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Kellyanne Conway slams "shrewd and calculating" Jared Kushner in memoir: "There was no subject he considered beyond his expertise."

"If Martian attacks had come across the radar, he would have happily added them to his ever-bulging portfolio," Conway wrote of Kushner. Jared Kushner (left), a White House senior adviser during the Trump administration, (left), and Kellyanne Conway (right), a former Trump aide.AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Former Trump aide Kellyanne Conway slammed Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner in her new book. She called Kushner "shrewd and calculating" and criticized his sprawling portfolio.  Kushner knew he wouldn't be held accountable for personnel or legislative disasters, Conway wrote. Former Trump aide Kellyanne Conway has harsh words for the former president's son-in-law Jared Kushner in her new memoir.On Sunday, The Washington Post reported on an excerpt of Conway's new book, "Here's the Deal: A Memoir," which is a re-telling of her experiences in the Trump White House, where she served as a senior aide to former President Donald Trump. Per The Post, Conway wrote in her book that Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump, was a "shrewd and calculating" individual and "a man of knowing nods, quizzical looks, and sidebar inquiries."According to Conway, Kushner also operated with the knowledge that he was unlikely to be held accountable for any personnel or legislative disasters that took place on his watch, the outlet reported."There was no subject he considered beyond his expertise. Criminal justice reform. Middle East peace. The southern and northern borders. Veterans and opioids. Big Tech and small business," she wrote in her book, per The Post.Criticizing Kushner's sprawling portfolio, Conway wrote, per outlet: "If Martian attacks had come across the radar, he would have happily added them to his ever-bulging portfolio.""He'd have made sure you knew he'd exiled the Martians to Uranus and insisted he did not care who got credit for it," she added.Per The Post, Conway also claimed that Kushner had misunderstood the Constitution and believed that "all power not given to the federal government was reserved to him."Kushner's White House portfolio was known to have spanned a large gamut of responsibilities, from the country's COVID-19 response to an attempt to secure peace in the Middle East.Conway's criticism of Kushner isn't the first occasion that a former Trump aide has unloaded on him. Stephanie Grisham, Trump's former press secretary, also slammed Kushner and called him "Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit" in her 2021 book "I'll Take Your Questions Now." Representatives for Kushner did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider4 min. ago Related News

Turkey"s Chief Statistician Quits For "Health Reasons" After Inflation Hits 70%

Turkey's Chief Statistician Quits For "Health Reasons" After Inflation Hits 70% Three months after Turkey's president Erdogan fired his statistics chief as inflation hit a mere 36%, now that inflation has almost doubled since then, the latest official in charge of compiling Turkish inflation statistics has decided to do the smart thing and step down on his own, becoming the latest prominent departure at an institution that’s facing harsh criticism over the reliability of its economic data. On Friday, the Turkish Statistical Institute said Cem Bas resigned as head of the department of price statistics for "health reasons." Furkan Metin, who previously oversaw the digital transformation and projects department at the agency known as TurkStat, has replaced Bas, who’ll remain on staff in a lower-profile role. The personnel change, first reported by Bloomberg, adds to a period of ongoing turmoil at TurkStat, whose president was replaced in January less than a year after his appointment. Turkish inflation data has been in the spotlight at a time when consumer prices are exploding at the fastest pace since the turn of the century, a key concern for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government just over a year before elections. Furthermore, according to Bloomberg, concerns have swirled among researchers over what they call a divergence between the agency’s price statistics and the surge in the cost of living felt by wage earners. While TurkStat reported an annual inflation of 70% in April, ENAGroup, an independent group of scholars who’ve put together an alternative consumer price index, put the figure at as high as 157%. While both numbers are ridiculous, what is even more ridiculous is that until recently the central bank was cutting rates to avoid angering the president whose "Erdoganomics" theory of upside down economics recommends cutting rates when inflation rises, effectively setting the country on a path to suicide, something the Turkish lira has clearly grasped, as it has resumed plunging after cratering in 2021 and only a massive intervention by the central bank preventing an all-out economic collapse. The government is meanwhile seeking to pass legislation that would bar independent researchers from publishing their own data without seeking approval from TurkStat and potentially face a jail term if they violate the law. That should answer any questions whether the government or the shadow stat inflation data is the correct one. Tyler Durden Sun, 05/22/2022 - 20:55.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge4 hr. 3 min. ago Related News

Russian military hardware getting wrecked in Ukraine could hurt its appeal to some of Moscow"s best customers

Russian forces' poor performance in Ukraine "has caused significant reputational damage to Russian-manufactured military hardware," one expert said. Men next to the turret of a destroyed Russian tank, near Brovary, Ukraine, April 15, 2022.Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images Moscow's defense clients in Southeast Asia may look elsewhere after Russia's poor performance in Ukraine. As the conflict in Ukraine affects Russian supplies, buyers could turn to India — or even to North Korea. Images of wrecked and abandoned vehicles — casualties in Moscow's invasion of Ukraine — are calling into question the quality and reliability of Russian-made military hardware.A recent report by the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute found that the conflict has damaged the reputation of Russia's defence equipment in Southeast Asia, once a source of considerable revenue for the country.Russia has been the largest exporter of arms to Southeast Asia over the past two decades, but since 2014, the value of its defence sales to the region has plummeted.The Ukraine war will make it difficult for its defence industry to revive sales and is likely to lead to further declines in arms exports to Southeast Asia, according to the report's author, Ian Storey, a senior fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute."The Russian armed forces' poor performance on the battlefield has caused significant reputational damage to Russian-manufactured military hardware," Storey said.Buyers eyeing specific pieces are now said to be nursing doubts.On April 7, one of Russia's most advanced fighters, a fourth-generation-plus SU-35, was shot down over Ukraine by an anti-aircraft missile. Vietnam has reportedly been considering purchasing the SU-35, though to what extent this incident will influence its procurement decision now "remains to be seen," Storey said.On April 14, in the Black Sea, Ukrainian armed forces used anti-ship cruise missiles to sink Russia's guided-missile cruiser Moskva, giving it the dubious honour of being the largest naval vessel to be destroyed since the second world war.The equipment reportedly destroyed on the battlefield includes tanks also used by Vietnam and Laos, infantry fighting vehicles and armoured personnel carriers used by Indonesia and military attack and transport helicopters used by multiple Southeast Asian countries, Storey said.Endemic corruption, flawed assumptionsA crashed Russian Sukhoi jet in Ukraine.Ukraine's Defense MinistryReasons for the poor performance are manifold, and not all are related to production quality. Storey pointed to "endemic corruption within the armed forces, resulting in modernisation funds being misappropriated."The real failure, said Zachary Abuza of the Washington-based National War College, is not Russia's equipment per se, but its tactics, incompetent leadership, unmotivated troops and flawed assumptions behind the decision-making to go to war.Russian equipment has always had a reputation for being fairly cheap but pretty reliable. But now, Abuza said, that is "proving to be less true" as Moscow's advanced anti-armour missiles and well-armed drones are matched against Ukraine's "highly motivated and very capable force."To replenish its heavy losses, Moscow may direct its defence industrial sector "to divert military equipment manufactured for export to recapitalise its own armed forces." This will result in delivery delays and possibly cancellations from clients, further damaging its defence industrial sector's reputation for reliability, Storey said.Negotiations stalled by the Covid-19 pandemic, too, look unlikely to restart.Ukraine's military says it has sunk several Russian warships.AP ImagesCollin Koh, a research fellow at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said: "Vietnam is the staunchest supporter of Russian arms, but Covid-19 has stalled any discussions, especially [about its] long talked-about plan to purchase more Gepard light frigates."Russia is the world's second largest arms exporter after the US.In Southeast Asia, it ranks No 1. Between 2000 and 2021, the value of Russia's arms exports to the region was US$10.87 billion, followed by the United States (US$8.4 billion), France (US$4.3 billion), Germany (US$2.94 billion) and China (US$2.9 billion).Russia's most important defence customers in Southeast Asia are Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia.Russia has offered for sale to these countries a full range of military equipment — from fighter jets and submarines, to tanks and small arms — at prices that are cheaper than those manufactured in the US and Europe.In addition, Russian defence companies have been willing to accept part payment in commodities, pursue joint production, and, unlike the US and European countries, do not take into consideration a country's human rights record when selling arms.Sanctions on high-tech componentsSu-35S jet fighter of the Russian Air Force taking off, Kubinka, Russia.Artyom Anikeev/Stocktrek Images via Getty ImagesIn addition to lowered perceived value, Russia's defence industry faces other threats.Economic sanctions imposed by the US, European and Asian countries will make it more difficult for Russian defence companies to conduct financial transactions, including receiving payments from foreign customers.Equally vital export controls imposed on Russia will restrict its defence industrial sector's access to advanced technologies critical to the manufacture of modern military hardware, and which Moscow itself does not produce and cannot easily purchase from other countries.These include semiconductors, microelectronics, machine tools and software.This will not only affect the production of military equipment for use by Russia's armed forces and overseas buyers, but also the provision of spare parts, munitions and upgrade packages to existing customers."As a consequence, foreign buyers may decide to switch to more reliable sources of military hardware," Storey said.Potential disruption to Russian spare partsA Russian-made Mi-171 helicopter in service with Vietnam's air force in Ca Mau, March 10, 2014.HOANG DINH NAM/AFP via Getty ImagesGiven the war and sanctions, all Southeast Asian countries that currently rely on Russia for major military equipment will be vulnerable to the potential disruption in spare parts supply, Koh warned.With few exceptions, most buyers of Russian major military equipment heavily depend on Moscow for spare parts as part of after-sales service support.So other than some countries that may have already procured a sufficient stockpile to last for a certain period, he said, "we're talking about the potential disruption in the operability and availability of big-ticket assets such as fighter jets, which means simply disposing of them due to this new problem may not be the desired solution since it may leave significant capability gaps in the absence of a ready, suitable, affordable, and timely replacement."Southeast Asian operators of Russian assets are expected to "do their best" to conserve the existing stocks of spare parts, and "possibly also reduce the operating frequencies of their assets" to reduce wear and tear, so they can keep them longer in service, and reduce the need for heavy servicing work, Koh said."Meanwhile, they're likely to try to seek alternative sources. But even those alternative sources, which rely on Russia, are also likely to prioritise their own needs against disruption."He added that India might become a potential source of parts for Russian equipment, since its own defence industries have in recent years sought to manufacture some of these items under licence."India has already made alternate plans for potential disruption, chiefly by focusing more on 'made in India' components to stave off possible shortages," Koh said, adding that smaller clients such as Indonesia also recently expressed concerns about maintenance, repairs and overhaul of Russian equipment, especially the Su-30s.Koh said spare parts were an important source of revenue for Moscow — especially when taking into consideration the generally higher level of maintenance Russian equipment requires compared to Western equivalents.North Korea: potential arms supplier?A military parade in Pyongyang, January 14, 2021.KCNA via REUTERSNational War College's Abuza said North Korea could potentially try to enter the arms market in Southeast Asia.Overall, its presence in the region has been limited, with likely buyers of its weapons, ammunition and spare parts being the ones that already favour Soviet-era weaponry, he added."I hate to say it, but North Korea could try to stem into the regional market, as they manufacture Soviet-era weapons and ammunition," he said. "There are a host of United Nations Security Council resolutions establishing trade embargoes on North Korea because of its nuclear proliferation. They need to be imposed."With North Korea already selling weapons including missile technology to Myanmar's military junta, he pointed out: "The international community needs to step up monitoring and interdictions, especially to Myanmar."Koh said it was "not wise" to discount the Russians completely, as their military equipment has been generally found by users to be affordable compared to Western equivalents.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider11 hr. 3 min. ago Related News

Australia Election: Labor Party"s Albanese To Take Power After Morrison Concedes Defeat

Australia Election: Labor Party's Albanese To Take Power After Morrison Concedes Defeat Update (1230pm ET): As reported earlier, Australia’s Labor Party is set to take power for the first time since 2013 after the incumbent Liberal-National coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared defeat in Saturday’s closely watched federal election. The Labor Party, led by career politician Anthony Albanese, is on track to beat the coalition although its ability to form a majority government is uncertain. The large number of postal votes that have yet to be tallied and a strong showing by independent candidates added to the uncertainty, analysts said cited by the South China Morning post. According to Bloomberg these are the five main takeaways from Saturday's parliamentary election: Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as Australia’s 31st prime minister within days, after his party won at least 72 seats in Saturday’s election It remains to be determined whether Albanese will be able to form a majority on his own, or need to rely on independent lawmakers to form a minority government Despite the victory, Labor has won only about 32% of the primary vote, its worst result in decades and the lowest for any incoming government since World War II. The result will likely lead to soul-searching on both sides of Australian politics. It was Australia’s climate election, with climate-focused independents and the Green party snatching once- safe seats from the two major parties. The Greens saw a record vote of more than 12%, the highest in its history. Albanese will head to Quad meetings in Tokyo next week, where he will meet with counterparts from Japan, India and the US. Scott Morrison, who is set to hand over power, said “it was vitally important that there’s a very clear understanding about the government of this country” in this meeting. The knife-edge election heavily featured China, with Morrison accused by detractors of using Beijing as a bogeyman during campaigning to secure support from his conservative base. On Saturday night, commentators suggested that tactic might have backfired, with the sizeable Chinese-Australian community likely to have swayed towards Labor in several seats seen as traditional Liberal Party safe havens. At 10pm Hong Kong time, national broadcaster ABC projected that Labor had secured 72 seats compared to the Liberal-National coalition’s 55. Labor would need to win 76 seats to form a simple-majority government in the country’s 151-seat parliament. The Greens and a group of so-called “teal independents” appeared set to take 11 seats. Albanese said in brief comments to reporters that he hoped to unite the country. “I think people have had enough of division. What they want is to come together as a nation, and I intend to lead that,” he said. In a televised speech, Morrison said he called Albanese to offer his congratulations on Labor’s victory, and that he would step down as the Liberal Party’s leader. “Tonight, I have spoken to the Leader of the Opposition, and the incoming Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, and I’ve congratulated him on his election victory this evening,” Morrison said. “On a night like tonight, it is proper to acknowledge the functioning of our democracy. I’ve always believed in Australians and their judgment, and I’ve always been prepared to accept their verdicts,” Morrison said. “And tonight, they have delivered their verdict, and I congratulate Anthony Albanese, and the Labor Party, and I wish him and his government all the very best.” Around half of Australia’s 17 million registered voters chose to go to the ballot box early or applied for postal voting. Postal votes are expected to take weeks to tally. Labor supporters were celebrating late on Saturday across the country even before Morrison’s concession, after early projections showed his coalition was unlikely to pull off a win. While Morrison retained his seat but Treasurer Josh Frydenberg appeared headed for defeat, having garnered under 46 per cent of votes cast compared to 54 per cent for independent candidate Monique Ryan. In marginal seats, Chinese-Australians were cheering the success of Labor candidates. In the seat of Reid in Sydney, Labor candidate Sally Sitou was leading with 55.5 per cent of votes cast compared to 44.5 per cent to incumbent Fiona Martin from the Liberal Party. * * * Update (0950ET): With almost 60% of the vote counted, it appears Anthony Albanese will return Labor from the political wilderness to government, seizing power from the Coalition after it has been almost a decade in office. While it remains unclear if Labor can form a majority, the ALP is on track to finish ahead of the Coalition and more likely to reach a minority government, the ABC has projected. This win means Mr Albanese will replace Scott Morrison as Prime Minister, making him the 31st person to hold the nation's top job. *  *  * As The Epoch Times' Aldgra Fredly detailed earlier, Australian voters cast ballots on Saturday to decide the next prime minister, as well as senators and members of Parliament, after a six-week election campaign that often centred on the economy and national security. Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said Friday that 7,000 polling stations have opened as planned, despite a 15 percent turnover of its 105,000 workforces across Australia in the past week. “While this is extraordinary, it is a pandemic election,” Rogers said in a statement, thanking those who stepped up to fill positions at polling places identified as not opening due to staff shortages. The first polling stations will close on the country’s east coast at 6 p.m. local time (08:00 GMT). The west coast is two hours behind. Nearly half of Australia’s 17 million electors have voted early or applied for postal votes despite loosened coronavirus restrictions. Those who tested positive for the COVID-19 will be able to access telephone voting. Voting is compulsory for adult citizens in Australia, and failing to provide a valid reason for not voting results in a fine, which can progress to court. The fine for first-time offenders is $20, and it climbs to $50 for subsequent offences, according to the electoral commission. Incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s centre-right Liberal-National coalition is vying for a fourth three-year term, having held 76 of the 151 seats in the outgoing parliament. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese’s centre-left Labor Party is considered by most trusted polls as the favourite to win. (L-R) Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese. (Martin Ollman/Getty Images, AAP Image/Lukas Coch) One possible outcome of the upcoming federal election on May 21 is a hung Parliament where no political party can achieve a majority to govern outright (a party must win 76 seats). Instead, party leaders will be forced to negotiate a coalition with another minor party or independent to cross the benchmark to win government. A hung Parliament has only occurred once in Australia since World War II. In 2010, both the Liberal-National coalition and Labor landed 72 seats, four votes short of a majority government. It took another 17 days before Labor leader Julia Gillard won enough support from four crossbenchers (minor party or independent MPs) after striking deals with them. Morrison’s election campaign has focused on his party’s economic management, urging voters to support a government that delivered “a strong economy” over “a weaker one that only makes your life harder.” He promised to lower taxes and put downward pressure on interest rates and costs of living if his government was re-elected. Albanese pushed for Labor policies that would make child care more affordable for low-and middle-income families and improve nursing home care for the elderly, pledging to “always look after the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.” Labor also criticized the Morrison government’s foreign policy credentials following the Solomon Islands-China bilateral security pact, calling the deal Australia’s worst foreign policy failure in the Pacific since World War II. At the same time, the Coalition at times aggressively called into question Labor’s record with the Chinese communist regime, pointing to Chinese state-run media reports in alleging that the Labor leader was Beijing’s preferred prime minister. In the lead up to the election, Australia’s domestic spy agency also revealed they had disrupted a plot by Beijing to install candidates in the election who they deemed as friendly and pliable. “It’s odd the Labor Party wouldn’t say China is interfering—somehow they’re saying it’s Australia’s fault,” Morrison was quoted as saying by Sky News Australia on April 20. “What I don’t understand is when something of this significance takes place, why would you take China’s side?” Albanese then accused Morrison of making an “outrageous slur.” According to a leaked draft of the Solomons-China agreement, Beijing would be able to send police, troops, and naval ships to “protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects in the Solomon Islands.” Many feared that China would use the accord to establish a military base 1,700 kilometres off the Australian coast and destabilise the Indo-Pacific, although Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had said that this would not be the case. Tyler Durden Sat, 05/21/2022 - 12:55.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 21st, 2022Related News

