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Category: topSource: digitimesJun 8th, 2023

Timeline: What Did The Feds Not Do About Alleged Biden Family Corruption & When Did They Not Do It?

Timeline: What Did The Feds Not Do About Alleged Biden Family Corruption & When Did They Not Do It? Authored by Ben Weingarten via RealClear Investigations, Nov. 2018-June 2020: Hunter Biden Probe Begins; President Trump Impeached While Pursuing Biden-Ukraine Information; Alleged Justice Department Undermining of Probe Begins June 2020-Dec. 2021: Evidence of Influence-Peddling With Nexus to Joe Biden Grows; Alleged Sabotage of Hunter Biden Probe Intensifies Jan. 2022-Jan. 2023: Prosecution Sought and Denied; IRS Whistleblowers Blindsided by What They Characterize as U.S. Attorney David Weiss’ Apparent Lack of Authority Feb. 2023-May 2023: Hunter’s Counsel Pleads Case Over Weiss’ Head; IRS Whistleblowers Emerge – and Face a Chill; Plea Deal Develops June 2023: FBI Stonewalls Congress Over Alleged Burisma-Biden Bribes; Trump Indictments Grow; Plea Deal Emerges; Weiss Strains To Harmonize His Story With Attorney General Merrick Garland About His Claimed Ultimate Authority July 2023: Burisma-Biden Bribes Document Released; Whistleblowers Testify About Obstructed Case Publicly; Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal Collapses in Court Aug. 2023-Present: Another Trump Indictment; Weiss Gets Special Counsel Authority He Wasn’t Supposed To Need; Biden Impeachment Inquiry Opens; Hunter Hit With Gun Indictment Timeline in Detail The IRS whistleblowers prepare to testify under penalty of perjury. (AP) Nov. 2018-June 2020:Hunter Biden Probe Begins; President Trump Impeached While Pursuing Biden-Ukraine Information; Alleged Justice Department Undermining of Probe Begins Nov. 2018: The Internal Revenue Service’s Washington D.C. office opens investigation into Hunter Biden, code name “Sportsman,” as an offshoot of a probe into a foreign-based amateur online pornography platform. According to IRS Special Agent Joseph Ziegler, the case agent who will later turn whistleblower, evidence will emerge Biden paid prostitutes to cross state lines – potential Mann Act violations. It is not clear whether the Justice Department pursues. Jan. 2019: According to Special Agent Ziegler, the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI open a separate Hunter Biden investigation. March/April 2019: Ziegler develops criminal charging material approved by IRS superiors and sent to Justice Department’s tax division for review. The two entities will work jointly on the case, as is customary. The Washington, D.C. and Delaware investigations will be merged. April 25, 2019: Joe Biden announces his candidacy for president. Viktor Shokin: The Ukrainian prosecutor who was fired, Joe Biden boasted, after the Vice President threatened to withhold U.S. aid. Aug. 15, 2019: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) commences what will become a multi-year investigation into Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s brother James and their “financial connections to foreign governments and questionable foreign nationals.” Sept. 24, 2019: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opens impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump alleging Trump withheld Ukrainian aid to pressure officials to investigate the activities of Hunter and Joe Biden vis-à-vis the firing of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. In 2016, Biden leveraged $1 billion in U.S. aid to force Shokin’s firing. Shokin had been investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company on whose board Hunter Biden had sat. Prosecutors will scrutinize Hunter over alleged tax crimes stemming from the hundreds of thousands of dollars Burisma paid him annually. Oct. 2019: FBI learns that a Delaware computer repair shop obtained Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, and the following month verifies its authenticity. Dec. 2019: FBI takes possession of the laptop and notifies IRS it “likely contained evidence of tax crimes,” according to IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley. Shapley, Ziegler’s colleague, will lead his investigatory team and also turn whistleblower. Dec. 8, 2019: In an interview, Joe Biden says “I don’t know what he was doing” regarding Hunter Biden’s Burisma work. Dec. 18, 2019: House votes to impeach Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Jan. 27, 2020: Email evidence indicates that Hunter Biden has meeting with impeachment lawyers in Trump-Ukraine proceedings. Feb. 5, 2020: Senate acquits Trump on a party-line vote, concluding first impeachment. March 6-April 1, 2020: Shapley’s team prepares physical search warrants in Hunter Biden case. Having established probable cause for the warrants, IRS plans to conduct about 15 contemporaneous interviews. Shapley claims career DOJ officials halt IRS’ actions. April 8, 2020: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) drops out of Democrat presidential primary, making Joe Biden the presumptive nominee. June 16, 2020: Shapley tells IRS superiors “DOJ Tax has made a concerted effort to drag their feet concerning conducting search warrants and interviewing key witnesses in an effort to push those actions to a timeframe where they can invoke the Department of Justice rule of thumb concerning [ceasing activities] affecting elections.” Shapley alleges superiors took no action. Hesitant prosecutor Lesley Wolf: She fretted over the "optics" of a Biden search warrant, according to testimony. Home News/YouTube June 2020-Dec. 2021:Evidence of Influence-Peddling with Nexus to Joe Biden Grows; Alleged Sabotage of Hunter Biden Probe Intensifies June 30, 2020: FBI informant tells handler that Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky told him he had been coerced into paying Joe and Hunter Biden $5 million apiece in exchange for help getting Shokin fired. This is memorialized in an FBI FD-1023 form. Shapley’s team will not see the document until years later, after being thrown off the case. Mykola Zlochevsky: Burisma boss and alleged briber of Bidens. Wikipedia Aug.-Sept. 2020: IRS agents obtain WhatsApp messages between an executive from Chinese energy company CEFC and Hunter Biden from summer 2017, in which Biden says, “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,” regarding a deal with the company. Biden threatens that should the deal not be resolved with the Chinese government-connected company’s executives – “I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows … you will regret not following my direction.” Investigators believe Biden was staying at the family’s Delaware beach guest house at this time. They seek location data for messages to corroborate in part whether Joe was with Hunter. The now-infamous WhatsApp message obtained by IRS agents.Miranda Devine (NY Post)/X Sept. 3, 2020: Delaware Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf shoots down plan to nail down the Bidens’ location during the China call. According to Shapley, Wolf says while “a lot of evidence in our investigation would be found in the guest house … there is no way we will get that approved.” Wolf cites “optics” as a “driving factor in the decision.” Shapley also recalls prosecutors did not want investigators reviewing CEFC communications, irrespective of any potential national security implications. Wolf also indicates that a search warrant for emails from Blue Star Strategies, a Democrat-tied firm that lobbied for Burisma, in Shapley’s words, “would likely not get approved.” The agent adds, “This was a significant blow to the Foreign Agents Registration Act piece of the investigation” – that is, whether Hunter Biden lobbied for foreign individuals and entities as an unregistered foreign agent, a felony. Sept. 4, 2020: Justice Department issues “cease and desist” of investigative activities in Hunter Biden case in run-up to the presidential election. Sept. 7, 2021: Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), then ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, begins probe into sales of Hunter Biden’s paintings after he turns to art as a career. The sales raise ethical and national security concerns, in the view of House Republicans, given the lack of clarity about who the buyers are. The parties pursued will largely ignore requests while Republicans are in minority. The White House waves off ethics concerns.  Sen. Charles Grassley: Flagged “millions of dollars in questionable financial transactions." AP Sept. 23, 2020: Sen. Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) release report revealing “millions of dollars in questionable financial transactions between Hunter Biden and his associates and foreign individuals, including the wife of the former mayor of Moscow and individuals with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.” Oct. 14, 2020: New York Post breaks the story of the abandoned Hunter Biden laptop. Among the paper’s revelations: Hunter introduced then-Vice President Biden to a top Burisma executive in April 2015, months before the vice president would help get Shokin fired. This is at odds with the Democrat presidential nominee’s claim he had “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” Twitter and Facebook suppress the story. Oct. 19, 2020: Politico publishes letter signed by 51 prominent intelligence community officials indicating the New York Post’s story “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” Oct. 20, 2020: Investigators seek to do a “walk by” to confirm the location of and security around Hunter Biden’s California residence in preparation for an interview. DOJ Tax objects. Oct. 22, 2020: Shapley raises concern to prosecutors that his team has not been granted access to Hunter Biden’s laptop. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wolf confirms prosecutors kept it from investigators, which Shapley calls “unprecedented.” Wolf also indicates prosecutors would not permit a physical search warrant on Hunter Biden. Sen. Ron Johnson: Pushed GOP Senate inquiries along with Grassley. Rumble During the final presidential debate that evening, Biden rebuts claims about his family’s business dealings, citing the intelligence community letter. Biden also says, “My son has not made money, in terms of this thing about … China … The only guy that made money from China is this guy [Trump] … nobody else has made money from China.” Biden also states unequivocally, “I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.” Oct. 23, 2020: Justice Department and FBI Special Agents from the Pittsburgh field office brief Wolf, among others, on contents of FD-1023 alleged Burisma-Biden bribes. It’s later learned that the Pittsburgh office believed that the allegations seemed credible, was partially corroborated, and merited investigation. Nov. 3-Nov. 7, 2020: The 2020 presidential election. Joe Biden wins and elected as the 46th U.S. president. Nov. 9, 2020: Sen. Grassley sends letter to then-Attorney General William Barr calling on Justice Department to review evidence that Hunter Biden and James Biden may have violated the Foreign Agent Registrations Act based on their dealings with CEFC. Nov. 18, 2020: Sens. Grassley and Johnson release a supplement to their report on potential conflicts of interest stemming from the Biden family’s foreign business, including additional CEFC findings. Kevin Morris, Hollywood lawyer: He loaned Hunter a bundle to pay off delinquent taxes.New York Post/YouTube Dec. 3, 2020: Investigators prepare for a Dec. 8 “day of action,” to consist of document requests and some 12 interviews, including of Hunter Biden. As investigators meet with prosecution team at Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lesley Wolf allegedly indicates she does not want them asking questions of subjects pertaining to Joe Biden. Dec. 7, 2020: Investigators plan to notify Hunter Biden and his Secret Service protection on the morning of Dec. 8 that he will be approached that day for an interview as part of an official investigation. Deviating from the plan, FBI headquarters notifies Secret Service headquarters and President-elect Biden’s transition team of coming interview, in Shapley’s words “essentially tipp[ing] off a group of people very close to President Biden and Hunter Biden,” and giving “this group an opportunity to obstruct the approach on the witnesses.” Dec. 8, 2020: Hunter Biden’s attorneys call Shapley and his FBI counterpart, indicating Hunter will not participate in an interview. Investigators secure only “one substantive interview” on day of action, from Hunter Biden business associate Rob Walker. During that interview, skirting Wolf’s instructions, investigators briefly pursue a line of questioning wherein Walker discusses Joe’s involvement in Hunter’s business. Dec. 9, 2020: News of Hunter probe becomes public, with reporting suggesting investigation extends beyond Hunter’s taxes to potential money laundering and financial ties to foreign figures and businesses. Hunter releases a statement: “I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately.” Dec. 10-14, 2020: From the “day of action,” investigators find that documents concerning one of Hunter’s business entities, Owasco, were archived in a northern Virginia storage unit. Investigators prepare to search it. Wolf, according to Shapley, tips off Hunter’s defense counsel to the planned search, possibly thwarting a potential investigative coup. March 2, 2021: In a Shapley-convened briefing, investigators mention possibility of blowing whistle on the Justice Department’s handling of the case. May 3, 2021: In memo to superiors, Shapley indicates probe “has been hampered and slowed by claims of potential election meddling. Through interviews and review of evidence obtained, it appears there may be campaign finance criminal violations ... Wolf stated on the last prosecution team meeting that she did not want any of the agents to look into the allegation.” Aug. 18, 2021-Oct. 21, 2021: Wolf suggests DOJ Tax will not approve another set of desired interviews. According to Shapley, Wolf indicates that the investigative team would get “into hot water” specifically if it pursued planned interviews of the president’s grandchildren over charges made with Hunter Biden’s credit card possibly by his kids. Oct. 13, 2021: Hunter Biden’s friend Kevin Morris loans him $1.4 million to settle outstanding taxes. Subsequent reporting suggests that all told, Morris will pay off well over $2 million in delinquent taxes on behalf of the president’s son. Delaware U.S. Attorney (and now special counsel) David C. Weiss: Was he the one "in charge"? Department of Justice Jan. 2022-Jan. 2023:Prosecution Sought and Denied; IRS Whistleblowers Blindsided by Weiss’ Apparent Lack of Authority Jan. 27, 2022: IRS recommends charging Hunter Biden for felony tax evasion and filing of false tax returns in 2014, 2018, and 2019, and misdemeanor failure to file or pay taxes for 2015-2019. Such charges each have a six-year statute of limitations. Feb. 25, 2022: IRS sends report outlining charges to Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office. Wolf and, according to Shapley, her DOJ Tax counterpart support the IRS’ recommendations. DOJ Tax prepares memo recommending prosecution, the IRS whistleblowers learn. They will not see the memo. Matthew M. Graves: Declined to  prosecute in the District of Columbia, according to IRS whistleblower testimony. Department of Justice March 2022: DOJ Tax presents prosecution memo to U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia laying out alleged offenses chargeable in that venue. Prosecutors aim to charge Hunter Biden criminally over foreign income from Burisma “and a scheme to evade his income taxes through a partnership with a convicted felon,” Devon Archer, as well as “potential FARA issues.” Shapley learns the Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Matthew Graves, reviews the memo but refuses to partner with his Delaware counterpart. “We in the IRS didn’t realize at the time that meant there was no ability to charge there” – that is, that without Graves’ buy-in, Weiss as Delaware U.S. Attorney could not bring his case in Washington, D.C. – Shapley testifies. During this period, DOJ requests of IRS and FBI all “management-level emails and documents on this case.” Whistleblowers indicate that typically such materials are collected at sub-management level in advance of discovery in connection with an impending case. Shapley provides “sensitive case reports and memorandums” documenting “DOJ’s continued unethical conduct,” which he had been providing superiors for several years. Facing impending charges, and with statutes of limitation set to lapse on 2014 and 2015 tax offenses, Hunter’s defense counsel reportedly calls for prosecutors not to charge, indicating willingness to sign statute of limitation extensions. Prosecutors and Biden’s counsel will agree to multiple extensions. March 14, 2022: Prosecutors have first taxpayer conference with defense counsel, allowing target to dispute charges. March 28-29, 2022: Sens. Grassley and Johnson release financial records corroborating prior reports on Hunter and James Biden’s business with Chinese nationals connected to the Chinese Communist Party. Merrick Garland: Attorney General on the defensive. AP April 26, 2022: Attorney General Merrick Garland defends Hunter Biden investigation before Senate Appropriations Committee, indicating “There will not be interference of any political or improper kind” in the probe, that it will be free of “any influence from the White House,” and that Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, the “Trump appointee” overseeing the case “is in charge.” The same day, according to Special Agent Ziegler’s deposition, prosecutors have second taxpayer conference with Hunter Biden’s defense counsel. During that conference, Politico later reports, Biden’s lawyers present a 100-page presentation to dissuade DOJ from charging him. Lawyers focus on casting the prosecution as political – driven from start by Trump – and suggest that to carry it out would damage DOJ’s reputation. May 9, 2022: Sens. Grassley and Johnson send letter to Weiss asking whether he possesses financial records to the Bidens’ China dealings, including those the senators had publicized. Weiss does not answer, with the Justice Department interceding. July 25, 2022: Sen. Grassley writes to AG Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray alleging whistleblowers disclosed to his office that in fall 2020, the FBI obtained information about Hunter Biden’s alleged criminal financial and related activity, only to bury and halt investigation of it by claiming it was disinformation. Aug. 12, 2022: IRS whistleblowers learn that Chris Clark, Hunter Biden’s counsel, warns prosecutors that if they charge Hunter, they will be committing “career suicide.” Late Aug.-Early Sept. 2022: In meeting with investigators, Weiss indicates he agrees with IRS team regarding charging 2014-15 tax years, but says DOJ Tax has doubts about case. When asked when Weiss will charge, he says, according to Special Agent Ziegler, “hopefully end of September. It was kind of up in the air.” E. Martin Estrada: Declined to  prosecute in California, according to IRS whistleblower testimony. U.S. Attorney, Central District of California Mid-Sept. 2022: E. Martin Estrada is appointed U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, the proper venue for charging tax offenses from 2016-19 based on Hunter’s residence there. Prosecutors present charges to Estrada’s office the week he is confirmed. Sept. 22, 2022: Wolf tells investigators that prosecutors will not take action until after midterm elections, despite DOJ’s Public Integrity Section never issuing such an order. Oct. 6, 2022: The Washington Post publishes article indicating there is sufficient evidence to charge Hunter with tax crimes and a false statement related to a gun purchase. Chris Clark accuses investigators of leaking information and calls on Justice Department to pursue leakers. Oct. 7, 2022: In a meeting, Weiss tells colleagues at IRS and FBI that, according to a direct quote recounted by Shapley, “I’m not the deciding official on whether charges are filed.” Weiss also states that D.C. U.S. Attorney Graves will not allow him to bring charges there. The FBI special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore office, overseeing the investigation and present at the meeting, will later reportedly challenge these claims. Weiss also indicates he had asked for special counsel authority from DOJ after Graves declined the charges and was denied. Weiss says he will not be bringing charges against Hunter for the 2014-15 tax years, the statute of limitations for which are to expire in Nov. 2022. “Everyone in that meeting seemed shellshocked … I felt misled” regarding Weiss’ apparent lack of authority, Shapley testified. Oct. 12, 2022: IRS criminal investigation team conducts final interview. Oct. 13, 2022: Sen. Grassley delivers letter to AG Garland, FBI Director Wray, and Weiss indicating that based on protected whistleblower disclosures to his office, “the FBI has within its possession significant, impactful and voluminous evidence with respect to potential criminal conduct by Hunter Biden and James Biden.” Letter calls into question whether authorities have pursued the leads whistleblowers detailed to Grassley concerning an alleged pay-to-play scheme involving CEFC and potential criminal conduct involving Hunter’s business with   and its owner Zlochevsky. Oct. 17, 2022: Last meeting in which prosecutors include Shapley’s IRS criminal investigations team. Oct. 24, 2022: Prosecutors ask IRS for Shapley’s records, in which he had documented alleged prosecutorial misconduct during pendency of case. Shapley and Ziegler will both testify that requesting management communications is highly unusual. The agents indicate that subsequently, the IRS team will be phased out of case. Oct. 26, 2022: Sens. Grassley and Johnson send letter to Weiss stating that in light of DOJ’s failure to respond to oversight requests concerning their congressional investigation, they are delivering more than 200 pages of records “relating to the Biden family’s connections to the Chinese regime and persons connected to its military and intelligence elements.” Oct. 31, 2022: In a letter to Weiss, Clark threatens to put President Biden on the stand should the DOJ charge Hunter criminally. Nov. 2022: After previously agreeing to multiple statute of limitation extensions regarding the 2014 and 2015 tax offenses with Hunter’s counsel concerning Burisma, prosecutors let the statutes of limitation expire – despite willingness of Biden team to continue extending, according to Shapley. Nov. 15, 2022: Donald Trump announces his candidacy for president. Late 2022: The New York Times reports that by this time, Weiss “had found some evidence but determined that he did not have sufficient grounds to indict [Hunter] Biden for major felonies.” It adds that one source indicated Weiss preferred not to bring any charges, even misdemeanors, though another denied it. Jan. 2023: Shapley learns U.S. Attorney Estrada declines to bring charges in the Central District of California. During this month, Clark will reportedly travel to Delaware and plead his case to Weiss to end the investigation into Hunter, indicating that how he handles the decision could have reputational consequences. Christopher J. Clark, Hunter Biden’s counsel, warned prosecutors that charging Hunter would be “career suicide.” Clark Smith Villazor Feb. 2023-May 2023:Hunter’s Counsel Pleads Case Over Weiss’ Head; IRS Whistleblowers Emerge – and Face a Chill; Plea Deal Develops Feb. 1, 2023: Clark contacts multiple officials at Main Justice seeking contacts to whom he can appeal should Weiss charge Hunter.  