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Category: topSource: redinewsNov 15th, 2021

SNAP Q3 Earnings Beat Estimates, User Growth Aids Top Line

Snap's (SNAP) Q3 results benefit from growth in DAUs and user engagement levels owing to strong adoption of AR Lenses, Discovery and Show contents. Snap SNAP reported earnings of 17 cents per share for third-quarter 2021, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 183.3% and increased 1600% year over year.Revenues jumped 57.3% from the year-ago quarter to $1.06 billion but missed the consensus mark by 2.04%.Daily active users (DAU) at the end of the reported quarter were 306 million, marking an increase of 23% year over year. Snap added 57 million DAU on a year-over-year basis and 13 million sequentially.Geographically, revenues from North America (73.7% of revenues) soared 59.6% year over year to $786.9 million. Revenues from Europe (14.3%) jumped 49.4% to $153.1 million. Rest of the World (ROW) revenues were $127.4 million, up 53.1% year over year.The average revenue per user (ARPU) increased 27.8% year over year to $3.49. On a year-over-year basis, North America and Europe ARPUs increased 49.4% and 34.3%, respectively, while ROW improved 3.2%.Snap’s third-quarter 2021 top-line growth benefited from increasing ARPU and user base growth.However, Snap’s stock plunged 22% in extended trading on Oct 21. The company has been facing supply-chain issues and threat from privacy changes that Apple AAPL implemented on its iOS platform earlier this year. The changes have made it more difficult for Snap’s advertising partners to measure and manage their ad campaigns for iOS.Earlier this year Apple introduced a major privacy feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT) that allowed users to choose to opt out of third-party app tracking. This means apps can no longer collect data about users from third parties and use that data to better target them with ads unless a user specifically gives the app permission to do so.Shares of social media rivals Facebook FB and Twitter TWTR were each down nearly 7% in after-hours trading, following the release of Snap’s third quarter earnings, indicating that investors fear a similar impact on their financial results.Snap Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Snap Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Snap Inc. QuoteUser Engagement Improves in Q3North America DAU increased 1 million sequentially to 96 million, up 6 million year over year. Europe DAU was 80 million, which increased 8 million on a year-over-year basis and 2 million on a sequential basis. ROW DAU was 130 million at the end of the reported quarter, up 43 million year over year and 10 million sequentially.Snap is benefiting from improved user engagement. In March, over 125 million Snapchatters used Spotlight, its newest platform presenting the most entertaining Snaps from its community.During the reported quarter, each of the 15 different Discover partners reached over 50 million unique Snapchatters.Snap launched new Discover channels in 14 different countries, including 22 new channels each in India and the United Kingdom.Besides, two of Snap’s new Snap Originals, Meme Mom and Honestly Loren, reached over 10 million viewers each in third-quarter 2021.In the third quarter of 2021, Snap released 3D Bitmoji in Profiles, enabling Snapchatters to express themselves with a 3D version of their digital avatar. Over 170 million Snapchatters have engaged with their 3D Bitmoji Profile since launch.The company also launched Birthday Mini, allowing Snapchatters to see their friends’ birthdays and send personalized greetings. It was used by more than 10 million Snapchatters in the first 21 days of its launch.Camera and Augmented Reality (AR) Platform Gains Traction in Q3In the third quarter of 2021, five of the new augmented reality Lenses driven by SnapML, the machine learning platform inLens Studio, generated more than 1 billion impressions each, achieving over 11 billion impressions in total.The company featured nine new community try-on Lenses for Fashion Week, drawing inspiration from the unique trends within the major Fashion Week cities to showcase virtual outfits.Snap also partnered with SignAll to introduce three AR Lenses, teaching Snapchatters how to fingerspell in American sign language.In the third quarter, Snap announced the launch of Arcadia, its new global creative studio for branded AR, which will develop new technology and deliver impactful and effective AR experiences to brand and agency partners.In addition to AR and content, Snap is also building new ways to empower creators, developers, brands, and others to improve the entire Snapchat experience.In the third quarter of 2021, Snap launched the “Open Your Snapchat” marketing campaign, which invites both consumers and advertisers to experience augmented reality, unlocking hundreds of custom experiences localized to several different markets across the globe.Thia Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company also introduced Snapchat Trends for advertisers, which highlights popular keywords shared among the Snapchat community and helps advertisers better engage their audience. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Besides, Snap introduced Campaign Lab, allowing advertisers to track better and analyze their split tests to gain insights for future campaigns.Operating DetailsIn the quarter under review, the cost of revenues on a non-GAAP basis increased 50.5% year over year to $429 million. Infrastructure costs, content & developer partner costs, and advertising partner & other expenses increased 16.1%, 109.9% and 95%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis.Gross margin on a non-GAAP basis improved 200 basis points to 60% in the third quarter 2021.Operating expenses were $464 million, up 37.3% year over year. Sales and marketing expenses increased 40.5% year over year to $156 million, while general and administrative expenses increased 39.6% year over year to $127 million. Research and development expenses rose 34.8% year over year to $182 millionAdjusted EBITDA was $174.2 million compared with $56.4 million in the year-ago quarter.Balance Sheet and Cash FlowAs of Sep 30, 2021, cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $3.48 billion, compared with $3.47 billion as on Jun 30, 2021.Net cash provided by operating activities was $71.5 million compared with $54.8 million used in the year-ago quarter and $101.1 million cash used in the previous quarter.Free cash flow was $51.7 million against an outflow of $69.5 million reported in the year-ago quarter and cash flow of $115.7 million in the previous quarter.GuidanceFor the fourth quarter of 2021, revenues are expected between $1.165 billion and $1.205 billion. Adjusted EBITDA is estimated to be between $135 million and $175 million. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>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 Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report Facebook, Inc. (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report Twitter, Inc. (TWTR): Free Stock Analysis Report Snap Inc. (SNAP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 22nd, 2021

Crystal Cruises ship diverts to Bahamas with 700 people on board after arrest warrant issued over $1.2m unpaid fuel bill: reports

Operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd is millions of dollars in debt and its Crystal Symphony ship could be seized at any US port, per multiple outlets. The Crystal Symphony ship.Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images A Crystal Cruises ship diverted to the Bahamas in an apparent attempt to escape an arrest warrant.  The warrant relates to an unpaid fuel bill, according to case documents obtained by USA Today. A US marshal would be prepared to arrest the ship if it showed up in Miami, per Bloomberg. A Crystal Cruises ship with hundreds of passengers and crew onboard has diverted from its scheduled stop in Miami after an arrest warrant was issued, multiple outlets reported.The Crystal Symphony was due to return to Miami on Saturday, following a 14-day Caribbean voyage, but instead traveled to Bimini in the Bahamas, per The Daily Mail.According to Bloomberg, if the ship docks in Miami, the terms of the warrant would allow it to be seized to repay $1.2 million in unpaid fuel bills, apparently owed by its operator, Genting Hong Kong Ltd. But officials can't take any action in the Bahamas.The warrant resulted from a lawsuit filed by Peninsula Petroleum Far East Wednesday against Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises Limited, per USA Today. Crystal Cruises did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. One passenger tweeted to travel agent Mundy Cruising: "Can you help me change my flight to Heathrow from Miami as we are stuck on Crystal Symphony which has changed route and is now heading for Bahamas instead of Miami." Elio Pace, a musician performing aboard the ship, told the Daily Mail that "every one of these people are trying to reschedule their flights." But he noted that "there's no panic, there's no tantrums going on."Pace, however, said in an interview with USA Today that he hopes he will be compensated for the additional time he's had to spend onboard. —John (@johndresner) January 21, 2022Passengers had to wait overnight Saturday to be transported by a ferry to Fort Lauderdale after the diversion, The Daily Mail reported. Cruise companies have faced many challenges in recent months, particularly in relation to the pandemic. Earlier this month, staff and passengers on Norwegian Getaway and Royal Caribbean ships described their difficult quarantine experiences after contracting COVID-19.Another passenger on an unspecified cruise ship, recently said she experienced "panic and anxiety" while isolating for six days in a windowless cabin.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 23rd, 2022

