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Industry connections helped build customer confidence for PNW Components

Having success as an entrepreneur in an industry he has worked in for years came with a lot of challenges for the company, but not getting ahead of themselves has been one of the most important, PNW Components founder Aaron Kerson said......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 25th, 2021

Deere Reports Net Income of $1.283 Billion for Fourth Quarter, $5.963 Billion for Fiscal Year

MOLINE, Ill., Nov. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Fourth-quarter net income rises on net sales gain of 19%, demonstrating solid execution and benefits of operating model. UAW contract agreement shows commitment to Deere's workforce. Full-year 2022 earnings forecast to be $6.5 to $7.0 billion, reflecting healthy demand. Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) reported net income of $1.283 billion for the fourth quarter ended October 31, 2021, or $4.12 per share, compared with net income of $757 million, or $2.39 per share, for the quarter ended November 1, 2020. For fiscal year 2021, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $5.963 billion, or $18.99 per share, compared with $2.751 billion, or $8.69 per share, in fiscal 2020. Worldwide net sales and revenues increased 16 percent, to $11.327 billion, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and rose 24 percent, to $44.024 billion, for the full year. Equipment operations net sales were $10.276 billion for the quarter and $39.737 billion for the year, compared with corresponding totals of $8.659 billion and $31.272 billion in 2020. "Deere's strong fourth-quarter and full-year performance was delivered by our dedicated employees, dealers, and suppliers throughout the world, who have helped safely maintain our operations and serve customers," said John C. May, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our results reflect strong end-market demand and our ability to continue serving customers while managing supply-chain issues and conducting contract negotiations with our largest union. Last week's ratification of a 6-year agreement with the UAW brings our highly skilled employees back to work building the finest products in our industries. The agreement shows our ongoing commitment to delivering best-in-class wages and benefits." Company Outlook & Summary Net income attributable to Deere & Company for fiscal 2022 is forecasted to be in a range of $6.5 billion to $7.0 billion. "Looking ahead, we expect demand for farm and construction equipment to continue benefiting from positive fundamentals, including favorable crop prices, economic growth, and increased investment in infrastructure," May said. "At the same time, we anticipate supply-chain pressures will continue to pose challenges in our industries. We are working closely with our suppliers to address these issues and ensure that our customers can deliver essential food and infrastructure more profitably and sustainably." Deere & Company Fourth Quarter Full Year $ in millions 2021 2020 % Change 2021 2020 % Change Net sales and revenues $ 11,327 $ 9,731 16% $ 44,024 $ 35,540 24% Net income $ 1,283 $ 757 69% $ 5,963 $ 2,751 117% Fully diluted EPS $ 4.12 $ 2.39 $ 18.99 $ 8.69 Net income in the fourth quarter and full-year 2020 was negatively affected by impairment charges and employee-separation costs of $211 million and $458 million after-tax, respectively. In addition, net income was unfavorably affected by discrete adjustments to the provision for income taxes in both periods of 2020. Equipment Operations Fourth Quarter $ in millions 2021 2020 % Change Net sales $ 10,276 $ 8,659 19% Operating profit $ 1,393 $ 1,056 32% Net income $ 1,056 $ 571 85% For a discussion of net sales and operating profit results, see the production and precision agriculture, small agriculture and turf, and construction and forestry sections below. Production & Precision Agriculture Fourth Quarter $ in millions 2021 2020 % Change Net sales $ 4,661 $ 3,801 23% Operating profit $ 777 $ 578 34% Operating margin 16.7% 15.2% Production and precision agriculture sales increased for the quarter due to higher shipment volumes and price realization. Operating profit rose primarily due to price realization and improved shipment volumes / mix. These items were partially offset by higher production costs. Results for fourth-quarter 2020 were negatively impacted by employee-separation expenses.   Small Agriculture & Turf Fourth Quarter $ in millions 2021 2020 % Change Net sales $ 2,809 $ 2,397 17% Operating profit $ 346 $ 282 23% Operating margin 12.3% 11.8% Small agriculture and turf sales increased for the quarter due to higher shipment volumes and price realization. Operating profit rose primarily due to improved shipment volumes / mix and price realization. These items were partially offset by higher production costs and higher research and development and selling, administrative, and general expenses. Employee-separation expenses and impairments negatively impacted the fourth quarter of 2020.   Construction & Forestry Fourth Quarter $ in millions 2021 2020 % Change Net sales $ 2,806 $ 2,461 14% Operating profit $ 270 $ 196 38% Operating margin 9.6% 8.0% Construction & Forestry sales moved higher for the quarter primarily due to higher shipment volumes and price realization. Operating profit improved mainly due to price realization and higher sales volume / mix. Partially offsetting these factors were increases in production costs and higher selling, administrative, and general and research and development expenses. Fourth-quarter 2020 results were adversely affected by employee-separation expenses and impairments.   Financial Services Fourth Quarter $ in millions 2021 2020 % Change Net income $ 227 $ 186 22% Net income for financial services in the quarter rose mainly due to income earned on a higher average portfolio and favorable financing spreads, as well as improvements on operating-lease residual values. These factors were partially offset by a higher provision for credit losses. Results in 2020 also were affected by employee-separation costs. Industry Outlook for Fiscal 2022 Agriculture & Turf U.S. & Canada: Large Ag Up ~ 15% Small Ag & Turf  ~ Flat Europe Up ~ 5% South America (Tractors & Combines) Up ~ 5% Asia  ~ Flat Construction & Forestry U.S. & Canada: Construction Equipment Up 5 to 10% Compact Construction Equipment Up 5 to 10% Global Forestry Up 10 to 15%   Deere Segment Outlook for Fiscal 2022 Currency Price $ in millions Net Sales Translation Realization Production & Precision Ag Up 20 to 25% 0% +9% Small Ag & Turf Up 15 to 20% -1% +7% Construction & Forestry Up 10 to 15% 0% +8% Financial Services Net Income $870 Financial Services. Fiscal-year 2022 net income attributable to Deere & Company for the financial services operations is forecast to be approximately $870 million. Results are expected to be slightly lower than fiscal 2021 due to a higher provision for credit losses, lower gains on operating-lease residual values, and higher selling, general, and administrative expenses. These factors are expected to be partially offset by income earned on a higher average portfolio. John Deere Capital Corporation The following is disclosed on behalf of the company's financial services subsidiary, John Deere Capital Corporation (JDCC), in connection with the disclosure requirements applicable to its periodic issuance of debt securities in the public market. Fourth Quarter Full Year $ in millions 2021 2020 % Change 2021 2020 % Change Revenue $ 673 $ 693 -3% $ 2,688 $ 2,808 -4% Net income $ 181 $ 154 18% $ 711 $ 425 67% Ending portfolio balance $ 41,488 $ 38,726 7% Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 was higher than in the fourth quarter of 2020 primarily due to income earned on higher average portfolio balances and improvements on operating-lease residual values. These factors were partially offset by a higher provision for credit losses. Fourth-quarter 2020 results were also negatively impacted by employee-separation expenses. Full-year 2021 net income was higher than in 2020 due to improvements on operating-lease residual values, a lower provision for credit losses, favorable financing spreads, and income earned on a higher average portfolio. Full-year 2020 results also included impairments on lease residual values. Safe Harbor Statement Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:  Statements under "Company Outlook & Summary," "Industry Outlook for Fiscal 2022," "Deere Segment Outlook (Fiscal 2022)," and other forward-looking statements herein that relate to future events, expectations, and trends involve factors that are subject to change and risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Some of these risks and uncertainties could affect particular lines of business, while others could affect all of the company's businesses. The company's agricultural equipment businesses are subject to a number of uncertainties, including certain factors that affect farmers' confidence and financial condition. These factors include demand for agricultural products; world grain stocks; weather conditions and the effects of climate change; soil conditions; harvest yields; prices for commodities and livestock; crop and livestock production expenses; availability of transport for crops (including as a result of reduced state and local transportation budgets); trade restrictions and tariffs (e.g., China); global trade agreements; the level of farm product exports (including concerns about genetically modified organisms); the growth and sustainability of non-food uses for some crops (including ethanol and biodiesel production); real estate values; available acreage for farming; land ownership policies of governments; changes in government farm programs and policies; international reaction to such programs; changes in and effects of crop insurance programs; changes in environmental regulations and their impact on farming practices; animal diseases (e.g., African swine fever) and their effects on poultry, beef, and pork consumption and prices and on livestock feed demand; crop pests and diseases; and the impact of the COVID pandemic on the agricultural industry including demand for, and production and exports of, agricultural products, and commodity prices.  The production and precision agriculture business is dependent on agricultural conditions, and relies in part on hardware and software, guidance, connectivity and digital solutions, and automation and machine intelligence. Many factors contribute to the company's precision agriculture sales and results, including the impact to customers' profitability and/or sustainability outcomes; the rate of adoption and use by customers; availability of technological innovations; speed of research and development; effectiveness of partnerships with third parties; and the dealer channel's ability to support and service precision technology solutions. Factors affecting the company's small agriculture and turf equipment operations include agricultural conditions; consumer confidence; weather conditions and the effects of climate change; customer profitability; labor supply; consumer borrowing patterns; consumer purchasing preferences; housing starts and supply; infrastructure investment; spending by municipalities and golf courses; and consumable input costs. Factors affecting the company's construction and forestry equipment operations include consumer spending patterns; real estate and housing prices; the number of housing starts; interest rates; commodity prices such as oil and gas; the levels of public and non-residential construction; and investment in infrastructure. Prices for pulp, paper, lumber, and structural panels affect sales of forestry equipment. Many of the factors affecting the production and precision agriculture, small agriculture and turf, and construction and forestry segments have been and may continue to be impacted by global economic conditions, including those resulting from the COVID pandemic and responses to the pandemic taken by governments and other authorities. All of the company's businesses and its results are affected by general economic conditions in the global markets and industries in which the company operates; customer confidence in general economic conditions; government spending and taxing; foreign currency exchange rates and their volatility, especially fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar; interest rates (including the availability of IBOR reference rates); inflation and deflation rates; changes in weather and climate patterns; the political and social stability of the global markets in which the company operates; the effects of, or response to, terrorism and security threats; wars and other conflicts; natural disasters; and the spread of major epidemics or pandemics (including the COVID pandemic) and government and industry responses to such epidemics or pandemics, such as travel restrictions and extended shut downs of businesses. Continued uncertainties related to the magnitude, duration, and persistent effects of the COVID pandemic may significantly adversely affect the company's business and outlook. These uncertainties include, among other things: the duration and impact of the resurgence in COVID cases in any country, state, or region; the emergence, contagiousness, and threat of new and different strains of virus; the availability, acceptance, and effectiveness of vaccines; additional closures as mandated or otherwise made necessary by governmental authorities; disruptions in the supply chain, including those caused by industry capacity constraints, material availability, and global logistics delays and constraints arising from, among other things, the transportation capacity of ocean shipping containers, and a prolonged delay in resumption of operations by one or more key suppliers, or the failure of any key suppliers; an increasingly competitive labor market due to a sustained labor shortage or increased turnover caused by COVID pandemic; the company's ability to meet commitments to customers on a timely basis as a result of increased costs and supply and transportation challenges; increased logistics costs; additional operating costs due to continued remote working arrangements, adherence to social distancing guidelines, and other COVID-related challenges; increased risk of cyber-attacks on network connections used in remote working arrangements; increased privacy-related risks due to processing health-related personal information; legal claims related to personal protective equipment designed, made, or provided by the company or alleged exposure to COVID on company premises; absence of employees due to illness; and the impact of the pandemic on the company's customers and dealers. The sustainability of the economic recovery observed in 2021 remains unclear and significant volatility could continue for a prolonged period. These factors, and others that are currently unknown or considered immaterial, could materially and adversely affect our business, liquidity, results of operations, and financial position. Significant changes in market liquidity conditions, changes in the company's credit ratings, and any failure to comply with financial covenants in credit agreements could impact access to funding and funding costs, which could reduce the company's earnings and cash flows. Financial market conditions could also negatively impact customer access to capital for purchases of the company's products and customer confidence and purchase decisions, financing and repayment practices, and the number and size of customer delinquencies and defaults. A debt crisis in Europe, Latin America, or elsewhere could negatively impact currencies, global financial markets, social and political stability, funding sources and costs, asset and obligation values, customers, suppliers, demand for equipment, and company operations and results. The company's investment management activities could be impaired by changes in the equity, bond, and other financial markets, which would negatively affect earnings. Continued effects of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union could adversely affect business activity, political stability, and economic conditions in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and elsewhere. The economic conditions and outlook could be further adversely affected by (i) uncertainty regarding any new or modified trade arrangements between the United Kingdom and the European Union and/or other countries; (ii) the risk that one or more other European Union countries could come under increasing pressure to leave the European Union; or (iii) the risk that the euro as the single currency of the eurozone could cease to exist. Any of these developments could affect our businesses, liquidity, results of operations, and financial position. Additional factors that could materially affect the company's operations, access to capital, expenses, and results include changes in, uncertainty surrounding, and the impact of governmental trade, banking, monetary, and fiscal policies, including financial regulatory reform and its effects on the consumer finance industry, derivatives, funding costs, and other areas; the potential default of the U.S. federal government if Congress fails to pass a fiscal 2022 budget resolution; governmental programs, policies, and tariffs for the benefit of certain industries or sectors; sanctions in particular jurisdictions; retaliatory actions to such changes in trade, banking, monetary, and fiscal policies; actions by central banks; actions by financial and securities regulators; actions by environmental, health, and safety regulatory agencies, including those related to engine emissions, carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, noise, and the effects of climate change; changes to GPS radio frequency bands or their permitted uses; changes in labor and immigration regulations; changes to accounting standards; changes in tax rates, estimates, laws, and regulations and company actions related thereto; changes to and compliance with privacy, banking, and other regulations; changes to and compliance with economic sanctions and export controls laws and regulations; compliance with U.S. and foreign laws when expanding to new markets and otherwise; and actions by other regulatory bodies. Other factors that could materially affect the company's results include production, design, and technological innovations and difficulties, including capacity and supply constraints and prices; the loss of or challenges to intellectual property rights, whether through theft, infringement, counterfeiting, or otherwise; the availability and prices of strategically sourced materials, components, and whole goods; delays or disruptions in the company's supply chain or the loss of liquidity by suppliers; disruptions of infrastructures that support communications, operations, or distribution; the failure of customers, dealers, suppliers, or the company to comply with laws, regulations, and company policy pertaining to employment, human rights, health, safety, the environment, sanctions, export controls, anti-corruption, privacy and data protection, and other ethical business practices; introduction of legislation that could affect the company's business model and intellectual property, such as right to repair or right to modify; events that damage the company's reputation or brand; significant investigations, claims, lawsuits, or other legal proceedings; start-up of new plants and products; the success of new product initiatives or business strategies; changes in customer product preferences and sales mix; gaps or limitations in rural broadband coverage, capacity, and speed needed to support technology solutions; oil and energy prices, supplies, and volatility; the availability and cost of freight; actions of competitors in the various industries in which the company competes, particularly price discounting; dealer practices, especially as to levels of new and used field inventories; changes in demand and pricing for used equipment and resulting impacts on lease residual values; labor relations and contracts, including work stoppages and other disruptions; changes in the ability to attract, develop, engage, and retain qualified personnel; acquisitions and divestitures of businesses; greater-than-anticipated transaction costs; the integration of new businesses; the failure or delay in closing or realizing anticipated benefits of acquisitions, joint ventures, or divestitures; the inability to deliver precision technology and agricultural solutions to customers; the implementation of the smart industrial operating model and other organizational changes; the failure to realize anticipated savings or benefits of cost reduction, productivity, or efficiency efforts; difficulties related to the conversion and implementation of enterprise resource planning systems; security breaches, cybersecurity attacks, technology failures, and other disruptions to the information technology infrastructure of the company and its suppliers and dealers; security breaches with respect to the company's products; changes in company-declared dividends and common stock issuances and repurchases; changes in the level and funding of employee retirement benefits; changes in market values of investment assets, compensation, retirement, discount, and mortality rates which impact retirement benefit costs; and significant changes in health care costs. The liquidity and ongoing profitability of John Deere Capital Corporation and the company's other financial services subsidiaries depend largely on timely access to capital in order to meet future cash flow requirements, and to fund operations, costs, and purchases of the company's products. If general economic conditions deteriorate or capital markets become more volatile, funding could be unavailable or insufficient. Additionally, customer confidence levels may result in declines in credit applications and increases in delinquencies and default rates, which could materially impact write-offs and provisions for credit losses. The company's forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions relating to the factors described above, which are sometimes based upon estimates and data prepared by government agencies. Such estimates and data are often revised. The company, except as required by law, undertakes no obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new developments or otherwise. Further information concerning the company and its businesses, including factors that could materially affect the company's financial results, is included in the company's other filings with the SEC (including, but not limited to, the factors discussed in Item 1A. Risk Factors of the company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q).   DEERE & COMPANY FOURTH QUARTER 2021 PRESS RELEASE (In millions of dollars) Unaudited Three Months Ended Years Ended October 31 November 1 % October 31 November 1 % 2021 2020 Change 2021 2020 Change Net sales and revenues: Production & precision ag net sales $ 4,661 $ 3,801 +23 $ 16,509 $ 12,962 +27 Small ag & turf net sales 2,809 2,397 +17 11,860 9,363 +27 Construction & forestry net sales 2,806 2,461 +14 11,368 8,947 +27 Financial services 869 891 -2 3,548 3,589 -1 Other revenues 182 181 +1 739 679 +9 Total net sales and revenues $ 11,327 $ 9,731 +16 $ 44,024 $ 35,540 +24 Operating profit: * Production & precision ag $ 777 $ 578 +34 $ 3,334 $ 1,969 +69 Small ag & turf 346 282 +23 2,045 1,000 +105 Construction & forestry 270 196 +38 1,489 590 +152 Financial services 299 249 +20 1,144 746 +53 Total operating profit 1,692 1,305 +30 8,012 4,305 +86 Reconciling items ** (78) (219) -64 (390) (472) -17 Income taxes (331) (329) +1 (1,659) (1,082) +53 Net income attributable to Deere & Company $ 1,283 $ 757 +69 $ 5,963 $ 2,751 +117 * Operating profit is income from continuing operations before corporate expenses, certain external interest expense, certain foreign exchange gains and losses, and income taxes. Operating profit of the financial services segment includes the effect of interest expense and foreign exchange gains or losses. ** Reconciling items are primarily corporate expenses, certain external interest expense, certain foreign exchange gains and losses, pension and postretirement benefit costs excluding the service cost component, and net income attributable to noncontrolling interests.   DEERE & COMPANY STATEMENT OF CONSOLIDATED INCOME For the Three Months Ended October 31, 2021 and November 1, 2020 (In millions of dollars and shares except per share amounts) Unaudited  2021 2020 Net Sales and Revenues Net sales $ 10,276 $ 8,659 Finance and interest income 828 867 Other income 223 205 Total 11,327 9,731 Costs and Expenses Cost of sales 7,809 6,470 Research and development expenses 450 443 Selling, administrative and general expenses 936 1,011 Interest expense 210 278 Other operating expenses 309 414 Total 9,714 8,616 Income of Consolidated Group before Income Taxes 1,613 1,115 Provision for income taxes 330 329 Income of Consolidated Group 1,283 786 Equity in income (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates 1 (28) Net Income 1,284 758 Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests 1 1 Net Income Attributable to Deere & Company $ 1,283 $ 757 Per Share Data Basic $ 4.15 $ 2.41 Diluted $ 4.12 $ 2.39 Average Shares Outstanding Basic 309.1 314.1 Diluted 311.5 317.1 See Condensed Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.   DEERE & COMPANY STATEMENT OF CONSOLIDATED INCOME For the Years Ended October 31, 2021 and November 1, 2020 (In millions of dollars and shares except per share amounts) Unaudited 2021 2020 Net Sales and Revenues Net sales $ 39,737 $ 31,272 Finance and interest income 3,296 3,450 Other income 991 818 Total 44,024 35,540 Costs and Expenses Cost of sales 29,116 23,677 Research and development expenses 1,587 1,644 Selling, administrative and general expenses 3,383 3,477 Interest expense 993 1,247 Other operating expenses 1,343 1,612 Total 36,422 31,657 Income of Consolidated Group before Income Taxes 7,602 3,883 Provision for income taxes 1,658 1,082 Income of Consolidated Group 5,944 2,801 Equity in income (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates 21 (48) Net Income 5,965 2,753 Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests 2 2 Net Income Attributable to Deere & Company $ 5,963 $ 2,751 Per Share Data Basic $ 19.14 $ 8.77 Diluted $ 18.99 $ 8.69 Average Shares Outstanding Basic 311.6 313.5 Diluted 314.0 316.6 See Condensed Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.   DEERE & COMPANY CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET As of October 31, 2021 and November 1, 2020 (In millions of dollars) Unaudited  2021 2020 Assets Cash and cash equivalents $ 8,017 $ 7,066 Marketable securities 728 641 Receivables from unconsolidated affiliates 27 31 Trade accounts and notes receivable - net 4,208 4,171 Financing receivables - net 33,799 29,750 Financing receivables securitized - net 4,659 4,703 Other receivables 1,738 1,220 Equipment on operating leases - net 6,988 7,298 Inventories 6,781 4,999 Property and equipment - net 5,820 5,817 Investments in unconsolidated affiliates 175 193 Goodwill 3,291 3,081 Other intangible assets - net 1,275 1,327 Retirement benefits 3,601 863 Deferred income taxes 1,037 1,499 Other assets 1,970 2,432 Total Assets $ 84,114 $ 75,091 Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity Liabilities Short-term borrowings $ 10,919 $ 8,582 Short-term securitization borrowings 4,605 4,682 Payables to unconsolidated affiliates 143 105 Accounts payable and accrued expenses 12,205 10,112 Deferred income taxes 576 519 Long-term borrowings 32,888 32,734 Retirement benefits and other liabilities 4,344 5,413 Total liabilities 65,680 62,147 Stockholders' Equity Total Deere & Company stockholders' equity 18,431 12,937 Noncontrolling interests 3 7 Total stockholders' equity 18,434 12,944 Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity $ 84,114 $ 75,091 See Condensed Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.   DEERE & COMPANY STATEMENT OF CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOWS For the Years Ended October 31, 2021 and November 1, 2020 (In millions of dollars) Unaudited 2021 2020 Cash Flows from Operating Activities Net income $ 5,965 $ 2,753 Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities: Provision (credit) for credit losses (6) 110 Provision for depreciation and amortization 2,050 2,118 Impairment charges 50 194 Share-based compensation expense 82 81 Loss on sales of businesses and unconsolidated affiliates 24 Undistributed earnings of unconsolidated affiliates 2 (7) Credit for deferred income taxes (441) (11) Changes in assets and liabilities: Trade, notes, and financing receivables related to sales 969 2,009 Inventories (2,497) 397 Accounts payable and accrued expenses 1,884 (7) Accrued income taxes payable/receivable 11 8 Retirement benefits 29 (537) Other (372) 351 Net cash provided by operating activities 7,726 7,483 Cash Flows from Investing Activities Collections of receivables (excluding receivables related to sales) 18,959 17,381 Proceeds from maturities and sales of marketable securities 109 93 Proceeds from sales of equipment on operating leases 2,094 1,783 Cost of receivables acquired (excluding receivables related to sales) (23,653) (19,965) Acquisitions of businesses, net of cash acquired (244) (66).....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 24th, 2021

Bonhoeffer 3Q21 Commentary: Case Study – Millicom

Bonhoeffer Capital Management commentary for the third quarter ended September 2021, providing a case study for Millicom International Cellular SA (NASDAQ:TIGO). Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dear Partner, The Bonhoeffer Fund returned -2.8% net of fees in the third quarter of 2021. In the same time period, the MSCI World ex-US, a […] Bonhoeffer Capital Management commentary for the third quarter ended September 2021, providing a case study for Millicom International Cellular SA (NASDAQ:TIGO). if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dear Partner, The Bonhoeffer Fund returned -2.8% net of fees in the third quarter of 2021. In the same time period, the MSCI World ex-US, a broad-based index returned -0.7% and the DFA International Small Cap Value Fund, our closest benchmark, returned -2.5%. Year to date, the Bonhoeffer Fund has returned 22.9% net of fees. As of September 30, 2021, our securities have an average earnings/free cash flow yield of 14.3% and an average EV/EBITDA of 4.7. The DFA International Small Cap Value Fund had an average earnings yield of 11.1%. These multiples are lower than last quarter primarily due to increasing earnings and declining share prices. The difference between the portfolio’s market valuation and my estimate of intrinsic value is greater than 100%. I remain confident that the gap will close over time and the portfolio quality will continue to increase as we increase allocations to faster-growing firms. Bonhoeffer Fund Portfolio Overview Our investment universe has been extended beyond value-oriented special situations to include growthoriented firms using a value framework, including companies that generate growth through consolidation. There have been modest changes within the portfolio in the last quarter in line with our low historical turnover rates. We have sold Cambria Automotive which is in the process of being acquired and used the proceeds to increase our holdings in Asbury Automotive, Countryside Properties, and Millicom. As of September 30, 2021, our largest country exposures include: South Korea, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, and Philippines. The largest industry exposures include: distribution, telecom/media, real estate/infrastructure, and consumer products. We added to some smaller positions within the portfolio and are investigating additional consolidation plays with modest valuations in industries that have nice returns on invested capital such as fiber rollouts, convenience stores, and IT services. Compound Mispricings (37% of Portfolio; Quarterly Average Performance -8%) Our Korean preferred stocks, the nonvoting share of Telecom Italia, Wilh. Wilhelmsen, and some HoldCos all feature characteristics of compound mispricings. The thesis for the closing of the voting, nonvoting, and holding company valuation gap includes evidence of better governance and liquidity. We are also looking for corporate actions such as spinoffs, sales, or holding company transactions and overall growth. Throughout the year, Net1 UEPS has been accumulating cash from the sale of its non-core assets including a Korean transaction processing network and its stake in a crypto bank. This cash, in addition to issuing some debt, was used to purchase Connect, a merchant transaction processor catering to small and medium businesses. This acquisition will complement its consumer fintech EasyPay transaction and ATM network and expand Net1 UEPS’s total addressable market to include small and midsized businesses and lead to profitability. The Korean preferred discounts in our portfolio are still large (25% to 73%). The trends of better governance and liquidity have reduced the discount in names like Samsung Electronics, and more preferred names trade at a premium to common shares. We continue to like the prospects for LG Corp preferred post LX Holdings spinoff from both a business and discount perspective. The current discount to NAV is 74% for the LG Corp preferred. In addition, this discount is based upon a base value of LG Corp with reasonable implied EV/EBITDA multiples of LG Corp subsidiaries of 4.7x for LG Electronics, 13.6x for LG Chemical (including LG’s EV battery division), and 16.7x for LG Household & Health Care. Public LBOs (37% of Portfolio; Quarterly Average Performance -1%) Our broadcast TV franchises, leasing, building products distributors, and roll-on/roll-off (RORO) shipping fall into this category. One trend I’ve noted in these firms is growth creation through acquisitions which provide synergies and operational leverage associated with vertical and horizontal consolidation and the subsequent repurchasing of shares with debt. The increased cash flow is used to pay the debt and the process is repeated. Millicom, this quarter’s case study, is a public LBO that has financed many of its investment opportunities with debt. The recently announced buyout of its Guatemalan JV partner illustrates this. The debt, when used in situations like this, has been paid down over time as Millicom generates a lot of free cash flow and can increase returns like leveraged rollups, as described below. Distribution Theme (41% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance +3%) Our holdings in car and branded capital equipment dealerships, convenience stores, building product distributors, and capital equipment leasing firms all fall into the distribution theme. One of the main KPIs for dealerships and shopping is velocity or inventory turns. We own some of the highest-velocity dealerships in markets around the world. There have been challenges in some markets hit by COVID, like South Africa and Latin America; but there should be recovery now that vaccines have been approved and distributed. GS Retail, the second largest convenience store operator in Korea (with 14,600 convenience stores and 320 grocery stores), is the security we received for the buyout of GS Home Shopping. We have applied our growth methodology described in the last quarterly report. The following is a summary: The convenience store business is growing and consolidating worldwide. As a result of the acquisition, management is planning on using the younger customer data from GS Retail, the older customer data from GS Home Shopping, and the GS distribution network (42 logistics centers supporting convenience, grocery, and home shopping customers) to provide older and younger customers their products instore (convenience store) or next-day home delivery across Korea. Management expects 10% growth overall, composed of underlying convenience store growth of 4-5% and 5% from cross selling and digital commerce from the merger. Given the fixed costs in the convenience store network and distribution infrastructure, management expects cost synergies to generate net income margins of 5.0%. If these revenue and growth rates are realized, then a P/E closer to comparable convenience stores BGF Retail (Korea), Seven & I, and Alimentation Couche-Tard of 15-20x is not unreasonable. This range has significant upside from current P/E multiple of 5.9x and five-year forward P/E of 4.3x. Telecom/Transaction Processing Theme (36% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance -2%) The increasing use of transaction processing in our firms’ markets and the rollout of 5G will provide growth opportunities. Given that most of these firms are holding companies and have multiple components of value (including real estate), the timeline for realization may be longer than for other firms. Telecom Italia continues to work with the Italian government and Fiber Corp to merge their telecommunications infrastructures together. Vivendi has called an emergency board meeting to ensure Telecom Italia will retain control of the combined telecommunication infrastructure after the merger. We view this action as a positive despite the decline in Telecom Italia’s share price. The updated sum-ofthe- parts analysis (as detailed in previous letters) implies an upside of 80–100%. In my opinion, much of the recent decline is due to concerns that Telecom Italia will give up control of the combined telecommunications infrastructure. Consumer Product Theme (10% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance -7%) Our consumer product, tire, and beverage firms comprise this category. The defensive nature of these firms has led to lower-than-average performance due to the stronger performance from more recoverycorrelated names. One theme we have been examining is the increase in sales of adult products (tobacco, alcohol, and lottery) in convenience stores as other stores are removing these products from their product offerings. GS Retail is taking advantage of this trend in Korea. Real Estate/Construction Theme (23% of Portfolio; Quarterly Performance -3%) In my opinion, the pricing of our real estate holdings has been impacted by both a recession and the communist takeover in Hong Kong. The current cement and construction holdings (in US/Europe via BFS and Countryside and in Korea via Asia Cement) should do well as the world recovers from COVID shutdowns and governments start infrastructure programs. Asia Standard also declined during the quarter due to the concern over the decline in its Chinese real estate developer bond holdings. Asia Standard holds a large number of Chinese real estate developer bonds, including those of Evergrande and Kaisa. The Evergrande bonds have declined to about 20% of face value as of September 30 (they were at 40% of face value on July 31, 2021, the last market-to-market valuation date for Asia Standard’s bond portfolio) while the Kaisa bonds have declined to 85% of face value. I ran a stress test assuming a 25% decline in the bond portfolio from July 31, 2021. This is 2x the 13% decline in the portfolio from Evergrande and Kaisa bond prices between July 31, 2021, to September 30, 2021. The resulting NAV/share is $8.09 versus the $10.09 NAV as of July 31, 2021. The September 30 stock price of $0.85 is at a 91% discount to the stressed NAV and 92% to the July 31, 2021, NAV. Consolidation Frameworks In our Q1 letter, we described how we are examining growth opportunities associated with consolidation in fragmented industries. Growth from consolidation can be a resilient form of growth as it is dependent upon the availability of target firms and associated cost and revenue synergies versus overall market growth. When consolidation growth is combined with modest industry growth, some exciting growth can be realized. If the firms also exhibit operational leverage from economies of scale/scope, then the combined effect can be significant growth in earnings or free cash flows. The advantage of this type of growth is that it is realized over time and not recognized by the market in advance. This can be seen in the price charts of many of these firms moving from the lower left to the upper right over time as the growth is realized. Fragmented markets can have long runways associated with consolidation and economies of scale and scope which can lead to cash flow growth in excess of the market growth for many years. We try to identify these markets and firms that can ride the consolation wave over a long timeframe. Some of these firms have valuations reflecting some of the future growth and some have little to no premium reflecting future growth from consolidation. Currently, the internet (an innovation) is providing more consolidation via additional fragmentation of retail demand from offline, online, and omni-channel selling channels. An example is traditional auto dealers using an omni-channel sales approach and Carvana who is exclusively online. Bonhoeffer is looking for businesses that are adopting the innovation (internet distribution) which will enhance growth going forward but where it is not recognized by the market yet, as evidenced by the current stock price. Some analysts have developed useful frameworks to evaluate consolidation or serial acquirer situations. Scott Capital has developed a useful framework1 for categorizing consolidators, shown below: Scott has categorized these types of firms depending upon the level of target integration. Most of the firms we have been examining recently have been rollups (firms in the same industry) with scale-driven synergies and operational leverage. We also hold one platform (Wilh. Wilhelmsen) and one holding company (LG Corp). Another way to look at these firms is cross-sectionally based on total addressable market (TAM) size and integration of operations, as described by Canuck Analysts Substack2 below: Using this framework for our current areas of interest (rollups), I have been monitoring acquisition multiples in the car dealers (Asbury Automotive), local TV and radio firms (Gray Television), building supply distribution (Builders First Source), Latin American telecommunications (Millicom), cement firms (Asia Cement), equipment leasing firms (Ashtead), and network processing (Net 1 UEPS). In each of these segments, multiples have been modest. None of these firms have done international “diworsifying” deals to date and some have recently divested unrelated firms (Net 1 UEPS, Daelim Industrial and LG Corp). In each of these markets, the market share of the top firms is less than 10% except for GS Retail, where itself and FRB have a dominant share of 31% each, and Millicom, where it has a leading or number two position in eight of its nine markets where it competes. The small market shares provide a large runway for consolidation in its existing industry for years to come. Also, none have made international expansion into new markets outside their existing footprints. A return benchmark developed by the Canuck Analysts Substack3 is shown below: This framework, used in combination with calculating return on incremental capital, can illustrate where the invested capital returns can be modest. As an example, we will look at Asbury Automotive. Asbury’s returns on invested capital averaged 13%, and the return on equity averages 31% over the past 10 years plus an organic growth rate of 2 to 3% per year based upon US auto sales and maintenance service costs. This results in an ROIC plus ½ of annual organic growth of about 15%. The size of Asbury’s acquisitions has been about $1.4 billion over the past five years. Below is Asbury’s return on incremental invested capital over the past 10 years which has averaged in the upper teens during that period. For other serial acquirers like Ashtead, the organic growth rate is 6% and its ROICs over the past 10 years is 14% resulting in an ROIC plus ½ of annual organic growth of about 17%. The size of Ashtead’s acquisitions has been about $2.0 billion over the past five years. Conclusion As always, if you would like to discuss any of the philosophies or investments in deeper detail, then please do not hesitate to reach out. Until next quarter, thank you for your confidence in our work and have a safe and warm year-end holiday season. Warm Regards, Keith D. Smith, CFA Case Study: Millicom International Cellular SA (TIGO) Millicom International Cellular SA (NASDAQ:TIGO) provides mobile and broadband telecommunications services to consumers and businesses in Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama) and South America (Columbia, Bolivia, and Paraguay). TIGO provides legacy voice, wireless and data services, and fiber-based services to firms and individuals. Currently, TIGO has 43.1 million wireless subscribers, including 20.3 million 4G subscribers and 4.9 million home customers, including 8.4 million revenue generating units (RGUs) and 4.1 million broadband subscribers. In addition, TIGO’s network includes 5,400 points of presence and 300,000 business customers. TIGO is the number one or two broadband and wireless provider in eight of the nine markets in which TIGO competes. Recently, TIGO announced the purchase of its joint venture (JV) partner’s share of its JV in Guatemala for $2.2 billion. This transaction will be financed by debt and a shareholder friendly common stock rights offering. TIGO provides mobile money/banking services for five million customers in six countries. TIGO also has 10,000 towers and 13 data centers which can be sold and leased backed. TIGO is in the process of separating its towers and data centers (like Telefónica and América Móvil) and its mobile money/banking service to facilitate sales or investments by third parties. In 2017, TIGO sold 3,410 towers in Columbia, El Salvador, and Paraguay for $417 million or $122,287 per tower. Historically, TIGO operated in both Africa and Latin America. Over the past five years, TIGO has divested its African telecommunications assets and purchased additional assets in Latin America. TIGO’s network passes over 12.2 million homes (24% penetration of total homes) and covers 80% of mobile phones. The firm is in the midst of rolling out fiber to homes to provide broadband connectivity to Latin American customers. This rollout is being funded by cash flow from operations. The firm has been described as building a Charter Communications under a wireless Verizon umbrella. This is similar to our Consolidated Communications play with the additional benefit of having a wireless network and a mobile money business. In most countries in which TIGO operates, they have joint ventures or minority interest local partners. TIGO currently has an average high-speed internet (HSI) penetration rate (a take rate of HSI for homes passed) of about 39% across the countries it serves. This has increased by 1.4% since year-end 2020. To put this in context, most cable broadband penetrations are in the 50% plus range. In seven of the nine countries they serve, TIGO is the number one or two competitor in wireless and broadband in two-player markets (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, and Paraguay) and number three in two markets (Nicaragua and Costa Rica). The Q3 2021 mobile average revenue per RGU was $6.40 per month, and the broadband revenue per RGU was $28.10 per month. The largest shares of proportional EBITDA are from Guatemala (38%), Bolivia (11%), Paraguay (11%), Panama (10%), and Columbia (9%). In terms of regions, 70% of EBITDA is from Central America and 30% from South America. TIGO has developed a customer-focused culture at the corporate and country level using NPS as a metric which is collected and used as a management incentive to increase customer satisfaction. In addition, the countries that TIGO serves have stable currencies versus the US dollar. Since 2000, the EBITDA weighted average currency movements have been only 0.7% per year. Another positive trend is the movement of suppliers to US-based firms moving from China to a closer location with political and currency stability—Central America. If we look at the index of economic freedom for the Central American countries in which TIGO primarily operates, they have a moderately free ranking. For the subcategories most of interest to suppliers (tax burden and trade and business freedom), they all are ranked free or mostly free (highest ratings). Millicom and Fiber-optic Rollout The Latin American telecommunications services market is a local, fragmented market. Consolidation has occurred over the past 10 years amongst these local players, and the next generation of technology (fiber-optic connections) is being rolled out. Fiber-optic rollouts are generating organic growth and economies of scale with high incremental user profitability. Millicom has created economies of scale depending upon the geography of the acquired telecommunications firm. There is also the vertical integration across telecommunications services (like wireless, voice, data, cable, and hosting) in a given geography which can create additional economies of scale. With these rollouts, telecommunications companies compete with the local cable companies—and in some cases wireless providers—to provide HSI and other services to customers in their local footprints. Historically, telecommunications and cable firms have had poor customer service, as evidenced by low net promoter scores (NPSs). Keith Rabois, a founder of PayPal, has tweeted, “Formula for startup success: Find large highly fragmented industry w low NPS; vertically integrate a solution to simplify value product.” Part of simplifying the solution is providing multiple services and good customer service. The telecommunication services market fits this description. The new fiber rollouts are analogous to organic startups and thus can also be successful in the vertical integration into these markets. Business and Service Analysis One way to look at telecom business is to divide it into slowly growing (wireless) and quickly growing segments (HSI). The slower-growing wireless business is mature and is growing about 2% per year. The HSI business is growing at an 8% annual rate driven by fiber rollouts in TIGO’s countries. Millicom’s overall mix of wireless and HSI revenue is 33% HSI and 67% wireless, with 67% recurring subscription revenue (HSI and post-paid wireless) but varies by country. The current revenue growth rate is 4.3% and will increase to 5%, by the end of 10 years and the HSI/wireless mix approach 50%/50%. If we look at unit economics of the fiber rollout, it is also quite favorable. According to management, the estimated cost to pass each new customer is about $150; and the cost to connect a customer is $100. This is similar to the cost reported by Oi, a telecommunications firm rolling out a fiber-optic network in Brazil. If you have a final penetration rate of 45% using the current HSI monthly charge of $28/month, and a steady-state EBITDA margin of 45% (which management believes are both achievable at scale; the current margin is 40%), then the payback time is between six and seven years, and the unlevered IRR is 26% and a levered return of 52%. See Exhibit A for details. Latin America Broadband Telecommunications Market The broadband telecom business in Latin America is a fragmented market on an international basis and a concentrated market on a country-by-country basis. The market is a local market, so the smaller country markets only have a few competitors. This leads to less price competition for TIGO than in larger, more urban markets where there are more competitors. Gig speed internet and wireless are core infrastructure services that will be required in the internet service economy. Currently, broadband usage is growing at a 30-40%/year rate and is expected to increase going forward, as more bandwidthintensive applications are developed and rolled out over time. Since most of TIGO’s competition is from cable companies and incumbent telecom firms (that have low NPSs), TIGO has an opportunity to provide improved customer service versus the cable companies. This highlights the importance of the decentralized management system, incentivized and shareholding country managers, and including NPSs in management’s incentive compensation at the corporate and country levels. Of the other publicly traded Latin American telecommunications firms, TIGO has the largest potential to increase HSI organic revenue growth (by 8%) via a fiber rollout in its incumbent territories. This can be seen in the projections based upon the currently planned and financed fiber rollout shown in Exhibit B. The tilt toward the faster-growing Central American countries (which should get some opportunities to replace China as exporters to the US) versus the slower-growing South American countries will also add a nice tailwind. The countries TIGO services had an average real GDP growth rate of 3.2% per year over the past five years versus the overall 0.7% GDP growth rate for all of Latin America. Downside Protection TIGO has been reducing debt over the past few years with a current proportional debt/EBITDA of 2.7x and a goal of 2.0x. TIGO has a bond rating of Ba2 and yields 3.5% for five- to 10-year bonds. TIGO is in a defensive business—telecommunications services—which has a large amount of recurring revenue. HSI data revenues are increasing, while wireless revenues are increasing at a slower rate. See below for projections and Exhibit B for more detailed projections. Below is the proportional historical and projected revenue, EBITDA, and FCF since 2016 when the Guatemalan and Honduran JVs were deconsolidated. Management and Incentives One of the risks in emerging-markets investing is management, as they may have different incentives than those to which Western investors are accustomed. In this case, you have a management team based in the US (Miami) that has been historically influenced by the firm’s domicile, Sweden. TIGO is led by a former Liberty Latin America executive, Mauricio Ramos. He brings the Liberty Media playbook (a successful leveraged rollup strategy of cable-related properties and associated shareholder friendly corporate actions) to the markets that TIGO serves. TIGO is listed in Sweden and the United States and brings the corporate governance practices, capital allocation, and shareholder renumeration approaches to its operations throughout Latin America. In many countries, TIGO has local JV partners which provide TIGO with access to the local connections. TIGO has management incentives, including TIGO stock (with minimum levels for country managers) at both the corporate and country levels. The capital allocation is also done at both the corporate and country levels. This country-level capital allocation, incentives, and stock ownership is unusual for a Latin American company. The major categories of capital allocation for TIGO are: 1) purchasing minority interests from partners, 2) investing in the HSI broadband rollout described above, 3) selective acquisitions, 4) repurchasing shares, or 5) distributing dividends. Categories 1, 2, 3 and 4 have the most well-defined and highest returns and have been used by management in the past. In 2020, the CEO’s management compensation was 20% base salary and 80% incentive-based bonus, of which short-term incentive (STI) is 50% equity based (TIGO shares) and 50% cash based and long-term incentive (LTI) is 100% equity based (TIGO shares). The 2020 STI compensation was based on service revenue growth, EBITDA growth, operational cash flow growth, NPS, and other operational goals. The 2020 LTI compensation is based upon service and EBITDA growth and relative total shareholder return versus peers. The 2020 equity-based shares were issued at $38.09 per share, and the 2019 shares were issued at $42.70 per share. Overall, 700,000 shares were granted in 2020 (about 0.7% of shares outstanding per year). The management team owns 0.7% of TIGO common stock. TIGO has stock ownership guidelines of 5x the salary for the CEO, 3x for other senior managers, and 1x for country managers. Valuation The valuation of TIGO is an interesting exercise because its expected growth rate is accelerated by the fiber rollout and share buybacks described above. The implied growth using the Graham Formula, adjusted to today’s interest rates ((8.5 + 2g)*(4.4/AAA bond rate)) and the current P/E, is -1.8%, clearly implying that the market expects TIGO’s cash flows to continue to decline. Some benchmarks for growth are the projected sales growth rates of 4.5% per year (based upon the fiber rollout), an EBITDA growth rate of 6% per year, and an adjusted free cash flow growth of 12%. The question is whether this growth rate is sustainable over the next seven years. Given the key penetration, margin, investment, and timing assumptions in the projection model, I believe it is. TIGO is the only Latin American publicly traded telecom firm that has a rollout of this magnitude (adding 18% to revenue) scheduled over the next five to seven years. One firm that also has a Latin American footprint is Liberty Latin America (LILA). LILA has grown revenues and EBITDA at about 8% per year since 2015. The EBITDA margin is similar to TIGO, but historically the conversion to FCF from EBITDA was 50% less than TIGO—25% for TIGO and closer to 12% for LILA. The current FCF multiple of LILA is about 16x. If that multiple is applied to TIGO’s FCF, it yields a value of $74 per share, which I believe is a reasonable 12-month target. If, over the five to seven years, a 12% FCF growth is attained, then the earnings will be $8.19. Applying a 23.8x multiple to these earnings (implying a 4% growth rate over the subsequent seven years) means a value of $195 per share is obtained. Another way to look at valuation is on an enterprise basis. If we value TIGO on a forward EBITDA basis of 9x EBITDA (the current multiple of cable overbuilder WOW!), then the resulting value is $200 per share. If we consider both benchmarks, then a $200 price target is not unreasonable. See Exhibit B for details. This results in a five-year IRR of about 42%. In addition to the core assets, TIGO has about 10,000 towers (with an additional 2,000 under construction), 13 data centers, and a mobile banking division. According to management, these non-core assets are being prepared for either sale-leasebacks or investments by third parties. The estimated value of the towers and data centers is about $2 billion—$1.1 billion for the towers and $900 million for the data centers. The tower valuation of $1.4 billion is based upon an estimated value per tower of $120k based upon tower transaction values (TIGO’s historic transactions averaged $122k/tower and a 2021 Telxius transaction was $110k/tower, 9,300 Latin American towers for €900 million) and Telesites’s current valuation of $252k/tower times 12,000 towers. The data center valuation of $750 million is based upon an estimated value per data center of $58k which is based upon Latin American data center transactions (Anxel data centers were purchase by Equinix for $58k/center, three data centers for $175 million, and Telefónica data centers were purchased by Asterion for $58k/data center, nine data centers for €550 million) times 13 data center. Adding together the towers and data centers, the total valuation of these assets is $2.1 billion. The mobile banking division (TIGO Money) can be valued using a range of values based upon the value of African mobile banking firms and Latin American neobank firms. The mobile banking business had 5 million customers and 48 million transactions in 2020. If we use African mobile banking transactions (20 million Airtel customers were purchased for $2.6 billion and 46 million MTN customers were purchased for $5.0 billion), the average value per user is $121. If we use $121/customer times 5 million transactions, it implies a $600 million value for TIGO Money. If we use recent Latin American neobank transactions (40 million Nubank (Brazil) customers were purchased for a $30 billion valuation and 3.5 million Ualá (Argentina) customers were purchased for a $2.45 billion valuation), the average value per user is $750. If we use the midpoint of the African mobile banking and Latin American neobanks of $435, we get $435 times 5 million customers, and the resulting value is $2.2 billion. This is additional value of $2.7 to $4.2 billion ($27 to $42 per share) in addition to the core business value estimated above. So, for example, if you assume a 12% FCF growth rate and the value of non-core assets, you get a total value of $255 to $270 per share. Comparables Given the fiber rollout and the size of TIGO, the comparable firms include US and Italian small-cap telecommunications firms. One of the larger issues in Latin American firms versus developed markets is currency risk, however; as described above, TIGO’s currency risk is similar to developed markets’ risk. The following are the comparable firms in the US and Italian telecommunications markets. The smaller Italian telecom firms have smaller floats than the US firms and are majority controlled (70%+) by the original owners. There have been some private equity acquisitions in the US rural local exchange carriers (RLEC) space, namely Cincinnati Bell and Alaska Communications. These firms have a similar dynamic associated with their respective fiber rollouts, and private equity firms have invested in these firms for similar reasons that make CNSL attractive. Cincinnati Bell has been purchased by the private equity firm Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, which outbid an original offer from Brookfield Asset Management. Alaska Communications is also in the process of being purchased by ATN International and Freedom 3 Capital. The EV/EBITDA paid by these buyers was 6.5 to 6.9x EBITDA for assets with lower margins than the current price of TIGO (4.6x EBITDA). Benchmarking In comparison to other US and Italian firms, TIGO has above-average (but good) FCF ROE and a high EBITDA margin. With TIGO’s fiber rollout and customer take-up, the fixed asset turns and ROEs should increase. With these favorable operational metrics, TIGO has one of the lowest current and 2021 P/FCF ratios of either group. Risks The primary risks to achieving a target valuation of $72 per share for TIGO include: a lower-than-expected broadband penetration of fiber rollout communities; and a quicker-than-expected decline in the legacy telecom lines. Potential Upside/Catalysts The primary upsides/catalysts include: faster-than-expected penetration of uptake of broadband services; operational leverage due to economies of scale; and re-rating to reflect higher growth. Timeline/Investment Horizon The short-term target is $72, which is more than double today’s price. I think the investment thesis can play out over the next three to five years. By that time, TIGO’s net income and earnings should have appreciated by 75%, and the fair multiple could triple with a 4% increased growth rate. If that is the case, then TIGO will attain a 6.7x return to $235 over five years or 46% annualized. This is similar to a “Davis double,” where both underlying earnings increase along with the fair value multiple. 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Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 1st, 2021

