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Category: topSource: redinewsNov 15th, 2021

What A Time To Be Alive

What A Time To Be Alive Submitted by Jack Raines via Young Money, A few things going on in the world today: War in Ukraine Global pandemic Political uncertainty Crashing financial markets $7 gas Layoffs Inflation And we are only two years into this century's "Roaring 20s." There is so much chaos in the world today that it's easy to say "life sucks, the world sucks, and everything sucks." Today, I am asking you to consider a different, more optimistic take: Life is good. In fact, it isn't just good. Life is the best that it has ever been. Turn Back the Clock Death If we were living in Alexandria in year 0, Kyoto during the samurai era, Stockholm in 1655, or Paris during Napoleon's reign, each of us would have had a coin flip's chance of surviving adolescence. Maybe we wouldn't have survived our own births. Maybe we would have fallen victim to famine, sickness, war, infection, labor, or an abundance of other adverse conditions.  From 500 BC to 1900 AD, death reigned supreme. The world's average youth mortality rate, defined as death before age 15, was 46.7%. Additionally, one-quarter of all infants didn't reach their first birthdays. For 2400 years, your odds of reaching your 15th birthday were reduced to the spin of a roulette wheel. But over the last century, everything changed. By 1950, the global youth mortality rate had nearly been cut in half to 27%. In 2017, we hit 4.6%. Somalia, which currently boasts the world's highest youth mortality rate at 14.8%, sits at just 1/3 of the global average from ~100 years earlier. In 2022, the death of a child is a tragic occurrence. In 1822, it was a normal part of daily life. We can't comprehend a world where early deaths were so common, yet that was the real world for millennia. Static mortality rates for centuries, then a 90% decline in just a few generations. Insane progress. Poverty In 1820, with a global population of 1.08B, 964.93M people lived in extreme poverty (living on less than $1.90 per day in 2015, adjusted for inflation). In 2015, with a global population of 7.35B, 733.48M people lived in extreme poverty. While the world's population increased by 6.3B, the number of people living in extreme poverty decreased by 230M. We often focus on wealth inequality in the US. And it's true, the wealth gap is growing. But what gets missed in this wealth gap comparison is just how much better off poor people are now than at any point in the past. You can be "poor" in the United States today and have a cellphone, an internet connection, food, and shelter. Those living in government housing today have a higher standard of living than the upper class did in year 1900. JD Rockefeller, the richest man in modern history, didn't even have air conditioning. As recently as 1981 (!!!) 42% of the world lived in extreme poverty. Today, that number is just 9%. In the last generation, global extreme poverty has dropped by 84%. A variable highly correlated to poverty? Literacy. Literacy Even centuries after the advent of the printing press, books were still reserved for the elites. Written knowledge passed down from generation to generation could only be accessed by a select few, with the rest of the populace relying on word-of-mouth communication. Letters couldn't be written. Notes couldn't be taken. Information couldn't be recorded, unless you were born into the right house. In year 1800, just 12% of the world's population was literate. In year 1900, just 21% of the world's population was literate. In year 2016, an astounding 86% of the world's population was literate. Spreadsheet built on Rows Perspective If you were born in Paris, France in 1820, you had a 56% chance of making it to your 15th birthday. Assuming you survived, there was a 38% chance that you knew how to read and write. And even if you were alive and literate, (a combination with just a 21% chance of happening), you had a 50/50 shot of being in extreme poverty. But let's say that you beat the odds. You were a living, literate Parisian with a modest income. Welcome to the good life. You would have spent your entire adulthood in a chaotic, politically unstable post-Napoleon France. Your grandchildren would have fought in WW1, and their children would have fought in WW2. The reward for overcoming all of life's obstacles was two generations of war that tore your country apart. But at least gas wasn't $7 per gallon. It's hard to internalize just how good we have it because our own life experiences are our homeostasis, our base point for comparison. We read about the hardships of history, but we don't experience them. We don't feel them. How could we? Decades of war, sickness, and hardship have been reduced to paragraphs and documentaries. But those wars, sicknesses, and hardships were all-too-real for those who lived through them. The Plague of Justinian wiped out 40% of Constantinople's population in four months. The Russian Plague killed 33% of Moscow's population in a single season, and 75% of the remaining populace fled. The Covid-19 pandemic has been bad, no doubt. But can you imagine a world with 4M New York City deaths in just four months? Where millions of others flee, fearing for their lives? Because that happened. And it happened more than once. These accounts feel like faraway stories from an era in the distant past. Lost somewhere between fact and fantasy. But they were just as real to the past generations as our conflicts are to us today. A Million Little Miracles History is nothing if not a series of mankind conquering nature's limitations. The printing press allowed our knowledge to conquer death. Penicillin allowed our bodies to conquer infection. Fertilizers allowed our farms to conquer famine. Steam engines allowed our ships to conquer windless seas. Airplanes allowed us to conquer gravity and distant travel. Phones allowed us to conquer long-distance communication. Computers allowed us to conquer the spatial limitations of data storage. Over time, these little miracles, these little breakthroughs, they compounded. Each generation built from the shoulders of their predecessors, beginning life on third base thanks to a triple hit by the generation before. And innovation has accelerated as a result. Every single thing that we take for granted today would be nothing short of a miracle to anyone who lived just 100 years ago. Supermarkets with fresh selections of every food imaginable are magic. Planes that will transport you anywhere in the world in under a day are magic. Clean water is magic. Antibiotics are magic. Cell phones are magic. Plumbing systems are magic. Anesthesia is magic. The fact that you can read this blog from New York, to New Delhi, to New Zealand is magic. But to us, none of this is magic. To us, the real magic is that our ancestors survived with so much less. Inflation sucks. Covid sucks. War sucks. High gas prices suck. But we live in a world where you can Facetime your best friend from another country, and they can fly to visit you the next day. You can instantly communicate with anyone who has an internet connection. The poorest people in first-world countries still have food, water, shelter, and access to healthcare, while 200 years ago a large gash on your leg was a death sentence. We struggle with purpose, our ancestors struggled with survival. Asking "What do I want to do with my life?" is a privilege, considering the primary concern for everyone before us was "How do I stay alive?"  So while we tweet, text, and opine about the disastrous state of the world today, it is important to remember that the depths of our modern hells would be the pinnacles of our ancestors' lives. Our problems are a privilege. - Jack If you liked this piece, make sure to subscribe by adding your email below! Tyler Durden Mon, 06/27/2022 - 05:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 27th, 2022

The 4 best sewing machines we tested for every skill level, from beginner to pro

I used my experience as a theatrical costume maker with 30 years of experience to test four sewing machines and determine the best one. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.I used my experience as a theatrical costume maker with 30 years of experience to test four sewing machines and determine the best one.AmazonIf you want to make clothes that fit you perfectly, repair clothes or upholstery, or sew anything you want, you'll need a good sewing machine. I've been sewing for 30 years and one of the reasons I love it is because of my sewing machine. As a theatrical costume maker, I've made everything from heavy corsets and hoop skirts to whisper-thin chiffon dresses and elegantly tailored suits.I tried a lot of machines before I landed on a second-hand mechanical model that I bought 20 years ago and still use today. If you're just starting out, it's important to find an easy-to-use machine that does the kind of sewing you want, whether it's quilting or simple repairs. No matter how much you might like to sew, struggling with an unresponsive or frustrating machine can turn it into a terrible chore. That's why I used my own experience, consulted three experts, and tested four machines to evaluate the performance and ease of use for each one. You can check out my full testing methodology below, along with tips on how to shop for a machine.Here are the best sewing machines in 2022Best sewing machine overall: Brother CS7000X, available at Amazon, $199.99Best mechanical sewing machine: Singer Heavy Duty 4452, available at Amazon, $219.99Best high-end sewing machine: Bernina 535, available at Bernina, $3,799Best budget-friendly sewing machine: Brother CS5055, available at Amazon, $159.99Best sewing machine overallElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderThe Brother CS7000X is a beginner-friendly computerized machine that makes it easy to sew at the touch of a button.If you wanted to start a project right away, you could do it without looking at anything besides the Brother CS7000X's Quick Start Guide. This is a great, easy-to-use, beginner-friendly machine with a lot of features that advanced and tech-adverse sewers will appreciate too. For most sewing projects, you'll just need a straight stitch, zig-zag stitch, and a buttonhole. This machine did an excellent job with all three of them — and quietly too. It also handled fabrics like lightweight cotton muslin, cotton jersey, and layers of heavy upholstery fabric very well.It also has a lot of extra features that make sewing easier for beginners and advanced sewers like the needle up/down button, which allows you to move the needle in a single step. The machine can also be programmed to your preference, so you can set the needle to default to the left or center while sewing, or have the needle stop in the up or down position, which is a great feature to sew sharp corners more easily. Beginners will especially appreciate that the machine gives a small beep if they're about to commit a user error, like forgetting to push the buttonhole lever down before trying to sew a buttonhole. I also liked the speed control, which tells the machine how fast or slow you want it to go, so you can use slower speeds for more careful work or faster speeds for zipping along straight lines. The brand lists the machine at around 18 pounds, which makes it easy to carry around. It comes with a hard plastic case, which is good for protection. The flatbed attachment on the front of the machine doesn't have a hinged compartment for storage though — any accessories in the storage compartment have to be kept in a plastic bag. It's not convenient, but not a dealbreaker either.This machine is great for its price, which I had to stop to double-check. Most good machines start around $200, but with all these features, I expected to pay a lot more. It's a great general-purpose machine for garments, crafts, and quilts, and it comes with a lot of stitch options and useful accessories too. Pros: Quiet, reasonably priced, 70 utility and decorative stitches, seven buttonholes, has a wide variety of useful features such as needle up/down and automatic backstitchCons: Computerized controls can be intimidating, inconvenient storage compartmentBest mechanical sewing machineElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderThe Singer Heavy Duty 4452 is a powerful, low-maintenance mechanical sewing machine that will power through any fabric.This machine is so easy to use that a time-traveler from 1963 could probably thread and start sewing without ever having to look at a manual. In fact, a manual wasn't even included in the box, just a Quick Start Guide for how to fill a bobbin and thread the machine. Everything on the machine is controlled via knobs, levers, and dials, so you can pick things up quickly. The Singer Heavy Duty is loud, powerful, and fast. In testing, it handled lightweight cotton muslin, stretch jersey, and several layers of heavy upholstery fabric very well. All the fabric went through the machine evenly, and the stitches were even and straight, though the backstitch didn't look very neat. At first, the zig-zag stitch on the stretch jersey also looked too tight on the bobbin-thread side, but after I adjusted the top thread tension a bit, I was able to make it look even on both sides. This machine can sew lightweight fabrics like silk chiffon and charmeuse, but it's more difficult because the powerful feed yanked the delicate fabric too quickly, causing the fabric to shift and the seam to pucker. To make the seam look nice, I had to test several different thread tensions and baste, or roughly hand sew, the seam to keep the layers from moving. If you plan to use this machine for light fabrics, you'll want to remember to use a sharp, fine needle for delicate fabrics.There's also no speed control other than changing how much pressure you put on the foot pedal. If you push too hard, the fabric might fly through so quickly that you can't control it. This machine has a maximum speed of 1,100 stitches per minute, so it's very fast when you want it to be but it takes some time to figure out speed control.The flatbed attachment at the front of the machine has a convenient hinged compartment for storing accessories. It comes with five presser feet, including a walking foot, which is good for dealing with very thick fabric. It also comes with a light cloth cover to protect it from dust.While this is a simple and straightforward machine, it won't hold your hand the way a lot of computerized machines do. This machine expects you to do all the work, and when something goes wrong, it expects you to troubleshoot it, making it a good option for an experienced sewer who just wants something inexpensive, powerful, and portable without having to learn a whole new sewing machine. Pros: Fast, powerful, simple to use, easy to care for Cons: Only has 32 stitches, doesn't have many decorative stitches, doesn't have an attractive buttonhole, loudBest high-end sewing machineElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderThe Bernina 535 is an expensive computerized machine for people who know how to sew and want to take advantage of its huge array of special stitches.Using this machine is the next best thing to having elves come into my house at night and sew all my projects while I'm asleep. It's solidly built and feels sturdy and well-made. The stitches were perfect and precise on every fabric I tested without having to make any adjustments. The fabric glided through evenly with no pulling or puckering — even the chiffon that was so difficult with the other machines. The stretch zig-zag stitch was so even and balanced that it looked like it came from a store, and made me feel like a better sewer.A machine that costs nearly $4,000 will definitely have more of everything. Where an entry-level machine might come with a simple operating manual, the Bernina 535 has a 180-page spiral-bound user manual and a digital version too. It explains all the features of the machine clearly and offers tips and project ideas. There are also classes online or at various Bernina Creative Centers around the US. This machine is available online, but if you pick it up from a dealer, you can get personal instruction about how to set it up and take advantage of its features. Be warned though — it weighs around 35 pounds, so bring a hand truck.With so many features, it can be overwhelming, so it's not a machine for beginners. With a bit of practice and instruction though, it becomes clearer how to select different functions and operate special features. It has a brightly lit, 3- by 2-inch touch-screen control panel which you can operate with your finger or the included stylus.Overall, this machine helps users avoid a lot of the petty annoyances of sewing. A lot of typical sewing problems are caused by incorrectly putting in a bobbin, but it's physically impossible here because there's only one way to fit it into the case. The machine even alerts you when the bobbin is running low, so you won't have to worry about sewing long channels, only to discover you've been sewing with air the whole time. It also has an automatic thread cutter, which can neatly finish your stitch and snip threads whenever you stop sewing. The Bernina 535 comes with five presser feet, a dust cover, a box for accessories, a slide-on table to increase the sewing surface, and a free-hand system so you can raise and lower the presser foot with your knee without having to let go of the fabric. Pros: Handles lightweight and heavyweight fabric well, easy to control, makes beautiful stitches, has embroidery capability, includes slide-on sewing table Cons: Requires a lot of practice to learn how to use for beginnersBest budget-friendly sewing machineElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderIf you're looking for a powerful sewing machine without a ton of accessories, the Brother CS5055 is an easy-to-use machine for clothes, crafts, masks, and more. It's as powerful as our top pick, the Brother CS7000X, but has 10 fewer stitches and three fewer presser feet, though none of the missing ones are truly useful for most projects.Due to the minimal price difference, we think the CS7000X is a better value and will serve most people's needs perfectly. But if the CS5055 is on sale or the CS7000X is out of stock, this is a great machine that we're happy to recommend.Pros: Affordable, easy to use, and works for basic sewing needsCons: Fewer stitch options and presser feetOur testing methodologyI tested each machine by making the same stitches on different fabrics and trying out all of the machine's functions.Elizabeth Licata/Business InsiderWith three decades of sewing experience, I know what stitches most people will or won't need. I also consulted quilt artist and educator Valerie C. White; couture designer, educator, and Threads contributing editor Kenneth D. King; CEO and designer of Style Sew Me Patterns Eryn Shields, and my own professional colleagues.Basic stitches on different fabrics: When I spoke with Shields and King, they confirmed that you need three basic things from a sewing machine: a straight stitch, a zig-zag stitch, and a good buttonhole. I tested how each machine performed those three tasks on four common fabrics I would use to make or repair clothes, quilts, or upholstery: plain-weave cotton muslin that has a similar weight to a basic quilting cotton, four-way stretch knit jersey that's 90% cotton and 10% Spandex, lightweight 100% silk chiffon, and heavy-weight upholstery fabric.Every sample was also pressed and pinned before sewing for consistency. I sewed through two layers of cotton muslin, jersey, and silk chiffon to mimic a simple seam made of two pieces of fabric sewn together, and four layers of upholstery fabric to make sure the machine could handle a very thick, heavy project. I tested each machine with Gutermann Sew-All Thread, an all-purpose polyester thread, as both the top thread and the bobbin thread. Due to the different fabric weights, I used the universal needle that came pre-installed on each machine to sew through the cotton muslin and upholstery fabric, a ball-point needle for jersey fabric, and a 70/10 needle for silk chiffon.Decorative stitches: With the three computerized machines, I also tested a sampling of the decorative stitches on cotton muslin to see if the machine could stitch something like a cute row of stars or flowers. Buttonholes: All four machines came with a buttonhole foot, so I used them to create a basic rectangular buttonhole. Because the cotton jersey has some stretch to it, I also tested a stretch buttonhole using the three computerized machines — it's not an option with the manual Singer Heavy Duty machine. Ease of use: During my testing, I also evaluated the machines based on ease of use, taking into whether it was a computerized or mechanical unit.   Extra features: I tested each machine's extra features such as needle up/down buttons, noises or lights that notify you of a user error, knee lift, and more to see if they were helpful or novelties. How to shop for a sewing machineIt's important to have a walking foot for many projects, especially for quilting.Elizabeth Licata/Business InsiderHere are some tips for sewing machine shopping from our experts:Shop in person if you canOur experts suggest going to a dealer for hands-on guidance and support, as well as for future classes, repairs and maintenance, and potential trade-ins — here's how to find a dealer for Brother and Bernina. Singer sewing machines are more readily available at craft stores and big-box retailers around the US, and you can register your machine for warranty and repairs.A good dealer will help you develop your sewing skills, learn to use all the features of your machine, and help troubleshoot if things go wrong. But we realize that some people don't live near reputable dealers. That's why all of our picks can be purchased online, meet criteria based on the experts I spoke with, and performed well in our tests.Know your brandsKing said he likes Bernina machines, but also said Brother and Janome are both reputable brands with good machines."What I like about Bernina machines is that the quality is consistent throughout the line," he said. "You can get a lower-end Bernina machine with fewer features for less money, but you're still going to get a quality machine."Brands like Husqvarna Viking, Pfaff, Juki, and Babylock are also well-regarded and known for making very good machines. Decide what kind of sewing you want to do, but give yourself room to growAccording to Shields, for garment sewers, a straight stitch, zig-zag stitch for stretch fabrics, and a buttonhole are going to take care of all your basic needs.For quilting, one of the most useful attachments is a walking foot. This moves the presser foot so both the presser foot and the feed dogs move the fabric, which keeps the layers from shifting while you sew. White says one of her favorite features for quilting is a knee lift, which raises and lowers the presser foot, so you don't need to use your hand. White also likes a machine that warns you when the bobbin is about to run out — this is especially helpful for beginners. Of the machines we tested, the Brother CS7000X and the Singer Heavy Duty both come with walking feet, and the Brother CS7000X and the Bernina 535 both alert you when the bobbin is low, but only the Bernina 535 has a knee lift. White also suggests a machine that you can grow into. "You're going to learn to do other things, and you should have a machine that will push you to explore some creative avenues," White said. Test the machine on different kinds of fabricShields says garment sewers should think about what kinds of fabrics they want to sew and bring samples with them to the store, if possible, so they can test the machine on different fabrics. "Some people like to sew kids' clothes, so they'll be sewing with a lot of lightweight cottons and you can pretty much use any machine for that," Shields said. "If they plan to sew a lot of outerwear or work in heavy fabrics like wool and denim, they'll want to make sure that they have a workhorse machine that can handle those types of fabric." Of the machines we looked at, the Singer Heavy Duty is a great option for anybody looking to sew heavy outerwear fabric. Look for good customer serviceWhite emphasizes the need for good customer service, which all of the brands we recommend have. "If I call with a question, they're more than happy to answer it," White said of her Bernina dealer.A dealer can be more helpful than videos or online tutorials and can answer questions about what to expect in terms of service, repairs, and more. Read reviews from people who have tried the machineIf you can't shop in person, Shields says to make sure you read a lot of reviews to learn about the experiences of people who have actually been sewing with the machine. Why sewing machines are so expensiveA mechanical machine has knobs and dials, which are easier to fix than computerized machines. They can last for decades with regular maintenance.Elizabeth Licata/Business InsiderSewing machines are available at a range of price points, but many of the good ones can start somewhere around $200 when they're not on sale. While the price is a factor in any purchase, King advised against going for the very cheapest machine you can find, if you can help it. "There are a lot of machines that are very inexpensive, but they aren't very good," he explained. That's especially a problem for beginners, he said, because struggling with a difficult machine can be demoralizing and could put a beginner off sewing forever. Most people will never need a $10,000 sewing machine, but spending $200 or $300 on a sewing machine can be a worthwhile investment, even for a beginner.Here are some things that make sewing machines more expensive:Durability: There are a lot of moving parts inside a sewing machine, and many of them are expected to move very quickly for long periods of time, often in the presence of large amounts of dust, threads, and fluff. Machines with metal parts cost a bit more but are much more durable than machines made with cheaper plastic parts. A good mechanical machine should last for decades with a bit of regular maintenance. Reliability: The most annoying thing about sewing is the tiny day-to-day malfunctions that can happen to anybody. Any machine can jam, skip stitches, or have tension problems, but based on my experience, it tends to happen less often with higher-end machines.  Stability: The quality of the internal parts and engineering also affects the way it feels to sew with a machine. A small, inexpensive machine might be very portable, but it can be uncomfortable to sew if shakes or rattles while you sew with it.  Additional features: Higher-end machines have extra features that aren't essential, but are nice to have. They can cut the thread, add an automatic backstitch, adjust the presser foot pressure, and remember your preferences so the machine is always set up the way you like it. Stitches: Computerized machines can come with tons of stitches, including alphabets and numbers. Some machines even have embroidery capabilities. Most people won't need all those stitches, but they can be fun to play with, especially for adding a bit of flourish to napkins, doll clothes, and masks. Service: If you're spending a couple hundred dollars or more on a machine, there should be some guarantee that it will continue to work. If you buy the machine directly from the manufacturer, it should have a warranty of at least two years for a computerized machine or 20 years for a mechanical machine (Brother has a generous 25-year warranty). Specialized technology: The most expensive sewing machines are designed for specific uses, like quilting or embroidery. A top-tier professional embroidery machine can embroider custom designs using 16 spools of embroidery thread. Special long-arm machines that can make enormous quilts are prized by quilters, but many of them cost well over $10,000.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 24th, 2022

