Advertisements



Iolani, Inc. announces transition out of Island apparel business

The Kawakami family, which has operated the business since its founding in 1953, said the shift was not directly related to the coronavirus pandemic......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 26th, 2021

Reitmans (Canada) Limited announces its results for the 13 and 26 weeks ended July 31, 2021

MONTRÉAL, Sept. 22, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - The Company's results for the 13 weeks ended July 31, 2021 ("second quarter of 2022") and the results for the 26 weeks ended July 31, 2021 ("year to date fiscal 2022") and the respective comparative periods of the 13 weeks ended August 1, 2020 ("second quarter of 2021") and the 26 weeks ended August 1, 2020 ("year to date fiscal 2021") separately present continuing and discontinuing operations as described below under "Discontinued Operations". 13 weeks ended July 31, 2021 Despite an overall net reduction of 29 stores, sales for the second quarter of 2022 increased by $28.3 million, or 19.7%, to $172.3 million, primarily due to the Company's store network operating capacity being closed for fewer total number of days while under partial lockdowns during the second quarter of 2022 as compared to a phased store re-opening from full lockdowns during the second quarter of 2021 (see section entitled "COVID-19 and Other Key Company Updates") and an increase in the Company's e-commerce sales. Gross profit for the second quarter of 2022 increased $24.4 million to $95.7 million as compared with $71.3 million for the second quarter of 2021. Gross profit as a percentage of sales for the second quarter of 2022 increased to 55.5% from 49.5% for the second quarter of 2021. The increase both in gross profit and as a percentage of sales is primarily attributable to lower markdowns and promotional activity in the second quarter of 2022 combined with a favourable foreign exchange impact on U.S. dollar denominated purchases included in cost of goods sold, partially offset by higher merchandise freight costs as the global shipping industry disruption required an increased usage of air freight shipments to meet customer demand. Results from operating activities from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2022 were earnings of $25.0 million  as compared with a loss of $26.7 million for the second quarter of 2021. The increase in earnings of $51.7 million is primarily attributable to the increase in gross profit from higher sales and lower promotional activity and a decrease in overall operating costs of $27.3 million. The decrease in overall operating costs is primarily attributable to a decrease in restructuring costs of $29.4 million, fewer stores, improved lease arrangements, lower depreciation and amortization of $4.8 million, a decrease in impairment  charges of $ 2.5 million and a decrease in overall freight costs of $3.1 million, partially offset by a decrease of $7.4 million in financial support from both the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy ("CEWS") and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy ("CERS") programs, higher store personnel wages as the Company's stores were closed for fewer days and higher digital media spend during the second quarter of 2022. Net earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2022 was $23.9 million ($0.49 basic and diluted earnings per share) as compared with a $27.4 million net loss ($0.56 basic and diluted loss per share) for the second quarter of 2021. The increase in net earnings from continuing operations of $51.3 million is primarily attributable to the increase in gross profit and a decrease in overall operating costs, partially offset by an increase in net finance costs. Adjusted EBITDA1 from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2022 was $30.9 million as compared with $16.6 million for the second quarter of 2021. The increase of $14.3 million is primarily attributable to the increase of $24.4 million in gross profit, partially offset by an increase in operating costs (excluding restructuring costs recovery, depreciation, amortization and impairment of non-financial assets) of $9.4 million and a decrease of $0.7 million in foreign exchange gain. The Company, as part of its restructuring plan, closed the Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners during the fiscal year ended January 30, 2021 (see section entitled "Discontinued Operations"). Net earnings from discontinued operations for the second quarter of 2022 was $10.2 million as compared to a net loss from discontinued operations of $44.6 million for the second quarter of 2021. As the discontinued banners were no longer in operation during the second quarter of 2022, the net earnings of $10.2 million was due to an adjustment to the provision for disclaimed leases reflecting the most recent settlement discussions with certain landlords. 26 weeks ended July 31, 2021 Despite an overall net reduction of 29 stores, sales for year to date fiscal 2022 increased by $68.2 million, or 30.3%, to $293.5 million, primarily due to the Company's store network operating capacity being closed for far fewer total number of days while under partial lockdowns during the year to date fiscal 2022 as compared to a phased store re-opening from full lockdowns during the year to date fiscal 2021 (see section entitled "COVID-19 and Other Key Company Updates") and an increase in the Company's e-commerce sales. Gross profit for the year to date fiscal 2022 increased $55.8 million, or 55.9%, to $155.6 million as compared with $99.8 million for the year to date fiscal 2021. Gross profit as a percentage of sales for the year to date fiscal 2022 increased to 53.0% from 44.3% for the year to date fiscal 2021. The increase both in gross profit and as a percentage of sales is primarily attributable to lower markdowns and promotional activity in the year to date fiscal 2022 combined with a favourable foreign exchange impact on U.S. dollar denominated purchases included in cost of goods sold, partially offset by higher merchandise freight costs as the global shipping industry disruption required an increased usage of air freight shipments to meet customer demand. Results from operating activities from continuing operations for the year to date fiscal 2022 were earnings of $25.4 million as compared with a loss of $82.7 million for the year to date fiscal 2021. The increase in earnings of $108.1 million is primarily attributable to the increase in gross profit from higher sales and lower promotional activity and a decrease in overall operating costs of $52.3 million. The decrease in overall operating costs is primarily attributable to a decrease in restructuring costs of $35.9 million, fewer stores, improved lease arrangements, lower depreciation and amortization of $12.0 million, a decrease in impairment charges of $8.8 million and a decrease in overall freight costs of $1.3 million, partially offset by a decrease of $3.1 million in financial support from both the CEWS and CERS programs, higher store personnel wages as the Company's stores were closed for fewer days and higher digital media spend during the year to date fiscal 2022. Net earnings from continuing operations for the year to date fiscal 2022 was $23.9 million ($0.49 basic and diluted earnings per share) as compared with a net loss of $74.1 million ($1.52 basic and diluted loss per share) for the year to date fiscal 2021. The increase in net earnings from continued operations of $98.0 million is primarily attributable to the increase in gross profit and a decrease in overall operating costs, partially offset by an increase in net finance costs. Adjusted EBITDA1 from continuing operations for the year to date fiscal 2022 was $37.9 million as compared to a loss of $2.5 million for the year to date fiscal 2021. The increase of $40.4 million is primarily attributable to the increase of $55.8 million in gross profit, partially offset by an increase in operating costs (excluding restructuring costs, depreciation, amortization and impairment of non-financial assets) of $4.4 million and a decrease of $11.0 million in foreign exchange gain. The Company, as part of its restructuring plan, closed the Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners during the fiscal year ended January 30, 2021. Net earnings from discontinued operations for the year to date fiscal 2022 was $10.2 million as compared to a net loss from discontinued operations of $72.6 million for the year to date fiscal 2021. As the discontinued banners were no longer in operation during the year to date 2022, the net earnings of $10.2 million was due to an adjustment to the provision for disclaimed leases reflecting the most recent settlement discussions with certain landlords. COVID-19 and Other Key Company Updates The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the Company's results. As at January 30, 2021, the Company had 240 out of its 415 stores (58%) closed as a consequence of governmental lockdown directives. This partial lockdown of the Company's retail store network continued into the first quarter of 2022. Even though restrictions were relaxed and some stores reopened, in April 2021, a third wave resulting in increased COVID-19 cases required some further governmental lockdowns. As at July 31, 2021 and as of the date of this press announcement, there were no stores temporarily closed as a consequence of governmental lockdown directives. During the second quarter of fiscal 2021, the Company had a phased reopening of its stores and by the end of June 2020, all of the Company's stores were open for business. During the year to date fiscal 2021, all of the Company's stores were closed for 55 consecutive days. During partial or full lockdowns, the Company continued to fulfill e-commerce orders though sales were not sufficient to offset the lost sales due to the closures. In June 2021, the Company implemented its buy online pick up in store ("BOPIS") initiative to enhance its customers' omnichannel experience and reduce freight costs on fulfilling ecommerce orders. Since BOPIS only started in June 2021, the impact on the Company's operating results for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 and year to date fiscal 2022 was minimal in relation to freight costs. During the year to date fiscal 2022, the Company's measures to protect its financial situation continued to include furloughing retail sales associates during temporary store closures and obtaining financial assistance from federal programs, such as the CEWS and the CERS. Such measures and financial assistance mitigated the financial impact of COVID-19 on the Company's business. The extent to which COVID-19 will continue to impact the Company's business, including its supply chain, consumer shopping behavior and consumer demand, including online shopping, will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted at this time. These future developments include the speed of COVID-19 vaccination rollouts in Canada, vaccination rates amongst the Canadian population and other measures taken by various government authorities to contain the virus and its variants spread for potential future waves as well as future customer shopping behavior including online sales. As the Company navigates through the challenges caused by COVID-19, its focus will be to adapt to customers' changing product preferences, closely monitor its cash position and control its spending, while managing its inventory levels in line with the unprecedented change in demand behavior since COVID-19 started. Current financial information may not necessarily be indicative of future operating results. On May 19, 2020, the Company obtained an initial order (the "Order") from the Superior Court of Québec (the "Court") to seek protection from creditors under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (the "CCAA") and Ernst & Young Inc. was appointed as the Monitor. Since its initial filing on May 19, 2020, the Company obtained four extensions of the Order, with the most recent extension obtained until September 28, 2021. The CCAA process allowed the Company to implement an operational and commercial restructuring plan which included the closure of the Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners. See section entitled "Discontinued Operations". As well, the Company has re-negotiated more favourable lease terms with its landlords for virtually all of its remaining stores. The Company continues to make progress in the CCAA process with the assistance of the Monitor and expects to make announcements as further material progress is made, including a Plan of Arrangement to be filed and communicated at a later date. In August 2020, the Company had secured interim financing ("DIP Loan") up to a maximum amount of $60.0 million, including facilities available for securing letters of credit of up to $5.0 million, with a Canadian financial institution. On May 25, 2021, the Company obtained the Court's approval to reduce the DIP Loan facility from $60.0 million to $30.0 million. As of July 31, 2021, the Company had not drawn funds from the DIP Loan facility, other than for the issuance of letters of credit totalling $0.6 million. With the uncertainties surrounding the impact of COVID-19 going forward, the Company cannot guarantee that the DIP Loan will not be utilized in the future. These factors and conditions, combined with the unpredictability of the outcome of the matters arising from the CCAA proceedings, indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern and, therefore, realize its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business. The unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis, which assumes the Company will continue its operations for the foreseeable future and will be able to realize its assets and discharge its liabilities and commitments in the normal course of business. In assessing whether the going concern assumption is appropriate and whether there are material uncertainties that may cast significant doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern, management must take into account all available information about the future, including estimated future cash flows, for a period of at least twelve months following the end of the reporting period. The unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements as at July 31, 2021 do not include any adjustments to the carrying amounts and classification of assets, liabilities and reported expenses that may otherwise be required if the going concern basis was not appropriate. Such adjustments could be material. It is not possible to reliably estimate the length and severity of COVID-19 and the impact on the financial results and financial condition of the Company in future periods. The Company will take into consideration the most recent developments and impacts of the pandemic, including updated assessments of future cash flows and any additional impacts resulting from COVID-19 will be reflected in the financial results of the current fiscal year, if applicable. Discontinued Operations As part of its restructuring plan, the Company closed the Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners during the year ended January 30, 2021 and, as a result, these results and cash flows have been classified as discontinued operations. IFRS 5, Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations, requires that the comparative statements of earnings (loss) and comprehensive income (loss) be presented as if the operations were discontinued from the start of the comparative year. As a result, discontinued operations are excluded from the net earnings (loss) from continuing operations and are presented as earnings (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax, as a separate line item in the consolidated statements of earnings (loss). About Reitmans (Canada) Limited The Company is a leading women's specialty apparel retailer with retail outlets throughout Canada.  As at July 31, 2021, the Company operated 411 stores consisting of 242 Reitmans, 91 Penningtons and 78 RW&CO.  As noted above, all Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity stores have been closed in connection with the restructuring plan. 1Non-GAAP Financial Measures The Company has identified several key operating performance measures and non-GAAP financial measures which management believes are useful in assessing the performance of the Company; however, readers are cautioned that some of these measures may not have standardized meanings under IFRS and, therefore, may not be comparable to similar terms used by other companies. In addition to discussing earnings in accordance with IFRS, this press announcement provides adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("Adjusted EBITDA") as a non-GAAP financial measure. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net earnings (loss) before income tax expense/recovery, interest income, interest expense, depreciation, amortization, impairment of non-financial assets and restructuring costs. With the classification of the Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity businesses as discontinued operations, Adjusted EBITDA has also been modified to exclude discontinued operations. The following table reconciles the most comparable GAAP measure, net earnings or loss from continuing operations, to Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations. Management believes that Adjusted EBITDA is an important indicator of the Company's ability to generate liquidity through operating cash flow to fund working capital needs and fund capital expenditures and uses the metric for this purpose. The exclusion of interest income and expense eliminate the impact on earnings derived from non-operational activities. The exclusion of depreciation, amortization and impairment charges eliminates the non-cash impact, and the exclusion of restructuring costs and discontinued operations presents the results of the on-going business. The intent of Adjusted EBITDA is to provide additional useful information to investors and analysts. The measure does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS. Although depreciation, amortization and impairment charges are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future, as such, Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect any cash requirements for these replacements. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered either as discretionary cash available to invest in the growth of the business or as a measure of cash that will be available to meet the Company's obligations. Other companies may calculate Adjusted EBITDA differently. From time to time, the Company may exclude additional items if it believes doing so would result in a more effective analysis of underlying operating performance. The exclusion of certain items does not imply that they are non-recurring. Adjusted EBITDA should not be used in substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS or as an alternative to net earnings, net cash provided by operating, investing or financing activities or any other financial statement data presented as indicators of financial performance or liquidity, each as presented in accordance with IFRS. Although Adjusted EBITDA is frequently used by securities analysts, lenders and others in their evaluation of companies, it has limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be considered in isolation, or as a substitute for analysis of the Company's results as reported under IFRS. The Company uses a key performance indicator ("KPI"), comparable sales, to assess store performance and sales growth.  The Company engages in an omnichannel approach in connecting with its customers by appealing to their shopping habits through either online or store channels.  This approach allows customers to shop online for home delivery or to pick up in store, purchase in any of our store locations or ship to home from another store when the products are unavailable in a particular store.  Due to customer cross-channel behavior, the Company reports a single comparable sales metric, inclusive of store and e-commerce channels. Comparable sales are defined as sales generated by stores that have been continuously open during both of the periods being compared and include e-commerce sales. The comparable sales metric compares the same calendar days for each period. Although this KPI is expressed as a ratio, it is a non-GAAP financial measure that does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies. Management uses comparable sales in evaluating the performance of stores and online sales and considers it useful in helping to determine what portion of new sales has come from sales growth and what portion can be attributed to the opening of new stores. Comparable sales is a measure widely used amongst retailers and is considered useful information for both investors and analysts. Comparable sales should not be considered in isolation or used in substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. As highlighted in the section entitled "COVID-19 and Other Key Company Updates", at various times throughout the year to date fiscal 2022, the Company was required to temporary close some of its retail stores as a consequence of governmental lockdown directives. Due to the unprecedented nature of COVID-19 and its significant impact on consumers and our ability to service our customers, management believes that comparable sales are not currently representative of the underlying trends of our business and consequently would not provide a meaningful metric in comparisons of year-over-year sales results. Accordingly, this press announcement does not include a discussion of the Company's comparable sales in respect of the second quarter of and year to date fiscal 2022. Management will continue to monitor and evaluate the effects of COVID-19 and will resume the evaluation of comparable sales when year-over-year results are more representative. The following table reconciles net earnings (loss) from continuing operations to Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations: For the second quarter of Year to date fiscal 2022 2021 2022.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 23rd, 2021

