endeavor also highlights Western Union’s continuous efforts to pursue a digital partnership strategy for upgrading and digitizing the money movement process for consumers and businesses. Given the robust demand for real-time payments and increased smartphone usage, the solid digital arm of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) leader in global money movement and payment services  yielded results amid the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic induced uncertainty made digital money transfers the need of the hour for addressing emergency needs.Western Union was able to build this arm through several digital tie-ups and substantial investments. WU has been entering into several collaborations with global and local financial service providers, which are aimed at bolstering digital services portfolio, facilitating enhanced management of global payments and boosting customer experience. In November 2021, Western Union teamed up with Metrobank so that inbound money transfer receivers in the Philippines can directly receive money into bank accounts.Apart from Western Union, other companies like Visa Inc. V and MoneyGram International, Inc. MGI have also resorted to digital partnerships for capitalizing amid a growing digital era.Visa pursues collaborations to aid the payments industry with innovative digital solutions and facilitates seamless and secure transfer of funds on a real-time basis worldwide. While Visa B2B Connect keeps on adding partners to its network, Visa Direct’s digital payment capabilities have been leveraged by several organizations.It has taken several years for a brick-and-mortar company like MoneyGram to build a digital arm on the back of several partnerships and significant investments. MGI has a solid pipeline of new digital partners in place in an effort to bolster growth prospects of this arm. As a result, MoneyGram anticipates its digital business to account for 50% of all money transfer transactions in 2024.Shares of Western Union have lost 16.8% year to date compared with the industry’s decline of 20.5%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhile shares of MoneyGram have gained 15.3% year to date, Visa's stock has lost 3.1% in the same time frame. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>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 Visa Inc. (V): Free Stock Analysis Report MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI): Free Stock Analysis Report The Western Union Company (WU): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 15th, 2021

Bank Hapoalim Announces Third Quarter 2021 Results

TEL AVIV, Israel, Nov. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) (OTC:BKHYY) today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021. Key highlights  Net profit in the third quarter of 2021 totaled NIS 1,207 million, compared with NIS 1,419 million in the last quarter and NIS 816 million in same quarter last year. The results were supported by strong underlying business performance, mainly credit growth and an increase in fees, profits from investment in shares, income from credit losses, and the positive CPI. Net profit for the first nine months of 2021 totaled NIS 3,980 million. Return on equity (ROE) for the quarter stood at 11.8%, compared with 14.5% in the previous quarter and 8.8% in the same quarter last year. ROE for the first nine months of 2021 stood at 13.1%. Shareholder's equity grew by 9.6% versus last year, to NIS 42.7 billion. The Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital ratio as at September 30, 2021, stood at 11.18%, well above both current regulatory (9.20%) and internal (9.5%) capital targets. Upon the expiration of the temporary order (December 31, 2021), if it is not extended or updated, the board of directors intends to update its internal target for the CET-1 capital ratio to 10.5%. The total capital ratio as at September 30, 2021, stood at 13.69%. The USD 1 billion Tier 2 issuance which the bank finalized in October will be recorded in the capital of the fourth quarter. As of today, based on third-quarter balances, the issuance will contribute roughly 84 basis points to the total capital ratio. The board of directors of the bank approved a dividend distribution of 30% of third quarter net profit, in the amount of NIS 362 million, as well as NIS 500 million in respect of the net profit of the first half of 2021. The total amount to be paid is NIS 862 million; the date of payment is December 8, 2021. Balance sheet Net credit to the public totaled NIS 335.3 billion, compared with NIS 323.8 billion at the end of June 2021, an increase of 3.6%, thereby completing 11.1% growth in the first nine months of 2021 and 14.5% growth in the last year. The growth in the credit portfolio was recorded in all segments of operations, in line with the bank's strategy. Corporate credit and commercial credit each increased by 4.3% in the third quarter, thereby completing 15.1% and 17.2% growth since the beginning of this year, respectively. Amid high demand in the housing market, the housing loans portfolio increased by NIS 4.5 billion in the third quarter, reflecting growth of 4.3% in the quarter, 10.9% since the beginning of this year, and 13.6% in the last twelve months. The consumer and small business segments are showing gradual recovery in the demand for credit. Accordingly, the bank saw 1.1% and 0.7% growth in the quarter in these segments, respectively. Total