CONSENSUS 2022 HIGHLIGHTS: PlayDapp Makes 3 Major Announcements at the World’s Largest Blockchain Conference

Wilmington, Delaware, 15th June, 2022, Chainwire At The recent Consensus 2022 Conference, The Blockchain Middleware Provider Announced The Launch Of A Metaverse Virtual World, A New Play-to-earn Baseball Game And An Update On PlayDapp – IPX Partnership After two years of running online, Consensus 2022, the world’s largest blockchain conference, finally took place in person […] Wilmington, Delaware, 15th June, 2022, Chainwire At The recent Consensus 2022 Conference, The Blockchain Middleware Provider Announced The Launch Of A Metaverse Virtual World, A New Play-to-earn Baseball Game And An Update On PlayDapp – IPX Partnership After two years of running online, Consensus 2022, the world’s largest blockchain conference, finally took place in person last weekend in Austin, Texas, where the focus was non-fungible tokens (NFTs). At this historic event, global blockchain middleware provider PlayDapp made three significant announcements that include: PlayDapp has partnered with Samsung to create Metaverse Virtual World, which will be the first-ever metaverse experience of a theme park Based on the largest theme park in South Korea – Everland Resort, the experience will allow users to explore the theme park and engage in several exciting activities such as participating in quests, taking virtual rides, partaking in water fights and many more. This collaboration represents a breakthrough in the development of blockchain technology and its potential applications. The teaser to the metaverse experience can be found here.  PlayDapp introduces its new play-to-earn (P2E) baseball game – Homerun Challenge The home-run Derby baseball game allows users to create and deploy non-fungible tokens (NFTs) while earning coins through gameplay. With PlayDapp’s play-to-earn (P2E) system, the more users play, the more money they can potentially make. A sneak peek into the game can be viewed here.  A key update on PlayDapp’s partnership with IPX (formerly known as Line Friends) With PlayDapp & IPX, users can select famous characters from Line Friends and customize their characters as per their liking. They can also own their creations as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the blockchain.  In addition, the characters created through this process will be interoperable in all PlayDapp games as well as its metaverse and ecosystem, thus representing a major advancement for character ownership and management on the blockchain. A short video to explain this new update can be seen here. “We are thrilled to announce some of our major developments that will be a game-changer for blockchain. As a leader in blockchain technology in Korea, we want to revolutionize how users experience the metaverse and blockchain as a whole,” says Sang Chung, Head of Business at PlayDapp. “It is exciting to partner with some of the biggest players in the tech world, and create not one but three unique experiences for metaverse users,” he adds. About PlayDapp PlayDapp is a global blockchain middleware provider that provides companies with the opportunity across many different industries to integrate blockchain technology into their business models and easily turn their assets into Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). PlayDapp’s blockchain-based C2C Marketplace allows gamers and users to freely buy, sell and trade their digital assets with each other.  For more information, visit PlayDapp.io.  Contacts Global Marketing Manager Peter Song PlayDapp peter@playdapp.io 010-9611-0423 Updated on Jun 15, 2022, 10:27 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 15th, 2022

Watch Live: Jan. 6 Panel Prime-Time "Show-Trial"

Watch Live: Jan. 6 Panel Prime-Time 'Show-Trial' Watch the fully-produced circus live here (due to start at 2000ET) As WaPo reports, while the committee is bipartisan, both Republicans on it are fierce Trump critics. McCarthy (Calif.) pulled his handpicked members from the panel last year after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vetoed two of his picks. Many of the details of the proceedings have been kept secret, but Politico reported Tuesday morning that the proceedings will include testimony from US Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards and a documentarian named Nick Quested who was embedded with the Proud Boys during the attack, but it’s unclear what the focus of his testimony will be. In fact, while expectations have been set for a 'smoking gun', 'gotcha' moment for Trump - just like Schiff and his pals did with Russia collusion - WaPo reports that committee aides sought to temper expectations of any shocking revelations during Thursday’s hearing and instead framed the session as an opening argument. “[Thursday] night is connecting the dots,” said a second aide. “A lot of this has been reported and bits and pieces of it have been shared. But our aim is to tie all that together in a comprehensive narrative and to show how it’s a pattern that started before the election and went all the way through January 6.” We look forward to seeing the ratings for this must-watch TV... sigh. *  *  * As we detailed earlier, the Jan. 6 panel will use never-before-seen documentation and closed-door depositions on Thursday to present their grand unifying theory to connect former President Trump to the Capitol riot, as part of a broader effort to keep him in power. Tonight's televised 90-minute hearing, which begins at 8pm ET and is being produced by a former network television executive, will show that the Jan. 6 2021 attack on the Capitol was the result of a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden," a House Select Committee aide told reporters during a Thursday call. "And indeed, that President Donald Trump was at the center of that effort," the aide added. House Democrats will also feature live testimony from Nick Quested - a British documentarian who was creating a project about the Proud Boys and was present at a meeting between that group and the Oath Keepers, who participated in the Capitol breach. "You’re talking about two witnesses who were there at the very initial breach," said the aide. "We’re going to hear about their experiences from that day — particularly sort of what they heard, what they saw from the rioters." Democrats are expected to connect how the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers interacted with Trump's tweets on Reddit and other message boards, according to Axios, which pointed out two other 'areas of interest.' 1. Efforts by Trump and aides to destroy documents. Trump often tore up White House documents that should have been preserved as presidential records. Some of the presidential records sent to the Jan. 6 committee by the National Archives had been ripped up, then taped back together, the Washington Post reported. A committee witness testified that then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows burned papers in his West Wing fireplace after meeting with a House Republican about challenging the 2020 election, the N.Y. Times and Politico reported. 2. Trump's consideration of invoking the Insurrection Act, a federal law that allows the president to deploy the military domestically. Committee members have studied how close Trump came to invoking the act immediately after the election and leading up to Jan. 6. -Axios Other witnesses include Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who was the first law enforcement officer injured on the day of the 'insurrection' attempt. Both Edwards and Quested, the documentarian, plan top recount their experiences - "particularly what they saw and heard from the rioters," said a committee aide. January 6 was the violent culmination of an extensive effort to overturn a presidential election. The American people know a lot about those events, but soon they will learn more, and see how close we came to losing our democracy. On Thursday, we will begin to tell that story. pic.twitter.com/hX6RAS9GFR — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 5, 2022 House Republicans, meanwhile, say that the Democrats' use of former ABC News president James Goldston on the presentation may have violated House rules. As the Epoch Times notes, in a letter (pdf) to the Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Committee on House Administration Chairperson Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), GOP lawmakers asked for confirmation that Goldston has been hired as an employee of the committee, and not as a consultant or in an “unofficial capacity.” The letter was signed by Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and others. It comes after Axios first reported Monday that the former network news executive had joined the committee as an “unannounced adviser” and is “busily producing Thursday’s 8 p.m. ET hearing as if it were a blockbuster investigative special.” Goldston has previously served as a producer for some of the network’s biggest news programs like “20/20,” “Nightline,” and “Good Morning America.” He left ABC in March. Citing congressional laws pertaining to committee staff, the lawmakers noted that a letter is required requesting approval of the Committee on House Administration regarding Goldston’s hiring, along with a signed contract agreement and resume. Under that same law, Goldston would be unable to commence work for the committee until the contract has been approved by the Committee on House Administration. “To our knowledge, the Committee has not received or considered such a request,” wrote the representatives. The GOP lawmakers also cited reports from CNN that Goldston is working with the select committee “to help produce their upcoming hearings” and “helping the committee with the planning of the hearings and their presentation.” They noted that the committees are allowed to “obtain temporary or intermittent services of individual consultants or organizations, to advise the Committee with respect to matters within its jurisdiction,” but that Goldston would not be able to act as an employee of the committee. “The Committee on House Administration will not approve a contract if the services to be provided by the consultant are the regular duties of Committee staff,” lawmakers wrote. “Planning, preparation, and production of hearings are unquestionably the ‘regular duties of Committee staff’.” Republican lawmakers also noted in their letter that Goldston would be barred from working for the Jan. 6 Committee free of charge, noting that such an arrangement would “violate House Rules and the House Ethics Manual regulations which clearly states that no logical distinction can be drawn between the private contribution of in-kind services and the private contribution of money.” Finally, the big question is: Could Trump face criminal charges? Inciting an insurrection or riot is a federal crime, but the Justice Department would have to charge him separately. That’s unlikely, according to Frederick Lawrence, a lecturer at the Georgetown University Law Center. Not only would prosecutors have to prove Trump intentionally whipped up his supporters, Lawrence said, but also that he intended for them to break into the Capitol, loot and cause bodily harm. A further complication is a 1969 Supreme Court precedent that shields inflammatory speech under the First Amendment unless it’s aimed at “imminent” lawless behavior. Apart from what Trump said in his speech, prosecutors could take an alternative path if they uncover evidence that the former president or his advisers were involved in planning the riot. Whether such conspiracy charges are viable would depend on the nature of the plotting and how close Trump and his inner circle was to it. “It would all turn on who was in the room and what they are prepared to testify to,” Lawrence said. More than 850 people have been criminally charged in connection with the riot at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 by a mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters. Most are accused of conventional offenses such as trespassing and assault, while 16 members of two right-wing groups are facing a more exotic charge: seditious conspiracy. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/09/2022 - 19:52.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 9th, 2022

Vail Resorts Reports Fiscal 2022 Third Quarter Results, Early Season Pass Sales Results, and Provides Updated Fiscal 2022 Outlook