Australians Vote In Hotly Contested Federal Election

Australians Vote In Hotly Contested Federal Election Authored by Aldgra Fredly via The Epoch Times, Australian voters cast ballots on Saturday to decide the next prime minister, as well as senators and members of Parliament, after a six-week election campaign that often centred on the economy and national security. Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said Friday that 7,000 polling stations have opened as planned, despite a 15 percent turnover of its 105,000 workforces across Australia in the past week. “While this is extraordinary, it is a pandemic election,” Rogers said in a statement, thanking those who stepped up to fill positions at polling places identified as not opening due to staff shortages. The first polling stations will close on the country’s east coast at 6 p.m. local time (08:00 GMT). The west coast is two hours behind. Nearly half of Australia’s 17 million electors have voted early or applied for postal votes despite loosened coronavirus restrictions. Those who tested positive for the COVID-19 will be able to access telephone voting. Voting is compulsory for adult citizens in Australia, and failing to provide a valid reason for not voting results in a fine, which can progress to court. The fine for first-time offenders is $20, and it climbs to $50 for subsequent offences, according to the electoral commission. Incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s centre-right Liberal-National coalition is vying for a fourth three-year term, having held 76 of the 151 seats in the outgoing parliament. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese’s centre-left Labor Party is considered by most trusted polls as the favourite to win. (L-R) Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese. (Martin Ollman/Getty Images, AAP Image/Lukas Coch) One possible outcome of the upcoming federal election on May 21 is a hung Parliament where no political party can achieve a majority to govern outright (a party must win 76 seats). Instead, party leaders will be forced to negotiate a coalition with another minor party or independent to cross the benchmark to win government. A hung Parliament has only occurred once in Australia since World War II. In 2010, both the Liberal-National coalition and Labor landed 72 seats, four votes short of a majority government. It took another 17 days before Labor leader Julia Gillard won enough support from four crossbenchers (minor party or independent MPs) after striking deals with them. Morrison’s election campaign has focused on his party’s economic management, urging voters to support a government that delivered “a strong economy” over “a weaker one that only makes your life harder.” He promised to lower taxes and put downward pressure on interest rates and costs of living if his government was re-elected. Albanese pushed for Labor policies that would make child care more affordable for low-and middle-income families and improve nursing home care for the elderly, pledging to “always look after the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.” Labor also criticized the Morrison government’s foreign policy credentials following the Solomon Islands-China bilateral security pact, calling the deal Australia’s worst foreign policy failure in the Pacific since World War II. At the same time, the Coalition at times aggressively called into question Labor’s record with the Chinese communist regime, pointing to Chinese state-run media reports in alleging that the Labor leader was Beijing’s preferred prime minister. In the lead up to the election, Australia’s domestic spy agency also revealed they had disrupted a plot by Beijing to install candidates in the election who they deemed as friendly and pliable. “It’s odd the Labor Party wouldn’t say China is interfering—somehow they’re saying it’s Australia’s fault,” Morrison was quoted as saying by Sky News Australia on April 20. “What I don’t understand is when something of this significance takes place, why would you take China’s side?” Albanese then accused Morrison of making an “outrageous slur.” According to a leaked draft of the Solomons-China agreement, Beijing would be able to send police, troops, and naval ships to “protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects in the Solomon Islands.” Many feared that China would use the accord to establish a military base 1,700 kilometres off the Australian coast and destabilise the Indo-Pacific, although Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had said that this would not be the case. Tyler Durden Sat, 05/21/2022 - 08:24.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 21st, 2022Related News

A top Russian army sniper has been killed in Ukraine, say reports, in the latest blow to the military prowess of Putin"s forces

Sergeant Sergei Tsarkov was the best shot in his sniper unit and often won international competitions, Russian media reported. Sniper soldiers seen during a tactical drill in Tambov Oblast (Tambovskaya), Russia on February 09, 2022.Russian Defence Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images One of Russia's top snipers has been killed in Ukraine, according to Russian media. Sergeant Sergei Tsarkov was the best sniper in his brigade and often won international competitions, per reports. His death was announced on Wednesday amid a mounting Russian death toll in Ukraine. Russia has reported losing one of its best snipers in Ukraine, as its death toll continues to mount three months into the war, reports say.Junior Sergeant Sergei Tsarkov, 38, died during a "special operation in Ukraine," the military commissariat of the region told the Russian outlet chita.ru.Tsarkov, who was born in the town Borzya, was the commander of a rifle squad of snipers of the 1st rifle platoon based in Transbaikalia, eastern Russia, the outlet reported."He was the best sniper in the brigade. Everyone respected him very much, he was a professional, he had authority. No one could believe that this could happen to him," the military commissariat said, according to the outlet.The department said that Tsarkov regularly participated in and won international army games in the Sniper Frontier competition.His funeral took place on April 10, but his death was first reported by Russian media on May 18. Images appear to show a full military funeral, with a man weeping beside the casket draped in the Russian flag. He was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage, chita.ru said.military catastrophes for putin—Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) May 18, 2022The sniper is an important part of Russian military mythology. During the Second World War, several were idolized as the ultimate Soviet fighter against Hitler's Nazis invasion. The most famous was Vasily Zaitsev who killed 225 enemy soldiers during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942. Jude Law protrayed Zaitsev in the 2001 movie, Enemy at the Gates. The news of Tsarkov's death comes amid ongoing reports about Russia losing scores of its top commanders during the war in Ukraine. Other military catastrophes include the sinking of the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva.Britain's armed forces minister James Heappey said on Wednesday that Russia has likely lost more than 20,000 military personnel during the war, according to the Evening Standard.The Kremlin has, however, not acknowledged the scale of its losses, last stating on March 25 that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed.Ukraine has accused Russia of attempting to cover up its true death toll by refusing to take back the corpses of thousands of soldiers.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 21st, 2022Related News

FBI Lawyer Admits Knowing Clinton Was Behind Trump Allegations Would Have Changed Things

FBI Lawyer Admits Knowing Clinton Was Behind Trump Allegations Would Have Changed Things Authored by John Haughey and Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times, The FBI lawyer who served as a conduit for flimsy allegations against Donald Trump said May 19 he would have acted differently if he knew Trump’s rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, was behind the claims. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during an event in New York on Feb. 17, 2022. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) James Baker, who now works for Twitter, said that he likely would not have have met with Michael Sussmann, who is accused of passing on data that allegedly linked Trump’s business to a Russian bank, if he knew Sussmann was acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign. “I don’t think I would have,” Baker said on the stand in federal court in Washington. Knowing Trump’s opponent was behind the allegations “would have raised very serious questions, certainly, about the credibility of the source” and the “veracity of the information,” Baker said. It would also have heightened “a substantial concern in my mind about whether we were going to be played.” The testimony bolsters a key piece of special counsel John Durham’s case against Sussmann—that knowing the sources propelling Sussmann to meet with Baker would have altered how the FBI analyzed the information, which the bureau ultimately found did not substantiate the claims of a secret backchannel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank. “Absent Sussmann’s false statement, the FBI might have taken additional or more incremental steps before opening and/or closing an investigation,” prosecutors said in Sussmann’s indictment, which charged him with lying to the FBI. Defense lawyers have argued that the impact of Sussmann’s alleged lie was “trivial or negligible.” Sussmann met Baker in the FBI lawyer’s office on Sept. 19, 2016, just weeks before the presidential election. No other persons were present. Baker said Thursday that would not have been the case if he knew the Clinton campaign’s involvement. He said he likely would have directed Sussmann to other FBI personnel—bureau lawyers don’t typically receive information—or would have still met with Sussmann, but made sure other personnel were present. “I was willing to meet with Michael alone because I had high confidence in him and trust,” said Baker, who has described Sussmann as a friend. “I think I would have made a different assessment if he said he had been appearing on behalf of a client.” Michael Sussmann arrives at federal court in Washington on May 18, 2022. (Teng Chen/The Epoch Times) Sussmann told Baker in a text message the night before the meeting that he had sensitive information he wanted to pass on but that he was doing so on his own accord, not on behalf of any clients. Baker testified that Sussmann repeated the lie during the meeting. Sussmann later told a congressional panel that the information was given to him by a client. “I think it’s most accurate to say it was done on behalf of my client,” Sussmann said, apparently referring to Rodney Joffe, a technology executive who has said he was promised a position in the government if Clinton won the election. While Sussmann, Joffe, and others worked on the white papers that he ultimately passed to Baker, the lawyer was billing the Clinton campaign, according to billing records. Sussmann also told the campaign about the allegations before he met with Baker, though the campaign allegedly did not approve the meeting. Sussmann was well-known to the FBI, having worked with the bureau on multiple cases, including the alleged hack of Democratic National Committee servers. Sussmann “had a vibrant national security practice that had contact with the FBI a lot,” Baker said. Sussmann worked for Perkins Coie, which was the Clinton campaign’s law firm during the 2016 election, and has a long history of working with Democrats. On cross-examination, Sean Berkowitz, representing Sussmann, hammered Baker over inconsistencies in his testimony and what he’s said before. Baker, for instance, told the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General in 2019 that Sussmann said he had information stemming from “people that were his clients.” Baker said he was using a “shorthand way” of describing the cyberexperts with whom Sussman was working. In 2018, testifying to a House of Representatives panel behind closed doors, Baker said he couldn’t remember whether he knew at the time that Baker was representing the Clinton campaign. “I don’t know that I had that in my head when he showed up in my office,” Baker said at the time. “I just find that unbelievable that the guy representing the Clinton campaign, the Democrat National Committee, shows up with information that says we got this, and you don’t ask where he got it, you didn’t know how he got it,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) responded. “I was uncomfortable with being in the position of having too much factual information conveyed to me, because I’m not an agent. And so I wanted to get the information into the hands of the agents as quickly as possible and let them deal with it. If they wanted to go interview Sussmann and ask him all those kinds of questions, fine with me,” Baker said. According to Baker’s testimony and previous remarks from Sussmann, no agents ended up asking those kinds of questions. Tyler Durden Fri, 05/20/2022 - 17:40.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 20th, 2022Related News

Hancock Whitney (HWC) Down 7.5% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

Hancock Whitney (HWC) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues. A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Hancock Whitney (HWC). Shares have lost about 7.5% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Hancock Whitney due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.Hancock Whitney Q1 Earnings Beat on Provision BenefitsHancock Whitney’s first-quarter 2022 earnings of $1.40 per share handily outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.32. The bottom line improved 15.7% from the prior-year quarter.Results benefited from a fall in non-interest expenses, a slight rise in loan balance and provision benefit. However, a decline in net interest income, which reflected relatively lower interest rates and reduced non-interest income, were the undermining factors.Net income came in at $123.5 million, up 15.2% year over year.Revenues and Expenses FallTotal revenues were $311.9 million, down 3% year over year. The top line also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $314.5 million.Net interest income (on a tax-equivalent basis) declined 2.7% to $231 million. NIM was 2.81%, contracting 28 basis points (bps).Non-interest income was $83.4 million, declining 4.2%. A drastic fall in secondary mortgage market operations fees mainly led to this decrease.Total non-interest expenses fell 6.8% to $179.9 million. The decline was mainly attributable to lower personnel expenses.Efficiency ratio decreased to 56.03% from 58.12% in the year-ago quarter. A decline in efficiency ratio indicates an improvement in profitability.As of Mar 31, 2022, total loans were $21.3 billion, up almost 1% from the prior-quarter end. Total deposits were relatively stable at $30.5 billion.Credit Quality ImprovesProvision for loan losses was a benefit of $22.5 million compared with a benefit of $4.9 million in the prior-year quarter. Net charge-offs (annualized) were 0.01% of average total loans, down 33 bps.Total non-performing assets plunged 58.4% from the prior-year quarter to $51.7 million.Capital & Profitability Ratios ImproveAs of Mar 31, 2022, Tier 1 leverage ratio was 8.38%, up from 7.89% at the end of the year-earlier quarter. Common equity Tier 1 ratio was 11.12%, up from 11% as of Mar 31, 2021.At the end of the first quarter, return on average assets was 1.39%, up from the year-ago period’s 1.28%. Return on average common equity was 13.88%, up from 12.63% in the prior-year quarter.Share Repurchase UpdateHancock Whitney repurchased 350,000 shares at an average price of $52.79 per share.Full-Year 2022 OutlookManagement expects total core loans (excluding Paycheck Protection Program loans) to be up 6-8% year over year, with quarterly performance affected by seasonality.Total deposits are expected to be flat or slightly down from the 2021 level.NIM is expected to widen on the back of expected future rate hikes.Non-interest income is expected to be down 1-3% year over year due to lower secondary mortgage fees.Non-interest expenses are anticipated to be down 2-3%.Reserve for credit losses will be driven by future assumptions in economic forecasts. The company expects reserve releases to taper off over the next few quarters.The effective tax rate is anticipated to be 19-21%.Path to 55% Efficiency RatioHancock Whitney targets to achieve an efficiency ratio of 55% by the end of the fourth quarter of 2022. For this, management came up with revenue and efficiency strategies.The company projects continued momentum in core loan growth at a mid-single-digit rate and to maintain quarterly expenses in 2022. It tends to have additional efficiency initiatives like strategic procurements that will support its cost-saving plan. To improve revenues, the company has been hiring bankers in growth and new markets across its footprint, with more such hiring planned for this year. It has further deployed its excess liquidity into loans and reinvestments in bonds.Three-Year Corporate Strategic Objectives (to be Achieved by 4Q24)Return on assets of 1.35-1.45% is expected.Tangible common equity (TCE) of more than 8% is anticipated.Return on TCE is expected to be more than 15%.The efficiency ratio of less than or equal to 55% is targeted. How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in fresh estimates.The consensus estimate has shifted 5.64% due to these changes.VGM ScoresAt this time, Hancock Whitney has an average Growth Score of C, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. However, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top quintile for this investment strategy.Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.OutlookEstimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Hancock Whitney has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months. 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days Just released: Experts distill 7 elite stocks from the current list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys. They deem these tickers "Most Likely for Early Price Pops." Since 1988, the full list has beaten the market more than 2X over with an average gain of +25.4% per year. So be sure to give these hand-picked 7 your immediate attention. See them now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Hancock Whitney Corporation (HWC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 20th, 2022Related News

Ukraine says it captured documents revealing that an elite Russian unit lost over 130 tanks in failed attacks on Kharkiv