Gen Z brought the "90s back because it feels impossible to grow up in today"s economy

There's comfort and connection to be found in the nostalgia ruling pop culture right now. It's all because of the economy. Gen Z is nostalgic for the '90s and early 2000s.Anchiy/Getty Images The youth become nostalgic when the economy is struggling, seeking comfort and connection.  It's why Gen Z is reviving indie sleaze, old-money prep, and Y2K trends of the '90s and early 2000s. Instead of turning to their own childhood memories, they're seeking simpler pre-social-media times. Nearly two years ago, when New York City became the epicenter of the coronavirus in the US, I found solace on my couch watching TV. I checked in for new episodes of "The Bold Type." I devoured "Sex and the City" for the first time. I rewatched "Younger."Living vicariously through the glamorous antics of 20- and 30-somethings in pre-pandemic New York was a comfort in a time when my favorite haunts shuttered their doors and nothing sparkled in Times Square but the billboards. Uncertainty, anxiety, and loneliness triggered my nostalgia for a bustling, energized NYC, the Le Moyne College professor and psychologist Krystine Batcho told me. A researcher of nostalgia, Batcho explained that it's a common response when a troubled economy disrupts our lifestyles. Right now, it's most evident in the '90s and early-2000s trends that Gen Z is reviving.Gen Z brought the mom jeans of the '90s back to life.Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images"For many people, particularly young adults or those without a financial safety net, poor economic conditions raise fears of being able to meet financial obligations like rent or student-debt payments," Batcho said. "Nostalgia is a refuge, as people turn to the feelings of comfort, security, and love they enjoyed in their past."It explains why so many of us texted our exes when the pandemic hit; why so many shows and movies got reboots, from "Gossip Girl" and "And Just Like That" to "Spiderman;" why companies and brands beefed up nostalgia marketing; and why all the things that are now cool in our pandemic world transport us back to a simpler time.While I soaked up skyscrapers and taxi cabs on screen, Gen Zers (born from 1997 onward) watched "Friends" for the first time and thrifted '90s clothes. Their search for simpler times before adulthood — free of social-media trolling, Facetune, and remote school — led to the resurgence of trends that were hot long before the hardships of the pandemic or even the Great Recession. We emerged from quarantine to a vaccinated world where cigarettes, wired headphones, preppy style, and Y2K fashion trends are in again. But youth nostalgia is not just a product of the existing economy. It can reshape it for years to come. Because 20-somethings typically wield the most influence in what consumers buy, they set the tone for a new economic and cultural chapter.The youth's search for comfortYou don't have to be a certain age or gender to feel nostalgic during troubling times. But it can be more potent for those in a state of emerging adulthood — that 20-something limbo between adolescence and full maturity."It's a bittersweet time when you trade in childhood innocence for the independence of adulthood, not yet having experienced the more disappointing aspects of social behavior," Batcho said.Gen Zers are adjusting to the realities of adult life. They hadn't yet experienced the full impact of economic hardship until the pandemic, when they bore the brunt of it. They were the hardest-hit generation in the labor force and, even a year into the pandemic, college grads were having the toughest time finding jobs. Plus, many were forced to attend school remotely and socialize almost exclusively through their phones.As a coping mechanism, they reminisced about the '90s and early 2000s, when social media didn't yet exist, Michael Pankowski, the founder of the Gen Z marketing consulting firm Crimson Connection, told me. "While we love the internet, the pandemic's grave effect on in-person interaction has made the digital world basically all we have," he said of his generation. "So we feel nostalgic for a time before the internet had become so omnipresent." @oldloserinbrooklyn Trend forecast: indie sleaze revival #trendcycle #nostalgia #tumblrfashion #indiekid ♬ Sex and the City (Main Theme) - TV Sounds Unlimited The ironic part is that it's through social media that people are making these nostalgic connections. Gen Z digitally bonded during quarantine, prompting the resurgence of these trends to take off on TikTok and making it easy to cycle through so many of them.Consider the rise of indie sleaze, an eclectic early-2000s aesthetic influenced by the '70s and '80s and reminiscent of an American Apparel model headed to a dance club. Marked by Polaroid photos and party vibes, the style reflects the simplicity Gen Z seeks to escape from overstimulating technology and adult expenses. Returning to this more hedonistic, carefree style is also a rejection of the carefully curated millennial Instagram aesthetic that dominated the 2010s — think perfectly posed pics and lip filler.In fact, Gen Z's nostalgia is a retaliation to the 2010s economy in which millennials came of age. The comeback of the old-money aesthetic — characterized by pearls, Ralph Lauren tennis skirts, and white tube socks — nods to an old-school aristocratic upper crust that reflects the economic boom times of the '90s. It's in contrast to flashy, Kardashian-style displays of wealth as well as the jeans-and-hoodie uniform of Silicon Valley. Bold Y2K colors, reminiscent of another pre-social-media era, are a spot of brightness in a world ravaged by climate change and a global health crisis. A post shared by Fashion & fit & OOTD (@phantasyy_) The Gen Z experience is not unlike that of millennials, who graduated into the financial crisis of the Great Recession and spent years floating from job to job in a dismal labor market while juggling massive student debt and soaring living costs. Coming of age during an economic decline and a technological revolution, millennials leaned into the simplicity of their childhood to cope. It explains the appeal of #TBT (Throwback Thursday), the persisting obsession with the Harry Potter books and movies of their childhood, and how millennial pink — a shade associated with youth and innocence — became so popular.—Taryn Boyland (@Taryn_Boyland) December 6, 2021Social media complicates nostalgiaGen Z nostalgia perplexes Benjamin Ho, an associate professor of behavioral economics at Vassar College and author of "Why Trust Matters: An Economist's Guide to the Ties that Bind Us.""The way nostalgia usually works is it activates your memories from childhood, primarily the pop culture from your teenage years," he told me. "It seems too soon for Gen Z to be seeking the past."Indeed, Gen Z is reminiscing about a time of which they have few or no memories. Ho said the fast pace of social media has splintered pop-culture trends so much that unlimited choices have made it harder for younger generations to find unifying cultural touchstones. So they turned to an earlier time when "Friends" and "TRL" were some of the only options for after-school TV, bonding a whole generation with common humor, fashion, and theme music. @angemariano “Stop being poor!” #y2k #y2kaesthetic #2000s #y2kfashion #parishilton #fashionaesthetics #2000saesthetic #00s #00fashion #pinterestaesthetic #howto ♬ Vacation Bible School - Ayesha Erotica Regardless of the medium, the common thread in youth nostalgia is that it fosters a sense of belonging. Nostalgia helps us strengthen relationships through shared experiences. That builds trust, Ho said.He explained that we often unconsciously use others' consumption cues to make judgments about them; those with similar nostalgic consumption proclivities like music playlists and movie references likely share the same values. "We are evolutionarily designed to seek out those like-minded individuals as the people who can be trusted," he said.It makes sense then, he added, that younger generations would turn to nostalgia during times of economic and social upheaval. Pankowski said because the past is complete, it feels simple and structured compared with the uncertain times of the pandemic. It's what the millennium provided Gen Z, and what NYC-based TV shows gave me. As he put it, "Thinking about it brings a calmness that can be hard to find in the chaotic present."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 23rd, 2022

Connecticut mother sues Meta and Snap, alleging they contributed to suicide of 11-year-old daughter who had "extreme addiction" to social media

