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Jim Jordan Subpoenas Garland, Wray Over School Board Memo Used Against "Domestic Terrorist" Parents

Jim Jordan Subpoenas Garland, Wray Over School Board Memo Used Against 'Domestic Terrorist' Parents House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) has fired off his first subpoenas of the new Congressional session. The recipients include Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, in order to get to the bottom of a controversial memo which the DOJ used to justify activating the FBI Counterterrorism Division to investigate parents voicing their opposition to a variety of topics - primarily mask and vaccine mandates, and teaching critical race theory. The Garland memo On October 4 of 2021, AG Merrick Garland issued a memorandum announcing a concentrated effort to target any threats of violence, intimidation, and harassment by parents toward school personnel. The announcement came came days after the national association of school boards asked the Biden administration to take “extraordinary measures” to prevent alleged threats against school staff that the association said was coming from parents who oppose mask mandates and the teaching of critical race theory. In late October, however, it was revealed that Garland based the memo on unsupported claims made by the National School Boards Association, which apologized for inflammatory language. Garland maintains that the letter had no bearing on the DOJ's stance. The subpoenas ask for all communications between the recipients and the National School Boards Association. Jordan, who has repeatedly claimed that the memo was used to justify labeling concerned parents as domestic terrorists, told NBC's "Meet The Press" recently that "the chilling impact on the First Amendment free speech is what we care about." "School board writes a letter on Sept. 29th. Five days later, the Attorney General of the United States issues a memorandum to 101 U.S. attorneys offices around the country saying, ‘Set up this line that they can report on.’ … When have you ever seen the federal government move that fast?" he asked. Democrats, meanwhile, have accused Jordan of peddling conspiracy theories. "The conspiracy theories underpinning today’s subpoenas have been debunked with facts time and time again, but Republicans do not want to be bothered by this inconvenient truth. There is no amount of documents that will satisfy the MAGA obsession with conspiracies," according to Del. Stacey Plaskett (VI), the top Democrat on the Judiciary subcommittee tasked with examining the "weaponization" of the federal government. A 'protected disclosure': In mid-November, 2021, House Judiciary Committee Republicans sent a letter to Garland after an FBI whistleblower came forward with "a protected disclosure" - claiming that "the FBI's Counterterrorism Division had been compiling and categorizing threat assessments related to parents, including a document directing FBI personnel to use a specific "threat tag" to track potential investigations." "This disclosure provides specific evidence that federal law enforcement operationalized counterterrorism tools at the behest of a left-wing special interest group against concerned parents," the letter continues. This is the smoking gun. Attorney General Garland provided zero evidence that parents are engaging in credible threats or acts of violence. And yet, he mobilized the FBI Counterterrorism Division to use counterterrorism tools for investigating, tracking, and tagging parents. pic.twitter.com/PHpVIqvlBw — Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) November 16, 2021 According to a public statement by Grassley regarding the one-page letter:  "The Department of Justice owes the American people a better answer than just a one-page letter that says nothing about why the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division is involved in local school-board matters. Now more than ever, parents should be their kids’ strongest and best advocates. They have the God-given right to do so. And the Justice Department ought to be doing everything it can to protect that right, not scare them out of exercising that right. Attorney General Garland should withdraw his memo. And he should take Congress’s oversight, and concern for the rights of parents, more seriously."   Tyler Durden Fri, 02/03/2023 - 20:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt1 hr. 33 min. ago Related News

Memphis Police Department fires 6th officer involved in Tyre Nichols beating death

Five Memphis officers have already been fired and charged with second-degree murder in Nichols' death. People protest in Memphis following the release of video showing the deadly encounter between police and Tyre NicholsShameka Wilson for Insider The Memphis Police Department fired a sixth officer involved in Tyre Nichols' death. Preston Hemphill, who had previously been suspended, was fired on Friday, according to officials. Hemphill can be heard on video of the traffic stop saying he hoped his fellow officers "stomp his ass." A sixth Memphis officer was fired Friday after an internal police investigation showed he violated multiple department policies in the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols, including rules surrounding the deployment of a stun gun, officials said.Preston Hemphill had previously been suspended as he was investigated for his role in the Jan. 7 arrest of Nichols, who died three days later. Five Memphis officers have already been fired and charged with second-degree murder in Nichols' death.Hemphill was the third officer at a traffic stop that preceded the violent arrest but was not where Nichols was beaten.—Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) February 3, 2023 On body camera footage from the initial stop, Hemphill is heard saying that he stunned Nichols and declaring, "I hope they stomp his ass."Also Friday, a Tennessee board suspended the emergency medical technician licenses of two former Memphis Fire Department employees for failing to render critical care.The suspensions of EMT Robert Long and advanced EMT JaMichael Sandridge build on efforts by authorities to hold officers and other first responders accountable for the violence against Nichols, who was Black. Six Black officers have been fired and charged with second-degree murder and other charges. One other officer has been suspended. The Justice Department has opened a civil rights probe into the attack that was captured on video.Three fire department employees were fired after Nichols died. Former fire department Lt. Michelle Whitaker was the third employee let go, but her license was not considered for suspension Friday. The department has said she remained in the engine with the driver during the response to Nichols' beating Jan. 7. He died Jan. 10.Emergency Medical Services Board member Jeff Beaman said during Friday's emergency meeting that there may have been other licensed personnel on scene — including a supervisor — who could have prevented the situation that led to the death of Nichols. Beaman said he hopes the board addresses those in the future.Matt Gibbs, an attorney for the state Department of Health, said the two suspensions were "not final disposition of this entire matter."Board members watched 19 minutes of surveillance video that showed Long and Sandridge as they failed to care for Nichols, who couldn't stay seated upright against the side of the vehicle, laying prone on the ground multiple times. They also considered an affidavit by the Memphis Fire Department's EMS deputy chief."The (state) Department (of Health) alleges that neither Mr. Sandridge nor Mr. Long engaged in emergency care and treatment to patient T.N., who was clearly in distress during the 19 minute period," Gibbs said.Board member Sullivan Smith said it was "obvious to even a lay person" that Nichols "was in terrible distress and needed help.""And they failed to provide that help," Smith said. "They were his best shot, and they failed to help."Fire Chief Gina Sweat has said the department received a call from police after someone was pepper-sprayed. When the workers arrived at 8:41 p.m., Nichols was handcuffed on the ground and slumped against a squad car, the statement said.Long and Sandridge, based on the nature of the call and information they were told by police, "failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols," the statement said.There was no immediate response to a voicemail seeking comment left at a number listed for Long. A person who answered a phone call to a number listed for Sandridge declined to comment on the board's decision.An ambulance was called, and it arrived at 8:55 p.m., the statement said. An emergency unit cared for Nichols and left for a hospital with him at 9:08 p.m., which was 27 minutes after Long, Sandridge and Whitaker arrived, officials said.An investigation determined that all three violated multiple policies and protocols, the statement said, adding that "their actions or inactions on the scene that night do not meet the expectations of the Memphis Fire Department."Nichols was beaten after police stopped him for what they said was a traffic violation. Video released after pressure from Nichols' family shows officers holding him down and repeatedly punching, kicking and striking him with a baton as he screamed for his mother.Six of the officers involved were part of the so-called Scorpion unit, which targeted violent criminals in high-crime areas. Police Chief Cerelyn "CJ" Davis said after the video's release that the unit has been disbanded.The killing led to renewed public discussion of how police forces can treat Black citizens with excessive violence, regardless of the race of both the police officers and those being policed.At Nichols' funeral on Wednesday, calls for reform and justice were interwoven with grief over the loss of a man remembered as a son, a sibling, a father and a passionate photographer and skateboarder.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider2 hr. 1 min. ago Related News

United States Lime & Minerals Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Results and Declares Regular Quarterly Cash Dividend

DALLAS, Feb. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- United States Lime & Minerals, Inc. (NASDAQ:USLM) today reported fourth quarter and full year 2022 results: The Company's revenues in the fourth quarter 2022 were $58.3 million, compared to $46.1 million in the fourth quarter 2021, an increase of $12.2 million, or 26.4%. For the full year 2022, the Company's revenues were $236.2 million, compared to $189.3 million in the full year 2021, an increase of $46.9 million, or 24.8%. Lime and limestone revenues were $57.8 million in the fourth quarter 2022, compared to $45.5 million in the fourth quarter 2021, an increase of $12.3 million, or 27.0%. For the full year 2022, lime and limestone revenues were $233.4 million, compared to $187.4 million in the full year 2021, an increase of $46.1 million, or 24.6%. The increase in revenues in the fourth quarter 2022, compared to the fourth quarter 2021, resulted primarily from increased sales volumes of the Company's lime and limestone products, principally due to increased demand from the Company's construction, industrial, and oil and gas services customers, as well as an increase in the average selling prices for the Company's lime and limestone products.   The increase in revenues in the full year 2022, compared to the full year 2021, resulted primarily from increased sales volumes of the Company's lime and limestone products, principally due to increased demand from the Company's construction, oil and gas services, and steel customers, and an increase in the average selling prices for the Company's lime and limestone products. The Company's gross profit was $16.8 million in the fourth quarter 2022, compared to $13.3 million in the fourth quarter 2021, an increase of $3.5 million, or 26.2%. Gross profit in the full year 2022 was $70.3 million, compared to $59.3 million in the full year 2021, an increase of $11.1 million, or 18.7%.   The Company's lime and limestone gross profit was $16.6 million in the fourth quarter 2022, compared to $13.0 million in the fourth quarter 2021, an increase of $3.6 million, or 27.6%. The Company's lime and limestone gross profit for the full year 2022 was $69.0 million, compared to $58.7 million in the full year 2021, an increase of $10.3 million, or 17.6%. The increases in lime and limestone gross profit in the fourth quarter and full year 2022, compared to the comparable 2021 periods, resulted primarily from the increased revenues discussed above, partially offset by increased production costs, principally from higher transportation, energy, labor, and supplies costs. Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses were $4.5 million in the fourth quarter 2022, compared to $3.7 million in the fourth quarter 2021, an increase of $0.9 million, or 23.4%. SG&A expenses were $15.6 million for the full year 2022, compared to $12.8 million in the full year 2021, an increase of $2.7 million, or 21.1%. The increases in SG&A expenses in the 2022 periods, compared to the comparable 2021 periods, were primarily due to increased personnel expenses. The Company reported net income of $10.8 million ($1.90 per share diluted) and $45.4 million ($8.00 per share diluted) in the fourth quarter and full year 2022, respectively, compared to $7.6 million ($1.34 per share diluted) and $37.0 million ($6.54 per share diluted) in the fourth quarter and full year 2021, respectively, reflecting increases of $3.2 million, or 41.8%, and $8.4 million, or 22.6%, respectively. "We are pleased with our performance in the fourth quarter and the year. We addressed the year's inflationary and supply chain challenges by working closely with our valued customers and suppliers and implementing efficiencies in our lime and limestone operations," said Timothy W. Byrne, President and Chief Executive Officer. Dividend The Company announced today that the Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share on the Company's common stock. This dividend is payable on March 17, 2023 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 24, 2023. United States Lime & Minerals, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed public company with headquarters in Dallas, Texas, is a manufacturer of lime and limestone products, supplying primarily the construction (including highway, road and building contractors), industrial (including paper and glass manufacturers), metals (including steel producers), environmental (including municipal sanitation and water treatment facilities and flue gas treatment processes), roof shingle manufacturers, agriculture (including poultry and cattle feed producers), and oil and gas services industries. The Company operates lime and limestone plants and distribution facilities in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Arkansas Lime Company, ART Quarry TRS LLC (DBA Carthage Crushed Limestone), Colorado Lime Company, Mill Creek Dolomite, LLC, Texas Lime Company, U.S. Lime Company, U.S. Lime Company – Shreveport, U.S. Lime Company – St. Clair, and U.S. Lime Company – Transportation. In addition, the Company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, U.S. Lime Company – O & G, LLC, has royalty and non-operating working interests pursuant to an oil and gas lease and a drillsite agreement on its Johnson County, Texas property, located in the Barnett Shale Formation. Any statements contained in this news release, including, but not limited to, statements relating to the impact of increasing costs and supply chain issues, that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, and investors are cautioned that such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations, including without limitation those risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Tables Follow)United States Lime & Minerals, Inc.CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA(In thousands, except per share amounts)(Unaudited)                                 Three Months Ended   Year Ended       December 31,   December 31,          2022        2021        2022        2021     INCOME STATEMENTS                                                       Revenues   $ 58,292     $ 46,108     $ 236,150     $ 189,255     Cost of revenues     41,488       32,789       165,808       129,995     Gross profit   $ 16,804     $ 13,319.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzinga5 hr. 33 min. ago Related News

Technical Communications Corporation Reports Results for the Fiscal Quarter Ended December 24, 2022

CONCORD, Mass., Feb. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Technical Communications Corporation (OTCQB:TCCO) today announced its results for the fiscal quarter ended December 24, 2022. For the quarter ended December 24, 2022, the Company reported a net loss of $(849,000), or $(0.46) per share, on revenue of $122,000, compared to a net loss of $(613,000), or $(0.33) per share, on revenue of $423,000 for the quarter ended December 25, 2021. Carl H. Guild Jr., President and CEO of Technical Communications Corporation, commented, "The impact of  the COVID pandemic has not resolved and continues to have negative effects on the financial condition of the Company. We continue to work closely with our customers in order to be able to move quickly once they are in a position to place orders. TCC continues to closely monitor expenses and is actively pursuing additional sources of liquidity." About Technical Communications Corporation For over 50 years, TCC has specialized in superior-grade secure communications systems and customized solutions, supporting our CipherONE® best-in-class criteria, to protect highly sensitive voice, data and video transmitted over a wide range of networks. Government entities, military agencies and corporate enterprises in over 115 countries have selected TCC's proven security to protect their communications. Learn more: www.tccsecure.com. Statements made in this press release or as may otherwise be incorporated by reference herein that are not purely historical constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include but are not limited to statements regarding anticipated operating results, future earnings, and the ability to achieve growth and profitability. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including but not limited to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (including on customers) and governmental responses thereto; the effect of domestic and foreign political unrest; domestic and foreign government policies and economic conditions; changes in export laws or regulations; changes in technology; the ability to hire, retain and motivate technical, management and sales personnel; the risks associated with the technical feasibility and market acceptance of new products; changes in telecommunications protocols; the effects of changing costs, exchange rates and interest rates; and the Company's ability to secure adequate capital resources. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. For a more detailed discussion of the risks facing the Company, see the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 24, 2022 and the "Risk Factors" section included therein. Technical Communications Corporation Condensed consolidated statements of operations   Quarter Ended   12/24/2022 12/25/2021   (Unaudited)  (Unaudited) Net revenue $     122,000 $   423,000 Gross profit (loss) (27,000) 67,000 S, G & A expense 484,000 562,000 Product development costs 277,000 101,000 Operating loss (788,000) (596,000) Interest expense.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzinga5 hr. 33 min. ago Related News

Recreational cannabis sales begin early in Missouri: Here"s how companies have been preparing

Shortly after 8 a.m. on Friday, Good Day Farms, a Little Rock, Arkansas-based dispensary, made its first sale of recreational cannabis in Missouri. Preparations for that sale, including big investments in processes and personnel, go back months......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournals8 hr. 1 min. ago Related News

Blue Ridge Bankshares, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Results