deposits crossed the half trillion shekel threshold, reaching NIS 505 billion, an increase of 21.2% compared to the corresponding quarter. Retail deposits totaled NIS 289 billion, an increase of 5.7% year-on-year. Allowance for credit losses totaled NIS 5.8 billion as at September 30, 2021, reflecting an NPL coverage ratio of 206%. NPL balances declined by 12.7% since the beginning of this year, to NIS 2.8 billion, constituting 0.82% of total credit to the public. Income statement Income from regular financing activity totaled NIS 2,598 million in the third quarter of 2021, an increase of 11.2% compared to the corresponding quarter and 2.3% versus the last quarter, driven by consistent growth of the credit portfolio and an increase in the CPI. The financial margin stayed relatively flat in the quarter, at 1.85%. Other financing income amounted to NIS 179 million, mainly including profits from Poalim Equity, the non-financial investment arm of the bank. Poalim Equity: The growing investment activity of Poalim Equity generated profit in the amount of NIS 110 million in the quarter and NIS 268 million in the first nine months of the year, compared with NIS 14 million and NIS 23 million in the comparable periods last year. Fee income totaled NIS 838 million in the third quarter, compared with NIS 802 million in the previous quarter, an increase of 4.5%, and an 11.0% increase compared to the corresponding quarter. The increase in fees was driven by the rebound in the economy and the increase in the volume of business. Operating and other expenses totaled NIS 1,999 million in the third quarter, compared with NIS 1,980 million in the previous quarter and NIS 1,851 million in the same quarter last year. The increase in expenses versus last year was mainly influenced by an increase in salary expenses, due to an increase in the provision for performance-based bonuses, in line with the improvement in profitability, and a provision for a grant in honor of the centennial of the bank. The cost-income ratio for the third quarter of 2021 stood at 54.9%, compared with 56.1% in the corresponding quarter. The bank's credit portfolio quality, along with an improvement in macroeconomic parameters, continued to be reflected in a low volume of credit losses. Income from credit losses amounted to NIS 252 million for the quarter compared with income from credit losses of NIS 647 million and an expense of NIS 193 million in the previous and corresponding quarters, respectively. The income from credit losses in the third quarter of 2021 was due to a further reversal of the collective provision (although at a lower level than in previous quarters) and recoveries from individual provisions. Recent developments Green Tier 2 issuance: In view of the continued accelerated growth at the bank, with the aim of diversifying its investor base and optimizing its capital structure, the bank completed an international private offering of CoCo (contingent convertible) bonds at a scope of USD 1 billion. The offering was oversubscribed by more than USD 2.6 billion, drawing participation from institutional investors in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Asia. The green CoCo bonds were issued for a maximum period of 10.25 years, at an annual interest rate of 3.255% (the bank has an option for full early redemption beginning five years from the date of issuance); they are compliant with the ESG principles of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) for instruments of this type. The bank intends to use an amount equivalent to the proceeds of the offering to finance environment-friendly projects in the areas of renewable energies, green transportation, green building, waste recycling, and energy efficiency. Business delegation to the UAE: In October, the bank led a senior business delegation to the United Arab Emirates with the Israel Export Institute, with the aim of creating access to markets and new business opportunities for its clients. The delegation, which consisted of more than 200 business leaders in Israel's tech and finance sectors along with senior executives of the bank, participated in a first-of-its-kind business conference in Abu Dhabi with local government and industry officials. The conference provided an opportunity to strengthen and develop the initial contacts formed during an earlier visit to the UAE, and to contribute to the progress and promotion of business and gain standing in the markets. Appointment of directors: At the shareholder meeting of the bank held on October 21, 2021, the following directors were elected: Mr. Ruben Krupik and Mr. Yoel Mintz were elected to serve as external directors of the bank, and Ms. Ronit Schwartz was elected to serve as an other (non-external) director, for a period of three years. The appointments are subject to approval by the Bank of Israel. The strategic plan of the bank, adopted in late 2020, aspires to realize the bank's vision – "Committed to growth through innovative and fair banking for our customers". The performance of the bank this quarter reflects consistent, resolute execution of its strategy, key elements of which are: Growth in banking activity – The bank will work to grow the volume of its activity with retail, commercial, and corporate banking customers, while continually improving its value proposition for customers. Development of new banking – The bank will promote the development of new distribution