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AMD initiated with a Buy at WestPark Capital

See the rest of the story here. Theflyonthewall.com provides the latest financial news as it breaks. Known as a leader in market intelligence, The Fl.....»»

Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallMay 25th, 2021

Buckingham Believes Cowen"s Turnaround Is Underappreciated

Cowen Inc (NASDAQ: COWN) represents an underappreciated turnaround story and offers capital optionality, according to Buckingham Research Group. The Analyst Buckingham's Chris Walsh initiated coverage of Cowen with a Buy rating.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaJul 23rd, 2019

Citi"s new head of diversity wants to shake up Wall Street: "What gets measured gets achieved"

In the premier installment of The Equity Talk, Insider spoke with Citi executive Erika Irish Brown about her top priorities for the rest of 2021. Samantha Lee/Insider Erika Irish Brown, Citi's head of DEI, wants every manager at the firm to embrace inclusion. Bloomberg Insider presents the first installment of The Equity Talk, a new series with executives on DEI. Citi hired former Goldman executive Erika Irish Brown to lead its diversity and inclusion strategy. Brown shared how she wants to change the financial giant and her goals for the next three months. See more stories on Insider's business page. For over a decade, Erika Irish Brown abided by a mantra during her time working on Wall Street: "What gets measured gets achieved." Now, in her recently assumed role as the head of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Citi, she's applying that same philosophy to drive results. "DEI is not a 'nice to have.' It's a 'need to have,' and it's important we reframe the conversation to be about the value it brings to the business bottom line," she told Insider. "I think we have to get beyond justifying that business case and get on to actually executing and demonstrating that business value."Hired in June, Brown is one of a handful of executives driving Citi's billion-dollar investment to help bridge the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility for people of color in the United States. She's also working on the firm's goal to increase the representation of women in leadership positions to 40% by the end of 2021, up from 37% in 2018, and to increase Black leadership to 8% in the same timeframe, up from 6% in 2018. Brown said the firm was on track to achieve these goals. She and Citi CEO Jane Fraser, the first woman to lead a major US bank and an outspoken advocate for inclusion, meet regularly to discuss the future of the firm - and the country. Before spearheading Citi's diversity efforts, Brown worked as a DEI executive at large financial institutions such as Bank of America, Bloomberg, and Goldman Sachs. She left investment banking in 2009 to "be an agent for change" and diversify the financial sector, she said.For the debut of The Equity Talk, Brown discussed how she's measuring the effect of DEI at the $142 billion firm and her optimistic outlook on 2022. This interview has been edited and condensed. How has your experience working in finance influenced the way you approach DEI? My passion for DEI while I was an investment banker is what led me to make the transition. At the time, there weren't many, if any, DEI roles on Wall Street, and I wanted to be an agent for change to help drive the conversation forward on important issues like representation, pay equity, and inclusivity. This wasn't territory that was explored before, and by being in a DEI role and also being a Black woman myself, I knew I could make an impact.Before joining Citi, you helped Goldman introduce the "One Million Black Women" initiative, in which the bank vowed to invest $10 billion to address racial biases. What do you think will be the legacy of this initiative? Why was this important to you?In my DEI roles, I've always tried to connect the dots between racial-equity, commercial, and human-capital initiatives that drive or make the business case for diversity. And that holds true at Citi, where I have an opportunity to help connect the dots across all our racial-equity work happening within the organization and outside the organization, including our Action for Racial Equity initiative - Citi's $1 billion commitment to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the US. There is so much work across our industry to advance racial equity, and I'm inspired by the commitments that have been made by multiple firms. I look forward to supporting progress on Citi's goals specifically in the years ahead.You took the helm as the global head of DEI in June. What was one of the first things that you did in your new role?I've spent this period of time - two short months - listening; meeting our people; understanding the strategies in place, the book of work that exists across the firm globally; and really taking stock in all the work that we're already doing and starting to process in terms of how to approach the future. So the future in building a strong global team is really strengthening that inextricable link between talent and diversity for this firm globally.You joined Citi in a really interesting time for DEI leaders. There's a lot of pressure. There's a lot of accountability happening, but there's also a lot of support from leaders. How do you feel about this? I'm excited. Our Action for Racial Equity is a huge initiative and an opportunity to engage with leaders and initiatives across the firm. I was an investment banker for 15 years, and I've been in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space now for 15 years. I've always brought that commercial approach to my work. I've always seen the business value and the opportunity to leverage diversity as a competitive advantage to source deals differently, to invest differently, to expand into different marketplaces. There's real opportunity through diversity, including who we buy from, who we do business with, how we support and invest in the communities that we serve. I see all of that at Citi right now. Now, it's a matter of how we connect all those dots and show that collective impact and bring it all to bear. I think the benefits of the work that we're doing can be quite powerful - not just to Citi or the communities that we serve, but globally.Do you think that managers are starting to see that business case for DEI, that DEI is a business imperative?I think there is more awareness than ever of the so-called business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion. There's no shortage of research out there that really demonstrates bottom-line returns through diversity, equity, and inclusion from credible organizations like McKinsey or Catalyst. You need effective, inclusive managers and leaders in order to bring all of that talent to bear fruit for the firm. So joint accountability and talented people and effective management and leadership are what will move the firm forward. But it takes time, and you want it to be sustainable.Citi's CEO Jane Fraser, the first woman to lead a major bank, is an outspoken advocate of DEI. What does it mean to you to have that buy-in from your CEO? For any diversity and inclusion effort, it has to start at the top. And that's absolutely an important part. If you don't have that executive-leader sponsorship, it makes a job that's already difficult more difficult. At the same time, a diversity and inclusion initiative doesn't happen because everybody at the top says it's going to happen, right? You need to have full buy-in throughout the firm. I think the more you have an open dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion, the more people realize that it's part of their own role, too. There's accountability for everyone. What's your vision for the future? My vision is always on how to continue to drive Citi as the best place to work for the best people, to drive shareholder value and move forward toward equity. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider40 min. ago

Lawrence A. Cunningham"s Quality Investing: How the new and higher taxes that Biden and Congress are pushing would hurt stock investors and consumers

Companies pass tax increases on to customers, while a capital-gains tax hike penalizes long-term shareholders......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatch1 hr. 40 min. ago