GreenWood Investors 3Q21 Commentary: Defense, Offense & Conviction

GreenWood Investors commentary for the third quarter ended September 2021, titled, “Defense, Offense & Conviction.” Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more When Defense Misfires “Offense wins games. Defense wins championships.” This past quarter, much of my curiosity has been focused on the differences between offense and defense. Given I’ve spent little time watching […] GreenWood Investors commentary for the third quarter ended September 2021, titled, “Defense, Offense & Conviction.” if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more When Defense Misfires “Offense wins games. Defense wins championships.” This past quarter, much of my curiosity has been focused on the differences between offense and defense. Given I’ve spent little time watching team sports, it’s been an interesting exploration. As my mind was occupied by defining an offensive playbook for our two coinvestments, we took our eyes off the ball of our protective, defense-oriented portfolio activities. The performance in the quarter was impacted by a 4% headwind generated by one particular short, which was the primary reason our fund underperformed indices in the quarter. While it was a painful lesson, we immediately evolved our short process in order to prevent our defensive measures from ever hurting our performance to such an extent going forward. Cutting to the chase, the performance in the quarter for the Global Micro Fund was -7.7% net (+30.5% YTD), and this compares to our benchmark MSCI ACWI index returning -1.1% in the quarter (+11.5% YTD). Without any FX headwinds, euro-denominated Luxembourg fund returned -3.3% net (+39.4% YTD). Separate account composites had similar returns, as Global Micro strategy returned -8.1% net (+15.0% YTD) and our longest-running and long-only Traditional accounts returned -6.8% net (16.5% YTD). The Builders Fund I returned -5.2% net in the quarter (+84.5% YTD) driven partially by foreign exchange. Builders Fund II, which was launched in the quarter, returned +3.0% net (+3.0% YTD). Aside from the one short mentioned, our returns were also impacted by corrections at Superdry PLC (LON:SDRY) and Peloton Interactive Inc (NASDAQ:PTON), each taking away roughly 2% from our performance in the quarter. They are both experiencing very different situations right now in the aftermath of Covid, but both are pressing their offense strategies with increased vigor. We remain undeterred with Superdry despite popular skepticism on the brand’s turnaround. Such perspectives look mismatched with a reinvigorated influencer strategy targeting a whole new generation, which have just driven same-store-sales to positive territory on a two-year stack. This is ahead of a pivotal autumn-winter season, when its jackets, coats and sweaters have traditionally shined. Having missed last winter due to Covid, we are excited to see the new product resonate with an entirely new base of consumers. We recently followed the Chairman and CEO’s insider buys, and purchased more shares on weakness. We continue to be encouraged by the progress made; and for a slightly longer discussion on where our thoughts are on Superdry, click here to see a tweet thread. Peloton has experienced a round trip of home workout demand back to pre-covid levels. Thus, while it is launching new products and new geographies, and retains an industry-leading engaged base of 6.2 million exercisers with low monthly subscription churn, this position will have to return to old fashioned marketing to continue on its path towards its incredibly ambitious goal of impacting 100 million users’s fitness routines every month.. With its customer satisfaction, as measured by the Net Promotor Score, remaining one of the highest, if not the highest, in the world, we would not bet against this heavily engaged cult of growing endorphin-filled users. We believe the company still has a very significant market opportunity to both attack and define. Revisiting The Defense Playbook “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.” Warren Buffett Stretching the offense and defense analogies over to investing, this past year has rewarded risk-taking (offensive) strategies, particularly those that are furthest out on the risk curve. But over the long-term, value-oriented investing wins the championship. That means taking a conservative underwriting approach to investment opportunities and maintaining a defensive posture when everyone else is doing the opposite. In our opinion, that also means running a short book, which allow us to remain opportunistic in periods of greater stress. It is not a good time to be reducing a defensive posture, in our opinion. Over the first 11 years of GreenWood’s existence, we have almost never been idea-constrained. Rather, we have been only constrained by the capacity we have to analyze the large opportunity set. That has typically meant, aside from the earliest years, we have had minimal cash left over. Given we have gravitated towards misunderstood assets and areas neglected by robotic index funds, not only does this portfolio tend to not carry a large cash balance, but it has exhibited more volatility than an index. Accordingly, carrying a short book is essential for us to be able to remain opportunistic in periods of stress. And quite frankly, our defense track record could use some improvement. While this defensive posture paid off in 2008, 2011, and 2018, we had few opportunistic shorts going into 2016 and 2020, right when we needed them. I’m personally committed to improving on that 3-2 market defense track record. I’m also committed to lowering any significant portfolio tilt towards specific factors, as our fundamental research capabilities are not able to be matched on a macroeconomic scale. There are too many factors and estimates to know anything on a large scale with any degree of certainty. For us, conviction is the most important function of an asset manager. It was with that intention we have been carrying a full short book ever since late 2020. And that short book largely paid off over the first half of this year, as the current environment has proved to be fertile in finding over-valued, value-less businesses. In fact, most of these shorts underperformed the market so quickly and so dramatically, that short book turnover caused Chris and I to run on a faster and faster treadmill throughout this year. When we found the short that ended up causing us so much pain in the quarter, it sounded too good to be true. It was a perfect offset to some of our chunkier portfolio factor exposures, but even more, it became clear this was not only a terrible business model, but it was likely a fraud. As Chris and I dug further into the business, there was a never-ending string of yarn that we kept pulling, and the more we pulled, the more damning the evidence was on the founder, company and target markets. In that excited process, we failed to appreciate the risk posed by the meme-trading phenomenon, in the assumption that an Italian company was unlikely to get caught up in the retail trading frenzy that has generated so many distortions elsewhere. Bypassing that debate proved to be our mistake, as the less liquid nature of the stock meant that it was more easily manipulated higher for a few months. As it was getting squeezed, I took action to eliminate that portfolio risk, even knowing that the stock would eventually go to zero. And in the wake of that experience, we also exited other shorts that had largely run their course, but that posed some possible retail trading risk. In our post-mortems, that are published on our investors-only research area, we identified one of the problems we were trying to solve for was the treadmill we found ourselves on. Because each piece of incremental evidence made it more and more compelling, we actually didn’t pause to have a proper bull-bear debate, which is what we have done for every other position. We had put too much pressure on ourselves to maintain a timely short book, and in many ways that papered over the obvious truth that the borrow was hard to obtain and liquidity was not accommodative. We revised our ranking framework to ensure there is a significantly higher bar for less liquid shorts in the future. Furthermore, we decided that any “gaps” in needed short exposure would more easily be filled immediately with index funds that could directly help offset some of the chunkier factor risks to our portfolio, namely European value stocks. We don’t intend to hold these index hedges forever, but believe it will help take pressure off of us to prematurely add new shorts to the portfolio. We have a lot of candidates in the backlog, but we are determined to ensure that we get the timing right as opposed to just the company thesis and factor exposure. At their core, our defensive moves should first do no harm. This analogy mirrors perhaps the most quoted Buffett lesson about rule number one, noted above. In that vein, our current short portfolio is comprised of large, liquid index constituents with very low short interests, cheap borrows, and are largely well-loved. Similar to most of our short positions in the past, they also have mounting liabilities as decades of unconscious behaviors or corruption have eroded the core values of the businesses. We recently published our research on two newer positions on our investor-only research site. These shorts have multiple catalysts over the next few quarters, that we believe, will cause both a material impact to their financials while also possibly downgrading the market’s behavioral narrative. More Conscious Than ESG “Sustainability is built into our business model. If we are focused on the long term, there is no conflict between profitability and the interests of stakeholders. If you are focused on the short term, there is. It’s that simple!” Sir Martin Sorrell Most importantly, these two businesses that we are short have some deeply unconscious features. While each case is different, this means that we’ve found evidence of corruption or deliberate sales of defective or toxic products for decades prior to being discontinued. All of these behaviors are only now catching up to these companies and present material downside risks to these businesses that have historically been run for short-term profit maximization as opposed to long-term value creation or innovation. These are the kinds of companies that are causing the ESG movement to gain major traction around the world. But while we applaud action being taken on protecting the environment, the ESG movement is not solving the root of the problem. The movement is addressing the symptoms rather than the causes. In a white paper that I can’t wait to publish, we’ll show evidence that the fundamental issue facing business today is one of unaccountable agents seeking immediate gratification. There’s a lack of ownership and accountability in a market that continues to outsource much of the “ratings” to agents. Large funds managed by agents with no skin in the game are relying on ratings agencies, also with no skin in the game, to dictate qualitative criteria that often don’t tie to value creation, but rather liability minimization. And that is important, but not sufficient on its own. It is defense without the offense. Or sometimes, it’s all marketing covering up flimsy foundations. Owners or founders exhibit more long-term, conscious capitalist behavior. They generally don’t give quarterly profit guidance, and instead prefer to focus on their customer satisfaction and employee morale. They invest more in their own businesses rather than paying that capital out to shareholders or to acquisition targets. Great shareholder returns are the result of a highly conscious business model, not the goal in and of itself. Exhibit 1: Builders Have Happier Customers & More Engaged Employees Source: GreenWood Investors, OO = owner operators, DC = dual share class structures, S&P = S&P 1200 Global Index But what does it mean actually to be conscious? That’s the subject that Anil Seth seeks to answer in his latest work, Being You. In seeking to demystify the mystery of consciousness, he discusses the most robust model that has been put forward for understanding and measuring how conscious an organism is. Integration information theory (IIT) postulates that consciousness is measured by the degree to which information is integrated into a system or action. Seth explains, “This underpins the main claim of the theory, which is that a system is conscious to the extent that its whole generates more information than its parts.” This concept struck me, as it has many direct parallels to well-worn concepts in investing. Of course it makes sense that the more conscious an organization is, the better it is at integrating information into action. But what really struck me here is that using this IIT framework- an organization is only conscious if the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. To me this infers that if the parts of a business don’t come together to produce something more powerful or valuable than the sum of those individual units, segments or components, the business is not a conscious business. Seth later explained how conscious perceptions are largely built from best guesses and confidence. A key insight of Bayesian inference is that perception is largely a function of updating beliefs about the world based on the precision and reliability of new information. Our minds seek to eliminate prediction errors everywhere and all the time, and we do so by converging our beliefs to the level of conviction we have in the information. In this age of ubiquitous and free information, we differentiate ourselves by the level of conviction we have in the quality and reliability of the insights we have. Conviction is the key. And as Seth later demonstrated, such insights are virtually worthless if not paired with action. This echoes the sentiment that Warren Buffett expressed in talking about getting fat pitches in one’s career, and that one must “swing big,” as they don’t happen very often. This is indeed why we are “swinging big” with Coinvestment II, as this is one of the fattest pitches we’ve ever been thrown. Moving From Defense to Offense “High expectations are the key to everything.” -Sam Walton As my mind was more occupied with offensive capital allocation strategies in the quarter, this pairing of action with insight particularly spoke to me, highly conscious offense playbook strategies are rare. Instead the norm is that most offensive actions are typically made from a defensive motive, and are not based on novel insights. As I wrote in last year’s fourth quarter letter, we endeavor to only get involved in turnaround situations where we either have a board presence, or where a founder or owner operates the business. In our view, these managers have been more resilient in defending their businesses from adversity. Simply put, they cannot just give up and move on. As Covid ripped through the world and economies, far too many managers decided to give up. In the depths of the Covid crisis, at the Presidential inauguration ceremony, National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman articulated rather eloquently that, “Your optimism will never be as powerful as it is in that exact moment when you want to give it up.” Founders are inherently optimistic, and they don’t give up. In exploring the differences between defense and offense, I’ve come to realize that it is even more important to have an owner-oriented management culture when moving from defense to offense. Defense is inherently reactive, reacting to “known knowns” or “known unknowns.” Reactions are easier than proaction. Traditional boards are typically very good at liability minimization. But as important as liability reduction is, these actions do not create value. New business and invention is inherently venturing into the unknown, seeing what others don’t, and pursuing the path untravelled. It comes naturally to a founder or owner, whose authorship imbues the business with the optimistic, entrepreneurial impulse that often started it in the first place. As my friend Bill Carey has articulated, most managers compensated via stock options act more like stock brokers as opposed to owners. Similar to brokers, their time horizons have shrunk considerably. They are simply rent-seeking for a short period of time. And as my friend Chris Mayer likes to say, “no one washes a rental.” Our research on the differences in the behaviors of owner operators and these renters, shows these renters are not very good at offense strategies either. They are very good at competitive reactions, cost cutting and margin optimization. These are important, just as any defense strategy is, but they typically fail to create any lasting value. The value that is captured from these tools generally only lasts as long as the brief period in which the manager’s stock options vest. Given 70-90% of mergers and acquisitions fail, and stock repurchases have taken a notably pro-cyclical, buy-high, sell-low, history, these renters have a typically poor track record in value-creating initiatives and capital deployment. This short-term rental behavior often results in mediocre outcomes. As the late great Sergio Marchionne regularly reminded, “mediocrity is not worth the trip.” Marchionne acted like an owner even before he was one. And he created so much value that his net worth neared $1 billion when he shuffled off this mortal coil. While much of that was indeed generated by options that he exercised, such options were struck at twice and three times the level at which he came in to rescue Fiat in 2004. His package inspired the design of CTT’s options package for top and first level managers. Sergio was very good at seeing things others didn’t. He and his venerable team of managers, to whom he dedicated so much of his energy, were very good at transforming ignored products and assets into gold. Of particular note, Jeep grew from just over 2%of the market in the US to just under 6% when he passed- and it became a truly global brand. He invented Ferrari’s Icona series, which made the irregular limited edition profits part of the regular P&L of the brand without diluting the exclusivity of such models. He and parent holding company Exor have continued to provide much of the inspiration behind our activities with both coinvestments. We endeavor to replicate their divide & conquer strategy, which allowed the Fiat Group to become stronger as stand-alone Fiat-Chrysler (now Stellantis), Ferrari, CNH, and soon to be Iveco Group. Just as Sergio advised the few believers throughout his career, investors will be “owning multiple pieces of paper” as the journey unfolds. In hindsight, we can all agree on the value creation prowess of him and his team. But we easily forget that for most of his career, he was faced mostly by skeptics and doubters. He was not afraid to look dumb. In his own words, “A lot of what I do is challenge assumptions . . . which often looks like you are asking stupid questions.” Being entrepreneurial, by definition, means taking the path untraveled, and heading into the unknown with daring boldness. Offense playbooks, by design, must take competition by surprise. Coming from a humble place with brands and companies that were ridiculed by competitors, when Sergio put medium-term plans out to the market, they were not timid. He would always aim higher than anyone, especially his competitors, believed he and his team could reach. And while not every target was always achieved, the formidable results speak for themselves. This past earnings season, as Twitter was the only social media company to deliver on guidance while also confirming the quarter ahead to be at least as good, the stock sold off materially as its monetizable daily active user (MDAU) targets in the medium-term were called into question. While founder Jack Dorsey is clearly unafraid to look foolish to the public, or even in front of congress, he also manages multiple businesses at the same time. Competitors openly make fun of him. But his team is exceptionally loyal to him, and they have set out very ambitious targets for themselves over the next few years. The recent sell-off in Twitter shares was like deja vu all over again, as I reminisced about the Fiat capital markets day in 2014, fittingly on Twitter in this tweet thread. With its product and revenue servers rebuilt, it can now innovate and launch new ad formats faster than ever before. We look forward to the Twitter team pressing its offense strategy as a major peer loses focus on its core business. Into The Unknown “Action is inseparable from perception. Perception and action are so tightly coupled that they determined and define each other. Every action alters perception by changing the incoming sensory data, and every perception is the way it is in order to help guide action. There is simply no point to perception in the absence of action.” Anil Seth, Being You What does it mean to move into offense? One thing very clear to us, is that it has to be a dynamic and reflexive approach. It cannot be built into a three or five year plan and remain fixed over that duration. As Anil Seth’s work on consciousness explains, a highly conscious being is constantly ingesting and integrating information, evolving actions based on reliability, precision and conviction. As capital-markets focused investors, we believe one of the highest values we can provide to our companies is information that can be integrated into their offense and defense playbooks. Thanks to our collaborative approach, we get nearly daily recommendations and thoughts from our investors with new information, new case studies, and new suggestions on how to continue iterating. One of the biggest differentiations between good and great investments, that is often overlooked, is the value added by good capital allocation- be it with a very well-done merger, opportunistic buyback or even more, venture-style investments that are almost in no one’s “model” or perception. Small acquisitions that bring new tools and managers can often upgrade the business model. As Clayton Christensen suggested in The Big Idea: The New M&A Playbook, these are often the most overlooked investments. But during the quarter, when posed with the question of how to best allocate capital over the long term, I found myself tongue tied. For it’s a dynamic and reflexive question to ask. It’s easy to see what to do right now, and where to build in the next few years. But sound capital allocation is a function of the opportunities that present themselves. It is also about creating new possibilities, particular ones that competitors don’t see. At CTT, with defensive, problem-solving actions becoming less of a focus, attention can now turn to offense. What that looks like in the near term, at least to me, should be continued progress and convergence on the strategy to become the Shopify of Iberia. With Portugal e-commerce order frequency at very small fractions of neighboring Spain, we believe it is CTT’s responsibility to make itself the most convenient and most cost effective way of conducting commerce. Through more parcel lockers, better digital tools, while maintaining or improving on best-in-class quality of service, we believe much of the responsibility to make online the most convenient commerce channel in Portugal will fall on CTT’s shoulders. Going further with online shop enabling, more cost effective payments tools, and an integrated fulfillment offer, that continues through to returns and customer service, it has every tool it needs to enable this digital transition. This convergence is happening at the same time EU recovery stimulus dollars will be directed towards digitalizing the economy. Case studies like Kaspi, which started as a bank, evolved into a payments company, then launched an e-commerce marketplace and then further expanded into logistics, provide more inspiration than any company in the logistics industry. This reminds me of Google’s earliest days, when its managers encouraged their teams to ignore the traditional competitors and instead go where other competitors hadn’t dared to venture- into the unknown. We believe CTT has greater competitive advantages than some “new economy” companies playing throughout the same e-commerce value chain, often trading at significantly higher valuation multiples. Whether we’re talking about fulfillment services, parcel lockers, or alternative purchase financing, it’s the customer relationship that differentiates and builds competitive advantages. That is why one of the first priorities of the new management was to improve customer satisfaction. And while some analysts that cover the company still use traditional methods to frame the opportunity, the shareholder base has largely transitioned away from income-oriented investors. More like-minded shareholders, aligned with management, can enable the team to build something truly great. Building Great Companies “The urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” DaVinci What started for us as an approach to separate the bank from the industrial company, and achieve a sum of parts valuation, has been upgraded to that of building a great compound machine. As Exor articulated in 2019, its purpose to “build great companies,” is an aspirational philosophy for us. While we certainly aren’t doing the building here, perhaps through setting the right strategic priorities, incentives, and providing timely and right information, we can assist in the build underway. Exor has provided an exemplary model of how to enable its teams to build greater value by dividing, conquering, and then often later combining with more synergistic peers. Just like Anil Seth described, the whole must be greater than the sum of the parts in a highly conscious organization. When a company’s sum of the parts is greater than the total, the organization is not conscious, and therefor not capable of adding material value. Just as Exor has executed masterfully in its portfolio companies over the past decade, the path forward is one of both dividing and one of conquering. Extending the business and commerce services that CTT provides is a natural offense-oriented positioning that further reinforces the strength of the whole. But there are other parts of this organization that aren’t adding as much to the sum total- those can, and should be separated to pursue their own offense playbooks in a more focused and agile manner. Such an approach goes well beyond ESG, and it goes well beyond most other broker-oriented management teams. It is a highly conscious capitalist approach, aligned with long term value creation and sustainability. And that process should result in considerable returns as an effect, not as a goal. As owner operators’ short, medium, and long term benchmark outperformance demonstrates, this strong alignment between management and ownership is a championship-winning combination. Exhibit 2: Owner Operators’ Stock Index Outperformance Source: GreenWood Investors In the months ahead, we anticipate thoroughly engaging with the management and board of the target at the Builders Fund II. This company is mirroring CTT’s current posture, in that it is in the process of finishing nearly a decade of defense-oriented actions. After years of strategic actions focused on fixing problematic areas, contracts or business dynamics, most of these reactive or defensive actions are increasingly passing into the rearview mirror. It is entering a new phase of life in a position to also divide and conquer, and it has exceptional assets. With both coinvestments representing a substantial portion of our net exposure, we move forward with conviction. While this quarter was a lesson that we, nor our companies, can lose sight of a strong defense strategy, we are increasingly looking forward to our portfolio pressing offense strategies moving forward. Committed to deliver, Steven Wood, CFA GreenWood Investors Updated on Nov 24, 2021, 4:37 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 24th, 2021