Russia's elite 1st Guards Tank Army led the assault on the Kharkiv region and paid heavily for the privilege. A burnt-out car on a street in Freedom Square in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2022.Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images In mid-May, Ukrainian troops drove the last Russian forces away from Kharkiv after a three-month siege. Ukraine also released documents showing that the Russian unit that led the assault on Kharkiv lost hundreds of vehicles and troops. The heavy losses are due in large part to Russian incompetence and Ukrainian perseverance. Another victory for Ukraine? After a three-month siege, in mid-May Ukrainian troops finally drove away the last Russian forces surrounding Kharkiv, Ukraine's second most populous city.Since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the metropolis of 1.4 million has been under relentless bombardment, costing the lives over 600 civilians by mid-May.With Russian forces driven back, in some cases all the way to the Ukrainian border with Russia, most Russian artillery (save for the heaviest guns and rockets) have been pushed out of range, giving Kharkiv's resilient citizens respite from unrelenting, indiscriminate attacks.Concurrently, Ukraine's military intelligence directorate just published what is apparently a captured Russian log recording armored vehicle losses suffered by the 1st Guards Tank Army in the first three weeks of the war. This elite unit spearheaded the assault on the Kharkiv region, but was withdrawn in April, its commander dismissed after weeks of fruitless attacks.If the documents are genuine — and they don't seem like some elaborate deception, given the believable claims — they imply its sub-units lost between one-quarter and one-half of their tanks in three weeks of fighting around Kharkiv.Russia's only tank armyA Ukrainian serviceman next to a destroyed Russian T-90M tank near the village of Staryi Saltiv in the Kharkiv region, May 9, 2022.REUTERS/Vitalii HnidyiThe 1st Guards Tank Army (1st GTA) is the only tank army in the Russian order of battle. Ordinarily based in Moscow, it counts three powerful divisions and one brigade with more modern armored vehicles and equipment than the rest of the Russian Army. It also has a higher ratio of longer-term, paid contract soldiers instead of conscripts.2nd 'Tamanskaya' Guards Motor Rifle Division2x motor-rifle regiments — [1st, 15th] — BMP-2, BTR-801x tank regiment — [1st] — T-72B3M4th Guards Tank Division2x tank regiments — [12th, 13th] — BMP-2 T-80U and T-80UE tanks1x motor-rifle regiment — [423rd] — BMP-2, T-80BV and T-80BVM tanks47th Guards Tank Division1x tank regiment — [26th]27th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade3x infantry battalions — BMP-3, BTR-82A, BTR-801x tank battalion — T-90A tanksEach Russian tank regiment has around 93 tanks in three battalions, and one battalion of mechanized infantry mounted in BMP infantry fighting vehicles or IFVs (with usually around 42-48 vehicles). A motor-rifle regiment has the inverse: three battalions of mechanized infantry in BTR armored personnel carriers or BMP vehicles, and one tank battalion.The tank army's four units between them mustered around 16 tank battalions and 16 mechanized infantry battalions; a high ratio of tanks even by Russian standards.In the field, these battalions were likely used to generate about two-thirds that number of ad hoc battalion-tactical groups heavily reinforced by artillery batteries and other support units.The army also includes a brigade each dedicated to artillery (mobile BM-27 rocket and 2S19 howitzer systems), Iskander ballistic missiles, Buk medium-range air defense missiles, reconnaissance, and command-and-control.Counting the casualties in UkraineDestroyed Russian military vehicles on the roadside on the outskirts of Kharkiv, February 26, 2022.SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty ImagesIn terms of casualties, the log suggests the 1st GTA reportedly lost 409 personnel:61 killed in action44 missing in action209 wounded in action96 captured/surrenderedThough the high number of surrendered troops for an invading army is notable, this remains a percentage loss rate in the low single-digits for a Russian army-sized formation.However, the document further reports the loss of 308 vehicles. Rob Lee, an expert on the Russian military, highlights some major implication of the loss reports.—Rob Lee (@RALee85) May 16, 20221st Guards Tank Regiment (part of the 2nd Motor-Rifle Division) lost 45 out of its 93 upgraded T-72B3M tanks — i.e. nearly 50% of its combat strength.The 4th Tank Division's three maneuver regiments lost 65 T-80U and T-80UE tanks, and six T-72BVs. That's around 33% of its expected strength of 200-217 tanks.The 27th Motor-Rifle brigade lost nine of its 31 T-90A tanks (29%)Infantry fighting vehicles losses are also startling with the loss of battalion equivalent each of BMP-2 fighting vehicles and BTR-80 APC wheeled APCs across three motor-rifle regimentsIn all the documents, Lee counts the loss of 131 tanks, materially equivalent to more than four entire battalions of tanks out of the roughly 16 in the tank army's order of battle. He also notes the losses seem to correspond with detailed confirmed loss records maintained by the Oryx blog.The T-80s and T-90As are amongst Russia's best operational tanks, protected by various types of explosive reactive armor and "soft-kill" active protection systems to misdirect incoming missiles. The T-80s are also faster, thanks to gas-turbine engines, while the T-90s sport distinctive anti-laser guidance jammers and French thermal sights.The T-72B3M, meanwhile, is a relatively extensive modernization of the less expensive T-72, incorporating many similar systems.Still, they share the vulnerability of having their 125-mm shells stored in an automatic loading system in the turret amidst the crew. This creates a high risk of catastrophic detonation if the armor is penetrated (often resulting in the turret blasting clean off the tank) and poor odds of crew survival.Ukraine's second city takes on a Russian tank armyThe turret of a destroyed Russian tank on the outskirts of Kharkiv, February 26, 2022.SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty ImagesIn truth, the heavy losses likely have less to do with the tanks' technical shortcomings than Russian tactical and operational incompetence as well as Ukrainian perseverance, as explained below.Columns of armored vehicles from Russia's elite Moscow-based 1st Guards Tank Army streamed into and around the big city from their staging area in the nearby Russian city of Belgorod.However as poor and uncoordinated jabs into Kharkiv's suburbs were crushed, the mechanized units instead streamed around the city's flanks, besieging the cities of Sumy, Okhtyrka and Trostyanets to Kharkiv's west (supported by the smaller 6th Combined Arms Army), or Chuhuiv to the southeast. The aim was to open an additional eastern corridor to Kyiv and encircle Kharkiv, as Russian forces had done in Mariupol far to the south.But Russian forces proved incapable of capturing these secondary cities, lacking sufficient infantry to secure dense urban areas and properly screen tanks from ambushes. This allowed outgunned Ukrainian defenders to stubbornly hold on by their fingernails, lasting through weeks of desperate fighting.Meanwhile, the supply lines of Russian spearhead units pushing into central-eastern Ukraine grew longer and sustained heavy losses from Ukrainian raids. And Ukrainian forces based around Kharkiv, including the 92nd and 93rd mechanized brigades, began a series of fast-paced counterattacks that routed multiple Russian regiments, slashing back constricting coils of the attempted encirclement.A Russian armored personnel carrier burns amid damaged and abandoned light utility vehicles after fighting in Kharkiv, February 27, 2022.AP Photo/Marienko AndrewBy the end of March, Russian forces had lost Chuhuiv and their hold on the western cities was growing weaker, not stronger. As the Russian military grudgingly retreated from the approaches to Kyiv, it also relinquished the cities west of Kharkiv. Most of the 1st Guards Tank Army fell back into Russia in the hopes its exhausted forces could be more profitably redeployed for a new campaign targeting the Donbas region.However, a Russian covering force remained around Kharkiv itself, manned by lower-quality Russian separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, apparently as well as the 1st GTA's 200th and 27th Motor Rifle Brigades, detached from Russia's 6th army and 1st GTA respectively.This residual presence was to pin down Ukrainian defenses around Kharkiv — denying their use in Donbas — and to sustain the bombardment, more than out of any short-term expectation of capturing the metropolis.However, Ukraine's military was aware of the weakness of the Russian covering force. In May it mobilized three mechanized brigades around Kharkiv (the 72nd, 92nd and 93rd) to launch a series of counterstrikes, pushing Russian forces northward back toward the border, or eastward against the unyielding banks of the Siverskyi Donets river.The counteroffensive also opened a corridor down the M-03 highway from Ukraine to Izium, the locust-like swarm of Russian efforts to punch through Ukrainian lines in Donbas. In fact, the elements of the 1st Guards Tank Army, including its 2nd Tank Division, are among the forces operating around the city.The elite tank army may be done fighting Kharkiv, but Kharkiv, it seems, isn't done fighting it.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: businessinsiderMay 20th, 2022Related News

Secret Service agents sent home from South Korea after "off duty incident" local media said was a drunken fight

A Secret Service spokesman said that two agents had been sent home, following local reports of a drunken fight over a taxi. President Joe Biden, surrounded by members of the US Secret Service, makes a surprise walk down Barracks Row in Washington, DC, on January 25, 2022.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images The Secret Service sent two agents home after local media reported they were in a fight. The agents were in Seoul, South Korea, preparing the ground for President Joe Biden to visit. Local reports claimed an agent was involved in a drunken fight over a taxi.  US Secret Service agents were involved in an "off duty incident" in Seoul, South Korea, and sent home ahead of President Joe Biden's visit Friday, a spokesman for the agency told Insider. Anthony Guglielmi, Chief of Communications for the Secret Service, in a statement said the incident involved two agents, and was being investigated as a potential violation of conduct policies.The service gave few details — but local media in Seoul described the incident as a fight over a taxi fare, and said at least on agent had been drinking.The Secret Service statement said the agency was "aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations."The individuals will be immediately returned back to their post of duty and placed on administrative leave. There was no impact to the upcoming trip," it continued. "We have very strict protocols and policies for all employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards. Given this is an active administrative personnel matter, we are not in a position to comment further."The statement follows reports in South Korean media that a member of Biden's advance security team had assaulted a Korean citizen in a drunken argument about a taxi outside a Seoul hotel. —William Gallo (@GalloVOA) May 20, 2022A Secret Service source said that the incident had not resulted in an arrest or criminal charges. The incident is the latest in a series of Secret Service scandals in recent years.In 2017, an agent who was part of then Vice President Mike Pence's security detail was suspended after allegedly meeting a prostitute in a Maryland hotel.It followed two high profile incidents during the Obama presidency, when agents were sent home in 2014 during a presidential trip to Amsterdam after getting drunk, and from Cartagena, Columbia, in 2012 after an argument with a prostitute. Biden arrived in Seoul Friday as part of a five-day trip to strengthen alliances in the region amid the Ukraine conflict. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 20th, 2022Related News