Nexters Shows Record High Bookings and Revenue in Q2 and First Half of 2021

LIMASSOL, Cyprus, Sept. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nexters Inc. (NASDAQ:GDEV), an international game development company which strives to introduce the joy of core gaming experiences to casual players, today announced its unaudited financial and operational results for the first half year and second quarter ended June 30, 2021. First Half And Second Quarter 2021 Highlights Record high bookings of $268 million for H1 2021 and $154 million for Q2 2021, with 40% YoY growth in Q2 Record high quarterly revenues in Q2 2021 of $110 million, up 73% YoY Record high monthly paying users of 395 thousand in Q2 2021, with 43% YoY growth Record high daily active users of 1.2 million in Q2 2021, with 35% YoY growth Record high marketing investment of $155 million in H1 2021 into expanding the player base Chibi Island, a new mobile casual game, was officially released on iOS and Android "We are very happy to kick off our life as a public company with such a strong set of financial and operating results," Nexters Co-founder and CEO Andrey Fadeev said. "Our fantastic team has made an enormous effort, which led to Nexters becoming as we believe the fastest growing gaming company among public peers. Our record-high bookings and other achievements in the first half of this year inspire us to proceed delivering great games to players around the world. After becoming the public company, we now have all the full set of instruments to execute our growth strategy." First Half 2021 financial and operational performance In the first half of 2021 our revenue increased by $74 million (or 61%) year over year and amounted to $196 million, driven mainly by an increase in bookings in the amount of $60 million. Platform commissions increased by 51% in the first half 2021 compared with the same period in 2020, driven primarily by the increase in revenues. Game operation costs and general and administrative expenses (hereinafter referred to as "Operation and G&A expenses") expenses increased by $8 million (or approximately 2 times) in the first half of 2021 vs. the same period in the prior year to reach $16 million. The increase was primarily due to: Preparation of the Company for its listing on the NASDAQ, which resulted in substantial legal and consulting expenses incurred in the first half of 2021, and increased personnel and related share based compensation expenses resulting from new personnel hired at the end of 2020 and over the course of 2021; Increase in personnel and other expenses resulting from the increase in the scale of the Group's operations. Selling and marketing expenses in the first half 2021 increased by $82 million (more than doubling year over year), and amounted to $155 million. The increase was due to the massive scaling of the investments into new players. Net loss in the first half of 2021 amounted to $32 million vs. net income of $4 million in the respective period of 2020. The net loss in the first half of 2021 originated primarily from the substantial increase in marketing investments, increase in Operation and G&A expenses as well as platform commissions, and was partially offset by an increase in revenues. Our substantial investments in marketing in 2021 resulted in a substantial increase in monthly paying users (MPU), which reached 356 thousand in the first half of 2021 vs. 283 thousand in the respective period of 2020, a growth of 26%. Average bookings per paying user (ABBPU) remained relatively stable in the first half of 2021, at $120 in comparison to $118 in the respective period of 2020. Though we witnessed a generally increasing trend in our ABBPUs over the past several quarters, the stabilization of the ABPPU in the first half of 2021 vs. the respective period in the prior year was due to the substantial inflow of new paying users in the first half of 2021 and especially in Q2 2021, as paying users tend to have lower ABPPUs at the inception of the paying cohort. The substantial increase in MPUs accompanied by a relatively stable level of ABPPU resulted in record high bookings of $268 million in the first half of 2021, which grew 29% year over year from $208 million in the first half of 2020. Second Quarter 2021 financial and operational performance In the second quarter of 2021 our revenue increased by $46 million (or 73%) year over year and amounted to $110 million, driven predominantly by an increase in bookings in the amount of $44 million. Platform commissions increased by 60% in the second quarter of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020, driven primarily by the increase in revenues. Operation and G&A expenses increased by $5 million (or 2.3 times) in the second quarter of 2021 vs. the same period in the prior year to reach $9 million. The increase was primarily due to same factors mentioned above in respect of the first half of 2021: Preparation of the Company for its listing on the NASDAQ; Increase in personnel and other expenses resulting from the increase in the scale of the Group's operations. Selling and marketing expenses in Q2 2021 increased by $60 million, or 193% year over year, and amounted to $91 million. The increase was due to the massive scaling of the investments into new players. Net loss in the second quarter of 2021 amounted to $20 million vs. net income of $10 million in the respective period of 2020. The net loss in the second quarter of 2021 originated primarily from the substantial increase in marketing investments, increase in Operation and G&A expenses as well as platform commissions, and was partially offset by the increase in revenues. Our substantial investments in marketing in 2021 resulted in a substantial increase in MPUs, which reached a record high of 395 thousand in the second quarter of 2021 vs. 277 thousand in the respective period of 2020, a growth of 43%. A similar growth has been achieved in monthly active users (MAU) with a 42% increase year over year, reaching 7.6 million in the second quarter of 2021 after 5.3 million MAU in the prior year period. While the amount of daily active users reached its all-time record of 1.2 million in the second quarter of 2021, which is a 35% growth compared to the same period last year. ABBPU remained relatively stable in the second quarter of 2021, at $125 in comparison to $128 in the respective period of 2020, which we attribute to the factors mentioned above in respect of the first half of 2021. The substantial increase in MPUs accompanied by a relatively stable level of ABPPU resulted in record high quarterly bookings of $154 million in the second quarter of 2021, which grew 40% year over year from $110 million in the second quarter of 2020. Recent developments Closing of the business combination On August 26, 2021 the Company consummated the previously announced business combination with Nexters Global Ltd. and Kismet Acquisition One Corp. Following the closing of the business combination, the Company's ordinary shares and warrants started trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbols "GDEV" and "GDEVW," respectively. Please refer to the Form 20-F filed on the August 26, 2021 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") for the details of the transaction. Official Release of Chibi Island On July 28, 2021 Nexters officially released Chibi Island, a new farm and adventure mobile game, after a successful "soft launch" in December 2020. Chibi Island has been in live testing since its soft launch with a limited set of features and content. It has been continuously updated since then with improvements to the game coming via player feedback and analysis of internal game performance metrics. Chibi Island succeeded Island Experiment, a casual farm game first launched on social media channels back in 2014, with nearly 30 million installs to date. Interim Condensed Consolidated Statement of Financial Position As at June 30, 2021, as at March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020(in thousands of US$)   NOTE June 30, 2021 March 31,2021 December31, 2020 ASSETS         Non-current assets         Property and equipment   946 713 171 Intangible assets   128 129 76 Goodwill   1,473 1,465 — Long-term deferred platform commission fees   105,227 95,117 89,562 Right-of-use assets   1,921 2,275 1,044 Deferred tax asset   17 — — Total non-current assets   109,712 99,699 90,853 Current assets         Trade and other receivables   64,882 45,845 32,974 Loans receivable   282 — 8 Other current assets     5   Cash and cash equivalents   40,898 99,912 84,557 Prepaid tax   3,083 3,074 3,137 Total current assets   109,145 148,836 120,676 Total assets   218,857 248,535 211,529           LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY     Equity         Share capital   27 27 27 Other reserves   8,112 8,329 8,289 Accumulated deficit   (193,500) (123,289) (111,451) Total equity   (185,361) (114,933) (103,135) Non-current liabilities         Lease liabilities - non-current   568 499 818 Long-term deferred revenue   105,597 90,774 78,985 Total non-current liabilities   106,165 91,273 79,803 Current liabilities         Short-term loans   — 46 49 Lease liabilities - current   1,274 1,593 293 Trade and other payables   36,424 40,370 19,502 Tax liability   534 391 306 Deferred revenue   259,821 229,795 214,711 Total current liabilities  .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzinga1 hr. 55 min. ago

GALLERY: North Carolina jobs pipeline approaches nearly $100B in potential investments

Nearly 75,000 jobs — that’s what’s currently on the line for economic developers in North Carolina. Chris Chung, CEO of the state’s top recruitment organization, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, said his team was working on 236 active recruitment and expansion projects. That’s six more than a month ago. If the state were to win all of them, that would be 74,900 potential new jobs and $97.8 billion in potential new capital investment. And an area that is particularly….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournals1 hr. 55 min. ago

ThredUP’s new site in Texas: 10 million items – and 2,000 jobs planned

ThredUP’s effort in the Dallas area isn’t small. The California company that specializes in clothing resale plans to invest $70 million in capital in a new distribution center in Lancaster, according to a statement on Tuesday. The new site will create 2,000 jobs. Those are higher numbers than what a city document indicated earlier this month as it pointed to an investment of $50 million and the facility allowing the addition of a minimum of 1,500 jobs within three years. The 600,000-square-foot….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournals1 hr. 55 min. ago

