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Ark Invest"s Cathie Wood is betting on Elon Musk"s plans for Twitter: "If anyone in the US can do this, I think he can"

Cathie Wood voiced her support for Elon Musk as the new CEO of Twitter, and supported his idea of an open-source algorithm. Cathie Wood speaks on a panel at Miami's Bitcoin 2022 conference.Rebecca Blackwell/AP Photo Cathie Wood championed Elon Musk as Twitter's CEO and endorsed his plans for the company.  "If anyone in the US can do this, I think he can," the Ark Invest CEO and tech-stock guru said. Critics have taken aim at Musk as he overhauls the social-media platform he bought this year. Ark Invest's Cathie Wood talked up Elon Musk as CEO of Twitter, saying she's in favor of his plans to make the social-media platform's algorithm open source. In a Tuesday interview with Bloomberg, Wood said the Tesla and SpaceX chief is a good fit for the job as he knows how to seek advice and build a good team."If anyone in the US can do this, I think he can. I think he'll surround himself with the right business leaders, he's not going to do this himself," she said.Wood welcomed Musk's plan to make Twitter's algorithm more transparent and move away from human moderators."Allowing people to question them is going to be very healthy," she said, adding that she knew many people who quit Twitter because they opposed its censorship policy. "I actually like what he's doing," Wood said about Musk. Musk has signaled he might make Twitter's algorithm open source, advocated that the platform should allow greater free speech, and proposed plans to form a "content moderation council."His plans are much needed according to Wood, who said Twitter "needed to be shaken up." Wood's bullishness on Musk, however, comes amid growing criticism towards the tech magnate and the changes he's made so far. Just a few days into his role, he announced mass layoffs then appeared to regret his decision and asked some employees to come back. He also introduced a paid blue-check verification plan, then delayed launch on misinformation concerns.As well as being a Musk fan, Wood is a longtime Tesla bull. In October, her fund loaded up on Tesla shares despite the electric-vehicle company posting poor quarterly earnings. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 24th, 2022

Target is remodeling more stores and some new ones will be bigger, brighter, and more sustainable — see what they"ll look like

Target will include elements of the large-format design at more than 30 new locations and around half of the 200 store remodels planned for 2023. Target Target announced it plans to open large-format stores, which will be nearly 150,000 square feet.  The new design will help the company expand its online ordering services and in-store merchandise.  The first store with the new layout opened in Katy, Texas, on Thursday.  Target is betting big with its newest large-format store designs that will help expand its online order fulfillment services and physical retail space, the company announced on November 10.The new stores will be nearly 150,000 square feet, which is 20,000 more square feet than the average Target location, and will have backroom fulfillment areas that are five times larger than the ones at existing stores of a similar size. Along with helping increase Target's drive-up and in-store pickup capabilities, the new design will also add more space for employees to assemble online delivery orders. More than 95 percent of digital orders are fulfilled at Target stores, and its same-day services account for more than 10 percent of overall sales, according to a company press release.Target"With our reimagined store design and larger store footprint that better supports our same-day services, we can give guests more of what they love while incorporating features that build on our commitment to sustainability, community, and helping all families discover the joy of everyday life," John Mulligan, Target's executive vice president and chief operating officer, said.More space also means Target will be able to expand its range of in-store merchandise, including its food and beverage selection and exclusive brand partnerships with companies like Ulta Beauty and Apple.According to the company, the new store design "infuses elements such as plants and regionally sourced reclaimed wood." It also features larger windows for natural lighting and local elements to reflect the communities its stores are in.TargetSustainability is also being factored into the new design to help Target reach its goal of having net zero emissions by 2024. The new stores will have CO2 refrigerators, electric vehicle charging ports, and rooftop solar panels at select locations. On Thursday, the big-box retailers debuted the new large-format store design at its first location outside Houston in Katy, TexasTarget will continue to open stores of all sizes, but will focus on rolling out its large-format stores in the next few years. Features of the new design will be included in half of the estimated 200 remodels and at approximately 30 new stores the company will start work on in 2023. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 11th, 2022

The Most Googled Cryptocurrencies In Each State Since The April Crypto Crash

Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency searched for the most in 15 states, the highest of any cryptocurrency Terra Luna has the second highest number of states searching for it the most out of any other cryptocurrency, topping results in 14 states Ethereum and Dogecoin tie for third most popular in the United States as the top […] Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency searched for the most in 15 states, the highest of any cryptocurrency Terra Luna has the second highest number of states searching for it the most out of any other cryptocurrency, topping results in 14 states Ethereum and Dogecoin tie for third most popular in the United States as the top search in six states each Bitcoin Is The Most Googled Cryptocurrencies In Each State New research has revealed the cryptocurrency that each state wants to invest in the most with Bitcoin taking the top spot. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. The research conducted by cryptocurrency betting review website Cryptobetting.org analysed Google Trends data to establish the most searched cryptocurrency in each state since the April crypto market crash. The analysis revealed that Bitcoin had the highest number of states wanting to invest in the cryptocoin with a total of 15 states, including Hawaii, Utah, Maine and West Virginia. Terra Luna was the second most popular with 14 states searching for it more than any other cryptocurrency, including California, Illinois, New York and Washington. Terra Luna crashed in May where the $40bn in value was lost across Luna and TerraUSD, 94% of its value in total. Since then, Terra developers have revealed a 4-year plan to bring the platform back. A total of six states each wanted to invest in Ethereum and Dogecoin, the third highest number in the study. States seeking to invest in Ethereum the most include Connecticut, Virginia, Rhode Island and Mississippi. Among the six states looking to invest in Dogecoin includes Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon and South Carolina. Dogecoin is famously associated with Elon Musk who has endorsed the coin and stated earlier in the year that Tesla would accept Dogecoin as a form of payment. It is still one of the most searched coins on the internet, with an estimated 729,000 average monthly searches in the United States alone. Two coins were searched most in two states each - Pancat and Tether. Pancat, a new coin that debuted in winter 2021, was the most searched cryptocurrency in Arizona and Florida. Tether was searched the most in Texas and Maryland. Five cryptocurrencies were the most popular in one state each. Gemini was most searched in Delaware. Algorand was most popular in Michigan. Cardano was the most popular cryptocurrency in Minnesota. Ohio searched for Ripple more than any other. Meme coin Shiba Inu topped searches in New Hampshire, the only state to do so. Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for Cryptobetting.org said: “This year has been a turbulent one for cryptocurrency since the market crash in Spring. We have seen some interesting behaviours, with the market investors dividing into two camps - stick with the most famous and lowest-risk coins, i.e. Bitcoin, or invest in the lower price but lesser known coins, such as Pancat. “This study offers insight into where American crypto investors are thinking of investing most, with Bitcoin taking a lead but Terra Luna being watched closely as it plans to make a comeback. With market saturation happening in cryptocurrency globally, it is fascinating to see which currencies are gaining the biggest traction online.” The study was conducted by Cryptobetting.org, which specialises in reviewing cryptocurrency betting websites. Most Popular Cryptocurrency By State Since April 2022 Cryptocurrency How many states Google it the most Bitcoin 15 Terra Luna 14 Ethereum 6 Dogecoin 6 Pancat 2 Tether 2 Shiba Inu 1 Gemini 1 Algorand 1 Cardano 1 Ripple 1 Most Popular Cryptocurrency By State Since April 2022 State Most Googled Cryptocurrency Alabama Terra Luna Alaska Bitcoin Arizona Pancat Arkansas Terra Luna California Terra Luna Colorado Terra Luna Connecticut Ethereum Delaware Gemini Florida Pancat Georgia Terra Luna Hawaii Bitcoin Idaho Dogecoin Illinois Terra Luna Indiana Ethereum Iowa Bitcoin Kansas Bitcoin Kentucky Dogecoin Louisiana Bitcoin Maine Bitcoin Maryland Tether Massachusetts Terra Luna Michigan Algorand Minnesota Cardano Mississippi Ethereum Missouri Ethereum Montana Bitcoin Nebraska Dogecoin Nevada Terra Luna New Hampshire Shiba Inu New Jersey Terra Luna New Mexico Bitcoin New York Terra Luna North Carolina Terra Luna North Dakota Bitcoin Ohio Ripple Oklahoma Bitcoin Oregon Dogecoin Pennsylvania Terra Luna Rhode Island Ethereum South Carolina Dogecoin South Dakota Bitcoin Tennessee Terra Luna Texas Tether Utah Bitcoin Vermont Bitcoin Virginia Ethereum Washington Terra Luna West Virginia Bitcoin Wisconsin Dogecoin Wyoming Bitcoin.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 25th, 2022

The Anti-Woke "God Bless America" ETF Just Launched

The Anti-Woke "God Bless America" ETF Just Launched Yet another ETF launched this week, adding to a total of what feels like millions of new ETFs coming online each year. This one, trading under the symbol "YALL", is called the "God Bless America" ETF. The "anti-woke" ETF, being led by Portfolio Manager Adam Curran, will exclude companies that lean left politically. It started trading on the New York Stock Exchange this week.  It marks the first ETF we have seen with an a clear message to "woke" companies and businesses that choose to publicly lean left politically. Its prospectus, under "Investment Strategy", reads: "From the initial investment universe, the Sub-Adviser eliminates companies that, in the Sub-Adviser’s assessment, have emphasized politically left and/or liberal political activism and social agendas at the expense of maximizing shareholder returns." The prospectus continues: "To determine whether a company emphasizes politically left and/or liberal political activism and social agendas the Sub-Adviser analyzes articles, websites, newspaper advertisements, press releases, TV appearances, other forms of mass communication and comments made by company spokespersons." "The Sub-Adviser will avoid investing in companies that make left-leaning public statements about political issues unrelated to the company’s business," it continues. The fund even has its own MAGA-esque-looking logo.  Once a company clears the political hurdle, the fund then uses relatively simple valuation metrics to invest: "In addition to evaluating a company’s political activity, the Sub-Adviser also analyzes information from company regulatory filings (e.g., annual reports), and evaluates each candidate company’s investment potential by analyzing well-recognized stock valuation metrics (e.g., relative dividend yields and price-to-earnings ratios). The Sub-Adviser will focus on companies with low price-to-earnings ratios (relative to industry peers) that have a multi-year track record of job growth." The fund will have about 30 to 40 companies and plans on investing "at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in equity securities listed on U.S. exchanges." The prospectus reads: "The Fund’s portfolio will, under normal market conditions, include securities from each of the following eleven market sectors: Energy, Materials, Industrials, Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples, Health Care, Financials, Information Technology, Real Estate, Communication Services, and Utilities. The Fund’s portfolio holdings will generally be weighted in line with the market capitalization of the preceding market sectors relative to the Fund’s overall investment universe." LAUNCHING TODAY: The God Bless America ETF $YALL, which screens out cos that "have emphasized politically left and/or liberal political activism and social agendas" then filters for cos that have low PE ratios and multi-year job growth. Fee 65bps. Here's the holdings: pic.twitter.com/5qFzhzOgdK — Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) October 11, 2022 Tyler Durden Thu, 10/13/2022 - 14:05.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 13th, 2022

MGM Resorts (MGM) BetMGM Collaborates With Cincinnati Reds

MGM Resorts' (MGM) BetMGM turns sports betting partner for Cincinnati Reds. The partnership emphasizes on the entitlement of a retail BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park. MGM Resorts International’s MGM BetMGM recently announced a collaboration with Cincinnati Reds, becoming the latter’s official sports betting partner. The initiative strengthens BetMGM's presence in Ohio ahead of the state's legalized sports betting launch scheduled on Jan 1, 2023.The multi-year agreement includes the entitlement of a retail Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park comprising BetMGM suites and club seats. It also plans to curate VIP experiences for its fans, including on-field access during batting practice.Extending its relationship with Major League Baseball, BetMGM intends to support Cincinnati Reds’ promotional and marketing campaigns. To this end, BetMGM branded signage will be available throughout Great American Ball Park, including a permanent outfield wall sign, messaging behind home plate and a branded foul line during select games.With respect to the collaboration, BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt, stated, "Today's announcement marks the beginning of our plans to create the most entertaining and dynamic sports betting experiences in Ohio. Through our relationships with the Reds and MGM Northfield Park, we look forward to bringing unique BetMGM content to Ohio's passionate sports fans."BetMGM continues to gain market share. In second-quarter 2022, the company rolled out its offerings in Ontario. It also announced a partnership with Carnival cruises to provide onboard ship betting and gaming under the BetMGM brand. As of May 2022, BetMGM achieved a market share of 21% in the U.S. sports betting and the iGaming space. Considering the positive market momentum and its unique and unparalleled online and offline offerings, the company is optimistic about long-term growth, with revenue expectations of more than $1.3 billion in 2022. MGM expects to achieve positive EBITDA in 2023.Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the past three months, shares of MGM Resorts have gained 5.7% compared with the industry’s 0.7% growth. The company benefits from pent-up consumer demand, high domestic casino spending and strong international leisure trends. Sports betting and iGaming continues to be a major growth driver for the company. The emphasis on monetizing its real estate assets and boosting its domestic cash position bode well. The company intends to invest more than $2 billion into its properties to boost customer experiences and services. The initiative is likely to support the needed technology platform and advanced analytics to engage better and service its guests and drive market share in its principal markets. Earnings estimates for 2023 have increased in the past 30 days, depicting analysts’ optimism regarding the stock’s growth potential.Zacks Rank & Key PicksMGM Resorts currently has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are Crocs, Inc. CROX, Hyatt Hotels Corporation H and Boyd Gaming Corporation BYD.Crocs sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). CROX has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15%. Shares of Crocs have decreased 42.5% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CROX’s 2022 sales and earnings per share (EPS) indicates a rise of 49.7% and 20.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.Hyatt sports a Zacks Rank #1. H has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 798.8%, on average. The stock has declined 5.1% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for H’s current financial year sales and EPS indicates growth of 89.1% and 113%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels.Boyd Gaming carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). BYD has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9.8%. The stock has declined 24.6% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BYD’s current financial year sales and EPS indicates growth of 3.1% and 7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels. 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 Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H): Free Stock Analysis Report MGM Resorts International (MGM): Free Stock Analysis Report Boyd Gaming Corporation (BYD): Free Stock Analysis Report Crocs, Inc. (CROX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 12th, 2022

Musk Denies Vice "Bombshell" Claiming He Spoke To Putin Before Tweeting Ukraine Peace Plan

Musk Denies Vice 'Bombshell' Claiming He Spoke To Putin Before Tweeting Ukraine Peace Plan Elon Musk has rejected as false a "bombshell" report in Vice News alleging that the billionaire Tesla CEO spoke directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin before Musk issued his controversial "Russia-Ukraine Peace" poll on Twitter last week. "Elon Musk spoke directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin before tweeting a proposal to end the war in Ukraine that would have seen territory permanently ceded to Russia, it has been claimed," the Tuesday Vice report began. The single source for the claim is Ian Bremmer, who it just so happens has repeatedly lashed out at Musk in the past. No, it is not. I have spoken to Putin only once and that was about 18 months ago. The subject matter was space. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 11, 2022 "No, it is not" true, Musk responded to the story when asked by a commentator on Twitter. "I have spoken to Putin only once and that was about 18 months ago. The subject matter was space," he added. The Vice story indicated the news organization had reached out to Musk and was still awaiting a response. It dubiously relied solely on claims made by Bremmer in an emailed newsletter sent to his Eurasia Group subscribers:  In a mailout sent to Eurasia Group subscribers, Ian Bremmer wrote that Tesla CEO Musk told him that Putin was “prepared to negotiate,” but only if Crimea remained Russian, if Ukraine accepted a form of permanent neutrality, and Ukraine recognised Russia’s annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Amid the "he said, he said" - the purpose of the hit piece and allegations have perhaps become all too clear, as Musk can now once again be accused by blue-check narrative enforcers of somehow being a Kremlin stooge... So his pals are Kanye and Vladimir and shockingly he wants to buy Twitter. — Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 11, 2022 The Vice report, and its very specific accusations, continued:  According to Bremmer, Musk said Putin told him these goals would be accomplished “no matter what,” including the potential of a nuclear strike if Ukraine invaded Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. Bremmer wrote that Musk told him that “everything needed to be done to avoid that outcome.” Vice then strongly suggested that Musk is taking his talking points direct from the Russian leader himself, at a moment the Kremlin executes a bloody war on Ukraine: "Last week, Musk posted essentially the same points on Twitter, although he suggested that the referendums in the annexed territories slammed as sham votes by Ukraine and the West be redone under supervision by the United Nations," the report followed with. Meanwhile, at a moment the world looks on the Russia-Ukraine conflict with growing alarm at the ratcheting nuclear rhetoric... we're in the nightmare scenario where "is ian bremmer or elon musk more of a liar" has become a question of supreme geopolitical importance pic.twitter.com/aPB9y7Kjus — Will Stancil (@whstancil) October 11, 2022 Tyler Durden Tue, 10/11/2022 - 14:33.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 11th, 2022