In leaked memo, Lululemon announces Mirror CEO Brynn Putnam will immediately step down from the connected-fitness brand

Putnam, who founded Mirror in 2016, will stay on as an advisor through July 2022 and assist Lululemon in identifying her successor. Mirror CEO and founder Brynn Putnam. Nicholas Hunt/Getty Mirror founder and CEO Brynn Putnam is stepping down, effective immediately. The announcement was shared in a memo sent by Putnam and Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald on Tuesday. Putnam will stay on as an advisor through July 2022 and assist in identifying her successor. See more stories on Insider's business page. Brynn Putnam is stepping down as CEO of Mirror, the Lululemon-owned connected-fitness brand she founded in 2016, as first reported by CNBC.In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald and Putnam announced she will stay on as an advisor to the company through July 2022 as it searches for a successor. Putnam's resignation is effective immediately, according to the memo also shared with Insider by Lululemon a spokesperson."Sharing this now allows us to ensure a smooth transition as we identify the next CEO of Mirror, working with an external search firm to find the right candidate to drive the brand's next phase of growth," McDonald and Putnam wrote in the memo. In the interim, Putnam and McDonald wrote that the company "is in very good hands" and will be led jointly by three current Mirror executives: Tess Hales, head of customer; Olivia Lange, head of operations; and Kristie D'Ambrosio-Correll, chief technology officer. Lululemon acquired Mirror in June 2020 for $500 million, in the midst of the digital fitness boom that took off during the pandemic as Americans sought out alternative methods to work out at home. Over the past year, the company has installed Mirror pop-in shops within 150 Lululemon stores in the US, with the aim of reaching 200 by the end of 2021. "We've set up really beautiful little workout spaces featuring the Mirror and weights and Lululemon mats and accessories," Putnam told Insider in November 2020. "You can really get a nice workout experience in-store."Though Lululemon does not disclose Mirror sales or total number of subscribers in financials, McDonald told investors on recent earnings calls that the company has increased marketing spend to raise awareness of the brand, which is competing in an increasingly saturated connected fitness space. "We're monitoring how macro factors currently impacting the cost of digital marketing are creating some pressure on customer acquisition costs at Mirror," McDonald told investors last month. Lululemon expects Mirror to deliver between $250 million and $275 million in revenue in 2021. Are you a Mirror employee or someone with a story to tell, contact this reporter via email at bbiron@insider.com or by encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (646) 768-4706.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

KC restaurant chain announces plans for 21 new locations, including 7 in the metro

Hawaiian Bros Island Grill, a popular island food eatery native to the metro, is erupting this year after only three years in business. The Kansas City-based restaurant chain announced plans for 21 new locations, seven of which are coming to the Kans.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMar 9th, 2021

Tailored Brands announces sale of corporate apparel business for $62M in cash

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

Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallAug 19th, 2019

Rare Solar Superstorm Could Prompt ‘Internet Apocalypse’ Lasting Several Months: Study

Rare Solar Superstorm Could Prompt ‘Internet Apocalypse’ Lasting Several Months: Study Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The “black swan” event of a solar superstorm directed at earth could prompt an “internet apocalypse” across the entire globe that could last for several months, new research (pdf) has warned. University of California Irvine assistant professor Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi presented the new research, titled “Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse,” last month during the Association for Computing Machinery’s annual conference for their Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM). “One of the greatest dangers facing the internet with the potential for global impact is a powerful solar superstorm,” Jyothi wrote in the new research paper. “Although humans are protected from these storms by the earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere, they can cause significant damage to man-made infrastructure. The scientific community is generally aware of this threat with modeling efforts and precautionary measures being taken, particularly in the context of power grids. However, the networking community has largely overlooked this risk during the design of the network topology and geo-distributed systems such as DNS and data centers,” he continued. A solar storm, also known as a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), occurs when a large mass of plasma and highly magnetized particles violently eject from the sun. Large CME’s can contain up to a billion tons of matter and can get accelerated to large fractions of the speed of light. When the earth is in the direct path of a CME, these magnetized and charged solar particles interact with the earth’s magnetic field, producing geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) that can potentially disrupt communication satellites and long-distance cables that provide the world with the internet. According to Jyothi’s research, power grids, oil and gas pipelines, and networking cables are the most vulnerable to the impacts of GIC’s, while submarine cables, which span hundreds or thousands of kilometres, are even more vulnerable than land cables, due to their larger lengths. Owing to a lack of real world data on the impacts of GIC’s on these submarine cables, scientists still don’t know how long it would take to repair them if such an event were to occur, and—just like natural disasters such as earthquakes—CME’s are extremely difficult for scientists to predict. The research noted that the “distribution of internet infrastructure is skewed when compared to the distribution of internet users,” and high-latitude climates are more at risk if a solar storm were to occur. Artist’s rendering of a solar storm hitting Mars and stripping ions from the planet’s upper atmosphere. (NASA)Cables on servers at an internet data center in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on July 25, 2018. (Yann Sschreiber/AFP/Getty Images) “The U.S. is one of the most vulnerable locations with a high risk of disconnection from Europe during extreme solar events. Intra-continental connections in Europe are at a lower risk due to the presence of a large number of shorter land and submarine cables interconnecting the continent,” the report notes. Meanwhile, if a severe solar superstorm were to occur, Singapore would maintain good connectivity to neighboring countries, while cities in China would be more likely to lose connectivity than India because China connects to much longer cables. Australia, New Zealand, and other island countries in the region would be at high risk of losing most of their long-distance connections. The research warns that a collapse of the internet—even one lasting a few minutes—could cause devastating losses to service providers and damage cyber-physical systems. The economic impact of an internet disruption for a day in the United States is estimated to be over $7 billion. While the likelihood of a solar superstorm hitting earth is rare—with astrophysicists noting that the probability of extreme space weather events that directly impact earth occurring are between 1.6 percent to 12 percent per decade—they can still happen. In 1921, a solar storm, driven by a series of coronal mass ejections, triggered extensive power outages and caused damage to telephone and telegraph systems associated with railroad systems in New York City and across the state. Years later, in 1989, a solar storm bought an electrical power blackout to the entire province of Quebec, Canada. “Although we have sentinel spacecraft that can issue early warnings of CMEs providing at least 13 hours of lead time, our defenses against GIC are limited. Hence, we need to prepare the infrastructure for an eventual catastrophe to facilitate efficient disaster management,” Jyothi said. The research pointed to “increasing capacity in lower latitudes for improved resiliency during solar storms,” and having “mechanisms for electrically isolating cables connecting to higher latitudes from the rest” at submarine cable landing points to prevent large-scale failures. The paper has yet to appear in a peer-reviewed journal. Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States. Tyler Durden Sat, 09/25/2021 - 22:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 25th, 2021

Walmart does away with layaway, which didn"t carry any fees, and announces new buy now, pay later program that will charge customers interest