: SoFi initiated with buy rating and $25 price target at Jefferies

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatch1 hr. 56 min. ago

AUKUS Expedites The Coming EU Army & NATO"s Irrelevance

AUKUS Expedites The Coming EU Army & NATO's Irrelevance Authored by Joaquin Flores via The Strategic Culture Foundation, While AUKUS formally exists to counter China, it does so on the basis of shared history and spheres of influence. That means that the logic of containing China within such a framework also contains AUKUS. The surprise announcement of the new AUKUS alliance has predictably provoked an outcry from the European side of NATO, in particular France whose $90B plans with Australia were nixed without forewarning or mutual agreement. The entire fiasco only pushed the realization of a European continental army further along its path, a path that is all but inevitable and can only be either slowed or hurried by world events and political pressures. As we wrote towards the end of August in ‘NATO’s Obsolescence’, the NATO alliance is coming undone and what we are seeing internationally is the rise of multipolarity. Distinct from the yearnings of idealists, multipolarity does not necessitate, (nor does it exclude), that the rising global blocs operate in some symphonic harmony towards global peace. But there is a kernel of truth: because it implies a change away from often violent attempts to build a one-world system based on the wildest fantasies of the Western banking establishment (popularly referred to as the ‘New World Order’), it creates an opportunity for harmony, as multipolarity rests upon spheres of influence and mutual recognition of sovereign hegemony. AUKUS represents the failure of the Trans-Atlantic order rising after WWII (and emboldened by the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact) to transform into this ‘New World Order’ in the sense of a unipolar American century. But the solidifying of the U.S., UK, and Australia into something like AUKUS is also an entirely coherent development of the Five Eyes (UKUSA/FVEY) into something more. East Room of the White House, September 15, 2021, in Washington, D.C. President Biden delivered his remarks to present “AUKUS,”.WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES It further underscores how much Biden’s foreign policy sits in line with Trump’s. AUKUS tends to confirm that for reasons still not entirely known (but which engender fantastical theories), Trump’s foreign policy on EU, China, and Five Eyes carries on into the Biden administration. Not everyone is on board. The intelligence relationship already existing between A5 countries known as the Five Eyes has been challenged by the push to be decisive on China where previously it was clearer on the USSR – something where regarding China, New Zealand and Canada have decided to take a more nuanced and balanced approach. In short, we see Obama allies Trudeau and Ardern push-back against the Biden administration’s move to forge AUKUS. Ardern went so far as to say that Australian nuclear subs per the AUKUS alliance, will not be allowed in New Zealand’s waters. Recall that Chinese naval vessels have been allowed to dock in New Zealand’s waters as recently as 2019. As far as Trudeau appears to be positioned, Canada’s Global News reported, “Brett Bruen, a consultant and former U.S. diplomat, told The Canadian Press that Canada may want to keep its distance from the pact to avoid aggravating existing tensions with China.” The ugly economic details of AUKUS have left France and NATO countries with the realization that the U.S. has sent a much larger signal than that particularly problematic $90B detail would indicate. The U.S. under Trump had been shifting its strategic emphasis away from realistically deflecting a Russian military intervention into Western Europe as NATO existed originally to do. Rhetoric and a few additionally planned exercises aside, this has not changed under the Biden administration. Trump’s efforts to push forward on burden shifting from the U.S. to NATO members in Europe in the form of a 2% of GDP commitment on military spending is not one that Biden will roll back, despite his administration’s formal commitment to rebuild U.S.-EU strategic commitments apparently undermined by the 45th presidential administration. These developments, and more, have left France and Germany certain that an EU Army is a realistic security solution in the face of an unreliable U.S. The Coming EU Army When the UK left the EU on January 31st 2020 it removed a major obstacle to the building a continental army for Europe. Revealingly, the political forces campaigning on behalf of Brexit argued that the future of the EU would work against the special relationship that the UK has with the U.S. But why should this be the case, when the EU and U.S. are staunch allies, and since NATO is the child of this alliance? The answer to that question subverts expectations, and this is what makes it so worthy of our attention. The inclusion of the UK in the EU has always been a source and reflection of conflict between the UK and the continent. The persistence of the pound sterling and its precise position to the later development of the Euro, probably made Brexit a rather positive outcome for Europeanists among the long-term EU strategists at the very top, despite the entire Brussels bureaucracy and the EU media structure batting for Atlanticism through public declarations and electoral interference. After all, like any organization of scale, there are competing visions and competing commitments. The best way to change the alignment of these is to change the facts on the ground and the departure of the UK from the EU was a monumental one So many things then become possible with the UK out of the EU, like an EU Army. © Flickr / Rock Cohen Yet if NATO represents the keystone for security in Europe, then what need is there for an EU Army? The answer to this one is not pretty, because it directly confronts the definition of ‘security’, and more decidedly poses the question: Whose security does NATO actually represent? Indeed, the Euroscepticism which understandably had become the majority view in Britain by 2016, was not only opposed to the balance of matters effecting the UK the EU as it existed, but also the direction of things to come and the moves to further centralize and empower the Brussels bureaucracy in ways unacceptable. At the risk of stating the obvious, Eurosceptics oppose the further centralization of the EU as it would give rise to an EU Army, and would either be a ‘final blow’ to the sovereignty of European states or act as a rapid catalyst towards the same. The debate over the utility and necessity of a European Army is a difficult one to follow, because there is one side – the EU Army side – which really can’t say the quiet part out loud. And the quiet part is that NATO in Europe functions more like an occupying force that relies on indigenous enforcers, its command structure being effectively a comprador one. Because of that, the EU Army side of this debate has had to make specious claims that it would work in tandem with NATO, would not replace NATO, and would even strengthen NATO. All of these are ridiculous when unpacked, but as necessary to say as Biden’s anachronistic and demonstrably false statements that the U.S. holds NATO Article 5 as a “sacred commitment”. Turkish forces fighting U.S. advisors embedded with the U.S.-backed YPG would be surprised to hear that Article 5 was still relevant. As with the case of the Greece-Turkey strategic stand-off, the question arises again. When Merkel blasted Obama’s NSA in 2013 for spying on Germany, the quiet part was audible. But it would have been untoward to have publicly teased out the logical deduction any reasonable person would make from this. And this in itself represents a self-consciousness of the weaker and more difficult to articulate position. Not because the logic can’t be made clearer, but because the truth of it all – that multipolarity means that the EU and U.S. may not have the same strategic interests – threatens the entire post-WWII order of things. The pretext of course for the need for NATO is the existence of a Russian Federation existing as a single geopolitical entity, and not as an additional dozen states carved out of Russia’s existing oblasts, which is the openly professed fantasy of NATO’s media-intelligence wing, the Atlantic Council. Prizes have been awarded by Atlantic Council-supported ACTR to university students who developed schemes, maps, and socio-economy and political data towards the division of Russia into ten or so more states. But even as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg bemoaned on June 15 of this year that the NATO-Russia relationship, “is at its lowest point since the Cold War, and Moscow’s aggressive actions are a threat to our security.“, this is pure theatrics. It would be surprising if any leader of a European state believed this was really the case, knowing instead that the present state of EU-RF relations is the consequence of hyperventilating problems into existence. For many decades, the encroachment of the EU and NATO into Central and Eastern Europe were seen as one and the same. But in reality, NATO represented itself as the military enforcer of Trans-Atlanticism and trilateralism in Europe. This meant that an expanding EU was permissible within the strict rubric of also being advantageous to Trans-Atlantic banking in the form of the IMF, which acts like a tax or tithing upon European capital paid towards the City of London and Wall Street and ensuring that the Eurodollar – one of the parents of today’s EURO – was reliant on the Petrodollar as the reserve currency. Conclusion While France cries foul in defense of its own arms industry, certainly the brains behind Macron sees the rise of AUKUS as both a tremendous opportunity and pretext to justify the Franco-German agenda already in play. Liberal-idealist opposition to the creation of an EU Army seems to stem from some alternate reality where each European state doesn’t already possess an armed force. They argue as if foreign aggression upon the EU will be invited and not, as logic would inform us, be discouraged by the existence of a coherent and singular command structure such as the EU Army presents. There is a failure to understand that a disunited Europe invites any number of great powers to be able to play divide and conquer in and between European states, to the detriment of all European states. The primary and sacrosanct raison d’etre for the EU in the first place is to avoid the sorts of wars between European states which twice destroyed Europe in the 20th century, which led to the strategic advantage of the U.S. as a global hegemon. To wit, E.H Carr’s work exposed that for nearly three hundred years (writing from the 1940’s), the foreign policy of England (in its various iterations) was to divide continental European power by pursuing policies which created conflicts between Germany and France. Likewise, we see no small role in the financial schemes of the U.S. and England that led to both European conflicts in the 20th century. And so in looking at costs, of course always left out is the ‘cost of not’. The focus on costs of such a European Army fails to understand the relationship that the EU is in today with regard to the U.S. dollar. The EU must frame its expenditures in budgetary terms precisely because of the Atlanticist financial scheme, where the U.S. can create money at whim but the EU must operate within the rubric of monetary scarcity. So in thinking that the U.S. is presently paying for European security, what is ignored is a macroscopic view which accounts for opportunity cost, profit sharing, and liabilities that arise. The U.S. role in European security, as we have said, is to secure U.S. interests in Europe. Euroscepticism, a genus with numerous species, opposes the rise of an EU Army as mentioned, but not only in the UK. Across the EU, the thinking and rationale is – at face value – the same. But beneath the surface, as E.H Carr would likely agree, is a quite opposite dynamic. Nationalist Euroscepticism has been the most potent force, with other species whose skepticism is rooted in other matters often tagging along. The critical point here is that the more radical the nationalist Euroscepticism, the more likely it is that skeptic views positively a confederal type arrangement between European states on the basis of identity and shared history. They often paint their own alternate solution wherein European states are in some kind of organization that rings nearly identical to the EU itself, (“a single Europe of a hundred banners”), with some notable exceptions such as the financial structures in the EU in the form of the Troika. And that is the solution: the rise of an EU Army would also be able to support financial independence of the EU from the U.S.-UK financial grip. A truly sovereign EU would also have sovereign financial institutions, which today it lacks. And it is precisely the contemporary financial arrangement that inspires nationalist-driven Euroscepticism. It is only this that could make the EU into the kind of confederation that nationalist Eurosceptics would find acceptable, even desirable. AUKUS likewise is based on a common historical relationship to Britain, and while oceans still separate the member states, the alliance represents a turn to doctrines descended from spheres of influence as opposed to the universalist values schema which defined the now failed gambit to realize Trans-Atlanticism into a permanent unipolarity. Both AUKUS and the rise of an EU Army are manifestations of a growing multipolarity, and could be critical to stability and a decrease in the hostilities presently driven by the global ambitions of Atlanticism. While AUKUS formally exists to counter China, it does so on the basis of shared history and spheres of influence. That means that the logic of containing China within such a framework also contains AUKUS. Civilizational spheres such as an Anglo-sphere, or a Eurosphere, or like China (which by itself is a civilization) all set clear borders of legitimacy. This is entirely at odds with the disastrous attempt to build a single world order on the basis of abstract and universal values, dictated from an imperial center. Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge6 hr. 11 min. ago

Gaotu Techedu Announces Second Quarter of 2021 Unaudited Financial Results and Change to Board Composition