5 Stocks to Watch in a Promising Paper and Related Products Industry

The Zacks Paper and Related Products industry continues to gain from its rising e-commerce sales and strong demand for critical and consumer-oriented products. Players like IP, SUZ, SMFKY, VRTV and MERC are well-positioned to capitalize on this trend. The Zacks Paper and Related Products industry is poised to gain from the surge in packaging requirements owing to rising e-commerce activities. This apart, steady demand from consumer-oriented end-markets, such as food and beverages, and healthcare, will keep supporting the industry. The growing need for sustainable and eco-friendly packaging options due to increasing environmental concerns will also act as a key catalyst for the paper industry.International Paper Company IP, Suzano SUZ, Smurfit Kappa Group plc SMFKY, Veritiv Corporation VRTV and Mercer International MERC are likely to gain from the above-mentioned trends.Industry DescriptionThe Zacks Paper and Related Products industry comprises companies that manufacture and sell paper and paper products. The industry is highly diversified in terms of products, ranging from graphic paper and packaging paper to absorbent hygiene products. Graphic papers, which include printing and writing papers, and newsprint, are utilized for communication purposes. The industry provides packaging solutions for liquid, food, pharmaceutical, beauty, household, commercial and industrial products. It also produces fluff and specialty pulps utilized in absorbent hygiene products, tissues and paper products. The industry caters to a wide array of industries, including food and beverage, farming, home and personal care, health, retail, e-commerce and transport. The industry players meet customers’ shipping, storage and display requirements with sustainable solutions.Major Trends Shaping the Future of the Paper and Related Products IndustryE-commerce & Consumer Products to Support Packaging Demand: The industry’s considerable exposure to consumer-oriented end markets, including food and beverages, and healthcare, ensures steady growth in earnings. With the evolution of e-commerce, packaging gained utmost importance as it has to maintain the integrity of the product and be durable to withstand the complexity involved in delivering the product. Per Statista, revenues in the e-commerce market are projected to grow 56% to 8.1 trillion dollars by 2025 (from $5.2 trillion in 2021), representing a major growth opportunity for the industry.Sustainability is the Key: Increasing demand for sustainable packaging options and eco-friendly packaging solutions will support the paper market in the days ahead. The paper industry already began incorporating recycled content into production methods. By maximizing recycling, the industry will be able to implement environmentally and economically-sustainable production methods. Investment in breakthrough technologies will propel demand for high-quality paper products.Pricing Actions, Improving Efficiency to Offset Cost Inflation: The industry is witnessing rising costs for transportation, chemical and fuel, and supply-chain headwinds. Therefore, the industry players are increasingly focusing on pricing actions and cost reduction, and resorting to automation in manufacturing to boost productivity and efficiency. Digitization is Hurting Paper Demand: The transition to digital media has been eroding the graphic-paper market for some time now. The same remains a persistent threat to the industry. Paperless communication, increased use of email, less print advertising, more electronic billing and fewer catalogs dented graphic-paper demand. Consequently, the industry is resorting to machine conversions into packaging and specialty papers. Paper consumption in schools, offices and businesses took a hit from pandemic-led shutdowns. The demand, however, picked up on the reopening of schools and offices.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bright ProspectsThe Zacks Paper and Related Products industry is a 12-stock group within the broader Basic Materials sector. The industry currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #66, which places it in the top 26% of the 252 Zacks industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bullish prospects in the near term. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.The industry’s positioning in the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of a solid earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are gradually gaining confidence in this group’s earnings growth potential. Over the past three months, the industry’s earnings estimates for the current year have been revised 4% upward.Before we present a few Paper and Related Products stocks that investors can keep an eye on, it is worth looking at the industry’s stock-market performance and its valuation picture.Industry Versus S&P 500 & SectorThe Paper and Related Products industry has underperformed the S&P 500 as well as the sector over the past year. The stocks in this industry have fallen 26.8%, while the Basic Materials sector has lost 7.7% and the S&P 500 composite has declined 14.3% during this time frame.One-Year Price PerformanceIndustry's Current ValuationOn the basis of the forward 12-month EV/EBITDA ratio, a commonly-used multiple for valuing Paper and Related Products companies, we see that the industry is currently trading at 7.49X compared with the S&P 500’s 9.76X and the Basic Material sector’s forward 12-month EV/EBITDA of 4.46X. This is shown in the charts below.Enterprise Value/EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) Ratio (F12M)Enterprise Value/EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) Ratio (F12M)Over the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 10.98X and as low as 3.75X, with the median being 8.49X. 5 Paper and Related Products Stocks to Keep an Eye onVeritiv: Robust packaging sales growth and operational efficiencies across the business continue to benefit the company’s bottom-line performance. In August 2022, VRTV reported record first-quarter 2022 earnings per share of $6.12, reflecting a 278% surge from the year-ago period’s number. The upside was driven by double-digit sales growth and year-over-year adjusted EBITDA margin improvements across each of its segments. It also delivered the 10th consecutive quarter of a year-over-year improvement in adjusted EBITDA. This was instrumental in the stock’s gain of 16.8% over the past year. Veritiv’s strong earnings performance led to a record low net leverage ratio of 0.7X, which in combination with a strong free cash flow generation, provides VRTV with significant scope to drive growth. The sale of Veritiv Canada, Inc. to Imperial Dade will help VRTV focus on its strategy to invest in high-growth, higher-margin businesses and geographies, and capitalize on its industry-leading Packaging and Facility Solutions capabilities.Atlanta, GA-based Veritiv’s earnings estimates for fiscal 2022 have moved 15% north over the past 60 days. The consensus estimate indicates growth of 136% from the year-earlier tally. VRTV has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 37%, on average, a long-term estimated earnings growth of 16.9% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), currently You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Price: VRTVSuzano: The pulp market is witnessing positive demand amid constrained supply that shot up prices. This favorable backdrop and consistent operational performance with strong sales volume led to a record EBITDA for the Pulp segment in the second quarter of 2022. The paper segment also delivered a record EBITDA, driven by solid demand in all market segments, and higher prices. During the quarter, SUZ closed the acquisition of Parkia.  It recently announced plans to build a tissue paper and kitchen towel conversion plant in the city of Aracruz, with an annual production capacity of 60,000. Also, Suzano’s $2.8-billion Cerrado Project — expected to boost its current pulp production capacity by approximately 20% — remains on schedule to commence production in the first quarter of 2024. Once completed, the project will be the world’s largest plant with a single eucalyptus pulp production line.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings indicates growth of 157.4% from the year-ago reported figure. The consensus estimate has moved up 8% over the past 90 days.  Salvador, Brazil-based SUZ has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 46.7%, on average. Suzano currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and a long-term estimated earnings growth rate of 9.3%. The stock has dipped 1.8% in the past year.Price: SUZInternational Paper: IP’s bottom line in the second quarter of 2022 improved 51% year over year, driven by strong demand and higher sales in its segments, and a robust operational performance, which helped offset the impact of elevated input costs. The Industrial Packaging segment continues to witness solid demand for corrugated and containerboard packaging. The Global cellulose fibers segment is riding on strong demand for fluff pulp. Benefits from price realization across International Paper’s segments and an expected contribution from Building a Better IP initiatives are likely to boost its earnings. Its efforts to reduce debt levels appear encouraging. IP is planning to increase funding for cost-reduction projects, with expected returns in excess of 25%. It continues to assess disciplined and selective M&A opportunities, particularly in the packaging businesses in North America and Europe. Mergers and acquisitions remain key strategies for IP to strengthen its packaging business.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the ongoing-year earnings indicates growth of 41.2% from the year-ago reported number. This Memphis, TN-based entity has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 10.2%, on average. International Paper currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The stock has declined 40% over the past year.Price: IPSmurfit Kappa: SMFKY’s results have been benefiting from its focus on bringing innovative and sustainable paper-based packaging to the market and customer-focused investments undertaken over the past few years as well as strategic acquisitions. During the first half of 2022, Smurfit Kappa completed the acquisition of two corrugated converting operations in the United Kingdom and Argentina, and also announced the development of a new corrugated operation in Morocco. SMFKY recently inked a deal to acquire PaperBox, a packaging plant located in Saquarema, 70 kms east of Rio de Janeiro. This will strengthen SMFKY’s operational footprint in Brazil and help meet growing demand for innovative and sustainable packaging.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Dublin, Ireland-based company’s current-year earnings has moved up 6.5% over the past 90 days. The estimate indicates growth of 27.7% from the year-earlier reading. The stock has a Zacks Rank of 3 and has declined 44.6% over the past year.Price: SMFKYMercer International: MERC’s second-quarter 2022 results benefited from increased pulp and lumber pricing and continued strong energy pricing. Mercer International recently completed the previously-announced acquisition of Holzindustrie Torgau (HIT), which owns, among other things, a timber processing and value-added pallet production facility in Torgau, Germany, and a wood-processing facility in Dahlen, Germany, that produces garden products. This buyout will make MERC the largest German pallet producer with an annual lumber capacity of approximately 960 MMfbm. It also diversifies its product mix with the introduction of pallets and biofuels. MERC’s board approved an incremental $27-million investment at its Spokane mass timber facility that will enable this state-of-the-art facility to fully utilize a more varied raw material mix and increase finger joint lumber production. MERC expects this to become a stepping stone to additional modest investments to increase cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated beam capacity. The stock has gained 20.5% in a year's time.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings indicates growth of 57.4% from the prior-year level. The consensus estimate has moved up 7% over the past 90 days. Vancouver, Canada-based MERC has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 11.1%, on average. The stock is currently Zacks #3 Ranked.Price: MERC Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock And 4 Runners UpWant 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 International Paper Company (IP): Free Stock Analysis Report Mercer International Inc. (MERC): Free Stock Analysis Report Veritiv Corporation (VRTV): Free Stock Analysis Report Smurfit Kappa (SMFKY): Free Stock Analysis Report Suzano S.A. Sponsored ADR (SUZ): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 6th, 2022

Elon Musk vs. Twitter: Here are all the juiciest private texts between Musk and his billionaire buddies discussing plans for Twitter

A trove of private messages between Elon Musk and notable figures in business and tech is part of Twitter's ongoing lawsuit against the billionaire. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon MuskSteve Nesius/Reuters Text logs show Reid Hoffman, Jack Dorsey, Joe Rogan, and many more texting Musk about Twitter.  Conversations ranged from praise of Musk's moves to financing his acquisition of the company. Texts also show who influenced Musk and what caused the breakdown of talks with Twitter executives.  Elon Musk's smartphone has been bombarded by billionaires, executives, bankers, and other notable figures from tech, finance, and media, all hoping to get a piece of his wild and wayward $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. Hundreds of his private text conversations were just released as part of Twitter's lawsuit against Musk, who is trying back out of the deal. Among those who showed up are fellow tech billionaires like former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison, and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who was also interested in buying Twitter and offered Musk $5 billion to get in on his eventual deal, text logs show.Then there are the likes of TV personality Gayle King, who wanted Musk for a sit-down interview, podcaster Joe Rogan, Justin Roiland, co-creator of "Rick and Morty," and Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Insider parent company Axel Springer. James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn Murdoch make individual appearances, too.Musk also had extensive back and forth with Twitter executives, including board chair and Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor and current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. Talk between Musk and Agrawal went south quickly, prompting Musk to reveal that he'd decided to buy Twitter instead of join its board because a board seat was "a waste of time." Brother Kimball Musk was a frequent confidant on Musk's ideas for Twitter, or a possible competing platform.  Also notable in Musk's texts are the various people he solicited for either financing for the $44 billion deal or advice on running the company. Many others reached out to him to offer their help, thoughts, or sometimes money. David Sacks was invited to invest. Reid Hoffman, too, eventually suggesting he could put $2 billion toward a deal. Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce, shows up to talk about a new operating system for Twitter. Musk friends Jason Calacanis and Tim Urban offer to help, along with VC's Joe Lonsdale, Adeo Russi and Riot Games founder Marc Merrill. Sean Parker texted once to say he was doing Twitter due diligence from his mother's apartment. The log makes clear that, at least at one point, Musk was serious about acquiring Twitter. Not until early May did Musk begin to discuss any concerns about the platform. That began with an exchange with Morgan Stanley tech banker Michael Grimes in which Musk asks him to "slow down" on the deal. The majority of the texts shown in the log span between March and mid-June, a few weeks before Musk sent Twitter a letter attempting to cancel the deal altogether. Now Musk is locked in a legal battle with the company, which is trying to force him to acquire it.See below for highlights of the juiciest exchanges between Musk and other Twitterati:Jack DorseyJack DorseyChesnot/Getty ImagesDorsey and Musk exchanged many texts in the days before Musk's involvement in Twitter became public. Eventually, Musk pointed to phone conversations he'd had with Dorsey as supportive of his decision to take the company private. In one text to board chair Bret Taylor from April 10, two days after he told Agrawal he intended to buy the company and not sit on its board, Musk wrote:"It's better in my opinion to take Twitter private, restructure and return to the public markets one that is done. That was also Jack's view when I spoke to him."Joe RoganJoe Rogan in March 2019.Michael S. Schwartz/Getty ImagesMusk has spoken to Rogan on his podcast twice, in one 2018 interview infamously smoking weed, leading to some corporate headaches for the Tesla CEO. Rogan first texted Musk about Twitter April 4, the day Musk's stake in Twitter became public, asking "Are you going to liberate twitter from the censorship happy mob?""I will provide advice, which they may or may not choose to follow," Musk replied.A few weeks later, after Musk had offered to acquire Twitter, Rogan on April 25 texted again. "I REALLY hope you get Twitter. If you do, we should throw one hell of a party," Rogan said. Musk replied with the "100" emoji.Parag AgrawalBrendan McDermid/ReutersThings appear to have started off friendly between Musk and Parag Agrawal, who took over from Dorsey as Twitter CEO less than a year ago. They texted about meeting in person with Taylor, the text log shows, as well as other video meetings. They touched on things that needed to improve on Twitter and Agrawal said April 3, a few days before Musk's decision to join the board became public, he was "super excited about the opportunity and look forward to working closely and finding ways to use your time as effectively as possible."The mood shifted quickly after Agrawal texted Musk on April 9, regarding Musk's asking on Twitter "Is Twitter dying?" Agrawal told Musk he was free to Tweet anything he wanted about Twitter, "But it's my responsibility to tell you that it's not helping me make Twitter better in the current context. Next time we speak, I'd like to provide you perspective on the level of internal distraction right now and how its hurting our ability to do work."Musk responded about 30 minutes later asking "What did you get done this week?" He immediately followed up with, "I'm not joining the board. This is a waste of time" and added, "Will make an offer to take Twitter private."Agrawal asked to get on the phone with Musk, who appears to have refused, as Taylor followed up a few minutes later, saying Agrawal had informed him of "your text conversation." Taylor asked to speak on the phone, too. Musk simply said "Please expect a take private offer." Taylor tried again to speak by phone, wanting to "understand the context.""Fixing Twitter by chatting with Parag won't work," Musk wrote back. "Drastic action is needed.""This is hard to do as a public company, as purging fake users will make the numbers look terrible, so restructuring should be done as a private company. This is Jack's opinion too."Musk again refused to get on the phone with Taylor, saying he was "about to take off" but could talk the following day.Larry EllisonJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesMusk and Ellison also texted a number of times, with Ellison expressing support for Musk's effort to buy Twitter from the outset. On March 27, Ellison texted Musk to set up a call: "I do think we need another Twitter."When Musk on April 20 asked the Oracle founder if he wanted to take part in financing the deal, Ellison wrote: "Yes, of course." He offered to put up "A billion… or whatever you recommend." Musk recommend $2 billion, but Ellison only ended up putting in the $1 billion he initially offered. "This has very high potential and I'd rather have you than anyone else," Musk wrote to Ellison."I agree that it has huge potential… and it would be lots of fun," Ellison replied.Sam Bankman-FriedSamuel Bankman-Fried fPhoto by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesWill MacAskill, an advisor to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, texted Musk on March 29 in hopes of connecting the two about Twitter, about two weeks before Musk moved to take over the company. It's unclear whether Musk knew immediately who Bankman-Fried was, as he asked MacAskill "you vouch for him?" after MacAskill suggested Bankman-Fried had been interested in buying Twitter "for a while" and was open to working with Musk "about a possible joint effort in that direction."To that Musk replied, "Does he have huge amounts of money?" MacAskill said he was worth $24 billion and that he'd already mentioned contributing $1 billion to $8 billion into any deal for Twitter, a number that could potentially have gone up to $15 billion with financing.Musk did not appear very interested. Bankman-Fried texted Musk directly April 1, saying he was "happy to chat about Twitter (or other things) whenever!" Musk responded "Hi!" adding that he was currently in Germany. Bankman-Fried offered to call at a time that worked for Musk's time zone, but there are no texts in the log showing that Musk responded. Bankman-Fried texted again about two weeks later, after Musk's offer to acquire Twitter was in full swing, saying he would "love to talk about Twitter." Musk does not appear to have responded.Morgan Stanley's Grimes then tried to connect Musk with Bankman-Fried on April 25, saying he could put $5 billion into Musk's deal to buy Twitter. Musk disliked Grimes' text explaining briefly who Bankman-Fried is and suggesting a meeting. But wrote of a meeting, "So long as I don't have to have a laborious blockchain debate."Joe LonsdaleJoe Lonsdale's comments sparked outrage online.Brian Ach/Getty ImagesBefore Musk's stake in Twitter became public, he began posting questions and polls to his many millions of followers on the platform about what its future should look like. Joe Lonsdale, cofounder of Palantir and an outspoken political conservative, texted Musk in response to a March 24 post he made asking "Should Twitter be an open source?"Lonsdale wrote to Musk saying he loved the question and he was going to bring it up at a "GOP policy retreat" he was heading to the next day. "Now I can cite you so I'll sound less crazy myself :). Our public squares need to not have arbitrary sketchy censorship.""Absolutely," Musk replied. "What we have now is hidden corruption!"Gayle KingGayle King (left)Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & ChandonKing texted Musk a few times in an attempt to get him to do a sit-down interview with her. The first was on April 6, when King wrote: "Have you missed me. Are you ready to do a proper sit down with me? so much to discuss! Especially with your Twitter play... what do I need to do???"Musk responded by downplaying his involvement at the time, saying, "The whole Twitter thing is getting blown out of proportion" and "Owning ~9% is not quite control."Gayle texted Musk again about two weeks later, after Musk offered to buy Twitter outright."ELON! You buying Twitter or offering to buy Twitter wow! Now don't you think we should sit down together face to face this is as the kids say a 'gangsta move' I dont know how shareholders turn this down... like I said you are not like the other kids in the class."Musk responded a few days later suggesting only that Oprah Winfrey would make a good addition to Twitter's board under his ownership. "Wisdom about humanity and knowing what is right are more important than so called 'board governance' skills, which mean pretty much nothing in my experience," he wrote.Reid HoffmanGreylockMusk invited Reid Hoffman to take part in financing the Twitter deal on April 27. At first, Hoffman politely declined, saying "It's way beyond my resources. I presume you are not interested in venture $."Musk said VC money "is fine if you want.""There is plenty of financial support, but you're a friend, so just letting you know you'd get priority," he added.Hoffman proceeded to ask what "the largest $ that would be ok?" Musk suggested $2 billion, and Hoffman said "Great. Probably doable -- let me see." Musk then connected Hoffman to Morgan Stanley.The text log does not show why Hoffman eventually decided against putting up money for the deal, but he claimed earlier this month to be skeptical of it. Egon DurbanSilver Lake Partners' Egon DurbanREUTERSMusk first texted Egon Durban, a director at Silver Lake Capital and a Twitter board member and investor, on March 26, before his stake in the company was made public."This is Elon. Please call when you have a moment. It is regarding the Twitter board," Musk texted.The next day, Durban connected Musk via text with Agrawal, Taylor and Martha Lane Fox, another member of Twitter's board."Elon – everyone is excited about prospect of you being involved and on board. Next step is for you to chat so we can move this forward quickly. Maybe we can get this done in the next few days," Durban wrote. On April 5, Agrawal announced that Musk was joining the board. At some point, Durban and Musk may have had some kind of falling out. Their last text that appears on the log is from Musk on April 17, so after Musk offered to acquire Twitter."You're calling Morgan Stanley to speak poorly of me…" Musk wrote. A reply from Durban does not appear in the log.James Murdoch James Murdoch at the Tribeca FestivalPhoto by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Tribeca FestivalOn April 26, James Murdoch texted Musk about a connection that is not referenced elsewhere in the text log, saying "Thank you. I will link you up."Murdoch added, "Also, will call when some of the dust settles. Hope all is ok."Murdoch's wife, Kathryn, texted in the same thread to ask only, "Will you bring Jack back?"Musk replied, "Jack doesn't want to come back. He is focused on Bitcoin."David SacksElon Musk and David SacksGetty ImagesSacks and Musk texted several times casually about Twitter and exchanging links to posts on the platform. On April 26, Sacks asked Musk if he'd be interested in connecting with Justin Amash, a libertarian politician who asked Sacks for an introduction in order to be "helpful to Twitter." Musk replied, "I don't own Twitter yet."Two days later, Musk asked Sacks if he wanted to "invest in the take private?" Sacks replied "Yes but I don't have a vehicle for it (Craft is a venture) so either I need to set up and SPV or just do it personally. If the latter, my amount would be mice-nuts in relative terms but I would be happy to participate to support the cause.""Up to you," Musk said."I'm in personally, and will raise an SPV too if that works for you," Sacks wrote."Sure," Musk said.Sacks has tried to fight being part of Twitter's case against Musk, arguing he never committed to investing in the deal.Justin Roiland"Rick and Morty" was created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon.Warner Bros. Television DistributionRoiland, co-creator of popular adult cartoon "Rick and Morty," texted Musk on April 6, the day after Musk agreed to join Twitter's board."I fucking love that you're the majority owner of Twitter," Roiland said.He proceeded to suggest that Musk meet friends of his who had created a program to verify people's identities, "As in, if people choose to use it, it could verify that they are a real person and not a troll farm."Musk corrected him two days later, saying "I just own 9% of Twitter, so don't control the company." He said he would "raise the identity issue with Parag (CEO)." Are you a Twitter employee or someone else with insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at khays@insider.com, on secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267, or through Twitter DM at @hayskali. Reach out using a non-work device.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 29th, 2022