After making layaway a part of holiday shopping since 2006, Walmart will now rely on Affirm, a buy-now, pay later program that will charge users interest on most purchases. Walmart cashier Regina Tommy waits on customers. Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images Walmart decided to get rid of layaway before the 2021 holiday season. The company announced it's using Affirm, a buy now, pay later service the retailer partnered with in 2019. Walmart started to phase its layaway out last year, only allowing it for select jewelry purchases. See more stories on Insider's business page. Walmart has decided to scrap its layaway program completely before the 2021 holiday season, replacing it with a buy now, pay later financing option. The retailer is now using the company Affirm, which partnered with Walmart in 2019, to replace layaway. Instead of having stores hold items from late August through mid-December while customers make payments until paid in full, shoppers can now take the item home immediately and pay it off with Affirm.Unlike layaway, purchases made with Affirm can rack up interest over time. Although Affirm does not charge any hidden or late fees for using its services, customers can have an APR rate on purchases of 10-30% depending on their credit and 0% for select promotional items on Walmart.com.Not all Walmart customers may be eligible to use Affirm depending on their prequalification status. The service can be used on purchases ranging from $144 to $2,000 and excludes items like alcohol, groceries and food, personal care products, and pet supplies.Last year, Walmart, the world's largest retailer, started to phase out layaway, only offering it on select jewelry items. "We've learned a lot in the past year as our customers' needs and shopping habits have changed," a Walmart spokesperson told Insider. " We are confident that our payment options provide the right solutions for our customers."Affirm's services operate alternatively to a credit card. Customers will purchase the item immediately, and pay for the items over a three to 24 month period. Customers can select their own payment plan and Affirm will match them with a lender who will provide them with a loan for the financed item.Walmart shoppers can return any purchases made with Affirm for a refund, but the amount they paid in interest will not be refunded. Partial payments or late payments may impact a consumer's credit score or ability to receive new loans with the company, according to Affirm.Some Walmart customers expressed concern on social media, worried about how families would be able to purchase gifts for the holiday season if they don't qualify for Affirm.-THEE STEP MUVA (@Stepmuvalex) September 25, 2021"Walmart took away layaway and replaced it with Affirm, which checks credit… right before Christmas," one Twitter user wrote. "So many low income families are not gonna be able to give their children gifts."Some customers seemed to not mind the change, making jokes that without layaway they have no place to hide their children's gifts during the holidays.Walmart has recently undergone several company-wide changes, including raising its minimum wage, getting rid of its employee bonus program for hourly workers, and opening Ghost Kitchens inside select stores. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 25th, 2021

The Island of Death: Visiting the gulag where my grandfather was tortured, but didn"t officially exist

My grandfather was held at Bulgaria's most notorious gulag. This summer, I saw it for the first time. A Belene survivor crosses the bridge across the Danube that connects the town of Belene and Persin island in 2015. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images) This summer, Tana Ganeva traveled to Belene, Bulgaria's most notorious prison camp, where her grandfather was held in the 1950s. Bulgaria has effectively buried the history of its Communist-era gulags, where thousands were starved, tortured, and killed. Ganeva's grandfather attempted to escape Bulgaria four times, before making it to California. See more stories on Insider's business page. The island of Persin is a bird-watcher's paradise. Set on the Danube River, which divides Bulgaria and Romania, it's a nature park covered in wetlands and home to hundreds of rare bird species: the spoonbill, the pygmy cormorant, the corncrake, as well as herons, eagles, storks, and pelicans. Amid the natural beauty, it's jarring to consider that this was the location of a concentration camp where thousands of Bulgarian political prisoners were brutalized and killed from 1949 to 1953 - and in some cases for years after that. Though it's officially known as Belene after the quiet Bulgarian village that sits 750 feet away on the mainland, old-timers here call it by another name: the Island of Death.My stepgrandfather, Georgi Tutunjiev, was sent here at age 24 and spent four years and three months interred at Belene after someone (he suspected his ex-wife) told the authorities of his plan to escape the country. In his notebooks - he had planned to write a memoir about Belene but never did before he died in 2011 at 87 - he remembered the place as "brutal facilities for re-education," where he'd endured "indescribable physical and psychological abuse." He finally managed to escape Bulgaria in 1966 and settle with my grandma in California. In 1989, my parents and I left Bulgaria and joined my grandparents in California, thanks to the family-reunification policy. While many survivors of trauma shut down, my grandfather never stopped talking about the gulag. He seemed to have an unending loop of stories about Belene. For my immediate family, it could be exhausting, and we were alarmed to discover his extensive gun collection, which my grandmother gamely dismissed as a coping mechanism. But guests who came to the house were often riveted by his dark tales, which he mixed with his sense of humor. "Jeko! The Communistie shot you!" he'd shout at his terrier mix, and the dog would sprawl on his back, playing dead. An aerial view of Persin island. The gulag was known as Belene, after the nearby town. Tsvetomir Nikolaev I've come to the town of Belene on a brutally hot day in August for a tour of the Island of Death. I meet Nedyalka Toncheva, who works for the Belene Island Foundation, a nonprofit that organizes tours of the island, close to the bank of the Danube.We cross a rickety water bridge on foot and then jump aboard a Jeep driven by a 24-year-old Belene native named Peter. Toncheva, who is 35, is passionate and knowledgeable about the island's flora and fauna. Every few minutes, she tells Peter to stop the car to point out a roosting stork or a water eagle. She talks about her plans to make Persin a tourist destination comparable to Borovets, a ski resort with luxury hotels in the Rila mountains; or Koprivchitsa, a living museum honoring the Bulgarian rebels who mounted an uprising in 1876 against the Ottoman Empire.In the three decades since the fall of communism, Bulgaria has effectively buried the history of its many gulags, which operated mostly in the 1950s during the early, and most violent, days of Communist rule in the country. In Belene itself, many lower-level guards came from the village and a former mayor was also the gulag's first superintendent. It's not surprising that the village doesn't advertise its history.After 1989, survivors who had been forced to sign documents promising to never talk about the camps started speaking out. For a brief time, they became the subjects of documentaries and newspaper profiles. But soon, the consensus was that it was better to move on. An interior minister tasked with investigating the camps instead secretly ordered a purge of thousands of pages of documents - 40% of the government record. While Bulgaria's defeat of the Ottomans is central to the national identity, and much is made of the fact that Bulgaria saved its Jews during the Holocaust, the memory of the Communist era is more fraught. Georgi Tutunjiev, the author's grandfather, in around 1977. Tana Ganeva Peculiar for a tour, most of our stops lead us to what's not left of the camp. The shacks where prisoners slept have been razed - there's no trace of them.At the entrance, in what is now an open field, an inscription says, "To be human is to have dignity." From inside the camp - what would have been visible to the internees - the engraving says, "If the enemy doesn't surrender, he is destroyed." But no one I've talked to knows whether it's the original or has been recreated. There are a few abandoned, falling-apart buildings, but those were built in 1959, six years after the camp's official (but not real) closing, when it was converted into a prison, in part to kill rumors that it had operated as a secret gulag. Todor Zhivkov, the Communist premier who took power in 1954 and stayed on until 1989, reopened it in the 1980s to detain Muslims who refused to take on Slavic names in place of their own - a disastrous bid to assimilate them. I ask Toncheva whether there's a list of everyone who was held in the camp. I'm thinking of my grandfather and wondering whether there's any documentation. She tells me everyone who comes here for the camp asks the same question."There's no way to know, no list," Toncheva says, apologetic. "There's almost no proof the camp even existed."'Perfectly calculated by Satan himself'The first contingent of 300 men arrived at the Belene camp in the summer of 1949, five years after the 1944 Communist coup. My grandfather, then 24, arrived that first winter. A camp for women was founded on an adjacent island soon after.It was modeled after Josef Stalin's gulags in Siberia. Most of the prisoners had been dragged from their homes by the military police and sent here without trial. (Estimates vary, but 20,000 to 40,000 people were thought to be murdered by the Bulgarian Communist Party.) Even Stalin eventually warned them to scale down the killing of prominent oppositional figures or risk creating martyrs.The first wave of prisoners had to hack through the unpopulated island and build small shacks that were so crowded the prisoners didn't have room to lie down. In his history of the camp, Borislav Skotchev wrote that the island was dotted with towers manned by guards with machine guns. A survivor of Belene during a commemoration ceremony in 2015. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images) The men held here included the former leader of the Social Democrats, Orthodox priests (many in their 70s), and the mayor of Bulgaria's capital, Sofia. Tsveti Ivanov, the editor of the newspaper Svoboden Narod, or Free People, was sent to Belene after serving 10 months in prison. He was beaten so brutally that he got tetanus from his wounds and died in the compound. Much of what we know about the place comes from survivors' memoirs. They were fed a thin soup, sometimes with a handful of beans thrown in. Their bread ration - moldy or stale when it made its way to them - was small, and could be withheld by the guards as punishment. Sometimes they got tea. My grandfather told me that, in the winter, both the soup and the tea were given to them already frozen.When Toncheva takes us on a brief walk to go look at storks, the ground gives off wet heat, and brambles and thorns claw at us, as if the island is alive and doesn't want us there. I think of the people who had to work days and nights, in sweltering summers, devoured by mosquitoes. It's unbelievable that anyone survived.An internal CIA document described the grim situation of starving prisoners. "A frequent sight is that of a prisoner eating raw green leaves and roots," it said. "To be caught doing this, however, would result in 10 days in detention in a dungeon for such an offense." The lucky ones got packages from family, though those were often taken by guards. Many had little choice but to choke down the rotting carcasses of wild cats, killed and skinned for their fur by the villagers, or pick through horse dung for undigested barley. According to a CIA information report from March 13, 1952, during one brutal winter 30 prisoners died of cold or starvation."It was an Inferno circle, perfectly calculated by Satan himself," Liliana Pirinchiva, one of the female survivors of Belene, wrote in her memoir. "We were reduced to skeletons." A group of Bulgarian anarchists. Tsvetana Dzhermanova Then there were the guards, who brought an especially sadistic approach to their work. Some would chase packs of prisoners on horseback, letting their rifles off "as if we were a flock of sheep," wrote Stefan Botchev, a survivor. When he got a severe case of scabies, the mites burrowing into his skin, he was locked up in a shed alone because the guards didn't want him to infect the cows. He recalled seeing a beating so severe that a prisoner's spine was broken, turning him into a "reptile crawling on the ground."Kouni Genchev Kounev, the chairman of the Bulgarian Youth Agrarian Union who also survived Belene, recalled one especially brutal punishment, in which the guards would pull back a prisoner's head and strike him in the trachea. They called it the "sword stroke."Years later, Krum Horozov, a survivor, would draw water colors of the camp from memory - it's virtually the only visual documentation that exists. In 2011, six years before his death, Horozov wrote: "And when we die, which will be soon, who will remember what happened on that island in the 1950s, and will they know that people were sent there without a trial and sentence?"Lilia Topouzova, a historian in Toronto who writes about the history and the memory of the camps, recalls meeting Horozov at an academic conference; he was trying to give away copies of his drawings of Belene to university students, but they avoided him as if he were a pesky street vendor.The CricketAt 93, Tsvetana Dzhermanova is the last known survivor of the women's camp, which was known as Shturets, or Cricket. We're sitting outside her home in the mountain village of Leskovets, and she's talking so fast I wonder how she manages to breathe.She smiles and laughs a lot, and she reminds me of my grandfather, who also spoke with the speed of a motorboat, frantic to tell his story."I promised to outlive the Communistie, and here I am!" she boasts. (My grandfather also took an understandable delight at outliving the Communistie. "I survived the Communistie, but I won't survive old age," he once told me, when I was 25 and had no idea about either.) Tsvetana Dzhermanova. Tsvetana Dzhermanova Dzhermanova was an anarchist in the 1950s, and still is today. "That's my personal ideology," she says. "I'm not sure humans are evolved enough to make either anarchism or socialism work the way they should, but for me, anarchism is it. Because I value freedom, family, friendship, and love."When she first heard about anarchism as a teenager, she asked her mother what it meant. "Anarchists are the people all regimes persecute," her mother had replied. That sold her. Dzhermanova joined a village group. She had no designs on power (detesting it) and mostly spent her time reading anarchist literature and working on a community vegetable garden. She estimates that 800 anarchists from the town were swept up in a night and sent to the gulags."We sang songs while we worked," Dzhermanova tells me. "That helped." Last spring the sprightly nonagenarian made the three-hour trip to Belene to speak with a group of students about the camps. "They had no idea about this. They were really surprised," she says. "No one had ever talked to them about it, and they don't learn about it in school."'Out of Fashion'Toncheva and our driver, Peter, walk through a falling-down building that was constructed in 1959, in part to hide evidence of the camp. It's covered in bird shit. Plant life is taking over its rotted remnants, and old decayed furniture has been abandoned here and there. We talk about how nobody talks about the camp.Peter tells us that despite having spent almost his entire life roughly 750 feet from Persin, in Belene village, he learned about the camp only two weeks earlier, when Toncheva hired him as a driver for her tours."To think they only gave them bread and water, and made them work so hard," he says, shaking his head in disbelief. A crumbling building built on the site of Belene. Stoyan Nenov/Reuters As far as Toncheva knows, no one from her family was held here, but she remembers asking her grandmother about the island when she was a teenager and again after reading the memoirs of survivors. "Shhh. Don't talk so much about this," her grandmother would say. "You don't want to bring trouble."There are rumors of a mass grave near Persin. Mikhail Mikailev, the head of the Belene Island Foundation, wants to find it. But money for the equipment required to find and dig up the remains eludes this two-person staff.Unlike Peter and Toncheva, my parents, who were born in the mid-1950s and grew up in Bulgaria, tell me that in the 1970s and 1980s, all their friends in Sofia knew about Belene. "We all heard the stories," my mother says.But for the authorities, maintaining official denial was worth murder.In 1969, the celebrated Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov defected to the West, where he wrote about the regime's abuses. In one essay, Markov described traveling on a boat down the Danube and approaching Belene. "I remembered how, feet dangling over the edge of the boat, a youth with a guitar once sang a strange song: Danube, white river, how quiet you flow / Danube, black river, what anguish you know." A view of Persin island. Tsvetomir Nikolaev On a rainy afternoon in London, a man jabbed the tip of his umbrella into Markov's leg. Later, Markov noticed what looked like a small bug bite but didn't think much of it. A few days later he was dead, most likely poisoned by the Bulgarian secret service.Before my visit to Belene, I met Topouzova, the historian, over Zoom to talk about the erasure of the camps in Bulgaria's consciousness. While former generals wrote best-sellers, the owner of a prominent bookstore dismissed any interest in survivors' memoirs - they were "out of fashion," he had told her.It was gaslighting in its purest form. And it showed how we're all so prone to the "just world" fallacy, a phenomenon where if something is too horribly unjust, the human brain just kind of moves on. It's not all that hard to bury inconvenient truths."It turned out that aging men and women with fragmented memories of bygone violence did not make for the faces of change," Topouzova wrote in a recent paper titled "On Silence and History" for the American Historical Association. "The interned were rendered nonexistent - their experiences and memories fated to vanish along with the files." A pile of stonesNations define themselves by their monuments. The memorial in downtown Manhattan demands that we never forget the victims of 9/11. In the past few years, American activists have torn Confederate statues from their perches, signaling a break with the passive acceptance of the history of slavery. Yet grappling with unpleasant history isn't easy. It was only in 2018 when a museum honoring the Black victims of lynching opened in Alabama. The 1619 Project, which posits that the history of the United States is rooted in slavery, has spurred a massive backlash. School districts have banned children's books about Rosa Parks. Vaunted democracies are as likely to try to bury inconvenient truths as former communist states. At an exhibition in Sofia in 2009, Belene survivors look at images of the gulag's victims. Stoyan Nenov/Reuters In Bulgaria, there are monuments everywhere. From the smallest village to Sofia, the heroes of Bulgaria's uprising against the Ottoman Empire are eternalized in stone. In Plovdiv, a giant sculpture overlooks Bulgaria's second-largest city that honors "Alyosha," an everyman Soviet soldier who helped "liberate" Bulgaria in the 1940s - even though many Bulgarians see that period as Soviet imperialism, much like the Ottoman Empire's 500 years of occupation.The victims of Belene and the other camps have no such honor. The Belene foundation does the best it can. They helped organize an art exhibit, where Korozov's pencil drawings were tacked onto the walls of the decaying structures that had been erected to mask evidence of the gulag. A man places photos of famous victims of Soviet policy in front of the Monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2014. Hristo Vladev/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images There is one modest monument on the island. It's an abstract stone structure, and you'd have no idea what it was if you didn't already know the history. The original idea was to build a monument that listed the names of all the known internees, something like the Vietnam wall on the Mall in Washington. But the survivors and their families who pooled their resources to build it ran out of money, and no one, including the Bulgarian government, stepped in to help. (The survivors also hoped to open a museum and to recreate the shacks where they were held, but that hasn't happened either.)My grandfather's escape Dzhermanova, the 93-year-old anarchist - and eternal optimist, apparently - has hope that younger people will dig up the buried history.As for my grandfather, his ex-wife (or whoever it was who betrayed him to the authorities) was right that he wanted to escape Bulgaria.After his release from Belene in 1953, that resolve was so much stronger. "After 4 years and three months in the Island of Death, I became determined to go to my real home: America," he explained in his notebooks. The author with her grandfather and grandmother, Tsvetana Tutunjieva. Tana Ganeva As he detailed it, it would take four harrowing attempts. Soon after his release from Belene, he managed to make it into Yugoslavia during a "sabor" - a temporary loosening of borders so family and friends in the two countries could see each other. But he got caught and was thrown into a Yugoslavian jail.From there, he organized an inmate breakout after bribing the guard dog, Jeko, with his dinner. But he and the other prisoners were caught in the woods, and the Yugoslavian authorities gave them up to the Bulgarian authorities in exchange for 10 cows. "They weren't even very good cows - scrawny," he wrote.Several years later, he tried to cross Bulgaria's mountainous border into Greece, but he was caught once again.Finally, he made it into Austria and then Germany by clinging to the underside of a freight train. And then on to California, where he gave his new dog a familiar name: Jeko.Tana Ganeva writes about policing, prisons and criminal justice. She's currently working on a book about escapees from the Soviet bloc. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 25th, 2021

