Megyn Kelly"s New Media Moment

Megyn Kelly's New Media Moment Authored by Philip Wegmann via RealClear Wire, Megyn Kelly was worried. And more recently, indignant. Righteously, of course. She craved another chance and felt confident, while watching from home, that she could deliver in a way that was a hell of a lot better than the competition, harboring the sort of personal ambition and professional jealousy that develop as a matter of course in all who have fought for survival in prime time. Talent and earned experience and the trust of a large audience. She has had all of it. The only thing she needed now was a television network. And so, she will borrow one. She is set to return as a debate moderator next week to referee the fourth Republican presidential debate, this one in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and this time on NewsNation as part of a partnership with that network, Sirius XM, and the Free Beacon. It is a noteworthy milestone; she had a front-row seat eight years ago to the rise of populism. It is also a test of the new media; she bridled a similar kind of populism to continue her career. And that’s why, for just a while, she worried. Independent journalists don’t often get to call marquee prize fights. But Megyn Kelly does. “Malpractice, absolute journalistic malpractice!” That’s how Kelly describes the most explosive exchange from the Miami debate moderated by NBC News anchors Lester Holt and Kristen Welker. Nikki Haley had called Vivek Ramaswamy “scum” after the businessman took a shot at her adult daughter. Reliving the moment in an interview with RealClearPolitics, Kelly was incredulous: “And the moderator did not stop to say, ‘Wait, did you just call him scum? Mr. Ramaswamy. Do you care to respond?’” “How did that not happen?” she asks before immediately offering an answer. “Because these moderators are too tied to their written questions. They’re not nimble. They are afraid to deviate from what their producers put in front of them. That isn’t good television!” “There’s a reason why they call it broadcast journalism. It’s not just about journalism. It’s also about seizing the moment,” she explains. “You feel the moment, go with the moment.” Kelly could have just as easily been describing her own career. A trial lawyer before entering journalism, Kelly jumped from the courtroom to cable news to network television over the last two decades. And then the wilderness. Veteran journalists who go it alone hardly ever regain prominence. Some decamp to college campuses. Others write books. Most generally fade. Kelly, instead, seized the digital moment. Three years ago, after an unsuccessful stint at NBC News, she launched “The Megyn Kelly Show,” a daily podcast that was later picked up on Sirius XM and that posts on YouTube, where her interviews regularly attract millions of viewers. Professional indifference, as much as independence, was an advertised feature of the new venture. The name of her production company: “Devil May Care Media.” “Fourth or fifth acts in broadcast media are rare,” explains Brian Stelter, “and she is pulling it off.” Hardly a conservative fanboy, the veteran media reporter and former host of CNN’s Reliable Sources occasionally tunes in to the show during his commute, programming he described as “a hard-right, anti-woke rage fest.” But Stelter admits the Kelly renaissance “is a pretty rare success story.”   A seat at the desk of a presidential debate, though, the crown jewel of any career in political journalism? Even Kelly felt that would be out of reach “this time around.” Those gigs traditionally go to legacy media, and for good reason. Deep pockets, not to mention a wealth of experience, are needed to pull off a prize fight in prime time. All the same, Kelly says she “wound up with three different offers to co-moderate a debate.” But even with NewsNation handling all the technical logistics, would the ordeal be worth the fuss? Former President Donald Trump has walked away from the stage, leaving his primary challengers to cannibalize each other as they trail by more than 45 points. “Does it matter at all?” she asked herself when deciding whether to moderate an undercard debate without the biggest name in politics. Sequels often fall flat, and her first debate had catapulted her to the journalism equivalent of superstardom. It has now been eight years since Trump and Kelly, then of Fox News, clashed at the first Republican presidential debate. A stampede of magazine writers followed. “Blowhards, Beware,” declared Vanity Fair in 2016, “Megyn Kelly Will Slay You Now.” And later Vogue dubbed her “Megyn Unbound” as she prepared to decamp Fox for NBC the next year, speculating that, once split from the conservative news juggernaut, she could finally be “a force for good.” Eventually, the names of the magazines that profiled her said as much about her career as the interviews: Variety, then Success, and finally More. The quotes changed. The formula for each glossy cover story stayed the same. An elegant photo shoot, a couple thousand words complete with anecdotes about unscripted off-air moments, deviations on one common theme. One gushing headline summed up the shared sentiment: “Megyn Kelly Always Wins.” She chuckles at that past coverage, and then the new queen of independent journalism returns to a no-brainer for anyone else with a byline. “In the end, I concluded, yes,” Kelly says of her reason for reprising her role as debate moderator, noting that “Trump is vulnerable in some unique ways” – from the frontrunner’s legal jeopardy to, “with all due respect,” the septuagenarian’s health. Between the Thanksgiving holiday and debate prep sessions, she insists “there are all sorts of reasons” for the GOP to consider “at least the next best option.” One of the candidates not named Trump “could pull an inside straight,” she muses. “It’s not likely,” Kelly concludes, “but who am I to rule it out?” Haley, Ramaswamy, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have qualified for that contest. None would likely appreciate her analysis of their chances. All of them know her already, however, and there is a level of comfort with Kelly inside party headquarters and among the grassroots. She may not be a dyed-in-the-wool conservative. She can at least speak their language. “This does get to an interesting tension point about the debates,” Stelter mused. “Who should be asking the questions: Should it be Hugh Hewitt and Megyn Kelly, or Lester Holt and Bret Baier?” In his estimation, since going independent, the woman once crowned “the First Lady of Fox,” someone who cultivated a brand as “unpredictable,” has become reliably “more Rush Limbaugh than Brit Hume.” It was Hume who first spotted Kelly and passed her demo tape along to Fox News brass, who eagerly recruited her to be a reporter. The rest is history, including a cautionary tale about cultivating talent. According to talk show host Erick Erickson, NBC drafted Kelly without an adequate plan to leverage her conservative celebrity. “They could have built a credible brand around Megyn,” he says, “but chose not to because she did not have enough of a left-wing orthodoxy.” Erickson, like many others on the right, was quick to celebrate her return to the moderator role. “She can speak the language of the people from whom she came,” he explains, “even though she’s been elevated into this New York world of the media.” Conservatives have long loved to hate the media, and moderators are no exception. Ramaswamy delighted the right with his modest proposal at the last debate that Joe Rogan, Elon Musk, and Tucker Carlson should be calling the contest. Kelly arguably has more mainstream appeal, less baggage, and better hair than all of them. And according to Erickson, a unique kind of credibility. “You don’t have to be a card-carrying member of the vast right-wing conspiracy to be taken seriously by conservatives,” he insisted. “You just have to be willing to treat them as humans with valid opinions.” Kelly won’t sign any party membership card. “I’m a registered independent,” she says to almost preempt her admission in the next breath that “my sensibilities are center-right.” And so, when she takes her seat behind the desk in Alabama and looks out over the field of candidates, she won’t bother with a view from nowhere. On the eve of that contest, Kelly advertises “complete fluency” in the ideological concerns of conservatives. And then she offers up a professional disclaimer directed at the politicians she will square up with: “I’m never going to share a jersey with these people.” “Am I willing to vote for a Democrat over a Republican at the presidential level these days? I'll be honest, probably not. I have voted for plenty of Democrats in the past, but the world is so insane right now, and I’ve become almost a single-issue voter on what we’re doing to children in the trans lane,” she admits. “But my point is even though I’m probably rooting for these guys over a Democrat, you won’t be able to tell that on debate night, and that’s all you can ask of a good moderator. They don’t have to have no politics. They don’t have to have no ideology. They have to be able to check it. They go out there such that both sides are satisfied that this person was tough but fair,” she continues. Each of the candidates who will walk on stage next week has sat for in-depth interviews with her already, and even Trump made peace with her. Of course, it was only temporary. That segment included a lengthy cross-examination about his handling of classified documents, and days after it aired, hostilities resumed. “She was pretty nasty,” the former president complained to an Iowa crowd, “didn’t you think?” Kelly could care less. She already got the interview. Now she’s about to get her debate, a contest she playfully likens to “a dinner party” where her role is that of the “bad host” who chooses chaos. “Instead of introducing fun topics on which guests might agree, you’re introducing the thorny ones,” Kelly says, laying out in broad strokes her plans for the evening. Should any of the candidates arrive low energy, she warns, well, “Maybe you take out the cattle prod.” She plans to invite arguments and doesn’t expect “a hug” from anyone on stage afterward. “As soon as you declare yourself a presidential candidate, we’re not friends,” Kelly explains. The biggest bully in politics helped solidify that fact in her mind: “The nature of the relationship becomes adversarial. And as much as Trump came after me and made my life unpleasant after the 2015 debate, he wasn’t wrong.” “I threw a punch at him that was considerable, and he threw many, many punches back. You could argue it was excessive. I certainly think it was. But my point is simply that part of it is accepting your role as someone who these guys are not going to like that much. If you’re doing it right, they shouldn’t,” she says, recalling her first big brush with the populist who went on to the presidency. She talks in calculated, almost cold-blooded, terms but her inviting tone never loses its warmth. Such is the duality of Megyn Kelly: She is as disarming and kind as any suburban mom anywhere, and yet she has a plan to end the career of any unprepared politician she meets. Scott Walker has tangled with Kelly before, and the former Wisconsin governor, who now serves as president of the Young America’s Foundation, has blunt advice for any 2024 candidates who might be tempted to underestimate the blonde brawler: Don’t. “Just because she articulates conservative views doesn’t mean any of the candidates will get a pass from her,” Walker cautions. “They’d better be bringing their A-game to the debate stage.” While her confrontation of Trump eight years ago dominates the memory of that contest, her questions to the rest of the field were no less aggressive. For instance, she didn’t lob a softball and invite Walker to explain why he opposed abortion. She threw high and inside. “Would you really let a mother die rather than have an abortion?” Kelly asked. The governor kept his balance, defended his position, and answered that his pro-life position was “in line with everyday America.” Others weren’t so lucky that night, as Kelly weaved right as quickly as she bobbed left. One moment, she asked former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who had leaned on Scripture to justify his expansion of Medicaid, why conservative voters, “who generally want to shrink government” should “believe you won’t use your Saint Peter analogy to expand all government?” The next, she hit him with this question: “If you had a son or daughter who was gay or lesbian, how would you explain to them your opposition to same-sex marriage?” The left-right routine was enough to win Kelly praise from all corners. Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, declared Kelly “the toughest person on the debate stage,” while Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of the eventual Democratic nominee the next year, said the moderators had raised “the quality of the debate.” Campaigns are rewatching that debate and pulling clips from her show to prepare. “They should review my show,” she laughs. “It’s full of interesting content. They won’t find clues in there, though.” Kelly stubbornly refuses to talk outside of school. She says only that she and her co-moderators, Elizabeth Vargas of NewsNation and Eliana Johnson of the Washington Free Beacon, will be “unsparing.” The trio has binders full of “A+ level questions” designed to shove candidates off their talking points and into real moments of conflict. “If the three of us could shrink into obscurity that night, it would be a total win. If it’s just all about the three of them, or four of them, and not at all about the three of us, that would be great,” Kelly says. The four of them? “I know Trump loves Alabama. I do know this,” she says of a perhaps hoped-for surprise appearance. “He loves Alabama. So, there’s some possibility he’d decide to show up.” Should that happen, Kelly says the trio of moderators will be prepared. They’ve studied the candidates and the current moment. “This Republican Party is a far more dynamic, interesting, and complex one than what we had even six to eight years ago,” she reports, before suggesting “that’s probably actually good for the country” and then declaring, “that’s definitely good for a debate.” Take foreign policy, for instance, the foundation of the previous debate. Kelly cuts the party roughly into thirds for the sake of example. There is “the populist, Trump MAGA wing,” she says, and “then you still have the neoconservatives.” The remainder, in her quick estimation, are “the war-weary” who are skeptical of foreign intervention, “but who aren’t MAGA and certainly aren’t pro-Trump.” Pick a different issue. Slice, dice, and repeat. “There are a bunch of factions right now in the Republican Party,” she says, in between debate prep sessions, “which for me, as somebody who has a show, a journalist, and as a debate moderator, spells opportunity.” Familiarity will not lead to fondness, though. The only class Kelly seems to dislike more than politicians are members of the media. So much of her current rise is a reaction to their coverage, or perhaps an antidote. She complains that “the liberals who dominate the news” fail to account for their own biases, let alone check them in any meaningful way. “They’re cheerleaders,” Kelly says, “and that’s why independent media has exploded.” “The populist rising that we’ve seen in our politics has tilted over to media,” she replies when asked how she fits into that phenomenon. “My own coverage, I wouldn’t describe it as populist, but it is definitely anti-elite and anti-institution because they’ve earned that disdain. And people have had it. They’ve come to understand that these institutions are not rooting for them.” Next week may be the biggest opportunity yet for independent media when Megyn Kelly returns to live television. She predicts that some of her questions will be objectionable to one wing of the party and acceptable to another. “You have the chance to both please and displease a large constituency,” she says, “which is a win.”  “No one should be feeling super warm and fuzzy when the debate is over, like they just want to give the debate moderator a hug,” she adds. “They should be feeling like, ‘I loved this stuff. I hated that stuff. Overall, I found it very informative.’” More than anything, though, Kelly stresses that she and her co-moderators will go with the moment. “We are going to make this entertaining,” she promises. “Trust me when I tell you, we know how. It’ll be fun to watch.” Tyler Durden Sat, 12/02/2023 - 21:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt4 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

From Bearish To Bullish: Major Analysts Predict US Stock Market"s Performance In 2024

As 2023 is about to conclude with notable market gains, Business Insider offered an in-depth analysis of Wall Street's predictions for the stock market in 2024. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzinga11 hr. 13 min. ago Related News

A Crime Against Humanity...