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Feb. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Ridge Bankshares, Inc. (the "Company") (NYSE:BRBS), the holding company of Blue Ridge Bank, National Association ("Blue Ridge Bank" or the "Bank") and BRB Financial Group, Inc. ("BRB Financial Group"), announced today financial results for the quarter and full year ended December 31, 2022.  For the fourth quarter of 2022, the Company reported net income from continuing operations of $6.3 million, or $0.33 earnings per diluted common share, compared to $2.7 million, or $0.15 earnings per diluted common share, for the third quarter of 2022, and $12.8 million, or $0.68 earnings per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2021.   For the year ended December 31, 2022, the Company reported net income from continuing operations of $27.6 million, or $1.47 earnings per diluted common share, compared to $52.6 million, or $2.95 earnings per diluted common share, for 2021. "Our team had both a productive and challenging year," said Brian K. Plum, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "We saw meaningful success and growth in our commercial banking efforts, and at the same time we appreciate the need to improve our fintech division operations, practices, and procedures to conform to the formal written agreement entered into with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. We are committed to doing the things necessary to rise to this challenge and lay the groundwork for future success." "We announced in early January that Kirsten Muetzel has been named President of Blue Ridge Bank's Fintech Division," Plum continued. "Kirsten's background as a banking regulator, fintech executive, and bank consultant is perfectly suited for her new responsibilities overseeing our fintech division, managing a portfolio of partners, strengthening regulatory compliance, and working to advance our fintech strategy." Plum added, "As we look ahead to 2023, we are preparing for a macroeconomic environment with credit pressure and increasing funding costs. We are emphasizing credit discipline and have calibrated incentive plans to further reward noninterest deposit growth.  We continue driving efforts to increase noninterest income to supplement net interest margin compression from the industry's expected rising funding costs." Key highlights for the fourth quarter: Update on formal written agreement; Regulatory remediation costs decline As previously disclosed, Blue Ridge Bank entered into a formal written agreement (the "Agreement") with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC") on August 29, 2022. The Agreement principally concerns the Bank's fintech line of business and requires the Bank to continue enhancing its controls for assessing and managing the third-party, BSA/AML, and IT risks stemming from its fintech partnerships. A complete copy of the Agreement was furnished in a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on September 1, 2022 and can be accessed on the SEC's website (www.sec.gov) and the Company's website (www.mybrb.com). The Company is actively working to bring the Bank's fintech policies, procedures, and operations into conformity with OCC directives and believes its work to date has been delivered on schedule. Remediation costs related to regulatory matters were $2.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to $4.0 million for the third quarter of 2022, and $0 for the fourth quarter of 2021. Balance sheet growth and net interest margin expansion drive higher net interest income Net interest income was $34.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, an increase of $5.3 million, or 18.4%, from the third quarter of 2022, and $13.1 million, or 62.6%, from the fourth quarter of 2021. Purchase accounting adjustments ("PAA"), attributable primarily to the Company's 2021 merger with Bay Banks of Virginia, Inc., added $2.9 million to net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to $1.1 million for the third quarter of 2022, and $1.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2021. The beneficial effect of PAA is likely to decline in 2023 from 2022 levels. Loans held for investment, excluding Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP") loans, were $2.40 billion at December 31, 2022, an increase of $240.8 million, or 11.2%, from September 30, 2022, and $621.9 million, or 35.0%, from December 31, 2021. Loan growth as compared with the prior quarter and year-ago periods was mostly driven equally between the Company's investment in its government guaranteed, middle market, and specialized lending teams and its traditional core banking markets. Deposits were $2.50 billion at December 31, 2022, an increase of $93.0 million, or 3.9%, from September 30, 2022, and $204.7 million, or 8.9%, from December 31, 2021. Deposit growth on a linked quarter basis was primarily driven by interest-bearing demand and money market deposits, partially offset by lower noninterest-bearing demand deposit balances. Deposit growth on a year-over-year basis was driven almost entirely by interest-bearing demand and money market deposits, partially offset by lower time deposit and noninterest-bearing demand deposit balances. Deposits related to fintech relationships were approximately $690 million as of December 31, 2022, an increase of $161 million, or 30.0%, from September 30, 2022, and $501 million, or 265.1%, from December 31, 2021. Deposits related to fintech relationships represented 27.6% of total deposits at December 31, 2022, compared to 22.0% at September 30, 2022, and 8.2% at December 31, 2021. During the 2022 periods, there was a notable shift in the mix of fintech deposits (to interest-bearing from noninterest-bearing), as certain of the Company's fintech partners sought to optimize profitability amidst a more challenging operating environment. Net interest margin was 4.83% for the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to 4.27% for the third quarter of 2022, and 3.39% for the fourth quarter of 2021. Net interest margin expansion during the fourth quarter of 2022, relative to both prior periods, reflected strong loan growth, higher loan and other interest-earning asset yields, a positive shift in the mix of interest-earning assets, and favorable PAA, partially offset by higher funding costs.  PAA added 41 basis points, 17 basis points, and 24 basis points to net interest margin for the fourth quarter of 2022, third quarter of 2022, and fourth quarter of 2021, respectively.  Credit and capital stability provide stable foundation; Value creation through strong growth in tangible book value per share Nonperforming loans, which include nonaccrual loans and loans 90 days or more past due and accruing interest1, totaled $18.6 million, representing 0.59% of total assets, at December 31, 2022, compared to $10.1 million, representing 0.35% of total assets, at September 30, 2022, and $16.1 million, representing 0.60% of total assets at December 31, 2021. The Company recorded a provision for loan losses of $4.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to $3.9 million for the third quarter of 2022, and $0.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2021. Provision for the fourth quarter of 2022 was primarily attributable to loan growth and specific reserves for impaired loans. The Company's allowance for loan losses represented 0.96%2 of gross loans held for investment (excluding PPP loans) at December 31, 2022, compared to 0.95%2 at September 30, 2022, and 0.68%2 at December 31, 2021. The increase in this ratio from December 31, 2021 to December 31, 2022, was primarily attributable to additional allowance for loan growth during 2022 and greater qualitative factor adjustments, mainly due to less favorable economic conditions. Remaining acquired loan discounts related to loans acquired in the Company's completed mergers were $7.9 million as of December 31, 2022, $10.4 million as of September 30, 2022, and $16.2 million as of December 31, 2021. The ratio of tangible stockholders' equity to tangible total assets was 7.3%3 at December 31, 2022, compared to 7.7%3 at September 30, 2022, and 9.3%3 at December 31, 2021. Tangible book value per common share was $12.003 at December 31, 2022, compared to $11.513 at September 30, 2022, and $13.013 at December 31, 2021. The after-tax effect of the unrealized loss in the Company's available for sale investment portfolio was $45.1 million at December 31, 2022, compared to $49.4 million at September 30, 2022, and $3.6 million at December 31, 2021. The effect of the after-tax unrealized loss on tangible book value per common share was $2.38, $2.60, and $0.19, as of each of these respective period ends. Lower expenses reflect decline in regulatory remediation and personnel costs Noninterest expense was $27.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, a decline of $1.7 million, or 5.7%, from the third quarter of 2022, and an increase of $2.4 million, or 9.6%, from the fourth quarter of 2021. The decline relative to the prior quarter primarily reflects lower remediation costs related to the Agreement and lower salaries and employee benefit costs, primarily due to downward adjustments of incentive expense. The increase relative to the fourth quarter of the prior year primarily reflects higher regulatory remediation costs and legal, issuer, and regulatory filing costs, partially offset by lower salaries and employee benefit costs, primarily due to lower headcount in the Company's mortgage division. Cyclical challenges continue to pressure fee-based revenues Noninterest income was $5.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, a decline of $2.1 million from the third quarter of 2022, and $16.1 million from the fourth quarter of 2021. The decline in noninterest income on a linked quarter basis primarily reflects negative fair value adjustments to mortgage servicing rights, and lower gain on sale of government-guaranteed loans, due to the timing of sales of these loans. The decline relative to the fourth quarter of the prior year also reflects lower mortgage-related income, lower fair value adjustments of other equity investments, and a gain on the termination of interest rate swaps that occurred during the fourth quarter of 2021.  Mortgage sale volumes were $52.4 million and $83.0 million for the fourth and third quarters of 2022, respectively, compared to $234.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2021. Income Statement Net Interest Income Net interest income was $34.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to $28.7 million for the third quarter of 2022 and $20.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2021. Accretion of PAA related to acquired loans included in interest income was $2.6 million, $0.8 million, and $0.8 million for the same respective periods. Amortization of PAA on assumed time deposits and borrowings, which reduced interest expense, was $0.3 million, $0.4 million, and $0.7 million for the same respective periods. Interest income for the fourth quarter of 2022 increased $9.1 million from the third quarter of 2022, while interest expense increased $3.9 million in the same comparative period. Interest income in the fourth quarter of 2022 benefited from higher average balances of and yields and fees on loans held for investment, while funding costs increased primarily due to repricing of select interest-bearing deposit accounts (primarily from fintech relationships) and higher average balances and cost on Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta advances. Average balances of interest-earning assets increased $126.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 from the third quarter of 2022, primarily due to higher average balances of loans held for investment (excluding PPP loans), which increased $176.0 million over the same period. Yields on average loans held for investment (excluding PPP loans) increased to 6.74% for the fourth quarter of 2022 from 5.67% for the third quarter of 2022, primarily due to recent loan growth, the re-pricing of variable-rate loans in the higher rate environment, and higher fee income. Cost of funds was 1.22% and 0.69% for the fourth and third quarters of 2022, and 0.42% for the fourth quarter of 2021, while cost of deposits was 0.85%, 0.50%, and 0.29%, for the same respective periods. The targeted federal funds rate increased from 0.00% to 0.25% in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 4.25% to 4.50% in the fourth quarter of 2022. Net interest margin for the fourth and third quarters of 2022 and the fourth quarter of 2021 was 4.83%, 4.27%, and 3.39%, respectively. Accretion and amortization of PAA had a 41 basis point, 17 basis point, and 24 basis point positive effect on net interest margin for the same respective periods. Net interest income was $110.4 million and $92.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively, while net interest margin was 4.22% and 3.51% for the same respective periods. Accretion and amortization of PAA and contributions from PPP loans, including the corresponding funding, had a 34 basis point and 39 basis point positive effect on net interest margin for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. Provision for Loan Losses The Company recorded a provision for loan losses of $4.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to $3.9 million for the third quarter of 2022, and $0.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2021. Provision for loan losses for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 was $17.9 million and $0.1 million, respectively. Provision for loan losses in the 2022 periods was primarily attributable to reserves for loan growth, qualitative factor adjustments due to changes in economic conditions, and higher specific reserves for impaired loans. Noninterest Income Noninterest income for the fourth and third quarters of 2022 was $5.8 million and $8.0 million, respectively, compared to $21.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2021. Lower noninterest income in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to both comparative periods was primarily attributable to lower income from the Company's mortgage division, including mortgage servicing rights, and lower gain on sale of government guaranteed loans due to the variability in the timing of loan sales. Additionally, the fourth quarter of 2021 had higher reported fair value adjustments on other equity investments and a gain on the termination of interest rate swaps, totaling $13.5 million. Noninterest income for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 was $48.1 million and $87.0 million, respectively. Of the decline of $39.0 million over these comparative periods, $24.3 million was due to the gain on the sale of PPP loans and $6.2 million was due to a gain on termination of interest rate swaps. The remainder of the decline was primarily due to lower income from the Company's mortgage division of $16.4 million, partially offset by higher gain on sale of government guaranteed loans of $2.7 million. Noninterest Expense Noninterest expense for the fourth and third quarters of 2022 was $27.6 million and $29.2 million, respectively, compared to $25.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2021. Excluding expenses incurred in the remediation of regulatory matters, noninterest expense decreased $0.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 from the third quarter of 2022. Lower salaries and employee benefit cost, primarily due to the reduction in incentive expense, was partially offset by higher legal, issuer, and regulatory filing and contractual services expenses. The Company's efficiency ratio for the fourth and third quarters of 2022 was 69.2% and 79.7%, respectively. Excluding regulatory remediation expenses, the efficiency ratio for the same respective periods was 62.0%3 and 68.7%3. Noninterest expense for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 was $104.8 million and $111.0 million, respectively. Excluding regulatory remediation expenses in the 2022 period and merger-related expenses in both the 2022 and 2021 periods, noninterest expense was $97.3 million and $99.1 million for the same respective periods. Balance Sheet Loans Loans held for investment, excluding PPP loans, were $2.40 billion at December 31, 2022, an increase of $240.8 million, or 11.2%, from the prior quarter-end, and $621.9 million, or 35.0%, from the year-ago period-end. The Company experienced some degree of softening in the loan pipeline over the course of the fourth quarter of 2022, reflecting a combination of increased selectivity and macroeconomic factors. Deposits Deposits were $2.50 billion at December 31, 2022, an increase of $93.0 million, or 3.9%, from the prior quarter-end, and $204.7 million, or 8.9%, from the year-ago period-end. Noninterest-bearing deposits comprised 25.6% of total deposits as of December 31, 2022, compared to 32.7% as of the prior quarter-end, and 29.8% as of the year-ago period-end. The total loan-to-deposit ratio was 99.1% at December 31, 2022, compared to 91.2% at the prior quarter-end, and 84.1% at the year-ago period-end. The held-for-investment loan-to-deposit ratio was 96.3%, compared to 90.1% at the prior quarter-end, and 78.7% at the year-ago period-end.  Capital The Company previously announced that on January 10, 2023, its board of directors declared a $0.1225 per common share quarterly dividend, which was paid on January 31, 2023, to shareholders of record as of January 20, 2023. Blue Ridge Bank's regulatory capital ratios as of December 31, 2022 were 11.15%, 10.25%, 10.25%, and 9.25% for total risk-based capital, tier 1 risk-based capital, common equity tier 1 risk-based capital, and tier 1 leverage, respectively, compared to 13.11%, 12.49%, 12.49%, and 10.05% for the same respective capital ratios as of December 31, 2021. Fintech Business Interest and fee income related to fintech partnerships represented approximately $3.1 million and $2.9 million of total revenue for the Company for the fourth and third quarters of 2022, respectively. Included in deposits related to fintech relationships were assets managed by BRB Financial Group's trust division of $49.5 million as of December 31, 2022. Other Matters In the first quarter of 2022, the Company sold its majority interest in MoneyWise Payroll Solutions, Inc. ("MoneyWise") to the holder of the minority interest in MoneyWise. Asset and liability balances and income statement amounts related to MoneyWise are reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented. The Company completed the merger of Bay Banks of Virginia, Inc. ("Bay Banks"), the holding company of Virginia Commonwealth Bank, into the Company on January 31, 2021. Immediately following the completion of the merger, Virginia Commonwealth Bank was merged into Blue Ridge Bank. Earnings for the year ended December 31, 2021 included the earnings of Bay Banks from the effective date of the merger. Non-GAAP Financial Measures The accounting and reporting policies of the Company conform to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and prevailing practices in the banking industry. However, management uses certain non-GAAP measures to supplement the evaluation of the Company's performance. Management believes presentations of these non-GAAP financial measures provide useful supplemental information that is essential to a proper understanding of the operating results of the Company's core businesses. These non-GAAP disclosures should not be viewed as a substitute for operating results determined in accordance with GAAP, nor are they necessarily comparable to non-GAAP performance measures that may be presented by other companies. Reconciliations of GAAP to non-GAAP measures are included at the end of this release. Forward-Looking Statements This release of the Company contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements represent plans, estimates, objectives, goals, guidelines, expectations, intentions, projections, and statements of the Company's beliefs concerning future events, business plans, objectives, expected operating results and the assumptions upon which those statements are based. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, any statement that may predict, forecast, indicate, or imply future results, performance or achievements, and are typically identified with words such as "may," "could," "should," "will," "would," "believe," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "aim," "intend," "plan," or words or phases of similar meaning.  The Company cautions that the forward-looking statements are based largely on its expectations and are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that are subject to change based on factors which are, in many instances, beyond the Company's control. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause the Company's financial performance to differ materially from that expressed in such forward-looking statements: (i) the strength of the United States economy in general and the strength of the local economies in which it conducts operations; (ii) changes in the level of the Company's nonperforming assets and charge-offs; (iii) management of risks inherent in the Company's real estate loan portfolio, and the risk of a prolonged downturn in the real estate market, which could impair the value of collateral and the ability to sell collateral upon any foreclosure; (iv) the effects of, and changes in, trade, monetary, and fiscal policies and laws, including interest rate policies of the Federal Reserve, inflation, interest rate, market, and monetary fluctuations; (v) changes in consumer spending and savings habits; (vi) the Company's ability to identify, attract, and retain experienced management, relationship managers, and support personnel, particularly in a competitive labor environment; (vii) technological and social media changes impacting the Company, the Bank, and the financial services industry in general; (viii) changing bank regulatory conditions, laws, regulations, policies, or programs, whether arising as new legislation or regulatory initiatives, that could lead to restrictions on activities of banks generally, or the Bank in particular, more restrictive regulatory capital requirements, increased costs, including deposit insurance premiums, increased regulations, prohibition of certain income producing activities, or changes in the secondary market for loans and other products; (ix) the impact of changes in financial services policies, laws and regulations, including laws, regulations and policies concerning taxes, banking, securities and insurance, and the application thereof by regulatory bodies; (x) the Company's involvement, from time to time, in legal proceedings and examination and remedial actions by regulators; (xi) the impact of, and the ability to comply with, the terms of the formal written agreement between the Bank and the OCC; (xii) the impact of changes in laws, regulations, and policies affecting the real estate industry; (xiii) the effect of changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted from time to time by bank regulatory agencies, the SEC, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or other accounting standards setting bodies; (xiv) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the adverse impact on our business and operations and on the Company's customers which may result, among other things, in increased delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures and losses on loans; (xv) the occurrence of significant natural disasters, including severe weather conditions, floods, health related issues, and other catastrophic events; (xvi) geopolitical conditions, including acts or threats of terrorism and/or military conflicts, or actions taken by the U.S. or other governments in response to acts or threats of terrorism and/or military conflicts, which could impact business and economic conditions in the U.S. and abroad; (xvii) the timely development of competitive new products and services and the acceptance of these products and services by new and existing customers; (xviii) the willingness of users to substitute competitors' products and services for the Company's products and services; (xix) the Company's inability to successfully manage growth or implement its growth strategy; (xx) reputational risk and potential adverse reactions of the Company's customers, suppliers, employees or other business partners; (xxi) the effect of acquisitions the Company may make, including, without limitation, disruption of employee or customer relationships, and the failure to achieve the expected revenue growth and/or expense savings from such acquisitions; (xxii) the Company's participation in the PPP established by the U.S. government and its administration of the loans and processing fees earned under the program; (xxiii) the Company's involvement, from time to time, in legal proceedings, and examination and remedial actions by regulators; (xxiv) the Company's potential exposure to fraud, negligence, computer theft, and cyber-crime; (xxv) the Bank's ability to effectively manage its fintech partnerships, and the abilities of those fintech companies to perform as expected; (xxvi) the Bank's ability to pay dividends; and (xxvii) other risks and factors identified in the "Risk Factors" sections and elsewhere in documents the Company files from time to time with the SEC.   1 Excludes purchased credit-impaired loans. 2 The Company holds no allowance for loan losses on PPP loans as they are fully guaranteed by the U.S. government. 3 Non-GAAP financial measures are defined below. Further information can be found at the end of this press release.   Blue Ridge Bankshares, Inc. Consolidated Statements of Income (unaudited) For the Three Months Ended  (Dollars in thousands, except per common share data) December 31, 2022 September 30, 2022 December 31, 2021 Interest income: Interest and fees on loans $                         38,934 $                          30,206 $                         21,685 Interest on taxable securities 2,508 2,337 1,612 Interest on nontaxable securities 89 81 62 Interest on deposit accounts and federal funds sold 754 522 45 Total interest income 42,285 33,146 23,404 Interest expense: Interest on deposits 5,131 3,032 1,593 Interest on subordinated notes 547 570 485 Interest on FHLB and FRB borrowings 2,651 867 448 Total interest expense 8,329 4,469 2,526 Net interest income 33,956 28,677 20,878 Provision for loan losses 3,992 3,900 117 Net interest income after provision for loan losses 29,964 24,777 20,761 Noninterest income: Fair value adjustments of other equity investments 78 (50) 7,316 Residential mortgage banking income, net 2,832 2,570 4,365 Mortgage servicing rights (871) 597 1,493 Gain on sale of government guaranteed loans 204 1,565 680 Gain on termination of interest rate swaps — — 6,221 Wealth and trust management 451 513 439 Service charges on deposit accounts 293 354 391 Increase in cash surrender value of bank owned life insurance 402 398 253 Bank and purchase card, net 866 353 709 Other 1,585 1,668 75 Total noninterest income 5,840 7,968 21,942 Noninterest expense: Salaries and employee benefits 11,863 14,174 15,362 Occupancy and equipment 1,509 1,422 1,520 Data processing 1,441 1,332 1,107 Legal, issuer, and regulatory filing  1,300 804 299 Advertising and marketing 318 302 405 Communications  1,064 932 1,011 Audit and accounting fees 476 308 227 FDIC insurance 543 460 175 Intangible amortization 365 377 412 Other contractual services 1,334 703 631 Other taxes and assessments 716 711 638 Regulatory remediation 2,884 4,025 — Merger-related — — 171 Other 3,739 3,658 3,185 Total noninterest expense.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaFeb 2nd, 2023Related News