Transcript: Edwin Conway

   The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Edwin Conway, BlackRock Alternative Investors, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS:… Read More The post Transcript: Edwin Conway appeared first on The Big Picture.    The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Edwin Conway, BlackRock Alternative Investors, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, man, I have an extra special guest. Edwin Conway runs all of alternatives for BlackRocks. His title is Global Head of Alternative Investors and he covers everything from structured credit to real estate hedge funds to you name it. The group runs over $300 billion and he has been a driving force into making this a substantial portion of Blackrock’s $9 trillion in total assets. The opportunity set that exists for alternatives even for a firm like Blackrock that specializes in public markets is potentially huge and Blackrock wants a big piece of it. I found this conversation to be absolutely fascinating and I think you will also. So with no further ado, my conversation with Blackrock’s Head of Alternatives, Edwin Conway. MALE VOICEOVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My extra special guest this week is Edwin Conway. He is the Global Head of Blackrock’s Alternative Investors which runs about $300 billion in assets. He is a team of over 1,100 professionals to help him manage those assets. Blackrock’s Global alternatives include businesses that cover real estate infrastructure, hedge funds private equity, and credit. He is a senior managing director for BlackRock. Edwin Conway, welcome to Bloomberg. EDWIN CONWAY, GLOBAL HEAD OF ALTERNATIVE INVESTORS, BLACKROCK: Barry, thank you for having me. RITHOLTZ: So, you’ve been in the financial services industry for a long time. You were at Credit Suisse and Blackstone and now you’re at BlackRock. Tell us what the process was like breaking into the industry? CONWAY: It’s an interesting on, Barry. I grew up in a very small town in the middle of Ireland. And the breakthrough to the industry was one of more coincident as opposed to purpose. I enjoyed the game of rugby for many years and through an introduction while at the University, in University College Dublin in Ireland, had a chance to play rugby at a quite a – quite a decent level and get to know people that were across the industry. It was really through and internship and the suggestion, I’ve given my focus on business and financing things that the financial services sector may be a great place to traverse and get to know. And literally through rugby connections, been part of a good school, I had an opportunity to really understand what the service sector, in many respects, could provide to clients and became absolutely intrigued with it. And what – was it my primary ambition in life to be in the financial services sector? I can definitively say no, but through the circumstance of a game that I love to play and be part of, I was introduced to, through an internship, and actually fell in love with it. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. And alternative investments at Blackrock almost seems like a contradiction in terms. Most of us tend to think of Blackrock as the giant $9 trillion public markets firm best known for ETFs and indices. Alternatives seems to be one of the fastest-growing groups within the firm. This was $50 billion just a few years ago, it’s now over 300 billion. How has this become such a fast-growing part of BlackRock? CONWAY: When you look at the various facets which you introduced at the start, Barry, we’ve actually been an alternatives – will be of 30 years now. Now, the scale, as you know, which you can operate on the beta side of business, far surpasses that on the alpha side. For us, throughout the years, this was very much about how can we deliver investment excellence to our clients and performance? Therefore, going an opportunity somewhere else to explore an alpha opportunity in alternatives. And I think being so connected to our clients understanding, that this pivots was absolutely taking place at only 30 years ago but in a very pronounced way today, you know, we continue to invest in this business to support those ambitions. They’re clearly seeing this as the world of going through a tremendous amount of transformation and with some of the challenges, quite frankly, in the traditional asset classes, being able to leverage at BlackRock, the Blackrock muscle to really explore these alpha opportunities across the various alternative asset classes that in our mind wasn’t imperative. And the imperative, really, is from the firm’s perspective and if you look at our purpose, it’s to serve the client. So the need was coming from them. The necessity to have alternatives and their whole portfolio was very – was very much growing in prominence. And it’s taken us 30 years to build this journey and I think, Barry, quite frankly, we’re far from being done. As you look at the industry, the demand is going to continue to grow. So, I think you could expect to see from us a continued investment in the space because we don’t believe you can live without alternatives in today’s world. RITHOLTZ: That’s really – that’s really interesting. So let’s dive a little deeper into the product strategy for alternatives which you are responsible for at BlackRock. Our audiences is filled with potential investors. Tell them a little bit about what that strategy is. CONWAY: So we’re – I think as you mentioned, we’re in excess of 300 billion today and when we started this business, it was less about building a moat around private equity or real estate. I think Larry Fink’s and Rob Kapito’s vision was how do we build a platform to allow us to be relevant to our clients across the various alternative asset classes but also within the – within the confines of what they are permitted to do on a year-by-year basis. So, to always be relevant irrespective of where they are in their journey from respect of liabilities, demand for liquidity, demand for returns, so we took a different approach. I think, Barry, to most, it was around how do we scale into the business across, like you said, real estate equity and debt, infrastructure equity and debt. I mean, we think of that as the real assets platform of our business. Then you take our private equity capabilities both in primary investing, secondary et cetera, and then you have private credits and a very significant hedge fund platforms. So we think all of these have a real role and depending on clients liquidities and risk appetite, our goal was, to over the years, really build in to this to allow ourselves for this challenging needs that our clients have. I think as an industry, right, and over the many years alternatives have been in existence, this is been about return enhancement initially. I think, fundamentally, the changes around the receptivity to the role of alternatives in a client’s portfolio has really changed. So, we’ve watched it, Barry, from this is we’re in the pursuit of a very total return or absolute return type of an objective to now resilience in our portfolio, yield an income. And so things that probably weren’t perceived as valuable in the past because the traditional asset classes were playing a more profound role, alternatives have stepped up in – in many respects in the need to provide more than just total return. So, we’re taking the approach of how do you have a more holistic approach to this? How do we really build a global multi-alternatives capability and try to partner and I think that’s the important work for us. Try to partner with our clients in a way that we can deliver that outperformance but delivered in a way that probably our clients haven’t been used to in this industry before. Because unfortunately, as we know, it has had its challenges with regard to secrecy, transparency, and so many other aspects. We need to help the industry mature. And really that was our ambition. Put our client’s needs first, build around that and really be relevant in all aspects of what we’re doing or trying to accomplish on behalf of the people that they support and represent. RITHOLTZ: So, we’ll talk a little bit about transparency and secrecy and those sorts of things later. But right now, I have to ask what I guess is kind of an obvious question. This growth that you’ve achieved within Blackrock for nonpublic asset allocation within a portfolio, what is this coming at expense of? Are these dollars that are being moved from public assets into private assets or you just competing with other private investors? CONWAY: It’s really both. What – what you are seeing from our clients – if I take a step back, today, the institutional client community and you think about the – the retirement conundrum we’re all facing around the world. It’s such an awful challenge when you think how ill-prepared people are for that eventual stepping back from the workplace and then you know longevity is your friend, but can also be a very, very difficult thing to obviously live with if you’re not prepared for retirement. The typical pension plan today are allocating about 25 percent to 28 percent in alternatives. Predominantly private market. What they’re telling us is that’s increasing quite substantially going forward. But you know, the funding for that alpha pursue for that diversification and that yield is coming from fixed-income assets. It’s coming from equity assets. So there’s a real rebalancing that’s been taking place over the past number of years. And quite frankly, the evolution, and I think the innovation that’s taken place particularly in the past 10 years, alternatives has been really profound. So the days where you just invest in any global funds still exist. But now you can concentrate your efforts on sector exposure, industry exposures, geographic exposures, and I think the – the menu of things our clients can now have access to has just been so greatly enhanced at and the benefit is that but I think in some – in some respects, Barry, the next question is with all of those choices, how do you build the right portfolio for our client’s needs knowing that each one of our client’s needs are different? So, I would say it absolutely coming from the public side. We’re very thankful. Those that had a multiyear journey with us in the public side are now allocating capital to is now the private side to because I do think the – the industry given that change, given that it evolution and given the complexity of these private assets, our clients are looking to, quite frankly, do more with fewer managers because of the complexion of the industry and complexity that comes with it. RITHOLTZ: Quite – quite interesting. (UNKNOWN): And attention RIA’s. Are your clients asking for crypto? At interactive brokers, advisers can now offer crypto to their clients and you could trade stocks, options, futures currencies, bonds and more from the same platform. Commissions on crypto are just 12-18 basis points with no hidden spreads or markups and there are no ticket charges, custody fees, minimums platform or reporting fees. Learn more at IBKR.com/RIA crypto. RITHOLTZ: And I – it’s pretty easy to see why large institutions might be rotating away from things like treasuries or tips because there’s just no yield there. Are you seeing inflows coming in from the public equity side also? The markets put together a pretty good string of years. CONWAY: Yes. It absolutely has. And many respects, I think, we’ve had a multiyear where there was big questions around the alpha that can be generated, for example, from active equities? The question was active or passive? I think what we’ve all realized is that at times when volatility introduces itself which is frequent even independent of what’s been done from a fiscal and monetary standpoint, that these Alpha speaking strategies on the traditional side still make a lot of sense. And so, as we think about what – what’s happening here, the transition of assets from both passive and active strategies to alternative, it – it’s really to create better balance. It’s not that there’s – there’s a lack of relevance anymore in the public side. It’s just quite frankly the growth of the private asset base has grown so substantially. I moved, Barry, to the U.S. in 1998. And it’s interesting, when you look back at 1998 to today, you start to recognize the equity markets and what was available to invest in. The number of investable opportunities has shrunk by 40 plus percent which that compression is extraordinarily high. But yet you’ve seen, obviously, the equity markets grow in stature and significance and prominence but you’re having more concentration risk with some of the big public entities. The converse is true, though on the – on the private side. There’s this explosion of enterprise and innovation, employment creation, and then I believe opportunities has been real. So, I look at the public side, the investable universe is measured in the thousands and the private side is measured in the millions. RITHOLTZ: Wow. CONWAY: And I think part of the – part of the part of the thing our clients are not struggling with but what we’re really recognizing with – with enterprises staying private for longer, if not forever, and with his growth of the opportunities that open debt and equity in the private market side, you really can’t forgo this opportunity. It has to be part of your going forward concerns and asset allocation. And I think this is why we’re seeing that transformation. And it’s not because equities on fixed income just aren’t relevant anymore. They’re very relevant but they’re relevant now in a total portfolio or a whole portfolio context beside alternatives. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s discuss this opportunity set of alternatives where you guys at Blackrock scene demand what sectors and from what sorts of clients? Is this demand increasing? CONWAY: We’re very fortunate, Barry. Today, there isn’t a single piece of our business within – within Blackrock alternatives that isn’t growing. And quite frankly too, it’s really up to us to deliver on the investment objectives that are set forth for those clients. I think in the back of strong absolute and relative performance, thankfully, our clients look to us to – to help them as – as they think about what they’re doing and as they’re exploring more in the alternatives areas. So, as you know, certainly, the private equity and real estate allocations are quite mature in many of our client’s portfolios but they’ve been around for many decades. I think that the areas where we’re seeing – that’s called an outside demand and opportunity set, just but virtue of the small allocations on a relative basis that exist today is really around infrastructure, Barry, and its around private credits. So, to caveat that, I think all of the areas are certainly growing, and thankfully, for us that’s true. We’re looking at clients who we believe are underinvested, we believe they’re underinvested in those asset classes infrastructure both debt and equity and in private credit. And as you think about why that is, the attributes that they bring to our client is really important and in a world where your correlation and understanding those correlations is important that these are definitely diversifying assets. In a world where you’re seeing trillions of dollars, quite frankly, you’re providing little to no or even there’s negative yield. Those short falls are real and people need yield than need income. These assets tend to provide that. So the diversification, it comes from these assets. The yield can come from these assets and because of the immaturity of the asset classes, independence of the capital is flowing in, we still consider them relatively white space. You’re not crowded out. There’s much room for development in the market and with our client’s portfolios. And to us, that’s exciting because it presents opportunities. So, at the highest level, they’re the areas where I believe are most underdeveloped in our clients. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about both of those areas. We’ll talk about structured credit in a few minutes. I think everybody kind of understands what – what that is. What – when you see infrastructure as a sector, how does that show up as an investment are – and obviously, I have infrastructure on the brink because we’re recording this not too long after the giant infrastructure bill has been passed, tell us a little bit about what alternative investments in infrastructure looks like? CONWAY: Yes. It’s really in its infancy and what the underlying investments look like. I think traditionally, you would consider it as – and part of the bill that has just been announced, roads, bridges, airports. Some of these hard assets, some of the core infrastructure investments that have been around for actually some time. The interesting thing is the industry has evolved so much and put the need for infrastructure. It’s so great across both developed and emerging economies. It’s become something that if done the right way, the attributes we just spoke of can really have a very strong effect on our client’s portfolios. So, beyond the core that we just mentioned, well, we’ve seen a tremendous demand as a result of this energy transition. You’re really seeing a spike in activity and the necessity transition industry to cleaner technologies, a movement, not away completely from fossil fuel but integrating new types of clean energy. And as a result, you’ve seen a lot of demand on a global basis for wind and solar. And quite frankly, that’s why even us at BlackRock, albeit, 10-12 years ago, we really established a capability there to help with that transition to think about how do we use these technologies, solar panels, wind farms, to generate clean forms of energy for utilities where in some cases they’re mandated to procure this type of this type of – this type of power. And when you think about pre-contracting with utilities for long duration, that to me spells, Barry, good risk mitigation and management and ability to get access to clean forms of energy that throw off yield that can be very complementary to your traditional asset classes but for very long periods of time. And so, the benefits for us of these – these assets is that they are long in duration, they are yield enhancing, they’re definitely diversifying. And so, for us, where – we’ve got about, let’s call this 280 assets around the world that we’re managing that literally generate this – this clean electricity. I think to give the relevance of how much, I believe today, it’s enough to power the country of Spain. RITHOLTZ: Wow. CONWAY: And that’s really that’s really changing. So you’re seeing governments – so from a policy standpoint, you’re seeing governments really embracing new forms of energy, transitioning out of bunker fuels, for example, you know, burning diesels which really spew omissions into the – into the into the environment. But it’s really around modernizing for the future. So, developed and emerging economies alike, want to retain capital. They want to attract new capital and by having the proper infrastructure to support industry, it’s a really, really important thing. Now, on the back of that too, one things we’ve learned from COVID is that the necessity to really bring e-commerce into how you conduct your business is so important and I think from the theme of digitalization within infrastructure to is a huge part. So, it’s not just the energy transition that you’re seeing, it’s not just roads and bridges, but by allowing businesses to connect to a global consumer, allowing children be educated from home, allowing experiences that expand geographies and boundaries in a digital form is so important not just for commerce but in so many other aspects. And so, you think about cable, fiber optics, if you think about all the other things even outside of power, that enable us to conduct commerce to educate, there are many examples where, Barry, you can build resilience into your portfolio because that need is not measured in years. Actually, the shortfall of capital is measured in the trillions so which means this is – this is a multi-decade opportunity set from our vantage point and one of which our clients should really avail of. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. And I mentioned in passing, structured credit, tell us a little bit about what that opportunity looks like. I think of this as a space that is too big for local banks but too small for Wall Street to finance. Is that an oversimplification? What is going on in that space. CONWAY: I probably couldn’t have set it better, Barry. It’s – if we go back to just the even the investable universe, in the tens of thousands of companies, just if we take North America that are private, that have great leadership that really have strategic vision under – at the – in some cases, at the start of their growth lifecycles are even if they maintain, they have a very credible and viable business for the future they still need capital. And you’re absolutely right. With the retreat of the banks from the space to various regulations that have come after the global financial crisis, you’re seeing the asset managers in many respects working behalf of our clients both wealth and institutional becoming the new lenders of choice. And – and when we – when we think about that opportunity set, that is really understanding the client’s desire for risk or something maybe in a lower risk side from middle-market lending or midmarket enterprises where you can support that organization through its growth cycle all the way to some higher-yielding, obviously, with more risk assets on the opportunistic or even the special situations side. But it – it expands many things. And going back of the commentary around the evolution of the space, private credit today and what you can do has changed so profoundly, it expands the liquidity spectrum, it expands the risk spectrum. And the great news is, with the number of companies both here and abroad, the opportunities that is – it’s being enriched every single day. And were certainly seeing, particularly going back to the question are some of these assets coming from the traditional side, the public side. When we think of private credit, you are seeing private credit now been incorporated in fixed-income allocations. This is a – it’s a yelling asset. This is – these are debt instruments, these are structures that we’re creating. We’re trying to flexible and dynamic with these clients. But it really is an area where we think – it really is still at its – at its infancy relevant to where it can potentially be. RITHOLTZ: That’s really quite – quite interesting. (UNKNOWN): It’s Rob Riggle. I’m hosting Season 2 of the iHeart radio podcast, Veterans You Should Know. You may know me as the comedic actor from my work in the Hangover, Stepbrothers or 21 Jump Street. But before Hollywood, I was a United States Marine Corps officer for 23 years. For this Veterans Day, I’ll be sitting down with those who proudly served in the Armed Forces to hear about the lessons they’ve learned, the obstacles they’ve overcome, and the life-changing impact of their service. Through this four-part series, we’ll hear the inspiring journeys of these veterans and how they took those values during their time of service and apply them to transition out of the military and into civilian life. Listen to Veterans You Should Know on the iHeart radio app, Apple Podcast or wherever you get your podcast. RITHOLTZ: Let’s stick with that concept of money rotating away from fixed income. I have to imagine clients are starved for yields. So what are the popular substitutes for this? Is it primarily structured credit? Is it real estate? How do you respond to an institution that says, hey, I’m not getting any sort of realistic coupon on my bonds, I need a substitute? CONWAY: Yes. It’s all of those in many respects. And I think to the role, even around now a time where people have questions around inflation, how do substitute this yield efficiency or certainly make up for that shortfall, how do you think about a world where increasingly seeing inflation, not of the transitory thing it feels certainly quasi-permanent. These are a lot of questions we’re getting. And certainly, real estate is an is important part of how they think about inflation protection, how client think about yield, but quite frankly too, we’ve – we’ve gone through something none of us really had thought about a global pandemic. And as I think about real estate, just how you allocate to the sector, what was very heavily influenced with retail assets, high street, our shopping behaviors and habits have changed. We all occupied offices for obviously many, many years pre the pandemic. The shape of how we operate and how we do that has changed. So, I think some of the underlying investment – investments have changed where you’ve seen heavily weighted towards office space to leisure, travel in the past. Actually, now using a rotation in some respects out of those, just given some of the uncertainties around what the future holds as we come – come through a really difficult time. But the great thing about this sector is between senior living, between student housing, between logistics and so many other parts, there are ways in real estate to capture where there’s – where there’s demand. So still a robust opportunity set and it – and we do think it can absolutely be yield enhancing. We mentioned infrastructure. Even if you think about – and we mention OECD and non-OECD, emerging and developed, when I think about Asia, in particular, just as a subset of the world in which we’re living in, that is a $2.6 trillion alternative market today growing at a 15 percent CAGR. And quite frankly, the old-growth is driven by the large economic growth in the region. So, even from a regional perspective, if we pivot, it houses 57 percent of the world’s population and yet delivers 47 percent of the world’s economic growth. So, think of that and then with regard to infrastructure and goes back to that, this is truly a global phenomenon. So if we just even take that sector, Barry, you’ll realize that the way to maintain that type of growth, to attract capital, to keep capital, it really requires an investment of significant amount of money to be able to sustain that. And when you have 42 million people in a APAC migrating to cities in the year going back to digitalization, that’s an important thing. So, when I say we’re so much at the infancy in infrastructure, I really mean it. It can be water, it can be sewer systems, it can be digital, it can be roads, there’s so much to this. And then even down to the regional perspective, it’s a – it’s a need that doesn’t just exist in the U.S. So, for these assets, this tend to be long in duration. There’s both equity and debt. And on the debt side, quite frankly, very few outside of our insurance clients and their general account are taking advantage of the debt opportunity. And – and as we both know, to finance these projects that are becoming more plentiful every single day, across the world, including like, I said, in APAC in scale, there’s an opportunity in both sides. And I think that’s where the acid mix change happen. It’s recognizing that the attributes of these assets can have a role, the attributes of these assets can potentially replace some of these traditional assets and I think you’re going to see it grow. So, infrastructure to us, it’s really equity and debt. And then on the credit side, like I mentioned, again, too, it’s a very, very big and growing market. And certainly, the biggest area today from our vantage point is middle-market lending from a scale opportunity standpoint. So, we think much more to come in all of those spaces. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. And let’s just stay with the concept of public versus private. That line is kind of getting blurred and the secondary markets is liquidity coming to, for lack of a better phrase, pre-public equities, tells little bit about that space. Is that an area that is ripe for growth for BlackRock? CONWAY: Yes. We absolutely think it is and you’re absolutely correct. The secondary market is – has grown quite substantial. If you even look at just the private equity secondary market and what will transact this year, I think it will be potentially in excess of 100 billion. And that’s what were clear, not to mention what will be visible and what will be analyzed. And that speaks to me what’s really happening and the innovation that we mentioned earlier. It’s no longer about just primary exposure. It’s secondary exposure. When we see all sort of interest and co-investment opportunities as well, I think the available sources of alpha and the flexibility you can now have, albeit if directed and advised, I believe the right way, Barry, can be very helpful and in the portfolio. So, your pre-IPO, it is a big part of actually what we do and we think about growth equity. There is – it’s a significant amount of capital following that space. Now, from our vantage point, as one of the largest investors in the public equity market and now obviously one of the largest investors and they in the private side, the bridge between – between private to public – there’s a real need. IPOs are not going away. And I think smart, informed capital to help with this journey, this journey is really – is really a necessity and a need. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about this recent restructuring. You are first named Global Head of Blackrock Alternative Investors in April 2019, the entire alternatives business was restructured, tell us a little bit about how that restructuring is going? CONWAY: Continues to go really well, Barry. When you look at the flow of acid from our clients, I think, hopefully, that’s speaks to the performance we’ve been generating. I joined the firm, as you know, albeit, 11 years ago and being very close to the alternative franchise as a critical thing for me and running the institutional platform. To me, when you watched this migration of asset towards alternatives, it was obviously very evident for decades now that this is a critical leg of the stool as our clients are thinking about their portfolios. We’re continuing to innovate. We’re continuing to invest, and thankfully, we’re continuing to deliver strong performance. We’re growing at about high double digits on an annual basis but we’re trying to purposeful too around where that growth is coming from. I think the reality is when you look at the competitive universe, I think the last number I saw, it was about 38,000 alternative asset managers out there today, obviously, coming from hedge funds all the way to private credits and private equity. So, competition is real and I do think the outcomes for our clients are starting to really grow. Unfortunately, some – in some cases, obviously, very good, and in some cases, actually not great. So our focus, Barry, is really much on how can we deliver performance, how can we be a partner? And I think we been rewarded with a trust and the faith our clients have in us because they’re seeing something different, I think, from us. Now, the scale of the business that you mentioned earlier really gives us tentacles into the market that I believe allows us to access what I think is the new alpha which is in many respects, given the heft of competition sourcing and originating new investments is certainly harder but for us, sitting in or having alternative team, sitting in 50 offices around the world, really investing in the markets because that – the market they grew up with and have relationships within, I think this network value that we have is something that’s quite special. And I think in the world that’s becoming increasingly competitive, we’re going to continue to use and harness that network value to pursue opportunities. And thankfully, as a result of the partnership we’ve been pursuing with her clients, like, we’ve – we’re certainly looking for opportunities and investments in our funds. But because of the brand, I think because of the successes, opportunities seeks us as much as we seek opportunity and that has been something that we look at an ongoing basis and feel very privileged to actually have that inbound flow as well. RITHOLTZ: Really quite interesting. There was a quote of yours I found while doing some prep for this conversation that I have to have you expand on. Quote, “The relationship between Blackrock’s alternative capabilities and wealth firms marked a large opportunity for growth in the coming years.” This was back in 2019. So, the first part of the question is, was your expectations correct? Did you – did you see the sort of growth you were hoping for? And more broadly, how large of an opportunity is alternatives, not just for BlackRock but for the entire investment industry? CONWAY: Yes. It’s been very much an institutional opportunity set up until now. And there’s so much to be done, still, to really democratize alternatives and we certainly joke around making alternatives less alternative. Actually, even the nomenclature we use and how we describe it doesn’t kind of make sense anymore. It’s such a core – an important allocation to our clients, Barry, that just calling it alternative seems wrong. Just about the institutional clients. It ranges, I think, as I mentioned on our – some of our more conservative clients which would be pension plans which really have liquidity needs on a monthly basis because of the liabilities they have to think about. At about 25 plus percent in private markets, to endowments, foundations, family offices, going to 50 percent plus. So, it’s a really important part and has been for now many years the institutional client ph communities outcomes. I think the thing that we, as an industry, have to change is alternatives has to be for the many, not for the few. And quite frankly, it’s been for the few. And as we talked about some of the attributes and the important attributes of these asset classes to think that those who have been less fortunate in their careers can’t access, things they can enrich their future retirement outcomes, to me, is a failing. And we have to address that. That comes from regulation changes, it comes from structuring of new products, it comes from education and it comes from this knowledge transmission where clients in the wealth segment can understand the role of alternatives and the context of what can do as they invest in equities and fixed income too. And we think that’s a big shortfall. So, the journey today, just to give you a sense, as we look at her clients in Europe on the wealth side, on average, as you look from what we would call the credited investors all the way through to more ultra-high-net worth individuals, their allocation to alternatives, we believe, stands at around two to three percent of their total portfolio. In the U.S., we believe it stands at three to five. So, most of those intermediaries, we speak to our partners who were more supporting and serving the wealth channel. They have certainly an ambition to help their clients grow that to 20 percent and potentially beyond that. So, when I look at that gap of let’s call it two to three to 20 percent in a market that just given the explosion in wealth around the world, I think the last numbers I saw, this is a $65 trillion market. RITHOLTZ: Wow. CONWAY: That speaks to the shortfall relative to the ambition. And how’s it been going? We have a number of things and capabilities we’ve set up to allow for this market to experience, hopefully, private equity, hedge funds, credit, and an infrastructure in ways they haven’t in the past. We’ve done this in the U.S., we’re doing it now in Europe, but I will say, Barry, this is still very much at the start of the journey. Wealth is a really important part of our future given our business, quite, frankly is 90 plus percent institutional today, but we’re looking to change that by, hopefully, democratizing these asset classes and making it so much more accessible in that of the past. RITHOLTZ: So, we hinted at this before but I’m going to ask the question outright, how significant is interest rates to client’s risk appetites, how much of the current low rate environment are driving people to move chunks of their assets from fixed income to alternatives? CONWAY: It’s really significant, Barry. I think the transition of these portfolios is quite profound, So you – and I think the unfortunate thing in some respects as this transition happens that you’re introducing new variables and new risks. The reason I say it’s unfortunate and that I think as an industry, this goes back to the education around the assets you own, understanding the role, understanding the various outcomes. I think it’s so incredibly important and that this the time where complete transparency is needed. And quite frankly, we’re investing capital that’s not ours. As an industry, we’re investing our client’s assets and they need to know exactly the underlying investments. And in good and bad times, how would those assets behave? So certainly, interest rates are driving a flow of capital away from these traditional assets, fixed-income, and absolutely in towards real estate, infrastructure, private creditors, et cetera, in the pursuit of this – this yield. But I do – I do think one of the things that’s critically important for the institutional channel, not just the wealth which are newer entrants is this transmission of education, of data because that’s how I think you build a better balanced portfolio and that’s a – that’s a real conundrum, I think, that the industry is facing and certainly your clients too. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. So let’s talk a little bit about the differences between investing in the private side versus the public markets, the most obvious one has to be the illiquidity. When you buy stocks or bonds, you get a print every microsecond, every tick, but most of these investments are only marked quarterly or annually, what does this illiquidity do when you’re interacting with clients? How do you – how do you discuss this with them in and how do perceive some of the challenges of illiquid investments? CONWAY: Over the – over the past number of decades, I think our clients have largely held too much liquidity in their portfolios. Like, so what we are finding is the ability to take on illiquidity risk. And obviously, in pursuit of that premium above, the traditional markets, I mean, I think the sentiment they are is it an absolute right one. That transition towards private market exposure, we think is an important one just given the return objectives, the majority of our clients’ need but then also again, most importantly now, with geo policy, with uncertainty, with interest rate uncertainty, inflation uncertainty, I mean, the – going back to the resilience point, the characteristics now by introducing these assets into the mix is important. And I think that’s – that point is maybe what I’ll expand on. As were talking to clients, using the Aladdin systems, and as you know, we bought eFront technologies, albeit a couple of years ago, by allowing, I think, great data and technology to help our clients understand these assets and the context of how they should own them relative to other liquidity needs, their risk tolerances, and the return expectations are really trying to use tech and data to provide a better understanding and comprehension of the outcomes. And as we continue to introduce these concepts and these approaches, by the way, that there is, as you know, so used to in the traditional side, it – it gives them more comfort around what they should and can expect. And that, to me, is a really important part of what we’re doing. So, we’ve released recently new technology to the wealth sector because, quite frankly, we mentioned it before, the 60-40 portfolio is a thing of the past. And that introduction of about 20 percent into alternatives, we applaud our partners who are – who are suggesting that to their clients. We think it’s something they have to do. What we’re doing to support that is really bringing thought leadership, education, but also portfolio construction techniques and data to bear in that conversation. And this goes back to – it’s no longer an alternative, right? This is a core allocation so the comprehension of what it is you own, the behavior of the asset in good and bad times is so necessary. And that’s become a very big thing with regard to our activities, Barry, because your clients are looking to understand better when you’re talking about assets that are very complex in their nature. RITHOLTZ: So, 60-40 is now 50-30-20, something along those lines? CONWAY: Yes. RITHOLTZ: Really, really intriguing. So, what are clients really looking for these days? We talked about yield. Are they also looking for downside protection on the equity side or inflation hedges you hinted at? How broad are the demands of clients in the alternative space? CONWAY: Yes. It ranges the gamut. And even – we didn’t speak to even hedge funds, we’ve had differing levels of interest in the hedge fund world for years and I, quite frankly, think some degree of disappointment too, Barry, with regard to the alpha, the returns that were produced relevant to the cost. RITHOLTZ: It’s a tough space to say the very least exactly. CONWAY: Exactly right. But when you start to see volatility introducing itself, you can really see where skill plays a critical factor. So, we are absolutely seeing, in the hedge fund, a resurgence of interest and demand by virtue of those who really have honed in on their scale, who have demonstrated an up-and-down markets and ability to protect and preserve capital, but importantly, in a low uncorrelated way build attractive risk-adjusted returns. We’re starting to see more activity there again too. I think with an alternatives, you’ve really seen a predominant demand coming from privates. These private markets, like a set of growths so extraordinarily fast and the opportunities that is rich, the reality too on the public side which is where our hedge funds operate, they continue to, in large part, do a really good job. The issue with our industry now with these 38,000 managers is how do you distill all the information? How do you think about your needs as a client and pick a manager who can deliver the outcomes? And just to give you a sense, the difference now between a top-performing private equity manager, a top quartile versus the bottom quartile, the difference can be measured in tens of percent. RITHOLTZ: Wow. CONWAY: Whereas if you look at the public equity side, for example, a large cap manager, top quartile versus bottom quartile is measured in hundreds of basis points. So, there is definitely a world that has started where the outcomes our clients will experience can be great as they pursue yield, as they pursue diversification, inflation protection, et cetera. I think the caveat that I would say is outcomes can vary greatly. So manager underwriting and the importance of it now, I think, really is this something to pay attention to because if you do have that bottom performing at the bottom quartile manager, it will affect your outcomes, obviously. And that’s what we collectively have to face. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk a little bit about real estate. There are a couple of different areas of investment on the private side. Rent to own was a very large one and we’ve seen some lesser by the flip algo-driven approaches. Tell us what Blackrock is doing in the real estate space and how many different approaches are you bringing to bear on this? CONWAY: Yes, we think it’s both equity and debt. Again, no different to the infrastructure side, these projects need to be financed. But on the – as you think about the sectors in which you can avail of the opportunity, you’ve no doubt heard a lot and I mentioned earlier this demand for logistics facilities. The explosion of shopping online and having, until we obviously have the supply chain disruption, an ability to have nearly immediate satisfaction because the delivery of the good to your home has become so readily available. It’s a very different consumer experience. So the explosion and the need for logistics facilities to support this type of behavior of the consumer is really an area that will continue to be of great interest too. And then you think about the transformation of business and you think about the aging world. Unfortunately, you can look at various economies where our populations are decreasing. And quite frankly, we’re getting older. And so, were you’re thinking of the context of that senior living facilities, it becomes a really important part, not just as part of the healthcare solution that come with it, but also from living as well. So, single-family, multifamily, opportunities continue to be something that the world looks at because there is really the shortfall of available properties for people to live in. And as the communities evolve to support the growing age of the population, tremendous opportunity there too. But we won’t give up on office space. It really isn’t going away. Now, if you even think about our younger generation here in BlackRock, they love being in New York, they love being in London, they love being in Hong Kong. So, the shape and the footprint may change slightly. But the necessity to be in the major financial centers, it still exists. But how we weighed the risks has definitely changed, certainly, for the – for the short-term and medium-term future. But real estate continues to be, Barry, a critical part of how we express our thought around the investment opportunity set. But clients largely do this themselves too. The direct investing from the clients is quite significant because they too see this as still as a rich investment ground, albeit, one that has changed quite a bit as a result of COVID. RITHOLTZ: Well, I’m fascinated by the real estate issue especially having seen some massive construction take place in cities pre-pandemic, look over in Manhattan at Hudson Yards and look at what’s taking place in London, not just the center of London but all – but all around it and I’m forced to admit the future is going to look somewhat different than the past with some hybrid combination of collaborative work in the office and remote work from home when it’s convenient, that sort of suggests that we now have an excess of capacity in office space. Do you see it that way or is this just something that we’re going to grow into and just the nature of working in offices is changing but offices are not going away? CONWAY: Yes. I do think there’s – it’s a very valid point and that in certain cities, you will see access, in others we just don’t, Barry. And quite frankly, as a firm, too, as you know, we have adopted flexibility with our teams that were very fortunate. The technologies in which we created at BlackRock has just become such an amazing enabler, not just to help us as we mention manage the portfolios, help us a better portfolio construction, understand risks, but also to communicate with our clients. I think we’ve all witnessed and experienced a way to have connectivity that allows them to believe that commerce can exist beyond the boundaries of one building. However, I do look at our property portfolios and even the things that we’re doing. Rent collections still being extraordinarily high, occupancy now getting back up to pre-pandemic levels, not in all cities, but in many of the major ones that have reopened. And certainly, the demand for people to just socialize, that the demand for human connectivity is really high. It’s palpable, right? We see it here too. The smiles on people’s faces, they’re back in the office, conversing together, innovating together. When people were feeling unsafe, unquestionably, I think the question marks around the role of office space was really brought to bear. But as were coming through this, as you’ve seen vaccine rates change, as you’ve seen the infection rates fall, as you’ve seen confidence grow, the return to work is really happening and return to work to office work is really happening, albeit, now with degrees of flexibility. So, going back to the – I do believe in certain areas. You’re seeing a surplus. But in many areas you’re absolutely seeing a deficit and the reason I say that, Barry, is we are seeing occupancy in certain building at such a high level. And frankly, the demand for more space being so high, it’s uneven and this goes back to then where do you invest our client’s capital, making sense of those trends, predicting where you will see resilience versus stress and building that into the portfolio of consequences as you – as you better risk manage and mitigate. RITHOLTZ: Very interesting. And so, we are seeing this transition across a lot of different segments of investing, are you seeing any products that were or – or investing styles that was once thought of as primarily institutional that are sort of working their way towards the retail side of things? Meaning going from institutional to accredited to mom-and-pop investors? CONWAY: Well, certainly, in the past, private equity was really an asset class for institutional investors. And I think that’s – that has changed in a very profound way. I mentioned earlier are the regulation has become a more adaptive, but we also have heard, in many respects, in providing this access. And I think the perception of owning and be part of this illiquid investment opportunity set was hard to stomach because many didn’t understand the attributes and what it could bring and I think we’ve been trying to solve for that and what you’re seeing now with – with regulators, understanding that the difference between if we take it quite simply as DD versus DC, the differences between the options you as a participant in a retirement plan are so vastly different that – and I think there’s a broad recognition now that there needs to be more equity with regard to what happens there. And private equity been a really established part of the alternatives marketplace was once, I think, really believed to be an institutional asset class, but albeit now has become much more accessible to wealth. We’ve seen it by structuring activities in Europe working with the regulators. Now, we’re able to provide private equity exposure to clients across the continent and really getting access to what was historically very much an institutional asset class. And I do think the receptivity is extraordinarily high just throughout people’s careers, they have seen wealth been created as a result of engineering a great outcome with great management teams integrate business. And I do believe the receptivity towards private equity is high as an example. In the U.S., too, working with the various intermediaries and being able to wrap now private equity in a ’40 Act fund, for example, is possible. And by being able to deliver that to the many as opposed to the few, we think has been a very good success story. And I think, obviously, appreciated by our clients as well. So, I would look at that were seeing across private equity as well as private credit and quite frankly infrastructure accuracy. You’re seeing now regulation that’s becoming more appreciative of these asset classes, you’re seeing a more – a greater level of openness and willingness to allow for these assets to be part of many people’s experiences across their investment portfolio. And now, with innovation around structures, as an industry, were able to wrap these investments in a way that our clients can really access them. So, think across the board, it probably speaks the innovation that’s happening but I do think that accessibility has changed in a very significant way. But you’ve really seen it happen in private equity first and now that’s expanding across these various other asset classes. RITHOLTZ: Quite intriguing. I know I only have you for a relatively limited period of time, so let’s jump to our favorite questions that we ask all of our guests. Starting with tell us what you’ve been streaming these days. Give us your favorite Netflix or Amazon Prime shows. CONWAY: That is an interesting question, Barry. I don’t a hell of a lot of TV, I got to tell you. I am – I keep busy with three wonderful children and a beautiful wife and between the sports activities. When I do watch TV, I have to tell you I’m addicted to sports and having – I may have mentioned earlier, growing up playing rugby which is not the most common sport in the U.S., I stream nonstop the Six Nations that happens in Europe where Ireland is one of those six nations that compete against each other on an annual basis. Right now, they’re playing a lot of sites that are touring for the southern hemisphere. And to me, the free times I have is either enjoying golf or really enjoying rugby because I think it’s an extraordinary sport. Obviously, very physical, but very enjoyable to watch. And that, that truly is my passion outside of family. RITHOLTZ: Interesting stuff. Tell us a bit about your mentors, who helped to shape your early career? CONWAY: Well, it even goes back to some of the aspects of sports. Playing on a team and being on a field where you’re working together, there’s a strategy involved with that. Now, I used to really appreciate how we approach playing in the All-Ireland League. How we thought about our opponents, how we thought about the structure, how we thought about each individual with on the rugby field and the team having a role. They’re all different but your role. And actually, even starting from an early age, Barry, thinking about, I don’t know, it’s sports but how to build a great team with those various skills, perspective, that can be a really, really powerful combination when done well. And certainly, from an early age, that allowed me to appreciate that – actually, in the work environment, it’s not too different. You surround yourself with just really great people that have high integrity that are empathetic and have a degree of humility that when working together, good things can happen. And I will say, it really started at sports. But I think of today and even in BlackRock, how Larry Fink thinks about the world and I think Larry, truly, is a visionary. And then Rob Kapito who really helps lead the charge across our various businesses. Speaking and conversing with them on a daily basis, getting their perspectives, trying to get inside your head and thinking about the world from their vantage point. To me, it’s a huge thing about my ongoing personal career and development and I really enjoy those moments because I think what you recognize is independent of how much you think you know, there’s so much more to know. And this journey is an ever evolving one where you have to appreciate that you’ll never know everything and you need to be a student every single day. So, I’d probably cite those, Barry, as certainly the two most important mentors in my life today, professionally and personally quite frankly. RITHOLTZ: Really. Very interesting. Let’s talk about what you’re reading these days. Tell us about some of your favorite books and what you’re reading currently? CONWAY: Barry, what I love to read, I love to read history, believe it or not. From a very small country that seems to have exported many, many people, love to understand the history of Ireland. So, there’s so many books. And having three children that have been born in the U.S. and my wife is a New Yorker, trying to help them understand some of their history and what made them what they are. I love delving into Irish history and how the country had moments of greatness and moments of tremendous struggle. Outside of that, I really don’t enjoy science fiction or any of these books. I love reading, you name any paper and any magazine on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I wake at about 4:30, 5 o’clock every day. I spent my first two hours of the day just consuming as much information as possible. I enjoy it. But it’s all – it’s really investment-related magazines, not books. It’s every paper that you could possibly imagine, Barry, and I just – I have a great appreciation for certainly trying to be a student of the world because that’s what we’re operating in an I find it just a very interesting avenue to get an appreciation to for the, not just the opportunities, but the challenges we’re collectively facing as a society but also as a business. RITHOLTZ: I’m with you on that mass consumption of investing-related news. It sounds like you and I have the same a morning routine. Let’s talk about of what sort of advice you would give to a recent college graduate who was interested in a career of alternative investments? CONWAY: Well, the industry has – it’s just gone through such extraordinary growth and the difference, when I’ve started versus today, the career opportunity set has changed so much. And I think I try to remind anyone of our analysts who come into each one of our annual classes, right, as we bring in the new recruits. I think about how talented they are for us, Barry, and how privileged we all are to be in this industry and work for the clients that we do. It’s just such an honor to do that. But I kind of – I try to remind them of that. At the end of the day, whether you’re supporting an institution, that institution is the face of many people in the background and alternatives has really now become such an important part of their experience and we talked about earlier just this challenge of retirement, if we do a good job, these institutions that support the many, they can have, hopefully, a retirement that involves dignity and they can have an ability to do things they so wanted to do as they work so hard over their lives. Getting that that personal connection and allowing for those newbies to understand that that’s the effect that you can have, an alternatives whether it’s private equity, real estate, infrastructure, private credit, hedge funds, all of these now, with the scale at which they’re operating at can allow for a great career. But my advice to them is always don’t forget your career is supporting other people. And that comes directly to how we intersect with wealth channel, it comes indirectly as a result of the institutions. And it’s such a privilege to do that. I didn’t envision when I grew up, as I mentioned, my first job, milking cows and back in a small town in the middle of Ireland that I would be one day leading an alternatives business within BlackRock. I see that as a great privilege. So, for those who are joining afresh, hopefully, try to remind them that it is for all of us and show up with empathy, dignity, compassion, and do the best you can, and hopefully, these people be sure will serve them well. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what you know about the world of alternative investing today you wish you knew 25 years or so ago when you were first getting started? CONWAY: I think if we had invested much more heavily as an industry in technology, we would not be in the position we are today. And I say that, Barry, from a number of aspects. I mentioned in this shortfall of information our clients are dealing with today. They’re making choices to divest from one asset class to invest in another. To do that and do that effectively, they need great transparency, they needed real-time in many respects, it can’t be just a quarterly line basis. And if we had been better prepared as an industry to provide the technology and the data to help our clients really appreciate what it is they own, how we’re managing the assets on their behalf, I think they would be so much better served. I think we’re very fortunate at this firm to have built a business on the back of technology for albeit 30 plus years and were investing over $1 billion a year in technology as I’m sure you know. But we need to see more of that in the industry. So, the client experience is so important, stop, let’s demystify alternatives. It’s not that alternative. Let’s provide education and data and it’s become so large relative to other asset classes, the need to support, to educate, and transmit information, not data, information, so our client understand it, is at a paramount now. And I think it certainly as an industry, things have to change there. If I knew how big the growth would have been and how prominent these asset classes were becoming, I would oppose so much harder on that front 30 years ago. RITHOLTZ: Thank you, Edwin, for being so generous with your time. We’ve been speaking with Edwin Conway. He is the head of Blackrock Investor Alternatives Group. If you enjoy this conversation, please check out all of our prior discussions. You can find those at iTunes, Spotify, wherever you get your podcast at. We love your comments, feedback and suggestions. Write to us at MIB podcast@Bloomberg.net. You can sign up for my daily reads at ritholtz.com. Check out my weekly column at Bloomberg.com/opinion. Follow me on Twitter, @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack team that helps put these conversations together each week. Mohammed ph is my audio engineer. Paris Wald is my producer, Michael Batnick is my head of research, Atika Valbrun is our project manager. I’m Barry Ritholtz, you’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~   The post Transcript: Edwin Conway appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureNov 22nd, 2021

Goodfood Reports Record Annual Net Sales of $379 Million, Fourth Quarter Net Sales of $79 Million and Launched On-Demand Grocery Service and Meal Solution Offering with One-Hour Delivery

Net sales reached $379.2 million, an increase of $93.9 million, or 33% year-over-year Gross margin reached 30.6%, an improvement of 0.3 percentage points and gross profit reached $116.1 million, an increase of $29.7 million, or 34% year-over-year Net loss of $31.8 million compared to $5.3 million last year Adjusted EBITDA margin (1) was negative 4.0%, a decrease of 5.2 percentage points year-over-year Launch of on-demand 1-hour or less delivery with updated digital store supporting over 1,000 grocery products and meal-solutions to active customers (1) Continued investments in fulfilment network expansion (13 facilities across Canada), product selection, and order orchestration technology to support faster online delivery beginning with our recent launch in Toronto and to be followed with our Montreal launch in the coming days Strong financial position with $125.5 million of cash on the balance sheet MONTREAL, Nov. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Goodfood Market Corp. ("Goodfood" or "the Company") (TSX:FOOD), a leading online grocery company in Canada, today announced record financial results for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2021, and significant progress in building out its grocery offering and rapid delivery capabilities beginning with the launch of its first one-hour or less grocery delivery service in a first Toronto market. "Fiscal 2021 was marked by strong year-over-year growth as we continued our investments and evolution into an on-demand online grocery and meal-solutions provider. We have made significant progress against our long-term objectives and are now firmly positioned as an online, on-demand grocery and meal solution source, providing deliveries within one hour or less in Toronto and soon Montreal, and offering over 1,000 products through our expanding distributed fulfillment network," said Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ferrari. "Supported by our improved technology backbone, the growing breadth of our selection and speed of delivery, reaching more than 30% of the Canadian population via same-day and one-hour or less delivery, position Goodfood in a leadership role in the expected rapid digitalization of the online grocery industry in Canada. This year's record annual net sales and gross profit have helped lay the foundation for the next phase of our growth and evolution, despite the headwinds faced in the fourth quarter, as easing COVID restrictions reduced consumer demand and appeared to magnify expected Q4 seasonality. We are confident and excited by the enhanced value proposition we offer Canadians and our prospects to capture a significant portion of Canadians' increasing demand for online grocery and meal solutions. Our strategic investments in both people and infrastructure to continually add grocery selection and reduce delivery times and friction position us for the digital future of grocery and meal solutions delivery in Canada." We generated record net sales of $379 million for the full year, up 33% over Fiscal 2020. The increase was driven by a growing active customer and subscriber (1) base, higher average basket sizes as well as an increasing order frequency, coupled with lower incentives and credits as a percentage of net sales. Fourth quarter net sales of $79 million decreased 5% year-over-year as the impact of re-opening and the return of seasonality stemming from the removal of COVID-19 restrictions and the increased vaccination rate impacted this quarter's top line. We expect these headwinds to stabilize as the year progresses and the return to normalcy continues, with our newly launched one-hour on-demand delivery providing the key platform for growth. Turning to our operating performance, "We are pleased with our performance this year given the growing operational investments made to build-out our on-demand network, expand our product offering and continuously reduce delivery times for our subscribers, despite the volume de-leverage faced in the fourth quarter. Once again, our team demonstrated outstanding execution capabilities as our gross profit grew 34% year-over-year and gross margin expanded 0.3 percentage points, generating record gross profit of $116.1 million," added Neil Cuggy, President and Chief Operating Officer. "In the fourth quarter, gross profit was $18 million for a margin of 22.9%, a decrease of 9.9 percentage points versus the prior year, as the decrease in net sales combined with our continued investments in people to position ourselves to be the leader in on-demand online grocery and meal solutions in key Canadian markets, along with the absorption of labour inflation and other supply chain costs, including food, led to the margin decline." Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales increased from 29.8% in 2020 to 36.0% in 2021. The year-over-year increase is primarily due to higher wages and salaries resulting from the expansion of the management team, including mainly our technology, operations management and marketing groups, and related administrative functions needed to build out the physical and digital on-demand fulfillment infrastructure, including the growing product offering required to support the Company's growth plan. In addition, a higher marketing spend was incurred in 2021, as the prior year spend was positively impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Also of note, we changed our accounting policy related to configuration and customization in a cloud computing arrangement to align with the April 2021 International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee agenda decision, resulting in a $1.6 million and $1.4 million increase in 2021 and 2020 SG&A offset by an adjustment to intangible assets. Taken together with our gross profit and ramp up costs associated with our on-demand fulfilment network, this led to Adjusted EBITDA (1) margin of negative 4.0% versus a positive margin of 1.2% in Fiscal 2020. In the fourth quarter, selling, general and administrative expenses increased to 47.2% of net sales compared 27.5% last year, primarily due to higher wages and salaries to support investments in the Company's aforementioned on-demand fulfillment infrastructure as well as higher marketing spend compared to the same period in 2020. This translated to an Adjusted EBITDA (1) margin of negative 22.4% compared to positive 5.8% last year. Looking forward, 2022 will be the year in which our multi-year effort of preparing for the launch of on-demand grocery and meal-solution offering, supported by an optimized digital store platform is realized. Over the past two years, our cost structure has included a growing and material amount of operating expenses related to this initiative, and when coupled with a subscriber-centric ready-to-cook revenue base that has not yet benefited from the additional revenue stream an on-demand meal solution and grocery offering can generate, our net loss and Adjusted EBITDA (1) have been materially negatively impacted. In 2022, we expect investments to continue and to open on-demand micro-fulfillment centers that can support significant incremental net sales. This will begin with the recent completion of construction at our Vancouver facility, followed by the recently-announced launch of one-hour or less meal-solution and grocery deliveries out of our new Toronto facility, to be followed in short-order by a similar facility in Montreal, in addition to our automated local fulfilment centre in Ottawa which will begin delivering orders early in the new calendar year, as well as additional facilities in key urban areas throughout the year. In addition, we expect an improved cost structure through realized efficiencies, further aligning it with our on-demand one-hour grocery initiative, and we expect progressive improvement in profitability throughout the year. "With the grocery industry increasingly shifting online, we have invested capital and margin at an accelerating pace to enhance our operations across the country, and remain focused on building the optimal footprint of centralized production facilities and local fulfilment centres to enable faster delivery times and greater product choice to Canadians everywhere and are excited by the opportunity ahead of us,'' concluded Mr. Ferrari. RESULTS OF OPERATIONS – FISCAL 2021 AND FISCAL 2020 The following table sets forth the components of the Company's consolidated statement of loss and comprehensive loss: (In thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share and percentage information) For the years ended August 31, 2021   2020     ($)   (%)   Net sales $ 379,234   $ 285,372   $ 93,862   33%   Cost of goods sold 263,140   198,953   64,187   32%   Gross profit $ 116,094   $ 86,419   $ 29,675   34%   Gross margin 30.6%   30.3%     N/A   0.3 p.p.   Selling, general and administrative expenses $ 136,396   $ 84,987   $ 51,409   60%   Depreciation and amortization   8,820   5,197   3,623   70%   Net finance costs 2,170   2,380   (210)   (9)%   Loss before income taxes   (31,292)     (6,145)     (25,147)   N/A   Deferred income tax expense (recovery)   500     (804)     1,304   N/A   Net loss, being comprehensive loss $ (31,792)   $ (5,341)   $ (26,451)   N/A   Basic and diluted loss per share $ (0.45).....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 17th, 2021