A Crime Against Humanity... Authored by James Howard Kunstler via, “This is in my opinion, the worst thing that’s ever happened to our country in my lifetime in the world, and the government’s role cannot be denied,” - Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on C-19-Vaxx History is a trickster. It unfolds emergently with uncanny creativity, often blindsiding humanity with the unanticipated consequences and non-linear outcomes of previous unfoldings. So, here we are now in a Second Civil War. Really? “Between whom?” you might ask. Between truth and untruth. Between a sociopathic bureaucratic blob steeped in lies and a citizenry obliged to live and die by the blob’s lies. Case-in-point: the emergent evolution of US public health agencies, the CDC, the FDA, the NIH, the NIAID and their many fiefdoms, into a gigantic engine of death fueled by incessant and persistent lying. The people running these agencies lied to you about the creation and origin of the novel corona virus, SARS Covid-19. Then they lied about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines created as the sovereign remedy for Covid-19. They also lied about and suppressed actual effective treatments for the disease they invented and loosed on the world and then coerced the whole medical establishment into breaking its Hippocratic oath (first do no harm) to administer vaccines that killed. They lied about these things knowingly. And through the whole three-year episode, US public health has hidden the data about Covid and the vaccines while aggressively lying about it and punishing American citizens who found ways to expose the truth. The vaccines have killed an estimate 670,000 Americans and 17-million world-wide, consensus figures arrived at by citizens devoted to uncovering the truth. One of these is independent researcher Steve Kirsch, a Silicon Valley billionaire who invented the optical mouse. In 2021, after noticing a strange pattern of early deaths and injuries in his own circle of acquaintances, Mr. Kirsch devoted himself and his fortune to uncovering the truth about the Covid-19 vaccines. Mr. Kirsch describes himself as “a nerd,” by which he means that he is good at math and at assembling bodies of information using rigorous statistical analysis that present a coherent picture of reality, a.k.a. the truth. Last night, Thursday, November 30, Mr.Kirsch gave a talk at his alma mater, MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts on what the best available statistics tell us about the Covid-19 vaccines (for instance, that so far they have killed more Americans than World War Two). The talk was live-streamed on the Rumble platform (YouTube scrubbed it). There is an interesting story behind Mr. Kirsch’s event. Years before the Covid-19 fiasco, Mr. Kirsch gave MIT $2.5 million to build a new lecture hall. Then, during Covid-19, Mr. Kirsch asked MIT to allow him to stage a lecture about his findings. The MIT administrators refused to let Mr. Kirsch speak in the lecture hall that he paid for. Mr. Kirsch went public with that, embarrassing the university, and under new MIT President Sally Kornbluth, the Institute relented. Prior to the November 30 talk, Mr. Kirsch sought to share his data with eminent MIT professor Robert Langer, winner of countless awards for advances in the biotechnological sciences. Dr. Langer runs a research program that his MIT webpage describes as follows: The group’s work is at the interface of biotechnology and materials science. A major focus is the study and development of polymers to deliver drugs, particularly genetically engineered proteins, continuously at controlled rates and for prolonged periods of time.” Sounds like Dr. Langer would be intimately acquainted with the mechanisms of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines, especially the development of lipid nanoparticles that facilitate the delivery of the mRNA message into their targeted cells. Dr. Langer declined to see the data or to meet with Mr. Kirsch. At the beginning of his talk, Mr. Kirsch offered some speculation as to why Dr. Langer might demur to see the data or meet with him. Turns out it is because Dr. Langer sits on the Moderna board of directors. If Dr. Langer were exposed to “record level” data in a structured format that indicated the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine was killing a lot of people, Dr. Langer would be required legally to insist that the company take it off the market. Now you see how the venal mendacity of Big Pharma intersects with the perfidy of Academia, and at the highest levels. Dr. Langer has been called out, and publicly disgraced by Mr. Kirsch. Will Dr. Langer sue Mr. Kirsch for defamation? I doubt it. It is a fact that Dr. Langer is on the Moderna Board, and his obligations to the public are clear vis-à-vis Moderna’s flagship product. It will be interesting to see how MIT and Dr. Langer handle this quandary. Today’s morning news (Friday, Dec 1) contains nothing about Steve Kirsch’s landmark talk at MIT, which essentially laid out evidence of a crime against humanity. One feature of the assembled data is that it can take a long time for the vaccines to kill people — six months being only an average. CDC director Mandy Cohen is still pushing the Covid-19 vaccines, as did her predecessor Rochelle Walensky, who resigned just this past June, so expect a continued incidence of excess and early deaths. Did both of them somehow miss the massive accumulating data and news reports about the danger of mRNA vaccines? Could they be that dumb? Or did they knowingly lie to the public, pushing vaccines that are obviously unsafe? At some point, they may have to answer these questions. Also yesterday, independent reporters Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The two journalists had previously published the “Twitter Files,” an investigation into the government’s infiltration of social media for the purpose of censorship and manipulating news that would affect the outcome of recent elections. In this new chapter, the two, along with Substack blogger Alex Gutentag, have released a report based on whistleblower testimony about the sweeping censorship framework called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League that the Department of Homeland Security cooked up in 2018, and whose coordinated activities metastasized through the so-called “intelligence community,” the White House, and agencies of the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The same tyrannical programming has been adopted by many of the governments in the EU. The net result of all this is Western Civilization saturating itself in lies. It appears that Covid-19 was well into development when it was adopted by the blob and its protectors in the Democratic Party to use as a means for finally getting rid of President Trump in 2020 after RussiaGate and a fake impeachment failed. The introduction of poorly-tested mRNA vaccines — actually developed by the US Department of Defense and licensed out to Pfizer and Moderna — looks like it was intended to mitigate Covid-19 after it had accomplished its task of enabling election ballot fraud to get a patsy president, “Joe Biden,” into the White House. But the vaccines turned out to be a gigantic and deadly botch. And once they were sold to the public, and the vaccine companies made billions, and people started dying and getting gross illnesses, everybody involved in the vast blob network had to keep on lying to cover up their crimes. What follows from here in this new civil war of truth against untruth is that untruth will lose because untruth is fundamentally unsound and can’t stand on its own. The US bureaucratic blob, like the fictional product Soylent Green, is people. There are, obviously thousands of them, virtually a whole army, guilty of crimes. The whistleblowers are popping out all over now. We’re approaching the magic moment when the whole blob army flips and rats out each other in the attempt to save their asses. Wait for it. *  *  * Support his blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page or Substack Tyler Durden Sat, 12/02/2023 - 11:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt13 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

A dietitian and health professor shares the 2 supplements she recommends for improving heart health

Diet should be a priority when it comes to heart health. But supplements can help to lower cholesterol, dietitian Lauren Ball said. Increasing your fiber intake can help reduce cholesterol levels, a dietitian said.Getty ImagesHigh cholesterol levels can put a person at risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues. Eating a healthy diet is vital for heart health. But fiber supplements and probiotics can also help to reduce cholesterol levels, a dietitian said.A dietitian shared the two supplements she recommends for lowering cholesterol levels and improving heart health.When thinking about supplements for heart health, cholesterol is typically the target, Lauren Ball, a dietitian and professor of community health and wellbeing at the University of Queensland, Australia, told Business Insider. That is because high cholesterol can lead to cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks, strokes and mini strokes, narrow arteries, and peripheral arterial disease, which is when a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries restricts blood supply to the legs.A healthy diet should be the first port of call for lowering cholesterol, and those looking to improve their heart health might want to speak to a dietitian for individual support, Ball said.But eating more fruits and vegetables is a good place to start, because they are a good source of fiber, which is known to reduce LDL, or "bad," cholesterol, she said. The FDA recommends people get a minimum of 28g of fiber per day, and whole grains, oats, and beans are also good sources.Research has also shown that supplements can significantly lower cholesterol levels. Ball shared the two supplements she would recommend for heart health.Fiber supplementsSome cholesterol is excreted or removed in feces, Ball said, and fiber increases the bulk of stools. So the more fiber we eat, the more cholesterol is excreted, she said.Supplements can be an easy way to boost fiber intake, Ball said. There are different types, but the most common are natural soluble fibers such as inulin or psyllium husk, she said. They usually come in either capsules or a kind of powder that you can sprinkle on your food. Natural insoluble fibers such as flaxseeds also increase the size of stools, she said.One meta-analysis of eight clinical trials published in 2000 found that taking 10g psyllium husk daily appeared to lower total cholesterol levels by 4% and LDL cholesterol levels by 7%.But while fiber is a fairly safe and inexpensive supplement, it can sometimes come with side effects such as tummy upset or constipation, particularly if you are not drinking enough water, she said. Drinking more water can help.ProbioticsProbiotics, which contain the good bacteria that live in our guts, have also been found to reduce cholesterol levels, Ball said. Similarly to fiber supplements, they are thought to work by improving the body's ability to pass stools.They change the environment of the gut microbiome and enable the large intestine to incorporate more cholesterol into feces, she said.Probiotics tend to be more expensive than fiber supplements, but they may also be linked to other health benefits such as smoother digestion. Some ongoing research suggests that probiotics might also be beneficial for mental health. You are also less likely to experience side effects such as constipation from probiotics than from fiber supplements, she said.Prioritize healthy eating and don't spend too much money on supplementsBall said that both of these supplements are "fairly safe," but it's important to be aware that the supplement space is largely unregulated."The likelihood of getting ripped off is moderate to high for supplements in general. What I would stay away from would be anything that's exorbitant in cost," she said.A food-first approach is always going to be more economical and more likely to have an impact as well, she said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Finance workers in London are most exposed to the threat of AI, and it should put Wall Street on notice – study shows

A UK-based analysis found that the finance and insurance sectors are the most exposed to advances in AI. A UK report found that jobs involving clerical work or based in finance, law, and business management had a high exposure to the adoption of AI. Jasmin Merdan/Getty ImagesThe finance and insurance sector is the most exposed to the adoption of AI.That's according to a new study from the UK government's Department for Education.The report found jobs in finance, law, and business management were likely to be impacted by AI.A new report that measures AI's effect on London city workers may raise alarm bells on Wall Street.A UK-based analysis found that the finance and insurance sectors are the most exposed to advances in AI, with London-based professionals predicted to be some of the first to feel the heat from the new tech.A report by the UK government's Department for Education's Unit for Future Skills measured the industries and areas that would be most affected by the adoption of AI. It found that professional jobs, especially those that involved clerical work or roles based in finance, law, and business management, had a higher exposure to AI."The finance & insurance sector is more exposed to AI than any other sector," the report said.Other sectors, including property, education, and administration were also predicted to be highly impacted by AI. The department also found that employees with qualifications in accounting and finance were typically in jobs likely to be affected by AI.Based on a methodology developed by US academics, the report measured the exposure of various roles to the new tech. The researchers considered the skills needed for jobs across the UK labor market and how much they could be helped by common AI uses including speech and image recognition, translation, and language modeling.Occupations with the least exposure to the adoption of AI included trade workers such as roofers and steel erectors.Here are the top ten UK sectors with the highest exposure to AI:Management consultants and business analystsGetty ImagesFinancial managers and directorsThe financial district in NYC.Maria Noyen/Business InsiderCharted and certified accountantsA woman counting money.Catherine McQueen/Getty ImagesPsychologistsThe researchers cautioned against taking psychedelics without supervision.GettyPurchasing managers and directorsPrivate wealth managers provide expert advice for high-net-worth individualspixelfit/ Getty ImagesActuaries, economists, and statisticiansWall Street is bracing for what comes next after a brutal August and September for stocks.Mario Tama / GettyBusiness and financial project management professionalsJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesFinance and investment analysts and advisersGen Z is putting more stock into careers in finance, with one in four recent graduates considering the field a top career sector.Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty ImagesLegal professionalsUS Supreme Court buildingCelal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesBusiness and related associate professionalsGetty ImagesRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

North Korea & Eritrea Dominate The Global Hotspots Of Modern Slavery

North Korea & Eritrea Dominate The Global Hotspots Of Modern Slavery Approximately 10.5 percent of North Korea's population, including migrant workers and human trafficking victims, are categorized as modern slaves, according to data by the Walk Free Foundation. While this only amounts to roughly five percent of the total of estimated modern slaves worldwide, Statista's Florian Zandt shows in the chart below that only one other country comes close to this population share size. With 9.0 percent or an estimated number of 320,000 modern slaves, the African country of Eritrea comes in second on the ranking analyzing data from 2021. You will find more infographics at Statista While the ranking shown in our infographic prioritizes the share of people subjected to forced labor or forced marriages in the respective country's population, only two of the worst offenders in terms of total number of residents living in slave-like conditions make the cut, North Korea (third in terms of global estimated modern slaves) and Russia (fourth in terms of global estimated modern slaves). When looking at the issue from this angle, India and China are home to the most people living in slave-like circumstances, with 11 million and 5.8 million, respectively. Overall, 49.6 million are estimated to live in conditions defined as modern slavery, with the majority residing in the Asia-Pacific region. The Walk Free Foundation categorizes modern slaves as victims of workplace abuse, debt bondage, forced marriage and sex trafficking, among other factors. Since it's nearly impossible to get concrete numbers, the non-profit modeled its analysis on data from 68 representative national surveys as well evaluations of individual- and country-level risk factors like armed conflicts, governance issues including labor laws, lack of basic needs, the state of disenfranchised groups like migrants and women as well as general inequality levels in the countries included in its report. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/01/2023 - 23:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 2nd, 2023Related News

Sample of "potentially hazardous" asteroid Bennu, which may contain the seeds of life, arrives in UK for analysis

Sample of "potentially hazardous" asteroid Bennu, which may contain the seeds of life, arrives in UK for analysis.....»»