Deere Reports Second Quarter Net Income of $2.098 Billion

Quarterly earnings rise 17% on increase in net sales of 9%. Market conditions and industry fundamentals support continuation of robust environment. Full-year earnings forecast increased to $7.0 to $7.4 billion, including special items. MOLINE, Ill., May 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) reported net income of $2.098 billion for the second quarter ended May 1, 2022, or $6.81 per share, compared with net income of $1.790 billion, or $5.68 per share, for the quarter ended May 2, 2021. For the first six months of the year, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $3.001 billion, or $9.72 per share, compared with $3.013 billion, or $9.55 per share, for the same period last year. Net sales and revenues increased 11 percent, to $13.370 billion, for the second quarter of 2022 and rose 8 percent, to $22.939 billion, for six months. Net sales were $12.034 billion for the quarter and $20.565 billion for six months, compared with $10.998 billion and $19.049 billion last year. "Deere's second-quarter performance reflected a continuation of strong demand even as we face supply-chain pressures affecting production levels and delivery schedules," said John C. May, chairman and chief executive officer. "Deere employees, suppliers, and dealers are working hard to address these challenges. We are proud of their extraordinary efforts to get products to our customers as soon as possible under the challenging circumstances." Company Outlook & Summary Net income attributable to Deere & Company for fiscal 2022 is forecast to be in a range of $7.0 billion to $7.4 billion, which includes a net $220 million gain from special items in the second quarter of 2022. For further details on special items, see Note 1 of the press release financial statements. "Looking ahead, we believe demand for farm equipment will continue benefiting from positive fundamentals in spite of availability concerns and inflationary pressures affecting our customers' input costs," May said. "The company's smart industrial strategy and recently announced Leap Ambitions are focused on helping customers manage higher costs and increasingly scarce inputs, while improving their yields, through the use of our integrated technologies." Deere & Company Second Quarter Year to Date $ in millions, except per share amounts 2022 2021 % Change 2022 2021 % Change Net sales and revenues $ 13,370 $ 12,058 11% $ 22,939 $ 21,170 8% Net income $ 2,098 $ 1,790 17% $ 3,001 $ 3,013 Fully diluted EPS $ 6.81 $ 5.68 $ 9.72 $ 9.55 Results for the second quarter of 2022 and year-to-date periods of 2022 and 2021 were impacted by special items. For further details, see Note 1 of the press release financial statements.  Production & Precision Agriculture Second Quarter $ in millions 2022 2021 % Change Net sales $ 5,117 $ 4,529 13% Operating profit $ 1,057 $ 1,007 5% Operating margin 20.7% 22.2% Production and precision agriculture sales increased for the quarter due to price realization and higher shipment volumes. Operating profit rose primarily due to price realization and higher shipment volumes / sales mix. These items were partially offset by higher production costs, higher research and development and selling, administrative, and general expenses, and impairments related to events in Russia / Ukraine.   Small Agriculture & Turf Second Quarter $ in millions 2022 2021 % Change Net sales $ 3,570 $ 3,390 5% Operating profit $ 520 $ 648 -20% Operating margin 14.6% 19.1% Small agriculture and turf sales for the quarter increased due to price realization partially offset by the unfavorable impact of currency translation. Operating profit decreased primarily due to higher production costs, a less-favorable sales mix, and higher selling, administrative, and general and research and development expenses. These items were partially offset by price realization.   Construction & Forestry Second Quarter $ in millions 2022 2021 % Change Net sales $ 3,347 $ 3,079 9% Operating profit $ 814 $ 489 66% Operating margin 24.3% 15.9% Construction and forestry sales moved higher for the quarter primarily due to price realization and higher shipment volumes, partially offset by the unfavorable impact of currency translation. Operating profit increased due to a non-cash gain on the remeasurement of the previously held equity investment in the Deere-Hitachi joint venture and price realization. These items were partially offset by higher production costs, impairments related to the events in Russia / Ukraine, and a less-favorable product mix.   Financial Services Second Quarter $ in millions 2022 2021 % Change Net income $ 208 $ 222 -6% The decrease in financial services net income for the quarter was mainly due to higher reserves for credit losses related to the events in Russia / Ukraine, partially offset by income earned on a higher average portfolio. The prior year also benefited from a favorable adjustment to the provision for credit losses. Industry Outlook for Fiscal 2022 Agriculture & Turf U.S. & Canada: Large Ag Up ~ 20% Small Ag & Turf ~ Flat Europe Up ~ 5% South America (Tractors & Combines) Up ~ 10% Asia Down moderately Construction & Forestry U.S. & Canada: Construction Equipment Up ~ 10% Compact Construction Equipment Flat to Up 5% Global Forestry Flat to Up 5% Global Roadbuilding Flat to Up 5% Deere Segment Outlook for Fiscal 2022 Currency Price $ in millions Net Sales Translation Realization Production & Precision Ag Up 25 to 30% -1% +13% Small Ag & Turf Up ~ 15% -3% +8% Construction & Forestry Up 10 to 15% -2% +9% Financial Services Net Income $ 870 Financial Services. Full-year 2022 results are expected to be slightly lower than fiscal 2021 due to a higher provision for credit losses and higher selling, administrative, and general expenses. These factors are expected to be partially offset by income earned on a higher average portfolio. John Deere Capital Corporation The following is disclosed on behalf of the company's financial services subsidiary, John Deere Capital Corporation (JDCC), in connection with the disclosure requirements applicable to its periodic issuance of debt securities in the public market. Second Quarter Year to Date $ in millions 2022 2021 % Change 2022 2021 % Change Revenue $ 651 $ 675 -4% $ 1,294 $ 1,332 -3% Net income $ 159 $ 177 -10% $ 348 $ 344 1% Ending portfolio balance $ 42,543 $ 40,613 5% Results in the quarter decreased due to a higher provision for credit losses and less-favorable financing spreads, partially offset by income earned on a higher average portfolio. For the year-to-date period, net income rose mainly due to income earned on a higher average portfolio and improvement on operating-lease residual values, partially offset by a higher provision for credit losses and less-favorable financing spreads. The prior year also benefited from a favorable adjustment to the provision for credit losses. FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS Certain statements contained herein, including in the sections entitled "Company Outlook & Summary," "Industry Outlook," and "Deere Segment Outlook," relating to future events, expectations, and trends constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve factors that are subject to change, assumptions, risks, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Some of these risks and uncertainties could affect all lines of the company's operations, generally, while others could more heavily affect a particular line of business. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available information and current assumptions, expectations, and projections about future events. Except as required by law, the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements. Further information concerning the company and its businesses, including factors that could materially affect the company's financial results, is included in the company's other filings with the SEC (including, but not limited to, the factors discussed in Item 1A. "Risk Factors" of the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q). Factors Affecting All Lines of Business All of the company's businesses and their results are affected by general economic conditions in the global markets and industries in which the company operates; customer confidence in general economic conditions; government spending and taxing; foreign currency exchange rates and their volatility, especially fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar; changing interest rates; inflation and deflation rates; changes in weather and climate patterns; the political and social stability of the global markets in which the company operates; the effects of, or response to, terrorism and security threats; wars and other conflicts, including the current military conflict between Russia and Ukraine; natural disasters; and the spread of major epidemics or pandemics (including the COVID-19 pandemic). Significant changes in market liquidity conditions, changes in the company's credit ratings, and any failure to comply with financial covenants in credit agreements could impact access to funding and funding costs, which could reduce the company's earnings and cash flows. Financial market conditions could also negatively impact customer access to capital for purchases of the company's products and purchase decisions, financing and repayment practices, and the number and size of customer delinquencies and defaults. A debt crisis in Europe, Latin America, or elsewhere could negatively impact currencies, global financial markets, funding sources and costs, asset and obligation values, customers, suppliers, and demand for equipment. The company's investment management activities could be impaired by changes in the equity, bond, and other financial markets, which would negatively affect earnings. Additional factors that could materially affect the company's operations, access to capital, expenses, and results include changes in, uncertainty surrounding, and the impact of governmental trade, banking, monetary, and fiscal policies, including financial regulatory reform and its effects on the consumer finance industry, derivatives, funding costs, governmental programs, policies, and tariffs for the benefit of certain industries or sectors; retaliatory actions to such changes in trade, banking, monetary, and fiscal policies; actions by central banks; actions by financial and securities regulators; actions by environmental, health, and safety regulatory agencies, including those related to engine emissions, carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, and the effects of climate change; changes to GPS radio frequency bands or their permitted uses; changes in labor and immigration regulations; changes to accounting standards; changes in tax rates, estimates, laws, and regulations and company actions related thereto; changes to and compliance with privacy, banking, and other regulations; changes to and compliance with economic sanctions and export controls laws and regulations; and compliance with U.S. and foreign laws when expanding to new markets and otherwise. Other factors that could materially affect the company's results and operations include security breaches, cybersecurity attacks, technology failures, and other disruptions to the information technology infrastructure of the company and its suppliers and dealers; security breaches with respect to the company's products; production, design, and technological innovations and difficulties, including capacity and supply constraints and prices; the loss of or challenges to intellectual property rights, whether through theft, infringement, counterfeiting, or otherwise; the availability and prices of strategically sourced materials, components, and whole goods; delays or disruptions in the company's supply chain, including work stoppages or disputes by suppliers with their unionized labor; the failure of customers, dealers, suppliers, or the company to comply with laws, regulations, and company policy pertaining to employment, human rights, health, safety, the environment, sanctions, export controls, anti-corruption, privacy and data protection, and other ethical business practices; introduction of legislation that could affect the company's business model and intellectual property, such as right to repair or right to modify; events that damage the company's reputation or brand; significant investigations, claims, lawsuits, or other legal proceedings; start-up of new plants and products; the success of new product initiatives or business strategies; changes in customer product preferences and sales mix; gaps or limitations in rural broadband coverage, capacity, and speed needed to support technology solutions; oil and energy prices, supplies, and volatility; the availability and cost of freight; actions of competitors in the various industries in which the company competes, particularly price discounting; dealer practices, especially as to levels of new and used field inventories; changes in demand and pricing for used equipment and resulting impacts on lease residual values; labor relations and contracts, including work stoppages and other disruptions; changes in the ability to attract, develop, engage, and retain qualified personnel; acquisitions and divestitures of businesses; greater-than-anticipated transaction costs; the integration of acquired businesses; the failure or delay in closing or realizing anticipated benefits of acquisitions, joint ventures, or divestitures; the inability to deliver precision technology and agricultural solutions to customers; and the failure to realize anticipated savings or benefits of cost reduction, productivity, or efficiency efforts. COVID-19 Uncertainties related to the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have adversely affected and may continue to affect the company's business and outlook. These uncertainties include, among other things: the duration and impact of any resurgence in COVID-19; disruptions in the supply chain, including those caused by industry capacity constraints, material availability, and global logistics delays and constraints arising from, among other things, the transportation capacity of ocean shipping containers, and continued disruptions in the operations of one or more key suppliers, or the failure of any key suppliers; an increasingly competitive labor market due to a sustained labor shortage or increased turnover caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; the sustainability of the economic recovery from the pandemic remains unclear and significant volatility could continue for a prolonged period. Agricultural Equipment Operations The company's agricultural equipment operations are subject to a number of uncertainties, including certain factors that affect farmers' confidence and financial condition. These factors include demand for agricultural products; world grain stocks; soil conditions; harvest yields; prices for commodities and livestock; crop and livestock production expenses; availability of fertilizer; availability of transport for crops; trade restrictions and tariffs; global trade agreements; the level of farm product exports; the growth and sustainability of non-food uses for some crops (including ethanol and biodiesel production); real estate values; available acreage for farming; changes in government farm programs and policies; international reaction to such programs; changes in and effects of crop insurance programs; changes in environmental regulations and their impact on farming practices; animal diseases and their effects on poultry, beef, and pork consumption and prices on livestock feed demand; and crop pests and diseases. Production and Precision Agriculture Operations The production and precision agriculture operations rely in part on hardware and software, guidance, connectivity and digital solutions, and automation and machine intelligence. Many factors contribute to the company's precision agriculture sales and results, including the impact to customers' profitability and/or sustainability outcomes; the rate of adoption and use by customers; availability of technological innovations; speed of research and development; effectiveness of partnerships with third parties; and the dealer channel's ability to support and service precision technology solutions. Small Agriculture and Turf Equipment Factors affecting the company's small agriculture and turf equipment operations include customer profitability; labor supply; consumer borrowing patterns; consumer purchasing preferences; housing starts and supply; infrastructure investment; spending by municipalities and golf courses; and consumable input costs. Construction and Forestry Factors affecting the company's construction and forestry equipment operations include consumer spending patterns; real estate and housing prices; the number of housing starts; interest rates; commodity prices such as oil and gas; the levels of public and non-residential construction; and investment in infrastructure. Prices for pulp, paper, lumber, and structural panels affect sales of forestry equipment. John Deere Financial The liquidity and ongoing profitability of John Deere Capital Corporation and the company's other financial services subsidiaries depend on timely access to capital in order to meet future cash flow requirements, and to fund operations, costs, and purchases of the company's products. If general economic conditions deteriorate or capital markets become more volatile, funding could be unavailable or insufficient. Additionally, customer confidence levels may result in declines in credit applications and increases in delinquencies and default rates, which could materially impact write-offs and provisions for credit losses.   DEERE & COMPANYSECOND QUARTER 2022 PRESS RELEASE(In millions of dollars) Unaudited Three Months Ended Six Months Ended May 1 May 2  % May 1 May 2  % 2022 2021 Change 2022 2021 Change Net sales and revenues:    Production & precision ag net sales $ 5,117 $ 4,529 +13 $ 8,473 $ 7,599 +12    Small ag & turf net sales 3,570 3,390 +5 6,201 5,904 +5    Construction & forestry net sales 3,347 3,079 +9 5,891 5,546 +6    Financial services revenues 864 892 -3 1,734 1,776 -2    Other revenues 472 168 +181 640 345 +86      Total net sales and revenues $ 13,370 $ 12,058 +11 $ 22,939 $ 21,170 +8 Operating profit: *    Production & precision ag $ 1,057 $ 1,007 +5 $ 1,353 $ 1,651 -18    Small ag & turf 520 648 -20 891 1,117 -20    Construction & forestry 814 489 +66 1,085 756 +44    Financial services 279 295 -5 577 553 +4      Total operating profit 2,670 2,439 +9 3,906 4,077 -4 Reconciling items ** (111) (119) -7 (195) (226) -14 Income taxes (461) (530) -13 (710) (838) -15      Net income attributable to Deere & Company $ 2,098 $ 1,790 +17 $ 3,001 $ 3,013 *      Operating profit is income from continuing operations before corporate expenses, certain external interest expense, certain foreign exchange gains and losses, and income taxes. Operating profit of the financial services segment includes the effect of interest expense and foreign exchange gains or losses. **      Reconciling items are primarily corporate expenses, certain external interest expense, certain foreign exchange gains and losses, pension and postretirement benefit costs excluding the service cost component, and net income attributable to noncontrolling interests.   DEERE & COMPANYSTATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED INCOMEFor the Three Months Ended May 1, 2022 and May 2, 2021(In millions of dollars and shares except per share amounts) Unaudited 2022 2021 Net Sales and Revenues Net sales $ 12,034 $ 10,998 Finance and interest income 796 809 Other income 540 251    Total 13,370 12,058 Costs and Expenses Cost of sales 8,918 7,928 Research and development expenses 453 377 Selling, administrative and general expenses 932 838 Interest expense 187 268 Other operating expenses 328 335    Total 10,818 9,746 Income of Consolidated Group before Income Taxes 2,552 2,312 Provision for income taxes 461 530 Income of Consolidated Group 2,091 1,782 Equity in income of unconsolidated affiliates 6 8 Net Income 2,097 1,790    Less: Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests (1) Net Income Attributable to Deere & Company $ 2,098 $ 1,790 Per Share Data Basic $ 6.85 $ 5.72 Diluted $ 6.81 $ 5.68 Dividends declared $ 1.05 $ .90 Dividends paid $ 1.05 $ .76 Average Shares Outstanding Basic 306.2 312.8 Diluted 308.1 315.2 See Condensed Notes to Interim Consolidated Financial Statements.   DEERE & COMPANYSTATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED INCOMEFor the Six Months Ended May 1, 2022 and May 2, 2021(In millions of dollars and shares except per share amounts) Unaudited 2022 2021 Net Sales and Revenues Net sales $ 20,565 $ 19,049 Finance and interest income 1,595 1,644 Other income 779 477     Total 22,939 21,170 Costs and Expenses Cost of sales 15,613 13,734 Research and development expenses 855 743 Selling, administrative and general expenses 1,713 1,607 Interest expense 417 538 Other operating expenses 638 708     Total 19,236 17,330 Income of Consolidated Group before Income Taxes 3,703 3,840 Provision for income taxes 710 838 Income of Consolidated Group 2,993 3,002 Equity in income of unconsolidated affiliates 8 12 Net Income 3,001 3,014     Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests 1 Net Income Attributable to Deere & Company $ 3,001 $ 3,013 Per Share Data Basic $ 9.78 $ 9.62 Diluted $ 9.72 $ 9.55 Dividends declared $ 2.10 $ 1.66 Dividends paid $ 2.10 $ 1.52 Average Shares Outstanding Basic 306.8 313.1 Diluted 308.8 315.6 See Condensed Notes to Interim Consolidated Financial Statements.   DEERE & COMPANYCONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS(In millions of dollars) Unaudited May 1 October 31 May 2  2022 2021 2021 Assets Cash and cash equivalents $ 3,878 $ 8,017 $ 7,182 Marketable securities 682 728 668 Trade accounts and notes receivable - net 6,258 4,208 6,158 Financing receivables - net 34,085 33,799 30,994 Financing receivables securitized - net 4,073 4,659 4,107 Other receivables 2,306 1,765 1,504 Equipment on operating leases - net 6,465 6,988 7,108 Inventories 9,030 6,781 6,042 Property and equipment - net 5,715 5,820 5,704 Goodwill 3,812 3,291 3,190 Other intangible assets - net 1,352 1,275 1,310 Retirement benefits 3,059 3,601 951 Deferred income taxes 1,104 1,037 1,724 Other assets 2,280 2,145 2,337 Total Assets $ 84,099 $ 84,114 $ 78,979 Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity Liabilities Short-term borrowings $ 12,413 $ 10,919 $ 9,911 Short-term securitization borrowings 4,006 4,605 4,106 Accounts payable and accrued expenses 12,679 12,348 10,682 Deferred income taxes 584 576 533 Long-term borrowings 32,447 32,888 33,346 Retirement benefits and other liabilities 2,964 4,344 5,305     Total liabilities 65,093 65,680 63,883 Redeemable noncontrolling interest 99 Stockholders' Equity Total Deere & Company stockholders' equity 18,904 18,431 15,092 Noncontrolling interests 3 3 4    Total stockholders' equity 18,907 18,434 15,096 Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity $ 84,099 $ 84,114 $ 78,979 See Condensed Notes to Interim Consolidated Financial Statements.    DEERE & COMPANYSTATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOWSFor the Six Months Ended May 1, 2022 and May 2, 2021(In millions of dollars) Unaudited 2022 2021 Cash Flows from Operating Activities Net income $ 3,001 $ 3,014 Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by (used for) operating activities:    Provision (credit) for credit losses 45 (24)    Provision for depreciation and amortization 933 1,054    Impairment charges 77 50    Share-based compensation expense 44 45    Gain on remeasurement of previously held equity investment (326)    Undistributed earnings of unconsolidated affiliates (2) 11    Provision (credit) for deferred income taxes 37 (213)    Changes in assets and liabilities:      Trade, notes, and financing receivables related to sales (1,535) (1,124)      Inventories (2,265) (1,193)      Accounts payable and accrued expenses (443) 318      Accrued income taxes payable/receivable (139) 54      Retirement benefits (1,020) (5)    Other (169) (201)      Net cash provided by (used for) operating activities (1,762) 1,786 Cash Flows from Investing Activities Collections of receivables (excluding receivables related to sales) 11,190 10,367 Proceeds from sales of equipment on operating leases 1,035 1,011 Cost of receivables acquired (excluding receivables related to sales) (11,971) (11,359) Acquisitions of businesses, net of cash acquired (473) (19) Purchases of property and equipment (346) (320) Cost of equipment on operating leases acquired (1,004) (764) Collateral on derivatives – net (248) (255) Other (71) (48)      Net cash used for investing activities (1,888) (1,387) Cash Flows from Financing Activities Increase in total short-term borrowings 812 212 Proceeds from long-term borrowings 4,298 3,967 Payments of long-term borrowings (3,625) (3,157) Proceeds from issuance of common stock.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaMay 20th, 2022Related News

"Warning lights flashing": the US military is offering record amounts of cash to head off a recruiting crisis

The US military is using record-level enlistment and retention bonuses to attract and keep troops, and those bonuses continue to increase. US Marine Corps recruits do crunches at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, February 19, 2016.Lance Cpl. Angelica Annastas US military recruiting faces major headwinds as troops leave service and a tight job market lures away potential recruits. The services are using record-level enlistment and retention bonuses to attract and keep troops, and those bonuses continue to increase. Hints that the armed services might soon face a problem keeping their ranks full began quietly, with officials spending the last decade warning that a dwindling slice of the American public could serve.Only about one-quarter of young Americans are even eligible for service these days, a shrinking pool limited by an increasing number of potential recruits who are overweight or are screened out due to minor criminal infractions, including the use of recreational drugs such as marijuana.But what had been a slow-moving trend is reaching crisis levels, as a highly competitive job market converges with a mass of troops leaving as the coronavirus pandemic subsides, alarming military planners.Read Next: Medical Forces Could Be Shorthanded During War Due to Planned Cuts, Milley Says"Not two years into a pandemic, and we have warning lights flashing," Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, the Air Force Recruiting Service commander, wrote in a memo — leaked in January — about the headwinds his team faces.For now, the services are leaning on record-level enlistment and retention bonuses meant to attract and keep America's military staffed and ready — bonuses that continue to climb.In an interview with Military.com last month, Thomas didn't mince words. He knows he is competing against the private sector to hire people, from technology giants to regional gas stations."If you want to work at Buc-ee's along I-35 in Texas, you can do it for [a] $25-an-hour starting salary," Thomas said. "You can start at Target for $29 an hour with educational benefits. So you start looking at the competition: Starbucks, Google, Amazon. The battle for talent amidst this current labor shortage is intense."Trainees at the 120th Adjutant General Battalion at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, October 30, 2019.Alexandra Shea/Fort Jackson Public AffairsPaired with those competitive offers for workers are a large number of service members retiring, some having delayed leaving the ranks during a pandemic that saw huge instability in the job market.Since fiscal 2020, the US Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service — known as VETS — has anticipated that around 150,000 service members would transition out of the military annually as part of its budget justification documents.But in 2020, the Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, the congressionally mandated classes that prepare troops for life outside the military, helped counsel 193,968 service members on their way out of the military, said Lisa Lawrence, a Pentagon spokesperson. That's nearly one-third more newly minted veterans than the Labor Department had planned for.In 2021, that number grew to 196,413. Prior to 2020, the Department of Defense did not report the total number of TAP-eligible service members transitioning, although Lawrence said the number has been somewhere between 190,000 and 200,000 annually in recent years.Payouts aimed at attracting new service members to replace those outgoing veterans are at all-time highs. The Army started offering recruiting bonuses of up to $50,000 in January, and last month the Air Force began promoting up to $50,000 — the most it can legally offer — for certain career fields.The Navy followed with its offer of $25,000 to those willing to ship out in a matter of weeks. It says the bonuses are the result of an "unprecedentedly competitive job market."Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the sea service's recruiting command, told Military.com in a recent phone interview that "the private sector is doing things we haven't seen them do before to try and attract talent, so we have to stay competitive."Benham said the scope of the Navy's offer — a minimum of $25,000 to ship out before June — has "never happened before to anybody's collective knowledge around here."Courting and paying for talentUS Army recruits training at Fort Benning.Barry Williams/Getty ImagesThe pandemic economy has placed private-sector workers in the driver's seat, pushing employers to offer more lucrative incentives such as better benefits, flexible work-from-home schedules or massive signing bonuses to make hires. That is putting major pressure on the military as it tries to attract recruits who may be considering the civilian job market.It's all been complicated by the military's myriad of other difficulties getting new troops in the door, such as recruiting efforts quashed by the pandemic, a shrinking pool of eligible recruits, and social media silos complicating advertising.And amid public scandals, such as the 2020 murder of Vanessa Guillén and suicides on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, military service may seem like a less attractive choice for young Americans."This is arguably the most challenging recruiting year since the inception of the all-volunteer force," Lt. Gen. David Ottignon, the Marine Corps officer in charge of manpower, told the Senate during a public hearing April 27.All of the military's service branches are scrambling to find ways to compete for a younger generation of talent that has plenty of employment opportunities."The military provides a wonderful option for young people, but it's not the only option and so recruiters, I think just like other employers, are trying to understand what the different options are for young people and to address those effectively," said Joey Von Nessen, an economics professor at the University of South Carolina.The bonuses that serve as one of the most immediately tangible lures for new recruits, while escalating, aren't uniform across or even within the services.Most of the bonuses offered for new Air Force recruits range around $8,000 for certain career fields. But for two of the most dangerous jobs, Special Warfare operations and explosive ordnance disposal, the service is making its maximum allowed offer of $50,000 for people to join."It is necessary. I think these are two of our hardest career fields to recruit toward," said Col. Jason Scott, chief of operations for the Air Force Recruiting Service. "It is absolutely necessary to do $50,000 for each of those, and actually $50,000 is the highest initial enlistment bonus amount that we can give."New Marine Corps recruits make their initial phone calls home at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, May 21, 2018.US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Christian M. GarciaOverall, the Air Force is dedicating $31 million to recruiting bonuses in 2022, nearly double what was originally planned for.The Army faces the same problem — and is putting up the same big offers."We're in a search for talent just like corporate America and other businesses; almost everyone has the same issue the military does right now," Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, head of US Army Recruiting Command, told Military.com. "We're trying to match incentives for what resonates. For example, financial incentives. Nobody wants to be in debt, so we're offering sign-up bonuses at a historic rate."We've never offered $50,000 to join the Army," he added.In addition to the sign-on bonuses, the Army is also offering new recruits their first duty station of choice — an unprecedented move as new soldiers are typically placed at random around the world. New recruits can choose locations such as Alaska, Fort Drum in New York, and Fort Carson in Colorado."Youth today want to make their own decisions. We're letting them do that," Vereen said.The services are also trying to keep troops from leaving, knowing that a raft of employment opportunities are available for them if they get fed up with military life.The Army, Air Force and Navy have all announced reenlistment bonuses for certain career fields and specialties, some of them in the six-figure range.The Air Force is offering up to $100,000 reenlistment bonuses based on experience and career field. The Navy is also offering those incentives, with fields such as network cryptologists and nuclear technicians making anywhere from $90,000 to $100,000. The Army is offering a more modest cap of $81,000 to reenlist for some jobs.Anecdotally, military families are describing on social media an inability to find open slots for TAP's sessions. Each in-person class is generally limited to 50 people, but Lawrence, the Pentagon spokesperson, denied the program is being overwhelmed since classes are also available in live online, on-demand or hybrid formats.The urgency described by leaders who are putting their money toward keeping skilled service members is a sign of the worry about a brain drain.Unlike the broader enlistment bonuses, many military career fields don't offer cash for reenlistment, and some of these incentives existed prior to the pandemic. But the job market has put pressure on the services to pay up to keep service members in the force.Overweight and hard to reachUS Navy recruits march in formation at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, May 14, 2020.US Navy/Seaman Amy JohnsonThe military's difficulties attracting recruits go far beyond making the right bonus offer. The forces working against recruiting increased during the grinding global pandemic — lockdowns kept recruiters home and young Americans are refusing vaccines, for example — and are also rooted in longer-term societal shifts in physical fitness and communication."The aggregate effects of two years of COVID is that is two years of not being in high school classrooms, two years of not having air shows and major public events like being in those public spaces, where our potential applicants or potential recruits are getting personal exposure, face-to-face relationships with military recruiters," Thomas said.Only about 40% of Americans who are of prime recruiting age are vaccinated against the virus. Outright refusal to get the shot immediately precludes joining the force and short-circuits any pitch from recruiters. COVID vaccines are among at least a dozen inoculations mandated by the Defense Department."Seventeen-to-24-year-olds are not getting vaccinated, and those [are] people we aren't having a conversation with," Vereen said.Even when potential recruits are interested and big bonuses motivate them to sign on the dotted line, only about 23% of young Americans are even eligible for service.Past legal run-ins or a drug history prevent potential recruits from joining, and more and more Americans are overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of adults aged 20 to 39 are obese. That problem has been deemed a national security risk by some because it causes an increasingly shallow pool of potential recruits.The confluence of challenges has others loudly alerting the public that there's a problem.Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee personnel panel, says the military is on the cusp of a recruiting crisis.Marine recruits line up for chow.Sgt. Dana Beesley/US Marine Corps"To put it bluntly, I am worried we are now in the early days of a long-term threat to the all-volunteer force. [There is] a small and declining number of Americans who are eligible and interested in military service," Tillis said during an April 27 hearing.He added that "every single metric tracking the military recruiting environment is going in the wrong direction." Just 8% of young Americans have seriously considered joining the military, while only 23% are eligible to enlist, according to Tillis.Meanwhile, the prime demographic for recruiting — 17-to-24-year-olds — is getting harder to reach. The military is running high production value recruiting ads on TV, but most younger Americans are watching YouTube, Twitch and other streaming services.On those platforms, ads are dictated by algorithms based on a person's search history, and prime-age viewers may never be exposed to recruiting spots if they don't already have a general interest in the military.The military has relied on Facebook, with its user base that skews much older, and Instagram pointing users to ads based on their existing interests. The Defense Department banned TikTok from government-issued phones in 2019, shutting out Generation Z's social media platform of choice. However, some recruiters have ignored the ban on the Chinese-owned platform, which is seen by some as a security risk."I know a lot of young people are on TikTok and we're not," Vereen said.When the military does get widespread exposure and makes the news, it can be due to scandals such as the slaying of Guillén at Fort Hood, Texas, or other problems that raise questions about safety and the quality of life in the services.Following a wave of suicides and disclosure of a lack of basic amenities such as hot water and ventilation aboard the George Washington, Master Chief Petty Officer Russell Smith, the Navy's top enlisted leader, was asked by a sailor why the service was spending so much on new recruits, specifically mentioning the hefty $25,000 bonus."I gotta use those bonuses to compel something. ... A post-COVID workforce doesn't love the idea that they have to, they actually have to go to work, talk to people, see them face-to-face, exchange ideas and do work," Smith told the crew, according to a Navy-provided transcript. "They would rather phone it in or work from home somehow and, with the military, you just can't do that."US Navy recruits in the galley of the USS Triton barracks at Recruit Training Command.Scott A. Thornbloom/US NavySome sailors said it didn't seem like the service was prioritizing making its current ranks happy or financially incentivizing them to stick around. Smith said the Navy already offers some bonuses to in-demand specialties and that if a particular job doesn't offer one it's because enough of those sailors "love the work that they do ... and when they do, I don't have to use money as leverage."Smith also told the sailor that he "can compel [them] to stay right here for eight years." Most contracts have an inactive period of reserve service built in following the end of active duty that the Navy can tap into."So, you want me finding sailors to come in and relieve you on time," Smith added.The military services hope the new bonuses will overcome all the difficulties and that they will meet recruiting goals for the year. But the numbers are not encouraging so far.The Army has an uphill climb for the rest of the year, having recruited just 23% of its target in the first five months of the fiscal year.The Navy said that, in order to reach its recruiting goal this year, it will have to reduce the delayed-entry program — allowing someone to enlist before they plan on actually shipping out — to below "historic norms," which could in turn cause recruiting issues in future years.There's likely no relief in sight, according to experts.US population demographics are going in the wrong direction and will make the recruiting job increasingly hard. The millennial and Gen-Z generations are smaller than previous generations, meaning there is a dwindling workforce to pull from. And only a small percentage of those youths appear likely to meet the physical qualifications to join in the first place."I think it's likely that the labor shortage is going to be long-lasting," Von Nessen said. "This is not a short-term phenomenon. It was exacerbated by the pandemic, but it wasn't created by the pandemic exclusively."— Thomas Novelly can be reached at thomas.novelly@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.— Konstantin Toropin can be reached at konstantin.toropin@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.— Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.— Rebecca Kheel can be reached at rebecca.kheel@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @reporterkheel.Related: Space Force Offering Bonuses Up to $20,000 for New Guardians with Tech BackgroundsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 19th, 2022Related News

