EVs the biggest business opportunity for Taiwan since PCs, says PSMC chairman Frank Huang

Electric vehicles (EV) have been one of the most talked-about topics of 2021. In Taiwan, in addition to Foxconn's MIH Alliance recently surpassing 2,000 members, Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (PSMC) chairman Frank Huang began preparations for establishing the Taiwan Advanced Automotive Technology Development Association (TADA) in 2020. TADA reportedly has already received backing from key EV supply chain members Pegatron, AU Optronics (AUO) and the Taiwan Computer Association......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesNov 25th, 2021

Employers are budgeting for bigger raises in 2022. Here"s how to ask for a pay increase.

The labor shortage was one of the biggest recent problems for business owners in 2021, and many are responding by budgeting for big raises in 2022. The Conference Board’s Salary Increase Budget survey found companies are planning for a 3.9% increase in wages in 2022 — the highest jump in more than a decade. Giving the tight market for talent and those aggressive budgeting plans, many employees have the opportunity to cash in by asking for a raise. But experts say there are some best practices….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 13th, 2022

Industry watch: Metaverse, the virtual-real integration

MediaTek's chairman Ming-Kai Tsai recently elucidated his views on the metaverse business opportunity that has become a hot topic these days. Metaverse ignites a new business opportunity with diverse changes and infinite extensions. From the physical perspective of "contact," we can imagine the continuous development of AR/VR/MR related devices. The metaverse infrastructure that supports various devices as well as the huge data centers that features high-performance computing power and data storage are all indispensable. These are the physical business opportunities of the metaverse......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesJan 13th, 2022

Industry watch: More opportunities than challenges for Taiwan in semiconductor race

As one of Taiwan's major integrated device manufacturers (IDM), Macronix shoulders the responsibility of Taiwan's future role in the memory industry. Miin Wu, chairman of Macronix, stressed in a recent forum that Macronix has been focused on quality since its inception. Macronix's product quality is superior to competitors' and it is especially so in high-end NOR flash. Wu stressed again that the future memory products will be a customized sector, and the application-driven technology will be the key to success. Solutions which are merged into the "system in memory" would strengthen customers' competitiveness. Etron chairman Nicky Lu, who has been in the memory business for years, also said that if you expect the memory sector to achieve a satisfactory outcome, you should take the packaging and testing industry into account. TSMC chairman Mark Liu also believes that Micron has surpassed Samsung in memory technology. Taiwan should not miss the opportunity, with Micron having a production base in central Taiwan......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesJan 13th, 2022

Don’t Let Journalists Turn You Away From This Early-Stage Tech Opportunity

“What is Internet, anyway?” Bryant Gumbel asked this on The Today Show in 1994. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Source: TODAY Looking back on this, it’s easy to laugh. This was long before our lives revolved around the internet. Most people had no idea what the internet would become. Even fewer folks were thinking […] “What is Internet, anyway?” Bryant Gumbel asked this on The Today Show in 1994. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Source: TODAY Looking back on this, it’s easy to laugh. This was long before our lives revolved around the internet. Most people had no idea what the internet would become. Even fewer folks were thinking about how to invest in it. But those who saw the incredible potential of the internet went on to create the world’s most important businesses. Think Jeff Bezos and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)… Marc Benioff and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM)… Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Of course, entrepreneurs weren’t the only ones to cash in on the internet. Countless everyday investors made life-changing money as stocks like Netflix rose over 3,000%. But the truth is, most investors did NOT buy into these incredible stocks early on. Do you know why? Because most folks failed to tune out the naysayers. New megatrends always seem like a joke in the beginning… When they’re first getting started, world-changing megatrends have far more detractors than supporters. Those detractors often populate the major media. They’re loud, and they’re everywhere. So, it’s easy to listen to them. But listening to naysayers is one of the worst mistakes you can make as an investor. Just imagine if you shrugged off investing in the internet in its early days because some journalist called it a passing fad. Source: Daily Mail Of course, the internet is just one highly profitable megatrend that was mocked and dismissed during its early days. An Obituary For Bitcoin No one respected bitcoin (BTC) when it was worth $0.0008… Bitcoin is the world’s most popular and valuable cryptocurrency. It was created in 2009. In its very early days, hardly anyone besides hard-core libertarians and “cypherpunks” even knew about bitcoin. Cypherpunks are a group of folks who believe the privacy-enhancing technology behind bitcoin is a game changer. Word eventually got out about this underground technology. And once again, journalists, politicians, and even some respected investors were quick to dismiss it as a scam. Bitcoin has been declared “dead” more than four hundred times, according to website 99Bitcoins. Whether it was worth pennies on the dollar, or over $60,000 per coin, someone wrote an obituary for bitcoin. Source: 99Bitcoins Bitcoin is obviously alive and well. Today, it’s worth more than $900 billion, and its price has rallied more than 5,700,000,000% since its creation. Bitcoin’s incredible rally has also given rise to thousands of other cryptocurrency projects. The secure blockchain technology that’s behind crypto is revolutionizing the way people borrow and lend money. Of course, very few people recognized the immense potential of cryptocurrencies back in 2009. The same is true of the internet. Hardly anyone could have predicted that we’d use the internet to interact with our friends and family, and shop for everything from groceries to cars. So, it’s only fair to cut the journalists some slack. After all, it’s not like journalists are paid to see the big picture… The same goes for the talking heads on TV. Their job is to entertain people. It’s not to help folks envision the future and invest in it. So, you shouldn’t look to them for investing advice. I mention all this because another massive money-making opportunity is staring us in the face right now. Just like the internet and bitcoin, it may sound “farfetched.” But please, don’t dismiss it as a fad. Metaverse: An Early-Stage Tech Opportunity The metaverse is the biggest tech opportunity since the creation of the internet… If you’ve been reading RiskHedge, you know the metaverse is a new, 3D, immersive internet. A virtual world where you, through an avatar, can socialize with other people, work, play, create, and basically exist. Much of what takes place on the internet today could soon take place inside the metaverse. And it’s just now starting to get the attention it deserves. But there are still many folks in the media who are dismissing the metaverse. Just look at this recent headline from The Guardian. It’s calling the metaverse a “boondoggle,” or a waste of time. Source: The Guardian CNN refers to the metaverse as a “dystopian sci-fi idea.” Source: CNN Now, I understand why some people are so dismissive. For one, it’s still very much the early days for the metaverse. Just like the way folks were skeptical of the early internet, it’s hard to see how the metaverse will reshape every aspect of our lives. Plus, the only people really using the metaverse right now are children. But more than half of all American children are already playing on the metaverse! And children are often the first to embrace revolutionary technologies. We saw this play out with video games and social media. Now, the same thing is happening with the metaverse. Giant tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are at the forefront of this technological revolution. Facebook is reinventing its entire business around the metaverse. Earlier this year, Facebook changed its name to Meta. And it plans to spend $10 billion and hire 10,000 people to build out the infrastructure of the metaverse. And Facebook is far from alone. Microsoft has had its eyes set on the metaverse for years. In 2014, it acquired the virtual sandbox game Minecraft for $2.5 billion. Microsoft is also actively building out the “enterprise metaverse.” In a nutshell, it aims to integrate the metaverse with the business world. Imagine a business that is headquartered in New York with a warehouse in Tokyo. It’s impossible for a worker to visit both locations in one business day. Microsoft wants to change that through the metaverse. In short, it will digitally map both places. Then workers could virtually “visit” both locations, no matter where they are in the physical world. NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) has also made the metaverse a top priority. The artificial intelligence pioneer recently launched its Omniverse platform that will allow engineers to develop 3D worlds for the metaverse. A couple months ago, Nvidia’s Jensen Huang said that “the economy in the metaverse, the economy of Omniverse, will be larger than the economy in the physical world.” In other words, the metaverse is going to be worth tens of trillions of dollars. We’re looking at the next evolution of the internet—an internet that you can live in. The metaverse will be a space where everyone can socialize, work, play, and create. At this point, you must ask yourself, “Who’s more likely to be correct about the metaverse?” Will it be the naysayers doubting this new technology? Or the companies and entrepreneurs who are taking risks, investing their own money, and reshaping their entire business models to accommodate it? My money, as always, is on the visionaries. The Great Disruptors: 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money" Get our latest report where we reveal our three favorite stocks that will hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here. Article By Justin Spittler, Mauldin Economics Updated on Jan 5, 2022, 1:54 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 5th, 2022

Eynat Guez, Ceo Of Papaya Global On Her Vision For Global Workforce Management

Eynat Guez founded Papaya Global in 2016, when the concept of remote working was relatively in its infancy, seeing the need of companies to automate their global payroll. The COVID-19 pandemic brought growth on a whole new scale, with companies rushing to shift to a remote work footing but with little idea as to how […] Eynat Guez founded Papaya Global in 2016, when the concept of remote working was relatively in its infancy, seeing the need of companies to automate their global payroll. The COVID-19 pandemic brought growth on a whole new scale, with companies rushing to shift to a remote work footing but with little idea as to how to efficiently manage such a payroll. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more We spoke to Guez to learn about how she and all the Papaya Global team stepped up to the plate and took advantage of the opportunity in the pandemic crisis. How did COVID-19 affect your company? What were the biggest struggles you experienced during the pandemic? My company, Papaya Global, had entered a state of rapid growth just as the pandemic arrived. We had to hire, onboard, and train many new employees in different countries and different time zones, all remotely. The challenge there isn’t so much on a process level. We worked out all the details quickly. What’s hard is building a company culture when people have virtually no interaction with most of their new colleagues. After three years when everyone knew just about everyone at the company, we suddenly found ourselves in a situation where a third to half of the workforce never met at all. What made it possible to bring people together was the fact that we had put a set of values into practice at an early stage. People knew what we stood for when they joined, and we were adamant about applying our values equally for everyone, regardless of location, seniority, or gender. That transparency gave people something to grasp onto as a link to the company and the rest of the workforce. One of the most important things we did in this period was to take the whole company and their families to the Maldives for a 5 day off-site. People had been stuck inside for various lockdowns at that point and really needed to get away. So, the off site lets people decompress in a beautiful, low stress environment while spending some casual time together. We saw a massive improvement in collaboration when we got back. For me, the lesson is clear: there are lots of good things about remote work, but the magic happens face-to-face. The pandemic saw a huge shift to remote work. How did Papaya Global play a part in that shift? The trend towards remote work and distributed workplaces was already gaining momentum before the pandemic arrived. We started Papaya Global in 2016 to help companies hire and pay people in different countries in full compliance. Companies with different degrees of remote work were among our first clients. Of course, the practice jumped tremendously with the pandemic because companies that never considered remote work as an option suddenly found themselves with no other option if they wanted to continue operations. Those companies – the ones pushed into remote work rather than having chosen it – weren’t really prepared for all the complexity. The Papaya Platform was just what these companies needed to make sure their entire workforce was paid compliantly no matter where they were. One of the biggest lessons of the pandemic was the importance of technology, especially automation. We saw it first-hand at Papaya Global. Companies were calling us in a panic because they didn’t know how they would meet their payroll, especially in the beginning when the disruption was most intense. An automated payroll will function under any disruption, but manual processes are dependent on people being available to do their jobs. We keep hearing about the “great resignation.” As a people management platform, how is Papaya Global experiencing that trend, and how do you help companies deal with it? I’ve heard all about ‘The Great Resignation’ but I haven’t seen it at all at Papaya. Our retention rate is 94%, and for a startup in the volatile hi-tech industry, that’s a very high number. We’re still hiring at a high rate, and the people who are coming in are extremely motivated. We haven’t seen it with our clients either, and since we charge by the payroll, a large resignation would impact us directly. I think there are many causes for this dissatisfaction. People might love their work but feel disconnected from their companies. Remote work can potentially cause this kind of disconnection, if they have no inner sense of the company. Companies need to be aware of their culture now more than ever. It’s what I call the company DNA. Companies need to honor and cultivate their DNA, which is generally set by the founders and top leadership as an extension of who they are as people and as managers. There are no “best practices” for developing an organization’s DNA but it’s crucial for long-term health. When you have people who work at the company but aren’t part of the company, that’s one of the worst things that can happen, especially for a startup. As a workforce management platform, we place tremendous importance on the employee experience. It can be as simple as making a global org chart accessible to people to build a sense of unity. A lot of it comes from the benefits package a company offers. We advocate a set of global benefits – benefits packages that are the same for people no matter where they work. It gives a sense of fairness and equality. We also advise clients not to give allowances for benefits, but to give the benefit itself. Don’t give an employee $100 for health care and make them go out and sign up themselves. Sign them up to the company plan. It’s a small thing but it tells people you are looking after them. Companies also need to think about things like global equity – giving equity to people abroad just as they would people hired locally. It’s a massive headache with all the legal issues involved, but it has all the advantages that local equity has on the people who get it. What do you think the workforce of the future will look like? Will companies continue to outsource to consultants and gig workers, or do you envisage a backlash beginning at some point? There is a trend in government to protect worker rights, and I think it’s pointing the world of work in the right direction. There will always be a role for independents and consultants, but it will be limited. Companies that want to grow can’t rely on temporary contractors. They need a permanent workforce they can rely on. A company that has zero or nearly zero employees and lots of contractors needs to be very careful about misclassification. It’s also a company culture that might not attract the top talent. There are so many options for companies to hire people with or without a legal entity today, that there is no reason not to give their employees full rights and benefits. Any company can hire through an Employer of Record. It’s not a long-term solution in most cases, but it allows companies to hire with an eye towards the future. What about the employees’ side of things? Do you think the workers of the late 2020s will prefer to be freelancers and small agencies, with more freedom but fewer benefits, or will people want to go back to classic salaried employment models? There is really no reason why employees can’t have the freedom they want and still get all the benefits and labor protection they deserve. We are seeing it today with remote work. People are demanding freedom and flexibility within the context of their jobs and the technology tools are all in place to give it to them. More tools haven’t been invented yet. Employers have to be willing to show flexibility as well, but the rewards can be enormous. You get a loyal workforce that knows you are willing to meet them halfway on what they want. The more of a sense of partnership that can be built between the company and employees, the more both sides have to gain from it. The office-free business: in your opinion, is that an efficient way to keep down costs, or a recipe for chaos? There are companies that have done it and have been very successful, but they put a great deal of thought into how to make it work and planned tremendously. They have hundreds of employees across the world, and each one is paid in compliance with all tax codes and labor laws. I think it’s possible to do it well, but it takes a lot of work. In our experience with Papaya, whenever we have a cluster of employees in one area, they ask us to open an office. The combination of having an office for part of the week and working remotely for part of the week – the hybrid model – seems to be the best of all worlds. People get both flexibility and structure. And they spend some time together. I personally feel that it's important that people have personal interactions. We used to be able to take that for granted, that we would meet with people directly. It’s really about connecting people and creating a cohesive group. It’s not the same over screens. Just on a practical level, it’s challenging because people are in many different time zones. As a woman and a mother working in tech, do you see the compensation and benefits models becoming more supportive towards parents with careers? What changes are taking place right now which give you hope — or perhaps, make you feel despair? In 2021, I became the first woman to lead a unicorn in Israel – one of the biggest ecosystems for hi-tech innovation in the world. On one hand, that shows progress in that I broke through what was previously a glass ceiling. On the other, I saw first-hand how far the industry has to go. I negotiated the funding round that gave Papaya Global the billion-dollar valuation while I was pregnant with my third child, and we closed the deal two weeks after I gave birth. The negotiations took place over Zoom because of the pandemic. I don’t think our partners even knew I was pregnant. About a year earlier, I was pregnant with my second child and we were talking to investors about a B round of funding. Those negotiations took place in person, and I could just feel the air leave the room when I walked in, visibly pregnant. So, speaking from my own experience, I can tell you that women can do anything, and no one can tell me or any other woman that we shouldn’t be leaders or CEOs or anything else. It’s our choice, and it’s time that we took what belongs to us. But there are numerous biases and obstacles women face every day that still hold many women back. I know it, I felt it, and I’m proud to say that I was able to succeed anyway. One of the most pervasive myths that many women face is the ideal of Wonder Woman, the woman who has it all – a career, a family, a life where every minute is accounted for AND an abundance of leisure time to devote to interests, hobbies, and causes. I found that it’s not so important to be a wonder woman. I am who I am, and that’s been enough for everyone. Updated on Jan 3, 2022, 12:08 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 3rd, 2022