BEIJING, Sept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Gaotu Techedu Inc. (NYSE:GOTU) ("Gaotu" or the "Company"), a leading online large-class tutoring service provider in China, today announced its unaudited financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021. Second Quarter 2021 Highlights[1] Net revenues was RMB2,232.3 million, a 35.3% year-over-year increase. Net revenues of online K-12 courses increased 51.0% year-over-year to RMB2,091.4 million. Gross billings[2] was RMB2,694.7 million, a 12.2% year-over-year increase. Gross billings of online K-12 courses increased 17.2% year-over-year to RMB2,574.5 million. Paid course enrollments[3] increased 4.1% year-over-year to 1,631 thousand. Paid course enrollments of online K-12 increased 4.5% year-over-year to 1,563 thousand. Net loss was RMB918.8 million, compared with net income of RMB18.6 million in the same period of 2020. Non-GAAP net loss was RMB763.9 million, compared with non-GAAP net income of RMB72.7 million in the same period of 2020. Deferred revenue was RMB1,976.4 million, compared with RMB2,733.7 million as of December 31, 2020. Second Quarter 2021 Key Financial and Operating Data (In thousands of RMB, except for paid course enrollments and percentages) Three Months Ended June 30, 2020 2021 Pct. Change Net revenues 1,650,314 2,232,254 35.3% K-12 courses 1,384,968 2,091,355 51.0% Foreign language, professional, admission and     other services 265,346 140,899 (46.9%) Gross billings 2,400,996 2,694,732 12.2% K-12 courses 2,196,077 2,574,536 17.2% Foreign language, professional, admission and     other services 204,919 120,196 (41.3%) Paid course enrollments (In thousands) 1,567 1,631 4.1% K-12 courses 1,496 1,563 4.5% Foreign language, professional, admission and     other services 71 68 (4.2)% Net income (loss) 18,627 (918,791) NM Non-GAAP net income (loss) 72,712 (763,890) NM   [1] For a reconciliation of non-GAAP numbers, please see the table captioned "Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP measures" at the end of this press release. Non-GAAP income (loss) from operations, non-GAAP net income (loss) exclude share-based compensation expenses. [2] Gross billings is a non-GAAP financial measure, which is defined as the total amount of cash received for the sale of course offerings in such period, net of the total amount of refunds in such period. See "About Non-GAAP Financial Measures" and "Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP measures" elsewhere in this press release. [3] Paid course enrollments for a certain period refer to the cumulative number of paid courses enrolled in and paid for by our students, including multiple paid courses enrolled in and paid for by the same student. Paid courses refer to our courses that are charged not less than RMB99.0 per course in fees. Six Months Ended June 30, 2021 Highlights Net revenues was RMB4,172.6 million, a 41.5% year-over-year increase. Net revenues of online K-12 courses increased 56.0% year-over-year to RMB3,907.6 million. Gross billings was RMB3,876.1 million, a 2.7% year-over-year increase. Gross billings of online K-12 courses increased 8.8% year-over-year to RMB3,577.1 million. Paid course enrollments increased 2.4% year-over-year to 2,398 thousand. Paid course enrollments of online K-12 increased 2.4% year-over-year to 2,195 thousand. Net loss was RMB2,344.7 million, compared with net income of RMB166.6 million in the same period of 2020. Non-GAAP net loss was RMB2,093.3 million, compared with non-GAAP net income of RMB263.5 million in the same period of 2020. First Six Months of 2021 Key Financial and Operating Data (In thousands of RMB, except for paid course enrollments and percentages) Six Months Ended June 30, 2020 2021 Pct. Change Net revenues 2,947,894 4,172,597 41.5% K-12 courses 2,505,057 3,907,626 56.0% Foreign language, professional, admission and     other services 442,837 264,971 (40.2)% Gross billings 3,775,395 3,876,074 2.7% K-12 courses 3,286,669 3,577,148 8.8% Foreign language, professional, admission and     other services 488,726 298,926 (38.8)% Paid course enrollments (In thousands) 2,341 2,398 2.4% K-12 courses 2,143 2,195 2.4% Foreign language, professional, admission and     other services 198 203 2.5% Net income (loss) 166,615 (2,344,710) NM Non-GAAP net income (loss) 263,453 (2,093,310) NM Larry Xiangdong Chen, the Company's founder, Chairman and CEO, commented, "In the second quarter of 2021, our revenue has reached a record high to 2.232 billion RMB. In order to support the equality of education, ever since May, we have successively collaborated with multiple non-profit organizations such as the China Charity's Aid Foundation for Children, the China Youth Development Foundation, the China Next Generation Education Foundation, and the Henan Normal University through cash donation or free course offerings, to aid the revitalization of rural area education and achieve the goal of equal access of education for everyone. At the same time, we have recently and rapidly adjusted the organizational structure of the group, to focus on professional education and STEAM education, and further exploring possibilities on digital products and vocational education. We say that 2014 is Gaotu's first attempt as a startup , and 2016 is our second start, then we can also say that 2021 is our third start. We should always keep the goal of education in mind, always firmly believe that education is a noble profession. It's undeniable that we have boundless faith in the bright future of the Chinese education industry." "Additionally, we are pleased to welcome Ms. Jin Cui to join our Board as the AC Chairwoman. We look forward to drawing upon Ms. Cui's extensive experience as our business continues to grow. We thank Mr. Xin Fan for his dedication for his tenure as Board Director for the past two years. Despite of the change in board, our business strategy remains unchanged." Shannon Shen, CFO of the Company, added, "In the second quarter, we have upgraded our organizational structure. We will continue to develop in the area of professional education, STEAM education, vocational education and product digitalization. In exploring professional education, the public office exam sector has maintained its relatively high level; paid users in the financial certificate sector have increased 4 times year over year. Professional education is rapidly changing and upgrading. In the future, we will focus on those areas that are strongly supported by the government, creating a multi-facet, interactive platform that encompassing all educational categories for life-long learning." Financial Results for the Second Quarter of 2021 Net Revenues Net revenues reached RMB2,232.3 million, a 35.3% increase from RMB1,650.3 million in the second quarter of 2020. The increase was mainly driven by the growth in paid course enrollments for K-12 courses during the period from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2021, which was contributed by both first-time paid course enrollments and retention of existing students. The net revenues in the second quarter of 2021 was partially attributable to the paid course enrollments of the fourth quarter of 2020. Cost of Revenues Cost of revenues rose by 100.8% to RMB724.3 million from RMB360.7 million in the second quarter of 2020, mainly due to the increased recruitment of instructors and tutors, the increase in compensation for attracting and retaining high quality teaching staff, as well as the increase in learning material cost and rental expenses. Gross Profit and Gross Margin Gross profit increased 16.9% to RMB1,508.0 million from RMB1,289.7 million in the second quarter of 2020. Gross profit margin decreased to 67.6% from 78.1% in the same period of 2020. The decrease was primarily due to the increase in compensation for instructors and tutors, simultaneously resulting from the increased number of them and more competitive salaries provided, to attract excellent talents to improve teaching quality and students' learning experience. Non-GAAP gross profit increased by 18.2% to RMB1,543.5 million from RMB1,305.4 million in the same period of 2020. Non-GAAP gross profit margin decreased to 69.1% from 79.1% in the same period of 2020. Operating Expenses Operating expenses were RMB2,362.7 million, which increased from RMB1,450.4 million in the second quarter of 2020. Selling expenses increased to RMB1,641.1 million from RMB1,204.8 million in the second quarter of 2020. The increase was primarily a result of higher marketing expenses to expand user base and enhance our brands, and an increase in compensation to sales and marketing staff. Research and development expenses increased by 204.9% to RMB426.5 million, from RMB139.9 million in the second quarter of 2020. The increase was primarily due to an increase in the number of education content development professionals and technology development personnel, as well as an increase in compensation for such staff. General and administrative expenses increased to RMB242.0 million from RMB105.7 million in the second quarter of 2020. The increase in general and administrative expenses was mainly due to an increase in the number of general and administrative personnel, an increase in compensation paid to such staff. Impairment loss on intangible assets and goodwill was RMB53.1 million for the second quarter of 2021, compared to nil for the same period of 2020. The impairment loss was mainly due to the decline of fair value related to the intangible assets and goodwill in connection with the acquisition of Tianjin Puxin Online School Education Technology Co., Ltd. that was completed in December 2020. Considering recent regulatory policies concerning after-school tutoring services, the acquisition will not likely to achieve the target goals the management had estimated at the time of acquisition. Loss from Operations Loss from operations was RMB854.7 million, compared with the loss from operations of RMB160.8 million in the second quarter of 2020. The decrease was primarily due to higher spending in sales and marketing activities to extend volume growth and strengthen brand perception and an increase in the number of personnel, as well as an increase in compensation for our staff. Non-GAAP loss from operations was RMB699.8 million, compared with non-GAAP loss from operations of RMB106.7 million in the second quarter of 2020. Interest Income and Realized Gains from Investment Interest income and realized gains from investments, on aggregate, was RMB23.5 million, compared with RMB24.2 million in the second quarter of 2020. Interest income and realized gains from investments was primarily the interest income of cash, cash equivalents and short-term wealth management investments, as well as the realization of gains generated from short-term and long-term wealth management investments. Other Income (Expense) Other expense was RMB36.5 million, compared with other income of RMB87.7 million in the second quarter of 2020. Other expense in the second quarter of 2021 primarily consisted of related cost of the value-added tax exemption offered by the government during the COVID-19 outbreak, which amounted to RMB56.7 million, net of other income of RMB20.2 million. Net Income (Loss) Net loss was RMB918.8 million, compared with net income of RMB18.6 million in the second quarter of 2020. Non-GAAP net loss was RMB763.9 million, compared with non-GAAP net income of RMB72.7 million in the second quarter of 2020. Cash Flow Net operating cash outflow for the second quarter of 2021 was RMB318.6 million. The outflow of net operating cash this quarter was primarily due to higher marketing expenses paid to improve our market share and brand awareness, and an increase in compensation. Cash used in capital expenditures was RMB107.0 million. Basic and Diluted Net Loss per ADS Basic and diluted net loss per ADS were RMB3.59, in the second quarter of 2021. Non-GAAP basic and diluted net loss per ADS, were RMB2.99, in the second quarter of 2021. Share Outstanding As of June 30, 2021, the Company had 170,935,557 ordinary shares outstanding. Cash and Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash, Short-term Investments and Long-term Investments As of June 30, 2021, the Company had cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, short-term investments and long-term investments of RMB5,486.9 million in the aggregate, compared with a total of RMB8,217.2 million of cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and long-term investments as of December 31, 2020. Deferred Revenue As of June 30, 2021, the Company's deferred revenue balance was RMB1,976.4 million, compared with RMB2,733.7 million as of December 31, 2020. Deferred revenue primarily consisted of tuition collected in advance. Other Payables As of June 30, 2021, other payables in non-current liabilities totaled RMB26.6 million, all of which were payables related to the purchase of the Zhengzhou properties. Update on PRC Regulatory Policy As previously disclosed, Gaotu's business, financial condition and corporate structure are expected to be materially affected in future periods by the changing regulatory environment primarily in China's after school tutoring industry, although the magnitude of the impact remains uncertain at this time. Business Outlook Due to the uncertainty related to the recent regulatory and operating environment, the Company has decided not to issue guidance in the near term in order to give the management more flexibility to focus on the Company's operations. Board Change Mr. Xin Fan has resigned from the board of directors of the Company, for personal reasons, effective on September 22, 2021. The Company has appointed Ms. Jin Cui as an independent director of the Company, effective on the same day. Ms. Cui will also become the chairwoman of the audit committee of the board of directors, as well as a member of the compensation committee and the nominating and corporate governance committee. Conference Call The Company will hold an earnings conference call on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, at 8:00 AM U.S. Eastern Time (8:00 PM on the same day, Beijing/Hong Kong Time). Dial-in details for the earnings conference call are as follows: International: 1-412-317-6061 US: 1-888-317-6003 Hong Kong:.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzinga7 hr. 39 min. ago

Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem climbs 15 spots into the top 30 worldwide, report says

Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem ranks among the best in the world, reaching No. 28 globally, according to the latest report from research firm Startup Genome. Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report ranked more than 275 regional ecosystems based on factors like startup growth and activity, innovation and research, capital availability, talent and support for companies. Silicon Valley, London and New York topped the 2021 rankings. Philadelphia climbed 15 spots in the last year, from….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournals8 hr. 27 min. ago

Milley"s Calls To Chinese General Could Have Jeopardized US National Security: Former Military Officials

Milley's Calls To Chinese General Could Have Jeopardized US National Security: Former Military Officials Authored by J/M/Phelps via The Epoch Times, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, could have jeopardized the national security of the United States in allegedly secret calls to Gen. Li Zuocheng of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to former U.S. military officers. Milley also overstepped his own authority while allegedly discussing the launch of nuclear weapons with senior military officials, they say. Endangering National Security According to a new book titled, “Peril,” Milley called Li once in October 2020 and another time on Jan. 8 to assure him that the United States wouldn’t attack the Chinese Communist Party, and if it was poised to attack, he would alert his counterpart. “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley reportedly said. Milley made those calls, the book has alleged, because he was fearful that then-President Donald Trump would carry out military action during the waning days of his presidency. Some U.S. lawmakers have described Milley’s actions as treasonous, saying the general overstepped his authority, and have called for President Joe Biden to fire Milley. Biden, in response, has backed the general. Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold, who was the commanding officer of the USS Cole when it was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists in 2000, said he was incredibly concerned about Milley’s allegedly secret conversations with Li. That the nation’s top military officer has not denied any of the allegations, but defended his conversations, has shocked Lippold, who told The Epoch Times, “Milley may have purposefully—or inadvertently—created a window of strategic vulnerability.” Milley has since described the calls as “routine” and “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities” of his job. As chairman, Milley is the top military adviser to the president and to the defense secretary. Lippold said the call to Li could have easily called into question “America’s resolve and willingness” to safeguard itself and ensure its survival. The smallest misinterpretation could cause the Chinese regime to believe aggression from the communist-led country would be “met with acquiescence or acceptance from the United States rather than military action and resolve,” Lippold warned. Having served as a member of the War on Terrorism Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lippold said that Milley’s call could have “given the Chinese government the impression that the United States was hesitant or, at worst case, unwilling to use nuclear weapons to ensure our national survival.” According to the new book, Milley on Jan. 8 also conveyed instructions to senior military officials not to take orders regarding military strikes or launching nuclear weapons from anyone without the chairman’s approval. According to Lippold, it is far outside Milley’s normal chain of command to engage in a conversation about nuclear engagements. Robert Maginnis, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and Pentagon analyst agreed, saying, “The chairman is little more than a presidential military adviser, who is prohibited by law from exercising executive authority and does not have nuclear release authority.” “Milley commands nothing,” Maginnis added. China’s Growing Nuclear Capabilities The risks posed by Milley’s calls with Li are heightened given that China is a nuclear-capable nation, according to Lippold. The repercussions of such revelations could have an effect on “the very survival of the United States,” he said. Nations possess nuclear weapons because their respective governments view them as “the ultimate guarantor of that nation’s survival,” Lippold pointed out. Since World War Two, nuclear weapons have served as a deterrent for wide-scale global conflict. China’s DF-41 nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles are seen during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on Oct. 1, 2019. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images) “The conversation undermined U.S. military credibility and capability by undermining the deterrent effect of U.S. firepower, both conventional and nuclear, that provides for the security of the nation,” he said. According to Lippold, it is unconscionable for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to speak about U.S. military readiness with the top military officer of another nuclear-capable nation, particularly “one that has expansive goals in mind, both regionally and globally.” The Chinese regime, Lippold said, is “going out of their way to modernize their nuclear triad across the board,” which includes the building up of land-based intercontinental ballistic missile, submarine-launched ballistic missile, and strategic bomber capability. Lippold called for a thorough accounting of the precise words of Milley’s conversations. “These types of phone calls are usually very tightly controlled, so there must be an investigation initiated by Congress to get a full accounting of exactly what was said during the course of the conversation,” he said. “If he intimated or indicated to the head of the PLA what the United States actions or intents might be,” Lippold said, “that would prove to be a very dangerous road to tread down.” This would amount to a “huge breach of trust,” indicating that Milley is not fit to serve in his role as the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense and president, Lippold said. If this is found to be the case, then Milley should have the “moral integrity to lay his stars on the table” and resign, he added. Accountability The Joint Chiefs of Staff, which Milley chairs, said in a statement last week that Milley regularly talks with counterparts around the world, including counterparts in China and Russia. “His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability,” a spokesman for the group said. “All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.” Trump and other former White House and Defense officials, however, have said they were not informed of the calls. “The fact that the acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller was not informed of the call—nor was his staff—indicates that the general had an agenda behind this phone call that was purposefully designed to mislead, or flat out not inform, the chain-of-command of what he was doing and thinking,” Lippold said. For Milley not to inform his superiors of the calls was “out of the norm” and “completely unprecedented,” according to Lippold. “His chain-of-command should have known everything about these calls—when they were going to be made, what was going to be discussed, and how he was going to frame his words.” Lippold believes that Milley is “banking on the fact that the American people and Congress do not understand how these types of conversations are conducted.” “Milley should not be able to have these conversations, couch them in the way he did, calling them ‘perfectly within the duties and responsibilities’ of his job, and get away with it,” he added. Maginnis said, “If this entire series of events hold true, it is arguably the closest the United States has come to a military coup—and elected leaders must not rest until the country gets answers and all those involved are held to account.” Milley is expected to appear before a Senate Armed Services Committee on Sept. 28 to speak about Afghanistan, but it is expected he will be forced to field questions under oath about the reports from the book. “Nothing can be more important than knowing whether or not a top military official committed treason and tried to take control of America’s nuclear arsenal from the former president of the United States,” Maginnis said. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 22:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge8 hr. 39 min. ago