Category: topSource: yahooDec 1st, 2023Related News

What Are the Top Tech Stocks to Buy Right Now? 3 Picks.

InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Finding tech stocks today requires financial analysis and long-term opportunity assessment rather than rolling the dice The post What Are the Top Tech Stocks to Buy Right Now? 3 Picks. appeared first on InvestorPlace. More From InvestorPlace ChatGPT IPO Could Shock the World, Make This Move Before the Announcement Musk’s “Project Omega” May Be Set to Mint New Millionaires. Here’s How to Get In. The Rich Use This Income Secret (NOT Dividends) Far More Than Regular Investors.....»»

Category: topSource: investorplaceDec 1st, 2023Related News

10 Timeless Wall Street Lessons

The best way to deal with the market's unpredictable pressures is through firsthand experience, which is what Andrew Rocco brings to the table. Learn how to decipher what the market is telling you right now with a few timeless, real-world lessons. I grew up in a household with parents who have a combined 80 years on Wall Street. Both worked at Merrill Lynch (which later became Bank of America, where my father was a commodities trader and my mother an equities trader. As a child, I had an early interest in markets. From the flashing lights of the quotes on TV, the fast-moving pace, and the uniqueness of each trading session, my interest was piqued. While other kids dreamed of being professional athletes, I wanted to be an investor. Luckily, I had two role models and mentors in the business who passed down much of their wisdom and answered all my questions.On Wall Street, theoretical knowledge and formal education can certainly provide a foundation for understanding financial markets and strategies. However, the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the financial world often necessitates real-world experience for a comprehensive grasp of its complexities. The practical application of concepts learned in classrooms is where individuals encounter the nuances of market dynamics, risk management, and decision-making under pressure.That said, it’s one thing to swing at a fastball from a minor league pitcher, and a totally different feeling when you’re in the batter’s box versus a major league pitcher throwing 90-mile-per-hour fastballs. Market conditions, investor sentiment, and economic factors are constantly evolving, and navigating these intricacies requires the adaptability and intuition that can only be honed through firsthand experience that refines these tools into effective instruments for success on Wall Street. Furthermore, many Wall Street adages are misleading, while others are spot on.Below are timeless, real-world lessons I have learned that transcend trading strategies that all investors should understand.Markets Can Remain Irrational Longer Than You Can Remain SolventThe “efficient market hypothesis” suggests that financial markets incorporate and reflect all relevant information into price. However, the quote “markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent” underscores the unpredictability and persistence of irrational behavior in financial markets. You don’t have to look very hard to find proof. In January 2021, GameStop (GME) soared more than 1,600% for no fundamental reason. Instead, a group of retail investors on Reddit orchestrated a short squeeze. Clearly, the market was irrational. However, the consequences were real.“Black Swan” Events Occur Every Handful of Years A black swan even refers to an unexpected and highly improbable occurrence that has a profound impact, often deviating from conventional wisdom or historical norms. These events are characterized by their rarity, extreme consequences, and the challenge they pose to predictability. While such events do not occur annually, they do occur more than most investors anticipate due to the cyclical nature of the market and economy.For example, in 2022, we had the brutal tech bear market spurred on by 40-year highs in inflation, where the Nasdaq shed more than 30%. Just two years prior, the COVID-induced crash occurred in equities. Before that, the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. While it is an uncomfortable truth, in a complex and global economy, something is bound to break every five to ten years.Valuations are Not a Timing Device  Investors often look at any stock or asset class rising dramatically and think of a bubble. In my experience, bubble is not a four-letter word, and more often than not, it represents an asset class that said investors missed out on.Warren Buffett is the most famous value investor. However, Buffett is not known for his market timing but rather his holding period of “forever.” It’s crucial that investors don’t fall into the trap of believing that valuations are a precise timing device for market entry or exit. Remember, in 1999, Yahoo! started the big part of its run with an “overvalued” p/e ratio of 100x. By the end of its move, YHOO shares had a p/e north of 1,100x. Using valuations in a vacuum to time stocks would have meant missing out on the life-changing gains in the late 90s and several other periods. Something I am not willing to do.Cut Your Losses, Run Your Winners Legendary trader Ed Seykota once said, “There are old traders, and there are bold traders, but there are very few old, bold traders.” Unlike being a lawyer, accountant, or surgeon, on Wall Street, being a perfectionist works against you. That’s because even if you are the most brilliant investor in the world, you will be wrong occasionally. The market has a funny way of humbling even the most brilliant minds. In the long run, investors who cut their losses and run their winners survive and thrive.Personally, I became a profitable and consistent trader after reading billionaire Paul Tudor Jones’s advice: “5:1 risk/reward. Five to one means I’m risking one dollar to make five. What five to one does is allow you to have a hit ratio of 20%. I can actually be a complete imbecile. I can be wrong 80% of the time, and I’m still not going to lose.”Continued . . .------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Deadline: Zacks 7 Best Stocks for December BreakoutFrom 4,400 stocks, the Zacks system distills only 220 Strong Buys. This list beats the S&P 500 more than 2X over.Our experts just combed through the Strong Buys to hand-pick 7 compelling companies most likely to jump the soonest. Previous 7 Best reports have caught quick and substantial gains like +47.4% on WING… +44.0% on SLB… and +67.5% on GDYN… all within one month.¹Report distribution is limited, so don’t miss out. Deadline is Sunday, December 3.See 7 Best Stocks Now >>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Listen to What the Market is Telling You Stanley Druckenmiller is known for having the most consistent track record on Wall Street – more than 30 years of money management without a single losing year. If you watch a Druckenmiller interview, he always seems to lean bearish from a macro perspective and jokes about how he has called “seven of the past two bear markets.” Though Druckenmiller has a bias, ultimately, he is consistent because he listens to what the market is telling him rather than trying to force his bias on it.Sometimes When You Pick Bottoms, All You End Up with is Stinky Fingers“The trend is your friend until the end when it bends.” Trends on Wall Street tend to persist in both directions. What seems high often moves higher, and vice versa. While, in theory, it may be enticing for investors to try to pick bottoms, most would be better served to latch onto existing trends and ride them until the trend breaks.Macro Should Take a Back SeatIf the market traded strictly off math and economics, math and economics professors would be the best investors in the world. While the macroeconomy can be interesting to try to dissect, it has one major issue – it is lagging. Stocks trade off liquidity (the Fed, dry powder, etc.) and are forward-looking. The proof? In the past three major bear markets, stocks bottomed long before earnings did. In other words, if you were strictly focused on the macro, you were caught flat-footed.Stick to Institutional Quality Stocks  Institutional-quality stocks have several advantages over other stocks. First, they provide somewhat of a safety net. For example, if Fidelity Contrafund owns a stock, it means their 500+ person research team has done their due diligence on the company. Second, they offer liquidity. If bad news hits a stock, the importance of liquidity becomes abundantly clear. Finally, institutions accumulate shares over months and years, not days. Meaning retail investors can “piggyback” onto these stocks for significant gains.75% of Stocks Follow the Market Direction The best thing investors can do is stay on the side of the market. When the S&P 500 is above the 200-day moving average, it’s in a bull market; when it's below, it’s a bear market. Because most stocks follow the market direction, investors must be aware of the overall market’s direction. Furthermore, investors should never confuse brains with a bull market.Journal Your Trades Brand new investors want to be led to the next hot stock. Amateur investors study the market and stocks to make informed decisions. Professional investors learn the market, stocks, and most importantly themselves. My performance began to improve rapidly when I started journaling my trades. At a minimum, investors should conduct a year-end post analysis where they do a deep dive into their 10 biggest winners and losers for the year. Plot on the chart where you bought, sold, and any other relevant information you can gather. While the process may be tedious, I can guarantee you that it will pay immediate dividends.Pay YourselfAfter a big run in your account, you should “pay yourself.” Extract money from the market to pay your mortgage, rent, or put away in the bank. The best time to do this is when you feel smart. Never ever suffer from visions of grandeur.How to Profit from What The Market Is Telling Us NowYou’ve seen the market climbing higher over the past several weeks. We have plenty of reasons to believe that trend will continue into the new year (especially after seeing the record-breaking Black Friday/Cyber Monday numbers). As I mentioned a moment ago, 75% of stocks move with the market. That means right now is a time to be bullish.And while data shows a majority of stocks are likely to be climbing, a select few are set to outshine all the others.To help you take advantage, Zacks has just released a brand-new 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days report, and you’re invited to be one of the first to see it.Our team of experts combed through the latest Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys and hand-picked 7 exciting companies poised for significant price increases. They’re likely to jump sooner and climb higher than any other stock you could buy this month.Recent 7 Best recommendations climbed +47.4%, +44.0%, and +67.5%... all within one month. With the market’s momentum, the new picks could be even more lucrative. ¹Today, you can access the 7 Best Stocks report for just $1. When you do, you’ll also get 30-day access to all of Zacks private portfolios for the same dollar.I encourage you to take advantage right away. The earlier you get in, the greater profits you stand to make. But don’t delay. We're limiting the number of investors who share our 7 Best Stocks, so this opportunity will end Sunday, December 3 – midnight tomorrow.Download 7 Best Stocks and check out Zacks’ portfolios for 30 Days for just $1 >>Andrew RoccoStock StrategistAndrew Rocco is Zacks' technology stock strategist. His passion is education, where he aims to provide valuable insights from both a fundamental and technical perspective. Andrew also manages Zacks Technology Innovators portfolio.¹ The results listed above are not (or may not be) representative of the performance of all selections made by Zacks Investment Research's newsletter editors and may represent the partial close of a position. 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 reportTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2023Related News