Replimune Reports Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Year-Ended 2022 Financial Results and Provides Corporate Update

Enrollment in the CERPASS clinical trial with RP1 in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) expected to be completed in mid-year 2022; top line data expected Q1 2023 Directional data from the first 75 patents with 6 months follow up from the IGNYTE clinical trial with RP1 in anti-PD1 failed melanoma expected in late 2022 Phase 2 development plan for RP2/RP3 in HCC, CRC and SCCHN announced WOBURN, Mass., May 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Replimune Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:REPL), a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of a novel class of tumor-directed oncolytic immunotherapies, today announced financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and year ended March 31, 2022 and provided a business update. "We have ended the fiscal year in a very strong position from which to execute on our vision to establish our products as a cornerstone of immuno-oncology regimens and we look forward with these firm foundations in place to a potentially transformative 12-month period ahead," said Philip Astley-Sparke CEO of Replimune. "Updated data in anti-PD1 naïve cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) and anti-PD1 failed melanoma continue to support our two registration-directed clinical trials in these settings. We are maintaining guidance that we expect to complete enrollment into our registration directed CERPASS clinical trial in CSCC mid-year and to release top line data in early 2023. Further, we expect to release initial directional data from our registration directed IGNYTE clinical trial in anti-PD1 failed melanoma in late 2022. Launch scale manufacturing has been established and commercial planning to establish a major skin cancer franchise is advancing. With RP2/3 we have announced an exciting mid stage program in colorectal cancer (CRC), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and head and neck cancer (SCCHN) where an expedited path to potential approval in some settings may be feasible. Finally, we have a strong cash position to drive value through multiple major data catalysts." Corporate Updates Provided data update for RP1 in its skin cancer programs at a virtual investor event in March 2022. IGNYTE anti-PD1 naïve NMSC cohort of patients treated with RP1 combined with Opdivo® (nivolumab) (n=32; recruitment complete): The overall response rate (ORR) in CSCC increased to 65%, compared to 60% at the June 2021 update with the complete response rate (CRR) unchanged at 47%. Updated response rates in BCC, MCC and angiosarcoma were 25%, 75% and 67% respectively with multiple complete responses documented, indicating the potential utility of RP1 in additional NMSCs beyond CSCC. IGNYTE anti-PD1 failed and anti-PD1 naïve melanoma cohort of patients treated with RP1 combined with Opdivo (n=36; recruitment complete): The ORR in anti-PD1 naïve cutaneous melanoma remained at 62.5%. The ORR in cutaneous melanoma patients who had previously failed anti-PD1 or both anti-PD1 and anti-CTLA-4 (n=16) was reported to have risen to 37.5%, an improvement from the 31% ORR reported in the June 2021 update, including two complete responses. IGNYTE anti-PD(L)-1 failed NMSC cohort of patients treated with RP1 combined with Opdivo (n=12; recruitment ongoing): The initial early ORR data in this group was 33.3% with responses having been observed in anti-PD(L)-1 failed CSCC, MCC and angiosarcoma, including one complete response as of the cutoff date. Other patients who remain on study with a shorter follow up also showed tumor shrinkage. The Company believes the clear activity of RP1 combined with Opdivo in anti-PD(L)-1 failed NMSC represents a new potential therapeutic option for these patients and supports the broader potential for RP1 in skin cancers, including those with anti-PD(L)-1 failed disease. Phase 1b/2 ARTACUS clinical trial of RP1 monotherapy in solid organ transplant recipients with skin cancer (n=6; recruitment ongoing): Initial data with RP1 monotherapy in solid organ transplant patients demonstrated a similar safety profile to that observed in patients who are not immune suppressed, with initial clinical activity having been seen. Two of the first six patients enrolled (33%) had so far achieved a response, with one complete response and one partial response. Provided detailed strategy and clinical development plan for RP2/3 at a virtual investor event in March 2022. The Phase 2 development plan for RP2/3 is intended to target tumor types in large underserved markets, including where liver metastases are common, as well as patients with primary liver cancer, and patients with early disease where the objective of treatment would be to increase the rate of cure. This includes the development of RP2/3 in combination with current standards of care (SOC), including immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation, and in settings following the current SOC.The following indications for signal finding single arm Phase 2 clinical trials were identified which meet these criteria: Locally advanced (LA) and 1L recurrent SCCHN in combination with chemoradiation, or SOC chemotherapy and anti-PD1 therapy, respectively. The Company's objective is to also expedite the initiation of a randomized controlled registration directed program in LA SCCHN. 1L and 2L hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in combination with SOC immunotherapy and anti-PD1/L1 therapy respectively. 3L micro-satellite stable colorectal cancer (CRC) in combination with anti-PD1 therapy. Additional signal finding work is also intended in other indications. The RP2/3 Phase 2 program is expected to initiate around the calendar year end. The decision as to whether RP2 or RP3 will be used in these clinical trials will be made later in the calendar year, following generation and analysis of further clinical data with RP2 and RP3 in their respective ongoing Phase 1 clinical trials. Upcoming Milestones CERPASS – Registration-directed Phase 2 clinical trial in CSCC RP1 in combination with Libtayo® (cemiplimab-rwlc) in CSCC: The Company is actively enrolling patients in a registration-directed, global, randomized, controlled, 180-patient Phase 2 clinical trial (CERPASS) evaluating RP1 in combination with Libtayo vs. Libtayo alone in patients with advanced CSCC. The Company expects to complete enrollment in mid-year 2022 with top line data expected to be available in Q1 2023. IGNYTE – Multi-cohort Phase 2 clinical trial of RP1 combined with Opdivo Anti-PD1 failed melanoma cohort: The Company continues to enroll patients in the 125-patient cohort of the IGNYTE Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with anti-PD1 failed melanoma. The Company continues to expect to report initial directional data from the first 75 patient with six months follow up in late 2022. RP2 and RP3 RP2 alone and in combination with Opdivo in difficult-to-treat cancers: After fully enrolling patients in the RP2 monotherapy (n=9) and combination with Opdivo (n=30) cohorts in the Phase 1 clinical trial with RP2 (data presented in Nov 2020 and Nov 2021), a further cohort of Phase 1 patients with tumor types of particular interest (gastro-intestinal [GI] cancers, breast cancer, lung cancer, head and neck cancer and uveal melanoma) was opened, with the first patients having been enrolled and from which initial data is expected towards the end of the year. RP3 alone and in combination with Opdivo in difficult-to-treat cancers: The Company completed enrollment in the initial part of its Phase 1 clinical trial with RP3 alone. Following determination of the recommended Phase 2 dose (RP2D), enrollment into the cohort of patients dosed with RP3 combined with Opdivo has recently commenced. This cohort will focus on enrolling patients with GI cancers, breast cancer, lung cancer and head and neck cancer. Initial data for this combination cohort is expected towards the end of the year. Additional patients will also be dosed as monotherapy. Financial Highlights Cash Position: As of March 31, 2022, cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $395.7 million, as compared to $476.3 million as of March 31, 2021. The decrease was primarily related to cash utilized in operating activities in advancing the Company's expanded clinical development plan.Based on the current operating plan, Replimune believes that existing cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments will fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements into the second half of 2024, excluding any confirmatory trial required by the FDA or other regulatory body. R&D Expenses: Research and development expenses were $21.7 million for the fourth quarter and $79.5 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, as compared to $16.2 million for the fourth quarter and $56.8 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021. This increase was primarily due to clinical expenses driven by the Company's lead programs, expansion into additional studies, operating our dedicated manufacturing facility and related increased personnel costs. Research and development expenses included $2.1 million in stock-based compensation expenses for the fourth quarter and $8.6 million in stock-based compensation expenses for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022. S,G&A Expenses: Selling, general and administrative expenses were $10.3 million for the fourth quarter and $38.8 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, as compared to $6.0 million for the fourth quarter and $23.2 million for the year ended March 31, 2021. The increase was primarily driven by personnel related costs, including sales and marketing personnel associated with pre-launch planning and the initial build of the Company's commercial infrastructure. Selling, general and administrative expenses included $3.7 million in stock-based compensation ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaMay 19th, 2022Related News

Get Ready To Be Muzzled: The Coming War On So-Called "Hate Speech"

Get Ready To Be Muzzled: The Coming War On So-Called 'Hate Speech' Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.” - Benjamin Franklin Beware of those who want to monitor, muzzle, catalogue and censor speech. Especially be on your guard when the reasons given for limiting your freedoms end up expanding the government’s powers. In the wake of a mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, carried out by an 18-year-old gunman in military gear allegedly motivated by fears that the white race is in danger of being replaced, there have been renewed calls for social media monitoring, censorship of flagged content that could be construed as dangerous or hateful, and limitations on free speech activities, particularly online. As expected, those who want safety at all costs will clamor for more gun control measures (if not at an outright ban on weapons for non-military, non-police personnel), widespread mental health screening of the general population and greater scrutiny of military veterans, more threat assessments and behavioral sensing warnings, more surveillance cameras with facial recognition capabilities, more “See Something, Say Something” programs aimed at turning Americans into snitches and spies, more metal detectors and whole-body imaging devices at soft targets, more roaming squads of militarized police empowered to do random bag searches, more fusion centers to centralize and disseminate information to law enforcement agencies, and more surveillance of what Americans say and do, where they go, what they buy and how they spend their time. All of these measures play into the government’s hands. As we have learned the hard way, the phantom promise of safety in exchange for restricted or regulated liberty is a false, misguided doctrine that serves only to give the government greater authority to crack down, lock down, and institute even more totalitarian policies for the so-called sake of national security without many objections from the citizenry. Add the Department of Homeland Security’s “Disinformation Governance Board” to that mix, empower it to monitor online activity and police so-called “disinformation,” and you have the makings of a restructuring of reality straight out of Orwell’s 1984, where the Ministry of Truth polices speech and ensures that facts conform to whatever version of reality the government propagandists embrace. After all, it’s a slippery slope from censoring so-called illegitimate ideas to silencing truth. Eventually, as George Orwell predicted, telling the truth will become a revolutionary act. If the government can control speech, it can control thought and, in turn, it can control the minds of the citizenry. It’s been a long time since free speech was actually free. On paper—at least according to the U.S. Constitution—we are technically free to speak. In reality, however, we are only as free to speak as a government official—or corporate entities such as Facebook, Google or YouTube—may allow. That’s not a whole lot of freedom, especially if you’re inclined to voice opinions that may be construed as conspiratorial or dangerous. This steady, pervasive censorship creep clothed in tyrannical self-righteousness and inflicted on us by technological behemoths (both corporate and governmental) is technofascism, and it does not tolerate dissent. These internet censors are not acting in our best interests to protect us from dangerous, disinformation campaigns. They’re laying the groundwork now to preempt any “dangerous” ideas that might challenge the power elite’s stranglehold over our lives. The internet, hailed as a super-information highway, is increasingly becoming the police state’s secret weapon. This “policing of the mind” is exactly the danger author Jim Keith warned about when he predicted that “information and communication sources are gradually being linked together into a single computerized network, providing an opportunity for unheralded control of what will be broadcast, what will be said, and ultimately what will be thought.” What we are witnessing is the modern-day equivalent of book burning which involves doing away with dangerous ideas—legitimate or not—and the people who espouse them. Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts and expressions that challenge their authority. Having been reduced to a cowering citizenry—mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all—we have nowhere left to go and nothing left to say that cannot be misconstrued and used to muzzle us. Yet what a lot of people fail to understand, however, is that it’s not just what you say or do that is being monitored, but how you think that is being tracked and targeted. We’ve already seen this play out on the state and federal level with hate crime legislation that cracks down on so-called “hateful” thoughts and expression, encourages self-censoring and reduces free debate on various subject matter.  With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called “government speech.” Little by little, Americans have been conditioned to accept routine incursions on their freedoms. This is how oppression becomes systemic, what is referred to as creeping normality, or a death by a thousand cuts. It’s a concept invoked by Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist Jared Diamond to describe how major changes, if implemented slowly in small stages over time, can be accepted as normal without the shock and resistance that might greet a sudden upheaval. Diamond’s concerns related to Easter Island’s now-vanished civilization and the societal decline and environmental degradation that contributed to it, but it’s a powerful analogy for the steady erosion of our freedoms and decline of our country right under our noses. As Diamond explains, “In just a few centuries, the people of Easter Island wiped out their forest, drove their plants and animals to extinction, and saw their complex society spiral into chaos and cannibalism… Why didn’t they look around, realize what they were doing, and stop before it was too late? What were they thinking when they cut down the last palm tree?” His answer: “I suspect that the disaster happened not with a bang but with a whimper.” Much like America’s own colonists, Easter Island’s early colonists discovered a new world—“a pristine paradise”—teeming with life. Yet almost 2000 years after its first settlers arrived, Easter Island was reduced to a barren graveyard by a populace so focused on their immediate needs that they failed to preserve paradise for future generations. The same could be said of the America today: it, too, is being reduced to a barren graveyard by a populace so focused on their immediate needs that they are failing to preserve freedom for future generations. In Easter Island’s case, as Diamond speculates: "The forest…vanished slowly, over decades. Perhaps war interrupted the moving teams; perhaps by the time the carvers had finished their work, the last rope snapped. In the meantime, any islander who tried to warn about the dangers of progressive deforestation would have been overridden by vested interests of carvers, bureaucrats, and chiefs, whose jobs depended on continued deforestation… The changes in forest cover from year to year would have been hard to detect… Only older people, recollecting their childhoods decades earlier, could have recognized a difference. Gradually trees became fewer, smaller, and less important. By the time the last fruit-bearing adult palm tree was cut, palms had long since ceased to be of economic significance. That left only smaller and smaller palm saplings to clear each year, along with other bushes and treelets. No one would have noticed the felling of the last small palm.” Sound painfully familiar yet? We’ve already torn down the rich forest of liberties established by our founders. It has vanished slowly, over the decades. Those who warned against the dangers posed by too many laws, invasive surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids and the like have been silenced and ignored. They stopped teaching about freedom in the schools. Few Americans know their history. And even fewer seem to care that their fellow Americans are being jailed, muzzled, shot, tasered, and treated as if they have no rights at all. The erosion of our freedoms happened so incrementally, no one seemed to notice. Only the older generations, remembering what true freedom was like, recognized the difference. Gradually, the freedoms enjoyed by the citizenry became fewer, smaller and less important. By the time the last freedom falls, no one will know the difference. This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls: with a thousand cuts, each one justified or ignored or shrugged over as inconsequential enough by itself to bother, but they add up. Each cut, each attempt to undermine our freedoms, each loss of some critical right—to think freely, to assemble, to speak without fear of being shamed or censored, to raise our children as we see fit, to worship or not worship as our conscience dictates, to eat what we want and love who we want, to live as we want—they add up to an immeasurable failure on the part of each and every one of us to stop the descent down that slippery slope. We are on that downward slope now. The contagion of fear that has been spread with the help of government agencies, corporations and the power elite is poisoning the well, whitewashing our history, turning citizen against citizen, and stripping us of our rights. America is approaching another reckoning right now, one that will pit our commitment to freedom principles against a level of fear-mongering that is being used to wreak havoc on everything in its path. Yet as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, while we squabble over which side is winning this losing battle, a tsunami approaches. Tyler Durden Thu, 05/19/2022 - 00:05.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 19th, 2022Related News