channels for banking services and products, with an emphasis on new digital distribution channels based on advanced data-analysis capabilities and an outstanding user experience. Building a growth-supporting organizational infrastructure – The bank will work to drive processes encouraging a customer-centric, growth-supporting organizational culture, enabling it to improve its delivery and time to market. Conference-call information Bank Hapoalim will host a conference call today to discuss the results. The call will take place at 5:00 p.m. Israel time / 3:00 p.m. UK time / 10:00 a.m. US Eastern time. To access the conference call, please dial: +1–888-281-1167 toll-free from the United States, +0-800-917-9141 toll-free from the United Kingdom, or +972–3-918-0610 internationally. No password is required. The call will be accompanied by a slide presentation, which, together with the financial statements, will be available on the Bank Hapoalim website at www.bankhapoalim.com, under Investor Relations > Financial Information. A recording of the conference call will be available on the bank's website at the above address one business day following the completion of the call. Please note: The conference call does not replace the need to peruse the immediate reports and the financial statements of the bank, including all of the forward-looking information included therein, in accordance with Section 32A of the Israeli Securities Law, 1968. About Bank Hapoalim Bank Hapoalim is Israel's leading financial group. In Israel, Bank Hapoalim operates 179 retail branches, regional business centers, and specialized industry relationship managers for major corporate customers. The Bank Hapoalim Group includes holdings in financial companies engaged in investment banking, trust services, and portfolio management. Internationally, commercial banking services are provided in North America by the New York branch. Bank Hapoalim is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: POLI) and holds a Level-1 ADR program. For more information about Bank Hapoalim, please visit us online at www.bankhapoalim.com. Please note: This press release was prepared for convenience only. In case of any discrepancy, the bank's reported financial statements in Hebrew will prevail. Contact Tamar Koblenz                Head of Investor Relations T: +972 3 567 3440  E:  Tamar.koblenz@poalim.co.il   Table 1-1: Condensed financial information and principal performance indicators over time.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 15th, 2021

Futures Rise Boosted By JNJ Split As Treasuries, Dollar Slide

Futures Rise Boosted By JNJ Split As Treasuries, Dollar Slide U.S. equity index futures were slightly up at the end of a volatile week, trading in a narrow 20 point range for the second day in a row, while Treasuries resumed declines in response to the recent shock inflation data from the world’s largest economies. Contracts on the three main U.S. gauges were higher, with Johnson & Johnson rising in premarket trading after saying it will split into two companies, while tech stocks again led gains at the end of a week scarred by deepening concerns over prolonged inflation. All the major U.S. indexes were set for a more than 1% weekly drop, their first since the week ended Oct. 1, as hot inflation numbers sapped investor sentiment and halted an earnings-driven streak of record closing highs. At 7:15 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 106 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 8.5 points, or 0.18%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 40.25points, or 0.25%. The same bullish sentiment that lifted US futures pushed European shares up as luxury shares gained after Cartier owner Richemont posted better-than-forecast earnings, offsetting a drop in travel stocks. Asian shares also climbed, helped by a rally in Japan. At the same time, Treasuries resumed a selloff after a trading holiday Thursday, with this week’s shock US inflation figures still reverberating through the bond market. Five-year notes led losses on concern the price pressure will force the Federal Reserve to raise rates earlier than anticipated. A gauge of the yield curve flattened to the least since March 2020. While global stocks are set for their first weekly drop since early October, their swings have been muted compared with the gyrations in the bond market. Investor focus on a strong earnings season has tempered worries about higher inflation. “Inflation could remain elevated in the coming months, and each inflation release that comes in above expectations has the potential to cause volatility in rate and equity markets, but we still don’t expect inflation to derail the equity rally,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, wrote in a note. In US premarket trading, Johnson & Johnson jumped 4.7% in premarket trading after the drugmaker said it is planning to break up into two companies focused on its consumer health division and the large pharmaceuticals unit. Shares of the GAMMA giga techs (fka as FAAMG) also inched up. Tesla’s boss Elon Musk sold even more shares of the electric car maker, regulatory filings showed, after offloading about $5 billion worth of stock following a poll he posted on Twitter. The sale news naturally pushed TSLA stock price higher.  A gauge of U.S.