Best & Worst ETFs of November

Inside the best and worst performing ETFs of November. Wall Street has witnessed an impressive surge in November. Specifically, the S&P 500 has surged by 8.5% past month, and the Nasdaq Composite Index has seen a substantial rise of nearly 11%. Furthermore, the Dow Jones has achieved a 7.2% increase in November, marking its best month in about a year. The Russell 2000 was also not far behind as it scored 5.6% gains past month. The gains were broad-based and well spread out across various segments.The technology sector has led the month with about 13% gains, while the energy sector has been a laggard, losing 2.3%. The bets that the Fed rates have peaked resulted in this surge in the markets. As the growth sectors like technology relies on borrowing for superior growth, these outperform in a low-rate environment.Further, better-than-expected earnings added to the strength. The overall Q3 earnings picture remains stable and largely positive. The third-quarter reporting cycle is on track to record year-over-year earnings growth after three back-to-back quarters of earnings decline.The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index grew 3% year over year for the month of October, down from 3.4% in September and in line with expectations. "Core" PCE, which bars the volatile food and energy categories, grew 3.5%, down from 3.7% from the month prior and also in line with what economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected. This was yet another good news for the month.Upbeat consumer confidence is another reason for the uptick in the markets. Americans have spent by a record figure this year over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend lured by significant discounts across various categories, including beauty products, toys and electronics.According to a survey by the National Retail Federation (“NRF”), more than 200 million shoppers engaged in in-store and online purchases over the Thanksgiving weekend (Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday). This represents about 2% growth from the previous year and an increase from the NRF's initial estimates of 182 million.Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few winning & losing ETFs of November.Winning ETFs in FocusBreakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF BDRY – Up 83.4%The underlying Capesize 5TC Index, Panamax 4TC Index & Supramax 6TC Index measure rates for shipping dry bulk freight. The expense ratio of the fund is 3.50%.ARK Innovation ETF ARKK – Up 37.5%ARKK is an actively managed Exchange Traded Fund that seeks long-term growth of capital by investing under normal circumstances primarily (at least 65% of its assets) in domestic and foreign equity securities of companies that are relevant to the Fund’s investment theme of disruptive innovation. The fund charges 75 bps in fees.ARK Fintech Innovation ETF ARKF – Up 36.6%ARKF is an actively managed Exchange Traded Fund that seeks long-term growth of capital. It seeks to achieve this investment objective by investing under normal circumstances primarily (at least 80% of its assets) in domestic and foreign equity securities of companies that are engaged in the Fund’s investment theme of financial technology (“Fintech”) innovation. It charges 75 bps in fees.Global X Blockchain ETF BKCH – Up 36.6%The underlying Solactive Blockchain Index provides exposure to companies that are positioned to benefit from further advances in the field of blockchain technology. The fund charges 50 bps in fees.Losing ETFs in FocusSimplify Tail Risk Strategy ETF (CYA) – Down 89.8%This ETF is active and does not track a benchmark. The Simplify Tail Risk Strategy ETF seeks to provide investors with a standalone solution for hedging diversified portfolios against severe equity market selloffs. The fund charges 84 bps in fees.KraneShares Global Carbon Offset Strategy ETF KSET – Down 35.3%The KraneShares Global Carbon Offset Strategy ETF provides broad coverage of the voluntary carbon market by tracking carbon offset futures contracts. The fund charges 79 bps in fees.iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN VXX – Down 35.2%The underlying S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index Total Return offers exposure to a daily rolling long position in the first and second month VIX futures contracts and reflects views of the future direction of the VIX index at the time of expiration of the VIX futures contracts comprising the Index. The fund charges 89 bps in fees.United States Natural Gas ETF (UNG) – Down 23.5%The Natural Gas Price Index is the futures contract on natural gas as traded on the NYMEX. The expense ratio of the fund is 1.06%. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX): ETF Research Reports ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK): ETF Research Reports United States Natural Gas ETF (UNG): ETF Research Reports Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF (BDRY): ETF Research Reports ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF): ETF Research Reports Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH): ETF Research Reports Simplify Tail Risk Strategy ETF (CYA): ETF Research Reports KraneShares Global Carbon Offset Strategy ETF (KSET): ETF Research ReportsTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2023Related News

Retirement Weekly: Smart RMD moves, your 40+ résumé, mixing Social Security and pensions, and more retirement news

Retirement news and analysis.....»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchDec 1st, 2023Related News

Here"s a complete rundown of Wall Street"s 2024 stock market predictions

From a potential economic recession to continuation of the ongoing bull market, here's what Wall Street expects to happen next year. A stock trader at work at the New York Stock Exchange on February 24, 2020.Johannes Eiselle/Getty ImagesAfter a strong 2023, investors biggest question is whether the stock market rally can continue next year.Business Insider has compiled a comprehensive list of Wall Street's 2024 stock market outlooks.From recessions to bull markets, here's what the top analysts expect for the S&P 500 next year. After a dismal 2022, stocks soared in 2023, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 jumping more than 20% and 50%, respectively.A resilient economy, moderating inflation, and the potential peak in interest rates helped investors overcome fears of a potential recession and jump back into stocks. Now the biggest question investors have is whether the strong market rally can continue into 2024, and is an economic slowdown and subsequent stock market crash imminent.Business Insider has put together a complete rundown of the top Wall Street forecasts for the stock market in 2024.From economic recessions to the continuation of the bull market, here's what Wall Street expects to happen next year.BCA Research: bearish, S&P 500 price target of 3,300The S&P 500 could experience its worst crash since 2008 next year as a recession kicks off, according to the 2024 outlook of BCA Research."A recession in the US and euro area was delayed this year but not avoided. Developed markets (DM) remain on a recessionary path unless monetary policy eases very significantly. As such, the risk/reward balance is quite unfavorable for stocks," BCA Research said.The stock market could avoid such a steep drawdown next year if the Federal Reserve swiftly cuts interest rates, but BCA Research isn't holding its breath as they don't expect inflation to fall quickly."We remain in the disinflationary camp, but expect that inflation will not slow quickly enough for the Fed and the ECB to cut rates in time to prevent a significant rise in unemployment. Unless a recession occurs imminently or inflation completely collapses, the Fed is unlikely to cut rates before next summer," BCA Research said.BCA Research said a recession next year would put the S&P 500 in a range of between 3,300 and 3,700 before an eventual rebound materializes.JPMorgan: bearish, S&P 500 price target of 4,200Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty ImagesJPMorgan said high equity valuations, high interest rates, a weakening consumer, rising geopolitical risks, and a potential recession give it little confidence that stocks will move higher in 2024."We expect a more challenging macro backdrop for stocks next year with softening consumer trends at a time when investor positioning and sentiment have mostly reversed," JPMorgan's Marko Kolanovic and Dubravko Lakos-Bujas said in their 2024 outlook note."Equities are now richly valued with volatility near the historical low, while geopolitical and political risks remain elevated. We expect lackluster global earnings growth with downside for equities from current levels," JPMorgan said. Morgan Stanley: neutral, S&P 500 price target of 4,500Morgan Stanley expects a flat stock market in 2024, but sees some pockets of the stock market performing better than others. The extremely narrow leadership of the mega-cap tech stocks is likely to continue early next year, but eventually breakdown, according to the firm."The question for investors at this stage is whether the leaders can drag the laggards up to their level of performance or if the laggards will eventually overwhelm the leaders' ability to keep delivering in this challenging macro environment," Morgan Stanley said."We think these dynamics are likely to persist into early 2024 before a sustainable earnings recovery takes hold (we ultimately see +7% earnings growth next year)," Morgan Stanley said.Morgan Stanley recommended investors avoid the high-priced tech stocks and instead focus on defensive growth stocks, typically found in the healthcare, utilities, and consumer staples sectors, as well as late-cycle cyclical stocks typically found in the industrials and energy sectors.Goldman Sachs: neutral, S&P 500 price target of 4,700Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty ImagesGoldman Sachs expects the S&P 500 to finish 2024 slightly higher from current levels as stocks are stuck in a "fat and flat" range since 2022. "As higher-for-longer interest rates make valuation expansion from here difficult to justify, our market forecasts are broadly in line with earnings growth. On a weighted basis, we expect 8% price returns and 10% total returns for Global equities over the next year, taking them towards the upper end of the Fat & Flat range that they have been in since 2022," Goldman Sachs said.Corporate earnings should also remain solid next year, providing a buoy to stock prices, as long as a recession is averted."In the absence of recession, corporate earnings rarely fall. Nevertheless, the lack of strong profit growth and a high starting valuation (particularly in the US equity market), and low equity risk premia leaves an unexciting outlook overall on a risk-adjusted basis, relative to cash returns," Goldman Sachs said.Bank of America: bullish, S&P 500 price target of 5,000Bank of America is bullish on the stock market in 2024 because of how much progress the Federal Reserve has made towards tightening its monetary policy following more than a year of aggressive interest rate hikes and the ongoing reduction of its balance sheet.We're bullish not because we expect the Fed to cut, but because of what the Fed has accomplished. Companies have adapted to higher rates and inflation," Bank of America's Savita Subramanian said in her 2024 outlook note.It also helps that investors remain laser focused on a potential economic recession and is focusing more on the bad news than the good news."We are past maximum macro uncertainty. The market has absorbed significant geopolitical shocks already and the good news is we're talking about the bad news," Bank of America said.RBC: bullish, S&P 500 price target of 5,000ST CLAIR AVE WEST, TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA - 2015/07/05: Royal Bank of Canada signage on a glass facade building. The signage has the outline of a lion holding a globe in yellow against a blue background. RBC Financial Group is the largest financial institution in Canada. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty ImagesThe stock market's strong 9% rally in November may have pulled forward some of 2024's potential gains, but there's still further upside ahead, according to RBC's 2024 outlook.The main driver behind the expected gains next year could be a continued decline in the inflation rate."Implicit in [our valuation] model is the idea that continued moderation in inflation can do most of the heavy lifting to prop up the P/E multiple, something our analysis suggests happened back in the 1970's," RBC said. "This model has been the most constructive one in our arsenal on the 2023 forecast, and may very well end up being the most accurate if Santa shows up in December instead of the Grinch."The Canadian bank added that while the 2024 Presidential election could add uncertainty to the market, the S&P 500 saw an average gain of around 7.5% in presidential election years."What this stat tells us is that any given Presidential election year is a source of uncertainty for the US equity market. Given all of the unusual aspects of the 2024 contest, that seems like an appropriate way to think about the political backdrop for stocks in 2024," RBC said. Federated Hermes: bullish, S&P 500 price target of 5,000Strong underlying trends in the stock market are likely to extend well into 2024, according to Federated Hermes' chief equity strategist Phil Orlando."We think that stocks are going to grind higher. They've gone from 4100 to 4500. And we think that's a trend that's got legs," Orlando said last month.Orlando chalked up his bullishness to his belief that the Federal Reserve is done hiking interest rates, given that inflation has cooled considerably from its peak."The bond market's done the heavy lifting for [the Fed] since the last Fed rate hike in July. That gives the Fed the luxury, in my view, to step back and say, 'you know what, we don't have to hike any more. We can just sit here on the sidelines for the next year and allow the gradual slowing of inflation to occur," Orlando said.Deutsche Bank: bullish, S&P 500 price target of 5,100Deutsche Bank logos in Tokyo, Japan.REUTERS/Toru HanaiThe US economy is approaching a soft landing as inflation cools and GDP growth remains solid, and that's a great scenario for the stock market, according to Deutsche Bank's 2024 stock market outlook.And even if an economic recession does materialize in 2024, it shouldn't impact stock prices dramatically because most investors are anticipating it, the bank said.The bank expects the S&P 500 to rise about 10% in 2024 to 5,100, and if the economy dodges a recession, the gains could nearly double to about 19% in its bull-case scenario.BMO: bullish, S&P 500 price target of 5,100The stock market will deliver another year of solid gains in 2024 as the second year of the bull market gets underway, even if an economic recession materializes, according to BMO's 2024 outlook.Falling inflation, falling interest rates, a strong job market and rising corporate earnings are tailwinds that will drive further upside in the stock market next year, according to BMO."US stock market performance and fundamentals in 2023 followed the script in our view to lay the foundation for what we continue to believe will be a path of normalcy for earnings growth, valuation trends, and price performance that is likely to unfold over the next three to five years," BMO said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 1st, 2023Related News

Costco, Home Depot and Floor & Decor: Diverging Outcomes From a Similar Model

Unveiling the nuances of retail efficiency: A comparative analysis of 3 retail giantsCheck out Charlie Munger Stock Picks » Download GuruFolio Report of Charlie Munger (Updated on 11/30/2023)Related Stocks: COST, HD, FND,.....»»

Category: blogSource: gurufocusDec 1st, 2023Related News

The world is splitting between those who use ChatGPT to get better, smarter, richer — and everyone else