In the suit, Tammy Rodriguez claims her 11-year-old daughter Selena developed an "extreme addiction" to Instagram and Snapchat that led to her death. BigTunaOnline/Shutterstock A woman in Connecticut is suing Meta and Snap, alleging their platforms played a role in her 11-year-old's suicide. Tammy Rodriguez claims her daughter killed herself in July after "struggling with the harmful effects of social media." In a filing, Rodriguez said her daughter had an "extreme addiction" to Instagram and Snapchat for more than two years. A Connecticut mother is suing Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, and Snap, alleging their "dangerous and defective social media products" played a role in her 11-year-old daughter's suicide.The complaint, filed by Tammy Rodriguez in San Francisco federal court earlier this week, claims Selena Rodriguez suffered from depression, sleep deprivation, eating disorders, and self-harm tied to her use of Instagram and Snapchat.According to the filing, Selena began using social media roughly two years before her death by suicide in July 2021, during which time she developed "an extreme addiction to Instagram and Snapchat." The filing also claims the 11-year-old missed school multiple times because of her social media use and that she was asked to send sexually explicit content by male users on both platforms.Rodriguez wrote in the filing that she attempted to get her daughter mental health treatment several times, with one outpatient therapist saying she had "never seen a patient as addicted to social media as Selena." At one point, Selena was hospitalized for emergency psychiatric care, according to the complaint.In a statement, Snap said it couldn't comment on the specifics of an active case but told Insider "nothing is more important to us than the wellbeing of our community.""We are devastated to hear of Selena's passing and our hearts go out to her family," a Snap spokesperson told Insider. "Snapchat helps people communicate with their real friends, without some of the public pressure and social comparison features of traditional social media platforms, and intentionally makes it hard for strangers to contact young people.The spokesperson continued: "We work closely with many mental health organizations to provide in-app tools and resources for Snapchatters as part of our ongoing work to keep our community safe."Meta and lawyers for Rodriguez did not respond to requests for comment.Internal Facebook documents leaked to The Wall Street Journal last year revealed the company is aware Instagram can be harmful to the mental health of teenagers, with one document stating that "32% of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse."Karina Newton, Instagram's head of public policy, wrote in a September blog post that the Journal's story  "focuses on a limited set of findings and casts them in a negative light."In other documents retrieved by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, the company found 13.5% of teen girls said Instagram makes thoughts of suicide worse, while 17% of teen girls said Instagram exacerbates eating disorders.After Haugen gave an interview with "60 Minutes" about the findings, Facebook previously issued this response: "It is not accurate that leaked internal research demonstrates Instagram is 'toxic' for teen girls. The research actually demonstrated that many teens we heard from feel that using Instagram helps them when they are struggling with the kinds of hard moments and issues teenagers have always faced. This research, like external research on these issues, found teens report having both positive and negative experiences with social media."Earlier this month, Angela Underwood Jacobs, the sister of a federal officer killed last year, sued Meta, alleging the company "knowingly promoting extremist content" that contributed to her brother's death.If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call NEDA's Helpline (1-800-931-2237) on weekdays for support, resources, and information about treatment options. In crisis situations, NEDA offers 24/7 support — just text "NEDA" to 741-741.If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 22nd, 2022

Florida lawmakers advanced a bill that would allow parents to sue schools if staff speak to students about gender identity or sexuality

Known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, the legislation says it protects a parent's "right to make decisions" on "the upbringing and control of their children." The US flag and an LGBTQ pride flag on the front facade of the US Embassy in Moscow.Valery Sharifulin/Getty Images A Florida House committee passed a bill designed to prevent the discussion of gender identity in schools. The Parental Rights in Education bill says it protects a parent's "fundamental right to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children." Advocates for the LGBTQ slammed the bill and said it would be harmful to LGBTQ youth. Florida lawmakers earlier this week passed a bill designed to prevent the discussion of gender identity and sexuality in the classroom. The Parental Rights in Education bill, voted on largely along party lines by Florida House committee members on Thursday, "is about defending the most awesome responsibility a person can have: being a parent," said Florida state Rep. Joe Harding, who introduced the bill, according to a report from Florida Politics. The legislation, which advocates call a "Don't Say Gay" bill, says parents can take legal action against a school district if Florida teachers speak about LGBTQ topics like identity and sexuality that do not fall under "age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate" guidelines for students. The bill says it protects a parent's "fundamental right to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children."Advocates for the LGBTQ community slammed the bill, saying it would create additional barriers for LGBTQ students.  The Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth, said in a report published in August that schools can play a significant role in supporting LGBT youth. Students who learned about LGBTQ issues or people in the classroom had "23% lower odds" of reporting a suicide attempt in the last year, according to the report."This bill will erase young LGBTQ students across Florida, forcing many back into the closet by policing their identity and silencing important discussions about the issues they face," said Sam Ames, director of advocacy and government affairs at the Trevor Project. "LGBTQ students deserve their history and experiences to be reflected in their education, just like their peers.""This will kill kids," said Chasten Buttigieg, LGBTQ rights advocate and the husband of transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg.—Chasten Buttigieg (@Chasten) January 20, 2022 "You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ kids to survive in," said Buttigieg, calling out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 22nd, 2022

Celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton are diving into the metaverse before it has even materialized for the masses

Snoop Dogg's yet-to-be-launched "Snoopverse" and Paris Hilton's Roblox-based virtual island prove that celebrities want in on the metaverse hype. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images; Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for Triller; Insider Celebrities in music, film, and otherwise are jumping on the metaverse hype train. Snoop Dogg is creating a "Snoopverse" while Paris Hilton is letting users buy her virtual outfits. The bandwagoning begs the question: are they cashing in on the hype or early to the future? The metaverse may not actually exist yet — but that doesn't mean celebrity A-listers aren't trying to make money from the concept. Take Snoop Dogg's "Snoopverse," which the rapper teased last week as soon having a release date. It exists on The Sandbox, a platform built on the Ethereum blockchain, and is being advertised as a place for virtual concerts, art and car exhibits, pool parties, shopping, and a digital replica of his massive California mansion.The price for an early access pass? Almost $2,000 for one of 5,000 tickets.Then there's Paris Hilton's virtual island built within Roblox, dubbed Paris World, complete with digital copies of her California home and closet where users can raid her wardrobe and purchase outfits."I think it's important for people to not only be in the physical world but also to be in the digital world," the actress told Bloomberg.But the celebrity hype — the same kind that has rallied around diet teas and the like in the past — aligns with what we know about the metaverse concept at present: it's a buzzword for technology that has not yet fully materialized or seen mass adoption. So their involvement poses a question: are they just early to hop on what will one day be a lucrative (and popular) train? Or are they simply cashing in on hype?The metaverse ... that's hotParis Hilton threw a virtual DJ set on New Year's Eve within her virtual world (not pictured here.)Amy Sussman/Getty ImagesExperts predict that the metaverse will one day be a place where society can congregate to live, work, and play. Some previously told Insider that it will be so integral to daily life, like the internet, that not having access to it will leave people feeling ostracized.In that sense, the metaverse is not here yet. But that hasn't stopped hoardes respected institutional investors, venture capitalists, and others from piling in.Web3, NFT, and crypto fanatics have positioned themselves behind it as well. It was an NFT collector that shelled out $450,000 for a plot of land in the Snoopverse in December.—Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) December 3, 2021 Celebrities have already been embracing these other decentralized technologies. Hilton's become an online mascot for them, from NFTs to a Twitter profile picture featuring the unmistakable Bitcoin bullish glowing red eyes.—ParisHilton.eth (@ParisHilton) January 20, 2022 Others are getting into metaverse-ready parts, like creating digital avatars based on their real-life selves, allowing fans to buy and sell virtual merch for them. The virtual avatar company Genies is designing digital versions of the likes of Rihanna, Cardi B, and Migos."Migos got your metaverse drip on lock," Offset said, according to Hypebeast. "The Genies platform will allow us to further engage and give meaningful experiences to culture."So regardless of if the metaverse is nigh or simply vaporware, celebrity elites across film, music, and entertainment seem to think it's upon us.As actress Reese Witherspoon tweeted this month, "every person will have a parallel digital identity" in the near future."Are you planning for this?" she asked.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 22nd, 2022

