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Croda International double-upgraded to Buy from Sell at Goldman Sachs

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

Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallMay 25th, 2021

Top 5 Consumer Discretionary Stocks Despite Market Meltdown

We have narrowed down our search to five mid-cap consumer discretionary stocks that have strong growth potential for the rest of 2021. These are: BYD, COLM, PVH, MAT and RL. Wall Street is suffering from severe volatility in September after performing impressively in the first eight months of this year, barring some fluctuations. On Sep 20, markets tumbled on concerns of a possible bankruptcy of a large Chinese property developer and its contagion effect on the global economy.Additionally, the high-valuation of equities, the spread of the Delta string of coronavirus and a section of market participants’ expectation that the Fed may signal tapering of its $120 billion per month bond-buy program starting this year have dented investors' confidence in this month. As a result, month to date, the three major stock indexes — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — have slid 3.9%, 3.6% and 3.6%, respectively.However, the fundamentals of the U.S. economy stay solid and the overall trend of the market remains encouraging. Year to date, the three large-cap-specific indexes — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — have rallied 11%, 16% and 14.2%, respectively. The small-cap-centric Russell 2000 has gained 10.5%.  However, the mid-cap-centric S&P 400 has rallied 14.3%, second only to the S&P 500.  At this stage, it may be fruitful to invest in mid-cap consumer discretionary stocks with a favorable Zacks Rank to get good return in the near term.Importance of Mid-Cap StocksInvestment in mid-cap stocks is often recognized as a good portfolio diversification strategy. These stocks combine the attractive attributes of both small and large-cap stocks. Top-ranked mid-cap stocks have a high potential to enhance their profitability, productivity and market share. These may even become large caps in due course of time.If the economic recovery has slowed due to the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus or any unforeseen external disturbances, mid-cap stocks will be less susceptible to losses than their large-cap counterparts owing to less international exposure.On the other hand, if the crisis doesn’t worsen due to vaccination, these stocks will gain more than small caps due to established management teams, a broad distribution network, brand recognition and ready access to the capital markets.Importance of Consumer Discretionary SectorThe consumer discretionary sector comprises businesses that sell goods and services, which are considered non-essential by consumers. These are the products that consumers can avoid without any major consequences to their well-being. In fact, these goods are desirable only if the available income of an individual is sufficient to purchase them.U.S. retail sales rebounded in August after a sharp decline in July. Solid consumer spending defying the spread of the Delta variant has surprised many financial experts. The positive momentum is likely to continue as several market researchers have predicted strong holiday retail sales this year.Personal savings of Americans are around an astonishing $2 trillion. The sky-high savings are allowing them to indulge in their demands that were pent up during lockdowns and are in turn compelling businesses to expand their scale of operations. In fact, higher inflationary pressure in the U.S. economy is primarily owing to massive aggregate demand.Our Top PicksWe have narrowed down our search to five mid-cap (market capital > $5 billion < $10 billion) consumer discretionary stocks that have strong growth potential for the rest of 2021. These stocks have seen positive estimate revisions in the last 60 days. Each of our picks sports a Zacks Rank #1 (strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The chart below shows the price performance of our five picks year to date.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchColumbia Sportswear Co. COLM designs, sources, markets, and distributes outdoor and active lifestyle apparel, footwear, accessories, and equipment in the United States, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Canada.The company benefits from better-than-expected performance in U.S. wholesale and the DTC brick & mortar businesses. DTC e-commerce sales continued to rise, with consumers’ increased preference for online shopping. Columbia Sportswear is well positioned to gain from the existing consumer and outdoor patterns.The company has an expected earnings growth rate of more than 100% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 6.2% over the last 60 days.Boyd Gaming Corp. BYD operates as a multi-jurisdictional gaming company. It operates through three segments: Las Vegas Locals, Downtown Las Vegas, and Midwest & South. It is benefitting from initiatives to strengthen current operations and growth through capital investment as well as other strategic measures.Expansion of online betting offerings along with FanDuel partnership bode well. Going forward, Boyd Gaming is optimistic about online gaming prospects in Louisiana. Also signs of improvement is being noticed in its destination business.The company has an expected earnings growth rate of more than 100% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 38.9% over the last 60 days.PVH Corp. PVH operates as an apparel company worldwide. It operates through six segments: Tommy Hilfiger North America, Tommy Hilfiger International, Calvin Klein North America, Calvin Klein International, Heritage Brands Wholesale, and Heritage Brands Retail.Despite supply-chain disruptions, the company has gained from brand strength, particularly in Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, along with growth in its international unit. E-commerce sales momentum has continued. Solid performance across all regions and channels has aided businesses.The company has an expected earnings growth rate of more than 100% for the current year (ending January 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 29.8% over the last 30 days.Mattel Inc. MAT is a children's entertainment company, which designs and produces toys and consumer products worldwide. It operates through the North America, International, and American Girl segments.The company has witnessed double-digit growth in its three power brands Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends. Given a strong product line-up, which includes core brands, licensed brands and lucrative product associations, Mattel remains well positioned for growth.The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 94.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 17.6% over the last 60 days.Ralph Lauren Corp. RL designs, markets and distributes lifestyle products in North America, Europe, Asia, and internationally. The company is progressing well with its “Next Great Chapter” plan that was announced in June 2018. This strategic growth plan focuses on delivering sustainable long-term growth and value creation.The company has gained from solid performance across Europe and North America regions and its brand strength. Fast recovery across North America and Europe due to the easing of restrictions aided its businesses. Based on digital strength with higher AURs and the ability to translate top-line growth to operating margin expansion, the company has raised its view for fiscal 2022.The company has an expected earnings growth rate of more than 100% for the current year (ending March 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 19% over the last 60 days. 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 Mattel, Inc. (MAT): Free Stock Analysis Report Columbia Sportswear Company (COLM): Free Stock Analysis Report Ralph Lauren Corporation (RL): Free Stock Analysis Report Boyd Gaming Corporation (BYD): Free Stock Analysis Report PVH Corp. (PVH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Ralph Lauren upgraded on stabilizing sales but questions linger about U.S. department stores

Ralph Lauren Corp. was upgraded to neutral from sell at Bank of America with analysts upbeat about the luxury brand's ability to report sales and gross margin expansion as it makes the shift to a more international mix and higher average unit.....»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchFeb 5th, 2020

: Xponential Fitness double upgraded to strong buy from market perform at Raymond James

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

Category: topSource: marketwatch2 hr. 17 min. ago

Crypto Crashes As SEC/OCC Warn Of "Reckoning", Question "Long-Term Viability" Of Private Forms Of Money