4 Retail Stocks That May Be Good Buys Ahead of Holiday Season

Retailers such as Ulta Beauty (ULTA), Arhaus (ARHS), Designer Brands (DBI) and Boot Barn Holdings (BOOT) look well poised to tap favorable consumer demand. With 2022 approaching its tail end, all eyes are glued on the most crucial part of the year for retailers — the holiday season. Players in the industry need to walk a tightrope this festive season to woo budget-conscious shoppers. Truly speaking, rising prices of groceries and other essentials are compelling consumers to hold back on discretionary spending, and industry participants might turn to promotions and discounts to attract bargain hunters.Retailers are keeping their fingers crossed and pinning hopes on stimulus savings from last year, steady wage gains and a lower unemployment rate that should help keep demand alive. Per Mastercard SpendingPulse, U.S. retail sales, excluding automotive, are anticipated to increase 7.1% from a year earlier during the traditional holiday period that runs from Nov 1-Dec 24. While in-store retail sales are projected to increase 7.9%, e-commerce is expected to rise 4.2%.According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, “With holiday shopping slated to begin early again this year, some of the season’s retail growth is expected to be pulled forward in October as consumers hunt for early deals. Key promotional days like Black Friday weekend are also expected to make a strong return along with Christmas Eve, which falls on a Saturday, slated to be among the biggest days for retailers and last-minute shoppers.”No wonder, the season, which accounts for a sizable chunk of yearly revenues, is a make or break for retailers. Evidently, retailers need to channelize their strength and make strategic investments to provide consumers fast, convenient and safe shopping experience, be it offline or online. Ulta Beauty, Inc. ULTA, Arhaus, Inc. ARHS, Designer Brands Inc. DBI and Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. BOOT look well poised to tap favorable consumer demand.Keeping in mind consumers’ product preferences, retailers are replenishing shelves with in-demand merchandise. They are increasing product visibility on online platforms, enhancing customer engagement on social channels, making logistics improvements and offering flexible payment options. That said, we have highlighted four stocks from the Retail - Wholesale sector that look well positioned based on their sound fundamentals.Past Year Price Performance Image Source: Zacks Investment Research4 Prominent PicksUlta Beauty is worth betting on. The company has been strengthening its omni-channel business and exploring the potential of both physical and digital facets. It has been implementing various tools to enhance guests' experience, like offering a virtual try-on tool and in-store education, and reimagining fixtures, among others. Ulta Beauty focuses on offering customers a curated and exclusive range of beauty products through innovation.This beauty retailer and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skincare products, hair care products and salon services has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 32.8%, on average. We note that this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 13.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ulta Beauty’s current financial year sales suggests growth of 13.7% from the year-ago period. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Arhaus is another potential pick. Strong consumer demand, new collections, brand awareness and ramp-up of new showrooms have been driving Arhaus’ top-line performance. The company plans to have 165 total traditional showrooms over the period from the current count of 80 showrooms, with plans to add five to seven new traditional showrooms per year. Arhaus estimates fiscal 2022 net revenues in the band of $1,173 million to $1,193 million and foresees comparable growth in the bracket of 43% to 48%.This lifestyle brand and premium retailer has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 92%, on average, and an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 14.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Arhaus’ current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 49.2% and 5.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Investors can count on Designer Brands. The company’s flexible business model, best-in-class omnichannel capabilities and Owned Brands portfolio have been the key drivers of growth. The company’s efforts to expand sourcing and supply chain capabilities have been leading to speed to market with new designs and faster delivery times.This designer, producer and retailer of footwear and accessories has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 55.1%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Designer Brands’ current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 6.9% and 23.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2.You may invest in Boot Barn Holdings, a lifestyle retailer of western and work-related footwear, apparel and accessories. The company has been successfully navigating through the challenging environment, courtesy of merchandising strategies, omni-channel capabilities and better expense management as well as marketing. This, combined with the expansion of the store base, has helped Boot Barn Holdings gain market share and strengthen its position in the industry.Impressively, Boot Barn Holdings carries a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Boot Barn Holdings’ current financial year sales suggests growth of 13.1% from the year-ago period. FREE Report: The Metaverse is Exploding! Don’t You Want to Cash In? Rising gas prices. The war in Ukraine. America's recession. Inflation. It's no wonder why the metaverse is so popular and growing every day. Becoming Spider Man and fighting Darth Vader is infinitely more appealing than spending over $5 per gallon at the pump. And that appeal is why the metaverse can provide such massive gains for investors. But do you know where to look? Do you know which metaverse stocks to buy and which to avoid? In a new FREE report from Zacks' leading stock specialist, we reveal how you could profit from the internet’s next evolution. Even though the popularity of the metaverse is spreading like wildfire, investors like you can still get in on the ground floor and cash in. Don't miss your chance to get your piece of this innovative $30 trillion opportunity - FREE.>>Yes, I want to know the top metaverse stocks for 2022>>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 Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA): Free Stock Analysis Report Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. (BOOT): Free Stock Analysis Report Designer Brands Inc. (DBI): Free Stock Analysis Report Arhaus, Inc. (ARHS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 29th, 2022

The Bank of England is urgently buying bonds to stabilize markets and stop a financial disaster. Here"s what happened, and what it means for investors.

The BOE says it will buy bonds at whatever scale is needed to calm markets and prevent the financial system from being destabilized. A trader.Scott Olson/Getty Images The Bank of England plans to buy as many government bonds as needed to stabilize markets. News of the UK government's spending plans tanked the pound and sent long-term bond yields skyward. Here's why the BoE is taking action, and what it means for investors and markets. The Bank of England announced on Wednesday that it will temporarily buy as many UK government bonds as needed to stabilize debt markets, and delay the start date for its bond sales. Here's what's going on, and what it means.What's happened?A dramatic rise in yields for long-dated UK government bonds (gilts) has spurred the BoE to intervene before a financial catastrophe happens.The new UK government on Friday outlined its plans to stimulate flagging economic growth by cutting taxes and scrapping the cap on bankers' bonuses, along with energy bill subsidies for households. The measures will be debt-funded to the tune of 45 billion pounds ($48.3 billion).The proposed policies rattled investors' confidence in the UK's stability, and the British pound dropped to a record low against the US dollar on Monday.They also drove a rise in two-year UK government bond yields to a 14-year high of 4.3%, and pushed the yield up on 10-year benchmark gilts to 4.1% on Tuesday.A weaker pound makes imported goods more expensive, while higher gilt yields raise the cost of government borrowing."Were dysfunction in this market to continue or worsen, there would be a material risk to financial stability," the BoE said Wednesday.The central bank explained that if yields were allowed to climb higher, that could cause "unwarranted tightening of financing conditions and a reduction of the flow of credit to the real economy."In other words, higher government bond yields could cause a credit crunch, making it more expensive and difficult for households and businesses to borrow money.The bank's solution? Temporary and targeted purchases of long-dated government bonds for about two weeks, from September 28 until October 14.It will carry those out at "whatever scale is necessary" to stabilize markets, and the costs will be covered by the government, it said.After the announcement, 10-year gilt yields fell 43 basis points to 4.08% at last check, after closing at 4.51% on Tuesday. But they're still up sharply for the year, having traded below 1% at the start of January.The BoE's financial policy committee recognized the market risks, recommended an intervention, and welcomed the plan to buy bonds "at an urgent pace", it said.The bank will carefully unwind the purchases once it's confident that market conditions have returned to normal.At the same time, the BoE will delay the start of its quantitative tightening (QT) program, where it sells government bonds to cool the economy. It will begin October 31, rather than next week as planned.However, it still plans to hit its target of a $80 billion reduction in its bond holdings over the next 12 months.What does the BoE plan mean for investors and markets?The Bank of England's temporary bond-buying is designed to calm investors' fears that lower taxes and more government spending will accelerate inflation, which is already close to four-decade highs. That should prevent further selloffs driven by those concerns.However, quantitative easing (QE) stimulates economies by injecting more liquidity into them. The government effectively prints money to buy bonds on the open market, increasing the total money supply and providing more cash for people to spend and invest.The BoE is betting that a brief stint of bond-buying won't be enough to spike inflation, but it will be sufficient to calm markets.It also hopes to prevent bond yields from climbing higher, which would increase the government's borrowing costs and make funding its fiscal programs more onerous — and potentially add to its debt pile. Plus, it wants to forestall a credit crunch in the real economy.Still, buying bonds risks undermining the BoE's ongoing efforts to crush inflation by raising interest rates, as one program is expansionary and the other is contractionary. The International Monetary Fund warned the UK government not to pursue its aggressive spending plans for the same reason on Wednesday.Overall, the planned bond purchases could make inflation worse and undermine what the BoE is trying to achieve via its rate hikes. That would mean more rate hikes are needed, and the risk of a recession would grow.However, they could also restore order to chaotic markets and prevent a nationwide credit crunch. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 28th, 2022

CP Capital US Announces Plans for ‘Montague Corners’ in North Charleston, S.C., with Greystar 

A joint venture of CP Capital, a highly disciplined U.S. real estate manager specializing in multifamily investments, and Greystar, a leading, fully integrated real estate company with expertise in investment management, development, and property management, today announced they will be developing ‘Montague Corners’ – a 336-unit multifamily development project in... The post CP Capital US Announces Plans for ‘Montague Corners’ in North Charleston, S.C., with Greystar  appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. A joint venture of CP Capital, a highly disciplined U.S. real estate manager specializing in multifamily investments, and Greystar, a leading, fully integrated real estate company with expertise in investment management, development, and property management, today announced they will be developing ‘Montague Corners’ – a 336-unit multifamily development project in North Charleston, South Carolina.  Montague Corners will be situated immediately off I-526, just southwest of the soon to be expanded I-26/I-526 interchange – providing seamless commuter access to all areas of the Charleston metropolitan area. The community will be strategically located at the epicenter of the rapidly growing market, just two miles from Charleston International Airport, one mile from the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, and three miles from Joint Base Charleston. The project is expected to break ground in October 2022. The first units are anticipated to deliver in Q1 2024, with construction expected to be completed during the summer of 2024.  “Charleston has displayed incredible economic resilience since the start of the pandemic, benefiting from consistent in-migration resulting in impressive job and population growth,” said Paul Doocy, Co-Head of CP Capital. “We are proud to continue our partnership with Greystar to deliver Montague Corners and consistently generate value for both our partners and the communities where we invest.” Montague Corners will feature an expansive pool with outdoor entertainment, co-working spaces, a fully equipped fitness center, and charming lounge areas as well as upscale interior finishes such as stainless-steel appliances, stone-surface countertops, and vinyl wood flooring.  The three-story, surface-parked community will also benefit from its proximity to the Tanger Outlets, an open-air shopping destination, and the Park Circle area, a burgeoning hub of eclectic retail and dining options. Immediately south of Park Circle, Jamestown plans to redevelop a 45-acre site into a mixed-use project consisting of 1.2 million square feet of office space, residences, shopping, dining, and a concert hall. “We are thrilled to continue developing multifamily spaces in the high-performing Charleston market, and could not ask for a better partner in CP Capital,” said Ben Liebetrau, Greystar Managing Director, Carolinas. “Montague Corners’ combination of a convenient, central location and best-in-class amenities will provide renters with the perfect environment for their modern lifestyle, and allow the Greater Charleston area to continue its already impressive growth.”  CP Capital, formerly known as HQ Capital Real Estate, has partnered with Greystar on five development projects in the past, most recently the Brighton Park Apartments in Brighton, Colorado.  The post CP Capital US Announces Plans for ‘Montague Corners’ in North Charleston, S.C., with Greystar  appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklySep 23rd, 2022

Scoop Up These 5 Stocks as August Retail Sales Bounce Back

Retailers, be it Ulta Beauty (ULTA), Arhaus (ARHS), Designer Brands (DBI), Chico's and Kroger (KR), need to channelize their strength to tap any surge in consumer demand. Consumer spending activity, which is one of the pivotal factors driving the economy, held up last month, as Americans spent more on motor vehicle & parts dealers, stores, and restaurants. This was evident from the retail sales data for the month of August that bounced back after a decline in July. The Commerce Department stated that U.S. retail and food services sales in August rose 0.3% sequentially to $683.6 billion, following a downwardly revised reading of 0.4% decline registered in July.A robust job market and decent household finances, thanks to federal relief checks received in the peak pandemic period, have allowed consumers to shield themselves from inflationary pressure to an extent. Additionally, savings from falling gasoline prices allowed consumers to redirect some bucks to other categories.Retailers like Ulta Beauty, Inc. ULTA, Arhaus, Inc. ARHS, Designer Brands Inc. DBI, Chico's FAS, Inc. CHS and The Kroger Co. (KR) need to channelize their strength to tap any surge in consumer demand.But the question industry experts are asking is how long this will last as soaring commodity prices as well as rising interest rates have already started pinching consumers’ pockets. The consumer price index rose 0.1% month on month in August. On a year-over-year basis, the metric rose 8.3%. With the desperate need to tame inflation, the Federal Reserve may announce a steep hike in the benchmark interest rate in the upcoming meet.Category-Wise SalesThe Commerce Department’s report suggests that sales at motor vehicle & parts dealers and building material & supplies dealers increased 2.8% and 1.1%, respectively, on a sequential basis.Sales at food & beverage stores increased 0.5%, while at food services & drinking places, sales grew 1.1%. At sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument, & book stores, sales advanced 0.5%. Sales at clothing & clothing accessories outlets grew 0.4%, while the same at general merchandise stores increased 0.5%. Sales at miscellaneous store retailers increased 1.6%.The report also indicates that sales at furniture & home furnishings stores and health & personal care stores fell 1.3% and 0.6%, respectively. Sales at electronics & appliance stores declined 0.1%, while the same at non-store retailers decreased 0.7%. Meanwhile, receipts at gasoline stations dropped 4.2%.Past Year Price Performance Image Source: Zacks Investment Research5 Prominent PicksUlta Beauty is worth betting on. The company has been strengthening its omni-channel business and exploring the potential of both physical and digital facets. It has been implementing various tools to enhance guests' experience, like offering a virtual try-on tool and in-store education, and reimagining fixtures, among others. Ulta Beauty focuses on offering customers a curated and exclusive range of beauty products through innovation.This beauty retailer and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skincare products, hair care products and salon services has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 32.8%, on average. We note that this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 11.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ulta Beauty’s current financial year sales suggests growth of 13.7% from the year-ago period. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Arhaus is another potential pick. Strong consumer demand, new collections, brand awareness and ramp-up of new showrooms have been driving Arhaus’ top-line performance. The company plans to have 165 total traditional showrooms over the period from the current count of 80 showrooms, with plans to add five to seven new traditional showrooms per year. Arhaus estimates fiscal 2022 net revenues in the band of $1,173 million to $1,193 million and foresees comparable growth in the bracket of 43% to 48%.This lifestyle brand and premium retailer has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 92%, on average, and an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 14.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Arhaus’ current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 49.2% and 5.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Investors can count on Designer Brands. The company’s flexible business model, best-in-class omnichannel capabilities and Owned Brands portfolio have been the key drivers of growth. The company’s efforts to expand sourcing and supply chain capabilities have been leading to speed to market with new designs and faster delivery times.This designer, producer and retailer of footwear and accessories has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 55.1%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Designer Brands’ current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 6.9% and 23.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2.You may invest in Chico's FAS. This Florida-based fashion retailer’s efforts to become a “digital-first, customer-led” company coupled with a strong portfolio of three unique brands, namely, Chico's, WHBM and Soma, position it well to expand its customer base and market share. Product enhancement, planned inventories, operating discipline and marketing strategies have been helping to drive full-price selling, lower markdowns and produce higher gross margin.Chico's has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 249%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Chico's current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 19.6% and 112.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2.Kroger is another lucrative option. The company, which operates in the thin-margin grocery industry, has been undergoing a complete makeover not only with respect to products but also in terms of the way consumers prefer shopping grocery. The company has been adding new products as well as eyeing technological expansion to enhance its omnichannel reach. Kroger has been making significant investments to enhance product freshness and quality, and expand digital capabilities. The company has been introducing items under its “Our Brands” portfolio.Kroger has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 15.7%, on average. The company has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 11.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kroger’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 7.8% and 9.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2. FREE Report: The Metaverse is Exploding! Don’t You Want to Cash In? Rising gas prices. The war in Ukraine. America's recession. Inflation. It's no wonder why the metaverse is so popular and growing every day. Becoming Spider Man and fighting Darth Vader is infinitely more appealing than spending over $5 per gallon at the pump. And that appeal is why the metaverse can provide such massive gains for investors. But do you know where to look? Do you know which metaverse stocks to buy and which to avoid? In a new FREE report from Zacks' leading stock specialist, we reveal how you could profit from the internet’s next evolution. Even though the popularity of the metaverse is spreading like wildfire, investors like you can still get in on the ground floor and cash in. Don't miss your chance to get your piece of this innovative $30 trillion opportunity - FREE.>>Yes, I want to know the top metaverse stocks for 2022>>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 Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA): Free Stock Analysis Report Chico's FAS, Inc. (CHS): Free Stock Analysis Report Designer Brands Inc. (DBI): Free Stock Analysis Report Arhaus, Inc. (ARHS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 20th, 2022