BROOMFIELD, Colo., June 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) today reported results for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 ended April 30, 2022, which were negatively impacted by COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions, and reported results of its early season pass sales for the 2022/2023 North American ski season. Highlights Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. was $372.6 million for the third fiscal quarter of 2022 compared to net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. of $274.6 million in the same period in the prior year. The increase is primarily due to the greater impact of COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions on results in the prior year. Resort Reported EBITDA was $610.5 million for the third fiscal quarter of 2022, compared to Resort Reported EBITDA of $462.2 million for the third fiscal quarter of 2021. The increase is primarily due to the greater impact of COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions on results in the prior year. The Company updated its fiscal 2022 guidance range and is now expecting Resort Reported EBITDA to be between $828 million and $842 million. The guidance range includes an estimated $16 million of Resort Reported EBITDA from the recently acquired operations of Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain resorts (together, the "Seven Springs Resorts") for the period from the transaction closing on December 31, 2021 through the end of the fiscal year, partially offset by $7 million of acquisition and integration related expenses associated with the Seven Springs Resorts transaction and the expected acquisition of Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG ("Andermatt-Sedrun"). Pass product sales through May 31, 2022 for the upcoming 2022/2023 North American ski season increased approximately 9% in units and approximately 11% in sales dollars as compared to the period in the prior year through June 1, 2021. Pass product sales are adjusted to include pass sales for the Seven Springs Resorts in both periods and to eliminate the impact of foreign currency by applying an exchange rate of $0.79 between the Canadian dollar and U.S. dollar in both periods for Whistler Blackcomb pass sales. The Company declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.91 per share of Vail Resorts' common stock that will be payable on July 12, 2022 to shareholders of record as of June 27, 2022 and repurchased 303,143 shares at an average price of $246.33 for a total of approximately $74.7 million from the beginning of the Company's third quarter of fiscal 2022 through June 8, 2022. Commenting on the Company's fiscal 2022 third quarter results, Kirsten Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased with our overall results for the quarter and for the 2021/2022 North American ski season. As expected, results for the quarter significantly outperformed results from the prior year primarily due to the greater impact of COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions on results in the prior year period. "This year, challenging early season conditions persisted through the holiday period, but our results were strong from January through the remainder of the season. Our strong season pass sales heading into the 2021/2022 season are the foundation of our advance commitment strategy, creating stability for the Company through variable weather and other challenges. This past season, approximately 72% of all Vail Resorts 2021/2022 North American skier visitation was on a pass product, excluding employee and complimentary visitation, which compares to approximately 60% and approximately 51% for the 2018/2019 and 2014/2015 North American ski seasons, respectively. We had particularly strong destination visitation this year, which was further supported by lift ticket sales at our Colorado and Utah resorts that exceeded our expectations through the spring. Our recent results at Whistler Blackcomb were also stronger than expected due to the easing of travel restrictions in Canada in late February. Recent performance at our eastern U.S. ski areas was in-line with our expectations while our Tahoe resorts were impacted by challenging spring conditions, resulting in performance below our expectations. Throughout the season, our ancillary businesses continued to be capacity constrained by staffing, and in the case of dining, by operational restrictions associated with COVID-19. Overall, our results throughout the 2021/2022 North American ski season highlight the stability resulting from our advance commitment pass products in a season with challenging early season conditions, staffing challenges and COVID-19 impacts, and demonstrate our strong operational execution following the holiday period through the end of the season. We are very pleased to see the growth in visitation this season, and in particular that it primarily occurred during off peak periods. The trend towards off-peak visitation growth continued throughout the ski season this year. For the season-to-date period ended April 30, 2022, compared to the season-to-date period ended May 5, 2019, visitation on weekday and non-holiday periods increased approximately 8% while visitation on weekend and holiday periods decreased approximately 3%, excluding Peak Resorts visitation in both periods. We believe this trend is driven by the growth in pass sales as pass holders tend to spread their visitation more across the season, and, with the increase in flexible and remote work, we expect this trend to continue. Further, the growth in non-peak periods was broad based across our resorts. Despite the growth in overall visits this past season, very few of our resorts even approached their historical maximum daily visitation, as our resorts averaged only 1 day this season exceeding 95% of their historical peak daily visitation and only 6 resorts had more than 1 day above that level, excluding the recently acquired Seven Springs Resorts. All of this highlights that there is considerable opportunity to continue to grow the overall industry and skier visits outside of peak periods, and that it is critical that we continue to invest in people and infrastructure to continue to improve the employee and guest experience throughout the season. Commenting on fiscal 2022 guidance, Lynch said, "Based on the strong finish to the season, particularly driven by destination guest visitation and lift ticket sales in Colorado, Utah and Whistler Blackcomb that exceeded our expectations, we now expect net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. for fiscal 2022 to be between $314 million and $348 million, and Resort Reported EBITDA for fiscal 2022 to be between $828 million and $842 million. The guidance range includes an estimated $16 million of Resort Reported EBITDA for the Seven Springs Resorts for the period from the transaction closing on December 31, 2021 through the end of the fiscal year, partially offset by $7 million of acquisition and integration related expenses associated with the Seven Springs Resorts transaction and the expected acquisition of Andermatt-Sedrun." Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG As previously announced on March 28, 2022, the Company entered into an agreement to purchase a majority stake in Andermatt-Sedrun from Andermatt Swiss Alps AG ("ASA"), marking the Company's first strategic investment in, and opportunity to operate, a ski resort in Europe. Andermatt-Sedrun is a renowned destination ski resort in Central Switzerland, located less than 90 minutes from three of Switzerland's major metropolitan areas (Zurich, Lucerne and Lugano) and approximately two hours from Milan, Italy. Upon the closing of the acquisition, the Company will acquire a 55% ownership stake in Andermatt-Sedrun, which controls and operates all of the resort's mountain and ski-related assets, including lifts, most of the restaurants and a ski school operation. ASA will retain a 40% ownership stake in Andermatt-Sedrun, with a group of existing shareholders comprising the remaining 5% ownership. Vail Resorts' CHF 149 million investment is comprised of a CHF 110 million investment into Andermatt-Sedrun for use in capital investments to enhance the guest experience on the mountain and CHF 39 million, which will be paid to ASA and fully reinvested into the real estate developments in the base area. Vail Resorts will assume operating and marketing responsibility for Andermatt-Sedrun, with ASA and local stakeholders continuing as key members of the board of directors. The transaction is expected to close prior to the 2022/2023 ski season, subject to certain third-party consents. Vail Resorts plans to include unlimited and unrestricted access to Andermatt-Sedrun on the 2022/2023 Epic Pass. Epic Day Pass holders with All Resorts Access will be able to use any of their days at Andermatt-Sedrun, and Epic Local Pass holders will receive five days of unrestricted access to the resort. All pass access is subject to the timing of the transaction closing. Operating Results A more complete discussion of our operating results can be found within the Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations section of the Company's Form 10-Q for the third fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2022, which was filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The following are segment highlights: Mountain Segment Total lift revenue increased $137.0 million, or 23.7%, compared to the same period in the prior year, to $714.7 million for the three months ended April 30, 2022, primarily due to increased pass product sales for the 2021/2022 North American ski season, as well as an increase in non-pass lift ticket purchases. Ski school revenue increased $40.5 million, or 50.4%, dining revenue increased $33.8 million, or 73.6% and retail/rental revenue increased $35.2 million, or 38.6%, each primarily due to fewer COVID-19 related limitations and restrictions on our North American winter operations as compared to the prior year, as well as an increase in demand over the prior year. Operating expense increased $115.0 million, or 30.7%, which was primarily attributable to increased variable expenses associated with increases in revenue, and the impact of cost discipline efforts in the prior year associated with lower levels of operations, including limitations, restrictions and closures resulting from COVID-19. Mountain Reported EBITDA increased $139.1 million, or 30.4%, for the third quarter compared to the same period in the prior year, which includes $5.1 million of stock-based compensation expense for both the three months ended April 30, 2022 and 2021. Lodging Segment Lodging segment net revenue (excluding payroll cost reimbursements) for the three months ended April 30, 2022 increased $30.8 million, or 54.6%, as compared to the same period in the prior year, primarily as a result of fewer COVID-19 related limitations and restrictions as compared to the prior year, as well as an increase in demand and average daily rates compared to the prior year. Lodging Reported EBITDA for the three months ended April 30, 2022 increased $9.2 million, or 173.1%, for the third quarter compared to the same period in the prior year, which includes $0.9 million and $1.0 million of stock-based compensation expense for the three months ended April 30, 2022 and 2021, respectively. Resort - Combination of Mountain and Lodging Segments Resort net revenue increased $288.3 million, or 32.5%, compared to the same period in the prior year, to $1,176.5 million for the three months ended April 30, 2022. Resort Reported EBITDA was $610.5 million for the three months ended April 30, 2022, an increase of $148.3 million, or 32.1%, compared to the same period in the prior year, which includes acquisition and integration related expenses, as well as expenses associated with the expected acquisition of Andermatt-Sedrun, of $1.0 million, which are both recorded within Mountain other operating expense. Total Performance Total net revenue increased $287.6 million, or 32.3%, compared to the same period in the prior year, to $1,176.7 million for the three months ended April 30, 2022. Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. was $372.6 million, or $9.16 per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. of $274.6 million, or $6.72 per diluted share, in the third fiscal quarter of the prior year. Additionally, fiscal 2022 third quarter net income included the after-tax effect of acquisition and integration related expenses, as well as costs associated with the expected acquisition of Andermatt-Sedrun, which combined were approximately $0.8 million. Return of Capital Commenting on capital allocation, Lynch said, "Our balance sheet and liquidity position remain strong. Our total cash and revolver availability as of April 30, 2022 was approximately $2.0 billion, with $1.4 billion of cash on hand, $417 million of U.S. revolver availability under the Vail Holdings Credit Agreement and $212 million of revolver availability under the Whistler Credit Agreement. As of April 30, 2022, our Net Debt was 1.7 times trailing twelve months Total Reported EBITDA. The Company declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.91 per share of Vail Resorts' common stock that will be payable on July 12, 2022 to shareholders of record as of June 27, 2022. A Canadian dollar equivalent dividend on the exchangeable shares of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. will be payable on July 12, 2022 to shareholders of record as of June 27, 2022. The exchangeable shares were issued to certain Canadian persons in connection with our acquisition of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. Additionally, from the beginning of the Company's third quarter of fiscal 2022 through June 8, 2022, the Company repurchased 303,143 shares at an average price of $246.33 for a total of approximately $74.7 million. We intend to maintain an opportunistic approach to share repurchases. We will continue to be disciplined stewards of our capital and remain committed to continuous investment in our people, strategic, high-return capital projects, strategic acquisition opportunities and returning capital to our shareholders through our quarterly dividend and share repurchase programs." Commitment to our Employees and Guests Commenting on the Company's investments for the 2022/2023 ski season, Lynch said, "As we turn our attention to the 2022/2023 ski season and beyond, the Company is making its largest ever investment in both its employees and its resorts, to ensure we continue to deliver our Company mission of an Experience of a Lifetime. The experience of our employees and guests is the core of our business model, and the Company intends to use its financial resources and the stability it has created through its pass program to continue to aggressively reinvest to deliver that experience. We believe our business model allows us to make these investments and achieve our short and long-term financial growth objectives. "For our employees, we are investing approximately $175 million in incremental expected labor expense, including inflationary adjustments, in fiscal 2023 compared to fiscal 2022 to support our employees and return our resorts to normal staffing levels. The investment includes increasing the minimum hourly wage offered across all 37 of our North American resorts to $20 per hour for all U.S. employees and C$20 per hour for all Canadian employees, and increases for hourly employees with adjustments for leadership and career stage differentials. Roles that have specific experiences or certification as prerequisites, such as entry-level patrol, commercial drivers, and maintenance technicians will start at $21 per hour. Tipped employees will be guaranteed a minimum of $20 per hour. The wage investment represents an average wage increase of nearly 30% across hourly employees in North America. Additionally, the Company will be launching a new seasonal frontline leadership development program with the goal of supporting our seasonal frontline team members' leadership development and ability to build a career at Vail Resorts. The Company will be assessing targeted increases, beyond inflation, for our salaried employees and will be making a significant investment in our human resource department to ensure the right level of employee support, development and recruiting. We believe talent is our most important asset and our employees are our strategic priority at all levels of the Company, and our employee investments are intended to help us achieve normal staffing levels that, in turn, deliver an outstanding guest experience. Additional information on the employee investments and anticipated financial impacts are available in our March 2022 investor presentation available on our Investor Relations website. "In addition, Vail Resorts has made a commitment to affordable housing in our mountain communities. Affordable housing is a national and a mountain community crisis. As previously announced, we are investing in four projects to provide accessible and affordable housing for our employees at Park City Mountain in Utah, Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Vail Mountain in Colorado, and Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont. Collectively, the four investments would provide new affordable housing to more than 875 Vail Resorts employees, marking a more than 10% increase in affordable employee housing offered by the Company across its resorts. We believe it is time for us, and our communities, to make affordable housing a top priority and accelerate the processes to ensure we bring these affordable housing opportunities to fruition." Regarding calendar year 2022 capital expenditures, Lynch said, "We remain dedicated to delivering an exceptional guest experience and will continue to prioritize reinvesting in the experience at our resorts. We are committed to consistently increasing capacity through lift, terrain and food and beverage expansion projects and are making a significant one-time incremental investment this year to accelerate that strategy with our ambitious capital investment plan for calendar year 2022 of approximately $315 million to $325 million across our resorts, excluding one-time investments related to integration activities, employee housing development projects and real estate related projects. The plan includes approximately $180 million for the installation of 21 new or replacement lifts across 14 of our resorts and a transformational lift-served terrain expansion at Keystone. In addition to the two brand new lift configurations at Vail and Keystone, the replacement lifts will collectively increase lift capacity at those lift locations by more than 45%. Projects in the plan are subject to regulatory approvals and, assuming timely approvals, are currently expected to be completed in time for the 2022/2023 North American winter season. "The core capital plan is approximately $150 million above our typical annual capital plan, based on inflation and previous additions for acquisitions. We plan to spend approximately $9 million on integration activities related to the recently acquired Seven Springs Resorts. Including one-time investments related to integration activities and $3 million associated with real estate related projects, our total capital plan is expected to be approximately $327 million to $337 million. Including our calendar year 2022 capital plan, Vail Resorts will have invested over $2 billion in capital since launching the Epic Pass, increasing capacity, improving the guest experience and creating an integrated resort network." Regarding calendar year 2023 capital expenditures, Lynch said, "In addition to this year's significant capacity expanding investments, planning is already underway for our calendar year 2023 capital plan, and we are pleased to announce the first projects from that plan, with additional calendar year 2023 investments and upgrades to be announced in the coming quarters. At Breckenridge, we plan to upgrade the Peak 8 base area to enhance the beginner and children's experience and increase uphill capacity from this popular base area. The investment plan will include a new four-person high speed 5-Chair to replace the existing two-person fixed-grip lift and will include significant improvements, including new teaching terrain and a transport carpet from the base, to make the beginner experience more accessible. At Stevens Pass, we are planning to replace the two-person fixed-grip Kehr's Chair lift with a new four-person lift, which will improve out-of-base capacity and guest experience. At Attitash, we plan to replace the three-person fixed-grip Summit Triple lift with a new four-person high speed lift, increasing uphill capacity and reducing guests' time on the longest lift at the resort. These lift projects are subject to regulatory approvals and are currently expected to be completed in time for the 2023/2024 North American winter season." Season Pass Sales Commenting on the Company's season pass sales for the upcoming 2022/2023 North American ski season, Lynch said, "Following a rapid acceleration of growth in our advance commitment strategy over the last two years that nearly doubled the number of our guests in advance commitment products, we are very pleased with the results for our spring season pass sales to date with strong unit growth over the record pass sales results we saw last spring, validating the compelling network of resorts, guest experience and value provided for our guests. Pass product sales through May 31, 2022 for the upcoming 2022/2023 North American ski season increased approximately 9% in units and approximately 11% in sales dollars as compared to the period in the prior year through June 1, 2021. Pass product sales are adjusted to include pass sales for the Seven Springs Resorts in both periods and to eliminate the impact of foreign currency by applying an exchange rate of $0.79 between the Canadian dollar and U.S. dollar in both periods for Whistler Blackcomb pass sales." Lynch continued, "Relative to season to date pass product sales for the 2021/2022 season through June 1, 2021, we saw strong unit growth with our renewing pass holders. Our strongest unit growth was in our destination markets as travel continues to rebound following the impacts from COVID-19, and we saw more moderated unit sales across our local markets where pass penetration is already higher. Our Epic Day Pass products continue to drive our strongest product growth as we attract lower frequency guests into advance commitment products as first time pass holders and with the 2022/23 launch of a new tier of products with access to select regional and local resorts. Pass sales dollars are benefiting from the 7.5% price increase relative to the 2021/2022 season, largely offset by the impact of the growth of Epic Day Pass products, including our new lower priced Epic Day Pass offerings. Following the strong trade-up results last year, we are pleased that we achieved neutral net migration among renewing pass holders in our spring pass sales. We have the majority of our pass selling season ahead of us, and, as more guests purchase passes in the spring, we believe the full year unit and sales growth rate will be lower than our spring growth rate. We will provide more information about our pass sales results in our September 2022 earnings release." Regarding Epic Australia Pass sales, Lynch commented, "We are very pleased with ongoing sales of the Epic Australia Pass, which end on June 15, 2022. Unit sales are up approximately 28% through May 31, 2022, as compared to the comparable period through June 1, 2021, as we continue to benefit from the acquisition of Falls Creek and Hotham in 2019." Updated Outlook Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. is expected to be between $314 million and $348 million for fiscal 2022. Resort Reported EBITDA is expected to be between $828 million and $842 million for fiscal 2022, which includes an estimated $16 million of Resort Reported EBITDA for the Seven Springs Resorts for the period from the transaction closing on December 31, 2021 through the end of the fiscal year, partially offset by $7 million of acquisition and integration related expenses associated with the Seven Springs Resorts transaction and the expected acquisition of Andermatt-Sedrun. Our guidance includes estimated acquisition related expenses specific to the expected acquisition of Andermatt-Sedrun, but does not include any estimate for the closing costs, operating results or integration expense associated with the Andermatt-Sedrun acquisition, which is expected to close later in calendar year 2022. Resort EBITDA Margin is expected to be approximately 33.0% in fiscal 2022 at the midpoint of our guidance range. In addition to the above, the updated outlook for fiscal year 2022 assumes normal conditions and operations throughout the Australian ski season and North American summer season, both of which begin in our fourth quarter, and no incremental travel or operating restrictions associated with COVID-19 that could negatively impact our results. The guidance also assumes an exchange rate of $0.79 between the Canadian Dollar and U.S. Dollar related to the operations of Whistler Blackcomb in Canada and an exchange rate of $0.74 between the Australian Dollar and U.S. Dollar related to the operations of Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia. The following table reflects the forecasted guidance range for the Company's fiscal year ending July 31, 2022, for Reported EBITDA (after stock-based compensation expense) and reconciles such Reported EBITDA guidance to net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. Fiscal 2022 Guidance (In thousands) For the Year Ending July 31, 2022 (6) Low End High End Range Range Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. $                314,000 $                348,000 Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests 24,000 18,000 Net income 338,000 366,000 Provision for income taxes (1) 70,000 76,000 Income before provision for income taxes 408,000 442,000 Depreciation and amortization 253,000 249,000 Interest expense, net 150,000 146,000 Other (2) 12,000 5,000      Total Reported EBITDA $                823,000 $                842,000 Mountain Reported EBITDA (3) $                797,000 $                811,000 Lodging Reported EBITDA (4) 30,000 33,000      Resort Reported EBITDA (5) 828,000 842,000 Real Estate Reported EBITDA (5,000) —      Total Reported EBITDA $                823,000 $                842,000 (1) The provision for income taxes may be impacted by excess tax benefits primarily resulting from vesting and exercises of equity awards. Our estimated provision for income taxes does not include the impact, if any, of unknown future exercises of employee equity awards, which could have a material impact given that a significant portion of our awards are in-the-money. (2) Our guidance includes certain known changes in the fair value of the contingent consideration based solely on the passage of time and resulting impact on present value. Guidance excludes any change based upon, among other things, financial projections including long-term growth rates for Park City, which such change may be material. Separately, the intercompany loan associated with the Whistler Blackcomb transaction requires foreign currency remeasurement to Canadian dollars, the functional currency of Whistler Blackcomb. Our guidance excludes any forward looking change related to foreign currency gains or losses on the intercompany loans, which such change may be material. (3) Mountain Reported EBITDA also includes approximately $21 million of stock-based compensation. (4) Lodging Reported EBITDA also includes approximately $4 million of stock-based compensation. (5) The Company provides Reported EBITDA ranges for the Mountain and Lodging segments, as well as for the two combined. The low and high of the expected ranges provided for the Mountain and Lodging segments, while possible, do not sum to the high or low end of the Resort Reported EBITDA range provided because we do not expect or assume that we will hit the low or high end of both ranges. (6) Guidance estimates are predicated on an exchange rate of $0.79 between the Canadian Dollar and U.S. Dollar, related to the operations of Whistler Blackcomb in Canada and an exchange rate of $0.74 between the Australian Dollar and U.S. Dollar, related to the operations of our Australian ski areas.   Earnings Conference Call The Company will conduct a conference call today at 5:00 p.m. eastern time to discuss the financial results. The call will be webcast and can be accessed at www.vailresorts.com in the Investor Relations section, or dial (800) 289-0720 (U.S. and Canada) or (323) 701-0160 (international). A replay of the conference call will be available two hours following the conclusion of the conference call through June 23, 2022, at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. To access the replay, dial (888) 203-1112 (U.S. and Canada) or (719) 457-0820 (international), pass code 8537966. The conference call will also be archived at www.vailresorts.com. About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts' subsidiaries operate 40 destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, Laurel Mountain, Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the Rock Resorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com. Forward-Looking Statements Except for any historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release and on the conference call contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These statements relate to analyses and other information available as of the date hereof, which are based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These statements also relate to our contemplated future prospects, developments and business strategies. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "will" and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions. Such statements include statements regarding fiscal 2022 performance (including the assumptions related thereto), including our expected net income, Resort Reported EBITDA and margin; our expectations regarding our liquidity; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on, among other things, our operations; expectations related to our season pass sales and products; our expectations related to customer demand and lift ticket sales for the remainder of the 2021/2022 North American ski season; our expectations regarding our ancillary lines of business; expectations regarding the payment of dividends and share repurchases; our planned wage increases; our pursuit of affordable employee housing; our calendar year 2022 and 2023 capital plans and expectations related thereto, including timing and our ability to obtain any required regulatory approvals; and the expected estimated incremental annual EBITDA and capital expenditures related to our recent acquisitions of the Seven Springs Resorts and expected acquisition of Andermatt-Sedrun. Although we believe that our plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot assure you that such plans, intentions or expectations will be achieved. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the ultimate duration of COVID-19 and its short-term and long-term impacts on consumer behaviors, the economy generally, and our business and results of operations, including the ultimate amount of refunds that we would be required to refund to our pass product holders for qualifying circumstances under our Epic Coverage program; the willingness of our guests to travel due to terrorism, the uncertainty of military conflicts or outbreaks of contagious ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaJun 9th, 2022

Tonight: Jan. 6 Panel To Accuse Trump Of "Coordinated, Multi-Step Effort" To Overturn Election

Tonight: Jan. 6 Panel To Accuse Trump Of 'Coordinated, Multi-Step Effort' To Overturn Election The Jan. 6 panel will use never-before-seen documentation and closed-door depositions on Thursday to present their grand unifying theory to connect former President Trump to the Capitol riot, as part of a broader effort to keep him in power. Tonight's televised 90-minute hearing, which begins at 8pm ET and is being produced by a former network television executive, will show that the Jan. 6 2021 attack on the Capitol was the result of a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden," a House Select Committee aide told reporters during a Thursday call. "And indeed, that President Donald Trump was at the center of that effort," the aide added. House Democrats will also feature live testimony from Nick Quested - a British documentarian who was creating a project about the Proud Boys and was present at a meeting between that group and the Oath Keepers, who participated in the Capitol breach. "You’re talking about two witnesses who were there at the very initial breach," said the aide. "We’re going to hear about their experiences from that day — particularly sort of what they heard, what they saw from the rioters." Democrats are expected to connect how the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers interacted with Trump's tweets on Reddit and other message boards, according to Axios, which pointed out two other 'areas of interest.' 1. Efforts by Trump and aides to destroy documents. Trump often tore up White House documents that should have been preserved as presidential records. Some of the presidential records sent to the Jan. 6 committee by the National Archives had been ripped up, then taped back together, the Washington Post reported. A committee witness testified that then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows burned papers in his West Wing fireplace after meeting with a House Republican about challenging the 2020 election, the N.Y. Times and Politico reported. 2. Trump's consideration of invoking the Insurrection Act, a federal law that allows the president to deploy the military domestically. Committee members have studied how close Trump came to invoking the act immediately after the election and leading up to Jan. 6. -Axios Other witnesses include Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who was the first law enforcement officer injured on the day of the 'insurrection' attempt. Both Edwards and Quested, the documentarian, plan top recount their experiences - "particularly what they saw and heard from the rioters," said a committee aide. January 6 was the violent culmination of an extensive effort to overturn a presidential election. The American people know a lot about those events, but soon they will learn more, and see how close we came to losing our democracy. On Thursday, we will begin to tell that story. pic.twitter.com/hX6RAS9GFR — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 5, 2022 House Republicans, meanwhile, say that the Democrats' use of former ABC News president James Goldston on the presentation may have violated House rules. As the Epoch Times notes: In a letter (pdf) to the Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Committee on House Administration Chairperson Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), GOP lawmakers asked for confirmation that Goldston has been hired as an employee of the committee, and not as a consultant or in an “unofficial capacity.” The letter was signed by Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and others. It comes after Axios first reported Monday that the former network news executive had joined the committee as an “unannounced adviser” and is “busily producing Thursday’s 8 p.m. ET hearing as if it were a blockbuster investigative special.” Goldston has previously served as a producer for some of the network’s biggest news programs like “20/20,” “Nightline,” and “Good Morning America.” He left ABC in March. Citing congressional laws pertaining to committee staff, the lawmakers noted that a letter is required requesting approval of the Committee on House Administration regarding Goldston’s hiring, along with a signed contract agreement and resume. Under that same law, Goldston would be unable to commence work for the committee until the contract has been approved by the Committee on House Administration. “To our knowledge, the Committee has not received or considered such a request,” wrote the representatives. The GOP lawmakers also cited reports from CNN that Goldston is working with the select committee “to help produce their upcoming hearings” and “helping the committee with the planning of the hearings and their presentation.” They noted that the committees are allowed to “obtain temporary or intermittent services of individual consultants or organizations, to advise the Committee with respect to matters within its jurisdiction,” but that Goldston would not be able to act as an employee of the committee. “The Committee on House Administration will not approve a contract if the services to be provided by the consultant are the regular duties of Committee staff,” lawmakers wrote. “Planning, preparation, and production of hearings are unquestionably the ‘regular duties of Committee staff’.” Republican lawmakers also noted in their letter that Goldston would be barred from working for the Jan. 6 Committee free of charge, noting that such an arrangement would “violate House Rules and the House Ethics Manual regulations which clearly states that no logical distinction can be drawn between the private contribution of in-kind services and the private contribution of money.” Tyler Durden Thu, 06/09/2022 - 12:45.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 9th, 2022

January 6 hearings aim to put Trump "at the center" of the mayhem and attack on democracy, aides say

The January 6 select committee is preparing to showcase former President Donald Trump's role in the January 6 insurrection. The January 6 committee met at the US Capitol on December 1, 2021.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images The House select committee investigating January 6 is gearing up for its first hearing on Thursday.  Committee aides say the public will hear from several witnesses including Trump's family members. Aides say they have evidence linking Trump to the January 6 riot that disrupted the certification of Biden's electoral win. The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is preparing to use a set of public hearings to make the case that former President Donald Trump was "at the center" of a coordinated effort to stop President Joe Biden from taking office.House select committee aides told reporters during a Thursday briefing that the committee will be "revealing new details showing that the violence of January 6 was the result of a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden" at the hearings that start Thursday.The aides, who spoke on condition they not be named, noted that the first public hearing, scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday, will feature material that the public has not previously seen, from documentary evidence to recordings of witness interviews to records obtained during their investigation into the attack on the US Capitol. The public will hear opening statements from committee members and then witness testimony.During the first hearing, the public will hear from documentarian Nick Quested, who filmed the far-right Proud Boys group during the riot, and Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was injured during the attack, about their experiences on January 6. In addition to the live witnesses, the public will hear from several witnesses, including senior Trump White House officials, senior Trump administration officials, Trump campaign officials, and Trump family members, committee aides told reporters.The House select committee, composed of seven Democrats and two Republicans,  is aiming to give the American public a better understanding on how the January 6 insurrection unfolded throughout six public hearings expected to take place this month. Additional hearings are scheduled for Monday, June 13, and Wednesday, June 15, both at 10 a.m. During the committee's 10-month investigation, they have interviewed more than 1,000 individuals, collected thousands of documents, and issued subpoenas to get more individuals to cooperate with its investigation. In the run-up to the hearings, there had been reports of debate inside the committee about how much to focus on Trump's role versus the response of law enforcement or making a case for electoral count reforms.The committee has no legal authority to charge Trump. But its findings could put more pressure on the Justice Department to look into possible charges against the former president. The committee will issue a final report, presumably sometime later this year, an aide said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 9th, 2022