Post Holdings Reports Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2023; Raises Fiscal Year 2023 Outlook

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Post Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:POST), a consumer packaged goods holding company, today reported results for the first fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2022. Highlights: First quarter net sales of $1.6 billion Operating profit of $149.9 million; net earnings from continuing operations of $91.9 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $269.9 million Raised fiscal year 2023 Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP)* guidance to $1,025-$1,065 million *Post provides Adjusted EBITDA guidance only on a non-GAAP basis and does not provide a reconciliation of its forward-looking Adjusted EBITDA non-GAAP guidance measure to the most directly comparable GAAP measure due to the inherent difficulty in forecasting and quantifying certain amounts that are necessary for such reconciliation, including the adjustments described under "Outlook" below. Basis of Presentation On March 10, 2022, Post's distribution to its shareholders of 80.1% of its interest in BellRing Brands, Inc. ("BellRing") was completed. Accordingly, the historical results of the BellRing business have been presented as discontinued operations in Post's financial statements for prior periods. First Quarter Consolidated Operating Results Net sales were $1,566.3 million, an increase of 17.1%, or $228.8 million, compared to $1,337.5 million in the prior year period. Gross profit was $414.9 million, or 26.5% of net sales, an increase of 25.1%, or $83.2 million, compared to $331.7 million, or 24.8% of net sales, in the prior year period. Results for the first quarter of 2023 reflected pricing actions across the business which offset input and freight inflation. Supply chain disruptions eased during the first quarter of 2023 when compared to the prior year period but continued to drive higher manufacturing costs and customer order fulfillment rates below optimal levels. Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses were $228.7 million, or 14.6% of net sales, an increase of 3.7%, or $8.2 million, compared to $220.5 million, or 16.5% of net sales, in the prior year period. Operating profit was $149.9 million, an increase of 91.7%, or $71.7 million, compared to $78.2 million in the prior year period. Net earnings from continuing operations were $91.9 million, an increase of 305.6%, or $136.6 million, compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $44.7 million in the prior year period. Net earnings (loss) from continuing operations included the following:   Three Months Ended December 31, (in millions)   2022       2021 Gain on extinguishment of debt, net (1) $ (8.7 )   $ — (Income) expense on swaps, net (1)   (12.3 )     36.9 Gain on investment in BellRing (1)   (5.1 )     — Equity method loss, net of tax   —       18.6 Net earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests   1.8       0.3         (1) Discussed later in this release and were treated as adjustments for non-GAAP measures. Diluted earnings from continuing operations per common share were $1.52, compared to diluted loss from continuing operations per common share of $0.64 in the prior year period. Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations were $71.2 million, or $1.08 per diluted common share, compared to an adjusted net loss from continuing operations of $6.0 million, or $0.10 per diluted common share, in the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA was $269.9 million, an increase of 32.8%, or $66.6 million, compared to $203.3 million in the prior year period. The prior year period included net earnings from discontinued operations, net of tax and noncontrolling interest of $23.9 million. Net earnings were $91.9 million, or $1.52 per diluted common share, compared to a net loss of $20.8 million, or $0.25 per diluted common share, in the prior year period. Post Consumer Brands North American ready-to-eat ("RTE") cereal and Peter Pan peanut butter. For the first quarter, net sales were $554.7 million, an increase of 9.3%, or $47.4 million, compared to the prior year period. Volumes decreased 1.2%, primarily driven by declines in Honey Bunches of Oats, government bid business and Malt-O-Meal bag cereal, partially offset by increases in Peter Pan peanut butter and private label cereal. Segment profit was $79.3 million, an increase of 11.2%, or $8.0 million, compared to the prior year period. Segment Adjusted EBITDA was $112.9 million, an increase of 4.8%, or $5.2 million, compared to the prior year period. Weetabix Primarily United Kingdom ("U.K.") RTE cereal, muesli and protein-based ready-to-drink ("RTD") shakes. For the first quarter, net sales were $118.1 million, a decrease of 0.4%, or $0.5 million, compared to the prior year period, and included $6.5 million in net sales from Lacka Foods Limited ("Lacka"), which was acquired on April 5, 2022. Additionally, net sales reflected a foreign currency exchange rate headwind of approximately 1,400 basis points. Volumes increased 6.5%; excluding the benefit from the Lacka acquisition, volumes declined 1.1% as growth in private label products was offset by declines in branded products. Segment profit was $21.5 million, a decrease of 21.0%, or $5.7 million, compared to the prior year period. Segment Adjusted EBITDA was $29.7 million, a decrease of 17.7%, or $6.4 million, compared to the prior year period. Foodservice Primarily egg and potato products. For the first quarter, net sales were $600.5 million, an increase of 36.9%, or $161.9 million, compared to the prior year period. Volumes increased 4.4%, driven by increased away-from-home egg and potato demand in the current year period. Egg volumes increased 4.4%, and potato volumes increased 8.1%. Segment profit was $79.1 million, an increase of 423.8%, or $64.0 million, compared to the prior year period. Segment Adjusted EBITDA was $109.0 million, an increase of 163.9%, or $67.7 million, compared to the prior year period. Refrigerated Retail Primarily side dish, egg, cheese and sausage products. For the first quarter, net sales were $293.0 million, an increase of 7.2%, or $19.6 million, compared to the prior year period. Net sales in the first quarter of 2022 included $7.1 million related to the Willamette Egg Farms business ("Willamette"), which was sold on December 1, 2021. Volumes declined 4.6%; excluding the contribution from Willamette in the prior year period, volumes increased 1.1%, led by an 11.7% increase in side dishes. Side dish volume growth reflected improved inventory levels (resulting from lapping capacity constraints and allocations in the prior year period) and a restoration of promotional activities, which together improved velocities in the current year period. This increase was partially offset by volume decreases in egg (resulting from reduced supply driven by avian influenza and elasticities resulting from inflation-driven price increases) and cheese (primarily resulting from the decision to exit certain low-margin business). Volume information by product is disclosed in a table presented later in this release. Segment profit was $21.0 million, an increase of 54.4%, or $7.4 million, compared to the prior year period. Segment Adjusted EBITDA was $40.0 million, an increase of 12.4%, or $4.4 million, compared to the prior year period. Interest, Gain on Extinguishment of Debt, (Income) Expense on Swaps and Income Tax Interest expense, net was $65.9 million in the first quarter of 2023, compared to $82.8 million in the first quarter of 2022. The decrease was primarily driven by a decrease in the aggregate principal amount of debt outstanding resulting from repayments of certain indebtedness in fiscal year 2022. Gain on extinguishment of debt, net of $8.7 million was recorded in the first quarter of 2023 primarily in connection with Post's repayment of $71.0 million in total principal amounts to extinguish a portion of Post's 4.50% senior notes. (Income) expense on swaps, net relates to mark-to-market adjustments on interest rate swaps. Income on swaps, net was $12.3 million in the first quarter of 2023, compared to an expense of $36.9 million in the first quarter of 2022. Income tax expense was $24.7 million in the first quarter of 2023, an effective income tax rate of 20.9%, compared to a benefit of $12.8 million in the first quarter of 2022, an effective income tax rate of 33.2%. For the first quarter of 2023, the effective income tax rate differed from the statutory tax rate primarily as a result of discrete income tax benefit items related to excess tax benefits for share-based payments. For the first quarter of 2022, the effective income tax rate differed significantly from the statutory tax rate primarily as a result of Post's equity method loss attributable to 8th Avenue Food & Provisions, Inc. ("8th Avenue") and excess tax benefits for share-based payments. Share Repurchases During the first quarter of 2023, Post repurchased 0.3 million shares of its common stock for $24.0 million at an average price of $84.79 per share. As of December 31, 2022, Post had $276.0 million remaining under its share repurchase authorization. Outlook For fiscal year 2023, Post management has raised its guidance range for Adjusted EBITDA to $1,025-$1,065 million from $990-$1,040 million. Post management now expects fiscal year 2023 capital expenditures to range between $275-$300 million, which includes $75-$85 million investment in RTD shake manufacturing and precooked and cage-free eggs. Post provides Adjusted EBITDA guidance only on a non-GAAP basis and does not provide a reconciliation of its forward-looking Adjusted EBITDA non-GAAP guidance measure to the most directly comparable GAAP measure due to the inherent difficulty in forecasting and quantifying certain amounts that are necessary for such reconciliation, including adjustments that could be made for income/expense on swaps, net, gain/loss on extinguishment of debt, net, equity method investment adjustment, mark-to-market adjustments on commodity and foreign exchange hedges, warrant liabilities and equity securities, transaction and integration costs and other charges reflected in Post's reconciliations of historical numbers, the amounts of which, based on historical experience, could be significant. For additional information regarding Post's non-GAAP measures, see the related explanations presented under "Use of Non-GAAP Measures." Use of Non-GAAP Measures Post uses certain non-GAAP measures in this release to supplement the financial measures prepared in accordance with United States ("U.S.") generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"). These non-GAAP measures include Adjusted net earnings/loss from continuing operations, Adjusted diluted earnings/loss from continuing operations per common share, Adjusted EBITDA and segment Adjusted EBITDA. The reconciliation of each of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measure is provided later in this release under "Explanation and Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures." Management uses certain of these non-GAAP measures, including Adjusted EBITDA and segment Adjusted EBITDA, as key metrics in the evaluation of underlying company and segment performance, in making financial, operating and planning decisions and, in part, in the determination of bonuses for its executive officers and employees. Additionally, Post is required to comply with certain covenants and limitations that are based on variations of EBITDA in its financing documents. Management believes the use of these non-GAAP measures provides increased transparency and assists investors in understanding the underlying operating performance of Post and its segments and in the analysis of ongoing operating trends. Non-GAAP measures are not prepared in accordance with GAAP, as they exclude certain items as described later in this release. These non-GAAP measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. For additional information regarding Post's non-GAAP measures, see the related explanations provided under "Explanation and Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures." Conference Call to Discuss Earnings Results and Outlook Post will host a conference call on Friday, February 3, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. EST to discuss financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2023 and fiscal year 2023 outlook and to respond to questions. Robert V. Vitale, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Matthew J. Mainer, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, will participate in the call. Interested parties may join the conference call by dialing (800) 343-5172 in the United States and (203) 518-9783 from outside of the United States. The conference identification number is POSTQ123. Interested parties are invited to listen to the webcast of the conference call, which can be accessed by visiting the Investors section of Post's website at www.postholdings.com. A replay of the conference call will be available through Friday, February 10, 2023 by dialing (800) 839-6136 in the United States and (402) 220-2572 from outside of the United States. A webcast replay also will be available for a limited period on Post's website in the Investors section. Prospective Financial Information Prospective financial information is necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions underlying the prospective financial information described above will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results. For further discussion of some of the factors that may cause actual results to vary materially from the information provided above, see "Forward-Looking Statements" below. Accordingly, the prospective financial information provided above is only an estimate of what Post's management believes is realizable as of the date of this release. It also should be recognized that the reliability of any forecasted financial data diminishes the farther in the future that the data is forecasted. In light of the foregoing, the information should be viewed in context and undue reliance should not be placed upon it. Forward-Looking Statements Certain matters discussed in this release and on Post's conference call are forward-looking statements, including Post's Adjusted EBITDA outlook for fiscal year 2023 and Post's capital expenditure outlook for fiscal year 2023. These forward-looking statements are sometimes identified from the use of forward-looking words such as "believe," "should," "could," "potential," "continue," "expect," "project," "estimate," "predict," "anticipate," "aim," "intend," "plan," "forecast," "target," "is likely," "will," "can," "may" or "would" or the negative of these terms or similar expressions, and include all statements regarding future performance, earnings projections, events or developments. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made herein. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: significant volatility in the cost or availability of inputs to Post's businesses (including freight, raw materials, energy and other supplies); Post's ability to increase its prices to offset cost increases and the potential for such price increases to impact demand for Post's products; disruptions or inefficiencies in Post's supply chain, including as a result of inflation, labor shortages, insufficient product or raw material availability, limited freight carrier availability, Post's reliance on third parties for the supply of materials for or the manufacture of many of Post's products, public health crises (including the COVID-19 pandemic), climatic events, agricultural diseases and pests, fires and evacuations related thereto and other events beyond Post's control; Post's high leverage, Post's ability to obtain additional financing (including both secured and unsecured debt), Post's ability to service its outstanding debt (including covenants that restrict the operation of Post's businesses) and a downgrade or potential downgrade in Post's credit ratings; Post's ability to hire and retain talented personnel, increases in labor-related costs, the ability of Post's employees to safely perform their jobs, including the potential for physical injuries or illness, employee absenteeism, labor strikes, work stoppages and unionization efforts; changes in economic conditions, the occurrence of a recession, disruptions in the U.S. and global capital and credit markets, changes in interest rates and fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; Post's ability to continue to compete in its product categories and Post's ability to retain its market position and favorable perceptions of its brands; the impacts of public health crises (including the COVID-19 pandemic), such as negative impacts on demand for Post's foodservice and on-the-go products, Post's ability to manufacture and deliver its products, workforce availability, the health and safety of Post's employees, operating costs, the global economy and capital markets and Post's operations generally; Post's ability to anticipate and respond to changes in consumer and customer preferences and behaviors and introduce new products; allegations that Post's products cause injury or illness, product recalls and withdrawals and product liability claims and other related litigation; Post's ability to identify, complete and integrate or otherwise effectively execute acquisitions or other strategic transactions and effectively manage its growth; risks related to the intended tax treatment of the transactions Post undertook related to divestitures of Post's interest in BellRing; the possibility that Post Holdings Partnering Corporation ("PHPC"), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company in which Post indirectly owns an interest (through PHPC Sponsor, LLC, Post's wholly-owned subsidiary), may not consummate a suitable partnering transaction within the prescribed two-year time period, that the partnering transaction may not be successful or that the activities for PHPC could be distracting to Post's management; conflicting interests or the appearance of conflicting interests resulting from several of Post's directors and officers also serving as directors or officers of one or more other companies; Post's ability to successfully implement business strategies to reduce costs; impairment in the carrying value of goodwill or other intangibles; legal and regulatory factors, such as compliance with existing laws and regulations, as well as new laws and regulations and changes to existing laws and regulations and interpretations thereof, affecting Post's businesses, including current and future laws and regulations regarding tax matters, food safety, advertising and labeling, animal feeding and housing operations, data privacy and climate change and other environmental matters; the loss of, a significant reduction of purchases by or the bankruptcy of a major customer; costs, business disruptions and reputational damage associated with information technology failures, cybersecurity incidents or information security breaches; the failure or weakening of the RTE cereal category and consolidations in the retail and foodservice distribution channels; the ultimate impact litigation or other regulatory matters may have on Post; costs associated with the obligations of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. ("Bob Evans") in connection with the sale and separation of its restaurants business in April 2017, including certain indemnification obligations under the restaurants sale agreement and Bob Evans's payment and performance obligations as a guarantor for certain leases; Post's ability to protect its intellectual property and other assets and to continue to use third party intellectual property subject to intellectual property licenses; the ability of Post's and its customers' private brand products to compete with nationally branded products; the impact of national or international disputes, political instability, terrorism, war or armed hostilities, such as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, including on the global economy, capital markets, Post's supply chain, commodity, energy and freight availability and costs and information security; risks associated with Post's international businesses; changes in critical accounting estimates; losses or increased funding and expenses related to Post's qualified pension or other postretirement plans; significant differences in Post's actual operating results from any of Post's guidance regarding Post's future performance; Post's and PHPC's ability to satisfy the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; and other risks and uncertainties described in Post's and PHPC's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent Post's judgment as of the date of this release. Post disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements. About Post Holdings, Inc. Post Holdings, Inc., headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a consumer packaged goods holding company with businesses operating in the center-of-the-store, refrigerated, foodservice and food ingredient categories. Its businesses include Post Consumer Brands, Weetabix, Michael Foods and Bob Evans Farms. Post Consumer Brands is a leader in the North American ready-to-eat cereal category and also markets Peter Pan® peanut butter. Weetabix is home to the United Kingdom's number one selling ready-to-eat cereal brand, Weetabix®. Michael Foods and Bob Evans Farms are leaders in refrigerated foods, delivering innovative, value-added egg and refrigerated potato side dish products to the foodservice and retail channels. Post participates in the private brand food category through its ownership interest in 8th Avenue Food & Provisions, Inc., a leading, private brand centric, consumer products holding company. For more information, visit www.postholdings.com. Contact:Investor RelationsJennifer Meyerjennifer.meyer@postholdings.com(314) 644-7665 Media RelationsLisa Hanlylisa.hanly@postholdings.com(314) 665-3180 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited)(in millions, except per share data)   Three Months Ended December 31,     2022       2021   Net Sales $ 1,566.3     $ 1,337.5   Cost of goods sold   1,151.4       1,005.8   Gross Profit   414.9       331.7   Selling, general and administrative expenses   228.7       220.5   Amortization of intangible assets   36.4       36.5   Other operating income, net   (0.1 )     (3.5 ) Operating Profit   149.9       78.2   Interest expense, net   65.9       82.8   Gain on extinguishment of debt, net   (8.7 )     —   (Income) expense on swaps, net   (12.3 )     36.9   Gain on investment in BellRing   (5.1 )     —   Other income, net   (8.3 )     (2.9 ) Earnings (Loss) before Income Taxes and Equity Method Loss   118.4       (38.6 ) Income tax expense (benefit)   24.7       (12.8 ) Equity method loss, net of tax   —       18.6   Net Earnings (Loss) from Continuing Operations, Including Noncontrolling Interests   93.7       (44.4 ) Less: Net earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests from continuing operations   1.8       0.3   Net Earnings (Loss) from Continuing Operations   91.9       (44.7 ) Net earnings from discontinued operations, net of tax and noncontrolling interest   —       23.9   Net Earnings (Loss) $ 91.9     $ (20.8 )         Earnings (Loss) from Continuing Operations per Common Share:       Basic $ 1.66     $ (0.64 ) Diluted $ 1.52     $ (0.64 ) Earnings from Discontinued Operations per Common Share:       Basic $ —     $ 0.38   Diluted $ —     $ 0.38   Earnings (Loss) per Common Share:       Basic $ 1.66     $ (0.25 ) Diluted $ 1.52     $ (0.25 ) Weighted-Average Common Shares Outstanding:       Basic   58.8       62.5   Diluted   65.8       62.5   CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (Unaudited)(in millions)   December 31, 2022   September 30, 2022                 ASSETS               Current Assets               Cash and cash equivalents $ 606.8     $ 586.5   Restricted cash   3.1       3.6   Receivables, net   539.1       544.2   Inventories   596.6       549.1   Investment in BellRing   —       94.8   Investments held in trust   348.8       346.8   Prepaid expenses and other current assets   103.0       98.4   Total Current Assets   2,197.4       2,223.4                   Property, net   1,756.5       1,751.9   Goodwill   4,416.3       4,349.6   Other intangible assets, net   2,707.2       2,712.2   Other assets   277.6       270.9   Total Assets $ 11,355.0     $ 11,308.0                                   LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY               Current Liabilities               Current portion of long-term debt  $ 1.1     $ 1.1   Accounts payable   426.3       452.7   Other current liabilities   360.8       370.0   Total Current Liabilities   788.2       823.8                   Long-term debt   5,886.8       5,956.6   Deferred income taxes   691.6       688.4   Other liabilities   240.4       266.9   Total Liabilities   7,607.0       7,735.7                   Redeemable Noncontrolling Interest   308.1       306.6                   Shareholders' Equity               Common stock   0.9      .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaFeb 2nd, 2023Related News