4 Retail Stocks for Your Holiday Shopping Basket

Retailers such as Ulta Beauty (ULTA), Arhaus (ARHS), Designer Brands (DBI) and Chico's FAS (CHS) look well poised to tap favorable consumer demand. Retailers have begun prepping for the holiday season with as much zeal as shoppers looking forward to eye-popping deals. Players in the industry are all geared up to walk the extra mile this holiday season to capitalize on any surge in demand. Supply chain issues and rising freight charges are headwinds that the industry is currently jostling with but retailers remain hopeful of a fabulous festive season. Eagerness among consumers to venture out and shop for loved ones should help keep the cash register ringing.Well, stimulus savings from last year, steady wage gains and a lower unemployment rate should help keep demand alive. Per Mastercard SpendingPulse, U.S. retail sales, excluding automotive, are anticipated to increase 7.1% from a year earlier during the traditional holiday period that runs from Nov 1-Dec 24. While in-store retail sales are projected to increase 7.9%, e-commerce is expected to rise 4.2%.     According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, “With holiday shopping slated to begin early again this year, some of the season’s retail growth is expected to be pulled forward in October as consumers hunt for early deals. Key promotional days like Black Friday weekend are also expected to make a strong return along with Christmas Eve, which falls on a Saturday, slated to be among the biggest days for retailers and last-minute shoppers.”Evidently, retailers need to channelize their strength and make strategic investments to provide consumers fast, convenient and safe shopping experience, be it offline or online. Ulta Beauty, Inc. ULTA, Arhaus, Inc. ARHS, Designer Brands Inc. DBI and Chico's FAS, Inc. CHS look well poised to tap favorable consumer demand.The holiday season accounts for a sizable chunk of yearly revenues. Keeping in mind consumers’ product preferences, retailers are replenishing shelves with in-demand merchandise. They are increasing product visibility on online platforms, enhancing customer engagement on social channels, making logistics improvements and offering flexible payment options.That said, we have highlighted four stocks from the Retail - Wholesale sector that look well positioned based on their sound fundamentals.Past Year Price Performance Image Source: Zacks Investment Research4 Prominent PicksUlta Beauty is worth betting on. The company has been strengthening its omni-channel business and exploring the potential of both physical and digital facets. It has been implementing various tools to enhance guests' experience, like offering a virtual try-on tool and in-store education, and reimagining fixtures, among others. Ulta Beauty focuses on offering customers a curated and exclusive range of beauty products through innovation.This beauty retailer and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skincare products, hair care products and salon services has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 32.8%, on average. We note that this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 11.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ulta Beauty’s current financial year sales suggests growth of 13.7% from the year-ago period. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Arhaus is another potential pick. Strong consumer demand, new collections, brand awareness and ramp-up of new showrooms have been driving Arhaus’ top-line performance. The company plans to have 165 total traditional showrooms over the period from the current count of 80 showrooms, with plans to add five to seven new traditional showrooms per year. Arhaus estimates fiscal 2022 net revenues in the band of $1,173 million to $1,193 million and foresees comparable growth in the bracket of 43% to 48%.This lifestyle brand and premium retailer has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 92%, on average, and an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 14.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Arhaus’ current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 49.2% and 5.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Investors can count on Designer Brands. The company’s flexible business model, best-in-class omnichannel capabilities and Owned Brands portfolio have been the key drivers of growth. The company’s efforts to expand sourcing and supply chain capabilities have been leading to speed to market with new designs and faster delivery times.This designer, producer and retailer of footwear and accessories has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 55.1%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Designer Brands’ current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 6.9% and 23.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2.You may invest in Chico's FAS. This Florida-based fashion retailer’s efforts to become a “digital-first, customer-led” company coupled with a strong portfolio of three unique brands, namely, Chico's, WHBM and Soma, position it well to expand its customer base and market share. Product enhancement, planned inventories, operating discipline and marketing strategies have been helping to drive full-price selling, lower markdowns and produce higher gross margin.Chico's has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 249%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Chico's current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 19.6% and 112.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2. 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 Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA): Free Stock Analysis Report Chico's FAS, Inc. (CHS): Free Stock Analysis Report Designer Brands Inc. (DBI): Free Stock Analysis Report Arhaus, Inc. (ARHS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 13th, 2022

Airlines like United and American are betting on electric air taxis that could change the way we get around and between cities — here"s the 8 companies they"re partnering with

The aviation industry has committed to being net-zero by 2050, with electric aircraft as one of the most popular solutions for decarbonization. United Airlines The aviation industry emits hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. The industry has committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 to better battle climate change. Electric aircraft, particularly eVTOLs like Eve and the VX4, are a popular solution to decarbonizing aviation. EVTOLs are low or zero-emission urban air mobility aircraft that are primarily marketed as short-haul air taxis. The vehicles are ideal for populated areas with no runways or other infrastructure needed by commercial jets and can offer efficient, fast transport in cities that are typically congested with roadway traffic.Manufacturing giants like Boeing and Airbus are developing new eVOTLs to revolutionize air travel, like Boeing-backed Wisk and Airbus' all-electric, four-seater CityAirbus NextGen.While low-emission sustainable aviation fuel is one promising solution for the global airline industry to lower its carbon emissions and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 as mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization, manufacturers and airlines will need to invest in additional technologies to meet the 2050 goal, with many turning to electric aircraft like eVTOLs.The future of the new type of aircraft is promising, but even the soonest projections put it years away from entering service. Experts also note that there are still difficulties that have not been solved yet, like the lack of current infrastructure to support the new vehicles as well as the lack of any federal regulatory standards.Additionally, it's impossible to be sure how the flying public will take to the new kind of aircraft once they can book trips on it.Despite the potential hurdles, several airlines worldwide have taken interest in eVTOLs and electric planes, with the notable exception of Delta Air Lines, which is the only major US carrier that has not yet made a commitment.Here's a look at the airlines that have invested in electric planes and eVTOLs with the hope they will one day provide an efficient, eco-friendly mode of transportation.Vertical Aerospace's VX4Stephen Jones / Business InsiderVertical Aerospace's VX4 aircraft has received interest from airlines in every corner of the world, having amassed over 1,400 pre-orders for the VX4 as of June 30. The company hopes the aircraft will be certified by 2025 and flying soon after that.Airline investors include American, Virgin Atlantic, Spanish charter airline Iberojet, Japan Airlines, Brazil-based GOL, Air Greenland, and AirAsia, according to the company. The latter three are via placements made by aircraft leasing company Avolon, which has ordered over 500 VX4s. Embraer's EveHow the full vehicle could look.Eve Air MobilityEve is Embraer's eVTOL four-seater product that has a backlog of over 1,900 aircraft.The manufacturer has partnered with several carriers worldwide to promote urban air mobility, like Florida's Global Crossing Airlines, Australia's Sydney Seaplanes, Dubai's Falcon Aviation Services, Kenya Airways' subsidiary Fahari Aviation, Western Australia-based Aviair, US regional airlines Republic Airways and SkyWest Airlines, Singapore-based startup Ascent, and helicopter operators Halo and Helisul Aviation.United is the most recent carrier to announce an investment in Eve. On Thursday, the carrier put down $15 million for a conditional order for 200 eVTOLS, with an option for 200 more. Eve hopes its eVTOL will be flying passengers as soon as 2026.Airbus' CityAirbus NextGenCityAirbus NextGenAirbusAirbus hopes to shake up the flying taxi market with its eVTOL product, CityAirbus NextGen. The four-seater vehicle can fly up to 60 miles, making it a viable candidate for intra-city flying. NextGen builds upon Airbus' original CityAirbus with a new design that includes fixed wings and a V-shaped tail.With the announcement of the modified eVTOL, the company said it plans to conduct test flights in 2023 and get the flying taxi certified by 2025.The planemaker has partnered with Italy's ITA Airways to "explore the creation of tailored UAM services, by identifying strategic use cases for emission-free mobility solutions."Joby Aviation's eVTOLThe Joby eVTOL.Joby AviationJoby Aviation took over Uber Elevate — the company's air taxi arm — in 2020. The manufacturer has since partnered with Toyota to create a five-seater eVTOL, and Tokyo-based All Nippon Airways to bring the electric vehicle to Japan. Like many of its competitors, the manufacturer hopes to get its air taxi flying as soon as 2024.Heart Aerospace's ES-19United Airlines and Heart Aerospace partner to develop an electric aircraft.United AirlinesWhile not an eVTOL, Heart Aerospace is marketing a 19-seater electric plane, dubbed the ES-19. United has ordered 100 of the type once the aircraft meets the airline's "safety, business and operating requirements." The carrier's regional partner Mesa Airlines has also ordered 100 ES-19s, and New Zealand-based Sounds Air plans to have "at least three" ES-19s in its fleet by 2026.Meanwhile, Finland flag carrier Finnair, Swedish airline BRA, Norway's Wideroe, Air Greenland, Quebec-based Pascan, California's Quantum Air, UK startup CityClipper, and Scandinavian Airlines have all signed letters of intent for the aircraft, according to the company.Archer Aviation's "Midnight" Air TaxiArcher Aviation Midnight.Archer AviationIn mid-August, United announced its $10 million deposit for 100 of Archer Aviation's "Midnight" eVTOLs. Midnight will not be unveiled until later this year, a company spokesperson told Insider, but it has a prototype of its smaller "Maker" eVTOL that has been undergoing flight testing since December 2021.United hopes to get "Midnight" in service by 2024.Rolls-Royce's P-VoltA rendering of Rolls-Royce and Tecnam's electric aircraft.Rolls-RoyceIn March 2021, Rolls-Royce announced a partnership with airframer Tecnam and Norwegian regional airline Widerøe to develop the P-Volt electric aircraft. The zero-emission plane is expected to enter service in 2026.Lilium's eVTOL JetLilium Jet.LiliumGerman aircraft manufacturer Lilium has partnered with Brazilian airline Azul to create a "co-branded network in Brazil" using the seven-seater Lilium Jet. Lilium plans to sell 220 eVTOLs to Azul, which would operate and maintain the fleet.The deal is worth $1 billion, with flights expected to start in 2025, though the aircraft should be ready for use by 2024.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 9th, 2022

How To See 223% Gains In A Bear Market

Tripling your money… in this market? I know, that might sound crazy… The S&P 500 has fallen around 15% since peaking in January. Google and Amazon are down around 23% this year. Most stocks are down, not up. Yet… one of my top holdings in my Disruption Investor advisory just surged to fresh all-time highs. Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, […] Tripling your money… in this market? I know, that might sound crazy… The S&P 500 has fallen around 15% since peaking in January. Google and Amazon are down around 23% this year. Most stocks are down, not up. Yet… one of my top holdings in my Disruption Investor advisory just surged to fresh all-time highs. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   And it’s not too late to invest in this winner… I’ll soon explain what Albemarle does and why it still has room to grow, but first—let’s look at the massive industry it’s powering. I’m talking about the electric vehicle market… When most folks think electric cars, they think Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Tesla Stock Performance Tesla is one of the best-performing stocks over the past decade… Tesla single-handedly made the electric car popular. In 2015, it sold less than 20,000 battery-powered cars. Tesla shipped over 280,000 electric vehicles (EVs) in the first six months of this year alone! Tesla was the only game in town when it came to high-performance EVs… Now every automaker is jumping into the race. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s electric F-150 truck is hitting the roads as we speak. In fact, its EV sales more than doubled over the past year. The first battery-powered Cadillac is expected to hit the roads in the next few months. Mercedes and Toyota announced their plans to go all-electric in the coming years. In fact, EV sales are going through the roof right now. There were only 120,000 electric cars sold worldwide in 2012. Today folks are buying 225,000 battery-powered cars per week, on average. One in 10 cars sold around the world last year was electric; that’s a 4X jump since 2019. And Bloomberg data shows annual EV sales are on pace to hit 20 million within three years. We’re entering the “mass adoption” phase for EVs. Expect blistering growth in the coming year as folks ditch gas guzzlers for battery-powered cars. What’s the best way to make money from this disruption? Most would say, “Buy Tesla.” Makes sense, right? Tesla pioneered this industry and still makes the best EVs money can buy. Others might follow superinvestor Warren Buffett and buy Chinese automaker BYD. It recently dethroned Tesla as the top-selling EV maker. These folks think they’re investing in the growth of EVs… but really, they’re betting on the success of one or two companies. That’s a risky bet. However, there’s a simpler way to profit off the EV megatrend... Investing In Lithium You want to invest in the “white gold” fueling nearly every EV on the road today. What’s the biggest difference between regular gas guzzlers and electric cars? It comes down to what’s under the hood. When you pop the hood on an electric car, you won’t find an engine. They run on batteries, like the one in your smartphone… but 10,000X more powerful. The battery is by far the most critical part of an EV. It determines how far you can drive before you have to “refuel” at a charging station. Batteries powerful enough to run a car for 300 miles must be able to store huge amounts of energy. But they also have to be relatively lightweight. This makes lithium—the world’s lightest metal—the perfect “fuel” for electric cars. Lithium-ion batteries have been around for decades. They power our wireless earbuds, smartphones, and laptops. But now we’re moving from phone-sized batteries to car-sized batteries. Take Tesla’s Model S, for example. There are roughly 140 lbs. of lithium inside its battery. And Tesla is no longer the only game in town. Every automaker is “going electric.” We’re going to need boatloads of lithium. In fact, by 2030, electric vehicles will need as much lithium as 250 billion iPhone batteries. That’s a 14X spike compared to all the lithium the world uses today! Surging demand for lithium is sending prices through the roof. The cost of a ton of lithium jumped nine-fold over the past two years. When asked about lithium in a recent interview, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, “I’d like to once again urge entrepreneurs to enter the lithium business. You can’t lose—it’s a license to print money.” This is great for the world’s largest lithium producer, Albemarle (NYSE:ALB). We’ve owned Albemarle in our Disruption Investor portfolio for a while. And I’ve recommended it a handful of times here in the RiskHedge Report, most recently in January. As I mentioned, it’s one of the few stocks hitting fresh all-time highs today. Albemarle's Position In The Market Albemarle controls over a quarter of the market and owns the purest lithium mines on the planet. Carmakers like GM, Ford, and Tesla need boatloads of battery-grade lithium. Albemarle will be their prime supplier. It sold over $1.4 billion worth of battery-grade lithium to electric car makers in the first half of 2022. In fact, Albemarle’s lithium sales nearly tripled over the past year. And it’s on track to achieve record earnings this year. Disruption Investor members tripled their money in Albemarle since my original recommendation in 2019, accounting for our Free Ride. And if you don’t already own the stock, it’s not too late to jump in. Remember, we’re just entering the “mass adoption” phase for EVs. Today, battery-powered cars are roughly where smartphones were back in 2010. A decade ago, one in 10 people owned a smartphone. In 2022, one in 10 cars sold is an EV. Expect EV’s share to grow rapidly over the coming years. As the disruptor fueling every automaker’s electric dreams, Albemarle stands to make a killing. It’s a great time to buy ALB if you’re a long-term investor. 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money in 2022 Get our latest report where we reveal our three favorite stocks that can hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here. Article By Stephen McBride, Mauldin Economics.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 7th, 2022

"Clean cooking" can help protect forests and also combat climate change by reducing pressure on woodlands and cutting air pollution

More than 2.4 billion people around the world cook on open fire pits or kerosene stoves, harming forests and public health. A person cooks over campfire in Bhutan. About 2.4 billion people in the developing world lack access to "clean cooking."Universal Images Group via Getty Images Some 2.4 billion people cook on wood and charcoal fire pits or kerosene stoves. This accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions and harms forests and public health. "Clean cooking" could help the climate but needs far more funding, a UN-backed group says. The modern stove probably doesn't make you think about protecting forests. A group backed by the United Nations wants to change that in hopes of unlocking billions of dollars in funding for a little-known climate solution.Some 2.4 billion people in the developing world lack access to "clean cooking," instead preparing food on wood and charcoal fire pits or inefficient kerosene stoves. The carbon-dioxide emissions are on par with the entire airline industry — about 2% of the global total — and exposure to soot shaves years off the lives of those who cook, who are often women and children.There is also a cost to nature: More than one-third of the wood harvested for fuel isn't replenished, which contributes to forest degradation and threatens growing investment in nature-based climate solutions, according to a report out this week from the Clean Cooking Alliance."Lack of access to clean cooking is the most underinvested health and environmental problem in the world," Jillene Connors Belopolsky, the alliance's chief of staff and chief external-affairs officer, said. "It's historically been viewed as a women's issue."The alliance works to spur adoption of stoves that meet international standards for indoor air quality, including those that use liquefied petroleum gas, biogas or ethanol. Electric stoves and pressure cookers also make the list.Even though liquefied petroleum gas is a fossil fuel, it pollutes less than wood and coal and is the most cost-effective solution in sub-Saharan Africa, where the vast majority of households lack access to clean cooking and electricity, Belopolsky said. Farming communities also offer an opportunity in the region because animal and crop waste can be converted into biogas and ethanol.But scaling clean cooking is hamstrung by a lack of financing from wealthier countries and the private sector, similar to most climate efforts in the "global south," which faces the direst impacts of global warming but has contributed the least to the crisis. Investment has hovered around $130 million annually, well below the $4.5 billion needed, according to estimates.Connecting clean cooking to nature could unlock more funding. About $133 billion flows into forest protection and restoration, sustainable land management, and other nature-based projects, with calls to triple that sum this decade. If a fraction of that was funneled into clean cooking, it could make a big impact, Belopolsky said.The Clean Cooking Alliance has advised more developing countries to put clean cooking in their climate-action plans and says investors and corporations should consider how the transition to cleaner cooking can make their investments less risky."You can't tell people they can't use the natural resources around them to feed their families without providing an affordable alternative," Belopolsky said. "If we invest billions of dollars to protect or restore forests or implement regenerative agricultural practices, but communities that live around those projects don't have access to clean cooking and are collecting wood, that's counterproductive and a risk to that investment."There are signs the message is resonating. Between 2017 and 2020, the revenue that clean-cooking companies made from selling carbon offsets grew by 21 times. In 2020, Switzerland and Peru were the first countries to strike a carbon-offset deal under the framework of the Paris climate accord, which included clean-cooking projects. Switzerland provided the finance and eventually plans to count the emissions reductions toward its climate goals.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 1st, 2022

Will Builders FirstSource (BLDR) Earn Profits Amid Inflation?