March 1, 2023: Under questioning from Sen. Grassley during a Judiciary Committee hearing, the attorney general testifies that Weiss “has full authority to make … referrals … or to bring cases in other districts if he needs to do that. He has been advised that he should get anything he needs. I have not heard anything from that office that suggests they are not able to do anything that the U.S. Attorney wants them to do.” Garland adds, “I promised to leave the matter of Hunter Biden in the hands of [Weiss and] … I have pledged not to interfere with that investigation … I have carried through on my pledge.” James Biden: Money allegedly flowed to him, Hunter and other Bidens. March 16, 2023: House Oversight Committee releases records showing $1.3 million in payments from 2015-2017 flowing from Biden family associate Rob Walker to Hunter and James Biden, Joe’s late son Beau’s widow Hallie, and a fourth Biden. The bulk of the funds appear to come from Chinese energy company State Energy HK Limited. March 18, 2023: Donald Trump says he will be indicted in New York. April 4, 2023: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicts Trump on falsified business record charges pertaining to a $130,000 nondisclosure payment to adult film performer Stormy Daniels. April 19, 2023: Attorney on behalf of Shapley sends letter to relevant congressional committees indicating Shapley’s desire to make protected whistleblower disclosures to Congress. Letter leaks to Wall Street Journal. April 24-25, 2023: Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer contacts Shapley’s counsel asking him for a call in light of Wall Street Journal reporting, and the two parties speak. The Daily Mail will later report that Shapley’s counsel felt Weinsheimer “seemed concerned and keen to investigate, and promised he would get Shapley’s team legal permission to share all the details of his allegations.” April 26, 2023: Chris Clark finally lands sought-after meeting with Main DOJ, sitting down with Weinsheimer, alongside Weiss. Danny Werfel, IRS commissioner: His "no retaliation" vow is called into doubt. Department of Justice/Wikipedia April 27, 2023: Under questioning in a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel testifies that “there will be no retaliation for anyone making an allegation or called into a whistleblower hotline.” May 3, 2023: Ranking Senate Budget Committee Member Grassley and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), submit letter to Garland and Wray indicating whistleblowers have disclosed the FBI possesses an FD-1023 alleging a criminal bribery scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national. The congressmen indicate that it is “unclear what steps, if any, were taken to investigate the matter,” and that therefore they will be reviewing the matter. Comer issues subpoena calling on FBI to produce FD-1023 forms aimed at capturing the alleged Burisma-Biden bribe document. May 10, 2023: House Oversight Committee releases bank records memo revealing Biden family business deals in Romania and China. May 11, 2023: Weinsheimer thanks Clark for meeting, indicates Hunter Biden investigation is reaching end, and prosecutors are prepared to make a deal. May 15, 2023: Shapley learns his team has been removed from the Hunter Biden case at DOJ’s request, which his counsel reports to relevant House committees. That same day, Delaware Assistant U.S. Attorney Wolf calls Clark, proposing a deal whereby Hunter will not have to plead guilty through use of a deferred prosecution agreement – satisfying Clark’s reported “core demand” of prosecutors. Clark indicates defense will draft a proposed agreement accordingly. May 16, 2023: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) requests briefing from IRS Commissioner regarding perceived retaliation against IRS whistleblower. That same day, Weinsheimer speaks with Shapley’s counsel. In an apparent change in tone, Weinsheimer indicates that DOJ headquarters will not be involved in the whistleblowers’ case. All issues are to run through Weiss. Shapley lawyer Mark Lytle will later say that Weinsheimer, after making “earlier promises and assurances … seemed no longer interested.” His co-counsel, Tristan Leavitt, says he believes that Weinsheimer “wanted intel from Gary [Shapley] before his Hill testimony,” which would come weeks later. Rep. Jim Jordan: Seeks the paper trail on IRS whistleblowers' removal from the Hunter Biden case. RCP May 18, 2023: IRS’ Ziegler sends letter to IRS leadership recounting criticism over its lack of action in connection with concerns he and colleagues raised during Hunter Biden case, and expressing disappointment over Ziegler and his team having been removed from it. That day, Hunter Biden’s lawyers send two Delaware prosecutors, including Wolf, the first draft of a proposed deal under which Hunter will not have to plead guilty. The deal would give Biden immunity from other potential offenses authorities had investigated – which would include Foreign Agent Registration Act charges – should he pay taxes owed, among other conditions. Delaware U.S. Attorney’s office, sympathetic to proposal, shares its own suggested terms that do not require Biden to plead guilty. May 19, 2023: Two superiors respond to Special Agent Ziegler’s email with a reminder that “you need to follow your chain of command.” They insinuate he may have made “unauthorized disclosures” by including “potential grand jury” material, and including recipients unable to receive such material. That same day, Hunter Biden’s lawyers prepare a draft pretrial diversion agreement covering tax and gun issues, guaranteeing immunity from prosecution of offenses previously investigated, and stating that DOJ will dismiss charges if Biden upholds his end of deal – no guilty plea necessary. May 22, 2023: Shapley’s counsel sends another letter to relevant House committees indicating the IRS is taking additional retaliatory measures aimed at intimidating whistleblowers into silence. May 23, 2023: In a major reversal, Wolf tells Hunter Biden’s counsel that Weiss now wants Biden to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay taxes. May 24, 2023: In a CBS News interview, Shapley goes public with allegations DOJ “slow-walked” Hunter Biden probe. May 25, 2023: IRS sends mass email to personnel instructing them as to proper protocol for reporting wrongdoing like that alleged in the Biden case. The email omits that such employees may bring their concerns to Congress. Also that day, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sends oversight letter to AG Garland requesting documents in connection with IRS whistleblowers’ removal from the Hunter Biden case. May 26, 2023: Shapley testifies behind closed doors before House Ways and Means Committee to make protected whistleblower disclosures. Rep. James Comer, Kentucky Republican and chairman of the House Oversight Committee. AP June 2023:FBI Stonewalls Over Alleged Burisma-Biden Bribes; Trump Indictments Grow; Plea Deal Emerges; Weiss Strains To Harmonize His Story With AG Garland About His Claimed Ultimate Authority June 1, 2023: Ziegler testifies behind closed doors before the House Ways and Means Committee to make protected whistleblower disclosures. June 2, 2023: After DOJ reportedly communicates to Hunter Biden’s counsel that he would need to plead guilty to tax charges, and counsel agrees he will do so for two misdemeanor counts of willfully failing to pay taxes – but not gun charge – Biden’s counsel expresses in email to Wolf that immunity is critical. Parties move forward on two-part deal consisting of plea agreement for tax charges and pretrial diversion agreement covering gun charge. June 6, 2023: Sen. Grassley delivers speech linking July 25, 2022, allegation FBI had sat on and buried evidence of Hunter Biden’s alleged criminal financial activity in 2020 on grounds it was “disinformation,” to FD-1023 alleging Burisma-Biden bribes. He asks whether allegation was dismissed by being falsely labeled “disinformation.” June 7, 2023: Following a series of correspondences and meetings in which the FBI refuses to turn over the FD-1023, or even acknowledge its existence, FBI relents in permitting Chairman Comer, Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) in camera reviews of redacted version of document. Reviewers can neither retain nor take notes on document. With FBI resisting calls to produce document to full committee, Chairman Comer releases resolution and report recommending FBI Director Wray be held in contempt of Congress. The same day, Wolf proposes plea deal to Hunter Biden’s counsel including global immunity provision. The deal also includes a protective measure whereby Justice Department can only prosecute Hunter Biden for gun charge if he breaks deal – as determined by presiding judge, not DOJ, providing protection from a future Republican administration. Also that day, Weiss responds on behalf of DOJ to Chairman Jordan’s May 25 letter to AG Garland. In response, Weiss says “I want to make clear that, as the Attorney General has stated, I have been granted ultimate authority over this matter [the Hunter Biden case], including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges and for making decisions necessary to preserve the integrity of the prosecution.” June 8, 2023: Special Counsel Jack Smith indicts Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. The same day, prosecutors send Hunter Biden plea agreement to presiding Delaware Judge Maryellen Noreika. June 9, 2023: Former Attorney General Bill Barr says FD-1023 alleging Burisma-Biden bribes “was provided to the ongoing investigation in Delaware to follow up on and to check out” via the Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney’s Office, which served as a “clearinghouse” for evidence to be received and vetted in connection with the case. June 12, 2023: Shapley submits affidavit to Congress indicating neither he, his team, nor the FBI agents working with it were ever provided the information contained in the FD-1023. In a June 19 letter, Ziegler will indicate the same. June 13, 2023: Donald Trump is arraigned in the classified documents case, pleading not guilty. Unbeknownst to the public, prosecutors had planned to file the Hunter Biden plea deal documents in Delaware federal court that day. They postpone. June 20, 2023: Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office announces it has reached plea deal with Hunter Biden charging him with two misdemeanor tax offenses covering tax years 2017 and 2018, and entered into a pre-trial diversion agreement regarding a firearm charge. Absent from the charges are those stemming from Hunter’s Burisma work, or any charges relating to FARA. Republicans pan the pact as a sweetheart plea deal illustrative of a two-tier justice system, with some indicating it violates DOJ standards. Hunter Biden’s attorney declares, “It is my understanding that the five-year investigation into Hunter is resolved.” Weiss’ office claims the investigation remains “ongoing,” according to the New York Times, at the time “taking Mr. Biden and officials at Justice Department headquarters by surprise.” Around this time, the Times reports, Wolf’s role shrinks. Leo Wise, a senior prosecutor from the Baltimore U.S. attorney’s office, is detailed to Delaware. He will ultimately sign off on and defend the plea agreement in court. June 22, 2023: House Ways and Means Committee releases transcripts of Shapley and Ziegler interviews. Chairman Jordan sends oversight letter to Weiss reiterating prior request for material regarding DOJ’s alleged retaliation against Shapley, and inquiring about the “unusual nature” of Weiss’ June 7 response on behalf of AG Garland to Jordan’s May 25 oversight request. June 28, 2023: Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-N.C.) sends letter to Weiss asking for information regarding, among other allegations, that he had requested and was denied special counsel authority. June 29, 2023: Three House Committee chairmen send letter to Garland requesting that he make 11 Justice Department officials pivotal to the Hunter Biden case, including Weiss, Wolf, U.S. Attorney Graves, and U.S. Attorney Estrada, available for transcribed interviews. June 30, 2023: Weiss responds to Jordan’s June 22 letter indicating DOJ did not retaliate against the IRS team, and that he stands by his June 7 letter indicating he has been granted total authority of the Hunter Biden case, including “where, when and whether to file charges.” Weiss adds, however, that “my charging authority is geographically limited to my home district [Delaware],” and that if another U.S. Attorney’s Office with venue for a case declines to partner on a case, he “may request Special Attorney Status from the Attorney General.” Weiss claims he has been “assured that, if necessary …” he “would be granted” such authority. From the FBI "FD-1023" form alleging foreign bribery of Joe and Hunter Biden. grassley.senate.gov July 2023:Burisma-Biden Bribes Document Released; Whistleblowers Testify About Obstructed Case Publicly; Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal Collapses in Court July 9, 2023: Sen. Grassley sends letter to Weiss inquiring as to whether Wolf and others had investigated FD-1023 alleging Biden bribes. July 10, 2023: Weiss responds to letter from Sen. Lindsey Graham indicating he had not requested special counsel authority with DOJ officials, but rather “had discussions with Departmental officials regarding … potential” special attorney authorities, which would have permitted him to charge in venues other than Delaware. “I was assured that I would be granted this authority if it proved necessary” prior to the Oct. 7, 2022, meeting, Weiss writes. July 19, 2023: Shapley and Ziegler testify publicly before House Oversight Committee, recounting key claims expressed during their closed-door depositions regarding allegations of slow-walking, obfuscation, and obstruction in the Hunter Biden case. The same day, Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office emails final deal to Judge Noreika. July 20, 2023: Sen. Grassley releases FD-1023 alleging $5 million bribes from Zlochevsky to Joe and Hunter Biden in exchange for firing of Shokin, indicating Zlochevsky has text messages and recordings suggesting he was coerced into making such payments. Hunter's artwork: Biden-connected buyers paid big. Georges Bergès Gallery July 24, 2023: The Federalist reports that the Pittsburgh FBI office that had originally received the FD-1023 had corroborated multiple facts included in the document, and briefed the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office accordingly, per a source. The same day, DOJ offers to make Weiss available for a public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee as soon as Sept. 27. July 24, 2023: Buyers of Hunter Biden’s art, totaling $1.4 million in sales, are revealed to include Hunter financial backer Kevin Morris and California Democrat donor Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali. In July 2022, eight months after Hunter’s first art opening, President Biden announced Naftali was appointed to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. It is not clear whether the sale occurred before or after the appointment. Reports also indicate Naftali visited the White House at least 13 times after December 2021. Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali: She bought Hunter art and got a plum post. U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad July 26, 2023: Hunter Biden’s plea deal collapses under questioning from federal Judge Noreika, with prosecutors and Hunter Biden’s lawyers sparring over scope of immunity provision in pretrial diversion agreement. When asked if government could bring charges under FARA with plea agreement in place, prosecutors say “Yes.” Biden’s counsel disagrees. This ultimately leads Biden to withdraw his guilty plea. DOJ acknowledges aspects of the deal are unprecedented in terms of structure and substance. Shortly after hearing, prosecutors and defense counsel will confer, with Biden’s lawyers suggesting changes to the deal. July 27, 2023: Special Counsel Smith issues superseding indictment in Trump Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. July 29, 2023: Chairman Comer issues oversight request letters to Naftali and the White House counsel in furtherance of probe of Hunter’s art sales. There is no indication federal investigators pursued the sales.  Devon Archer: Testifies to selling the Biden "brand." AP July 31, 2023: Former Hunter Biden business associate Devon Archer testifies before House Oversight Committee for transcribed interview. He alleges Hunter Biden’s business was selling the Biden “brand,” headlined by his father, and that he had witnessed Joe joining Hunter Biden and his business associates in person or by phone upwards of 20 times. The same day, prosecutors reject Hunter Biden counsel’s proposed deal revisions and suggest their own. Also that day, relevant House committee chairmen send letter to Garland inquiring about the “unusual plea and pretrial diversion agreements” offered Hunter Biden, in light of whistleblower allegations “the Department has provided preferential treatment toward Mr. Biden.” Judge Maryellen Norieka: Hunter Biden’s plea deal collapses under her questioning. United States District Court for the District of Delaware (Eric Crossan)/Wikipedia Aug. 2023-Present:Another Trump Indictment; Weiss Gets Special Counsel Authority He Wasn’t Supposed to Need; Biden Impeachment Inquiry Opens; Hunter Hit With Gun Indictment Aug. 1, 2023: Special Counsel Smith indicts Donald Trump on charges pertaining to his contesting of the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Aug. 7, 2023: Hunter Biden’s defense counsel rejects prosecutors’ proposed changes to the plea bargain, which according to an email Chris Clark sent to prosecutors, “without explanation, completely delet[ed] the immunity provision.” Aug. 8, 2023: Weiss requests special counsel authority. Aug. 9, 2023: House Oversight Committee releases bank records memo detailing millions in payments from foreign sources to Bidens and their associates from Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakhstani individuals during Joe Biden’s vice presidency – individuals who Vice President Biden met. Aug. 11, 2023: Garland names Weiss special counsel, asserting “he will continue to have the authority and responsibility that he has exercised previously to oversee the investigation and decide where, when, and whether to file charges.” Weiss retains his position as U.S. Attorney for Delaware despite rules calling for special counselors to come from “outside the United States government,” and for any special counsel to be “independent.” The New York Times later reports that Weiss was “motivated by a [special counsel] requirement to produce a report that would allow him to answer critics, according to people with knowledge of the situation – an accounting that could become public before the 2024 election.” The same day, the Justice Department files motions to dismiss the Hunter Biden tax case so charges can be brought in proper venue – either the Central District of California, or Washington, D.C. – an authority Weiss will have as special counsel. Biden had waived any venue challenge enabling the original deal to be cut in Delaware, despite venue for the offenses lying elsewhere. Aug. 14, 2023: Chairman Comer releases transcript of interview with FBI official corroborating Shapley’s testimony that FBI headquarters had tipped off Secret Service headquarters and President Biden’s transition team about investigators’ planned Dec. 8, 2020, Hunter Biden interview. The same day, Fulton County (Georgia) District Attorney Fani Willis indicts Donald Trump and 18 others in RICO case regarding Trump’s contesting of the 2020 election. Aug. 17, 2023: Hunter Biden tax case dismissed in Delaware. Aug. 19, 2023: Politico and the New York Times publish detailed accounts on collapse of Biden plea agreement based in part on leaked correspondence between Weiss’ office and Hunter Biden’s lawyers. Aug. 21, 2023: House committees subpoena IRS and FBI officials present at Oct. 7, 2022, meeting in which Weiss allegedly claimed he did not have final charging authority in Hunter Biden case. Aug. 28, 2023: House Committee chairmen send oversight request letter to AG Garland regarding his decision to appoint Weiss special counsel. The same day, The Federalist reports on emails obtained via FOIA indicating DOJ intervened on behalf of Weiss’ office on multiple occasions to respond to congressional inquiries – seen as further evidence of Weiss and DOJ officials in Washington seeking to align their stories on who had what authority in Hunter Biden case. Kevin McCarthy, Sept. 12: It's impeachment time. AP Sept. 6, 2023: Weiss’ office indicates intent to indict Hunter Biden on gun charges in Delaware before Sept. 29 in court filing. That same day, House Committee chairmen send letter to Hunter Biden’s counsel calling for it to produce documents and communications previously leaked to Politico and the New York Times regarding negotiations surrounding the failed Hunter Biden plea agreement. Sept. 12, 2023: Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announces House will open impeachment inquiry into President Biden concerning allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption. “The American people deserve to know that public offices are not for sale and that the federal government is not being used to cover up the actions of a politically-connected family,” he writes. House committees open joint inquiry into alleged attempts by Hunter Biden legal team to encourage DOJ to retaliate against IRS whistleblowers Shapley and Ziegler. Also that day, Washington Post publishes report based on leaked transcript from House Judiciary Committee interview with Baltimore FBI special agent in charge Thomas Sobocinski challenging IRS whistleblowers’ claims about what Weiss said about his authority during Oct. 7, 2022, meeting. Sept. 13, 2023: Shapley’s lawyers respond with the IRS agents’ contemporaneous handwritten notes to rebut Sobocinski’s claims. Sept. 14, 2023: Weiss indicts Hunter Biden on felony gun charges in Delaware federal court. Sept. 18, 2023: Hunter Biden sues the IRS over Shapley and Ziegler’s whistleblower disclosures. Sept. 20, 2023: AG Garland testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. Under questioning from Chairman Jordan, he defends prior comments about Weiss' authority, stating "no one had the authority to turn him [Weiss] down" in terms of bringing charges, but that "they could refuse to partner with him." Garland says the two are "not the same under well-known Justice Department practices." He will also testifies that a U.S. Attorney in one district "does not have the authority to deny another U.S. attorney the ability to go forward" with a case. Sept. 26, 2023: Hunter Biden makes initial appearance in Delaware federal court in gun charge case, and is arraigned. On the same day. Hunter sues Rudy Giuliani and attorney Robert Costello over sharing of Hunter’s laptop data in alleged violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  Also that day, House Oversight Committee reveals that Hunter Biden received two wire payments totaling over $250,000 during 2019 from Chinese sources, at least one of which was linked to the Chinese investment concern BHR Partners, including its CEO. Hunter’s attorney George Mesires would state that same year that the president’s son had served as a board member at the company in an “unpaid position.” While Hunter Biden was listed as the beneficiary for the funds, the Delaware home of Joe Biden was listed as the beneficiary address.  Sept. 28, 2023: House Oversight Committee to hold first impeachment inquiry hearing. *  *  * We've gone from 'There isn't an ounce of evidence' to 'hundreds of thousands of dollars were wired from overseas, with President's address as the documented address of the recipient' and Dems have not changed their opinions one bit, even though evidence has dramatically changed. pic.twitter.com/YhiTJXe6Bd — Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) September 27, 2023 Tyler Durden Wed, 09/27/2023 - 16:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 27th, 2023