Reimagining Real Estate Technology

There’s a lot of noise in the real estate technology space today, and tech fatigue is running rampant as brokerages continue to chase the next shiny object and throw significant sums of money at tools that don’t play nicely with one another. A bona fide problem in real estate, this tech fatigue is causing many… The post Reimagining Real Estate Technology appeared first on RISMedia. There’s a lot of noise in the real estate technology space today, and tech fatigue is running rampant as brokerages continue to chase the next shiny object and throw significant sums of money at tools that don’t play nicely with one another. A bona fide problem in real estate, this tech fatigue is causing many professionals to become frustrated with the products and services available to help them succeed. Using anywhere from 10 to 15 different technology products and/or services to accomplish the basics of their day-to-day routine, there’s no denying that brokers and agents are spending too much time, energy and money managing technology vendors, when their time could be better spent helping clients achieve the American Dream of homeownership. On a mission to streamline the experience from beginning to end, Elm Street is doubling down on its commitment to cut through the clutter. Holding true to its vision to provide real estate professionals one centralized dataset, one login and one intuitive dashboard to manage the best-in-class products and services that help organize and prioritize the day-to-day—all while facilitating human connection—Elm Street is reimagining real estate technology as we know it. Members of the executive team, photographed at Elm Street’s corporate office in Frisco, Texas. Front, seated L to R: Bondilyn Jolly, CMO; Jason Lindwall, COO; Sean McGee, CTOBack L to R: Shawn Connolly, GM, Elevate CRM; Prem Luthra, President and CEO All Roads Lead to Elm Street Elm Street was founded to provide the real estate sector and beyond with a creative, thoughtful technology toolset designed to help professionals initiate conversations and foster business relationships. Committed to providing the science, technology and thought-leadership to help clients proactively respond to the immediate and long-term needs of their audience, President and CEO Prem Luthra’s experiences ultimately paved the way to the creation of Elm Street. “We want to become an easy button for real estate professionals as it relates to technology and marketing services,” says Luthra. “It’s about making sure that the applications we offer a la carte—or as a bundled solution—are the best that they can be.” And, more importantly, they must work for the customer. “Real estate brokerages are collectively spending upwards of $30 billion a year on tools to make their business more successful, productive and efficient,” says Luthra. “But more often than not, the products aren’t integrated together, and real estate professionals find themselves trying to navigate multiple data entry points, each with its own login credentials.” Servicing an ever-expanding client base of real estate, mortgage and lending professionals, MLSs, associations and technology partners, Elm Street has grown into a North American company employing hundreds of hard-working individuals who serve tens of thousands of entrepreneurs in building their businesses while assisting their clients with achieving their real estate goals through every step of the process. “We aren’t in the technology business. We’re in the business of helping fulfill the American Dream of homeownership,” says Luthra. “We want our customers—agents and brokers—to focus on what they do best: serving the consumer and not worrying about figuring out the tech. By giving them something that works, we’re setting them up to be more productive, efficient and successful.” Prioritizing a People-First Vision It all begins with Elm Street’s belief that real estate is a people-first business, where relationships truly matter. In fact, Luthra and his entire leadership team genuinely care for the brokers, agents and partners they serve. Supporting the real estate process, Elm Street offers technology to organize, prioritize and facilitate human connection. According to Bondilyn Jolly, Elm Street’s CMO, the company’s people-first vision is one of the ways in which Elm Street differentiates itself from other tech firms in the space. “It shocks me that tech companies in the real estate space have such a bad rap,” says Jolly, who goes on to explain that at Elm Street, it’s all about putting people first, listening to the needs/challenges of their audience and providing thoughtful and meaningful tech to overcome those challenges and fulfill those needs. “We’re flipping the perspective of how we approach the needs of our audience by listening to them and putting them first,” adds Jolly. This includes Elm Street’s staff, its clients and partners, and those that they serve. While many companies were busy cutting personnel to stay afloat during the pandemic, Luthra and his team determined how they could go in and reforecast their goals and retain their staff members, supporting their people-first approach. Prem Luthra, Elm Street president and CEO. Elm Street is Luthra’s fourth start-up in the real estate space. “We lost very little of our workforce over the past two years, which is a testament to Prem’s leadership and the vision of our people-first company,” says Jolly, underscoring the importance of placing those who make the company run above everything else. “We need a staff that is not only aligned with this vision, but supports it as well,” says Jolly. “This translates to an audience that understands that we are there to fulfill their needs, that we have their backs and that we understand what they are trying to accomplish.” Culture ensures that this people-first vision extends across the board. “We are big on culture, and having acquired 12 companies over the past six years, we’ve inherited a different corporate culture with each one,” explains Jolly. “When a company comes into the Elm Street story, they’re more willing to let go of their past stories if they feel that they are truly aligned and supported within the larger story,” she adds. Serving a variety of audiences, enforcing the value of what Elm Street is providing and making sure their partners are getting what they need is mission critical. “We have to understand what is going on down in the trenches, as those customer-support people are our first line of defense,” says Jolly. To that end, having support teams that specialize in understanding the needs/challenges of those particular audiences—and making sure they’re being met—is crucial when it comes to ensuring that everyone is in alignment. Partner Versus Vendor: The Quest to Deliver Meaningful Experiences Elm Street prides itself on its quest to deliver meaningful experiences to those the company serves, which goes a long way in solidifying the company’s vision as an industry partner, rather than a vendor. For Ian Hoover, broker/owner of Deacon & Hoover Real Estate Advisors in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, it’s this distinction that ultimately placed Elm Street above the other contenders being considered for the firm’s marketing needs. “Having interviewed 50 software companies and spending close to 45 hours on this project, once I narrowed it down to my top five, I let the final decision rest in my agents’ hands, because what it truly boiled down to was whether or not they liked the software,” says Hoover. Tipping the scales in Elm Street’s favor was the overall vibe and service provided right from the get-go. “Culture is our No. 1 priority at Deacon & Hoover Real Estate Advisors, and Stephanie Alfonso, one of Elm Street’s regional directors, has always been available to hop on the phone or meet with us via Zoom to answer any questions we may have,” explains Hoover. “She’s constantly communicating with us as to where we are, where we need to be and what we need to do to get there,” adds Hoover, who can’t say enough about the firm’s experience with Elevate, Elm Street’s social media marketing CRM. Members of the Elm Street team enjoying some friendly competition. With offices in Frisco, Eugene, Austin and Toronto, plus teams spread across 20 states and two countries, fostering a work hard/play hard culture is an important part of recruiting and retaining top talent. Offering an advanced CRM, IDX websites, lead generation, marketing automation, a text concierge and automated listing posts directly to social media, Elevate is changing the firm’s social media game. “Elm Street’s focus on social media was one of its biggest draws,” Hoover says. Looking to position the firm as the No. 1 social media brokerage in its market, according to Hoover, the only way to achieve this lofty goal is if everyone contributes. “Social media is the right thing to do,” he notes. “It’s your sphere, your connection and how you build your business.” And thanks to Elevate, each and every one of Hoover’s agents has a robust social media presence, without all the work. With myriad products and services to choose from, the Elm Street family covers all the bases, setting up real estate brokerages large and small for continued success, no matter the market. Carolina One Real Estate, one of the largest brokerages in South Carolina, recently turned to Elm Street in order to beef up their presence and bring their recruiting game to a whole new level. “While we have an internal marketing department focused on assisting with the task of promoting the firm’s 1,000 agents, it became clear that our recruiting division was lacking when it came to electronic touches, email drip campaigns to keep us top of mind and the ability to offer something of value,” says Katie Maus with agent services at Carolina One Real Estate. Looking for a marketing team to create collateral to support the firm’s recruiting efforts, Maus turned to Elm Street’s 3sixtyfive.agency. Even though the partnership is relatively new, according to Maus, there is no shortage of benefits associated with working with the full-service creative and consulting agency. Austin Line, account representative, captured in mid-demo. The Elm Street team is committed to helping prospects and clients explore and select the right products and services to suit their business needs. “What impressed me most about Elm Street is the fact that they don’t operate under a one-size-fits-all philosophy,” says Maus. “They took the time to learn about us and understand our company and its value proposition before turning it into messages and downloads for current and prospective agents that not only look professional, but also like they come directly from us,” she adds. Drilling down even further, Maus explains that working with Elm Street is all about helping build brand awareness and reframing the industry’s perception of who Carolina One Real Estate is. “Having a team that understands digital marketing and can guide us toward creating a successful recruiting program has allowed our internal recruiting division to focus on building relationships and moving the needle in other ways,” notes Maus. From email drip campaigns, content that can be digitally downloaded to digital ads and everything in between, the power of communication and collaboration that Elm Street offers has proven to be a true gamechanger for Carolina One Real Estate. “Not only is the team at Elm Street receptive to our needs, but we also have direct lines of communication open with them,” says Maus. Advancing the Path to Business Efficiency With nearly three decades of industry experience under his belt, Luthra is no stranger to the start-up scene. In fact, Elm Street is his fourth start-up in this vertical that caters to providing technology and digital marketing services to REALTORS®. Having made significant progress over the past six years, Luthra and his team are more committed than ever to reimagining real estate technology as we head toward the future. “Real estate professionals are busy people whose core strength is working with the consumer as they move through the buying and/or selling process. They shouldn’t have to worry about the tech stuff,” says Luthra, who is laser-focused on his commitment to providing real estate professionals an end-to-end platform while taking care of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. “We want Elm Street to be the first place real estate professionals login in the morning, and the last place they login at night,” says Luthra. Looking ahead, it’s all about keeping an eye on what’s happening and understanding the tools, resources and tech its clients need in order to move them further down the path of business efficiency. “We’ve done some very aggressive M&A activity over the past six years when we were focused on bringing in best-in-class companies that specialized in very niche or unique areas of our business story,” says Jolly. “Today, we are focused on the simplification of what the experience looks like. This involves taking the best of everything we’ve acquired and layering it into one singular dataset—or one intuitive dashboard—that allows flexibility and customization,” she adds. “It’s been a lot of fun building the business and solving for the frictions that exist in the marketplace,” concludes Luthra. Explore the Elm Street difference by connecting with an Elm Street success coach at elmstreet.com. The post Reimagining Real Estate Technology appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJun 6th, 2022

Meet a 34-year-old with $250,000 in student debt after 13 years of barely keeping up with her monthly interest payments: "I never felt like I could get a handle on it"

Janell Tryon didn't know the interest on her student loans would stack up so quickly. She now owes $100,000 more than she did when she graduated. In the years since she's graduated college, Tryon's debt has grown by $100,000 in interest alone.Catherine Lane/Getty Images Janell Tryon owes more than $250,000 in student debt.  $100,000 of that is from interest, despite 13 years of payments. She says that accruing interest on her original loans made it unfeasible for her to pay off her debt. At age 34, Janell Tryon owes $250,000 in student debt.She only took out $150,000 of it — $100,000 for an undergraduate degree at New York University, and $50,000 for a masters degree in public health.The rest is all interest."For years, I couldn't bring myself to look at the numbers and I felt completely out of control," she told Insider. "The only way I could live with it was by paying a certain amount every month and not defaulting. I never felt like I could get a handle on it." In the 13 years since she graduated from NYU, Tryon has been making payments on her loans, while feeling unequipped to handle the debt load. After graduating, she made $23,000 a year as a manager at a bookstore cafe, and was paying $700 a month on her loans — the same amount as her rent. After graduat school, she spent about six years doing research for the New York City Department of Health, talking to residents about their experiences with addiction and homelessness. Now, she's a full-time PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During all this time, her monthly payments usually went toward interest, not the principal amount of the loan. It's a vicious cycle, as the loan just keeps collecting more interest, which must be paid off that month.Tryon's story is similar to that of many Americans, 45 million of whom have student-loan debt — that's one in eight, according to a NerdWallet analysis of May 2021 census data. Those between the ages 25 and 34 are the most likely to hold student-loan debt, and millennials owe an average of $40,000, according to data from a 2021 Experian study. Since March 2020, the borrowers who owe the federal government haven't been required to make student-loan payments and haven't been charged new interest, but pressure is increasing for President Joe Biden to cancel some or all of that debt. Biden is reportedly gearing up to cancel $10,000 for those making under $150,000 per year, The Washington Post reported this week, although the typical borrower owes nearly three times that, according to an Experian study. "A lot of these students are coming from families like mine, who didn't know how to navigate student debt because it's its own beast," Tryon told Insider. 'It's a really insidious process'Like many Americans, Tryon owes a mix of private and federal debt.Her federal loans were managed by Navient before Aidvantage took over their portfolio. Tryon's private debt is managed by banks and other lending groups, and all of her loans have a range of interest rates between 4.5% and 11.5%.In January, Navient — formerly known as Sallie Mae — settled a lawsuit that claimed the company pushed student-loan borrowers into more debt instead of helping them establish affordable repayment plans. Navient denied any claims of wrongdoing in the agreement, but agreed to cancel $1.7 billion in student loan debt for 66,000 borrowers out of the $73 billion in student loans it services. Tryon's debt wasn't eligible. To qualify, borrowers must have had seven consecutive months of delinquent payments or have attended for-profit schools. Tryon called the settlement "a major distraction," from all the people still stuck with their debt. She thought that by going to college, she would eventually make enough money to keep up with the debt she took on.She said that she spent years trying to negotiate a payment plan with Navient and eventually went into forbearance, which means that she paused payments on her initial loan while only paying interest. With this setup, a borrower typically ends up paying more in the long run. "It was never about 'how much can we make this person pay that is reasonable for what she makes?'" she said. "It was, 'how much can we lower the rate so that she can make an interest-based payment, not a principle-based payment?'" That was one of the claims of the Navient lawsuit — in a statement, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said that the company "engaged in deceptive and abusive practices, targeted students who it knew would struggle to pay loans back, and placed an unfair burden on people trying to improve their lives through education." Student-loan expert Mark Kantrowitz, founder of privatestudentloans.guru, a free website about borrowing to pay for college, told Insider that he believes the most serious allegation in the lawsuit is that Navient distributed loans that would trap borrowers in a cycle of debt in order to profit off of interest. Sallie Mae distributed "opportunity cost loans" before they were inherited by Navient, loans that "were made knowing that the majority of borrowers would be unable to repay the debt," he said. Navient has previously denied all claims, and told Insider that they offer several different options for borrowers looking to pay down their loans. "The company's decision to resolve these matters, which were based on unfounded claims, allows us to avoid the additional burden, expense, time and distraction to prevail in court," said Navient's Chief Legal Officer Mark Heleen. "Navient is and has been continually focused on helping student loan borrowers understand and select the right payment options to fit their needs. In fact, we've driven up income-driven repayment plan enrollment and driven down default rates, and every year, hundreds of thousands of borrowers we support successfully pay off their student loans."In the years since she's graduated college, Tryon says that her debt has held her back from planning for the future. Since joining Debt Collective, a union for debtors, she said she's met others like her who feel misled by lenders and schools. "It's taken me years to learn how manipulated I was by lenders," she said. "It's a really insidious process." Tryon added that although a college degree often represents financial mobility for people who grew up in low-income households, the resulting debt debilitates people for years. "The system might want us to aspire to be in a different tax bracket," she said, "but if we're in this debt, we're so much worse off than our parents."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 30th, 2022

What Investors Need to Know About Microsoft"s Largest Acquisition

Adding Activision Blizzard isn't just about gaming. Microsoft is staking a claim in the next Internet boom that could be worth more than $30 trillion over the next decade. And Dan Laboe can get you in on the ground floor too. Elon Musk’s $43 billion bid to buy Twitter pales in comparison to another important tech acquisition that’s received a lot less fanfare.In January, Microsoft announced a $68.7 billion offer to purchase Activision Blizzard, creator of the Call of Duty franchise and one of the world's most popular video game developers.This is by far the largest acquisition in software giant’s history. Once approved, it will make Microsoft the 3rd largest gaming platform in the world.But this move is much bigger than video games.When you look under the surface, savvy investors will discover an opportunity to target significant profits from an emerging technology that’s already starting to change the world.Welcome to The Next Internet Boom  During the investor call announcing the acquisition, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella admitted that Activision Blizzard is a key part of the company’s metaverse strategy for 2022 and beyond. He said:“Our vision is for a river of entertainment where the content and commerce flow freely… Removing these barriers will only become more important as the digital and physical worlds come together and the metaverse platforms develop.” Now, “metaverse” has become a popular buzzword over the past few months, but many people aren’t clear about what the term means.The metaverse is the next evolution of the internet. It’s a network of virtual 3D worlds that allow users to interact with people and physical/virtual objects. Fully developed, it will enable users can work and play in a digital world they create themselves.This new internet boom is still in its early days, and it’s already expanding with breathtaking speed.Continued . . .------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1,000% Spike for the Metaverse: Here are 5 Surprising Ways to Cash InThe number of people who have started using metaverse's new immersive digital environment just exploded 10X in a matter of weeks. This radical technology is set to transform the world, from entertainment, to virtual meetings and even more advanced uses like telemedicine – and it’s already growing exponentially.Zacks has released a special report to help you take advantage of this massive opportunity. You’ll discover 5 surprising stocks that will power the metaverse as it expands.See Our Top 5 Metaverse Stocks Now >>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Industry analysts predict gaming will be at the cutting edge of the metaverse for the next several years.That’s partially because game designers have already created entire worlds with immersive experiences that connect hundreds of millions of players around the globe – and these games already generate billions of dollars every year.With the Activision-Blizzard acquisition, Microsoft is positioning itself as the leading pioneer building out the metaverse.Remember what Nadella said on the investor call: they’re creating “a river of entertainment where the content and commerce flow freely… as the digital and physical worlds come together.” But gaming is just the beginning.Microsoft, Meta Solutions (formerly Facebook) and others are producing technology for professional and industrial applications, including virtual work meetings with 3D avatars… telemedicine that empowers doctors to treat patients remotely… and “digital twins” where a physical object is connected to an exact 3D counterpart in a metaverse.Experts believe these metaverse will become an economic engine that could surpass $30 trillion in value within the next decade. How to Get in Early on the Metaverse The metaverse is still in its infancy, and it’s already growing fast. A recent report showed that the number of people who “exist” inside the metaverse has skyrocketed more than ten times in just a few weeks – and that pace is likely to accelerate even more in the weeks ahead.That means now is the perfect time to find out how to cash in.Despite the leadership position we’ve been talking about, MSFT isn’t the best metaverse play right now.To go after the most promising gains, investors should focus on a select few supplier companies that make the metaverse possible.Zacks has just published The Metaverse - What is it?  And How to Profit with These 5 Pioneering Stocks to help investors capitalize on this historic opportunity. You can access it today.This special report highlights 5 under-the-radar companies we believe have the greatest upside potential, including:• A best-in-class software firm providing critical support for the metaverse’s 3D environment (shares recently popped 50% in under 1 month)...• A forgotten tech company poised to skyrocket with its newly-developed augmented reality hardware...• A cybersecurity innovator whose AI-driven solution will keep metaverse users and their data safe from threats in real time (Goldman Sachs & Credit Suisse are already clients)...• ... and two more unexpected high-tech stocks.I encourage you to read through this guide and decide if this wealth-building opportunity is right for you.Whether or not you were able to capitalize on previous internet booms, you can still invest in the metaverse before the technology goes mainstream.But you’ll need to act quickly. Your chance to access our report ends midnight Sunday, May 29.Get the Report Now >> Best,Dan Laboe 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: zacksMay 27th, 2022

Registration Open for ‘NAR NXT, The REALTOR® Experience’ – the New Name of the Annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo

The REALTORS® Conference & Expo is now NAR NXT, The REALTOR® Experience. This year’s event will take place in November in Orlando, Florida. NAR NXT will also offer virtual content for select sessions. Over two years of analysis and research have resulted in incorporating meaningful changes to NAR’s premier annual event, REALTORS® Conference & Expo.… The post Registration Open for ‘NAR NXT, The REALTOR® Experience’ – the New Name of the Annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo appeared first on RISMedia. The REALTORS® Conference & Expo is now NAR NXT, The REALTOR® Experience. This year’s event will take place in November in Orlando, Florida. NAR NXT will also offer virtual content for select sessions. Over two years of analysis and research have resulted in incorporating meaningful changes to NAR’s premier annual event, REALTORS® Conference & Expo. The changes elevate programming and ensure attendees are finding relevance and value in the event, year after year, both now and for years to come. With these significant changes came the opportunity for NAR to strategically rename the conference, NAR NXT, The REALTOR® Experience, to ensure it captures the value NAR is trying to convey. The change is supported by key messages that position the conference as the ultimate, experience-centric event for everyone in real estate, no matter where you are in your career or what field of real estate you are in, NAR says. Attendees will exchange ideas, experiment with cutting-edge innovation, get insights from top experts, and create their own experiences. NAR NXT is the innovation incubator at the heart of the real estate industry, NAR says. NAR members, real estate stakeholders and others who are interested in attending NAR NXT can register, view the conference schedule and learn more by visiting narnxt.realtor. The post Registration Open for ‘NAR NXT, The REALTOR® Experience’ – the New Name of the Annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaMay 20th, 2022

Disney CEO boasts that people are spending 40% more at its parks. Here"s what"s driving up costs.