A solid housing demand, buyouts synergies and digital solutions are driving Builders FirstSource (BLDR) amid inflation and housing demand woes. The Zacks Building Products – Retail industry has been ailing from decades high inflation related to raw materials, transportation expenses and supply-related challenges. The industry is directly linked to the housing market and will face slow demand shortly as homebuilders are experiencing softening housing demand.Defying these odds, Builders FirstSource, Inc. BLDR is likely to gain in the future on the back of its focus on innovations and digital solutions for customers, cost synergies and strategic acquisitions. BLDR will also likely to benefit from its industry-leading platform, national network, operating model and repair & remodeling activities.Shares of this manufacturer and supplier of building materials have gained 40.1% over a year versus the industry’s 3.8% growth and the Zacks Retail-Wholesale sector’s 17.3% fall.The price performance was backed by a solid earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing 16 quarters. Earnings estimates for 2022 have moved higher to $14.72 per share from $12.30 over the past 30 days, depicting analysts’ optimism over BLDR’s prospects. The company currently has a VGM Score of A, supported by both a Value, Growth and Momentum Score of A.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLet’s delve deeper into the factors supporting this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s growth trajectory. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Robust Q2 Results & Prospect: Builders FirstSource recently reported impressive second-quarter 2022 results, wherein adjusted earnings increased 126.8% and net sales grew 24.2% on a year-over-year basis. Core organic sales grew 12.2% from the prior-year quarter as commodity price inflation contributed 3.9% to net sales. Acquisitions added 8.1% to net sales growth. The upside was led by solid demand for its products amid supply woes. Gross margin and adjusted EBITDA margin expanded 640 and 680 basis points, respectively.For 2022, the company expects multi-family starts growth in low double-digits and R&R to improve low-to-mid single digits. Earlier, it expected multi-family starts to grow in low-to-mid single digit.The Zacks consensus mark for 2022 net sales is pegged at $21.88 billion, reflecting 10% year-over-year growth. The same for earnings suggests 42.6% growth from the year-ago figure of $10.32 per share.Buyout Synergies: Builders FirstSource remains focused on systematic acquisitions to supplement organic growth and expand across vast geographic boundaries. The company’s first selective targets are those entities manufacturing prefabricated components such as factory-built roof and floor trusses, wall panels, stairs, engineered wood and other value-added products such as vinyl windows and millwork. Secondly, Builders FirstSource intends to enter some of the homebuilding markets wherein it does not currently operate. So far in 2022, the company acquired three companies.On Jul 1, it made a tuck-in acquisition of HomCo Lumber and Hardware. HomCo is a highly-profitable distributor in the attractive Flagstaff, AZ market, with low customer concentration and a diverse product mix. HomCo generated approximately $44 million in sales in 2021.BLDR expects acquisitions, completed within the last twelve months, to add net sales growth of 6-7% in 2022.Focus on Innovations & Digital Solutions: Builders FirstSource remains focused on investing in innovations and enhancing digital solutions for customers. The company’s digital strategy includes three major areas: firstly, to focus on internal processes and productivity by investing in technology to drive operational efficiency and excellence; to help streamline interactions with vendors and customers; and to focus on external innovation and investment to offer value-added digital products and services that support customers' success and growth.The company has been deploying Paradigm Estimate, which it continues to roll out across its operations, to provide faster and more accurate customer quotes. Till June 2022, BLDR completed 4,500 take-off estimates on customer plans and the adoption will continue to accelerate. This process also provides a foundation for configurable visualization technology and improved design and construction efficiency for homebuilders. Also, it completed agreements with SnapADU and Creative Homes for the configurable visualization tool, adding nearly 300 annual starts.Focus on Productivity: Builders FirstSource expects to deliver more than $100 million in productivity savings in 2022 by continuing to leverage its BFS 1-TEAM Operating System. In the long term, the company expects a 3-5% of annual productivity improvement as the company has been working hard to leverage best practices and technology, enabling it to become more efficient and productive in serving customers.Given the productivity gains, BLDR continues to expect its base business to deliver a 10% CAGR on the top line, a 15% adjusted EBITDA CAGR, and a 50 basis points (bps) per year improvement in adjusted EBITDA margin for a total of 200 bps of improvement by 2025.The company’s expected base business performance of 2022 is already ahead of these targets. As a result of this performance, the company expects to have $7-$10 billion of capital to deploy through 2025. This includes this year's planned capital investments in innovation and organic growth, along with M&A and share repurchases. The company continued its focus on achieving higher operating leverage on the back of higher sales and robust expense controls by offsetting higher variable costs. Builders FirstSource is focused on cost-saving initiatives and implementing various plans for the same. Owing to this, the company is expected to provide greater resources to invest in growth, innovation and non-stop value creation for all its shareholders.Some Better Ranked Stocks in the Retail-Wholesale SectorTecnoglass, Inc. TGLS manufactures and sells architectural glass and aluminum products for the residential and commercial construction industries.TGLS currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, with an average of 24.4%.Ulta Beauty, Inc. ULTA, with a Zacks Rank #2, has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 49.8%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ULTA’s second-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings per share is pegged at $4.86. The consensus estimate for earnings has risen 0.4% over the past seven days.Costco Wholesale Corporation COST currently has a Zacks Rank #2. It sells high volumes of foods and general merchandise (including household products and appliances) at discounted prices through membership warehouses.Costco’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 18.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Costco’s current-year earnings has improved 0.2% over the past 30 days. 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days Just released: Experts distill 7 elite stocks from the current list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys. They deem these tickers "Most Likely for Early Price Pops." Since 1988, the full list has beaten the market more than 2X over with an average gain of +24.8% per year. So be sure to give these hand-picked 7 your immediate attention. See them now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA): Free Stock Analysis Report Builders FirstSource, Inc. (BLDR): Free Stock Analysis Report Tecnoglass Inc. (TGLS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksAug 17th, 2022

Take a look inside Clean Kitchen Club, the vegan fast-food chain backed by former McDonald"s CEO Steve Easterbrook

Clean Kitchen Club was set up by a YouTuber and a "Made In Chelsea" star, and counts Dior and Amazon as clients. We visited one of its restaurants. We visited Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill.Grace Dean/Insider Clean Kitchen Club is a vegan fast-food chain with four outlets in London. Its investors include Spencer Matthews, Grace Beverley, and former McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook. We checked out one site and found the dishes were very hit-and-miss, but the decor was great. Clean Kitchen Club has a lot going for it. The quick-service chain, founded by YouTuber Michael Pearce, who was later joined by "Made in Chelsea" reality star Verity Bowditch, now has four outlets in London after launching in 2020. The pair said in May that the chain makes more than 2,000 sales a day. It also has an all-vegan menu, targeting an ever-growing plant-based market.The Clean Kitchen Club restaurant in Notting Hill, west London.Grace Dean/InsiderSource: InsiderIts backers include Spencer Matthews, a TV personality and former star of "Made In Chelsea"; Grace Beverley, founder of sustainable activewear startup TALA; and Clive Sharpe, the former chairman of UK-based veggie alternative company Quorn.Grace Beverley is an investor in Clean Kitchen Club.Grace BeverleySource: InsiderBut the chain hit the headlines after trade publication Propel reported that another big name become an investor: former McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook. Clean Kitchen Club confirmed to Insider that he had invested in the company. Easterbrook is credited with reviving McDonald's fortunes through job cuts and the introduction of technology such as touchscreens for ordering. He left the role after the company accused him of misleading it about the nature of his relationships with several employees.Steve Easterbrook reportedly invested in Clean Kitchen Club.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderA spokesperson told Insider that Clean Kitchen Club plans to expand significantly by opening another five sites this year, grow its catering business, which has already been used by Amazon, Dior, and Sky Studios, and start selling ready meals and grab-and-go items in supermarkets. We checked out its branch in the tourist hotspot of Notting Hill to see what had enticed such big names to invest in it.Clean Kitchen Club has an outlet in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderThe restaurant didn't feel like a fast-food joint at all. The order counter had an açai bowl toppings station and a coffee machine in the background.The counter of Clean Kitchen Club.Ryan Hogg / InsiderThe decor was cool, calming, and natural, with none of the bright colors associated with other fast-food chains. The color scheme was green and white with some wooden furnishings.The decor at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderThere were even plants on the tables – something we've never seen before in a quick-service restaurant. It all seemed very Instagrammable – little surprise, perhaps, given that both founders have thousands of Instagram followers.The decor at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderThere was only space for a few customers at any one time, suggesting it is designed more for takeout than dining in.The interior of the Clean Kitchen Club looking out to the entrance.Ryan Hogg / InsiderThe menu behind the order counter is focused on burgers, bowls, açai bowls, nuggets, and coffee.The menu board at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderThere were also some prepacked sandwiches and salad bowls from a fridge below the checkout, as well as cold drinks. There was no drinks dispenser.The fridge at Clean Kitchen Club with drinks and prepacked meals.Ryan Hogg / InsiderCupcakes, pain au chocolats, and croissants were displayed in the window. They looked delicious.The desserts at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderAccording to a pitch deck made by the brand's founders, more than 80% of their customers are not vegan. Clean Kitchen Club's suppliers of plant-based meats includes industry leader Beyond Meat, which supplies its burger patties, as well as TiNDLE, which sells raw plant-based chicken that restaurants can then mould into different sizes and shapes.The exterior of the Clean Kitchen Club restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderWe tried out a range of food across the menu to see what it was like. Service took about 10 minutes – slower than at chains such as McDonald's, KFC, and Burger King. This suggested that maybe Clean Kitchen Club's food was fresher.Packaging at Clean Kitchen Club.Grace Dean/InsiderThough we ordered our food to eat in, it was still served in takeaway packaging. On its website, the company says it uses "the most environmentally friendly materials available on the market." The spokesperson said that the packaging doesn't contain plastic and is fully recyclable and biodegradable, and that the cutlery is made from either wood or avocado seed.Picture of the box design of Clean Kitchen Club.Ryan Hogg / InsiderYes, the crockery is fully recyclable and biodegradable. They don't use plastic; it is either PLA made from plants and biodegradable or aqua cellulose also derived from plants. They use either wooden or avocado seed cutlery. Straws are either paper or bamboo fibre.They also work with veg ware for their coffee/salad bowl lids. Any ink used is water soluble and all packaging is carbon neutralAll cardboard is FSC regulated, and coatings are made from vegetables.The burgers came first. Both were served in bright red buns, which we hadn't expected. This is a Cheat'n Clean Burger, which cost £8.65 ($10.50), compared to just under £4 for a McPlant from McDonald's. We saved a lot of money though by choosing Clean Kitchen Club's burger with a £8.50 ($10.27) lunch deal that included the burger, fries, and a cold drink.The Cheat'n Clean Burger at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderSource: InsiderWe ordered a Cheat'n Clean Burger, which had a Beyond Meat patty, vegan smoked cheese, two slices of gherkin, a piece of lettuce, a slice of tomato, and a squirt of "Clean Special Sauce." The cheese hasn't melted at all – a common occurrence with vegan cheese – and the patty, which had a rich, smoky flavor, seemed a bit thinner than expected. The sauce tasted good, though we couldn't tell you what was in it. It just tasted like a good burger sauce.The Cheat'n Clean Burger at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderWe also ordered the Truffle Mayo Burger, which comes with a fake chicken patty made by TiNDLE, coupled with truffle mayo and rocket. This cost £9.65 ($11.61), but we got it with fries and a cold drink for £10 ($12.04) under the lunch deal.The Truffle Mayo Burger at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Ryan Hogg / InsiderThe truffle mayo had a decent consistency, but the overall flavor of the burger was a bit basic and it maybe could have included a few more ingredients.The Truffle Mayo Burger at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Ryan Hogg / InsiderThe fries were seasoned with oregano, which made them taste very different to fries from other fast-food joints. They tasted really good. To order alone, the fries would cost £3.55 ($4.29), which seemed reasonable for the great flavor and massive portion size.The fries at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderWe also ordered two bowls – the katsu chicken (£7.95; $9.60) and the mac and cheese (£6.95; $8.39). We got these under a lunch deal, too. Both came to £8.50 ($10.23) with a drink.Picture of a plant-based katsu curry and mac and cheese at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Ryan Hogg / InsiderWe really rated the chicken alternative used in the katsu curry, but the sauce was quite sharp, very thick, and definitely not as sweet as others we'd tried, and the rice was quite bland.The plant-based chicken katsu curry we ordered.Ryan Hogg / InsiderThe mac and cheese looked great and the fake bacon bits tasted delicious and were very close to the real deal.The mac and cheese at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderThe sauce tasted OK, but you could tell it wasn't real cheese. And it was very runny, leaving a pile in the bottom of the bowl that looked a lot like egg yolk.The mac and cheese left a pile of gloopy liquid in the bottom of the bowl.Grace Dean/InsiderThe vegan "chicken" nuggets were probably the highlight. Like McDonald's, they can be ordered in quantities up to 20. But they were nearly four times as expensive as the real version from McDonald's, at £5.65 for 6 and £17.95 for 20.Picture of six plant-based "chicken" nuggets at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Ryan Hogg / InsiderThe plant-based nuggets were definitely the highlight, and possibly the best alternative to chicken nuggets we've had. They were salty and had a texture almost identical to meat.The plant-based "chicken" nugget at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Ryan Hogg / InsiderThe company says the brand "is built around being as sustainable as possible and learning new sustainable initiatives each and every day." This is includes selling leftover food at discount prices on food-waste app Too Good To Go.Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London offers discounted meals through Too Good To Go.Grace Dean/InsiderOverall we enjoyed the burgers and fries and thought the plant-based chicken in particular tasted great, but we felt that the katsu chicken bowl definitely needed some work. For a quick service restaurant, the menu was expensive, despite chains like McDonald's, KFC, and Burger King pricing both meat and vegan dishes the same. The lunch deals, however, brought down the prices at Clean Kitchen Club significantly, and the refreshing, natural decor made the dining experience much nicer than at a standard fast-food joint.The counter at Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.Grace Dean/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 13th, 2022