Atlanta-based Blue River Development Seeks Florida Land Deals

Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC announces its expansion into Florida,aiming to acquire 2,000 lots over the next 24 months. Managing Principal Michael Cooper states, “Our focus strategically targets the I-4 corridor, stretching from Tampa to Orlando and up through Jacksonville. Another major focus is the I-75 corridor, starting in Tampa... The post Atlanta-based Blue River Development Seeks Florida Land Deals appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC announces its expansion into Florida,aiming to acquire 2,000 lots over the next 24 months. Managing Principal Michael Cooper states, “Our focus strategically targets the I-4 corridor, stretching from Tampa to Orlando and up through Jacksonville. Another major focus is the I-75 corridor, starting in Tampa and reaching through The Villages into Ocala. Furthermore, we will expand to the south, targeting key areas such as Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Fort Myers.” “This strategic expansion into these corridors and cities holds great potential for our company’s growth and market presence,” said Michael Cooper. “With 1,000 people moving to Florida a day, this steady influx of new residents presents a unique opportunity for strategic development,” said Michael Meshkaty, Strategic Partner at Blue River Development. “We are excited to enter these growing markets and leverage our expertise to meet the high demand for residential properties.” Blue River Development is aggressively looking to acquire properties at various stages of development — from raw land to entitled or developed lots. “The counties we are focusing on include Hillsborough, Hernando, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, Polk, Citrus, and Manatee Counties,” said Meshkaty. Blue River’s land acquisition strategy focuses on single-family residential properties, including detached homes and townhomes. Multi-family and mixed-use projects with a residential focus are also attractive. “Projects of interest will range from a minimum of 50 lots to a maximum of 300 lots,” said Michael Cooper. We are actively seeking off-market, organically sourced properties and active listings. In addition, we are diligently pursuing all public records for imminent residential land entitlements. “We are not just a one-note company. Our diverse portfolio and knowledge are adaptable to various market conditions and opportunities,” said Brad Cooper, Managing Principal at Blue River Development. “Our aim in Florida, as in all our markets, is to deliver value to our investors and the communities in which we work.” This aggressive yet strategic expansion cements Blue River’s commitment to maximizing investment opportunities and illustrates its adaptability in an ever-changing real estate market. The Blue River Development team has over 20 years of experience developing and acquiring nearly $2 billion in residential, multifamily and retail projects. The firm’s achievements are driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel and execute on that data and its accountability to clients and investors. For more information, visit www.BlueRiverDevelopment.com. The post Atlanta-based Blue River Development Seeks Florida Land Deals appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyAug 14th, 2023

Old National Bancorp (ONB) Announces New Share Repurchase Plan

Old National Bancorp (ONB) announces a new share repurchase plan worth $200 million. A strong balance sheet and liquidity are likely to support the company's capital distribution plans. Old National Bancorp. ONB announced a new share repurchase program. Per the plan, the company is authorized to buy back up to $200 million worth of shares. The program will be carried through Feb 28, 2025.Previously, ONB announced share repurchase programs in 2023 and 2022, each worth $200 million. The company didn’t repurchase any shares in 2023 due to unfavorable market conditions.Concurrently, Old National Bancorp announced a quarterly cash dividend of 14 cents per share. The dividend will be paid out on Mar 15, 2024, to shareholders of record as of Mar 5, 2024.Based on the last day’s closing price of $16.26, the current annual dividend yield is 3.44%. Notably, Old National Bancorp has kept the dividend payout unchanged for the last four years, with one hike over five years. This has led to a five-year annualized dividend growth rate of 1.44%. The company has a dividend payout ratio of 27%.As of Dec 31, 2023, ONB’s CET1 capital ratio was 10.7%, up from 10.03% in the prior year period. As of the same date, total deposits were $37.2 billion, other borrowings were $764.9 million, and cash and cash equivalents (primarily consisting of cash and due from banks and money-market and other interest-bearing investments) totaled $1.18 billion.Given its strong balance sheet and liquidity position, Old National Bancorp is expected to be able to sustain current capital distributions in the future. This will keep enhancing shareholder’s wealth.Shares of ONB have lost 9.6% over the past year, compared with the industry’s downside of 13.6%. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchCurrently, ONB carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here.Share Buyback Plans of Other BanksEarlier this month, Zions Bancorporation ZION announced a new share repurchase plan for 2024. The plan authorizes the company to buy back up to $35 million worth of shares.ZION repurchased shares in each of the last three years, indicating an impressive capital distribution plan on the back of anticipated growth.In January, Capital City Bank Group, Inc. CCBG announced a new repurchase program. The program equips the bank to buy back up to 750,000 shares of common stock over the next five years. This represents 4.4% of the bank’s issued and outstanding shares of common stock.CCBG terminated an existing repurchase program in order to pursue the new one, indicating certain capital distribution tweaks. The current plan does not obligate the bank to buy back any specified number of shares. Top 5 ChatGPT Stocks Revealed Zacks Senior Stock Strategist, Kevin Cook names 5 hand-picked stocks with sky-high growth potential in a brilliant sector of Artificial Intelligence. By 2030, the AI industry is predicted to have an internet and iPhone-scale economic impact of $15.7 Trillion. Today you can invest in the wave of the future, an automation that answers follow-up questions … admits mistakes … challenges incorrect premises … rejects inappropriate requests. As one of the selected companies puts it, “Automation frees people from the mundane so they can accomplish the miraculous.”Download Free ChatGPT Stock Report Right 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 Zions Bancorporation, N.A. (ZION): Free Stock Analysis Report Capital City Bank Group (CCBG): Free Stock Analysis Report Old National Bancorp (ONB): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks3 hr. 29 min. ago

Itron (ITRI) Unveils IEE to Transform Utility Data Management

Itron (ITRI) announces the availability of a cloud-based IEE platform in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. Itron ITRI introduced a cloud-based Meter Data Management platform, Itron Enterprise Edition (IEE) Cloud, which is designed to meet the evolving needs of utilities amid ongoing digitalization.The platform is available on Microsoft Azure and other cloud platforms, which offers cost savings, reduces IT burden, and improves operational visibility. IEE Cloud allows utilities to customize processes without constant maintenance and easily integrate new capabilities like revenue assurance and transformer load management amid rising grid complexity driven by the energy transition, extreme weather and increased consumer demand.IEE Cloud supports more complex energy systems and bridges the gap between utilities and technologies, enabling the energy transition. IEE Cloud offers flexibility and cost savings over on-premises solutions, allowing utilities to focus on their core business.Itron, Inc. Price and Consensus Itron, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Itron, Inc. QuoteAdditionally, IEE Cloud offers verification, integration, and analysis of data in a software-as-a-service solution across the utility enterprise, enhancing user experience through automation and advanced reporting tools.Itron is a technology and services company and one of the leading global suppliers of a wide range of standard, advanced, and smart meters and meter communication systems, including networks and communication modules, software, devices, sensors, data analytics and services to the utility and municipal sectors.Accelerating trends in electrification, gas safety, energy transition, grid-edge digitalization and water efficiency are likely to drive demand for the company’s solutions going ahead. Management noted that utilities across the Asia-Pacific are working on improving grid stability and reliability.In October 2023, the company unveiled its IEE Settlements, which will offer automated and auditable settlement calculations as well as customized reports to its users.For 2023, management now projects revenues between $2.16 billion and $2.17 billion (earlier view: $2.11-$2.14 billion). Non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) are estimated to be in the $2.83-$2.93 band (prior projection: $2.03-$2.28).Currently, Itron carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Itron’s shares have rallied 34.8% in the past year compared with 8.7% growth of the sub-industry.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchStocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks worth considering in the broader technology space are Cadence Design Systems CDNS, Woodward WWD and Watts Water Technologies WTS. Cadence and Woodward sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Watts Water Technologies carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Cadence’s 2024 EPS has improved 1.9% in the past 60 days to $5.87. CDNS’s long-term earnings growth rate is 17.1%.Cadence’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, the average surprise being 3.4%. Shares of CDNS have gained 49.9% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Woodward’s fiscal 2024 EPS has inched up 5.7% in the past 60 days to $5.20. WWD’s long-term earnings growth rate is 15.5%.Woodward’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus in each of the last four quarters, the average surprise being 27.2%. Shares of WWD have gained 38.5% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Watts Water Technologies fiscal 2024 EPS has improved 0.4% in the past 60 days to $8.35. WTS’s long-term earnings growth rate is 7.8%.WTS’ earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, the average surprise being 13.5%. Shares of WTS have soared 12.6% in the past year. Top 5 ChatGPT Stocks Revealed Zacks Senior Stock Strategist, Kevin Cook names 5 hand-picked stocks with sky-high growth potential in a brilliant sector of Artificial Intelligence. By 2030, the AI industry is predicted to have an internet and iPhone-scale economic impact of $15.7 Trillion. Today you can invest in the wave of the future, an automation that answers follow-up questions … admits mistakes … challenges incorrect premises … rejects inappropriate requests. As one of the selected companies puts it, “Automation frees people from the mundane so they can accomplish the miraculous.”Download Free ChatGPT Stock Report Right 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 Itron, Inc. (ITRI): Free Stock Analysis Report Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (CDNS): Free Stock Analysis Report Watts Water Technologies, Inc. (WTS): Free Stock Analysis Report Woodward, Inc. (WWD): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks3 hr. 29 min. ago