Futures Fall, Yields And Dollar Jump Ahead Of Highest CPI In 31 Years

Futures Fall, Yields And Dollar Jump Ahead Of Highest CPI In 31 Years For the third day in a row, early weakness in futures - in this case as a result of China's soaring, record producer price inflation - reversed and spoos rose from session lows but were still down on the session as traders awaited inflation data due later on Wednesday. Treasury yields climbed and the dollar and cryptos rose. At 7:45 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 47 points, or 0.12%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 10.25 points, or 0.22%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 68 points, or 0.42%. Earlier, China's Shanghai Composite fell as much as 1.7% and the Hang Seng dropped more than 1% after China’s factory inflation soared to a 26-year high. The number came just hours before today's US CPI print is expected to rise 5.8% in October, the highest level since since December 1990, after a 5.4% increase in the previous month. The report comes a day after producer prices data showed a solid rise in October and will be scrutinized for clues on the extent to which manufacturers were passing on higher costs to consumers, whose spending accounts for 70% of the U.S. economy Elevated inflationary pressures “would be the latest test for the Fed’s ‘transitory’ view and challenge the central bank’s stance on policy tightening,” Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity Group, said in written comments. “The worry is that such stubborn inflationary pressures could choke the recovery in global demand or hasten policy tightening by major central banks.” On Tuesday, Wall Street's main indexes ended their long streak of record closing highs on Tuesday as Tesla tumbled and as investors booked profits from the recent run-up in gains, especially in the absence of market-moving catalysts. The declines on Wednesday came after data showed Chinese factory gate prices hit a 26-year high in October, while economic advisers to the German government said they expected the current rise in inflation to continue well into 2022. It has been a busy premarket trading session with lots of movers. We start with Coinbase which fell 11% as analysts said the crypto exchange’s quarterly results were well below expectations. DoorDash shares surged as analysts raised price targets on the food-delivery firm after expectation-beating results and purchase of Finnish food-delivery startup Wolt Enterprises Oy.  Here are some other premarket movers today: DoorDash (DASH US) shares surge 19% in U.S. premarket trading, with analysts raising their price targets on the food-delivery firm after expectation-beating results and its biggest ever acquisition Chinese technology stocks listed in the U.S. rise premarket after Tencent reported 3Q profit that exceeded expectations even as revenue missed amid China’s crackdown on the tech industry Tesla (TSLA US) shares inch higher 1.9% in premarket trading, set for a positive open after a 16% slump in two days amid several negative headlines for the stock Stran & Co. (STRN US) shares jump as much as 43% in U.S. premarket trading, recovering ground after a sharp drop following the branding solutions firm’s IPO Society Pass (SOPA US) shares drop as much as 54% in U.S. pre trading hours, after the loyalty tech platform had surged following its IPO in the prior session Upstart Holdings (UPST US) plunged 19% in U.S. premarket trading after the company released 3Q earnings and 4Q forecasts; Piper Sandler ascribes share drop to “elevated investor expectations” and lack of quantification of auto opportunity Poshmark (POSH US) shares sink 29% in U.S. premarket trading with Berenberg (buy) saying the online retail platform’s 3Q results and guidance were disappointing PubMatic (PUBM US) surges 22% in U.S. premarket trading after the company’s 4Q sales forecast topped expectations and it posted 3Q results that Jefferies called “impressive” FuboTV (FUBO US) shares drop 4.3% in U.S. premarket trading as a 3Q results beat for the “sports first” streaming-video platform was overshadowed by higher costs and some weakness on its ad revenue Purple Innovation (PRPL US) slumps 31% after it cut its net revenue forecast for the full year; the guidance missed the average analyst estimate RingCentral (RNG US) rises 22% premarket, a day after the provider of cloud-based communications services forecast 4Q revenue that beat the average analyst estimate Toast (TOST US) slides after reporting financial results that included a net loss that widened compared with the same period last year Turning back to CPI, here is a lenghtier preview courtesy of DB's Jim Reid: I may have just about found it vaguely conceivable at the start of the year that on November 10th we’d see a 5.9% YoY US CPI print and the sixth month above 5%; however, I would certainly not have thought that such a number if it had materialized would be greeted with a collective market “meh” with 10yr Treasury yields 450bps below this rate. A lot is resting on this inflation being transitory. This will be the multi-trillion dollar question for 2022, that’s for sure. Last month saw yet another upside surprise that further undermined the transitory narrative, and, in fact, if you look at the last 7 monthly readings, 5 of them have come in above the median estimate on Bloomberg, with just 1 below and the other in line. In terms of what to expect, our US economists are looking for a reacceleration in the monthly prints, with a +0.47% forecast for the headline measure (+0.6% consensus), and +0.37% for core (+0.4% consensus). Their view is that the main driver is likely to be price pressures in those categories most sensitive to supply shocks, such as new and used vehicles. But they also see some downside risk from Covid-19-sensitive sectors like lodging away and airfares, where prices fell over the late summer as the delta variant slowed the recovery in travel. Look out for rental inflation too – last month we saw owners’ equivalent rent experience its strongest monthly increase since June 2006. It’s a measure that reflects underlying trend inflation, so it is important to monitor moving forward. Many models suggest it will be over 4% for much of next year, which is large given that it makes up around a third of the headline rate and c.40% of core. Shifting back to markets, we next look at Europe, where equities also recovered off opening lows with the Euro Stoxx 50 and DAX recovering to trade flat. FTSE 100 outperformed, rising as much as 0.6%. Sector gains in oil & gas, utilities and insurance names are broadly offset by losses in luxury, tech, household & personal goods and travel. Earlier in the session, Asian equities fell for a second day after data showed China’s monthly factory-gate prices grew at the fastest pace in 26 years. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid as much as 0.6% before paring its loss, with materials and IT the biggest drags. The CSI 300 Index slid as much as 1.9% before sharply paring its drop, after China’s producer and consumer price inflation numbers both exceeded forecasts. Commodity prices have soared globally this year amid expectations for a rebound from the pandemic, with energy getting a further boost from a supply crunch. Traders await Wednesday’s U.S. consumer-price report for further clues on monetary policy and economic growth. “Eyes are now closely watching inflation as that is the next market catalyst,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners. For some Asian companies “the candle is burning on both ends -- with the supply chain crisis as a ceiling on revenues while obligations to expenses and liabilities remain.”  The Hang Seng turned higher in late trading as real estate developers climbed on a report that China’s bond-issuance policies may be loosened, while Tencent led a surge in tech stocks ahead of its earnings report. Vietnam and Taiwan showed small gains, while benchmarks in most other markets fell. Japanese equities fell, following Asian peers lower after China reported worse than expected inflation. Electronics makers and trading houses were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 0.5%. SoftBank Group and Tokyo Electron were the largest contributors to a 0.6% drop in the Nikkei 225. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.5%, while China’s CSI 300 Index tumbled 1.1% after monthly factory-gate prices in Asia’s largest economy grew at the fastest pace in 26 years. U.S. consumer price data is scheduled to be reported later Wednesday. “Asia is on inflation alert, fearing future costs of inputs from goods sourced from the mainland,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, wrote in a note. “It seems that investors are keen to lower exposure into the U.S. CPI data tonight.” Australian stocks ended lower for a third session as miners tumbled: the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.1% to close at 7,423.90 after a volatile session. Miners were the worst performing industry group as iron ore prices dropped, with eight of the 11 subgauges closing lower.  Bluescope was the day’s biggest laggard after iron ore plunged to a fresh 18-month low as debt troubles in China’s real-estate market deal blow after blow to prospects for steel demand. United Malt advanced after a media report said the company could be a takeover target. Australia’s central bank Governor Philip Lowe is anchoring his bet that he won’t need to raise interest rates until 2024 on a view that unemployment needs to be lower to spur wage gains. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 13,022.46. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose as the greenback traded higher against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the Canadian dollar. The euro extended an Asia session loss and traded firmly below the $1.16 handle. The pound slipped against a broadly stronger dollar, and edged higher versus the euro before a speech by the BOE’s Tenreyro; market is focused on the outlook for rate hikes and traders are also turning attention back to Brexit risks, with the European Union preparing a package of retaliatory measures in case the U.K. decides to suspend parts of a trade accord. Australia’s dollar fell to a one-month low as a slump in iron ore prices prompted short-term leveraged funds to cut long positions. The kiwi declined after a preliminary New Zealand business confidence index weakened In rates, Treasuries traded weak in the early U.S. session, following a selloff in gilts as U.K. markets start to price a higher terminal rate, bear-steepening the curve. Treasury yields are mostly cheaper by 2bp-3bp across the curve with 10-year around 1.475%; gilts lag by additional 1bp vs Treasuries while bunds outperform. During the Asian session, China’s CPI data beat expectations, adding to downside pressure in front eurodollars. Focal points for U.S. session include October CPI expected to show steep increase in y/y rate and final quarterly refunding auction, a $25b 30-year bond sale. Reduced-size U.S. refunding auctions conclude with $25b 30-year bond vs $27b in previous four; Tuesday’s 10- year sale tailed by 1.2bp after steep gains into the bidding deadline. Wednesday's WI 30-year yield around 1.85% is below 30-year stops since January and ~19bp richer than last month’s, which stopped 1.3bp below the WI level at the bidding deadline. In commodities, Crude futures drift lower: WTI drops 0.5% to trade near $83.70. Brent dips back below $85. Base metals are mixed. LME aluminum is the strongest performer; tin and lead are in negative territory. Spot gold drifts lower, losing $5 to trade near $1,826/oz To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the aforementioned CPI release from the US for October. Otherwise, there’ll also be Italian industrial production for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s Elderson and the BoE’s Tenreyro, whilst earnings releases include Disney. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 4,669.75 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 482.35 MXAP down 0.1% to 198.31 MXAPJ up 0.1% to 648.70 Nikkei down 0.6% to 29,106.78 Topix down 0.5% to 2,007.96 Hang Seng Index up 0.7% to 24,996.14 Shanghai Composite down 0.4% to 3,492.46 Sensex little changed at 60,399.20 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 7,423.90 Kospi down 1.1% to 2,930.17 Brent Futures little changed at $84.75/bbl Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,825.71 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.29% Euro down 0.2% to $1.1574 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.18% to 94.13 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The European Central Bank would risk exacerbating inequality if it were to raise interest rates before ceasing asset purchases, according to Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinpingare are scheduled to hold a virtual summit next week, although no specific date has been set, according to people familiar with the matter A lack of top-tier intelligence on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s inner circle is frustrating senior Biden administration officials struggling to get ahead of Beijing’s next steps, according to current and former officials who have reviewed the most sensitive U.S. intelligence reports China’s inflation risks are building as producers pass on higher costs to consumers, reigniting a debate over whether the central bank has scope to ease monetary policy to support a weakening economy and potentially adding to the pressure on global consumer prices The U.K. opposition called for a parliamentary investigation into former Conservative cabinet minister Geoffrey Cox, as the scandal over sleaze and lobbying engulfing Boris Johnson’s ruling party gains momentum A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded negatively after a lacklustre handover from Wall Street where the major indices took a break from recent advances and the S&P 500 snapped an eight-day win streak ahead of looming US inflation data. ASX 200 (-0.1%) was rangebound with early strength in financials gradually offset by losses in the commodity-related sectors and with the improvement in Westpac Consumer Sentiment data doing little to spur risk appetite. Nikkei 225 (-0.6%) was subdued with exporters pressured by unfavourable currency inflows and with the list of biggest movers in the index dominated by companies that recently announced their earnings, although Nissan and NTT Data Corp were among the success stories on improved results including a surprise return to quarterly profit for the automaker. Hang Seng (+0.7%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.4%) initially underperformed amid ongoing developer default concerns as Evergrande has reportedly failed to pay coupon payments at the end of its 30-day grace period. Rating agencies have also downgraded a couple of developers and Fantasia Holdings shares fell as much as 50% on resumption from a one-month trading halt after it missed bond payments due early last month. Furthermore, tensions continued to brew on the Taiwan Strait after US lawmakers made a surprise visit to Taiwan and with China conducting combat readiness patrols in the area ahead of a potential Biden-Xi virtual meeting that could occur next week, which potentially lifted sentiment, while participants also reflected on the firmer than expected inflation data from China which showed consumer prices registered their fastest increase in more than a year and factory gate prices rose at a fresh record pace. Finally, 10yr JGBs traded marginally higher amid the lacklustre mood in stocks and presence of the BoJ in the market for over JPY 1.3tln of JGBs with 1yr-10yr maturities, although gains were capped by resistance ahead of the 152.00 focal point and a pull-back in T-notes. Top Asian News China SOEs Suggest Govt Ease Debt Rules in Property M&A: Cailian Iron Ore Gloom Deepens as China Property Woes Threaten Demand Chinese Developers Surge on Report Bond Rules May be Eased Tencent’s ‘Other Gains’ Unexpectedly Double, Helping Profit Beat European equities (Eurostoxx 50 -0.1%) have traded with little in the way of firm direction as a slew of earnings dictate the state of play amid a lack of fresh macro impulses. The handover from Asia was mostly a downbeat one with focus on firmer than expected CPI and PPI prints out of China and ongoing developer default concerns as Evergrande bond holders have reportedly not received coupon payments by the end of today's Asia-close grace period, in reference to missed coupon payments totalling USD 148.1mln. Stateside, futures are a touch softer (ES -0.2%) after cash markets saw the S&P 500 snap its eight-day winning streak during yesterday’s session. Ahead, the main event for the US will be the CPI release at 13:30GMT whilst the earnings docket continues to slow down with Disney the main standout after-hours. Back to Europe, sectors are mixed with Oil & Gas outperforming peers alongside price action in the crude complex. Banking names saw initial gains trimmed after earnings from Credit Agricole (-1.1%) and ABN AMRO (+1.9%) were unable to provide sustained support for the sector despite the former exceeding profit expectations. The retail sector has been provided a boost by Marks & Spencer (+11.4%) after the Co. reported stellar earnings and raised guidance. Elsewhere in the UK, ITV (+12.0%) sits at the top of the FTSE 100 after printing solid revenue metrics and a bullish revenue outlook. To the downside, Personal and Household goods lag in the wake of earnings from Adidas (-6.0%) which saw the Co.’s performance hampered by factory closures in Vietnam and product boycotts in China. Finally, Alstom (+9.6%) sits at the top of the CAC post-earnings with the Co. stating that supply chain shortages had no material impact on H1 sales. Top European News ECB May Aid Rich If Rates Rise Before QE Ends, Schnabel Says Merkel Advisers Urge ECB Exit Strategy as Price Pressures Rise King Sinks Impala Plan to Create World’s No. 1 Platinum Firm Alstom’s Cash Drain Is Less Than Forecast; Shares Jump In FX, the Greenback remains relatively firm in the run up to US inflation data having turned a corner of sorts on Tuesday, with the index extending beyond 94.000 following its rebound from 93.872 and inching closer to the current 94.380 w-t-d peak, at 94.221, thus far. Interestingly, the Buck has regained momentum irrespective of the benign Treasury (and global) yield backdrop, softer than forecast elements in the PPI release and most Fed officials maintaining a distance between the end of tapering and tightening. However, risk sentiment if wavering to the benefit of the Dollar more than others and the aforementioned CPI readings may be supportive if in line or above consensus. Note, initial claims are also scheduled due to tomorrow’s Veteran’s Day holiday and the final leg of supply comes via Usd 25 bn long bonds. NZD/JPY - Ironically perhaps, the Kiwi is struggling to keep sight of 0.7100 vs its US peer on the very day that COVID-19 restrictions were eased in Auckland, and a further deterioration in NZ business sentiment alongside a fall in the activity outlook may be the catalyst, while the Yen has run into resistance again above 113.00 and is now relying on decent option expiry interest between the round number and 113.05 (1.1 bn) to keep its bull run going. GBP/EUR/AUD/CHF - All softer against the Greenback, as Cable hovers below 1.3550, the Euro pivots 1.1575, Aussie meanders within a range just above 0.7350 amidst favourable Aud/Nzd crossflows and an improvement in Westpac consumer sentiment, and the Franc treads water inside 0.9150-00 parameters. However, Eur/Usd appears to be underpinned by heavier option expiries on the downside than upside rather than ostensibly hawkish ECB promptings from Germany’s Government advisors given 2.1 bn between 1.1575-65 and a further 1.2 bn from 1.1555-50 vs 1.5 bn at the 1.1600 strike. CAD - The Loonie is outperforming or holding up better than other majors near 1.2400 vs its US rival even though WTI has backed off from best levels just shy of Usd 85/brl, but Usd/Cad could still be drawn to expiry interest starting at 1.2450 and stretching some way over 1.2500 in the absence of anything Canadian specific, and pending US inflation data of course. WTI and Brent have been somewhat choppy this morning, but remain within reach of overnight ranges and well within yesterday’s parameters as fresh newsflow has been light; a performance that is similar to the morning’s directionless equity trade. Focus has been on last nights/yesterday's events after the EIA’s STEO release seemingly lessened the likelihood of a SPR release followed by the weekly private inventory report, which printed a headline draw of 2.485M against the expected build of 2.1mln – reaction was minimal. Later today, we get the DoE equivalent for which expectations remain at a headline build of 2.13mln, but the components are expected to post draws of around 1mln. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are a touch softer on the session with the US Dollar and yields perhaps weighing, though the previous metals have once again not deviated too far from overnight parameters. On copper, prices were hampered by the Chinese inflation data though LME copper has staged a marginal recovery as the session has progressed. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Oct. CPI YoY, est. 5.9%, prior 5.4%; CPI MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.4% 8:30am: Oct. CPI Ex Food and Energy YoY, est. 4.3%, prior 4.0%; MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.2% 8:30am: Nov. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 260,000, prior 269,000 8:30am: Oct. Continuing Claims, est. 2.05m, prior 2.11m 8:30am: Oct. Real Avg Weekly Earnings YoY, prior -0.8% 8:30am: Oct. Real Avg Hourly Earning YoY, prior -0.8% 10am: Sept. Wholesale Trade Sales MoM, prior -1.1%; Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 1.1%, prior 1.1% 2pm: Oct. Monthly Budget Statement, est. -$179b, prior - $61.5b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap After three days in hospital in traction, little Maisie has a 3-hour hip operation this morning. Showing one benefit of the pandemic, she had a zoom call with her class at school yesterday on their big screen where they all got to ask her questions. The best one apparently was one boy who put his hand up and said “will your new wheelchair have an engine?”. I was reading last night about people with Maisie’s condition (perthes) ending up playing international sport as an adult after a long recovery as a kid, including a Danish striker who played in the semi-finals of the Euros this summer and a 132kg American football player. As long as she waits a polite time after her long recovery to beat me at golf then I’ll be very happy. Keeping my mind off things today will undoubtedly be US CPI. Given my inflationary bias views I may have just about found it vaguely conceivable at the start of the year that on November 10th we’d see a 5.9% YoY US CPI print and the sixth month above 5%; however, I would certainly not have thought that such a number if it had materialised would be greeted with a collective market “meh” with 10yr Treasury yields 450bps below this rate. A lot is resting on this inflation being transitory. This will be the multi-trillion dollar question for 2022, that’s for sure. Last month saw yet another upside surprise that further undermined the transitory narrative, and, in fact, if you look at the last 7 monthly readings, 5 of them have come in above the median estimate on Bloomberg, with just 1 below and the other in line. In terms of what to expect, our US economists are looking for a reacceleration in the monthly prints, with a +0.47% forecast for the headline measure (+0.6% consensus), and +0.37% for core (+0.4% consensus). Their view is that the main driver is likely to be price pressures in those categories most sensitive to supply shocks, such as new and used vehicles. But they also see some downside risk from Covid-19-sensitive sectors like lodging away and airfares, where prices fell over the late summer as the delta variant slowed the recovery in travel. Look out for rental inflation too – last month we saw owners’ equivalent rent experience its strongest monthly increase since June 2006. It’s a measure that reflects underlying trend inflation, so it is important to monitor moving forward. Many models suggest it will be over 4% for much of next year, which is large given that it makes up around a third of the headline rate and c.40% of core. Staying with inflation, China’s year-on-year numbers for October surprised on the upside overnight with CPI +1.5% (consensus +1.4%, last month +0.7%), the highest since September 2020. PPI +13.5% (consensus +12.3%) was also at a 26-year high. Asian stocks are trading lower with the KOSPI (-0.86%), Shanghai Composite (-1.20%), CSI (-1.40%), the Nikkei (-0.49%) and Hang Seng (-1.20%) all down after the China numbers. Futures are pointing to a weak start in the US & Europe too with S&P 500 futures (-0.4%) and DAX futures (-0.23%) both down. As investors look forward to today’s number, the long equity advance finally petered out yesterday as the S&P 500 (-0.35%) snapped a run of 8 successive gains. A 9th day in the green would have marked the longest winning streak since November 2004, but in the end it wasn’t to be.It also prevented an 18th up day out of the last 20 for the first time since September 1954.So reset your counters. Instead, we saw a broader risk-off move as equity indices moved lower on both sides of the Atlantic alongside a fresh rally and flattening in sovereign bond yields and curves. So the S&P 500 (-0.35%), the NASDAQ (-0.60%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (-0.19%) all fell back from their record highs in the previous session although the equal weighted S&P 500 was almost flat (-0.03%) showing that there wasn’t huge breadth to the US weakness. Sector dispersion was tight in the US, with materials (+0.43%) among the leaders again along with the more typically defensive utilities sector (+0.44%). Financials (-0.55%) declined on the flatter curve story but it was discretionary stocks (-1.35%) that took the biggest hit, dragged down by Tesla declining a further -11.99% and now losing c.$200bn of market cap over two days or the equivalent of 8.5 times Ford’s market cap. The VIX index of volatility ticked up another +0.58pts to hit its highest level in nearly 4 weeks, but remains comfortably below the peaks reached during September’s 5% pullback in the S&P. By contrast, Bitcoin proved to be one of the few winners of yesterday as it increased to an all-time high of $67,734, although that was slightly down from its all-time intraday high of $68,513 earlier in the day. Meanwhile, the question of the various Federal Reserve appointments has been occupying increasing attention and impacting bond markets, but in spite of the gossip there’s been no fresh news over the last 24 hours we didn’t already know. Earlier this week, Politico cited two sources with knowledge of the process saying that a decision would be made by Thanksgiving. But for those with longer memories, it was reported by Bloomberg back in August that people familiar with the process were saying that President Biden was likely to make his choice around Labor Day in early September, and over two months have passed since. So we’ll have to see what the real deadline is. Nevertheless, the news from late Monday night in the US that Fed Governor Brainard had been interviewed for the Fed Chair position helped support US Treasuries, thanks to the perception that Brainard would be a more dovish pick. Regardless of whether Powell or Brainard is Chair come this time next year, the Board will likely become more dovish as President Biden replaces outgoing Governors (and fills empty seats should he choose to do so). By the close of trade, 10yr yields were down -5.4bps to 1.44%, and the 30yr yield was down -6.4bps to 1.82%, which was its lowest closing level since mid-September. Another striking thing was that the moves lower in Treasury yields were entirely driven by a fresh decline in real yields, with the 10yr real yield down -7.0bps to -1.20%, marking its lowest closing level since TIPS began trading in 1997. Meanwhile, there was another round of curve flattening yesterday, with the 5s30s slope down -2.8bps to 73.5bps, which is the flattest it’s been since the initial market panic over the pandemic back in March 2020. For Europe it was a similar story as yields fell across the continent, and those on 10yr bunds (-5.5bps), OATs (-5.5bps) and BTPs (-5.3bps) all saw decent moves lower. Ahead of today’s CPI, investors had the PPI numbers to digest yesterday, though there was little market reaction to speak of as they came in almost entirely in line with the consensus. The monthly reading was up by +0.6% in October, which in turn saw the year-on-year measure remain at +8.6%, with both of those in line with expectations. The core measure did come in a touch below, at +0.4% (vs. +0.5% expected), but again that left the yoy reading at +6.8% as expected. One factor that may help on the inflation front over the coming months was a major decline in natural gas prices yesterday, with both European (-8.16%) and US (-8.26%) futures witnessing substantial declines. This wasn’t reflected elsewhere in the energy complex though, with WTI (+2.71%) and Brent crude (+1.62%) oil prices seeing a further rise following reports that the US would not need to release strategic reserves due to the demand outlook, and gold prices (+0.42%) closed at their highest levels since June. There wasn’t a massive amount of other data yesterday, though the ZEW survey from Germany for November saw the expectations reading unexpectedly rise to 31.7 (vs. 20.0 expected), which is the first increase after 5 consecutive monthly declines. However, the current situation measure did fall to 12.5 (vs. 18.3 expected). Finally out of the US, the NFIB’s small business optimism index for October fell to a 7-month low of 98.2 (vs. 99.5 expected). To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the aforementioned CPI release from the US for October. Otherwise, there’ll also be Italian industrial production for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s Elderson and the BoE’s Tenreyro, whilst earnings releases include Disney. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/10/2021 - 07:56.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 10th, 2021

CVG Reports Third Quarter 2021 Results

Quarterly Sales of $239.6 million, EPS $0.23, Adjusted EPS $0.25 Estimated $168 million of Net New Annualized Business Secured Year to Date NEW ALBANY, Ohio, Nov. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CVG (NASDAQ:CVGI), a diversified industrial products and services company, today announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2021. Third Quarter 2021 Highlights (Compared with prior-year period, where comparisons are noted) Revenue of $239.6 million, up 27.7%. The increase year over year is primarily driven by new business wins in Warehouse Automation and material cost pass through. Operating Income of $11.4 million, up $2.5 million or 28.1% primarily due to higher sales volume in Q3 2021. Adjusted operating income of $12.2 million was in-line with prior year even with profit compression from cost inflation and increased expenses relating to new business wins. Net income was $7.5 million, or $0.23 per diluted share. Excluding certain special costs, adjusted net income was $8.1 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, an increase of $0.04 per share. Adjusted EBITDA of $16.9 million, up $0.5 million primarily due to higher sales volumes. Estimated $168.0 million of net new annualized business secured year to date with multi-year platform value expectations. The Company's organic growth program to improve its customer roster, its profitability rates and lessen its cyclicality is delivering results. Harold Bevis, President and Chief Executive Officer of CVG, said, "CVG continues to have record level revenues even in a modest truck build year. We believe this is a good reflection of the successes we are having in our global organic sales growth process. We continue to lessen our dependence on legacy customers and older vehicle platforms. Some of our achievements in the last 21 months include landing 236 new business wins with 33 new customers in the US, Mexico, Canada, UK, Germany, India, China and Japan. Most of this business is in design, development, trial and/or initial production phase. Our momentum continues to grow and it gives us increased confidence in our ability to diversify our customer and revenue portfolio. The types of new business we are winning includes components, sub-assemblies and systems for: electric delivery vans, electric and fuel cell trucks, electric buses, electric battery systems, ATV's, side-by-side power sports equipment, farm equipment, and automated material handling systems." Mr. Bevis continued, "Our legacy class 8 truck business has been negatively impacted by the global supply chain disruptions resulting in extended China supply chains, port backups, chip shortages, labor inflation, and steel and other raw material inflation. We are watching this carefully and passing along these costs to the extent possible. There is a lag to this dynamic which is resulting in increased cost/price compression in the third quarter relative to the second and first quarters." Mr. Bevis concluded, "Our operations are evolving with our business mix and we are optimizing our footprint to deliver cost effective solutions to our customers. We are currently consolidating several older locations and opening a new plant in Mexico. We also launched our European warehouse automation business in the third quarter from a new location in the Czech Republic. The end customer is a well known global e-Commerce powerhouse. Additionally, we ordered two state of the art large tonnage injection molding machines during the quarter to stay in front of the excellent growth we are achieving in the power sports market. Overall, under the circumstances, we are pleased with our third quarter performance as well as our strategic advancements in the quarter." Chris Bohnert, Chief Financial Officer, commented, "As we have discussed throughout the year, a central focus of our collective efforts is to grow and improve our profit rates through higher value business mix and cost optimization. Our results continue to benefit from the cost focus and business win results from 2020 as well as our improved capital structure which resulted in a dramatic reduction in our interest expense in 2021. We are prudently managing our operations with the view that opportunities remain to optimize our cost structure and improve our customer service. As a result, we are implementing a restructuring program to align our cost structure to support our margin expansion and enable continued business growth. The program includes workforce reductions and footprint optimization across segments. We expect these activities to occur over the next several quarters with restructuring cost of $4.0 million to $6.0 million and are targeting equivalent savings to be realized on an annual basis. Lastly, just after the quarter ended, we completed an amendment to our credit agreement allowing us to invest in additional capex investment if needed, to support our business mix transformation." Third Quarter Financial Results(amounts in millions except per share data and percentages)   Third Quarter           2021   2020   $ Change   % Change Revenues $ 239.6     $ 187.7     $ 51.9     27.7 % Gross profit $ 30.1     $ 24.2     $ 5.9     24.4 % Gross margin 12.6 %   12.9 %         Adjusted gross profit 1 $ 30.1     $ 25.2     $ 4.9     19.4 % Adjusted gross margin 1 12.6 %   13.4 %         Operating income $ 11.4     $ 8.9     $ 2.5     28.1 % Operating margin 4.8 %   4.7 %         Adjusted operating income 1 $ 12.2     $ 12.0     $ 0.2     1.7 % Adjusted operating margin 1 5.1 %   6.4 %         Net income $ 7.5     $ 4.2     $ 3.3     78.6 % Adjusted net income 1 $ 8.1     $ 6.5     $ 1.6     24.6 % Earnings per share, diluted $ 0.23     $ 0.13     $ 0.10     76.9 % Adjusted earnings per share, diluted 1 $ 0.25     $ 0.21     $ 0.04     19.0 % Adjusted EBITDA 1 $ 16.9     $ 16.4     $ 0.5     3.0 % Adjusted EBITDA margin 1 7.1 %   8.8 %         1 See Appendix A for GAAP to Non-GAAP reconciliation         Consolidated Results of OperationsThird Quarter 2021 Results Third quarter 2021 revenues were $239.6 million compared to $187.7 million in the prior year period, an increase of 27.7%. The increase in revenues is primarily driven by new business wins in Warehouse Automation, an increased truck build rate in North America, and increased pricing to offset material cost increases. Foreign currency translation also favorably impacted third quarter of 2021 revenues by $2.4 million, or by 1.3%. Operating income for the third quarter of 2021 was $11.4 million compared to $8.9 million in the prior year period. The increase in operating income is primarily attributable to prior year restructuring charges that did not recur. The third quarter of 2021 adjusted operating income was $12.2 million, excluding special charges. The third quarter included $1.3 million of new business startup expenses. The Company's new business win rate continues to exceed expectations and is driving higher than expected startup expenses. The Company believes incurring these expenses is beneficial to the Company's long term growth plans. Interest associated with debt and other expenses was $1.6 million and $5.5 million for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The decrease in interest was due to the refinancing of the company's debt on April 30, 2021. Net income was $7.5 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2021 compared to $4.2 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, in the prior year period. At September 30, 2021, the Company had $31.3 million of outstanding borrowings on its revolving credit facility, $33.6 million of cash and $92.3 million of availability from the revolving credit facility, resulting in total liquidity of $125.9 million. Segment Results Electrical Systems Segment Third Quarter 2021 Results Revenues for the Electrical Systems segment in the third quarter 2021 were $164.1 million compared to $121.1 million in the prior year period, an increase of 35.6% primarily as a result of business growth in warehouse automation with revenues of $37.1 million as compared to $11.7 million in the prior year and an increased truck build rate in North America. Foreign currency translation favorably impacted third quarter 2021 revenues by $0.7 million, or by 0.6%. Operating income for the third quarter of 2021 was $17.8 million compared to $12.2 million in the prior year period. The increase in operating income was primarily attributable to increased sales. Global Seating Segment Third Quarter 2021 Results Revenues for the Global Seating segment in the third quarter of 2021 were $76.5 million compared to $68.9 million in the prior year period, an increase of 11.0% primarily due to increased pricing to mitigate material inflation and strong demand in the European construction market. Foreign currency translation favorably impacted third quarter 2021 revenues by $1.7 million, or by 2.4%. Operating income for the third quarter of 2021 was $0.4 million compared to $4.8 million in the prior year period. The decrease in operating income was primarily attributable to the challenges in passing along material and freight cost increases to our customers. Additionally, volatile customer schedules, supply chain constraints and freight cost inflation have caused inefficiencies in our operations. 2021 Demand Outlook The demand outlook for the Company's key markets are favorable; however production capacity is limited in a number of our end markets due to continued pandemic-driven supply-chain constraints. According to a August 2021 report by ACT Research, a publisher of industry market research, 2020 North American Class 8 truck build production was 214,250 units and Class 5-7 production was 223,721 units. 2021 North American Class 8 truck production levels are expected to be at 263,000 units and Class 5-7 production are expected to be at 232,000 units. This outlook supports demand for the Company's vehicle products. We believe the demand outlook for the Company's entrance into the electric and fuel cell vehicle market to be favorable. Many global electric and fuel cell vehicle platforms are underway across the spectrum of vehicle types. Adoption rates are forecast to increase per the Bloomberg NEF Electric Vehicle Outlook and supports continuance of the Company's efforts aimed at partnering with electric vehicle and fuel cell makers to help them develop and produce these vehicles and make use of the Company's full product basket of offerings such as: entire electrical systems for the chassis and powertrain, seating solutions, headliners, interior trim, mirrors, wipers, floor mats, and road sensors. The demand outlook for the Company's warehouse automation products is favorable. According to LogisticsIQ, demand for warehouse automation products is expected to grow approximately 14% annually through 2026. GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliation A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures referenced in this release is included as Appendix A & B to this release. Conference Call A conference call to discuss this press release is scheduled for Wednesday, November 3, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. ET. Management intends to reference the Q3 2021 Earnings Call Presentation during the conference call. To participate, dial (833) 235-5650 using conference code 7554569. International participants dial (647) 689-4139 using conference code 7554569. This call is being webcast and can be accessed through the "Investors" section of CVG's website at www.cvgrp.com, where it will be archived for one year. A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available for a period of two weeks following the call. To access the replay, dial (800) 585-8367 using access code 7554569 and international callers can dial (416) 621-4642 using access code 7554569.   Company Contact Christopher H. BohnertChief Financial OfficerCVGIR@cvgrp.com About CVG CVG is a global provider of components, assemblies and systems to the traditional commercial vehicle market, the electric vehicle market, and the warehouse automation market. Information about the Company and its products is available on the internet at www.cvgrp.com. Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These statements often include words such as "believe", "anticipate", "plan", "expect", "intend", "will", "should", "could", "would", "project", "continue", "likely", and similar expressions. In particular, this press release may contain forward-looking statements about the Company's expectations for future periods with respect to its plans to improve financial results, the future of the Company's end markets, including the short-term and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, changes in the Class 8 and Class 5-7 North America truck build rates, performance of the global construction equipment business, the Company's prospects in the wire harness, warehouse automation and electric vehicle markets, the Company's initiatives to address customer needs, organic growth, the Company's strategic plans and plans to focus on certain segments, competition faced by the Company, volatility in and disruption to the global economic environment (including inflationary pressures and continued supply chain disruptions) and the Company's financial position or other financial information. These statements are based on certain assumptions that the Company has made in light of its experience as well as its perspective on historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate under the circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results because of certain risks and uncertainties, including those included in the Company's filings with the SEC. There can be no assurance that statements made in this press release relating to future events will be achieved. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results over time. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or persons acting on behalf of the Company are expressly qualified in their entirety by such cautionary statements. COMMERCIAL VEHICLE GROUP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS Three Months and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2021 and 2020 (Unaudited) (Amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)   Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended   September 30, 2021   September 30, 2020   September 30, 2021   September 30, 2020 Revenues $ 239,610     $ 187,697     $ 742,673     $ 501,698   Cost of revenues 209,466     163,538     647,040     450,761   Gross profit 30,144     24,159     95,633     50,937   Selling, general and administrative expenses 18,772     15,266     52,529     50,066   Goodwill and other impairment —     —     —     29,017   Operating income (loss) 11,372     8,893     43,104     (28,146 ) Other (income) expense (186 )   213     (1,127 )   749   Interest expense 1,630     5,461     9,489     15,393   Loss on extinguishment of debt —     —     7,155     —   Income (loss) before provision for income taxes 9,928     3,219     27,587     (44,288 ) Provision (benefit) for income taxes 2,417     (959 )   6,491     (11,375 ) Net income (loss) $ 7,511     $ 4,178     $ 21,096     $ (32,913 ) Earnings (loss) per Common Share:               Basic $ 0.24     $ 0.13     $ 0.67     $ (1.07 ) Diluted $ 0.23     $ 0.13     $ 0.64     $ (1.07 ) Weighted average shares outstanding:               Basic 31,570     30,986     31,432     30,894   Diluted 32,706     31,617     32,738     30,894   COMMERCIAL VEHICLE GROUP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (Unaudited) (Amounts in thousands, except per share amounts) ASSETS September 30, 2021   December 31, 2020 Current assets:       Cash $ 33,603     $ 50,503   Accounts receivable, net of allowances of $301 and $644, respectively 192,111     151,101   Inventories 146,469     91,247   Other current assets 19,918     17,686   Total current assets 392,101     310,537   Property, plant and equipment, net 62,142     62,776   Intangible assets, net 19,142     21,804   Deferred income taxes 24,018    .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 2nd, 2021