Crypto Crashes As SEC/OCC Warn Of 'Reckoning', Question "Long-Term Viability" Of Private Forms Of Money Crypto was hit by a double whammy from The SEC and OCC today... Like a wolf in sheep's clothing, SEC chief Gary Gensler led many crypto industry types to believe that he would be "a friend" to the nascent industry, largely because he once taught a class on the subject at MIT. Instead, using the logic that extensive regulation is necessary to spur "widespread adoption" (note: there are more Coinbase accounts than Charles Schwab accounts now), Gansler has insisted that all exchanges be registered with, and regulated by, his agency, or "a lot of people are going to get hurt". Speaking during a live interview Tuesday with the Washington Post, Gensler made another comment that was immediately twisted by headline writers in a way that sent prices of bitcoin and Ethereum sliding once again. Gensler said he doesn't see "long-term viability" for most crypto. “I don’t think there’s long-term viability for five or six thousand private forms of money,” Gensler said in a virtual event hosted by the Washington Post. “So in the meantime I think it’s worthwhile to have an investor-protection regime placed around this.” Speaking to WaPo's David Ignatius, Gensler doubled down on his "Wild West" analogy for cryptocurrencies like stablecoins, which he compared to gambling chips. "Stablecoins are almost acting like poker chips at the casino right now," said Gensler. "We’ve got a lot of casinos here in the Wild West, and the poker chip is these stablecoins at the casino gaming tables." While we are not exactly shocked that 'the establishment' should question "private forms of money" - that are not under their total control - the fact that Gary Gensler was heralded as 'educated and friendly' towards crypto is clearly wrong now that political pressure from Yellen et al. is in play. It wasn't just Gensler though, as Michael Hsu, the acting chief of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, argued Tuesday that cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance may be evolving into threats to the financial system in much the same way certain derivatives brought it near collapse more than a decade ago. “Crypto/DeFi today is on a path that looks similar to CDS in the early 2000’s,” Hsu told the Blockchain Association in a webcast. “Fortunately, this group has the power to change paths and avoid a crisis.” As Bloomberg reports, OCC had previously been run by a former Coinbase executive, Brian P. Brooks, who led a pro-crypto charge to establish policies more welcoming to the industry and to provide some of the firms banking charters. When he was installed at the OCC by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Hsu put its crypto-friendly policies on hold and has been among regulators calling for a new, unified approach across agencies. Hsu went even further in his broad denigration of the crypto world: “Crypto/DeFi solutions to problems in the real economy are rare,” Hsu said, adding that a reckoning could be on the way in which the “hardcore believers in the technology” give way to mainstream users who aren’t as eager to forgive the riskiness of the products. Those people will “dominate and drive reactions,” which he suggested could mean more danger of panics that unravel crypto investments and threaten firms that run into trouble. As all this regulatory pressure hit, Coindesk reported that Coinbase is said to be working on a pitch to federal regulators on how to oversee the crypto industry. Having gone on an anti-SEC tirade over their 'Lend' program - only to quickly fold on the entire product - we wish CEO Brian Armstrong luck as the exchange plans to publicly roll out this proposal in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the regulatory discussions. Details of the proposal were not available at press time, but among other matters the company intends to argue what should and should not be defined as a security within the US. With all this hitting, it's no surprise FUD has driven cryptos lower with Bitcoin and Ethereum testing down towards their 100-day moving-averages... But, on a more hopeful note, CoinTelegraph notes that the Crypto Fear & Greed Index indicates that the cryptocurrency market is experiencing a period of investor fear with a three-month low score of 27 out of 100 - a shift towards extreme fear signals BTC may be undervalued. Reddit user u/_DEDSEC_ adapted the common trading mantra ‘buy the rumour, sell the news’ and commented that traders should "buy the fear, sell the greed." Arguably, it would seem Ray Dalio's view of the end of crypto - crushed before it can become too successful - is the gameplan of the establishment for now. "Well I think regulation, I think at the end of the day if it's really successful, they'll kill it. And they'll try to kill it and I think they will kill it because they have ways of killing it but that doesn't mean it doesn't have, you know, a place, a value and so on," Dalio said. Can a decentralized platform utilized by sovereign individuals defeat the hegemon? Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 17:08.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge14 hr. 33 min. ago

US stocks struggle to recover from Evergrande rout while investors await the outcome of Fed meeting

US stocks wavered on Tuesday, struggling to come back from the Evergrande-driven sell-off in the previous session. New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 19, 2021. Wang Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images US stocks were mixed Tuesday following Monday's sell-off. Investors are eagerly anticipating the outcome of the two-day meeting of the FOMC beginning that began on Tuesday. Gold, and oil edged higher. Bitcoin hovered around $42,000. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. US stocks struggled to regain their footing Tuesday following a brutal sell-off sparked by beleaguered Chinese developer Evergrande during Monday's session. Investors, meanwhile, are awaiting the outcome of the Federal Reserve's two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting beginning that kicked of on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 5oo both ended lower, while the Nasdaq eked out a gain.Here's where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. close on Tuesday: S&P 500: 4,354.15, down 0.08%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,920.49, down 0.15% (49.98 points)Nasdaq Composite: 14,746.40, up 0.22%"Financial markets have Evergrande as the top story and will enter wait-and-see mode until a meaningful update from the Chinese government," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at foreign exchange firm Oanda, said in a note Tuesday. "The Evergrande story won't lead to contagion in the US but there are so many questions about who will be protected once China says 'enough' and swoops in."Evergrande, China's second-largest property developer, has more than $300 billion in liabilities and could miss key interest payments due Thursday. There are no signs yet that the Chinese government will step in to save the company.On top of Evergrande concerns, investors are anxious about the Federal Reserve's potential tapering of stimulus and the risk of a prolonged period of inflation.While several analysts, including those at BlackRock Investment Institute, do not expect Fed Chair Jerome Powell to announce any policy change this month, they are still keeping a close eye on any signal of how he plans to scale back monetary support, which includes tapering asset purchases."We expect the Fed to start normalizing policy rates in 2023, a much slower pace than market pricing for lift-off in 2022 indicates," the BlackRock analysts said in a note.Another issue that might be discussed, according to Moya, is the multi-million-dollar stock purchases of Dallas and Boston Federal Reserve presidents Robert Kaplan and Eric Rosengren, which involved purchases of big-name firms like Apple, Alibaba, and Tesla."If the Fed struggles to deal with intensifying scrutiny after their ethics review, the FOMC could lose two of its hawkish members," Moya said.Elsewhere, Fintech firm Revolut plans to offer commission-free stock trading to US clients as the London-based startup takes on rivals like Robinhood and Square amid a boom in retail investing, CNBC first reported Tuesday.In cryptocurrencies, the US Department of the Treasury on Tuesday revealed it will sanction Russian-owned Suex for its role in laundering financial transactions for ransomware actors, marking the first time the agency has ever blacklisted a cryptocurrency exchange.Meanwhile, Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is shutting down cryptocurrency derivative products for existing customers in Australia by the end of the year, the latest bid by the exchange to appease regulators.Bitcoin hovered just above $42,000 after a broader cryptocurrency sell-off Monday. Oil prices rebounded. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.31%, to $70.51 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, rose 0.88%, to $74.57 per barrel.Gold jumped 0.56%, to $1,774.99 per ounce.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider17 hr. 33 min. ago