Royal Caribbean passengers describe how a terrifying volcano disaster led them to sue the cruise company over their injuries

A couple aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship described their horrifying experience after surviving a volcanic eruption during a shore excursion. The Ovation of the Seas ship.Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Image Two cruise passengers have spoken out about a harrowing experience that forever changed their lives. They told The Independent they were severely injured during a shore excursion to a volcano in 2019. Since the incident, the pair have been locked in a legal battle, along with other passengers. Two Royal Caribbean cruise passengers have spoken out about a harrowing experience they endured during an excursion to a volcanic site.In an interview with The Independent on Thursday, Matt Urey and Lauren Barham said that in 2019, a volcano they were visiting during a shore excursion erupted in front of them. It caused severe injuries, according to the pair, who live in Richmond, Virginia.They told the outlet that the recent volcanic eruption near Tonga filled them with a sense of dread, given their own experiences.In December 2019, Urey and Barham boarded Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas to celebrate their honeymoon, according to a lawsuit that was filed two years ago. On one day, the couple took a trip to New Zealand's White Island Volcano as part of a shore excursion. They said they were led to what appeared to be the center, when it erupted shortly afterwards, leaving the couple with severe burns. Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. According to the couple's lawsuit, Urey suffered burns to 54% of his body and Barham to 23% of her body. "We literally took off running for our lives," Urey told The Independent. "It was pure terror."Multiple publications reported at the time that 22 people were killed in the catastrophic eruption and dozens were left with burns. "We heard our tour guide shout run, and that was when it all hit," Urey said. Barham added that she was sure she was going to die. The couple alleged in their lawsuit that Royal Caribbean failed to alert cruise passengers about the risks involved in visiting the island.Royal Caribbean has its headquarters in Florida, which in June 2021, was ruled to be the correct jurisdiction for legal action taken on behalf of fellow passengers to proceed. Recently, some current and former Royal Caribbean staff members complained of unsatisfactory quarantine experiences after contracting COVID-19 aboard.    Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 22nd, 2022

Conn"s (CONN) Looks Well-Placed, Highlights Growth Targets

Conn's (CONN) is likely to offer details related to the company's improved strategic growth plan as well as its operating and financial targets on its Investor Day. Conn's, Inc. CONN unveiled that management will offer details related to the company’s improved strategic growth plan as well as its operating and financial targets on its Investor Day. The specialty retailer of consumer electronics, furniture and mattresses, home office products and home appliances and the provider of consumer credit appears to be in great shape.Conn’s is well-placed for delivering growth and creating value for stockholders by solidifying its core business, improving the credit business and speeding up e-commerce growth. The company’s exclusive business model is targeted at enhancing customers’ experiences. On that note, let’s take a closer look at the three-year financial and operating goals, which the company will highlight on its Investor Day.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchConn’s’ 3-Year TargetsThe company aims at increasing total revenues to nearly $2-$2.2 billion, reflecting an estimated CAGR of 9-12%. Further, CONN intends to boost its e-commerce revenues and take it from nearly 6% of the total retail revenues (in the third quarter of fiscal 2022) to about 20%. Conn’s plans to generate high single-digit EBIT margin. Moving on, it aims to continue with geographic expansion. Finally, it intends to maintain a stable credit business and produce a credit spread of at least 1,000 basis points.The company is positioned well for growth, returning value to shareholders. Conn’s commitment to shareholders can be underscored by its recently unveiled share buyback authorization. In December 2021, management approved share buybacks worth $150 million, which will expire on Dec 14, 2022. This reflects the company’s healthy balance sheet as well as confidence in its growth prospects.Talking of the balance sheet, the company ended the third quarter of fiscal 2022 with cash and cash equivalents of $10.6 million. As of Oct 31, 2021, Conn’s had $320.5 million worth of immediate borrowing capacity under its revolving credit facility of $650 million. In the third quarter, net earnings per share (EPS) more than doubled to 60 cents. During the quarter, total revenues surged 21.3% to $405.5 million. E-commerce sales soared a whopping 294.8% to $19.2 million.The abovementioned targets highlight Conn’s solid future potential.  Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have rallied 63.4% in the past year against the industry’s decline of 10.8%.3 Retail Stocks to Bet onHere are three better-ranked stocks – Albertsons Companies ACI, Dollar Tree DLTR and Costco COST.Albertsons Companies, a leading food and drug retailer in the United States, sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has an expected EPS growth rate of 8% for three to five years. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Albertsons Companies’ current financial-year sales suggests growth of 1.5% from the year-ago period. ACI has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 31.8%, on average.Dollar Tree, the operator of discount variety retail stores, holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Dollar Tree has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 8.8%, on average. The company has an expected EPS growth rate of 12.2% for three to five years.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for DLTR’s current financial-year sales suggests growth of 3.4% from the year-ago period.Costco, which operates membership warehouses, carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 8.3%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Costco’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 10.9% and 14%, respectively, from the year-ago period. COST has an expected EPS growth rate of 8.8% for three to five years. 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 Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR): Free Stock Analysis Report Albertsons Companies, Inc. (ACI): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report Conn's, Inc. (CONN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Is Schwab International Index (SWISX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for SWISX Have you been searching for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? You might want to begin with Schwab International Index (SWISX). SWISX has no Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, but we have been able to look into other metrics like performance, volatility, and cost.History of Fund/ManagerSchwab Funds is based in San Francisco, CA, and is the manager of SWISX. The Schwab International Index made its debut in May of 1997 and SWISX has managed to accumulate roughly $8.07 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund's current manager is a team of investment professionals.PerformanceOf course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 9.76%, and it sits in the middle third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of 13.62%, which places it in the middle third during this time-frame.When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. Compared to the category average of 17.94%, the standard deviation of SWISX over the past three years is 17.35%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 15.05% compared to the category average of 15.33%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.Risk FactorsThe fund has a 5-year beta of 0.86, so investors should note that it is hypothetically less volatile than the market at large. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -5.16. This means that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.ExpensesCosts are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, SWISX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.06% compared to the category average of 0.78%. So, SWISX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $0; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.Bottom LineDon't stop here for your research on Mutual Fund Equity Report funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare SWISX to its peers as well for additional information. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Get Your Free (SWISX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Is PIMCO Allocation Asset A (PASAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for PASAX If you've been stuck searching for Mutual Fund Equity Report funds, consider PIMCO Allocation Asset A (PASAX) as a possibility. PASAX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.History of Fund/ManagerPIMCO Funds is based in Newport Beach, CA, and is the manager of PASAX. PIMCO Allocation Asset A made its debut in July of 2002, and since then, PASAX has accumulated about $930.47 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by Robert Arnott who has been in charge of the fund since April of 2003.PerformanceOf course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 8.29%, and it sits in the middle third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of 11.56%, which places it in the middle third during this time-frame.When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. PASAX's standard deviation over the past three years is 11.34% compared to the category average of 14.45%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 9.39% compared to the category average of 12.26%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.Risk FactorsInvestors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.5, which means it is hypothetically less volatile than the market at large. Because alpha represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. With a negative alpha of -1.13, managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.ExpensesCosts are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, PASAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.57% compared to the category average of 0.89%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, PASAX is actually cheaper than its peers.This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $1,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $50.Bottom LineOverall, PIMCO Allocation Asset A ( PASAX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.Your research on the Mutual Fund Equity Report segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Get Your Free (PASAX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Is Fidelity Mid-Cap Stock Fund (FMCSX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for FMCSX If you've been stuck searching for Mutual Fund Equity Report funds, consider Fidelity Mid-Cap Stock Fund (FMCSX) as a possibility. FMCSX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.History of Fund/ManagerFidelity is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of FMCSX. Since Fidelity Mid-Cap Stock Fund made its debut in March of 1994, FMCSX has garnered more than $6.44 billion in assets. John Roth is the fund's current manager and has held that role since February of 2011.PerformanceInvestors naturally seek funds with strong performance. FMCSX has a 5-year annualized total return of 14.8% and is in the top third among its category peers. If you're interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund's 3-year annualized total return of 21.56%, which places it in the top third during this time-frame.When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. Compared to the category average of 18.59%, the standard deviation of FMCSX over the past three years is 20.81%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 17.52% compared to the category average of 15.46%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.Risk FactorsInvestors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. FMCSX has a 5-year beta of 1.04, which means it is likely to be more volatile than the market average. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. FMCSX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -3.45, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.ExpensesAs competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, FMCSX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.76% compared to the category average of 1%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, FMCSX is actually cheaper than its peers.Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $0; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.Bottom LineOverall, Fidelity Mid-Cap Stock Fund ( FMCSX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Fidelity Mid-Cap Stock Fund ( FMCSX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.Want even more information about FMCSX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Get Your Free (FMCSX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Is Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Fund (VTXVX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for VTXVX Investors in search of a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund might want to consider looking at Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Fund (VTXVX). While this fund is not tracked by the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, we were able to examine other factors like performance, volatility, and cost.History of Fund/ManagerVanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VTXVX. Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Fund debuted in October of 2003. Since then, VTXVX has accumulated assets of about $12.65 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by William Coleman who has been in charge of the fund since February of 2013.PerformanceInvestors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 7.71%, and it sits in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 10.24%, which places it in the top third during this time-frame.When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. Over the past three years, VTXVX's standard deviation comes in at 6.8%, compared to the category average of 8.43%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 5.99% compared to the category average of 7.04%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.Risk FactorsInvestors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. VTXVX has a 5-year beta of 0.37, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a positive alpha of 0.28. This means that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.ExpensesCosts are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, VTXVX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.12% compared to the category average of 0.49%. From a cost perspective, VTXVX is actually cheaper than its peers.This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $1,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $1.Bottom LineFor additional information on the Mutual Fund Equity Report area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into VTXVX too for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Get Your Free (VTXVX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