MoneyGram (MGI) Gains on Constant Strength on Digital Platform

MoneyGram's (MGI) progress on digital platform hugely bumps up its revenues. MoneyGram International, Inc. MGI is witnessing strong growth in its business, led by its digital channel named MoneyGram Online (MGO).The company’s online services are in high demand because of its ease of use via the MoneyGram mobile app. It enables fund transfer on a real-time basis. This convenience and speed in turn, lead to high customer retention.MoneyGram’s digital platform is therefore growing at a breakneck speed.Monthly Active Users, which show the number of people using its mobile app, have been on a rise for the past many months. Its partnership with Visa, which helps the company’s customers to send money via Visa Direct, a real-time push payments platform, drove cross- border transactions.At the end of June, digital transactions accounted for 33% of all the money transfer transactions, reflecting an increase of 18% from the prior-year reading. The company expects to continue reporting double-digit growth rates across the MGO channel, considering the consumers’ shift toward adopting digital transactions and receiving money in their accounts directly. It remains optimistic that the digital business will reflect above 50% of all money transfer transactions in 2024.The company began laying the groundwork for its digital transformation five years ago to embrace the rapid changes brought about by the integration of technology in the remittance industry.The remittance space was invaded by many fintech players with the likes of TransferWise, Green Dot Corporation GDOT, WorldRemit, PayPal Holdings, Inc. PYPL and many others jostling for space.The company’s revenues declined every year from 2017 to 2020 and the only way to stay afloat in this rapidly-changing remittance realm was to change the way it maintained its traditional business set-up. Its close peer Western Union Co. WU is also facing the same rivalry and has been chasing technological investments over time to lead the pack.Of its agent locations in 200 plus countries and territories, 94 are now digitally enabled. The transition from once solely brick-and-mortar format to a hybrid combo of online and physical existence is slowly paying off. An amalgamation of its cash and digital capabilities will make it stand out from the queue of digital-only competitors who are unable to serve a significant portion of the remittance market that relies on cash alone.After remaining under pressure, revenues are finally showing up and already grew 6.5% in the first quarter of 2021. We now expect topline growth to continue.Via its digital business, MoneyGram is exploring uncharted geographies and continuously wooing a completely new customer base. Digital business is a key to customer wins and reaping incremental profits.Investment in mobile apps and integrations with mobile wallets plus account deposit services will drive its digital business.Other than its proprietary use, MoneygGram is monetizing its wide API-driven digital network by enabling other companies to access its leading global money transfer network. Called MoneyGram as a Service, the business provides a new revenue source and was launched in March this year.The new business line represents a significant growth opportunity for MoneyGram as it enters a market estimated to be valued at $17 billion in 2024, seeing a CAGR of about 24% over the forecast period.Year to date, the stock has rallied 52.9% compared with its industry’s growth of 21.1%. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchMoneyGram carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) at present.  You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. 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 be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to 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 MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI): Free Stock Analysis Report The Western Union Company (WU): Free Stock Analysis Report Green Dot Corporation (GDOT): Free Stock Analysis Report PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Charging Up Your Portfolio with Electric Vehicles