It's been one year since ChatGPT and one thing is clear: AI can make you a better worker. Using AI can make you a better worker.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesChatGPT is now a year old.There's already evidence that using it —carefully — at work can help you get ahead.White-collar work is dividing into those who use AI to boost performance, and everyone else.It's only been a year since the launch of ChatGPT and the world is already dividing into those who are using it to get ahead, and those who aren't.The bot is estimated to have accumulated 1.7 billion users over the year. Within two months of its release, students were using the tool to save time or actually cheat in writing essays.Despite handwringing at the time, the kids were just the early adopters.There is growing evidence that artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT can make you more efficient and capable at work. Taken to its logical conclusion, smart use of AI at work could fast track you to promotion or more opportunities.A recent study from Harvard Business School study looked at what happened when OpenAI's GPT-4 was given to 758 employees at Boston Consulting Group (BCG).The researchers found that BCG staff using GPT-4 for consulting tasks were significantly more productive than those without access to the tool.AI-assisted consultants completed tasks 25% faster, accomplished 12% more tasks, and produced work assessed to be 40% higher in quality. A caveat: this was only true for tasks that AI is known to be good at (and AI isn't good at everything).Those who got the biggest performance boost from AI were the mid-table employees.The TL;DR here is that AI can act as a kind of free, performance-enhancing drug for many workers in white-collar, office-based kinds of roles, no matter how skilled they are. And the effect will be particularly noticeable if no one else in the company is using AI in this way.The smartest way to use AI right now to make your work life easierA launch plan designed by ChatGPT.ChatGPTThere are a lot of signs that AI is pretty great at admin and busywork.Business Insider has spoken to a former recruiter who uses ChatGPT to compile lists of companies and employees; a real-estate agent who uses it to draft listings; and a marketer who uses it to answer client queries.All said that outsourcing time-consuming, small jobs to AI tools freed up their time.ChatGPT can simplify and summarize books, articles, and entire fields of research. It can give pretty good, human-like responses in a way that might help you draft up emails, documents, or feedback quickly.So the flip side of not using AI for these tasks may mean your AI-boosted colleagues suddenly get faster — and more valuable.Developers say they are 55% faster with AI coding toolsGithub's AI coding tool Copilot helps developers compile code faster.Github/YouTubeWhile white-collar workers are, for the most part, still learning how AI might help or disrupt their roles, techies are ahead of the game.Tools like GitHub's AI Copilot have been shown to significantly boost the performances of coders.A 2022 analysis by the Microsoft-owned company said that developers using its AI Copilot tool to aid their coding were 55% faster than those without.Now Microsoft has bought GPT-4 powered Copilot to Office360, allowing workers to link the AI to emails, Teams chats, and meetings. The tool can handle a lot of the busy work, such as drafting emails and docs or summarizing long meetings and Teams threads, with a surprisingly small amount of prompting.Google's Duet can do much of the same work for workspaces running on a different system. Zoom and Salesforce have also thrown their hat in the ring with similar AI productivity products.The availability and range of new AI-powered tools hitting the market means there's now likely a way for everyone to be using it.Matt Calkins, founder and CEO of enterprise software firm Appian, told Business Insider that he saw AI's biggest impact being productivity."Customer service is going to get better, the efficiency of our work is going to get better, the accuracy, the knowledge of our corporate data, as it is brought to bear at the moment of decision or action, is going to get better," he said."I believe that's what we should be trusting AI to do. It's not going to write Shakespeare, right, but it is going to make your corporation far more productive. So that's where we should be focusing."AI at work still needs careful handlingThere are obvious caveats to using AI to do your work for you.The tech has a tendency to hallucinate or invent facts, which has already landed workers in trouble. Some companies also have specific rules for AI tools due to fears around copyright or data security.If you're going to use ChatGPT to write documents, don't give it proprietary company information, and fact check anything it says. It's usually better to treat the tech as rookie trainee and double-check anything important or potentially career-ending.A longer-term concern too is what the future looks like.Everyone working on AI speed drive may mean there is less work to go around, particularly in admin-centric roles. Freelancers say they are already losing out on work to ChatGPT-like tools.If this year has shown anything it's that AI is not going anywhere. Workers who want to stay on top may just need to find a way to work with it.Additional reporting by Shona Ghosh.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 1st, 2023Related News

5 Best Performing Stocks of the Top ETF of November

ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK), which provides thematic multi-cap exposure to innovation across sectors, has gained 35.2%, becoming the best-performing ETF of November. ARK Innovation ETF ARKK, which provides thematic multi-cap exposure to innovation across sectors, has gained 35.2%, becoming the best-performing ETF of November.The technology sector roared back last month and dominated the stock market rally once again. This surge is primarily driven by a decline in yields on optimism that the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hike campaign might be nearing an end. Yields on U.S. Treasuries saw the biggest monthly drop since 2008, leading to risk-on trade. High expectations for artificial intelligence continued to add to the strength.Most stocks in ARKK’s portfolio delivered strong returns in November. Coinbase COIN, CRISPR Therapeutics AG CRSP, Block SQ, Twist Bioscience Corporation TWST and Roku ROKU led the way.The growing optimism that the Fed may halt rate hikes and avert a recession has renewed investor interest in major technology and internet stocks. According to the CME FedWatch Tool, market participants expect a 95.6% probability that the central bank will keep interest rates at current levels through its January meeting. There is a more than 50% probability of a rate cut of at least 25 bps by May.As the tech sector relies on borrowing for superior growth, it is cheaper to borrow more money for initiatives when interest rates are low. In particular, companies like Microsoft Corp. MSFT and Nvidia Corp. NVDA, which are at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) evolution, have been the biggest contributors.Hedge funds' upsurge in big tech investments further led to the sector’s rally. Per the latest regulatory filing, several hedge funds expanded their bets on big technology stocks, including Amazon AMZN, Microsoft and Meta Platforms META (read: Billionaires Bullish on Big Tech: ETFs in Focus).The expansion of AI applications holds the promise of ushering in opportunities for growth within the sector. The global digital shift has accelerated e-commerce for everything, ranging from remote working to entertainment and shopping, thereby bolstering strength in the sector. The rapid adoption of cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things, wearables, VR headsets, drones, virtual reality, machine learning, digital communication, blockchain and 5G technology will continue to fuel a rally.Further, the tech titans have strong balance sheets, durable revenue streams and robust profit margins, making them attractive investments. They are better positioned to withstand a possible economic downturn and have demonstrated improved cost discipline.Let’s take a closer look at the fundamentals of ARKK.ARKK in FocusARK Innovation ETF is an actively managed fund investing in companies that benefit from the development of products or services, technological improvements, and advancements in scientific research related to the areas of DNA Technologies and Genomic Revolution, Automation, Robotics, Energy Storage, Artificial Intelligence, Next Generation Internet and Fintech Innovation. In total, the fund holds 33 securities in its basket, with some concentration on the top firms (read: 5 Sector ETFs That Beat the Market in November).ARK Innovation ETF has gathered $8.3 billion in its asset base and charges 75 bps in fees per year from investors. It trades in an average daily volume of 16.6 million shares.Best-Performing Stocks of ARKKCoinbase is the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, trading some 50 different digital assets. The stock has soared 47.4% in a month and accounts for an 11.3% share in the ETF.Coinbase has an estimated earnings growth of 91.7% this year. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and a Momentum Score of B. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.CRISPR Therapeutics is a leading gene editing company focused on developing CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutics. The company is rapidly leveraging its CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing platform to make therapies for the treatment of hemoglobinopathies, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. The stock gained 44.5% in November and accounts for a 4.7% share in the ETF.CRISPR Therapeutics has an estimated earnings growth rate of 59.7% for this year. It presently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Momentum Score of A.Block, formerly known as Square, offers financial and marketing services through its comprehensive commerce ecosystem that helps sellers start, run and grow their businesses. The stock has gained 44.2% last month and accounts for a 6% share in the ETF.Block has an estimated earnings growth of 90% this year. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Momentum Score of B (read: Tech Turns Hot, ETFs Touch New 52-Week Highs).Twist Bioscience operates as a biotechnology company. It offers synthetic DNA-based products, including synthetic genes, tools for sample preparation, antibody libraries for drug discovery and development, and DNA as a digital data storage medium. It rallied 38.9% in November and makes up for 1.1% of TWST’s portfolio.Twist Bioscience has an estimated earnings growth rate of 16.02% for the fiscal year ending September 2024 and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) at present. It has a solid Momentum Score of A.Roku is the leading TV streaming platform provider in the United States based on hours streamed. The stock has gained 33.5% last month and accounted for 9.1% in the fund’s basket.Roku’s earnings are expected to decline 38.4% for this year. It currently has a Zacks Rank #3 and a solid Growth Score of B. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA): Free Stock Analysis Report Block, Inc. (SQ): Free Stock Analysis Report ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK): ETF Research Reports CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP): Free Stock Analysis Report Roku, Inc. (ROKU): Free Stock Analysis Report Twist Bioscience Corporation (TWST): Free Stock Analysis Report Coinbase Global, Inc. (COIN): Free Stock Analysis Report Meta Platforms, Inc. (META): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2023Related News

Exelixis (EXEL) Up 8.4% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

Exelixis (EXEL) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues. It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Exelixis (EXEL). Shares have added about 8.4% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Exelixis due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts. Exelixis Q3 Earnings and Sales Miss, Annual View UpdatedExelixis reported earnings of 10 cents per share in the third quarter of 2023, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 17 cents and down from 31 cents in the year-ago quarter.Including stock-based compensation expense, earnings per share were breakeven compared with 23 cents per share in the year-ago quarter due to a significant increase in R&D expenses.Net revenues came in at $471.9 million, marginally missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $476 million. Revenues were, however, up 14.6% year over year.   Quarter in DetailNet product revenues came in at $426.5 million, up 16.4% year over year. The increases in net product revenues were primarily due to a rise in sales volume and the average net selling price.Cabometyx (cabozantinib) generated revenues of $422.2 million and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and our model estimate of $416 million and $417.6 million, respectively. The drug is approved for advanced renal cell carcinoma (“RCC”) and previously treated hepatocellular carcinoma (“HCC”). Cometriq generated $4.3 million in net product revenues (cabozantinib capsules) for treating medullary thyroid cancer. Collaboration revenues, comprising license revenues and collaboration services revenues, were $45.4 million in the quarter compared with $45.3 million in the year-ago quarter.  In the reported quarter, research and development expenses were $332.6 million, up 67.2% year over year. The significant surge was primarily related to the $80 million up-front payment associated with the in-licensing of XL309, increases in license and other collaboration costs, personnel expenses and manufacturing costs to support development candidates. Selling, general and administrative expenses were $138.1 million, up 20% due to an increase in personnel expenses.In March, Exelixis announced that its board authorized the repurchase of up to $550 million of the company’s common stock before the end of 2023. Under this program, Exelixis repurchased 16.943 million shares of the company’s common stock for a total of $344.8 million as of Sep 30. Litigation UpdateIn July, Exelixis announced that it entered into a settlement and license agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals. This settlement resolves patent litigation brought by Exelixis in response to Teva’s abbreviated new drug application seeking approval to market a generic version of Cabometyx prior to the expiration of the applicable patents. Per the settlement terms, Exelixis will grant Teva a license to market its generic version of the drug in the United States beginning on Jan 1, 2031, upon the FDA’s approval.Consequently, both companies will terminate the ongoing litigation.Pipeline UpdatesIn August, Exelixis and partner Ipsen announced that the phase III CONTACT-02 pivotal trial met one of two primary endpoints, demonstrating a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (“PFS”) at the primary analysis. The study is evaluating cabozantinib in combination with atezolizumab compared with a second novel hormonal therapy (“NHT”) in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and measurable soft-tissue disease who have been previously treated with one NHT. At a prespecified interim analysis for the primary endpoint of overall survival (“OS”), a trend toward improvement of OS was observed, but the data was immature and did not meet the threshold for statistical significance.Therefore, the trial will continue to the next analysis of OS, as planned.Exelixis plans to discuss a potential regulatory submission when the results of the next OS analysis are available based on feedback from the FDA.Detailed results from the late-stage CABINET study evaluating cabozantinib in advanced pancreatic and extra-pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in PFS in those patients treated with cabozantinib. Earlier, The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology’s independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board unanimously recommended unblinding and stopping the trial early due to a dramatic improvement in efficacy observed at an interim analysis.In September, Exelixis received global rights to develop and commercialize XL309 from Insilico. The candidate is a potentially best-in-class small-molecule inhibitor of USP1, which has emerged as a synthetic lethal target in the context of BRCA-mutated tumors. Under the terms of the agreement, Insilico granted Exelixis an exclusive, worldwide license to develop and commercialize XL309 and other USP1-targeting compounds in exchange for an upfront payment of $80 million and potential future development and commercial milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties on net sales.2023 Guidance UpdatedRevenues are now projected between $1.825 billion and $1.850 billion compared with the previous estimate of $1.775-$1.875 billion.Product revenues are estimated in the range of $1.625-$1.650 billion compared with the earlier guidance of $1.575-1.675 billion.R&D expenses are now projected between $1.050 billion and $1.075 billion, up from the previous guidance of $1.0-$1.050 billion. How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in estimates review.The consensus estimate has shifted 51.64% due to these changes.VGM ScoresAt this time, Exelixis has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a C. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the top 40% for this investment strategy.Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.OutlookEstimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Exelixis has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.Performance of an Industry PlayerExelixis belongs to the Zacks Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry. Another stock from the same industry, Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (DCPH), has gained 7.4% over the past month. More than a month has passed since the company reported results for the quarter ended September 2023.Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reported revenues of $43.31 million in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +20.4%. EPS of -$0.58 for the same period compares with -$0.55 a year ago.Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is expected to post a loss of $0.59 per share for the current quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +1.7%. Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has changed +0.8%.Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) based on the overall direction and magnitude of estimate revisions. Additionally, the stock has a VGM Score of D. Zacks Names #1 Semiconductor Stock It's only 1/9,000th the size of NVIDIA which skyrocketed more than +800% since we recommended it. NVIDIA is still strong, but our new top chip stock has much more room to boom. With strong earnings growth and an expanding customer base, it's positioned to feed the rampant demand for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things. Global semiconductor manufacturing is projected to explode from $452 billion in 2021 to $803 billion by 2028.See This Stock Now for Free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL): Free Stock Analysis Report Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (DCPH): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2023Related News

Biden Shifting Away From "Bidenomics" Talk As Public Remains Skeptical On Economy