4 Stocks & ETFs to Make the Most of Metaverse Boom

The Metaverse is a shared virtual 3D worlds that are interactive and collaborative. Analysts expect a huge market opportunity for the metaverse. These ETFs and stocks are great bets for cash in on the trend. The Metaverse is a shared virtual 3D world, or worlds, that are interactive and collaborative. It is facilitated by the use of virtual and augmented reality. The concept became extremely popular in 2021 particularly since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta Platforms (FB).With more and more companies from various industries joining the Meta bandwagon, it is clear that Metaverse will dictate the next generation of internet sooner or later. It offers a significant investment opportunity in the coming years.Bloomberg Intelligence expects the market opportunity for the metaverse to reach $800 billion by 2024 from $500 billion in 2020, based on its analysis and Newzoo, IDC, PWC, Statista and Two Circles data. The primary market for online game makers and gaming hardware may top $400 billion in 2024 while the remaining business will come from live entertainment and social media. Gaming, AR, VR create $413 billion primary market of Metaverse, per Bloomberg.Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few stocks and ETFs those are gearing up to capitalize on the metaverse boom. These stocks are all not pure-play tech stocks. So, investors who fear rising rate worries being a drag on the tech investing right now, may like those other industry plays.Stocks in FocusMeta Platforms Inc. FBZacks Rank #3 (Hold) Meta Platforms or Facebook is the top mot long-term bet. Facebook will now invest $50 million over a two-year period on metaverse initiatives through its recently introduced XR Programs and Research Fund.NIKE NKEZacks Rank #3 Nike is acquiring a virtual sneaker and collectibles start-up, RTFKT. RTKFT boasts one-of-a-kind virtual products and experiences created by leveraging the latest in-game engines, non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality. The move is part of the company’s digital transformation plan. The buyout is expected to expand NIKE’s base in the metaverse, with additional digital capabilities.Walmart WMTRetail giant Walmart has also plans to enter the field of highly immersive virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) and Blockchain-based world. Zacks Rank #3 Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs, per a CNBC article.Apple AAPLThough Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) Apple is not quite into Metaverse, investors can bet on Apple’s augmented-reality ambitions. The iPhone-maker’s rumored headset is the most anticipated product in 2022.ETFs in Focus Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF METAThe underlying Ball Metaverse Index seeks to track the performance of globally-listed equity securities of companies that engage in activities or provide products, services, technologies, or technological capabilities to enable the Metaverse, and benefit from its generated revenues. META charges 75 bps in fees.Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF BLOKSince blockchain is the basic technology of Metaverse, BLOK is sure to gain. The Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF is an actively managed ETF that seeks to provide total return by investing at least 80% of its net assets in the equity securities of companies actively involved in the development and utilization of transformational data sharing technologies. The ETF BLOK charges 71 bps in fees.Global X Data Center REITs & Digital Infrastructure ETF VPNMetaverse’s reliance on data centres makes the ETF VPN a lucrative bet. The boom in Metaverse will eventually upgrade the digital infrastructure incredibly. The underlying Solactive Data Center REITs & Digital Infrastructure Index seeks to provide exposure to companies that have business operations in the fields of data centers, cellular towers and digital infrastructure hardware. VPN charges 50 bps in fees.Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF GAMROnline game makers including Roblox, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take-Two, Tencent, NetEase and Nexon may increase engagement and sales by cashing in on the growth of 3D virtual worlds, per Bloomberg.Global X Video Games & Esports ETF looks to invest in companies that develop or publish video games, facilitate the streaming and distribution of video gaming or esports content, own and operate within competitive esports leagues or produce hardware used in video games and esports, including augmented and virtual reality. GAMR charges 75 bps in fees. 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 Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report NIKE, Inc. (NKE): Free Stock Analysis Report Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report Meta Platforms, Inc. (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (GAMR): ETF Research Reports Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK): ETF Research Reports Global X Data Center REITs & Digital Infrastructure ETF (VPN): ETF Research Reports Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF (META): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

NICE Partners With Magnet Forensics, Expands Partner Base

NICE teams up with Magnet Forensics to streamline and digitize police case building and investigations. NICE NICE recently signed a partnership with Magnet Forensics to digitize police case building and investigations.Per the terms of the partnership, NICE Investigate will be integrated with Magnet REVIEW. The integration will enable police agencies to automatically pull out and merge digital forensic evidence from digital evidence sources with Magnet REVIEW, streamlining investigations.NICE Investigate is a Microsoft MSFT Azure Gov cloud-based solution that brings in all necessary evidence and associated information right to law enforcement professionals.Magnet REVIEW is the Microsoft Azure cloud-based, collaborative and secure digital forensic review platform that enables investigators to access and examine digital forensic evidence.As both the solutions leverage Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure, agencies would be able to reduce infrastructure and overhead costs while improving security and resiliency.Nice Price and Consensus  Nice price-consensus-chart | Nice Quote Expanding Partner Base Aids ProspectsNICE has been riding on an expanding partner base and frequent customer wins. The company’s solutions, including Investigate, Robotic Process Automation, Actimize and Elite have been gaining traction in recent times.Recently, NICE Nexidia and Enlighten were selected by the leading Japanese BPO NTT Marketing ACT to automate a major portion of its quality management process.Around the same time, NICE announced its collaboration with Alphabet’s GOOGL Google Cloud to address the growing demand for automated self-service systems.Per the agreement, NICE’s AI-powered CXone will be integrated with Google Cloud’s Contact Center Artificial Intelligence (CCAI) applications to make self-service bots and agent-facing virtual assistants more effective.The collaboration will enable businesses to expand their customer self-service capabilities using Alphabet-owned Google Cloud’s CCAI by integrating conversational bots.NICE Investigate has been adopted by U.K.’s South Yorkshire Police to facilitate digital transformation in the force.BCE BCE, Canada's largest communications company, entered into an agreement with NICE to expand access to its CXone for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) in Canada.The BCE and CXone combination provide customers an industry-leading contact center platform along with ultra-fast speed and low latency network. These are compulsory criteria for contact centers to provide highly flexible, digital-first customer experiences.An expanding partner base and a robust product portfolio is driving the company’s top line.In third-quarter fiscal 2021, NICE reported a 20% year-over-year increase in revenues, reaching $494 million. Cloud revenues witnessed a 29% year-over-year growth to reach $262 million.NICE raised its guidance for full-year 2021 revenues, which are now expected between $1.899 billion and $1.909 billion. Earnings are now expected between $6.43 and $6.53 per share.Currently, NICE holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.NICE shares are down 4.4% in the past year against the Zacks Internet Software industry’s decline of 37.3% and the Computer and Technology sector’s rise of 8% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings is pegged at $6.49 per share, unchanged in the past 60 days. The consensus mark for 2022 earnings is at $7.21, unchanged in the same time frame. 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 Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report BCE, Inc. (BCE): Free Stock Analysis Report Nice (NICE): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Hyatt (H) Plans to Expand in the U.K. by Opening New Hotels