Royal Caribbean (RCL) Raises 2024 Guidance on Robust Demand

Royal Caribbean (RCL) announces a notable increase in its 2024 guidance, citing an unexpectedly robust demand for its vacation experiences. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL announced a notable increase in its 2024 guidance, citing an unexpectedly robust demand for its vacation experiences. Following the news, the company’s shares gained 6.2% in the after-hour trading session on Feb 21.The company's latest update reflects an optimistic outlook fueled by an exceptional performance in the WAVE booking season, surpassing previous records in its history. With bookings for all four quarters of 2024 and across key product lines exceeding last year's figures in both rate and volume, RCL is poised for a promising year ahead.Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean, expressed his enthusiasm regarding the surge in demand, emphasizing the company's commitment to delivering exceptional vacation experiences while driving long-term shareholder value. The increase in adjusted EPS guidance by $0.40 compared with February projections reflects its confidence in revenue outlook, driven by a significant uptick in constant currency net yield growth.The revised adjusted EPS for 2024 is now expected to be between $9.90 and $10.10, with a notable portion of the increase attributed to an improved revenue outlook for the first quarter. This upward revision underscores Royal Caribbean's strong momentum and ability to capitalize on evolving market dynamics.The achievement of all Trifecta goals in 2024 marks a significant milestone for RCL, signaling its commitment to delivering exceptional value to both guests and shareholders alike. With consumer spending for onboard purchases continuing to surpass prior years, driven by increased participation at higher prices, Royal Caribbean demonstrates resilience and adaptability in navigating the evolving landscape of the travel industry.In conclusion, Royal Caribbean’s upward revision in guidance for 2024 reflects its optimistic outlook fueled by robust demand and a strong performance in the WAVE booking season. With an enhanced revenue outlook and a focus on achieving key strategic goals, RCL remains well-positioned to deliver value and memorable experiences to its guests while driving sustainable long-term growth.In the past year, shares of the Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company have surged 60.2% compared with the industry’s growth of 2.5%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchOther Key PicksSome other top-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are as follows:Trip.com Group Limited TCOM currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. TCOM has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 199.4%, on average. Shares of TCOM have rallied 15.5% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for TCOM’s 2024 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 17.7% and 18%, respectively, from the year-ago  levels.H World Group Limited HTHT currently flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 94.5%, on average. The stock has lost 28.5% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HTHT’s 2024 sales and EPS indicates an improvement of 7.2% and 7.1%, respectively, from the year-ago  levels.Playa Hotels & Resorts N.V. PLYA carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 346.7%, on average. The stock has gained 9.8% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for PLYA’s 2024 sales indicates a rise of 3.4% from the year-ago levels. Top 5 ChatGPT Stocks Revealed Zacks Senior Stock Strategist, Kevin Cook names 5 hand-picked stocks with sky-high growth potential in a brilliant sector of Artificial Intelligence. By 2030, the AI industry is predicted to have an internet and iPhone-scale economic impact of $15.7 Trillion. Today you can invest in the wave of the future, an automation that answers follow-up questions … admits mistakes … challenges incorrect premises … rejects inappropriate requests. As one of the selected companies puts it, “Automation frees people from the mundane so they can accomplish the miraculous.”Download Free ChatGPT Stock Report Right 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 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL): Free Stock Analysis Report H World Group Limited Sponsored ADR (HTHT): Free Stock Analysis Report Playa Hotels & Resorts N.V. (PLYA): Free Stock Analysis Report Trip.com Group Limited Sponsored ADR (TCOM): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks3 hr. 29 min. ago

Valley National (VLY) Announces New Share Repurchase Plan

Valley National (VLY) announces a new share repurchase program. Given the decent liquidity and strong balance sheet position, this looks sustainable in the long run. Valley National Bancorp VLY has announced a new share repurchase program. The plan authorizes the company to buy back up to 25 million shares. This plan will be effective from Apr 26, 2024 and is set to expire on Apr 26,2026.Prior to this, VLY had announced a repurchase plan in 2022 for 25 million shares. The plan will expire on Apr 25, 2024. As of Dec 31, 2023 almost 24.7 million shares remained available under the authorisation.Concurrently, Valley National announced a quarterly cash dividend of 11 cents per share. The dividend will be paid out on Apr 2, 2024, to shareholders of record as of Mar 14, 2024. Since 2018, the company has been paying out the same dividend to its shareholders.Based on yesterday’s closing price of $8.28, the annualised dividend yield currently stands at 5.31%. This is impressive compared with the industry’s yield of 3.03%. Also, VLY has a dividend payout ratio of 42%.As of Dec 31, 2023, Valley National had a total debt of $3.25 billion (the majority being long-term in nature), while its cash and due from banks, and interest-bearing deposits with banks were $891.2 million. The common equity tier 1 ratio as of Dec 31, 2023, was 9.29%, up from 9.01% as of Dec 31, 2022.Given its strong balance sheet and decent liquidity position, Valley National is expected to be able to keep boosting shareholder value through sustainable capital distribution activities.In the past three months, shares of VLY have lost 5.4% against the industry’s 4.6% growth. The company's shares were adversely impacted due to its huge exposure to commercial real estate and residential mortgage loans, which accounted for 74.8% of total gross loans as of Dec 31, 2023. This huge loan category exposure is turning out to be a big concern because of the current macroeconomic backdrop.  Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchCurrently, VLY carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here.Other Banks Taking Similar StepsLast week, Axos Financial, Inc. AX announced an additional share repurchase program. The company is authorized to buy back up to $100 million worth of shares.AX’s new share buyback plan supplements the existing repurchase program. The existing plan has almost $20 million worth of authorization remaining. AX repurchased $83.2 million worth of shares during the first half of fiscal 2024.Earlier this month, Zions Bancorporation ZION announced a new share repurchase plan for 2024. The plan authorizes the company to buy back up to $35 million worth of shares.ZION repurchased shares in each of the last three years, indicating an impressive capital distribution plan on the back of anticipated growth. Top 5 ChatGPT Stocks Revealed Zacks Senior Stock Strategist, Kevin Cook names 5 hand-picked stocks with sky-high growth potential in a brilliant sector of Artificial Intelligence. By 2030, the AI industry is predicted to have an internet and iPhone-scale economic impact of $15.7 Trillion. Today you can invest in the wave of the future, an automation that answers follow-up questions … admits mistakes … challenges incorrect premises … rejects inappropriate requests. As one of the selected companies puts it, “Automation frees people from the mundane so they can accomplish the miraculous.”Download Free ChatGPT Stock Report Right 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 Zions Bancorporation, N.A. (ZION): Free Stock Analysis Report Valley National Bancorp (VLY): Free Stock Analysis Report AXOS FINANCIAL, INC (AX): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks3 hr. 29 min. ago

‘We were both in shock.’ Couple wins NC lottery and announces unusual first purchase

‘We were both in shock.’ Couple wins NC lottery and announces unusual first purchase.....»»

Category: topSource: yahoo13 hr. 37 min. ago

AIphoria: Nvidia Blowout Sends US Futures Soaring, Pushes Japan And Europe To New Record Highs