How China became the world"s top movie market and what it means for Hollywood

China has the world's biggest movie box office, and its government intends to keep the top spot with a five-year film plan. "The Battle at Lake Changjin"Bona Film Group China surpassed the US as the world's biggest box office in 2021.  Experts say fewer Hollywood movies could be approved in the region in the future. The China Film Administration has laid out a five-year plan to help the country keep the top spot. Hollywood and movie theaters in the US were given a boost of confidence recently when "Spider-Man: No Way Home" grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, becoming the first movie of the coronavirus pandemic to do so. More than $600 million of that has come from the US.But "No Way Home" is an anomaly.Only two other movies, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" and "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," have cracked $200 million in the US this year. The data firm Comscore estimated that the 2021 box office ended with at least $4.5 billion — double last year's total but down from 2019's $11.4 billion.The real winner of the movie business in 2021 was China, which surpassed the US as the world's biggest box office, thanks largely to local films that have made heaps of money. Two movies made more than $800 million just from the region's box office alone: the war film "The Battle at Lake Changjin" and the dramedy "Hi, Mom." They were highest-grossing movies in the world in 2021 until "No Way Home" came along.Looking at Hollywood's other releases last year, and the state of US movie theaters, the US theatrical industry still has a long way to recovery. But the Chinese market rebounded much quicker, and the country's government intends to keep its box-office crown. The China Film Administration recently laid out a five-year film plan to do so. It involves more government oversight over the country's movie business.Insider spoke with experts about China's theatrical market and the future of Hollywood and China's relationship. Here are the biggest takeaways:China's success could have continued consequences for HollywoodChina's dominance was often at Hollywood's expense in 2021. Disney's Marvel movies were shut out by Chinese authorities ("No Way Home," a Sony release, has been approved but doesn't have a release date yet)."They don't need Hollywood to fill seats anymore," said Chris Fenton, a film producer and author of "Feeding the Dragon." "'The Battle at Lake Changjin' can do that."Aynne Kokas, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia and the author of the book "Hollywood Made in China," predicted that fewer Hollywood releases would be approved in China in the future, and those that are would face tighter regulatory approval."There are Chinese blockbusters that Chinese filmmakers are making that people want to watch, and they feel less derivative than those made in Hollywood," she said.Hollywood blockbusters have benefited from China in recent years. But John Fithian, the CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, said that the importance of the China box office for Hollywood tentpoles has been "greatly exaggerated.""The studio take of money in China is much lower than it is anywhere else in the world," Fithian said. "If a movie ticket is 10 dollars in America, a studio will take 5 or 6 dollars of that. In China, it will take 1 or 2 dollars."Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in "Spider-Man: No Way Home."Matt Kennedy/Sony/Marvel StudiosStill, if a movie like "Avengers: Endgame," the biggest Hollywood release in China of all time, makes $630 million in the region, that's a lot of money for Disney."Disney should be worried and we are, too," Fithian added, referring to the shutout of Marvel in China. "We want Marvel product to play in China. That's what will make theaters in China truly successful, is to have an open market of content, and Marvel's huge. So yeah, that's a big problem."Stanley Rosen, a political science professor at the University of Southern California who specializes in Chinese politics and cinema, said that there's reason for hope for Marvel in China. But the government's attitude toward Hollywood movies in general won't be like before the pandemic."China wants to be seen as a global power," Rosen said. "You can't keep out Hollywood movies and call yourself a global film power. But they will be more selective in the future."How the Chinese government plans to keep the top box-office spotFithian thinks that China's success may not be a bad thing for the theatrical industry as a whole."From the cinema perspective, the growth of a vibrant movie industry in China is a very good thing," Fithian said. "They're building the most expansive cinema market in the world. That's a good thing for our industry."The China Film Administration has plans to expand from 70,000 theaters to 100,000 over the next five years. That's just one part of its film plan to turn China into a "strong cultural power" by "adhering to the Party's total leadership over film work," the five-year plan reads, according to Variety.The plan also includes:Releasing 50 films per year that gross at least $15.7 millionReleasing at least 10 movies per year that are "critically acclaimed and popular"Local films accounting for more than 55% of total box office per yearImproving special effects and promoting sci-fi filmsRosen said that the Film Administration recognizes that it needs more blockbusters rather than just a handful in a given year, both to supercharge its own box office and to get movies in other countries."They realize that if they want to be an international film power, foreign nations have to take Chinese movies in the way that they have taken Hollywood movies," he said. Fithian sees opportunity in that for the theatrical industry."I think long term there's the possibility for Chinese movies to be entertaining and watchable enough to audiences around the world," Fithian said. "If you're a cinema operator, having a second important supply of content can go a long way. Studios may not necessarily feel that way because it's competition. But for us, the more supply the better."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 3rd, 2022

Telecom Stock Roundup: Verizon to Power Smart Glass, AT&T"s EC Approval & More

While Verizon (VZ) will deliver an immersive AR experience in the sports and gaming arena, AT&T (T) secures an unconditional antitrust clearance from the European Commission for WarnerMedia sale. Over the past week, U.S. telecom stocks have witnessed a steady downtrend as the industry appeared to be on a collision course with the aviation sector due to the potential interference of the C-Band spectrum with aviation safety standards. With the C-Band spectrum for 5G expansion slated to take off on Jan 5, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) has released a ‘Safety Alert for Operators’. The alert includes recommended action in the form of ‘Notice To Air Missions’, primarily based on restrictions issued earlier by the FAA. This, in turn, is likely to significantly affect air cargo and commercial air travel at most of the biggest airports and highest traffic destinations across the country, with airlines warning that about 4% of daily flights are likely to be delayed, canceled, or diverted.     The FAA has raised concerns that the commercial launch of the C-band wireless service in the 3.7-3.98 GHz frequency band could cause the airwaves to interfere with radar or radio altimeter signals that measure the distance between the aircraft and ground. Data from these devices are fed to the cockpit safety system that helps pilots gauge the air safety metrics and prevent mid-air collision, avoid crashes and ensure a safe landing. Consequently, the FAA has issued certain flight restrictions that would prevent pilots from operating the automatic landing option and other cockpit systems during inclement weather conditions. This has put the transportation industry and the broader economy in jeopardy. Although the FCC has argued that both systems could safely co-exist, the impasse is unlikely to resolve anytime soon, fueling uncertainty within the industry.Notable company-specific news that grabbed the spotlight over the past week includes Verizon Communications Inc.’s VZ collaboration with Vuzix and AT&T Inc.’s T approval from European Commission for WarnerMedia sale. Also, Telefónica, S.A. TEF has decided to retrench 2,700 workers in Spain and Vodafone Group Public Limited Company VOD has launched a 5G mobile broadband device.Meanwhile, the U.S. Court of Appeals has supported an FCC move to open up 1,200 MHz of spectrum in the 6GHz band for unlicensed use. The court approval is likely to witness a proliferation of Wi-Fi standards as demand to connect more devices to the network rises exponentially. This, in turn, will facilitate enterprises and service providers to support emerging applications and ensure all connected devices perform at optimum levels.Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories1.     Verizon recently inked a definitive agreement for an undisclosed amount with Vuzix to deliver an immersive augmented reality (AR) experience in the sports and gaming arena. The first-of-its-kind offering is likely to sow the seeds for future endeavors related to the commercialization of AR technology in various domains.  Per the deal, Vuzix will aim to leverage Verizon’s 5G and edge computing technologies for AR experience in its Shield smart glass. The collaboration is the culmination of a proof-of-concept program that was completed earlier this year, which demonstrated the power of Verizon's 5G and edge computing platform on Vuzix smart glasses in terms of improved response time, longer battery life and increased computing capacity.      2.     AT&T’s game-changing deal with Discovery, Inc. for the divesture of its WarnerMedia business recently got a big boost, with the European Commission granting unconditional antitrust clearance for the transaction. AT&T expects the merger to be completed by mid-2022. The transaction aims to spin off the carrier’s media assets and merge them with the complementary assets of Discovery.The antitrust clearance enables both the companies to move a step closer to the formation of Warner Bros. Discovery, a premium entertainment firm with enviable media content under a single platform. Post completion of the deal, AT&T will receive $43 billion in a combination of cash and debt securities and will own 71% of the new entity, while Discovery will own the remainder. The transaction is expected to enable the carrier to trim its huge debt burden and focus on core businesses. The separation of the media assets is likely to offer the company an opportunity to better align its communications business with a focused total return capital allocation strategy.3.    Telefónica has inked an agreement with local labor unions in Spain to retrench about 15% of its domestic workforce. The strategic decision is aimed at reducing operating costs, lowering debt and improving cash flow for extensive 5G deployment and upgrade of existing network infrastructure.The company is reportedly the third-largest telecom firm in Europe, with a global employee count of approximately 114,000. Telefonica will cut about 2,700 jobs from an estimated workforce of 18,500 in Spain. The voluntary severance package is likely to yield annual savings of more than 230 million euros from 2023. In addition, it is likely to generate positive cash flow in 2022 as the employees exit during the first quarter.4.    Vodafone recently announced the launch of its first-ever 5G mobile broadband device — 5G MiFi. This innovative offering has been specifically designed to cater to the connectivity requirements of customers ‘on the go’. The touchscreen device from Vodafone is ideal for supporting the connectivity of small businesses and it can also be used in the home premises. It is equipped with a simple web interface. It boasts an exceptional 8.5-hour battery life that enables customers to seamlessly share Wi-Fi with up to 32 users or devices, backed by hassle-free configuration.  Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some of the major telecom stocks over the past week and six months.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the past five trading days, Juniper gained the most, with its stock rising 5.4%. Bandwidth has declined the most, with its stock falling 3.1%.Over the past six months, Arista has been the best performer, with its stock appreciating 37.8%, while Bandwidth has declined the most, with its stock falling 94.9%.Over the past six months, the Zacks Telecommunications Services industry has declined 9.1%, while the S&P 500 has rallied 10.8%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhat’s Next in the Telecom Space?In addition to 5G deployments and product launches, all eyes will remain glued to how the new year unfurls for the industry and how the administration aims to address the potential deadlock between the aviation and telecom industry. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>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 AT&T Inc. (T): Free Stock Analysis Report Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report Vodafone Group PLC (VOD): Free Stock Analysis Report Telefonica SA (TEF): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 2nd, 2022

Michael Burry, Jeremy Grantham, and other top investors are predicting an epic market crash. Here are their gravest warnings of 2021.