Whether its the government, Wall Street investors or even traditional automakers; everybody is seeing tremendous potential in EVs. Ben Rains will show you how to capitalize on this burgeoning space, which grew over 160% worldwide in the first half of 2021. The U.S. Senate passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill in early August, with billions set to flow into various sectors, from more traditional areas such as roads to modern green energy initiatives. The clean energy efforts are part of a larger push within the U.S and other wealthy nations to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels throughout every corner of the economy.The green energy age isn’t complete without electric vehicles (EVs) dominating streets and highways, and the U.S. still has miles of road to travel in order to get there.Washington’s Focus on EVs The White House and Washington have put a spotlight on electric vehicles as part of a longer-term greener movement. President Biden signed an EV-focused executive order in August that hopes to spur rapid adoption. The non-binding goal aims to have all-electric, hydrogen-fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles make up 50% of U.S. sales by 2030.In order to reach this voluntary benchmark, automakers called for federal support for EV charging stations, various consumer tax incentives, and other pro-electric initiatives. Elsewhere, the Senate’s $1 trillion bill allots $7.5 billion for states and municipalities to build EV charging stations. The legislative effort also includes over $6 billion in grants for battery production, development, and recycling.The projected funding is less than President Biden called for in March when his administration set a goal of building 500,000 public chargers by 2030. There are currently roughly 48,000 public EV charging stations and over 120,000 charging ports in the U.S., according to U.S. Department of Energy data.These levels don’t come close to supporting rapid EV adoption. Federal, state, and local governments must work with automakers, charger technology companies, and various other stakeholders in order for EVs to start driving American automotive sales anytime soon.Despite all of the hype, the U.S. and the world has barely scratched the EV surface. The nascent nature provides plenty of profitable investment opportunities if you know where to look...Continued . . .------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Zacks’ Top Infrastructure Picks (Grab These for Q4 and Beyond)Our research has identified 5 stocks that are set to surge due to the massive new infrastructure bill. This is the largest bill of its kind in decades, giving investors a chance at tremendous gains.Zacks’s just-updated special report, How to Profit from Trillions in Spending for Infrastructure, is designed to help you profit from the most promising “American Upgrade” stocks. Some infrastructure stocks have recently soared as much as +81%... +150%... even +248%.¹ The stocks in this report could be just as lucrative. Don't delay: this Special Report is only available until Sunday, September 26.See 5 Top Infrastructure Stocks Now >>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Current EV Market Gasoline-powered vehicles remain by far the most popular means of transportation. Electric vehicles made up only 2% of U.S. sales last year and expanded to a little over 3% in recent months. Limited market share is part of the reason why Wall Street is excited even if the electric/hybrid space doesn’t get close to 50% market share by 2030.Tesla proved there’s demand for EVs in the U.S. and its success on the road and in the stock market forced every established auto company to go all-in on electric. Plus, plenty of newcomers, some of which are publicly traded, are ramping up production on sleek new EVs of all shapes and sizes. It will be difficult to recreate Tesla’s meteoric run, but a few standout startups are starting to make their case.Most major automakers plan to offer many of their current models as EVs within the next decade, while rolling out EV-only cars, SUVs, and trucks. Established auto titans, perhaps ambitiously, aim to generate upwards of 50% of global sales from EVs by 2030.One historic firm is revamping its entire business around EVs. The company said earlier this year it aims to have 40% of its global volume be all electric by 2030 and it expects to spend more than $30 billion on electrification during this stretch. The firm’s early efforts have already paid off in terms of actual sales and its surging stock price.Auto giants in both luxury and mass markets will start eating away at Tesla’s current dominance. There are plenty of reasons to believe this could happen somewhat quickly. A few select stocks will capture a budding corner of the EV market Tesla has little chance of controlling. The ability to meet the coming demand from commercial customers such as contractors, construction companies, police departments, and other government fleets is set to boost a few well-known companies in particular.Where’s the Money  New light-vehicle sales in the U.S. are set to climb around 13% to reach 16.3 million in 2021. EV sales are projected to blow away the broader industry-wide expansion. For instance, global EV sales already skyrocketed over 160% in the first half of 2021 against a pandemic-hit period.Tesla led the charge, accounting for about 14% of the global market during this stretch, but its share slipped compared to last year. A few global automakers are already in Elon Musk’s rearview mirror despite the huge head start, while smaller, highly affordable brands are dominating EV sales in China and other Asian nations.Along with investing in pure-play electric vehicle companies, Wall Street and the industry are pouring money into the technology side of the business. This is vital since EVs rely heavily on interconnected technology, remote software updates, high-tech touch screens, and much more. One firm in September poached a former Tesla executive from Apple—which has its own EV aspirations—because EVs are closer to supercomputers on wheels than traditional cars.EVs will also provide automakers with more consistent revenue streams, via remote monitoring, constant software updates, and other futuristic maintenance necessities. And it’s hardly just the automakers who stand to benefit. Smaller tech companies are already profiting from advanced radar navigation and more, and many are hot acquisition targets. Batteries and Chargers  EV motors are clearly essential cogs, but high-tech batteries are perhaps the most vital components. Continued progress on the energy storage and range fronts will help determine how quickly the market can grow.Wall Street is also laser-focused on lithium, with the commodity making a case to become a “new oil.” Lithium-ion batteries are already used in most portable consumer electronics such as smartphones, and nearly all electric vehicles run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.From startups to Tesla, companies are working on next-generation battery technologies, including solid-state batteries and new cell formats. Like many cutting-edge industries, there are likely game-changing batteries coming down the pike soon that few will have imagined possible.Alongside batteries, an EV-heavy future is only possible if consumers can drive anywhere they normally would or make that same big road trip, without needing to plan their route around chargers. EV chargers are often classified in three categories: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 or DC fast chargers. The first two are common for home-based charging, while the fittingly named Level 3 fast chargers require as much as $100,000 or more per station in upfront capital.There are over 100 EV charging companies in North America alone. Firms able to create faster chargers that mimic speeds closer to filling up a tank of gas will be surefire superstars, while companies able to roll out the most chargers, akin to gas stations, could become stable green energy players for decades.5 Stocks to Electrify Your Portfolio Electric vehicles and EV-related technologies are some of the most promising spaces investors can target for long-term gains. Consumers are demanding more electric options and manufacturers are rising to the occasion.And as discussed above, the government is driving hard toward a clean energy future. The infrastructure bill passed by the Senate last month could earmark billions of dollars to make EVs even more accessible – and you might be surprised at which stocks might benefit most.To help you make the most of this opportunity, Zacks has just updated our special report, How to Profit from Trillions in Spending for Infrastructure.The report reveals 5 stocks primed for big price moves, including an EV stock no one is thinking about. The company has a new CEO, a new focus on cutting edge tech and earnings that are projected to skyrocket 300%.I encourage you to check out the 5 stocks right away. The infrastructure bill could be a powerful catalyst, but these companies are strong enough to deliver significant gains on their own.Don’t delay. This Special Report is only available until Sunday, September 26.Click here to claim your copy of How to Profit from Trillions in Spending for Infrastructure >>Good Investing,Ben RainsStock Strategist¹ The results listed above are not (or may not be) representative of the performance of all selections made by Zacks Investment Research's newsletter editors and may represent the partial close of a position.  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 To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

The 78 best online courses that can give your resume a major boost

Here are the online courses you can take to build up skills on your resume like data analysis, project management, and software development. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Using LinkedIn Learning data, LinkedIn published some of the top hard skills employers are looking for in 2021, including software development. Cavan Images / Getty Images LinkedIn created a list of the five most in-demand hard skills in the 2021 job market. The skills include software development, project management, data analysis, and more. Below are online classes from LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Coursera, edX, and Codecademy to learn them. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky It can be difficult to discern which skills companies are prioritizing, and what can make your resume stand out to recruiters. That's why LinkedIn uses its vault of business data to publish a job market roadmap every year.This year, the company used LinkedIn Learning data to determine which courses correlated with promotions in 2020. Using that information, LinkedIn published some of the top hard skills employers are looking for in 2021. Below, we listed out the skills recruiters are looking for - as well as some online courses you can take to learn them. E-learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Coursera, edX, and Codecademy all offer free or affordable options to flexibly gain new expertise and even get a certificate of completion to add to your profile or resume.Whether you want to learn to code in Python or Java, explore the possibility of a project management career, or transition into data science, there are plenty of certificates, mini-degrees, and online master's programs that can help you advance your career.The top 5 hard skills in 2021, according to LinkedIn: Software Development Chalirmpoj Pimpisarn/Getty Images LinkedIn Learning (Free with 1-month LinkedIn Premium trial; $19.99 or $29.99 per month after trial ends.) Python for Data Science Essential TrainingProgramming Foundations: Object-Oriented DesignProgramming Foundations: AlgorithmsCodecademy (Classes listed below are free; other requires a Pro membership — $19.99 per month annually or $39.99 per month month-to-month) Learn How to CodeLearn JavaScriptLearn Python 3Udemy (Courses can be bought individually or with Udemy subscription for $29.99 per month) 2021 Complete Python Bootcamp, $139.99The Web Developer Bootcamp 2021, $149.99The Complete JavaScript Course 2021,$149.99edX (Free to audit; optional paid certificates) Harvard CS50's Introduction to Computer ScienceMIT Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using PythonThe University of Michigan Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)Coursera (Some courses are free to audit with optional paid certificates; Others are free with a 7-day trial) The University of Pennsylvania Introduction to Programming with Python and Java SpecializationDuke University Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals SpecializationIBM Full Stack Cloud Developer Professional CertificateFutureLearn (Some courses are free to audit with optional paid certificates; Others are free with a 7-day trial) Software Development Fundamentals ExpertTrackThe University of Manchester Collaborative Coding with GitObject-oriented Programming in Python: Create Your Own Adventure Game  Project Management Andrew Brookes/Getty Images LinkedIn Learning (Free with 1-month LinkedIn Premium trial; $19.99 or $29.99 per month after trial ends.) Become a Project Manager Learning PathCert Prep: Scrum MasterCert Prep: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®Udemy (Courses can be bought individually or with Udemy subscription for $29.99 per month) PMP Exam Prep Seminar, $109.99Agile Crash Course, $32.99CAPM Exam Prep Seminar - PMBOK Guide, Sixth Edition,$89.99edX (Free; optional paid certificates) The University of Adelaide Introduction to Project ManagementRIT MicroMasters Program in Project ManagementUniversity System of Maryland Professional Certificate in Project ManagementCoursera (Some courses are free; Others are free with a 7-day trial) Google Project Management Professional CertificateUniversity of Virginia Fundamentals of Project Planning and ManagementUCI Project Management Professional CertificateFutureLearn (Some courses are free to audit with optional paid certificates; Others are free with a 7-day trial) Coventry University Project Management and its Role in Effective Business ExpertTrackThe Open University Project Management: Beyond the BasicsThe University of Virginia Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management Data Analysis Pexels LinkedIn Learning (Free with 1-month LinkedIn Premium trial; $19.99 or $29.99 per month after trial ends.) Learning Data AnalyticsSQL Essential TrainingData Science & Analytics Career Paths & Certifications: First StepsCodecademy (Classes listed below are free; other requires a Pro membership — $19.99 per month annually or $39.99 per month month-to-month) Learn Python 3Learn SQLLearn RUdemy (Courses can be bought individually or with Udemy subscription for $29.99 per month) Machine Learning A-Z™: Hands-On Python & R In Data Science, $89.99The Data Science Course 2021, $94.99The Complete SQL Bootcamp 2021, $159.99edX (Free; optional paid certificates) Harvard Data Analysis for Life Sciences Professional CertificateIBM Data Analysis and Visualization Fundamentals Professional CertificateRIT Data Analysis for Decision-Making Professional CertificateCoursera (Some courses are free; Others are free with a 7-day trial) Google Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional CertificateUniversity of Michigan Applied Data Science with Python SpecializationFutureLearn (Some courses are free to audit with optional paid certificates; Others are free with a 7-day trial) CloudSwyft Data Analysis with Excel for Complete Beginners ExpertTrack (Accredited by Microsoft)Tableau Data Analytics for Business ExpertTrackGitHub Data Analytics Using Python ExpertTrack Digital Marketing Sam Mellish / Contributor / Getty Images LinkedIn Learning (Free with 1-month LinkedIn Premium trial; $19.99 or $29.99 per month after trial ends.) Digital Marketing TrendsDigital Marketing FoundationsMarketing Tools: Digital MarketingUdemy (Courses can be bought individually or with Udemy subscription for $29.99 per month) The Complete Digital Marketing Course, $149.99Instagram Marketing 2021, $149.99Mega Digital Marketing Course A-Z: 12 Courses in 1 + Updates, $109.99edX (Free; optional paid certificates) University System of Maryland Digital Marketing Professional CertificateUniversity of Edinburgh Digital Marketing Fundamentals Professional CertificateCoursera (Some courses are free; Others are free with a 7-day trial) University of Illinois Digital Marketing SpecializationFacebook Social Media Marketing Professional CertificateFutureLearn (Some courses are free to audit with optional paid certificates; Others are free with a 7-day trial) Accenture Digital Skills: Digital MarketingIntroduction to Digital MarketingCoventry University Get Started With Digital Marketing Product Management Marko Geber/Getty Images LinkedIn Learning (Free with 1-month LinkedIn Premium trial; $19.99 or $29.99 per month after trial ends) Becoming a Product ManagerBecome a Product Manager Learning PathProduct Management: Building a Product RoadmapUdemy (Courses can be bought individually or with Udemy subscription for $29.99 per month) Become a Product Manager, $99.99Product Management 101, $19.99Great Product Manager - Practical Product Management course, $89.99edX (Free; optional paid certificates) University of Maryland Product Management Professional CertificateBoston University Digital Product Management Professional CertificateCoursera (Some courses are free; Others are free with a 7-day trial) University of Virginia Digital Product Management SpecializationAdvancing Women in Tech Real-World Product Management SpecializationFutureLearn (Some courses are free to audit with optional paid certificates; Others are free with a 7-day trial) Product Management Essentials Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 24th, 2021