Celestica Announces Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results

(All amounts in U.S. dollars.Per share information based on dilutedshares outstanding unless otherwise noted.) TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Celestica Inc. (TSX:CLS) (NYSE:CLS), a leader in design, manufacturing and supply chain solutions for the world's most innovative companies, today announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 (Q3 2021)†. "Celestica's strong third quarter performance reflects our consistent execution and the resiliency of our business, as we continue to successfully navigate challenges related to the pandemic and the global supply chain. Our non-IFRS operating margin* of 4.2% marks our seventh consecutive quarter of year-to-year improvement, and represents the highest operating margin in Celestica's history as a publicly-traded company," said Rob Mionis, President and CEO, Celestica. "Our performance in recent quarters serves as a validation of our long-term strategy and transformation actions in the face of a challenging and constantly evolving business environment." "The fourth quarter of 2021 serves as an important inflection point in our business, as our focus now turns squarely to growth and maintaining the momentum we've built in recent quarters. We remain on track to complete our acquisition of PCI in November. Achievement of our revenue guidance for the fourth quarter of 2021 will represent a return to top-line growth, and achievement of our non-IFRS operating margin* mid-point guidance of 4.5% will set a new high-water mark for our business. As we approach the final months of 2021, we believe we are well positioned to continue building on our success, and we reaffirm our strong outlook for 2022." Q3 2021 Highlights Revenue: $1.47 billion, decreased 5% compared to $1.55 billion for the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020); Revenue of our non-Cisco business** increased 6% compared to Q3 2020. Operating margin (non-IFRS)*: 4.2%, compared to 3.9% for Q3 2020. ATS segment revenue: increased 12% compared to Q3 2020; ATS segment margin was 4.3%, compared to 3.7% for Q3 2020. CCS segment revenue: decreased 14% compared to Q3 2020; CCS segment margin was 4.1%, compared to 4.0% for Q3 2020; Non-Cisco CCS revenue*** increased 2% compared to Q3 2020. Lifecycle Solutions portfolio revenue (combined ATS segment and HPS revenue): increased 15% compared to Q3 2020, and represented 60% of total revenue, compared to 50% of total revenue for Q3 2020. IFRS earnings per share (EPS): $0.28, compared to $0.24 per share for Q3 2020. Adjusted EPS (non-IFRS)*: $0.35, compared to $0.32 for Q3 2020. Adjusted return on invested capital (non-IFRS)*: 15.2%, flat compared to Q3 2020. Free cash flow (non-IFRS)*: $27.1 million, compared to $15.8 million for Q3 2020. Repurchased and cancelled 2.1 million subordinate voting shares for $17.2 million under our normal course issuer bid (NCIB). Q4 2021 Guidance Our fourth quarter of 2021 (Q4 2021) guidance assumes consummation of the acquisition of PCI Private Limited (PCI) (described below) in November 2021, and incorporates our estimated impact of supply chain constraints. IFRS revenue: $1.425 billion to $1.575 billion Operating margin (non-IFRS)*: 4.5% at the mid-point of our revenue and non-IFRS adjusted EPS guidance ranges Adjusted SG&A (non-IFRS)*: $62 million to $64 million Adjusted EPS (non-IFRS)*: $0.35 to $0.41 For Q4 2021, we expect a negative $0.11 to $0.17 per share (pre-tax) aggregate impact on net earnings on an IFRS basis for employee SBC expense, amortization of intangible assets (excluding computer software), and restructuring charges, and an non-IFRS adjusted effective tax rate of approximately 19% (which does not account for foreign exchange impacts or any unanticipated tax settlements). Full-Year 2021 Commentary We believe that 2021 is on track to be a successful year for Celestica, and one where we make meaningful progress towards the achievement of our long-term strategic objectives. Achievement of the mid-point of our guidance ranges for Q4 2021 (see above), would represent the following financial accomplishments for 2021: Adjusted EPS (non-IFRS)* of $1.24, compared to $0.98 for 2020, a growth rate of 27% Operating margin (non-IFRS)* of 4.0%, compared to 3.5% for 2020, an improvement of 50 basis points Non-Cisco business revenue** growth of 7% compared to 2020 Lifecycle Solutions portfolio revenue concentration of approximately 60%, compared to 51% for 2020 The foregoing commentary represents operating measures that would result if the mid-point of our Q4 2021 guidance ranges are achieved, and are not intended to be projections or forecasts of future performance. Our future performance is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially those described in this section. 2022 Outlook As we look to 2022, we expect the markets to remain dynamic. However, we believe that secular tailwinds in several of our end markets, strong operational performance and the ramping of new programs bode well for Celestica. Assuming the severity of supply chain constraints expected for the remainder of 2021 do not significantly worsen, and consummation of the PCI acquisition (see below) in November 2021, we anticipate the following for 2022: IFRS revenue to grow to at least $6.3 billion Operating margin (non-IFRS)* in the range of 4.0% to 5.0% Adjusted EPS (non-IFRS)* to increase by at least 20% compared to 2021 We do not provide reconciliations for forward-looking non-IFRS financial measures, as we are unable to provide a meaningful or accurate calculation or estimation of reconciling items and the information is not available without unreasonable effort. This is due to the inherent difficulty of forecasting the timing or amount of various events that have not yet occurred, are out of our control and/or cannot be reasonably predicted, and that would impact the most directly comparable forward-looking IFRS financial measure. For these same reasons, we are unable to address the probable significance of the unavailable information. Forward-looking non-IFRS financial measures may vary materially from the corresponding IFRS financial measures. See Schedule 1 for the definitions of the foregoing non-IFRS financial measures, and a reconciliation of historical non-IFRS financial measures to the most directly comparable IFRS financial measures. Also see "Non-IFRS Supplementary Information" below. † Celestica has two operating and reportable segments - Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) and Connectivity & Cloud Solutions (CCS). Our ATS segment consists of our ATS end market, and is comprised of our Aerospace and Defense (A&D), Industrial, Energy, HealthTech and Capital Equipment (semiconductor, display, and power & signal distribution equipment) businesses. Our CCS segment consists of our Communications and Enterprise (servers and storage) end markets. Segment performance is evaluated based on segment revenue, segment income and segment margin (segment income as a percentage of segment revenue). See note 26 to our 2020 audited consolidated financial statements, included in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2020 (2020 20-F), available at www.sec.gov and www.sedar.com, for further detail. * Non-International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) financial measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar financial measures presented by other public companies that use IFRS or U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). See "Non-IFRS Supplementary Information" below for information on our rationale for the use of non-IFRS financial measures, and Schedule 1 for, among other items, non-IFRS financial measures included in this press release, as well as their definitions, uses, and a reconciliation of historical non-IFRS financial measures to the most directly comparable IFRS financial measures. We do not provide reconciliations for forward-looking non-IFRS financial measures, as we are unable to provide a meaningful or accurate calculation or estimation of reconciling items and the information is not available without unreasonable effort. See the paragraph after "2022 Outlook." ** total revenue from programs with customers other than Cisco Systems, Inc. (Cisco). *** aggregate CCS segment revenue from programs with customers other than Cisco. Summary of Selected Q3 2021 Results For information on the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 and related mutations (COVID-19) on our business in Q3 2021, see "Segment Updates" below and footnote (1) to the following table. Also see the "Recent Developments" section of each of our Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) for Q3 2021, to be filed at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov, and in Item 5 of our 2020 20-F.   Q3 2021 Actual (1)   Q3 2021 Guidance (2) IFRS revenue (in billions) $1.47   $1.40 to $1.55 IFRS EPS (1) $0.28   N/A IFRS earnings before income taxes as a % of revenue 3.0%   N/A Non-IFRS operating margin 4.2%   4.0% at the mid-point of ourrevenue and non-IFRS adjustedEPS guidance ranges IFRS SG&A (in millions) $62.0   N/A Non-IFRS adjusted SG&A (in millions) $56.5   $56 to $58 Non-IFRS adjusted EPS $0.35   $0.30 to $0.36 (1) IFRS EPS of $0.28 for Q3 2021 included an aggregate charge of $0.10 (pre-tax) per share for employee stock-based compensation (SBC) expense, amortization of intangible assets (excluding computer software), and restructuring charges. See the tables in Schedule 1 and note 8 to our September 30, 2021 unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements (Q3 2021 Interim Financial Statements) for per-item charges. This aggregate charge was within our Q3 2021 guidance range of between $0.09 and $0.15 per share for these items. IFRS EPS for Q3 2021 included a $0.04 per share positive impact attributable to a deferred tax recovery recorded in connection with the revaluation of certain temporary differences using the future effective tax rate of our Thailand subsidiary related to the forthcoming reduction of the income tax exemption rate in 2022 under an applicable tax incentive (Revaluation Impact) (see note 9 to our Q3 2021 Interim Financial Statements), and a $0.03 per share positive impact attributable to net other recoveries (consisting most significantly of a $0.07 per share positive impact attributable to legal recoveries, offset in part by a $0.05 per share negative impact attributable to Acquisition Costs, as described in note 8 to our Q3 2021 Interim Financial Statements), all offset in part by a $0.05 per share negative impact attributable to estimated COVID-19 Costs, net of $1 million of recognized COVID Subsidies (each defined below). IFRS EPS of $0.24 for Q3 2020 included a $0.06 per share negative impact attributable to estimated COVID-19 Costs and a $0.03 per share negative impact attributable to restructuring charges, more than offset by a $0.085 per share positive impact attributable to approximately $11 million of recognized COVID-19-related government subsidies, grants and credits (COVID Subsidies) and $0.3 million of customer recoveries related to COVID-19 (Customer Recoveries), and a $0.05 per share positive impact to reflect SBC expense reversals recorded in Q3 2020 to reflect a reduction in the estimated number of certain share-based awards that were expected to vest in January 2021 (SBC Reversal). IFRS EPS of $0.57 for the first three quarters of 2021 (YTD 2021) included a $0.17 per share negative impact attributable to estimated COVID-19 Costs, and a $0.02 per share negative impact attributable to net other charges (consisting most significantly of a $0.06 per share negative impact attributable to net restructuring charges and a $0.04 per share negative impact attributable to Acquisition Costs, offset in part by an $0.08 per share positive impact attributable to legal recoveries, as described in note 8 to our Q3 2021 Interim Financial Statements), all offset in part by a $0.09 per share positive impact attributable to approximately $11 million of recognized COVID Subsidies and $1 million of Customer Recoveries, as well as the $0.04 per share positive Revaluation Impact. IFRS EPS of $0.31 for the first three quarters of 2020 (YTD 2020) included a $0.22 per share negative impact attributable to estimated COVID-19 Costs, and a $0.15 per share negative impact attributable to restructuring charges, offset in part by a $0.21 per share positive impact attributable to approximately $26 million of recognized COVID Subsidies and $1 million in Customer Recoveries, as well as the $0.05 per share positive impact of the SBC Reversal. See Schedule 1 for the exclusions used to determine non-IFRS adjusted EPS for Q3 2021, Q3 2020, YTD 2021 and YTD 2020. COVID-19 Costs consist of both direct and indirect costs, including manufacturing inefficiencies related to lost revenue due to our inability to secure materials, idled labor costs, and incremental costs for labor, expedite fees and freight premiums, cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, and/or IT-related services to support our work-from-home arrangements. (2) For Q3 2021, our revenue was at the mid-point of our guidance range, our non-IFRS adjusted EPS was towards the high end of our guidance range, and our non-IFRS operating margin exceeded the mid-point of our revenue and non-IFRS adjusted EPS guidance ranges. Non-IFRS adjusted SG&A for Q3 2021 was within our guidance range and our non-IFRS adjusted effective tax rate for Q3 2021 was 19% (compared to our anticipated estimate of approximately 20%). Q3 2021 non-IFRS operating margin and adjusted EPS benefited from strong performance in both of our segments, despite adverse revenue impacts attributable to materials shortages. See "Non-IFRS Supplementary Information" below for information on our rationale for the use of non-IFRS financial measures, and Schedule 1 for, among other items, non-IFRS financial measures included in this press release, as well as their definitions, uses, and a reconciliation of historical non-IFRS financial measures to the most directly comparable IFRS financial measures. Segment Updates ATS Segment: ATS segment revenue increased 12% in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020, driven by strong revenue growth in our Capital Equipment and HealthTech businesses, and the continuing recovery in our Industrial business. These increases more than offset continued softness in the commercial aerospace portion of our A&D business related to COVID-19. Also see "Supply Chain and Workforce Constraints" below for a description of the estimated adverse impact of such matters on ATS segment revenue in Q3 2021 and the prior year period. We remain on track to achieve our target of 10% revenue growth in our ATS segment in 2021 as compared to 2020. ATS segment margin increased to 4.3% in Q3 2021 compared to 3.7% in Q3 2020, primarily due to profitable growth in our Capital Equipment business, which more than offset the impact of lower revenues in our A&D business. This marks the sixth consecutive quarter of sequential ATS segment margin expansion. We anticipate our ATS segment margin will enter our target range of 5% to 6% in Q4 2021. Revenue from our semiconductor Capital Equipment customers increased in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020. The growth was driven by continued strong end market demand, in combination with new program wins and market share gains. We expect continued strength in our Capital Equipment business in Q4 2021 and into 2022, and anticipate that revenue from our Capital Equipment business for 2021 will exceed $700 million, which would represent at least 30% growth over 2020. While A&D revenue in Q3 2021 was lower than in Q3 2020, primarily due to soft demand driven by the ongoing impact of COVID-19, headwinds have stabilized, resulting in modest sequential growth. Although we do not expect our commercial aerospace business to return to pre-COVID-19 levels in the near term, we expect modest sequential growth to continue in Q4 2021 and into 2022, supported by new program wins. During Q3 2021, revenue from our Industrial business increased compared to Q3 2020. Demand in our Industrial business continues to recover after being significantly impacted by COVID-19 in 2020. We expect year-over-year revenue and sequential growth in Q4 2021 supported by strong bookings and a general recovery in demand, as well as the addition of PCI assuming consummation of the acquisition in November 2021 as anticipated (see "PCI Acquisition" below). We expect PCI's portfolio, as well as our existing Industrial business, to achieve solid organic growth in 2022. HealthTech revenue increased in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020. While we expect to see some moderation in revenue growth in Q4 2021 due to softening demand in our COVID-19-related programs, we continue to expect our overall HealthTech business to grow in 2022, supported by the ramping of new non-COVID-related programs. CCS Segment: CCS segment revenue decreased in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020, primarily due to our disengagement from programs with Cisco Systems, Inc. (Cisco Disengagement), completed in the fourth quarter of 2020, as well as program-specific demand softness from certain server customers in our Enterprise end market. Also see "Supply Chain and Workforce Constraints" below for a description of the estimated adverse impact of such matters on CCS segment revenue in Q3 2021 and the prior year period. These decreases were partially offset by strong demand from service provider customers, including in our HPS business, as well as strength in demand from certain storage customers in our Enterprise end market. We expect that year-to-year Enterprise revenue declines will begin to stabilize in Q4 2021. Our HPS business recorded strong revenue growth in Q3 2021, increasing 22% to approximately $300 million compared to Q3 2020. CCS segment revenue from programs with customers other than Cisco increased 2% in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020, and increased 5% YTD 2021 compared to YTD 2020. Although total CCS segment revenue for 2021 is anticipated to decline compared to 2020, we currently expect approximately 20% revenue growth in our HPS business in 2021 compared to 2020, as HPS revenue is expected to exceed $1 billion for 2021. We also expect HPS revenue to increase by at least 10% in 2022 compared to 2021. Despite lower revenue levels, CCS segment margin improved to 4.1% in Q3 2021 compared to 4.0% in Q3 2020, primarily due to a more favorable mix, driven by our portfolio reshaping activities, and an increased concentration of revenue from our HPS business. This represents our sixth consecutive quarter with CCS segment margin above our target range. We expect CCS segment margin to exceed our 2% to 3% target range in Q4 2021, and to be at the high end of the target range, or slightly higher, for 2022. Supply Chain and Workforce Constraints: Global supply chain constraints, including as a result of COVID-19, continued to impact both of our segments in Q3 2021, resulting in extended lead times for certain components, and impacting the availability of materials required to support customer programs. However, our advanced planning processes, supply chain management, and collaboration with our customers and suppliers helped to partially mitigate the impact of these constraints on our revenue. We expect this pressure to persist in Q4 2021 and throughout 2022, particularly in our CCS segment. While we have incorporated these dynamics into our Q4 2021 guidance and 2022 annual outlook to the best of our ability, their adverse impact (in terms of duration and severity) cannot be estimated with certainty, and may be materially in excess of our expectations. As a result of recent resurgences of COVID-19 outbreaks, the governments of various jurisdictions have mandated periodic lockdowns or workforce constraints. However, because Celestica's operations have been considered an essential service by relevant local government authorities to date, our manufacturing sites have generally continued to operate in impacted countries (including Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand and Laos in Q3 2021), albeit at reduced capacities (due to reduced attendance, shift reductions or temporary shutdowns). Although these lockdowns and workforce constraints present a challenge to our business performance when in force, due to effective resource management and planning, we have been able to largely mitigate the impact of these actions to date on our manufacturing capacity and our revenues. We estimate that we had an aggregate adverse revenue impact of approximately $30 million in Q3 2021 as a result of supply chain constraints and, to a lesser extent, lockdowns/workforce constraints, consistent with Q2 2021. Such constraints adversely impacted revenue in our ATS segment by approximately $21 million and our CCS segment by approximately $9 million in Q3 2021 (Q3 2020 — approximately $16 million (ATS segment — approximately $7 million; CCS segment — approximately $9 million)). We also incurred approximately $7 million of estimated COVID-19 Costs during Q3 2021 (Q3 2020 — $8 million), and recognized approximately $1 million of COVID Subsidies and no Customer Recoveries (Q3 2020 — approximately $11 million in COVID Subsidies and $0.3 million in Customer Recoveries), each as defined in footnote 1 to the "Summary of Selected Q3 2021 Results" above. PCI Acquisition On September 21, 2021, we entered into a definitive agreement to acquire PCI, a fully-integrated design, engineering and manufacturing solutions provider with five manufacturing and design facilities across Asia. The purchase price is estimated to be approximately $306 million (subject to a working capital adjustment). We expect to finance the acquisition with a combination of cash and borrowings of up to $220 million under our current credit facility (described below). The transaction is expected to close in November 2021, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. There can be no assurance, however, that this transaction will be consummated, in a timely manner, or at all. We intend to use borrowings under our revolver to finance this portion of the PCI acquisition at closing. However, we are currently pursuing the addition of a new term loan under our credit facility with the Administrative Agent thereunder, which if obtained, will be used to repay the amounts borrowed under the revolver for the acquisition. Although we believe that such term loan will be provided on acceptable terms, there can be no assurance that this will be the case. Intention to Launch New NCIB We intend to file a notice of intention with the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) to commence a new NCIB in Q4 2021, after our current NCIB expires in November 2021. If this notice is accepted by the TSX, we expect to be permitted to repurchase for cancellation, at our discretion during the 12 months following such acceptance, up to 10% of the "public float" (calculated in accordance with the rules of the TSX) of our issued and outstanding subordinate voting shares. Purchases under the new NCIB, if accepted, will be conducted in the open market or as otherwise permitted, subject to applicable terms and limitations, and will be made through the facilities of the TSX and the New York Stock Exchange. We believe that a new NCIB is in the interest of the Company. Q3 2021 Webcast Management will host its Q3 2021 results conference call on October 26, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The webcast can be accessed at www.celestica.com. Non-IFRS Supplementary Information In addition to disclosing detailed operating results in accordance with IFRS, Celestica provides supplementary non-IFRS financial measures to consider in evaluating the company's operating performance. Management uses adjusted net earnings and other non-IFRS financial measures to assess operating performance and the effective use and allocation of resources; to provide more meaningful period-to-period comparisons of operating results; to enhance investors' understanding of the core operating results of Celestica's business; and to set management incentive targets. We believe investors use both IFRS and non-IFRS financial measures to assess management's past, current and future decisions associated with our priorities and our allocation of capital, as well as to analyze how our business operates in, or responds to, swings in economic cycles or to other events that impact our core operations. See Schedule 1 below. About Celestica Celestica enables the world's best brands. Through our recognized customer-centric approach, we partner with leading companies in Aerospace and Defense, Communications, Enterprise, HealthTech, Industrial, Capital Equipment, and Energy to deliver solutions for their most complex challenges. As a leader in design, manufacturing, hardware platform and supply chain solutions, Celestica brings global expertise and insight at every stage of product development - from the drawing board to full-scale production and after-market services. With talented teams across North America, Europe and Asia, we imagine, develop and deliver a better future with our customers. For more information on Celestica, visit www.celestica.com. Our securities filings can be accessed at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, those related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business; our priorities, goals and strategies; trends in the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry and our segments (and/or constituent businesses), and their anticipated impact; the anticipated impact of current market conditions on each of our segments (and/or constituent businesses) and near term expectations (positive and negative); our anticipated financial and/or operational results and outlook, including our anticipated Q4 2021 non-IFRS adjusted effective tax rate; our anticipated acquisition of PCI, the expected timing, cost, and funding thereof, and the expected impact of such acquisition, if consummated, on our Q4 2021 and 2022 financial results; our intention to launch a new NCIB and anticipated terms; our pursuit of a new term loan under our credit facility; materials, components and supply chain constraints; our credit risk; our liquidity; anticipated charges and expenses, including restructuring charges; the potential impact of tax and litigation outcomes; mandatory prepayments under our credit facility; interest rates; and our financial statement estimates and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements may, without limitation, be preceded by, followed by, or include words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "intends," "plans," "continues," "project," "target," "potential," "possible," "contemplate," "seek," or similar expressions, or may employ such future or conditional verbs as "may," "might," "will," "could," "should," or "would," or may otherwise be indicated as forward-looking statements by grammatical construction, phrasing or context. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, where applicable, and applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements are provided to assist readers in understanding management's current expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements, including, among others, risks related to: customer and segment concentration; challenges of replacing revenue from completed, lost or non-renewed programs or customer disengagements; our customers' ability to compete and succeed using our products and services; price, margin pressures, and other competitive factors and adverse market conditions affecting, and the highly competitive nature of, the EMS industry in general and our segments in particular (including the risk that anticipated market improvements do not materialize); changes in our mix of customers and/or the types of products or services we provide, including negative impacts of higher concentrations of lower margin programs; the cyclical and volatile nature of our semiconductor business; delays in the delivery and availability of components, services and/or materials; managing changes in customer demand; rapidly evolving and changing technologies, and changes in our customers' business or outsourcing strategies; the expansion or consolidation of our operations; volatility in the commercial aerospace industry; the inability to maintain adequate utilization of our workforce; the nature of the display market; defects or deficiencies in our products, services or designs; integrating and achieving the anticipated benefits from acquisitions and "operate-in-place" arrangements; compliance with customer-driven policies and standards, and third-party certification requirements; challenges associated with new customers or programs, or the provision of new services; the impact of our restructuring actions, divestitures and/or productivity initiatives, including a failure to achieve anticipated benefits therefrom; the incurrence of future restructuring charges, impairment charges, other write-downs of assets or operating losses; managing our business during uncertain market, political and economic conditions, including among others, geopolitical and other risks associated with our international operations, including military actions, protectionism and reactive countermeasures, economic or other sanctions or trade barriers; disruptions to our operations, or those of our customers, component suppliers and/or logistics partners, including as a result of events outside of our control, including, among others: policies or legislation instituted by the former or current administration in the U.S., U.S. and global tax reform, the potential impact of significant tariffs on items imported into the U.S. and related countermeasures, and/or the impact of (in addition to COVID-19) other widespread illness or disease; the scope, duration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its continuing adverse impact on the commercial aerospace industry; changes to our operating model; changing commodity, materials and component costs as well as labor costs and conditions; execution and/or quality issues (including our ability to successfully resolve these challenges); non-performance by counterparties; maintaining sufficient financial resources to fund currently anticipated financial actions and obligations and to pursue desirable business opportunities; negative impacts on our business resulting from current outstanding third-party indebtedness; negative impacts on our business resulting from any significant uses of cash, securities issuances, and/or additional increases in third-party indebtedness (including increased third-party indebtedness for the acquisition of PCI, and/or as a result of an inability to sell desired amounts under our uncommitted accounts receivable sales program); the failure to obtain an additional term loan in connection with our acquisition of PCI on acceptable terms, in a timely manner, or at all, and if obtained, that such term loan includes additional restrictive financial or operational covenants, significantly increased interest rates and/or additional significant fees; the failure to satisfy the closing conditions required for our purchase of PCI; a material adverse change at PCI; operational impacts that may affect PCI's ability to achieve anticipated financial results; the purchase price for PCI varying from the expected amount; the inability to use cash on hand and/or borrowings under our credit facility to fund the acquisition as anticipated; the failure to consummate the purchase of PCI when anticipated, in a timely manner, or at all, and if the acquisition is consummated, a failure to successfully integrate the acquisition, further develop our capabilities and/or customer base in expected markets or otherwise expand our portfolio of solutions, and/or achieve the other expected synergies and benefits from the acquisition; foreign currency volatility; our global operations and supply chain; competitive bid selection processes; customer relationships with emerging companies; recruiting or retaining skilled talent; our dependence on industries affected by rapid technological change; our ability to adequately protect intellectual property and confidential information; increasing taxes, tax audits, and challenges of defending our tax positions; obtaining, renewing or meeting the conditions of tax incentives and credits; computer viruses, malware, ransomware, hacking attempts or outages that may disrupt our operations; the inability to prevent or detect all errors or fraud; the variability of revenue and operating results; unanticipated disruptions to our cash flows; compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and government subsidies, grants or credits; the management of our information technology systems; our pension and other benefit plan obligations; changes in accounting judgments, estimates and assumptions; our ability to maintain compliance with applicable (or any new) credit facility covenants; interest rate fluctuations and changes to LIBOR; deterioration in financial markets or the macro-economic environment; our credit rating; the interest of our controlling shareholder; current or future litigation, governmental actions, and/or changes in legislation or accounting standards; negative publicity; that the TSX will not accept a new NCIB; that we will not be permitted to, or do not, repurchase subordinate voting shares (SVS) under any NCIB; and our ability to achieve our environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiative goals, including with respect to climate change. The foregoing and other material risks and uncertainties are discussed in our public filings at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov, including in our most recent MD&A, our 2020 Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with, and subsequent reports on Form 6-K furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and as applicable, the Canadian Securities Administrators. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on various assumptions, many of which involve factors that are beyond our control. Our material assumptions include those related to the following: the scope and duration of materials constraints and the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our sites, customers and suppliers; fluctuation of production schedules from our customers in terms of volume and mix of products or services; the timing and execution of, and investments associated with, ramping new business; the success of our customers' products; our ability to retain programs and customers; the stability of general economic and market conditions and currency exchange rates; supplier performance, pricing and terms; compliance by third parties with their contractual obligations; the costs and availability of components, materials, services, equipment, labor, energy and transportation; that our customers will retain liability for product/component tariffs and countermeasures; global tax legislation changes; our ability to keep pace with rapidly changing technological developments; the timing, execution and effect of restructuring actions; the successful resolution of quality issues that arise from time to time; the components of our leverage ratio (as defined in our credit facility); our ability to successfully diversify our customer base and develop new capabilities; the availability of cash resources for, and the permissibility under our credit facility of, repurchases of outstanding SVS under NCIBs, acceptance of a new NCIB and compliance with applicable laws and regulations pertaining to NCIBs; receipt of an additional term loan under our credit facility on acceptable terms and in a timely manner; that we will maintain compliance with applicable (or any new) credit facility covenants; anticipated demand strength in certain of our businesses; anticipated demand weakness in, and/or the impact of anticipated adverse market conditions on, certain of our businesses; and that: the closing conditions to our purchase of PCI will be satisfied in a timely manner; no material adverse change will have occurred at PCI; anticipated financial results by PCI will be achieved; our purchase of PCI will be consummated in a timely manner and on anticipated terms; our ability to use available cash on hand and incur further indebtedness under our credit facility will be as expected in order to finance the PCI acquisition as anticipated; once acquired, we are able to successfully integrate PCI, further develop our ATS segment business, and achieve the other expected synergies and benefits from the acquisition; all financial information provided by PCI is accurate and complete, and all forecasts of PCI's operating results are reasonable and were provided to Celestica in good faith; and we will continue to have sufficient financial resources to fund currently anticipated financial actions and obligations and to pursue desirable business opportunities. Although management believes its assumptions to be reasonable under the current circumstances, they may prove to be inaccurate, which could cause actual results to differ materially (and adversely) from those that would have been achieved had such assumptions been accurate. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. All forward-looking statements attributable to us are expressly qualified by these cautionary statements. Schedule 1Supplementary Non-IFRS Financial Measures The non-IFRS financial measures included in this press release are: adjusted gross profit, adjusted gross margin (adjusted gross profit as a percentage of revenue), adjusted selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A), adjusted SG&A as a percentage of revenue, operating earnings (or adjusted EBIAT), operating margin (operating earnings or adjusted EBIAT as a percentage of revenue), adjusted net earnings, adjusted EPS, adjusted return on invested capital (adjusted ROIC), free cash flow, adjusted tax expense and adjusted effective tax rate. Adjusted EBIAT, adjusted ROIC, free cash flow, adjusted tax expense and adjusted effective tax rate are further described in the tables below. In calculating our non-IFRS financial measures, management excludes the following items where indicated in the table below: employee stock-based compensation (SBC) expense, amortization of intangible assets (excluding computer software), Other Charges, net of recoveries (defined below), Finance Costs (defined below), and acquisition inventory fair value adjustments, all net of the associated tax adjustments (quantified in the table below), and non-core tax impacts (tax adjustments related to acquisitions, and certain other tax costs or recoveries related to restructuring actions or restructured sites). We believe the non-IFRS financial measures we present herein are useful to investors, as they enable investors to evaluate and compare our results from operations in a more consistent manner (by excluding specific items that we do not consider to be reflective of our core operations), to evaluate cash resources that we generate from our business each period, and to provide an analysis of operating results using the same measures our chief operating decision makers use to measure performance. In addition, management believes that the use of a non-IFRS adjusted tax expense and a non-IFRS adjusted effective tax rate provide improved insight into the tax effects of our core operations, and are useful to management and investors for historical comparisons and forecasting. These non-IFRS financial measures result largely from management's determination that the facts and circumstances surrounding the excluded charges or recoveries are not indicative of our core operations. Non-IFRS financial measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies that report under IFRS, or who report under U.S. GAAP and use non-GAAP financial measures to describe similar financial metrics. Non-IFRS financial measures are not measures of performance under IFRS and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for any IFRS financial measure. The most significant limitation to management's use of non-IFRS financial measures is that the charges or credits excluded from the non-IFRS financial measures are nonetheless recognized under IFRS and have an economic impact on us. Management compensates for these limitations primarily by issuing IFRS results to show a complete picture of our performance, and reconciling non-IFRS financial measures back to the most directly comparable IFRS financial measures. The economic substance of the exclusions described above (where applicable to the periods presented) and management's rationale for excluding them from non-IFRS financial measures is provided below: Employee SBC expense, which represents the estimated fair value of stock options, restricted share units and performance share units granted to employees, is excluded because grant activities vary significantly from quarter-to-quarter in both quantity and fair value. In addition, excluding this expense allows us to better compare core operating results with those of our competitors who also generally exclude employee SBC expense in assessing operating performance, who may have different granting patterns and types of equity awards, and who may use different valuation assumptions than we do. Amortization charges (excluding computer software) consist of non-cash charges against intangible assets that are impacted by the timing and magnitude of acquired businesses. Amortization of intangible assets varies among our competitors, and we believe that excluding these charges permits a better comparison of core operating results with those of our competitors who also generally exclude amortization charges in assessing operating performance. Other Charges, net of recoveries, consist of, when applicable: Restructuring Charges, net of recoveries (defined below); Transition Costs (defined below); net Impairment charges (defined below); consulting, transaction and integration costs related to potential and completed acquisitions, and charges or releases related to the subsequent re-measurement of indemnification assets or the release of indemnification or other liabilities recorded in connection with our acquisition of Impakt Holdings, LLC (such releases were first recorded in the first quarter of 2021) (collectively, Acquisition Costs (Recoveries)); legal settlements (recoveries); credit facility-related charges; and post-employment benefit plan losses. We exclude these charges, net of recoveries, because we believe that they are not directly related to ongoing operating results and do not reflect expected future operating expenses after completion of these activities or incurrence of the relevant costs. Our competitors may record similar charges at different times, and we believe these exclusions permit a better comparison of our core operating results with those of our competitors who also generally exclude these types of charges, net of recoveries, in assessing operating performance. Restructuring Charges, net of recoveries, consist of costs relating to: employee severance, lease terminations, site closings and consolidations; write-downs of owned property and equipment which are no longer used and are available for sale; and reductions in infrastructure. Transition Costs consist of: (i) costs recorded in connection with the relocation of our Toronto manufacturing operations, and the move of our corporate headquarters into and out of a temporary location during, and upon completion, of the construction of space in a new office building at our former location (all in connection with the 2019 sale of our Toronto real property) and (ii) costs recorded in connection with the transfer of manufacturing lines from closed sites to other sites within our global network. Transition Costs consist of direct relocation and duplicate costs (such as rent expense, utility costs, depreciation charges, and personnel costs) incurred during the transition periods, as well as cease-use costs incurred in connection with idle or vacated portions of the relevant premises that we would not have incurred but for these relocations and transfers. We believe that excluding these costs permits a better comparison of our core operating results from period-to-period, as these costs will not reflect our ongoing operations once these relocations and manufacturing line transfers are complete. Impairment charges, which consist of non-cash charges against goodwill, intangible assets, property, plant and equipment, and right-of-use (ROU) assets, result primarily when the carrying value of these assets exceeds their recoverable amount. Finance Costs consist of interest expense and fees related to our credit facility (including debt issuance and related amortization costs), our interest rate swap agreements, our accounts receivable sales program and customers' supplier financing programs, and interest expense on our lease obligations, net of interest income earned. We believe that excluding these costs provides useful insight for assessing the performance of our core operations. Acquisition inventory fair value adjustments relate to the write-up of the inventory acquired in connection with our acquisitions, representing the difference between the cost and fair value of such inventory. We exclude the impact of the recognition of these adjustments, when incurred, because we believe such exclusion permits a better comparison of our core operating results from period-to-period, as their impact is not indicative of our ongoing operating performance. Non-core tax impacts are excluded, as we believe that these costs or recoveries do not reflect core operating performance and vary significantly among those of our competitors who also generally exclude these costs or recoveries in assessing operating performance. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the various non-IFRS financial measures discussed above, and a reconciliation of non-IFRS financial measures to the most directly comparable IFRS financial measures (in millions, except percentages and per share amounts):   Three months ended September 30   Nine months ended September 30   2020   2021   2020   2021     % ofrevenue     % ofrevenue     % ofrevenue     % ofrevenue IFRS revenue $ 1,550.5       $ 1,467.4       $ 4,361.5       $ 4,122.6                             IFRS gross profit $ 124.2   8.0 %   $ 125.4   8.5 %   $ 323.8   7.4 %   $ 344.9   8.4 % Employee SBC expense 1.1       3.1       8.9       9.4     Non-IFRS adjusted gross profit $ 125.3   8.1 %   $ 128.5   8.8 %   $ 332.7   7.6 %   $ 354.3   8.6 %                         IFRS SG&A $ 56.9   3.7 %   $ 62.0   4.2 %   $ 171.3   3.9 %   $ 179.6   4.4 % Employee SBC expense (0.6 )     (5.5 )     (11.8 )     (14.8 )   Non-IFRS adjusted SG&A $ 56.3   3.6 %   $ 56.5   3.9 %   $ 159.5   3.7 %   $ 164.8   4.0 %                         IFRS earnings before income taxes $ 40.3   2.6 %   $ 43.9   3.0 %   $ 63.8   1.5 %   $ 94.4   2.3 % Finance Costs 8.9       7.8       28.6       23.4     Employee SBC expense 1.7       8.6       20.7       24.2     Amortization of intangible assets (excluding computer software) 5.5       4.9       16.9       14.7     Other Charges (recoveries) 3.7       (3.9 )     19.0       2.9     Non-IFRS operating earnings (adjusted EBIAT) (1) $ 60.1   3.9 %   $ 61.3   4.2 %   $ 149.0   3.4 %   $ 159.6   3.9 %                         IFRS net earnings $ 30.4   2.0 %   $ 35.2   2.4 %   $ 40.5   0.9 %   $ 72.0   1.7 % Employee SBC expense 1.7       8.6       20.7       24.2     Amortization of intangible assets (excluding computer software) 5.5       4.9       16.9       14.7     Other Charges (recoveries) 3.7       (3.9 )     19.0       2.9     Adjustments for taxes (2) (0.4 )     (1.4 )     (3.8 )     (4.7 )   Non-IFRS adjusted net earnings $ 40.9       $ 43.4       $ 93.3       $ 109.1                             Diluted EPS                       Weighted average # of shares (in millions) 129.1       125.5       129.1       127.3     IFRS earnings per share $ 0.24       $ 0.28       $ 0.31       $ 0.57     Non-IFRS adjusted earnings per share $ 0.32       $ 0.35       $ 0.72       $ 0.86     # of shares outstanding at period end (in millions) 129.1       124.7       129.1       124.7                             IFRS cash provided by operations $ 42.0       $ 55.7       $ 189.9       $ 161.0     Purchase of property, plant and equipment, net of sales proceeds (9.9 )     (13.2 )     (32.2 )     (35.3 )   Lease payments (3) (9.9 )     (10.0 )     (27.9 )     (30.0 )   Finance Costs paid (excluding debt issuance costs paid) (3) (6.4 )     (5.4 )     (22.3 )     (16.5 )   Non-IFRS free cash flow (3) $ 15.8       $ 27.1       $ 107.5       $ 79.2                             IFRS ROIC % (4) 10.2 %     10.9 %     5.3 %     7.8 %   Non-IFRS adjusted ROIC % (4) 15.2 %     15.2 %     12.5 %     13.2 %   (1)   Management uses non-IFRS operating earnings (adjusted EBIAT) as a measure to assess performance related to our core operations. Non-IFRS adjusted EBIAT is defined as earnings (loss) before income taxes, Finance Costs (defined above), employee SBC expense, amortization of intangible assets (excluding computer software), Other Charges (recoveries) (defined above), and in applicable periods, acquisition inventory fair value adjustments. See note 8 to our Q3 2021 Interim Financial Statements for separate quantification and discussion of the components of Other Charges (recoveries). (2)   The adjustments for taxes, as applicable, represent the tax effects of our non-IFRS adjustments and non-core tax impacts (see below). The following table sets forth a reconciliation of our IFRS tax expense and IFRS effective tax rate to our non-IFRS adjusted tax expense and our non-IFRS adjusted effective tax rate for the periods indicated, in each case determined by excluding the tax benefits or costs associated with the listed items (in millions, except percentages) from our IFRS tax expense for such periods:   Three months ended   Nine months ended   September 30   September 30   2020 Effectivetax rate   2021 Effectivetax rate   2020 Effectivetax rate   2021 Effectivetax rate                     IFRS tax expense and IFRS effective tax rate $ 9.9   25 %   $ 8.7   20 %   $ 23.3   37 %   $ 22.4   24 %                         Tax costs (benefits) of the following items excluded from IFRS tax expense:                       Employee SBC expense 0.2       1.4       1.2       2.9     Other Charges (recoveries) 0.2       —       2.2       0.7     Non-core tax impacts related to tax uncertainties* —       —       0.4       —     Non-core tax impact related to restructured sites** —       —       —       1.1     Non-IFRS adjusted tax expense and non-IFRS adjusted effective tax rate $ 10.3   20 %   $ 10.1   19 %   $ 27.1   23 %   $ 27.1   20 % * Consists of the reversal of certain tax uncertainties related to a prior acquisition that became statute-barred in the first quarter of 2020. ** Consists of the reversals of tax uncertainties related to one of our Asian subsidiaries that completed its liquidation and dissolution during the first quarter of 2021. (3)   Management uses non-IFRS free cash flow as a measure, in addition to IFRS cash provided by (used in) operations, to assess our operational cash flow performance. We believe non-IFRS free cash flow provides another level of transparency to our liquidity. Non-IFRS free cash flow is defined as cash provided by (used in) operations after the purchase of property, plant and equipment (net of proceeds from the sale of certain surplus equipment and property), lease payments and Finance Costs paid (excluding any debt issuance costs and when applicable, waiver fees related to our credit facility). We do not consider debt issuance costs (nil paid in Q3 2021 and YTD 2021; $0.3 million and $0.6 million paid in Q3 2020 and YTD 2020, respectively) or such waiver fees (when applicable) to be part of our ongoing financing expenses. As a result, these costs are excluded from total Finance Costs paid in our determination of non-IFRS free cash flow. Note, however, that non-IFRS free cash flow does not represent residual cash flow available to Celestica for discretionary expenditures. (4)   Management uses non-IFRS adjusted ROIC as a measure to assess the effectiveness of the invested capital we use to build products or provide services to our customers, by quantifying how well we generate earnings relative to the capital we have invested in our business. Non-IFRS adjusted ROIC is calculated by dividing non-IFRS adjusted EBIAT by average net invested capital. Net invested capital (calculated in the table below) is defined as total assets less: cash, ROU assets, accounts payable, accrued and other current liabilities, provisions, and income taxes payable. We use a two-point average to calculate average net invested capital for the quarter and a four-point average to calculate average net invested capital for the nine-month period. A comparable measure under IFRS would be determined by dividing IFRS earnings (loss) before income taxes by average net invested capital (which we have set forth in the charts above and below), however, this measure (which we have called IFRS ROIC), is not a measure defined under IFRS. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, our calculation of IFRS ROIC % and non-IFRS adjusted ROIC % (in millions, except IFRS ROIC % and non-IFRS adjusted ROIC %).   Three months ended   Nine months ended   September 30   September 30   2020   2021   2020   2021                 IFRS earnings before income taxes $ 40.3     $ 43.9     $ 63.8     $ 94.4   Multiplier to annualize earnings 4     4     1.333     1.333   Annualized IFRS earnings before income taxes $ 161.2     $ 175.6     $ 85.0     $ 125.8                   Average net invested capital for the period.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaOct 26th, 2021

They Insist Everything Will Be Fine As We Face Shortages Of Chicken, Coffee, Diapers, Fish Sticks, Frozen Meals, Carbonated Drinks...