The "bond king" Jeffrey Gundlach, the "Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary, and the "Rich Dad Poor Dad" author Robert Kiyosaki are expecting a downturn. Michael Burry.Jim Spellman/Getty Images Michael Burry, Jeremy Grantham, and other experts are predicting an epic market crash. Jeffrey Gundlach, Leon Cooperman, and Stanley Druckenmiller expect a downturn too. Here are the gravest warnings so far from eight top investors and commentators. See more stories on Insider's business page. Michael Burry and Jeremy Grantham are bracing for a devastating crash across financial markets. They're far from the only experts to warn that rampant speculation fueled by government stimulus programs can't shore up asset prices forever.The billionaire investors Leon Cooperman, Stanley Druckenmiller, and Jeffrey Gundlach have also sounded the alarm. The same is true for the "Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary, the market prophet Gary Shilling, and the "Rich Dad Poor Dad" author Robert Kiyosaki.Here are the most striking warnings from these 8 market experts:Michael BurryMichael Burry.Getty Images/ Astrid StawiarzBurry described the markets as the "greatest speculative bubble of all time in all things" in June 2021, and said retail investors were buying into the hype around meme stocks and cryptocurrencies before the "mother of all crashes."In the weeks and months before that tweet, the investor of "The Big Short" fame, who runs Scion Asset Management, pointed to Tesla, GameStop, bitcoin, dogecoin, Robinhood, and the red-hot US housing market as signs of speculative excess.Read more: Goldman Sachs says buy these 20 stocks that have the most upside potential right now — including 5 set to surge by at least 50%Jeremy GranthamJeremy Grantham.Morningstar/YouTubeGrantham  said in January 2021 the market was a "fully fledged epic bubble" and described it as the "real McCoy.""When you have reached this level of obvious super-enthusiasm, the bubble has always, without exception, broken in the next few months, not a few years," the legendary investor and GMO cofounder said."We will have to live, potentially, possibly, with the biggest loss of perceived value from assets that we have ever seen," Grantham added.Leon CoopermanLeon Cooperman.Jeff Zelevansky/ReutersCooperman expressed deep concerns about financial markets in May 2021."Everything I look at would suggest caution, intermediate to long term, would be the rule of the day," the billionaire investor and Omega Advisors boss said. "When this market has a reason to go down, it's going to go down so fast your head's going to spin."But Cooperman described himself as a "fully invested bear" because factors that typically cause bear markets — rising inflation, recession fears, a hostile Federal Reserve — weren't present.Read more: How to mine doge: An 18-year-old TikTok influencer shares his process for earning crypto without directly buying via a $700 rig — and explains how it works for other altcoins including litecoinStanley DruckenmillerStanley Druckenmiller.Brendan McDermid/ReutersDruckenmiller said in May 2021 that the bull market reminded him of the dot-com boom, but he cautioned that asset prices could continue rising for a while."I have no doubt that we are in a raging mania in all assets," the billionaire investor and Duquesne Family Office chief said. "I also have no doubt that I don't have a clue when that's going to end."I knew we were in a raging mania in '99, but it kept going on, and if you had shorted the tech stocks in mid-'99, you were out of business by the end of the year," Druckenmiller added.The investor indicated he would pull his cash out of equities in a matter of months."I will be surprised if we're not out of the stock market by the end of the year, just because the bubbles can't last that long," he said.Jeffrey GundlachJeffrey Gundlach.Jessica Rinaldi/ReutersEquities are undeniably expensive, Gundlach said in March 2021.The billionaire investor and DoubleLine Capital boss said that claiming the stock market was "anything other than very overvalued versus history" was "just to be ignorant of all the metrics of valuation." He predicted that stocks would fall by upwards of 15% when the downturn comes.Gundlach, known as the "bond king," predicted that the retail investors who had piled into meme stocks and other speculative assets wouldn't stick around once prices started dropping."We'll have a tremendous unwind of a lot of the money that thinks that the stock market is a one-way thing," he said.Read more: Famed investor Michael Burry is predicting the 'mother of all crashes'. Here's what 9 other key 'Big Short' players are doing now.Kevin O'LearyKevin O'Leary."Shark Tank"/ABCO'Leary said in April 2021 that stocks would eventually crumble, but he framed the downturn as an educational opportunity for rookie investors."Buying the dip is more rock-and-roll, but what invariably happens is you go through a massive correction and you learn a very important lesson," the "Shark Tank" star and O'Leary Funds chief said."The generation that is trading right now has never gone through a sustained correction. It's coming — I don't know when, I don't know what'll trigger it, but they will learn their lesson," he continued."If you have a lot of leverage on, it's a hell of a lesson because you end up in a negative net-worth position," O'Leary added. "But you do learn from it."Robert KiyosakiRobert Kiyosaki.The Rich Dad Channel/YouTubeKiyosaki tweeted in June 2021 that he was expecting the greatest market crash ever."Biggest bubble in world history getting bigger," the personal-finance guru and author of "Rich Dad Poor Dad" said. "Biggest crash in world history coming."Kiyosaki has accused the Federal Reserve of overstimulating markets and devaluing the dollar. He's advised investors to prepare for the downturn by stocking up on precious metals and cryptocurrencies."ARE YOU READY?" he tweeted in April. "Boom, Bust, Mania, Crash, Depression. Mania in markets today. Prepare for biggest crash, depression in world history. What will Fed do? Print more money? Save more gold, silver, bitcoin."Gary ShillingGary Shilling.Bloomberg TVShilling predicted in April 2021 that financial markets would nosedive, but he declined to hazard a guess at when the crash would arrive."I'm not making any firm prediction as to when this thing is going to collapse," the veteran forecaster and president of A. Gary Shilling & Co. said."Speculations outrun any logic and that's probably going to be true of this one," Shilling continued. "But at some point, boy, there's going to be a lot of blood on the floor."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 2nd, 2022

Bull Of The Day: Goldman Sachs (GS)

Goldman Sachs has solidified itself as the gold standard on Wall Street, navigating the choppy pandemic waters with a level of operational perfection that no other major financial institution could match Goldman Sachs GS has solidified itself as the gold standard on Wall Street, navigating the choppy pandemic waters with a level of operational perfection that no other major financial institution could match. Following the recent valuation compression, GS is poised to take flight in 2022 and is one of my top picks going into the new year (with many other investment professionals in agreement).Sell-side analysts are getting increasingly optimistic about the future of Goldman Sachs, pushing up their EPS estimates after a blowout Q3 report, propelling GS into a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).The OpportunityGoldman seized on the opportunities that each stage of the devastating pandemic presented. GS drove record trading profits from the market capitulation of March 2020, attained excellent portfolio returns for its high wealth thereafter, and has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the record IPO & M&A frenzy we've seen over the past 12 months or so (and this dealmaking euphoria is expected to spill into 2022).This global investment leader has demonstrated its ability to effectively adapt to the continuously evolving financial conditions as we enter the digitally-fueled Roaring 20s. Goldman's Q4 earnings release is on the top of the 2022 January docket, with its full year report expected to be released January 18th (before the opening bell). In the past 6 quarterly releases GS has knocked analysts' consensus EPS estimates out of the park by no less than 50% (averaging 66%) while exceeding revenue expectations by an average of roughly 30%.Despite analysts ' seemingly perennial upward estimate revisions, I see no reason this outsized estimate beating trend wouldn't continue in 2022 as rising interest rates expand Goldman's already record margins even further.Strong Fundamentals Goldman Sachs is the captain of high finance and the banking sector's knight in shining armor. The firm is known for its quick opportunity seizing trading actions and best-in-class investment banking operations. A record volume of IPOs, bond offerings, and M&A activity have powered this business's top and bottom-line to incredible levels that have consistently blown analysts' estimates out of the water.David Solomon has proven himself at the helm of this remarkable Wall Street titan, driving top and bottom-line results that have dwarfed any pre-pandemic figure. Since Solomon was named CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs on October 1st, 2018, GS shares are up over 60%. This may not sound like a lot, but GS has navigated the 2018 year-end sell-off and the most significant economic contraction since The Great Depression.  GS had a premier year with an over 60% 10-month year-to-date rally, which peaked at the beginning of November, but a recent correction from that high has presented us with an excellent entry point. The cushy 2.1% dividend yield that this stock offers its shareholders, should provide even the most risk-averse investors with the comfort to add this investment leader to their portfolio's financial holdings.The dealmaking king is looking at a consensus price target north of $450 a share (some targets as high as $600), with analysts getting increasingly bullish on a seemingly weekly basis. 11 out of 16 analysts are calling GS a buy today with 0 selling ratings. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 28th, 2021

Meet the mayor-elect who wants to use a weed tax to pay for a guaranteed income program in New York"s 4th-biggest city: "This is an industry with the potential to make millions of dollars."

Evans told Insider "everyone wants to start a marijuana business in Rochester," and he'd rather rely on the taxes they generate than federal dollars. Evans believes a cannabis tax will be a more sustainable source of revenue to help disadvantaged folks in the community.Lindsay Dedario Rochester, New York, is the fourth largest city in the state, according to the US Census. Its mayor-elect wants to use a tax on cannabis sales to fund a basic income program. He says the program will help people of color, who are disproportionately criminalized for marijuana. One mayor-elect sees an opportunity to help people of color in his city, using a tax on a substance that has placed a criminal record on many of them.Malik Evans — who will take office as mayor of Rochester, New York, in January — told Insider that when the sale of cannabis is legalized in his state, taxes on those sales should be used to fund a guaranteed basic income program that gives eligible participants monthly cash with no strings attached. Though the city has already approved an income program, it's funded using federal dollars, and Evans believes a cannabis tax will be a more sustainable source of revenue to help disadvantaged folks in the community."Community folks told me, 'this is a big source of revenue, and Black and brown people are prosecuted worse than others because of marijuana,'" Evans said.A study from 24/7 Wall Street in 2019 found that 34% of Black Rochester residents are in poverty compared to 8% of white ones. A 2020 ACLU research report found that overall, Black people are 3.64 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, even though they use marijuana at comparable rates."Indeed, in every state and in over 95 percent of counties with more than 30,000 people in which at least 1 percent of the residents are Black, Black people are arrested at higher rates than white people for marijuana possession," the report says. Evans believes Rochester has an opportunity to change that for future Black residents and says business owners have expressed widespread interest in jumpstarting the cannabis business in his city.  "This is an industry with the potential to make millions of dollars," Evans said. "Everyone wants to start a marijuana business in Rochester." A cannabis tax would help people of color — without relying on federal aid Even though the use of recreational marijuana has been legal in New York since March, Rochester can't launch its industry until the state legalizes the sale of it. In the meantime, the Rochester City Council approved a pilot program for a guaranteed basic income program, providing $500 per month to 175 families that live at or below the federal poverty level. That program will be funded by money from President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, which several cities around the US have used to launch their own guaranteed basic income funds. Many of the programs that launched this year are either using funds from the ARP, grants from former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, or money from the state government to help low income residents. Evans wants Rochester's program to ultimately be less reliant on that money, although he is looking to expand the current guaranteed income program to 1,000 families using private funds.  "We want to start getting revenue from marijuana because you can't just have the government," he said. Evans launched the Rochester Cannabis Preparation Commission last week, so that the city can get started the moment it gets the go ahead. This builds on the proposal of Evans' predecessor, Lovely Warren, who wanted to use a tax on legal marijuana sales to fund a reparations-oriented universal basic income program. Buffalo, the second largest city in New York, proposed a similar program in March. Rochester is the fourth largest, according to the US Census.   New York municipalities have until December 31 to opt out of hosting dispensaries or consumption spaces. More than 400 towns and villages across the state have blocked dispensaries from opening up as the deadline approaches, Rochester being only one of four municipalities in Monroe County to opt in. Evans also wants those who profit off of the industry to be more diverse. An Insider report found this year that top executives at the 14 largest cannabis companies are overwhelmingly white men — about 70% of them. "We'll have to figure out how we go about setting up our program to make sure we can help entrepreneurs who may not have been involved in the [cannabis industry] in the past," Evans said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 27th, 2021

Check out these 24 pitch decks that startups used to raise millions to disrupt media and advertising