QUEBECOR INC. REPORTS CONSOLIDATED RESULTS FOR SECOND QUARTER 2022

MONTRÉAL, Aug. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ - Quebecor Inc. ("Quebecor" or "the Corporation") today reported its consolidated financial results for the second quarter of 2022. Quebecor consolidates the financial results of its wholly owned Quebecor Media Inc. ("Quebecor Media") subsidiary. Second quarter 2022 highlights Revenues: $1.12 billion in the second quarter of 2022, down $16.0 million (‑1.4%) from the same period of 2021. The Telecommunications segment's adjusted cash flows from operations increased by $39.3 million (11.9%), its adjusted EBITDA increased by $6.0 million (1.2%) and its revenues decreased by $15.8 million (‑1.7%) in the second quarter of 2022. Videotron Ltd. ("Videotron") increased its revenues from mobile services and equipment by $27.0 million (11.4%) in the second quarter of 2022. Subscriber connections to the mobile telephony service increased by 34,600 (2.1%) in the second quarter of 2022. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA:1 $491.4 million, a $10.0 million (‑2.0%) decrease. Net income attributable to shareholders: $157.4 million ($0.66 per basic share), an increase of $33.9 million ($0.16 per basic share). Adjusted income from continuing operating activities:2 $161.7 million ($0.68 per basic share), an increase of $3.4 million ($0.03 per basic share). Adjusted cash flows from operations:3 $361.0 million, a $22.9 million (6.8%) increase. On June 17, 2022, Videotron entered into an agreement with Rogers Communications Inc. ("Rogers") and Shaw Communications Inc. ("Shaw") to acquire Freedom Mobile Inc. ("Freedom Mobile") for $2.85 billion on a cash‑free and debt‑free basis. The agreement, which is conditional, among other things, on clearance under the Competition Act and the approval of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, provides for the acquisition of the Freedom Mobile brand's entire wireless and Internet customer base, as well as its owned infrastructure, spectrum, and retail outlets. It also includes a long‑term undertaking by Shaw and Rogers to provide Videotron with transport services (including backhaul and backbone) and roaming services. Videotron has secured the committed debt financing required for this transaction. Comments by Pierre Karl Péladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor: "In what remains a highly competitive environment, Quebecor maintained its operational rigour and financial discipline in the second quarter of 2022, as evidenced by the 6.8% increase in adjusted cash flows from operations to a total of $361.0 million, despite increased strategic investments in unique, differentiated content for both the TVA Network and its Club illico and Vrai over‑the‑top video platforms. These investments caused a slight $10.0 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA to $491.4 million. Videotron generated adjusted cash flows of $369.4 million, an increase of $39.3 million or 11.9%. Our efforts to better position our illico and Helix brands and improve margins led to a slight decrease in wireline equipment revenues. Nevertheless, the operating cost reduction initiatives of the past year enabled Videotron to post adjusted EBITDA of $487.5 million, an increase of 1.2%, and a 53.4% margin, still the industry standard‑setter. Videotron also increased its revenues from mobile services and equipment by 11.4% in the second quarter of 2022. The number of connections to the mobile service grew by 34,600, or 27.2% more than in the same quarter of 2021. __________________________________1 See "Adjusted EBITDA" under "Definitions."2  See "Adjusted income from continuing operating activities" under "Definitions."3   See "Adjusted cash flows from operations" under "Definitions."   "Videotron continues to invest in high-value growth initiatives such as wireline network extensions across the province, including the Régions Branchées program, in order to expand coverage while maintaining performance and reliability. Also, our 5G network already covers the major urban centres and roll-out is continuing apace. "The results of TVA Group Inc. ('TVA Group') were significantly affected by lower profitability in the Broadcasting segment in the second quarter of 2022, due mainly to increased content investments at TVA Network, particularly in reality and variety programming. Delivering varied programming of high quality remains the cornerstone of our business strategy. It's how we attract a steadily growing number of viewers, as indicated by the 0.7‑point market share gain posted by TVA Network in the second quarter of 2022. Despite the soft advertising market due to the unfavourable business landscape and regulatory environment, our strong programming enabled us to stand out with advertisers and to limit the impact on our over‑the‑air network's advertising revenues. "We are more determined and motivated than ever to pursue our ambitious plans to grow across Canada as an agile, proven player that aims to disrupt the market and lower prices for Canadian consumers. The acquisition of Freedom Mobile will be a highly beneficial transaction for all parties. By investing in Canadian expansion with the goal of becoming the fourth national wireless carrier, we will foster healthy competition in the interests of Canadian consumers and position ourselves in a high‑growth market, in which we will be able to offer consumers in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario multiservice bundles and innovative mobile and Internet products. We will leverage our strong operational and competitive expertise, significant financial resources and extensive spectrum assets to continue rapidly evolving to 5G technology and a world‑class network. In addition, the recent acquisition of VMedia Inc. will support our growth strategy outside Québec with advantageous multiservice bundles, giving Canadian consumers more choice at better prices. "We remain focused on our objectives of creating value for all our stakeholders through adroit execution of our strategies on a daily basis, coupled with the operational excellence and financial discipline that have been the hallmarks of our success in recent years." COVID‑19 pandemic Since March 2020, the COVID‑19 pandemic has had an impact on some of the Corporation's quarterly results, more particularly in the Media and the Sports and Entertainment segments. Given the uncertainty around the future evolution of the pandemic, including any major new waves, all future impacts of the health crisis on the results of operations cannot be determined with certainty. Non‑IFRS financial measures The Corporation uses financial measures not standardized under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"), such as adjusted EBITDA, adjusted income from continuing operating activities, adjusted cash flows from operations, free cash flows from continuing operating activities and consolidated net debt leverage ratio, and key performance indicators, including RGU. Definitions of the non‑IFRS measures and key performance indicator used by the Corporation are provided in the "Definitions" section. Financial table Table 1Consolidated summary of income, cash flows and balance sheet (in millions of Canadian dollars, except per basic share data) Three months ended June 30 Six months ended June 30  2022 2021 2022 2021 Income Revenues: Telecommunications $ 912.6 $ 928.4 $ 1,816.0 $ 1,842.4 Media 188.1 198.2 369.9 373.0 Sports and Entertainment 45.0 33.5 79.1 64.7 Inter-segment (30.5) (28.9) (61.8) (57.8) 1,115.2 1,131.2 2,203.2 2,222.3 Adjusted EBITDA (negative adjusted EBITDA): Telecommunications 487.5 481.5 947.5 932.4 Media 4.1 16.7 (7.8) 18.0 Sports and Entertainment 4.7 3.1 4.6 5.2 Head Office (4.9) 0.1 (10.8) (1.5) 491.4 501.4 933.5 954.1 Depreciation and amortization (191.6) (196.6) (386.3) (391.9) Financial expenses (82.0) (87.0) (159.5) (170.1) (Loss) gain on valuation and translation of financial    instruments (2.1) 7.0 (9.4) 1.2 Restructuring of operations and other items (3.5) 20.6 (4.4) 16.1 Loss on debt refinancing – (80.9) – (80.9) Income taxes (55.9) (39.8) (100.5) (83.8) Net income $ 156.3 $ 124.7 $ 273.4 $ 244.7   Net income attributable to shareholders 157.4 123.5 278.8 244.8 Adjusted income from continuing operating activities 161.7 158.3 290.4 288.2 Per basic share: Net income attributable to shareholders 0.66 0.50 1.17 1.00 Adjusted income from continuing operating activities 0.68 0.65 1.22 1.17   Table 1 (continued) Three months ended June 30 Six months ended June 30 2022 2021 2022 2021 Additions to property, plant and equipment and to intangible assets: Telecommunications $ 118.1 $ 151.4 $ 233.5 $ 289.4 Media 10.9 9.6 20.1 15.3 Sports and Entertainment 0.8 0.6 1.6 1.6 Head Office 0.6 1.7 1.2 2.1 130.4 163.3 256.4 308.4 Cash flows:   Adjusted cash flows from operations: Telecommunications 369.4 330.1 714.0 643.0 Media (6.8) 7.1 (27.9) 2.7 Sports and Entertainment 3.9 2.5 3.0 3.6 Head Office (5.5) (1.6) (12.0) (3.6) 361.0 338.1 677.1 645.7 Free cash flows from continuing operating activities1 117.8 76.8 221.8 167.9 Cash flows provided by operating activities 241.7 229.7 469.4 491.3 June 30, 2022 Dec. 31, 2021 Balance sheet   Cash and cash equivalents $ 9.1 $ 64.7   Working capital (735.7) 50.4   Net assets related to derivative financial instruments 406.0 382.3   Total assets 10,671.3 10,763.0   Total long‑term debt (including current portion) 6,603.4 6,554.0   Lease liabilities (current and long-term) 178.6 183.2   Convertible debentures, including embedded derivatives 150.7 141.6   Equity attributable to shareholders 1,403.2 1,255.6   Equity 1,527.5 1,378.8 Consolidated net debt leverage ratio1 3.27x 3.19x   _________________________________________1  See "Non‑IFRS financial measures."   2022/2021 second quarter comparison Revenues: $1.12 billion, a $16.0 million (‑1.4%) decrease. Revenues decreased in Telecommunications ($15.8 million or ‑1.7% of segment revenues) and in Media ($10.1 million or ‑5.1%). Revenues increased in Sports and Entertainment ($11.5 million or 34.3%). Adjusted EBITDA: $491.4 million, a $10.0 million (‑2.0%) decrease. Adjusted EBITDA decreased in Media ($12.6 million or ‑75.4% of segment adjusted EBITDA) and there was an unfavourable variance at Head Office ($5.0 million) due to a change in the allocation of corporate expenses. Adjusted EBITDA increased in Telecommunications ($6.0 million or 1.2%) and in Sports and Entertainment ($1.6 million or 51.6%). The change in the fair value of Quebecor stock options and stock‑price‑based share units resulted in a $1.8 million unfavourable variance in the Corporation's stock‑based compensation charge in the second quarter of 2022 compared with the same period of 2021.   Net income attributable to shareholders: $157.4 million ($0.66 per basic share) in the second quarter of 2022, compared with $123.5 million ($0.50 per basic share) in the same period of 2021, an increase of $33.9 million ($0.16 per basic share). The main favourable variances were: $80.9 million decrease in the loss on debt refinancing; $5.0 million decrease in the depreciation and amortization charge; $5.0 million decrease in financial expenses. The main unfavourable variances were: $24.1 million unfavourable variance in the charge for restructuring of operations and other items; $16.1 million increase in the income tax expense; $10.0 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA; $9.1 million unfavourable variance in losses on valuation and translation of financial instruments, including $9.4 million without any tax consequences. Adjusted income from continuing operating activities: $161.7 million ($0.68 per basic share) in the second quarter of 2022, compared with $158.3 million ($0.65 per basic share) in the same period of 2021, an increase of $3.4 million ($0.03 per basic share). Adjusted cash flows from operations: $361.0 million, a $22.9 million (6.8%) increase due to a $22.8 million decrease in additions to intangible assets and a $10.1 million decrease in additions to property, plant and equipment, partially offset by the $10.0 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA. Cash flows provided by operating activities: $241.7 million, a $12.0 million (5.2%) increase due primarily to the favourable net change in non‑cash balances related to operating activities and the decrease in the cash portion of financial expenses, partially offset by the decrease in adjusted EBITDA, the increase in current income taxes and the unfavourable variance in the cash portion related to restructuring of operations and other items. 2022/2021 year‑to‑date comparison Revenues: $2.20 billion, a $19.1 million (‑0.9%) decrease. Revenues decreased in Telecommunications ($26.4 million or ‑1.4% of segment revenues) and in Media ($3.1 million or ‑0.8%). Revenues increased in Sports and Entertainment ($14.4 million or 22.3%). Adjusted EBITDA: $933.5 million, a $20.6 million (‑2.2%) decrease. Adjusted EBITDA increased in Telecommunications ($15.1 million or 1.6% of segment adjusted EBITDA). There were unfavourable variances in Media ($25.8 million), Sports and Entertainment ($0.6 million or ‑11.5%) and Head Office ($9.3 million), due in the latter case to a change in the allocation of corporate expenses. The change in the fair value of Quebecor stock options and stock‑price‑based share units resulted in a $0.4 million unfavourable variance in the Corporation's stock‑based compensation charge in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period of 2021.   Net income attributable to shareholders: $278.8 million ($1.17 per basic share) in the first half of 2022, compared with $244.8 million ($1.00 per basic share) in the same period of 2021, an increase of $34.0 million ($0.17 per basic share). The main favourable variances were: $80.9 million decrease in the loss on debt refinancing; $10.6 million decrease in financial expenses; $5.6 million decrease in the depreciation and amortization charge; $5.3 million favourable variance in non‑controlling interest. The main unfavourable variances were: $20.5 million unfavourable variance in the charge for restructuring of operations and other items; $20.6 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA; $16.7 million increase in the income tax expense; $10.6 million unfavourable variance in losses on valuation and translation of financial instruments, including $10.9 million without any tax consequences. Adjusted income from continuing operating activities: $290.4 million ($1.22 per basic share) in the first half of 2022, compared with $288.2 million ($1.17 per basic share) in the same period of 2021, an increase of $2.2 million ($0.05 per basic share). Adjusted cash flows from operations: $677.1 million, a $31.4 million (4.9%) increase due to a $41.3 million decrease in additions to intangible assets and a $10.7 million decrease in additions to property, plant and equipment, partially offset by the $20.6 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA. Cash flows provided by operating activities: $469.4 million, a $21.9 million (‑4.5%) decrease due primarily to the decrease in adjusted EBITDA and the increase in current income taxes, partially offset by the favourable net change in non‑cash balances related to operating activities and the decrease in the cash portion of financial expenses. Financing operations On May 20, 2022, Videotron amended its $1.50 billion secured revolving credit facility to extend its term to July 2026 and Quebecor Media amended its $300.0 million secured revolving credit facility to extend its term to July 2025. Certain terms and conditions of the credit facilities were also amended. Normal course issuer bid On August 3, 2022, the Corporation authorized a normal course issuer bid for a maximum of 1,000,000 Class A Multiple Voting Shares ("Class A Shares"), representing approximately 1.3% of issued and outstanding Class A Shares, and for a maximum of 6,000,000 Class B Subordinate Voting Shares ("Class B Shares"), representing approximately 3.8% of issued and outstanding Class B Shares as of July 29, 2022. The purchases can be made from August 15, 2022 to August 14, 2023 at prevailing market prices on the open market through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange or other alternative trading systems in Canada. All shares purchased under the bid will be cancelled. As of July 29, 2022, 76 984 034 Class A Shares and 157 170 556 Class B Shares were issued and outstanding. The average daily trading volume of the Class A Shares and Class B Shares of the Corporation between February 1, 2022 and July 31, 2022 on the TSX was 1 220 Class A Shares and 703 584 Class B Shares. Consequently, the Corporation will be authorized to purchase a maximum of 1,000 Class A Shares and 175 986 Class B Shares during the same trading day, pursuant to its normal course issuer bid. The Corporation believes that the repurchase of these shares under this normal course issuer bid is in the best interests of the Corporation and its shareholders. The Corporation also announced that on or around August 5, 2022 it will enter into an automatic securities purchase plan ("the plan") with a designated broker whereby shares may be repurchased under the plan at times when such purchases would otherwise be prohibited pursuant to regulatory restrictions or self‑imposed blackout periods. The plan received prior approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange. It will come into effect on August 15, 2022 and terminate on the same date as the normal course issuer bid. Under the plan, before entering a self‑imposed blackout period, the Corporation may, but is not required to, ask the designated broker to make purchases under the normal course issuer bid. Such purchases shall be made at the discretion of the designated broker, within parameters established by the Corporation prior to the blackout periods. Outside the blackout periods, purchases will be made at the discretion of the Corporation's management. On April 27, 2022, the Corporation received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange to amend its previous normal course issuer bid in order to increase the maximum number of Class B Shares that may be repurchased to 10,000,000 Class B Shares, representing approximately 6.8% of the Class B Shares public float as of July 30, 2021. No other terms of the normal course issuer bid have been amended. Between August 15, 2021 and July 31, 2022, of the 1,000,000 Class A Shares and 10,000,000 Class B Shares it was authorized to repurchase under this normal course issuer bid, the Corporation repurchased no Class A Shares and 8,978,851 Class B Shares at a weighted average price of $29.7984 per share on the open market through the facilities of the TSX and alternative trading systems in Canada. In the first half of 2022, the Corporation purchased and cancelled 4,202,951 Class B Shares for a total cash consideration of $123.1 million (4,073,200 Class B Shares for a total cash consideration of $131.5 million in the same period of 2021). The $98.3 million excess of the purchase price over the carrying value of the repurchased Class B Shares was recorded as a reduction in retained earnings ($107.5 million in the same period of 2021). Dividend On August 3, 2022, the Board of Directors of Quebecor declared a quarterly dividend of $0.30 per share on its Class A Shares and Class B Shares, payable on September 13, 2022 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 19, 2022. This dividend is designated an eligible dividend, as provided under subsection 89(14) of the Canadian Income Tax Act and its provincial counterpart. Convertible debentures In accordance with the terms of the trust indenture governing the convertible debentures, the quarterly dividend declared on May 11, 2022 on Quebecor Class B Shares triggered an adjustment to the floor price and ceiling price then in effect. Accordingly, effective May 26, 2022, the conversion features of the convertible debentures are subject to an adjusted floor price of approximately $25.07 per share (that is, a maximum number of approximately 5,984,010 Class B Shares corresponding to a ratio of $150.0 million to the adjusted floor price) and an adjusted ceiling price of approximately $31.33 per share (that is, a minimum number of approximately 4,787,208 Class B Shares corresponding to a ratio of $150.0 million to the adjusted ceiling price). Detailed financial information For a detailed analysis of Quebecor's second quarter 2022 results, please refer to the Management Discussion and Analysis and condensed consolidated financial statements of Quebecor, available on the Corporation's website at www.quebecor.com/en/investors/financial documentation or from the SEDAR filing service at www.sedar.com. Conference call for investors and webcast Quebecor will hold a conference call to discuss its second quarter 2022 results on August 4, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. EDT. There will be a question period reserved for financial analysts. To access the conference call, please dial 1‑877‑293‑8052, access code for participants 31698#. The conference call will also be broadcast live on Quebecor's website at www.quebecor.com/en/investors/conferences-and-annual-meeting. It is advisable to ensure the appropriate software is installed before accessing the call. Instructions and links to free player downloads are available at the Internet address shown above. Anyone unable to attend the conference call will be able to listen to a recording by dialing 1‑877‑293‑8133, access code 31698#, recording access code 0112465#. The recording will be available until November 11, 2022. Cautionary statement regarding forward‑looking statements The statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward‑looking statements and are subject to significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause the Corporation's actual results for future periods to differ materially from those set forth in the forward‑looking statements. Forward‑looking statements may be identified by the use of the conditional or by forward‑looking terminology such as the terms "plans," "expects," "may," "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," "projects," "seeks," "believes," or similar terms, variations of such terms or the negative of such terms. Certain factors that may cause actual results to differ from current expectations include seasonality (including seasonal fluctuations in customer orders), operating risk (including fluctuations in demand for Quebecor's products and pricing actions by competitors), new competition, and Quebecor's ability to retain its current customers and attract new ones, risks related to fragmentation of the advertising market, insurance risk, risks associated with capital investments (including risks related to technological development and equipment availability and breakdown), environmental risks, risks associated with cybersecurity and the protection of personal information, risks associated with service interruptions resulting from equipment breakdown, network failure, the threat of natural disaster, epidemics, pandemics or other public health crises, including the COVID‑19 pandemic, political instability is some countries, risks associated with emergency measures implemented by various governments, risks associated with labour agreements, credit risk, financial risks, debt risks, risks related to interest rate fluctuations, foreign exchange risks, risks associated with government acts and regulations, risks related to changes in tax legislation, and changes in the general political and economic environment. Investors and others are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive and that undue reliance should not be placed on any forward‑looking statements. For more information on the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause Quebecor's actual results to differ from current expectations, please refer to Quebecor's public filings, available at www.sedar.com and www.quebecor.com, including, in particular, the "Risks and Uncertainties" section of Quebecor's Management Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2021. The forward‑looking statements in this press release reflect Quebecor's expectations as of August 4, 2022 and are subject to change after that date. Quebecor expressly disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise any forward‑looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. About Quebecor Quebecor, a Canadian leader in telecommunications, entertainment, news media and culture, is one of the best‑performing integrated communications companies in the industry. Driven by their determination to deliver the best possible customer experience, all of Quebecor's subsidiaries and brands are differentiated by their high‑quality, multiplatform, convergent products and services. Quebecor (TSX:QBR, QBR.B)) is headquartered in Québec and employs nearly 10,000 people in Canada.  A family business founded in 1950, Quebecor is strongly committed to the community. Every year, it actively supports more than 400 organizations in the vital fields of culture, health, education, the environment, and entrepreneurship. Visit our website: www.quebecor.com Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Quebecor DEFINITIONS Adjusted EBITDA In its analysis of operating results, the Corporation defines adjusted EBITDA, as reconciled to net income under IFRS, as net income before depreciation and amortization, financial expenses, loss (gain) on valuation and translation of financial instruments, restructuring of operations and other items, loss on debt refinancing and income tax. Adjusted EBITDA as defined above is not a measure of results that is consistent with IFRS. It is not intended to be regarded as an alternative to IFRS financial performance measures or to the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity. It should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The Corporation uses adjusted EBITDA in order to assess the performance of its investment in Quebecor Media. The Corporation's management and Board of Directors use this measure in evaluating its consolidated results as well as the results of the Corporation's operating segments. This measure eliminates the significant level of impairment and depreciation/amortization of tangible and intangible assets and is unaffected by the capital structure or investment activities of the Corporation and its business segments. Adjusted EBITDA is also relevant because it is a component of the Corporation's annual incentive compensation programs. A limitation of this measure, however, is that it does not reflect the periodic costs of tangible and intangible assets used in generating revenues in the Corporation's segments. The Corporation also uses other measures that do reflect such costs, such as adjusted cash flows from operations and free cash flows from continuing operating activities. The Corporation's definition of adjusted EBITDA may not be the same as similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Table 2 provides a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to net income as disclosed in Quebecor's condensed consolidated financial statements. Table 2Reconciliation of the adjusted EBITDA measure used in this press release to the net income measure used in the condensed consolidated financial statements(in millions of Canadian dollars) Three months endedJune 30 Six months endedJune 30 2022 2021 2022 2021 Adjusted EBITDA (negative adjusted EBITDA):   Telecommunications $ 487.5 $ 481.5 $ 947.5 $ 932.4   Media 4.1 16.7 (7.8) 18.0   Sports and Entertainment 4.7 3.1 4.6 5.2   Head Office (4.9) 0.1 (10.8) (1.5) 491.4 501.4 933.5 954.1 Depreciation and amortization (191.6) (196.6) (386.3) (391.9) Financial expenses (82.0) (87.0) (159.5) (170.1) (Loss) gain on valuation and translation of    financial instruments (2.1) 7.0 (9.4) 1.2 Restructuring of operations and other items (3.5) 20.6 (4.4) 16.1 Loss on debt refinancing – (80.9) – (80.9) Income taxes (55.9) (39.8) (100.5) (83.8) Net income $ 156.3 $ 124.7 $ 273.4 $ 244.7   Adjusted income from continuing operating activities The Corporation defines adjusted income from continuing operating activities, as reconciled to net income attributable to shareholders under IFRS, as net income attributable to shareholders before (loss) gain on valuation and translation of financial instruments, restructuring of operations and other items, and loss on debt refinancing, net of income tax related to adjustments and net income attributable to non‑controlling interest related to adjustments. Adjusted income from continuing operating activities, as defined above, is not a measure of results that is consistent with IFRS. It should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The Corporation uses adjusted income from continuing operating activities to analyze trends in the performance of its businesses. The above‑listed items are excluded from the calculation of this measure because they impair the comparability of financial results. Adjusted income from continuing operating activities is more representative for forecasting income. The Corporation's definition of adjusted income from continuing operating activities may not be identical to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.  Table 3 provides a reconciliation of adjusted income from continuing operating activities to the net income attributable to shareholders' measure used in Quebecor's condensed consolidated financial statements. Table 3Reconciliation of the adjusted income from continuing operating activities measure used in this press release to the net income attributable to shareholders' measure used in the condensed consolidated financial statements (in millions of Canadian dollars) Three months endedJune 30 Six months ended June 30 2022 2021 2022 2021 Adjusted income from continuing operating activities $ 161.7 $ 158.3 $ 290.4 $ 288.2 (Loss) gain on valuation and translation of financial    instruments (2.1) 7.0 (9.4) 1.2 Restructuring of operations and other items (3.5) 20.6 (4.4) 16.1 Loss on debt refinancing – (80.9) – (80.9) Income taxes related to adjustments1 1.3 18.5 2.2 20.2 Net income attributable to shareholders $ 157.4 $ 123.5 $ 278.8 $ 244.8 1    Includes impact of fluctuations in income tax applicable to adjusted items, either for statutory reasons or in connection with tax transactions.   Adjusted cash flows from operations and free cash flows from continuing operating activities Adjusted cash flows from operations Adjusted cash flows from operations represents adjusted EBITDA, less additions to property, plant and equipment and to intangible assets (excluding licence acquisitions and renewals). Adjusted cash flows from operations represents funds available for interest and income tax payments, expenditures related to restructuring programs, business acquisitions, licence acquisitions and renewals, payment of dividends, repayment of long‑term debt and lease liabilities, and share repurchases. Adjusted cash flows from operations is not a measure of liquidity that is consistent with IFRS. It is not intended to be regarded as an alternative to IFRS financial performance measures or to the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity. Adjusted cash flows from operations is used by the Corporation's management and Board of Directors to evaluate the cash flows generated by the operations of all of its segments, on a consolidated basis, in addition to the operating cash flows generated by each segment. Adjusted cash flows from operations is also relevant because it is a component of the Corporation's annual incentive compensation programs. The Corporation's definition of adjusted cash flows from operations may not be identical to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Free cash flows from continuing operating activities Free cash flows from continuing operating activities represents cash flows provided by operating activities calculated in accordance with IFRS, less cash flows used for additions to property, plant and equipment and to intangible assets (excluding expenditures related to licence acquisitions and renewals), plus proceeds from disposal of assets. Free cash flows from continuing operating activities is used by the Corporation's management and Board of Directors to evaluate cash flows generated by the Corporation's operations. Free cash flows from continuing operating activities represents available funds for business acquisitions, licence acquisitions and renewals, payment of dividends, repayment of long‑term debt and lease liabilities, and share repurchases. Free cash flows from continuing operating activities is not a measure of liquidity that is consistent with IFRS. It is not intended to be regarded as an alternative to IFRS financial performance measures or to the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity. The Corporation's definition of free cash flows from continuing operating activities may not be identical to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Tables 4 and 5 provide a reconciliation of adjusted cash flows from operations and free cash flows from continuing operating activities to cash flows provided by operating activities reported in the condensed consolidated financial statements. Table 4Adjusted cash flows from operations(in millions of Canadian dollars) Three months endedJune 30 Six months ended June 30 2022 2021 2022 2021 Adjusted EBITDA (negative adjusted EBITDA)   Telecommunications $ 487.5 $ 481.5 $ 947.5 $ 932.4   Media 4.1 16.7 (7.8) 18.0   Sports and Entertainment 4.7 3.1 4.6 5.2   Head Office (4.9) 0.1 (10.8) (1.5) 491.4 501.4 933.5 954.1 Minus Additions to property, plant and equipment:1.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaAug 4th, 2022