Clorox Reports Q2 Fiscal Year 2023 Results, Updates Outlook

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Clorox Company (NYSE:CLX) today reported results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2023, which ended Dec. 31, 2022. Second-Quarter Fiscal Year 2023 Summary Following is a summary of key second-quarter results. All comparisons are with the second quarter of fiscal year 2022 unless otherwise stated. Net sales increased 1% to $1.72 billion compared to an 8% net sales decrease in the year-ago quarter. The net sales increase was driven largely by favorable price mix, partially offset by lower volume. Organic sales1 were up 4%. The three-year average growth rate for net sales was 7%. Gross margin increased 320 basis points to 36.2% from 33% in the year-ago quarter, due to the benefits of pricing and cost savings initiatives, partially offset by unfavorable commodity costs and mix, and higher manufacturing and logistics costs. Diluted net earnings per share (diluted EPS) increased 43% to 80 cents from 56 cents in the year-ago quarter. This includes 16 cents related to investments in the company's long-term strategic digital capabilities and productivity enhancements as well as 2 cents related to implementation of its streamlined operating model. Adjusted EPS1 increased 48% to 98 cents from 66 cents in the year-ago quarter, due in part to the net benefits of pricing and cost savings, partially offset by lower volume, unfavorable commodity costs, and higher selling and administrative expenses. Year-to-date net cash provided by operations was $387 million compared to $222 million in the year-ago period, representing a 74% increase. "We delivered better-than-expected results this quarter, with strong execution and the benefit of continued brand relevance as well as our ongoing pricing and cost savings efforts," said CEO Linda Rendle. "The actions we are taking to rebuild margin are working, and we are relentlessly driving additional improvements while investing in our brands, categories and capabilities. Going forward, we are confident that our leading product portfolio in essential categories coupled with our proactive actions will enable us to navigate current macroeconomic challenges and return to more consistent profitable growth over time." This press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures. See "Non-GAAP Financial Information" at the end of this press release for more details. ______________________________________ 1 Organic sales growth/(decrease) and adjusted EPS are non-GAAP measures. See Non-GAAP Financial Information at the end of this press release for reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures. Strategic and Operational Highlights The following are recent highlights of business and ESG achievements: Generated organic sales growth in three of four segments. Sustained record-high consumer value superiority (76%) across the portfolio while rebuilding margins. Continued to implement cost-justified pricing actions. Achieved highest cost savings in the past 10 years. Reduced inventory by nearly 10% from the year-ago quarter. Introduced an eco-friendly product line with refillable options that will save plastic and reduce waste with Clorox Free & Clear Disinfecting Mist and Bathroom Ultra Foamer Cleaner. Recognized for the fifth time as an EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year for manufacturing products with ingredients the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designates as safer for families, pets, workplaces, communities and the environment. Ranked No. 2 on Forbes' 2022 list of The World's Top Female-Friendly Companies. Key Segment Results The following is a summary of key second-quarter results by reportable segment. All comparisons are with the second quarter of fiscal year 2022, unless otherwise stated. Health and Wellness (Cleaning; Professional Products; Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements) Net sales decreased 2%, with 17 points of favorable price mix more than offset by 19 points of lower volume. Cleaning sales were flat, benefiting from an early start of the cold and flu season in the United States offset by ongoing normalization of consumer demand. Professional Products sales decreased, driven by lower shipments of certain Pine-Sol scented products associated with the recent voluntary recall as well as continued softness in office occupancy. Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements sales decreased, primarily due to the business's ongoing shift away from noncore brands as well as distribution loss with a few retailers. Segment pretax earnings increased 84%, primarily behind the net impact of pricing, partially offset by lower volume. Household (Bags and Wraps; Grilling; Cat Litter) Net sales increased 9%, driven by 6 points of benefit from favorable price mix and 3 points of volume growth. Bags and Wraps sales were up as a result of strong consumption supported by product innovation and distribution growth. Grilling sales decreased due to ongoing normalization of consumer demand after the business saw a surge during the peak of the pandemic. Cat Litter sales increased, driven mainly by distribution growth, continued strong consumption and strong merchandising activities, particularly in the Club channel. Segment pretax earnings increased 340%, primarily due to higher net sales behind pricing as well as the benefit of cost savings, partially offset by higher commodity costs. Lifestyle (Food, Natural Personal Care, Water Filtration) Net sales increased 2% behind 8 points of favorable price mix, partially offset by 6 points of lower volume. Food sales were up, benefiting from continued strong consumption supported by merchandising activities for bottled Hidden Valley Ranch. Natural Personal Care sales increased behind distribution gains on holiday product innovations, partially offset by lower shipments caused by continued supply chain disruptions. Water Filtration sales were down mainly due to retailer inventory adjustments. Segment pretax earnings decreased 8%, mainly due to unfavorable commodity costs and higher advertising spending, partially offset by higher net sales behind pricing as well as the benefit of cost savings. International (Sales Outside the U.S.) Net sales decreased 3%, with 8 points of lower volume and 12 points of unfavorable foreign exchange rates, partially offset by 17 points of favorable price mix. Organic sales1 growth was 9%. Segment pretax earnings increased 26% largely behind the net impact of pricing and lower advertising spending, which was partially offset by higher manufacturing and logistics costs and unfavorable foreign exchange rates. Fiscal Year 2023 Outlook The company is updating the following elements of its fiscal year 2023 outlook: Net sales are now expected to be between a 2% decrease to a 1% increase (organic sales from flat to a 3% increase). This compares previously to a 4% decrease to a 2% increase (organic sales from a 3% decrease to a 3% increase). Diluted EPS is now expected to be between $3.20 and $3.45, or a 14% to 8% decrease, respectively. This compares previously to between $3.10 and $3.47, or a 17% to 7% decrease, respectively. Adjusted EPS is now expected to be between $4.05 and $4.30, or a 1% decrease to a 5% increase, respectively. This compares previously to between $3.85 and $4.22, or a 6% decrease to a 3% increase, respectively. To provide greater visibility into the underlying operating performance of the business, adjusted EPS outlook excludes the long-term strategic investment in digital capabilities and productivity enhancements, estimated to be about 55 cents, as well as the company's streamlined operating model, which is now estimated to increase from 20 cents to approximately 30 cents. While overall expectations for the program remain unchanged, with $75 to $100 million in ongoing annual savings and $75 to $100 million in one-time costs over fiscal years 2023 and 2024, the timing of charges has been adjusted as plans continue to be refined. The company is confirming the following elements of its fiscal year 2023 outlook: Foreign exchange headwinds continue to represent about a 2-point reduction in sales. Gross margin increase of about 200 basis points, primarily due to the combined benefit of pricing, cost savings and supply chain optimization, more than offsetting continued cost inflation. Selling and administrative expenses between 15% and 16% of net sales, including about 1.5 points of impact from the company's strategic investments in digital capabilities and productivity enhancements. Advertising and sales promotion spending of about 10% of net sales, reflecting the company's ongoing commitment to invest in its brands. Effective tax rate of about 24%, with year-over-year increase primarily reflecting lower excess tax benefits from equity compensation. Clorox Earnings Conference Call Schedule At approximately 4:15 p.m. ET today, Clorox will post prepared management remarks regarding its second-quarter fiscal year 2023 results. At 5 p.m. ET today, the company will host a live Q&A audio webcast with CEO Linda Rendle and Chief Financial Officer Kevin Jacobsen to discuss the results. Links to the live (and archived) webcast, press release and prepared remarks can be found at Clorox Quarterly Results. For More Detailed Financial Information  Visit the company's Quarterly Results for the following:  Supplemental unaudited volume and sales growth information Supplemental unaudited gross margin drivers information Supplemental unaudited cash flow information and free cash flow reconciliation Supplemental unaudited reconciliation of earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and adjusted EBIT Supplemental unaudited reconciliation of adjusted earnings per share Note: Percentage and basis-point, or point, changes noted in this press release are calculated based on rounded numbers, except for per-share data and the effective tax rate. About The Clorox Company The Clorox Company (NYSE:CLX) champions people to be well and thrive every single day. Its trusted brands, which include Brita®, Burt's Bees®, Clorox®, Fresh Step®, Glad®, Hidden Valley®, Kingsford®, Liquid-Plumr®, Pine-Sol® and Rainbow Light®, can be found in about nine of 10 U.S. homes and internationally with brands such as Ajudin®, Clorinda®, Chux® and Poett®. Headquartered in Oakland, California, since 1913, Clorox was one of the first U.S. companies to integrate ESG into its business reporting, with commitments in three areas: Healthy Lives, Clean World and Thriving Communities. Visit thecloroxcompany.com to learn more. CLX-F Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including, among others, statements related to the expected or potential impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the related responses of governments, consumers, customers, suppliers, employees and the company, on our business, operations, employees, financial condition and results of operations, and any such forward-looking statements, whether concerning the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties. Except for historical information, statements about future volumes, sales, organic sales growth, foreign currencies, costs, cost savings, margins, earnings, earnings per share, diluted earnings per share, foreign currency exchange rates, tax rates, cash flows, plans, objectives, expectations, growth or profitability are forward-looking statements based on management's estimates, beliefs, assumptions and projections. Words such as "could," "may," "expects," "anticipates," "targets," "goals," "projects," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "will," "predicts," and variations on such words, and similar expressions that reflect our current views with respect to future events and operational, economic and financial performance are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are only predictions, subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results could differ materially from those discussed. Important factors that could affect performance and cause results to differ materially from management's expectations are described in the sections entitled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, as updated from time to time in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These factors include, but are not limited to: the impact of the changing retail environment, including the growth of alternative retail channels and business models, and changing consumer preferences; volatility and increases in the costs of raw materials, energy, transportation, labor and other necessary supplies or services; the ability of the company to drive sales growth, increase prices and market share, grow its product categories and manage favorable product and geographic mix; risks related to supply chain issues, product shortages and disruptions to the business, as a result of increased supply chain dependencies due to an expanded supplier network and a reliance on certain single-source suppliers; the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related impacts, including on the availability of, and efficiency of the supply, manufacturing and distribution systems for, the company's products, including any significant disruption to such systems; on the demand for and sales of the company's products; and on worldwide, regional and local adverse economic conditions; intense competition in the company's markets; unfavorable general economic and political conditions beyond our control, including recent supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, wage pressures, rising inflation, the interest rate environment, fuel and energy costs, foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, weather events or natural disasters, disease outbreaks or pandemics, such as COVID-19, terrorism, and unstable geopolitical conditions, including the conflict in Ukraine; risks related to the company's use of and reliance on information technology systems, including potential security breaches, cyber-attacks, privacy breaches or data breaches that result in the unauthorized disclosure of consumer, customer, employee or company information, or service interruptions, especially at a time when a large number of the company's employees are working remotely and accessing its technology infrastructure remotely; the ability of the company to implement and generate cost savings and efficiencies, and successfully implement its business strategies, including achieving anticipated results and cost savings from the implementation of the streamlined operating model; dependence on key customers and risks related to customer consolidation and ordering patterns; the company's ability to attract and retain key personnel, which may continue to be impacted by challenges in the labor market, such as wage inflation and sustained labor shortages; the company's ability to maintain its business reputation and the reputation of its brands and products; lower revenue, increased costs or reputational harm resulting from government actions and compliance with regulations, or any material costs imposed by changes in regulation; the ability of the company to successfully manage global political, legal, tax and regulatory risks, including changes in regulatory or administrative activity; risks related to international operations and international trade, including changing macroeconomic conditions as a result of inflation, volatile commodity prices and increases in raw and packaging materials prices, labor, energy and logistics; global economic or political instability; foreign currency fluctuations, such as devaluations, and foreign currency exchange rate controls; changes in governmental policies, including trade, travel or immigration restrictions, new or additional tariffs, and price or other controls; labor claims and civil unrest; continued high levels of inflation in Argentina; potential disruption from wars and military conflicts, including the conflict in Ukraine; impact of the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union; potential negative impact and liabilities from the use, storage and transportation of chlorine in certain international markets where chlorine is used in the production of bleach; widespread health emergencies, such as COVID-19; and the possibility of nationalization, expropriation of assets or other government action; the impact of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues, including those related to climate change and sustainability on our sales, operating costs or reputation; the ability of the company to innovate and to develop and introduce commercially successful products, or expand into adjacent categories and countries; the impact of product liability claims, labor claims and other legal, governmental or tax proceedings, including in foreign jurisdictions and in connection with any product recalls; risks relating to acquisitions, new ventures and divestitures, and associated costs; and the ability to complete announced transactions and, if completed, integration costs and potential contingent liabilities related to those transactions; the accuracy of the company's estimates and assumptions on which its financial projections, including any sales or earnings guidance or outlook it may provide from time to time, are based; risks related to additional increases in the estimated fair value of The Procter & Gamble Company's interest in the Glad business; risk of reductions in the estimated valuation of the Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements business and additional goodwill impairments; environmental matters, including costs associated with the remediation and monitoring of past contamination, and possible increases in costs resulting from actions by relevant regulators, and the handling and/or transportation of hazardous substances; the company's ability to effectively utilize, assert and defend its intellectual property rights, and any infringement or claimed infringement by the company of third-party intellectual property rights; the performance of strategic alliances and other business relationships; the effect of the company's indebtedness and credit rating on its business operations and financial results and the company's ability to access capital markets and other funding sources, as well as the cost of capital to the company; the company's ability to pay and declare dividends or repurchase its stock in the future; the impacts of potential stockholder activism; and risks related to any litigation associated with the exclusive forum provision in the company's bylaws. The company's forward-looking statements in this press release are based on management's current views, beliefs, assumptions and expectations regarding future events and speak only as of the date of this press release. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by the federal securities laws. Non-GAAP Financial Information This press release contains non-GAAP financial information related to organic sales growth/(decrease) and adjusted EPS for the second quarter of fiscal year 2023, as well as organic sales growth/(decrease) and adjusted EPS outlook for fiscal year 2023. Clorox defines organic sales growth/(decrease) as GAAP net sales growth/(decrease) excluding the effect of foreign exchange rate changes and any acquisitions or divestitures. Organic sales growth/(decrease) outlook for fiscal year 2023 and for the third quarter of fiscal year 2023 exclude the impact of foreign currency exchange rate changes, which the company currently expects to reduce GAAP net sales growth/(decrease) by about 2 percentage points for fiscal year 2023 and 2 to 3 percentage points for the third quarter of fiscal year 2023. Management believes that the presentation of organic sales growth/(decrease) is useful to investors because it excludes sales from any acquisitions and divestitures, which results in a comparison of sales only from the businesses that the company was operating and expects to continue to operate throughout the relevant periods, and the company's estimate of the impact of foreign exchange rate changes, which are difficult to predict and out of the control of the company and management. However, organic sales growth/(decrease) may not be the same as similar measures provided by other companies due to potential differences in methods of calculation or differences in which items are incorporated into these adjustments. Adjusted EPS is defined as diluted earnings per share that excludes or has otherwise been adjusted for significant items that are nonrecurring or unusual. The income tax effect on non-GAAP items is calculated based upon the tax laws and statutory income tax rates applicable in the tax jurisdiction(s) of the underlying non-GAAP adjustment. Adjusted EPS is supplemental information that management uses to help evaluate the company's historical and prospective financial performance on a consistent basis over time. Management believes that by adjusting for certain items affecting comparability of performance over time, such as asset impairments, charges related to the streamlined operating model, charges related to the digital capabilities and productivity enhancements investment, significant losses/(gains) related to acquisitions and other nonrecurring or unusual items, investors and management are able to gain additional insight into the company's underlying operating performance on a consistent basis over time. However, adjusted EPS may not be the same as similar measures provided by other companies due to potential differences in methods of calculation or differences in which items are incorporated into these adjustments. The reconciliation tables below refer to the equivalent GAAP measures adjusted as applicable for the following items: Digital Capabilities and Productivity Enhancements Investment  As announced in August 2021, the company plans to invest approximately $500 million over a five-year period in transformative technologies and processes. This investment, which began in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022, includes replacement of the company's enterprise resource planning system and transitioning to a cloud-based platform as well as the implementation of a suite of other digital technologies. Together it is expected that these implementations will generate efficiencies and transform the company's operations in the areas of supply chain, digital commerce, innovation, brand building and more over the long term.  Of the total $500 million investment, approximately 55% is expected to represent incremental operating costs primarily recorded within selling and administrative expenses to be adjusted from reported EPS for purposes of disclosing adjusted EPS over the course of the next five years. About 70% of these incremental operating costs are expected to be related to the implementation of the ERP, with the remaining costs primarily related to the implementation of complementary technologies. Due to the nature, scope and magnitude of this investment, these costs are considered by management to represent incremental transformational costs above the historical normal level of spending for information technology to support operations. Since these strategic investments, including incremental operating costs, will cease at the end of the investment period, are not expected to recur in the foreseeable future and are not considered representative of the company's underlying operating performance, the company's management believes presenting these costs as an adjustment in the non-GAAP results provides additional information to investors about trends in the company's operations and is useful for period-over-period comparisons. It also allows investors to view underlying operating results in the same manner as they are viewed by company management. Streamlined Operating Model As announced in August 2022, Clorox began to implement a streamlined operating model in the first quarter of fiscal year 2023. The streamlined operating model is expected to enhance the company's ability to respond more quickly to changing consumer behaviors, innovate faster, and increase future cash flow as a result of cost savings that will be generated primarily in the areas of selling and administration, supply chain, marketing, and research and development. Once fully implemented, the company expects cost savings of approximately $75 million to $100 million annually, with benefits of approximately $25 million anticipated in fiscal year 2023.This fiscal year, the company began recognizing costs related to implementation of this model to meet its objectives of driving growth and productivity. The company anticipates that the implementation of this new model will be completed in fiscal year 2024, with different phases occurring throughout the implementation period. As a result, the company expects to incur costs of approximately $75 million to $100 million over fiscal years 2023 and 2024. Of that amount, approximately $40 million to $60 million, or an estimated midpoint impact of $0.30 cents on diluted EPS, will be recognized in fiscal year 2023, primarily within other income and expense. Over the course of the implementation, related costs are primarily expected to include employee-related costs to reduce certain staffing levels, such as severance payments, as well as for consulting and other costs. Due to the nonrecurring and unusual nature of these costs, the company's management believes presenting these costs as an adjustment in the non-GAAP results provides additional information to investors about trends in the company's operations and is useful for period over period comparisons. It also allows investors to view underlying operating results in the same manner as they are viewed by company management. The following tables provide reconciliations of organic sales growth/(decrease) (non-GAAP) to net sales growth/(decrease), the most comparable GAAP measure: Three Months Ended December 31, 2022 Percentage change versus the year-ago period Health and Wellness Household Lifestyle International Total Net sales growth / (decrease) (GAAP) (2) % 9 % 2 % (3) % 1 % Add: Foreign Exchange — — — 12 3 Add/(Subtract): Divestitures/Acquisitions — — — — — Organic sales growth / (decrease) (non-GAAP) (2) % 9 % 2 % 9 % 4 % Six Months Ended December 31, 2022 Percentage change versus the year-ago period Health ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaFeb 2nd, 2023Related News