Nike warns of "supply chain headwinds" and inventory shortages ahead of the holiday shopping season

Nike is struggling with strict pandemic lockdowns in Vietnam, where a lot of manufacturing is done, and is experiencing slowed production due to a shortage of workers. Courtesy of Nike Nike faces supply chain issues, impacting the company's inventory as holiday shopping starts. Factory shutdowns and shipping disruptions are to blame as the sportswear company's demand is greater than ever. Pandemic-related supply chain issues and labor shortages are currently impacting businesses across the globe. See more stories on Insider's business page. Select Nike apparel and shoes may be hard to come by this holiday season as the sportswear company grapples with supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Nike is currently dealing with a range of issues from fewer workers in its factories to shipping disruptions to send its product, according to a company earnings call on Thursday. Varying factors are causing supply chain problems in the US and across the globe. Besides clothing, products from books and computer chips to toilet paper and Coca-Cola are being affected. These issues also include labor shortages at factories, shipping delays, and a lack of transportation, Insider reported.Nike is also struggling with strict pandemic lockdowns in Vietnam, where a lot of manufacturing is done, and is experiencing slowed production due to a shortage of workers. So far, the company has lost 1o weeks of production in Vietnam, Matt Friend, Nike's chief financial officer, said on the call.The company revised its guidance for 2022 because of the supply chain impacts. 2022 revenue is now expected to grow in the single digits versus double digit growth in 2021 and expectations for that to continue next year. "Lost weeks of production combined with longer transit times will lead to inventory shortages in the marketplace for the next few quarters," Friend explained.For shoppers, this bottlenecks will mean a decrease in selection. So chances are when employees "check the back" for more sizes of the latest sneaker and come back empty-handed, there's really nothing there.Despite the shortages, customer demand for Nike apparel is higher than ever, Friend said."Consumer demand for Nike remains at an all-time high and we are confident that our deep consumer connections and Brand momentum will continue," Friend said. " However, we are not immune to the global supply chain headwinds that are challenging the manufacture and movement of product around the world."Expanded Coverage Module: labor shortageRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 24th, 2021

Churchill looks to offload Seaport apartment building for $26M

Churchill Real Estate has tapped a team from Cushman & Wakefield to sell its 23 Peck apartment building in the South Street Seaport District. Maurice Suede and Daniel Soyak are leading marketing efforts for the property, also known as 257 Water Street. A corner mixed-use building, it consists of two... The post Churchill looks to offload Seaport apartment building for $26M appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Churchill Real Estate has tapped a team from Cushman & Wakefield to sell its 23 Peck apartment building in the South Street Seaport District. Maurice Suede and Daniel Soyak are leading marketing efforts for the property, also known as 257 Water Street. A corner mixed-use building, it consists of two conjoined buildings that total 27,522 s/f with 20 free market residential units and two commercial units. One of the commercial spaces is occupied by MarkJoseph Steakhouse, while the other is currently vacant. The property sits in a C6-2 zone and features more than 7,000 s/f of unused air rights, allowing for a maximum of 35,313 s/f to be developed. Zoning allows for residential, commercial and facility use. The property includes approved plans for a redevelopment to add additional floors, reconfigure unit layouts and add several outdoor amenity spaces. “257 Water Street is a great opportunity for an investor to acquire a property with stable and current cash flow today and the ability to improve rents by renovating some of the units,” said Suede. “The building features more than 7,000 square feet of air rights that could be used to add an additional floor to the building. The rental market in New York City has continued to improve with median rents recently exceeding pre-pandemic levels.” Churchill Real Estate has been focused on its core lending business after securing $2 billion in investment capital from institutional foreign investors this summer. It’s putting the money to work in it “residential transition lending (RTL) portfolio” often called flip loans by investors who use the money to buy a property, renovate it and then try to quickly resell at a profit. Based in New York City and Charlotte, N.C., Churchill currently has more than $1.3 billion in assets under management. 23 Peck has been listed at $25.75 million. The company bought it for $24.5 million two years ago. The post Churchill looks to offload Seaport apartment building for $26M appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklySep 24th, 2021

G-III Apparel (GIII) to Acquire Sonia Rykiel Luxury Brand

G-III Apparel (GIII) agrees to buy the iconic European luxury fashion brand Sonia Rykiel. This will help the company boost its presence in the luxury space. G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. GIII anchored by global power brands, such as Donna Karan and DKNY looks well poised to capture any growth opportunity that comes its way. In a latest development, the company announced that it agreed to acquire an iconic European luxury fashion brand Sonia Rykiel. Collaboration with this brand will enable G-III Apparel to further reinforce its global footprint in the luxury space. The deal is likely to be concluded by the end of October this year.Sonia Rykiel is among the recognized figures of Parisian fashion who developed an iconic brand that defines the spirit of the modern woman. Founded in 1968, the Sonia Rykiel brand deals chiefly in clothing, accessories and fragrances. Per management, G-III Apparel intends to accelerate the relaunch of this brand with collections across several categories, mainly in Europe in the fall of next year.Management believes that there is a major growth opportunity to unlock the brand’s inherent potential. G-III Apparel expects to leverage the present executive management group and infrastructure in Europe coupled with its own supply-chain expertise to scale and elevate the Sonia Rykiel business across areas like apparel, accessories and several other lifestyle categories. The aforesaid collaboration will help the company expand its product and lifestyle categories as well as fetch higher sales.What’s More?G-III Apparel is armed with a robust portfolio of well-known brands, namely DKNY, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Karl Lagerfeld Paris. Management expects the annual net wholesale sales potential for these five brands to be $4 billion.The company is focused on incorporating a wider functionality in fabrics, intending to serve broader lifestyles. It is on track to add collections focusing on particular sports activities and high-performance fitness.G-III Apparel is also witnessing momentum in casual categories with a potential to expand into the outdoor and sports market. The shoes and handbag categories are also growing steadily. The jeans category is a bright spot too. With respect to athleisure and sportswear, the company is consistently expanding its collections to cash in on the consumers' growing demand.The company had also successfully launched the Karl Lagerfeld Paris women's brand across 75 doors at Macy's M. It remains on course to triple the distribution of its sportswear line to 250 doors by the end of fiscal 2022 and introduce a dress line to 75 doors by the forthcoming spring.In addition, G-III Apparel’s digital business is constantly making a significant contribution to its results. Digital sales of the company’s products have been accelerating for a while now. Management is on track to unveil the revamped websites of DKNY and Karl Lagerfeld Paris.It is continuously investing in data analytics capabilities to better know its customers across channels and boost their shopping experiences. The company has also been boosting its direct-to-consumer capabilities for some time now. Its restructured retail division is poised to attain profitability.Buoyed by such strengths, shares of this New York-based company, which currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), have increased 25.2% in the year-to-date period, outperforming the industry’s 11.4% rally. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Eye These Solid Picks TooRalph Lauren RL has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15% and a Zacks Rank of 1, currently.Steven Madden SHOO is presently Zacks #1 Ranked and has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15%. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. 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 be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to 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 Macys, Inc. (M): Free Stock Analysis Report Ralph Lauren Corporation (RL): Free Stock Analysis Report GIII Apparel Group, LTD. (GIII): Free Stock Analysis Report Steven Madden, Ltd. (SHOO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

7 Best ETFs of the First Nine Months of 2021

We highlight seven ETFs from different segments that have outperformed and gained more than 40% in the first nine months of 2021. The U.S. stock market is booming this year with major bourses hitting multiple highs braving a myriad of woes. This is primarily thanks to the reopening of businesses and economies, the largest vaccination drive, an unprecedent stimulus, a huge infrastructure package and a healing job market.All these have resulted in speedy economic recovery and powered activities across all sectors and categories, resulting in increased consumer spending. Americans are spending on big-ticket items such as vacations and weddings, companies are going on hiring sprees, and the transition to new technologies such as electric vehicles is accelerating. Resumption of earnings growth also bodes well for the stock market rally.Additionally, the first full U.S. approval of the Pfizer PFE-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the approval of emergency use of a booster dose bolstered risk-on trade as it will help put brakes on the ongoing surge in the COVID-19 Delta variant cases and lead to continued reopening of the economy. The U.S. economy returned to the pre-pandemic level in the second quarter, indicating a sustained recovery from the pandemic recession. Further, the Fed, in its latest meeting, kept current monetary stimulus in place for a little bit longer, fueling increased confidence among investors (read: Will Pfizer ETFs Soar on FDA's COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Approval?).However, inflation fears, resurgence in pandemic, taper talks, potential for high corporate tax rates and signs of slowdown in China economy have kept the stock market edgy throughout the year.With just a week left to end the first nine months of 2021, the S&P 500 is up about 18.4% while the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq have gained 13.6% and 16.8%, respectively. In fact, the cyclical sectors have been outperforming this year on a rebounding economy.While there have been winners in many corners of the space, we highlight seven ETFs from different segments that have outperformed and gained more than 40% in the first nine months of 2020. These are expected to continue outperforming, provided the fundamentals remain intact.North Shore Global Uranium Mining ETF URNM – Up 89.6%Uranium stocks have been on a tear buoyed by growing social media attention, restart of nuclear reactors in Japan after 10 years and the growing uranium supply deficit, being accelerated by COVID-19 pandemic related production cuts. This ETF provides exposure to companies that are involved in the mining, exploration, development and production of uranium, as well as companies that hold physical uranium or other non-mining assets. It follows the North Shore Global Uranium Mining Index and charges investors 85 bps in annual fee. The ETF holds 35 stocks in its basket and has accumulated $676.2 million in its asset base. It trades in a good volume of 298,000 shares per day on average (read: Why Uranium Stocks & ETFs are Going Nuclear).First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund FCG – Up 79.7%Natural gas is surging on tightening supplies and low inventories, providing upside to the natural gas stocks and ETFs. FCG offers exposure to U.S. companies involved in the exploration and production of natural gas. It follows the ISE-REVERE Natural Gas Index and holds 40 stocks in its basket. The fund has amassed $267.8 million in its asset base while charging 60 bps in annual fees. Volume is good with 1.3 million shares exchanged per day on average. The product has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a High risk outlook (read: Natural Gas ETFs Heat Up on Supply Crunch Ahead of Winter).Invesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF PXE – Up 78.4%Oil price is also rising amid the backdrop of tightening supply, lower crude stockpiles and expectations of an increase in demand as vaccination roll-outs widen. This product follows the Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production Intellidex Index, which thoroughly evaluates companies involved in the exploration and production of natural resources used to produce energy based on a variety of investment merit criteria, including price momentum, earnings momentum, quality, management action and value. Holding 32 stocks in its basket, the fund has amassed $75 million in its asset base while trading in an average daily volume of 45,000 shares. It charges 63 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a High risk outlook.VanEck Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF REMX – Up 70.2%Rare earth metals are getting a boost from an accelerating shift to new technologies such as electric vehicles. About 27% of rare metals are used in the production of neomagnets, which are the essential components in electric vehicles (EVs). REMX offers exposure to companies engaged in producing, refining and recycling of rare earth and strategic metals and minerals. It follows the MVIS Global Rare Earth/Strategic Metals Index, holding 20 stocks in its basket. The ETF has AUM of $979.1 million and an average daily volume of 232,000 shares. From a country look, Chinese firms dominate the portfolio with a 47.6% share, closely followed by Australia (25%) and the United States (11.8%). The product charges 59 bps in annual fees.SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT – Up 48.9%With millions of Americans being vaccinated and reopening of the economy, consumers are feeling more optimistic, about the economy, leading to increased spending. With AUM of $1.1 billion, this product targets the broad retail sector by tracking the S&P Retail Select Industry Index. It holds 108 securities in its basket with the key holdings in the Internet & direct marketing retail, apparel retail, automotive retail, and specialty stores. The fund charges 35 bps in annual fees and trades in volume of 2.3 million shares a day on average. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with a Medium risk outlook (read: Buy the Dip With These Top-Ranked ETFs).Invesco S&P SmallCap Value with Momentum ETF XSVM – Up 45.2%This fund offers exposure to the companies having the highest "value scores" and "momentum scores" by tracking the S&P 600 High Momentum Value Index. It holds a basket of 117 stocks with AUM of $336.4 million and an average daily volume of 90,000 shares. Financials and consumer discretionary take the largest share at 29% and 23.3%, respectively, while industrials round off the next spot with a double-digit exposure. The ETF charges 39 bps in annual fees.ETFMG Treatments Testing and Advancements ETF GERM – Up 43%This fund offers exposure to biotech companies engaged in the testing and treatments of infectious diseases by tracking the Prime Treatments, Testing and Advancements Index. It holds 78 stocks in its basket and charges 68 bps in annual fees. The ETF has amassed $67.2 million in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 22,000 shares. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. 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 be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to 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 Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT): ETF Research Reports First Trust Natural Gas ETF (FCG): ETF Research Reports Invesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF (PXE): ETF Research Reports VanEck Rare EarthStrategic Me (REMX): ETF Research Reports Invesco S&P SmallCap Value with Momentum ETF (XSVM): ETF Research Reports North Shore Global Uranium Mining ETF (URNM): ETF Research Reports ETFMG Treatments, Testing and Advancements ETF (GERM): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Amazon (AMZN) Boosts AWS Cloud Portfolio With QuickSight Q