U.S. to Ease International Travel Curbs: Airline Names Take Off

Shares of JetBlue (JBLU), which started flying to London in August, gain 1.91% on Sep 20. The airline stocks in the United States have had an unimpressive run on the bourses of late, mainly due to the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19. On account of the spike in COVID-19 cases and subsequent hospitalization induced by the deadly infection, shares of leading airlines, namely Delta Air Lines DAL, American Airlines AAL, United Airlines UAL, Southwest Airlines LUV, Alaska Air Group ALK and JetBlue Airways JBLU have declined 10.1%, 8%, 17.9%, 11%,11.3% and 11.1%, respectively, over the past three months.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchHowever, the above Delta-strain-hit airlines received encouraging news yesterday following an announcement from the White House. According to the update, travel restrictions on air passengers from countries like China, India, Britain and other European nations into the United States will be eased from November this year.Per White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients, foreign nationals will have to be fully vaccinated when they fly to the United States in November. They will have to demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding. Further, the travelers have to test negative for the coronavirus, which they have to undergo within three days of their flight. Zients ruled out the need to quarantine for the fully-vaccinated passengers.Additionally, rules are toughened for the unvaccinated Americans. Per an Associated Press report, they need to get tested negative within a day before returning to the United States. Also, they will have to be tested after arrival.The relaxation of travel restrictions on foreigners from November will remove the ban, which is in place for 18 months, on flyers from entering the United States. On implementation, the new policy will boost international revenues, which has been hugely depressed by the pandemic so far, for carriers on the back of increased traffic.Per the above report, Airlines for America’s data announced that such travel in August 2021 comprised only 46% of the August 2019 levels. Moreover, arrivals in August by non-U.S. citizens in the country were only 36% of the level witnessed two years ago.Against this backdrop, the decision to ease travel restrictions for flying into the United States was warmly welcomed by the airlines. Per Delta {currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player} spokesman Morgan Durrant, “We are optimistic this important decision will allow for the continued economic recovery both in the U.S. and abroad and the reunification of families who have been separated for more than 18 months.”The above decision drove the shares of U.S. airlines on Sep 20. The announcement also found favor with the British carriers like Virgin Atlantic and British Airways.Evidently, shares of American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines, which have the greatest international exposure among U.S. carriers, gained 3.04%, 1.67% and 1.64%, respectively, on Sep 20. In 2019 (i.e. the pre-coronavirus era), 28.2%, 26.5% and 37.7% of passenger revenues at Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines, respectively, came from international operations.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.JetBlue, which launched its first transatlantic service connecting New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport with London Heathrow Airport in August, 2021, was also happy about the White House statement. Shares of this low-cost carrier inched up 1.91% on Sep 20.That the announcement got wide acceptance can be gauged from the northward movement of the airline stocks, which came despite the overall stock market experiencing a dismal day. As a result of the sell-off, the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow dipped 1.7%, 2.2% and 1.8%, respectively, on Sep 20. 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 Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL): Free Stock Analysis Report United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV): Free Stock Analysis Report JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU): Free Stock Analysis Report American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL): Free Stock Analysis Report Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks18 hr. 17 min. ago

Carter"s (CRI) Upgraded to Strong Buy: Here"s What You Should Know

Carter's (CRI) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. Carter's (CRI) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). This upgrade is essentially a reflection of an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The Zacks rating relies solely on a company's changing earnings picture. It tracks EPS estimates for the current and following years from the sell-side analysts covering the stock through a consensus measure -- the Zacks Consensus Estimate.The power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements makes the Zacks rating system highly useful for individual investors, since it can be difficult to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts. These are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time.Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for Carter's basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investment action then leads to price movement for the stock.Fundamentally speaking, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade for Carter's imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsAs empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, tracking such revisions for making an investment decision could be truly rewarding. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for Carter'sThis maker of children's apparel and accessories is expected to earn $7.29 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2021, which represents a year-over-year change of 75.2%.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Carter's. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 21.2%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Carter's to a Zacks Rank #1 positions it in the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. 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 Carters, Inc. (CRI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks19 hr. 33 min. ago

Swisscom AG (SCMWY) Upgraded to Buy: Here"s What You Should Know

Swisscom AG (SCMWY) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. Swisscom AG (SCMWY) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This upgrade is essentially a reflection of an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The Zacks rating relies solely on a company's changing earnings picture. It tracks EPS estimates for the current and following years from the sell-side analysts covering the stock through a consensus measure -- the Zacks Consensus Estimate.The power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements makes the Zacks rating system highly useful for individual investors, since it can be difficult to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts. These are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time.Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for Swisscom AG basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investment action then leads to price movement for the stock.Fundamentally speaking, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade for Swisscom AG imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsAs empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, tracking such revisions for making an investment decision could be truly rewarding. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for Swisscom AGThis company is expected to earn $3.48 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2021, which represents a year-over-year change of 10.5%.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Swisscom AG. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 8.5%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Swisscom AG to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. 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 Swisscom AG (SCMWY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacks19 hr. 33 min. ago

Bank7 (BSVN) Upgraded to Strong Buy: Here"s What You Should Know

Bank7 (BSVN) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. Bank7 (BSVN) appears an attractive pick, as it has been recently upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). This upgrade is essentially a reflection of an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.A company's changing earnings picture is at the core of the Zacks rating. The system tracks the Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus measure of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.As such, the Zacks rating upgrade for Bank7 is essentially a positive comment on its earnings outlook that could have a favorable impact on its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, has proven to be strongly correlated with the near-term price movement of its stock. That's partly because of the influence of institutional investors that use earnings and earnings estimates for calculating the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their transaction of large amounts of shares then leads to price movement for the stock.For Bank7, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade fundamentally mean an improvement in the company's underlying business. And investors' appreciation of this improving business trend should push the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsEmpirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, so it could be truly rewarding if such revisions are tracked for making an investment decision. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for Bank7For the fiscal year ending December 2021, this company is expected to earn $2.51 per share, which is a change of 22.4% from the year-ago reported number.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Bank7. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 12.6%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Bank7 to a Zacks Rank #1 positions it in the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. 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 Bank7 Corp. (BSVN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacks19 hr. 33 min. ago

Vanda (VNDA) Upgraded to Buy: Here"s Why

Vanda (VNDA) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This rating change essentially reflects an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The sole determinant of the Zacks rating is a company's changing earnings picture. The Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years is tracked by the system.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for Vanda basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investment action then leads to price movement for the stock.For Vanda, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade fundamentally mean an improvement in the company's underlying business. And investors' appreciation of this improving business trend should push the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsEmpirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, so it could be truly rewarding if such revisions are tracked for making an investment decision. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for VandaThis biopharmaceutical company is expected to earn $0.66 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2021, which represents a year-over-year change of 57.1%.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Vanda. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 6.5%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Vanda to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. 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 Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VNDA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks19 hr. 33 min. ago

SENIOR PLC (SNIRF) Upgraded to Buy: Here"s Why

SENIOR PLC (SNIRF) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. SENIOR PLC (SNIRF) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This rating change essentially reflects an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The sole determinant of the Zacks rating is a company's changing earnings picture. The Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years is tracked by the system.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for SENIOR PLC basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investment action then leads to price movement for the stock.For SENIOR PLC, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade fundamentally mean an improvement in the company's underlying business. And investors' appreciation of this improving business trend should push the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsEmpirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, so it could be truly rewarding if such revisions are tracked for making an investment decision. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for SENIOR PLCThis company is expected to earn -$0.01 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2021, which represents no year-over-year changeAnalysts have been steadily raising their estimates for SENIOR PLC. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 80%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of SENIOR PLC to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. 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 SENIOR PLC (SNIRF): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacks19 hr. 33 min. ago

US stocks climb after Evergrande sell-off as investors look to Fed meeting

Investors are closely watching the two-day meeting of the FOMC for clues from Fed officials on the timing and pace of tapering of asset purchases. Wang Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images US stocks were higher on Tuesday as investors tried to recover from the massive sell-off sparked by Evergrande. Investors are also looking to the two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. Bitcoin, gold, and oil all edged higher. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. US stocks rebounded on Tuesday as investors recovered from the massive sell-off sparked by beleaguered Chinese developer Evergrande and looked to the Federal Reserve's two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting beginning today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed about 140 points following its biggest drop since May. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 and benchmark S&P 500 both gained as well. Here's where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday: S&P 500: 4,373.38, up 0.36% Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,089.36, up 0.35% (118.89 points)Nasdaq Composite: 14,783.12, up 0.47%"China's market is opaque and unpredictable and the stock market doesn't react well to those characteristics, which is one reason why Monday's selloff was so dramatic," George Ball, chairman of Sanders Morris Harris, an investment firm, said in a note. "We know so little about China's economy and its inner workings."Evergrande, China's second-largest property developer, has more than $300 billion in liabilities and could miss key interest payments due Thursday. There are no signs yet that the Chinese government will step in to save the company.Fears about Evergrande collapsing and hurting the broader Chinese economy sent global stocks sliding on Monday.In addition to worries about Evergrande's potential to spark further risk to the global financial system, investors are anxious about the Federal Reserve's potential tapering of stimulus and the risk of a prolonged period of inflation, Ball said.While several analysts, including those at BlackRock Investment Institute, do not expect Fed Chair Jerome Powell to announce any policy change this month, they are still keeping a close eye on any signal of how he plans to scale back monetary support, which includes tapering asset purchases."We expect the Fed to start normalizing policy rates in 2023, a much slower pace than market pricing for lift-off in 2022 indicates," the BlackRock analysts said in a note.They added that Powell assured the investors during the annual Jackson Hole symposium that he will give a strong signal that one will come before year-end if employment gains keep up. Elsewhere, WeWork is planning to make its stock-market debut sometime in October, more than two years after its original IPO attempt failed. The shared-workspace company agreed in March to go public via a merger with SPAC BowX Acquisition Corp.Bitcoin edged higher above $43,000 after a broader cryptocurrency sell-off Monday. Oil prices rebounded. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 1.01%, to $71.00 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, fell 1.79%, to $73.99 per barrel.Gold jumped as much as 0.47%, to $1,773.45 per ounce.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