They're pitching solutions to collect consumer data, automate ad creation, and more. Picnic's adtech team.Matthew Goldhill Investors are pouring money into advertising, media, and marketing startups. These startups are capitalizing on changing consumer habits, automating ad creation, and more. Check out these 24 pitches to see how these startups sold their visions to VCs and other investors. See more stories on Insider's business page. Investors are pouring money into startups that are trying to disrupt advertising, media, and marketing.Insider has been tracking these startups that are using tech to capitalize on changing consumer media habits and marketers' desire to reach new audiences and ensure their ads are working.Check out these pitch decks that they've used to sell their vision and raise millions from PE and VC investors.They range from tools that measure digital ad performance to platforms for people seeking out online entertainment.Protecting brands' reputationFounded in 2013, Signal AI collects and analyzes data from regulatory filings, social media, broadcast, and net promoter scores to help clients like Bank of America Securities, Google, and Exxon Mobil, measure their reputation and manage supply chain risks.It just raised $50 million in Series D funding from venture capital firm Highland Europe along with asset manager Abrdn.Check out the pitch deck that a PR tech company used to raise $50 million to extend its business beyond public relationsConsumer data collectionJesse Redniss, CEO and co-founder, QonsentQonsentAdvertisers are scrambling to find new ways to market to people as the privacy clampdown makes it harder to target people online.Qonsent is a startup that helps advertisers get customers to share personal data like birthdays or email addresses using QR codes on ad creative.It just raised $5 million in seed funding from Zekavat Investment Group, who led the round; VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk; and Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink.Check out the pitch deck a privacy tech startup used to raise $5 million from investors like Gary Vaynerchuk to transform how advertisers collect customer dataDigital ad networkUK-based Picnic says digital ads are rife with fraud and perform terribly. Its solution: mobile ads inspired by social media features like stories and carousels that actually engage readers. It claims its ad formats boost ad performance for brands and bring in more revenue for online publishers.Now it's expanding to the US with help from $3 million in Series A funding it just raised from Guinness Asset Management, along with existing angel investors.Check out the pitch deck that helped UK digital advertiser network Picnic raise $3 millionDigital user experienceBusinesses have scrambled to update their digital operations in the pandemic, creating an opportunity for UX startups like Uniform that help companies customize their user online experience.Uniform just raised $28 million from Insight Partners, Array Ventures, and Elad Gil.Check out the pitch deck that this startup that helps advertisers customize their digital user experience used to raise $28 millionAudio adsAudioMob cofounders Christian Facey (left) and Wilfrid Obeng.AudioMobUK-based adtech firm AudioMob offers audio ads that appear in mobile games. It pitches the ads as "non-intrusive" because they don't interrupt the gameplay, the ads only play if a user's device is set to a certain volume, and they don't rely on hypertargeted tracking techniques.It just raised a $14 million Series A round from investors including Makers Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Google, to grow its team and expand to new products.See the pitch deck that helped audio ads firm AudioMob raise $14 million from investors including Makers Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and GoogleVideo is an India-based startup that aims to democratize video editing, arguing that the technologies to produce and distribute videos require time-consuming, manual processes, and existing video editing software can be has raised $11.75 million in Series A funding led by Moneta Ventures to support an expansion into bigger markets like the US.See the pitch deck that helped a video-editing startup raise $12 million to take on Adobe and expand into the USContextual advertisingContextual advertising has become a buzzy area in adtech as the sector shifts away from the precision-targeting and tracking of individual users. Founded seven years ago by two former Googlers, Seedtag specializes in contextual advertising — using data and artificial intelligence to place ads within relevant publisher content that users should be more likely to interact with. Seedtag just raised a $40 million funding round, led by Oakley Capital. See the pitch deck that helped contextual advertising firm Seedtag raise $40 million. The European adtech company now plans a US expansion.Ad automationDan Pantelo started a performance marketing agency in college and pivoted to software after discovering that creative testing was the most important and time-consuming part of making ads.Today, his marketing technology startup Marpipe claims to help advertisers figure out which ads perform best by automatically testing hundreds of variations.Marpipe just raised $8 million in Series A for a total of $10 million raised to date.The key pitch deck slides that helped an ad automation startup raise $10 millionFreelance consultingCatalant CEO Patrick Petitti.Catalant TechnologiesInvestors are pouring millions into platforms like Catalant Technologies that connect companies to independent advertising and consulting professionals, a need that's growing as people quit in the pandemic.Catalant has raised more than $100 million by pitching itself as an alternative to consulting giants like McKinsey.See the key slides a staffing platform used to raise more than $100 million from investors like Morningside CEO Gerald ChanMarketing strategyAd agency vets Grant McDougall, Liza Nebel, and Matt Gross started BlueOcean in 2019, when they saw an opening to use machine learning to simplify market research and tell marketers how they and their competitors were performing. Now, they count Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Bloomingdale's, and Diageo as clients.The software-as-a-service startup recently raised $15 million in Series A funding from private equity firm Insight Partners.Pitch deck reveals how an AI startup that helps brands like Google and Microsoft plan their marketing raised $15 millionData management toolsGoogle and Apple's moves to clamp down on third-party cookies and the rise of online shopping have advertisers clamoring for help managing all their customer data so they can effectively market to them.One such company is 4-year-old Amperity, which sells software that clients like Starbucks, Patagonia, and Crocs use to manage stats from sales, email, e-commerce, and loyalty card programs.Amperity raised $100 million in its Series D from existing investors including Tiger Global Management, Declaration Partners, and Madrona Venture Group, for a total of $187 million.Here's the pitch deck that helped a marketing tech startup raise $100 million at a $1 billion valuation to help brands manage their dataOut-of-home advertising platformOutdoor advertising is coming back after being crushed during the pandemic, and adtech startup is hoping to cash in with a platform for brands to search, buy, run and measure their out-of-home ad campaigns.OneScreen just raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by Florida-based fund TechFarms Capital with other investors including HubSpot cofounders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, Wayfair's alumni fund Wayfund, CEO Mike Volpe, and CEO Todd Garland.See the pitch deck that Google, Hubspot and Wayfair alums used to raise $1.2 million to build the 'Amazon of out-of-home advertising'Consumer data-collectionTracer started in 2015 as a unit of Gary Vaynerchuk's ad agency VaynerMedia that automatically collects and organize data that isn't personally identifiable. Led by Tracer co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Nicholson, it also offers free consulting services. It started by helping VaynerMedia oversee hundreds of millions in ad buys for clients like Oreo maker Mondelez; today, clients include other ad agencies like Labelium; Condé Nast; and pharma giant Sanofi.Tracer recently raised $9.9 million in seed funding led by big names like former Walmart and Amazon exec Marc Lore and NBA star Kevin Durant's firm Thirty Five Ventures.Read the pitch deck a Gary Vaynerchuk-backed data startup used to raise $10 million from investors like Walmart's ex-ecommerce CEOBuilding lifetime customersRetina AI founder Emad HasanRetina AIAs people do more of their shopping online, marketers are trying to get them to become repeat customers.Former Paypal and Facebook product and data analytics manager Emad Hasan says his startup Retina helps brands like Dollar Shave Club and Madison Reed acquire and keep customers by building lookalike audiences based on companies' order history and shopper attributes.It recently raised $8 million in Series A funding from Alpha Intelligence Capital, Vertical Venture Partners, and others. This investor deck helped a former Facebook product manager raise $8 million to help brands boost customers' long-term valueData-buying toolsNick Jordan founded 5-year-old Narrative to let advertisers buy data without the need for data brokers like Epsilon and Acxiom that can be known for not disclosing their data sources or what cut they take.The marketing-tech firm makes money by taking a cut of data sales and through larger software as a Service (or SaaS) contracts where marketers pay monthly fees for data.Narrative in 2020 raised $8.5 million in a Series A funding round led by G20 Ventures and which included Glasswing Ventures and MathCapital, bringing its total funding to $14 million.Here's the investor deck that helped startup Narrative raise $8.5 million to help marketers buy data safelySupport for online sellersAdtech vet Paul Palmieri joined Tradeswell as CEO based on his experience as a VC investor, where he saw dozens of DTC companies whose businesses weren't scalable.Tradeswell is a SaaS platform that consolidates brands' marketing, retail, inventory, logistics, forecasting, lifetime value and financial information. Its pitch is that it gives brands insights so they know what to sell to whom, where, and at what price.US e-commerce is set to be worth $1 trillion by 2023, according to a recent report by Insider Intelligence's eMarketer, and Tradeswell says it can help traditional and DTC brands save millions of dollars in outsourced contracts and boost their sales.Tradeswell recently raised $3.3 million in seed round funding from Signalfire and Construct Capital.This investor deck helped an entrepreneur raise $3.3 million to build 'the Bloomberg terminal' for online sellers Ad performance toolsBrandTotalBrandTotal is a marketing analytics company that pitches advertisers on the premise that most digital and social media ads are now "dark," or visible only to the people they're targeting. It joins other businesses that promise greater visibility into digital advertising such as Pathmatics, which measures how much brands spend on Facebook and other platforms.BrandTotal co-founder Alon Leibovich said the company uses AI to track ads and help advertisers understand their competitors' strategies. This pitch has helped BrandTotal win business from big brands like L'Oréal and raise $12 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to $20 million. Canada's INcapital Ventures led the latest round along with Maor Investments, Glilot Capital Partners, Flint Capital, KDC Media Fund, and FJ Labs.This investor deck helped startup BrandTotal raise $20 million to date to help advertisers like L'Oréal see how their digital ads are workingE-commerce advertising servicesBrands are increasingly becoming advertising platforms, giving rise to a cottage industry of adtech companies that help marketers build their own ad businesses.One such firm is 9-year-old adtech firm Adzerk, which is rebranding as Kevel. EMarketer reports that e-commerce advertising will be a $17 billion market this year. Retailers like Walgreens, Walmart, and Instacart have led the charge, but Kevel sees an opportunity for other types of brands to build ad businesses of their own.In December 2020, Kevel raised $11 million in a Series A round led by Fulcrum Equity, with Commerce Ventures, MathCapital and Food Retail Ventures also participating.A digital ad firm just raised $11 million to help brands like United Airlines and Ticketmaster build their own ad businessesTargeted ad toolsID5Google's and Apple's moves to clamp down on privacy and digital-ad targeting have been a boon for startups trying to find workarounds like identity solutions.One such firm is ID5, a European startup that helps advertisers find audiences to target and make sure people don't repeatedly see the same ads. It makes money from licensing its ID to adtech companies for a monthly fee that ranges from $5,000 to $30,000, CEO Mathieu Roche said. The company gives away its technology to publishers to grow adoption of the ID.ID5 closed a $6 million Series A funding round in March from Alliance Entreprendre, Progress Ventures, and 360 Capital Partners. The 4-year-old company has raised a total of $7.5 million.Read the pitch deck that a startup used to raise $6 million to save targeted advertisingPrivacy compliance helpNew privacy regulations are springing up around the globe, and publishers and marketers are turning to technology companies to stay on the right side of these laws and avoid huge fines.One of the companies capitalizing on the increased focus on data privacy is Sourcepoint. Founded by adtech vets Ben Barokas and Brian Kane, the US-based technology company has a platform that lets publishers and advertisers get legal consent from people to use their data.Sourcepoint recently raised $17 million in additional funding, led by new investor Arrowroot Capital, bringing its total funding to $47.8 million since it launched in 2015.The pitch deck used to raise $17 million for a startup that helps advertisers and publishers comply with privacy lawsReal-time market researchMatt BrittonAgency veteran Matt Britton pitches his consumer intelligence startup Suzy as an always-on digital assistant like Siri or Alexa for marketers. It has a consumer panel that lets marketers conduct surveys and research on subjects like product development and ad effectiveness testing.He raised $50 million in Series D after closing a $34 million Series C last year, bringing its total raised to $100 million.H.I.G. Growth Partners, an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, led the round, with Rho Capital Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Foundry Group, and Triangle Peak Partners also participating.See the pitch deck a market research startup that's trying to rival Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey used to raise $50 millionLivestreaming tools for creatorsLivestreaming startup Restream was founded in 2015 to help gaming content creators grow their reach by livestreaming to Twitch and YouTube at the same time.It's since expanded to serve musicians, politicians, influencers, publishers, non-profit organizations, and other businesses and says its goal is to democratize broadcasting. Restream said half its 2.5 million users are now non-gamers. Most of its users are nonpaying, but it sells subscriptions from $19 to $299 per month that come with features like the ability to record streams and access to more customer support.Restream announced in August that it had raised $50 million in new funding from investors including Sapphire Ventures and Insight Partners.Read the 14-slide pitch deck that helped livestreaming startup Restream raise $50 million amid the pandemic Video streaming subscriptionsCuriosityStream is a 5-year-old streaming service founded by former Discovery Communications founder John Hendricks. It went public in fall 2020 through a reverse merger with Software Acquisition Group, a SPAC led by Jonathan Huberman, who formerly led video adtech firm Ooyala.CuriosityStream is differentiated from other streaming services in that it focuses on factual content like documentaries and features, with more than 3,100 titles. It reported 13 million paying subscribers buying monthly and yearly subscriptions ranging from $3 a month to $70 a year.The deal with Software Acquisition Group gave CuriosityStream $180 million in cash.The investor deck that CuriosityStream used to secure $180 million to take on rival video streaming servicesReaching online sports fansOvertimeOvertime wants to be the next ESPN, but for social media.It started 2016 by Endeavor vets Dan Porter and Zack Weiner with a focus on high-school sports and athletes and has expanded into areas including esports. Overtime captures game highlights through people it pays to film events and also creates original programming and events. It distributes content mainly on social platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Its core business is making money from ads, sponsorships, and merchandise, and projects making $200 million in annual revenue by 2024.It recently raised $80 million from investors including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, rapper Drake, and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, The Wall Street Journal reported.Leaked pitch deck shows how sports-media startup Overtime plans to reach $200 million in revenue by 2024Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 27th, 2021

Bank of Montreal (BMO) Signs Deal to Buy BNP Paribas" US Unit

Bank of Montreal (BMO) enters an agreement to acquire BNP Paribas' U.S. banking unit, Bank of the West. Bank of Montreal BMO has signed an agreement to acquire BNP Paribas SA’s BNPQY U.S. banking unit, Bank of the West, for $16.3 billion in cash. Completion of the deal, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, is expected by the end of 2022.Shares of Bank of Montreal fell 2.2% on the NYSE immediately following the news announcement. However, the next day, shares of the company gained 1.5%.Notably, Bank of Montreal will fund the transaction through excess capital on the combined entities’ balance sheet at closing. Excess capital of $2.9 billion has been estimated at Bank of the West at closing. Thus, net of the estimated excess capital at Bank of the West, the purchase price is $13.4 billion.Per people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified, the Canadian lender was engaged in initial talks, discussing the buyout of the Bank of the West for the past few days to expand presence throughout the western United States.Notably, last month, Bloomberg reported that BNP Paribas was working with advisers to explore a potential sale of the U.S. retail unit. Being Europe’s biggest bank by assets, a sale of the U.S. unit will pave the way for an acquisition in Europe or Asia for BNP Paribas. Alternatively, the French bank could use the sale proceeds for higher capital returns to shareholders.Deal Details & Financial BenefitsBased on Bank of the West’s balance sheet as of Sep 30, 2021, the deal will add $56 billion in loans and $89 billion in deposits to Bank of Montreal.On closing, the acquisition is expected to bring 1.8 million customers to Bank of Montreal. Moreover, Bank of Montreal’s banking presence will get extended through 514 additional branches, and commercial and wealth offices in key growth markets in the United States.Following the completion of the deal, Bank of Montreal will have a strong position in 3 of the top 5 U.S. markets, a footprint in 32 states and a digital banking platform gathering deposits in all 50 states.Bank of Montreal will not close Bank of the West branches. The Canadian lender is committed to retaining front-line Bank of the West branch employees and enabling career development opportunities throughout its North America footprint.The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to Bank of Montreal’s adjusted earnings per share, post closure. In 2024, the deal is expected to be accretive to earnings by more than 10% (including estimated cost synergies).Bank of Montreal expects to incur pre-tax merger and integration costs of C$1.7 billion, and achieve pre-tax cost savings of C$860 million or 35% of Bank of the West’s non-interest expenses. Post closure, 100% of the cost savings are expected to be executed by the end of the first year.The transaction has an estimated internal rate of return of 14%. Bank of Montreal expects to take a gross credit mark of C$992 million and reflect a fair value mark of C$218 million. Both figures will be accreted into adjusted earnings.Bank of Montreal also intends to introduce a 2% discount on shares issued under its dividend reinvestment plan and expects to raise C$2.7 billion of common equity prior to the deal closing.Management CommentsDarryl White, the CEO of Bank of Montreal, stated, “With the strength of our performance and our integrated North American foundation, we have never been better positioned to take this next step in our growth strategy and to deliver for the new customers and colleagues we look forward to welcoming to BMO. This acquisition will add meaningful scale, expansion in attractive markets, and capabilities that will enable us to drive greater growth, returns and efficiencies.”David Casper, the group head of North American Commercial Banking and U.S. CEO of Bank of Montreal, commented, “Bank of the West is a well-run and well-respected organization that will bring complementary capabilities, products and segment expertise to BMO, all of which are accretive to our existing franchise. Combining these strengths with BMO’s proven track record of executing and integrating acquisitions will position us to leverage our capabilities to serve more personal, business, commercial and wealth customers.”Bank of the West’s CEO, Nandita Bakhshi, said, “On behalf of all of my colleagues at Bank of the West, I am excited for what this new opportunity will bring for our customers, our employees and our longstanding community partners. Bank of the West’s presence in many of the largest and fastest growing markets in the U.S. provides an ideal and complementary commercial and retail banking platform to fuel BMO’s growth. Combined with BMO’s suite of products and capabilities we’ll be able to help even more customers achieve real financial progress.”ConclusionOver the past year, shares of Bank of Montreal have gained 36.2% compared with 7.9% growth of the industry. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Currently, Bank of Montreal carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Of late, Canadian lenders have been showing interest in the U.S. banking markets. Banks in Canada are seeking to expand in the United States because of lack of robust growth potential in their own banking markets.Moreover, there has been a rise in mergers and acquisitions in the United States. Particularly, U.S. banks have been engaging in consolidation efforts to counter the low-interest-rate environment along with heightened costs of investments in technology.A few days ago, SVB Financial Group SIVB acquired a New York-based independent sell-side research firm, MoffettNathanson LLC, in a bid to continue with its efforts of expanding into technology investment banking.Greg Becker, the president and CEO of SVB Financial, stated, “The MoffettNathanson team has built an incredible reputation as a leader in equity research. The addition of technology equity research is another important step in further solidifying our place as the essential partner to innovation economy clients. I’m proud to welcome the MoffettNathanson team to SVB and continue to strengthen the capabilities of our investment banking practice.”United Bankshares, Inc. UBSI also announced the completion of its merger deal with Community Bankers Trust Corporation. This June, United Bankshares entered an all-stock deal to acquire Community Bankers, the parent company of Essex Bank.The buyout has brought together two high-performing banking companies. It bolsters United Bankshares’ position as one of the largest and best-performing regional banking companies in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. The combined entity will now operate across 250 locations in opportunistic markets in the United States. 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 Bank Of Montreal (BMO): Free Stock Analysis Report BNP Paribas SA (BNPQY): Free Stock Analysis Report SVB Financial Group (SIVB): Free Stock Analysis Report United Bankshares, Inc. (UBSI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 23rd, 2021