-listed Chinese stocks jumped more than 5%, helped by Alibaba’s blowout Singles’ Day shopping festival and a report that Didi is getting ready to relaunch its apps. Rivian shares gain as much as 5% in U.S. premarket trading, extending the surge for the EV maker seen since its IPO this week which has sent its market value over $100b. Rivian trading at $122.99 in at 5am in New York, compared to IPO price of $78 Rising price pressures across the globe have been a top concern for market participants, with focus now shifting towards how consumer spending would fare as the holiday shopping season approaches. “The risk-on trading stance remains,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades in London. “However, markets are likely to remain volatile as investors will need to have more clues on where both the economy and monetary policies are going.” In Europe, gains for consumer and retail stocks balanced out declines for mining and energy companies. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fluctuated as Bank of America strategists predicted a fall of at least 10% for the continent’s equities by early next year. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Richemont shares jump as much as 9.8% to a record high, with analysts seeing scope for earnings estimates to be upgraded after the company reported first-half results that Citigroup described as “stellar.” Peer Swatch also bounced. Renault shares gain as much as 4.6% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the French automaker to overweight, saying it should have a stronger 2022 if it can raise production levels from a currently low base. Deutsche Telekom rises as much as 3% with analysts highlighting a good revenue performance and upgraded earnings and cash flow guidance as key positives from its earnings. Intertrust shares surge as much as 40% after the trust and corporate-services firm entered talks to be acquired by private-equity firm CVC. AstraZeneca falls as much as 5.9% after the drugmaker’s 3Q results missed estimates, with analysts noting a big miss for cancer drug Tagrisso. Wise shares sink as much as 8.8% after the money-transfer company won’t be added to an MSCI index in the latest rejig as some investors had expected. JDE Peet’s, Atos and Investor AB also all moved after the MSCI review. Fortum shares decline as much as 3.6% after the Finnish utility’s 3Q sales missed estimates. Uniper, in which Fortum owns a 75% stake, also slid after Fortum said it stopped share purchases in the German group in July owing to high prices. Avon Protection plummet as much as 44% after it warned of testing failures for some body-armor plates ordered by the U.S. military. SimCorp shares drop as much as 7.1% after the financial software and services company’s 3Q earnings, with Handelsbanken calling the quarter “weak,” and saying it raises doubts for the 2022 outlook Earlier in the session, Asia’s regional benchmark advanced, on track for a second day of gains, after sales in the Singles’ Day shopping festival boosted optimism. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 0.9%, with materials and communication stocks driving the benchmark. Tencent climbed 1.6%, after it bought a Japanese game studio and sold HengTen Networks shares. JD.com gained 5.2% after it received record Singles’ Day orders. Adding to sentiment were the mandate for China’s President Xi Jinping to potentially rule for life, which may mean policy continuity and fewer regulatory surprises and Goldman Sachs’ upgrade of offshore China stocks. A report that Didi Global is getting ready to relaunch apps in China further fueled optimism. “Investors are hoping that greenshoots of a loosening of reforms are upon us,” said Justin Tang head of Asian research at United First Partners. It’s clear “tech shares got a little boost from Singles’ Day and the anointing of Xi as forever leader.” JD.com Shines in Muted Singles Day After Sales Beat: Street Wrap South Korea and Japan benchmarks posted the top gains in the region. Australia’s shares also advanced, boosted by mining stocks. Japanese equities also rose, following gains in U.S. peers, erasing virtually all of their losses from earlier in the week. Electronics makers and telecoms were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which gained 1.3%. All 33 industry groups were in the green except energy products. Tokyo Electron and SoftBank Group were the largest contributors to a 1.1% rise in the Nikkei 225. The yen has weakened more than 1% against the dollar since Tuesday. “It’s a favorable environment for risk-taking thanks to China,” said Shogo Maekawa, a strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management in Tokyo, referring to Evergrande’s latest interest payment. Rising U.S. yields and a weaker yen “may serve as a trigger for foreign investors to re-evaluate Japanese equities and shift their focus to stocks here.” Indian stocks also rose, snapping three sessions of declines, boosted by gains in software exporter Infosys. The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 1.3% to 60,686.69 to a two-week high and completed a second successive week of gains with a 1% advance. The NSE Nifty 50 Index increased 1.3% on Friday. All 19 sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. rose, led by a measure of technology companies. In earnings, of the 45 Nifty 50 companies that have announced results so far, 29 have either met or exceeded consensus analyst expectations, 15 have missed estimates, while one couldn’t be compared. Oil & Natural Gas Corp. and Coal India are among those scheduled to announce results today.  