AIphoria: Nvidia Blowout Sends US Futures Soaring, Pushes Japan And Europe To New Record Highs US equity futures blasted higher, and were set to push US the S&P500 to a new all time high when markets open for trading, matching record highs hit earlier in the session for both Japanese stocks... ... and European bourses... ... boosted by blowout earnings by Nvidia which surged in early trading after delivering another eye-popping sales forecast  - it really was the $2BN delta between NVDA's $24BN revenue forecast for the current quarter and the $21.9BN consensus estimate - that added fresh momentum to a stock rally that already made it the world’s most valuable chipmaker and fanned gains in tech stocks - and really all stocks - around the world. As of 7:40am S&P futures were higher by 1.3% on the day with Nasdaq futures outperforming and higher by 2.1% following Nvidia earnings which sent the stock up as much as 15%; in Europe, the Stoxx 600 hit a new all time high, rising 0.8% with Japan's Nikkei also surpassing its December 1989 record high, and closing above 39K for the first time ever. Meanwhile, even as tech rocketed higher, yields continued their ascent, and the 10Y yield rose to a new 2024 high, while the dollar dipped and oil swung from gains to losses in a narrow range. Today's calendar sees jobless claims (8:30am), February S&P US PMI’s (9:45am) and January existing home sales (10am) as well as several Fed speakers. Naturally, all eyes are on Nvidia this morning which soared as much as 15% in pre-market trading after results showed demand continues to be strong for artificial intelligence computing hardware enabling extremely racist chatbots such as Google's Gemini. The company, which will once again surpass Amazon and Alphabet in market value, has been the biggest driver of US stock market gains this year and has gained over $250BN premarket. And here is a stunning fact: the $250BN in market cap NVDA is set to gain today eclipses the previous record, that of Meta, which soared by $197BN just three weeks ago. Nivida’s gain dragged other chipmakers higher in premarket trading, with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. climbing 6%, Applied Materials Inc. rising 4% and Intel Corp. up more than 2%. Here are some other notable premarket movers: B. Riley surged 35% after the embattled bank said internal review confirms that the company and its executives, including Bryant Riley, had no involvement with, or knowledge of, any of the alleged misconduct concerning Prophecy Carnival gains 5% as rival Royal Caribbean lifted its annual guidance. Royal Caribbean (RCL) +5% DigitalOcean jumps 9% after the provider of platform tools for start-ups posted 4Q revenue that beat estimates. DoorDash rises 4% as Morgan Stanley raises its rating, predicting robust growth. Enerplus ADRs gain 9% after Chord agreed to buy the Canadian oil and gas company for $3.7 billion in stock and cash. Etsy falls 9% after the e-commerce company’s outlook pointed to a slow start to the fiscal year, prompting Jefferies to cut its earnings estimate. Indivior ADRs jump 16% after the drugmaker reported upbeat results for the fourth quarter. Lucid Group sinks 8% after the electric vehicles maker forecast production for 2024 of about 9,000 vehicles, which analysts described as disappointing. Moderna Inc. gains 3% after the company reported fourth-quarter revenue that beat analysts’ expectations by gaining Covid vaccine market share on its rival, Pfizer Inc. Nvidia surges 13% after delivering another eye-popping sales forecast. Remitly soars 24% after the money transfer firm provided a year revenue forecast that topped estimates and a strong 4Q sales beat. Rivian falls 16% after the electric vehicle maker provided a disappointing forecast for 2024 production. Vertiv gains 5% with analysts noting strong order numbers for the data center equipment company. Yet despite lots of activity elsewhere, this morning is all about AI (which apparently is raginly anti-white racist, forcing Google's Bard or whatever it is called now, to pull all of its image generation altogether). The global market for generative AI may reach $1.3 trillion in 2032, according to estimates from Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh. Explosive growth in the sector should boost hardware, software and internet companies again this year, he wrote in a recent report. “As goes Nvidia, so goes the market,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer of Bokeh Capital Partners LLC. “It does confirm the narrative that AI is going to continue to be strong for the foreseeable future. This narrative supported the markets last year, why wouldn’t it do the same this year?” The latest numbers mean Wall Street estimates for Nvidia are set to be revised higher, which will likely bring down the valuation once again if the share price doesn’t keep pace.  While some investors have been concerned about a possible bubble forming around AI-related stocks, others noted that Nvidia is still less expensive than peers. The stock traded at about 30 times forward earnings as of Wednesday’s close, compared with AMD at 43 times. The shares are also cheaper than those of Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp., while the Nasdaq 100 Index trades at a 25 times multiple. The hype around Nvidia’s earnings overshadowed a hawkish tone to the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, where most officials expressed concern about the risk of cutting interest rates too soon. Fed Governor Lisa Cook and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari are set to speak today, providing investors with more food for thought along with jobs and home-sales data. European stocks also benefited from the AIphoria, with the Stoxx 600 rising to a record high after Japan’s Nikkei 225 did the same earlier on Thursday. European semiconductor stocks rallied after Nvidia delivered another eye-popping sales forecast, as demand for chips to power AI algorithms shows no signs of letting up. Among European chip equipment makers, ASML rose as much as +5.1%. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Mercedes shares rise as much as 5.4% as the German carmaker’s gloomy earnings forecast was offset by its plan for an accelerated $3.2 billion buyback. Rolls-Royce gains as much as 9.4% after the UK aircraft engine maker reported strong earnings and guidance confirming its turnaround story, according to analysts at Jefferies. Marlowe shares jump as much as 39%, extending yesterday gains, after agreeing to sell some Governance, Risk & Compliance software and services assets to Inflexion Private Equity for an enterprise value of £430 million. Axa shares gain as much as 4% after its FY underlying profit beat the average analyst estimate, while the French insurer also vowed to return about €6 billion ($6.5 billion) of last year’s earnings to investors under a new payout policy. Indivior shares jump as much as 22% after the drugmaker reported upbeat results for the fourth quarter and provided outlook that was above consensus expectations at the mid-point. Delivery Hero shares fall as much as 10% on Thursday after the food delivery firm said negotiations to sell the Foodpanda business in some Southeast Asia markets have failed. Nestle shares drop as much as 5.3% after the food manufacturer posted “lackluster” full-year results amid significant currency headwinds, according to Vontobel. Morgan Stanley expects a downward revision to consensus EPS figures. ISS drops as much as 11% in Copenhagen as the cleaning and support services firm’s free cash flow guidance disappoints analysts. Stock is worst performer on Stoxx Europe 600 on Thursday. Hargreaves Lansdown shares slide as much as 8.9% after the wealth manager reported what analysts described as mixed first-half results. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks gained as Nvidia’s better-than-expected revenue forecast sparked a rally in tech shares, helping Japan’s Nikkei 225 hit a new record. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.7% to its highest level since April 2022, with Toyota among the biggest boosts along with Nvidia suppliers TSMC and SK Hynix. Japan’s blue chip index surpassed its 1989 all-time high. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were both firmer albeit with price action in Hong Kong choppy amid US-China chip-related frictions, while the mainland remained afloat after the latest stability efforts by China. Nikkei 225 outperformed amid tech strength and eventually printed fresh intraday record highs above 39,000. ASX 200 lagged as participants continued to digest an influx of earnings and after Australia's Flash Manufacturing PMI returned to contraction territory. KOSPI was marginally higher after the BoK kept rates unchanged and signalled an unlikelihood of a cut soon. Indian stocks overcame a sell off in the preceding session to post their biggest single-day surge in three weeks with the biggest boost from automakers and software exporters. The S&P BSE Sensex Index rose 0.7% to 73,158.24 in Mumbai, the most since Jan. 31. The NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced by a similar measure to a new all-time high. In FX, the risk-on mood has weighed on the greenback, with the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index down 0.3% after edging lower in the last three days  and looking at its first weekly fall of 2024. Minutes of the Fed’s Jan. 30-31 meeting flagged that policymakers were more concerned about the risks of moving too soon to cut interest rates than waiting too long; a view presaged by Fed Governor Michelle Bowman who said that the time for a rate cut was “Certainly not now."  A slip in the dollar is “probably a reflection of overall bullish sentiment, which has been given a boost after Nvidia,” said Kyle Rodda, a senior analyst at Capital.com. “Don’t overlook the China narrative, either. We’ve seen antipodeans a bit firmer over the last few days and I think stronger Chinese markets are having an impact at the margins” In rates, treasury yields hit session highs with the long-end outperforming, flattening 2s10s and 5s30s spreads through Wednesday session lows. The 10Y yield traded at 4.33%, as treasury yields were richer by up to 3bps across long-end of the curve with front-end slightly cheaper on the day. Spreads including 2s10s, 5s30s are flatter by 2bp and 1.5bp, following similar bull flattening move seen across German curve. Core European rates are choppy following a round of services and manufacturing PMI’s data, while risk sentiment continues to be boosted by Nvidia surging in premarket trading after delivering stellar earnings after Wednesday’s close. US session focus includes jobless claims and PMI data, along with a busy Fed speaker slate. The dollar issuance slate is busy and includes BNG Bank 3Y; Cisco headlined a four-deal $19.4b slate for Wednesday, pushing weekly volume through $33b with more jumbo acquisition financing expected in the coming days. We algo get a $9b 30-year TIPS auction is scheduled for 1pm. In commodities, oil prices advance, with WTI rising 0.5% to trade near $78.30. Spot gold adds 0.2%. Bitcoin sits just shy of USD 52k, whilst Ethereum (+2.2%) edges higher and back towards USD 3k. On today's calendar, we get the January Chicago Fed national activity index, jobless claims (8:30am), February S&P US PMI’s (9:45am) and January existing home sales (10am). Federal Reserve members scheduled to speak include Jefferson (10am), Harker (3:15pm), Cook, Kashkari (5pm) and Waller (7:35pm) Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.3% to 5,058.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.6% to 493.87 MXAP up 1.1% to 173.05 MXAPJ up 1.0% to 528.53 Nikkei up 2.2% to 39,098.68 Topix up 1.3% to 2,660.71 Hang Seng Index up 1.5% to 16,742.95 Shanghai Composite up 1.3% to 2,988.36 Sensex up 0.7% to 73,115.45 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,611.20 Kospi up 0.4% to 2,664.27 German 10Y yield little changed at 2.46% Euro up 0.3% to $1.0850 Brent Futures up 0.3% to $83.31/bbl Brent Futures up 0.3% to $83.31/bbl Gold spot up 0.1% to $2,028.84 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.30% to 103.70 Top Overnight News As the annual meeting of China's parliament approaches next month, its leaders are facing the greatest pressure in almost a decade to take bold policy decisions that safeguard the economy's long-term growth potential. The start of the year saw Chinese stocks tumbling to five-year lows on growth concerns and deflation deepening to levels unseen since the global financial crisis, prompting comparisons with the 2015 turmoil that forced policymakers into action. RTRS South Korea's central bank on Thursday joined its peers in the U.S. and Australia in seeking to hose down investors' aggressive rate cut expectations after keeping interest rates at a 15-year high. "Most board members still see it as premature to discuss any interest rate cuts as inflation is above our target level and we need to check its slowdown path," governor Rhee Chang-yong said in a news conference in Seoul. The Bank of Korea (BOK) kept interest rates steady at 3.50%, as expected by all 38 analysts polled by Reuters. RTRS The BOJ will pull the plug on its eight-year negative interest rate policy in April, according to more than 80% of economists polled by Reuters, marking a long-awaited major shift from a global outlier central bank. Nearly the same proportion of economists, 76%, also expect the BOJ to scrap yield curve control at that meeting, with almost all saying ultra-loose monetary conditions will end then, just months before many major central banks are expected to start cutting rates. RTRS European flash PMIs for Feb are mixed, with manufacturing dipping to 46.1 (down from 46.6 in Jan) while services climbed to 50 (up from 48.4 in Jan) and inflation pressures built (“overall rates of input cost inflation and selling price inflation accelerated in February to their highest since last May”). RTRS Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, said that “preliminary signs” of progress have emerged on a deal to pause fighting in Gaza in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages. Without offering specifics, Mr. Gantz said there has been momentum on a new draft of the deal that indicates a “possibility to advance.” NYT US crude inventories surged by 7.2 million barrels last week, API data is said to show. That would take total holdings to the highest since November if confirmed by the EIA. Distillate supply fell, while gasoline stockpiles edged higher. BBG Ukraine has the right to strike “Russian military targets outside Ukraine” in line with international law, Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said, while acknowledging that Kyiv’s western suppliers of weapons have divergent stances on the issue. FT WMT has eased the delivery requirements for its suppliers, the latest sign of supply chain conditions normalizing back to pre-COVID levels. WSJ NVDA delivered another BIG beat and guide above, with Data Center once again serving as the key growth driver. Overwhelming consensus heading into the print was that we were going to get another BEAT & FADE (similar to what we got the last 2 qtrs)) Over the past 4 sessions, NVDA traded down -9% with the desk noting material derisking in NVDA & its AI / Momentum peer group... so, in retrospect, it seems like the “beat & fade” reaction may have been PULLED FORWARD. GS GBM Earnings NVIDIA Corp (NVDA) - Q4 2024 (USD): Adj. EPS 5.16 (exp. 4.64), Revenue 22.1bln (exp. 20.62bln). Q1 25 revenue view 24bln plus or minus 2% (exp. 21.9bln). Revenue breakdown (USD). Data Centre revenue 18.4bln (exp. 17.21bln). Gaming revenue +58% y/y to 2.9bln (exp. 2.72bln). Professional Visualization revenue 463mln (exp. 435.5mln). Automotive revenue -4.4% Y/Y to 281mln (exp. 272.1mln). Other metrics ADJ gross margin 76.7% (exp. 75.4%). R&D expenses +26% Y/Y to USD 2.47bln (exp. 2.43bln). ADJ operating expenses +25% Y/Y to USD 2.21bln (exp. 2.23bln). ADJ operating income USD 14.75bln (exp. 13.14bln). Free cash flow USD 11.22bln (exp. 10.82bln). Commentary Generative AI has "hit the tipping point". Data Center sales to China declined significantly in Q4 due to US government licensing requirements. Says has gotten requests for information from antitrust regulators in France, EU, UK and China over its sales of GPUs and efforts to allocate supply, while it expects to receive additional requests for information. CEO says demand far exceeds supply for next-generation products and cannot keep up with demand as we ramp. Says China represented mid-single-digit percentage of data centre revenue in Q4 due to USG licensing requirements and sees it to be in a similar range in Q1 (Newswires) Shares +13% in pre-market Anglo American (AAL LN) - FY (USD): Revenue 30.7bln (exp. 30.8bln). Adj. Net 2.90bln (exp. 2.81bln). Adj. EBTIDA 9.96bln (exp. 9.76bln). Basic EPS 2.42 (exp. 2.33). Cuts FY dividend to 0.41 (prev. 0.74, -45% Y/Y). COMMENTARY "There is no doubt that while the immediate macro picture presents some challenges for our PGMs and diamonds businesses, the demand trends for metals and minerals have rarely looked better." "Our updated assessment of global GDP growth and consumer demand were the main factors behind our USD 1.6bln write-down of our book value of De Beers, principally relating to goodwill." Anglo American secures additional multi-billion tonne high quality iron ore resource at Minas-Rio. Shares +3.4% in European trade Rolls Royce (RR/ LN) - FY (GBP): Revenue 16.49bln (exp. 14.82bln). FCF 1.285bln (prev. 505mln). Operating Margin 10.3% (prev. 5.1%). Sees 2024 FCF 1.7-1.9bln (exp. 1.37bln). Co. sees further improvement to all mid-term targets. Shares +7.9% in European trade Mercedes-Benz (MBG GY) - Q4 (EUR): Revenue 40.26bln (exp. 38.61bln). Sees 2024 Cars Adj. Return on Sales between 10-12% (exp. 11.3%); Free cash flow of the industrial business seen slightly above the prior-year level. COMMENTARY: Group EBIT is expected to be slightly below the previous year's level resulting in divisional guidances. Mercedes-Benz Cars will seek to defend and hold pricing at 2023 levels. Index Weightings: DAX 40 (4.01%), Euro Stoxx 50 (1.6%), Stoxx 600 (0.5%) Shares +4.7% in European trade AXA (CS FP) - FY23 (EUR): Revenue 102.7bln (exp. 105.5bln), Net 7.19bln (exp. 7.45bln). Co. announces a share buyback of up to EUR 1.6bln. Co. increased main financial targets for 2024-2026. Targeting a total payout ratio of 75%, comprising a 60% dividend payout ratio and an additional 15% from annual share buy-backs. Dividend +16% Y/Y to EUR 1.98/shr. Co. announced a new strategic plan dubbed “Unlock the Future”. (AXA) Index Weightings: CAC 40 (3.3%), Euro Stoxx 50 (1.8%), Stoxx 600 (0.6%) Shares +2.4% in European trade Nestle (NESN SW) - FY23 (CHF): Revenue 92bln (exp. 94.04bln). Organic Revenue +7.2% (exp. +7.4%). Dividend 3 (exp. 3.08). Real Internal Growth -0.3% (exp. +0.08%). Sees 2024 organic revenue around +4% (exp. +4.91%). OUTLOOK 2024 outlook: "We expect organic sales growth around 4% and a moderate increase in the underlying trading operating profit margin. Underlying earnings per share in constant currency is expected to increase between 6% and 10%." 2025 mid-term targets fully confirmed: mid-single-digit organic sales growth and an underlying trading operating profit margin range of 17.5% to 18.5% by 2025. Underlying earnings per share in constant currency to increase between 6% and 10%. COMMENTARY Growth was broad-based across most geographies and categories. Distribution costs as a percentage of sales decreased. (Nestle) Index Weighting: SMI (17.5% - largest), Stoxx 600 (2.8% - second largest) Shares -4% in European trade A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks were mostly positive amid tailwinds from the tech uplift in US futures following NVIDIA earnings. ASX 200 lagged as participants continued to digest an influx of earnings and after Australia's Flash Manufacturing PMI returned to contraction territory. Nikkei 225 outperformed amid tech strength and eventually printed fresh intraday record highs above 39,000. KOSPI was marginally higher after the BoK kept rates unchanged and signalled an unlikelihood of a cut soon. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were both firmer albeit with price action in Hong Kong choppy amid US-China chip-related frictions, while the mainland remained afloat after the latest stability efforts by China. Top Asian News China's Foreign Minister Wang said he feels Europe's rational perception of China is increasing, believing China's development is in line with the logic of history and Europe should not be afraid of it or reject it. Wang added that the European side is positive about strengthening China-EU exchanges at all levels and is very enthusiastic about deepening practical cooperation, while he would like to stress to the European side that 'de-risking' will not eliminate cooperation and 'reducing dependence' will not reduce mutual trust. Chinese small banks reportedly cut deposit rates to ease margin pressure, according to China Securities Journal. BoK maintained its base rate at 3.5%, as expected, with the decision made unanimously. BoK said it will maintain a restrictive policy stance for a sufficiently long period and will monitor the inflation slowdown, financial stability and economic growth risks, household debt growth, monetary policy operations in major countries and developments in geopolitical risks. BoK also stated that consumption and construction investment to recover at a slower pace, as well as noted that uncertainties to the growth outlook are high. Furthermore, Governor Rhee said five board members said the current interest rate should be maintained at least for the next three months and one board member said the door for a rate cut should be opened for the next three months, while Rhee added that he still doesn't see much chances of a rate cut in H1 and that most members' view it is too early to discuss rate cuts. Former BoJ policymaker Sakurai says BoJ could end negative rates in March if this year's pay hikes exceed 4%, although there's an equal chance it may wait until April, according to Reuters. Japanese PM Kishida says need to achieve wage hikes exceeding price increases European bourses, Stoxx600 (+1.0%) soared at the open, taking lead from strong Nvidia (+13%) earnings, after-hours. Thereafter, in tandem with the softer-than-expected German PMI data, equities came off best levels and have been edging lower since, but remain markedly firmer on the session. European sectors are mixed; Tech is the clear outperformer after strong Nvidia earnings; peers such as ASML (+4.5%), BE Semiconductor (+15.7%, also on strong earnings) gain. Mercedes Benz (+4.9%) is leading the gains in the Autos sector, whilst Nestle (-4.3%) drags down Food Beverage and Tobacco. US Equity Futures (ES +1.0%, NQ +2%, RTY +0.5%) are entirely in the green, with clear outperformance in the tech-heavy NQ, after yet another strong earnings report from Nvidia (+13%). Top European News EU is reportedly poised to release EUR 6.3bln in post-pandemic aid to Poland as early as next week in a major vote of confidence in the new government’s ability to mend ties with Brussels, according to Bloomberg. UK Chancellor Hunt is reportedly working on plans for a 99% mortgage scheme, via FT citing officials. BoE's Greene says the tick-up in PMI data offers some grounds for optimism on growth in 2024; wage growth is heading in the right direction; services inflation generally started to ease; says she needs to see more evidence that UK inflation is not entrenched before she votes for a cut FX USD is suffering at the hands of the NVIDIA-inspired jubilant move in the equity complex. DXY has been as low as 103.43 thus far (following French PMIs) before recovering in close proximity to its 200DMA at 103.69. An eventful morning for the EUR as strong French PMI metrics sent EUR/USD to a session peak of 1.0888 (50DMA sits at 1.0886) before a soft German manufacturing release sent the pair back to current levels of around 1.0855. GBP is benefitting from USD weakness with some two-way price action following mixed PMI metrics. As it stands, Cable is resting on its 50DMA at 1.2675. JPY is relatively steady vs. the USD with the pair remaining in consolidation mode after printing a YTD peak last week; trough of the session at 150.02. Antipodeans are both notably firmer vs. the USD as risk conditions prove supportive. AUD/USD cleared the 200DMA at 0.6563 and weekly high. PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 7.1018 vs exp. 7.1854 (prev. 7.1030). Fixed Income USTs are near unchanged on the session as we await Fed speak & weekly US data with Wednesday's FOMC Minutes release uneventful overall. More pertinently, the 20yr auction was poor, which sparked pressure in Treasuries. Bunds were initially hampered by the weak US outing, before then jumping lower on the hot French PMI data. Thereafter, a mixed German PMI release (big misses in Manufacturing & Composite), helped Bunds to rise back above 132.00 from their earlier trough at 131.78. Gilt price action moved in tandem with the aforementioned French/German data, before lifting by around 20 ticks after the UK Flash PMIs; currently holds around 97.30, towards the top-end of 96.92-97.49 bounds. Commodities Crude is holding onto overnight gains after risk appetite was bolstered by all-around blockbuster earnings from tech giant Nvidia, with the mood reverberating cross-market. The larger-than-expected build in Private Inventories was ignored. Brent futures hold around USD 83.50/bbl. Firm trade across precious metals as a function of the risk-induced softness in the Dollar potentially coupled with some tailwinds from favourable technicals; XAU found support near its 21 DMA (2,024.16/oz) before rising above its 50 DMA (2,032.03/oz). Base metals are higher across the board this morning, but to varying degrees, with the complex bolstered by the risk-on sentiment and the weaker Dollar. Dubai sets the official crude differential for May at parity to DME Oman. German Economy Minster Habeck expects that gas prices will continue to fall. US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude +7.2mln (exp. +3.9mln), Gasoline +0.4mln (exp. -2.1mln), Distillate -2.9mln (exp. -1.7mln), Cushing +0.7mln. Geopolitics: Middle East Israeli military sounded sirens in the Red Sea port city of Eilat, warning of possible income aerial threats. It was separately reported that a possible medium-range ballistic missile launched by Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen was intercepted by Israel's Arrow air defence system over the Red Sea near Eilat. UKMTO has received reports of an incident 70nm south east of Aden, Yemen. UKMTO says it has been reported a vessel attack by two missiles, resulting in onboard fire 70NM Southeast of Yemen's Aden. Ambery Saysp Alau-flagged, UK-owned general cargo ship was reportedly targeted with two missiles approx. 63NM Southeast of Aden, Yemen Geopolitics: Other US, Japan and South Korea held a trilateral export control meeting at the US Embassy in Tokyo and agreed to cooperate further on Russia-bound export control and outreach to Southeast Asia, as well as critical tech export control, according to Japan's Trade Ministry. US GOP Rep. Gallagher said during a delegation visit to Taipei that they are there to show bipartisan support for Taiwan and need to be more vigilant than ever to pass on the gift of freedom. Gallagher also stated that the message they want to send is that if China attempts an invasion, that effort would fail, while he added that the US stands with Taiwan, according to Reuters. Taiwan's President Tsai thanked the US for continuing to help Taiwan strengthen its defences and said they will continue to engage with the world, as well as hope to see even more Taiwan-US exchanges this year. It was also reported that Taiwan's President-elect Lai said they are facing great pressure from China and will continue to enhance defence capabilities, according to Reuters. China’s coast guard said it drove away a Philippine Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Bureau vessel that 'illegally intruded' into the waters adjacent to Scarborough Shoal, according to state media. US Event Calendar 08:30: Feb. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 216,000, prior 212,000 Feb. Continuing Claims, est. 1.88m, prior 1.9m 08:30: Jan. Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. -0.21, prior -0.15 09:45: Feb. S&P Global US Manufacturing PM, est. 50.7, prior 50.7 Feb. S&P Global US Services PMI, est. 52.3, prior 52.5 Feb. S&P Global US Composite PMI, est. 51.8, prior 52.0 10:00: Jan. Existing Home Sales MoM, est. 4.9%, prior -1.0% Jan. Home Resales with Condos, est. 3.97m, prior 3.78m Central Bank Speakers 10:00: Fed’s Jefferson to Give Speech, Q&A 15:15: Fed’s Harker Speaks on Economic Outlook 17:00: Fed’s Cook Speaks at Macrofinance Conference 17:00: Fed’s Kashkari Participates in Panel Discussion on Outlook 19:35: Fed’s Waller Speaks on Economic Outlook DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Strong guidance from Nvidia last night has given markets another boost this morning, with the stock surging by +9% in after-hours trading. That rally has extended more broadly, as S&P 500 futures are up +0.74%, and overnight the Nikkei surpassed its all-time intraday peak from 1989. So that’s a very big milestone, and it continues the Nikkei’s recent outperformance, having recorded a +16.5% gain over 2024 so far. That follows similar records in Europe yesterday, where both the DAX (+0.29%) and the CAC 40 (+0.22%) closed at all-time highs, and Euro HY spreads also reached their tightest level in over two years. That being said, there were further losses for sovereign bonds, and yields on 10yr Treasuries and bunds both closed at their highest level since November, thanks to hawkish central bank commentary and weak demand at a 20yr Treasury auction. In terms of those Nvidia results, the company reported $22.1bn of revenue in Q4 (vs $20.4bn analyst expectations), representing a dramatic +265% increase in sales compared to a year earlier. It projected $24bn of revenue for the current quarter (above $21.9bn expectation), with Nvidia’s CEO speaking of a “tipping point” for generative AI. This strong outlook led Nvidia shares to post an impressive +9% gain in after-hours trading, though the magnitude of this move might be seen as par for the course given that, ahead of the release, options were implying a move of more than 10% in Nvidia’s share price today. Before the release, US equities had actually had a mixed day yesterday, with the S&P 500 trading -0.6% lower less than an hour before the close, before recovering to advance +0.13%. Tech underperformance saw both the NASDAQ (-0.32%) and the Magnificent 7 (-0.31%) post modest declines, and Nvidia (-2.85%) had actually been the worst performer among the Magnificent 7 group. Things looked more promising outside of the big tech names, with 6 5% of S&P 500 companies gaining on the day. Moreover in Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 (+0.32%) closed at a 23-year high, and both the DAX (+0.29%) and the CAC 40 (+0.22%) closed at an all-time high. The broader STOXX 600 was down -0.17%, but that was in large part due to the weakness among UK equities, where the FTSE 100 was down -0.73%. On the rates side, a key story yesterday were the FOMC minutes, which reinforced the narrative that the Fed was in no rush to ease policy. According to the minutes, “most participants noted the risks of moving too quickly to ease the stance of policy and emphasized the importance of carefully assessing incoming data in judging whether inflation is moving down sustainably to 2 percent”, while “several participants mentioned the risk that financial conditions were or could become less restrictive than appropriate“. Meanwhile on QT, the minutes confirmed plans to begin in-depth balance sheet discussions at the March meeting, though this came with a view “to guide an eventual decision to slow the pace of runoff”, so not just suggesting that a change on QT is imminent. The minutes came an hour after a 20yr Treasury auction, where weak demand helped to push up yields further, as the share of indirect bidders fell to its lowest since May 2021. Moreover, there was some hawkish commentary earlier in the day, which further contributed to the bond selloff. For instance, Richmond Fed President Barkin said in an interview (recorded on Tuesday) that “You do worry that when the goods price deflation cycle ends, you’re going to be left with shelter and services higher than you like it”. And over in Europe, the ECB’s Wunsch said “I believe one should not discard a scenario in which monetary policy stays tight for longer than currently expected”. Collectively, that led investors to dial back their expectations for rate cuts again. In fact, the chance of a rate cut at the Fed’s March meeting was down to just 7%, which is the lowest in over three months. Bear in mind that a cut by March was fully priced at the start of the year, so we’ve seen a significant turnaround in expectations so far this year. And looking further out, the amount of cuts expected by the December meeting was down to just 86.7bps by the close, the lowest in more than three months, and a major decline from the 168bps expected less than six weeks ago. Given all that, sovereign bond yields ended the day noticeably higher on both sides of the Atlantic. For instance in the US, the 1 0yr Treasury yield (+4.4bps) closed at its highest level since November, at 4.32%. Moreover, there was evidence that the recent increase in rates was filtering through to the real economy, as with 30yr mortgage rates back above 7% for the first time in over two months, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association for the week ending February 16. Back in Europe it was a similar story, with pricing of a rate cut by April down to 38%, its lowest in four months, while yields on 10yr bunds were up +7.5bps to 2.45%, also their highest closing level since November. Overnight in Asia, we’ve seen all the major indices advance, with gains for the Nikkei (+1.91%), the Shanghai Comp (+1.00%), the CSI 300 (+0.73%), the Hang Seng (+0.74%) and the KOSPI (+0.34%). That’s been driven by the technology sector, and tech stocks in the Nikkei have led the index’s advance with a +3.97% gain. Separately, we’ve also seen growing confidence overnight that the Bank of Japan will adjust their ultra-loose monetary policy, as Governor Ueda said he expected the virtuous economic cycle to continue, and pointed out that services prices were continuing to rise. Indeed, yields on 2yr JGBs are currently at their highest level since 2011 overnight, and investors are now pricing in a 78% chance that they’ll deliver a hike by the April meeting. Otherwise, today will bring the release of the February flash PMIs from around the world, and we’ve already had a few releases overnight. In Japan, the composite PMI fell back to 50.3, down from 51.5 the previous month, but in Australia, the composite PMI was back in expansionary territory at 51.8, marking its highest level in 10 months. To the day ahead now, and data releases include the flash PMIs for February from Europe and the US, along with the US weekly initial jobless claims and existing home sales for January, as well as the euro area final inflation print for January. From central banks, we’ll get the ECB’s account of their January meeting, and also hear from the Fed’s Jefferson, Harker, Cook, Kashkari and Waller. Tyler Durden Thu, 02/22/2024 - 08:20.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt13 hr. 57 min. ago