Kyle Bass: President Xi Wants Evergrande Blowup To Help Lower Housing Prices

Kyle Bass: President Xi Wants Evergrande Blowup To Help Lower Housing Prices Shortly before two Evergrande creditors confirmed to Bloomberg (under the guise of anonymity) that the Chinese developer-giant had missed bond payments due Monday, Hayman Capital founder Kyle Bass returned to CNBC for an interview Tuesday morning for a telephone discussion with CNBC's Joe Kernen to discuss the toxic Chinese economy and its unsustainable debt pile. Bass, one of the most vocal China hawks on Wall Street, has said it's important to understand what, exactly, President Xi is looking for. According to Bass, China is "experiencing similar problems that we are in the US" when it comes to housing prices. Xi has been managing a broad-based crackdown on the Chinese economy all summer. Now, it's time to confront the issue Now, China is entering this period of weakness with over $50 trillion worth of credit in their system, with their annual GDP at around $15 trillion. Compared with China, the US had GDP of $17 trillion with another $12 trillion off-balance-sheet when Lehman collapsed. China is at 3.6x ahead of its "Lehman moment", while the US was only about 1.7x. What's more, China is still a relative newcomer to the capital markets business, Bass said. China adopted a western-style financial system in 2001 after they joined the WTO. Around the same time, Beijing's population-control policies started to really bite, as China saw its birth rate dwindle. There are now 1.3 births per woman in China and you need to be at 2.1 to actually just sustain your population, Bass said. So for many working-age Chinese males, population dynamics are at a critical level and the reason being is the Chinese men can't afford houses so they're all living with their parents and the fact that Evergrande went on a credit binge and built all of the housing and Chinese property took off because their central bank continued to print so much money. Now, it's trying to rein in property prices and he's trying to do it as quickly as possible because China's on an unsustainable path lower. "Right now," Bass says, everyone who believes China's going to grow at 6% a year ad infinitum "is just dead wrong," but if we just divorce ourselves from any value judgments about China and think about the the future of the plan of the globe - if we always think about the Chinese consumer and we all at one point wanted to move forward in a symbiotic way where we sell things to China, and their consumers buy things from us. It's nice to think about, but this unfortunately just isn't how China works. Investors must realize that they're not investing  "in a real market." Bass added: "You still have an economy with a closed capital account they have one-way capital flows dollars in. Now, imagine if dollars start heading out." Watch most of the interview below: Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 19:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge13 hr. 39 min. ago

Why Fortinet Has More Upside, Even After 100% Rally YTD

Fortinet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FTNT) strong execution is likely to continue in coming years, according to Stifel. The Fortinet Analyst: Adam Borg initiated coverage of Fortinet with a Buy rating and a target price of $355. Latest Ratings for FTNT DateFirmActionFromTo Sep 2021StifelInitiates Coverage OnBuy Sep 2021BMO CapitalMaintainsMarket Perform Aug 2021WedbushMaintainsOutperform View More Analyst Ratings for FTNT View the Latest Analyst Ratings read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzinga17 hr. 39 min. ago

FirstEnergy"s (FE) Capex & Clean Energy Goals Augur Well

FirstEnergy's (FE) solid residential customer base along with capital activities to develop infrastructure and its focus on reducing emissions are likely to boost its existing operations. FirstEnergy Corporation’s FE expanding regulated base and improving transmission lines are likely to boost its earnings. Also, the company’s efforts to reduce emission levels are expected to be beneficial in the future.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings is pegged at $2.55 per share, indicating growth of 6.69% from the year-ago reported figure. Also, the consensus mark for current-year revenues stands at $11.02 billion, suggesting 2.14% growth from the prior-year reported number. In the past six months, shares of this presently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 6.3%, outperforming the industry’s rise of 3.3%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Six Months Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhat’s Driving the Stock?FirstEnergy’s efforts to extend its regulated generation mix lent consistency to its long-term earnings. The utility’s transmission and distribution operations are spread across 65,000 square miles in six states and its rate structure provides stability during an economic crisis. Its investment in strengthening the transmission and distribution lines will enable it to serve its six million customers more efficiently. The utility anticipates investment worth up to $2.9 billion in reinforcing its transmission and distribution network during 2021.Owing to the revival of economic activities following vaccination drives, demand from the commercial and industrial group improved in the June quarter. Also, the company generates nearly 65% of its distribution revenues from its residential customers. This is likely to strengthen its prospects in this difficult period.FirstEnergy is focused on lowering its emission levels and undertook initiatives to that end. In November 2020, it updated its target to become net carbon neutral by 2050. Other electric utilities like Alliant Energy Corporation LNT, CMS Energy Corporation CMS and Pinnacle West Capital PNW are also making sustained efforts to expand their renewable portfolio alongside trimming toxic emissions.WoesOn the flip side, FirstEnergy still possesses coal-fired generating plants that are required to comply with the federal, state and local environmental statutes, thereby elevating its costs. Thus, a likely escalation in the compliance costs may affect the company’s profitability. The risks related to unplanned outages and an unexpected delay in completing the ongoing capital project remain headwinds. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report FirstEnergy Corporation (FE): Free Stock Analysis Report CMS Energy Corporation (CMS): Free Stock Analysis Report Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (PNW): Free Stock Analysis Report Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks17 hr. 55 min. ago

Hartford Financial (HIG) Up 94.9% in a Year: More Room to Run?

Hartford Financial's (HIG) cost-cutting measures, strategic initiatives and operational efficiency are likely to perk up its shares. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. HIG continues to be in the good books of investors on the back of its strategic initiatives, financial flexibility and an efficient capital management position. Its cost-cutting measures, operational excellence and margin expansion are another highlight of the stock.In the past year, shares of this presently Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have surged 94.9%, outperforming its industry’s growth of 44.9%. You can see  the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the second quarter of 2021, the company gained from an improved net investment income, lower COVID-19 related losses, reduced current accident-year (CAY) CAT losses, rise in the Commercial Lines earned premium and an improved underlying ex-COVID-19 property and casualty (P&C) loss ratio. Revenues increased on the back of higher net investment income. In Property & Casualty, results were driven by better investment income and a solid contribution from Commercial Lines.The company is steadily growing on the back of a series of strategic measures made to boost its risk profile. Hartford Financial is constantly vending non-core businesses to concentrate on its U.S. operations and enhance its operating leverage. Apart from lowering expenses, driving profitability and improving returns to its shareholders, these divestitures are enhancing financial flexibility by freeing up more capital.Hartford Financial is putting in efforts to bolster its portfolio through acquisitions. In 2019, the company closed the buyout of Navigators Group, a specialty insurer for a deal value of $2.1 billion. The move helped it expand the company’s product offerings and geographic reach plus strengthen its commercial business lines.The company has also been taking several measures to decrease benefits and expenses for a while now. In 2020, total benefits and expenses fell 11.3% year over year.Hartford Financial took strategic actions to cut down on costs by $540 million within 2022 and $625 million in 2023. We expect its expenses to continue declining on the back of its strategic initiatives.Its capital position remains impressive. Total debt is 23.9% (almost unchanged from the sequential figure) of its total equity, lower than the industry average of 42%. It took several initiatives to improve its liquidity. Its times interest earned stands at 12.34X, above the industry's average of 9.55X. Thus, its financial flexibility looks impressive.The insurance company’s capital appreciations, repayment of government funds and measures to de-risk its balance sheet increased its financial strength. It also has an intelligent capital management strategy, featuring share buybacks and dividend hikes. Management announced that the company increased its share repurchase authorization by $1 billion, thus bringing the plan through 2022 to $2.5 billion. In the first six months, it returned $933 million in the form of dividends and share buybacks.Further Upside Left?We believe that the company is well-poised for growth on the back of several growth initiatives, an array of product offerings and its underwriting capabilities.Its return-on-equity (ROE) reflects its growth potential. The company’s trailing 12-month ROE of 12.5% compares favorably with the industry average of 9.8%, reflecting its efficiency in using its shareholders’ funds.Other Stocks to ConsiderSome other stocks worth considering are Chubb Limited CB, CNO Financial Group, Inc. CNO and American International Group, Inc. AIG, each carrying a Zacks Rank of 2 at present.Chubb, CNO Financial and American International have a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 7.14%, 26.12% and 15.09%, on average, respectively. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (HIG): Free Stock Analysis Report American International Group, Inc. (AIG): Free Stock Analysis Report CNO Financial Group, Inc. (CNO): Free Stock Analysis Report Chubb Limited (CB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks17 hr. 55 min. ago