It's the second quarter in a row Disney World and Disneyland have seen a major increase in visitor spending compared to pre-pandemic times. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Disney said visitor spending at its US parks is up 40% from pre-pandemic levels.  Guests are spending big on tickets, hotels, food and beverage, and merchandise.  New, paid services that let visitors skip lines are also paying off for Disney, the company said.  Visitors to Disney parks are spending big these days — even higher than pre-pandemic levels. Disney reported second-quarter earnings Wednesday, beating Wall Street expectations on streaming subscriber growth and reporting that revenues from its parks, experiences, and products segment more than doubled compared to last year. And while the pandemic is still impacting Disney's parks in Asia, its US parks are seeing a major boost. CEO Bob Chapek called its domestic parks performance a "standout" in the second quarter due to high volume, plus high guest spending. "They continue to fire on all cylinders, powered by strong demand coupled with customized and personalized guest experience enhancements that grew per capita spending by more than 40% versus 2019," Chapek said. It's the second quarter in a row Disney has reported a 40% jump in spending compared to pre-pandemic times. So how are Disney World and Disneyland guests spending so much? A combination of inflated prices and the ability to pay to skip the lines. Ticket prices are on the riseVisitors pose for a selfie at the Disneyland Resort on April 30, 2021 in Anaheim, California.Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort via Getty ImagesIn February, popular Disney theme park blog WDW News Today reported that Disney raised prices on multiday tickets for guests visiting its Florida parks. Visitors looking to buy passes for between four and 10 days saw an increase of between 2% and 6%, according to the site's tracking, the first time Disney had made a significant adjustment to ticket prices since March 2019, CNBC reported. Specialty experiences cost even more. The newly opened, two-night Star Wars experience at Disney World — which has seen a "phenomenal" response so far, Chapek said — starts at $4,809 for two guests. At Disneyland in California, prices jumped an average of 6% last October, with some ticket prices increasing as much as 8%.Hotels have gotten more expensive tooDisney said in its earnings that it's seeing "higher average daily hotel room rates," which is helping to fuel guest spending. The Washington Post reported in March that rates were rising sharply at several Disney World hotels. At the Pop Century Resort, a value option near the Epcot theme park, the cheapest room cost $95 in 2013 — this year, it had jumped to $168, a 77% increase. Rooms at the Port Orleans Riverside and the Animal Kingdom Lodge, two other Disney World hotels, have climbed over 60% during the same period, the Post reported.Food, beverage, and merchandise spending is upGoofy visits with a family over breakfast at Disney World.Peter Bischoff/Getty ImagesDisney said in its earnings that spending on food and beverages has increased, and so has spending on merchandise at its parks' bevy of gift shops.While Disney didn't dive into detail, its easy to see how that spending would add up. For example, the new Star Wars experience includes a curated, themed menu, access to a Star Wars-themed lounge, and gift shops with Star Wars costumes and other merch. One Disney World visitor told the Post that she and her husband spent $600 just on food during their visit; another said her family of four spent a total of $1,100 for a one-day visit, which included tickets, food, and merchandise.Skipping lines is generating income for DisneyBack in December, Disney rolled out two new "enhancements" for guests visiting its parks: Genie Plus and Lightning Lanes.Genie Plus allows guests to pay $15 or $20 — in Florida and California, respectively — to skip the line on select rides at the parks. Visitors can also pay to access individual "Lightning Lanes" at in-demand attractions, where they select an arrival time and skip the line. During Disney's first-quarter earnings call in February, Chapek said that more than a third of visitors to its domestic parks purchased either or both services the previous quarter, and over 50% did during the holidays. "While we anticipated these products would be popular, we have been blown away by the reception," Chapek said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 14th, 2022

Cineplex Inc. Reports First Quarter 2022 Results Box office revenue trending toward pre-pandemic levels

TORONTO, May 13, 2022 /CNW/ - (TSX:CGX) - Cineplex Inc. ("Cineplex" or the "Company") today released its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2022. Unless otherwise specified, all amounts are in Canadian dollars. "During the first quarter, we were pleased to welcome 6.7 million guests to our theatres, and achieved a first quarter record BPP of $12.00 and an all-time quarterly record CPP of $8.82," said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. "With operating restrictions now completely lifted across our entire circuit, guests and customers are quickly returning and we are seeing positive results and momentum across all of our business lines." "Looking ahead, we are encouraged by the continuing contributions of our diversified businesses and the strong content supply for the remainder of the year as box office numbers continue their upward trend," Jacob continued. "It is clear that movie-lovers, social seekers and game enthusiasts are back at our theatres and entertainment venues, looking for a safe, affordable escape." "As we move forward in 2022 and gain momentum, we are confident in our ability to effectively emerge from the pandemic and drive long-term value creation for shareholders – all while doing what we do best, entertaining Canadians." First Quarter Financial Results 2022 2021 Period over Period Change(i) Total revenues $ 228.7 million $ 41.4 million 452.3 % Theatre attendance 6.7 million 0.4 million NM Net loss (ii) $ (42.2) million $ (89.7) million -52.9 % Net loss as a percentage of sales (ii) (18.5) % (216.6) % 198.1 % Cash used in operating activities $ (5.4) million $ (35.6) million -84.7 % Box office revenues per patron ("BPP") (iii) $ 12.00 $ 9.20 30.4 % Concession revenues per patron ("CPP") (iii) $ 8.82 $ 6.12 44.1 % Adjusted EBITDA (iii) $ 36.5 million (30.1) million NM Adjusted EBITDAaL (ii) (iii) $ (5.7) million $ (62.1) million -90.8 % Adjusted EBITDAaL margin (ii) (iii) (2.5) % (149.9) % 147.4 % Adjusted free cash flow (iii) $ (21.7) million $ (78.8) million -72.4 % Adjusted free cash flow per common share of Cineplex ("Share") (iii) $ (0.343) $ (1.244) -72.4 % Earnings per Share ("EPS")  - basic and diluted (ii) $ (0.67) $ (1.42) -52.8 % i.  Period over period change calculated based on thousands of dollars except percentage and per share values. Changes in percentage amounts are calculated as 2022 value less 2021 value. ii.  2022 includes expenses related to the Cineworld Transaction and associated litigation and claims recovery in the amount of $0.3 million (2021 - $2.4 million). iii.  Adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDAaL, adjusted EBITDAaL margin, adjusted free cash flow per common share of Cineplex, BPP and CPP are measures that do not have a standardized meaning under generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP").  These measures as well as other Non-GAAP other financial measures reported by Cineplex are defined in the 'Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures' section at the end of this news release. KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2022 The following describes certain key business initiatives undertaken and results achieved during the first quarter of 2022 in each of Cineplex's core business areas: FILM ENTERTAINMENT AND CONTENT Theatre Exhibition Reported first quarter box office revenues of $80.0 million, a $76.1 million increase from 2021 as a result of increased theatre attendance due to the lifting of government mandated restrictions compared to theatre closures that remained in effect for a majority of the prior year period. BPP was $12.00, a first quarter record, which increased by $2.80 or 30.4% when compared to the prior year due to new releases and premium offerings in the current period as compared to the prior period which focused on discounted pricing for older and more classic film product. Theatre Food Service Reported first quarter theatre food service revenues of $58.8 million increase of $56.2 million compared to the prior year period primarily due to a significant increase in theatre attendance. CPP was $8.82, an all-time quarterly record, an increase of $2.70 or 44.1% when compared to the prior year, due to product mix, modest price increases and film product that appealed to first-run viewers who tend to have a higher concession spend. Alternative Programming Anime titles led strong box office returns for Event Cinema with Jujutsu Kaisen 0 and Belle. The K-pop sensation "BTS" returned to cinemas for a global one day event Permission to Dance becoming the single biggest one day event in the history of event cinema, generating $0.8 million in box office revenues. Met Opera audiences started to return with the live broadcast of Verdi's Don Carlos. Cineplex Distribution released the feature film Ella and the Little Sorcerer on March 4, 2022. Digital Commerce Total registered users for Cineplex Store increased 13% from the prior year period, reaching over 2.2 million registered users. MEDIA Reported first quarter media revenues of $15.5 million, an increase of $6.5 million or 71.3% as compared to the prior year period. Cinema Media Reported first quarter cinema media revenues of $8.2 million, an increase of $6.3 million or 334.3% over the prior year, due to increases in cinema advertising as a result of reopened theatres and new film releases. Digital Place-Based Media Reported first quarter revenues of $7.3 million which remained flat when compared to the prior year period. AMUSEMENT AND LEISURE Amusement Solutions Reported first quarter revenues of $50.4 million an increase of $36.6 million or 263.4%compared to the prior year period primarily due to increases in P1AG amusement revenues from US and Canada route locations at FEC's and theatres and the reopening of LBE businesses. Location-based Entertainment Reported first quarter revenues of $20.0 million including food service revenues of $6.4 million, amusement revenues of $13.5 million and other revenues of $0.2 million, an increase of $18.6 million compared to the prior year period. The increase was due to the reopening of LBE businesses compared to closures that remained in effect for a majority of the prior year period. LOYALTY Membership in the Scene+ loyalty program remained flat during the period ended March 31, 2022. CORPORATE Exhibited special screenings of Ukrainian director Oles Sanin's 2014 feature film, The Guide, with proceeds raised by ticket sales going to Ukrainian relief efforts. Ellis Jacob, President & CEO, was awarded the 2022 National Association of Theatre Owners Marquee Award, recognizing his unparalleled dedication, commitment, and service to the motion picture theatre industry. OPERATING RESULTS FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2022 Total revenues Total revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2022 increased $187.3 million (452.3%) to $228.7 million as compared to the prior year period. A discussion of the factors affecting the changes in box office, food service, media, amusement and other revenues for the two periods is provided below. Non-GAAP and other financial measures discussed throughout this news release, including adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDAaL, adjusted EBITDAaL margin, adjusted free cash flow, theatre attendance, BPP, premium priced product, same theatre metrics, CPP, film cost percentage, food service cost percentage, concession margin per patron and net cash burn are defined and discussed in Non-GAAP and other financial measures section of this news release. Box office revenues The following table highlights the movement in box office revenues, theatre attendance and BPP for the quarter (in thousands of dollars, except theatre attendance reported in thousands of patrons and per patron amounts, unless otherwise noted): Box office revenues First Quarter 2022 2021 Change Box office revenues $            79,952 $              3,818 NM Theatre attendance (i) 6,661 415 NM Box office revenue per patron (i) $              12.00 $                9.20 30.4 % BPP excluding premium priced product (i) $              10.49 $                8.84 18.7 % Same theatre box office revenues (i) $            78,879 $              3,812 NM Same theatre attendance (i) 6,609 414 NM % Total box from premium priced product (i) 36.5 % 11.5 % 25.0 % (i)  Represents a supplementary financial measure. See Non-GAAP and other financial measures section of this news release.   Box office continuity First Quarter Box Office TheatreAttendance 2021 as reported $                3,818 415 Same theatre attendance change 57,013 6,195 Impact of same theatre BPP change 16,646 — New and acquired theatres (i) 1,059 51 Disposed and closed theatres (i) 9 — Scene+ points issued presented as marketing costs 1,407 — 2022 as reported $              79,952 6,661 (i) See Non-GAAP and other financial measures section of this news release. Represents theatres opened, acquired, disposed or closed subsequent to the start of the prior year comparative period and is used to report on Cineplex's supplementary financial measures.   First Quarter 2022 Top Cineplex Films 3D % Box First Quarter 2021 Top Cineplex Films 3D % Box 1 The Batman 27.6 % 1 Tom & Jerry 19.3 % 2 Spider-Man: No Way Home √ 20.4 % 2 The Croods: A New Age 16.1 % 3 Uncharted 13.1 % 3 Wonder Woman 1984 15.5 % 4 Sing 2 √ 5.6 % 4 The Little Things 5.1 % 5 Jackass Forever 3.4 % 5 News Of The World 4.2 % Box office revenues increased $76.1 million to $80.0 million during the first quarter of 2022, compared to $3.8 million recorded in the same period in 2021. This increase was mainly due to a 6.2 million increase in theatre attendance as Cineplex's theatre circuit was open for a majority of the quarter subject to operating restrictions, compared to closures that remained in effect for a majority of the prior year period. As restrictions were gradually eased, Cineplex was permitted to operate at 100% capacity in several provinces across the country, contributing to the increase in box office revenues. The release of the highly anticipated film, The Batman and the continued strong performance of Spider-Man: No Way Home also contributed to the significant increase in box office revenues when compared to the prior year. The Batman grossed $134.0 million during its opening weekend in North America and $338.2 million since its release in North America up to March 31, 2022. Spider-Man: No Way Home grossed $801.3 million in North America since its release up to March 31, 2022. BPP for the three months ended March 31, 2022 was a first quarter record of $12.00, an increase of $2.80 or 30.4% from $9.20 reported in the prior year period. Price increases in select key markets and additional VIP theatre locations which drive higher per patron spend attributed to the increase. The release of first run film product available in the current period drove guests to premium experiences compared to limited film product in the prior year, further contributing to the increase in BPP. The reorganization of SCENE resulted in a change in revenue recognition leading to higher box office revenues of $1.4 million and a BPP increase of approximately $0.21 with a corresponding increase in marketing costs of $1.4 million with respect to Scene+ points issued on box office transactions. Food service revenues The following table highlights the movement in food service revenues, theatre attendance and CPP for the quarter (in thousands of dollars, except theatre attendance and same theatre attendance reported in thousands of patrons and per patron amounts): Food service revenues First Quarter 2022 2021 Change Food service - theatres $              58,759 $                2,539 NM Food delivery - theatres 3,249 3,778 -14.0 % Food service - LBE 6,359 171 NM Food delivery - LBE 21 37 -42.9 % Total food service revenues $              68,388 $                6,525 948.1 % Theatre attendance (i) 6,661 415 NM CPP (i) (ii) $                  8.82 $                  6.12 44.1 % Same theatre food service revenues (i) $              57,667 $                2,531 NM Same theatre attendance (i) 6,609 414 NM (i) Represents a supplementary financial measure. See Non-GAAP and other financial measures section of this news release. (ii) Food service revenue from LBE and delivery is not included in the CPP calculation.   Theatre food service revenue continuity First Quarter Theatre FoodService TheatreAttendance 2021 as reported $                2,539 415 Same theatre attendance change 37,851 6,195 Impact of same theatre CPP change 15,844 — New and acquired theatres (i) 1,092 51 Disposed and closed theatres (i) (8) — Scene+ points issued presented as marketing costs 1,441 — 2022 as reported $              58,759 6,661 (i) See Non-GAAP and other financial measures section of this news release. Represents theatres opened, acquired, disposed or closed subsequent to the start of the prior year comparative period and is used to report on Cineplex's supplementary financial measures. Food service revenues are comprised primarily of concession revenues, which includes food service sales at theatre locations and through delivery services including Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes. Food service revenues also include food and beverage sales at The Rec Room and Playdium. Food service revenues increased by $61.9 million primarily due to the $56.2 million increase in theatre food service revenues to $58.8 million in the quarter. The increase in food service revenues is primarily due to an increase in theatre attendance due to the easing of government mandated restrictions, resulting in a 6.2 million increase in theatre attendance from 0.4 million reported in the prior year period to 6.7 million in the current period. During the current period, Cineplex's theatre circuit and LBE businesses were open for a majority of the period compared to extended periods of government mandated closure requirements and capacity restrictions on theatre and LBE businesses enforced in the prior year period. Food service revenues from LBE businesses increased by $6.2 million from $0.2 million recognized in the prior year period to $6.4 million in the current period, further contributing to the increase in total food service revenues. CPP increased by $2.70 or 44.1% to an all-time quarterly record of $8.82. Product mix, modest prices increases to Cineplex's core food service products, additional VIP theatre locations and film product targeted towards adult demographics all contributed to the increase in CPP. During the prior year period, government mandated closure requirements and restrictions limited consumer spend resulting in minimal premium purchases which historically generate higher CPP, contributing to a lower CPP recognized during the prior year period. The reorganization of SCENE resulted in a change in revenue recognition leading to an increase concession revenues of $1.4 million and a CPP increase of approximately $0.22 with a corresponding increase in marketing costs of $1.4 million with respect to Scene+ points issued on concession transactions. Media revenues The following table highlights the movement in media revenues for the quarter (in thousands of dollars): Media revenues First Quarter 2022 2021 Change Cinema media $                8,249 $                1,899 334.4 % Digital place-based media 7,296 7,175 1.7 % Total media revenues $              15,545 $                9,074 71.3 % Total media revenues increased $6.5 million or 71.3% to $15.5 million in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the prior year period. This increase was due to a $6.3 million increase in Cinema media due to significant increases in pre-show and show-time advertising revenues. During the first quarter of 2022, Cineplex's theatre circuit was open for a majority of the period compared to theatre closures that remained in effect for a majority of the prior year period as a result of government mandated closure requirements. The current period also featured the release of the highly anticipated films The Batman and Uncharted and continued strong performance of Spider-Man: No Way Home compared to limited first run product releases in the prior year period. Cineplex's cinema media arrangements are impacted by theatre attendance levels which drive impressions and ultimately impact media revenue generated by Cineplex. Accordingly, the increase in cinema media revenue reflects the increase in attendance levels when compared to the prior period. Digital placed-based media revenues remained flat when compared to the prior year. Amusement revenues The following table highlights the movement in amusement revenues for the quarter (in thousands of dollars): Amusement revenues First Quarter 2022 2021 Change Amusement - P1AG excluding Cineplex exhibition and LBE (i) $              34,839 $              12,559 177.4 % Amusement - Cineplex exhibition (i) 2,091 72 NM Amusement - LBE 13,494 1,243 985.4 % Total amusement revenues $              50,424 $              13,874 263.4 % (i) Cineplex receives a venue revenue share on games revenues earned at in-theatre game rooms and XSCAPE Entertainment Centres.  Amusement - Cineplex exhibition reports the total of this venue revenue share which is consistent with the historical presentation of Cineplex's amusement revenues. Amusement - P1AG excluding Cineplex exhibition and LBE reflects P1AG's gross amusement revenues, net of the venue revenue share paid to Cineplex reflected in Amusement - Cineplex exhibition above. Amusement revenues increased $36.6 million or 263.4% to $50.4 million during the quarter compared to the prior year period. The increase was primarily due to a $22.3 million increase in P1AG amusement revenues from US and Canada route locations at FEC's and theatres. The increase was also attributable to a $12.3 million increase in LBE amusement revenues. The easing of government mandated closure requirements and capacity restrictions in the current period resulted in increased operating activities at P1AG US and Canada route locations at FEC's and theatres, as well as LBE businesses compared to government mandated closure requirements or capacity restrictions that remained in effect for a majority of the prior year period.  Other revenues  The following table highlights the other revenues which includes revenues from the Cineplex Store, promotional activities, screenings, private parties, corporate events, breakage on gift card sales and revenues from management fees for the quarter (in thousands of dollars): Other revenues First Quarter 2022 2020 Change Total other revenues $              14,414 $                8,121 77.5 % The increase in other revenues during the first quarter of 2022 is primarily due to breakage revenues relating to higher gift card redemptions compared to the prior year. Film cost  The following table highlights the movement in film cost and the film cost percentage for the quarter (in thousands of dollars, except film cost percentage): Film cost First Quarter 2022 2021 Change Film cost $            39,016 $              1,235 NM Film cost percentage (i) 48.8 % 32.3 % 16.5 % (i) Represents a supplementary financial measure. See Non-GAAP and other financial measures section of this news release. Film cost varies primarily with box office revenues and can vary from quarter to quarter usually based on the relative strength of the titles exhibited during the period, impacted by film cost terms which vary by title and distributor. The increase in film cost and film cost percentage in the first quarter of 2022 over the prior year period is due to the performance of first run film product including The Batman, Uncharted and Spider-Man: No Way Home compared to limited releases in the comparative period. Cost of food service The following table highlights the movement in cost of food service and food service cost as a percentage of food service revenues ("concession cost percentage") for both theatres and LBE for the quarter (in thousands of dollars, except percentages and margins per patron): Cost of food service First Quarter 2022 2021 Change Cost of food service - theatre $            13,036 $              1,333 878.1 % Cost of food service - LBE 1,821 79 NM Total cost of food service $            14,857 $              1,412 952.2 % Theatre concession cost percentage (i) 21.0 % 21.1 % -0.1 % LBE food cost percentage (i) 28.5 % 38.1 % -9.6 % Theatre concession margin per patron (i) $                6.97 $                4.83 44.3 % (i) Represents a supplementary financial measure. See Non-GAAP and other financial measures section of this news release. Cost of food service at the theatres varies primarily with theatre attendance as well as the quantity and mix of offerings sold. Cost of food service at LBE venues varies primarily with the volume of guests who visit the location as well as the quantity and mix between food and beverage items sold. The increase in cost of food service during the first quarter of 2022 compared to the prior year period is positively correlated to the increase in food service revenues recognized during the quarter as Cineplex's theatre circuit and LBE businesses were open for a majority of the current period, compared to closures or capacity restrictions that remained in effect for a majority of the prior year period. Theatre concession cost percentage remained flat when compared to the prior year period. LBE food cost percentage decreased when compared to the prior year period which had mainly food delivery service with lower margins. Depreciation and amortization  The following table highlights the movement in depreciation and amortization expenses during the quarter (in thousands of dollars): Depreciation and amortization expenses First Quarter 2022 2021 Change Depreciation of property, equipment and leaseholds $              24,267 $              26,783 -9.4 % Amortization of intangible assets and other assets 2,625 2,726 -3.7 % Sub-total - depreciation and amortization - other assets $              26,892 $              29,509 -8.9 % Depreciation - right-of-use assets 24,263 26,318 -7.8 % Total depreciation and amortization $              51,155 $              55,827 -8.4 % Depreciation of property, equipment and leaseholds decreased by $2.5 million, or 9.4% during the quarter compared to the prior year period. The decrease was primarily due to fully depreciated property, equipment and leaseholds. The quarterly decrease in amortization of intangible assets and other as compared to the prior year period is due to fully amortized intangible assets The quarterly decrease of $2.1 million in depreciation of right-of-use assets is primarily due to modifications to lease agreements as a result of COVID-19 which reduced the corresponding right-of-use asset and related depreciation recognized. Loss (gain) on disposal of assets The following table shows the movement in the loss on disposal of ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaMay 13th, 2022