They Insist Everything Will Be Fine As We Face Shortages Of Chicken, Coffee, Diapers, Fish Sticks, Frozen Meals, Carbonated Drinks... Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com, Officials in Washington continue to assure us that we don’t have anything to be concerned about, but meanwhile the shelves just continue to get even emptier.  On Friday, #BareShelvesBiden was the number one trending topic on Twitter, and I am sure that the Biden administration must have been thrilled by that.  Biden insists that he and his team are on top of things, but so far nothing that they have done has worked.  In fact, this crisis just seems to keep getting worse and worse.  And because we are facing such a “hydra of bottlenecks”, there aren’t going to be any easy solutions… When you look closely at all of the small fractures that have contributed to the world’s supply chain crackup, it really can begin to look maddeningly complex. As the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson put it, global commerce is currently being choked by “a veritable hydra of bottlenecks.” China’s “zero tolerance” policy for the coronavirus led it to shut down a major shipping terminal after a single infection and has slowed traffic at other ports. Lately, rolling power outages in the country have closed factories. Vietnam’s clothing and shoe plants, which companies like Nike rely on, were paralyzed by COVID lockdowns earlier this year. The world has also been bedeviled by shipping container shortages, made worse by bizarre pricing incentives that have led companies to send the boxes back from the U.S. to Asia empty, leaving American agricultural exporters in the lurch. Meanwhile, the world’s semiconductor shortage has lingered on, stalling car and electronics production; earlier this week, it was reported than Apple is expected to cut iPhone production by 10 million because it simply can’t get enough chips. We can’t control what is going on in other nations, but we can certainly do something about what is happening within our own borders. On the west coast, it appears that part of the problem is simply sheer laziness… “In 15 years of doing this job, I’ve never seen them work slower,” said Antonio, who has spent hours waiting at Los Angeles County ports for cargo to be loaded. “The crane operators take their time, like three to four hours to get just one container. You can’t say anything to them, or they will just go [help] someone else.” The Washington Examiner spoke to six truck drivers near the Long Beach/Terminal Island entry route, and each described crane operators as lazy, prone to long lunches, and quick to retaliate against complaints. The allegations were backed up by a labor consultant who has worked on the waterfront for 40 years. None of the truckers interviewed for this story wanted to provide a last name because they fear reprisals at the ports. As one of my friends pointed out to me the other day, we have gone from being a “can do” nation to a “can’t do” nation. Over the course of my lifetime, our culture has been totally transformed, and the national work ethic that helped make America into an economic superpower is disappearing a little bit more with each passing day. Our society has become a festival of sloth, inactivity and incompetence, and at this point things have gotten so bad that our supply chains are breaking down on a very basic level. The shortages continue to intensify, and we are being told that they will be even worse by the time the end of December rolls around.  According to USA Today, the following are in particularly short supply right now… Ben & Jerry flavors Carbonated drinks Chicken Coffee Diapers Fish sticks Frozen Meals Heinz ketchup packets Marie Callender’s pot pies McCormick Gourmet spices Rice Krispie Treats Sour Patch Kids Toilet paper How hard is it to make toilet paper, put it in a truck and drive it to stores around the country? It seems like we have been talking about toilet paper shortages for nearly two years now. When is it going to end? To me, the food shortages are particularly alarming.  Earlier today, I was stunned to learn that one school district in Alabama says that it can’t feed the students because it can’t get enough food delivered… How bad are the shortages across the country getting? One Alabama school district is literally running out of food.  Alexander City Schools have started asking parents to feed their children breakfast at home or to send them to school with snacks because the district hasn’t received its normal food deliveries from vendors, according to AL.com. “Alexander City Schools, like many schools across the nation, is experiencing supply chain issues with our food vendors,” the district wrote on Facebook. This is the United States of America. This sort of thing is not supposed to happen here. But it is happening. And virtually every industry is being affected.  In the old days, getting vehicle parts was never a problem, but now some Americans are having to wait two or three months to have their vehicles fixed… In the Seattle suburbs, garage owner Bryan Kelley waited on parts for 60 to 90 days on two separate occasions while fixing pick-up trucks. One of the parts, a crankshaft position sensor, used to take a half hour to get from the distribution center, said Kelley, owner of Valley Automotive Repair and Electric. The wait got so long that the customer was ready to give up on his Dodge Ram 1500, he said. Even more alarming is the fact that so many farmers are having such difficulty getting their farm equipment fixed. As Ethan Huff has pointed out, this potentially threatens their ability to plant and harvest crops… “You try to baby your equipment, but we’re all at the mercy of luck right now,” says Cordt Holub, a fourth-generation corn and soybean farmer in Buckingham, Ia, who now locks his machinery up inside his barn every night after thieves robbed hard-to-find tractor parts from a local Deere & Co. dealership. Tractor tires, semiconductors and other vital components needed in the industrial farming sector are just not available like they once were, which threatens the ability of farmers to not only continue planting food but also harvesting it. If the shortages get a lot worse, and I believe that eventually they will, we will be facing things in this nation that we have never faced before. But don’t worry, because Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has finally returned from paternity leave and he says that he will get things fixed. However, he is also admitting that supply chain disruptions “will continue into next year”… Also on Sunday, Buttigieg warned that the supply chain disruption will continue into 2022. ‘Certainly a lot of the challenges that we have been experiencing this year will continue into next year,’ Buttigieg told State of the Union host Jake Tapper. Do you have confidence that Biden, Buttigieg and the rest of the bureaucrats in Washington will turn things around in 2022? We shall see what happens. But meanwhile the shortages continue to intensify, and the American people are starting to get quite restless. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/19/2021 - 12:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 19th, 2021

Futures Rebound From Overnight Slide As Oil Keeps Rising

Futures Rebound From Overnight Slide As Oil Keeps Rising US equity-index futures erased earlier declines, rebounding from a loss of as much as 0.8% helped by the start of the European session and easing mounting concerns about stagflation from rising energy prices, signs of widening regulatory scrutiny by China, and the upcoming third-quarter earnings which is expected to post a sharply slower pace of growth and beats than recent record quarters. At 730am ET, Dow e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.25 points, or 0.16%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 46.75points, or 0.31%. Oiil rose 0.3% to $83.86/bbl while the dollar dipped and 10Y yield drifted back under 1.60%. Gains in tech stocks kept Nasdaq futures afloat on Tuesday, while energy names rose as Brent resumed gains, trading around $84/bbl on expectations that a power crisis from Asia to Europe will lift demand and tighten global balances. Higher oil prices and supply chain disruptions have set off alarm bells for businesses and consumers ahead of the third-quarter reporting season that kicks off on Wednesday with JPMorgan results.  "We believe that market participants could stay concerned over high energy prices translating into further acceleration in inflation, and thereby faster tightening by major central banks," said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD Group. In the pre-market, Tesla rose 0.7% after data showed the electric vehicle maker sold 56,006 China-made vehicles in September, the highest since it started production in Shanghai about two years ago. Oil firms including Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp gained 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively, as Brent crude hit a near-three year high on energy crunch fears. Here are the notable movers: China’s Internet sector is one of the “most undervalued” in Morningstar’s coverage, says Ivan Su, an analyst, adding that Tencent (TCEHY US) and Netease (NTES US) are top picks MGM Resorts (MGM US) rises 2% in U.S. premarket trading after stock was upgraded to outperform from neutral and price target more than doubled to a Street-high $68 at Credit Suisse Quanterix (QTRX US) jumped 20% in Monday postmarket trading after the digital-health company announced that its Simoa phospho-Tau 181 blood test has been granted breakthrough device designation by the U.S. FDA as an aid in diagnostic evaluation of Alzheimer’s disease Relay Therapeutics (RLAY US) fell 7% in Monday postmarket trading after launching a $350 million share sale via Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Cowen, Guggenheim Securities Westwater Resources (WWR US) rose as much as 26% in Monday postmarket trading after its board of directors approved construction of the first phase of a production facility in Alabama for battery ready graphite products TechnipFMC (FTI US) in focus after co. was awarded a substantial long-term charter and services contract by Petrobras for the pipelay support vessel Coral do Atlântico Fastenal, which was one of the first companies to report Q3 earnings, saw its shares fall 2.4% in premarket trading on Tuesday, after the industrial distributor said the Covid-related boost was fading. The company said growth in the quarter was slightly limited by either slower expansion or contraction in sales of certain products related to the pandemic, when compared to the previous year quarter. While there was an uptick in sales of certain Covid-related supplies, the unit price of many products was down significantly, the company said in a statement.  Third-quarter sales and profit were in line with the average analyst estimate "While investors want to believe the narrative that stock markets can continue to move higher, this belief is bumping up against the reality of how the continued rise in energy prices, as well as supply-chain pressures, are likely to impact company profit margins,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in London. In Europe, losses led by basic resources companies and carmakers outweighed gains for utilities and tech stocks, pulling the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down 0.1%. Metals miner Rio Tinto was among the worst performers, dropping 2.7%. European equities climbed off the lows having lost over 1% in early trade. Euro Stoxx 600 was down -0.35% after dropping as much as 1.3% initially, led by basic resources companies and carmakers outweighed gains for utilities and tech stocks. The DAX is off 0.3%, FTSE 100 underperforms in a quiet morning for news flow. Miners, banks and autos are the weakest sectors after China reported a sharp drop in auto sales; utilities, tech and real estate post modest gains. European tech stocks slide, with the Stoxx Tech Index dropping as much as 1.4% in third straight decline, as another broker downgrades TeamViewer, while Prosus and chip stocks come under pressure. TeamViewer shares fall as much as 5.1% after Deutsche Bank downgrades the remote software maker to hold from buy following recent guidance cut. Asian stocks fell, halting a three-day rally as uncertainty over earnings deepened amid elevated inflation, higher bond yields and the risk of a widening Chinese crackdown on private industry. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid as much as 1.2%, led by technology and communication shares. Alibaba plunged 3.9% following a rally over the past week, while Samsung Electronics tumbled to a 10-month low after at least five brokers slashed their price targets, as China’s power crisis is seen worsening supply-chain disruptions. “Given the run-up in tech so far, it’s not difficult for investors to harvest profits first before figuring out if techs can maintain their growth when yields rise,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners. Shares in Hong Kong and the mainland were among the worst performers after Chinese authorities kicked off an inspection of the nation’s financial regulators and biggest state-run banks in an effort to root out corruption. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is down 12% from a February peak, with a global energy crunch lifting input prices and the debt crisis at China Evergrande Group weighing on the financial sector. Investors are waiting to see how this impacts earnings, according to Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia.  “Increasing concerns on inflation potentially being more persistent have started to show up,” he said. “This comes along with the global risk-off mood overnight, as investors look for greater clarity from the earnings season on how margins are holding up, along with the corporate economic outlook.” Japan’s Topix index also fell, halting a two-day rally, amid concerns about a global energy crunch and the possibility of a widening Chinese crackdown on private industry. The Topix fell 0.7% to 1,982.68 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.9% to 28,230.61. SoftBank Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s drop, decreasing 2.4%. Out of 2,181 shares in the index, 373 rose and 1,743 fell, while 65 were unchanged. “Market conditions were improving yesterday, but pushing for higher prices got tough when the Nikkei 225 approached its key moving averages,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.  The Nikkei’s 75-day moving average is about 28,500 and the 200-day moving average is about 28,700, so some investors were taking profits, he said. Japan’s spot power price increased to the highest level in nine months, as the global energy crisis intensifies competition for generation fuel before the winter heating season. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an overnight gain as the greenback slipped against all of its Group-of-10 peers. Risk sensitive Scandinavian currencies led gains, followed by the New Zealand and Australian dollars. The pound was little changed while speculators ramped up wagers on sterling’s decline at the fastest rate in more than two years, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show, further breaking the link between anticipated rate increases and currency gains. The yen steadied after three days of declines. The Turkish lira extended its slide to a record low after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted at a possible military offensive into neighboring Syria. Fixed-income was quiet by recent standards: Treasury futures were off lows of the day, improving as S&P 500 futures pare losses during European morning, and as cash trading resumed after Monday’s holiday. The 10Y yield dipped from 1.61% to 1.59% after hitting 1.65% based on futures pricing on Monday, but the big mover was on the front end, where 2-year yields climbed as much as 4bps to 0.35% the highest level since March 2020 reflecting increased expectations for Fed rate hikes, as Treasury cash trading resumed globally. Two coupon auctions during U.S. session -- of 3-and 10-year notes -- may weigh on Treasuries however.  Treasury and gilt curves bull-flatten with gilts outperforming at the back end. Bunds have a bull-steepening bias but ranges are narrow. Peripheral spreads tighten a touch with long-end Italy outperforming peers. In commodities, Crude futures drift higher in muted trade. WTI is up 0.25% near $80.70, Brent trades just shy of a $84-handle. Spot gold remains range-bound near $1,760/oz. Base metals are mixed with LME lead and nickel holding small gains, copper and aluminum in the red. Looking at the day ahead, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Vice Chair Clarida,Bostic and Barkin, as well as theECB’s President Lagarde, Makhlouf, Knot, Villeroy, Lane and Elderson. Data highlights from the US include the JOLTS job openings for August, and the NFIB’s small business optimism index for September which came in at 99.1, below last month's 100.1. The IMF will be releasing their latest World Economic Outlook. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,351.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.6% to 454.90 MXAP down 0.9% to 194.41 MXAPJ down 1.0% to 635.42 Nikkei down 0.9% to 28,230.61 Topix down 0.7% to 1,982.68 Hang Seng Index down 1.4% to 24,962.59 Shanghai Composite down 1.2% to 3,546.94 Sensex little changed at 60,149.85 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,280.73 Kospi down 1.4% to 2,916.38 German 10Y yield fell 6 bps to -0.113% Euro up 0.1% to $1.1565 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $84.01/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,757.84 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 94.29 Top Overnight Headlines from Bloomberg The EU drew record demand for its debut green bond, in the sector’s biggest-ever offering. The bloc registered more than 135 billion euros ($156 billion) in orders Tuesday for a sale of 12 billion euros of securities maturing in 2037 Investors are dumping negative-yielding debt at the fastest pace since February as concerns about inflation and reduced central bank stimulus propel global interest rates higher French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a 30-billion-euro ($35 billion) plan to create the high-tech champions of the future and reverse years of industrial decline in the euro area’s second-largest economy British companies pushed the number of workers on payrolls above pre-coronavirus levels last month, an indication of strength in the labor market that may embolden the Bank of England to raise interest rates. As the Biden administration and governments around the world celebrate another advance toward an historic global tax accord, an obscure legal question in the U.S. threatens to tear it apart Chinese property developers are suffering credit rating downgrades at the fastest pace in five years, as a recent slump in new-home sales adds to concerns about the sector’s debt woes German investor confidence declined for a fifth month in October, adding to evidence that global supply bottlenecks and a surge in inflation are weighing on the recovery in Europe’s largest economy Social Democrat Olaf Scholz’s bid to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor is running into its first test as tensions emerge in talks to bridge policy differences with the Greens and pro-business Free Democrats A more detailed breakdown of global markets from Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mostly lower following the indecisive mood stateside where the major indices gave back initial gains to finish negative amid lingering inflation and global slowdown concerns, with sentiment overnight also hampered by tighter Beijing scrutiny and with US equity futures extending on losses in which the Emini S&P retreated beneath its 100DMA. ASX 200 (-0.3%) was subdued as weakness in energy, tech and financials led the declines in Australia and with participants also digesting mixed NAB business survey data. Nikkei 225 (-0.9%) was on the backfoot after the Japan Center for Economic Research noted that GDP contracted 0.9% M/M in August and with retailers pressured after soft September sales updates from Lawson and Seven & I Holdings, while the KOSPI (-1.4%) was the laggard on return from holiday with chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix subdued as they face new international taxation rules following the recent global minimum tax deal. Hang Seng (-1.4%) and Shanghai Comp. (-1.3%) adhered to the downbeat picture following a continued liquidity drain by the PBoC and with Beijing scrutinising Chinese financial institutions’ ties with private firms, while default concerns lingered after Evergrande missed yesterday’s payments and with Modern Land China seeking a debt extension on a USD 250mln bond to avoid any potential default. Finally, 10yr JGBs eked minimal gains amid the weakness in stocks but with demand for bonds limited after the recent subdued trade in T-note futures owing to yesterday’s cash bond market closure and following softer results across all metrics in the 30yr JGB auction. Top Asian News Alibaba Stock Revival Halted on Concerns of Rising Bond Yields Iron Ore Rally Pauses as China Steel Curbs Cloud Demand Outlook China’s Star Board Sees Rough Start to Fourth Quarter: ECM Watch Citi Lists Top Global Stock Picks for ‘Disruptive Innovations’ European bourses kicked the day off choppy but have since drifted higher (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.4%; Stoxx 600 Unch) as the region remains on standby for the next catalyst, and as US earnings season officially kicks off tomorrow – not to mention the US and Chinese inflation metrics and FOMC minutes. US equity futures have also nursed earlier losses and reside in relatively flat territory at the time of writing, with broad-based performance seen in the ES (Unch), NQ (+0.2%), RTY (-0.2%), YM (Unch). From a technical standpoint, some of the Dec contracts are now hovering around their respective 100 DMAs at 4,346 for the ES, 14,744 for the NQ, whilst the RTY sees its 200 DMA at 2,215, and the YM topped its 21 DMA at 34,321. Back to Europe, cash markets see broad-based downside with the SMI (-0.1%) slightly more cushioned amid gains in heavyweight Nestle (+0.6%). Sectors kicked off the day with a defensive bias but have since seen a slight reconfiguration, with Real Estate now the top performer alongside Food & Beverages, Tech and Healthcare. On the flip side, Basic Resources holds its position as the laggard following yesterday's marked outperformance and despite base metals (ex-iron) holding onto yesterday's gains. Autos also reside at the bottom of the bunch despite constructive commentary from China's Auto Industry Body CAAM, who suggested the chip supply shortage eased in China in September and expected Q4 to improve, whilst sources suggested Toyota aims to make up some lost production as supplies rebound. In terms of individual movers, GSK (+2.3%) shares spiked higher amid reports that its USD 54bln consumer unit has reportedly attracted buyout interest, according to sources, in turn lifting the FTSE 100 Dec future by 14 points in the immediacy. Elsewhere, easyJet (-1.9%) gave up its earlier gains after refraining on guidance, and despite an overall constructive trading update whereby the Co. sees positive momentum carried into FY22, with H1 bookings double those in the same period last year. Co. expects to fly up to 70% of FY19 planned capacity in FY22. In terms of commentary, the session saw the Germany ZEW release, which saw sentiment among experts deteriorate, citing the persisting supply bottlenecks for raw materials and intermediate products. The release also noted that 49.1% of expects still expect inflation to rise further in the next six months. Heading into earnings season, experts also expect profits to go down, particularly in export-tilted sectors such a car making, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. State-side, sources suggested that EU antitrust regulators are reportedly likely to open an investigation into Nvidia's (+0.6% Pre-Mkt) USD 54bln bid from Arm as concessions were not deemed sufficient. Top European News Soybeans Near 10-Month Low as Supply Outlook Expected to Improve EasyJet Boosts Capacity as Travel Rebound Gathers Pace Currency Traders Are Betting the BOE Is About to Make a Mistake Citi Lists Top Global Stock Picks for ‘Disruptive Innovations’ In FX, the Buck has reclaimed a bit more lost ground in consolidatory trade rather than any real sign of a change in fundamentals following Monday’s semi US market holiday for Columbus Day and ahead of another fairly light data slate comprising NFIB business optimism and JOLTS. However, supply awaits the return of cash Treasuries in the form of Usd 58 bn 3 year and Usd 38 bn 10 year notes and Fed commentary picks up pace on the eve of FOMC minutes with no less than five officials scheduled to speak. Meanwhile, broad risk sentiment has taken a knock in wake of a late swoon on Wall Street to give the Greenback and underlying bid and nudge the index up to fresh post-NFP highs within a 94.226-433 band. NZD/AUD - A slight change in fortunes down under as the Kiwi derives some comfort from the fact that the Aud/Nzd has not breached 1.0600 to the upside and Nzd/Usd maintaining 0.6950+ status irrespective of mixed NZ electric card sales data, while the Aussie takes on board contrasting NAB business conditions and confidence readings in advance of consumer sentiment, with Aud/Usd rotating either side of 0.7350. EUR/CAD/GBP/CHF/JPY - All rangy and marginally mixed against their US counterpart, as the Euro straddles 1.1560, the Loonie meanders between 1.2499-62 with less fuel from flat-lining crude and the Pound tries to keep sight of 1.3600 amidst corrective moves in Eur/Gbp following a rebound through 0.8500 after somewhat inconclusive UK labour and earnings data, but hardly a wince from the single currency even though Germany’s ZEW survey missed consensus and the institute delivered a downbeat assessment of the outlook for the coming 6 months. Elsewhere, the Franc continues to hold within rough 0.9250-90 extremes and the Yen is striving to nurse outsize losses between 113.00-50 parameters, with some attention to 1 bn option expiries from 113.20-25 for the NY cut. Note also, decent expiry interest in Eur/Usd and Usd/Cad today, but not as close to current spot levels (at the 1.1615 strike in 1.4 bn and between 1.2490-1.2505 in 1.1 bn respectively). SCANDI/EM - The Nok and Sek have bounced from lows vs the Eur, and the latter perhaps taking heed of a decline in Sweden’s registered jobless rate, but the Cnh and Cny remain off recent highs against the backdrop of more Chinese regulatory rigour, this time targeting state banks and financial institutions with connections to big private sector entities and the Try has thrown in the towel in terms of its fight to fend off approaches towards 9.0000 vs the Usd. The final straw for the Lira appeared to be geopolitical, as Turkish President Erdogan said they will take the necessary steps in Syria and are determined to eliminate threats, adding that Turkey has lost its patience on the attacks coming from Syrian Kurdish YPG controlled areas. Furthermore, he stated there is a Tal Rifaat pocket controlled by YPG below Afrin and that an operation could target that area which is under Russian protection. However, Usd/Try is off a new ATH circa 9.0370 as oil comes off the boil and ip came in above forecast. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are choppy and trade on either side of the flat mark in what is seemingly some consolidation and amid a distinct lack of catalysts to firmly dictate price action. The complex saw downticks heading into the European cash open in tandem with the overall market sentiment at the time, albeit the crude complex has since recovered off worst levels. News flow for the complex has also remained minimal as eyes now turn to any potential intervention by major economies in a bid to stem the pass-through of energy prices to consumers heading into winter. On that note, UK nat gas futures have been stable on the day but still north of GBP 2/Thm. Looking ahead, the weekly Private Inventory data has been pushed back to tomorrow on account of yesterday's Columbus Day holiday. Tomorrow will also see the release of the OPEC MOMR and EIA STEO. Focus on the former will be on any updates to its demand forecast, whilst commentary surrounding US shale could be interesting as it'll give an insight into OPEC's thinking on the threat of Shale under President Biden's "build back better" plan. Brent Dec trades on either side of USD 84/bbl (vs prev. 83.13-84.14 range) whilst WTI trades just under USD 81/bbl after earlier testing USD 80/bbl to the downside (USD 80-80.91/bbl range). Over to metals, spot gold and silver hold onto modest gains with not much to in the way of interesting price action, with the former within its overnight range above USD 1,750/oz and the latter still north of USD 22.50/oz after failing to breach the level to the downside in European hours thus far. In terms of base metals, LME copper is holding onto most of yesterday's gains, but the USD 9,500/t mark seems to be formidable resistance. Finally, Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures retreated after a four-day rally, with traders citing China's steel production regaining focus. US Event Calendar 6am: Sept. SMALL BUSINESS OPTIMISM 99.1,  est. 99.5, prior 100.1 10am: Aug. JOLTs Job Openings, est. 11m, prior 10.9m 11:15am: Fed’s Clarida Speaks at IIF Annual Meeting 12:30pm: Fed’s Bostic Speaks on Inflation at Peterson Institute 6pm: Fed’s Barkin Interviewed for an NPR Podcast DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It’s my wife’s birthday today and the big treat is James Bond tomorrow night. However, I was really struggling to work out what to buy her. After 11.5 years together, I ran out of original ideas at about year three and have then scrambled round every year in an attempt to be innovative. Previous innovations have seen mixed success with the best example being the nearly-to-scale oil portrait I got commissioned of both of us from our wedding day. She had no idea and hated it at the closed eyes big reveal. It now hangs proudly in our entrance hall though. Today I’ve bought her a lower key gamble. Some of you might know that there is a US website called Cameo that you can pay famous people to record a video message for someone for a hefty fee. Well, all her childhood heroes on it were seemingly too expensive or not there. Then I saw that the most famous gymnast of all time, Nadia Comăneci, was available for a reasonable price. My wife idolised her as a kid (I think). So after this goes to press, I’m going to wake my wife up with a personalised video message from Nadia wishing her a happy birthday, saying she’s my perfect ten, and praising her for encouraging our three children to do gymnastics and telling her to keep strong while I try to get them to play golf instead. I’m not sure if this is a totally naff gift or inspired. When I purchased it I thought the latter but now I’m worried it’s the former! My guess is she says it’s naff, appreciates the gesture, but calls me out for the lack of chocolates. Maybe in this day and age a barrel of oil or a tank of petrol would have been the most valuable birthday present. With investor anticipation continuing to build ahead of tomorrow’s CPI release from the US, yesterday saw yet another round of commodity price rises that’s making it increasingly difficult for central banks to argue that inflation is in fact proving transitory. You don’t have to be too old to remember that back in the summer, those making the transitory argument cited goods like lumber as an example of how prices would begin to fall back again as the economy reopened. But not only have commodity aggregates continued to hit fresh highs since then, but lumber (+5.49%) itself followed up last week’s gains to hit its highest level in 3 months. Looking at those moves yesterday, it was a pretty broad-based advance across the commodity sphere, with big rises among energy and metals prices in particular. Oil saw fresh advances, with WTI (+1.47%) closing above $80/bbl for the first time since 2014, whilst Brent Crude (+1.53%) closed above $83/bbl for the first time since 2018. Meanwhile, Chinese coal futures (+8.00%) hit a record after the flooding in Shanxi province that we mentioned in yesterday’s edition, which has closed 60 of the 682 mines there, and this morning they’re already up another +6.41%. So far this year, the region has produced 30% of China’s coal supply, which gives you an idea as to its importance. And when it came to metals, aluminium prices (+3.30%) on the London Metal Exchange rose to their highest level since the global financial crisis, whilst Iron Ore futures in Singapore jumped +7.01% on Monday, and copper was also up +2.13%. The one respite on the inflation front was a further decline in natural gas prices, however, with the benchmark European future down -2.73%; thus bringing its declines to over -47% since the intraday high that was hit only last Wednesday. With commodity prices seeing another spike and inflation concerns resurfacing, this proved bad news for sovereign bonds as investors moved to price in a more hawkish central bank reaction. Yields in Europe rose across the continent, with those on 10yr bunds up +3.0bps to 0.12%, their highest level since May. The rise was driven by both higher inflation breakevens and real rates, and leaves bund yields just shy of their recent post-pandemic closing peak of -0.10% from mid-May. If they manage to surpass that point, that’ll leave them closer to positive territory than at any point since Q2 2019 when they last turned negative again. It was a similar story elsewhere, with 10yr yields on OATs (+2.6bps), BTPs (+3.9bps) and gilts (+3.1bps) likewise reaching their highest level in months. The sell-off occurred as money markets moved to price in further rate hikes from central banks, with investors now expecting a full 25 basis point hike from the Fed by the end of Q3 2022. It seems like another era, but at the start of this year before the Georgia Senate race, investors weren’t even pricing in a full hike by the end of 2023, whereas they’re now pricing in almost 4. So we’ve come a long way over 2021, though pre-Georgia the consensus CPI forecast on Bloomberg was just 2.0%, whereas it now stands at 4.3%, so it does fit with the story of much stronger-than-expected inflation inducing a hawkish response. Yesterday’s repricing came alongside a pretty minimal -0.15% move in the Euro versus the dollar, but that was because Europe was also seeing a similar rates repricing. Meanwhile, the UK saw its own ramping up of rate hike expectations, with investors pricing in at least an initial 15bps hike to 0.25% happening by the December meeting in just two months’ time. Overnight in Asia, stocks are trading in the red with the KOSPI (-1.46%), Shanghai Composite (-1.21%), Hang Seng (-1.20%), the Nikkei (-0.93%) and CSI (-0.82%) all trading lower on inflation concerns due to high energy costs and aggravated by a Wall Street Journal story that Chinese President Xi Jinping is increasing scrutiny of state-run banks and big financial institutions with inspections. Furthermore, there were signs of a worsening in the Evergrande debt situation, with the firm missing coupon payments on a 9.5% note due in 2022 and a 10% bond due in 2023. And there were fresh indications of a worsening situation more broadly, with Sinic Holdings Group Co. saying it doesn’t expect to pay the principal or interest on a $250m bond due on October 18. Separately in Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that he will raise pay for public workers and boost tax breaks to firms that boost wages to try and improve the country’s wealth distribution. Back to yesterday, and the commodity rally similarly weighed on thin-volume equity markets, though it took some time as the S&P 500 had initially climbed around +0.5% before paring back those gains to close down -0.69%. Before the late US sell-off, European indices were subdued, but the STOXX 600 still rose +0.05%, thanks to an outperformance from the energy sector (+1.49%), and the STOXX Banks Index (+0.13%) hit a fresh two-year high as the sector was supported by a further rise in yields. On the central bank theme, we heard from the ECB’s chief economist, Philip Lane, at a conference yesterday, where he said that “a one-off shift in the level of wages as part of the adjustment to a transitory unexpected increase in the price level does not imply a trend shift in the path of underlying inflation.” So clearly making a distinction between a more persistent pattern of wage inflation, which comes as the ECB’s recent forward guidance commits them to not hiking rates “until it sees inflation reaching two per cent well ahead of the end of its projection horizon and durably for the rest of the projection horizon”, as well as having confidence that “realised progress in underlying inflation is sufficiently advanced to be consistent with inflation stabilising at two per cent over the medium term”. Turning to the political scene, Brexit is likely to be in the headlines again today as the UK’s Brexit negotiator David Frost gives a speech in Lisbon where he’s expected to warn that the EU’s proposals on the Northern Ireland Protocol are insufficient. That comes ahead of a new set of proposals that are set to come from the EU tomorrow, with the two sides disagreeing on the extent of border controls required on trade from Northern Ireland with the rest of the UK. Those controls were put in place as part of the Brexit deal to prevent a hard border being put up between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, whilst also preserving the integrity of the EU’s single market. But the UK’s demands for adjustments have been met with opposition by the EU, and speculation has risen that the UK could trigger Article 16, which allows either side to take unilateral safeguard measures, if the protocol’s application “leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade”. On the data front, there wasn’t much data to speak of with the US holiday, but Italy’s industrial production contracted by -0.2% in August, in line with expectations. To the day ahead now, andcentral bank speakers include the Fed’s Vice Chair Clarida,Bostic and Barkin, as well as theECB’s President Lagarde, Makhlouf, Knot, Villeroy, Lane and Elderson. Data highlights from the US include the JOLTS job openings for August, and the NFIB’s small business optimism index for September. In Europe, there’s also UK unemployment for August and the German ZEW Survey for October. Lastly, the IMF will be releasing their latest World Economic Outlook.     Tyler Durden Tue, 10/12/2021 - 07:56.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 12th, 2021

5 Apparel Picks to Refurbish Your Portfolio This Holiday Season

Players in the industry - be it Children's Place (PLCE), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Tapestry (TPR), Hibbett (HIBB) and Boot Barn Holdings (BOOT) - have been making planned investments to cater to customer demand be it in store or online. As Americans look to refresh their wardrobes this holiday season — thanks to the resumption of active social lifestyle, events and occasions — apparel companies have been witnessing resurgence in demand. Sales at clothing & clothing accessories stores have been increasing as more people venture out and shop for their loved ones. Surely, the pandemic-relief package and stepped-up vaccinations played a major role in boosting consumer confidence.Per the Commerce Department, sales at clothing & clothing accessories stores grew 38.8% year over year during the month of August 2021. This followed an increase of 42.6% in July from the prior-year period. An uptick in sales is good news for retailers ahead of the holiday season, which is a make-or-break time. Evidently, industry players need to address any logistical or inventory issues and roll out strategies to provide a seamless shopping experience, whether offline or online.Industry participants have been focusing on deepening engagements with customers and enhancing digital as well as data analytics capabilities. They have been emphasizing on the launch of newer styles, customization options and refreshed store environments to woo shoppers. Undeniably, expedited delivery services like doorstep delivery, curbside pickup or buy online and pick up at store as well as contactless payment gateway will continue to play a crucial role in maximizing share of customers’ wallet.Per Mastercard SpendingPulse, U.S. retail sales, excluding automotive and gas, are anticipated to increase 7.4% from a year earlier during the traditional holiday period that runs from Nov 1-Dec 24. With e-commerce still being one of the preferred modes for shopping, Mastercard SpendingPulse foresees online sales to rise by 7.6%. The survey projects apparel sales to increase 45.9% during the holiday period compared with the prior year.That said, we have highlighted five stocks from the Retail - Apparel And Shoes industry that look well positioned based on their sound fundamentals and earnings growth prospects. These stocks have either a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Price Performance Year-to-Date Image Source: Zacks Investment Research5 Prominent PicksThe Children's Place, Inc. PLCE is worth betting on. This children's specialty apparel retailer has been constantly deploying resources to expand product offerings, upgrade distribution channels and create seamless omni-channel capabilities. The company’s $50 million digital transformation investment is reaping benefits. It has rolled out "BOPIS" (Buy Online, Pick Up in Store) and “Save the Sale” functionality. It has also launched “BOSS” or Buy Online, Ship to Store capabilities, the response to which has been encouraging. The company has introduced Afterpay, a buy now pay later option, for its customers. Impressively, management intends to allocate a major portion of its fiscal 2021 capital expenditures to digital and supply chain fulfillment initiatives. This Zacks Rank #1 company’s bottom line has outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a wide margin in the trailing four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current financial year sales and earnings per share suggests growth of 26.9% and 403.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period.Investors can count on Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ANF, a specialty retailer of apparel and accessories. The company has been making significant progress in expanding digital and omni-channel capabilities to better engage with consumers. Digital sales contributed about 44% to total sales in second-quarter fiscal 2021. The company remains encouraged with its strong online presence and expects to keep gaining from this platform. This Zacks Rank #1 company plans to continue investing toward bolstering omni-channel capabilities including curbside pickup and ship from store services. For fiscal 2021, the company anticipates capital expenditure of $100 million. Roughly 50% of the capital spending is expected to be used for investments in digital and technology. Impressively, this Zacks Rank #1 company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 510.9%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current financial year sales and earnings per share suggests growth of 20.5% and 702.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period.Tapestry, Inc. TPR is another potential pick. The company has been benefiting from the successful execution of the Acceleration Program. The program is aimed at transforming the company into a leaner and more responsive organization. It intends to build significant data and analytics capabilities with focus on enhancing digital and omni-channel capabilities, and operating with a clearly defined path and strategy for each of its brands namely Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman. This provider of luxury accessories and branded lifestyle products has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 65.2%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current financial year sales and earnings indicates an improvement of 11.6% and 12.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1.You may invest in Hibbett, Inc. HIBB, an athletic-inspired fashion retailer. Management anticipates that pent-up demand and compelling merchandise coupled with superior customer service and a best-in-class omni-channel platform should continue to drive top and bottom-line performance. The company’s focus on both in-store and online experience, distribution capabilities and vendor relationships will help generate sustainable profitable growth. The company expects mid-teens growth in comparable sales for fiscal 2022. This Zacks Rank #1 company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 124.6%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current financial year sales and earnings per share indicates an improvement of 18.3% and 84.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period.We also suggest betting on Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. BOOT. This lifestyle retailer of western and work-related footwear, apparel and accessories has been successfully navigating through the challenging environment, courtesy of merchandising strategies, omni-channel capabilities and better expense management as well as marketing. This combined with the expansion of store base has helped gain market share and strengthen position in the industry. For fiscal 2022, management anticipates new unit growth of 10% and exclusive brand penetration growth of 350 basis points. Notably, this Zacks Rank #2 company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 38.6%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current financial year sales and earnings per share suggests growth of 40.6% and 129.2%, respectively, from the year-ago period. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 Abercrombie & Fitch Company (ANF): Free Stock Analysis Report Hibbett, Inc. (HIBB): Free Stock Analysis Report Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. (BOOT): Free Stock Analysis Report The Childrens Place, Inc. (PLCE): Free Stock Analysis Report Tapestry, Inc. (TPR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 6th, 2021

Exxon Mobil CEO: Latest Spending Plan Puts Earnings Goal ‘Back On Track’

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) Chairman & CEO Darren Woods on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F 9AM – 11AM ET) today, Wednesday, December 1st. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Exxon Mobil CEO: Latest […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) Chairman & CEO Darren Woods on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F 9AM – 11AM ET) today, Wednesday, December 1st. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Exxon Mobil CEO: Latest Spending Plan Puts Earnings Goal 'Back On Track' DAVID FABER: Welcome back to “Squawk on the Street.” I’m David Faber on the Houston campus of Exxon Mobil joined now by the company's Chairman and CEO, Darren Woods. A nice background behind you, by the way, I'm told Darren it’s the drilling fluids analysis that's going on. There's some people actually working on that. Important part of the business, figuring out new fluids that will actually help obviously optimize the drilling process, not what we're here to talk about today though but very glad that we could join you. We are here to talk about the release out this morning in which, you know, you codify many of the targets that you shared to a certain extent during your last quarter. So, what is different about today in terms of why people should think about these numbers again if they already sort of saw you talk about them a few weeks back? DARREN WOODS: Well, let me just extend my welcome. Glad to have you here, David, and glad to share the view of the lab and some of the discussions and things that we're doing there. With respect to the release today, what we did and our third quarter earnings call in October is we had just had a preliminary review with the board, shared some of the perspective of the things the board was looking at as part of our plan. In November, we finalize that plan and in this release, basically puts in a lot more detail behind the initial numbers that we shared in October. And it's a plan frankly that we’re very, very proud of. If you think back in 2018, we set some fairly aggressive targets like for 2025 to double earnings and cash flow. Pandemic got in the way of that and obviously set those plans back. This plan basically achieves doubling the earnings by 2025 back on track, nearly doubles cash flow and by 2027 basically double earnings and cash flow very soundly so very proud of the progress that we've made despite the setback of the pandemic. FABER: Yeah, a lot of focus is also going to be on the $15 billion number, again, a number that we had seen previously, but a bit more detail behind it as well. You know, you're talking about 15 billion on greenhouse gas emission reduction products over the next six years. There are those who want to know what's the return going to look like on that expenditure and how are you going to go about spending it? WOODS: Yeah, so it's a mix and what we've tried to do here, and I think one of the things that board has brought to this year's plan in the discussion is challenge us to take a lead in how Exxon Mobil can help society address this challenge of reducing emissions. That portfolio, $15 billion, includes projects that today generate good returns with existing policy. There are other aspects of that portfolio where we are developing projects, seeding projects, large scale projects, in anticipation of policy and trying to develop those projects in a way that can inform policymakers to help them think about how best to shape policy— FABER: So, what would be an example of that Darren? WOODS: So, the Houston hub that we proposed is a great example of that where we've got 11 companies collaborating to make a significant step change in emissions 50 million tons per annum by 2030, 100 million tons per annum by 2040, very high concentrations of CO2 and do that at a cost which is cheaper than essentially any other programs or initiatives that the government is currently funding. So that's a great example but it needs some policy to help support that project. FABER: What’s the policy then? WOODS: So, you need, you need policy, which frankly, the infrastructure bill has helped with to regulate pore space and allow access to pore space. We're going to need infrastructure and pipeline, we need some additional 45Q, some additional incentives for carbon reduction that's being considered in the Build Back Better legislation, so I think there's the, you know, the, the policy makers are receptive to the ideas and the constructs that we're trying to put together to table opportunities, make significant reductions in a cost-effective way. FABER: So, if you see those policy changes that you're talking about, is it possible that you will choose to increase that number or is that number going to be what your shareholders should expect for the next six years? WOODS: If you look at that number, last year, we've more than quadrupled it and it's really a function of the organization focusing and finding the opportunities around the world. We're working with governments around the world. So, I would expect that if those policies come into play and provide the necessary incentives to drive that investment, you'd see that investment level go up. Absolutely. FABER: And you talked about the use in the hub, and you talked about, you know, carbon capture obviously. There’s a lot of carbon that comes out of there. But we're not in a technological place where we can actually suck it out of the air in an efficient way and just store it somewhere or are we? WOODS: No, that's the holy grail if you think about if you could leave the existing infrastructure in place which is very efficient today and find a way to extract CO2 out of the air cost effectively, that's the holy grail because you get your cake and you eat it too. There are a lot of people working on that technology and I think we will make advances there, but I would say you need to spend money on that technology have some breakthroughs there and you also need to develop a broader set of portfolios because as you know, predicting when you're going to have a breakthrough and the magnitude of that breakthrough is often challenging so you better have a portfolio of opportunities that you're pursuing. But I think direct air captures is an important technology. FABER: You do, you know, when you talk about carbon capture which is becoming an important component of your product portfolio for lack of a better term, I mean, you say, unique capability that Exxon Mobil has. You talk about leveraging your advantage in science and technology. Give our viewers some sense as to what you're talking about when you say that. What is it about Exxon Mobil that gives you the confidence that that's where you should be focused and that that's where you can distinguish yourself, as you say, in terms of being sort of unique? WOODS: So, if you go back and look at our history over 135 years, I mean, our job has been to discover and develop hydrocarbon and then to transform that hydrocarbon into products that consumers need and to manage the impact of that hydrocarbon. What we're talking about with carbon capture is just a variation on that theme of managing carbon and managing hydrocarbon molecules. And so today, we're the largest sequester of carbon in the world today, we've captured more anthropogenic CO2 than any other entity in the world and, so we've got a lot of experience in that space. It's going to require large scale projects, which we have an expertise in. It’s going to be needed all around the world where we have the relationships with governments and had done that work in the past, requires technology and advances in technology which is where we spend a lot of money and it requires an understanding of how to integrate those projects into existing facilities which obviously, we have a very large facility footprint. So, there's a lot of aspects of what we do today that lend itself and support what we can do tomorrow with carbon capture and the beauty of carbon capture hydrogen and biofuels, all those lower emissions investment opportunities draw on the same sets of skills and capabilities, and in fact, are competitive advantages. So as the world transitions and we have this uncertainty as to exactly when it's going to happen, we have the optionality and the flexibility to shift from the traditional investments in what we're leveraging are those skills to the alternative investments and we can pace that as the world transitions and as we work with governments, and if that accelerates faster, we can ship those resources faster. If it slows down, we can keep those resources balanced. FABER: What’s your guess right now, you know, based on what you see right now and our ability to actually combat climate change, come to some sort of agreement by the way within our own country, not to mention with nations around the world, what's your best guess in terms of how that shift is going to take place and when? WOODS: You know, I think it's hard to predict and that is not, in fact, very different than what the price of crude or any of our other products can be very difficult to predict so the plan is to basically build an optionality, so you're prepared irrespective of what direction that goes in. It's challenging to put that policy in place. The fact of the matter is today, the alternatives to replacing the existing energy system are expensive, and consumers will have to pay for that. We're working hard to bring that cost down. I think that's the best solution is to invest in the technology, provide alternatives that don't require consumers to give up the standards that they’ve become accustomed to and don't require them to spend a lot of money. I think that's the work that has to happen, and how quickly that technology evolves to get those costs down will help drive the pace of the transition. FABER: But people are going to have to potentially be willing to spend more is what I hear you saying. WOODS: I think, you know, there will be a cost for moving to what is today a very efficient to a new alternative. The more that we do that cost will come down obviously and the better the technology becomes that that cost will come down but that there will be a transition cost. No doubt about it. FABER: You know, speaking of that transition of course, we're focused on Europe to a certain extent this winter because the wind hasn’t been blowing quite as hard in the North Sea, the sun doesn't always shine and there has been a transition that has taken place more, more so than here certainly in terms of power generation. Are you concerned at all about what you see in Europe and potentially what they're facing? WOODS: Yeah, no, I think, it's I am concerned and it is this, I think when you're moving from if you think about today's global energy system, it has developed over decades and billions of people around the world depend on it to support their modern living and so as you transition out of that, which has to happen to get the emissions down which I think is the right objective, you gotta be very thoughtful about how you do that because if you, if you don't have the same availability and reliability, that will translate into people going without energy, which is absolutely critical to their standards of living and obviously in the wintertime, it becomes very important with heat so we're going to have a challenge I think. It's going to be a function of how, how cold it gets and what the demand looks like. It's been compounded not just by the transition in the investments and the alternatives, but coming out of the pandemic, the industry saw a tremendous impact from that pandemic and a loss of revenue and prices being as low as they were and so investments had to pull back. The industry didn't have the money to make the investments that has in a depleting business has really constrained supply. Now the demand is picking back up again. So, there’s a number of dynamics there are influencing that, we got to get our, we got to get through that, frankly. FABER: Well, speaking of rising prices, I did want to get your response to President Biden a few weeks back when he asked the Federal Trade Commission to examine oil and gas companies and their role in rising gasoline prices. There seem to be this idea that there's potentially illegal conduct. What's your response? WOODS: I think, you know, if you go back in time in history, every time we see the supply and demand balances get tightened, prices rise. You see similar types of investigations. I think you're gonna find there's nothing, there's no there there. I mean, frankly, this is a commodity market. The prices are set by the amount of supply that's out there and by the amount of demand. If you restrict that supply and you don't do anything about demand, I promise you prices will go up. FABER: Can you give us any prediction on oil prices? WOODS: I can't do that, David. I wish I could. FABER: And finally though, how about cost reduction? You've taken four and a half billion out in costs since I think 18 or maybe 19, you have a $6 billion target, are you going to be able to exceed that? WOODS: Absolutely. I think, I've been very proud of the organization. The changes that we made starting in 2018, 2019, where we changed how the organization was configured and moved to value change that allowed us to really focus the organization in becoming more efficient, both from a capital deployment standpoint, if you look at the, the earnings and cash flow growth that I talked about, we're doing that with a lot less capital than we had before in large part because of the productivity we're getting out but it's also allowing us to significantly reduce our expenses and I expect to beat $6 billion easily. FABER: Alright, we'll hold you to that. WOODS: Okay. FABER: And look forward to future interview, as well when we discuss it. Darren, thank you for taking time. Appreciate it. WOODS: Thank you David. Thanks for coming down. FABER: Sure thing. Darren Woods, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil. Carl, back over to you. Updated on Dec 1, 2021, 11:22 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 1st, 2021