Hyatt (H) collaborates with Stratford City Hotels Limited for the openings of Hyatt Regency London Stratford and Hyatt House London Stratford. In a bid to strengthen its portfolio in the U.K., Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s H affiliate recently entered into a management agreement with Stratford City Hotels Limited (a subsidiary of M&L Hospitality) for the openings of Hyatt Regency London Stratford and Hyatt House London Stratford. Post the renovations, the company expects to open the properties by second-quarter 2022.Hyatt Regency London Stratford comprises 225 guestrooms with 6,673 square feet of meeting space. It also comes with a restaurant, bar and an open-air terrace. Meanwhile, Hyatt House London Stratford features 127 guestrooms comprising modern, apartment-style suites with fully-equipped kitchens and flexible workspaces.Located within Europe’s Westfield Stratford City, the properties also offer convenient access to Heathrow International Airport, Stratford Station, London convention center and universities, including the East campus of the University College of London and the new College of Fashion.With reference to the opening, Felicity Black Roberts, vice president of development Europe, Hyatt, stated, “The addition of these two hotels will be another exciting step in growing Hyatt’s brand presence in the United Kingdom and in creating a network of hotels across the key commercial and leisure markets in the country.”Increased Focus on ExpansionHyatt aims to differentiate its brands by providing distinct travel experiences. Hyatt is also consistently trying to expand its presence on a worldwide basis in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.Hyatt, along with the collaboration of M&L Hospitality, opened Hyatt Regency Manchester and Hyatt House Manchester, Hyatt Place London Heathrow Airport in the U.K. market. Other properties in the region include Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, Hyatt Regency Birmingham, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Andaz London Liverpool Street, Hyatt Place West London Hayes, Hyatt Centric Cambridge and Hyatt Place London City East.The company announced a solid pipeline of developments that are likely to cater to the company’s intention of global market expansion. For Europe and the Middle East, the company announced the addition of Magma Resort Santorini (part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand), 7Pines Resort Sardinia (part of the Destination by Hyatt brand) and Thompson Madrid with expected openings in mid-2022 and Andaz Doha with an expected opening in late 2022. Hyatt also revealed the addition of Alila Lanzarote, Grand Hyatt Lanzarote and Park Hyatt Riyadh Diriyah Gate, with expected openings in 2025.We believe that expansion in these markets would likely help the company gain market share in the hospitality industry and boost business.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the past year, shares of the company have gained 21.9% compared with the industry’s 10.6% growth.Zacks Rank & Other Key PicksHyatt currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.Some other top-ranked stocks from the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are Guess, Inc. GES, Crocs, Inc. CROX and RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. RICK.Guess sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 97%, on average. Shares of Guess have increased 1.8% in the past three months.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for GES’s 2022 sales and EPS suggests growth of 38.6% and 4,342.9%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.Crocs flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 41.6%, on average. Shares of Crocs have increased 45.3% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CROX’s 2022 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 48.8% and 25.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.RCI Hospitality sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 67.7%, on average. Shares of RCI Hospitality have surged 75.8% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RICK’s 2022 sales and EPS suggests growth of 34.9% and 22.1%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H): Free Stock Analysis Report Guess, Inc. (GES): Free Stock Analysis Report Crocs, Inc. (CROX): Free Stock Analysis Report RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. (RICK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Will Lower Consolidated Revenues Hurt AT&T (T) Q4 Earnings?

In the fourth quarter, AT&T (T) is likely to have recorded lower revenues year over year despite improving market conditions due to continued infrastructure investments for 5G rollout across the country. AT&T Inc. T is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2021 results, before the opening bell, on Jan 26. In the last reported quarter, adjusted earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9 cents. In the fourth quarter, the company is likely to have recorded lower revenues year over year despite improving market conditions due to continued infrastructure investments for 5G rollout across the country.Factors at PlayIn the fourth quarter, AT&T continued to expand its 5G network infrastructure and launched 5G+ service in select areas. The company’s 5G network currently covers more than 250 million users in 14,000 cities across the country and its 5G+ network is available in parts of 39 cities. AT&T is benefiting from lower levels of wireless churn due to seamless access to 5G technology on its unlimited wireless plans for consumers and businesses and the growing adoption of Unlimited Elite wireless plans. Such initiatives are likely to get reflected in the upcoming results.  During the to-be-reported quarter, the U.S. Air Force selected the FirstNet network of AT&T to deliver reliable communications to its public safety personnel across 15 bases across the country. This is likely to have helped the company establish its market-leading position within the law enforcement community. In addition, AT&T introduced comprehensive, advanced security capabilities for 5G network deployments. This firewall service will support its 5G edge computing network solutions and improve threat visibility, pre-empt advanced attacks at the application layer and secure networks.AT&T also inked multi-year agreements with Frontier Communications to support the deployment of its 5G mobility network. Together with Frontier, AT&T will offer large enterprise customers high-speed, low-latency and highly secure connectivity in markets where it does not own a fiber network. The solutions are likely to facilitate diverse businesses to better harness edge connections and edge computing capabilities to swiftly convert data into actionable intelligence, enabling unique digital experiences and smarter operations.During the quarter, AT&T collaborated with Ford Motor to enhance the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center by outfitting it with highly secure, next-generation 5G cellular connectivity to develop the new all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup. It partnered with GE Research to explore the possibility of its cross-industry 5G testbed at the research facility in Niskayuna, NY. The addition of AT&T's 5G network will likely provide GE Research with the most advanced networking capabilities to utilize both high and low-band 5G to uncover new opportunities to advance clean energy, air transportation and precision health. Such technology collaborations are likely to have translated into higher revenues for the Business Wireline division within the Communications segment.However, adverse foreign currency translations and high operating costs for 5G deployments are likely to have led to soft margins in the quarter. The company expects to connect significant locations with fiber as it aims to expand its fiber builds in metro areas. These infrastructure investments are likely to have weighed on the margins. TV content-cost pressure, high programming costs and new video platform expenses are also likely to have hurt the bottom line.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for total revenues of the company stands at $40,705 million, indicating a decline from $45,691 million reported in the prior-year quarter. The consensus mark for earnings is currently pegged at 76 cents per share. It had reported 75 cents in the year-earlier quarter.Key Developments in Q4AT&T’s game-changing deal with Discovery, Inc. for the divesture of its WarnerMedia business got a big boost in the fourth quarter, 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 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.AT&T has also decided to sell its advertising and analytics division, Xandr, to Microsoft for an undisclosed amount. Xandr’s advanced technology complements Microsoft’s advertising offerings and will help accelerate the delivery of digital advertising and retail media solutions for the open web. The deal combines Microsoft’s audience intelligence and advertising customer base with Xandr’s platform.Earnings WhispersOur proven model does not predict an earnings beat for AT&T for the fourth quarter. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of an earnings beat. This is not the case here.Earnings ESP: Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is -0.71%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.AT&T Inc. Price and EPS Surprise AT&T Inc. price-eps-surprise | AT&T Inc. QuoteZacks Rank: AT&T has a Zacks Rank #3.Stocks to ConsiderHere are some companies you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this season:F5, Inc. FFIV is set to release quarterly numbers on Jan 25. It has an Earnings ESP of +1.69% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Earnings ESP for Cirrus Logic, Inc. CRUS is +1.48% and it carries a Zacks Rank of 2. The company is set to report quarterly numbers on Jan 31.The Earnings ESP for Meta Platforms, Inc. FB is +2.52% and it carries a Zacks Rank of 3. The company is scheduled to report quarterly numbers on Feb 2.Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar. 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 AT&T Inc. (T): Free Stock Analysis Report F5, Inc. (FFIV): Free Stock Analysis Report Cirrus Logic, Inc. (CRUS): Free Stock Analysis Report Meta Platforms, Inc. (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