Biden Shifting Away From 'Bidenomics' Talk As Public Remains Skeptical On Economy Authored by Andrew Moran via The Epoch Times, A word once a badge of honor for President Joe Biden might have turned into a political liability. "Bidenomics," a term used to describe his economic doctrine, is being used less, and the press is beginning to take notice. In recent weeks, President Biden has refrained from uttering "Bidenomics." It has been absent in nearly all of his public appearances this month, from his prepared remarks in Colorado, where he touted the Inflation Reduction Act, to his speeches at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in California. The last time President Biden touted the term was in a Nov. 1 speech in Minnesota, where he mentioned it four times and compared it to the American Dream. "Folks, Bidenomics is just another way of saying 'the American Dream,'" President Biden said then. But it has not entirely disappeared. Instead, President Biden's re-election campaign has used the "Bidenomics" branding in subtler forms. During the Colorado event, there were signs with the label. The term is also inserted into the title of President Biden's events or speeches. His team has used it in social media messages. “In Colorado, [Biden] highlighted how Bidenomics is creating jobs and opportunities – unleashing over $7 billion in new investments across the state,” the White House wrote on X (previously Twitter) on Nov. 30. Mainstream media outlets, including NBC News, have noticed that the White House has removed the term when President Biden talks about the economy. A chorus of prominent Democrats and many of President Biden's allies and supporters have warned that the "Bidenomics" branding would backfire because many Americans are still financially struggling and might link their challenges with the economic message. "Whatever stories Americans are told about the strength of the economy under President Joe Biden, they are not going to be persuaded to look past the issue of their own living standards," liberal economist James Galbraith wrote last month. A plethora of polls have highlighted the same thing: A majority of U.S. voters do not like "Bidenomics." According to a new Gallup poll, 67 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Biden is handling the economy. A recent Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll found that just 44 percent of respondents approve of President Biden's handling of the economy. Just 14 percent of U.S. voters say they are better off financially now than when President Biden took office, a new Financial Times-University of Michigan monthly survey learned. "With less than a year to go until the presidential election, Biden continues to receive tepid ratings from the American public. His overall job approval rating is still at his personal low and is in historically dangerous territory for an incumbent seeking reelection," Gallup wrote in its summary of the latest polling data. "In addition, political independents’ record-low rating of Biden is striking. Biden’s even weaker ratings on the economy, foreign affairs and the Middle East suggest that his performance in these areas is dragging down his overall job performance rating." The White House insists that the U.S. economy is heading on the right track, alluding to various data points to support these claims. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters in North Carolina on Nov. 30 that "inflation has now come way down" and "now wage gains are really translating into more real income." Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks at an event on the Biden administration’s economic strategy toward the Indo-Pacific in Washington on Nov. 2, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times) "So my hope is that Americans gradually will see that things are getting better," Ms. Yellen said. The headline numbers have pointed to a robust economic landscape. In the third quarter, the GDP growth rate clocked in at a better-than-expected 5.2 percent, although government spending contributed 1.5 percent to the final print. Despite the Federal Reserve’s rising interest rates, the labor market remains solid, with an unemployment rate below 4 percent and millions of new jobs in 2023. However, the higher cost of living continues to affect voters’ perception of the economy. The headline inflation rate remains above 3 percent, down from the June 2022 peak of 9.1 percent. However, cumulative inflation since January 2021 has been more than 17 percent. Plus, there have been many other factors pointing to a struggling population. Real wage growth has tumbled approximately 3 percent since 2021. In addition, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real (inflation-adjusted) average hourly earnings rose by 0.2 percent in October, but "real average weekly earnings decreased 0.1 percent over the month due to the change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent decrease in the average workweek." A new analysis from the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee found that Americans require an additional $11,400 today to afford the same living standards they did in January 2021. Lending Club data found that 60 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Consumers might be tapped out, too. Credit card debt topped $1 trillion in the third quarter, the personal savings rate is below 4 percent, and pandemic-era savings have been exhausted. President Biden acknowledged that families are still enduring a rough environment. “We know that prices are still too high for too many things, that times are still too tough for too many families,” President Biden said on Nov 27. “But we’ve made progress.” [ZH: No... no you haven't... ...lower INFLATION does not mean lower PRICES...]   Tyler Durden Fri, 12/01/2023 - 11:35.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2023Related News

Recessionary Indicators Update: Soft Landing Or Worse?

Recessionary Indicators Update: Soft Landing Or Worse? Authored by Lance Roberts via, I previously discussed a slate of recessionary indicators with high correlations to recessionary onsets. However, as we head into 2024, many Wall Street economists predict a “soft landing” or “no recession” outcome for the economy. Are these recessionary indicators with near-flawless track records wrong this time? Will it be a soft landing in the economy or something worse? We must start our recessionary indicator review with the “Godfather” of them all – “Yield Curve Inversions.” Bonds are essential for their predictive qualities, so analysts pay enormous attention to U.S. government bonds, specifically the difference in their interest rates. As such, there is a high correlation between the yield curve’s slope and where the economy, stock, and bond markets generally head longer term. Such is because everything from volatile oil prices, trade tensions, political uncertainty, the dollar’s strength, credit risk, earnings strength, etc., reflects in the bond market and, ultimately, the yield curve. Regarding yield curve inversions, the media always assumes this time is different because a recession didn’t occur immediately upon the inversion. There are two problems with this way of thinking. The National Bureau Of Economic Research (NBER) is the official recession dating arbiter. They wait for data revisions by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) before announcing a recession’s official start. Therefore, the NBER is always 6-12 months late, dating the recession. It is not the inversion of the yield curve that denotes the recession. The inversion is the “warning sign,” whereas the un-inversion marks the start of the recession, which the NBER will recognize later. As discussed in “BTFD Or STFR,” if you wait for the official announcement by the NBER to confirm a recession, it will be too late. To wit: “Each of those dots is the peak of the market PRIOR to the onset of a recession. In 9 of 10 instances, the S&P 500 peaked and turned lower prior to the recognition of a recession.“ Here is the analysis in table form. It is worth noting that the market’s lead to the economic recession has shrunk markedly since 1980. As such, given the rally in the market this year, it is not surprising a recession has not been recognized as of yet. Which Yield Curve Matters Which yield curve matters mostly depends on whom you ask. DoubleLine Capital’s Jeffrey Gundlach watches the 2-year vs. 5-year spreads. Michael Darda, the chief economist at MKM Partners, says it’s the 10-year and the 1-year spread. Others say the 3-month and 10-year yields matter most. The most-watched is the 10-year versus the 2-year spread. While most mainstream economists focus on a specific yield curve, we track ten different economically important spreads from short-term consumption to long-term investments. Most yield spreads we monitor, shown below, are inverted, which is historically the best recessionary indicator. However, technically, the UN-inversion of the yield curve is the recessionary indicator. Notably, when numerous yield spreads turn negative, the media will discount the risk of a recession and suggest the yield curve is wrong this time. However, the bond market is already discounting weaker economic growth, earnings risk, elevated valuations, and a reversal of monetary support. As such, a recession followed when 50% or more of the tracked yield curves became inverted. Every time. (Read this for a complete history.) But it isn’t just the yield curve as a recessionary indicator that we are watching. Are Leading Indicators Wrong? We wrote “Economic Cycles Will Recover” in July after a significant drop in many leading economic indicators. To wit: “As with market cycles, the economy cycles as well. There is little argument that the current economic data is fragile, whether you look at the Leading Economic Index (LEI) or the Institute Of Supply Management (ISM) measures. As with the market cycle, long periods of slowing economic activity will eventually bottom and turn higher. The Economic Composite Index, comprised of 100 hard and soft economic data points, clearly shows the economic cycles. I have overlaid the composite index with the 6-month rate of change of the LEI index, which has a very high correlation to economic expansions and contractions.” As shown, the data has bottomed since July and has started to improve. Notably, these economic measures are at levels that previously marked the bottoms of economic contractions outside financial crises or economic shutdown events. As noted in July, the improvement in economic activity seen in Q3 and Q4 was expected. That improvement also supports the earnings cycle we have seen as of late. While there are reasons to remain suspect of an upturn in the current economic and market cycles, it is difficult to discount the historical evidence completely. Yes, the Federal Reserve has hiked rates aggressively, which weighs on economic activity by reducing personal consumption. However, the government continues to increase spending levels sharply, i.e., the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPs Act, which support economic activity. We see that same support to economic activity in the monetary supply (M2) as a percentage of the economy. While those monetary and fiscal supports are reversing following the “pandemic-related” spending spree, both are reversing. Eventually, the support provided by those massive infusions into the economy will fade. The hope is that the economy will return to normal functioning by then. The only issue is that we have no historical precedent to base those hopes on. Soft Landing Or Recession? The question of a “soft landing” or an outright “recession” is difficult to answer. It is certainly possible that all of the tell-tale signs of economic recession may be wrong this time. There is another possibility. Given the massive increase in activity due to a shuttered economy and massive fiscal stimulus, the reversion may take longer than expected. Both scenarios support the rising optimism of Wall Street economists in the near term. However, such also brings to mind Bob Farrell’s Rule #9: “When all experts agree something else tends to happen.” As noted previously, we would already be in a recession if we had entered this current period at previous growth rates below 4%. The difference is the contraction began from a peak in nominal GDP of nearly 12%. As noted above, a bounce in activity is not surprising after a significant contraction in the economic data. The question is whether that bounce is sustainable. Unfortunately, we won’t know the answer for quite some time. We know that Federal Reserve actions regarding hiking rates have about a 6-quarter lead over changes to economic growth. Given the last Fed rate hike was in Q2 of this year, such would suggest a further slowing in economic activity into the end of 2024. Investor Implications As noted above, the massive surge in monetary stimulus (as a percentage of GDP) remains highly elevated, which gives the illusion the economy is more robust than it likely is. As the lag effect of monetary tightening continues to weigh on consumption, the reversion to economic strength may surprise most economists. For investors, the implications of reversing monetary stimulus on prices are not bullish. As shown, the contraction in liquidity, measured by subtracting GDP from M2, correlates to changes in asset prices. Given that there is significantly more reversion in monetary stimulus to come, this suggests that lower asset prices will likely follow. However, the markets have recently been betting that a reversal of liquidity is coming. Given the inflationary implications of providing monetary accommodation, i.e., rate cuts and quantitative easing, it seems unlikely the Federal Reserve will act before the onset of a recession. If that assumption is correct, investors may set themselves up for disappointment. As we update our recessionary indicators, there is still no clear visibility regarding the certainty of a recession. Yes, this “time could be different.” The problem is that, historically, such has not been the case. Therefore, given this uncertainty, we must continue to weigh the possibility that Wall Street economists are correct in their more optimistic predictions. However, we must remain open to the probabilities that still lie with the indicators. No one knows what the future holds with any degree of certainty. Therefore, we must remain nimble in our investment approach and trade the market for what it is rather than what we wish it to be. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/01/2023 - 12:15.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2023Related News

Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) Q2 2024 Earnings Call Transcript

Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) Q2 2024 Earnings Call Transcript November 29, 2023 Patterson Companies, Inc. misses on earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.5 EPS, expectations were $0.59. Operator: Thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Patterson Companies, Inc. Second Quarter Fiscal 2024 Earnings Conference Call. I would now like to welcome John Wright, […] Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) Q2 2024 Earnings Call Transcript November 29, 2023 Patterson Companies, Inc. misses on earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.5 EPS, expectations were $0.59. Operator: Thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Patterson Companies, Inc. Second Quarter Fiscal 2024 Earnings Conference Call. I would now like to welcome John Wright, VP of Investor Relations, to begin the call. John, over to you. John Wright: Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone. And thank you for participating in Patterson Companies fiscal 2024 second quarter conference call. Joining me today are Patterson President and Chief Executive Officer, Don Zurbay; and Patterson Chief Financial Officer, Kevin Barry. After a review of our results and outlook by management, we will open the line to your questions. Before we begin, let me remind you that certain comments made during this conference call are forward-looking in nature and subject to certain risks and uncertainties. These factors, which could cause actual results to materially differ from those indicated in such forward-looking statements, are discussed in detail in our Form 10-K and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We encourage you to review this material. In addition, comments about the markets we serve, including growth rates and market shares, are based upon the company’s internal analysis and estimates. The content of this conference call contains time sensitive information that is accurate only as of the date of the live broadcast, November 29, 2023. Patterson undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this call. Also, a financial slide presentation can be found in the Investor Relations section of our Web site at Please note that in this morning’s conference call, we will reference our adjusted results for the second quarter of fiscal 2024. The reconciliation tables in our press release are provided to adjust various reported GAAP measures for the impact of deal amortization and an interest rate swap along with any related tax effect of these items. We will also discuss free cash flow as defined in our earnings release, which is a non-GAAP measure and use the term internal sales to represent net sales adjusted to exclude the impact of foreign currency, contributions from recent acquisitions and the net impact of an interest rate swap. These non-GAAP measures are not intended to be a substitute for our GAAP results. This call is being recorded and will be available for replay starting today at 10:00 a.m. Central Time for a period of one week. Now I’d like to hand the call over to Don Zurbay. Don Zurbay: Thanks, John, and welcome, everyone, to Patterson’s Fiscal 2024 second quarter conference call. I will begin my remarks today with highlights of our consolidated results before providing more details on the performance of each of our segments. Our team executed well against the evolving backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty and other industry factors that had varied impacts on discrete categories within our Dental and Animal Health segments. I’ll start with key highlights and strong performance in the quarter. In the Dental segment, Patterson’s broad and resilient consumables portfolio enabled us to deliver sales growth above market growth amidst steady patient demand. And our core equipment category delivered solid year-over-year growth despite a tough comparison to last year’s strong second quarter performance. In Animal Health, our market leading production animal business achieved strong sales growth primarily due to the leading omnichannel presence that Patterson has built to best serve producers. And in both of our business segments, our value added services categories, including our software offerings, achieved significant growth that outpaced overall sales and sales within the Dental and Animal Health segments. Offsetting these results, we experienced softer than expected demand in two areas of our business. Macroeconomic conditions impacted our performance in the high tech dental equipment categories, and our companion animal business was impacted by a decline in vet clinic visits and spending. Ultimately, we delivered second quarter adjusted EPS of $0.50. We also returned $86 million in capital to shareholders through our dividend and share repurchases. Looking forward, we believe that macroeconomic and industry challenges are likely to persist for the duration of our fiscal year. We, therefore, have adjusted our fiscal 2024 guidance to reflect our revised expectations for the year. We now expect to deliver adjusted earnings in the range of $2.35 to $2.45 per diluted share, a decline of 4% at the midpoint of our previous range. We remain focused on executing against our proven strategy, which, as a reminder, is designed to achieve four core objectives; first, drive revenue growth above the current end market growth rates; second, build upon the progress we’ve made to enhance our margin performance; third, evolve our products, channels and services to best serve the customers in our end markets; and fourth, improve efficiency and optimization. Despite a more challenging macroeconomic environment during the second quarter, we continued investing across our business in service of our long term strategic objectives. This includes investments in our distribution capabilities, software offerings and value added services to further differentiate Patterson as a partner of choice for our customers. We are focused on managing Patterson for the long term because we are confident in the strength and resilience of our end markets and in Patterson’s ability to perform for our customers and our shareholders. I’d like to touch on some of the targeted investments we made during the second quarter that we expect will drive our efficiency and optimization over the long term. First, we recently completed the expansion of a distribution facility dedicated to our Dental business in Canada. We believe the expanded facility in Montreal will enhance our ability to serve customers on the east side of the country and add state of the art features that will drive efficiencies. Second, we successfully completed the implementation of our ERP system in Canada. This is an important milestone in our ERP rollout, connecting our US and Canada operations to provide greater visibility across our North American operations to drive meaningful efficiencies. And finally, Patterson also continued to invest behind our robust suite of software solutions in both our Dental and Animal Health segments. As we’ve discussed previously, we believe the opportunity for growth within software is meaningful. And we’re investing to build upon our strong foundation, add to our capabilities and address evolving customer preferences. In our fiscal 2024 second quarter, we added technical personnel and other resources to our Dental software team and are pleased with the progress we have made toward an even stronger offering and customer experience. We’re building a track record and driving returns from our strategic investments, and we expect that performance to continue. For example, last year, Patterson completed acquisitions of Dairy Tech and RSVP and ACT. Today, those businesses are performing even better than our expectations. The Dairy Tech owned brand is a positive margin contributor in our production animal business and the RSVP platform for veterinarian staffing is solving today’s most critical challenge for our animal health customers. And to meet that demand, we continue to expand RSVP to serve more of Patterson’s customers. As we move through the second half of fiscal ’24, we plan to continue to balance our investment strategy with cost discipline to calibrate our expenses appropriately within the macroeconomic environment. I am proud of the Patterson team and the way we are navigating a dynamic macroeconomic environment to deliver value for our customers and our shareholders. We continue to believe that the strength of our team, the resiliency of the Dental and Animal Health end markets and our comprehensive value proposition make Patterson well positioned to drive enhanced growth, profitability and value creation over the long term. Now I’ll provide more detail on the performance of each of our two business segments during the fiscal second quarter. Let’s start with Dental. In the second quarter, Dental segment internal sales declined 0.2% year-over-year. As I mentioned, our consumables category performed very well in the quarter with 3% internal sales growth, including the negative deflationary impact of certain infection control product prices. Excluding those infection control products, we saw a nearly 5% sales growth. We attribute this strong performance to a few key factors; first, steady patient traffic for standard dentistry; second, our long-term consistent commitment to strengthening our relationships with our customers; third, our broad and resilient Dental consumables portfolio, including an expansive suite of private label products, which targets our customer base; and finally, the strong execution by our team. Taken together, these factors enabled Patterson to perform well in the consumables category and insulated us from macroeconomic headwinds that caused some patients to postpone specialty procedures. On the Dental equipment side, internal sales declined 6% year-over-year. Patterson achieved continued growth in core equipment during the quarter, even on top of last year’s strong growth. However, this growth was more than offset by declining sales of high tech equipment during the quarter. Our digital and CAD/CAM businesses faced industry headwinds from the broader economic environment as well as lengthening upgrade cycles and continued pricing pressure. Moving forward, we are encouraged by the fact that our manufacturing partners have indicated long term plans to invest and innovate in these important product categories. This is a testament to the continued long term demand for these types of products. And when there’s new innovation, Patterson has a leading capability to sell, finance, install and service all Dental equipment. And finally, Dental internal sales in our value added services category increased approximately 3% over the prior year period. Value added services represent the entire suite of offerings we provide to our customers that enhance the customer experience, drive loyalty and help make Patterson an indispensable partner to their practice. Dental value added services continued to grow at a pace exceeding the rate of the Dental segment sales overall and remain a key strategic focus and significant growth opportunity for Patterson. We are dedicated to continuously deepening Patterson’s Dental value position and positioning ourselves for continued success in a healthy and attractive market that is supported by enduring trends, including an aging population, a drive towards practice modernization and heightened awareness of the link between oral health and overall health. We remain confident in our team’s ability to effectively navigate ongoing macroeconomic and industry challenges and achieve our long term goals. Now let’s move on to our Animal Health segment. During the second quarter, Patterson’s Animal Health segment internal sales increased 0.2% year-over-year. Even in environment of modest growth, we’re seeing evidence that Patterson’s deep and broad value proposition across species and multiple channels continues to be a driver of our success. In companion animal, our internal sales declined by low single digits as veterinary clinic business decreased and spending moderated. As I mentioned, we attribute this decrease to moderation in the companion animal industry [hastened] by a tough economic climate for consumers navigating inflation and other challenges. However, it’s important to put this quarter into broader context of the long term health of this end market. As we look ahead, we expect this market as a whole to grow in the low single digits over the long term, supported by positive long term trends in pet parenting. On the production animal side, second quarter internal sales grew by mid single digits. A strong performance in production reaffirms the strength of our omnichannel presence, highly tailored distribution strategy and comprehensive offering across animal species. Those strategies executed by our talented and tenured team enabled us to continue to win new business and outperform the broader production animal market. Secondarily, our performance also benefited because of the more historical timing of the annual fall run and movement of cattle to feed yards. Across the Animal Health segment, our value added services category grew rapidly due to increased demand for our software solutions and equipment services, as well as new programs to drive revenue and operational efficiency in freight. We’re also confident that the opportunity for continued growth within software remains significant, and we continue to invest in existing solutions to better leverage our strong foundation, add to our capabilities and address evolving customer preferences. Now I’ll turn the call over to Kevin Barry to provide more detail on our financial results. Kevin Barry: Thank you, Don, and good morning, everyone. In my prepared remarks this morning, I will cover the financial results for our second quarter of fiscal ’24, which ended on October 28, 2023 and then conclude with our outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year. So let’s begin by covering the results for our second quarter of fiscal ’24. Consolidated reported sales for Patterson Companies in our fiscal ’24 second quarter were $1.65 billion, an increase of 1.6% over the second quarter of one year ago. Internal sales, which are adjusted for the effects of currency translation, contributions from recent acquisitions and the net impact of an interest rate swap increased 1% compared to the same period last year. Gross margin for the second quarter of fiscal ’24 was 20.5%, an increase of 30 basis points compared to the prior year period. Beginning with our fiscal ’24 second quarter, we have also provided adjusted gross margin, which is a non-GAAP financial measure that adjusts gross margin for the impact of the mark to market accounting related to our equipment financing portfolio and the associated interest rate swap hedging instruments. We will provide this additional non-GAAP financial measure going forward as it adjusts for the impact of interest rate fluctuations net of the mark to market swap adjustment within the P&L. In particular, this adjustment classifies the gain or loss on the interest rate swap from other income expense to net sales to align the swap impact with the impact on customer financing net sales. Remember, the accounting impact of the mark to market adjustment impacts our total company gross margin but not the gross margin within our business segment. And as before, the net impact of interest rate fluctuations between the swap and the equipment financing portfolio has a minimal impact on net income. For the second quarter of fiscal ’24, our adjusted gross margin was 20.6% compared to 20.8% in the year ago period. We provided these comparative numbers for the second quarter and on a year-to-date basis, and we have included reconciliations for the first quarter in today’s press release. Importantly, during the second quarter of fiscal ’24, both of our business units posted a year-over-year increase to their respective gross margins compared to the prior year period. The initiatives we have put in place to improve gross margin, working more closely with strategic vendors who reward us for our sales performance, drive improved mix, exercise expense discipline and leverage our cost structure, have translated into improved gross margins for both of our business units. Adjusted operating expenses as a percentage of net sales for the second quarter of fiscal ’24 were 16.5% and unfavorable by 70 basis points compared to the second quarter of fiscal ’23. In the second quarter of fiscal ’24, our consolidated adjusted operating margin was 4.2%, a decrease of 80 basis points compared to the second quarter of last year. Note that our adjusted operating margin now includes the impact of the interest rate swap adjustment mentioned previously. In the second half of fiscal ’24, we plan to continue to effectively manage our expenses, while executing on the margin initiatives that have been yielding results within our business segments and for the company overall. Our adjusted tax rate for the second quarter of fiscal ’24 was 25.1%, an increase of 90 basis points compared to the prior year period. Reported net income attributable to Patterson Companies, Inc. for the second quarter of fiscal ’24 was $40 million or $0.42 per diluted share. This compares to reported net income in the second quarter of last year of $54.1 million or $0.55 per diluted share. Adjusted net income attributable to Patterson Companies, Inc. in the second quarter of fiscal ’24 was $47.3 million or $0.50 per diluted share. This compares to $61.2 million or $0.63 per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal ’23. This decrease in adjusted earnings per diluted share for the fiscal second quarter was primarily due to lower sales of Dental high technology equipment and increased operating expenses compared to the prior year period. Now let’s turn to our business segments, starting with the Dental business. In the second quarter of fiscal ’24, internal sales for our Dental business decreased 0.2% compared to the second quarter of fiscal ’23. Internal sales of Dental consumables in the fiscal second quarter increased 2.9% compared to one year ago despite being impacted by continued price deflation of certain infection control products. Internal sales of non-infection control products increased 4.7% in the second quarter of fiscal ’24 compared to the year ago period. This negative impact from infection control product deflation has steadily moderated over the past year and we expect the year-over-year deflationary effect to continue moderating and fully normalize at the end of fiscal year ’24. In the second quarter of fiscal ’24, internal sales of Dental equipment decreased 6.3% compared to one year ago. This quarter, core equipment posted positive growth that was more than offset by a decline in the digital X-ray and CAD/CAM product category as compared to the prior year period. We believe the year-over-year decline in these two categories was the result of macroeconomic concerns on some equipment purchasing decisions as well as selling price declines within the imaging categories. Internal sales of value added services in the second quarter of fiscal ’24 increased 3.1% over the prior year period led by the continued growth of our software business and increased year-over-year contribution from our technical service team. Value added services, including our software offerings, represent the entire suite of offerings we provide to our customers that help make us an indispensable partner to their practice and these valuable offerings are also mix favorable to our P&L. The adjusted operating margin in Dental was 9.4% in the second quarter of fiscal ’24, which represents an 80 basis point decrease over the prior year period. While gross margins in the Dental business for the second quarter of fiscal ’24 improved year-over-year, increased operating expenses related to our SAP implementation and warehouse expansion in Canada along with investments in our software and technical service business drove the unfavorability in adjusted operating margin on a year-over-year basis. Now let’s move to our Animal Health segment. In the second quarter of fiscal ’24, internal sales for our Animal Health business increased 0.2% compared to the second quarter of fiscal ’23. Internal sales for our companion animal business in the second quarter of fiscal ’24 decreased 3.6% over the prior year period. Strong sales performance from our NVS business in the UK was more than offset by declines in the US companion animal business. Internal sales for our production animal business in the fiscal second quarter increased 4.1% in the quarter compared to the prior year period. Our production animal team continues to execute well in the market and our omnichannel approach across several species continues to pay off with sales growth above the overall market. The adjusted operating margin in our Animal Health segment was 3.6% in the fiscal ’24 second quarter, a decrease of 20 basis points from the prior year period. Gross margins in our Animal Health segment were up in the fiscal ’24 second quarter and an increase in operating expenses on a year-over-year basis drove the operating margin decrease compared to the second quarter of fiscal ’23. Now let me cover cash flow and balance sheet items. During the first six months of fiscal ’24, our free cash flow improved by $28.0 million compared to the same period one year ago. This was primarily due to a decreased level of working capital in the first sixmonths of fiscal ’24 compared to the year ago period. Turning now to capital allocation. Our capital spending in the first 6 months of fiscal ’24 was $33.5 million and $6.7 million higher than the first six months of fiscal ’23. This increased spending reflects the investments we are making in our distribution capabilities as well as software and value added services. We continue to execute on our strategy to return cash to our shareholders. In the first quarter of fiscal ’24, we declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.26 per diluted share, which was then paid at the beginning of the second quarter of fiscal ’24. We also repurchased approximately $61 million of shares during the second quarter of fiscal ’24, thereby returning a total of $85.9 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. Let me conclude with our outlook for the remainder of fiscal ’24. Today, we are revising our fiscal ’24 GAAP earnings guidance to a range of $2.04 to $2.14 per diluted share and our adjusted earnings guidance range to $2.35 to $2.45 per diluted share. We have made these revisions to our GAAP and adjusted earnings per share guidance to account for the macroeconomic environment and uncertainty that we believe will persist for the remainder of our fiscal ’24 year. Now I will turn the call back over to Don for some additional comments. Don Zurbay: Thanks, Kevin. Before we open it up for Q&A, I want to thank the entire Patterson team for their continued hard work and commitment to our strategy serving our customers. Looking forward, the macroeconomic challenges we experienced during the second quarter do not change our strategic objectives or confidence in the health and attractiveness of our end markets. We continue to believe that Patterson is well positioned to drive enhanced growth, profitability and value creation as we execute our strategy over the long term. That concludes our prepared remarks. Kevin and I will be glad to take questions. Operator, please open the line. Operator: [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from the line of Brandon Vazquez with William Blair. See also 25 States With Highest Tourism Revenue in the US and 12 Best Quality Stocks To Buy Now. Q&A Session Follow Patterson Companies Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) Follow Patterson Companies Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Brandon Vazquez: Maybe just to start, there’s a lot of moving pieces on the macro side, kind of hard for us to see through it all, but you guys have a good exposure in both Dental and Animal Health. So maybe as you look at your updated guidance, can you talk a little bit about what is assumed in kind of the end markets for both of those segments for the rest of the year? Don Zurbay: So I think if you kind of break things down a little bit, our consumables business on the Dental side, as you could see, we had another strong quarter. So we expect that trend to continue. On the equipment side, that’s kind of where we’re talking about the guidance revision is really the equipment, specifically the high tech equipment. We’re expecting that market to be somewhat soft as we go through the rest of our fiscal year or the second half. And then on the Animal Health side, another really strong performance in our production business, and there’s a lot of good reasons for that, that are sustainable. So that business, we’d expect to benefit from that. And then on the companion side, we saw a little bit of a slowdown in visits and spend. Again, we think that’s a bit of an enduring dynamic as we go through the rest of the year. Think if you kind of peel back from that, we’re talking about and putting into place some cost actions to help ourselves in the back half of the year. And some of the disruption in the industry that everyone’s been focused on will get us some benefit as well. So when you kind of put all that in the hopper that got us back to a $0.10 reduction in the guidance as we move through the back half. Brandon Vazquez: And then maybe as a follow-up, kind of staying on equipment is first just clarifying, it sounds like in the past, we’ve talked about equipment a lot being lumpy. You might have a down quarter, then up double digits quarter, but this seems like it’s different, this might be a little bit more sustained decline through the rest of the year. So just clarifying that. And then any — you guys have a unique view on financing a lot of this equipment. Any notable kind of read throughs that you would make to the financing of the equipment business or delinquencies changing? Is it just higher interest rates are making people less willing to finance? Anything you could call out there? Don Zurbay: And maybe I’ll take the first question and kick it over to Kevin for the next. I think the dynamics in the equipment business for us, it was a little bit different. It’s lumpy, as you know, and we’ve said that repeatedly, hard to really take trends from one month, even three months. I think in this case, it was particularly interesting because a lot of the slowdown really happened right at the end of the quarter, which is what we would talk about in terms of the miss for the quarter on our expectations was really driven late in the quarter, which is, as you can imagine, harder to mitigate. But if you take the longer view on the year, that’s where we think, okay, this is the dynamic we saw. We’re going to be obviously monitoring that as we go through Q3 to see how much of that was really just timing versus slowdown and then with some cost actions and then that sort of thing, we’re going to — the plan is to help mitigate that. And then maybe I’ll let Kevin answer the question on the financing. Kevin Barry: So like Don said, within the quarter here, we did see growth in our core equipment. And the declines that offset it were really in the 2D and 3D imaging and CAD/CAM spaces, and those are pressured. We saw some unit demand pressure as well as continuing price pressure in the market, some downward ASP pressure that hit that. And from a financing standpoint, you’re right, we do in-house financing and it really is mostly directed towards those categories. So that’s most of the stuff that we finance. And we’re working internally and we’ve obviously raised our interest rates as the overall external market’s gone up. But we’re looking internally and working with our manufacturers on promotional strategies to keep driving demand in those categories as we go through the year, and financing is certainly a lever that we’d be looking at. Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Jon Block with Stifel. Jon Block: Don, just for the guidance, you missed the quarter by roughly $0.08 relative to consensus. So you lowered by $0.10 for the full year. So the back part is sort of unchanged and I know that can be a little bit difficult to tease out because you guys don’t guide specifically by quarter. You’re saying you expect the macro to remain challenging. I guess where I’m going with this is it would seem that the full year would come down by more because, again, the quarter miss was almost a full $0.10. So maybe you could just talk to that, like what do you — what are you building in with anything as a buffer? And maybe what I’m trying to get at, are there any tailwinds from Henry Schein share gains in there that would be offsetting, call it, a weaker core as we work our way throughout fiscal ’24?.....»»