A US weapons maker is offering Ukraine a pair of deadly combat drones for $1, "no strings attached," but it"s not that simple

The Biden administration would still have to approve the offer, and it would cost millions of dollars just to get these drones ready for combat. An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted drone aircraft performs aerial maneuvers over Creech Air Force BaseThomson Reuters US weapons maker General Atomics offered two lethal drones for Ukraine for just $1. The price is symbolic, the company said, adding that it would also provide training. But the transfer would need approval from the US government, and still cost millions in other fees.  A leading US weapons maker has offered to send a pair of deadly combat drones to Ukraine for a "symbolic" price of one dollar, without any strings attached, but this proposal is more complicated than it appears.The Biden administration, which has so far been reluctant to send larger and more advanced drones, would need to authorize the transfer, and even if it was approved, the plan would still cost millions of dollars in delivery and maintenance fees. Linden Blue, the CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, wrote in a Wednesday statement that the company recently offered to send Ukraine two lethal drones used for training purposes. In addition to these unmanned combat aerial vehicles, the defense contractor said that it would also provide training for Ukrainian operators and a ground control station — all for just $1. General Atomics did not specify which drones it plans to provide Ukraine. It did say, however, that since the start of Russia's large-scale invasion nearly a year ago, two options that it has considered include the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1C Gray Eagle, both of which are proven systems that have combat and surveillance capabilities, a 27-hour endurance, and can be armed with Hellfire missiles. The Reaper, which can gather information and execute strike missions and has an operational ceiling of 50,000 feet, played a significant role in the US war in Afghanistan. The Gray Eagle, meanwhile, succeeded the Predator drone, and can fly at half that altitude. In November, senators from both sides of the aisle wrote a letter urging the Biden administration to outfit Ukraine with the Gray Eagle so it can attack Russian ships in the Black Sea.  However, General Atomics acknowledged that preparing these drones for combat use come with additional costs that are outside the company's control. This includes shipping them to Ukraine, expanding satellite capability, setting up operations on the ground, and fitting the drones with necessary equipment. Ukraine would have to spend $10 million alone just preparing and shipping the drones to Ukraine and an additional $8 million on maintenance, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the offer. Still, General Atomics pointed out that this is a good deal for Ukraine."Factoring in hardware and training that is essentially free, the offer is a remarkable deal with no strings attached," General Atomics said. "All that is required is approval from the US government."The US has so far avoided providing Ukraine with larger and more lethal drones such as the Reaper and Gray Eagle. Instead, Washington has sent smaller weapons like the Switchblade tactical unmanned systems, which are loitering munitions sometimes referred to as kamikaze or suicide drones.The Biden administration has been concerned that the provision of larger armed unmanned systems, which are subject to certain export restrictions anyway, could escalate the conflict, as The Wall Street Journal reported in November, so it remains to be seen if the US government will green light the transfer of the drones that General Atomics has offered.A State Department spokesperson told Insider that it was aware of reports on the offer, but had nothing to add at this moment. They added that Ukraine is working with limited personnel, and that the US is focusing on supporting Kyiv on its near-term battlefield needs. The Pentagon did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the offer. "There are limits to what an American defense company can do to support a situation such as this," General Atomics wrote. "From our perspective, it is long past time to enable Ukrainian forces with the information dominance required to win this war." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 2nd, 2023Related News

3 ways to avoid micromanagement and build trust at work

One way to grow more trust in your team: When you hire, spend as much time evaluating skill level as you do assessing a person's character. Trusting others can be difficult, especially when it comes to your business, but the cost of distrust is far too high.zhuweiyi49/Getty Images A lack of trust in your workforce hampers productivity, increases costs, and leads to attrition. As many as 79% percent of employees have experienced micromanagement. To build trust, screen for character during the hiring process and clarify your expectations. As the recent health crisis tested businesses across the globe, people seized the opportunity to become entrepreneurs and take control of their careers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as reported by NPR, 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021. And in the first half of 2022, new business applications were 23% higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to the Economic Innovation Group. Instead of relying on their employers to provide security, millions of new business owners sought the ability to run their teams and call the shots in an environment where control was elusive.This rise in entrepreneurship also highlighted another phenomenon: general distrust in the workforce.One of the most essential things you understand as an entrepreneur is that if it weren't for you, your business would not exist. This certainty, coupled with the doubts and insecurity bred by the recent health crisis, has probably made it challenging for you and many other leaders to have confidence in the future. After all, the ability to take risks and make bold decisions for your business hinges on trust. Without it, your business would fail.Specifically, a lack of trust in your workforce hampers productivity and retention and increases costs. How? Distrust stops progress because it incapacitates even your best employees each day. When employees aren't encouraged or given a sense of autonomy, they tend to quit, leaving you without your most critical asset: people. Leading with trust is crucial to retaining employees and moving your business forward. Though trusting others can be difficult, especially when it comes to your business, the cost of distrust is far too high.The importance of trusting others in businessLet's face it — your business is like your baby. Just like you wouldn't trust your baby with anyone, you probably wouldn't trust your business with just anyone, either. After all, you had an idea, you worked hard, and you turned it into a business. So, it's difficult to let go and let other people work for you and take on more responsibility, which makes it tempting to micromanage. However, when you micromanage your workforce, you are saying loud and clear that your employees' ideas and contributions aren't good enough. As a result, bureaucracy increases, and employee morale decreases.A recent article by Forbes revealed that as many as 79% percent of employees had experienced micromanagement. This translates to a lot of leaders leaning into bureaucracy rather than trust. How do you become a bureaucratic leader? If you are guilty of micromanaging your team, you've likely experienced employee hierarchies and restrictive policies in the past. As a result, you think that if others did it, it must work. Unfortunately, distrust and micromanagement create silos that hinder communication and bring organizations down.If you're one of the millions of leaders who tend to tighten the controls instead of letting go, you might be doing more harm than you realize. During the height of the Great Resignation in 2021, 47 million people quit their jobs, according to CNN Business. The phenomenon is still going on, with 4 million Americans quitting in November 2022, per the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to Pew Research Center, many left their jobs for better opportunities, increased pay and more respect. Micromanagement (even if it's unintentional) is the ultimate form of disrespect and, as a result, can increase turnover and make it more challenging to hire people. This disrupts your organizational structure and can cause your chain of command to fluctuate constantly and eventually fall apart.How to lead with trustDistrust is easy to fall into for many entrepreneurs, but it is possible to let go and create a culture of trust even if you are struggling with trust issues. For example, many leaders have forced employees to "earn" the right to work from home. However, the only message this sends to team members is, "We don't trust you." A better approach would mirror that of 3M, which implemented a "Work Your Way" program that enables employees to return to the office, adopt a hybrid schedule or work entirely remotely.As you can see, trusting the people who make up your company is essential. Here are three ways you can build trust in your organization to avoid trust-related pitfalls:1. Hire people you trustFirst things first, only hire people you can trust to be on your team. Right now, you probably devote more of your time assessing hard skills and experience in the hiring process. However, there are ways to gauge behavioral and character fitness as well. When searching for talent, spend equal time measuring skills and character to increase trust and reduce turnover in the long run. Upwork is a good example of a company that trusts its team. Leaders initially called employees back to its headquarters but later allowed employees to work from home due to safety issues and because the company trusted its personnel.2. Examine your assumptionsIf you tend to make assumptions about people, maybe it's time to ask why. When it comes to your business, it's easy to assume that people who work for you only want to take advantage of you or benefit themselves. Instead of jumping to conclusions, take a step back and evaluate situations individually. Just as you wouldn't make assumptions about your business, don't paint people with a broad brush.Many leaders hold their team members at arm's length to keep the relationship professional. However, this is not the best approach to building trust. As a leader, you can strike a balance so that your team members can trust you enough to communicate any issues openly. This will help you boost engagement, improve retention and create a more trusting environment in the long term.3. Clarify your expectationsEveryone on your team is only human, which means they can't read your mind. That's why it's crucial to clarify your expectations of your team early on and to understand your team members' expectations. You instantly improve communication and morale when you have an upfront conversation about expectations right out of the gate. This sets the foundation for robust and trusting work relationships.Although it's hard to "let go" of your business, trust is vital to moving your company forward. Without trust, you risk losing people and productivity. When you feel the need to micromanage, remember that you hired your team members for a reason. Avoid micromanagement, and you will likely see a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.Gloria St. Martin-Lowry is the president of HPWP Group, a company that promotes leadership and organizational development through positivity, coaching and problem-solving.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 2nd, 2023Related News

Meta"s layoffs were expensive — it may have spent more than $88,000 per employee to cut 11,000 from the ranks

Meta's severance and personnel costs, following layoffs announced in November, totaled nearly $1 billion, the company reported Wednesday. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg cut 13% of the company's workforce in November.Facebook/Meta In November 2022, Meta laid off more than 11,000 employees, or 13% of its workforce. The layoffs were the most significant job cuts in the company's history. It's possible the company spent around $88,000 a person in cutting those employees. The numbers are in, and Meta's mass layoffs announced in November cost the company a pretty penny. On Wednesday, Myles Udland— now the Head of News at Yahoo Finance and a former markets correspondent for Insider — laid out part of Meta's balance sheet in a tweet:—Myles Udland (@MylesUdland) February 1, 2023 Udland estimated that Meta shelled out approximately $88,000 a person to cut more than 11,000 employees out of its workforce in November. The number comes from dividing the $975 million that the company paid in "Severance and Other Personnel" costs by 11,000, approximately the number of employees the company cut in November. The result comes out to around $88,636 a person, adding room for the "more than" 11,000.  The calculation was subsequently confirmed by Daniel Ives, managing director and senior equity analyst at investment firm Wedbush Securities. The cost of cutting those employees is particularly significant amid rising concerns that Meta is preparing for an additional round of layoffs this year. In the company's fourth-quarter earnings release posted Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned that Meta's management theme for 2023 was 'Year of Efficiency.'Meta did not immediately respond to Insider's request for a comment.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 1st, 2023Related News

An elite Russian tank force that"s been repeatedly beaten on the battlefield appears ready to try its luck again

Moscow's 1st Guards Tank Army was beaten down in the initial phase of the war and was routed months later during a Ukrainian counteroffensive. A Ukrainian soldier checks a wrecked Russian tank outside of the village of Mala Rogan, east of Kharkiv, on April 1, 2022.SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images After training in Belarus, an elite Russian tank force is back in eastern Ukraine to fight again. The 1st Guards Tank Army has repeatedly been beaten in battle and has suffered heavy losses This move comes ahead of an expected Russian offensive in the near future.  A Russian tank force long considered elite that's taken a beating on the battlefield in Ukraine appears to be readying to try its luck again. The 1st Guards Tank Army (1 GTA) has suffered heavy losses in battle while squaring off against Ukrainian forces on multiple occasions, and after some elements temporarily withdrew, it appears to be back in Ukraine ahead of an expected offensive by Russian forces.   This tank army consists of several powerful divisions, including the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division (GMRD), which had been deployed to Russian ally Belarus for training over the last few months.Britain's defense ministry wrote in an intelligence update last month that the "majority" of the 2nd GMRD had transferred back to Russia and was "almost certainly" being recommitted to the fighting in Ukraine. It said this unit, part of an army that was once seen as very capable, is now "primarily made up of mobilized personnel operating older equipment taken from storage. Its combat effectiveness will likely be limited despite several weeks of training."It added that there is a "realistic possibility" other Russian units have been rotated into Belarus in a similar strategy of regrouping units to maintain the fight in Ukraine.Echoing this assessment, Ukrainian intelligence observed elements of the 2nd GMRD had pulled out of Belarus and had partially deployed to eastern Ukraine's occupied Luhansk region, according to a recent analysis by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a Washington-based think tank. Smoke rises from a Russian tank destroyed by the Ukrainian forces on the side of a road in Luhansk region on February 26, 2022.ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty ImagesRecent movement of Russia's 1 GTA, which consists of tens of thousands of soldiers and hundreds of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and artillery units, was reported by Forbes in late January. Once famous for its efforts against the Nazis during World War II, the tank army appears to have lost a step, suffering devastating defeats in multiple engagements with Ukrainian forces during Russia's large-scale assault on its neighbor. 1 GTA first took heavy casualties during the early days and weeks of the war as Russian forces attempted to capture both the capital city Kyiv and the major city of Kharkiv. The tank army was routed in the northeastern Kharkiv region months later during Ukraine's late-summer lightning-fast counteroffensive, which saw Kyiv liberate thousands of square miles of territory that was previously under Russian occupation.   Now, after regrouping and training in Belarus, the tank army appears to be gearing up to become a part of an anticipated Russian offensive in the coming months, which ISW said this week is Moscow's "most likely course of action." The think tank suggested Ukraine plans to push back with its own counteroffensive. Ukrainian and Western officials have warned recently that a possible Russian offensive is looming in the near future. Last week, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters at a briefing that Russia "continues to recruit, refit, and reenergize their efforts" to be able to carry out an offensive. Meanwhile, Western countries have ramped up security assistance to Ukraine, pledging to send hundreds of armored vehicles to help the country fend off what one US official described as an expected "Russian onslaught."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytFeb 1st, 2023Related News