Why the captain of a US Navy aircraft carrier fighting in the Red Sea is always posting about things like Taco Tuesday and cookies

Capt. Chris Hill, the commanding officer of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, regularly posts on social media about life on the massive warship. The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on November 26.US Navy photo by Information Technician Second Class Ruskin NavalThe USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is the flagship of the strike group handling the US Navy response to the Houthis.Its commanding officer, Capt. Chris Hill, often posts online about dogs, cookies, and tacos.There's a reason for these kinds of posts as his warship battles a dangerous threat.The Wi-Fi aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower isn't exactly the best, but for Capt. Chris Hill, the ship's commanding officer, it's enough to share his thoughts online.Hill is leading a nuclear-powered carrier, dozens of aircraft, and thousands of sailors through a hot spot in the Red Sea, where fighter jets are always in the air, ready to strike the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen constantly firing missiles into international shipping lanes.Yet his social media posts are often wholesome ones about cookies, dogs, Taco Tuesday, and his sailors, with much less about the fight in which his ship is involved and dealing with daily."We have a purpose here and everybody's kind of motivated by that," Hill told Business Insider during an interview aboard the Eisenhower last week. "At the same time, everyone still needs to be loved and valued. So I can provide that as a leader, potentially, but what about the loved ones back home — mom and dad, or spouses?"Hill, a Massachusetts native, assumed command of the Ike nearly a year ago after more than two decades in the Navy. The aircraft carrier deployed to the US European Command area of responsibility in mid-October, and just a few weeks later, the ship moved through the Suez Canal and into the Middle East region.Capt. Chris Hill announces the names of promoted sailors during a ceremony onboard the USS George H.W. Bush in December 2017.US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joe Boggio/ReleasedSince then, the Eisenhower has been a lead ship in the US Navy response to the Houthis, who have been launching missile and drone attacks against international shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The Ike's air wing has been involved in striking the rebels directly in Yemen and intercepting threats in the air.Over these past few months, the ship captain has been posting regularly to his account on X. Since Hill set it up in November, it has picked up more than 64,000 followers. His bio touts his love for the Eisenhower, identifying himself as the "proud Captain of the best damn ship in the Navy."He posts frequently about a wide variety of topics, including leadership, dogs, and Taco Tuesday. He shares occasional updates on the US Navy's efforts to stem the Houthi threat and imagery of flight operations on the Ike.Sailor: “Sir! We’ve run out of taco shells!”Captain: “Hold fast shipmate. We shall create our own… make it happen.”#TacoTuesday pic.twitter.com/PLEmEd6nmv— Chowdah Hill (@ChowdahHill) February 6, 2024 But a cornerstone of his content is the countless photos of sailors sitting in the Captain's chair with cookies in their hands and a heartfelt message home. (This reporter tried several of the cookies, and they are, indeed, excellent.)23-year old Reactor operator called to the bridge for a cookie on request of his mom. Message to mom: “Tell her I’ll call her.” This young man is proud to provide continuous propulsion and electricity to the best damn ship in the Navy! pic.twitter.com/9QiNiVHgLq— Chowdah Hill (@ChowdahHill) February 20, 2024 For his aircraft carrier to be successful in its mission, Hill said, the crew needs to have high morale, which is rooted a combination of motivation, pride, and spirit.Capturing this, he explained, is a two-pronged approach; sailors need to feel like they're "loved and valued" by their leadership, and they need to have a mission and purpose."Mission and purpose is actually quite easy out here, because we're doing one of the original functions of the US Navy going back to 1775, which is freedom of navigation," Hill said, alluding to the multi-national efforts to protect shipping lanes from the Houthis.The ship's crew is motivated by the task at hand, he added, so the other part of the equation is making sure the crew feels loved and valued. This is where he ropes in families of sailors back home in the US.Capt. Chris Hill, then-commanding officer of San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington, after receiving the Legion of Merit during a change of command ceremony on Aug. 6, 2021.US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John BellinoHill said that when he first started his account on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, family members would write to him and say they wanted to see pictures of their sailors. So he decided to call them to the bridge, put them in his Captain's chair, give them a cookie, take a picture for their parents, and post it online.The family members enjoyed this, and the requests just kept rolling in."The idea is mom and dad love the sailor more than I do," Hill said. "So if I can enlist them to be part of my team, sailors will feel loved and valued."The efforts to keep morale up come as the Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group confronts a variety of threats, including some no one has ever faced in combat before, in a kinetic weapons-engagement environment.Captaining a flagship carrier in this situation is no easy task, but Hill has a lot of Navy experience to lean on.Among other things, he has served as the executive and commanding officer of an airborne command & control squadron, a TOPGUN instructor, the executive officer of the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, and as the commanding officer of the amphibious transport dock USS Arlington. He was also involved with both Operations Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt16 hr. 11 min. ago

Pence group announces $20 million effort to fight GOP’s ‘drift toward populism’

Pence group announces $20 million effort to fight GOP’s ‘drift toward populism’.....»»

Category: topSource: yahooFeb 21st, 2024

Louder Than Life announces 2024 lineup

Louder Than Life, now in it's 10th year, is produced by Los Angeles-based Danny Wimmer Presents and features performances from more than 140 music acts on five stages. The headliners are Slayer, Mötley Crüe, Slipknot and Korn......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsFeb 21st, 2024

Constellium Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2023 Results; Announces $300 Million Share Repurchase Program