Sabre (SABR) to Acquire Nuvola, Boost Hospitality Portfolio

Sabre's (SABR) buyout of cloud-based guest service management software company, Nuvola, will strengthen SABR's position in retailing & operations portfolio and boost its Hospitality Solutions segment. Sabre SABR recently announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire the Florida-based Nuvola — a single destination cloud-based platform providing service optimization software to the hospitality industry. However, the financial terms of the deal have been kept under wraps.Through this buyout, Nuvola's hotel task management and operational capabilities will drive on-property efficiencies among the hoteliers. This, in turn, will enable hoteliers to broaden their offerings through Sabre's comprehensive retailing, merchandising and fulfillment capabilities.Nuvola’s software solution, designed by hoteliers having a first-hand understanding of select-service, full-service, and resort-style property processes, will enhance staff and guest experiences through its in-house innovation team and integrations with third-party hotel systems. Sabre Corporation Price and Consensus Sabre Corporation price-consensus-chart | Sabre Corporation QuoteThe buyout will be a strategic fit for Sabre as Nuvola’s technology, and guest enablement software will complement Sabre's existing Hospitality Solutions segment. The tech company will improve its hospitality retailing and merchandising strategy and broaden its property and operations abilities through this move. Founded in 2011, Nuvola is considered to be the most intuitive cloud-based guest service management software for the hospitality industry. It is a comprehensive hotel software company that integrates property standard operating procedures into its proprietary system, leading to more efficient back-of-house operations, asset management and guest engagement. The company equips hotels with an intuitive and scalable cloud-based solution that includes task management capabilities, guest messaging, concierge services, and advanced housekeeping management solutions, which develops a system of staff accountability.The buyout is anticipated to enhance the Sabre Hospitality Solution segment’s retailing and operations portfolio while ensuring that the hotel customers get differentiated experiences and seamless guest care.Sabre has its customer base spread over 160 nations with more than 425,000 agency partners globally. It is one of the largest marketplaces in the world that manages approximately $260 billion worth of global travel spending annually.During the first quarter of 2022, the company's Hospitality Solutions segment revenues amounted to $56 million compared with $42.2 million in the year-ago quarter. This was primarily driven by a gradual recovery in central reservation system transactions and higher Digital Experience revenues.Zacks Rank & Key PicksSabre currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of SABR have declined 38.7% in the past year.Some better-ranked stocks from the broader Computer and Technology sector are Avnet AVT, Axcelis Technologies ACLS and Analog Devices ADI. While Avnet and Axcelis sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Analog Devices carry a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Avnet's fourth-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings has been revised 55 cents northward to $1.96 per share over the past 30 days. For 2022, earnings estimates have moved 20.5% north to $6.83 per share in the past 30 days.Avnet's earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the preceding four quarters, the average surprise being 21.2%. Shares of AVT have increased 9.5% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Axcelis' second-quarter 2022 earnings has been revised 3 cents upward to 99 cents per share over the past seven days. For 2022, ACLS' earnings estimates have moved 11 cents north to $4.10 per share in the past seven days.Axcelis' earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the preceding four quarters, the average surprise being 23.5%. Shares of ACLS have surged 41.6% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Analog Devices' second-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings has been revised 4 cents upward to $2.12 per share over the past 60 days. For fiscal 2022, earnings estimates have moved 11 cents north to $8.43 per share in the past 60 days.Analog Devices' earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the preceding four quarters, the average surprise being 6%. Shares of ADI have risen 1% in the past year. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI): Free Stock Analysis Report Avnet, Inc. (AVT): Free Stock Analysis Report Axcelis Technologies, Inc. (ACLS): Free Stock Analysis Report Sabre Corporation (SABR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 10th, 2022

$1,000 Monthly Stimulus Check from Baltimore: Who Will Get Them?

Several states and counties have started experimenting with basic income programs after the COVID-19 pandemic. Now one more U.S. city is starting a basic income program, and that is Baltimore. Under the program, young parents would get a monthly $1,000 stimulus check from Baltimore. Eligible parents would get the monthly stimulus checks over a two-year […] Several states and counties have started experimenting with basic income programs after the COVID-19 pandemic. Now one more U.S. city is starting a basic income program, and that is Baltimore. Under the program, young parents would get a monthly $1,000 stimulus check from Baltimore. Eligible parents would get the monthly stimulus checks over a two-year period. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Stimulus Check From Baltimore: Who Will Get Them? Baltimore’s basic income program, called the Baltimore Young Families Success Fund, focuses on young parents. Under the program, 200 young parents will get $1,000 per month over a two-year period. The primary objective of the program is to offer an unconditional monthly cash payment, in order to improve the existing social safety net. “The Baltimore Young Families Success Fund (BYFSF) will increase economic mobility, improve access to resources for children and families and provide financial and emotional stability necessary for pursuing opportunities and planning for the future,” the program’s website says. To send out these $1,000 stimulus checks from Baltimore, Mayor Brandon Scott has allocated $4.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to the plan. The plan is a collaboration between the City of Baltimore, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) and others. “This program will greatly improve financial stability and economic opportunity for residents by putting money directly in the hands of recipients so they can put funds towards the things they need the most,” Mayor Scott said in a statement. To apply for the Baltimore Young Families Success Fund, applicants must reside in the city of Baltimore, aged 18 to 24 years at the time of the application deadline, have income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level, and be either biological or adoptive parents, or guardians with full or partial care-taking responsibilities. Moreover, applicants need to answer all eligibility questions, complete the application and give their approval to take the survey. How Does The Program Work? Authorities will use a randomized lottery system to select 200 participants from all eligible applicants. For the lottery, applicants will be placed into four groups – Group A, Group B, Group C and Group D. Group A will include 70 individuals and recipients will get a monthly payment of $1,000 for 24 months. Group B will include 130 individuals and recipients will get a monthly payment of $1,000 for 24 months. Group C will include 156 individuals and they won’t get any monthly payments but will be eligible for incentives. Group D will include the remaining applicants. Individuals in Group A will form part of a "storytelling cohort" and will share their experiences. Group B and C individuals will be part of the research study and will have to participate in surveys and interviews. To get more details on the Baltimore Young Families Success Fund and to apply, visit the city's website. Updated on May 10, 2022, 10:08 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkMay 10th, 2022

The top upcoming movies that experts say could help revive the box office, from "Jurassic World" to "Elvis"

Theatrical leaders are also hoping movies like "Lightyear," "Top Gun: Maverick," and "Avatar: The Way of Water" will help revitalize the industry. Austin Butler in "Elvis."Warner Bros. Theatrical industry leaders and box-office experts are enthusiastic about the release slate this year. They cited a number of potential blockbusters and surprise hits that could help revive the box office. They include "Jurassic World: Dominion" and "Elvis." Movie-theater leaders have reason to be optimistic about the state of their industry after two years of disruption.During last week's exhibition conference CinemaCon, Hollywood studios voiced their commitment to theatrical releases and highlighted their slates of upcoming movies.A new survey of 2,200 US adults from the insights firm Morning Consult, published on Wednesday, also showed that comfort with going to theaters rose to 62%, a pandemic-era high.Theaters aren't out of the woods yet, though. The US box office is still well below pre-pandemic levels (but is up 338% compared to this time last year, when theatrical releases were largely nonexistent, according to Comscore).And US adults still rank "day-and-date" releases — as in, movies coming to theaters and streaming services at the same time — as their preferred release model, according to another Morning Consult survey published on Friday (industry leaders would push back that moviegoers, as opposed to general audiences, would prefer exclusive theatrical releases).During the pandemic, Hollywood studios experimented with day-and-date strategies. Warner Bros. released its entire 2021 slate in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. Other studios did the same with select blockbusters, like Disney's "Black Widow."A studio exec, who wished to remain anonymous, noted that audiences were "trained" during the pandemic to know when a movie will be available to stream, which could impact box office.But theatrical industry leaders are convinced that day-and-date is "dead as a serious business model," according to John Fithian, the CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners."That doesn't mean that there won't be distributors that toy occasionally with that concept," Fithian told Insider. "But from what we are hearing from the studios, they are focused on their slate of movies that are intended for theaters with an exclusive window."The coming months will be a strong indicator of whether the theatrical industry can overcome these obstacles and ride the year's early momentum. The summer movie season is packed with wannabe blockbusters like Universal's "Jurassic World: Dominion" and potential surprise hits like Warner Bros.' "Elvis.""It's challenging to say things will be back to so-called normal across the board, but this summer certainly looks the closest the industry's been to it since 2019," said Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst.Below are the top movies that experts say could help revitalize the box office this year:Marvel movies including the "Doctor Strange" sequelBenedict Cumberbatch in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."Marvel StudiosMarvel has become the most reliable brand in theaters, and this year sees the release of three sequels: "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" this weekend, "Thor: Love and Thunder" in July, and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" in November."Doctor Strange" is already looking like a hit, earning $36 million in Thursday previews, almost on par with "Avengers: Infinity War," which earned $39 million. Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst, said the target for the weekend is around $190 million."Top Gun: Maverick" — May 27Tom Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick."Paramount PicturesA lot is riding on "Top Gun: Maverick," which could bring out the over-50 crowd that has been the slowest demographic to return to theaters. If it overperforms, it could be a turning point in theaters' comeback story.The good news: the movie played in full to the audience at CinemaCon, and the crowd loved it. Early buzz is strong, which is vital for any movie competing for consumers' dollars in the theatrical market right now."If I had to choose one movie, I'd say it's that one that could really break through with a consumer base we want back," said Rolando Rodriguez, the CEO of Marcus Theatres and chairman of the National Association of Theatre Owners.Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst, is forecasting the movie to open in the US with anywhere from $95 million to $125 million over its first weekend."Lightyear" — June 17 / "Minions: The Rise of Gru" — July 1"Lightyear."PixarWhile children and families have been slow to return to theaters, there have been recent signs of life with "Sing 2," which earned $162 million in the US, and "The Bad Guys," which recently grossed a healthy $24 million in its opening weekend.Disney's "Lightyear" and Universal's "Minions: The Rise of Gru" will be the strongest indicators yet of whether families are ready to return to cinemas in droves. "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," which has grossed $163 million in the US so far, is another example, though a large portion of its audience was adult males."'Lightyear' and 'Minions' will benefit by the trail blazed by 'Sing 2,' 'Sonic 2,' and 'The Bad Guys,'" said Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore media analyst. "Both films have enormously positive brand equity.""Jurassic World: Dominion" — June 10Chris Pratt in "Jurassic World: Dominion."UniversalBruce Nash, who founded the box-office research website The Numbers, told Insider that his model predicts "Jurassic World: Dominion" to be the "most guaranteed blockbuster of the year."The Numbers' prediction model takes into account a movie's genre, filmmakers and stars, whether it's part of a franchise, and social-media engagement."The 'Jurassic World' movies have posted huge opening weekends [in the US] and there's no reason to suspect that's not going to happen with 'Dominion,'" Nash said. "And those are films that have a very broad four-quadrant appeal."The first two movies, "Jurassic World" and "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," both grossed over $1 billion worldwide.A theatrical industry source, who wished to remain anonymous, said that "Dominion" could do the same, especially if it gets into China, where the first two movies earned $228 million and $261 million, respectively.Jeff Sneider reported for The Ankler this week that the China Film Administration has approved the movie, but it does not have a release date yet. That last bit could be troubling — "Spider-Man: No Way Home," for instance, was approved for release in China, but has yet to debut there."Elvis" — June 24Austin Butler in "Elvis."Warner Bros.Bruce Nash, The Numbers founder, said that his prediction model projects "Elvis" to open with $12 million in the US. It seems low, but he said it's a "perfectly respectable number" for the movie.He compared it to the musical "The Greatest Showman," which opened to an underwhelming $13 million, but had strong legs throughout its theatrical run. It ultimately made $174 million in the US and $436 million globally, off of an $84 million production budget.Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore media analyst, called it the "perfect hybrid movie" that could sway both older and younger audiences to the theater."I think Elvis will be a big surprise," said Mooky Greidinger, the CEO of the Cineworld theater chain. "I hear good buzz around it.""Avatar: The Way of Water" — December 16"Avatar."20th Century FoxJames Cameron's 2009 hit "Avatar" is the highest-grossing movie of all time, with $2.8 billion worldwide. So expectations are high for its long-awaited sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water."Theatrical industry leaders are enthusiastic about its potential, as Cameron is toying with a number of different versions of the movie, from Imax to 3D to high-frame rate."Avatar 2 will be, technologically, the movie that offers the most choices for consumers," John Fithian, the CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, said. He added: "They're making more versions of this movie than have ever been made before. That shows off the great range of technological experiences and visual experiences that you can have in cinemas that you can never get at home. That's part of our comeback story, too." Original stories could make a comeback, too.Florence Pugh in "Don't Worry Darling."Warner Bros./New Line CinemaIt's not just the franchise blockbusters that the theatrical industry is exited about, even though those are the dominant force at the box office.Industry leaders and experts Insider spoke to cited a number of original movies that have potential to bring audiences to theaters, including: "Get Out" director Jordan Peele's latest horror film, "Nope" — July 22"Booksmart" director Olivia Wilde's psychological thriller, "Don't Worry Darling" — September 23Billy Eichner's romantic comedy "Bros," which stars an all-LGBTQ cast — September 30"La La Land" director Damien Chazelle's "Babylon," which stars Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie — December 25"Peele is one of the few directors whose name alone is enough to drive moviegoers to theaters," Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore media analyst, said of "Nope." "He is a star and a brand unto himself. A very rare combination."Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst, said that these movies "could stand out for consumers looking for more variety in between the major blockbusters and comic-book flicks."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 6th, 2022

UrbanStems is the best flower delivery service we"ve ever tested, and we"ve tried a lot

UrbanStems flower delivery makes ordering and sending flowers a breeze. Here's why its arrangements make the perfect gift. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. UrbanStems delivers affordable fresh and dried floral bouquets and plants (starting as low as $45). We named UrbanStems our best overall pick for flower delivery service after extensive testing. The company delivers all over the country and has same-day delivery options in select cities. Lauren Savoie/Maria Del Russo/Rachael Shultz/InsiderUrbanStems Flower Delivery Service$45.00 FROM URBANSTEMSOrdering flowers is a curious shopping experience because you usually don't get to see the final result to determine if the flowers met expectations for design, size, and longevity. We recently tackled this issue by sending 27 bouquets from 12 popular flower delivery services to 10 testers all over the country for our guide to the best online flower delivery services.We've long been big fans of UrbanStems, but we really put the service to the test for this guide, sending bouquets, plants, and dried flowers to New York City, Boston, and rural Colorado. This was a big task for UrbanStems since our Colorado-based tester reports that most flower services don't deliver to her small town, and if they do, the flowers usually arrive late or in bad shape from the long journey down unpaved roads. Despite the challenge we posed, UrbanStems delivered some of the freshest, most attractive bouquets to all our testers — on time and in excellent condition. All the arrangements were bright and lively, with creative blooms in a range of color palettes. For this reason, it earned the top spot as our best overall pick for flower delivery service. Here's what we love about UrbanStems.How it worksThe Luna, one of the arrangements we had delivered from UrbanStems.Rachael Shultz/InsiderWhen you head over to the UrbanStems website, you'll find a fantastic product selection spanning everything from fresh bouquets, dried flowers, gifts, plants, and subscriptions. All of the flowers and plants are sourced from sustainable farms, with which UrbanStems' in-house floral designers collaborate to create unique bouquets. With prices that start at $45, UrbanStems is a relatively affordable option as well. UrbanStems' website was also very easy to navigate. Filters allow you to sort by product type, occasion, price, color, and collection. When you navigate to the product page, it tells you exactly what flowers are in the bouquet (a must if you have pets at home for whom plants could be toxic) and the recommended occasion.Once you've picked which bouquet you like, put in your desired delivery address and choose from the delivery date options listed. UrbanStems provides a calendar that shows which delivery dates are available, as well as notes when the bouquet will be back in stock if it is sold out. UrbanStems also suggests vases that complement each bouquet, should you want to spend a little extra to send a vase as well. Moving to checkout is simple. UrbanStems has you sign up with your email so they can inform you of the status of your order. Then all you have to do is fill out the delivery information and a cute note to go with your flowers. If you're stumped, UrbanStems has some sweet prewritten options for you, but you can completely customize this part on your own.Delivery optionsPrice range: $45 to $185Delivery area: Lower 48 statesSame-day delivery: Yes, in New York City and Washington, D.C. onlyNext-day delivery: YesShipping: $10 to $15, depending on delivery date and methodIf you live in New York City or Washington, D.C., you can receive same-day delivery on some bouquets. Otherwise, many products are available for next-day delivery to the lower 48 states, though you'll have more options if you choose a delivery date at least a few days out. Our three testers all had a different experience with delivery options. Our New York City tester was able to quickly arrange next-day delivery for her Juliet bouquet, while our tester out in rural Colorado had to choose a date a little over a week out for her Luna. Despite having more limited delivery dates depending on location, all our blooms arrived on the day the company said they would. Our review of UrbanStemsThe Aspen, a dried bouquet that one of our testers ordered from UrbanStems.Rachael Shultz/InsiderOur testers took the opportunity to sample a wide arrange of products from UrbanStems. Between the three of us, we ordered The Juliet, a blend of bright orange and pink roses with spots of muted blue delphinium; the Luna, which features curvy veronica flowers and snapdragons in cool shades of purple and blue; and Double the Pink Champagne, a lush arrangement of roses and carnations in shades of pink. We also ordered the Claude from UrbanStems' collection of live plants and the Aspen from its selection of dried bouquets. Just browsing the site was a fun experience for each of us. The arrangements are modern, playful, and gorgeous, and we each oo-ed and ah-ed at each other's selections.The Juliet, one of the arrangements delivered to our New York City-based tester.Maria Del Russo/InsiderAll of the products arrived on time in colorful pink boxes that built excitement. The bouquets were lush, vibrant, and lively. Our Colorado tester was particularly impressed with the quality of the blooms since she's had bad experiences with flower delivery before. The Aspen dried bouquet was gorgeous, albeit a bit stiff compared to bouquets from our favorite dried flower brand. My Double the Pink Champagne arrangement was a bit more purple-y pink than the pictures on the site showed, but some variation is to be expected with fresh flowers, and the bouquet was still bright, vibrant, and full.All the bouquets arrived with some closed buds; however, this is fairly normal, and they eventually opened up after a couple of days. The flowers lasted a little over a week — average for fresh-cut flowers, though a few days shorter than some of the other services we tested. What are your alternatives?After testing 12 flower delivery services, we think UrbanStems is your best bet. However, it might not be the right choice for every situation.If you need to send flowers the same day or to locations further afield than the lower 48 states, you may prefer a service like FTD, which uses local florists and offers services in all 50 states and 150 countries.If you're specifically looking for preserved or fresh roses, we recommend RoseBox and Roses Only, respectively, for best results.The bottom lineDouble the Pink Champagne, an arrangement delivered to our Boston-based tester.Lauren Savoie/InsiderUrbanStems is our top choice for flower delivery service for its robust selection, flexible delivery dates, and beautiful blooms. We love that it delivers flowers on time and in great condition to even more remote corners of the lower 48 states. If you're looking to gift flowers that your recipient will remember, UrbanStems is the best option. UrbanStems Flower Delivery Service$45.00 FROM URBANSTEMSRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 6th, 2022

The best Champagne and sparkling wine for Mother"s Day brunch, graduation, and all of your spring celebrations