Cyberattacks quietly launched by Russia before its invasion of Ukraine may have been more damaging than intended

The US director of national intelligence told lawmakers that Russia's cyberattack against Ukraine at the start of its attack "had an outsized impact." IT specialists set up a computer system at a situation center in Moscow during 2012 elections.Misha Japaridze/AP A cyberattack Russia launched before it attacked Ukraine "had an outsized impact," a top US intelligence official said. The attack hit a large number of satellite communication stations, affecting hundreds of thousands of people outside Ukraine. US and Russian officials are both wary of the escalation that could follow a large-scale cyberattack. Russia is known for its potent cyber-warfare capabilities. So it is no surprise that Moscow launched cyberattacks against Ukrainian targets in the lead up to its invasion in late February.Russian hackers went after a variety of Ukrainian targets in the private and public sectors, but one cyber weapon aimed at a specific military target spilled over and affected tens of thousands of devices outside Ukraine.AcidRain run amokMilitary vehicles on a train in Russia's southern Rostov region, near the border with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, February 23, 2022.STRINGER/AFP via Getty ImagesA few hours before the Russian invasion began on February 24, Russian hackers launched a cyberweapon against Viasat, an American satellite communications company that has been providing communication services to the Ukrainian military.Named "AcidRain," the cyberweapon was a kind of malware known as a "wiper" that targeted Viasat modems and routers and erased all their data before permanently disabling them.The cyberattack targeted commercial satellite communications networks in an attempt to disrupt the Ukrainian military's command and control and sow chaos among Ukrainian units on the battlefield as Russian forces crossed the border.The attack is one of the first examples of cyber used as part of a combined-arms operation, much like a military might use aircraft to soften a fortified target before tanks and infantry attack it.However, the Russian hackers appear to have let AcidRain run amok, either not able or not caring to limit the attack to Ukrainian devices.Satellite dishes erected to broadcast the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in June 2012.AMA/Corbis via Getty ImagesAvril Haines, the US director of national intelligence, told lawmakers this month that the Russian cyberattack "had an outsized impact" and affected a large number of ground satellite communication stations, also known as Very Small Aperture Terminals, or VSATs.As a result, hundreds of thousands of people outside Ukraine were affected in several ways, including losing internet services and power.Such an outcome is more likely than not when it comes to cyber weapons. To focus a piece of malware on a specific target, hackers need to design it specifically to do so, and that requires extra work.For example, the famous Stuxnet virus that targeted the Iranian nuclear program in the late 2000s was designed to remain dormant should it encounter a computer device that didn't meet the criteria set by its designers, widely believed to be the US and Israel.Thus far, most Russian hackers have followed the usual playbook and mainly launched three kinds of cyberattack: wipers to delete data from devices, website defacement to discredit and ridicule targets, and distributed denial-of-service attacks to bring networks and websites down by overwhelming them with traffic.Cyber and intelligenceA computer in Russia hit by the Petya ransomware attack in 2017.Donat SorokinbackslashTASS via GettyDespite its potent cyberwarfare capabilities and a well-documented willingness to use them, even against Western targets, Russia hasn't launched the great cyber Armageddon many expected — even as the US and its allies have increased their support for Ukraine by providing billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid.Russia has launched cyberattacks during the conflict, but nowhere near to the level that was anticipated before the invasion."We have a variety of different sort of theories for why that might be the case, including the fact that we think that they may have determined that the collateral impact of such attacks would be challenging for them in the context of Ukraine," Haines said.According to Haines, Moscow has a "long-standing concern" about likely escalation should it directly target the US in cyberspace, but that doesn't mean US intelligence agencies aren't worried about a Russian cyberattack against the US in the future.Haines offered another explanation for why Russia hasn't launched large-scale cyberattacks against the US and NATO: Moscow might want to maintain collection opportunities in Ukraine and elsewhere.Cyberwarfare and intelligence collection often cross paths. Officials tasked with those respective duties, in Russia and elsewhere, are highly likely to share targets — though they have their own, often conflicting objectives for those targets.Ukrainian personnel inspect a Russian projectile in a street in Kyiv, February 24, 2022.SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images"It's kind of competing in some sense because of the 'intel gain, intel loss' mantra," a former US intelligence officer with a background in signals intelligence told Insider."Every time there is a node destroyed, that's one less node the IC [intelligence community] can tap into and squeeze for intelligence," the former intelligence officer said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid compromising ongoing work with the government.For example, US Cyber Command might want to take out a Russian military communications node to impose costs should Russian launch a destructive cyberattack against a NATO target, but the NSA might have tapped that same node to suck up valuable intelligence about Russian military movements.In such scenarios, policymakers have to decide which task is more urgent and how their strategic objectives are served in the near- and long-term."That node could have been a valuable intelligence source, but then again, you might be taking down a primary network but you help discover or identify secondary networks and alternative communications nodes," the former US intelligence official said. "Then you start building plans to understand and learn more about those networks as well, get some insight, understand their vulnerabilities and learn when and why they are used."Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 18th, 2022Related News

UFO Hearing: Pentagon Shows Declassified Footage of Flying Spherical Object

UFO Hearing: Pentagon Shows Declassified Footage of Flying Spherical Object By Gary Bai of The Epoch Times Pentagon officials on May 17 showed lawmakers two videos of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), more colloquially known as UFOs, in the first open congressional hearing on the subject since 1966. The testimonies before the House Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee showed two videos recorded by U.S. military personnel. Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray explains a video of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, as he testifies before a House Intelligence Committee subcommittee hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on May 17, 2022 The first video, shot in 2021 by military personnel through the window of a U.S. Navy aircraft, showed a white-ish reflective spherical object flying past the aircraft. “I do not have explanations for what this specific object is,” said Scott W. Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence involved in the UAP Task Force (UAPTF), the Pentagon body responsible for UAP investigations, at the hearing. The second video, shot by an SLR camera via a night vision google, showed a triangular-shaped object moving in the sky while emitting light. This time, Bray is “reasonably confident” that these triangles were drones flying in the area. “The triangular appearance is a result of light passing through the night vision goggles and then being recorded by an SLR camera,” Bray explained. From stories of nuclear ICBMs rendered inoperable during a UFO sighting to footage of flying objects violating the laws of physics, Pentagon officials told lawmakers that sighting incidents are “frequent” and “increasing,” yet they cannot offer “firm conclusions” on their nature or intent. The hearing came less than a year after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a report on the subject—commonly known as the Pentagon UAP report—in which the Pentagon identified 144 UAP sightings from 2004 to 2021, but was only able to explain one. Bray said the “UAP Task Force database has now grown to contain approximately 400 reports” since the release of the preliminary assessment in June 2021. Bray noted that some of the reports involved incidents where U.S. military aircraft picked up radio frequency (RF) energy from the UAPs, but none of these detections suggested that they were “non-terrestrial in origin.” The June 2021 report said that these detections of RF energy occurred in a “small number of cases.” The official did not comment in the hearing about whether any of the remaining reports suggested evidence of extraterrestrial life. The hearing consisted of a segment open to the public in the morning and a closed-door session starting at noon. National Security Concern The officials attending the hearing said the UAPTF is starting to seriously examine UAP’s potential threat to U.S. national security and assessing the nature and intent of these phenomena—most of which are inexplicable to current U.S. intelligence—and investigating whether they belong to an adversarial power. “Unidentified aerial phenomena are a potential national security threat, and they need to be treated that way,” said Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), chair of the subcommittee. “When we spot something we don’t understand or can’t identify in our air space, it’s the job of those we entrust with our national security to investigate. And report back.” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) asked about an incident report at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, in which he described, “10 of our nuclear ICBMs were rendered inoperable” while “a glowing red orb was observed overhead.” “That data is not within the holdings of the UAP Task Force,” Bray answered, adding that he has heard “stories” but has not seen the official data. The sighting incidents that interest the Pentagon the most are those that exhibit “flight characteristics or signature management that we can’t explain with the data we have available,” Bray said when asked about his knowledge of flying objects that seem to move without visible means of propulsion and violate existing principles of physics. “I would say that we’re not aware of any adversary that can move an object without discernible means of propulsion,” he added. When the Pentagon officials disclosed that China has a separate agency investigating UAPs and “some” intelligence-sharing occurs between the United States and external agencies, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) struck a cautionary tone. “If [these technologies] are developed by an adversary through some breakthrough technology, they can be very disruptive to our military actions, or, at least, serve as a disruption,” Wenstrup warned. “Be careful who we share our data with, and don’t necessarily trust some of the data we may get from someone else.” Additionally, Carson asked the officials whether they have processes to check whether incidents investigated by the UAP Task Force were classified projects developed by the U.S. military. “As the ODNI report makes clear, one possible explanation for UAPs is that we are detecting U.S. aircraft, either secret air programs or even test prototypes,” Carson said. “I do want to make sure the U.S. government isn’t chasing its own tails.” Ronald S. Moultrie, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security, answered that the UAPTF has a process for working with the Pentagon and other U.S. government agencies to “deconflict” its investigations with potential testing of new technologies. Bray emphasized that not all information collected by the task force can be released to the public, as the methods and technologies that the U.S. military use to discover and collect UAP data could be security-sensitive information. “We do not want potential adversaries to know exactly what we are able to see or understand or how we come to a conclusion,” Bray said. “Therefore, disclosures must be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.” “Our goal is to strike that delicate balance, one that enables us to maintain the public’s trust while preserving those capabilities that are vital to the support of our service personnel,” Bray explained. US UAP Programs In 2017, the New York Times reported about the existence of a Pentagon program to collect data on space phenomena, which was effectively a part of the remnants of the $22-million Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program that began in 2007. While the Pentagon ended funding for the program in 2012, the Times reported, some of its functions, such as collecting and investigating military UAP sighting incidents, remained. In June 2020, the Senate Intelligence Community voted to direct the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Pentagon and other relevant agencies, to submit a report with details on UAP investigations. The 9-page report (pdf) titled “Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” released in June last year included authentication of widely-circulated videos and sparse details on the UAPs. Notably, the report said there were “no clear indications that there is any nonterrestrial explanation” associated with the UAPs. The UAPTF is currently transitioning to the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG), which was established on Nov. 23, 2021, and run under the office of the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security. “The team has made a lot of progress, but we really are just establishing the foundation for the more detailed analysis that’s yet to be done,” Bray said at the Tuesday hearing. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/18/2022 - 18:05.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 18th, 2022Related News

Kim Jong Un blasts North Korea"s poor response to COVID crisis amid explosive outbreak and rising "fever" cases

Since first acknowledging a COVID outbreak last week, North Korea has reported at least 1.72 million people with fever symptoms. People sit near a screen showing a news broadcast at a train station in Seoul on May 12, 2022, of North Koreas leader Kim Jong Un.Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images During a meeting on Tuesday, Kim Jong Un criticized the way his country has handled the pandemic.  Since first acknowledging a COVID outbreak last week, North Korea has recorded 1.72 million cases of fever. North Korea has not begun carrying out mass vaccinations, and its testing capabilities are limited. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un criticized his country's response to what appears to be a worsening COVID outbreak this week, chastising government leaders for reacting inadequately to the growing health crisis, according to a Wednesday state media report.During a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party on Tuesday, Kim said the "non-positive attitude, slackness and non-activity of state leading officials" increased the "complexity and hardships" that the country faced during its pandemic response, North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. The meeting also touched on how the country could stand a "good chance in the overall epidemic prevention front" and see a "favorable turn," despite rising case numbers and death counts, by adjusting course.Since last week, when North Korea acknowledged its first COVID case two years in the pandemic, the country has recorded 1.72 million people with fever symptoms, Reuters reported, and there have so far been at least 62 deaths as of Tuesday evening. Observers suspect North Korea has long been grappling with the virus but is facing a new and more serious outbreak.North Korea has declined to say how many people have actually been diagnosed with the COVID virus, instead pointing to numbers of fever cases. On Wednesday, the country's state media reported that the number of people with fever symptoms had risen by 232,880, per Reuters.One day after announcing its first COVID case, North Korean state media reported on a fever that had "explosively spread," infecting  more than 350,000 people and killing six since late April. Of the six who died, one tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID, according to state media. The numbers have since worsened.Following North Korea's acknowledgement of a public health situation, North Korea ordered nationwide lockdowns and has since mobilized the military, including 3,000 military medical personnel, to help respond. North Korea has also released a guide for COVID treatment.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seen wearing a mask in images broadcast by state-run media on May 12, 2022.KCTVImages broadcast on state media last week showed Kim wearing a mask for the first time, and state media reported Kim as saying the outbreak showed a "grave sign of lapses in our anti-epidemic system."The country has not begun mass vaccinations, and its testing capabilities are limited. Experts have expressed concerns about the ability to detect and combat COVID's spread. According to Reuters, a lack of adequate storage, chronic power shortages, and inadequately trained medical staff are contributing to North Korea's difficulties vaccinating its 25 million citizens, even with help from other countries. South Korean officials reported North Korea prefers US-made Moderna and Pfizer vaccines over China's Sinovac or British-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccines. "Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require a low-temperature storage system, which North Korea does not have,"  Moon Jin-soo, director of the Institute for Health and Unification Studies at Seoul National University told Reuters. "It would require a ton of additional materials to use them for inoculation."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 18th, 2022Related News