US Air Force crews have revived a method to load bombers that hasn"t been used in 30 years

With a Launcher Load Frame, airmen can assemble weapons packages out of the view of rivals who want to know what US bombers are carrying. A Launcher Load Frame next to a B-1 B Lancer at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas on January 9.US Air Force/Senior Airman Josiah Brown US Air Force weapons loaders at Dyess Air Force Base revived a capability unused for three decades. In January, airmen used a Launcher Load Frame to pre-load munitions that were then loaded on a B-1B bomber. With an LLF, airmen can pre-load bombs away from prying eyes before taking the entire thing to the aircraft. The US Air Force has recently released some interesting photos showing the activity carried out a Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, earlier this month.In fact, on January 9, 2023, personnel of the 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron used the Launcher Load Frame (LLF) to pre-load a munition package that was then loaded on a B-1B Lancer.The concept for pre-loading munitions has been around since the B-1 first entered service but has gone unused for 30 years until 7 AMXS resurrected the capability. Using LLF, weapons loaders can pre-load munitions on a launcher, under the cover of a facility, prior to transporting the entire launcher/munition package to the flight-line for loading on the aircraft.The photos released by the Air Force show the LLF packed with 2,000-pound GBU-31 JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) being loaded on the internal weapons bay of the BONE (the nickname of the B-1 — from "B-One").A US Air Force weapons load crew member helps transport a Launcher Load Frame at Dyess Air Force Base on January 9.US Air Force/Senior Airman Josiah BrownThe capability was thought for use with nuclear bombs, but the B-1 bomber's mission was reviewed in 1994 and the type converted to conventional-only weapons with a physical conversion that took place between 2007 and 2011, with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).Nevertheless, the LLF will now be used to generate conventional munitions packages out of the view of near-peer intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.The use of LLF is just the last in a series of upgrades to the B-1 fleet aimed at making the Lancer more capable in the conventional scenario. Other upgrades announced in the past are the internal bay capacity increase and the return of external hardpoints that were deactivated following arms treaties with Russia.The external hard points were initially thought for the B-1's nuclear strike mission too, but they could be used to carry JASSMs (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles) and, possibly, hypersonic weapons externally.A Launcher Load Frame is raised into a B-1B at Dyess Air Force Base on January 9.US Air Force/Senior Airman Josiah BrownThe expansion of the BONE's capabilities proceeds even though the US Air Force is preparing to replace the B-1 with the new B-21 Raider sixth-generation stealth bomber.The divestment of 17 B-1B aircraft from a fleet of 62 Lancers has been completed in September 2021. In accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act, the 17 B-1B aircraft were retired from a fleet of 62, leaving 45 in the active inventory.According to the Air Force Global Strike Command, out of the 17 retired, one went to Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, as a prototype for structural repair actions; one went to Edwards AFB as a ground tester; and one went to Wichita, Kansas, to the National Institute for Aviation Research for digital mapping; and one went to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, as a static display for the Barksdale Global Power Museum.The remaining 13 aircraft will be stored at the boneyard at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB in Type 4000 storage. Four of those will remain in a reclaimable condition that is consistent with Type 2000 recallable storage.H/T to Ryan Chan for the heads-up!Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 1st, 2023Related News

Why Tom Brady was overlooked in the NFL Draft and why it was more than luck that led him to the Patriots

The Patriots were fortunate, but drafting Tom Brady was not all luck. Tom Brady has gone from draft afterthought to future Hall of Famer.Al Bello/Getty Tom Brady was the 199th pick in the NFL Draft and is now considered the greatest quarterback ever. The Pats wanted Brady and would have taken him earlier if not for the mess at many other positions. The Patriots did not need another quarterback at the time, but he was too good to keep skipping. In 2000, the New England Patriots were a mess.The Pats lost six of their final eight games during the 1999 season and fired head coach Pete Carroll. They hired Bill Belichick, and the team made the biggest steal in NFL Draft history: selecting Tom Brady in the sixth round.Snagging Brady late in the draft was a move that would win the franchise nine AFC titles and six Super Bowls in the next 20 seasons. Many people think the Patriots just got lucky in drafting a future Hall of Famer so late in the draft. In reality, luck had little to do with it.The Patriots were high on BradyBefore the draft, Belichick hired veteran assistant Dick Rehbein to be his quarterbacks coach, even though he had not previously held the position at any level. In Michael Holley's book, "Belichick and Brady," he explained the decision to hire Rehbein and help the Pats find a backup for starter Drew Bledsoe."He had played some college ball himself, at center," Holley wrote. "While he didn't have the perspective of someone who had played quarterback, he was often the quarterback of the offensive line. Even better, he was an informed outsider. He had coached for fifteen years, but analyzing quarterbacks was new to him. He'd bring fresh eyes to the job."According to Belichick, during an interview with the NFL Network, when Rehbein returned, he told Belichick that Brady was "the best fit for the [Patriots'] system" and others in the front office and among the coaches agreed.In particular, the team loved Brady's mental makeup and leadership skills.Tom Brady was just a part-time starter at the University of Michigan.Reuters"It's not that we said we wanted to draft a tall, lanky quarterback that ran a 5.3 [time in the] 40 [yard dash]. Those weren't the traits we were looking for," current Bucs general manager and then-member of the Patriots personnel staff Jason Licht said before the 2014 season. "But we were looking for the mental makeup ... Belichick did a lot of homework on him, along with our staff, on his mental makeup. Watching the tape, he was the guy that would go in and lead [the University of Michigan] back to victory."Brady's role at Michigan and his lack of athleticism turned off other teamsMany teams were scared away from Brady because Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr refused to name Brady the starting quarterback early on his senior year after serving as the starting quarterback his junior year. Before the season opener against Notre Dame, Carr was asked who would be starting:"What time is the game?" Carr asked."Three-thirty," he was told."Three-thirty. You'll see then," he responded.Brady started the game, but he also shared duties with sophomore Drew Henson, losing his role as the Wolverines' unrivaled quarterback. Not exactly a ringing endorsement from his coach.Brady also showed up to the NFL Draft combine looking un-athletic."He did not have the prototypical NFL body," said Don Banks of Sports Illustrated on the NFL Network. "He came out kinda skinny [and] they didn't think he was strong enough."Tom Brady was not impressive at the NFL Combine.NFL NetworkVic Carucci of NFL.com added that Brady "looked slow."Brady ran his 40-yard dash in 5.28 seconds, well below where quarterbacks should be. Of the 308 quarterbacks to run at the NFL Combine since 2000, Only three ran as slow or slower than Brady.The one thing the Patriots did not need was a quarterbackWhile the Patriots were high on Brady, former Patriots general manager Scott Pioli explained that the team was a mess and had more critical needs than adding another quarterback."When we took over the 2000 team, we had a roster of 42 players and were $10.5 million over the salary cap," Pioli said on The Dan Patrick Show. "We had to get down to 39 players to get under the cap ... We liked Brady a little bit. But the one thing we had with [just] 39 players on the roster was we had three quarterbacks."In other words, the Patriots needed to add at least 14 players to the 53-man roster but were set at quarterback. One of those quarterbacks, Drew Bledsoe, was only 28 years old and should have been entering the prime of what had been a good career up to that point.Drew Bledsoe was only 28 years old when Tom Brady was drafted.Getty ImagesIn another twist of fate, the Patriots' roster and salary-cap mess also forced them to let several veteran players go in free agency. The NFL awarded the Patriots multiple compensatory picks late in the 2000 draft due to the free agency defections, and one of those was pick No. 199 overall in the sixth round.The draft started to shape up perfectly for the Patriots"We started talking about Brady around the third round," said Pioli. "When you are drafting based on need or best player, and you are waffling back and forth, you have to do things strategically."Other quarterbacks kept coming off the board, and nobody was taking Brady.The 49ers drafted Hofstra's Giovanni Carmazzi in the third round. He never played in an NFL game.Tom Hauck /AllsportSix quarterbacks were drafted ahead of Brady in the 2000 draft. Those six quarterbacks combined to start 191 games and throw 258 touchdowns. Brady won 278 games in his career, including seven Super Bowls, and threw 710 touchdowns in the regular season and playoffs, combined.At this point, doubt was starting to creep into Brady's mind. His internship at Merril Lynch may have needed to become a career.Luckily for Brady, Belichick hired a coach with no experience analyzing quarterbacks to do just that. It was a fresh set of eyes. From Holley's book:"All of Brady's old [Michigan] teammates could talk about the NFL and Brady could ask them about their insurance. The thought had crossed his mind. He was a college graduate, and he was going to need a job. If not football, premiums. Luckily for Brady, the new quarterbacks coach in New England, Rehbein, had a few things going for him. He was wildly respected by his boss; he had been remarkably thorough in his first quarterbacks analysis; and he loved what he saw from Tom Brady. As a result, Brady's name and draft grade practically shouted from the whiteboard in the Patriots' war room."Pioli agreed."Every round, we're looking at Brady," Pioli said. "When it got to the sixth round — we had the [draft] board stacked vertically [with columns moving left to right]  — by the time we got to the sixth round, Brady is all the way over to the left by himself, and we said 'what are we doing?' ... everyone liked Brady ... so we took him."The value of a player they liked at that point of the draft outweighed other needs the team still had.The Patriots had to sacrifice elsewhere to keep Brady on the teamWhile most teams carry two or three quarterbacks on the roster, the Patriots had four quarterbacks during Brady's rookie season.This may have been the most telling sign that the Patriots did see potential in the young Brady. The Patriots sacrificed a roster spot to keep Brady on the team even though they knew the rookie would not play much (he threw three passes his rookie season).So while there was some luck involved with other teams passing on Brady, the Patriots saw something they liked and took a chance other teams did not, and they had to make sacrifices to do so.The result was the biggest steal in NFL Draft history.Bob Leverone/AP Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 1st, 2023Related News

3 Restaurant Stocks to Buy Despite Industry Challenges

Restaurants stocks like MCD, YUM and DRI are likely to benefit from robust off-premise sales, sales-building initiatives and digital initiatives. The Zacks Retail – Restaurants industry has been impacted by high wages and food cost inflation. Rising prices are also hurting the industry’s traffic. These factors have been affecting margins of late. However, the gradual improvement in demand, menu innovation, robust off-premise sales, sales-building efforts and digital initiatives bode well. Stocks like, McDonald's Corporation MCD, Yum! Brands, Inc. YUM and Darden Restaurants, Inc. DRI are well-poised to counter the scenario.Industry DescriptionThe Zacks Retail – Restaurants industry comprises several owners and operators of casual, upscale casual, fine dining, full-service and fast-casual restaurants. Some industry participants operate as roasters, marketers and retailers of specialty coffee. Some companies develop, operate, and franchise quick-service restaurants worldwide. A few restaurant operators offer cooked-to-order dishes, which include noodles and pasta, soups, salads and appetizers. Some industry players develop, own, operate, manage, and license restaurants and lounges worldwide. A few companies also operate technology-enabled Japanese restaurants in the United States and provide Japanese cuisine through a revolving sushi service model.4 Trends Shaping the Future of the Restaurant IndustryTraffic Woes & High Costs Linger: The restaurant industry has been facing declining traffic for quite some time now. A rapid increase in menu prices and coronavirus are the primary reasons behind traffic erosion. Restaurant operators are grappling with the high cost of operations. Intense competition, high wages and food cost inflation remain concerns. The industry is persistently bearing increased expenses, which have been affecting margins. Higher pre-opening costs, marketing expenses and costs related to sales-boosting initiatives are exerting pressure the company’s margins. The rise in meat and seafood costs, including ribs, prime rib, ribeye and tri-tip and salmon, is hurting the industry.Sales Declined in December: Per the industry body, the National Restaurant Association (NRA), restaurant sales declined in December to $88.3 billion compared with $89.2 billion generated in November. The association also said that October and November sales were $1.6 billion lower than preliminary numbers reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.Digitalization to Drive Growth: Restaurant operators’ focus on digital innovation, sales-building initiatives and cost-saving efforts has been acting as a catalyst. With the growing influence of the Internet, digital innovation has become the need of the hour. Restaurant operators are constantly partnering with delivery channels and digital platforms to drive incremental sales. Partnerships with delivery channels like DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates and Uber Eats and the rollout of self-service kiosks and loyalty programs continue to drive growth. Restaurant operators are focusing on driverless delivery systems to augment sales amid the coronavirus crisis. This is anticipated to reduce expenses substantially and ensure safety amid the pandemic as companies do away with delivery personnel.Off-Premise Sales Acting as a Key Catalyst: The industry has been gaining from the increase in off-premise sales, which primarily include delivery, takeout, drive-thru, catering, meal kits, and off-site options such as kiosks and food trucks, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Per the National Restaurant Association, more than 60% of restaurant foods are consumed off-premise. By 2025, off-premise will likely account for approximately 80% of the industry’s growth. Most restaurant operators have initiated testing of ghost or virtual kitchens. The idea of providing off-premise offerings along with a connected curbside service has been garnering positive customer feedback.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Dismal ProspectsThe Zacks Gaming industry is grouped within the broader Retail-Wholesale sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #161, which places it in the bottom 36% of more than 250 Zacks industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bleak near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.The industry’s position in the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of a positive earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are gradually losing confidence in this group’s earnings growth potential. Since Aug 31, 2022, the industry’s earnings estimate for the current year has gone down 0.7%.Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.Industry Outperforms the S&P 500 & SectorThe Zacks Retail – Restaurants industry has outperformed the Zacks S&P 500 composite and its own sector over the past year.Over this period, the industry has increased 4.7%, compared with the Zacks S&P 500 composite’s decrease of 14%. The sector has declined 14.8%.One-Year Price PerformanceRestaurant Industry's ValuationOn the basis of the forward 12-month P/E, which is a commonly used multiple for valuing restaurant stocks, the industry is currently trading at 25.45X compared with the S&P 500’s 18.1X. It is marginally above the sector’s forward 12-month P/E ratio of 20.44X.Over the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 34.64X and as low as 20.53X, with the median being at 24.74X.3 Key Restaurant PicksMcDonald's: McDonald's, operates and franchises quick-service restaurants under the McDonald’s brand. McDonald’s increased focus on menu innovation and loyalty program expansion is commendable. The company is also undertaking every effort to drive growth in international markets. Robust digitalization is likely to help the company to drive long-term growth and capture market share.Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have inched up 2%. McDonald's earnings for fiscal 2023 are anticipated to rise 3.9% from 2022 anticipated levels. In the past 30 days, the consensus mark for 2023 earnings has been revised upward by 1.1%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Price and Consensus: MCDYum! Brands: The company has been benefitting from continued focus on off-premise channels, strategic investments in digital technology and refranchising efforts. Moreover, it has implemented various digital features in mobile and online platforms across all brand segments to enhance the guest experience. The company has been working toward accelerating its delivery services and the results have been positive so far.  YUM carries a Zacks Rank #2. Yum! Brands earnings for fiscal 2023 are anticipated to improve 15.6% from 2022 anticipated levels. In the past 30 days, the consensus mark for 2023 earnings has been revised upward by 0.2%. In the past three months, shares of the company have gained 4.2%.Price and Consensus: YUMDarden Restaurants: Darden Restaurants is one of the largest casual dining restaurant operators worldwide. The company is gaining from business-model enhancements and menu simplifications. This and a focus on technological enhancements in online ordering, the introduction of To Go capacity management and Curbside I'm Here notification bode well.Darden Restaurants carries a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of the company’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 7.9% and 5.4%, respectively, from the prior-year comparable figure. Shares of the company have increased 5% in the past year.Price and Consensus: DRI Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>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 McDonald's Corporation (MCD): Free Stock Analysis Report Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM): Free Stock Analysis Report Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksFeb 1st, 2023Related News

Russia"s top prosecutor criticizes mass mobilization, telling Putin to his face that more than 9,000 were illegally sent to fight in Ukraine