Petrobras (PBR) Enters Binding Stage to Sell Off Deten Stake

Petrobras (PBR) begins the binding phase of the sale of its full 27.88% ownership holding in Deten as part of its strategy to lower expenses and improve its capital deployment to add shareholder value. Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. or Petrobras PBR recently announced that it completed the non-binding phase of the sale of its full 27.88% ownership holding in Deten Qumica S.A. (Deten) and now began the project's binding phase. Prospective buyers who qualified for this phase will get a process letter outlining the divestiture process in full including rules for due diligence and the submission of binding offers.Earlier in June, the company commenced the sale process of its full ownership in the petrochemical company Deten. Per management, the plan was in sync with the energy player’s strategy to reduce expenses and enhance its capital allocation for maximizing shareholder value.Located in the Camaçari industrial complex in Bahia, Deten petrochemical is the sole national manufacturer of Linear Alkylbenzene (LAB) and involved in manufacturing and selling major raw ingredients used in the production of biodegradable liquid and powder detergents.Also, recently, the state-run energy firm decided to divest two of its operated oilfields, namely Urugua and Tambau, located in the Santos Basin off the coast of Brazil.The oilfields were acquired through the Round Zero of the National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels. The company operates with 100% interest in both fields.The fields are located in the northern part of the Santos Basin between 140 kilometers and 160 kilometers offshore Rio de Janeiro at a water depth of 1,000-1,500 meters. In 2020, the fields produced 5 thousand barrels of oil per day and 32.4 million cubic feet of gas per day.Petrobras is involved in an extensive divestment program with the aim to pay off debt and free up capital for deepwater offshore projects. The latest transaction is in line with the company’s portfolio optimization strategy as it focuses its resources on high-quality assets in deep and ultradeep waters wherein it showed a great competitive edge over the years.Company Profile & Price PerformancePetrobras is the largest integrated energy firm in Brazil and one of the biggest firms in Latin America. Its activities include exploration, exploitation and the production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks. It comprises refining, processing, trading and transportation of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons besides other energy-related operations.Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past year. Its stock has gained 32.9% compared with the industry’s 7.6% rise.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderPetrobras currently carries a Zack Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the energy space are Canadian Natural Resources Limited CNQ, Whiting Petroleum Corporation WLL and Continental Resources, Inc. CLR, each currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Canadian Natural’s 2021 earnings has been raised 14.7% while that for Whiting Petroleum and Continental has moved 52.8% and 52.7% north, respectively. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. Petrobras (PBR): Free Stock Analysis Report Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ): Free Stock Analysis Report Continental Resources, Inc. (CLR): Free Stock Analysis Report Whiting Petroleum Corporation (WLL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks17 hr. 55 min. ago

A coup in Africa is another quiet embarrassment for the US military"s most idealistic mission

The US military's train-and-equip programs start with lofty goals, but their record is riddled with failures and unintended consequences. Guinean troops practice advanced weapons techniques during an exercise in Mauritania, February 15, 2020. US Army/Staff Sgt. Sidney Sale For years, US troops have deployed around the world to train and advise foreign forces. These train-and-equip programs start with lofty goals, but they often fail and have unintended consequences. Robert Moore is a public policy advisor for Defense Priorities and former Capitol Hill staffer. See more stories on Insider's business page. As American leaders scramble to understand and cast blame following the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and its US-trained military before the Taliban last month, another US-supported foreign military force recently made headlines for the wrong reasons.A small special forces group in the African country of Guinea reportedly initiated a coup and overthrew the government on their day off from training with American special forces who were being hosted in the country.There was no large-scale evacuation of civilians or US forces like in Kabul; in fact, a vast majority of Americans likely had no idea that their military has been involved in Guinea at all. But all the same, it is another embarrassment for the US leadership class that has built decades-worth of policies and careers attempting to use American power to create and sustain new democracies throughout the world.As Task and Purpose points out in reporting the story, this is not the first time a group of US-trained military personnel have interfered with their respective governments.But this is the first time such forces have initiated a coup against the very government that was hosting US trainers while the trainers were there. American forces had no authority or business interfering, and immediately retreated to the US embassy with no harm reported. A US Army soldier and a member of the Afghan Uniform Police arm wrestle prior to a joint patrol in Kandahar Province, January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Burton It doesn't take a military expert to see how it could have been much worse for the US trainers, and the American public again needs answers to understand how our national security and intelligence agencies gravely miscalculated the capabilities and intentions of the forces we were supporting.While this coup may be unique in the history of US training missions, our recent track record of supporting foreign militaries and non-state militants is riddled with failures and unintended consequences.Beyond the recent collapse of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, which left billions of dollars worth of US military equipment in the hands of militants we had been fighting for two decades, the War on Terror in other parts of the Middle East and Africa has a similar pattern of results.Some of the resistance forces we armed and supported in Syria at the outset of their civil war had connections to extremist groups, were accused of committing war crimes, or ended up fighting each other as was reported in 2016.US-backed forces in Libya helped to topple dictator Moammar Ghaddafi in 2011 but have abetted in keeping that country mired in civil conflict for the last decade, becoming a breeding ground for extremist groups and accelerating the European refugee crisis.The American government supports our Saudi Arabian allies with billions of dollars in military equipment and support every year in the name of counter-terrorism, which enables the Saudi's long-running antagonism in the Yemeni Civil War and contributing to one of the world's largest humanitarian disasters.Looking further back to the Cold War, there is a long list of train-and-equip failures ranging from the Bay of Pigs crisis in Cuba to arming the Mujahadeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan, some of whom were the precursor to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Guinean troops practice advanced weapons techniques during an exercise in Mauritania, February 15, 2020. US Army/Staff Sgt. Sidney Sale To be fair, there have been successes too, such as supporting the Colombian military against the FARC rebel group in recent decades. But counting winners and losers distracts from the more important concerns - why such foreign assistance programs exist and understanding if they support the core national-security interests of the United States.Like many diplomatic and national security initiatives, our military partnerships and train and equip programs start from lofty goals - nurturing a fledgling democracy, enabling others to fight crime and terrorism, or expanding our influence and alliances.This is seemingly attractive, especially to leaders in Washington who support this kind of liberal internationalism, and the programs are routinely approved by Congress with little debate or fanfare through broad departmental authorization bills.But as we continue to see, proliferating democracy at the expense of US blood and treasure or supporting good governance in far-away lands often has little direct bearing on our actual national security interests even if successful - at worst, they pose a risk to US interests.The likelihood that our country would ever face any security threat from Guinea, let alone an existential one, was significantly smaller than the risk we undertook by involving our military there for something as simple as a training mission.The failures in Guinea, Afghanistan, and elsewhere should give the American public pause in allowing our leaders to continue such initiatives with foreign governments and militants, and refocus our power and funding on core national security interests.Robert Moore is a public policy advisor for Defense Priorities. He previously worked for nearly a decade on Capitol Hill, most recently as the lead staff for Sen. Mike Lee on the Senate Armed Services Committee.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider18 hr. 11 min. ago

Biden risks killing more civilians with drone strikes in Afghanistan as part of his "over-the-horizon" strategy, experts warn