DXC & ServiceNow Expands Partnership on Enterprise Services

DXC Technology (DXC) to accelerate enterprise management services by expanding global partnership with ServiceNow by providing support with its Platform X automation solutions. DXC Technology DXC recently announced that it is forming a new global DXC ServiceNow Strategic Business Group in collaboration with ServiceNow NOW to advance the transformation of enterprise operational services.Through this alliance, DXC intends to offer cost-efficient and resilient technology services, built on its data-driven intelligent automation solution, Platform X, to enterprises to automate their service operations and meet customer requirements. The company has selected ServiceNow as its preferred workflow partner for Platform X.DXC Platform X enables information technology (“IT”) professionals to detect and resolve abiding system lags quickly while automatically predicting and mitigating future business problems. This platform helps the company optimize by reducing costs and offering immediate benefits for future operational models, thus, helping enterprise customers achieve a state of ‘silent operations.’DXC claims that this modernization approach will drive greater operational resilience and accelerate enterprise transformation by delivering better employee and customer experiences and increasing returns on investment.Teaming up with ServiceNow and providing its Platform X solutions, DXC aims to become a leader in enterprise service management, expanding its global reach in the days ahead. The company is focusing on partnerships to enhance its offerings. It is digging deep to expand its networking-based infrastructure with the benefits of VMware’s hybrid cloud offerings, which aided it in strengthening its position in the virtualization server market.Besides, DXC is in partnership with Amazon to develop cloud-based solutions for enterprise and public sector clients. We believe the company’s focus on entering into strategic partnerships will help it expand in the cloud computing space and garner additional revenues.Currently, the company is focusing on the cloud computing market, cyber business and Big Data business. Clients are increasingly relying on cloud-based services as DXC makes the IT system more agile and productive, which leads to considerable cost savings. However, the segment is still underpenetrated.Per Gartner, worldwide IT spending is anticipated to be $4.5 trillion in 2022, suggesting an increase of 5.1% from 2021. The research firm expects worldwide spending on IT services to grow 7.9% year over year to $1.28 trillion this year. Therefore, DXC, being a major player in the space, is anticipated to benefit from this untapped opportunity.DXC Technology Company. Price and Consensus DXC Technology Company. price-consensus-chart | DXC Technology Company. QuoteZacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderDXC currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) while ServiceNow has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).Some better-ranked stocks from the broader computer and technology sector include the largest global Customer Relationship Management vendor Salesforce CRM and Hewlett Packard HPE, both flaunting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Salesforce’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings has been revised downward by 7.6% to 73 cents per share over the past 60 days. For fiscal 2022, earnings estimates have moved upward by 0.43% to $4.68 per share in the last 60 days.Salesforce’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the preceding four quarters, the average surprise being 44.2%. CRM stock has depreciated 1.2% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HPE’s first-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings has been revised downward by 6.1% to 46 cents per share over the past 60 days. For fiscal 2022, earnings estimates have moved north by 1.5% to $2.03 per share in the past 90 days.HPE’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the preceding four quarters, the average surprise being 14.4%. Shares of HPE have rallied 37.3% in the past year. 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 salesforce.com, inc. (CRM): Free Stock Analysis Report ServiceNow, Inc. (NOW): Free Stock Analysis Report Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE): Free Stock Analysis Report DXC Technology Company. (DXC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Amazon (AMZN) to Boost Physical Presence With Clothing Store

Amazon (AMZN) plans to open Amazon Style, its first physical clothing store, later this year to bolster its retail efforts. In a bid to strengthen its retail business, Amazon AMZN is gearing up to establish a clothing store, Amazon Style, in Glendale near Los Angeles, CA.Notably, the store, which is expected to open in the latter part of this year, will mark the company’s first brick-and-mortar clothing store.It will stock apparel, shoes, and accessories for men and women of several price ranges from a wide variety of popular, luxury and emerging brands.The store will feature high-tech fitting rooms, which will allow customers to scan QR codes of garments on display using Amazon’s app to select their preferred size and color. After the process, the chosen garment will be sent directly to the fitting rooms to try on.In addition to this, Amazon Style will offer real-time recommendations for each customer with the help of machine learning algorithms.With the underlined store, the company strives to offer enhanced fashion shopping experiences to customers with various budgets.Amazon.com, Inc. Price and Consensus  Amazon.com, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Amazon.com, Inc. QuoteGrowth Prospects, Deepening Retail FocusWe note that the tech-oriented clothing store under discussion will expand its presence in the fashion retail market of the United States, which, per the data from OBERLO, is expected to generate total sales of $473.4 billion in 2022, suggesting annual growth of 8.3%. Further, the figure for 2023 stands at $494.9 billion.Moreover, Amazon’s latest move bodes well for its strengthening retail strategies, which include bolstering its online as well as offline retail presence, boosting distribution channels and accelerating delivery.Apart from Amazon Style store plans, the company’s intentions to expand its Whole Foods store network across the United States remains noteworthy.The increasing number of Amazon Fresh grocery stores across the United States is another positive. Currently, the number is more than 20 in the United States.The growing base of Amazon Go, which is a cashier-less store of the company, remains another major positive. Notably, Amazon currently has more than 25 such stores.Further, expanding the Amazon 4-star store, which stocks four-star or beyond-rated products from categories like kitchen appliances and other items, home stuff, toys, books, devices, consumer electronics, and games, remains another positive.The strong footprint of Amazon bookstores is another tailwind.Intensifying Retail BattleWe note that deepening retail focus and expanding the physical presence of Amazon pose serious risks for brick-and-mortar stores as well as big retail chains like Walmart WMT, Target TGT and Costco COST.However, Amazon, which carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), continues to face stiff competition from these retailers due to their robust expertise in the physical retail space as well as strong customer base. This, in turn, might make investors worrisome about the stock. Notably, Amazon has lost 7.8% over a year.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Although Walmart has lost 3.4% in the past year, it benefits from a strong inventory position, and lower markdowns. Further, with more customers and members returning to stores and clubs, demand seems strong for the company.Also, Walmart’s wide variety of stores, including discount stores, supercenters, Sam’s Clubs and Neighborhood Markets, are aiding the company in sustaining its momentum in the retail market.Target, which has risen 15.5% in a year, is gaining from the growing technology investment and modernizing the supply chain. Further, its increasing number of general merchandise stores, which provide an edited food assortment, including perishables, dry grocery, dairy and frozen items, remains positive. The expanding base of its small-format stores, which offer curated general merchandise and food assortments, is another tailwind.Costco, which has gained 33.3% over a year, is benefiting from its growth strategies, better price management, and strategy to sell products at discounted prices that have helped attract customers seeking both value and convenience. 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 Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Target Corporation (TGT): Free Stock Analysis Report Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Netflix (NFLX) Q4 Earnings Beat, User Growth Misses Estimates