Igor Krasnov told Putin there were "more than 9,000 citizens who were illegally mobilized" when Russia sent conscripts into Ukraine late last year. Russian President Vladimir Putin (l) and Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, January 31, 2023.Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP Russia's prosecutor general told Putin more than 9,000 mobilized troops were called up illegally. In a face-to-face meeting, he said their health was why many shouldn't have been sent to fight in Ukraine. Reports last year said Russia had called up students, elderly people, and those with health issues. In a sitdown meeting with Russia's president, the country's prosecutor general said that thousands of troops who were mobilized to fight in Ukraine last year were conscripted illegally.Igor Krasnov told Russian President Vladimir Putin that almost 9,000 reservists were mobilized illegally, according to a transcript of their conversation released by the Kremlin on Tuesday. He said that many of them should not have been sent in the first place because of ill health, and were later returned to Russia.Krasnov also said there had been issues with paying the troops.In his conversation with Putin, Krasnov said that the mobilization "revealed a lot of significant problems."In September, Russia announced a partial mobilization of 300,000 troops, which it said was completed in October. This came after major battlefield setbacks for Russian forces, which had expected a quick victory following the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.Putin said in December that 150,000 of those troops had been sent to serve in Ukraine, with the rest still in training in Russia.The military call up resulted in tens, if not hundreds of thousands of young Russians leaving the country by plane and over its land borders in the weeks that proceeded it.Putin admitted last September that Russia had made "mistakes" in its mobilization, after reports that students, people without combat experience, the elderly, and those with health issues were among those who had been called up to fight, when only reservists were supposed to have been drafted.Krasnov told Putin that Russia had been forced to "reconsider approaches to the organization of military registration," and had created databases of available military personnel.Widespread issues related to Russia's mass mobilization have long been reported, including a lack of training and equipment. Some soldiers were drafted, trained, sent to Ukraine, killed, and returned home in body bags within a month of the announcement — a rapid timeline that would be unheard of in a Western army.Experts and defectors also say that Russian generals used the troops like cannon fodder.In the transcript of the conversation released by the Kremlin, Putin praised Krasnov's work, and asked him to keep monitoring the "rights" of mobilized Russians. This comes as Russia is expected to announce another round of mobilizations, though the numbers are unclear.Ukraine and its allies say they expect a fresh Russian offensive in the spring, with Ukrainian intelligence warning earlier this month that Russia plans to mobilize 500,000 additional troops.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that Russia is preparing to mobilize more than 200,000 troops, while the UK ministry of defense said in December that Putin had been presented with plans to expand Russia's military by around 30%, to 1.5 million active personnel.The release of the transcript between Putin and Krasnov is likely an effort by the Kremlin to reduce concerns in Russia that any future mobilizations will be as ill-prepared as the last one.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 1st, 2023Related News

The US"s powerful Abrams tanks are heading to Ukraine, but generals disagree over how hard it"ll be to use them on the battlefield

The Abrams is a powerful and highly capable tank, but it's also challenging to operate and to maintain. An M1A2 Abrams tank at the Orchard Combat Training Center in Idaho.US Army photo The US has pledged to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine, joining a bevy of Western-made tanks. The Abrams is a powerful and highly capable tank, but it's also seen as challenging to operate. Experts disagree about how easily Ukraine will be able to wield that diverse tank force. Ukraine is getting America's powerful Abrams tank — but generals disagree over how difficult it will be to operate.Berlin's contorted decision-making process on whether to allow delivery of its widely-operated Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine has been at the forefront of the news cycle in January as German Chancellor Scholz, and his officials issued contradictory messages regarding whether they would "release the Leopards."Fearing Russian escalation, Scholz seemingly conditioned authorization on Washington also donating its M1 Abrams main battle tanks to diffuse responsibility.Here comes the M1 Abrams for UkraineA M1A2 Abrams tank fires at a target during an exercise.Maj. Randy Ready/US ArmyFinally, on January 24, Berlin announced it would donate a company of 14 Leopard 2A6 battle tanks with long-barreled guns to Ukraine and open the way for many additional donations from the Leopard's numerous operators. But perhaps a quid-pro-quo was at work.The same day, word spread that US President Joe Biden would announce he was sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.That could be the first tranche of a more significant transfer — as has proven the case for the Bradley fighting vehicle.Both the Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams are broadly comparable in performance — heavier at 60-70 tons, faster, harder-hitting, and with much better sensors than the 45-55 ton main battle tanks used by Russia and Ukraine. Both will require 2-3 months of training for Ukrainian crews and maintainers at minimum before deployment.However, the M1 Abrams' deployment amounts to a rapid about-face for Washington. Immediately prior, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin dismissed the Abrams as too logistically demanding — "a very complicated piece of equipment" — compared to Germany's Leopard 2.A German Leopard 2 tank during a demonstration in Munster in May 2019.Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty ImagesThis assertion spurred an online debate amongst senior retired officers, all vocal supporters of Ukraine with experience commanding M1 Abrams-equipped units.Retired US Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who has commanded everything from platoons to an entire armored division of Patton and Abrams tanks, supported Austin's take, tweeting:"Ukrainian Army commanders who I talk with want tanks, but have admitted they struggle with logistics, repair parts getting to the right places, and resupply. So reducing the burden must be a key consideration — and in my professional opinion, the Abrams would cause more of a burden due to training and resupply to a force that's in a tough fight. Also, in my view, Leopard 2s would means less of a burden."But retired Australian Gen. Mick Ryan, former commander of an Abrams brigade in arid northern Australia, argued such arguments were "… excuses … entirely absent when these tanks were sold to Iraq, Egypt and Australia — all of whom possess very light military logistic capabilities."A US Army maintenance crew reattaches a 30-ton turret to an Abrams M1A2 tank in Kuwait in September 2019.US Army/Kevin FlemingRetired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, commander of the 24th Infantry Division that destroyed Iraq's 1st Armored Division at Rumaila in one day, also endorsed the Abrams, noting its integration by earlier foreign operators. "An experienced Ukrainian tank crew could fight in 30 days," he concluded.And retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, formerly chief of US Army Europe, agreed the difficulties of adoption were exaggerated: "The Ukrainians will figure all of that out. Please no more condescension from DoD."But Hertling disagreed that withholding the M1 Abrams was a "political decision" and didn't find the examples of non-US Abrams operators persuasive. "Countries we've sold it to took years — and [US] contractors — to field and sustain them."While it's certain Ukraine will get both Leopard 2s and M1 Abrams, it's still worth examination — just how serious were those downsides cited by Austin prior to the change?Are there enough M1 Abrams and related support facilities available?A sailor guides a Marine M1A1 Abrams tank on Camp Pendleton's White Beach.US Marine CorpsBroadly speaking, the US has a staggering 3,700 Abrams tanks estimated to be in storage, according to IISS's Military Balance 2021, and builds more yearly — even if the Army doesn't want them — to keep the factory in Lima, Ohio open.And the Marine Corps recently retired all of its 400+ M1A1 tanks. There are also 2,000-3,000 Leopard 2s in service or storage, though divvied up between numerous operating countries in a variety of models.But there are 13 countries in/around Europe operating Leopard 2s, and only one — Poland — that just began operating the M1 Abrams. That means there's a lot of Leopard 2 inventory, maintenance depots, and spare parts geographically close to Ukraine.Still, there's one other big Abrams operator in Europe — the US Army. While US armor in Europe briefly dwindled to zero in 2013, it ticked back up after Russia's invasions of Ukraine in 2014 and 2022, notably including a rotating armor brigade in Poland.Dave Demorrow, a retired Army non-commissioned officer-in-charge with 18 year's experience serving in mechanized units, particularly in an intelligence role, sparred online with Hertling regarding the availability of M1 hulls and spare parts in Europe.US Marines inventory gear during an exercise in Finland in May 2019.US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Scott JenkinsDemorrow, who organizes donations of gear and equipment to Ukraine and runs a military museum in Texas, told me over the phone that besides the rotating brigade in Poland he believes there are 2-3 additional brigade-sets of M1s pre-positioned in Europe.He states, between that and Poland's purchase of hundreds of M1s, there's a healthy supply of spare parts. That could reflect unspecified "enhancements" the White House promised last year.However, Maj. Joe Minarick of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the Tennessee Army National Guard wrote to me that he "would not expect" the US to dip into its pre-positioned assets, and that in his experience as a battlegroup planner in Poland, spare parts were an issue."[Many parts] have to be ordered from the US. When we were in Poland they would fly parts to Ramstein then truck them to an SSA yard in Poland, where we would have to drive and pick them up. The Ukrainian border would be an addition to this process, which in our case would take up to a few days."Is the M1 Abrams's gas-turbine engine incompatible with Ukraine's armed forces?US soldiers perform maintenance on an Abrams tank in Grafenwoehr, Germany in August 2017.3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry DivisionThe Leopard 2 relies on a diesel engine, like most Ukrainian tanks. The Abram employs a Honeywell AGT1500 gas-turbine engine that can run on jet fuel. But it's a multifuel engine, so it can run on diesel too — and according to Demorrow, the US Army service frequently does this when refueling alongside diesel-engine Bradley fighting vehicles."It could run on Chanel No. 5," Demorrow said, alluding to a stunt pulled by comedian Jay Leno using his gas-turbine-powered Chrysler. Furthermore, Ukraine does deploy some gas-turbine engine tanks, the speedy T-80BV assigned to airborne brigades.Joe Minarick concurred "The fuel is a non-issue. M1s are thirsty, but they'll drink anything. Running diesel through the turbine slightly increases the maintenance burden (they prefer JP8 [kerosene-based jet fuel]), but it's not much of an issue."US Marines receive fuel from Finnish soldiers during an exercise at Niinisalo Garrison in Finland in May 2019.US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Scott JenkinsThe real problem is that the M1 Abrams' faster starting and accelerating engine is a gas hog. Reportedly, an M1 consumes 10 gallons an hour idling and .6 to 1.2 gallons per minute on the move. For every mile traveled, a Leopard 2 consumes just over half as much. That's obviously a big logistical burden."I hope to hell we give them good HEMMT fuelers as well," Minarick remarked, referring to huge, eight-wheeled Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks such as the M978 tanker which can carry 2,500 gallons.Demorrow insists the fuel-efficiency gap is lower—"around 17 percent"—and believes Ukrainians will field-improvise external auxiliary power units (APUs) for M1 Abrams to avoid gas consumption while idling, a solution he says is harder to implement on the Leopard 2A4's turret. Only the latest-model Abrams and Leopard 2A7s come with built-in APUs.Will Ukraine get depleted uranium armor and weapons?A crewmen performs maintenance on a M1 Abrams tank during a platoon combined-arms live-fire exercise.U.S. Army photo by Spc. Dustin D. Biven / 22nd Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentThe US M1s incorporate ultra-dense depleted uranium (DU) to maximize protection and firepower.A depleted uranium mesh weighing a few tons is inserted between steel or carbon plates to help Abrams's front turret to achieve dramatically higher effective levels of armor protection, rendering parts of its front turret impenetrable to most armor-piercing weapons.The Army also uses hi-tech M829 depleted uranium shells tailored to defeat sophisticated Kontakt-5 and Relikt explosive reactive armor on newer Russian tanks — which may use depleted uranium shells, but don't sport depleted uranium armor.Depleted uranium is mildly radioactive, and the US has omitted it from Abrams tanks exported to operators like Egypt and Thailand, leaving them with reduced armor protection. However, the ban isn't absolute; Poland and possibly Australia's M1s will have depleted uranium armor inserts and M829 rounds.US soldiers load an M1A1 Abrams tank with M829 120mm sabot rounds at a training area in Poland on April 18, 2020.US Army/Sgt. Andres ChandlerThus it's unclear whether Ukraine's M1s will benefit from the controversial material. Meanwhile, later-model Leopard 2A5s, 2A6s and 2A7s sport extra armor and longer-barreled guns to match the benefits depleted uranium provide the M1.Demorrow argued that the secrecy concerns surrounding DU armor were overblown decades after its introduction. "I think it's more about radiation rather than it's a strategic or tactical secret."Furthermore, he argues the M1s are robust even without depleted uranium reinforcement.Present at the titanic Battle of Norfolk in the 1991 Gulf War, he was driving an ammunition truck close to an M1A1 Abrams — an earlier model lacking uranium armor — when it was repeatedly hit by friendly fire from forces advancing behind it. It sustained a dozen hits before finally being disabled, with three of the four crew surviving.M1 Abrams: training and sustainmentAn M1A2 Abrams drives into the woods during an exercise in Hohenfels, Germany. in February 2020.US Army National Guard/Sgt. Fiona BerndtThere are also concerns the M1's advanced components will make it difficult to train personnel to operate and sustain it in the field. Nicholas Drummond, a British armor officer and advisor to German tank manufacturer KMW told Breaking Defense the Leopard 2 may be easier to integrate due to being designed for Germany's Cold War conscript army.Hertling tweeted the Abrams requires higher training standards than most tanks, especially for the crew to avoid self-inflicted mechanical breakdowns:"Some M1 repairs require part replacements (requiring many high tech spare parts to be in a Prescribed Load List [a standardized unit inventory of on-hand spare parts]). Other replacements require pulling things (like Full Up Power Packs [engine and transmission], sights, etc.) to a logistics center/depot with new one being sent forward. It's a 500-mile supply line from Poland to the Donbas."Minarick, who has 24 year's experience with armor, agreed that Leopard 2s are easier to maintain than the Abrams. "The turbine is more complicated (although having fewer moving parts) than a diesel engine. From having worked with both platforms in the field, the reliability is about the same, only the repairs are more difficult."Demorrow, however, argues there's a double-standard, noting M2s and Bradley fighting vehicles already given to Ukraine use Bushmaster cannons with more components than the Abram's main gun, and use the same support systems including M88 Armored Recovery Vehicles. He maintains faulty power packs could be shipped out of Ukraine while the vehicles stays in country using a swapped-in pack.Diverging views among officersA German civilian greets US Army vehicles on a road during an exercise in April 2018.US Army photo by Spc. Dustin D. BivenWhy have these veterans come to such different conclusions despite their common experience with the Abrams? Perhaps, they have different assumptions of the integration and opportunity costs.Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe—recently retired from his role overseeing maneuver warfare training at Fort Benning—argues, "[Ukrainian forces] need one system, delivered in numbers that matter, in one variant to east sustainment in order to maximize the effect on the enemy and reduce internal friction and challenges."From his perspective, giving two different tank models is worse than maximizing the delivery of the most efficient type.Responding to news of M1 deliveries, Hertling reiterated his concerns: "… can they quickly learn the capability of the Abrams (and Leopard II) the way it is designed to operate? That's training with other tanks, infantry, scouts, drones, artillery, engineers, intel. All more than crew training when the tank – or small critical parts in the tank – break (which they do), and when those small and large replacement parts need replacing, and when it requires daily/weekly/monthly echelon maintenance, will Ukraine have also trained those who do these things?After the tank crews, sections, companies, battalions master the gunnery skills, the maneuver, and the maintenance; will there also be echelons of support that will flow the needed parts, Full Up Power Packs, ammo, fuel, roadwheels, torsion bars, etc., etc., to the front lines?…I've seen U.S. units at our training centers and in combat get just a few things wrong and it causes disaster and failure. Lethal tanks turn into pillboxes that don't move or shoot."So Hertling sees a distinction between simply operating a tank, and employing it sustainably and effectively using US-style combined arms doctrine and logistics.An M1A2 Abrams tank is unloaded at the Port of Vlissingen in the Netherlands in October 2019.US Army/Sgt. Kyle LarsenUkraine's military has undeniably absorbed a staggering variety of troop-carrying vehicles and artillery systems via foreign assistance — diversity ordinarily seen as a massive no-no to logisticians due to the inefficiencies of having to train for and sustain so many different types of equipment.If you assume there are substantial overhead costs to inducting new equipment types and constrained "bandwidth" to do so, there's less benefit to furnishing two types just to increase volume.But boosters of the M1 Abrams for Ukraine argue Kyiv would gladly take all the tanks it can get and has the personnel, motivation, and culture of assimilation to adopt new platforms faster via crash courses and MacGyver-style fixes than a peacetime army ordinarily could.By keeping foreign experts on-call for technical consulting, and rapid on-demand parts deliveries, they argue Ukraine may sustain a diversified force better than is conventionally thought possible.Mick Ryan writes: "Ukrainians have demonstrated throughout this war that they are very capable of integrating very complex hardware and weapons quickly. They are an adaptive, learning institution with a strong imperative for constant improvement."Furthermore, Ryan and defense expert Michael Kofman argue that while Ukraine can learn much from US maneuver doctrine, the methods contextually suited to Ukraine may differ greatly.Minarick, who considers Leopard 2s and M1 Abrams to be similar "apex tanks," wrote to me: "Other countries far less competent have used them in austere environments. I think the concern that the Abram specific logistics will distract from more pressing issues on the ground is genuine, but overblown."Expertise and Experience: Sébastien Roblin writes on the technical, historical, and political aspects of international security and conflict for publications including The National Interest, NBC News, Forbes.com, War is Boring and 19FortyFive, where he is defense-in-depth editor. He holds a master's degree from Georgetown University and served with the Peace Corps in China. You can follow his articles on Twitter.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 1st, 2023Related News