Expectations of the U.S. Fed raising interest rates earlier than expected after a surge in inflation weighed on most emerging markets this week. In India, consumer prices probably quickened for the first time in five months in October, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey. The data will be released on Friday after market hours.   In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed, even as the dollar added to gains versus most its Group-of-10 peers, and Treasury yields rose across the curve on concern that rising U.S. inflation would warrant earlier rate hikes. The euro hovered around a more than a one-year low of $1.1450. The pound extended an Asia session advance and was the best performer among G-10 peers; the currency still heads for a third week of losses, having touched its lowest level since Christmas and options suggest the move may have legs to follow. Australian and New Zealand dollars are headed for back-to-back weekly declines as rising Treasury yields stoke further demand for the greenback; A 60% drop in the price of iron ore signals a blow to the Australian government’s efforts to stabilize the fiscal position following massive spending to support the economy through the coronavirus pandemic.Meanwhile, the ruble extended its losses, tracking a decline in Brent crude, as tensions flared up between Russia and Western nations over energy supplies and migrants. The currency tumbled as much as 1.1% to 72.4375 per dollar after the U.S. sounded out its EU allies that Russia may invade Ukraine. That made the ruble the worst performing currency in emerging markets.  In rates, Treasuries were off session lows, but cheaper by 2bp-3bp across belly of the curve which underperforms as reopened cash market catches up with Thursday’s slide in futures. Treasury 10-year yields around 1.566%, cheaper by 2bp on the day, while 5-year topped at 1.262% in early Asia session; curve is flatter amid belly-led losses, with 5s30s spread tighter by ~1bp on the day after touching 63.7bp, lowest since March 2020. On the 2s5s30s fly, belly cheapened 3.5bp on the day, re-testing 2018 levels that were highest since 2008. Bunds advanced, led by the front end, while Italian bonds slid across the curve, pushing the 10-year yield above 1% for the first time since Nov. 4, as money markets held on to aggressive ECB rate-hike bets. The Asia session was relatively calm, while during the European morning, Italian bonds lagged as futures continue to price in aggressive ECB policy. Treasury options activity in U.S. session has included downside protection on 5-year sector, where yields reached YTD high.     In commodities, crude futures dip to lowest levels for the week: WTI drops 1.4% before finding support near $80, Brent dips 1% back onto a $81-handle. Spot gold drifts lower near $1,852/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME aluminum, nickel and tin post modest gains, copper and zinc lag. Looking at the day ahead, data releases from the US include the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for November, as well as the JOLTS job openings for September. In the Euro Area, there’ll also be industrial production for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from New York Fed President Williams, ECB Chief Economist Lane, and the BoE’s Haskel. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,646.50 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 485.18 MXAP up 0.8% to 199.85 MXAPJ up 0.6% to 653.35 Nikkei up 1.1% to 29,609.97 Topix up 1.3% to 2,040.60 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 25,327.97 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,539.10 Sensex up 1.3% to 60,697.82 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.8% to 7,443.05 Kospi up 1.5% to 2,968.80 Brent Futures down 1.3% to $81.83/bbl Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,853.43 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 95.20 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.23% Euro little changed at $1.1441 Top Overnight News From Bloomberg Inflation is soaring across the euro area, but it’s also diverging by the most in years in a further complication for the European Central Bank’s ongoing pandemic stimulus The White House is debating whether to act immediately to try to lower U.S. energy prices or hold off on dramatic measures in the hope markets settle, as President Joe Biden’s concern about inflation runs up against climate, trade and foreign policy considerations Reports U.S. is concerned that Russia may be planning to invade Ukraine are “empty and unfounded efforts to exacerbate tensions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says on conference call Financial problems faced by institutions like China Evergrande Group are “controllable” and spillovers from the nation’s markets to the rest of the world are limited, a former central bank adviser said Hapag-Lloyd AG warned that a crunch in global container shipments could persist into next year, with labor negotiations, environmental pressures and disruptive weather combining to hamper goods flows Japan’s government plans to compile an economic stimulus package of more than 40 trillion yen ($350 billion) in fiscal spending, according to the Nikkei newspaper President Xi Jinping appeared more certain than ever to rule China well into the current decade, as senior Communist Party