Amazon (AMZN) announces the general availability of its new capability in QuickSight called Amazon QuickSight Q. Amazon’s AMZN cloud division, Amazon Web Services (“AWS”), made its new capability in QuickSight called Amazon QuickSight Q generally available in a bid to strengthen its services portfolio.Amazon QuickSight Q allows customers to ask business questions about their data in natural language. It provides accurate answers with proper visualizations, quickly leveraging Machine Learning (ML) technology.The ML models help Amazon QuickSight Q to understand customers’ complex language as the models are trained on data from various domains.We note that AWS is well-poised to gain strong traction among various companies on the back of Amazon QuickSight Q, which prevents business intelligence teams of the companies from spending time and efforts in time-consuming tasks like updating calculations, visuals, reports, and dashboards.Amazon.com, Inc. Revenue (TTM)  Amazon.com, Inc. revenue-ttm | Amazon.com, Inc. QuoteCustomer Base to ExpandCustomers using Amazon QuickSight Q will have to pay for the number of users or queries, without any upfront payment.This along with the above-mentioned benefits is likely to bolster the adoption rate of the new QuickSight capability.Notably, customers like National Football League, Forwood and PeopleScout have started using the underlined service.We believe that the growing customer momentum will continue to drive AWS’s top line. In second-quarter 2021, AWS generated revenues of $14.8 billion (13% of Amazon’s net sales), which rose 37% year over year.Strengthening clientele will continue to aid its competitive edge against its peers like Microsoft MSFT, Alibaba BABA, IBM and Alphabet’s GOOGL Google.Per the latest Canalys data, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud acquired a worldwide cloud market share of 22% and 8% in second-quarter 2021, respectively, while Amazon led with a 31% share.However, AWS is currently facing stiff competition from Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud as the latter two are leaving no stone unturned to grab a bigger market share on the back of their advancing cloud offerings. This poses a serious challenge to Amazon’s dominant position in the cloud space.Currently, Amazon carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Expanding PortfolioDespite the intensifying cloud competition, AWS’s strengthening cloud portfolio remains noteworthy.Apart from Amazon QuickSight Q, the company recently made its new storage service called Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP generally available.Further, the company made its fully managed data visualization service called Amazon Managed Grafana generally available. The service lets customers track operational and IoT data from various sources by creating Grafana dashboards seamlessly.The company made its fully managed in-memory database — Amazon MemoryDB for Redis —generally available. Amazon MemoryDB is Redis-compatible, which helps in the storage of the entire datasets in memory.The company announced the general availability of Amazon EBS io2 Block Express volumes, which bolstered AWS’s storage area network capabilities. EBS io2 Block Express volumes are equipped with SAN features like multi-attach and elastic volumes.The company announced the general availability of Amazon Healthlake, which extracts and analyzes important health-related information, and securely stores them on the cloud.We believe that the expanding AWS portfolio will continue to aid Amazon’s dominance in the booming cloud market. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. 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 be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to 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 Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Blackstone Mortgage (BXMT) to Raise $400M Via Notes Offering

Tapping the debt market for capital, Blackstone Mortgage (BXMT) announces a private offering of secured notes with aggregate principal amount of $400 million. Blackstone Mortgage Trust, Inc. BXMT recently announced a private offering of senior secured notes worth $400 million in aggregate principal amount. The debt obligations are set to mature in 2027.Blackstone Mortgage’s efforts to strengthen its near-term liquidity in these testing times, and raise capital through the debt market amid the current low rate environment are strategic fits.However, the note offering increases the company’s long-term debt obligation. As of Jun 30, it had $8.7 billion of secured debt. The notes offering will likely lead to a further rise in interest expenses, thus, limiting bottom-line growth.Nonetheless, with an improving times interest earned ratio of 2.2 as well as $289.5 million of cash and cash equivalents (as of Jun 30, 2021), Blackstone Mortgage is likely to have enough cash after meeting interest obligations on debts to continue to invest in the business.Earlier this month, the company also sold ten million shares of class A common stock in an underwritten public offering. It anticipates to channelize the funds raised to working capital and other general corporate necessities, including aiding the origination of additional commercial mortgage loans as well as other target assets and investments. Given the robust rebound in the commercial real property and commercial mortgage transaction volumes, the focus to fund such origination will enable the company to benefit from this recovery. During the June-end quarter, the company originated or acquired $2.2 billion of loans across 21 transactions. The momentum continued with Blackstone Mortgage originating $2.6 billion of loans as of Sep 9. It also had more than $4 billion of additional loans in closing as of the same date.Through these efforts, the company has expanded its investment portfolio. As of Aug 31, 2021, the principal balance of its total investment portfolio was $20.1 billion, up from $18.2 billion as of the prior-year end.Blackstone Mortgage currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Shares of the company lost 2%, as against the industry’s growth of 3.1%, over the past six months.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn August 2021, Gladstone Investment Corporation GAIN priced a public offering of notes worth $117 million in aggregate principal amount. The notes, which are set to mature on Nov 1, 2028, will carry an interest of 4.875%.Franklin Resources, Inc. BEN has priced a public offering of two series of notes, aggregating $450 million in principal amount. This includes all or part of its $300-million, 2.800% notes due 2022, along with $250 million of Legg Mason’s 3.950% senior notes maturing in 2024. (Read more: Franklin to Procure Capital With $450M of Notes Offering)In the same month, Huntington Bancshares Incorporated HBAN also resorted to a private offering of unsecured subordinated notes. The company priced $500 million in principal amount of fixed-to-fixed rate notes at 100% of the aggregate principal amount. The notes carry a coupon rate of 2.487% and are set to mature in 2036. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. 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 be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to 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 Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN): Free Stock Analysis Report Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (HBAN): Free Stock Analysis Report Gladstone Investment Corporation (GAIN): Free Stock Analysis Report Blackstone Mortgage Trust, Inc. (BXMT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Otis (OTIS) to Buy Remaining 49.99% Share in Zardoya Otis

Otis Worldwide (OTIS) announces a cash tender offer for acquiring the remaining interest in a Spain-based premier elevator business. Otis Worldwide Corporation OTIS, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Opal Spanish Holdings, S.A.U., has announced its intention of acquiring the remaining 49.99% share of Zardoya Otis, S.A. An offer price of EUR7.00 in cash represents a premium of 28.9% to Zardoya Otis’ one-month volume weighted average price. This implies a total equity value for Zardoya Otis, including Otis' existing interest, of EUR3.3 billion.The transaction aims to delist Zardoya Otis from the Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia Stock exchanges. The transaction is expected to close in second-quarter 2022, subject to the Spanish Securities Exchange Commission approval.Judy Marks, Otis' president and chief executive officer, said, "Zardoya Otis has been an integral part of Otis since 1972 and its products, services and geographic footprint are critical components of our long-term growth strategy."Post acquisition, Otis will streamline its corporate structure and generate operational efficiencies for both businesses. Otis expects Zardoya Otis to contribute 3-5 cents to 2022 earnings, depending upon the timing of the transaction’s closure and the pace of the acquisition of shares. Also, it is likely to contribute up to mid-single-digit 2023 adjusted earnings growth. Meanwhile, there is likely to be no significant change to Otis’ employment as it is already the majority holder of Zardoya Otis and has operational control.Otis has been strategically expanding its business reach to international markets through joint ventures and non-wholly owned subsidiaries. In Spain, it conducts operations through Zardoya Otis. Zardoya Otis manufactures, installs, and services elevators and elevator equipment as well as exports elevator equipment for installation by certain other subsidiaries outside the country.Also, it operates in China through two joint ventures namely, Otis Elevator (China) Investment Company Limited (“Otis China”) and Otis Electric Elevator Company Limited (“Otis Electric”). Established in 1998, Otis China manufactures, installs and services elevators, escalators as well as related equipment. Otis Electric — a subsidiary of Otis China — was established in 1997 for the purpose of manufacturing, installing, and servicing elevators, escalators as well as related equipment.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe company’s shares have rallied 28% compared with the industry’s 11.3% growth in the year-to-date period. The solid price appreciation was mainly driven by an impressive first-half performance. The uptrend is mainly backed by solid organic sales in both New Equipment and Service segments, higher operating margins along with a lower effective tax rate. The company expects these factors to support earnings growth in the forthcoming quarters.Zacks Rank & Other Key PicksOtis currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Other top-ranked stocks in the same space include Armstrong World Industries, Inc. AWI, Owens Corning OC and TopBuild Corp. BLD. While Armstrong World sports a Zacks #1 Rank, Owens Corning and TopBuild carry a Zacks Rank #2. All the three companies’ earnings are likely to increase 16.3%, 68.1% and 47.1%, respectively, in 2021. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. 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 be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to 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 Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (AWI): Free Stock Analysis Report Owens Corning Inc (OC): Free Stock Analysis Report TopBuild Corp. (BLD): Free Stock Analysis Report Otis Worldwide Corporation (OTIS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Unizen’s James Taylor: “CeFi and DeFi Need to Co-exist and Evolve”