Silicon Labs Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Results

IoT leader doubles revenue in two years to more than $1 billion AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Silicon Labs (NASDAQ:SLAB), a leader in secure, intelligent wireless technology for a more connected world, reported financial results for the fourth quarter, which ended December 31, 2022. Revenue exceeded the top end of the guidance range at $257 million, up 23% year-on-year.  Silicon Labs saw full-year revenue growth across both its Industrial & Commercial and Home & Life product groups. "We are incredibly proud of our team's execution in doubling our organic revenue in two years to more than $1 billion annually, while at the same time increasing our design wins by 120%," said Matt Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer at Silicon Labs. "The strength of our opportunity funnel and design win pipeline gives us confidence in our ability to continue expanding our leadership position in IoT while navigating the current economic uncertainty." Fourth Quarter Financial Highlights Revenue was $257 million, up 23% year-on-year Industrial & Commercial revenue for the quarter was $157 million, up 36% year-on-year Home & Life revenue for the quarter was $100 million, up 8% year-on-year Gross margin of 61% was favorable due to strong product, pricing, and customer mix in the quarter Results on a GAAP basis:                                                                              GAAP gross margin was 61% GAAP R&D expenses were $87 million GAAP SG&A expenses were $47 million GAAP operating income as a percentage of revenue was 9% GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.76 Results on a non-GAAP basis, excluding the impact of stock compensation, amortization of acquired intangible assets, and certain other items as set forth in the below GAAP to Non-GAAP reconciliation tables were as follows: Non-GAAP gross margin was 61% Non-GAAP R&D expenses were $70 million Non-GAAP SG&A expenses were $39 million Non-GAAP operating income as a percentage of revenue was 19% Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were $1.31 Business Highlights The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) announced the release of Matter 1.0, the application layer protocol developed specifically to address device interoperability within the smart home. Silicon Labs is the leading semiconductor company code contributor to Matter, and as of the end of 2022, claims 86% of Matter over Thread's industry certifications. Silicon Labs has become a one-stop resource for Matter devices, border routers, and bridges so developers can easily bridge Matter to other IoT development platforms like Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Thread, and Z-Wave while leveraging their experience with Silicon Labs' hardware and tools. Silicon Labs President and CEO Matt Johnson was elected Chair of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) Board of Directors. SIA represents 99% of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms. Completed the buyback of $200 million of the company's shares in the quarter, resulting in the retirement of 1.6 million shares and bringing the total share repurchase activity since the announcement of the divestiture in April 2021 to more than $2 billion, retiring more than 25% of the then outstanding shares. Business Outlook The company expects first-quarter revenue to be between $242 to $252 million. The company also estimates the following results: On a GAAP basis: GAAP gross margin of approximately 63% GAAP operating expenses of approximately $139 million GAAP effective tax rate of approximately 31% GAAP diluted earnings per share between $0.36 to $0.46 On a non-GAAP basis, excluding the impact of stock compensation, amortization of acquired intangible assets, and certain other items as set forth in the reconciliation tables: Non-GAAP gross margin of approximately 63% Non-GAAP operating expenses of approximately $111 million Non-GAAP effective tax rate of approximately 23% Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share between $1.07 to $1.17 Earnings Webcast and Conference Call     Silicon Labs will host an earnings conference call to discuss the quarterly results and answer questions at 7:30 am CDT today. An audio webcast will be available on Silicon Labs' website (www.silabs.com) under Investor Relations. In addition, the company will post an audio recording of the event at silabs.com/investors and make a replay available through March 1, 2023, online or by calling (877) 344-7529 (US) or (412) 317-0088 (international) and entering access code 2355666. About Silicon Labs Silicon Labs (NASDAQ:SLAB) is a leader in secure, intelligent wireless technology for a more connected world. Our integrated hardware and software platform, intuitive development tools, thriving ecosystem, and robust support make us an ideal long-term partner in building advanced industrial, commercial, home and life applications. We make it easy for developers to solve complex wireless challenges throughout the product lifecycle and get to market quickly with innovative solutions that transform industries, grow economies, and improve lives. silabs.com Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements based on Silicon Labs' current expectations. The words "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "anticipate", "plan", "project", "will", and similar phrases as they relate to Silicon Labs are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect the current views and assumptions of Silicon Labs and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are the following: the competitive and cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry; the challenging macroeconomic environment; geographic concentration of manufacturers, assemblers, test service providers and customers in Asia that subjects Silicon Labs' business and results of operations to risks of natural disasters, epidemics or pandemics, war and political unrest; risks that demand and the supply chain may be adversely affected by military conflict (including between Russia and Ukraine), terrorism, sanctions or other geopolitical events globally (including conflict between Taiwan and China); risks that Silicon Labs may not be able to maintain its historical growth; quarterly fluctuations in revenues and operating results; difficulties developing new products that achieve market acceptance; risks associated with international activities (including trade barriers, particularly with respect to China); intellectual property litigation risks; risks associated with acquisitions and divestitures; product liability risks; difficulties managing and/or obtaining sufficient supply from Silicon Labs' distributors, manufacturers and subcontractors; dependence on a limited number of products; absence of long-term commitments from customers; inventory-related risks; difficulties managing international activities; risks that Silicon Labs may not be able to manage strains associated with its growth; credit risks associated with its accounts receivable; dependence on key personnel; stock price volatility the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. and global economy; debt-related risks; capital-raising risks; the timing and scope of share repurchases and/or dividends; average selling prices of products may decrease significantly and rapidly; information technology risks; cyber-attacks against Silicon Labs' products and its networks and other factors that are detailed in the SEC filings of Silicon Laboratories Inc. Silicon Labs disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. References in this press release to Silicon Labs shall mean Silicon Laboratories Inc. Note to editors: Silicon Laboratories, Silicon Labs, the "S" symbol, and the Silicon Labs logo are trademarks of Silicon Laboratories Inc. All other product names noted herein may be trademarks of their respective holders.                                                          Silicon Laboratories Inc. Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (In thousands, except per share data) (Unaudited) Three Months Ended Year Ended December 31, 2022 January 1, 2022 December 31, 2022 January 1, 2022 Revenues $   257,325 $   208,680 $    1,024,106 $   720,860 Cost of revenues 100,028 80,849 381,549 295,468 Gross profit 157,297 127,831 642,557 425,392 Operating expenses:    Research and development 86,649 71,705 332,326 273,208    Selling, general and administrative 46,573 53,487 190,971 185,022 Operating expenses 133,222 125,192 523,297 458,230 Operating income (loss) 24,075 2,639 119,260 (32,838) Other income (expense):    Interest income and other, net 4,299 2,595 13,915 5,696    Interest expense (1,849) (6,628) (6,723) (31,033) Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes 26,525 (1,394) 126,452 (58,175) Provision for income taxes 1,579 884 38,450 13,427 Equity-method earnings 415 7,791 3,400 13,728 Income (loss) from continuing operations 25,361 5,513 91,402 (57,874) Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of income taxes -- (8,611) -- 2,175,273.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaFeb 1st, 2023Related News

New US Marine units are taking position on "key terrain" around Taiwan as tensions rise with China

In the years ahead, US Marine Corps units designed for fighting around islands will spend more time training with Japanese and Philippine forces. US Marines exit a CH-53E helicopter during Balikatan 22 in northern Luzon in March 2022.US Marine Corps/Sgt. Melanye Martinez The US and Japan said in January that a Marine Littoral Regiment will be set up in Japan by 2025. A Marine Littoral Regiment will also hold a major exercise in the northern Philippines this spring. Those moves reflect the US's focus on being able to operate around Pacific in a war with China. US Marine Corps units designed to fight on remote islands will soon take position close to Taiwan, reflecting preparations by the US and its allies for a potential conflict with China over the island that Beijing claims as part of its territory.This month, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III announced that a Marine artillery regiment based on the Japanese island of Okinawa would be reorganized as a Marine Littoral Regiment by 2025 and be outfitted with "advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance" capabilities and anti-ship weaponry that is "relevant to the current and future threat environments."That unit, the 12th Marine Littoral Regiment, is the second of three Marine Littoral Regiments planned for the Indo-Pacific region, the first of which was activated in March 2022 and is based in Hawaii. Within weeks of its activation, the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment was participating in the US-Philippine military exercise Balikatan.Members of 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment in Hawaii in August 2022.US Marine Corps/Sgt. Israel ChincioThe exercise itself, held for the 37th time, "was nothing new," Col. Timothy Brady Jr., the regiment's commander, said at the Modern Day Marine conference in Washington DC in May 2022."What was new was the MLR was participating in it for the very first time as our inaugural deployment. What was also new was the key terrain that we actually operated in," Brady said. In the past, Balikatan has taken place in the central Philippines, Brady said. "This time we were way up north, in Cagayan in northern Luzon, in areas like Aparri and ... looking more toward the Luzon Straits."Brady's regiment will return to the Philippines in April for this year's Balikatan, which will be one of the largest ever and be based in Ilocos Norte, a province in northern Luzon overlooking the Bashi Channel, a strategically valuable waterway dividing the Philippines and Taiwan.Marine Littoral Regiments' return to Luzon and future presence in Okinawa illustrate the US military's increasing focus on being present and able to operate in and around the islands off of China's coast, which US officials see as vital to thwarting any Chinese move against Taiwan and in the wider Pacific.New threat, new forceUS Marines provide security for an amphibious landing during Balikatan 22 in northern Luzon in March 2022.US Marine Corps/2nd Lt. Erin ScudderThe Marine Littoral Regiment is an element of Force Design 2030, a plan to restructure the Corps developed under Gen. David Berger, who took over as commandant in July 2019.As part of that plan, the Corps has shed "heavy things" like tanks and refocused on naval expeditionary operations — a shift epitomized by the MLR, which is meant to be mobile and hard to detect when operating from austere locations in maritime areas during times of tension or conflict and capable of coordination with other forces.The Corps is still refining the regiment's design but says it will be composed of 1,800 to 2,000 personnel and be "task organized" around an infantry battalion and an anti-ship missile battery and be able to support smaller units as they disperse and conduct missions like long-range anti-ship strikes, arming and refueling aircraft, air-defense operations, and intelligence-gathering.US Marines during an amphibious landing as part of Balikatan 22 in northern Luzon in March 2022.US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Madison SantamariaThe MLR is in keeping with the concept of "stand-in forces" that live and work within range of an adversary's weapons, like in Okinawa, and it reflects the Corps' emphasis on a new operating environment and a new threat — China's large, sophisticated military — after two decades of focusing on land-based operations against smaller, less capable foes."The current threats that are out there require you to be lighter, more mobile, and have a lower signature or you can't even start the fight," Gen. Eric Smith, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, said at a think-tank event in July.The Corps has long used the Marine Air-Ground Task Force as its main formation. MAGTFs, as they're known, require organizing, training, and deploying air defense, artillery, infantry, and aircraft units, which can take weeks or months, Smith said in response to a question from Insider."You don't have six months when you have limited, unambiguous warning from a peer adversary, a pacing threat like China. You may have a number of days before you have to respond," Smith said.US Marines deploy High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems in northern Luzon during Balikatan 22 in April 2022.US Marine Corps/Sgt. Melanye MartinezThe littoral regiment "must live, eat, sleep, breathe as a task-organized unit to be able to go tomorrow or tonight. That's the difference in a stand-in force, and that's exactly what 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment is designed to do and how they operated throughout Luzon" during Balitikan 2022, Smith addedDuring that exercise, Marines did amphibious landings in northern Luzon and trained with Philippine marines to conduct coastal-defense operations, including by providing "real-time targeting data" to High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems that were standing-in for the Corps' new Navy-Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System, a mobile anti-ship missile launcher.During a recent exercise in Hawaii, members of the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment trained to defend a carrier strike group as it sailed through a strait by gathering data on and then firing a missile at an enemy vessel trying to block the strait — an experience the unit could draw on if it has to escort a carrier through the Philippine archipelago.There could be similar drills during the upcoming Balitikan exercise, which will include operations on the islands of Fuga and Calayan off of northern Luzon and on Batanes in the Bashi Channel.'Much clearer recognition'US and Philippine Marines and Japanese troops during an amphibious exercise in the Philippines in October 2019.US Marine Corps/Cpl. Harrison RakhshaniJapan and the Philippines are both US allies, but they have stepped up military cooperation with the US amid rising tensions with China, which has clashed with both countries over territory in the South and East China Seas.Japan's military has focused more attention and resources on its southwest islands, one of which is only about 60 miles from Taiwan.China's military is a frequent presence around the Senkaku Islands, which Japan controls but China claims, and frequently sends ships and aircraft through Japanese islands surrounding the Miyako Strait in order to reach the Pacific Ocean.Japan's emphasis on security, including increased defense spending, is driven largely by "much clearer recognition on the part of both Japanese officials but also the public that, sort of by definition, a conflict over Taiwan would impact Japan" because of the proximity of Japan's islands, Christopher Johnstone, Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said at an event Tuesday.A Japanese Coast Guard vessel sails between a Chinese surveillance ship, top, and a Japanese fishing boat near the Senkaku Islands in April 2013.Thomson ReutersThe missiles China fired over Taiwan and into Japanese waters after Rep. Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei in August "really brought this into sharp relief," Johnstone said.The Philippines has longstanding tensions with China over disputed islands in the South China Sea, where Chinese vessels often confront Philippine ships, but Manila's concern about the impact of tensions over Taiwan is also growing.A Chinese firm's attempt to acquire parts of Fuga Island in 2019 raised alarms within the Philippine military, which blocked the deal. The firm's ostensibly sought economic opportunities, but a Philippine military official told The Financial Times it "really is about Taiwan, to deny us, and in extension the US, the use of those islands."Manila and Washington are also discussing expanded access to Philippine military facilities. During a visit by Vice President Kamala Harris in November, the US said they had identified new sites for projects under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which allows the US to build on Philippine bases and send troops for longer stays.Chinese Coast Guard vessels patrol past Philippine fishing boats at the disputed Scarborough Shoal in April 2017.REUTERS/Erik De CastroAfter high-level meetings this year — including a visit by Austin this week — "it's an open secret that there will be five new EDCA sites announced on top of the five that there already are," Greg Poling, director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said at an event this month."Some of them will probably be in northern Luzon, where they clearly only make sense for a Taiwan contingency," Poling added.Increased attention by the US and its allies on the waterways around Taiwan will be welcomed by many in Taipei, which faces more pressure from Beijing, including intensifying Chinese military activity around the island."For Taiwan, if we are talking in military terms, we are not terribly worried about issues or incidents to our north because the US-Japan alliance is right there. Every ship, every aircraft passing through the Miyako straight will be monitored," which is a vulnerability for China, Alexander Huang, the US envoy of Taiwan's main opposition party, the Kuomintang, said in November."But for the Bashi channel and the waters between Taiwan and the Philippines, that's the key, that's the problem," and is where China's military has been most active, Huang said. "So we would like to see a stronger US-Philippine collaboration or the increase of the Filipino capability."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 1st, 2023Related News

Russia"s top prosecutor criticizes mass mobilisation, telling Putin to his face that more than 9,000 were illegally sent to fight in Ukraine

Igor Krasnov told Putin there were "more than 9,000 citizens who were illegally mobilized" when Russia sent conscripts into Ukraine late last year. Russian President Vladimir Putin (l) and Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, January 31, 2023.Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP Russia's prosecutor general told Putin more than 9,000 mobilized troops were called up illegally. In a face-to-face meeting, he said their health was why many shouldn't have been sent to fight in Ukraine. Reports last year said Russia had called up students, elderly people, and those with health issues. In a sitdown meeting with Russia's president, the country's prosecutor general said that thousands of troops who were mobilized to fight in Ukraine last year were conscripted illegally.Igor Krasnov told Russian President Vladimir Putin that almost 9,000 reservists were mobilized illegally, according to a transcript of their conversation released by the Kremlin on Tuesday. He said that many of them should not have been sent in the first place because of ill health, and were later returned to Russia.Krasnov also said there had been issues with paying the troops.In his conversation with Putin, Krasnov said that the mobilization "revealed a lot of significant problems."In September, Russia announced a partial mobilization of 300,000 troops, which it said was completed in October. This came after major battlefield setbacks for Russian forces, which had expected a quick victory following the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.Putin said in December that 150,000 of those troops had been sent to serve in Ukraine, with the rest still in training in Russia.The military call up resulted in tens, if not hundreds of thousands of young Russians leaving the country by plane and over its land borders in the weeks that proceeded it.Putin admitted last September that Russia had made "mistakes" in its mobilization, after reports that students, people without combat experience, the elderly, and those with health issues were among those who had been called up to fight, when only reservists were supposed to have been drafted.Krasnov told Putin that Russia had been forced to "reconsider approaches to the organization of military registration," and had created databases of available military personnel.Widespread issues related to Russia's mass mobilization have long been reported, including a lack of training and equipment. Some soldiers were drafted, trained, sent to Ukraine, killed, and returned home in body bags within a month of the announcement — a rapid timeline that would be unheard of in a Western army.Experts and defectors also say that Russian generals used the troops like cannon fodder.In the transcript of the conversation released by the Kremlin, Putin praised Krasnov's work, and asked him to keep monitoring the "rights" of mobilized Russians. This comes as Russia is expected to announce another round of mobilizations, though the numbers are unclear.Ukraine and its allies say they expect a fresh Russian offensive in the spring, with Ukrainian intelligence warning earlier this month that Russia plans to mobilize 500,000 additional troops.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that Russia is preparing to mobilize more than 200,000 troops, while the UK ministry of defense said in December that Putin had been presented with plans to expand Russia's military by around 30%, to 1.5 million active personnel.The release of the transcript between Putin and Krasnov is likely an effort by the Kremlin to reduce concerns in Russia that any future mobilizations will be as ill-prepared as the last one.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 1st, 2023Related News