Oracle (ORCL) to Acquire Cerner for $28B in Cash, Shares Fall

Oracle's (ORCL) takeover of Cerner Corporation (CERN) is expected to bolster the company's position in the lucrative healthcare domain. Oracle ORCL is looking to takeover Cerner Corporation CERN in an all-cash transaction amounting to $28.3 billion or $95 per share. The acquisition, biggest ever for Oracle, is expected to bolster the company’s position in the lucrative healthcare domain.Headquartered in North Kansas City, MO, Cerner provides healthcare information technology (HCIT) solutions for hospitals, globally. The company offers software and hardware solutions that give healthcare providers secure access to clinical, administrative and financial data in a short time that helps medical professionals boost patient health outcomes.Cerner continues to benefit from electronic health record (EHR), electronic patient record (EPR) or electronic medical record (EMR) platforms.Following the news of an all-cash Cerner deal,  shares of Oracle fell 5.2% and closed at $91.64 on Dec 20.Oracle Corporation Price and Consensus  Oracle Corporation price-consensus-chart | Oracle Corporation Quote How Cerner Fits into Oracle’s Strategy With the Cerner acquisition, Oracle is eyeing the revenue opportunity in the healthcare vertical. The company cited that the sector was worth $3.8 trillion in the United States alone in 2020.The global healthcare cloud computing market is expected to witness a CAGR of 14.1% between 2021 and 2026 and reach $52.3 billion, according to a Mordor Intelligence report.Oracle is looking to integrate its cloud offerings like Autonomous Database, Voice Digital Assistant user interface and low-code development tools with Cerner’s systems. The company will then migrate the systems to Oracle’s Gen2 Cloud, which will make the systems available all the time, thereby reducing downtime considerably.Oracle noted that as the Cerner systems run on the Oracle database, it will allow access to patient data to only authorized personnel, thereby improving data safety.Oracle is planning to use its “hands-free” voice assistant as the main user interface for Cerner’s clinical systems. This will save considerable time for the medical staff as opposed to typing.Following the buyout, Oracle is looking to expand Cerner’s global footprint, which will eventually boost the top line.Subject to regulatory, customary and other conditions, the Cerner acquisition is expected to close in 2022.Cerner acquisition will be accretive to Oracle’s non-GAAP earnings for the full first year after and then “contribute substantially more” to the bottom line from the second fiscal year onward, noted the tech giant.In the last reported quarter, Cerner reported adjusted earnings of 86 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.9%. The bottom line increased 19.4% from the prior-year quarter’s levels. The company reported revenues of $1.47 billion, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.2% and jumped 7.3% from the year-ago quarter’s levels.The revenue potential in the healthcare vertical has attracted tech giants into the space. In April 2021, Microsoft MSFT announced its intent to acquire Nuance Communications NUAN for $19.7 billion (including Nuance’s net debt) in an all-cash deal.The acquisition of Nuance Communications is expected to increase Microsoft’s total addressable market or TAM in the healthcare vertical to $500 billion, noted the software giant. Nuance Communication specializes in offering innovative conversational Artificial Intelligence tools to boost business productivity.Oracle currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.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 Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Cerner Corporation (CERN): Free Stock Analysis Report Oracle Corporation (ORCL): Free Stock Analysis Report Nuance Communications, Inc. (NUAN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 21st, 2021

ETFs to Make the Most of Oracle-Cerner Deal

These ETFs could be the best ways for investors to tap the opportunity arising from the proposed Oracle-Cerner deal. In a bid to expand its position in the healthcare space, software giant Oracle (ORCL) agreed to buy electronic medical records company Cerner Corp. (CERN) for $28.3 billion.Following the news, shares of ORCL dropped 5.1% on the day. The stock crushed its average volume as 16.9 million shares moved hands compared with 9.7 million, on average. Meanwhile, shares of CERN added 0.8%.This put the spotlight on some ETFs, which could be the best ways for investors to tap the opportunity arising from the proposed Oracle-Cerner deal. Investors should keep a close eye on the movement of these ETFs — iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF IGV, Invesco BuyBack Achievers ETF PKW, Invesco Dynamic Software ETF PSJ, First Trust NASDAQ Technology Dividend Index Fund TDIV and First Trust Cloud Computing ETF SKYY — over the coming weeks.Deal in FocusPer the terms of the deal, Cerner shareholders will receive $95 in cash for each share they hold, representing a premium of 5.8% to the company's closing price as of Dec 17. The transaction represents Oracle's biggest ever deal after its acquisition of PeopleSoft in 2004.As Oracle is struggling to gain ground in the cloud-computing business and is far behind market leaders such as AMZN and Microsoft Corp MSFT, the acquisition would give a huge foothold in the health industry. The deal will help the software maker to bolster the services it provides to healthcare clients, including insurers.The acquisition, expected to close in 2022, will be 'immediately' accretive to Oracle’s earnings, with a “substantial” contribution expected in the second fiscal year after the deal closes. It would also add to revenue growth as the deal will expand Cerner's business into more countries. After completion of the deal, Cerner will be organized as a dedicated industry business unit within Oracle.Oracle surged to a new peak last week, following the stellar fiscal second-quarter 2022 results. The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both earnings and revenues on a rebound in IT spending. It also offered solid revenue guidance for the ongoing quarter. Oracle carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and has a Growth Score of A. It belongs to a bottom-ranked Zacks Industry (top 44%) (read: ETFs to Buy on Oracle's Solid Q2 Earnings).ETFs in FocusLet’s delve into each ETF below:iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV)iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF provides exposure to software companies in the technology and communication services sectors by tracking the S&P North American Expanded Technology Software Index. The fund holds a basket of 129 securities with Oracle taking the fifth spot at 6.2% of the total assets.iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF is popular with AUM of $5.9 billion. Volume is good as it exchanges 1.4 million shares a day. The product charges 43 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a High risk outlook.Invesco BuyBack Achievers ETF (PKW)Invesco BuyBack Achievers ETF follows the NASDAQ US BuyBack Achievers Index, which comprises U.S. securities issued by corporations that have led to a net reduction in shares outstanding of 5% or more in the trailing 12 months. It holds a basket of 103 stocks with Oracle taking the third position at 5.4% allocation.Invesco BuyBack Achievers ETF has accumulated $1.5 billion in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 196,000 shares. It charges 64 bps in annual fees.Invesco Dynamic Software ETF (PSJ)Invesco Dynamic Software ETF offers exposure to the companies that are principally engaged in the research, design, production or distribution of products or processes that relate to software applications and systems and information-based services. It follows the Dynamic Software Intellidex Index, holding 31 securities in its basket. Out of these, Oracle is the second firm accounting for 5.4% share (read: What "Bubble Asset"? Tech ETFs Likely to Gain on Omicron Fear).Invesco Dynamic Software ETF has amassed $381.5 million in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of about 13,000 shares. The expense ratio came in at 0.56%. PSJ has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a High risk outlook.First Trust NASDAQ Technology Dividend Index Fund (TDIV)First Trust NASDAQ Technology Dividend Index Fund provides exposure to the dividend payers in the technology sector by tracking the Nasdaq Technology Dividend Index. It holds about 93 securities in its basket. Of these firms, ORCL occupies the sixth position, making up 4.1% of the assetsFirst Trust NASDAQ Technology Dividend Index Fund has amassed about $1.8 billion in its asset base and trades in a moderate volume of about 45,000 shares per day. The ETF charges 50 bps in annual fees.First Trust Cloud Computing ETF (SKYY)First Trust Cloud Computing ETF provides exposure to companies involved in the cloud computing industry by tracking the ISE CTA Cloud Computing Index. Holding about 67 stocks in the basket, Oracle takes the second position at 3.8% (read: ETF Areas Making Good Bets Amid Rising Omicron Threats).First Trust Cloud Computing ETF has been able to manage $6.5 billion in its asset base while seeing a good volume of about 321,000 shares a day. Its expense ratio is 0.60% and it has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a Medium risk outlook.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, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Invesco BuyBack Achievers ETF (PKW): ETF Research Reports First Trust NASDAQ Technology Dividend ETF (TDIV): ETF Research Reports First Trust Cloud Computing ETF (SKYY): ETF Research Reports iShares Expanded TechSoftware Sector ETF (IGV): ETF Research Reports Invesco Dynamic Software ETF (PSJ): ETF Research Reports To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 21st, 2021

Reminiscences of the Tech Bubble: 3 Former Darlings Eclipsing Prior Highs

3 Former Tech Darlings Eclipsing Prior Highs The Nasdaq Composite has a history of outperforming during bullish cycles and underperforming in bear markets. While the index is underperforming the S&P 500 this year, the past has illustrated that these periods of relative underperformance don’t tend to last very long.Both indexes are showing weak overall breadth. Only 39.1% of stocks in the S&P are trading above their 50-day moving average. The lagging Nasdaq is less than half that – just 17.5% of stocks are above their respective 50-day moving averages.Back in the late ‘90s, many technology stocks increased drastically in price and experienced stretched valuations. Breadth in the major indexes was much stronger at the time as most stocks were up.We know what happened next – stocks cratered as the Nasdaq fell into a multi-year descent. Financial media gurus claimed in the years that followed that even the biggest names would never see those high prices ever again.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchYet here we are, 20 years in the making, with a select few of the tech bubble darlings making new all-time highs. Many companies from that era were not structured to handle an economic downturn and didn’t survive to tell the tale. But the ones that are still here have proven time and again that they have what it takes to succeed through the different phases of the economic cycle.These companies have adapted to changing times. They have been able to withstand market shocks, all the while consistently increasing revenues and rewarding shareholders. At Zacks, our job is to help you identify these stocks that are outperforming the market. Our proprietary model detects positive changes in individual company fundamentals, allowing our subscribers the opportunity to benefit from the stock’s future price appreciation.Buying a stock at the right time and building a profit cushion makes it much easier to hold through the inevitable corrections. Unlike many investors in the tech bubble who rode the whole way down, at Zacks we also alert you to profit-taking opportunities and outright sell signals, helping you not just make money – but keep it as well.The three former tech sweethearts we will discuss below have all surged past the highs from two decades ago and are holding up well through the recent volatility. Stocks that emerge from volatile periods relatively unscathed tend to continue their outperformance.Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM)Qualcomm is a global leader in next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomms’ businesses include Qualcomm Technologies which handles its engineering, research and development functions; the company’s semiconductor business, QCT; and the licensing arm, QTL. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, QCOM designs, manufactures, and markets digital wireless telecom products including integrated circuits, wireless voice and data communications software, as well as global positioning system (GPS) products.A Zacks #2 Buy stock, QCOM has either met or beaten earnings estimates in each of the last 28 quarters. The company has produced a trailing four-quarter average earnings surprise of +11.23%. QCOM most recently reported EPS of $2.24 back in November, an +8.74% surprise over consensus.Qualcomm (QCOM) Price, Consensus and EPS SurpriseImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchQCOM continues to benefit from solid 5G traction and a surge in demand for its essential products and services that are the foundation for digital transformation in the cloud economy. The stock broke out of a long base in November and last week printed a fresh high as most stocks fell.What the Zacks Model RevealsThe Zacks Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction) identifies companies that have recently witnessed positive earnings estimate revision activity. This more recent information can be a better predictor of the future and give investors a leg up during earnings season. In fact, when combining a Zacks #3 rank or better along with a positive Earnings ESP, stocks produced a positive surprise 70% of the time.QCOM’s Earnings ESP is +0.87%. Analysts are in agreement in terms of earnings revisions and increased their estimates in the past 60 days for both the current fiscal year (+14.04%) as well as next year (+17.62%). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the present full-year EPS now stands at $10.48, a 22.72% growth rate over last year. QCOM is slated to report quarterly earnings on February 2nd, 2022.Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI)Motorola Solutions provides communication and networking equipment, devices, software and services. Based in Chicago, IL, Motorola Solutions has a strong market position in various areas including bar code scanning, wireless infrastructure gear, and government communications.MSI operates through two divisions – Government and Enterprise. The Government segment develops radio systems, devices and control centers for governments around the world. The Enterprise segment is focused on mobile computing systems, advance data capture and wireless networks. Motorola management expects continued strength across video security and devices and is well-positioned to benefit from organic growth and acquisition initiatives.MSI has also displayed an impressive track record in terms of earnings surprises, beating estimates for the past seven years running. The company has delivered an average surprise of +9.49% over the past four quarters. MSI delivered a 12.89% surprise in November when it reported EPS of $2.19 for the quarter ending in September.Motorola Solutions (MSI) Price, Consensus and EPS SurpriseImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchMSI boasts one of the more attractive charts this year as the stock has advanced 53.6% with very little volatility. The stock is clearly in a strong uptrend and continues to make a series of new highs even as the major indices have taken a breather.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 EPS stands at $9.04, representing 17.56% growth over 2020. MSI will report earnings on February 3rd.Clearfield, Inc. (CLFD)Clearfield designs, manufactures and distributes fiber optic management, along with protection and associated products for communication networks. CLFD features the FieldSmart fiber management platform, which includes its latest generation Fiber Distribution System and Fiber Scalability Center. These product lines support a wide range of panel configurations, densities, and connectors. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Clearfield deploys millions of fiber ports annually.CLFD sports a Zacks #2 Buy ranking and has weathered the recent volatility extremely well. The stock has soared nearly 200% this year and is showing no signs of slowing down, hitting a new all-time high today.Clearfield (CLFD) Price, Consensus and EPS SurpriseImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchCLFD has surpassed earnings estimates in each of the past six quarters. The company is averaging a +50.77% surprise over the past year, most recently reporting EPS of $0.53 in November – a +29.27% surprise over estimates.The stock has seen positive earnings estimate revision activity, with analysts upping their 2021 EPS estimates by +8.82% in the last 60 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current year EPS sits at $1.85, translating to 25.85% growth over 2020. CLFD is due to report earnings next month on January 27th.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 QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM): Free Stock Analysis Report Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI): Free Stock Analysis Report Clearfield, Inc. (CLFD): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 21st, 2021