New Order Co-Founder: Teams May Lack Reputation To Draw Top Developers To Launch DeFi Projects

As DeFi projects grow in number, competition to make an industry-changing impact is sizzling up. In this outlook, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are also in a race to innovate, but they face several hurdles such as the inability to scale and develop solid multi-chain interoperability, machine learning, and new digital asset classes. Q3 2021 hedge […] As DeFi projects grow in number, competition to make an industry-changing impact is sizzling up. In this outlook, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are also in a race to innovate, but they face several hurdles such as the inability to scale and develop solid multi-chain interoperability, machine learning, and new digital asset classes. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Part of those challenges relate to coordinating DAO members’ skills, building a community, and securing the best developer talent. We spoke with Eden Dhaliwal, former head of crypto at Outlier Ventures and current co-founder of New Order, a venture DAO, which aims at enhancing DeFi innovation through a maximum of 30 projects every year –supporting and launching them across all L1 ecosystems. Eden shares how New Order is planning to achieve this, and delves into the challenges startups and investors are facing as the market expands towards multi-chain support and new digital assets. Can you share your 60 seconds elevator pitch about New Order? Despite the current frothy market of venture capital, founders are in desperate need of expertise, community, and networking opportunities specifically tailored to the unique challenges of the crypto industry, in order to have a successful launch. New Order’s goal is to build a self-governing venture DAO positioned to assist DeFi innovation, by promoting new asset classes, chain independence, and machine learning while leveraging its expansive community of builders and investors. To achieve this goal and source resources for DeFi startups, New Order is planning to launch 20-30 projects per year by identifying gaps in the DeFi ecosystem and providing a platform for the community to build and grow them. To kick off the pipeline, New Order will be launching 3 projects built in-house into this DAO. Is it difficult for DAOs to scale? If so, why? First, let’s give a quick definition of a DAO. DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. In its simplest form, it is basically a community with a shared bank account. This organization allows members to facilitate and coordinate members’ skills, resources, and funds as they work towards a common goal. Decisions are made from the bottom up and governed by the community with rules enforced through voting on the blockchain. It can be difficult to scale a DAO because many people come from traditional organizations with their existing work habits and are not used to working in this environment, where much of the work is transient and self-directed. This comes down to educating new DAO members on the processes for bottom up governance, setting expectations in a DAO setting, and providing proper incentivization for contributors. Through your DAO incubator, you will support innovative DeFi projects. What type of projects would qualify as "innovative"? We’re focused on projects that tackle at least one of the three following components: multi-chain interoperability, machine learning, and new digital asset classes. Building on top of our thesis of machine learning and new digital asset classes, two of the three DApps we will be launching with this new ecosystem are [REDACTED] and H2O. [REDACTED] is the first official branch of OlympusDAO focused on acquiring CRV, CVX, and other relevant governance tokens to expand Olympus DAOs reach beyond risk-free value and into a multi-token ecosystem. The intention is to further democratize and incentivize the adoption of Curve, Convex, and Olympus by putting the good faith, long-term backers of these projects, and increasing their yield and influence by aggregating liquidity under a new meta-token model and improved governance process. H2O is a new Non-Pegged Stable Asset, which will be used as the primary stable asset within the Ocean Protocol data marketplace. Users often complain about the pricing risk associated with digital crypto assets and H2O is a mechanism to avoid this risk as the price in USD will remain relatively constant. H2O is unique in that it uses data in the form of datatokens as the underlying form of collateral against which H2O tokens are minted. How could the main DeFi stakeholders –venture creators, community builders, software developers– benefit from New Order’s incubator? DeFi stakeholders can benefit from growth opportunities and utilize our community of industry professionals including developers, traders, and yield strategists to get the needed insight to scale a project's liquidity and community. Our network has access to a wide range of VC’s, PR companies, and exchanges with specific domain expertise in the crypto space. In order to complement growth, we provide the needed contacts tailored for a project needs. From the fundraising perspective, we will be providing the required resources to bootstrap ideas including introduction to crypto focused funds and even anonymous founders. Our plan is to guide projects through the various fundraising phases, from pre-launch SAFT sales to post-launch treasury sales. From an engineering perspective, we have a core team and a community of partners with deep expertise in token economics and dApp design. Teams accelerated through the DAO will find they need tokens, mining, and treasury management frameworks tailored to their specific use cases, and our community can help with that. Having worked with thousands of developers over the past year and a half, we’ve created a great DeFi-specific community and we plan to augment teams’ internal resources with this network. By working with New Order, teams can ensure they’re using the latest standards in contract development and security practices both pre and post launch. Finally, it’s important to mention that we missed the most important stakeholder –the users of these protocols themselves. With New Order’s radical transparency and public governance process we plan to make these users central to decision making and what is being built for them. A key DeFi trend is the market expanding towards multi-chain support and new digital assets. What are the challenges startups and investors are facing in this regard? With all the new chains popping up, it’s tough for investors to keep track and up-to-date with everything happening in each DeFi ecosystem, while still maintaining an edge. And from a startup perspective, recruiting can be quite difficult because of the technical requirements for building secure software on each chain. Sourcing talent can be challenging because, firstly, there is a lack of ready talent and there are not enough people with the relevant chain experience to build secure software. And secondly, teams may lack the connections and reputation to draw the top developers and community leaders required to launch a DeFi project. These technical barriers can manifest as UX challenges or insecure contracts, resulting in stuntened user growth, or more catastrophically, the loss of all funds within a buggy contract and consequently the teams’ reputation. What can you share about New Order’s DAO’s dApp marketplace and why is it innovative? It's incredibly challenging for DeFi projects to rise above the thousands of projects in this space in bootstrapping both a community of users and liquidity for their tokens. By leveraging the DAOs Dapp marketplace, teams will have an in-built stream of users and traders who have tried other Dapps from New Order and this will give them a running start right upon launch. Moreover, after projects are accelerated through our program, they continue operating in our ecosystem creating another revenue stream for the DAO which can be further invested in building the future of DeFi. The marketplace then creates a virtuous loop where great products can be found attracting even more users and investors to participate in New Order’s ecosystem. Updated on Nov 30, 2021, 2:01 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 30th, 2021

JinkoSolar Announces Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results

SHANGRAO, China, Nov. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. ("JinkoSolar" or the "Company") (NYSE:JKS), one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world, today announced its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021. Third Quarter 2021 Business Highlights JinkoSolar's high-efficiency N-Type monocrystalline silicon solar cell sets new world record with highest conversion efficiency of 25.4%. Over 7GW of new cell capacity put into production in the second quarter reached full production in the third quarter, reducing cell production cost in the third quarter by more than 10% compared with the second quarter. China has strong market demand, and JinkoSolar's percentage of module shipments in the Chinese market in the third quarter doubled compared to the second quarter. JinkoSolar's competitive large-size module products accounted for nearly 50% of module shipments in the third quarter, compared with less than 20% in the first half of 2021. Third Quarter 2021 Operational and Financial Highlights Quarterly shipments were 4,993 MW (4,671 MW for solar modules, 322 MW for cells and wafers), total shipments down 4.0% sequentially, and down 2.4% year over year. Total revenues were RMB8.57 billion (US$1.33 billion), up 8.1% sequentially and down 2.3% year over year. The sequential increase was mainly attributable to an increase in the shipment of solar modules with higher selling price compared with cells and wafers. Gross profit was RMB1.30 billion (US$201.1 million), down 4.6% sequentially and down 13.3% year over year. Gross margin was 15.1%, compared with 17.1% in Q2 2021 and 17.0% in Q3 2020. Net income was RMB194.2 million (US$30.1 million), up 193.2% sequentially and up 27.3 times year over year. Non-GAAP net income was RMB15.9 million (US$2.5 million), down 94.2% sequentially and down 95.1% year over year. Basic earnings per ordinary share and diluted loss per ordinary share were RMB1.02 (US$0.16) and RMB(0.12) (US$(0.02)), respectively. This translates into basic earnings per ADS and diluted loss per ADS of RMB4.07 (US$0.63) and RMB(0.49) (US$(0.08)), respectively. Non-GAAP basic and diluted earnings per share were RMB0.08 (US$0.01) and RMB0.08 (US$0.01), respectively. Non-GAAP basic and diluted earnings per ADS were RMB0.33 (US$0.05) and RMB0.31 (US$0.05), respectively. Mr. Xiande Li, JinkoSolar's Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "the release of more efficient new cell capacity significantly reduced our cell production costs in the third quarter, partially offsetting the impact of high prices of polysilicon and other materials on production costs. Total shipments were impacted by the delay in sales revenue recognition caused by logistical issues and blockages. Logistics costs have further increased compared with the second quarter, and module prices hit a new high in almost a year. However, due to the transition to renewable energy in most regions of the world, the increase in electricity prices, financing support and other favorable policies, clients are more willing to accept higher module prices. Currently in its most severe shortage, we expect polysilicon supply will gradually return to sufficient levels starting next year, and as a result, installation demand is expected to increase significantly.  Our high-efficiency N-type monocrystalline silicon solar cell reached a maximum conversion efficiency of 25.4%, setting a world record yet again. Based on our continuous leading R&D capabilities and two years of mass production experience, we are quickly expanding N-type cell production capacity. We are preparing for approximately 16 GW of N-type cell production capacity to be operational in the first quarter of 2022, and are planning to increase our global market share by enhancing our sales and promotions of N-type products to achieve at least 50% growth in annual shipments in 2022. Our 7GW monocrystalline silicon wafer plant in Vietnam will commence production in the first quarter of 2022. After that, we will have approximately 7 GW of integrated mono wafer-cell-module manufacturing capacity overseas. A sound and diversified global industrial chain infrastructure will enable us to be more flexible in terms of order production and customer delivery, as we continue to provide integrated services to our global customers." Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results Total Revenues Total revenues in the third quarter of 2021 were RMB8.57 billion (US$1.33 billion), an increase of 8.1% from RMB7.93 billion in the second quarter of 2021 and a decrease of 2.3% from RMB8.77 billion in the third quarter of 2020. The sequential increase was mainly attributable to an increase in the shipment of solar modules, while the year-over-year decrease was mainly attributable to a decrease in the shipment of solar modules. Gross Profit and Gross Margin Gross profit in the third quarter of 2021 was RMB1.30 billion (US$201.1 million), compared with RMB1.36 billion in the second quarter of 2021 and RMB1.49 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Gross margin was 15.1% in the third quarter of 2021, compared with 17.1% in the second quarter of 2021 and 17.0% in the third quarter of 2020. The sequential and year-over-year decreases were mainly attributable to cost increases due to the rise of material prices and a decline in the average selling price of solar modules in response to the intensified market competition globally. Income from Operations and Operating Margin Income from operations in the third quarter of 2021 was RMB111.2 million (US$17.3 million), compared with RMB356.4 million in the second quarter of 2021 and RMB546.0 million in the third quarter of 2020. Operating margin was 1.3% in the third quarter of 2021, compared with 4.5% in the second quarter of 2021 and 6.2% in the third quarter of 2020. Total operating expenses in the third quarter of 2021 were RMB1.18 billion (US$183.9 million), an increase of 18.2% from RMB1.00 billion in the second quarter of 2021 and an increase of 24.9% from RMB948.9 million in the third quarter of 2020. The sequential and year-over-year increases were mainly attributable to increases in shipping costs of solar modules in the third quarter of 2021. Total operating expenses accounted for 13.8% of total revenues in the third quarter of 2021, compared to 12.6% in the second quarter of 2021 and 10.8% in the third quarter of 2020. Interest Expense, Net Net interest expense in the third quarter of 2021 was RMB165.6 million (US$25.7 million), an increase of 5.1% from RMB157.5 million in the second quarter of 2021 and an increase of 28.1% from RMB129.2 million in the third quarter of 2020. The sequential and year-over-year increases were mainly due to an increase in interest expense, as the Company's interest-bearing debts increased.  Subsidy Income Subsidy income in the third quarter of 2021 was RMB63.5 million (US$9.9 million), compared with RMB162.2 million in the second quarter of 2021 and RMB62.8 million in the third quarter of 2020. The sequential decrease was mainly attributable to a decrease in the cash receipt of subsidies from local governments in China which are non-recurring, not refundable and with no conditions. Exchange Loss and Change in Fair Value of Foreign Exchange Derivatives The Company recorded a net exchange loss (including change in fair value of foreign exchange derivatives) of RMB6.2 million (US$1.0 million) in the third quarter of 2021, compared to a net exchange loss of RMB4.4 million in the second quarter of 2021 and a net exchange loss of RMB63.9 million in the third quarter of 2020. The net exchange loss was mainly due to the exchange rate fluctuation of the US dollars against the RMB in the third quarter of 2021. Change in Fair Value of Convertible Senior Notes and Call Option The Company issued US$85.0 million of 4.5% convertible senior notes due 2024 (the "Notes") in May 2019 and has elected to measure the Notes at fair value derived by valuation model, i.e. Binomial Model. The Company recognized a gain from a change in fair value of the Notes of RMB239.0 million (US$37.1 million) in the third quarter of 2021, compared to a loss of RMB335.7 million in the second quarter of 2021 and a loss of RMB593.7 million in the third quarter of 2020. The change was primarily due to a decrease in the Company's stock price in the third quarter of 2021. Concurrent with the issuance of the Notes in May 2019, the Company entered into a call option transaction with an affiliate of Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC. The Company accounted for the call option transaction as freestanding derivative assets in its consolidated balance sheets, which is marked to market during each reporting period. The Company recorded a loss from a change in fair value of the call option of RMB38.2 million (US$5.9 million) in the third quarter of 2021, compared to a gain of RMB137.9 million in the second quarter of 2021 and a gain of RMB280.7 million in the third quarter of 2020. The change was primarily due to a decrease in the Company's stock price in the third quarter of 2021. The Company exercised all the remaining call option using cash settlement in the third quarter of 2021. Equity in Earnings/(loss)of Affiliated Companies The Company indirectly holds a 20% equity interest in Sweihan PV Power Company P.J.S.C, a developer and operator of solar power projects in Dubai, and accounts for its investment using the equity method. The Company also holds a 30% equity interest in Jiangsu Jinko-Tiansheng Co., Ltd, which processes and assembles PV modules as an OEM manufacturer, and accounts for its investments using the equity method. The Company recorded equity in earnings of affiliated companies of RMB13.2 million (US$2.0 million) in the third quarter of 2021, compared with a loss of RMB0.3 million in the second quarter of 2021 and a gain of RMB24.7 million in the third quarter of 2020. The gain primarily arose from interest rate swap recorded by the equity affiliate due to an increase in long-term interest rates in the third quarter of 2021. Hedge accounting was not applied for the derivative. Income Tax Expense/(Benefit) The Company recorded an income tax expense of RMB22.0 million (US$3.4 million) in the third quarter of 2021, compared with an income tax benefit of RMB6.9 million in the second quarter of 2021 and an income tax expense of RMB69.2 million in the third quarter of 2020. The sequential increase of tax expense was mainly due to additional 2020 income tax deduction for R&D costs approved by the local tax bureau in the second quarter of 2021. Net Income and Earnings/(loss) per Share Net income attributable to the Company's ordinary shareholders was RMB194.2 million (US$30.1 million) in the third quarter of 2021, compared with net income attributable to the Company's ordinary shareholders of RMB66.2 million in the second quarter of 2021 and RMB6.9 million in the third quarter of 2020. Net income attributable to non-controlling interests decreased in the third quarter of 2021 mainly attributable to lower profit generated from the Company's certain subsidiary of which non-controlling shareholders own equity interests. Basic earnings per ordinary share and diluted loss per ordinary share were RMB1.02 (US$0.16) and RMB(0.12) (US$(0.02)), respectively, during the third quarter of 2021, compared to RMB0.35 and RMB0.35, respectively, in the second quarter of 2021, and RMB0.04 and RMB(1.55), respectively, in the third quarter of 2020. As each ADS represents four ordinary shares, this translates into basic earnings per ADS and diluted loss per ADS of RMB4.07 (US$0.63) and RMB(0.49) (US$(0.08)), respectively in the third quarter of 2021; RMB1.39 and RMB1.38, respectively, in the second quarter of 2021; and RMB0.16 and RMB(6.20), respectively, in the third quarter of 2020. The difference between basic earning and diluted loss per share in the third quarter of 2021 was mainly due to the dilutive impact of convertible senior notes. Non-GAAP net income attributable to the Company's ordinary shareholders in the third quarter of 2021 was RMB15.9 million (US$2.5 million), compared with RMB274.7 million in the second quarter of 2021 and RMB321.4 million in the third quarter of 2020. Non-GAAP basic and diluted earnings per ordinary share were both RMB0.08 (US$0.01) during the third quarter of 2021; both RMB1.44 in the second quarter of 2021 and both RMB1.81 in the third quarter of 2020. This translates into non-GAAP basic and diluted earnings per ADS of RMB0.33 (US$0.05) and RMB0.31 (US$0.05), respectively, in the third quarter of 2021; RMB5.76 and RMB5.75, respectively, in the second quarter of 2021, and both RMB7.22 in the third quarter of 2020. Because of the dilutive impact of call option arrangement during the third quarter of 2020,   potential shares underlying the call option arrangement were removed from weighted average number of ordinary shares outstanding since their issuance date, and changes in income of the assumed exercise of call option, including the change in fair value of the call option, foreign exchange gain/(loss) on the call option, and the issuance costs of the call option were also recorded as the adjustment to the Company's consolidated net income to arrive at the diluted net income available to the Company's ordinary shareholders. Under that situation, the Company implemented the same denominator for both non-GAAP basic and dilutive earnings per ordinary share in the third quarter of 2020. Financial Position As of September 30, 2021, the Company had RMB7.32 billion (US$1.14 billion) in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash, compared with RMB6.52 billion as of June 30, 2021. As of September 30, 2021, the Company's accounts receivables due from third parties were RMB4.27 billion (US$662.5 million), compared with RMB3.91 billion as of June 30, 2021. As of September 30, 2021, the Company's inventories were RMB13.47 billion (US$2.09 billion), compared with RMB9.88 billion as of June 30, 2021. As of September 30, 2021, the Company's total interest-bearing debts were RMB23.76 billion (US$3.69 billion), of which RMB438.2 million (US$68.0 million) was related to the Company's overseas downstream solar projects, compared with RMB20.15 billion, of which RMB436.5 million was related to the Company's overseas downstream solar projects as of June 30, 2021. Third Quarter 2021 Operational Highlights Solar Module, Cell and Wafer Shipments Total shipments in the third quarter of 2021 were 4,993 MW, including 4,671 MW for solar module shipments and 322 MW for cell and wafer shipments. Solar Products Production Capacity As of September 30, 2021, the Company's in-house annual mono wafer, solar cell and solar module production capacity was 31 GW, 19 GW (940 MW for N type cells) and 36 GW, respectively. Operations and Business Outlook Highlights With JinkoSolar's industry-leading N-type cell R&D capabilities and over two year's mass production experience, it is investing in N-type cells, with an expected output of about 10GW in 2022. On the one hand, it helps alleviate challenges related to the Company's insufficient cell production capacity, and on the other hand, the N-type technology greatly improves module performance. The Company recently released a brand new Tiger Neo N-type product with mass production output of up to 620W. The Company's monocrystalline silicon wafer factory in Vietnam has started construction recently and will commence production in the first quarter of 2022, after which it will have approximately 7GW of overseas integrated production capacity, from mono silicon wafers to high-efficiency cells and modules. JinkoSolar is committed to improving the supply chain worldwide and producing high-quality and efficient products to serve global customers. Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Guidance The Company's business outlook is based on management's current views and estimates with respect to market conditions, production capacity, the Company's order book and the global economic environment. This outlook is subject to uncertainty on final customer demand and sale schedules. Management's views and estimates are subject to change without notice. For the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company expects total shipments to be in the range of 7.3 GW to 8.8 GW (solar module shipments to be in the range of 7 GW to 8.5 GW). Total revenue for the fourth quarter is expected to be in the range of US$1.8 billion to US$2.2 billion. Gross margin for the fourth quarter is expected to be between 13% and 16%. For full year 2021, the Company estimates total shipments (including solar modules, cells and wafers) to be in the range of 22.8 GW to 24.3 GW. Solar Products Production Capacity JinkoSolar expects its annual mono wafer, solar cell and solar module production capacity to reach 32.5 GW, 24 GW (including 940 MW N-type cells) and 45 GW, respectively, by the end of 2021. Recent Business Developments In August 2021, JinkoSolar's principal operating subsidiary, Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. signed a long-term polysilicon supply agreement with Wacker Chemie AG. In September 2021, JinkoSolar's principal operating subsidiary, Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. In September 2021, JinkoSolar announced that it is investing $500 million to build a monocrystalline ingot and wafer manufacturing facility in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. In September 2021, JinkoSolar was awarded the 'Top Brand PV USA' seal by EUPD Research. In September 2021, the stock listing committee of Shanghai Stock Exchange's Sci-Tech innovation board reviewed application of Jinko Solar Co., Ltd., the principal operating subsidiary of JinkoSolar, and considered that it had met the offering, listing and disclosure requirements related to its proposed IPO. In October 2021, JinkoSolar achieved a major technical breakthrough on its N-type monocrystalline silicon solar cell, setting a new world record for the fourth time in a year with the maximum solar conversion efficiency of 25.4% for its large-size passivating contact solar cell. In October 2021, JinkoSolar won the prestigious Green World Awards for Environmental Best Practice named by the Green Organization in the global campaign to find the world's greenest countries, companies, and communities. In October 2021, JinkoSolar's Tiger and Tiger Pro module series met the carbon footprint verification standards of TÜV Rheinland Group, a leading global services provider in the testing of PV modules and components. In October 2021, JinkoSolar worked with Catholic Charities Jacksonville to provide refugees living in Jacksonville access to devices and internet in order to facilitate their English classes and better acclimate to life in America. In November 2021, JinkoSolar launched a new series of ultra-efficient 2021 Flagship Tiger Neo modules. In November 2021, JinkoSolar announced that its principal operating subsidiary, Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. plans to invest RMB450 million for equity in Sichuan Yongxiang Energy Technology Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Tongwei Co., Ltd. (Shanghai Stock Exchange: 600438). Conference Call Information JinkoSolar's management will host an earnings conference call on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 7:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time (8:30 p.m. Beijing / Hong Kong the same day). Dial-in details for the earnings conference call are as follows: Hong Kong / International: +852 3027 6500 U.S. Toll Free: +1 855-824-5644 Passcode: 71417350# Please dial in 10 minutes before the call is scheduled to begin and provide the passcode to join the call. A telephone replay of the call will be available 2 hours after the conclusion of the conference call through 23:59 U.S. Eastern Time, December 7, 2021. The dial-in details for the replay are as follows: International: +61 2 8325 2405 U.S.: +1 646 982 0473 Passcode: 520000271# Additionally, a live and archived webcast of the conference call will be available on the Investor Relations section of JinkoSolar's website at www.jinkosolar.com. About JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS) is one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world. JinkoSolar distributes its solar products and sells its solutions and services to a diversified international utility, commercial and residential customer base in China, the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Chile, South Africa, India, Mexico, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, and other countries and regions. JinkoSolar has built a vertically integrated solar product value chain, with an integrated annual capacity of 31 GW for mono wafers, 19 GW for solar cells, and 36 GW for solar modules, as of September 30, 2021. JinkoSolar has 9 productions facilities globally, 22 overseas subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, India, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, United States, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Australia, Portugal, Canada, Malaysia, UAE, Hong Kong, Denmark, and global sales teams in China, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, Ukraine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa, Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Poland and Argentina, as of September 30, 2021. To find out more, please see: www.jinkosolar.com Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures To supplement its consolidated financial results presented in accordance with United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"), JinkoSolar uses certain non-GAAP financial measures including, non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP earnings per Share, and non-GAAP earnings per ADS, which are adjusted from the comparable GAAP results to exclude certain expenses or incremental ordinary shares relating to share-based compensation, convertible senior notes and call option: Non-GAAP net income is adjusted to exclude the expenses relating to issuance cost of convertible senior notes, change in fair value of convertible senior notes and call option, interest expenses of convertible senior notes and call option, exchange (gain)/loss on the convertible senior notes and call option, and stock-based compensation (benefit)/expense; given these Non-GAAP net income adjustments above are either related to the Company or its subsidiaries incorporated in Cayman Islands, which are not subject to tax exposures, or related to those subsidiaries with tax loss positions which result in no tax impacts, therefore no tax adjustment is needed in conjunction with these Non-GAAP net income adjustments; and Non-GAAP earnings per share and non-GAAP earnings per ADS are adjusted to exclude the expenses relating to issuance cost of convertible senior notes, change in fair value of convertible senior notes and call option, interest expenses of convertible senior notes and call option, exchange gain on the convertible senior notes and call option, and stock-based compensation. As the Non-GAAP net income is adjusted to exclude the change in fair value of call option, the dilutive impact of call option, if any, is also excluded from the denominator for the calculation of Non-GAAP earnings per share and non-GAAP earnings per ADS. The Company believes that the use of non-GAAP information is useful for analysts and investors to evaluate JinkoSolar's current and future performances based on a more meaningful comparison of net income and diluted net income per ADS when compared with its peers and historical results from prior periods. These measures are not intended to represent or substitute numbers as measured under GAAP. The submission of non-GAAP numbers is voluntary and should be reviewed together with GAAP results. Currency Convenience Translation The conversion of Renminbi into U.S. dollars in this release, made solely for the convenience of the readers, is based on the noon buying rate in the city of New York for cable transfers of Renminbi as certified for customs purposes by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as of September 30, 2021, which was RMB6.4434 to US$1.00. No representation is intended to imply that the Renminbi amounts could have been, or could be, converted, realized, or settled into U.S. dollars at that rate or any other rate. The percentages stated in this press release are calculated based on Renminbi. Safe-Harbor Statement This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends, "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements. Among other things, the quotations from management in this press release and the Company's operations and business outlook, contain forward-looking statements. Such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in JinkoSolar's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 20-F. Except as required by law, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. For investor and media inquiries, please contact: In China:Ms. Stella WangJinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd.Tel: +86 21-5180-8777 ext.7806Email: ir@jinkosolar.com Rene VanguestaineChristensenTel: +86 178 1749 0483Email: rvanguestaine@ChristensenIR.com In the U.S.:Ms. Linda BergkampChristensenTel: +1-480-614-3004Email: lbergkamp@ChristensenIR.com       JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO., LTD. UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (in thousands, except ADS and Share data) For the quarter ended For the nine months ended      Sep 30, 2020 Jun 30, 2021 Sep 30, 2021.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 30th, 2021

Rapid Cloud Migration to Drive Salesforce (CRM) Q3 Earnings

Salesforce's (CRM) Q3 results are likely to reflect gains from the accelerated adoption of SaaS-based platforms amid the pandemic-led accelerated digital transformation. Salesforce's CRM third-quarter fiscal 2022 results, slated for a Nov 30 release, are likely to reflect the benefits from a robust demand environment as organizations are undergoing a major digital transformation.The increased adoption of cloud-based solutions amid business disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have driven demand for Salesforce’s products. Its ability to provide an integrated solution for customers’ business problems is the key driver.Click here to know how CRM’s overall fiscal third-quarter results are likely to be.Increased Cloud Adoption to Have Aided Q3 PerformanceThe rapid adoption of the software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based platforms amid the ongoing work-from-home and online learning trend is expected to have spurred demand for Salesforce’s cloud-based solutions. Salesforce’s diverse cloud offerings are likely to have helped expand its clientele, fueling the top line.salesforce.com, inc. Price and EPS Surprise salesforce.com, inc. price-eps-surprise | salesforce.com, inc. QuoteThe company’s Customer 360 Truth platform that helps connect all the data from sales, service, marketing, commerce and build a single Salesforce ID for each customer is likely to have boosted its performance.Also, Salesforce’s initiatives to capitalize on overseas demand for the cloud-based applications are anticipated to have bolstered the top line during the period in discussion. Further, the improved customer experience is anticipated to have aided the cloud segment. Also, CRM’s focus on AI and the substantial progress in its Einstein Analytics platform make it optimistic about the upcoming quarterly results.However, a decline in software spending by small & medium businesses amid the macroeconomic uncertainty due to the pandemic might have affected Salesforce’s fiscal third-quarter performance. Also, increasing investments in International expansions and data centers might have eroded the company’s profitability during the to-be-reported quarter.Partnerships and Acquisitions to Have Fueled GrowthSalesforce’s focus on building partnerships is anticipated to have fueled the top line. These strategic partnerships have not only helped it grab new deals but also expanded the firm’s operations internationally.Further, partnership agreements with the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google parent Alphabet, Microsoft, HP, Dell, International Business Machines and others for the firms’ cloud services are likely to have aided Salesforce’s performance during the fiscal third quarter.Additionally, CRM’s strategic acquisitions over the past 12 months are anticipated to have brought incremental revenues in the quarter under review. On Jul 21, 2021, Salesforce announced completing the buyout of Slack, which has positioned it as a leader in the enterprise team collaboration solution space.Salesforce bought Acumen Solutions, a McLean, Virginia-based professional services firm, in February 2021. Salesforce anticipates revenue contributions from the newly acquired Slack and Acumen businesses to be approximately $530 million and $200 million, respectively in fiscal 2022.Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to ConsiderSalesforce currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Some better-ranked stocks from the broader technology sector include Google-parent Alphabet GOOGL, Diodes DIOD and PTC Inc. PTC, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Alphabet’s fourth-quarter 2021 earnings has been revised downward by a penny to $26.71 per share over the past seven days. For 2021, earnings estimates have moved upward by 43 cents to $108.29 per share in the last seven days.Alphabet’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the preceding four quarters, the average surprise being 41.5%. The GOOGL stock has rallied 66.9% in the year-to-date (YTD) period.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Diodes’ fourth-quarter 2021 earnings has been revised upward by 23.9% to $1.45 per share over the past 30 days. For 2021, earnings estimates of Diodes have moved upward by 6.3% to $5.06 per share over the last 30 days.Diodes’ earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the preceding four quarters, the average surprise being 10%. Shares of DIOD have rallied 53.6% YTD.The consensus mark for PTC Inc.’s first-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings has been raised to $1.00 per share from 90 cents 30 days ago. For fiscal 2022, earnings estimates have been revised upward by 28 cents to $4.19 per share in the last 30 days.PTC Inc.’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate thrice in the preceding four quarters while missed the same on one occasion, the average surprise being 47.8%. Shares of PTC have gained 0.7% YTD. Investor Alert: Legal Marijuana Looking for big gains? Now is the time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $13.5 billion in 2021 to an expected $70.6 billion by 2028. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could kick start an even greater bonanza for investors. Zacks Investment Research has recently closed pot stocks that have shot up as high as +147.0% You’re invited to immediately check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>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 Diodes Incorporated (DIOD): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report PTC Inc. (PTC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 29th, 2021