US stock climb after Evergrande sell-off as investor look to Fed meeting

Investors are closely watching the two-day meeting of the FOMC for clues from Fed officials on the timing and pace of tapering of asset purchases. Wang Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images US stocks were higher on Tuesday as investors tried to recover from the massive sell-off sparked by Evergrande. Investors are also looking to the two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. Bitcoin, gold, and oil all edged higher. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. US stocks rebound on Tuesday as investors recovered from the massive sell-off sparked by beleaguered Chinese developer Evergrande and look to the Federal Reserve's two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting beginning today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed about 140 points following its biggest drop since May. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 and benchmark S&P 500 both gained as well. Here's where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday: S&P 500: 4,373.38, up 0.36% Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,089.36, up 0.35% (118.89 points)Nasdaq Composite: 14,783.12, up 0.47%"China's market is opaque and unpredictable and the stock market doesn't react well to those characteristics, which is one reason why Monday's selloff was so dramatic," George Ball, chairman of Sanders Morris Harris, an investment firm, said in a note. "We know so little about China's economy and its inner workings."Evergrande, China's second-largest property developer, has more than $300 billion in liabilities and could miss key interest payments due Thursday. There are no signs yet that the Chinese government will step in to save the company.Fears about Evergrande collapsing and hurting the broader Chinese economy sent global stocks sliding on Monday.In addition to worries about Evergrande's potential to spark further risk to the global financial system, investors are anxious about the Federal Reserve's potential tapering of stimulus and the risk of a prolonged period of inflation, Ball said.While several analysts, including those at BlackRock Investment Institute, do not expect Fed Chair Jerome Powell to announce any policy change this month, they are still keeping a close eye on any signal of how he plans to scale back monetary support, which includes tapering asset purchases."We expect the Fed to start normalizing policy rates in 2023, a much slower pace than market pricing for lift-off in 2022 indicates," the BlackRock analysts said in a note.They added that Powell assured the investors during the annual Jackson Hole symposium that he will give a strong signal that one will come before year-end if employment gains keep up. Elsewhere, WeWork is planning to make its stock-market debut sometime in October, more than two years after its original IPO attempt failed. The shared-workspace company agreed in March to go public via a merger with SPAC BowX Acquisition Corp.Bitcoin edged higher above $43,000 after a broader cryptocurrency sell-off Monday. Oil prices rebounded. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 1.01%, to $71.00 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, fell 1.79%, to $73.99 per barrel.Gold jumped as much as 0.47%, to $1,773.45 per ounce.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

JPMorgan"s market guru says the Evergrande crisis is a chance to buy the dip in US stocks - and predicts the S&P 500 will surge 8% by year-end

JPMorgan's Marko Kolanovic said he remains bullish on US stocks and that the dangers from Chinese property giant Evergrande are overblown. Marko Kolanovic is a well-known market analyst. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider JPMorgan's market guru Marko Kolanovic said he's bullish on stocks despite the Evergrande crisis. He said the sharp sell-off on Monday, triggered by Evergrande's looming default, was a buying opportunity. Kolanovic and colleagues backed the S&P 500 to hit 4,700 by year-end, a rise of 8% from Monday's closing price. See more stories on Insider's business page. JPMorgan's market guru has said the biggest stock sell-off since May, triggered by fears over Chinese property developer Evergrande, is a good opportunity for investors to "buy the dip."Marko Kolanovic - the bank's head of quantitative research - and colleagues said in a note on Monday that they are still bullish on stocks despite a recent rough patch.They backed the US S&P 500 to rise to 4,700 by the end of the year. That's 8% higher than Monday's closing price of 4,357.73.Stocks around the world tumbled on Monday as investors panicked about the possible global impact of the looming collapse of China's second-biggest property developer, Evergrande.The developer owes more than $300 billion and has suppliers across China and investors around the world, fanning fears of global fallout.The S&P 500 fell as much as 3% on Monday before paring its losses. It finished 1.7% lower, its biggest fall since May, which took the index to 4% below early September's record high. The Dow Jones fell 1.78% on Monday and the Nasdaq 100 dropped 2.1%.Kolanovic and his colleagues said they thought Monday's sell-off was "primarily driven by technical selling flows… in an environment of poor liquidity, and overreaction of discretionary traders to perceived risks."Read more: Buy these 61 small-company stocks to profit in the short-term from 'megatrends' like genomics and energy that are shaping the world, says Wall Street firm MSCIThey added: "Our fundamental thesis remains unchanged, and we see the sell-off as an opportunity to buy the dip."We remain constructive on risk assets and last week upgraded our S&P 500 price target, given expectations of a reacceleration in activity as the delta wave fades and better than expected earnings."However, Saxo Bank's head of equity strategy said the pull-back in stocks would test the resolve of the "buy-the-dip" crowd.Peter Garnry pointed to the rise in the gauge of expected stock volatility - the VIX index - as a sign that the sell-off may not be over. The VIX, often dubbed the fear gauge, rose from 20.81 to 25.71 on Monday, although it fell to 22.81 on Tuesday."The market is anxiously waiting for mainland Chinese investors to come back from holiday on Wednesday, and Thursday's judgement day for Evergrande with two bond payments due," Garnry said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 21st, 2021

The U.S. Is Losing the Global Race to Decide the Future of Money—and It Could Doom the Almighty Dollar