Bob Iger: Pixar Deal Completed To Show Disney Employees It Was A New Day

Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) Chairman and former CEO Bob Iger on CNBC today, Tuesday, December 21st. Following is a link to video on Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pixar Deal Completed To Show Disney Employees It Was A […] Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) Chairman and former CEO Bob Iger on CNBC today, Tuesday, December 21st. Following is a link to video on if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pixar Deal Completed To Show Disney Employees It Was A New Day, Says Former CEO Bob Iger Part I on CNBC's "Squawk Box" DAVID FABER: Yeah, of course, he did step down as you well know Becky, at the end of let's call it February of 2020 right before the pandemic hit very hard and of course, he had three times that we thought he was going to step down as CEO only to stay on but this time is for real. He's got about 10 days left as you said on a career that’s spanned some 47-plus years at this company starting as he did in sports at ABC at 23 years of age and we did have a chance to sit down for a long period of time last week, late last week in Disneyland and talk about his career, talk about the challenges facing Disney at this point, a lot of other things that you don't typically do in a CNBC interview. But I did ask Iger whether at this moment as he looks towards the future and of course towards his past at Disney whether he's got any anxiety at all. BOB IGER: There's no anxiety about that at all. Sadness because I'm leaving people that I love working with and a company I've loved working for. But no remorse. No second guessing. No anxiety. FABER: You don't regret having left when you did and stepped down as CEO when you did? IGER: No, I think the, look, I didn't, no one knew that the pandemic was going to explode the way it did. I think the timing was unfortunate. But throwing a new CEO into, you know, that, you know, that circumstance, it was difficult. But no, I have no, no regrets about having made that decision. It was time. I didn't want people to say be going around saying, "When the heck is he gonna leave," you know? "Isn't it time?" I'd rather have them say, "Gee, did he have to leave when he's leaving? We would've liked him to stay longer." I'm getting some of that. Part II on CNBC's "Squawk Box" FABER: You know, listen, there are no shortage of challenges for Chapek and there's also been a decent amount sort of reported and written about challenges between Chapek and Iger, you know, as you’d probably expect, Iger did not want to engage too fully on it. I don't know if we have time but I did ask him if there should be any concern amongst Disney shareholders in terms of the relationship between the Bobs but at this point, of course, as you know, it is Mr. Chapek’s show and that's something that Iger agrees with. IGER: It shouldn't be a concern to Disney shareholders at all that, you know, that, that any dynamic between us is, would have an impact on the company long term. I'm leaving. He's in. It's his company. He's going to manage it as he see fit, he sees fit with the board under circumstances that are very different than existed when I was CEO and, and chairman because they're changing, as we've talked, they're changing so rapidly. And, you know, he'll make his own decisions, and, and I, you know, I hope that he's learned good lessons. I believe that he has, in terms of, you know, some of the things that I did along the way, and what worked and what didn't work. And I think the relationship I have with him is not really relevant to, you know, how he, how effective he is running the company. Part III on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" FABER: But yeah, we did sit down for a long interview that I was very happy to have an opportunity to conduct and a bit different than we typically do here at CNBC talking of course about his long career at Disney not just his time as CEO, obviously we hit on a lot of the key business questions as you might anticipate and we went over a lot of other things as well, you know, including sort of some of the things that he saw in terms of his strengths and weaknesses. And I guess I'll start there because he did sight sort of something he noticed about his own responsiveness that he said was one thing that alerted him maybe it was time to consider stepping down. Take a listen. IGER: I will say that over time, I think I started listening less than maybe with a little less tolerance of other people's opinions maybe because of getting a little bit more overconfident in my own, which is sometimes what happens when you get built up, you know, in some form or another, as you know, something special or great or whatever. I was mindful of that. FABER: Well you were introspective enough to recognize it though. A lot of leaders might not even recognize it. IGER: I think I wrote about that too. I was I became a little bit more dismissive of dissent and other people's opinions than I should have been. And that was that that was an early sign that it was time. It wasn't the reason I left but it was a contributing factor. FABER: That you just weren't, right, you just didn't have the patience any longer or you thought I've heard this all before and— IGER: Yes, a lot of all those things. You've heard all the, every argument before. I don't want to hear it again, even though it may be more valid today than it was then, times change. All the, you know, all the, that's the time, the challenges of a CEO of a large global company today in terms of managing time so you can't, so dissent has to be finite in a sense and depends on where you draw that line and when you, when do you shut dissent down. Maybe I was doing it a little bit too quickly. I felt that. Part IV on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" FABER: Back to Bob Iger and that interview we conducted late last week. Of course, Mr. Iger spending his last few days as the Chairman of Disney after what's been a 47-year career plus career at that company, 15-plus as its CEO as well in a period, as Jim noted earlier, in which the stock did extraordinarily well. We did have that chance though sort of an unusual opportunity really to talk not just about Disney and its business, but also sort of about some of the broader leadership lessons that Mr. Iger learned and perhaps could impart to others. He did some of that in a book that Jim and I of course have lauded for some time as well, but he and I did spend some time talking about that and culture and things that he would tell other potential CEOs as well. Take a listen. I'm curious as to how you think you went about changing the culture of Disney and what you would say or, you know, how quickly you can do it as a leader and where that culture is today versus then. IGER: Yeah, I think for any CEO of any particularly large company in today's world, the world throws you more and more curveballs, more and more challenges. And they now they come at you constantly and from directions that you could never anticipate, never expect. It gets really tough and I think I think one of the reasons why I think it's right for there to be change at the top sometimes is that can turn a CEO into more of a skeptical or pessimist or just because they get weary of all of those challenges. And I think we had gone through it. I know we had gone through a period of time at Disney prior to my ascending to become CEO where those challenges were numerous. They were omnipresent. There was the Comcast hostile takeover attempt. There was the share, the board member or shareholder revolt. There was the impact of technology on all of our traditional businesses. There was 9/11, there was, we can think about all of these things and I think Disney at the time had become weary of those challenges and with that came a little bit less of a belief in its future. There was a scale issue as well, were we large enough and it was intimidating, you know, faced some of those technology companies. Steve Jobs announcing “Rip. Mix. Burn.” and what was going to be the future of IP. People challenging copyrights, it was left and right and all over the place. And so, what I wanted to do when I came in was to see whether we could not ignore those challenge but put them aside and become optimists again and look to a future that we actually believed was brighter. And one thing that was important to me was embracing technology even though it was causing disruption and potential threats, I wanted to embrace it as a means of creating opportunity for us. FABER: Well you did I mean Jobs showed you the first video iPod, didn’t he? IGER: Right, so we put our television programs on it first which was a tiny, tiny deal but all of a sudden it signaled, wait a minute, maybe we could use technology to gain as opposed to, to lose. And that mentality was something I wanted to infuse in the company which is future's bright, let's view technology as opportunity versus threat and that, and that announcement actually turned out to be a big one and it has led to more serious conversations with Steve about buying Pixar too. FABER: Right, right. IGER: And I think one of the things that I was surprised at is if you if you consider pessimism about the future to be part of the company's culture, I thought it was going to take a long time to change that. It was very fast. FABER: Why do you think it was so fast? And why was that a surprise to you? IGER: Well, I think what it says something about that change in the top matters, you know, I'm not suggesting good or bad. I'm not suggesting oh in comes Bob and out goes Michael but it's, it has its it can freshen things up so to speak. And it’s happening at Disney now as well, you know, there's a change at the top and that could create a whole different outlook for the company going forward. FABER: Do you think it freshens things up, your departure as CEO? IGER: Look, the world is changing dramatically and it's important for a CEO of a company to address all of those changes rapidly. Bob is going to address them probably differently perhaps than I may have. That's neither good nor bad. I think change, I think generally speaking, change is good. Change isn't necessarily bad. FABER: Yeah. What do you see yourself doing, you know, a few days from now when you are no longer a part of this company? IGER: Step away from all of this, this dream when this dream finally ends. You know, I've worked full time, really full time since I was 23 years old and going to be 71. Working in the job that I've the jobs that I've had CEO and Chairman have, you know, were taxing from a time perspective, never in terms of my energy or my enthusiasm. It's time for me to have a blank canvas so to speak to be forced in a way to be a little bit more imaginative with my time. Not fortunate enough to have that luxury. Well, what will I do today? FABER: Do you have any hobbies though? IGER: Yeah, I have some hobbies. I don't golf. I like to sail, you don't sail and golf in the same lifetime. There just isn't enough time for that. But my wife has a full time job. My kids are out of the house— FABER: So you’re going to have to keep busy? IGER: I'll keep busy. I'm doing some selective investing. I'd like the ability to be an advisor to founders of startups because I think I've got some advice to give in that regard even though I haven't run a startup. And I've been sought after by some already. I'll probably do some of that. I plan to write another book, which is a homework assignment right now. I've got to get at that. And I'll do some speaking and I'll see where life takes me. I'm not in any rush. I've been advised by some who have stepped down from high office, including President Obama, do not, he said, “Do not make any decisions. Don't commit to anything for six months.” FABER: Six months? IGER: I’m telling you, don't do that. Yes. FABER: You know, you wrote about Eisner's departure in the book and you said it's hard to know exactly who you are without this attachment and title and role that has defined you for so long. IGER: Yes. When I wrote about tha,t I, I had developed a lot of empathy from Michael. I remember his last day at Disney. It was a Friday, last Friday in September of 2005 when his wife and one of the sons came to Disney and had lunch with him and he drove off the Disney lot after having been CEO for 21 years. And I was, at that point, I couldn't wait because I was ready to have that office and that title and that job and raring to go. And I don't think I thought long and hard at the time what that really meant to him and here I am. Yesterday was my last day on that Disney lot, you know, in this role and it was, it was an emotional experience for me. My son came to the lot, one of my sons, we had lunch together. There I walked around, took some pictures, I was feeling incredibly wistful, incredibly emotional. The ties that I've had to this company that have been so part of my life were ending and I in two weeks from now, I will not have a title and I've had a decent title since I was in my 30s. It’s a long time. But there's no anxiety about that at all. Sadness because I'm leaving people that I loved working with and a company I've loved working for, but no remorse. No second guessing. No anxiety. FABER: You don't regret having left when you did and stepped down as CEO when you did? IGER: No, I think the, look, I didn't, no one knew that the pandemic was going to explode the way it did. I think the timing was unfortunate. But throwing a new CEO into, you know, that, you know, that circumstance, it was difficult. But no, I have no, no regrets about having made that decision. It was time. FABER: It was, why? IGER: Some of the things that I've said which is believing that change at the top was good, although I will say a lot of it was very, very personal. It wasn't about the company. It was about me, you know, wanting to leave with the vitality to explore the world in different way. I thought back about a biography I read a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers named Sandy Koufax left at the top of his game and I think the biographer, Koufax’s biographer Jane Leavy said that he left walking off the field or on his own volition are, “Great athletes rarely retire on their own instead they limp off the field.” I didn't want to limp off the field. Part V on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" FABER: Well Carl, shares of Disney actually having a strong open this morning, up some almost 2.5% but for the year, the shares of the company down roughly 17%, one of the key reasons of course continuing concern about the growth of subscribers at Disney+ its key direct-to-consumer offering, and whether in fact the company can continue to add subscribers at a rate at least that investors had come to expect given quite vigorous subscriber growth certainly during the course of 2020 and early part of 2021. As you might expect in a long sit down with Disney's Chairman, he is still Chairman for another 10 days or so, Bob Iger, I did ask him about how he sees the outlook for streaming given its importance to Disney's overall business. IGER: There's guidance out there that the company has provided that I'm neither gonna update or comment too much on but obviously the company has expressed confidence in its ability to achieve the guidance that it has out there. So, I obviously supported that guidance was put out there by Bob when he was CEO and I was Chairman. Again, I think, we can't, we can't just maintain a pat hand because the world isn't staying basically the same. We have to continue to evolve and all that that means not just changing but taking advantage of opportunities aggressively. FABER: But there’s this continued question as strong as Pixar is with its audience, as strong as Star Wars is and Marvel and the incredibly deep loyalty it has, do you need to be broader in order to actually reach those kinds of numbers? IGER: I think there probably need, there probably needs more volume, there probably needs to be more dimensionality meaning more, you know, basically, more programming and more content for more people, different demographics, but Bob's aware of that. He’s addressing those issues. FABER: You seem to have that first mover advantage and gulped up a lot of assets that I'm sure many of the competitors now wish they had actually moved on. Doesn't mean that there weren't plenty of opportunities that perhaps you passed on but is everybody else sort of subscale when you look at the world as it was 16, 17 years ago? IGER: You know, I've never really spent much time thinking about how our competitors are positioned in that regard. I spent most of the time thinking about how we're positioned. So I don't know that others are scaled right or subscaled necessarily, I just think we're well scaled. Part VI on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" FABER: All day long, we've also been sharing excerpts of interview that I did last week with Bob Iger, the longtime CEO and the current Chairman of Disney. There's a look at the performance of the stock during the period of his CEO-ship so to speak. Remember he stepped down it's it's not that far away from two years ago Bob Chapek is the CEO of the company. Chairmanship will also change as well at the end of this year. Mr. Iger ending a 47-plus year run at the company that began with his working at ABC Sports when he was a young man. When we talked about his tenure of course, as you might expect, deal making was certainly one of the keys and starting with that decision to acquire Pixar. Take a listen. IGER: I'm proud of a lot of the decisions that were made, certainly the acquisitions. I'd say of all of them probably Pixar because it was the first and it put us on a path to achieving what I wanted to achieve which is scale when it came to storytelling. That was probably the best. FABER: And you faced I mean your own board. You were uncertain whether you're going to get it passed. Eisner came back to, to say, “Don't do it.” IGER: He subsequently, we had a long conversation about that years later and he admitted that he was wrong about that. I think there was a lot of emotion at that point for him having left Disney under such strange circumstances with Steve but looking back when he reflected on it with me, he admitted that I did the right thing. FABER: Well, you know, it's funny because I remember interviewing you and Jobs that afternoon after you announced it and I was basically focused on the price. I think, man, you're paying an awfully high multiple and many people may not have understood how incredibly important it was to sort of set a new direction for the company and revitalize animation. IGER: Well, that's exactly what I wanted to do. I, what I wanted to do more than anything is I wanted to send a signal to everybody at Disney that it was a new day, that we were more open minded about expansion in particular about partnerships, that creativity was the most important strategy for the company and Pixar at that point exemplified original storytelling and quality and creativity and in its highest form. And then there was the Steve factor, which I sometimes called the cool factor, which is what Apple was, what Steve represented the fact that Steve would embrace not just Disney but me and the vote of confidence that Steve gave in me, and Steve becoming a member of the board and our largest shareholder and I was all tied up in my desire to not only grow content, but it reposition Disney to our employees, to our shareholders and to our customers. And the price you mentioned it also factored in my desire to revitalize Disney Animation, which we did. You look at “Frozen” and you look at “Moana” and you look at “Zootopia” and you look at “Wreck-It Ralph” and you look at “Tangled,” and the number of Academy Awards and the box office success and all of the IP that that created, generated and what how basically we're going to mine that IP for Disney+, you know, it all was tied really everything that we've done at Disney Animation since then, was tied to the Pixar acquisition. FABER: Do you think it was something unique about you that allowed you to convince all of these founders to part with their “babies?” IGER: In all cases, I developed a trust with them and that I convinced them would serve them well if they sold to us meaning, in Steve's case, he, he owned half of Pixar publicly traded company and converted his ownership of Pixar into all Disney. That by the way, wasn't the motivation behind him doing and it wasn't about growing his personal wealth at all. But more importantly, with Steve, I created a trust in him that the assets of Pixar and its people would be in the right hands. And so I think in terms of your question, what was it about me that convinced them. First of all, it was me meaning it was singular in terms of I didn't do the deal myself. It was singular in terms of the pursuit. One on one in some cases, being as candid as I possibly could be and I think as authentic as I could be in developing a relationship, even if we've developed over a relatively brief period of time and not disappointing him either. FABER: What does that mean? IGER: He was never disappointed. Once we did the deal, in fact, in the months before he died he came to, he and his wife, Laurene, came to our house. And Laurene and Steve and Willow and I sat down at a dinner and he toasted to the deal we had done some years earlier, convinced that it was the right thing to do for Disney and for Pixar. And I remember it was, it was very heartfelt and tears came to our eyes, four of us at the dinner table crying, in part dreading what was potentially in store for him which is the end of his life but in part reflecting on what we had done together and truly appreciating it. So. I think again, it's development of a relationship, different in some ways but similar in others. It was me going to New York spending months trying to figure out getting a meeting with him, sitting with him one on one once and then twice a couple of days later and convincing him that it was the right thing to do for the Marvel shareholders, publicly traded company and the people at Marvel and I think he was intrigued with the notion of, of investing in Disney plus Marvel and it worked out extremely well. FABER: And became a large shareholder. I assume you heard from him frequently as well after he became a Disney shareholder. IGER: I heard from Ike, yeah, I heard from Ike a lot over the years. FABER: Yes, that’s what I heard. IGER: We weren't, we weren't always— FABER: In sync? IGER: Complete agreement on things. But that's neither here nor there. I think it's turned out extremely well for him and certainly for the shareholders of Marvel. It's turned out I think they got Disney shares somewhere in the neighborhood of $28 a share. I know we were up around 200 even if you look at it today in that 150 range, that's a pretty good return on investment and George's case was also singular in many ways. I had breakfast with him at Disney World. Talked to him about the future of Lucasfilm and broached the subject. He was close with Steve Jobs and don't forget Pixar was owned at one point by George. Steve bought it from George. And there was a real connection although Steve had passed when I first sat down with George and George was impressed with how we had managed Pixar and assimilated Pixar into the company. He was very, very concerned about Lucasfilm many respects his baby, his legacy, and there was a trust there too that I think we demonstrated that we could be trusting in terms of how we had already managed the Marvel assets and the Pixar assets and I think he was looking to some extent for either long term wealth preservation or long term wealth creation. FABER: You know, you mentioned in the book, the idea that if Steve had lived, Disney and Apple might have become one. Did you guys ever really talk about Apple buying? IGER: No, Steve and I never did. What we did talk about and he was public about at one point at one of his late Apple product presentations, he stood in front of a street sign with an intersection I think one said liberal arts and one said technology. That's what made his heart sing. I think that's how we put it that intersection. So what we talked about a lot was what happens when great technology meets great creativity. He thought that means that to him was the secret sauce for almost everything. And if you, if you project that into how the world was changing and you think of a world where suddenly the opportunity to use that technology to create new experiences for people in terms of how they access content, the natural thing would have been for Apple to have the great content that Disney creates applied or used on their platform. And I know I'm pretty convinced we would have had that discussion. And you know, that was maybe someone wistful of me when I wrote that, but I just knew of his passion for everything we did and everything Apple did and then his deep, deep belief that nothing would be more powerful than that combination. I think we would have gotten there. Part VII on CNBC's "TechCheck" FABER: Yeah, of course Julia, and something you've been very focused on as well as your coverage of the company, direct-to-consumer certainly being a such an important component overall of their strategy. I know we can both remember back in what was it August of 2015 on that earnings conference call when for the first time Iger addressed potential sub erosion at the giant cash flowing property ESPN. Since then, of course, it's no secret that the linear ecosystem has been in decline, and certainly Iger acknowledges that as well. IGER: I think you're seeing a migration to more digital, direct-to-consumer forms of entertainment distribution. And being in that business at a larger scale, which because I think that will provide more growth for the company than the traditional media platforms would've and just the migration, the erosion of the traditional media platforms and the growth of the new ones. We're playing in that new space much more aggressively than we would have obviously without Disney+, without Hulu as well. I think people are consuming things in much more different ways. App-based entertainment in the home has, is replacing the linear channel consumption in the home. So, when you go back to the question you asked about the future of that business, it's not bright at all. It's, it's actually eroding right before our eyes. FABER: And it continues to erode before our eyes You know, it was a long interview and opportunity to talk to Iger about so many different things, best decisions in which he sort of talked about the decision to buy Pixar and worst decisions as well where YouTube came up. IGER: I remember when YouTube was sold. One of the things I always rued, because when YouTube emerged, it was the, we didn't see that first. I'm the one who put “America's Funniest Videos” on ABC in 1989, which was user-generated content. It's kinda funny, which YouTube really started as. It's evolved tremendously. Why didn't I think of that? FABER: Yeah. Why, yeah. IGER: I don't know, I, I missed that one— FABER: You missed that one. Worth, it's worth about $300 billion now, by the way, based on its revenue if you— IGER: Well, YouTube would've been smart. FABER: It would've been. All right, so that gets me to worst decision. Is there one that comes to mind in terms of just a really bad decision you made over those 16-plus years? IGER: I made some bad decisions. Fortunately, they weren't monumental or they woulda, brought me, me down. So I can't really think of, like, the worst decision. I made some bonehead creative decisions along way, you know, greenlit some things that I probably shouldn't have. I mean— FABER: All right, yeah, but saying yes-- IGER: But that's kinda easy. FABER: To Cop Rock is not exactly the worst decision you're gonna make. IGER: You know, I’m, I'm, there's, that's actually, it's interesting, I try to be honest and candid, both in terms of assessment and myself. I definitely made a bunch of bad decisions. Sometimes people, sometimes product, nothing gigantic. FABER: Nothing gigantic? IGER: No. FABER: And nothing comes to mind at all that you can share? IGER: A buncha little things. FABER: Just little things. IGER: Yeah. FABER: So I guess that's a pretty good tenure then, if it's a buncha little things-- IGER: Well, I lasted a long time, so I guess, I suggest I didn't make any really bad, any big, bad decisions. Updated on Dec 21, 2021, 12:33 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 21st, 2021