officials declared that the country had reached a new “historical starting point” under his leadership Italian President Sergio Mattarella tried to quash speculation that he could stay on for a second term, leaving Prime Minister Mario Draghi as the top contender for the role early next year A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mostly higher heading into the weekend as the region attempted to build on the somewhat mixed performance stateside, where price action was contained amid Veterans Day and with US equity futures also slightly picking up from the quasi-holiday conditions. ASX 200 (+0.8%) was lifted in which mining stocks and the tech industry spearheaded the broad gains across sectors aside from healthcare as Ramsay Health Care remained pressured after it recently announced a near-40% decline in Q1 net profit. Nikkei 225 (+1.1%) was underpinned with Japanese exporters benefitting from recent favourable currency flows and with the biggest stock movers influenced by a deluge of earnings. Hang Seng (+0.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) were indecisive with Hong Kong tech stocks encouraged after e-commerce retailers Alibaba and JD.com posted record Singles Day sales, despite a deceleration in revenue growth from the shopping festival to its slowest annual pace since its conception in 2009 amid a toned-down event due to Beijing’s tech crackdown and emphasis on common prosperity. Conversely, mainland bourses were indecisive following a neutral liquidity operation by the PBoC and after US President Biden recently signed the Secure Equipment Act which prevents companies deemed as security threats from receiving new equipment licences from US regulators, which comes ahead of Monday’s potential Biden-Xi virtual meeting. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower due to a lack of momentum from US treasuries as cash bond markets were closed for the federal holiday, with demand for JGBs also hampered by the gains in stocks and lack of BoJ purchases in the government debt market. Top European News Macron and Draghi Have Plans to Fill the Void Left by Merkel Johnson Burns Through Political Capital Built Up With Tory MPs JPMorgan Hires Zahn as Head of DACH Equity Capital Markets Hapag-Lloyd CEO Says Global Shipping Crunch Could Extend in 2022 European equities (Stoxx 600 -0.1%) have seen a relatively directionless start to the session with the Stoxx 600 set to close the week out with modest gains of around 0.4%. Macro updates have been particularly sparse thus far with today’s data docket also relatively light (highlights include US JOLTS and Uni. of Michigan sentiment). The handover from the APAC region was a predominantly positive one as Japanese equities benefited from favourable currency dynamics and Chinese markets focused on the fallout from Singles Day which saw record sales for Alibaba and JD.com. Stateside, futures are also relatively directionless (ES -0.1%) ahead of aforementioned US data points and Fedspeak from NY Fed President Williams (voter), who will be speaking on heterogeneity in macroeconomics. The latest BofA Flow Show revealed USD 7.3bln of inflows for US equities, whilst tech stocks saw outflows of USD 1.6bln; the largest outflow since June. In Europe, equities saw their largest outflows in seven weeks with USD 1.7bln of selling. In a separate note, BofA projects 10+% of downside by early next year for European stocks amid weakening growth momentum and rising bond yields. Sectors in Europe are mixed with outperformance seen in Personal & Household Goods with Richemont (+8.6%) shares boosted following better-than-expected Q3 results. LVMH (+1.4%) also gained at the open following reports that the Co. could consider opening duty-free stores in China. Telecom names are firmer with Deutsche Telekom (+2.6%) one of the best performers in the DAX after posting solid results and raising guidance. To the downside, commodity-exposed names are lagging peers with Basic Resources and Oil & Gas names hampered by price action in their underlying markets. FTSE-100 heavyweight AstraZeneca (-4.4%) sits at the foot of the index after Q3 profits fell short of expectations. Finally, Renault (+4.3%) is the best performer in the CAC after being upgraded to overweight from equalweight at Morgan Stanley with MS expecting the Co. to have a better year next year. Top Asian News JPMorgan Japan Stocks Downgrade Shows Doubts Before Stimulus Japan Stimulus Package to Top 40 Trillion Yen, Nikkei Reports Hon Hai Warns Chip Shortage Will Outweigh IPhone Boost to Sales AirAsia X Gets Over 95% Support From Creditors for Revamp In FX, it would be far too premature to suggest that the Buck’s winning streak is over, but having rallied so far in relatively short order some consolidation is hardly surprising, especially on a Friday in between a semi US market holiday and the weekend. Hence, the index is hovering just above 95.000 within a 95.078-266 range after a minor extension from yesterday’s peak to set a new 2021 best, and the Dollar is on a more mixed footing vs basket components plus other G10 and EM counterparts, awaiting the return of those not in on Veteran’s Day, JOLTS, preliminary Michigan sentiment and Fed’s Williams for some fresh or additional impetus and direction. GBP/CAD - The Pound and Loonie are flanking the major ranks even though the latest retreat in Brent and WTI is pretty uniform from a change on the day in Usd terms