Experts helped us pick the best Champagne, cava, prosecco, and other sparkling wines for all types of budgets and tastes. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Kokouu/Getty ImagesThis content is intended for readers 21+. Please drink responsibly. If you or anyone you know is dealing with alcohol abuse, get help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) provides a free, confidential, 24/7, treatment referral, and information service.Champagne, a favorite beverage for toasting, comes from its namesake region in France. Aged in individual bottles, many enthusiasts prize the limestone soil where the grapes are grown. Because of the region's rules and prestige, bottles labeled Champagne are generally more expensive than those from other places. But there's more to sparkling wine than just Champagne. Prosecco from Italy and cava from Spain generally cost less but are often their own enjoyable experience. Producers from all over the world follow similar methods to make sparkling wine. The results are much more accessible and affordable than Champagne.For our guide, we recommend a variety of options at various prices, based on consultations with wine experts and our research. Taste is very subjective, however. You can ask several experts for suggestions and see no overlap, and that's why there is no single winner. The market is also tricky: You can find certain brands everywhere, while smaller producers tend to distribute in limited areas. That doesn't mean one is better than the other, but we tried to factor in availability with our choices.Check with your local wine shop for availability.Cheat sheet to picking a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wineRunPhoto/Getty ImagesShort on time? If you need a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine now, here are our recommendations if you can't explore our entire guide.The best Champagne for showing offWhen the budget doesn't matter: Krug Grand Cuvée (about $225), Salon Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut 2004 (about $450), Bollinger Brut Special Cuvée (about $70)The best non-Champagne sparkling wineGreat for everyday drinking or pairing with food: Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2018 ($35), Domaine Franck Besson Rosé Granit ($25), Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut ($25), Claude Branger "L'éClipse" Méthode Traditionnelle ($19)The best rosé sparkling wine for date nightFor those very special occasions: Raventós i Blanc de Nit Rose 2017 ($26), Graham Beck NV Brut Rosé ($23), Ruinart NV Brut Rosé ($55)The best budget sparkling wineIdeal for toasting or celebrating, when you need to maximize your budget while still drinking something tasty: Segura Viudas ($10), Mas Fi Cava Brut Rosé ($14)The best for christening a shipAnything under $5, as you won't be drinking it.The best ChampagneThe best Champagnes under $65The selection of Champagne at your grocery store will mostly consist of big-name makers, with prices starting around $40. To be called Champagne, the wine must be made in a specific region of France. While perhaps not priced for most people's weekly wine budget, you can still find many Champagnes that come out to around $10 a glass. "We try to kind of really combat this stigma of Champagne being celebratory and kind of pretentious," said Ariel Arce, owner of Air's Champagne Parlor in New York City.Most of the choices at these prices will be non-vintage, meaning winemakers may mix different varieties and harvests of grapes to ensure their signature wines taste the same, year after year. These are perfect for drinking right off the shelf for an impromptu celebration. What our experts particularly likeThe specialists we consulted recommend Agrapart & Fils Les 7 Crus Brut NV, Chartogne-Taillet Sainte Anne Brut, Cheurlin Brut Spéciale, and Marie Courtin Résonance Extra-Brut. "There's almost nothing better than grower's Champagne," Chevonne Ball, owner of wine-focused travel company Dirty Radish, said about the Chartogne-Taillet. "Crisp and elegant, this true Champagne is worth the price.""For those seeking the crème de la crème of the sparkling world, I always have some grower Champagnes in stock, like Laherte Frères," said Laura Marchetti, owner of Riverview Wines & Spirits. The winesAgrapart & Fils Les 7 Crus Brut NV: A non-vintage Champagne that's made from 90% chardonnay and 10% pinot noir grapes. Notes: brioche, yeast.Chartogne-Taillet Sainte Anne Brut: Made from 50% chardonnay and the rest a mix of black grapes, mainly pinot noir, this non-vintage Champagne is a split of the previous year's wine and wines that were aged two to five years. Notes: apple, citrus.Cheurlin Brut Spéciale: This non-vintage Champagne, 70% Chardonnay and 30% pinot noir, is from a historic house and is imported to the US by former Detroit Piston Isaiah Thomas. Notes: bread, citrus.Henriot Brut Souverain NV: With 30% of the Brut Souverain coming from reserve wines and an almost equal amount of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, this Champagne is very consistent from bottle to bottle. Notes: apple, mineral.Laherte Frères Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature NV: This chardonnay grape Champagne is made from 50% reserve wines from previous years. Notes: mineral, lemon.Marie Courtin Résonance Extra-Brut: This wine is made from pinot noir grapes. Owner Dominique Moreau makes zero-dosage Champagne, aged in the bottle for about two years. Notes: tart, yeasty.Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut: This Champagne, made with pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay grapes, should be easy to find in practically any grocery or liquor store. Notes: citrus, apple.The best Champagnes under $150As you go closer to the over-$100 price point, you'll start seeing more vintage wines. The grapes for vintages all come from the same year, and the wines are aged longer than non-vintages. Leaving a bottle to sit for three years takes up space, which costs money. There are also constraints on how much is grown in Champagne, France. "It's a small area of land, so they can only produce so much," said Crystal Hinds, who owns Effervescence, a sparkling wine lounge in New Orleans. "You're paying for the taste of that terroir, which is usually very limestone."At under $150, you'll also see some cuvées, which is a term winemakers use to designate their very special blends. But there's no real regulation of the term, so its appearance on a label doesn't ensure quality. The winesBollinger Brut Special Cuvée: A popular Champagne made of over 60% pinot noir grapes, Bollinger's Special Cuvée shouldn't be too hard to find. Notes: apple, toast.Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV: Forty percent of this wine is from the reserve selection, which are wines aged an average of 10 years. Charles Heidsieck was one of the first Champagnes imported to the US in the 19th Century. Notes: brioche, apple.Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Vintage Brut 2012: This chardonnay grape Champagne is a vintage from 2012 that's definitely expensive but not too over-the-top. Notes: citrus, mineral.Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru: Egly-Ouriet is a grower-producer in Champagne, and its Brut is a mix of 75% pinot noir and 25% chardonnay. Notes: lemon, butter.Henri Goutorbe Special Club Brut Champagne 2006: A wine labeled "Special Club" must earn the approval of the Club Trésors de Champagne's members. Henri Goutorbe is a grower-producer, and this 2006 wine meets the designation. Notes: biscuit, lemon.Pierre Péters Cuvée de Reserve Blanc de Blancs Brut: Another grower-producer, Pierre Péters makes a chardonnay blanc de blancs from 40% reserve wine. Notes: pear, mineral.The best Champagnes over $150For most people, drinking a glass of Champagne from a bottle that costs upwards of $150 is a once-in-a-lifetime – if ever – event. As prices climb, there will be more vintages. Prized wines are made with more care and are aged longer, so they come in smaller batches. Rarity increases the price. Producers also make bottles that are meant to be stored before they're savored. That's not true of every expensive Champagne, but if you're spending a lot, you'll want to ensure you're drinking it at the best time. To see just how out-of-control prices can get, check out some of the world's most expensive Champagnes. The winesDom Perignon Brut 2005: This vintage from Moët & Chandon is ready to drink now but can also be stored for a few years. Notes: toast, apples.Krug Grande Cuvée: Unlike many high-priced Champagnes, this Krug is a non-vintage. It's made by blending over 120 individual wines. Notes: lemon, brioche.Laurent-Perrier NV Grand Siècle Grande Cuvée Brut No. 24: A non-vintage, this Champagne is made from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, a blend of wines from the 2007, 2006, and 2004 vintages. Notes: toast, honey.Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Extra Brut 2010: The wine, made up of 71% pinot noir and 29% chardonnay grapes, is a good choice for aging. Notes: almond, citrus.Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2009: You can either drink or save this cuvée, which is made of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. It's named for the English Prime Minister, who was a fan. Notes: brioche, citrus. Alternatively, if you can get the 2008 vintage, which is generally harder to find, we recommend it.Salon Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut 2004: This prestige cuvée, made from chardonnay grapes, is a good choice for aging, especially given the price. Notes: mineral, citrus.Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2007: While you can drink Taittinger's all-chardonnay Champagne now, you can also age it a bit. Notes: citrus, nuts.The best proseccoThe best prosecco under $20Most prosecco comes from Italy and is aged in tanks, unlike Champagne, which ages in bottles. "Prosecco is usually super easy to drink," Hinds said. "It's not super complex — doesn't have a lot of different flavors that linger." It's very easy to find a nice bottle of prosecco for under $20, which makes it attractive for a lot of people. "If I'm being honest, people are buying for cost," said Ball of Dirty Radish. "But I would say that people who like prosecco probably really like a little bit softer of a bubble," she added. What our experts particularly likeBall is a fan of Loredan Gasparini's prosecco. "Inexpensive and available at most grocery stores, this is one of my favorite brunch sparkling wines," she said. "Delicious on its own or great as a mimosa. I suggest fresh-squeezed citrus!" The winesAcinum Extra Dry Prosecco: From the Veneto region of Italy, this prosecco is made from 100% glera grapes. Notes: pear, apple.Adriano Adami Garbel Brut Prosecco: This prosecco from Treviso in Northern Italy is made with glera grapes. Notes: melon, apple.Bisol Jeio Prosecco Superiore: From the Valdobbiadene area of Northern Italy, the Bisol family makes this prosecco from glera grapes. Notes: apple, citrus.La Marca Prosecco: Easy to spot with its pale-blue label, this is a prosecco you can find most anywhere. Notes: apple, lemon.Loredan Gasparini NV Brut Asolo Prosecco Superiore: Made with all glera grapes, this prosecco is from Veneto, Italy. Notes: apple, citrus.Villa Sandi Prosecco il Fresco Brut: Villa Sandi's prosecco comes from the Treviso region in Italy and is made from mostly glera grapes, along with some chardonnay and pinot blanc. Notes: apple, citrus.The best prosecco over $20A few years ago, the prosecco industry was having issues with counterfeit sparkling wine. To try and combat the problem, it created two classifications, Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). Both require following strict regulations, but DOCG is more stringent.Not all prosecco — even some nice ones — will have these marks, but they can help guide your selection-making if you're feeling a little lost and want a marker of quality. Keep in mind that taste is subjective, and it doesn't guarantee it will be to your liking, though. The winesBisol Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Crede DOCG Brut 2018:  Made from 85% glera grapes, as well as pinot bianco and verdiso, this prosecco is from Valdobbiadene in Italy. Notes: pear, apple.Cà dei Zago Prosecco Col Fondo 2018: Mostly made with glera, this prosecco from the Valdobbiadene also has some verdiso, perera, and bianchetta grapes. Notes: lemon, apple.Col Vetoraz Valdobbiadene Cartizze Superiore 2018: The Cartizze on this label refers to a specific hilly region known for its quality glera grapes. Notes: peach, floral.Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore: You can sometimes find this 100% glera prosecco for under $20, making it an even better value. Notes: apple, lemon.Rebuli Prosecco Cartizze: From the Cartizze area, like the Col Vetoraz, this prosecco is made completely from glera grapes. Notes: floral, apple.The best cavaThe best cava under $20Penedès, a region of Catalonia, Spain, is known for its sparkling wine called cava. Compared to prosecco, cava is made more similarly to Champagne — aged in bottles. The grapes are very different, though, with many wines being made from a mix of macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo grapes. There's a lot of variety when it comes to cava, including vintages and rosés.  Like prosecco, it is much more affordable than Champagne. But just because you can pick up a bottle for $10, it doesn't mean you need to hold your nose and drink. While inexpensive cavas do make great choices for mimosas or bellinis, you can also enjoy them in their own right. What our experts particularly like"[The Naveran Dama Brut] has one of the most delicate mousses and mouthfeel," Ball said. "The bubbles fill your palate with delicious aromas." Marchetti of Riverview Wines & Spirits recommends the line of Azimut wines from Cellers de Can Suriol "for a classic, traditional palate at an affordable price."The winesAnna de Codorníu Blanc de Blancs Brut Reserva Cava: Mainly chardonnay, along with some parellada, xarel·lo, and macabeo grapes, this cava is aged at least 15 months. Notes: peach, citrus.Cellers de Can Suriol Azimut Brut Nature Cava: A cava from Penedès, this wine is made with macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo grapes. Notes: white fruit, pear.Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava: Macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo grapes make up this cava from Penedès, in Spain. Notes: apple, toast.Juvé y Camps Reserva de la Familia Brut: Aged for 36 months, this Brut wine from the Penedès region is made from 55% xarel·lo grapes, with some macabeo and parellada grapes as well. Notes: apple, citrus.Naveran Dama Brut Cava: This cava from Penedès has a somewhat unique mix of 85% Chardonnay and 15% parellada grapes. Notes: apple, yeast.Segura Viudas: From Penedès, this cava is made with macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo and is widely distributed in the US. Notes: apple, citrus.The best cava over $20When is a cava not a cava? When the winemaker doesn't want it to be called that. Some producers wanted to designate what they see as their wines' quality, so they've begun labeling their bottles with Corpinnat instead of cava. Raventós i Blanc, meanwhile, uses its own designation for its sparkling wines, Conca del Riu Anoia. This doesn't mean everything still labeled cava is bad. Corpinnat producers make up only a small percentage of winemakers in the region, so there's still plenty of cava to go around. The winesGramona III Lustros Brut Nature 2012: A blend of xarel·lo and macabeo grapes, this wine is aged for 70 months and comes from the Penedès region. Notes: apple, pastry.Raventós i Blanc de la Finca Brut 2016: Located in the Penedès region, Raventós i Blanc makes this sparkling wine from macabeo, xarel·lo, and parellada grapes. Notes: apple, citrus.Recaredo Brut Nature Intens Rosat Cava 2014: This cava is made from monastrell and garnatxa grapes in the Penedès region of Spain. Notes: red fruit, toast.Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava Brut: This Brut from Segura Viudas is made from macabeo and parellada grapes and aged for 30 months. Notes: floral, lemon.The best sparkling wineWhile all of the wines mentioned in this guide are, technically, sparkling wines, the ones mentioned here focus on wines mostly from the United States. The best sparkling wine under $25There are sparkling winemakers all across the United States, all using different methods and grape varieties with unique results. Not only can you find terrific options, but stateside products are also often budget-friendly too."Sparkling wines coming out of Oregon or California are always going to be vastly different than any of the others, because we're so young and so new," said Ball of Dirty Radish. "There's very cool stuff happening all around the country in sparkling wine," Arce said. The problem is, it can be difficult to find Michigan's Mawby wines or sparkling wines from New York's Finger Lakes outside of certain areas. You might have a local winery making a sparkling wine that you fall in love with, so they're worth exploring in addition to some of the more widely distributed brands.Besides US wineries, there are nice options from other winemaking regions such as Australia and New Zealand. For a bit of prestige, Mumm Napa is an affordable sparkling wine made in the traditional style of its parent company, G.H. Mumm of France.What our experts particularly likeThe recommendations for Gruet Sauvage Blanc de Blancs and McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut come from our panel. Sunshine Foss, who owns Happy Cork in Brooklyn, New York, says the McBride Sisters' wine has been popular in her shop because of the name, "but it's also a really, really good sparkling Brut."The winesDomaine Ste. Michelle Brut Columbia Valley NV: A blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier grapes, this sparkling wine comes from Washington State. Notes: lemon, mineral. Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs Carneros: This California sparkling wine is 100% chardonnay. Notes: apple, lemon. Gruet Sauvage Blanc de Blancs: Made only from chardonnay grapes, Gruet's Sauvage is from New Mexico. Notes: lemon, apple. McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut: This Brut is made from 90% chardonnay and 10% pinot gris grapes, grown in New Zealand. Notes: lemon, floral.Mumm Napa Brut Prestige: Chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot gris, and pinot meunier grapes make up this Brut wine from California. Notes: apples, bread.The best sparkling wine over $25It's not just US winemakers that have vineyards in California. Some big Champagne houses, like Taittinger Champagne and Louis Roederer, have land in the state. That's why wines from Roederer Estate, for example, are lower than a typical Champagne. Larger producers will often stick to more traditional methods and grapes, while smaller producers might experiment more. Caraccioli Cellars, for example, is a smaller, family-run vineyard in California."The big difference between a big house and a small house (a big producer and a small producer) is how they're handling the wine," Ball said. Smaller operations often lack machinery, so they hand turn or hand riddle the bottles. That's one reason it took some US winemakers a while to get into sparkling wine, she said: "It takes a lot of work."You can find sparkling wines from the United States that cost over $100, for bottles producers have taken extra time and attention with or that come from a particular vintage. There are many quality wines for closer to $50, though. What our experts particularly like"Corollary Wines is the husband and wife duo Dan and Jeanne's passion project," Ball said. The Cuvée One is a mix of grapes from five Oregon vineyards, grown in different soils and climates, and that interest in the varying terroirs of the state comes through in the wine, she said. The winesCorollary Wines Cuvée One: An Oregon wine, it's made with 50% pinot noir, 32% chardonnay, and 18% pinot blanc grapes. Notes: lemon, bread. Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut 2013: From California's Russian River Valley area, this Brut is made from pinot noir and chardonnay, aged for four years. Notes: apple, floral.J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Brut: Almost half chardonnay grapes, plus pinot noir and some pinot meunier, make up this California sparkling wine. Notes: peach, green apple.Roederer Estate L'Ermitage 2013: Roederer Estate is the California winery from Champagne maker Louis Roederer; this sparkling wine is made from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes. Notes: apple, toast.Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2018: This blanc de blancs comes from California and is made from 100% chardonnay. Notes: citrus, pastry.The best sparkling wine in a canSometimes you want a glass of bubbles without the glass part, and that's where sparkling wine cans come in. Over the past several years, more and more winemakers have started making more portable versions of their products. You won't find Champagne in a can, but you can still get some great bubbles for on-the-go — or at home. The winesNomadica Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé: Pinot noir grapes make up this sparkling wine from California. Notes: berries, pomegranate. Underwood Rosé Bubbles: Mostly pinot noir with some chardonnay and pinot gris grapes, this wine from Oregon is available in bottle and can form. Notes: strawberry, cherry.The best CrémantCrémants are sparkling wines from eight regions in France — including Loire, Alsace, and Burgundy — and one in Luxembourg. They're made in a similar style as Champagne but are just a fraction of the cost. Some are made with grapes you won't find in Champagne. There's not an easy way to describe the taste, because there's a lot of variety. The prices of many of these sparkling wines are much, much lower than Champagne. "I feel like you can find great value," Ball said. The winesDomaine de Montbourgeau Crémant du Jura Brut: This is a chardonnay crémant from the Jura region of France. Notes: apple, citrus.Domaine J. Laurens Crémant de Limoux Brut Rosé: A rosé, this crémant is a blend of chardonnay, chenin blanc, and pinot noir grapes. Notes: cherry, strawberry.Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut: From Alsace, France, this crémant contains pinot auxerrois, pinot blanc, and chardonnay grapes. Notes: pear, floral. Faire La Fête Crémant de Limoux: Though many crémants from Limoux contain mauzac grapes, this wine is a blend of mostly chardonnay, plus chenin blanc and pinot noir. Notes: green apple, lemon.Pierre Sparr Crémant d'Alsace Brut Reserve: Eighty percent pinot blanc and 20% pinot auxerrois, this crémant comes from the Alsace region. Notes: apple, citrus.The best sparkling roséThe best sparkling rosé under $20There are several ways to make rosé sparkling, and it's going to taste different depending on many factors. Despite its pretty color, rosé doesn't have to be sweet. As with Champagne, you'll find bottles labeled Brut to be on the drier side. "I think a lot of people think that rosé is maybe something that's going to be sweeter or more fruit-forward, which that category, again, has so many variations within it," said Arce of Air's Champagne Parlor. For under $20, you won't find pink-hued Champagne, but there are lots of cavas and other sparkling rosés from around the world (including other parts of France) at that price. What our experts particularly likeThe experts we spoke to mentioned Landmass Papi Sparkling Rosé, Lve Rosé by John Legend, and Rivarose Brut Rosé as some of their go-to rosés. "It's really delicate," said Effervescence's Hinds of the Rivarose. "It's not overly sparkling." She also said the modern-looking bottle makes it perfect for gifting. The winesCampo Viejo Cava Gran Brut Rosé: Made from 100% trepat grapes, the rosé was aged in the bottle for nine months. Notes: strawberry, citrus.Graham Beck NV Brut Rosé: This rosé from South African winery Graham Beck, a mix of pinot noir and chardonnay, undergoes its second fermentation in the bottle. Notes: raspberry, apple.Landmass Papi Sparkling Rosé: From the Willamette Valley in Oregon, this sparkling rosé is made from tempranillo grapes. Notes: apple, strawberry.Lve Rosé by John Legend: John Legend's Lve rosé is made in the Charmat Method, like prosecco, from mostly unspecified white grapes, along with some pinot noir and grenache grapes. Notes: strawberry, mineral.Mas Fi Cava Brut Rosé: This Spanish cava is made from trepat grapes and is aged for 11 months in the bottle. Notes: cherry, strawberry.Rivarose Brut Rosé: A rosé from the Provence region of France, Rivarose's sparkling wine is a blend of syrah and grenache grapes. Notes: strawberry, pear.Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosé: Segura Viudas' affordable and ubiquitous cava was made from mostly trepat grapes. Notes: strawberry, raspberry.The best sparkling rosé under $50Closer to $50, you can start to find rosé Champagne, but the majority of sparkling wines under that price are from other regions. There are many rosé crémants from France that are around $25, but you can also get bottles from Italy, the US, and elsewhere for a similar price. What our experts particularly like"I would definitely hold [the Domaine Franck Besson Rosé Granit] up against any of the other sorts of higher-end wines that you would find out of Champagne," said Ball of Dirty Radish. The winesRaventós i Blanc de Nit Rose 2017: A sparkling wine from the Penedès region of Spain, it's made from xarel·lo, macabeo, and parellada, as well as monastrell, which gives the wine its color. Notes: floral, strawberry.Domaine Franck Besson Rosé Granit: Franck Besson is a unique producer in Beaujolais, France, and this rosé is 100% gamay grapes. Notes: strawberry, cherry.Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé: Pinot noir, chardonnay, and gamay grapes are used to make this wine, which is aged for 12 months. Notes: strawberry, toast.Parigot & Richard Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé: Aged for three years, Parigot & Richard's rosé is made from only pinot noir grapes. Notes: raspberry, mineral.Scharffenberger NV Brut Rosé: From California, Scharffenberger's rosé is nearly evenly split between chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, aged for two years in the bottle. Notes: raspberry, citrus.Schramsberg Brut Rosé: Made in California with mostly pinot noir and some chardonnay grapes, this rosé is aged in the bottle for about two years. Note: strawberry, bread.The best sparkling rosé over $50Just like other Champagnes, you can find bottles of rosé that cost hundreds of dollars, including Krug and Dom Perignon. Vintages and some cuvées will cost more, because winemakers take more care with them, and some of them are aged for longer. For under $100, there are lots of delicious choices from Champagne, as well as many sparkling rosés from elsewhere. The winesBillecart-Salmon Brut Rosé: Chardonnay, pinot meunier, and pinot noir grapes make up this rosé from Champagne. Notes: strawberry, orange.Henriot Brut Rosé: Henriot's rosé Champagne is aged for three years and is made from pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier grapes. Notes: raspberry, mineral.Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé: A rosé Champagne, this wine is made of 100% pinot noir grapes and aged for five years. Notes: raspberry, brioche.Ruinart NV Brut Rosé: Ruinart's rosé is 55% pinot noir and 45% chardonnay and comes from the Champagne region. Notes: raspberry, spice.Soter 2014 Mineral Springs Brut Rosé Sparkling: Mainly pinot noir with some chardonnay grapes, Soter's Oregon rosé is aged for five years in the bottle. Notes: strawberry, almond.The best pét-natPétillant-naturel (pét-nat) wines are bottled while still undergoing their first fermentation. Some winemakers leave the yeast in the bottle, so the final product will be cloudy, with sediment on the bottom. "Pét-nats have become super-big right now because it's on the sparkling side but it's done in such a natural way," said Sunshine Foss of Happy Cork. The results tend to be less predictable than something like a cuveé, which is reliably blended from known reserves. "A lot of wine geeks love that funky taste, like strawberry cola," said Crystal Hinds. "Some taste like sour beers." You can find many pét-nats for between $20 and $50.What our experts particularly likeHinds recommends both the Kobal Wines rosé and the Les Tètes Nat Igny Rusé ($29): "It's just so beautiful and delicate," she said of the Les Tètes' wine. "You can hardly tell that it's a pét-nat." "Being Italian I'll always have a few prosecco col fondo — the Italian version of pét-nat," said Marchetti of Riverside Wine & Spirits. "Those are old-school, unfiltered prosecco." She suggests offerings from Carolina Gatti and the Col Tamarie, as well as Rodica's sparkling malvasia from Slovenia.The winesAncarani Indigeno Pétillant Naturel 2019: This pét-nat comes from Italy and is made from trebbiano grapes. Notes: citrus, bread.Bichi Pet Mex Pétillant Naturel Rosé: Bichi is a winery in Mexico that doesn't like to reveal what type of grape goes into this pét-nat. Notes: strawberry, citrus.Cambridge Road Naturalist Pétillant Naturel: A New Zealand wine, this pét-nat has riesling, pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier grapes. Notes: pear, citrus.Carolina Gatti Ratatuja: An orange wine from Veneto, Italy, it's a blend of glera, pinot bianco, chardonnay, tocai, and verduzzo grapes. Notes: peach, apricot.Cruse Wine Valdiguié Pétillant Naturel: Made from valdiguié grapes, this pét-nat hails from lauded California winemaker Michael Cruse. Notes: strawberry, tart. Julien Braud La Bulle de l'Ouest Pétillant Brut: Low in alcohol (8%), this French wine is made with 100% melon de Bourgogne grapes. Notes: floral, citrus. Kobal Wines Bajta Blaufränkisch Rosé: This wine from Slovenia is made from blaufränkisch grapes. Notes: strawberry, yeast.Les Tètes Les Parcelles Tète Nat Igny Rusé: From France's Loire Valley, this wine is made from chenin blanc grapes. Notes: floral, cotton candy. Moutard Pet Mout Pétillant Naturel Chardonnay: Moutard makes wines from both Champagne and Burgundy in France, including this chardonnay pét-nat. Notes: citrus, mineral.Onward Wines Pétillant-Naturel Rosé: This pinot noir pét-nat is from California. Notes: strawberry, citrus.Rodica Bela Sparkling Malvasia Brut: From Slovenia's Istrian Peninsula, this pét-nat is 100% malvasia grapes. Notes: white fruit, floral.William Chris Péttilant Naturel Rosé: Texas winery William Chris makes this wine from sangiovese, mourvèdre, cinsault, and trebbiano grapes. Notes: citrus, melon.What is Champagne and sparkling wine?With a few exceptions, Champagne is sparkling wine that comes from Champagne, France. The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) oversees production and enforces the strict regulations that govern virtually every aspect of the process."When you're paying for Champagne, you're paying for some of the techniques that are used," said Crystal Hinds, owner of Effervescence. "They can only pick at a certain time. They can only pick so much per hectare."If you pick up a bottle, and it has the word "Champagne" on it, the wine is almost certainly from this region and was made in accordance with the rules. "California Champagne" is quite different and is essentially the product of a loophole.  Cava, prosecco, and other sparkling wines are made from a variety of methods, with different grapes, and in different regions and countries. Consider this glossary a crash course in Champagne 101.  Assemblage: The process of blending wines from different vineyards, grapes, and years. You might see the assemblage listed as a percentage of each type of grape. Blanc de Blancs: It means "white of whites," so these wines are made from all-white grapes; in the Champagne region, this usually means 100% chardonnay. Blanc de Noirs: Noir is French for black, and only red grapes go into these wines, but the resulting wine is still a pale golden color because it uses the juice and not the skin, which is where the reddish color comes from. Brut: In the traditional method, Champagne goes through two fermentations. After the second, winemakers add sugar, which is known as "dosage." Drier, less sweet sparkling wines will have the word "brut" on the label. Here's the scale, from driest to sweetest:Brut Nature 2. Extra brut 3. Brut 4. Extra dry or extra sec 5. Dry or sec 6. Demi-sec 7. Doux Brut Nature: The driest of the dry, brut nature has no added sugar. It may contain some leftover sugar, up to three grams per liter. Cava: Cava is sparkling wine from Spain. However, not all sparkling wine from the country is labeled as such. Compared to prosecco, cava is more similar to Champagne. Winemakers mainly use three varieties of white grapes to make cava: macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo. Champagne, France: This region is in the northeast of the country, about 90 miles from Paris.  Cru: Traditionally, Champagne houses purchased their grapes from growers. There are 319 crus, which are also known as villages or vineyards, in the region. There are some grower-producers that use their own grapes, and so you won't find these designations on some very good bottles of wine. Crémant: Crémants are sparkling wines from France but made outside of the Champagne region. "Crémant is a really great way to go if you're looking for a good glass of sparkling wine, but without the cost of the Champagne tag, if you will," said Chevonne Ball of Dirty Radish.Cuveé: In Champagne-making, the first pressing is considered the best, and it's known as the cuvée. Subsequent pressings are the taille. Some winemakers also call their special blends cuvées, but there's no guarantee that something labeled with that word will be spectacular.   Disgorgement: During riddling, the yeast sediment collects in the neck of the bottle. To get it out, winemakers submerge the neck into a freezing solution. Then they turn the bottles right-side-up, take off the cap, and the carbon dioxide inside pushes the frozen chunk of sediment out. Fermentation: For the second fermentation -- which gives the wine its bubbles -- producers add the liqueur de tirage, a solution of sugar and yeast. Champagne and cava undergo this second fermentation in individual bottles. For prosecco, it happens in a tank, so it's a much less labor-intensive process. Grapes: Some types of sparkling wine use a limited amount of grape varieties. Champagne is most often made from chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier grapes. Cava is mainly macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo grapes. Glera grapes are typically used for prosecco. Lees: After the second fermentation — once the yeast has consumed all the sugar and died — the wine isn't quite ready. Champagne stays in the bottle for at least 15 months before it's released. Non-vintage cuvées stay in the bottle with the lees, or dead yeast deposits, for at least 12 months. Vintage cuvées must rest on the lees for three years, minimum. Liqueur de tirage: The mix of sugar, yeast, and sometimes a bit of wine that producers add to non-sparkling base wine to start the second fermentation. The yeast consumes the sugar, creating carbon dioxide and alcohol.   Méthode Traditionnelle: The traditional method of making Champagne, where the second fermentation takes place inside an individual bottle. Many sparkling wines outside of Champagne are made in this way.       Non-Vintage: The vast majority of Champagne is non-vintage. It's not about how long the wine was aged. Rather, it means that the wine is a blend of different vintages or types of grapes, or it comes from grapes in different vineyards. Using a mix allows winemakers to create a more consistent wine. Prosecco: Prosecco is made in Northeast Italy, primarily using glera grapes. Unlike Champagne, prosecco is made with the Charmat Method. Instead of the second fermentation taking place in individual bottles, it happens in a tank, in larger batches. The method is faster and less expensive, so the resulting wine costs less than Champagne. Pét-nat: Short for pétillant-naturel, this style of sparkling wine has grown in popularity over the past several years. Non-sparkling wine undergoes a single fermentation when yeast transforms sugar into alcohol. The CO2 is released, so the wine is still instead of bubbly. With pét-nats, winemakers bottle up the wine during this first fermentation, retaining some of the CO2. Riddling: To get the yeast sediment into the neck of the bottle, winemakers slowly tip the bottle so the bottom is up. It can take a week or months, depending on the quality (and eventual price) of the wine.  Rosé: There are a few ways to make sparkling rosé or rosé champagne. Winemakers may add still (unsparkling) red wine to give some color or they may "bleed" juice from tanks of macerating grapes that will be used for red wine. Even when it's described with words like fruity, rosé can still be dry. Sec: On the scale from driest to sweetest, Sec is on the sweeter side, while brut has less sugar.Sparkling wine: Champagne, cava, and prosecco are all sparkling wines. They all have bubbles. You can find sparkling wines from practically anywhere. They may be made with different methods and different grapes, which is why they are priced and taste differently. Terroir: When people discuss terroir, they mean the climate, soil, grape varieties, landscape, and other factors that make wines distinct. Vintage: Vintage wines come from grapes harvested in a single year. That year will be on the label, so it's easy to tell vintages and non-vintages apart. These are the wines people buy and store in cellars. Non-vintages are meant to be drunk right off the shelf.Advice from our expertsFor our guide, we consulted four experts (from left to right): Sunshine Foss, Ariel Arce, Chevonne Ball, Crystal Hinds, and Laura Marchetti (not shown).Happy Cork/Universe/Dirty Radish/EffervescenceTo help us narrow down some selections of Champagne and sparkling wines, we spoke with five experts and got advice and recommendations for choosing what to drink. Drink what you like: "Prior to even this new wave of making wine more accessible, people thought, 'Okay, well you have to have this vocabulary to be able to speak to the wine and understand the wine.' For me, it's just really about how it tastes and what I like to drink," said Sunshine Foss, owner of Happy Cork in Brooklyn, New York. Sometimes, smaller is better: "I don't think like you have to go to that $150 splurge point to find a good bottle of Champagne," said Ariel Arce, who's been called the "Champagne Empress of Greenwich Village" by the New York Times. For $65 to $80, she said you can get a nice bottle from a smaller producer, who both grows the grapes and makes the wine. She owns Air's Champagne Parlor in New York City and wrote the book "Better with Bubbles: An Effervescent Education in Champagnes & Sparkling Wines."Taste a lot: "There's not really a way to learn about wine other than to try it and to taste it," said Chevonne Ball, who owns Dirty Radish, a travel company that specializes in wine tours. Look outside of Champagne and France: "That's one of the fun things that we do, is look for these different sparkling wines from different countries and give it a try," said Crystal Hinds, who owns Effervescence, a sparkling wine lounge in New Orleans, Louisiana. Try to be a little extroverted: "If visiting a boutique wine shop, I'd ask what the staff is drinking right now," said Laura Marchetti, owner of Riverview Wine & Spirits in Jersey City, New Jersey. "Ask what's new and exciting and what wines their go-to wines are. Once you get the staff pumped up, it's often hard to get them to stop working for you." She knows this can be intimidating for some, but she adds that she's an introvert as well.How to choose what Champagne or sparkling wine to buyFG Trade/Getty ImagesTo gather our lists of recommendations, we consulted our panel of experts and looked at expert lists of best Champagnes, sparkling wines, cavas, proseccos, crémants, and more from Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Food and Wine, Decanter, Wine Folly, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune. If you feel overwhelmed in the store or while searching online, here are some things to keep in mind. Start with the price: If you must have Champagne from France, the cheapest bottle is going to cost around $40. Sunshine Foss, who owns Happy Cork in Brooklyn, said she thinks people should also be flexible on price. "You might come in saying, 'Okay, I'm going to spend $50 on a bottle,' but you might get two or three bottles for that price that are all going to be amazing," she said.Buy by brand: If you definitely, definitely want to buy Champagne but are still stumped, you can look at some well-known brands and feel confident about what you're getting. "It's not my first recommendation, but I do think there are certain brands that make an incredibly consistent and quality product," said Arce, owner of Air's Champagne Parlor. She recommends Charles Heidsieck, Bollinger, Philipponnat, Henriot, and Delamotte. "Those are five really beautiful houses, all of which are going to have their non-vintage Brut at an affordable price point," she said.  Look outside Champagne: There's cava from Spain or prosecco from Italy, but South Africa, England, Brazil, Australia, and lots of other countries are also in the sparkling wine business. "You're going to be tasting different grapes, like a malbec or like a blaufränkisch, grapes you've never even heard of, something different than the chardonnay and pinot noir and pinot meunier," said Crystal Hinds, who owns Effervescence. "You won't compare them as much to Champagne if you're tasting a totally different grape." Don't expect all sparkling wine to taste like Champagne: "There's nothing worse, in my opinion, than sparkling wines that are trying to compete with a region that's been making wine for hundreds of years," Arce said. "I think American sparkling is more fun when it's made in its own way, with its own unique grapes." Compared to France, Oregon, California, and other states are newer to making sparkling wine. "It's different soil. It's different terroir," said Ball, who owns Dirty Radish. "It's different grapes, and the rules are different. So we have a lot more freedom here because we have less of the regulations than they do in something like France."But if you do want something similar to Champagne: There are plenty of winemakers that use Champagne-style methods outside of the region. They'll label their bottles with méthode Champenoise or méthode traditionnelle. They'll also use the same grapes: chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier. "I really liked the wine from Caraccioli Cellars, if you're looking for something to be similar to champagne," said Arce.What are vegan, organic, biodynamic, and natural wines?Kurga/Getty ImagesWhile you might assume all wines are vegan, some winemakers clarify their wines with egg whites, gelatin, or other animal products. Wines labeled vegan will instead use clay or charcoal for this process. US organic wines, certified by the USDA, are made without synthetic fertilizers, and the yeast and other additives must all be organic. If a US wine is labeled "made with organic grapes," then the yeast and additives might not be organic. The European Union follows similar guidelines for its organic wines, but they might contain more sulfites. Other countries may have different practices. Biodynamic winemakers follow many organic practices, but their wines may contain more sulfites. They also follow a strict calendar when certain tasks like pruning or watering take place. Natural wines are low-intervention, so the producers don't add yeast or sulfites. These are often made in smaller batches.What's your palate? A crash course on tasting notesProbably one of the most difficult ways for newcomers to wine is figuring out what they do and don't like based on taste. After a few tries, they might realize whether they're fans of dry or sweet, but it can be hard to distinguish apple or citrus notes, then articulate what it is that's appealing or off-putting."Sometimes, people don't even know what their palate is," said Sunshine Foss of Happy Cork. Some will assume dry means bitter, for example. "They'll tell me, 'Oh, I don't want a dry wine, but then they'll point to something that they've already had, and it's like one of the driest wines," she said. Brut wines will be on the drier side, while dry, sec, and doux will be sweeter."I'll ask about style and price point, if it's for just sipping or also meant to go with food," said Laura Marchetti, who owns Riverview Wine & Spirits. "However, usually the key is to engage with the person, to get them to do the talking in their own language and then for us to decipher from there.""A lot of times, you break down people's first experiences by asking them just simple questions,  like, "Do you like something a little bit fresher and brighter or something with more fruits?'" said Ariel Arce, owner of Air's Champagne Parlor. "And then if you liked something on the lighter end, 'Can we dabble into flavors of berries, apples, and pears? Do we like minerals and lemon zest?'" All those questions will help a professional track down something you'll love, but you can start by paying attention to what you like when there's a bottle actually open in front of you. "You're on your phone all the time throughout dinner, so why not take a quick note, take a quick photo of that wine?" said Chevonne Ball, owner of Dirty Radish. If there's something you can pinpoint about what you like, that will be helpful for the next time you go into a wine shop, but it's not necessary. "It doesn't have to be very specific," she said. "It doesn't have to be lemon zest and lavender fields and blah, blah, blah." The more you taste sparkling wine, the better you'll be at distinguishing what you like. It's the only way to learn, said Ball: "You don't know that you like your burgers medium rare until you've had a medium-rare burger."What should I eat with Champagne?Marija Babic/EyeEm/Getty ImagesChampagne and sparkling wine has long been associated with celebrations. That means people often think the meal they eat with their wine needs to be special, too. That's not the case, according to Chevonne Ball and Crystal Hinds."I dare you to find one thing that doesn't go with Champagne," Ball said. "You can't — it goes with everything." Hinds agrees. Unlike red or white wines that pair well with select foods, "everything goes with sparkling wine," she said. "You can go through your entire meal with sparkling wine." But you can also open a bag of potato chips. At her sparkling wine lounge, Effervescence, Hinds takes housemade chips and pairs them crème-fraîche, chives, and caviar. The bar also serves popcorn with nutritional yeast, paprika, and olive oil. "Even plain popcorn with a little salt and butter is delicious with bubbles," she said. Hinds also recommends pairing sparkling wine with fried foods. "The acid in the bubbles cut through the grease and the fried tastes and the fat, and it goes beautifully with the fried chicken," she said. "I would have a glass of something with a big plate of onion rings and be just fine."Hinds gave a few suggestions for wine and food pairings. Jean Vesselle Brut Oeil de Perdrix NV ($54 to $60): "This particular wine, which is 100% pinot noir, carries me from an appetizer of warm brie to turkey, beef, or pork and on to dessert — if it lasts that long," Hinds said. "I poured from a magnum this year. It was that kind of year."Claude Branger "L'éClipse" Méthode Traditionnelle ($19): "For an everyday bubbly to pair with the raw oysters, I pull a bottle of Claude Branger's L'éClipse, which is made entirely from melon de Bourgogne," Hinds said. "We at Effervescence call it the oyster wine."  Gusbourne Brut Reserve ($48): "Of course when I want to impress a special guest with something new and amazing, I pair the Gusbourne Brut Reserve (2013) from Sussex, England," Hinds said. "It usually surprises our guests that it is not from Champagne, France, but England." Peter Lauer Riesling Sekt Brut Réserve ($66 to $99): "Lastly, I find Peter Lauer's Riesling Sekt Brut Réserve from Saar, Germany the perfect bubble for most of our desserts, which are seasonal and made in house. They are not usually overly sweet," Hinds said. "The Peter Lauer has a hint of ripe apricot and peach, with lime and slight biscuit notes that complemented our Citrus and Crème dessert (makrut lime meringue, pistachio, satsuma, Tahitian vanilla whipped cream) perfectly."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 5th, 2022