Transcript: Steve Fradkin

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast… Read More The post Transcript: Steve Fradkin appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Steve Fradkin Northern Trust, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast I have a special guest. His name is Steve Fradkin, and he runs one of the larger pools of assets that you probably had no idea about. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. They run over $350 billion in client assets. They serve some of the wealthiest families in America. One in five wealthy families actually has assets with Northern Trust. They have something like 20 percent of the Forbes 400, just a very interesting perspective on how to manage through periods of uncertainty, changing tax laws, rising inflation. Also, it’s really interesting perspectives. It’s less about predicting the future, Steve tells us, then thinking in terms of planning and probabilities. And I think that was really interesting advice. He — he is about as knowledgeable as anybody is going to get in the – both wealth management business and ultra-high net worth management business. I found the conversation really intriguing, and I think you will also. So, with no further ado, my interview of Steve Fradkin of Northern Trust. VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My special guest this week is Steve Fradkin. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. Running about $355 billion in assets, they serve about one in five of the wealthiest families in America. Previously, Steve ran the Corporate and Institutional Services. He was Head of International Business for Northern Trust, as well as the firm’s Chief Financial Officer. Steve Fradkin, welcome to Bloomberg. FIRRMA Thank you, Barry. Great to be here. RITHOLTZ: So, you spent your entire career at Northern Trust having joined in — in 1985. How do you make the leap from really CFO to President which, to me, I think of President I think of someone who’s running like a CEO, running a — a division? What were the challenges of that transition? FRADKIN: Well, it’s a great question and, you know, careers are mysterious experiences. The — the bigger mystery really, Barry, was the move to CFO. So I joined Northern Trust as a youngster, didn’t know what I wanted to do, worked my way through a variety of entry-level jobs, ultimately culminating at that point in running our growing international business, and loving it, traveling the world to clients in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, you know, really fun and interesting stuff, and was asked, at that point, to serve as CFO, which was the unnatural job. Was not a controller, was not a treasurer, and so serving as CFO of a large public company was — shall we say traumatic when they asked. But did that for six years, including through the global financial crisis. And it was, at that point, I went back to doing what I normally do, which is running businesses. I ran our Corporate and Institutional Services business, and then after that Wealth Management. So — so it wasn’t so much going from CFO to wealth management as it was ending up as CFO, if you will, by accident from my point of view. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. So — so you guys had a pretty good year in 2020. How did that carry over to this year? Is it just more of the same? What were the big success stories relative to all those challenges we soar last year? Well, you know, it’s — it’s really an interesting phenomenon, and it shows you the – in some ways, the unpredictability of what can happen. You know, if you think about COVID-19 and its impact in 2020, and if I said to you, you know, look here’s what’s going to happen, we’re — we’re going to go as a society not just Northern Trust from, you know, we all come in and we work and so forth and so on. And one day, on about the same day worldwide, everyone’s going to start working from home facetiously. What — what do you think is going to happen to the markets? I think most people have said, well, first of all, it could never happen that way. It’s not going to be true that people in Sydney, and London, and New York, and Sao Paulo are all going to be, you know, as much as one can working from home. That’s just impossible. And second of all is that where to happen on a sustained basis. Well, gee, you know, the economy is going to crater because no baseball games, no concerts, no – you know, less use of restaurants, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t think people would have said, you know, the markets would do as well as they’ve done. So look, it’s been an incredible journey. Northern Trust has navigated exceptionally well through it last year and continues to perform well today. And there are a variety of factors in that. But each and every day has been a navigation because we’re still not out of the pandemic and we’re still operating in a hybrid mode. And, you know, balancing safety of our partners, our — our employees, and the needs of our clients is a — a daily — a juggling act that we’re still working through and I suspect will be working through for a while longer here. RITHOLTZ: We’re going to talk a little more about how you guys manage doing the pandemic in a bit, but I want to stay with the success of Northern Trust. You’re one of the biggest ultra-high net worth investment managers. But relative to your size, you guys kind of fly under the radar. Why is that? FRADKIN: Well, you know, it’s — it’s an interesting question, Barry. The – so in terms of size, we’re in the top 20 banks in the country as measured by our balance sheet. But really the — the better marker of our size is the assets that we manage and the assets that we administer for clients. And we’re a very quiet company. We don’t do lots of big acquisitions. We do the same thing today that we’ve been doing since 1889, serving the same clientele, and so we’re a very focused institution. A little over half our profits come from the provision of services to wealthy families in America and around the world. And the other half come from essentially providing the same services, but to large global institutional investors, serving wealth funds, pension funds and the like. And so, we’re a quiet company that has been extraordinarily successful and consistently so for many, many years. So, we’re proud of what we’ve got, but we — we — we — we fly under the radar scream — screen intentionally to just keep a low profile and stay focused on our clients. RITHOLTZ: And — and that would make sense given the nature of your clients who are less Instagram stars and more quiet wealth. Is that a — is that a fair way to describe it? FRADKIN: Yeah. Today, we serve little over 30 percent of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans and, obviously, many other affluent families. And interestingly, Barry, you know, sometimes people think of Northern Trust in its wealth management business as focusing on — or serving multigenerational well-healed, you know, families. And that’s true, we certainly serve many of those. But there are many entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, in New York, in Miami, in Dallas, in — all over the country and all over the world. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in being here is that wealth is created in a lot of mysterious ways. And so, your — your reference to Instagram and so forth, I would say our clients are definitely low profile, but where they create their wealth emanates from every segment of the economy. It’s really a — a fascinating part of the privilege of being in this — this kind of role. RITHOLTZ: Let’s stay with that because I was just involved in a conversation recently about the amount of wealth that has been created over the past couple of decades. Wherever you look, especially in the United States, it seems that people are coming up with new ideas, new technologies, new just even business processes that if you go back to the 90’s, I don’t think people could have imagined the sort of things that are generating the massive amounts of wealth that we’ve seen. And — and I’m not even talking about NFTs or things like that, I mean, businesses with clients that are just doing tens of millions of dollars of — of revenue a year. FRADKIN: Well, I think the — the fascinating thing that I think we see is that wealth can be created in a lot of different ways. And I — and I think you’re right that as the world has sped up, the wealth creation has sped up, too. You know, to caricature it, it used to be you would start a business in your garage in Louisiana and, overtime, you would, you know, build a vacuum cleaner, whatever it happened to be. And you would start selling it from a store and, you know, it would — you know, you — you’d have a second store. And — and the next thing you know, you have a — a — a big business that you never envisioned having, and you could sell that company and — and create tremendous amount of wealth. Today, that phenomenon still absolutely happens, but it also happens with the power of the Internet that the pace at which companies in some industries can grow and accelerate has — has really multiplied. So, wealth creation, in some instances, is still a slow laborious step-by-step process. But in others, I don’t want to say it’s overnight, but it happens a lot faster with digitalization in the — the pace at which the world moves today. So, we — we see both phenomena, and that’s part of the fun and excitement of the American economy. And this certainly happens elsewhere in the world as well. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. So, let’s talk about how you guys had to operate during the lockdown. You mentioned this earlier. What were you doing when, you know, it became clear the country was shutting down in March of 2020? FRADKIN: It’s a great question, Barry. Well, we started like many other institutions with the safety of our clients and the safety of our employees. And it all happened relatively quickly in terms of shutting down offices to the bare minimum, getting people home, and making sure that they could function effectively from home. And if you go back to — and — and, by the way, we have 20,000 employees worldwide, so we were doing the same thing in Manila, in the Philippines as we were doing in London, as we were doing in Dublin, as we were doing in Houston, as we were doing in Las Vegas. And so I want you to think about the operational, and logistical, and infrastructural needs of pretty much all at the same time trying to get people out of the office, enable them to function effectively from home, still be able to serve our clients, and all the family and other issues that people were wrestling with. So, I would say the beginning of the pandemic was stressful. You know, we were working 24/7 trying to make sure that technology worked and people could still get cash and all those things. It has gotten to a much better, you know, I’ll call it normalcy in a strange sort of way. But the early days of the pandemic were — were challenging. We navigated through well, but it’s certainly not something that anyone had anticipated. RITHOLTZ: Really quite interesting. So, I’m assuming you guys have your offices, more or less, reopened. What are you going to do going forward? Is it going to be a hybrid model or is everyone back in the office or people working from home? FRADKIN: Our offices are open and — and really to different extents in different geographies, you know, which makes sense. The — the infection rates, hospitalization rates, all the metrics that we track are very different in different cities and countries around the globe. You know, in terms of where it goes in the future, I think the future of work and how people work is forever changed. You know, we always had a pretty flexible workforce and the ability to work from home and, you know, people’s — people’s lives and — personal lives and business lives had crossed over long ago that, as an employer, we had to be flexible. I think that’s going to be even more so coming out of the pandemic. People have gotten used to it. The technology has gotten better. Client expectations are different. And so, I think we will be in a — you know, what we — what we think of today as a hybrid model will be a normal model tomorrow. And that doesn’t mean everyone will work from home, but it certainly means a lot more flexibility for employees to inevitably juggle the — the conflicting needs of family and work life. And we’re well prepared for that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: So as investors, COVID was pretty much an exogenous shock. It — it came out the left field. How did the whole COVID crash and recovery compare to past crises, whether it’s 9/11 or dot-com implosion or the great financial crisis? How do you — how do you wrap your head around this one compared to ones from — from recent past? FRADKIN: You know, it’s — it’s a great question. And I think, Barry, my perspective would be that we often call events like the COVID-19 pandemic tail events or once in a lifetime events. And in some ways, they are and, in some ways, they aren’t. If — if I think about it through the prism of my career experience, we had the crash of October 1987. We’ve seen the collapses of things like Enron and WorldCom. We’ve seen September 11th. We’ve seen Bear Stearns go down. We had the global financial crisis of 2008 and, of course, the pandemic. And each time we call it a tail event, but at some point, we have to admit that there are a lot of tails. So, I want to take you back just to compare and contrast COVID-19 with 2008. I’ll give you this example. I want you to imagine it’s the end of 2007, and you’re presenting the 2008 plan for Northern Trust to our board. And you go to the board and you say, “Look, we expect our revenues to do this and our expenses to do that, and so forth and so on.” And one of the board members raises his or her hand and he says — he or she says, “Barry, that’s — that’s terrific. Sounds like a great plan for 2008.” But I — I — I just want to get your perspective. What happens if Bear Stearns collapses, Freddie, Fannie, Washington Mutual, Wachovia, Merrill Lynch, you know, et cetera, et cetera, Lehman? You know, the whole thing collapses in 2008. How will we perform? I think you’d — you know, I — I think if you had been CFO at that time, you would have said, “Well, you know, that’s just — that’s never going to happen,” but it did. And Northern Trust navigated through that exceptionally well. Not unscarred, but exceptionally well. If you take — if you fast forward from that paradigm to COVID-19, it’s very similar. You know, if — if we had been talking to our board the year before and put forward our plan, I think our board would have said, “Well, okay, you know, that sounds like a great plan. What happens if there’s a global pandemic in every office from which we operate is going to be shut down or substantially shut down? Everyone’s got to work from home on the same day globally.” And, by the way, it’s going to be for a year and a half or more. I’m quite confident you or we would have said, well, that — you know, that’s just not — you know, I don’t know what we’ll do. That’s not going to happen, but it did. And so, I think the — the lesson from these crises is that while they’re different every time, they happen a lot. And so, we have to think about our approach to business, our approach to research, our approach to preparing for the unanticipatable. And as I say, each — each of your examples, September 11th, and COVID, and 2008 are different, but they were all — they all featured substantial disruption, substantial unanticipatable disruption. And at Northern Trust and every other company around the world, you have to be prepared to be agile and adapt quickly. And — and that’s what we’ve been able to do pretty consistently over our 130 plus years of experience. RITHOLTZ: So, given that history and the fact that a big chunk of your clients are ultra-high net worth, how do you think about managing assets compared to what — I don’t know, let’s use the phrase “mass affluent,” that typical approach. Is this more about preserving wealth and it is striking at rich. These folks are, after all, already fairly wealthy. How does this specific demographic change and challenge the way you manage assets for them? FRADKIN: Well, I think, look, wherever one sits on the spectrum of wealth, they generally want to optimize their returns over time. And people have different risk preferences as you would expect. So to caricature it, if you come from nothing and you’ve done exceptionally well financially, you may — not always, but you may have a predisposition to have a stronger defensive component to your portfolio because you don’t want to end up back where you were. You know what it’s like not to have money, you have it, and you want to be defensive. On the other hand, there are people who whether they came from nothing or not, they’ve had tremendous success. They’ve seen the power of capitalism, and they want to not only do as well as they can, but keep going. So, we see things through the eyes of our clients across the continuum. What I would say is people in the ultra net — ultra-high net worth space, at least from my point of view, it’s not so much about they’re more defensive or more offensive. They have more flexibility for choice. They can be defensive because they’ve, you know, so to speak, got more than enough or they can lean in and be more aggressive because they have a bigger cushion than the rest of us. And our clientele is all ends of that spectrum. There’s no — the — the — the notion that some people have, well, once someone’s made a certain amount of money they’re — they’re just trying to preserve it. There are certainly clients that — that exhibit that behavior, but there are an equal number who want to optimize it and aren’t in a completely defensive mindset. So, it depends on the personality type. RITHOLTZ: Very interesting. One of the clichés of the industry is three generations from, you know, short tales to short tales, referring that generational wealth very often gets — I don’t want to say wasted, but frittered away irresponsibly or recklessly. Some people take too much risk. How do you manage around that? Do you — do you ever have families coming to you and say, “Hey, we want to leave money to the next generation, but we want to make sure they get it and that it’s not just, you know, Ferraris and — and weekends in Vegas.” FRADKIN: Yes, all the time. Again, every family is different. Every client is different but, you know, one thing to — one thing that I think is a little bit unfair in — in — not by you, but in the characterization that you refer to is this notion, well, you know, by the third generation it is, you know, frittered away. I think you — you have to remember a couple things. First, when — when we say it’s frittered away, the comparison point is often to someone who did the extraordinary. So if I started from nothing and created $1 billion — $1 billion of wealth, it’s a little unfair to say my kids or my grandkids, you know, they’re not as smart as I am because, you know, they didn’t do it, too. You know, People who have created extraordinary wealth have done so, by definition, it’s — it’s extraordinary, and it’s not reasonable. Even if you have bright, talented, you know, high-functioning kids, it’s not reasonable to assume that each generation is just going to — you know, mom made $1 billion. Mom’s kid made $2 billion and — and mom’s grandkid made — made $4 billion. You know, it’s — mathematically, that’s not a reasonable probability. That’s sad. There is definitely an art to optimizing wealth through the generations. And, of course, it starts in the home and how you raise kids and values and, you know, what you demand of them or not. But a lot of our clients do a great job of trying to steward their wealth, trying to educate their kids, trying to make use of family governance to — to help everyone understand how things work for the family. And so, each client is different, but as with most things, the more you put into it, the more you’re likely to get out of it. And for those who believe it’s an important responsibility to steward that wealth, pass it to future generations, educate those generations, make them or trying to help them be important members of society, they tend to get better outcomes than the rest of us. It’s a — it’s a very — it’s, you know, raising kids and money are two challenging vectors, but we see some great examples of people stewarding wealth through multiple generations not just the — the founder, so to speak. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. Let’s talk a little bit about what you call Goals Driven Wealth Management. Start out with what — what exactly is that. FRADKIN: Sure. Goals Driven Wealth Management at Northern Trust is the framework that — that we’ve devised to build personalized wealth plans for clients and it focuses on helping them achieve their individual goals with confidence. It provides a big picture of their wealth and transparent steps on how to manage and optimize wealth over time. So, Barry, one way to think about it is — and I’m being a little bit facetious, but just to make the point, it used to be in this industry that the starting point for how money might be managed was a function of your outlook on the market. You think equities are going to go up, et cetera, so you allocate more to equities. Goals Driven Wealth Management comes at investing through a different lens. The starting point is not so much our call on the markets though that will be important at some point. Our starting point in Goals Driven is what are you and your family trying to accomplish. Once we understand what you’re trying to accomplish and the assets you need to accomplish it, we can, in effect, back in to how to deploy those assets — in stocks, bonds, other asset classes — to give you the best probability of achieving your life goals over time. So, it’s really just a different starting point for how to think about creating an asset allocation that is most effective for you and your family. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk about that framework. And again, the question comes back, how different is it for the ultra-high net worth than for the merely wealthy or — or is there a lot of overlapping between the two different types of planning? FRADKIN: The process is really the same no matter where you are on the wealth spectrum. You and your family have goals, and whether you have $1 million, $100 million, $1 billion, $10 billion or whatever the number is, you have something you want to achieve over time. You plan to live to age 90 or 100. This is what you need to live in the style to which you want to be accustomed, and we do a variety of work to figure out, first of all, are you asset-sufficient, meaning under reasonable scenarios, do I have enough if I steward it effectively to live my life the way I want to live it over time? And that happens whether you have, you know — again, whatever the number is, $500,000 or $10 million. The difference, Barry, comes in with the flexibility and options that you have as you create more wealth. So, the starting point is the same: understand your goals, understand your needs, and let’s figure out an asset allocation to give you the best chance to get there. What becomes different for people in the ultra-high net worth space relative to the rest of us is that they can take advantage of more planning techniques. They can take advantage of more techniques to optimize philanthropy. They can take advantage of gifting to future generations and so forth, and so the process is the same. But as you accumulate more money, in general, you have more flexibility on some other things you can do. The ultra-high net worth also have more investment optionality. They have the ability to invest in asset classes like private equity hedge fund and so forth where they may have to trade off some liquidity for a period of time. Those of us who are lower on the spectrum may not be able to endure that in a down market. Those who have more wealth can — can oftentimes weather that storm more. So, the process is the same, but you get more flexibility as your wealth grows. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: We’re going to talk more of about alternative investments in a little bit. I want to stick with a couple of interesting things I read in some Northern Trust research. One of the things that I kind of knew, but I didn’t realize it was this intense was the number of clients you see relocating to new states. It’s been a record volume. Some of that is pandemic related, some of it predates the pandemic. How does that challenge the planning process? How different is it from state-to-state when it comes to things like tax planning? You mentioned trust. You mentioned philanthropic issues. What happens when somebody picks up from one state and relocates to another state? FRADKIN: Yeah, it’s an interesting question. Look, clients relocating has always been with us. If you look at Northern Trust history, we are headquartered in Chicago in the middle of the United States. It’s cold here in the winter, lovely city, but it does get rather cold at wintertime. And often times, as people age and, you know, their kids finish school and so forth, they opt for better environments in the wintertime, so they may want to be in Florida or Arizona or Texas or California. So, one phenomenon we’ve always seen is migration from state-to-state. That phenomenon is also impacted by state tax rates, by state tax considerations. And so, both, because of the pandemic and for tax reasons and lifestyle reasons, were continuing to see movement across state lines. And so, you know, I think the — the message to urban planners is taxes do matter to people. It’s not necessarily the only factor, but even affluent people will think through where do they want to be, where do they want to live, what environment to they want to be in, and what’s the tax impact for their clients. And that phenomenon is — is alive and well. It’s always been there, but it — it does seem to be important as different states consider different policies, if you will. People — residents make their choices, and so it’s — it’s — it’s a phenomenon that’s very much at the front of mind for many of our clients. RITHOLTZ: Interesting. You mentioned taxes. There was a new administration came to town this year, and the expectations are there will be some sort of change in tax policy, potentially including increases in capital gains and increases in estate taxes and, in some cases, fairly substantial increases. How do you plan around that? And since nothing is known for certain in advance what an administration is — is going to do, how do you make decisions in — in the face of that uncertainty? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think our starting point on behalf of our clients is to prepare rather than predict. So, let me give you an example that — that you referred to. The newly proposed tax law change would change the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption amount from $11.7 million down to $5 million. And what this means for people that built up substantial wealth is that if the proposal goes forward as — as offered, you have until the end of this year if you want to make a gift to your heirs of — if you can afford to and if you want to, make a gift of $11.7 million. And again, I can’t tell you whether this will happen. But if we just think about the financial impact here, if you have enough capacity to do that and you choose to do it, you can take $11.7 million out of your estate today, get it to your kids, grandkids, whoever it happens to be tax-free as opposed to, on January 1st, if the law goes forward only as — as offered, you can only do $5 million. And what that means is the difference between — sorry to get, you know, numbers all over — but the difference between 11.7 and five, which is $6.7 million will be taxed, you know, when you die at a — at a high rate. And so we have literally thousands of clients all across the country and each one we’re working with individually to evaluate what’s their financial circumstance, what do they want to do, do they want to make the gift. And by the way, this — this — this tax law change may or may not happen, so people have to make a choice without knowing for sure whether it’s going to happen. I think the bottom line though is people are looking at this carefully. They’re studying it and they’re trying to prepare and make judgments about what might happen and what’s best for their individual circumstance. But tax law changes matter and — and we are in the business of helping our clients figure out what’s the best choice for them with the information that we have. RITHOLTZ: Quite, quite interesting. So, we talked a little bit about alternatives earlier. Let’s address that a bit. There seems to be a growing appetite for all manner of — of alternative investments given that stocks and bonds are all a little bit pricey. Let’s start with private equity. What — what sort of demand is there from your clients for private equity. And — and how do you guys respond to the question of potentially better returns in exchange for far less liquidity? FRADKIN: Sure. Look, investment has become much more granular over the decades and again, just to be facetious, you know, large-cap stocks versus high quality bonds, you know, 40 years ago. Today, clients think in terms of small-cap, mid-cap, large-cap, value, international, emerging markets, private equity, and thousands of flavors of private equity; hedge fund the same thing. So, in the quest for optimizing returns, clients and their professional money managers, Northern Trust included, have searched for different asset classes to combine together to give people the best chance to — to achieve their objectives. Private equity clearly has been in the aggregate — there are winners and losers in private equity, but has been a asset class that has done well for many. There are tradeoffs with private equity, particularly in terms of liquidity. But I would say amongst our clientele, the appetite for private equity and private equity, as a more normalized asset class, continues to grow. It’s not the right asset class for every client, but for clients who have the capacity, the risk tolerance and so forth, it — it definitely can play an important role in a client’s portfolio. And increasingly, we’re seeing more use of private equity today than we did say 10 years ago. RITHOLTZ: What about venture capital or hedge funds, two totally different entities from both each other in private equity, what’s the demand like for those products? FRADKIN: Demand exists for venture capital and for hedge funds as well. Again, the devil is in the detail, not all hedge funds are created equally. The — the — the fees that they charge, the performance that they’ve delivered can differ substantially, but there is again this same notion of I want to diversify my portfolio. I want a — a range of options and so-called alternative investments. Whether you call it private equity, venture capital, hedge funds seem to continue to be growing in appeal to our clientele. RITHOLTZ: What about crypto and things like blockchain and Ethereum? There seems to be a lot of real interest in the space. Are — are you finding your client bases crypto-curious? FRADKIN: I would say the demand for crypto is more muted amongst our clientele than some of what you read in the public press. And that doesn’t mean we have examples of clients who have invested in crypto and done exceptionally well in a right time. But I would say, in general, if I had to caricature it, I would say that crypto is still an evolving asset class that is misunderstood by many. And I think most are treating it carefully. And the ones that are making crypto investments are viewing it more as a — more as a roll of the dice than a rational analytical view of what crypto is trading at today and what it’s going to trade it tomorrow. They view it as a bit of a roll the dice. They may jump in a little bit, but they understand that what goes up can also go down. So, I would say amongst our clientele overall, crypto is still not widely in use. RITHOLTZ: So, we mentioned briefly the market is certainly pricier than it was five or 10 years ago. How do you manage around stocks and bonds neither of which are inexpensive? FRADKIN: Yeah, look, I think for many of our clients, the market does go up, the market got does go down. And one of the great features of our — the goals-driven methodology that we use for clients is that we build a portfolio such that after a lot of analytical work to evaluate their goals and so forth that enables them to endure and not have to sell in a down market. We — we create something that’s called a portfolio reserve. I would liken it to the moat around your castle. Some people like a wide deep moat, some people need a narrower and less deep mode, but think of that as a high-quality fixed income. If the stock market goes down, your — your bonds are still fine. You can still pay your mortgage. Life is good. You can wait until the market goes up or — or returns to normal. So, the one thing we know on behalf of our clients is markets go up and down, and so you have to plan and prepare for that. And so, it’s very difficult to know. You know, again using the COVID-19 example, I think they’re a lot of people who might have argued the markets are going to crash, you know, everyone’s working from home and we can’t get the essentials, and people don’t want to go to the grocery store, and yet the market went up dramatically. So, we try and take a long-stewarded view and help our clients plan and prepare themselves so that when the market does go down, they can get through and — and not have to take adverse steps and sell in dire circumstance. And that’s been very helpful for our clients. RITHOLTZ: So, in terms of forward return expectations, does that — and historically low-bond yields, high equity prices tend to suggest low returns going forward, does that work its way into the planning process or is that really more of an academic theory? FRADKIN: No, it absolutely works its way into the planning process because our starting point is what needs does a client have over the near-term for financial resources. We — we got to make sure they can buy their groceries, and pay their mortgage, and we have to deploy assets against those goals. But once, in working with a client, we figured out the right mix of assets to — to enable them to — to afford those goals over a reasonable period of time, we then have to deploy the rest of the portfolio toward so-called risk assets, equities, private equity, hedge funds, venture — whatever the asset class. And in so doing, we have to bring our judgment about risk and return expectations for each of those asset classes. So, our view of asset classes and what they’re likely to bring over the relatively short-term is still an important part of the process. RITHOLTZ: So, what do you tell investors who say, “You know, I’m really not happy with my muni bond portfolio. It’s barely thrown off two or 2.5 percent.” Investors are always seen to be looking for more yield. How do you respond to that group of clients? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think it — my — our response is really you have to remember what you’re trying to do with that muni bond portfolio. No one is saying it’s a great high returning asset class, but that’s not its role. Its role is to be — I’m making this up, Barry, but generally, the role of that muni bond portfolio is to provide you with certainty, security, confidence, and not have to worry about the other part of your portfolio, let’s just call that equities gyrating up and down. So, of course, people want their muni bonds or their high-quality fixed income to return as much as it can, and it’s our job to try and help people achieve that. But I think you always have to come back to what role is this trying to play. And for most clients, it’s trying to play a role of stability, and reliability, and consistency, and that’s the paramount feature. And in providing that consistency and — and stability and predictability, they give up a little bit of return on that asset class, but they’re trying to get that elsewhere with their equities, private equity, and so forth. So, you had — you had discussed previously, hey, you know, it’s up to us to make the most of a low rate environment. What does that mean? Get — how does one make the most of a low rate environment? FRADKIN: Well, I think, you know, low — low rates create — low interest rates create challenges and opportunities. Maybe two simple ways to think about it are, one, on the challenge side, if you’re living on a fixed income as assets reprice to — and you’re reliant on bonds — your bonds to provide income, the lower rates make the yield on those bonds lower, and so that’s bad from, you know, how much cash flow I have to — to fill my needs. The flipside to that is that when rates are very low, if you want to, if it’s appropriate, if it’s thoughtfully done, you can use credit rather than liquidating stocks to — you know, if you want to buy a new toy, so to speak, a boat, whatever it happens to be, one way to do that is to sell stocks in your portfolio and buy the — you know, whatever it is you want to buy. Another way is to let those stocks keep working on your behalf and, because rates are so low, take advantage of credit. Take a loan, buy that boat and — or whatever it happens to be and pay it back over time. So low interest rates, you know, how can have different conflicting phenomenon, opportunities on the credit side and headwinds on the bond investment site. RITHOLTZ: So — so how do you incorporate all this inflation chatter to — to your planning? We’ve started to see rates tick up the 10-year as — as recording this just about 1.5 percent. And I know there’s an irony in saying that rates are all the way up to 1.5 percent, which historically is incredibly low. How do you figure inflation into your modeling and — and thinking about the future? FRADKIN: Yeah, well, we use multi-scenario modeling. The — the reality is no one knows and so you have to, you know, the — the prognosticators will — will have a view. Some — some believe inflation is here and is going to continue. Others argue it’s so-called transitory. And the truth is we don’t know. We’ll — we’ll find that out tomorrow, so to speak. And so as we work through planning with our clients, we generally are running multiple scenarios, low inflation, medium inflation, high inflation. And we’re trying — as we — as we help clients make decisions, we’re trying to make the best judgment we can at a given point in time. But that’s why you — you really have to — be you have to plan for multiple scenarios and bring agility to your process because we don’t know whether the stock market is going up or down. We don’t know whether inflation will be higher or lower. We have a view. We can have probabilities. But as we’ve seen, whether it was with 2008 or COVID, we — everyone can be wrong. And so, you have to plan and adapt and leave yourself a buffer for when you are wrong, and hopefully it’s not — not catastrophic. RITHOLTZ: So, I know I only have you for a little bit of time. Let me jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of my guests, starting with tell us what you’re streaming these days, what’s keeping you entertained at home, either on Netflix or Amazon Prime or — or wherever. FRADKIN: Well, I’ve — I’ve been working hard so I — I can’t say I’ve — I’ve made great use of Netflix. But what I have just started and this will show you, Barry, how far behind I am is I’ve just started Ted Lasso. So I’m behind the rest of the world, but that’s what I’m on right now. RITHOLTZ: All right. Well, well, you’ll — I could tell you this much, you will enjoy it and — and enjoy catching up with us. What about mentors? Who helped to shape your career? FRADKIN: You know, I’ve had a lot of mentors at Northern Trust over the years, people who were senior to me and people who weren’t, but I learned from everyone. I think when I think about mentors, for me, it’s less about people with whom I work and maybe it’s my interest in history. But I try and learn from people who have overcome insurmountable odds, the Mahatma Gandhis, the Martin Luther Kings, the Winston Churchills, the Vaclav Havels, the Abraham Lincoln. And there’s so much wisdom that I see in people like that because they really faced incredible circumstances and worked through them generally to good outcomes. And so there — those great thinkers are probably the people I’ve learned the most from as I wouldn’t call them mentors to me, but I’ve certainly read about all of them and — and learned a lot from each of them. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about books. What are you reading right now and what — what are some of your favorites? FRADKIN: You know, I think in keeping with that theme of mentors over periods of time that interest me, I’ve really enjoyed “The Splendid and the Vile” by Eric Larson, which is about Churchill and the blitz of World War II. And — and again, it — it helps you — it helps me to see just how dire the circumstances were and what he and others had to navigate through. The other book that I’ve dusted off recently, I read some time ago, but I think in view of the pandemic, it seemed interesting to me was “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston, which has nothing to do with the pandemic, but there are parallels to what we’re dealing with, and it was sort of a gripping — a gripping book if you have time for a good read. RITHOLTZ: Sounds interesting. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who is interested in a career in either investment management or finance? FRADKIN: Yeah, I think, Barry, I’d offer a — a — a couple of themes on this. And I — I don’t know that I narrowed these themes to an interest in investments or finance, although I think they do overlap. But I’d start by saying, it probably be easiest place to get my view there would be to go to YouTube and I — I gave a commencement address at the University of Illinois Chicago and tried to formulate those themes for — for young people. But a — but a few that come to mind at least through my lens are comfort is the enemy of accomplishment. If you want to be the best you can be, you can never be satisfied with where you are. You’ve got to push, push, push and make yourself better each and every day in everything you touch. I think a couple of the other themes that would come to me would be in — in the same vein, we see this in Northern Trust all the time. Excellence is not a part-time job. For people who want to be excellent, who want to do the best job for our clients and our shareholders, you can’t be excellent only when it’s convenient, only when you want to do it or only when you feel like it. You’ve — you’ve got to — excellence is an all-in phenomenon. And then probably the — the — the last thing that comes to my mind is persevere beyond your accomplishments. It’s not what you did yesterday, it’s — you can be proud of what you’ve accomplished. But again, you want to be better going forward. And so be proud of who you are, be proud of your grades, and your — your school, and your degrees, and all that sort of stuff, but those are what you did, you know, two years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago whatever it happens to be, keep pushing forward to be the best you can be. So, persevere beyond your accomplishments. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of investing today you wish you knew 35 years ago when you were first starting with Northern Trust? FRADKIN: That is a long list, Barry, but I think what I would say is you don’t have to be right on everything and sometimes being right is more about luck and timing than it is about specific analytical acumen. Uninspiring choices in a bull market can turn out just fine, and well-reasoned ideas in a down market can turn out to be not so good. So, get the direction right more often than not and you’ll be just fine. RITHOLTZ: Really good advice. Thank you, Steve, for being so generous with your time. We’ve been speaking with Steve Fradkin. He is the President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure and check out any of the other 388 prior discussions we’ve had over the past seven years. You can find those wherever you normally find your favorite podcast, iTunes, Spotify, wherever. We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. You can sign up for my daily suggested reading list at ritholtz.com. Check out my regular column at bloomberg.com/opinion. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack that helps put these conversations together each week. Paris Wald is my Producer. Michael Batnick is my Head of Research. Atika Valbrun is our Project Manager. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~   The post Transcript: Steve Fradkin appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureNov 29th, 2021

Flex space co. Mindspace raises $72M for push into US market

Mindspace, the global flex office provider, announced that it has secured a funding of $72 million. The investment round is intended to support the continuation of the company’s growth and its further expansion in Europe, the United States and Israel. The round was led by Harel Insurance Investments and Financial... The post Flex space co. Mindspace raises $72M for push into US market appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Mindspace, the global flex office provider, announced that it has secured a funding of $72 million. The investment round is intended to support the continuation of the company’s growth and its further expansion in Europe, the United States and Israel. The round was led by Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd., More Provident Funds, Shalom Meckenzie, Arkin Holdings and existing investors. Existing investors include: Yoav Harlap, Kobi Rogovin and Globalworth. Mindspace, founded in 2014 by Dan Zakai and Yotam Alroy, currently operates 32 branches in 17 cities in seven countries, spread over one million square feet. In the past year, Mindspace launched new branches in London, Tel Aviv, Philadelphia and a new hub and spoke location outside Tel Aviv. Mindspace serves a wide variety of companies; about 41 percent are large enterprises and corporations and 38 percent are small and medium-sized companies. The leading industry types of its customer base are technology companies, financial companies and service providers. Past and present customers include Microsoft, Samsung, Playtika, Taboola, Yahoo!, Expedia, GoPro, and more. Dan Zakai and Yotam Alroy While most of the commercial real estate industry took a hit as a result of COVID, the flex market continued to grow. All forecasts predict the accelerated growth of the flex industry to reach a market share of more than 30% by 2030; the current market share of flex as part of commercial real estate is 5%. According to a recent study by CBRE, in two years 43% of occupiers will have 10-50% of their portfolio dedicated to flex. In addition, 17% of occupiers will have more than 50% of their portfolio dedicated to flex. “Mindspace is experiencing an impressive growth momentum and high demand in all its locations”, says Dan Zakai, CEO and Co-founder of Mindspace. “We successfully faced the many challenges of COVID. Today, our locations are almost at full occupancy and the current investment led by Harel Insurance and More Provident Funds is intended to fulfill the rising demand in the market and to launch new locations in partnership with landlords worldwide.” Zakai added, “Mindspace isn’t just another real estate company that rents out offices, but rather offers a strong, strategic partnership to its customers and to landlords. When choosing their office environment, we found that our customers put a great emphasis on their experience: central location, unique design and service of the highest standard. We expect a continued accelerated growth in 2022, while creating a great added value for our many customers.” In 2021 Mindspace demonstrated a significant recovery when it reached the pre-COVID occupancy levels of early 2020, and even exceeded them with over 95% occupancy in Israel and Germany. The high occupancy levels are not the result of lowered prices as Mindspace maintained its pre-pandemic prices. In the past two years, Mindspace signed six management agreements with landlords in Europe, Israel and the U.S., including for its recent launches in Israel and Philadelphia. A management agreement is a model that is gaining both momentum and recognition worldwide, inspired by the hotel industry. This innovative concept presents a partnership between the landlord and the flex operator, allowing increased profitability and greater flexibility for the landlord, while providing a relevant response to today’s market landscape. Under a new management agreement with an affiliate of Rubenstein Partners, Mindspace opened its first location in Philadelphia at The Wanamaker Office Building (pictured top) in February last year. The new location comprises approximately 42,000 s/f of flexible office space, events area and tenant lounges. Earlier in March 2021, Mindspace launched “Hybrid”, a new array of on-demand office solutions for companies and individuals who work under a hybrid model, combining work from home and in-office. The shift to hybrid has been on the rise for a few years and the outbreak of the pandemic has accelerated the process. At Mindspace, the increase of the hybrid trend is noticeable: casual, on-demand contracts have almost tripled in the past six months, compared to the same period last year, pre-COVID. Sami Babkov, Deputy CEO and CIO at Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services, Ltd.: “Harel is proud to lead the current investment round with a total funding of $30 million. This investment is an expression of confidence in the flexible workspace model, against the backdrop of COVID’s impact on the office market, and shows confidence in Mindspace’s experienced and professional management team. Through this investment we’re able to diversify and improve our investments in real estate and faithfully serve the customers utilizing Harel’s investment department.   “We believe Mindspace brings an interesting model to the market – both economically and in terms of the value it produces for its customers,” says Ori Keren, CIO at More Provident Funds. “In a short time the company managed to create new standards in the market, to build high loyalty among its customers and is experiencing steady growth.” Barak Capital Underwriting, Ltd. served as the investment banker in the transaction. The post Flex space co. Mindspace raises $72M for push into US market appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyNov 29th, 2021

Vodafone (VOD) Tests Eco-Friendly Mobile Phone Masts in UK

Vodafone (VOD) pledges to halve its emissions in its supply chain by 2030 across 21 countries before reaching net-zero across its full value chain by 2040. In a concerted effort to reduce harmful emissions and achieve net-zero in the U.K. by 2027, Vodafone Group Plc VOD is conducting trials for eco-friendly self-powered mobile phone towers across the country. If the test results are conducive and economically viable, the company will deploy the phone masts even in the most remote locations without requiring them to be connected to the electricity grid.The “Eco-Towers” run on renewable energy sources like wind and solar power for self-powered battery operations and eliminate the dependencies on diesel generators for backup power. Vodafone has been working in unison with Crossflow Energy Company to develop these phone towers, leveraging the latter’s know-how to maximize renewable energy from a combination of wind, solar and battery storage solutions. The trials are being conducted in association with Cornerstone – a leading U.K.-based mobile infrastructure services company.While the eco-friendly phone mast improves the security with on-site power generation, it also helps cut costs through remote monitoring by radio engineers and network design teams. This, in turn, can effectively speed up the network deployment and reduce carbon footprint. Vodafone has pledged to halve its emissions in its supply chain by 2030 across 21 countries before reaching net-zero across its full value chain by 2040.With a diverse and open ecosystem, Vodafone aims to develop a more cost-effective, secure, energy-efficient and customer-focused network by using components from different suppliers that adhere to a common set of standards. This, in turn, is likely to facilitate the carrier to release new features simultaneously across multiple sites while adding capacity and resolving outages at a faster pace.As the 5G ecosystem evolves with increased deployment across the globe, it is likely to offer a plethora of opportunities for diverse industries. The coronavirus outbreak has further highlighted the need for high-speed, high-bandwidth and low-latency connections — the hallmarks of the 5G network — for digital sustainability in the backdrop of social distancing and work-from-home trends.Vodafone is focusing on rolling out superfast 5G technology throughout the U.K. It has inked an agreement with Openreach, the digital networking business unit of BT Group Plc, to extend its broadband coverage in the country. The deal enabled Vodafone to offer its Gigafast Broadband service to three new cities in the U.K., namely Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool, through Openreach’s Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network.The FTTP network of Openreach is one of the most extensive broadband networks in the U.K. It is expected to provide Vodafone with unrivaled coverage to promote its services and thereby augment the subscriber base.The stock has lost 9.1% over the past year while the industry has declined 10.5%. We remain impressed with the inherent growth potential of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchA better-ranked stock in the broader industry is Clearfield, Inc. CLFD, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Clearfield delivered an earnings surprise of 50.8%, on average, in the trailing four quarters. Earnings estimates for the current year for the stock have moved up 19.4% in the past 60 days. Over the past year, Clearfield has gained a stellar 182.5%.Sierra Wireless, Inc. SWIR carries a Zacks Rank #2. It has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 12.5% and delivered an earnings surprise of 34.2%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Over the past year, Sierra Wireless has gained 17.7%. The company continues to launch innovative products for business-critical operations that require high security and optimum 5G performance.Qualcomm Incorporated QCOM, carrying a Zacks Rank #2, is another solid pick for investors. It has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 17.5% and delivered an earnings surprise of 11.2%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Earnings estimates for the current year for the stock have moved up 15% in the past 90 days. Qualcomm is likely to benefit in the long run from a solid 5G traction and a surge in demand for essential products that are the building blocks for digital transformation in the cloud economy. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM): Free Stock Analysis Report Sierra Wireless, Inc. (SWIR): Free Stock Analysis Report Vodafone Group PLC (VOD): Free Stock Analysis Report Clearfield, Inc. (CLFD): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 26th, 2021

Here"s Why Investors Should Buy Home Depot (HD) Stock Now

Home Depot (HD) is positioned for long-term growth on smooth execution of its ongoing strategies, strong home improvement demand and continued Pro segment growth. The Home Depot Inc. HD has been going strong thanks to the momentum in the home improvement industry, which has been benefiting from sustained demand for home-improvement projects and a robust housing market. Home Depot, in particular, has been gaining from growth in Pro and DIY customer categories, digital momentum and its ongoing investments. It remains on track with the execution of the “One Home Depot” investment plan, which bodes well.The aforementioned factors helped the company deliver a robust performance in third-quarter fiscal 2021. The company reported sales and earnings beat for the sixth straight quarter in third-quarter fiscal 2021. The top and bottom lines also improved year over year. Home Depot has a robust earnings beat streak for the last four quarters, the average being 12.1%. This underlines the company’s operational excellence.In the past seven days, estimates for the company’s fiscal 2021 and 2022 earnings per share have moved up 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively. For fiscal 2021, its earnings estimates stand at $15.42 per share, suggesting a rise of 28.2% from the year-ago reported figure.The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock has rallied 27.5% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 25.1%. The stock comfortably outpaced the S&P 500’s growth of 4.1% and the Retail-Wholesale sector’s rise of 2.5% in the same period.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchFactors Aiding GrowthWe are optimistic regarding Home Depot’s execution of the “One Home Depot” investment plan, which focuses on expanding supply-chain facilities, technology investments and enhancement to the digital experience. The company continues to leverage the momentum in strategic investments to enhance the interconnected experience to support its goals of driving growth faster than the market in any environment, strengthening its position as a low-cost provider in home improvement and delivering exceptional shareholder value.The interconnected retail strategy and underlying technology infrastructure have aided in consistently driving web traffic for the past few quarters. Sales leveraging the digital platforms rose 8% in the fiscal third quarter. On a two-year stack basis, sales from digital platforms increased nearly 95%. Around 55% of the online orders were delivered from a store.Another key component of delivering an interconnected experience is enhanced delivery and fulfillment options. Over the years, the company has created the fastest and most efficient delivery network in home improvement through options like buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) with convenient pickup lockers, buy online deliver from store with express car and van delivery, and curbside pickup.Home Depot’s Pro segment has been a key growth driver, with the Pro segment witnessing robust sales growth for the past several quarters. Pro sales growth outpaced DIY sales in the fiscal third quarter. The growth in the Pro segment reflects significant demand for larger projects in the home improvement industry. During the quarter, the company witnessed strength in several Pro-heavy categories like drywall, pipe and fittings, and several mill-work categories.The company expects continued sales growth from Pros as project demand remains strong and their backlogs are growing. The company remains on track with its strategic investments to build a Pro ecosystem that includes professional grade product, exclusive brands, enhanced delivery, credit, digital capabilities, field sales support, HD rental and more. The company expects its differentiated Pro ecosystem to help in deeper engagement with Pro customers in the long term.Wrapping UpAlthough the company is witnessing favorable demand conditions, rising expenses stemming from increased penetration of lumber products and transportation costs have been a concern for the company. It reported a soft gross margin in the fiscal third quarter as a result of higher cost of goods sold. Rising transportation costs and mix of products sold led to higher cost of goods sold.Nevertheless, solid execution of growth strategies along with compelling product offering has been helping the company to efficiently meet demand conditions. This along with favorable conditions prevailing in the home improvements market is likely to keep supporting Home Depot’s growth in the days ahead.Other Stocks to Bet OnWe have highlighted three other top-ranked stocks in the Retail - Wholesale sector, namely Tecnoglass TGLS, Lowe's Companies LOW and Fastenal FAST.Tecnoglass currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 34.5%, on average. Shares of TGLS have rallied 43.2% in the past three months. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Tecnoglass’ current financial year sales and earnings per share suggests growth of 31.2% and 84.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period's reported figures. TGLS has an expected EPS growth rate of 20% for three-five years.Lowe's, the main competitor of Home Depot, currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 14.3%, on average. Shares of LOW have risen 22.7% in the past three months.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Lowe's current financial year sales and earnings per share suggests growth of 6.9% and 33.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period. LOW has an expected EPS growth rate of 14.6% for three-five years.Fastenal currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 2%, on average. Shares of FAST have appreciated 9.4% in the past three months.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Fastenal's current financial year sales and earnings per share suggests growth of 5.5% and 5.4%, respectively, from the year-ago period. FAST has an expected EPS growth rate of 9% for three-five years. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Fastenal Company (FAST): Free Stock Analysis Report Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW): Free Stock Analysis Report The Home Depot, Inc. (HD): Free Stock Analysis Report Tecnoglass Inc. (TGLS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 26th, 2021

John Bean (JBT) Bets on Orders & Acquisitions Amid High Costs

John Bean Technologies (JBT) to benefit from strong order levels, strategic acquisition program and innovative products. High costs and supply chain disruption remain headwinds. John Bean Technologies Corporation JBT has been benefiting from higher order trends in both its segments — JBT FoodTech and JBT AeroTech. The company’s strategic acquisition program to add complementary products to its portfolio and efforts to develop innovative products have been driving growth as well. Raw material inflation, supply chain and logistics disruptions and higher labor costs are expected to weigh on its margins this year. However, the company’s Elevate plan to drive margin expansion, focus on process optimization efforts and its cost-cutting actions will aid margins.Strong Order Levels to Fuel RevenuesIn third-quarter 2021, the company witnessed a 24% surge in orders to $521 million compared with the prior-year quarter. Orders in the JBT FoodTech segment climbed 23% year over year. The segment has been witnessing sequential improvement in order levels over the past five quarters. Due to the pandemic, the food industry has experienced a surge in retail demand driven by packaged food purchases and positive recovery for certain customers across the food industry, specifically those in the quick service restaurant drive-through businesses and those servicing the sustained "eat-at-home" trend. The segment has also been seeing recovery in the foodservice side, and robust orders for its automated guided vehicle business. This bodes well for the FoodTech segment.The AeroTech segment’s orders rose 25%. Orders are showing signs of recovery, backed by demand from infrastructure, cargo, and defense markets, and improvement from airline customers. Passenger airline industry contributes a significant portion to the segment’s revenues. Passenger air travel has been picking up from 2020 levels, courtesy of vaccination initiatives globally and re-opening of travel routes. Airport infrastructure spending, which is subject to long lead time contracts, is anticipated to remain healthy for the balance of 2021. Aftermarket revenues are also gaining steam as equipment utilization increases for customers in line with air traffic demand.Cost Inflation, Supply Chain Issues PersistThe company has been witnessing material inflation, supply chain and logistics disruptions, and higher labor costs this year. Particularly in the AeroTech segment, shortage of critical raw material, components and labor impeded its ability to build and ship equipment and increased the overall cost of running the business.Due to these factors, the company now projects adjusted earnings per share between $4.15 and $4.25 for 2021, down from the prior projection of $4.60-$4.80. The mid-point of the range suggests growth of 7% from 2020. The company expects total revenue expansion of 9-10%, lower than the earlier provided guidance of revenue growth of 10-13%.Cost Reduction to Drive MarginsJohn Bean has been delivering strong EBITDA margin performance, driven by the company’s recent process optimization efforts and JBT Operating System discipline, and rapid implementation of cost-cutting actions. In third-quarter 2020, the company implemented a restructuring plan for manufacturing capacity rationalization affecting both the FoodTech and AeroTech segments. These restructuring actions are expected to generate incremental cost savings during 2021. John Bean’s Elevate plan is likely to drive continued growth and margin expansion. Per the plan, the company is focusing on accelerating development of innovative products and services to provide customers with solutions, which will enhance yield and productivity. These efforts will help the company counter input cost inflation that is currently plaguing the industry.Concerted Efforts to Grow BusinessJohn Bean intends to ramp up initiatives that were previously underway to bring automation solutions to the protein market. Liquid Foods’ end products such as juice, canned foods and ready meals continue to witness high retail demand. The protein market has a total estimated market size of $18 billion. The Liquid food market has a worth of $8 billion. The company has ample scope to grow in both markets.The company is capitalizing on its extensive installed base to expand recurring revenues (which accounts for around 40% of its revenues) from aftermarket parts and services, equipment leases, consumables and airport services. In AeroTech, the company plans to continue developing advanced military product offerings and customer support capabilities to service global military customers.Acquisitions Remain a Key CatalystJohn Bean has a strategic acquisition program focused on companies that add complementary products, which enable it to offer more comprehensive solutions to customers. In the last few years, the company acquired Proseal UK Limited, Prime Equipment Group and certain assets and liabilities of MARS Food Processing Solutions. Earlier this year, the company bought AutoCoding Systems to strengthen its abilities in the growing global market for in-line coding and inspection solutions. Its buyout of Prevenio expands recurring revenue stream and ability to address food safety needs of customers. It recently acquired Navarra, Spain-based Urtasun Tecnología Alimentaria S.L, which expanded its product offering in fruit and vegetable processing, particularly in the fresh packaged and frozen markets.Share Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe stock has gained 51.4% in the past year, compared with the industry’s rally of 57.3%.Zacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderJohn Bean currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Some better-ranked stocks in the Industrial Products sector include Emerson Electric Co. EMR, Zebra Technologies ZBRA and SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc. SITE. All of these stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Emerson Electric has an expected earnings growth rate of around 17.6% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year earnings has been revised upward by 5% in the past 30 days.Emerson Electric is poised to benefit from strength across its end markets, robust backlog level and acquisitions. Its shares have gained 21% in a year. EMR has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 10.7%, on average.Zebra Technologies has a projected earnings growth rate of around 42% for 2021. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year earnings has been revised upward by 5% in the past 30 days.Zebra Technologies has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 12.9%, on average. The shares of ZBRA have appreciated 61% in a year, courtesy of a solid demand environment, and expected benefits from investments in growth initiatives and acquisitions.SiteOne Landscape has an estimated earnings growth rate of around 77% for the current year. In the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year earnings has been revised upward by 14%.SiteOne Landscape is poised to benefit from solid product offerings, acquired assets, growth investments, and solid operational and commercial execution. Its shares have soared 85% in the past year. SITE has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 130.9%, on average. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 John Bean Technologies Corporation (JBT): Free Stock Analysis Report Emerson Electric Co. (EMR): Free Stock Analysis Report Zebra Technologies Corporation (ZBRA): Free Stock Analysis Report SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc. (SITE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 24th, 2021