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Okta, Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA) Q3 2024 Earnings Call Transcript

Okta, Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA) Q3 2024 Earnings Call Transcript November 29, 2023 Okta, Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.44, expectations were $0.3. Operator: Hi, everybody. Welcome to Okta’s Third Quarter of Fiscal Year 2024 Earnings Webcast. I’m Dave Gennarelli, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations at Okta. With me in today’s meeting we have […] Okta, Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA) Q3 2024 Earnings Call Transcript November 29, 2023 Okta, Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.44, expectations were $0.3. Operator: Hi, everybody. Welcome to Okta’s Third Quarter of Fiscal Year 2024 Earnings Webcast. I’m Dave Gennarelli, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations at Okta. With me in today’s meeting we have Todd McKinnon, our Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, and Brett Tighe, our Chief Financial Officer. Today’s meeting will include forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to statements regarding our financial outlook and market positioning. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements represent our management’s beliefs and assumptions only as of the date made. Information on factors that could affect our financial results is included in our filings with the SEC from time to time, including the section titled Risk Factors in our previously filed Form 10-Q. In addition, during today’s meeting, we will discuss non-GAAP financial measures. Though we may not state it explicitly during the meeting, all references to profitability are non-GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures are in addition to and not a substitute for or superior to measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures and the discussion of the limitations of using non-GAAP measures versus their closest GAAP equivalents is available in our earnings release. You can also find more detailed information in our supplemental financial materials, which include trended financial statements and key metrics posted on our Investor Relations website. In today’s meeting, we will quote a number of numeric or growth changes, as well as discuss our financial performance. And unless otherwise noted, each such reference represents a year-over-year comparison. Now, I’ll turn the meeting over to Todd McKinnon. Todd? Todd McKinnon: Thanks, Dave, and thank you, everyone, for joining us this afternoon. We want to kick off this call by addressing what’s top of mind for everyone, so we’re trying a new format this quarter. In light of the new security blog we posted this morning, we felt it was important to get the earnings release and guidance out before the market opened as well. At around the same time that the earnings press release hit the wire, we posted prepared remarks to the IR website, which contains some of my typical commentary around customer wins and other notable news from the quarter. This new format allows me to spend more time discussing the new information while also leaving more time for Q&A. I want to start by summarizing the update we shared in a blog post this morning related to the October security incident involving our support case management system. Upon deeper analysis of the event, we determined that the threat actor obtained the contact information of our support portal users across a significant portion of our customers, including the names and email addresses of all Okta admins, except customers in our FedRAMP High and DoD IL4 environments. While this information cannot be used to directly access an Okta environment and does not include user credentials or sensitive personal data, a threat actor may use the information for targeted phishing attempts. With this more detailed information, we felt strongly that sharing this information will help our customers better protect themselves against an increased risk of phishing and social engineering attacks. We have engaged a digital forensics firm to validate our findings and currently expect that they will complete their analysis in mid-December. See also 12 Best Mineral Stocks To Buy Now and 12 Best Seasonal Stocks To Buy Now. Q&A Session Follow Okta Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA) Follow Okta Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Once finalized, we will share the report with customers and publicly. Now, let me address what Okta is doing to better protect ourselves from security threats. Over the years, we have dedicated significant resources towards securing our product environment. Given recent events, we recognize that we need to do more to improve the security architecture of our broader operations. That includes the applications we use, the hardware we deploy, and the vendors we work with. Over the past few weeks, we have taken several steps to further strengthen our security posture. We’ve initiated a hyper-focused security action plan by rallying the entire organization, as well as engaging with third-party security firms to fortify our team’s efforts. The stakes are high, and we will do whatever it takes to protect our current and future customers. Bolstering our security environment is, by far, the highest priority for Okta. The job of securing the Okta ecosystem will never be done, but during this hyper-focused phase, no other project or even product development area is more important. In fact, the launch dates for the new products and features that we highlighted at Oktane last month will be pushed out approximately 90 days. The exception being Okta Privileged Access, which becomes generally available this week. Now, turning to our Q3 results. Top-line metrics were strong. We continue to experience particular strength with large customers. Similar to the past few quarters, our fastest growing cohort was customers with $1 million-plus ACV with growth of over 40%. It was also a strong quarter for new and upsells across our public sector vertical. We also produced record non-GAAP operating profit and record free cash flow in the quarter as we continue to demonstrate the leverage in our model. In other news, we’re thrilled that Jon Addison, who has been our Interim CRO since the start of this fiscal year, has been appointed to the permanent position. With Jon’s appointment as CRO and our continued confidence in the go-to-market leadership team, we have closed the search for a President of Worldwide Field Operations. Okta is driven by our vision to free everyone to safely use any technology. The measures we’re taking to increase the security of Okta and our ecosystem gives us confidence in our ability to move forward. We will come out of this even stronger because Okta is the only modern platform for neutral and independent identity access management, governance, and now privilege access. Before turning it over to Brett, I want to thank our employees for their tireless efforts. I want to thank our customers and partners who put their trust in Okta every day. I also thank everyone who supported us at Oktane last month where we had over 4,000 people at the live event in San Francisco and over 19,000 viewing online. Now, I’ll turn it to Brett to walk you through more details of our financial results and forward outlook. Brett Tighe: Thanks, Todd, and thank you everyone for joining us today. The actions we’ve taken over the past few quarters to drive efficiencies in our cost structure continue to yield impressive results. I’ll review our third quarter results and our outlook, but first I’ll start with some commentary on the macro environment. Macro headwinds, while stabilized, continue to impact our business. Metrics that we use to gauge the macro environment, such as contract duration, average deal size, and pipeline mix, were largely consistent with what we experienced in the first half of the year. Separately, we published the advisory regarding the recent security incident on October 20th, which was 11 days ago in the quarter. While business at the close of the quarter slowed somewhat, our overall financial performance in Q3 was strong. Turning to Q3 results. Total revenue growth for the third quarter was 21%, driven by a 22% increase in subscription revenue. Subscription revenue represented 97% of our total revenue. International revenue grew 20% and represented 21% of our total revenue. FX had a minor impact on total revenue growth, but was a 2-point headwind to international revenue growth. RPO or subscription backlog grew 8%. The general shortening of contract term lengths signed over the past several quarters has impacted total RPO growth. Our overall average term length remains just over two-and-a-half years. Current RPO, which represents subscription backlog we expect to recognize as revenue over the next 12 months, grew 16% to $1.83 billion. Turning to retention. Consistent with prior quarters, gross retention rates remained strong in the mid-90% range. Our dollar-based net retention rate for the trailing 12-month period remained strong at 115% and was driven by both upsell and cross-sell activities. Similar to the past few quarters, macro-related pressure resulted in smaller seed expansions than in previous years. We believe this trend will persist in the current environment. The net retention rate may fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter as the mix of new business, renewals and upsells fluctuates. As I’ve noted previously, we’ve experienced a macro-related shift in our business mix to more upsell and cross-sell versus new business. Before turning to expense items and profitability, I’ll point out that I’ll be discussing non-GAAP results unless otherwise noted. Looking at operating expenses......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyDec 1st, 2023Related News