perspective, so it seems like Sterling is getting a boost from a downturn in the Eur/Gbp cross ahead of the UK-EU showdown on Brexit and Article 16, while Usd/Cad remains bullish on technical impulses before the BoC’s Q3 Senior Loan Officer Survey. Cable has bounced from just over 1.3350 to retest 1.3400 with Eur/Gbp probing 0.8550 to the downside, but Usd/Cad is probing 1.2600 irrespective of the Greenback stalling. AUD/JPY - Both fractionally firmer as the Buck takes another breather, though the Aussie is also deriving some traction from favourable Aud/Nzd tailwinds again. Aud/Usd has pared losses sub-0.7300 as the cross hovers around 1.0400, while Usd/Jpy has retreated from around 114.30 towards 1.9 bn option expiries at the 114.00 strike amidst reports that the Japanese Government's economic stimulus package will increase to Yen 40+ tn in fiscal spending, according to the Nikkei citing sources. EUR/NZD/CHF - The Euro is still hanging in following its close below a key technical level for a second consecutive session and fall further from the psychological 1.1500 mark, especially as better than forecast Eurozone ip has not prompted any upside, However, option expiry interest at 1.1450 (1.2 bn) may keep Eur/Usd afloat if only until the NY cut. Similarly, the Kiwi has not gleaned anything via a decent pick-up in NZ’s manufacturing PMI as Nzd/Usd clings to 0.7000+ status and the Franc remains under 0.9200 regardless of an acceleration in Swiss import and producer prices. SCANDI/EM - More transitory inflation remarks from Riksbank Governor Ingves are not helping the Sek fend off another dip through 10.0000 vs the Eur. but the Nok is getting protection from weaker oil prices via unusually large option expiries spanning the same big figure given 1.2 bn at 9.7500, 1.7 bn on the round number and 1 bn at 10.2000. Conversely, the Rub is underperforming as tensions rise around the Russian/Ukraine border and the Kremlin aims blame at the feet of the US alongside NATO, while the Try only just survived the latest assault on 10.00000 against the Usd in wake of below forecast Turkish ip and CBRT survey-based CPI projections for year end rising again. Elsewhere, the Mxn is softer following confirmation of a 25 bp Banxico hike on the basis that the verdict was not unanimous and some were looking for +50 bp, but the Zar retains an underlying bid after Thursday’s supportive SA MTBS and with Eskom reporting no load shedding at present, while the Cnh and Cny are holding gains in advance of the virtual Chinese/US Presidential meeting scheduled for Monday. In commodities, WTI and Brent are pressured in the European morning, experiencing more pronounced downside after a gradual decline occurred in APAC hours. However, the magnitude of today’s performance is comparably minimal when placed against that seen earlier in the week and particularly on Wednesday; in-spite of the earlier pronounced movements, benchmarks are currently set to end the week with losses of less than USD 1.00/bbl – albeit the range is in excess of USD 5.00/bbl. Newsflow this morning has been minimal and thus yesterday’s themes remain in-focus where a firmer USD likely continues to factor but more specifically COVID-19 concerns, with Germany’s Spahn on the wires, and geopolitics via Russia drawing attention. On the latter, tensions are becoming increasingly inflamed as the US said they are concerned that Russia could attack Ukraine and in response Russia said they are not a threat to anyone, but, says US military activity is aggressive and a threat. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver are softer on the session, but remain notably firmer on the week given the CPI-induced move. On this, UBS highlights the risk of additional inflation strength next year which could stoke further gold demand. Elsewhere, base metals are, broadly speaking, marginally softer given tentative APAC performance and the aforementioned COVID concerns, particularly those pertinent for China. In terms of associated bank commentary, SocGen looks for copper to average USD 9.2k/T and USD 8.0k/T in 2021 and 2022 respectively. US Event Calendar 10am: Sept. JOLTs Job Openings, est. 10.3m, prior 10.4m 10am: Nov. U. of Mich. 1 Yr Inflation, est. 4.9%, prior 4.8%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 2.9% 10am: Nov. U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 72.5, prior 71.7; Current Conditions, est. 77.2, prior 77.7; Expectations, est. 68.8, prior 67.9 DB's Henry Allen concludes the overnight wrap there wasn’t much to speak of in markets yesterday as US bond markets were closed for Veterans Day and investors elsewhere continued to digest the bumper CPI print from the previous session. We did see a bit of residual concern at the prospect of a faster tightening in monetary policy, and implied rates on Eurodollar futures continued to climb, gaining between +4bps and +8bps on contracts maturing through 2023. However, on the whole equities were relatively unfazed on both sides of the Atlantic, and the S&P 500 (+0.06%) stabilised after 2 successive declines thanks to a bounceback among the more cyclical sectors. Looking at those moves in more depth, interest-sensitive tech stocks were a big outperformer yesterday as both the NASDSAQ (+0.52%) and the FANG+ index (+0.98%) of megacap tech stocks moved higher. Material stocks in the S&P (+0.85%) were another sectoral winner, and the VIX index of volatility (-1.07pts) ticked down from its 