Without a robust intelligence network on the ground, it's difficult for the US to know who it's targeting with drone strikes. Ajmal Ahmadi, weeps alone in a room after members of his family were killed on Sunday, in an American drone strike that targeted and hit a vehicle in their home in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. Marcus Yam/Getty Images Biden's "over-the-horizon" strategy could lead to more civilian deaths in Afghanistan, experts warn. Without a robust intelligence network on the ground, it's difficult for the US to know who it's targeting. An August 29 drone strike in Kabul killed 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children. See more stories on Insider's business page. A US drone strike in Kabul on August 29 killed 10 civilians, including an aid worker and seven children. It was not an isolated incident. Drone strikes conducted by the US, in Afghanistan and beyond, have often resulted in civilian casualties.The Biden administration last week apologized for the strike, pledging to take steps to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.President Joe Biden has vowed to continue going after ISIS-K in Afghanistan via an "over-the-horizon" approach, which essentially involves conducting operations or strikes without boots on the ground. The White House on Monday signaled that he remains undeterred in this regard despite the controversy over the August 29 strike. "The President's desire to continue to go after ISIS-K has not changed," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.But Biden's strategy could result in even more civilian deaths moving forward and is likely illegal, experts warn. "I'm definitely concerned that the Biden administration's 'over-the-horizon' approach will result in more civilian casualties, because the accuracy of drone strikes depends heavily on the quality of intelligence, and if the US does not have an actual presence in Afghanistan, it's hard to see how it can determine whether the information it's getting from any supposed partners on the ground is reliable," Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA's director of Security With Human Rights, told Insider.'Strikes are only as accurate as the targeting intelligence' Relatives and neighbors of the Ahmadi family gathered around the incinerated husk of a vehicle targeted and hit earlier Sunday afternoon by an American drone strike, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. Marcus Yam/Getty Images The drone strike on August 29 came after an ISIS-K attack near the Kabul airport, which killed 13 US service members and 169 Afghans. The US military initially offered a full-throated defense of the drone attack, calling it a "righteous strike." The US thought it was targeting a car packed with explosives for another ISIS-K attack. But a report from the New York Times revealed that the military actually launched the strike at a vehicle that an aid worker, Zemari Ahmadi, was filling with water containers for his home. "Drone strikes create the illusion that there's some sort of high tech, antiseptic, risk-free way to use force, but no matter how fancy the technology is, such strikes are only as accurate as the targeting intelligence," Rosa Brooks, a professor of law and policy at Georgetown University, told Insider. "The tragic results of the strike that followed the Kabul airport attack is a case in point: precision targeting technologies count for nothing if you have bad intel."Brooks, who also served as counselor to undersecretary of defense for policy Michele Flournoy from 2009 to 2011, added that having assets on the ground is also not necessarily "sufficient to prevent mistakes." Local informants can be wrong and even lie at times, Brooks said, and we've seen "plenty of drone-strikes-gone-wrong in places and time periods in which we did have assets on the ground."To this point, it's estimated US drone strikes have killed between 4,126 to 10,076 people in Afghanistan since January 2004, including between 300 to 909 civilians, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a UK-based organization that has tracked US drone strikes for years.Not having troops in the country does not necessarily mean the US has no intel or resources in Afghanistan, Brooks went on to say, but the withdrawal has made it "even more difficult to get good ground level intelligence." Complicating the matter is the fact that ISIS-K is a decentralized group that's made up of semi-autonomous cells, making it harder to track. The US pullout from Afghanistan has "decimated" its intelligence network in the country, Charles Lister, a senior fellow and the director of the Syria and counterterrorism programs at the Middle East Institute, told Insider last month."The dispersed and cellular challenge like ISIS-K requires constant air surveillance and an extensive and ground force effort - and that really is beyond the realm of reality now," Lister added.'It will be virtually impossible to use drone strikes legally' Mechanics trail an MQ-9 Reaper as it taxis for takeoff August 8, 2007 at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada. The Reaper is the Air Force's first "hunter-killer" unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), designed to engage time-sensitive targets on the battlefield as well as provide intelligence and surveillance. The jet-fighter sized Reapers are 36 feet long with 66-foot wingspans and can fly for up to 14 hours fully loaded with laser-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images The use of drones by the US in counterterrorism operations dates back to the earliest days of the war on terror, and the practice has consistently raised myriad ethical and legal questions. Similarly, experts are expressing serious concerns about the legality over-the-horizon approach . "Not only do remote pilots have only a vague idea in most cases who they are killing, now that the war is over in Afghanistan, it will be virtually impossible to use drone strikes legally," Mary Ellen O'Connell, Notre Dame Law School professor and expert on international law in relation to the use of force, told Insider."During on-going armed conflict hostilities, target selection could be made based on who was fighting against US and allied forces," O'Connell added. "Going forward, everyone has the presumption of civilian status and cannot be summarily killed with a drone strikes."Along these lines, Eviatar questioned what authorization the US has to use lethal force unless the strike is in response to an actual imminent threat to human life, which "will be difficult to determine from 'over the horizon.'"Such concerns underscore the need for greater transparency from the government when it comes to drone strikes, Brooks said. "There will always be disagreement about what level of inadvertent civilians casualties - if any - is 'too much,' but without transparency we can't even begin to have that discussion, and without accountability our conclusions won't change anything," Brooks said. If reporting from the Times and other outlets like the Washington Post hadn't undermined the US military's narrative on the strike in such glaring ways, it's an open question as to whether the Pentagon would've admitted that the drone attack killed civilians. Drone strikes, which the US has conducted everywhere from Somalia to Yemen, tend to occur in remote areas and far from reporters or watchdogs. This has opened the door for the Pentagon to be opaque about the bombings and their consequences."In the past, the US has often refused to admit that the victims were civilians, even when confronted with detailed evidence from groups like Amnesty International and others demonstrating the victims' civilian status," Eviatar said. "And the US has almost never provided reparations or any sort of compensation or assistance to the civilian victims it's harmed."'A positive step' Men look at wall graffiti depicting a U.S. drone along a street in Sanaa, Yemen, November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi Biden is hardly the first US president to look to drones as a means of combatting terrorism without putting American forces in harms way. The use of drone strikes in counterterrorism operations began under the Bush administration. President Barack Obama accelerated the use of drone strikes when he was in office, facing rampant criticism over civilian casualties in the process.The Obama administration eventually took steps that aimed to reduce civilian deaths from drone strikes, which were ultimately reversed by the Trump administration. There was a massive spike in civilian deaths in Afghanistan from airstrikes under President Donald Trump, who in 2017 relaxed the rules of engagement for strikes.Biden initiated a review of US drone policy after coming into office that's ongoing. Eviatar said it's "a positive step" that the Biden administration has acknowledged the harm caused by the August 29 trike and that the Pentagon expressed a willingness to pay reparations to the families of the victims. But "we'd like to see a much stronger break with past policies than what we've seen so far," Eviatar added. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider18 hr. 11 min. ago

Gen Z is so good at trendspotting they could take over the VC industry

Gen Z investors just hosted their first major venture capital event. They may lack banking or business experience, but they know what's cool. Gen Z is continuing to make waves in venture capitalism. We Are/Getty Images Gen Z investors just expanded their venture capitalism presence with their first major event, per Axios. Venture capital firms are especially drawn to Gen Z for their trendspotting skills. It's just one way Gen Z is set to take over the economy. See more stories on Insider's business page. Gen Z is continuing to shake up the venture capital industry.Friday saw the first major event hosted by Gen Z investors for Gen Z investors, which 3,000 people from more than 70 countries attended, according to Axios. It was cohosted by Meagan Loyst, a 24-year-old investor for VC firm Lerer Hippeau, who has taken to calling her cohort Gen Z VC.Loyst coined the term in a November Medium article that went viral. Gen Zers, she wrote, were turning to venture capitalism as a gap year, to improve diversity in their region, to fill a hole in their local funding ecosystem, but also for one very important reason. Gen Z knows how to spot trends, and that's lucrative in the VC world.The generation is an increasingly huge draw for venture firms, Axios reports, and firms in the space are hiring like crazy. "I'm the target demographic for a lot of the companies that we're looking at," Loyst previously told Insider. She created a Slack workspace of the same name the same month she coined Gen Z VC, and now it's home to thousands of aspiring and full-time Gen Z investors. On it, they share how they broke into the industry, whether through lucky encounters with senior investors or a well-crafted cold email."People are seeing there's not one typical path," Loyst added. Gen Z is set to take over the economyGen Z accounts for 30% of the global population, and VC firms will adapt to it and be shaped by it."What's so unique about Gen Z VCs as it's grown and scaled is that you see the power of Gen Z as a demographic, as opposed to just investors," Loyst said. Gen Z is certainly playing a larger role in the economy. They've emerged from the pandemic as the new "it" generation, with their oldest members turning 24 this year. It's around this age and life stage that a new generation falls under the spotlight because they're old enough to begin to exert their influence, Jason Dorsey, who runs the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research firm in Austin, Texas, recently told Insider.It's been a cultural shift, with Gen Z already leading the way in consumer trends that's set to impact overall spending. TikTok, baggy jeans, and Y2K fashion have all gone mainstream this year thanks to the generation's trend-spotting abilities. It's big business.In a little over a decade, Gen Z will be taking over the economy. Gen Z currently earns $7 trillion across its 2.5 billion-person cohort, according to Bank of America Research. By 2025, that income will grow to $17 trillion, and by 2030, it will reach $33 trillion, representing 27% of the world's income and surpassing that of millennials the following year.But they're still a mystery to society, leaving Gen Z "shifting and driving much of the conversation," Dorsey said, which he predicts they'll do for the next 15 years. Since venture capitalists invest in the next big thing - whatever that may be - venture capital is a natural fit for Gen Z, which is increasingly flexing its muscles.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider18 hr. 11 min. ago

3 Healthcare Mutual Funds That You Should Certainly Buy

Below we share with you three top-ranked healthcare mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Investors often rely on the healthcare sector to safeguard their investments. This is because healthcare services’ demand does not vary much with market conditions and thus offers sufficient protection to the capital invested.Many pharmaceutical companies also offer regular dividends. Companies that consistently pay out dividends are financially stable and generate stable cash flows, irrespective of market conditions. Mutual funds are the perfect choices for investors looking to enter this sector since they possess the advantages of wide diversification and analytical insight.Below we share with you three top-ranked healthcare mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is expected to outperform its peers in the future. Investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.T. Rowe Price Health Sciences Fund PRHSX is a non-diversified fund that invests more than 80% of its assets in common stocks of companies engaged in various activities in the field of healthcare, medicine or life sciences. The fund mostly invests in mid- and large-capitalization companies. PRHSX has three-year annualized returns of 18.6%.Ziad Bakri is the fund manager of PRHSX since 2016.PGIM Jennison Health Sciences Fund- Class A PHLAX aims for long-term capital appreciation. This non-diversified fund invests the majority of its assets in equity and equity-related securities of companies within the health sciences sector, such as pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, medical device manufacturers, healthcare service providers and health maintenance organizations. PHLAX has returned 14.7% in the past three years.As of the end of August 2021, PHLAX held 87 issues with 6.71% of its assets invested in UnitedHealth Group Inc.Fidelity Select Medical Technology and Devices Portfolio FSMEX fund aims for capital growth. It invests the majority of its assets in companies that are engaged in activities such as research, manufacturing, supply and sale of medical equipment and related technologies. The non-diversified fund invests in common stocks and in U.S. and non-U.S. issuers. FSMEX has three-year annualized returns of 23.6%.FSMEX has an expense ratio of 0.70% compared with the category average of 1.03%.To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all healthcare mutual funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.Want key mutual fund info delivered straight to your inbox?Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing mutual funds, each week. Get it free >> 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Get Your Free (FSMEX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (PRHSX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (PHLAX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research 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.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks19 hr. 11 min. ago