Check out 30 pitch decks from fintechs disrupting trading, banking, and lending that helped them raise millions

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech VC  funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals. Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. A trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 21st, 2021

The Catalyst for The Great Rotation – Crescat Capital

Crescat Capital’s commentary for the month of November 2021, discussing the catalyst for the great rotation. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The Catalyst for The Great Rotation Based on the firm’s current equity and macro models, and our investment team’s analysis, we believe we are in the explosive first wave of an […] Crescat Capital’s commentary for the month of November 2021, discussing the catalyst for the great rotation. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The Catalyst for The Great Rotation Based on the firm’s current equity and macro models, and our investment team’s analysis, we believe we are in the explosive first wave of an inflationary cycle in the US and globally that will elevate consumer prices at a much higher annualized rate and for significantly longer than priced into financial markets today. The factors driving our view include structural shortages in primary resource industries due to chronic underinvestment, incipient wage-price spirals, and unsustainably high government debt-to-GDP imbalances which make a new inflationary trend the policy path of least resistance. As an overarching macro investment theme at Crescat today, we are calling for what we have dubbed the Great Rotation. This theme is a highly probable and pending shift, in our view, out of crowded, hyper-overvalued, long-duration financial assets, including mega-cap tech and negative-real-yielding fixed income securities, and into the less populated and more undervalued segment of the market that is focused on the tangible assets at the core of the global economy. In our analysis, the companies involved in these industries are driven by both intrinsic and calculable fundamental value and offer some of the best value and appreciation potential in the market. Rising inflation expectations and the Fed attempting to tighten financial conditions are the catalyst for this critical inflection point. Policy makers are far from doing what is necessary to halt what is already the most inflationary environment since the 1970s when they are instead: Running twin deficits at double digit percentages of GDP. Holding the Fed funds rate at 0% for another seven months. Planning to add $400 billion more in QE before beginning to raise rates. Restricting commodity companies from exploring, developing, and producing natural resources.   Crescat’s Global Macro and Long/Short Equity strategies are hedge funds with significant short positions in the overvalued areas that we believe the investor masses will be rotating out of, as well as long positions in the undervalued areas, where we believe the smart money will be rotating into, in this likely-to-be epic regime change. At Crescat, these two strategies are the most comprehensive ways to play the Great Rotation. Large Cap and the Precious Metals strategies, on the other hand, are ways to play the long side of the Great Rotation without the short component. Note how the relative fundamental valuation, using enterprise value relative to sales, between the Russell Growth vs. Value indices is re-testing the peak tech bubble levels that we saw in 2000. Tech Looks Ready to Roll Over Technology stocks have retained the limelight in the press and investor consciousness year to date as well as price momentum but are now facing an outlook of significantly deteriorating growth and profitability. Meanwhile, primary resource stocks in the energy, materials, and industrial sectors have had equally strong momentum since the March 2020 Covid crash but possess eminently better intermediate-term growth, value, and appreciation potential as the world continues to emerge from the pandemic. The real aggregate free-cash-flow yield among tech companies in the S&P 500 is now even lower than it was at the peak of the Tech Bubble. With three of the big-five mega cap tech stocks (FB, AMZN, AAPL) missing Q3 revenue and/or earnings expectations and warning of a weak Q4, this is a fundamental signal of a major US market top in the making. Add to that Elon Musk boldly cashing in on $6.9 billion worth of his Tesla shares this week, the largest sale ever by a CEO. This at the same time as one of the best performing and most persistent hedge fund short sellers of the last decade was forced to throw in the towel due to client redemptions. Those clients are fools. Russell Clark is a legend and so is his performance on this much needed and now almost vacant side of the market. Hat tip to him. Our research shows that, across a composite of valuation metrics, the stock market is more overvalued than it was in 2000, as well as any other time in history, including 1929. However, our models also show that we are headed towards an inflationary bubble burst, like that of 1973-74, when popular large cap growth stocks were decimated at the same time as commodity prices and resource stocks exploded to the upside. This is a unique type of bear market and economy that we envision, because it is much different than the deflationary-style meltdowns of 1929-32 or 2008-09. The 2000-02 tech bust and 1973-74 stagflationary shock are much better case studies for the type of macro environment we envision and want to be positioned for over the next one-to-three years. These were abrupt regime shifts in macro environments where bubbles burst in overpopulated segments while new secular bull markets began in others. There was much money to be made on both the long and short side of the market by being in the right industries on each side. There was also much pain for those who ignored valuation, changing fundamentals, and macro indicators in their approach and just kept hanging on, or worse if they bought the dip of the prior popular trend instead. Crypto Software based crypto assets, in the CIO’s opinion, are in a broad speculative mania along with the entire software industry akin to the Dotcom bubble on steroids. No doubt, distributed ledger technologies and tokenization are brilliant innovations that have value and will have endurance, just like the Internet did at its investment craze peak in early 2000. Crescat is not short crypto assets though the idea has been tempting due to the excessive level of speculation, along with their abundance and questionable intrinsic value. They are not securities with underlying fundamentals that can be valued based on a discounted-free-cash-flow model or with macro data that makes any sense to us today. For now, we see too much risk to being short crypto assets due to their crazy popularity and dogmatic following, including as a form of inflation protection. We couldn’t agree more with the need for inflation protection, but fervently believe there is a much more prudent way to get that when one’s nest egg is considered. Primary Resources Industries According to our macro and fundamental models, the most desirable assets to own in today’s changing investing climate, are the hard and soft commodities that are the core building blocks of the global economy. In our analysis, some of the best prospective risk-adjusted performance in the financial markets over the next three years (our target investment horizon) should accrue to the companies that own and produce these resources. These firms offer some of the highest relative revenue, earnings, and free cash flow growth for the foreseeable future along with low stock price multiples today, a powerful setup. These companies are spread throughout the energy, materials, industrial, and agricultural sectors of the economy. Based on a discounted free cash flow valuation approach, they predominate the list of highest appreciation potential stocks in Crescat’s fundamental equity model. We expect the leadership in primary resource industries of the economy to continue over the next several quarters and years due to acute raw material shortages at the root of the supply chain, as well as increased demand due to fiscal and monetary policies, including the resource intensive push to a cleaner and greener economy. Heightened environmental and social pressure have only made the supply and demand imbalances more extreme. Strong fiscally driven tailwinds including the new $1.1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act just passed by Congress, and about to be signed by the president, add fuel to this fire. Supply-side constraints to producing the materials needed to run the new as well as the existing economy are not easily reversed due to long lead times and the multiple years of declining capital investment trends. We are already experiencing a domino effect among natural resources. It started with spikes in lumber prices, then oil and gas, lead, zinc, and coal. If we look at ammonia prices, a key ingredient in fertilizer, agricultural commodities are a whole new set of commodities likely to be spiking next, potentially creating food shortages. Crescat’s Large Cap, Global Macro, and Long/Short strategies own many positions in the broad resource sectors identified by our models. Among our favorites is precious metals. The Fundamental Opportunity in Precious Metals Gold and silver producers are trading at historically low free-cash-flow multiples and strong near-term growth prospects. We love them. But even more, we are enamored with high-quality gold, silver, and select copper and base metal explorers with high-grade targets who are aggressively growing new resource ounces in top mining jurisdictions globally. The companies with competent management and technical teams in this segment offer unbelievable value and appreciation potential according to our DCF model. Owning gold in the ground in a carefully constructed portfolio of these firms is one of the most asymmetric reward-to-risk opportunities we have ever seen. Precious Metals, A Key Focus Today With inflation continuing to surprise to the upside, precious metals mining stocks are ripe for a major breakout after taking the strong early lead among all S&P industry groups in the immediate four months after the March 2020 Covid crash. Until last month, gold and silver stocks had been consolidating, but with their underlying fundamentals only getting better, we believe they are poised for another major leg up. We are constructive regarding our potential to deliver a strong finish to 2021 based on the incredibly strong fundamental and macro set-up. That is our goal. At Crescat, we recently became so excited about the deep-value opportunity for precious metals ahead of a likely new secular bull market, that we created two focused strategies based on it, the Precious Metals separately managed account strategy launched in June 2019 and the private Precious Metals Fund in August of 2020, both industry specific mandates. Here is some quick math to illustrate the set up likely ahead of us. The monthly price of gold is now above its 2011 highs. If miners were to re-test the same levels, it would imply a 61% appreciation from here. More importantly, the fundamental story behind these companies today is unquestionably better than back then. Precious Metals Fund Description The Precious Metals Fund is an activist private fund. It is a macro and fundamental-driven industry specialist fund focused exclusively on the precious metals. This fund can short, in addition to going long, but chooses to be long-only today, given where we believe we are in the precious metals cycle, early in a new secular bull market. It also has an active futures account associated with it. The Precious Metals Fund participates in private as well as public transactions and holds a substantial equity warrant portfolio. We have partnered with renowned exploration geologist, Quinton Hennigh, PhD to help us manage the precious metals portfolios across the firm. He has been advising Crescat for the past two years and has recently joined the team full-time as an equity owner/member of the firm and its geologic and technical advisor. We remain locked and loaded with an extensive portfolio of undervalued gold and silver in the ground. We have significant copper and other base metal exposure too where gold and silver are significant byproducts. Our activist precious metals portfolio companies are focused on substantial organic growth in high-grade resource ounces through exploration and drilling. We expect industry M&A to heat up significantly over the next several quarters and our companies to be coveted. In a segment that has seen declining exploration spending for a decade,we have over 300 million target gold equivalent resource ounces in our portfolio which is thanks to Quinton’s expertise. Total global gold production in not even 100 million ounces. Global Macro Fund Description Crescat Global Macro remains the firm’s most comprehensive strategy and can trade any asset class globally, long and short, across currencies, commodities, fixed income, and equites. The Global Macro Fund was launched in 2006 to express investment themes via a broad set of instruments in addition to equities. The Global Macro Fund includes an active futures account and as well as equity account and several ISDA relationships with large bank counterparties to trade swaps that are not otherwise traded on an active exchange, such as our Chinese yuan and Hong Kong dollar put options that we own today. Long/Short Fund Description Long/Short is a classic equity hedge fund and is our second broadest mandate. It also exploits Crescat’s firmwide themes but is focused exclusively on equities. Long/Short is Crescat’s second longest running strategy. It was launched in 2000 and has persistently delivered strong alpha through multiple business cycles. Large Cap SMA Description Large Cap is a separately managed account strategy also focused on equities, but in the large and mid-cap realm. Think of it as a souped-up, blue-chip portfolio. Like all Crescat strategies, Large Cap is driven by our firmwide models and themes. It is focused on the best large and mid-cap long equity opportunities therein. It is diversified across select industries without being “diworsified” across all of them. Large Cap is Crescat’s longest running strategy. It was launched in 1999. It has been through the Tech Bubble, Tech Bust, Housing Bubble, Global Financial Crisis, and the longest