PARIS, Feb. 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Constellium SE (NYSE:CSTM) ("Constellium" or the "Company") today reported results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2023. Fourth quarter 2023 highlights: Shipments of 336 thousand metric tons, down 9% compared to Q4 2022 Revenue of €1.6 billion, down 13% compared to Q4 2022 Value-Added Revenue (VAR) of €681 million, down 2% compared to Q4 2022 Net income of €11 million compared to net income of €30 million in Q4 2022 Adjusted EBITDA of €171 million, up 15% compared to Q4 2022 Cash from Operations of €185 million and Free Cash Flow of €58 million Full year 2023 highlights: Shipments of 1.5 million metric tons, down 6% compared to 2022 Revenue of €7.2 billion, down 11% compared to 2022 VAR of €2.9 billion, up 7% compared to 2022   Net income of €129 million compared to net income of €308 million in 2022 Adjusted EBITDA of €713 million, up 6% compared to 2022 Cash from Operations of €506 million and Free Cash Flow of €170 million Adjusted Return on Invested Capital (Adjusted ROIC) of 11.3%, up 30 bps compared to 2022 Net debt / LTM Adjusted EBITDA of 2.3x at December 31, 2023 Other highlights: The Company today announces a three-year share repurchase program of up to $300 million expiring in December 2026 Jean-Marc Germain, Constellium's Chief Executive Officer said, "Constellium delivered strong results in 2023, and I want to thank each of our 12,000 employees for their commitment and relentless focus on safety and serving our customers. 2023 was another year full of challenges including significant inflationary pressures and demand headwinds in several end markets. Despite these challenges, we achieved record Adjusted EBITDA of €713 million, including record results in our A&T segment. We also generated strong Free Cash Flow of €170 million and reduced our leverage to 2.3x." Mr. Germain continued, "Looking ahead to 2024, we expect aerospace demand to remain strong as the post-pandemic recovery continues. In packaging, canstock demand has stabilized in recent quarters and we are expecting modest growth versus last year. In automotive, despite some demand deceleration in the second half of 2023, we expect demand to remain healthy this year. We continue to experience weakness in most industrial markets to start the year. We are expecting inflationary pressures to continue in 2024, though at a lower rate than the last two years. We are confident in our ability to continue to offset a substantial portion of the impact with an improved top line and our relentless focus on cost control." Mr. Germain concluded, "While uncertainties persist on the macroeconomic and geopolitical fronts, we like our end market positioning and we are optimistic about our prospects for this year and beyond. Some of our end markets have continued to experience softness to start the year and the extreme cold weather and snow in January also impacted operations at Muscle Shoals, which we expect will lead to a weaker first quarter in 2024. Despite these challenges, based on our current outlook, we expect to achieve Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes the non-cash impact of metal price lag, of €740 million to €770 million and Free Cash Flow in excess of €130 million in 2024. We remain confident in our ability to deliver on our long-term target of Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes the non-cash impact of metal price lag, of over €800 million in 2025. As we are now within our target leverage range, I am also pleased to announce that our Board has authorized a three-year share repurchase program of up to $300 million expiring in December 2026. Our focus remains on executing our strategy and increasing shareholder value." Group Summary   Q42023 Q42022 Var. FY2023 FY2022 Var. Shipments (k metric tons) 336 368 (9)% 1,492 1,580 (6)% Revenue (€ millions) 1,613 1,844 (13)% 7,239 8,120 (11)% VAR (€ millions) 681 696 (2)% 2,924 2,725 7% Net income (€ millions) 11 30 n.m. 129 308 n.m. Adjusted EBITDA (€ millions) 171 148 15% 713 673 6% Adjusted EBITDA per metric ton (€) 509 403 26% 478 426 12% The difference between the sum of reported segment revenue and total group revenue includes revenue from certain non-core activities and inter-segment eliminations. The difference between the sum of reported segment Adjusted EBITDA and the Group Adjusted EBITDA is related to Holdings and Corporate. For the fourth quarter of 2023, shipments of 336 thousand metric tons decreased 9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 due to lower shipments in each of our segments. Revenue of €1.6 billion decreased 13% compared to the fourth quarter of the prior year primarily due to lower shipments and lower metal prices, partially offset by improved price and mix. VAR of €681 million decreased 2% compared to the fourth quarter of the prior year primarily due to lower shipments, unfavorable metal impacts, the sale of Constellium Extrusions Deutschland GmbH ("CED") in September 2023 and unfavorable foreign exchange translation, partially offset by improved price and mix. Net income of €11 million decreased by €19 million compared to net income of €30 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. Adjusted EBITDA of €171 million increased 15% compared to the fourth quarter of last year due to stronger results in our A&T and P&ARP segments, partially offset by weaker results in our AS&I segment. For the full year of 2023, shipments of 1.5 million metric tons decreased 6% compared to the full year of 2022 primarily due to lower shipments in the P&ARP and AS&I segments. Revenue of €7.2 billion decreased 11% compared to the full year of 2022 primarily due to lower shipments and lower metal prices, partially offset by improved price and mix. VAR of €2.9 billion increased 7% compared to the full year of 2022 primarily due to improved price and mix, partially offset by lower shipments, unfavorable metal impacts and unfavorable foreign exchange translation. Net income of €129 million decreased €179 million compared to net income of €308 million in the full year of 2022. Adjusted EBITDA of €713 million increased 6% compared to the full year of 2022 due to stronger results in our A&T segment, partially offset by weaker results in our P&ARP and AS&I segments. Results by Segment Packaging & Automotive Rolled Products (P&ARP)   Q4 2023 Q42022 Var. FY 2023 FY 2022 Var. Shipments (k metric tons)         238         254         (6)%         1,030         1,089         (5)% Revenue (€ millions)         865         1,008         (14)%         3,898         4,664         (16)% Adjusted EBITDA (€ millions)         82         71         16%         283         326         (13)% Adjusted EBITDA per metric ton (€)         345         278         24%         274         299         (8)% For the fourth quarter of 2023, Adjusted EBITDA of €82 million increased 16% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 primarily due to improved price and mix and improved overall costs, partially offset by lower shipments. Higher operating costs were more than offset by favorable metal costs, favorable inflation and energy-related government grants. Shipments of 238 thousand metric tons decreased 6% compared to the fourth quarter of the prior year due to lower shipments of packaging and specialty rolled products, partially offset by higher shipments of automotive rolled products. Revenue of €865 million decreased 14% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 primarily due to lower shipments and lower metal prices. For the full year of 2023, Adjusted EBITDA of €283 million decreased 13% compared to the full year of 2022 as a result of lower shipments and higher operating costs mainly due to inflation, operating challenges at our Muscle Shoals facility and unfavorable metal costs, partially offset by improved price and mix. Shipments of 1.0 million metric tons decreased 5% compared to the full year of 2022 due to lower shipments of packaging and specialty rolled products, partially offset by higher shipments of automotive rolled products. Revenue of €3.9 billion decreased 16% compared to the full year of 2022 primarily due to lower shipments and lower metal prices, partially offset by improved price and mix. Aerospace & Transportation (A&T)   Q4 2023 Q42022 Var. FY 2023 FY 2022 Var. Shipments (k metric tons)         48         53         (9)%         219         223         (2)% Revenue (€ millions)         408         422         (3)%         1,728         1,700         2% Adjusted EBITDA (€ millions)         76         56         36 %         324         217         50% Adjusted EBITDA per metric ton (€)         1,583         1,079         47 %         1,475         976         51% For the fourth quarter of 2023, Adjusted EBITDA of €76 million increased 36% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 primarily due to improved price and mix, partially offset by lower shipments and higher operating costs. Shipments of 48 thousand metric tons decreased 9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 on higher shipments of aerospace rolled products, more than offset by lower shipments of transportation, industry and defense (TID) rolled products. Revenue of €408 million decreased 3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 primarily due to lower shipments and lower metal prices, partially offset by improved price and mix. For the full year of 2023, Adjusted EBITDA of €324 million increased 50% compared to the full year of 2022 primarily due to improved price and mix, partially offset by higher operating costs mainly due to inflation and increased activity levels. Shipments of 219 thousand metric tons decreased 2% compared to the full year of 2022 on higher shipments of aerospace rolled products, more than offset by lower shipments of TID rolled products. Revenue of €1.7 billion increased 2% compared to the full year of 2022 primarily due to improved price and mix, partially offset by lower metal prices. Automotive Structures & Industry (AS&I)   Q4 2023 Q42022 Var. FY 2023 FY 2022 Var. Shipments (k metric tons)         50         61         (17)%         243         268         (9)% Revenue (€ millions)         334         428         (22)%         1,630         1,861         (12)% Adjusted EBITDA (€ millions)         25         31         (22)%         133         149         (11)% Adjusted EBITDA per metric ton (€)         500         514         (3)%         545         557         (2)% For the fourth quarter of 2023, Adjusted EBITDA of €25 million decreased 22% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 primarily due to lower shipments and higher costs, partially offset by improved price and mix. Shipments of 50 thousand metric tons decreased 17% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 on stable shipments of automotive extruded products and lower shipments of other extruded products including the impact from the sale of CED in September 2023. Revenue of €334 million decreased 22% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 primarily due to lower shipments and lower metal prices, partially offset by improved price and mix. For the full year of 2023, Adjusted EBITDA of €133 million decreased 11% compared to the full year of 2022 primarily due to lower shipments and higher operating costs mainly due to inflation, partially offset by improved price and mix. Shipments of 243 thousand metric tons decreased 9% compared to the full year of 2022 due to lower shipments of other extruded products including the impact from the sale of CED in September 2023, partially offset by higher shipments of automotive extruded products. Revenue of €1.6 billion decreased 12% compared to the full year of 2022 primarily due to lower shipments and lower metal prices, partially offset by improved price and mix. Net Income For the fourth quarter of 2023, net income of €11 million compares to net income of €30 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year. The decrease in net income is primarily related to gains on OPEB and pension plan amendments recorded in 2022 and higher tax expense, partially offset by higher gross profit. For the full year of 2023, net income of €129 million compares to net income of €308 million in the prior year. The decrease in net income is primarily related to the recognition in the prior year of previously unrecognized deferred tax assets of €154 million, gains on OPEB and pension plan amendments recorded in 2022, higher selling and administrative expenses and higher tax expense, partially offset by higher gross profit and a gain related to the sale of CED in September 2023. Cash Flow Free Cash Flow was €170 million in the full year of 2023 compared to €182 million in the prior year, reflecting a €55 million increase in cash flows from operating activities which was more than offset by increased capital expenditures as we continue to invest in maintaining and growing our manufacturing asset base including our recycling and casting investment in Neuf Brisach, France. Cash flows from operating activities were €506 million for the full year of 2023 compared to cash flows from operating activities of €451 million in the prior year. Cash flows used in investing activities were €288 million for the full year of 2023 compared to cash flows used in investing activities of €270 million in the prior year. In 2023, cash flows used in investing activities included €47 million of net proceeds from the sale of CED in September 2023. Cash flows used in financing activities were €182 million for the full year of 2023 compared to cash flows used in financing activities of €163 million in the prior year. In 2023, Constellium used cash on the balance sheet to reduce short-term borrowings and to redeem $50 million of the $300 million outstanding aggregate principal amount of its 5.875% Senior Notes due 2026. In 2022, Constellium drew on the Pan-U.S. ABL due 2026 and used the proceeds and cash on the balance sheet to repay the €180 million PGE French Facility due 2022 and the CHF 15 million Swiss Facility due 2025. Liquidity and Net Debt Liquidity at December 31, 2023 was €737 million, comprised of €202 million of cash and cash equivalents and €535 million available under our committed lending facilities and factoring arrangements. Net debt was €1,664 million at December 31, 2023 compared to €1,891 million at December 31, 2022. Outlook Based on our current outlook, we expect Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes the non-cash impact of metal price lag, to be in the range of €740 million to €770 million and Free Cash Flow in excess of €130 million in 2024. We are not able to provide a reconciliation of this Adjusted EBITDA guidance to net income, the comparable GAAP measure, because certain items that are excluded from Adjusted EBITDA cannot be reasonably predicted or are not in our control. In particular, we are unable to forecast the timing or magnitude of realized and unrealized gains and losses on derivative instruments, metal price lag, impairment or restructuring charges, or taxes, without unreasonable efforts, and these items could significantly impact, either individually or in the aggregate, future net income. Recent Developments Share Repurchase Program Constellium today announces that the Board of Directors has authorized a three-year share repurchase program of up to $300 million of the Company's outstanding shares of common stock, expiring on December 31, 2026. Under this program, the Company may purchase shares from time to time for cash in open market transactions or in privately-negotiated transactions, in accordance with applicable state and federal securities laws and in compliance with applicable provisions of French corporate law, and it may make all or part of the purchases pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 plans. The timing and the amount of repurchases, if any, will be determined based on the Company's evaluation of market conditions, capital allocation alternatives and other factors. The share repurchase program does not require the Company to acquire any dollar amount or number of shares of CSTM common stock and may be modified, suspended, extended or terminated by the Company's Board of Directors at any time without prior notice. The Company intends to use a portion of the repurchased shares under this new program to satisfy employee equity obligations in lieu of issuing new shares, which would limit future dilution for its shareholders. Changes to the Presentation of Certain Non-GAAP Financial Measures Constellium today announces future changes to the presentation of certain Non-GAAP financial measures. Such announcement is being made to provide investors and other stakeholders with an opportunity to become familiar with the expected impact of these changes to the Company's presentation of financial results in advance of the Company's earnings release for the first quarter 2024, where the changes will be implemented. These changes are based on discussions with the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during a comment letter review process which began in late 2023. Following the SEC review process, the Company has determined that it will no longer report VAR, a Non-GAAP financial measure. Based on discussions with the SEC, the Company has also decided to revise its definition of Adjusted EBITDA, a Non-GAAP financial measure, to no longer exclude the non-cash impact of metal price lag from its Adjusted EBITDA. Constellium will continue to exclude the non-cash impact of metal price lag from its Segment Adjusted EBITDA, which it uses for evaluating the performance of its operating segments. As a reminder, consolidated Adjusted EBITDA following the revision of its definition, less the non-cash impact of metal price lag, is equal to consolidated Adjusted EBITDA prior to the revision of its definition. Constellium will continue to provide its investors and other stakeholders with the necessary information to explain the non-cash impact of metal price lag on its reported results. The Company will continue to provide Adjusted EBITDA guidance excluding the non-cash impact of metal price lag, and leverage will continue to be calculated as Net debt divided by Adjusted EBITDA, excluding metal price lag. For comparability, please refer to the table below to see a reconciliation of prior periods' Adjusted EBITDA under the old definition to the new definition, including the metal price lag adjustment in each period.     For the years ended December 31, (in millions of Euros)   2023     2022     2021     2020     2019                         Net income           129             308             262             (17 )           64   Income tax expense / (benefit)           67             (105 )           55             (17 )           18   Income before tax           196             203             317             (34 )           82   Finance costs - net           141             131             167             159             175   Share of income of joint-ventures           —             —             —             —             (2 ) Income from operations           337             334             484             125             255   Depreciation and amortization           294             287             267             259             256   Impairment of assets           —             —             —             43             —   Restructuring costs           —             1             3             13             4   Unrealized (gains) / losses on derivatives           3             46             (35 )           (16 )           (33 ) Unrealized exchange losses / (gains) from the remeasurement of monetary assets and liabilities – net           2             1             (1 )           (1 )           —   Losses / (gains) on pension plan amendments           —             (47 )           32             2             (1 ) Share based compensation costs           20             18             15             15             16   Start-up and development costs           —             —             —             5             11   (Gains) / losses on disposal           (29 )           4             3             4             3   Bowling Green one-time cost related to the acquisition           —             —             —             —             5   Other           —             —             —             8             —   Metal price lag           86             29             (187 )           8             46   Adjusted EBITDA (current)           713             673             581             465             562   less: Metal price lag           (86 )           (29 )           187             (8 )           (46 ) Adjusted EBITDA (future)           627             644             768             457             516       For the three months ended (in millions of Euros)   December 31, 2023   September 30, 2023   June 30, 2023   March 31, 2023                       Net income           11             64             32             22     Income tax expense / (benefit)           32             18             12             5     Income before tax           43             82             44             27     Finance costs - net           35             36             35             35     Income from operations           78             118             79             62     Depreciation and amortization           73             77             72             72     Unrealized (gains) / losses on derivatives           (2 )           (23 )           20             8     Unrealized exchange losses / (gains) from the remeasurement of monetary assets and liabilities – net           2             —             1             (1 )   Share based compensation costs           5             5             7             3     Losses / (gains) on disposal           1             (36 )           —             6     Metal price lag           14             27             30             16     Adjusted EBITDA (current)           171             168    .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaFeb 21st, 2024

4Q23 and 2023 Results: Telefônica Brasil S.A.