"I don’t think the U.S. is aware there is a race" In cities across China, the country’s central bank has begun rolling out the e-renminbi—an all-digital version of its paper currency that can be accessed and accepted by merchants and consumers without an internet connection, credit or even a bank account. Already having conducted more than $5 billion in e-renminbi transactions, China has opened its digital currency up to foreigners. Next year, when Beijing hosts the Winter Olympic Games, authorities are expecting to let the world test drive its technological achievement. The U.S., by contrast, is having trouble even concluding its multi-year exploration into the possibility of an e-dollar. In fact, an upcoming Federal Reserve paper on a potential U.S. digital currency won’t take a position on whether the central bank of the United States will, or even should, create one. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Instead, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in recent testimony to Congress, this paper will “begin a major public consultation on central bank digital currencies…” (Once planned for July, the paper’s release has since been moved to September.) Once the world leader in digital payments and technological innovation, the U.S. is being outpaced by its top global adversary as well as much of the industrialized and the developing world. The Bahamas recently announced the integration of its digital Sand Dollar into a stock exchange, while Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa are moving forward with the world’s first cross-border central bank digital currency exchange program led by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which is known as the central bank of central banks. Such developments have been somewhat outshined by El Salvador’s recent decision to make bitcoin a legally accepted currency, which few expect to make significant impact in the payment space. But outside of the cryptocurrency space, nations around the globe are making significant strides in the development of the digital future of money — supported by governments and backed by powerful central banks. Leadership in this space will have implications for more than just payments: geopolitical ambitions, economic growth, financial inclusion and the very nature of money could all be dictated by who leads the charge and how. “I don’t think the U.S. is aware there is a race” Digital currencies are the next wave in the “evolution of the nature of money in the digital economy,” Hyun Song Shin, economic adviser and co-leader of the Monetary and Economic Department at the Bank for International Settlements, tells TIME. As more of our world migrates from physical brick-and-mortar to wireless and cloud-based, the way we pay for things is changing as well. A central bank digital currency would operate just like cash, but instead of having to carry it in a physical wallet or put it into a bank account, it would be stored and accessed digitally. Not only could U.S.-backed digital currency facilitate easier, modern banking, it could prove vital in protecting American international influence. Late to the party, the U.S. is “stepping up its research and public engagement” on digital currencies, the Federal Reserve says, including forming working groups on cryptocurrency and other kinds of digital money, and experimenting with technology that would be central to producing a digital dollar. The Fed’s regional Boston branch is overseeing these efforts with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on what’s known as Project Hamilton. But the path towards a digital U.S. dollar has met many challenges, skeptics and outright opponents. All while China, and other countries, push forward. Lagging behind the world Just how far behind is the U.S. in the development of a central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC)? According to global accounting firm PwC’s inaugural CBDC global index, which tracks various CBDCs’ project status from research to development and production, the U.S. ranks 18th in the world. America’s potential efforts trail countries like Sweden, South Korea and China but also countries like the Bahamas, Ecuador, Eastern Caribbean and Turkey. China, with its government’s hyperfocus on maintaining control and overseeing data, has been working to develop a CBDC for almost a decade. And the U.S. is probably not close to catching up. Analysts like Harvard economics professor Kenneth Rogoff, who study monetary policy and digital currencies, estimate that the U.S. could be at least a decade away from issuing a digital dollar backed by the Fed. In that time, Rogoff argued in an op-ed earlier this year, the modernization of China’s financial markets and reduction or removal of its currency controls “could deal the dollar’s status a painful blow.” Read More: How China’s Digital Currency Could Challenge the Almighty Dollar China has already largely moved away from coin and paper currency; Chinese consumers have racked up more than $41 trillion in mobile transactions, according to a recent research paper from the Brookings Institution, with the lion’s share (92%) going through digital payment processors WeChat Pay and Alipay. “The reason you could say the U.S. is behind in the digital currency race is I don’t think the U.S. is aware there is a race,” Yaya Fanusie, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and a former CIA analyst, tells TIME in an interview. “A lot of policymakers are looking at it and concerned…but even with that I just don’t think there’s this sense of urgency because the risk from China is not an immediate threat.” Not only is the U.S. running significantly behind in the development of a CBDC, we are trailing the rest of the world in digital payments broadly. Kenya, for example, has almost fully digitized its economy through its digital currency and payment system MPESA, making transactions free and almost instantaneous. India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) allows users to transfer money instantly between bank accounts with no cost. Brazil’s PIX facilitates the transfer of money between people and companies in up to 10 seconds. All of these programs work through and are overseen by the countries’ central banks rather than commercial banks or other private companies. What’s holding the U.S. back? Critics argue CBDCs are simply a solution in search of a problem and potentially harmful. Many see support from the banking sector as vital to the success of a digital U.S. dollar, however commercial banks in the U.S. have taken a largely adversarial stance. “The proposed benefits of CBDCs to international competitiveness and financial inclusion are theoretical, difficult to measure and may be elusive,” the American Bankers Association said in a statement at a recent congressional hearing on digital currencies. “While the negative consequences for monetary policy, financial stability, financial intermediation, the payments system, and the customers and communities that banks serve could be severe.” The Bank Policy Institute, which lobbies on behalf of the country’s largest banks, went so far as to argue that neither the Fed nor the U.S. Treasury even has the constitutional authority to issue a digital currency. Commercial banks dominate the U.S. financial system to such a degree that unraveling them would be ostensibly impossible, experts say, they also would be a powerful adversary. Former Goldman Sachs managing director Nomi Prins notes banks have clearly seen the writing on the wall. “Banks are centralized middlemen with respect to financial transactions,” Prins, author of Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged The World, tells TIME. “The more popular cryptocurrency or digital currency becomes, the fewer profits the banking system can reap from traditional services and verification methods that allow them to hold, take or use their customers’ money, and the more financial power they stand to lose as a result.” Even disruptive financial technologies