QUEBECOR INC. REPORTS CONSOLIDATED RESULTS FOR SECOND QUARTER 2022

MONTRÉAL, Aug. 4, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebecor Inc. ("Quebecor" or "the Corporation") today reported its consolidated financial results for the second quarter of 2022. Quebecor consolidates the financial results of its wholly owned Quebecor Media Inc. ("Quebecor Media") subsidiary. Second quarter 2022 highlights Revenues: $1.12 billion in the second quarter of 2022, down $16.0 million (‑1.4%) from the same period of 2021. The Telecommunications segment's adjusted cash flows from operations increased by $39.3 million (11.9%), its adjusted EBITDA increased by $6.0 million (1.2%) and its revenues decreased by $15.8 million (‑1.7%) in the second quarter of 2022. Videotron Ltd. ("Videotron") increased its revenues from mobile services and equipment by $27.0 million (11.4%) in the second quarter of 2022. Subscriber connections to the mobile telephony service increased by 34,600 (2.1%) in the second quarter of 2022. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA:1 $491.4 million, a $10.0 million (‑2.0%) decrease. Net income attributable to shareholders: $157.4 million ($0.66 per basic share), an increase of $33.9 million ($0.16 per basic share). Adjusted income from continuing operating activities:2 $161.7 million ($0.68 per basic share), an increase of $3.4 million ($0.03 per basic share). Adjusted cash flows from operations:3 $361.0 million, a $22.9 million (6.8%) increase. On June 17, 2022, Videotron entered into an agreement with Rogers Communications Inc. ("Rogers") and Shaw Communications Inc. ("Shaw") to acquire Freedom Mobile Inc. ("Freedom Mobile") for $2.85 billion on a cash‑free and debt‑free basis. The agreement, which is conditional, among other things, on clearance under the Competition Act and the approval of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, provides for the acquisition of the Freedom Mobile brand's entire wireless and Internet customer base, as well as its owned infrastructure, spectrum, and retail outlets. It also includes a long‑term undertaking by Shaw and Rogers to provide Videotron with transport services (including backhaul and backbone) and roaming services. Videotron has secured the committed debt financing required for this transaction. Comments by Pierre Karl Péladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor: "In what remains a highly competitive environment, Quebecor maintained its operational rigour and financial discipline in the second quarter of 2022, as evidenced by the 6.8% increase in adjusted cash flows from operations to a total of $361.0 million, despite increased strategic investments in unique, differentiated content for both the TVA Network and its Club illico and Vrai over‑the‑top video platforms. These investments caused a slight $10.0 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA to $491.4 million. Videotron generated adjusted cash flows of $369.4 million, an increase of $39.3 million or 11.9%. Our efforts to better position our illico and Helix brands and improve margins led to a slight decrease in wireline equipment revenues. Nevertheless, the operating cost reduction initiatives of the past year enabled Videotron to post adjusted EBITDA of $487.5 million, an increase of 1.2%, and a 53.4% margin, still the industry standard‑setter. Videotron also increased its revenues from mobile services and equipment by 11.4% in the second quarter of 2022. The number of connections to the mobile service grew by 34,600, or 27.2% more than in the same quarter of 2021. __________________________________1 See "Adjusted EBITDA" under "Definitions."2  See "Adjusted income from continuing operating activities" under "Definitions."3   See "Adjusted cash flows from operations" under "Definitions."   "Videotron continues to invest in high-value growth initiatives such as wireline network extensions across the province, including the Régions Branchées program, in order to expand coverage while maintaining performance and reliability. Also, our 5G network already covers the major urban centres and roll-out is continuing apace. "The results of TVA Group Inc. ('TVA Group') were significantly affected by lower profitability in the Broadcasting segment in the second quarter of 2022, due mainly to increased content investments at TVA Network, particularly in reality and variety programming. Delivering varied programming of high quality remains the cornerstone of our business strategy. It's how we attract a steadily growing number of viewers, as indicated by the 0.7‑point market share gain posted by TVA Network in the second quarter of 2022. Despite the soft advertising market due to the unfavourable business landscape and regulatory environment, our strong programming enabled us to stand out with advertisers and to limit the impact on our over‑the‑air network's advertising revenues. "We are more determined and motivated than ever to pursue our ambitious plans to grow across Canada as an agile, proven player that aims to disrupt the market and lower prices for Canadian consumers. The acquisition of Freedom Mobile will be a highly beneficial transaction for all parties. By investing in Canadian expansion with the goal of becoming the fourth national wireless carrier, we will foster healthy competition in the interests of Canadian consumers and position ourselves in a high‑growth market, in which we will be able to offer consumers in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario multiservice bundles and innovative mobile and Internet products. We will leverage our strong operational and competitive expertise, significant financial resources and extensive spectrum assets to continue rapidly evolving to 5G technology and a world‑class network. In addition, the recent acquisition of VMedia Inc. will support our growth strategy outside Québec with advantageous multiservice bundles, giving Canadian consumers more choice at better prices. "We remain focused on our objectives of creating value for all our stakeholders through adroit execution of our strategies on a daily basis, coupled with the operational excellence and financial discipline that have been the hallmarks of our success in recent years." COVID‑19 pandemic Since March 2020, the COVID‑19 pandemic has had an impact on some of the Corporation's quarterly results, more particularly in the Media and the Sports and Entertainment segments. Given the uncertainty around the future evolution of the pandemic, including any major new waves, all future impacts of the health crisis on the results of operations cannot be determined with certainty. Non‑IFRS financial measures The Corporation uses financial measures not standardized under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"), such as adjusted EBITDA, adjusted income from continuing operating activities, adjusted cash flows from operations, free cash flows from continuing operating activities and consolidated net debt leverage ratio, and key performance indicators, including RGU. Definitions of the non‑IFRS measures and key performance indicator used by the Corporation are provided in the "Definitions" section. Financial table Table 1Consolidated summary of income, cash flows and balance sheet (in millions of Canadian dollars, except per basic share data) Three months ended June 30 Six months ended June 30  2022 2021 2022 2021 Income Revenues: Telecommunications $ 912.6 $ 928.4 $ 1,816.0 $ 1,842.4 Media 188.1 198.2 369.9 373.0 Sports and Entertainment 45.0 33.5 79.1 64.7 Inter-segment (30.5) (28.9) (61.8) (57.8) 1,115.2 1,131.2 2,203.2 2,222.3 Adjusted EBITDA (negative adjusted EBITDA): Telecommunications 487.5 481.5 947.5 932.4 Media 4.1 16.7 (7.8) 18.0 Sports and Entertainment 4.7 3.1 4.6 5.2 Head Office (4.9) 0.1 (10.8) (1.5) 491.4 501.4 933.5 954.1 Depreciation and amortization (191.6) (196.6) (386.3) (391.9) Financial expenses (82.0) (87.0) (159.5) (170.1) (Loss) gain on valuation and translation of financial    instruments (2.1) 7.0 (9.4) 1.2 Restructuring of operations and other items (3.5) 20.6 (4.4) 16.1 Loss on debt refinancing – (80.9) – (80.9) Income taxes (55.9) (39.8) (100.5) (83.8) Net income $ 156.3 $ 124.7 $ 273.4 $ 244.7   Net income attributable to shareholders 157.4 123.5 278.8 244.8 Adjusted income from continuing operating activities 161.7 158.3 290.4 288.2 Per basic share: Net income attributable to shareholders 0.66 0.50 1.17 1.00 Adjusted income from continuing operating activities 0.68 0.65 1.22 1.17   Table 1 (continued) Three months ended June 30 Six months ended June 30 2022 2021 2022 2021 Additions to property, plant and equipment and to intangible assets: Telecommunications $ 118.1 $ 151.4 $ 233.5 $ 289.4 Media 10.9 9.6 20.1 15.3 Sports and Entertainment 0.8 0.6 1.6 1.6 Head Office 0.6 1.7 1.2 2.1 130.4 163.3 256.4 308.4 Cash flows:   Adjusted cash flows from operations: Telecommunications 369.4 330.1 714.0 643.0 Media (6.8) 7.1 (27.9) 2.7 Sports and Entertainment 3.9 2.5 3.0 3.6 Head Office (5.5) (1.6) (12.0) (3.6) 361.0 338.1 677.1 645.7 Free cash flows from continuing operating activities1 117.8 76.8 221.8 167.9 Cash flows provided by operating activities 241.7 229.7 469.4 491.3 June 30, 2022 Dec. 31, 2021 Balance sheet   Cash and cash equivalents $ 9.1 $ 64.7   Working capital (735.7) 50.4   Net assets related to derivative financial instruments 406.0 382.3   Total assets 10,671.3 10,763.0   Total long‑term debt (including current portion) 6,603.4 6,554.0   Lease liabilities (current and long-term) 178.6 183.2   Convertible debentures, including embedded derivatives 150.7 141.6   Equity attributable to shareholders 1,403.2 1,255.6   Equity 1,527.5 1,378.8 Consolidated net debt leverage ratio1 3.27x 3.19x   _________________________________________1  See "Non‑IFRS financial measures."   2022/2021 second quarter comparison Revenues: $1.12 billion, a $16.0 million (‑1.4%) decrease. Revenues decreased in Telecommunications ($15.8 million or ‑1.7% of segment revenues) and in Media ($10.1 million or ‑5.1%). Revenues increased in Sports and Entertainment ($11.5 million or 34.3%). Adjusted EBITDA: $491.4 million, a $10.0 million (‑2.0%) decrease. Adjusted EBITDA decreased in Media ($12.6 million or ‑75.4% of segment adjusted EBITDA) and there was an unfavourable variance at Head Office ($5.0 million) due to a change in the allocation of corporate expenses. Adjusted EBITDA increased in Telecommunications ($6.0 million or 1.2%) and in Sports and Entertainment ($1.6 million or 51.6%). The change in the fair value of Quebecor stock options and stock‑price‑based share units resulted in a $1.8 million unfavourable variance in the Corporation's stock‑based compensation charge in the second quarter of 2022 compared with the same period of 2021.   Net income attributable to shareholders: $157.4 million ($0.66 per basic share) in the second quarter of 2022, compared with $123.5 million ($0.50 per basic share) in the same period of 2021, an increase of $33.9 million ($0.16 per basic share). The main favourable variances were: $80.9 million decrease in the loss on debt refinancing; $5.0 million decrease in the depreciation and amortization charge; $5.0 million decrease in financial expenses. The main unfavourable variances were: $24.1 million unfavourable variance in the charge for restructuring of operations and other items; $16.1 million increase in the income tax expense; $10.0 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA; $9.1 million unfavourable variance in losses on valuation and translation of financial instruments, including $9.4 million without any tax consequences. Adjusted income from continuing operating activities: $161.7 million ($0.68 per basic share) in the second quarter of 2022, compared with $158.3 million ($0.65 per basic share) in the same period of 2021, an increase of $3.4 million ($0.03 per basic share). Adjusted cash flows from operations: $361.0 million, a $22.9 million (6.8%) increase due to a $22.8 million decrease in additions to intangible assets and a $10.1 million decrease in additions to property, plant and equipment, partially offset by the $10.0 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA. Cash flows provided by operating activities: $241.7 million, a $12.0 million (5.2%) increase due primarily to the favourable net change in non‑cash balances related to operating activities and the decrease in the cash portion of financial expenses, partially offset by the decrease in adjusted EBITDA, the increase in current income taxes and the unfavourable variance in the cash portion related to restructuring of operations and other items. 2022/2021 year‑to‑date comparison Revenues: $2.20 billion, a $19.1 million (‑0.9%) decrease. Revenues decreased in Telecommunications ($26.4 million or ‑1.4% of segment revenues) and in Media ($3.1 million or ‑0.8%). Revenues increased in Sports and Entertainment ($14.4 million or 22.3%). Adjusted EBITDA: $933.5 million, a $20.6 million (‑2.2%) decrease. Adjusted EBITDA increased in Telecommunications ($15.1 million or 1.6% of segment adjusted EBITDA). There were unfavourable variances in Media ($25.8 million), Sports and Entertainment ($0.6 million or ‑11.5%) and Head Office ($9.3 million), due in the latter case to a change in the allocation of corporate expenses. The change in the fair value of Quebecor stock options and stock‑price‑based share units resulted in a $0.4 million unfavourable variance in the Corporation's stock‑based compensation charge in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period of 2021.   Net income attributable to shareholders: $278.8 million ($1.17 per basic share) in the first half of 2022, compared with $244.8 million ($1.00 per basic share) in the same period of 2021, an increase of $34.0 million ($0.17 per basic share). The main favourable variances were: $80.9 million decrease in the loss on debt refinancing; $10.6 million decrease in financial expenses; $5.6 million decrease in the depreciation and amortization charge; $5.3 million favourable variance in non‑controlling interest. The main unfavourable variances were: $20.5 million unfavourable variance in the charge for restructuring of operations and other items; $20.6 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA; $16.7 million increase in the income tax expense; $10.6 million unfavourable variance in losses on valuation and translation of financial instruments, including $10.9 million without any tax consequences. Adjusted income from continuing operating activities: $290.4 million ($1.22 per basic share) in the first half of 2022, compared with $288.2 million ($1.17 per basic share) in the same period of 2021, an increase of $2.2 million ($0.05 per basic share). Adjusted cash flows from operations: $677.1 million, a $31.4 million (4.9%) increase due to a $41.3 million decrease in additions to intangible assets and a $10.7 million decrease in additions to property, plant and equipment, partially offset by the $20.6 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA. Cash flows provided by operating activities: $469.4 million, a $21.9 million (‑4.5%) decrease due primarily to the decrease in adjusted EBITDA and the increase in current income taxes, partially offset by the favourable net change in non‑cash balances related to operating activities and the decrease in the cash portion of financial expenses. Financing operations On May 20, 2022, Videotron amended its $1.50 billion secured revolving credit facility to extend its term to July 2026 and Quebecor Media amended its $300.0 million secured revolving credit facility to extend its term to July 2025. Certain terms and conditions of the credit facilities were also amended. Normal course issuer bid On August 3, 2022, the Corporation authorized a normal course issuer bid for a maximum of 1,000,000 Class A Multiple Voting Shares ("Class A Shares"), representing approximately 1.3% of issued and outstanding Class A Shares, and for a maximum of 6,000,000 Class B Subordinate Voting Shares ("Class B Shares"), representing approximately 3.8% of issued and outstanding Class B Shares as of July 29, 2022. The purchases can be made from August 15, 2022 to August 14, 2023 at prevailing market prices on the open market through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange or other alternative trading systems in Canada. All shares purchased under the bid will be cancelled. As of July 29, 2022, 76 984 034 Class A Shares and 157 170 556 Class B Shares were issued and outstanding. The average daily trading volume of the Class A Shares and Class B Shares of the Corporation between February 1, 2022 and July 31, 2022 on the TSX was 1 220 Class A Shares and 703 584 Class B Shares. Consequently, the Corporation will be authorized to purchase a maximum of 1,000 Class A Shares and 175 986 Class B Shares during the same trading day, pursuant to its normal course issuer bid. The Corporation believes that the repurchase of these shares under this normal course issuer bid is in the best interests of the Corporation and its shareholders. The Corporation also announced that on or around August 5, 2022 it will enter into an automatic securities purchase plan ("the plan") with a designated broker whereby shares may be repurchased under the plan at times when such purchases would otherwise be prohibited pursuant to regulatory restrictions or self‑imposed blackout periods. The plan received prior approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange. It will come into effect on August 15, 2022 and terminate on the same date as the normal course issuer bid. Under the plan, before entering a self‑imposed blackout period, the Corporation may, but is not required to, ask the designated broker to make purchases under the normal course issuer bid. Such purchases shall be made at the discretion of the designated broker, within parameters established by the Corporation prior to the blackout periods. Outside the blackout periods, purchases will be made at the discretion of the Corporation's management. On April 27, 2022, the Corporation received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange to amend its previous normal course issuer bid in order to increase the maximum number of Class B Shares that may be repurchased to 10,000,000 Class B Shares, representing approximately 6.8% of the Class B Shares public float as of July 30, 2021. No other terms of the normal course issuer bid have been amended. Between August 15, 2021 and July 31, 2022, of the 1,000,000 Class A Shares and 10,000,000 Class B Shares it was authorized to repurchase under this normal course issuer bid, the Corporation repurchased no Class A Shares and 8,978,851 Class B Shares at a weighted average price of $29.7984 per share on the open market through the facilities of the TSX and alternative trading systems in Canada. In the first half of 2022, the Corporation purchased and cancelled 4,202,951 Class B Shares for a total cash consideration of $123.1 million (4,073,200 Class B Shares for a total cash consideration of $131.5 million in the same period of 2021). The $98.3 million excess of the purchase price over the carrying value of the repurchased Class B Shares was recorded as a reduction in retained earnings ($107.5 million in the same period of 2021). Dividend On August 3, 2022, the Board of Directors of Quebecor declared a quarterly dividend of $0.30 per share on its Class A Shares and Class B Shares, payable on September 13, 2022 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 19, 2022. This dividend is designated an eligible dividend, as provided under subsection 89(14) of the Canadian Income Tax Act and its provincial