SÃO PAULO, Feb. 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ --Telefônica Brasil - ((B3: VIVT3, NYSE:VIV), announces its results for 4Q23 and 2023.  Net Income expands by +23.1% YoY in 2023, led by real top-line growth R$ million 4Q23 4Q22 % Y-o-Y 2023 2022 % Y-o-Y Net Operating Revenue 13,535 12,659 6.9 52,100 48,041 8.4 Core Revenue 12,790 11,771 8.7 48,910 44,151 10.8 Mobile Revenue 9,643 8,899 8.4 36,669 33,070 10.9 Fixed core revenue 3,146 2,872 9.5 12,241 11,081 10.5 Non-core Revenue 745 888 (16.1) 3,190 3,890 (18.0) Total Costs (7,783) (7,425) 4.8 (30,782) (28,760) 7.0.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaFeb 20th, 2024

Calibre Exceeds the High-End of 2023 Production Guidance, Increasing Gold Production in 2024 to 275,000 – 300,000 Ounces With Significant Future Growth Coming From the Multi-Million Ounce Valentine Gold Mine in Canada

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 20, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Calibre Mining Corp. (TSX:CXB, OTCQX:CXBMF) ("Calibre" or the "Company") announces financial and operating results for the three months ("Q4 2023") and year ended December 31, 2023 ("Full Year 2023"). Annual Consolidated Financial Statements and the corresponding Management Discussion & Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2023 can be found at www.sedarplus.ca and the Company's website, www.calibremining.com. All figures are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated. RECENT HIGHLIGHTS Completed the acquisition of Marathon Gold to create a high-growth, cash flow focused, mid-tier gold producer in the Americas; with consolidated mineral endowment of over 4.0 million ounces of Mineral Reserves, 8.6 million ounces of Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources (inclusive of Mineral Reserves) and 4.0 million ounces of Inferred Mineral Resources1; Ore control drilling at the Valentine Gold Mine Leprechaun open pit intersected high-grade gold outside of the reported Mineral Reserves, adding additional tonnes; Positive drill results at the Valentine Gold Mine demonstrates strong exploration upside and potential for discovery and resource expansion; and Additional bonanza grade drill results along the Panteon VTEM Gold Corridor within the Limon Mine Complex continue to confirm the potential for resource expansion in the region. FULL YEAR 2023 HIGHLIGHTS 4th Consecutive year of production growth with gold sales of 283,525 ounces grossing $550 million in gold revenue, at an average realized gold price2 of $1,942/oz; Cash on hand of $86 million, a 52% increase over end of year 2022, after a C$40 million investment in Marathon Gold during Q4; Consolidated Total Cash Costs ("TCC")2 of $1,071/oz; Nicaragua $1,009/oz & Nevada $1,429/oz; Consolidated All-In Sustaining Costs ("AISC")2 of $1,228/oz; Nicaragua $1,134/oz & Nevada $1,479/oz; Adjusted net income3 of $96.7 million, or $0.21 per share; Exploration success at Libertad yielded an initial Mineral Resource estimate at the Volcan Gold Deposit; and Published our 2022 sustainability report, affirming our commitment to transparency and accountability, and joined the Mining Association of Canada, strengthening our commitment to responsible mining. Darren Hall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Calibre, stated: "With record production of 283,494 ounces, 2023 represented our fourth consecutive year exceeding guidance. Throughout the year the team delivered many milestones; including bringing two new mines into production, and numerous discovery and resource exploration drill results across the portfolio. Particularly exciting is the continued high-grade expansion results along the multi-kilometre VTEM Panteon Gold Corridor within the Limon Complex. Year over year Calibre has reinvested into exploration and mine development setting up for sustainable production and growth. With production guidance of 275,000 to 300,000 ounces, 2024 marks our fifth consecutive year of increasing gold production. The recently completed acquisition of the Valentine Gold Mine in Newfoundland & Labrador is transformational as it will establish Calibre as a quality, mid-tier gold producer in the Americas. Our construction program, at the Valentine Gold Mine, remains on track with the critical SAG and Ball mills and motors, scheduled to arrive into the port of Argentia in Newfoundland & Labrador during February." CONSOLIDATED RESULTS: Q4 2023 AND FY 2023 Consolidated Financial Results $'000 (except per share and per ounce amounts) Q4 2023   Q4 2022   2023   2022 Revenue $ 151,595     $ 108,667     $ 561,702     $ 408,613   Cost of sales, including depreciation and amortization $ (109,742 )   $ (80,318 )   $ (391,299 )   $ (305,010 ) Mine operating income $ 41,853     $ 28,349     $ 170,403     $ 103,603   Net income $ 12,001     $ 14,502     $ 85,025     $ 43,344   Net income per share (basic) $ 0.03     $ 0.03     $ 0.19     $ 0.10   Net income per share (fully diluted) $ 0.03     $ 0.03     $ 0.18     $ 0.09   Adjusted net income(3) $ 22,305     $ 12,882     $ 96,667     $ 51,422   Adjusted net income per share (basic)(3) $ 0.05     $ 0.03     $ 0.21     $ 0.12   Cash provided by operating activities $ 59,230     $ 28,064     $ 200,006     $ 96,657   Capital investment in mine development and PPE.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaFeb 20th, 2024

Boston Scientific (BSX) Completes First Case With Its PFA System

Boston Scientific (BSX) announces the completion of its first commercial cases with its FDA-cleared Farapulse PFA System in the United States. Boston Scientific BSX recently announced the completion of the first commercial cases in the United States with its FDA-approved Farapulse Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) system.In January 2024, the company received the FDA clearance for the Farapulse PFA System. This made Boston Scientific the second company to have received an FDA nod for PFA for treating AFib.With the approval, Farapulse can be used to treat drug-refractory, recurrent, symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in the isolation of pulmonary veins.Price PerformanceFor the past six months, BSX’s shares have gained 30.5% compared with the industry’s rise of 8.7%. The S&P 500 increased 13.2% in the same time frame.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchFarapulse PFA SystemBoston Scientific’s Farapulse PFA System was purposefully designed with a streamlined user experience in mind while also optimizing cardiac PFA therapy from the ground up.The PFA System is made up of three primary components:The Faradrive Steerable Sheath is made for accessibility and ease of use.Farawave PFA Catheter is designed to treat a range of PV anatomies using an over-the-wire catheter with variable distal shapes.The Farastar PFA Generator uses bipolar and biphasic waveforms with patented pulses to PREPARE, CONFIRM, and DELIVER treatment with a simple three-button click.The system helps in eliminating the myocardium preferentially to lower the possibility of harm to collateral structures. The system also tends to reduce the number of system parts and user interface modifications to streamline the process and reduce the learning curve. It is primarily used in the treatment of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.Industry ProspectsPer a report by Grand View Research,the atrial fibrillation market size was valued at $22.4 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a rate of 10.1% from 2023 to 2030.The market is anticipated to be driven by rising awareness of AFib and its increasing prevalence. Atrial fibrillation is becoming more common due to a number of factors, including an aging population, changing lifestyles, and an increase in chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.Given the market potential for the treatment of AFib, Boston Scientific’s business is likely to be boosted by the commercial usage of its FDA-approved PFA system.Boston Scientific Corporation Price Boston Scientific Corporation price | Boston Scientific Corporation QuoteZacks Rank & Other Stocks to ConsiderBSX sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present.Some other top-ranked stocks to consider in the broader medical space are Universal Health Services UHS, Integer Holdings Corporation ITGR and Elevance Health, Inc ELV.Universal Health Services, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present, has an estimated growth rate of 4.4% for 2024. UHS’s earnings surpassed estimates in all the trailing four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 5.47%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.UHS’s shares have gained 1.9% in the past six months against the industry’s 5% decline.Integer Holdings, presently carrying a Zacks Rank of 2, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 15.8%. ITGR’s earnings surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 11.9%.Integer Holdings’ shares have rallied 43.5% in the past year against the industry’s 3.7% decline.Elevance Health, carrying a Zacks Rank of 2, reported fourth-quarter 2023 adjusted earnings per share of $5.62, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.3%. Revenues of $42.45 billion outpaced the consensus mark by 1.5%.Elevance Health has a long-term estimated growth rate of 12%. ELV’s earnings surpassed estimates in all the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 3.1%. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2024 Hurry – you can still get in early on our 10 top tickers for 2024. Hand-picked by Zacks Director of Research, Sheraz Mian, this portfolio has been stunningly and consistently successful. From inception in 2012 through November, 2023, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained +974.1%, nearly TRIPLING the S&P 500’s +340.1%. Sheraz has combed through 4,400 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and handpicked the best 10 to buy and hold in 2024. You can still be among the first to see these just-released stocks with enormous potential.See New Top 10 Stocks >>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 Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX): Free Stock Analysis Report Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS): Free Stock Analysis Report Integer Holdings Corporation (ITGR): Free Stock Analysis Report Elevance Health, Inc. (ELV): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksFeb 20th, 2024

Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) to Idle Tin Plant After ITC Ruling

Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) announces the indefinite idling of its Weirton plant due to the ITC's rejection of anti-dumping duties. Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. CLF recently announced its decision to indefinitely idle its tinplate production plant located in Weirton, WV, in April 2024. This action follows the unanimous decision by all four members of the International Trade Commission (ITC) to reject the implementation of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on tin mill products, as determined by the Department of Commerce. Approximately 900 employees will be affected by the move. Cleveland-Cliffs is committed to providing relocation opportunities to other Cliffs’ facilities or offering severance packages to the impacted employees.In January 2023, Cleveland-Cliffs, along with co-petitioners the United Steelworkers (USW), filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions concerning unfairly traded tin and chromium-coated sheet steel products. Despite evidence of dumping and subsidization, the ITC's unanimous rejection of tariffs on Feb 6, 2024, led to the decision to idle the Weirton plant.Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. Price and Consensus  Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. price-consensus-chart | Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. Quote Lourenco Goncalves, Cleveland-Cliffs' chairman, president and CEO, expressed disappointment in the outcome, citing the company's efforts with the USW to save Weirton and highlighting the challenges posed by unfair trade practices. Despite the Department of Commerce's findings, the ITC's ruling against tariffs maintained an uneven playing field, rendering tinplate production unviable.Goncalves emphasized the collaborative efforts with the USW and the disproval of arguments against domestic industry and workers. The successful testing of Drawn & Ironed material at Weirton demonstrated the capability of the plant and its workers to meet market demands. Goncalves called the ITC's decision a setback for American jobs, the middle class and critical food supply chains, advocating for stronger trade laws.Despite the Weirton plant's idling, Cleveland-Cliffs maintains its 2024 sales volume guidance of 16.5 million tons of overall steel products.Shares of CLF are up 0.3% in the past year compared with a 3.8% fall of its industry.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the fourth quarter of 2023, Cleveland-Cliffs reported an adjusted loss of 5 cents per share, narrower from a loss of 40 cents in the year-ago quarter. Revenues also saw a modest uptick of nearly 1.3%, reaching $5,112 million, from the prior-year quarter’s figure.CLF projects a reduction in steel unit costs by approximately $30 per net ton, which is expected to yield an adjusted EBITDA benefit of nearly $500 million over the levels seen in 2023. Capital expenditures for 2024 are forecast in the range of $675-$725 million. Additionally, CLF foresees a significant rise in adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2024 compared with fourth-quarter 2023 numbers.Zacks Rank & Other Key PicksCleveland-Cliffs currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Some better-ranked stocks in the Basic Materials space are Carpenter Technology Corporation CRS, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Eldorado Gold Corporation EGO and Hawkins, Inc. HWKN, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The consensus estimate for CRS’ current fiscal year earnings is pegged at $3.97 per share, indicating a year-over-year surge of 248.3%. CRS beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, with the average earnings surprise being 14.3%. The company’s shares have rallied 37.1% in the past year.Eldoradohas a projected earnings growth rate of 1,040% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for EGO’s current-year earnings has been revised upward by 10% in the past 60 days. EGO topped the consensus estimate in each of the last four quarters, with the average earnings surprise being 496%. The company’s shares have rallied 28.4% in the past year.The consensus estimate for HWKN’s current fiscal year earnings is pegged at $3.61 per share, indicating a year-over-year rise of 26%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HWKN’s current-year earnings has been revised upward by 4.3% in the past 30 days. HWKN beat the consensus estimate in each of the last four quarters, with the average earnings surprise being 30.6%. The company’s shares have rallied 72% in the past year. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2024 Hurry – you can still get in early on our 10 top tickers for 2024. Hand-picked by Zacks Director of Research, Sheraz Mian, this portfolio has been stunningly and consistently successful. From inception in 2012 through November, 2023, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained +974.1%, nearly TRIPLING the S&P 500’s +340.1%. Sheraz has combed through 4,400 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and handpicked the best 10 to buy and hold in 2024. You can still be among the first to see these just-released stocks with enormous potential.See New Top 10 Stocks >>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 Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (CLF): Free Stock Analysis Report Carpenter Technology Corporation (CRS): Free Stock Analysis Report Eldorado Gold Corporation (EGO): Free Stock Analysis Report Hawkins, Inc. (HWKN): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksFeb 20th, 2024

Intel Shares Higher On Reports Of $10 Billion In Chip Act Incentives

Intel Shares Higher On Reports Of $10 Billion In Chip Act Incentives In premarket trading in New York, Intel Corp.'s shares surged as much as 5.3% following a report by Bloomberg that the Biden administration intends to award the chipmaker over $10 billion in subsidies. This potential funding represents the largest award to date under the Biden administration's $53 billion CHIPS initiative to revitalize domestic semiconductor production.  People familiar with the matter said negotiations with the Commerce Department and Intel are underway. They said the funding package is expected to be a combination of loans and direct grants totaling upwards of $10 billion.  Two years after Biden's $53 billion CHIPS debuted, the Commerce Department announced only two tiny grants. US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said weeks ago that her department could make additional awards over the next two months.  Given that 170 firms have applied for CHIPS funding and only two grants have been dispersed, frustrating many with the slow pace of implementation, it appears the Biden administration will have to make sizeable awards as rebuilding America's semiconductor production base is their "signature economic initiative" as elections approach.  In Biden's first term, semi-firms invested more than $230 billion in the US to boost future chip production and, hopefully, one day, propel the West as the leader in advanced chip production.  As for Intel, the award is long overdue and great news for the company that has been crushed by foreign peers such as Taiwan Semi and ASML over the years.  Intel shares have not recovered since Covid lows. The Bloomberg report has pushed shares up 3% in premarket trading around 0800 ET. Bloomberg noted: "Intel is building a $20 billion facility in Ohio, undergoing a $20 billion expansion in Arizona, and investing $3.5 billion in New Mexico."  Next month's State of the Union address could be the time and place when Biden showcases his economic achievements and announces new awards under CHIPS. "It's not yet clear how Intel's award would be split between grants and loans," the people added.  We previously cited a Wall Street Journal report that expects a wave of CHIPS funding to be allocated finally. The program did very little for the last two years besides driving an AI and chatbot hype cycle.  Tyler Durden Tue, 02/20/2024 - 09:05.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytFeb 20th, 2024

Why British Banking Giant Barclays Shares Are Surging Premarket Tuesday

Barclays PLC shares surge after reporting Q4 FY23 results. Total income falls 3%, attributable loss of £0.1B, announces share buyback of £1B, predicts RoTE >10% in 2024. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaFeb 20th, 2024

What"s Going On With ChargePoint Shares Tuesday?

ChargePoint shares dip in premarket trading as the company announces collaboration with AcBel Polytech for developing EV charging solutions, aiming for enhanced operational efficiency and faster product launches. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaFeb 20th, 2024

The Houthis have deployed underwater drones in the Red Sea, Defense Department says

Underwater drones could be an "extremely lethal" threat to the US Navy deployed in the region, a US admiral told the AP. The USS Gerald R. Ford (foreground) and Dwight D. Eisenhower (background).Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Mattingly/DVIDSHouthi fighters have deployed underwater drones in the Red Sea, the Defense Department said.Underwater drones are an "extremely lethal" threat to the US Navy, an admiral told the AP.The US launched five "self-defense" strikes on Houthi positions on Saturday, the DoD said.The US Defense Department said American forces in the Red Sea for the first time spotted and struck an underwater drone deployed by Houthi fighters on Saturday.CENTCOM, the central command for the US Department of Defense, said the United States launched "self-defense" strikes on Saturday against "three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned underwater vessel (UUV), and one unmanned surface vessel (USV)" in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and the Red Sea.Feb. 17 Summary of Red Sea activitiesTAMPA, Fla. – Between the hours of 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Sanaa time), Feb. 17, CENTCOM successfully conducted five self-defense strikes against three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned underwater vessel (UUV), and one unmanned… pic.twitter.com/TwR9RUmMMu— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) February 18, 2024CENTCOM said the drones presented an "imminent threat" to US Navy ships in the area and that it was the first time US forces have seen an unmanned underwater drone deployed by the Houthis.The Houthis, a political and military group with a long history that controls vast portions of Yemen, including its capital, Sanaa, began attacking ships in the Red Sea in October in solidarity with Palestinians. The group has said repeatedly that the attacks will continue until Israel agrees to a cease-fire in Gaza.The Houthis, supported in part by Iran, are well-armed and highly organized. The group has successfully beaten back efforts by US-backed Saudi Arabia over the last decade to impose its will on Yemen.The Houthis first began attacking ships in the Red Sea using anti-ship missiles fired from land. But as Israel's scorched-earth campaign in Gaza has dragged on, and the United States has deployed its Navy to the Red Sea, the group has expanded its arsenal.They began launching unmanned surface sea drones on January 4, according to The Associated Press, which has reporters on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea. Now, the Houthis appear to have underwater drones, too.Rear Adm. Marc Miguez told the AP that sea drones that operate on the surface are a serious threat to the US Navy. "To have a bomb-laden, unmanned surface vessel that can go in pretty fast speeds and, if you're not immediately on scene, it can get ugly extremely quick," he said.As for the underwater drones, that's "more of an unknown threat that we don't have a lot of intel on, that could be extremely lethal," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 18th, 2024