4-week high on Wednesday. In Europe, the advance was even more prominent, where the STOXX 600 (+0.32%), the DAX (+0.10%) and the CAC 40 (+0.20%) all reached fresh records. Indeed, for the STOXX 600, that now marks the 13th advance in the last 15 sessions, with the index having risen by over +6% in the space of a month. As mentioned, it was a quieter day for sovereign bond markets with the US not trading, but the sell-off continued in Europe as yields on 10yr bunds (+1.7bps), OATs (+1.4bps) and BTPs (+2.7bps) all moved higher. We didn’t get any fresh news on the Fed officials either given the US holiday, but a Washington Post article yesterday said that officials from the White House had stayed in touch with Governor Brainard since her meeting with President Biden last week, albeit still emphasising that no final decision had yet been made. Separately, Bloomberg reported that senior Biden advisors did not view the recent trading scandal at the Federal Reserve as disqualifying Chair Powell. US Treasury markets have reopened overnight, with 10yr yields following their European counterparts higher, moving up +1.4bps to 1.563%. That’s been driven by a +2.4bps rise in the real yield, though 10yr real yields still remain close to their all-time lows since TIPS started trading back in 1997. Otherwise in Asia, markets are mostly trading higher with the KOSPI (+1.48%), Nikkei (+1.07%) and Hang Seng (+0.22%) all advancing, though the Shanghai Composite (-0.01%) is basically unchanged whilst the CSI (-0.31%) is trading lower. Data showed further signs of inflationary pressures in the region, with South Korea’s import price index up +35.8% in October on a year-on-year basis, the highest since 2008. Elsewhere in India, Prime Minister Modi is expected to announce an opening up of the sovereign bond market to retail investors today, which comes amidst rising inflation concerns as well. Looking ahead, futures are indicating a positive start in the US and Europe with those on the S&P 500 (+0.16%) and the DAX (+0.15%) pointing higher. Turning to the geopolitical scene, it was reported by Bloomberg that US officials had briefed their counterparts in the EU about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine. It follows a build-up in Russian forces near the Ukrainian border that have been reported more widely, and echoes a similar situation back in the spring. The Russian ruble weakened -0.57% against the US dollar yesterday in response, with the declines occurring after the report came out. This comes amidst a number of broader tensions in the region, and natural gas prices in Europe were up +6.66% yesterday after Belarus’ President Lukashenko threatened to cut the transit of gas if the EU placed additional sanctions on his regime. Meanwhile on Brexit, there were potential signs of compromise in the dispute over Northern Ireland, with the Telegraph reporting that the EU was prepared to improve its offer when it came to reducing customs checks. However, the report also said that this would be contingent on the UK ending its demands to remove the European Court of Justice’s role in overseeing the agreement. There has been growing speculation in recent days that the UK could be about to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which allows either side to take unilateral safeguard measures if the deal was causing serious issues. This would risk EU retaliation that could in theory even led to a suspension of the entire trade deal agreed last year, which is an option that has been talked up in recent weeks. For those wanting further reading on the issue, DB’s FX strategist Shreyas Gopal put out a note on Tuesday (link here) looking at the issues surrounding Article 16 and its implications for sterling. Another important thing to keep an eye on over the coming weeks will be any further signs of deterioration in the Covid-19 situation. Cases have been ticking up at the global level for around 4 weeks now, and a number of European countries (including Germany) have seen a major surge over the last few days. In the Netherlands, they actually set a record for the entire pandemic yesterday, and Prime Minister Rutte is due to hold a press conference today where it’s been speculated he’ll announce fresh restrictions. Separately in Austria, Chancellor Schallenberg said that a lockdown for the unvaccinated was “probably unavoidable”, and said that “I don’t see why two-thirds should lose their freedom because one-third is dithering”. On the data front, the only major release was the UK’s Q3 GDP reading yesterday, which surprised on the downside with growth of +1.3% (vs. +1.5% expected), even though Covid-19 restrictions were much easier in Q3 relative to Q2. To be fair, the monthly reading for September did surprise on the upside, with growth of +0.6% (vs. +0.4% expected), but it came as July and August saw downward revisions. On a monthly basis, the September reading meant the UK economy was just -0.6% beneath its pre-pandemic size in February 2020. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for November, as well as the JOLTS job openings for September. In the Euro Area, there’ll also be industrial production for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from New York Fed President Williams, ECB Chief Economist Lane, and the BoE’s Haskel. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/12/2021 - 07:48.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 12th, 2021