Netflix (NFLX) adds 8.28 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2021, missing its expectation of 8.5 million additions, thus reflecting growing competition. Netflix NFLX reported fourth-quarter 2021 earnings of $1.33 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 62.2% and the company’s guidance of 80 cents. The figure increased 11.8% year over year.Revenues of $7.71 billion increased 16% year over year and beat the consensus mark by 0.09%. Average revenue per membership increased 7% year over year both on a reported basis and on a foreign-exchange neutral basis.The streaming giant added 8.28 million paid subscribers globally against the addition of 8.51 million in the year-ago quarter, missing its guidance of 8.5 million paid-subscriber additions.At the end of the fourth quarter, Netflix had 221.84 million paid subscribers globally, up 8.9% year over year, missing management’s expectation of 222.06 million.The miss reflects growing competition from services launched by Apple AAPL, Disney DIS and Comcast CMCSA. However, the year-over-year growth benefited from Netflix’s solid content portfolio. Netflix, Inc. Price Netflix, Inc. price | Netflix, Inc. Quote Netflix now expects first-quarter 2022 paid net additions to be 2.5 million compared with the year-ago quarter’s 3.98 million, reflecting lack of new content, stiff competition and macro-economic impact of COVID in several parts of the world.Netflix expects to end the first quarter of 2022 with 224.34 million paid subscribers globally, indicating growth of 8% from the year-ago quarter.Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company were down almost 20% in after-hours trading following the results. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.In the past year, Netflix shares have underperformed Apple and Comcast, while outperforming Disney.While Netflix shares fell 12.3%, Apple and Comcast returned 20.2% and 2.2%, respectively. Disney shares dropped 13.8% in the past year.Segmental Revenue DetailsUnited States and Canada (UCAN) reported revenues of $3.31 billion, which rose 11% year over year and accounted for 42.9% of total revenues. ARPU grew 9% from the year-ago quarter on a foreign-exchange neutral basis.Paid-subscriber base increased 1.7% from the year-ago quarter to 75.22 million. The company added 1.19 million paid subscribers, up 38.4% year over year.Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) reported revenues of $2.52 billion, which climbed 18.1% year over year and accounted for 32.7% of total revenues. ARPU grew 6% from the year-ago quarter on a foreign-exchange neutral basis.Paid-subscriber base increased 11% from the year-ago quarter to 74.04 million. The company added 3.54 million paid subscribers, down 20.6% year over year.Latin America’s (LATAM) revenues of $964 million increased 22.2% year over year, contributing 12.5% of total revenues. ARPU grew 17% from the year-ago quarter on a foreign-exchange neutral basis.Paid-subscriber base rose 6.4% from the year-ago quarter to 39.96 million. The company added 0.97 million paid subscribers, down 19.8% year over year.Asia Pacific’s (APAC) revenues of $871 million soared 27.2% year over year and accounted for 11.3% of total revenues. Netflix witnessed strong growth in both Japan and India.ARPU increased 2% year over year on a foreign-exchange neutral basis.Paid-subscriber base jumped 28% from the year-ago quarter to 32.63 million. The company added 2.58 million paid subscribers, up29.6% year over year.Content DetailsNetflix’s fourth-quarter content slate included returning seasons of The Witcher (484 million hours viewed), You (468 million hours viewed), Emily in Paris (287 million hours viewed), Cobra Kai (274 million hours viewed) and Maid (469 million hours viewed).Korean thriller Squid Game was viewed for 1.65 billion hours in its first four weeks and is now Netflix’s biggest TV season ever. The fourth quarter also featured the conclusion of La Casa de Papel aka Money Heist (6.7 billion hours viewed over its lifetime).Hit movies in the reported quarter included Red Notice (364 million hours viewed in its first four weeks), The Unforgivable (215 million hours viewed), Army of Thieves (158 million hours viewed), Love Hard (134 million hours viewed), Back to the Outback (105 million hours viewed) and The Harder They Fall (122 million hoursviewed).Don’t Look Up, released on Christmas Eve, was viewed for 353 million hours, making the movie the second most popular movie ever in Netflix’s history.In November, Netflix launched mobile games on Android and iOS. Currently, ten games are available within the Netflix mobile app.Operating DetailsMarketing expenses increased 4% year over year to $792.7 million. As a percentage of revenues, marketing expenses decreased 120 basis points (bps) to 10.3%.Operating income declined 33.8% year over year to $631.8 million. Operating margin contracted 620 bps on a year-over-year basis to 8.2%.Balance Sheet & Free Cash FlowNetflix had $6.03 billion of cash and cash equivalents as of Dec 31, 2021, compared with $7.52 billion as of Sep 30, 2021.Long-term debt was $14.7 billion as of Dec 31, 2021, unchanged from Sep 30, 2021.Streaming content obligations were $23.16 billion compared with $22.4 billion as of Sep 30, 2021.Netflix reported free cash outflow of $569 million compared with free cash flow outflow of $106.3 million in the previous quarter.GuidanceFor the first quarter of 2022, Netflix forecasts earnings of $2.86 per share, indicating 23.7% decline from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is pegged at $3.43 per share, currently higher than the company’s expectation, indicating decline of 8.53% from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.Total revenues are anticipated to be $7.903 billion, suggesting growth of 10.3% year over year. The consensus markfor revenues stands at $8.11 billion, higher than the company’s expectation and indicating 13.29% growth from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.Operating margin is projected at 25.5% compared with 22.1% in the year-ago quarter.For 2022, Netflix expects operating margin between 19% and 20% compared with 21% reported in 2021. Operating margin is expected to suffer from unfavorable forex (roughly 2% negative impact). 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 Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report Comcast Corporation (CMCSA): Free Stock Analysis Report Netflix, Inc. (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis Report The Walt Disney Company (DIS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Netflix confirms a second season of record-breaking show "Squid Game" and teases expansion into retail and gaming

"The 'Squid Game' universe has just begun," Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos said in a Netflix earnings call on Thursday. "Squid Game" will return for a second season.Youngkyu Park Netflix confirmed a second season for the platform's breakout hit "Squid Game" in its fourth quarter earnings call. The effort is part of Netflix's bid to capitalize on its biggest shows, including "Bridgerton" and "Stranger Things." The streaming company also reported it missed paid subscriber estimates, causing shares to dip 20% after its Thursday earnings call. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed a second season for its record-breaking series "Squid Game" in a fourth quarter earnings call on Thursday, while also teasing plans to expands the franchise.The company touted the series as its biggest show — alongside crown jewel franchises like "Bridgerton" and "Stranger Things" — which Sarandos says has the potential to grow beyond the streaming service and into live experiences, games, and merchandise."The 'Squid Game' universe has just begun," Sarandos said. "We're building those muscles steadily with our consumer products, both like the 'Squid Game' tracksuits, and then we're making a big push on experiences that are mobile and portable."The South Korean drama about strangers competing in a series of brutal, twisted children's games to win a large cash prize was streamed for 1.65 billion hours by subscribers worldwide. "Squid Game" creator Hwang Dong-hyuk previously confirmed in November he was working on a season two, though it is still unknown when the follow-up will drop. The series spawned numerous pop culture references, led to real-life iterations of its iconic green tracksuits and Dalgona sweets, and inspired several almost-true-to-life versions of the competition. The show also won three Golden Globe Awards, including best performance by an actor in a television supporting role and best TV drama, as well as three Critics Choice Awards.The news comes as shares in the streaming giant tumbled 24% on Friday after the company said competition from other streaming platforms, including Disney Plus and HBO Max, was slowing subscriber growth. According to Netflix, the company missed its paid subscriber goals, but still finished above analyst expectations on the top and bottom line. Last week, Netflix also raised the prices on its streaming plans in the US and Canada to help pay for its new movies and shows.In October, Bloomberg revealed internal documents from Netflix that showed the company spent a whopping $21.4 million on the first season of "Squid Game." The company's support and investment in the series signals a continuing effort to expand its slate of international projects. Netflix has taken greater interest in local-language television and film programming, industry insiders said, with some productions becoming sensations both in the US and abroad.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 21st, 2022