like PayPal, Venmo and Zelle work through the banking system, rather than around it, thanks in large part to the banks’ power. Central bankers also generally have concluded that commercial banks are a necessary piece of a potential CBDC ecosystem, thanks to their pre-existing regulatory guardrails and ability to move money. Read More: How Jay Powell’s Coronavirus Response Is Changing the Fed Forever Top policymakers at the Fed, including influential Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles, have joined the banking industry in arguing that a digital dollar “could pose significant and concrete risks” and that the potential benefits “are unclear.” Fed Governor Christopher Waller said in August he was “skeptical that a Federal Reserve CBDC would solve any major problem confronting the U.S. payment system,” in a recent speech he titled “CBDC: A Solution in Search of a Problem?” Further, there’s no central U.S. authority with direct oversight or responsibility for any of this. In addition to the Fed, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Thrift Supervision, Financial Stability Oversight Council, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and the Office of Financial Research would all have some stake in the development of a digital currency backed by the central bank, to say nothing of state and regional authorities. “The U.S. has an active congressional debate, which is beneficial and very important,” Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard tells TIME in an interview. “But the U.S. also has a diffusion of regulatory responsibility with no single payments regulator at the federal level, which is not as helpful. That diffusion of responsibility is part of what creates the lags that our system is working through.” None of this exists in China where the Chinese Communist Party oversees the central bank, commercial banks and their regulators and is unconcerned with privacy. How a downgraded dollar could hamstring U.S. influence An American CBDC could have lasting geopolitical impact and curb a longstanding international effort to reduce reliance on the mighty U.S. dollar. “Why we should care about this is that the U.S. financial system is not intrinsically dominant,” Fanusie says. “Other countries, both allies and adversaries, are sincerely interested in finding ways to decrease their dependence on the dollar.” With the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve and primary funding currency, the U.S. can restrict access to funding from financial markets, limit countries’ ability to sell their natural resources and hinder or block individuals’ access to the banking sector. “Other countries, both allies and adversaries, are sincerely interested in finding ways to decrease their dependence on the dollar” While dollar dominance has rankled much of the world for decades, there has been no suitable replacement for the U.S., with its massive economy, sophisticated banking system and sprawling international presence. China is in the midst of a long-term push to simultaneously grow its financial markets and internationalize its currency. Both have the end goal of allowing China and its allies to limit the ability of the U.S. to enforce its will through economic actions like sanctions. Fanusie wrote in a January report that being the first major economy to roll out a digital currency is “part of China’s geopolitical ambitions.” However, the renminbi will not become the world’s reserve currency — at least, not any time soon. But what China has done by being in the forefront of CBDC development is put itself in position to take the lead on development and implementation of rules and regulations for digital currencies on a global scale. “While America led the global revolution in payments half a century ago with magnetic striped credit and debit cards, China is leading the new revolution in digital payments,” writes Brookings’ economic studies fellow Aaron Klein. Why should central banks offer digital currencies? Over the past decade, digital currencies, including cryptocurrency and “stablecoins,” have sprung up like weeds. Some purport to be just as safe as dollars, but are backed by questionable assets. In a crisis regulators worry they could fluctuate wildly in value or lose their value altogether. Having central banks, which are responsible for the printing and circulation of coins and paper money, issue digital currencies is in part a reaction to this private sector activity, Shin says, “accelerated by the potential encroachment of private digital currencies, and the need to preserve the role of money as a public good.” “The status quo is not an option” Notably, a U.S. digital currency could provide benefits to everyday people. It could increase financial inclusion and fix flaws in current payments systems, Shin adds, citing findings of a recent BIS study. For example, transferring money between U.S.-based bank accounts, even those held by the same person, can take days. The process can be even longer when crossing international borders. Credit and debit card transactions similarly don’t settle for days and come with significant fees for merchants, who sometimes pass them on to customers. CBDCs could grant universal access to the banking sector and quickly facilitate the distribution of paychecks and government funds, reducing the need for costly bank workarounds like check cashing and payday loans. Championing CBDCs Brainard has been pushing the Fed to move on a digital currency for years, but there was little urgency from others at the Fed or in Congress. Companies developing their own currencies, consumers investing in cryptocurrency and the COVID-19 pandemic making paper notes anathema to many Americans changed that. Before COVID-19, Facebook’s Libra project (now known as Diem) showed lawmakers and central bankers the potential for a private company to step in and fill the void by effectively minting its own currency that could be spent by users around the world. “The status quo is not an option,” Diem co-creator David Marcus said at the International Monetary Fund’s 2019 fall meeting. “Whether it’s Libra or something else, the world is going to change in a profound way.” Brainard, for one, has taken notice. “My own thinking is that stablecoins and related private sector initiatives are moving very rapidly, which makes it incumbent on us to move more rapidly,” she tells TIME. “That is why I have been pushing to advance outreach, cross-border engagement, and policy and technology research for several years now.” So-called stablecoins — unregulated digital currencies created by private companies that purport to represent dollars but are completely unregulated — have become a significant worry for lawmakers and shown the importance of considering tying currency to a central bank. “It’s getting harder and harder for community banks to compete for new customers when big tech companies can afford to spend billions on marketing and technology,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, tells TIME. “But many of these new ‘fintech’ products don’t come with the consumer protections, federal backing or customer service and relationships with the community that small banks and credit unions provide.” During a hearing on digital currencies in June, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, compared stablecoins to worthless “wildcat notes” that were issued by speculators in the 19th century. Her expert at that hearing, Lev Menand, an Academic Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School, went further in his testimony, calling stablecoins “dangerous to both their users and … to the broader financial system.” With private companies pushing deeper into the digital currency space, rival countries seeking to seize leadership and a public that is moving further away from physical currency, the U.S. is facing a world in which it may not control or even lead the world’s payment systems. That would make the future of money look very different from the past......»»