It has been three months since James Taylor left his role as global head of electronic foreign exchange sales at BNY Mellon. The former JP Morgan and Barclays Capital has joined Unizen as chief business development officer, with the first aim of reinforcing the compliance and regulatory aspects of the CeDeFi ecosystem. Q2 2021 hedge […] It has been three months since James Taylor left his role as global head of electronic foreign exchange sales at BNY Mellon. The former JP Morgan and Barclays Capital has joined Unizen as chief business development officer, with the first aim of reinforcing the compliance and regulatory aspects of the CeDeFi ecosystem. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Taylor comes from the traditional finance industry, and has landed at Unizen at a critical stage in which the company is furiously working on innovating the UX environment for crypto traders and developers. We talked to James about his move and what Unizen is working on in the crypto space, while looking to use CeFi to bridge the gaps while delivering “compliant liquidity” to the end-user. It's been three months since you joined Unizen. How has it been? What did you find when joining the company? The time has flown by! The pace of innovation and development in the crypto industry is really quite staggering and it’s really exciting to be a part of it. I was already interested in the space and there are similarities between traditional finance and crypto but it wasn’t until I joined Unizen that I realized how much I didn’t know! So I’ve been busy. I spend a large part of my time talking to and getting to know the team, asking “dumb” questions, and learning. Also, a lot of focus and effort has been on the compliance and regulatory side which is very high on our agenda and an area that I was able to help with from day one. You come from traditional finance and have broken your way into crypto. Was it a revealing transition? It was only ever going to be a unique and special opportunity to move me from traditional finance to crypto, and Unizen was precisely that. One big reason was the team, which is top-notch in terms of talent and diverse experience, but more importantly, it operates with high moral standards and ethics. Throughout my career, although I was working at some of the biggest and most successful global investment banks, the areas I worked in were essentially new and very much like startup businesses –we were redefining the way that fixed-income products would be traded. So the combination of working with a brilliant team and the ability to be a part of building out something special again in the crypto space is why I'm here. Unizen is working on a CeDeFi crypto solution. What can you share about this? The Unizen team and community have identified multiple challenges that face investors in the crypto space including KYC, security, liquidity, and high network fees –we are looking to fix actual problems that exist in the space at present, rather than those in a hypothetical future. Unizen is an ecosystem that unifies centralized and decentralized products and services –CeDeFi. It is a cohesive workspace that integrates UIs and aggregates data. Regular DeFi falls short of compliance requirements that are needed by most investment firms and asset managers. We are looking to use CeFi to bridge the gaps while still respecting and protecting the essential DeFi elements, delivering “compliant liquidity” to the end-user –liquidity that they are permitted to interact with, according to their specific regulatory, legal, or fiduciary obligations. What are the advantages of Unizen’s hybridization for traders? The main advantages of hybridization are simplicity, security, and locating the best liquidity and pricing available. The first modules are exchanges, but over time there will be other essential products and services added. However, Unizen is not just for traders. Both experienced traders and occasional investors will have a much simpler and straightforward experience, and loyal community members who hold and/or stake ZCX tokens will receive various perks such as reduced trading fees, regular airdrops of project tokens, access to pre-sales, and more. How could a DeFi system be scaled? The short and simple answer here is “cross-chain interoperability.” Most DeFi is currently siloed, something that is very limiting. Interoperability is crucial in any software or ecosystem, as it simply won’t work to its full potential if it can’t work with other software or networks. Should the future be DeFi, how do you see Altcoin performing versus bitcoin? CeFi and DeFi need to co-exist and evolve –likely the future will be CeDeFi. Regarding bitcoin versus altcoin, the former is primarily a store of value, when compared to Ethereum, whose smart contracts allow the development of DeFi apps. I think we will see BTC “Dominance” move to less than 30% as we move to a multipolar blockchain. According to many, we could see ETH move to around $35,000, and there absolutely will be other projects coming in the future that jostle and take top 10 spots in terms of market capitalization. What’s next for Unizen and how do you envision the future of CeDeFi? The current crypto market is small relative to the institutional capital that is sitting on the sidelines. Institutions will go “all in” in the coming years, once institutional-grade products and compliant liquidity are available. This is why we are pushing CeDeFi as a solution, and the CeDeFi Alliance of companies will partner and build to create the required infrastructure. Updated on Sep 24, 2021, 12:07 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: valuewalkSep 24th, 2021

More companies are pledging "net-zero" emissions to fight climate change - here"s what that really means

It doesn't equal zero emissions. The "net" caveat allows them to keep producing carbon and offset their emissions elsewhere. Companies are increasingly under pressure from governments, activists, and investors to cut down on emissions. Pixabay Companies and countries are pledging "net-zero emissions," but that doesn't mean they went carbon-free. They can switch partially to clean energy and offset the rest by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or eliminating emissions elsewhere. Critics argue that "carbon credits" - like planting trees or funding sustainability initiatives abroad - allow companies to continue emitting carbon without penalty. See more stories on Insider's business page. You'll probably hear the term "net-zero emissions" a lot over the coming weeks as government leaders and CEOs, under pressure, talk about how they'll reduce their countries' or businesses' impact on climate change. Amazon, for example, just announced that more than 200 companies have now joined its Climate Pledge, committing to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.But what does net-zero emissions actually mean?"Zero emissions" - without the "net" caveat - means emitting no greenhouse gases."Net-zero emissions" has more wiggle room. It's like balancing a checkbook. The country or company cuts most of its emissions through efficiency and clean energy, then offsets the rest by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or eliminating emissions elsewhere.For example, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air, so they're often considered "negative emissions." The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan can claim net-zero emissions because almost all of its electricity comes from hydropower, and its forests sequester about three times more carbon than its vehicles, factories and other human activities emit.Companies have another way to claim net-zero emissions - they can take advantage of carbon reductions elsewhere by buying carbon credits. For example, a US company might pay to protect forests in South America and then subtract those trees' negative emissions from its own emissions to say that its operations are "net-zero." Other carbon credits support sustainable development projects, such as installing wind or solar power in poorer countries.But counting on carbon credits also draws criticism, because it allows those companies to keep generating greenhouse gases. Other concerns are that some projects would happen anyway, the emissions reductions might not be permanent or even verifiable, or they might get double-counted by more than one entity. Some projects, like tree planting, can take years to pay off in emissions reductions while the companies buying forest offsets continue emitting greenhouse gases.Why does net-zero emissions matter?Greenhouse gases trap heat near Earth's surface. When their concentrations get too high, they fuel global warming.In 2015, countries around the world agreed to limit global warming to well under 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) compared with preindustrial times, with a goal of 1.5 C (2.7 F). To keep warming under 1.5 C with the least disruption, the United Nations says the world needs to be on a path to reach net-zero emissions by about 2050. To put those temperatures into perspective, global warming today is just over 1 C (1.8 F) above preindustrial levels, and rising seas and extreme weather are already a problem.Several countries, including the United States, have pledged to meet the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. But when the UN analyzed each country's commitments under the Paris Agreement in mid-September, it found they still fall short by so much that even if every pledge is met, temperatures will rise about 2.7 C (4.86 F) this century.How a company gets to net-zero emissionsTo see how a company might get to net-zero emissions, let's imagine a hypothetical company, ChipCo, that makes, packages and distributes potato chips. ChipCo purchases electricity from a local utility to run machinery at its factory. It also has boilers to generate steam to heat the building and for some production processes. And it uses delivery trucks to transport its products to customers. Each step generates greenhouse gas emissions.To achieve net-zero emissions, ChipCo's first step is to ramp up energy efficiency. Improvements in insulation and equipment can reduce the amount of energy needed or wasted. A simple example is switching out incandescent light bulbs that use 60 watts of energy with LED bulbs that give off the same brightness, yet consume only 8 watts.The second step is to switch from fossil fuels - the leading source of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions - to renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, that doesn't produce greenhouse gas emissions. Once the company's electricity is renewable, using electric delivery vehicles further cuts emissions.Homes and office buildings can also be built to net-zero, or carbon-neutral, standards. In that case, the focus is on making them extremely energy-efficient and relying on heating and electricity from clean energy sources.ChipCo's third step is finding negative emissions. It might be too expensive or not yet technologically possible for it to replace its steam boiler with a carbon-neutral product. Instead, ChipCo might purchase carbon credits that would remove the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere that would be generated by the boiler.Companies are increasingly under pressure from governments, activists and their customers, as well as some powerful investors, to cut their emissions.To tell if a company is taking its responsibilities seriously, look for its action plan and performance so far. A company that announces a net-zero target of 2030 can't wait until 2029 to take action. There needs to be a consistent trajectory of improvements in energy efficiency and clean energy, not just promises and carbon offsets.Amrou Awaysheh, assistant professor of operations management and executive director, Business Sustainability Lab, Indiana University Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 24th, 2021

Here"s How Much You"d Have If You Invested $1000 in Tractor Supply a Decade Ago

Holding on to popular or trending stocks for the long-term can make your portfolio a winner. How much a stock's price changes over time is important for most investors, since price performance can both impact your investment portfolio and help you compare investment results across sectors and industries.Another factor that can influence investors is FOMO, or the fear of missing out, especially with tech giants and popular consumer-facing stocks.What if you'd invested in Tractor Supply (TSCO) ten years ago? It may not have been easy to hold on to TSCO for all that time, but if you did, how much would your investment be worth today?Tractor Supply's Business In-DepthWith that in mind, let's take a look at Tractor Supply's main business drivers. Headquartered in Brentwood, TN, Tractor Supply Company is the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the United States. The company focuses on recreational farmers and ranchers as well as tradesmen and small businesses. It offers a wide array of merchandise such as livestock, pet and animal products, maintenance products for agricultural and rural use, hardware and tools, lawn and garden power equipment, truck and towing products, and work apparel.Stores of Tractor Supply are primarily located in rural areas and the suburbs of major cities, which have inside selling space of 15,000–20,000 square feet with a similar area of outside space, used to demonstrate agricultural fencing, livestock equipment and horse stalls. Petsense stores have roughly 5,500 square feet of inside selling space. For Tractor Supply retail locations, the company has a standard design for the new built-to-suit locations, including nearly 15,500 square  feet  of  inside  selling  space.Tractor Supply’s broad assortment of products is tailored to meet the regional and geographic needs of its markets. Moreover, the retailer’s full line of product offerings is supported by a strong in-stock inventory position with an average of 16,000–19,500 unique products per store. Apart from selling nationally recognized branded merchandise, the company also markets an increasing list of products under its “private-label programs.” The latter include Masterhand and Job Smart (tools and tool chests), Dumor and Producers Pride (livestock feed) and Retriever and Paws ‘n Claws (pet foods). Further, the company recently acquired 100% stake in Petsense, to fortify its presence in the pet specialty space.Tractor Supply operates retail stores  under  the  names  Tractor Supply Company, Del’s Feed & Farm Supply, and Petsense as well as operate websites under the names TractorSupply.com and Petsense.com.  Its online selling websites are  expected  to  offer  expanded  assortment of products beyond in-store as well as boost store traffic through buy online, pickup in-store and ship to store programs.As of Jun 26, 2021, the company operated 1,955 Tractor Supply stores across 49 states and 174 Petsense stores in 23 states.Bottom LineAnyone can invest, but building a successful investment portfolio takes a combination of a few things: research, patience, and a little bit of risk. So, if you had invested in Tractor Supply a decade ago, you're probably feeling pretty good about your investment today.According to our calculations, a $1000 investment made in September 2011 would be worth $6,315.30, or a 531.53% gain, as of September 24, 2021. Investors should keep in mind that this return excludes dividends but includes price appreciation.Compare this to the S&P 500's rally of 291.49% and gold's return of 2.32% over the same time frame.Analysts are anticipating more upside for TSCO. Shares of Tractor Supply have outpaced the industry year to date driven by a robust surprise trend. The company’s earnings and sales beat estimates in second-quarter 2021, marking the sixth straight earnings surprise and fifth consecutive sales beat. Results gained from robust comps growth across all regions and key categories on strength in demand for seasonal categories and everyday merchandise such as consumable, usable and edible products. It witnessed record e-commerce sales in the second quarter on the back of mobile app and the Neighbor's Club loyalty program. Management raised its 2021 view. The company’s Life Out Here and ‘ONETractor’ strategies also bode well. However, higher imports, freight, wages, and commodity costs remain concerns. Consequently, it expects gross margin to decline in the second half of 2021. Over the past four weeks, shares have rallied 10.74%, and there have been 2 higher earnings estimate revisions in the past two months for fiscal 2021 compared to none lower. The consensus estimate has moved up as well. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. 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 be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to 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 Tractor Supply Company (TSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021