counterpart. Convertible debentures In accordance with the terms of the trust indenture governing the convertible debentures, the quarterly dividend declared on May 11, 2022 on Quebecor Class B Shares triggered an adjustment to the floor price and ceiling price then in effect. Accordingly, effective May 26, 2022, the conversion features of the convertible debentures are subject to an adjusted floor price of approximately $25.07 per share (that is, a maximum number of approximately 5,984,010 Class B Shares corresponding to a ratio of $150.0 million to the adjusted floor price) and an adjusted ceiling price of approximately $31.33 per share (that is, a minimum number of approximately 4,787,208 Class B Shares corresponding to a ratio of $150.0 million to the adjusted ceiling price). Detailed financial information For a detailed analysis of Quebecor's second quarter 2022 results, please refer to the Management Discussion and Analysis and condensed consolidated financial statements of Quebecor, available on the Corporation's website at www.quebecor.com/en/investors/financial documentation or from the SEDAR filing service at www.sedar.com. Conference call for investors and webcast Quebecor will hold a conference call to discuss its second quarter 2022 results on August 4, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. EDT. There will be a question period reserved for financial analysts. To access the conference call, please dial 1‑877‑293‑8052, access code for participants 31698#. The conference call will also be broadcast live on Quebecor's website at www.quebecor.com/en/investors/conferences-and-annual-meeting. It is advisable to ensure the appropriate software is installed before accessing the call. Instructions and links to free player downloads are available at the Internet address shown above. Anyone unable to attend the conference call will be able to listen to a recording by dialing 1‑877‑293‑8133, access code 31698#, recording access code 0112465#. The recording will be available until November 11, 2022. Cautionary statement regarding forward‑looking statements The statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward‑looking statements and are subject to significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause the Corporation's actual results for future periods to differ materially from those set forth in the forward‑looking statements. Forward‑looking statements may be identified by the use of the conditional or by forward‑looking terminology such as the terms "plans," "expects," "may," "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," "projects," "seeks," "believes," or similar terms, variations of such terms or the negative of such terms. Certain factors that may cause actual results to differ from current expectations include seasonality (including seasonal fluctuations in customer orders), operating risk (including fluctuations in demand for Quebecor's products and pricing actions by competitors), new competition, and Quebecor's ability to retain its current customers and attract new ones, risks related to fragmentation of the advertising market, insurance risk, risks associated with capital investments (including risks related to technological development and equipment availability and breakdown), environmental risks, risks associated with cybersecurity and the protection of personal information, risks associated with service interruptions resulting from equipment breakdown, network failure, the threat of natural disaster, epidemics, pandemics or other public health crises, including the COVID‑19 pandemic, political instability is some countries, risks associated with emergency measures implemented by various governments, risks associated with labour agreements, credit risk, financial risks, debt risks, risks related to interest rate fluctuations, foreign exchange risks, risks associated with government acts and regulations, risks related to changes in tax legislation, and changes in the general political and economic environment. Investors and others are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive and that undue reliance should not be placed on any forward‑looking statements. For more information on the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause Quebecor's actual results to differ from current expectations, please refer to Quebecor's public filings, available at www.sedar.com and www.quebecor.com, including, in particular, the "Risks and Uncertainties" section of Quebecor's Management Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2021. The forward‑looking statements in this press release reflect Quebecor's expectations as of August 4, 2022 and are subject to change after that date. Quebecor expressly disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise any forward‑looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. About Quebecor Quebecor, a Canadian leader in telecommunications, entertainment, news media and culture, is one of the best‑performing integrated communications companies in the industry. Driven by their determination to deliver the best possible customer experience, all of Quebecor's subsidiaries and brands are differentiated by their high‑quality, multiplatform, convergent products and services. Quebecor (TSX:QBR, QBR.B)) is headquartered in Québec and employs nearly 10,000 people in Canada.  A family business founded in 1950, Quebecor is strongly committed to the community. Every year, it actively supports more than 400 organizations in the vital fields of culture, health, education, the environment, and entrepreneurship. Visit our website: www.quebecor.com Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Quebecor DEFINITIONS Adjusted EBITDA In its analysis of operating results, the Corporation defines adjusted EBITDA, as reconciled to net income under IFRS, as net income before depreciation and amortization, financial expenses, loss (gain) on valuation and translation of financial instruments, restructuring of operations and other items, loss on debt refinancing and income tax. Adjusted EBITDA as defined above is not a measure of results that is consistent with IFRS. It is not intended to be regarded as an alternative to IFRS financial performance measures or to the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity. It should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The Corporation uses adjusted EBITDA in order to assess the performance of its investment in Quebecor Media. The Corporation's management and Board of Directors use this measure in evaluating its consolidated results as well as the results of the Corporation's operating segments. This measure eliminates the significant level of impairment and depreciation/amortization of tangible and intangible assets and is unaffected by the capital structure or investment activities of the Corporation and its business segments. Adjusted EBITDA is also relevant because it is a component of the Corporation's annual incentive compensation programs. A limitation of this measure, however, is that it does not reflect the periodic costs of tangible and intangible assets used in generating revenues in the Corporation's segments. The Corporation also uses other measures that do reflect such costs, such as adjusted cash flows from operations and free cash flows from continuing operating activities. The Corporation's definition of adjusted EBITDA may not be the same as similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Table 2 provides a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to net income as disclosed in Quebecor's condensed consolidated financial statements. Table 2Reconciliation of the adjusted EBITDA measure used in this press release to the net income measure used in the condensed consolidated financial statements(in millions of Canadian dollars) Three months endedJune 30 Six months endedJune 30 2022 2021 2022 2021 Adjusted EBITDA (negative adjusted EBITDA):   Telecommunications $ 487.5 $ 481.5 $ 947.5 $ 932.4   Media 4.1 16.7 (7.8) 18.0   Sports and Entertainment 4.7 3.1 4.6 5.2   Head Office (4.9) 0.1 (10.8) (1.5) 491.4 501.4 933.5 954.1 Depreciation and amortization (191.6) (196.6) (386.3) (391.9) Financial expenses (82.0) (87.0) (159.5) (170.1) (Loss) gain on valuation and translation of    financial instruments (2.1) 7.0 (9.4) 1.2 Restructuring of operations and other items (3.5) 20.6 (4.4) 16.1 Loss on debt refinancing – (80.9) – (80.9) Income taxes (55.9) (39.8) (100.5) (83.8) Net income $ 156.3 $ 124.7 $ 273.4 $ 244.7   Adjusted income from continuing operating activities The Corporation defines adjusted income from continuing operating activities, as reconciled to net income attributable to shareholders under IFRS, as net income attributable to shareholders before (loss) gain on valuation and translation of financial instruments, restructuring of operations and other items, and loss on debt refinancing, net of income tax related to adjustments and net income attributable to non‑controlling interest related to adjustments. Adjusted income from continuing operating activities, as defined above, is not a measure of results that is consistent with IFRS. It should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The Corporation uses adjusted income from continuing operating activities to analyze trends in the performance of its businesses. The above‑listed items are excluded from the calculation of this measure because they impair the comparability of financial results. Adjusted income from continuing operating activities is more representative for forecasting income. The Corporation's definition of adjusted income from continuing operating activities may not be identical to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.  Table 3 provides a reconciliation of adjusted income from continuing operating activities to the net income attributable to shareholders' measure used in Quebecor's condensed consolidated financial statements. Table 3Reconciliation of the adjusted income from continuing operating activities measure used in this press release to the net income attributable to shareholders' measure used in the condensed consolidated financial statements (in millions of Canadian dollars) Three months endedJune 30 Six months ended June 30 2022 2021 2022 2021 Adjusted income from continuing operating activities $ 161.7 $ 158.3 $ 290.4 $ 288.2 (Loss) gain on valuation and translation of financial    instruments (2.1) 7.0 (9.4) 1.2 Restructuring of operations and other items (3.5) 20.6 (4.4) 16.1 Loss on debt refinancing – (80.9) – (80.9) Income taxes related to adjustments1 1.3 18.5 2.2 20.2 Net income attributable to shareholders $ 157.4 $ 123.5 $ 278.8 $ 244.8 1    Includes impact of fluctuations in income tax applicable to adjusted items, either for statutory reasons or in connection with tax transactions.   Adjusted cash flows from operations and free cash flows from continuing operating activities Adjusted cash flows from operations Adjusted cash flows from operations represents adjusted EBITDA, less additions to property, plant and equipment and to intangible assets (excluding licence acquisitions and renewals). Adjusted cash flows from operations represents funds available for interest and income tax payments, expenditures related to restructuring programs, business acquisitions, licence acquisitions and renewals, payment of dividends, repayment of long‑term debt and lease liabilities, and share repurchases. Adjusted cash flows from operations is not a measure of liquidity that is consistent with IFRS. It is not intended to be regarded as an alternative to IFRS financial performance measures or to the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity. Adjusted cash flows from operations is used by the Corporation's management and Board of Directors to evaluate the cash flows generated by the operations of all of its segments, on a consolidated basis, in addition to the operating cash flows generated by each segment. Adjusted cash flows from operations is also relevant because it is a component of the Corporation's annual incentive compensation programs. The Corporation's definition of adjusted cash flows from operations may not be identical to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Free cash flows from continuing operating activities Free cash flows from continuing operating activities represents cash flows provided by operating activities calculated in accordance with IFRS, less cash flows used for additions to property, plant and equipment and to intangible assets (excluding expenditures related to licence acquisitions and renewals), plus proceeds from disposal of assets. Free cash flows from continuing operating activities is used by the Corporation's management and Board of Directors to evaluate cash flows generated by the Corporation's operations. Free cash flows from continuing operating activities represents available funds for business acquisitions, licence acquisitions and renewals, payment of dividends, repayment of long‑term debt and lease liabilities, and share repurchases. Free cash flows from continuing operating activities is not a measure of liquidity that is consistent with IFRS. It is not intended to be regarded as an alternative to IFRS financial performance measures or to the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity. The Corporation's definition of free cash flows from continuing operating activities may not be identical to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Tables 4 and 5 provide a reconciliation of adjusted cash flows from operations and free cash flows from continuing operating activities to cash flows provided by operating activities reported in the condensed consolidated financial statements. Table 4Adjusted cash flows from operations(in millions of Canadian dollars) Three months endedJune 30 Six months ended June 30 2022 2021 2022 2021 Adjusted EBITDA (negative adjusted EBITDA)   Telecommunications $ 487.5 $ 481.5 $ 947.5 $ 932.4   Media 4.1 16.7 (7.8) 18.0   Sports and Entertainment 4.7 3.1 4.6 5.2   Head Office (4.9) 0.1 (10.8) (1.5) 491.4 501.4 933.5 954.1 Minus Additions to property, plant and equipment:1.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaAug 4th, 2022

EU Readying 7th Round Of Anti-Russia Sanctions, Even As Oil Price-Cap Likely Shelved

EU Readying 7th Round Of Anti-Russia Sanctions, Even As Oil Price-Cap Likely Shelved Weeks after the EU imposed its 6th round of sanctions on Russia, it is now readying a seventh new package, according to reporting by Bloomberg on Monday. This comes as Brussels is still said to be in intense discussions on imposing a price cap on Russian oil; however, Bloomberg also notes this controversial strategy remains "unlikely" for the near future. As for timeline, the EU plans to propose the new sanctions "in the coming weeks," Bloomberg writes, noting additionally that "Discussions on mechanisms to cap the price of oil are ongoing and unlikely to come in the near future, the people said." The report notes that "Some member states have been pushing to expand the bloc’s sanctions to hit gas, but there is little appetite among the vast majority of nations to go there." Via DW/dpa Washington has lately sought to convince European allies to force Russian oil to move to market at deeply discounted prices, at a proposed between $40 and $60 per barrel. The idea as pushed at last month's G-7 summit was met with widespread skepticism given the likelihood that it would backfire and push energy prices higher. As independent oil analyst Neil Atkinson recently told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe, "Something like this could only work if you get all of the key producers and crucially all of the key consumers working together and then finding some way of enforcing whatever plan you come up with." He pointed out "the reality is that the biggest consumers of Russian oil, or amongst the biggest consumers of Russian oil, are China and India." And he previewed what is now happening - or what is deeply feared as happening - with Nord Stream 1 to Germany: "In any event, the Russians won’t just sit there and do nothing. They can play games with supplies of oil and indeed gas … they can mess with the G-7′s head in some respect so I think this plan is really a non-starter," Atkinson explained in the interview. Some prominent European voices on the right have said that the West's sanctions are already backfiring on the domestic populace at home... "EU sanctions against Russia turned out to be completely ineffective, they harm the French more than the Russian Federation - Le Pen “They [the sanctions] have enriched Russia, they sanction the French more than Russia, The sanctions are the root causes of Inflation's" pic.twitter.com/GjmxYnNAAk — cooper (@coope125) July 10, 2022 Currently, the EU's anti-Russia sanctions imposed in six rounds since February, on top of ones going back to 2014 and the Crimea crisis, include far-reaching punitive measures on 98 entities and 1158 individuals. Below is a partial summary of what they've included thus far, according to an official European Parliament explanatory page: * * * The list of sanctioned products includes among others: cutting-edge technology (e.g. quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, high-end electronics and software) certain types of machinery and transportation equipment specific goods and technology needed for oil refining energy industry equipment, technology and services aviation and space industry goods and technology (e.g. aircraft, spare parts or any kind of equipment for planes and helicopters, jet fuel) maritime navigation goods and radio communication technology a number of dual-use goods (goods that could be used for both civil and military purposes), such as drones and software for drones or encryption devices luxury goods (e.g. luxury cars, watches, jewellery) What goods cannot be imported from Russia to the EU? The list of sanctioned products includes among others: crude oil and refined petroleum products, with limited exceptions (with phase out of 6 to 8 months) coal and other solid fossil fuels (as there is a wind-down period for existing contracts, this sanction will apply as from August 2022) steel and iron wood, cement and certain fertilisers seafood and liquor (e.g. caviar, vodka) What are the sanctions on road transport? The EU has prohibited Russian and Belarusian road transport operators from entering the EU, including for goods in transit. This sanction aims to restrict Russian industry’s capacity to acquire key goods and to disrupt road trade both to and from Russia. However, EU countries can grant derogations for: the transport of energy the transport of pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and food products humanitarian aid purposes transport related to the functioning of diplomatic and consular representations of the EU and its countries in Russia, or of international organisations in Russia which enjoy immunities in accordance with international law the transfer or export to Russia of cultural goods on loan in the context of formal cultural cooperation with Russia ..."In February 2022, the EU refused access to EU airports for Russian carriers of all kinds and banned them from overflying EU airspace. This means that airplanes registered in Russia or elsewhere and leased or rented to a Russian citizen or entity cannot land at any EU airports and cannot fly over EU countries. Private aircraft, e.g. private business jets, are included in the ban." Read the full EU list here. Tyler Durden Mon, 07/11/2022 - 16:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 11th, 2022