Hawkins, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2022 Results

ROSEVILLE, Minn., May 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hawkins, Inc. (NASDAQ:HWKN), a leading specialty chemical and ingredients company, today announced fourth quarter and full-year results for its fiscal year ended April 3, 2022. Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2022 Highlights: Record quarterly sales in the fourth quarter of $223.0 million, a 37% year-over-year increase.   Gross profit of $36.3 million for the quarter, a 14% increase over the same period of the prior year, while absorbing $8.2 million in incremental LIFO expense in the quarter. Record fourth quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.50, which was 16% higher than the same period of the prior year. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (adjusted EBITDA), a non-GAAP measure, of $22.3 million, an 11% increase over the same period of the prior year. Full-Year Fiscal Year 2022 Highlights: Record annual sales of $774.5 million for fiscal 2022, a 30% year-over-year increase.   Record gross profit of $146.5 million for the year, an 18% increase over the prior year, which contributed to a 27% year-over-year increase in operating income. Record diluted EPS of $2.44, which was $0.51, or 26%, higher than fiscal 2021. Record adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, of $99.7 million, an increase of 19% over fiscal 2021. Full year net income increased 26% over the prior year. Paid cash dividends of $0.5225 per share for the year, representing an increase of 11% over the prior year. This marks the 37th consecutive year of paying a dividend. Completed three acquisitions during the year. Ended the year with net debt of $123 million and a leverage ratio of 1.25x. Issued our second annual ESG report, with a goal of being carbon neutral by 2040. Executive Commentary – Patrick H. Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer and President: "For the third year in a row we generated record operating income, net income, diluted EPS, and adjusted EBITDA, while achieving record sales of $775 million and adjusted EBITDA of $100 million in fiscal 2022. This strong three-year run has delivered compounded EPS growth of 29% over that timeframe. This performance is the result of the hard work by our many employees, our innovative solutions to the opportunities that have arisen, as well as outstanding relationships with our customers and suppliers, which we never take for granted. In fiscal 2022, we made significant investments in added personnel and other resources that we expect to leverage in the coming years to grow the business." Mr. Hawkins, continued, "We had 30% revenue growth for the year, which included the results of our six acquisitions over the past 18 months and a 27% organic growth from our existing business, with all three reporting segments growing over the prior year. Sales in our Industrial segment grew 42% over the prior year, with more than half of the year-over-year growth coming from our higher-margin business in agricultural, pharmaceutical and food ingredient product lines. Our margins continued to be impacted by macro-economic pressures, including inflation and global supply chain disruptions. Despite these headwinds, we generated $71 million of operating income, an increase of $15 million over the prior year and included a LIFO impact of nearly $16 million in fiscal 2022 due to unprecedented rising raw material costs. We look forward to continuing our topline growth into fiscal 2023 and managing our cost structure to drive our bottom line." Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Financial Highlights: NET INCOME For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022, the Company reported net income of $10.6 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, compared to net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 of $9.1 million, or $0.43 per diluted share. For the full year, the Company reported record net income of $51.5 million, or $2.44 per diluted share, compared to net income for fiscal 2021 of $41.0 million, or $1.93 per diluted share. REVENUE For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022, sales were $223.0 million, an increase of $60.0 million, or 37%, from sales of $163.0 million a year ago. Industrial segment sales increased $41.0 million, or 54%, to $117.4 million for the current quarter, as compared to $76.3 million for the same period a year ago. We estimate the impact of the extra week in the quarter to be approximately $10.0 million in additional sales in the Industrial segment. In addition, the increase in sales was driven by increased selling prices on many of our products driven by higher costs on many of our raw materials, as well as increased sales volumes of our bulk and our manufactured, blended and repackaged products. Water Treatment segment sales increased $18.5 million, or 45%, to $60.0 million for the current quarter, as compared to $41.5 million for the same period a year ago. We estimate the impact of the extra week in the quarter to be approximately $4.0 million in additional sales in the Water Treatment segment. In addition, sales increased as a result of increased demand for our products as well as the added sales from acquisitions. Health and Nutrition segment sales increased $0.4 million, or 1%, to $45.6 million for the current quarter, as compared to $45.2 million for the same period a year ago. We estimate the impact of the extra week in the quarter to be approximately $3.5 million in additional sales in the Health and Nutrition segment, which was partially offset by the normalizing of demand for our manufactured products when compared to the temporary COVID-driven increase in demand these products experienced in the prior year. For fiscal 2022, Industrial segment sales were $386.9 million, an increase of 42% from fiscal 2021 sales of $273.4 million. Water Treatment segment sales were $228.1 million for the year, an increase of 34% over last year's sales of $170.0 million. Sales for our Health and Nutrition segment were $159.5 million in fiscal 2022, an increase of 4% from fiscal 2021 sales of $153.5 million. We estimate the total impact of the extra week in the year to be approximately $17.5 million. GROSS PROFIT Company-wide gross profit for fiscal 2022 increased $22.8 million, or 18%, to $146.5 million, or 19% of sales, from $123.8 million, or 21% of sales, for the same period of the prior year. During fiscal 2022, the LIFO reserve increased, and gross profits decreased, by $15.8 million, primarily due to rising input costs. In fiscal 2021, the LIFO reserve decreased, and gross profits increased, by $0.1 million. We estimated the impact of the 53rd week in fiscal 2022 to be approximately $3.6 million in additional gross profit. Gross profit for the Industrial segment increased $16.3 million, or 38%, to $59.6 million, or 15% of sales, for fiscal 2022, from $43.3 million, or 16% of sales, for fiscal 2021. During fiscal 2022, the LIFO reserve increased, and gross profits decreased, by $10.4 million, primarily due to rising raw material costs. In fiscal 2021, the LIFO reserve decreased, and gross profits increased, by $0.2 million. We estimated the impact of the 53rd week in fiscal 2022 to be approximately $1.9 million in additional gross profit in the Industrial segment. In addition, gross profit increased as a result of the increase in sales, partially offset by the negative impact as a result of the increase in LIFO reserve. Gross profit for the Water Treatment segment increased $7.8 million, or 17%, to $54.6 million, or 24% of sales, for fiscal 2022, from $46.8 million, or 28% of sales, for fiscal 2021. During fiscal 2022, the LIFO reserve increased, and gross profits decreased, by $5.4 million, primarily due to rising raw material costs. During fiscal 2021, the LIFO reserve increased, and gross profit decreased, by $0.1 million. We estimated the impact of the 53rd week in fiscal 2022 to be approximately $1.0 million in additional gross profit in the Water Treatment segment. In addition, gross profit increased as a result of the increase in sales. Gross profit for the Health and Nutrition segment decreased $1.3 million, or 4%, to $32.3 million, or 20% of sales, for fiscal 2022, from $33.6 million, or 22% of sales, for fiscal 2021. We estimated the impact of the 53rd week in fiscal 2022 to be approximately $0.7 million in additional gross profit in the Health and Nutrition segment. This increase was more than offset by a decrease in gross profit resulting from a decline in sales of our manufactured products which generally have higher per-unit margins than our specialty distributed products. SELLING, GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses increased to $75.3 million, or 10% of sales, for fiscal 2022 from $67.9 million, or 11% of sales, for fiscal 2021. We estimated the impact of the 53rd week in fiscal 2022 to be approximately $1.0 million in additional SG&A expense. In addition, expenses increased in part due to the added costs from the acquired businesses in the Water Treatment segment, an increase in variable incentive compensation, increased costs due to added personnel and other resources as we invest to grow the business, and normalization of travel and other variable expenses to pre-COVID levels. ADJUSTED EBITDA Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, is an important performance indicator and a key compliance measure under the terms of our credit agreement. An explanation of the computation of adjusted EBITDA is presented below. Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended April 3, 2022 was $22.3 million, an increase of $2.2 million, or 11%, from adjusted EBITDA of $20.1 million for the same period in the prior year. Full-year adjusted EBITDA was $99.7 million, an increase of $15.8 million, or 19%, from adjusted EBITDA of $83.9 million for fiscal 2021. The increase was due to the impact of improved gross profits discussed above. Our effective income tax rate was relatively flat at approximately 26.5% for both fiscal 2022 and 2021. About Hawkins, Inc. Hawkins, Inc. was founded in 1938 and is a leading specialty chemical and ingredients company that formulates, distributes, blends and manufactures products for its Industrial, Water Treatment, and Health & Nutrition customers. Headquartered in Roseville, Minnesota, and with 49 facilities in 24 states, the Company creates value for its customers through superb customer service and support, quality products and personalized applications. Hawkins, Inc. generated $775 million of revenue in fiscal 2022 and has approximately 800 employees. For more information, including registering to receive email alerts, please visit www.hawkinsinc.com/investors. Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures We report our consolidated financial results in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). To assist investors in understanding our financial performance between periods, we have provided certain financial measures not computed according to GAAP, including adjusted EBITDA. This non-GAAP financial measure is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for comparable GAAP measures. The method we use to produce non-GAAP results is not computed according to GAAP and may differ from the methods used by other companies. Management uses this non-GAAP financial measure internally to understand, manage and evaluate our business and to make operating decisions. Management believes that this non-GAAP financial measure reflects an additional way of viewing aspects of our operations that, when viewed with our GAAP results, provides a more complete understanding of the factors and trends affecting our financial condition and results of operations. We define adjusted EBITDA as GAAP net income adjusted for the impact of the following: net interest expense resulting from our net borrowing position; income tax expense; non-cash expenses including amortization of intangibles, depreciation, and charges for the employee stock purchase plan and restricted stock grants; and non-recurring items of income or expense, if applicable. Adjusted EBITDA Three Months Ended   Fiscal Year Ended (In thousands) April 3, 2022   March 28, 2021   April 3, 2022   March 28, 2021 Net income (GAAP) $ 10,577   $ 9,081   $ 51,542   $ 40,980 Interest expense   409     366     1,404     1,467 Income tax expense   3,864     3,586     18,437     14,871 Amortization of intangibles   1,758     1,602     6,462     5,839 Depreciation expense   4,512     4,331     17,667     16,829 Non-cash compensation expense   1,111     1,040     3,818     3,343 Non-recurring acquisition expense   73     54     369     562 Adjusted EBITDA $ 22,304   $ 20,060   $ 99,699   $ 83,891 HAWKINS, INC.CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (UNAUDITED)(In thousands, except share and per-share data)     Three Months Ended   Fiscal Year Ended     April 3, 2022   March 28, 2021   April 3, 2022   March 28, 2021     (unaudited)         Sales   $ 222,973     $ 162,971     $ 774,541     $ 596,871   Cost of sales     (186,654 )     (131,221 )     (628,021 )     (473,109 ) Gross profit     36,319       31,750       146,520       123,762   Selling, general and administrative expenses     (21,110 )     (18,875 )     (75,326 )     (67,884 ) Operating income     15,209       12,875       71,194       55,878   Interest expense, net     (409 )     (366 )     (1,404 )     (1,467 ) Other income (expense)     (359 )  .....»»

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Interim report January 1 - March 31, 2022