bull market ever followed by both the Covid Crash and recovery. Precious Metals SMA Description The Precious Metals separately managed account strategy is a long-only separately managed account strategy designed for investors who do not qualify for our private fund, but who still want exposure to our management and publicly listed holdings. The Precious Metals SMAs do not participate in private placements and pre-IPO investments, nor do they get the warrants frequently associated with those investments, but they can still participate in our favorite public gold and silver stocks in a managed portfolio. We are long a selective basket of miners in the precious metals industry across all five strategies at Crescat today due to rising actual and expected inflation worldwide and ultra-cheap valuations. However, it is important to understand that Crescat is more than a precious metals focused investment firm. We remain a comprehensive, value-driven investment firm guided by fundamental equity and macro models across five differentiated strategies. In addition to the two precious metals strategies, we manage a Large Cap long-only SMA, a Long/Short Equity hedge fund, and a Global Macro hedge fund. Each of these three strategies has an increasingly broader mandate in that order. Crescat Hedge Fund Term Sheet Crescat SMA Term Sheet Fundamental Equity Quant Model Both Crescat Large Cap and Long/Short have beaten their benchmarks since inception, net of fees, on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis over multiple business cycles. One constant behind these strategies has been Crescat’s fundamental equity quant model. The CIO originally began developing it in 1995. He, along with Crescat and its predecessor firms, have continuously refined and applied the equity model to managing client money since 1997. The equity model has always been an important tool in driving the firm’s stock picking in addition to helping define macro themes. Crescat has invested heavily in improving our equity model over the last year. We are more excited than ever about its current condition and potential to continue to help the firm deliver alpha. Macro Models Crescat also relies on macro models for developing its investment themes. Co-portfolio manager, Tavi Costa, helped take Crescat’s macro modeling to a new level after he joined the firm in 2014. Today, Crescat applies a variety of its own macro models in addition to our equity model to source and support its firmwide investment themes and positions. Global Macro Positioning Crescat Global Macro, being our most comprehensive strategy, maintains exposures to Crescat’s themes and most of the positions in our equity-oriented mandates, but it will also add exposures to currencies, commodities, and/or fixed income asset classes. Today, Global Macro holds two substantial fixed income short positions in asymmetric reward-to-risk put options, because we are at the lowest level of real yields in post-World War II history without a bond bear market already having occurred. One is overdue, in our view, and most investors are not ready. The first fixed income position is a junk bond short via the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF which long investors today are effectively paying, in the form of negative real yields at an historic level, for the dubious privilege of accepting default risk. The second is a significant put option position in 10-year Treasury Note futures. With rising inflation in the form of both CPI and expectations, the Fed must do something credible to fight the steep rise in the price of consumer goods and services. It has already announced that it will be tapering its fixed income asset purchases. At the same time, the Treasury department is in extreme deficit spending mode relative to GDP while aggressively extending its maturities post a record Covid-T-Bill issuance. With the Fed out of the game, who is going to take-up the slack to digest the increased supply of long-duration Treasuries in a rising inflation environment? Shorting UST 10s from a starting nominal yield of 1.5% with CPI running at 6.2% simply makes a ton of sense to us here. China is the Black Swan trade of the century that the market still just doesn’t get in our view. We remain committed to Plan A here in Global Macro, an asymmetric trade with minimal downside risk through low volatility option premium paid and large upside potential through long USD calls versus short CNH and HKD puts. We have been risking about 1 to 1.5% quarterly with notional upside to devaluation and de-peg that has ranged from 500 to 1000%. China has been melting down before the world’s eyes all year. We believe its currency is the ultimate shoe to drop. We are continuing with this strategy. Summary The Fed is trapped into moving forward with its plan to scale back its debt monetization. For now, this includes pressure from the yield curve to raise rates next year. The taper matters big time as the catalyst for financial asset bubbles to burst along with actual inflation. This reduction of monetary stimulus is a huge liquidity drain on the margin given the formerly outrageous QE levels and asset bubbles they have created. Whether it is now or within just several months from now, we believe we are very close to a major twin top in US equity and credit markets. We need to be ready and positioned for it now. Across the firm, we are doing everything we can on that front. We are determined to make money on short side of the market in Global Macro and Long/Short when the Great Rotation burst gets going in earnest. The shorts have been holding those funds back YTD but we strongly believe that will not be the case forever. Many fund managers are precluded from shorting. We are not. The team here is working extremely hard and focused on delivering value across all our strategies. October Performance Crescat delivered robust performance in October across all strategies with precious metals long positions being the biggest driver. These holdings comprise our highest conviction forward-looking expected return vs. risk macro theme at Crescat. Thus, precious metals, and gold and silver mining equities, are widespread positions across all Crescat’s strategies. November has started off extremely well MTD, with short positions adding value in Global Macro and Long Short on top of strong gains in precious metals. Download PDF Version Sincerely, Kevin C. Smith, CFA Member & Chief Investment Officer Tavi Costa Member & Portfolio Manager For more information including how to invest, please contact: Marek Iwahashi Client Service Associate Cassie Fischer Client Service Associate Linda Carleu Smith, CPA Member & COO © 2021 Crescat Capital LLC Article by Crescat Capital Updated on Dec 20, 2021, 3:29 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 20th, 2021

Alibaba"s (BABA) Carbon Neutrality Goals Boost Climate Pledge

Alibaba (BABA) commits to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. It also targets to facilitate 1.5 gigatons of decarbonization by 2035. Alibaba BABA gears to zero down its carbon footprints to boost its environmental sustainability goals.The company has recently announced its carbon neutrality commitments to bolster its climate strategy. Alibaba has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.Precisely, Alibaba Group aims to achieve the target in its direct emissions — Scope 1 — as well as its indirect emissions — Scope 2. Notably, indirect emissions are derived from electricity consumption.The company also targets reducing its carbon intensity by 50% by 2030 in Scope 3 (emissions produced by participants in its platform’s ecosystem from areas such as transportation, purchased goods and services, and waste).Meanwhile, Alibaba Cloud aims to achieve the latest carbon neutrality target in three defined scopes.The company has announced Scope 3+ target, according to which it aims to achieve 1.5 gigatons of decarbonization by 2035.We note that the latest move is likely to benefit Alibaba in today’s world, where the demand for lowering the hazardous environmental impacts of business operations is increasing at a fast pace.Further, switching to the use of clean and renewable energy is expected to help the company gain investor optimism.Alibaba Group Holding Limited Price and Consensus  Alibaba Group Holding Limited price-consensus-chart | Alibaba Group Holding Limited QuoteCarbon Neutrality Gaining SteamWith the latest move, Alibaba peps up the carbon neutrality game for the other bigwigs like Amazon AMZN, Alphabet GOOGL and Analog Devices ADI, which are also taking initiatives to adopt alternative energy sources for lowering overall carbon emissions and cutting energy bills substantially.Amazon has turned out to be the biggest corporate investor in renewable energy by bringing its total count of renewable energy projects to 274 globally.The e-commerce giant aims at powering its infrastructure with 100% renewable energy on the back of its growing investments in these projects. Notably, the goal was initially targeted to be met by 2030, which is now expected to be achieved by 2025. Further, Amazon has pledged to meet net-zero carbon emission goals by 2040.Alphabet’s aggressive three-fold strategy — which includes energy efficiency, renewable energy procurement and carbon offsets — is a testament to its commitment to carbon neutrality.Moreover, the company’s division, Google, which has been carbon neutral since 2007, is now aiming to be carbon-free by 2030.Meanwhile, Analog Devices pledged to reach carbon neutrality and net-zero emissions by 2030 and 2050, respectively. Moreover, it is committed to Science-Based Targets.Further, it intends to shift its operations to 100% renewable energy by 2025. Also, it is gearing up to address emissions across the full value chain by 2030.Bottom LineThe latest move of Alibaba is in sync with its strong efforts to bolster its presence in the e-commerce as well cloud industry by deepening its focus on maximizing the sustainability impacts of its technologies and solutions.However, this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) company is currently facing stiff competition from the domestic as well as foreign e-commerce companies despite its strong e-commerce strategies and platform. Further, the company is reeling under competitive pressure from major cloud players like Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Additionally, Alibaba’s increasing regulatory concerns in China along with rising expenses associated with new initiatives remain overhangs. 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, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 20th, 2021

Citigroup (C) Down on CIFS & Citi Asesores Sale to Insigneo

In an effort to streamline its wealth business, Citigroup (C) has agreed to sell two non-bank subsidiaries, Citi International Financial Services and Citi Asesores de Inversion Uruguay, to Insigneo. Citigroup Inc. C has inked a deal with Inisgneo, a Miami-based independent broker-dealer and Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), to divest its non-bank subsidiaries, Citi International Financial Services, LLC (CIFS) and Citi Asesores de Inversion Uruguay S.A. (Citi Asesores). The sale is subject to regulatory consent. Shares of Citigroup declined 2.5% during Friday’s trading session, probably due to the news announcement.CIFS is a Puerto Rico-based broker-dealer and Citi Asesores is an investment advisory firm in Uruguay’s free-trade zone. Citigroup will uphold all the current bank deposit relationships with wealth clients, who will be transferring to Insigneo. Citigroup’s well-established presence in Puerto Rico and Uruguay, serving institutional clients, will remain unaltered. Per agreement with Insigneo, Citigroup is eyeing opportunities to provide banking services to the latter’s existing clients.Raul Henriquez, chairman and CEO of Insigneo, commented, “We are extremely happy to incorporate CIFS and Citi Asesores into Insigneo Financial Group’s growing platform, and we are pleased to continue our relationship with Citi as a banking services provider for our new clients.”Per Citigroup’s management, the sale will permit the bank to streamline its wealth business. Moreover, it gives the firm an opportunity to continue providing its clients with unparalleled retail banking, while pursuing to work locally with investment professionals, who will move to Insigneo upon deal completion.Citigroup has been making efforts to revamp its wealth management business. In fact, in an effort to boost its wealth division operations, Citigroup aims to deploy investments in four major wealth centers — Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE and London. The company has outlined plans to exit consumer banking operations in 13 markets across Asia and EMEA, including Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia and Korea and will redeploy capital freed from such exits in wealth division expansion.Making progress on this strategy, C, in October, had announced that it would wind down its consumer banking business in South Korea. In total, Citigroup anticipates the release of roughly $7 billion of allocated tangible common equity over time from such planned exits. These initiatives are expected to boost C’s capital position and drive operational efficiencies.Over the past year, shares of Citigroup have declined 2.8% against 33.4% growth recorded by the industry.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchCurrently, Citigroup carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Stocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks in the banking space are Southern First Bancshares SFST, Shore Bancshares SHBI and Colony Bankcorp, Inc. CBAN. At present, SFST and SHBI sport a Zacks Rank #1 while CBAN carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).In the year-to-date period, shares of Southern First have jumped 79% whereas Shore Bancshares and Colony Bankcorp gained 35.2% and 15.2%, respectively.Over the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Shore Bancshares’ current-year earnings has been revised 27% upward. The same for Southern First has moved 13.3% north.Current-year earnings estimates for Colony Bankcorp have moved 15.2% up over the past two months. 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 Citigroup Inc. (C): Free Stock Analysis Report Shore Bancshares Inc (SHBI): Free Stock Analysis Report Southern First Bancshares, Inc. (SFST): Free Stock Analysis Report Colony Bankcorp, Inc. (CBAN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 20th, 2021