Category: topSource: timeSep 21st, 2021

AutoZone 4th Quarter Same Store Sales Increase 4.3%; 4th Quarter EPS Increases to $35.72; Annual Sales of $14.6 Billion

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) today reported net sales of $4.9 billion for its fourth quarter (16 weeks) ended August 28, 2021, an increase of 8.1% from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 (16 weeks). Domestic same store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 4.3% for the quarter. "Our strong sales and earnings this quarter are a testament to our AutoZoners' ongoing commitment to going the extra mile for our customers. Our retail business performed very well this quarter ending with virtually flat same store sales on top of last year's historic growth of over 20%.  And, our commercial business growth continues to be exceptionally strong at 21.2%. The investments we are making continue to strengthen our competitive positioning in all the sectors and markets we compete. We are optimistic about our growth prospects heading into our new fiscal year," said Bill Rhodes, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. For the quarter, gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 52.3%, a decrease of 82 basis points versus the prior year. The decrease in gross margin was primarily driven by the initiatives to accelerate growth in our Commercial business. Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, was 31.0% versus 30.7% last year. Our expense growth was primarily driven by higher payroll to support our sales and customer service initiatives, partially offset by a decrease in pandemic related expenses. In addition, we are investing in   technology to underpin our growth initiatives and we are seeing higher wage costs in our stores and distribution centers. Operating profit increased 2.6% to $1.0 billion. Net income for the quarter increased 6.1% over the same period last year to $785.8 million, while diluted earnings per share increased 15.5% to $35.72 from $30.93 in the year-ago quarter. For the fiscal year ended August 28, 2021, sales were $14.6 billion, an increase of 15.8% from the prior year, while domestic same store sales were up 13.6%. Gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 52.8% versus 53.6%. The decrease in gross margin was primarily attributable to the initiatives to accelerate growth in our Commercial business. Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 32.6% versus 34.5%. The reduction in operating expenses as a percent of sales was driven by strong sales growth and a decrease in pandemic related expenses. For fiscal 2021, net income increased 25.2% to $2.2 billion and diluted earnings per share increased 32.3% to $95.19 from $71.93. Return on invested capital finished at 41.0%. Under its share repurchase program, AutoZone repurchased 592 thousand shares of its common stock for $900 million during the fourth quarter, at an average price of $1,519 per share. For the fiscal year, the Company repurchased 2.6 million shares of its common stock for $3.4 billion, at an average price of $1,303 per share. At year end, the Company had $417.6 million remaining under its current share repurchase authorization. The Company's inventory increased 3.7% over the same period last year, driven by new stores and improved product assortment. Inventory per store was $686 thousand versus $683 thousand last year and $701 thousand last quarter. Net inventory, defined as merchandise inventories less accounts payable, on a per store basis, was negative $203 thousand versus negative $104 thousand last year and negative $167 thousand last quarter."While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our customers' and AutoZoners' lives, our primary focus remains everyone's health and well-being. We will continue to help wherever we can to make our stores the best and safest place to shop for everyone's automotive needs. We remain committed to helping our AutoZoners during these difficult times. As always, we will take nothing for granted while striving for continued sales growth in fiscal 2022. As we continue to prudently invest capital in our business, we remain committed to our long-term, disciplined, approach of increasing operating earnings and cash flow while utilizing our balance sheet effectively," said Rhodes. During the quarter ended August 28, 2021, AutoZone opened 76 new stores in the U.S., 29 stores in Mexico and five stores in Brazil. At our fiscal year end, the Company had 6,051 stores in the U.S., 664 in Mexico and 52 in Brazil for a total store count of 6,767. AutoZone is the leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the Americas. Each AutoZone store carries an extensive product line for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. Many stores also have a commercial sales program that provides commercial credit and prompt delivery of parts and other products to local, regional and national repair garages, dealers, service stations and public sector accounts. We also have commercial programs in all stores in Mexico and Brazil. AutoZone also sells the ALLDATA brand diagnostic and repair software through www.alldata.com. Additionally, we sell automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories and non-automotive products through www.autozone.com and our commercial customers can make purchases through www.autozonepro.com. We also provide product information on our Duralast branded products through www.duralastparts.com. AutoZone does not derive revenue from automotive repair or installation. AutoZone will host a conference call this morning, Tuesday, September 21, 2021, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) to discuss its fourth quarter results. This call is being web cast and can be accessed, along with supporting slides, at AutoZone's website at www.autozone.com and clicking on Investor Relations. Investors may also listen to the call by dialing (877) 407-8031. In addition, a telephone replay will be available by dialing (877) 481-4010 through October 19, 2021,11:59 pm (EDT). This release includes certain financial information not derived in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"). These non-GAAP measures include adjustments to reflect return on invested capital, adjusted debt and adjusted debt to EBITDAR. The Company believes that the presentation of these non-GAAP measures provides information that is useful to investors as it indicates more clearly the Company's comparative year-to-year operating results, but this information should not be considered a substitute for any measures derived in accordance with GAAP. Management targets the Company's capital structure in order to maintain its investment grade credit ratings. The Company believes this is important information for the management of its debt levels and share repurchases. We have included a reconciliation of this additional information to the most comparable GAAP measures in the accompanying reconciliation tables. Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements typically use words such as "believe," "anticipate," "should," "intend," "plan," "will," "expect," "estimate," "project," "positioned," "strategy," "seek," "may," "could," and similar expressions. These are based on assumptions and assessments made by our management in light of experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors that we believe to be appropriate. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including without limitation: product demand; energy prices; weather; competition; credit market conditions; cash flows; access to available and feasible financing; future stock repurchases; the impact of recessionary conditions; consumer debt levels; changes in laws or regulations; risks associated with self-insurance; war and the prospect of war, including terrorist activity; the impact of public health issues, such as the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic; inflation; the ability to hire, train and retain qualified employees; construction delays; the compromising of confidentiality, availability or integrity of information, including cyber-attacks; historic growth rate sustainability; downgrade of our credit ratings; damages to our reputation; challenges in international markets; failure or interruption of our information technology systems; origin and raw material costs of suppliers; disruption in our supply chain; impact of tariffs; anticipated impact of new accounting standards; and business interruptions. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are discussed in more detail in the "Risk Factors" section contained in Item 1A under Part 1 of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended August 29, 2020, and these Risk Factors should be read carefully. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results, developments and business decisions may differ from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements, and events described above and in the "Risk Factors" could materially and adversely affect our business. However, it should be understood that it is not possible to identify or predict all such risks and other factors that could affect these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. Except as required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Contact Information:Financial: Brian Campbell at (901) 495-7005, brian.campbell@autozone.comMedia: David McKinney at (901) 495-7951, david.mckinney@autozone.com     AutoZone's 4th Quarter Highlights - Fiscal 2021   Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations 4th Quarter, FY2021 (in thousands, except per share data)     GAAP Results     16 Weeks Ended   16 Weeks Ended     August 28, 2021   August 29, 2020(2)           Net sales   $ 4,913,484     $ 4,545,968   Cost of sales     2,345,646       2,132,993   Gross profit     2,567,838       2,412,975   Operating, SG&A expenses     1,523,808       1,394,930   Operating profit (EBIT)     1,044,030       1,018,045   Interest expense, net     58,119       65,638   Income before taxes     985,911       952,407   Income taxes(1)     200,140       211,950   Net income   $ 785,771     $ 740,457   Net income per share:           Basic   $ 36.72     $ 31.67     Diluted   $ 35.72     $ 30.93   Weighted average shares outstanding:           Basic     21,400       23,383     Diluted     22,000       23,942                 (1)The sixteen weeks ended August 28, 2021 and the comparable prior year period include $21.2M and $3.3M in tax benefits from stock option exercises, respectively (2)The sixteen weeks ended August 29, 2020 was negatively impacted by pandemic related expenses, including Emergency Time-Off of approximately $10.7M (pre-tax)     Fiscal Year 2021         (in thousands, except per share data)                 GAAP Results         52 Weeks Ended   52 Weeks Ended         August 28, 2021(2)   August 29, 2020(2)               Net sales   $ 14,629,585     $ 12,631,967   Cost of sales     6,911,800       5,861,214   Gross profit     7,717,785       6,770,753   Operating, SG&A expenses     4,773,258       4,353,074   Operating profit (EBIT)     2,944,527       2,417,679   Interest expense, net     195,337       201,165   Income before taxes     2,749,190       2,216,514   Income taxes(1)     578,876       483,542   Net income   $ 2,170,314     $ 1,732,972   Net income per share:           Basic   $ 97.60     $ 73.62     Diluted   $ 95.19     $ 71.93   Weighted average shares outstanding:           Basic     22,237       23,540     Diluted     22,799       24,093      (1)The 52 weeks ended August 28, 2021 and the comparable prior year period include $56.4M and $20.9M in tax benefits from stock option exercises, respectively (2)The 52 weeks ended August 28, 2021 and the comparable prior year period were negatively impacted by pandemic related expenses, including Emergency Time-Off of approximately $43.0M (pre-tax) and $83.9M (pre-tax), respectively     Selected Balance Sheet Information         (in thousands)                 August 28, 2021   August 29, 2020               Cash and cash equivalents   $ 1,171,335     $ 1,750,815   Merchandise inventories     4,639,813       4,473,282   Current assets     6,415,303       6,811,872   Property and equipment, net     4,856,891       4,509,221   Operating lease right-of-use assets     2,718,712       2,581,677   Total assets     14,516,199       14,423,872   Accounts payable     6,013,924       5,156,324   Current liabilities     7,369,754       6,283,091   Operating lease liabilities, less current portion     2,632,842       2,501,560   Total debt     5,269,820       5,513,371   Stockholders' deficit     (1,797,536 )     (877,977 ) Working capital     (954,451 )     528,781                 AutoZone's 4th Quarter Highlights - Fiscal 2021                                     Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations                                         Adjusted Debt / EBITDAR                 (in thousands, except adjusted debt to EBITDAR ratio)   Trailing 4 Quarters                   August 28, 2021   August 29, 2020         Net income    $ 2,170,314     $ 1,732,972           Add:  Interest expense     195,337       201,165                     Income tax expense     578,876       483,542           EBIT       2,944,527       2,417,679                             .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 21st, 2021