STOCKHOLM, May 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ --"In the first quarter of 2022, license revenue rose 35 percent and support revenue rose 24 percent. Operating profit amounted to SEK 30 M (12)." Johan Löf, CEO of RaySearch FIRST QUARTER (JANUARY – MARCH 2022) Order intake SEK 272.5 M (145.1) Net sales SEK 208.1 M (162.1) Operating profit SEK 29.6 M (12.3) Profit after tax SEK 19.3 M (7.1) Earnings per share before/after dilution SEK 0.56 (0.21) Cash flow SEK 35.3 M (32.8) Order backlog SEK 1,488.7 M (1,207.1) at the end of the period SIGNIFICANT EVENTS DURING THE FIRST QUARTER In January, RaySearch signed an agreement with Proton International Arkansas to provide RayStation at the UAMS Radiation Oncology Center. In February, the Charles-Le Moyne hospital in Canada placed an order for RayStation, which will become the hospital's primary treatment planning system. The COVID-19 pandemic The negative effect of the pandemic on RaySearch's sales appears to be weakening as the pandemic subsides. In Asia, market conditions normalized and conditions improved in Europe and the US during the quarter. However, it remains difficult to say how the pandemic will affect the coming quarters with any great certainty. SIGNIFICANT events AFTER THE END OF THE REPORTING PERIOD In April, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital placed an order for RayStation, thereby becoming RaySearch's first customer in Hong Kong within the proton therapy segment. In April, Seoul National University Hospital placed an order for RayStation. In April, Mevion China placed an order for RayStation, which it sold together with Mevion's proton therapy system to Tongji Hospital in Wuhan in China. In May, RaySearch entered into an agreement with GE Healthcare to develop a new radiation therapy simulation and treatment planning workflow solution. In May, RayCare was taken into clinical use with Accuray's CyberKnife treatment delivery system at Swiss Medical Network in Switzerland. CFO Torbjörn Wingårdh left RaySearch financial SUMMARY1                                                                                                               AMOUNTS IN SEK 000s                                                                                                             JAN-MAR                                                                         APR 2021-                                                                                                             FULL-YEAR                                                                                         2022       2021                                                                           MAR 2022                                         2021                                                                             Net sales                                         208,149       162,102       687,720       641,673                                                                             Operating profit/loss                                         29,564       12,261       -36,038       -53,341                                                                             Operating margin, %                                         14.2       7.6       -5.2       -8.3                                                                             Profit/loss for the period                                         19,298       7,110       -35,127       -47,315                                                                             Earnings/loss per share before/after dilution, SEK                                         0.56       0.21       -1.02       -1.38                                                                             Cash flow from operating activities                                         125,787       104,332       259,617       238,162                                                                             Cash flow for the period                                         35,320       32,840       -69,223       -71,703                                                                             Return on equity, %                                         2.9       1.0       -5.3       -7.3                                                                             Equity/assets ratio, %, at the end of the period                                         38.9       52.7       38.9       37.3                                                                             Share price at the end of the period, SEK                                         51.7       89.5       51.7       56.5     1 For definitions of key ratios, see page 20.  HIGHEST EVER FIRST QUARTER SALES The pandemic had a negative impact on our sales, but we could see clear signs of a recovery already in the fourth quarter of 2021 and are delighted to note that this positive trend has continued. During the year's first quarter, we witnessed an increase in order intake of 88 percent compared with the year-on-year period and RaySearch's sales were at the highest ever level for a first quarter, SEK 208 M. In addition, EBIT totaled SEK 30 M, representing an operating margin of 14 percent. We also had more opportunities to meet customers face-to-face as travel restrictions were lifted in many countries. The positive signals are in line with our expectations and I am optimistic about a stabilization in market conditions and a return to normal circumstances, even though the pandemic is not yet completely behind us. A few days ago, we returned from one of our industry's main trade fairs, ESTRO, which was a highly positive experience. There was a palpable energy among the many visitors to our booth and great interest in our products, with many demonstrations and a large number of fruitful partnership discussions. NEW ORDERS STRENGTHEN LEADING POSITION IN PROTON MARKET Treatment planning for particle treatments (protons/carbon ions/BNCT) is an important focus area for RaySearch and today RayStation has a global market share of more than 60 percent. This position was also strengthened by several important orders, including from Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) and Proton International Arkansas. Another important order, though not in proton therapy, was from Charles-Le Moyne in Canada. The hospital's cancer clinic has used RayStation since 2018 and has now ordered additional licenses as well as upgrades to the system. We have seen a sharp increase in interest for RayCare. In addition to that fact that RayCare is seen as a next generation oncology information system, this was mainly driven by three factors. The first is the positive feedback provided by reference customers, such as Swiss Medical Network in Switzerland and UZ Leuven in Belgium. Furthermore, we can see that RaySearch's strong offering in proton therapy – which has given us a market-leading position – means new, potential proton customers look upon RayCare as an attractive alternative. Lastly, we expect to see increased interest when it becomes possible to connect RayCare to Varian's TrueBeam later in the year. We believe most interest in acquiring RayCare will be shown by centers with treatment machines from several different manufacturers. RAYCOMMAND IN CLINICAL USE An important milestone was reached in April when RaySearch's latest product, RayCommand, was taken into clinical use for the first time, which occurred at MedAustron in Austria. MedAustron has used RayStation for some time to plan carbon ion therapy, which is the most advanced form of radiation therapy. RaySearch and MedAustron have had a unique and close cooperation for several years in the development of RayCommand and it is very gratifying to see how this has now resulted in a new and innovative product. Earlier this spring, MedAustron also took RayCare into clinical use and therefore became the first center in the world to use the three systems – RayStation, RayCare and RayCommand – together to treat patients. The RayCommand treatment delivery system serves as a link between the treatment machine, RayStation and RayCare and also coordinates and orchestrates the other systems at the center, such as imaging systems, beam delivery systems and the patient positioning systems. Another key milestone after the end of the quarter was that Swiss Medical Network in Switzerland treated its first patient using Accuray's CyberKnife treatment delivery system together with RayStation and RayCare. In addition to these two extraordinary events, product development is progressing according to plan for all products and RayStation and RayCare are both in the final phase ahead of their half-year launches in June. WELL POSITIONED FOR GROWTH The cost-saving program initiated in autumn 2021 is continuing and we can see a clear reduction in costs for travel and events as well as a slight decrease in personnel costs as a result of the continued recruitment freeze. Given all of the positive signals from the market, I am optimistic about the future. Concurrently, I am retaining a realistic view of business, well aware of the fact that we have yet to fully leave the pandemic behind us. We will therefore continue along the route we have set, focusing on sales, product development and cost control. With this strategy, combined with improving market conditions, a quarter with strong figures and an order backlog that once again achieved a new peak (SEK 1,489 M), we have an solid foundation for a return to growth during the year. Stockholm, May 18, 2022 Johan Löf CEO and founder Financial information RaySearch operates in a market with uneven order flows where large individual orders can have a substantial impact on revenue recognition between the quarters and, because the company has limited (less than 10 percent) variable costs for license revenue, operating profit is affected by an amount that is nearly as high. For this reason, a longer perspective than a few quarters should be taken.  order intake and order backlog In the first quarter of 2022, order intake rose 87.8 percent year-on-year to SEK 272.5 M (145.1). License order intake increased 68.5 percent to SEK 131.4 M (78.0) while order intake for support increased 128.8 percent to SEK 111.2 M (48.6).                                                                                                               Order intake (amounts in SEK M)                                                                                                             Q1-22                                                                                                             Q4-21                                                                                                             Q3-21                                                                                                             Q2-21                                                                                                             Q1-21                                                                                                             Rolling 12 months                                                                                                             Full-year 2021                                                                                                                                                             Licenses                                         131.4       170.9       46.2       55.6       78.0       404.1       350.7                                                                             Hardware                                         24.1       35.7       7.9       9.3       12.1       77.0       65.0                                                                             Support (incl. warranty support)                                         111.2       130.7       69.1       116.6       48.6       427.6       365.0                                                                             Training and other                                         5.8       7.7       4.7       8.2       6.5       26.4       27.1                                                                             Total order intake                                         272.5       345.0       127.9       189.8       145.1       935.1       807.8                                                                             Order backlog (amounts in SEK M)                                                                                                             Q1-22                                                                                                             Q4-21                                                                                                             Q3-21                                                                                                             Q2-21                                                                                                             Q1-21                                                                                                             Licenses                                         184.1       176.6       105.3       115.0       129.6                                                                           Hardware                                         74.2       66.2       38.4       36.9       48.5                                                                           Support (incl. warranty support)                                         1,159.9       1,053.3       1,009.2       1,001.7       974.2                                                                           Training and other                                         70.5       66.8       59.5       59.9       54.8                                                                           Total order backlog at the end of the period                                         1,488.7       1,362.9       1,212.4       1,213.4       1,207.1     At March 31, 2022, the total order backlog was SEK 1,488.7 M (1,207.1), which is expected to generate revenue of approximately SEK 422 M over the next 12 months. The remaining amount in the order backlog mainly pertains to support obligations, which are primarily expected to generate revenue over a subsequent four-year period. Revenue In the first quarter of 2022, net sales rose 28.4 percent year-on-year to SEK 208.1 M (162.1). The change was attributable to higher license sales, which rose 35.2 percent to SEK 111.7 M (82.6). The increase in net sales at unchanged currencies was 15.9 percent (-14.2). Support revenue rose 23.8 percent to SEK 76.6 M (61.9), accounting for 36.8 percent (38.2) of net sales during the first quarter. Hardware sales, which have a limited profit margin, rose 7.8 percent to SEK 16.6 M (15.4). Excluding hardware, sales rose 30.6 percent year-on-year.                                                                                                               Revenue (amounts in SEK M)                                                                                                             Q1-22                                                                                                             Q4-21                                                                                                             Q3-21                                                                                                             Q2-21                                                                                                             Q1-21                                                                                                             Rolling 12 months                                                                                                             Full-year 2021                                                                                                                                                             License revenue                                         111.7       105.5       55.7       63.4       82.6       336.2       307.1                                                                             Hardware revenue                                         16.6       9.2       7.1       19.8       15.4       52.7       51.5                                                                             Support revenue                                         76.6       71.8       67.3       67.5       61.9       283.2       268.5                                                                             Training and other revenue                                         3.2       2.1       6.4       3.9       2.1       15.6       14.5                                                                             Net sales                                         208.1       188.6       136.4       154.6       162.1       687.7       641.7                                                                             Change in sales, corresp. period, %                                         28.4       17.6       14.5       -5.6       -22.4       13.7       -1.6                                                                             Change in organic sales, corresp. period, %                                         15.9       22.0       11.9       4.5       -14.2       13.2       1.6       In the first quarter of 2022, net sales had the following geographic distribution: North America, 39 percent (36); Asia, 29 percent (26); Europe and the rest of the world, 32 percent (38). Operating profit In the first quarter of 2022, operating profit totaled SEK 29.6 M (12.3), representing an operating margin of 14.2 percent (7.6). The earnings improvement was largely attributable to higher license revenue. In the first quarter, operating expenses increased 19.2 percent to SEK 178.6 M (149.8). The change was largely due to increased administrative costs. In the first quarter, the net of exchange gains and losses amounted to SEK 4.9 M (10.0) since a large proportion of the Group's receivables are denominated in USD and EUR, which strengthened against the SEK in the first quarter compared with the end of the fourth quarter. Adjusted for these currency translation effects, operating profit would have totaled SEK 24.7 M (2.3) in the first quarter and operating expenses would have increased 14.8 percent (-11.1). Currency effects Consolidated sales and earnings are impacted by USD/EUR to SEK exchange rates, since most sales are invoiced in USD and EUR, while most costs are denominated in SEK. At unchanged exchange rates, the change in sales was 15.9 percent in the first quarter of 2022, compared with the year-earlier period. In addition, the Group's exchange gains on balance sheet items amounted to SEK 4.4 M (10.0) in the first quarter. Currency effects therefore had a positive impact on net sales and operating profit in the first quarter 2022. A sensitivity analysis of the Group's currency exposure shows that a 1-percentage point change in the USD exchange rate against the SEK would have impacted consolidated operating profit by approximately +/- SEK 2.6 M in the first quarter of 2022, while a corresponding change in the EUR exchange rate would have impacted consolidated operating profit by approximately +/- SEK 1.4 M. The Group follows the financial policy established by the Board, whereby exchange-rate fluctuations are not hedged. Capitalization of development costs RaySearch is a research and development-oriented company that makes significant investments in the development of software solutions for improved cancer treatment. At March 31, 2022, some 199 employees (210) were engaged in research and development, corresponding to 50 percent (51) of the total number of employees.                                                                                                               Capitalization of development costs                                                                                                             Q1-22                                                                                                             Q4-21                                                                                                             Q3-21                                                                                                             Q2-21                                                                                                             Q1-21                                                                                                             Rolling 12 months                                                                                                             Full-year 2021                                                                                                                                                             Research and development costs                                         64.3       79.1       57.9       68.0       64.9       269.4       270.0                                                                             Capitalization of development costs                                         -52.4       -59.3       -40.0       -52.5       -51.5       -204.1       -203.3                                                                             Amortization of capitalized development costs                                         45.0       44.1       43.2       40.1       39.2       172.5       166.7                                                                             Research and development costs                                         57.0       63.9       61.2       55.7       52.6       237.8       233.4       In 2022, RaySearch continued to invest in both existing products and future products. Overall, research and development costs decreased 1 percent to SEK 64.3 M (64.9) in the first quarter of 2022, corresponding to 31 percent (40) of the Group's net sales. Development costs of SEK 52.4 M (51.5) were capitalized, up 1.7 percent, corresponding to 81 percent (79) of total research and development costs. Amortization of capitalized development costs rose 14.7 percent to SEK 45.0 M (39.2), and the increase was attributable to an expansion of development activities, and that amortization periods had commenced for all products, including RayCommand and RayIntelligence. Research and development costs (after adjustments for capitalization and amortization of development costs) rose 8.2 percent to SEK 57.0 M (52.6).  Amortization and depreciation In the first quarter of 2022, total amortization and depreciation rose 19.8 percent to SEK 70.0 M (58.3), of which amortization of intangible fixed assets accounted for SEK 45.0 M (39.3), mainly related to capitalized development costs. Depreciation of tangible fixed assets amounted to SEK 25.0 M (19.1). profit and earnings per share In the first quarter of 2022, profit after tax was SEK 19.3 M (7.1), corresponding to earnings per share of SEK 0.56 (0.21) before and after dilution. Tax expense for the quarter was SEK -6.9 M (-4.3), corresponding to an effective tax rate of 26.2 percent (37.5). Cash flow and liquidity In the first quarter of 2022, cash flow from operating activities was SEK 125.8 M (104.3) and the change was largely attributable to a decrease in working capital, which mainly comprises various types of receivables from customers, such as accounts receivable and current and long-term unbilled customer receivables where payment plans have been drawn up. At the end of the period, the company's total customer receivables amounted to 46 percent (56) of net sales over the past 12 months. Working capital amounted to 2 percent (5) of net sales over the past 12 months. In the first quarter, cash flow from investing activities was SEK -60.6 M (-60.3). Investments in intangible fixed assets amounted to SEK -52.4 M (-51.5) and consisted of capitalized development costs for the company's products – RayStation, RayCare, RayCommand and RayIntelligence. Investments in tangible fixed assets amounted to SEK -8.2 M (-8.8), mainly related to investments in the head office in Stockholm. Cash flow from financing activities was SEK -29.9 M (-11.2) for the first quarter of 2022. The change was largely due to a bank overdraft of SEK 21 M drawn in the first quarter. Cash flow for the first quarter amounted to SEK 35.3 M (32.8). At March 31, 2022, consolidated cash and cash equivalents amounted to SEK 139.8 M (205.2). Financial position  At March 31, 2022, RaySearch's total assets amounted to SEK 1,722 M (1,334) and the equity/assets ratio was 38.9 percent (52.7). The change in total assets and the equity/assets ratio was largely attributable to an increase in right-of-use assets related to rented premises following the granting of access to the new head office premises. Current receivables amounted to SEK 376.7 M (414.3). The receivables mainly comprise various types of customer receivables. RaySearch's credit facility comprises a revolving loan facility of up to SEK 150 M that matures in March 2025 and an overdraft facility of SEK 50 M the matures in December 2022. Chattel mortgages amounted to SEK 100 M. At March 31, 2022, a short-term loan of SEK 0 M (50) was raised under the company's revolving loan facility and SEK 0 M (0) of the credit facility had been drawn. At March 31, 2022, the Group's net debt amounted to SEK 397.0 M (-66.0). The change was largely due to an increase in lease liabilities following the granting of access to the new head office premises during the fourth quarter. EMPLOYEES  At the end of the first quarter, the Group had 389 (413) employees, of whom 284 (310) were based in Sweden, and 105 (102) in foreign subsidiaries. PARENT COMPANY  RaySearch Laboratories AB (publ) is the Parent Company of the RaySearch Group. Since the Parent Company's operations are consistent with the Group's operations in all material respects, the comments for the Group are also largely relevant for the Parent Company. Differences in profitability between the Parent Company and the Group are attributable to the Parent Company accounting for a relatively high proportion of operating expenses, and to the capitalization of development costs being recognized in the Group but not in the Parent Company. The Parent Company was also not affected by the changes pertaining to lease recognition under IFRS 16, and instead continues to recognize lease payments as operating lease payments. This reduces operating profit compared with if IFRS 16 had been applied. The Parent Company's current receivables mainly comprise receivables from Group companies and external customers. SIGNIFICANT EVENTS DURING THE FIRST QUARTER Agreement signed with Proton International Arkansas In January, RaySearch signed an agreement with Proton International Arkansas to provide RayStation at the UAMS Radiation Oncology Center. The center will open in 2023 and be the first proton center in the state of Arkansas. The center at UAMS brings RaySearch's presence in proton therapy to thirty centers in the United States, a large majority of operating facilities. Agreement with Charles-Le Moyne in Canada In February, Montérégie Integrated Cancer Center (CICM), which is part of the Charles-Le Moyne hospital in Longueuil in Quebec in Canada, placed an order for additional RayStation licenses as well as upgrades to the system which includes advanced treatment planning functionality. SIGNIFICANT events AFTER THE END OF THE REPORTING PERIOD Agreement with Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital In April, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital placed an order for RayStation as treatment planning system for its proton therapy center. The hospital thereby became RaySearch's first customer in Hong Kong within the proton therapy segment. Agreement with Seoul National University Hospital In April, Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) placed an order for RayStation. SNUH is the second carbon ion center in Korea to select RaySearch, the first customer was Yonsei Cancer Center in Seoul. Agreement with Mevion China In April, Mevion China placed an order for RayStation, which it sold together with Mevion's proton therapy system to Tongji Hospital in Wuhan in China. RaySearch and Mevion have been collaborating since 2014. Treatment planning for particle treatments (protons/carbon ions/BNCT) is an important focus area for RaySearch and today RayStation has a global market share of more than 60 percent, a position that is further strengthened by the new order. Agreement with GE Healthcare In May, RaySearch entered into an agreement with GE Healthcare to develop a new radiation therapy simulation and treatment planning workflow solution designed to make use of the latest advancements in treatment planning technology. The companies aim to combine RaySearch's advanced treatment planning system RayStation with GE Healthcare's leading multi-modality (CT/MR/molecular imaging) simulator systems to make cancer treatment faster and more precise.  RayCare taken into clinical use with CyberKnife at Swiss Medical Network in Switzerland In May, RayCare was taken into clinical use with Accuray's CyberKnife treatment delivery system at La Clinique Générale-Beaulieu, a part of Swiss Medical Network in Switzerland. The center became first in the world to treat a patient using RayCare and CyberKnife. Management change Torbjörn Wingårdh stepped down as CFO of RaySearch on April 4, 2022. Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic Even though the pandemic is over in most countries, the effects of it remain a challenge for many operations. RaySearch is monitoring the situation closely and is prepared to take new action and align the company's operations if needed. Effects on RaySearch's operations in the first quarter of 2022 Sales. The negative effect of the pandemic on RaySearch's sales appears to be weakening as the pandemic subsides. In Asia, market conditions normalized and conditions improved in Europe and the US during the quarter. Delivery capacity. As a software company, RaySearch is well equipped for remote collaboration and both our R&D and delivery capacity have remained relatively unscathed by the COVID-19 pandemic to date. In the first quarter, COVID-19 did not have any major impact on the company's assessment items. Expected future effects It is still difficult to say how the ongoing pandemic will affect the coming quarters with any great certainty. The situation has normalized in most countries, though a few countries have registered rising case numbers. The company believes the underlying need and demand for effective software solutions for cancer care is in the process of returning to pre-pandemic levels. Since sales activities have been restricted for some time, however, it may take time before the full sales effect is regained. We see no major challenges in terms of R&D or the company's delivery capacity. The company will continue to focus on protecting the company's cash flow and liquidity. Increased focus on efficiencies and digitization. One effect of the COVID-19 pandemic could be a further acceleration of the ongoing digital transformation. The pandemic has drastically highlighted the major potential and benefits of digital technology, which could be positive for RaySearch's operations in the long term because the company's software solutions enable cancer clinics to improve their efficiency.  The company's share At March 31, 2022, the total number of registered shares in RaySearch was 34,282,773, of which 8,454,975 were Class A and 25,827,798 Class B shares. The quotient value is SEK 0.50 and the company's share capital amounts to SEK 17,141,386.50. Holders of Class A shares are entitled to 10 votes per share, and holders of Class B shares are entitled to one vote per share, at General Meetings. At March 31, 2022, the total number of votes in RaySearch was 110,377,548.  share ownership At March 31, 2022, the number of shareholders in RaySearch was 6,767, according to Euroclear, and the largest shareholders were as follows:                                                                                                               Name                                                                                                             Class A shares                                                                                                             Class B shares                                                                                                             Total shares                                                                                                             Share capital, %                                                                                                             Votes, %                                                                                                                                                             Johan Löf                                         6,243,084       318,393       6,561,477       19.1       56.8                                                                             Invesco fonder                                         0       4,254,309       4,254,309       12.4       3.9                                                                             La Financière de l'Echiquier                                         0       2,652,240       2,652,240       7.7       2.4                                                                             First AP Fund                                         0       1,982,448       1,982,448       5.8       1.8                                                                             Swedbank Robur Funds                                         0       1,800,000       1,800,000       5.3       1.6                                                                             Anders Brahme                                         1,150,161       200,000       1,350,161       3.9       10.6                                                                             Second AP Fund                                         0       1,220,942       1,220,942       3.6       1.1                                                                             Carl Filip Bergendal                                         1,061,577       139,920       1,201,497       3.5       9.7                                                                             C WorldWide Asset Management                                         0       935,249       935,249       2.7       0.8                                                                             Avanza Pension                                         0       564,685       564,685       1.6       0.5                                                                             Total, 10 largest shareholders                                         8,454,822       14,068,186       22,523,008       65.7       89.3                                                                             Others                                         153       11,759,612       11,759,765       34.3       10.7                                                                             Total                                         8,454,975       25,827,798       34,282,773       100.0       100.0                                                                               Source: Euroclear                                       Other information 2022 Annual General Meeting The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of RaySearch Laboratories AB (publ) will take place on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 and be held by postal vote only. This means the Meeting will take place without the physical presence of shareholders, agents or outsiders. The exercise of voting rights by shareholders at the Meeting can therefore only take place by shareholders submitting a postal vote using the procedure stipulated in the Notice of the Annual General Meeting, which was published on April 22, 2022 and is available on RaySearch's website. Proposed dividend Since the company is in the midst of an expansive and capital-intensive phase, the Board of RaySearch proposes that no dividend be paid for the 2022 fiscal year. risks and uncertainties As a global Group with operations in different parts of the world, RaySearch is exposed to various risks and uncertainties, such as market risk, operational and legal risk, as well as financial risk pertaining to exchange-rate fluctuations, interest rates, liquidity and financing opportunities. RaySearch's risk management aims to identify, measure and reduce risks related to the Group's transactions and operations. For more information about risks and risk management, refer to pages 39-41 of RaySearch's 2021 Annual Report. There have been no significant changes with any impact on the risks reported. This also applies to the risks and uncertainties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic that could affect RaySearch's sales, earnings and financial position.  Seasonal variations RaySearch's customers are healthcare providers and the company's operations are somewhat characterized by seasonal variations that are typical for the industry, whereby the fourth quarter is normally the strongest – mainly because many customers have budgets that follow the calendar year.  Environment and sustainability Sustainability is a key aspect of RaySearch's strategy and operations, and the company is working actively to become a sustainable enterprise. The primary aim of RaySearch's operations is to help cancer clinics improve and save the lives of cancer patients. Through innovative software solutions, the company is continuously striving to improve and streamline workflows in clinical environments and to improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients. The customer value created presents business opportunities for RaySearch, but also major social benefit and economic gains. The negative environmental impact of the company's products is limited. The company's environmental impact is mainly related to the purchase of goods and services, energy use and transportation. RaySearch aims to contribute to sustainable development and therefore works actively to improve the company's environmental performance wherever this is economically viable. More information about the company's environmental and sustainability initiatives is available in the company's Sustainability Report on pages 22-28 of RaySearch's 2021 Annual Report.  REVIEW This interim report has not been reviewed by the company's auditors. The Board of Directors and CEO give their assurance that this interim report gives a true and fair view of the Group's and the Parent Company's operations, position and earnings, and describes the significant risks and uncertainties facing the Parent Company and the companies included in the Group. Stockholm, May 18, 2022 The Board of Directors of RaySearch Laboratories AB (publ)                                                                                                               Lars Wollung                                     Chairman of the Board                                                                                                             Johan Löf                                     CEO and Board member                                                                                                             Carl Filip Bergendal                                     Board member                                                                                                                                                             Britta Wallgren                                     Board member                                                                                                             Hans Wigzell                                     Board member                                                                                                             Johanna Öberg                                     Board member                                                                           FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Johan Löf, CEO  Tel: +46 (0)8 510 530 00 johan.lof@raysearchlabs.com Björn Hårdemark Interim CFO Tel: +46 (0)70 95 ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaMay 18th, 2022Related News