Neogen Announces Record Revenue in First Quarter

LANSING, Mich., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ:NEOG) announced today the results of the first quarter of its 2022 fiscal year, which ended August 31. Revenues were $128,305,000, a 17% increase compared to the previous year's first quarter revenues of $109,325,000. The company's Food Safety and Animal Safety segments each recorded double-digit increases in organic sales in the first quarter, representing the third straight quarter of double-digit organic growth at both segments. This quarter marked the 117th of the past 123 quarters that Neogen has reported revenue increases compared to the same period in the prior year. Net income for the first quarter was $17,077,000, or $0.16 per share, compared to $15,860,000, or $0.15 per share, in the previous year's first quarter. For each comparative period, earnings per share amounts have been adjusted to reflect the company's 2-for-1 stock split on June 4. "As the world continues to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, our strong results showcase Neogen's resilience and perseverance," said John Adent, Neogen's President and Chief Executive Officer. "I am pleased that we are reporting growth across almost all of our core product lines. Additionally, our Food Safety sales team has seen tremendous excitement surrounding our new Megazyme product offerings, which have now been integrated into our product portfolio. This positive start to our new fiscal year makes us optimistic for the remainder of the year." Gross margins were 46.8% of sales in the first quarter of the fiscal year, compared to 46.0% recorded in the same period a year ago, due to sales of higher margin products within the Food Safety segment.  First quarter operating expenses increased by 22% over the prior year's first quarter; in last year's first fiscal quarter, the company took a number of cost reduction actions due to the economic uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, totaling approximately $2.5 million. As business conditions improved through the remainder of fiscal 2021, spending returned to pre-pandemic levels. Operating income for the quarter was $21,727,000, an increase of 15%, compared to $18,895,000 a year ago. Operating income continues to be impacted by higher costs in many areas, particularly freight, due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We continue to face challenges due to supply chain issues, labor shortages and higher product costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To mitigate this, we recently implemented price increases where appropriate, and our operations teams have taken a number of actions to control costs," said Steve Quinlan, Neogen's Chief Financial Officer. "Our international operations performed well during the quarter, with overall revenues increasing 20%, aided in part by the Megazyme acquisition and currency tailwinds provided by a stronger British pound and Mexican peso." Revenues for the company's Food Safety segment were $62,722,000 in the current quarter, compared to $54,185,000 in the prior year's first quarter, an increase of 16%; organic growth for the segment was 10%. The growth was due to strong increases across the company's diagnostics portfolio, including culture media (36%), allergens (17%), pathogens (15%) and environmental sanitation (14%). The company's December 2020 acquisition of Megazyme, a food quality and nutritional analysis business, also contributed. The recently launched AccuPoint® Advanced NG contributed to the increase in environmental sanitation, as the handheld monitoring system and related analytics program have continued to gain market acceptance since its launch in May 2021. Sales of Neogen's Soleris® product line recorded a 9% increase in consumables; equipment sales were flat over the prior year, in part due to difficult comparisons resulting from an 85% increase in the prior year period, as the company successfully launched its next generation reader. Natural toxin test kit sales were led by a 14% increase in deoxynivalenol (DON) test kits and a 24% increase in zearalenone test kits. The company's innovative Listeria Right Now™ 60-minute test system has continued its strong growth, recording an increase of 51% over prior year sales. Partially offsetting this growth, drug residue test kit sales declined by 22% due to the prior year termination of a European distribution agreement and competitive pressure within the marketplace. In China, revenues increased by 59% (47% in Chinese yuan) from new sales of Megazyme products and strong growth in genomics, as the commercial dairy, swine and sheep markets have increased sampling volumes. Neogen Australasia revenue increased by 49% (41% in local currency), driven by growth in beef and companion animal genomic services. Neogen Latinoamerica recorded revenue increases of 16% (4% in Mexican peso), with strength in environmental sanitation products and culture media. Revenues at Neogen's U.K. operations increased by 9% (-2% in British pounds) over the prior year's first quarter, which included opportunistic sales of hand sanitizers, cleaners, and disinfectants to fight the COVID-19 pandemic; these sales did not recur in the current fiscal first quarter. Revenues at the company's Brazilian operations declined by 15% (-17% in Brazilian real) over the prior year, as a large sale of insecticides to a government agency in last year's first quarter did not recur this year. Additionally, drought conditions contributed to a significant decline in corn crops, which negatively impacted sales of aflatoxin test kits. Revenues for the company's Animal Safety segment were $65,583,000 in the first quarter, an increase of 19% compared to $55,140,000 in the previous year; organic growth for the segment was also 19%. This growth was driven by a 52% increase in veterinary instruments, including needles and syringes, resulting from new private label business. The ThyroKare™ supplement, which relaunched in February 2021, contributed to a 27% increase in animal care products, which also featured strength in small animal supplements and antibiotics. Biosecurity products sold through the Animal Safety segment continued to grow, with increases in insect control products (23%), rodent control products (5%), and cleaners and disinfectants (6%). Sales of insect control products were positively impacted ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 21st, 2021

Are Options Traders Betting on a Big Move in Sunlight Financial (SUNL) Stock?

Investors need to pay close attention to Sunlight Financial (SUNL) stock based on the movements in the options market lately. Investors in Sunlight Financial Holdings Inc. SUNL need to pay close attention to the stock based on moves in the options market lately. That is because the Oct 15, 2021 $15.00 Call had some of the highest implied volatility of all equity options today.What is Implied Volatility?Implied volatility shows how much movement the market is expecting in the future. Options with high levels of implied volatility suggest that investors in the underlying stocks are expecting a big move in one direction or the other. It could also mean there is an event coming up soon that may cause a big rally or a huge sell off. However, implied volatility is only one piece of the puzzle when putting together an options trading strategy.What do the Analysts Think?Clearly, options traders are pricing in a big move for Sunlight Financial shares, but what is the fundamental picture for the company? Currently, Sunlight Financial is a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) in the Technology Services industry that ranks in the Bottom 10% of our Zacks Industry Rank. Over the last 60 days, no analysts have increased the earnings estimates for the current quarter, while one has revised the estimate downward. The net effect has moved our Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter from 8 cents per share to 6 cents per share in that period.Given the way analysts feel about Sunlight Financial right now, this huge implied volatility could mean there’s a trade developing. Often times, options traders look for options with high levels of implied volatility to sell premium. This is a strategy many seasoned traders use because it captures decay. At expiration, the hope for these traders is that the underlying stock does not move as much as originally expected.Looking to Trade Options?Check out the simple yet high-powered approach that Zacks Executive VP Kevin Matras has used to close recent double and triple-digit winners. In addition to impressive profit potential, these trades can actually reduce your risk.Click to see the trades now >> Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks 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 Sunlight Financial Holdings Inc. (SUNL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Do Options Traders Know Something About Hut 8 Mining (HUT) Stock We Don"t?

Investors need to pay close attention to Hut 8 Mining (HUT) stock based on the movements in the options market lately. Investors in Hut 8 Mining Corp. HUT need to pay close attention to the stock based on moves in the options market lately. That is because the Oct 15, 2021 $20.00 Call had some of the highest implied volatility of all equity options today.What is Implied Volatility?Implied volatility shows how much movement the market is expecting in the future. Options with high levels of implied volatility suggest that investors in the underlying stocks are expecting a big move in one direction or the other. It could also mean there is an event coming up soon that may cause a big rally or a huge sell-off. However, implied volatility is only one piece of the puzzle when putting together an options trading strategy.What do the Analysts Think?Clearly, options traders are pricing in a big move for Hut 8 Mining shares, but what is the fundamental picture for the company? Currently, Hut 8 Mining is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) in the Technology Services industry that ranks in the Bottom 10% of our Zacks Industry Rank. Over the last 60 days, one analyst has increased the earnings estimates for the current quarter, while none have dropped their estimates. The net effect has taken our Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter from 2 cents per share to 10 cents in that period.Given the way analysts feel about Hut 8 Mining right now, this huge implied volatility could mean there’s a trade developing. Oftentimes, options traders look for options with high levels of implied volatility to sell premium. This is a strategy many seasoned traders use because it captures decay. At expiration, the hope for these traders is that the underlying stock does not move as much as originally expected.Looking to Trade Options?Check out the simple yet high-powered approach that Zacks Executive VP Kevin Matras has used to close recent double and triple-digit winners. In addition to impressive profit potential, these trades can actually reduce your risk.Click to see the trades now >> Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks 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 Hut 8 Mining Corp. (HUT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Are Options Traders Betting on a Big Move in Xenon (XENE) Stock?

Investors need to pay close attention to Xenon (XENE) stock based on the movements in the options market lately. Investors in Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. XENE need to pay close attention to the stock based on moves in the options market lately. That is because the Oct 15, 2021 $12.50 Put had some of the highest implied volatility of all equity options today.What is Implied Volatility?Implied volatility shows how much movement the market is expecting in the future. Options with high levels of implied volatility suggest that investors in the underlying stocks are expecting a big move in one direction or the other. It could also mean there is an event coming up soon that may cause a big rally or a huge sell-off. However, implied volatility is only one piece of the puzzle when putting together an options trading strategy.What do the Analysts Think?Clearly, options traders are pricing in a big move for Xenon shares, but what is the fundamental picture for the company? Currently, Xenon is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) in the Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry that ranks in the Bottom 22% of our Zacks Industry Rank. Over the last 60 days, no analysts have increased their earnings estimates for the current quarter, while five analysts have revised their estimates downward. The net effect has widened our Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter from a loss of 36 cents per share to a loss of 40 cents in that period.Given the way analysts feel about Xenon right now, this huge implied volatility could mean there’s a trade developing. Oftentimes, options traders look for options with high levels of implied volatility to sell premium. This is a strategy many seasoned traders use because it captures decay. At expiration, the hope for these traders is that the underlying stock does not move as much as originally expected.Looking to Trade Options?Check out the simple yet high-powered approach that Zacks Executive VP Kevin Matras has used to close recent double and triple-digit winners. In addition to impressive profit potential, these trades can actually reduce your risk.Click to see the trades now >> Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks 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 Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (XENE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021