Blackbaud (BLKB) Q1 Earnings Miss Estimates, Revenues Up Y/Y

Blackbaud's (BLKB) first-quarter 2022 revenues benefit from increased recurring revenues and higher transactional volume. Blackbaud, Inc. BLKB delivered non-GAAP earnings of 57 cents per share in first-quarter 2022, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12.3%. The bottom line declined 16.2% year over year.Total revenues increased 17.3% year over year to $257.1 million and surpassed the consensus mark by 0.8%. The top line was driven by higher transactional volume and increases in contractual recurring revenues.Total recurring revenues in the reported quarter amounted to $244.7 million, up 18.3% and contributed 95.2% to total revenues. One-time services and other revenues (4.8% of total revenues) amounted to $12.5 million, up 0.1% year over year.Non-GAAP organic revenues were up 5.2% year over year. Non-GAAP organic revenues on a constant currency (CC) basis amounted to $258 million, up 5.6% year over year. Non-GAAP organic recurring revenues rose 6.6% year over year.Blackbaud, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise  Blackbaud, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Blackbaud, Inc. Quote Recent Business HighlightsBlackbaud continues to add technological innovations specifically designed to support the unique needs of social organizations amid the COVID-19 outbreak, which might have improved the reputation of the company’s brand and enhanced recognition for its products.Higher adoption of Blackbaud’s new solutions is likely to drive the top line and boost retention among existing customers.The company also announced that it achieved carbon neutrality across operations and data centers for 2021. Blackbaud added that it remains committed to new transparent sustainability reporting (including TCFD and CDP) for 2022.In March 2022, Blackbaud announced that customers of the Blackbaud Merchant Services will now be able to accept payments through PayPal and Venmo for select Blackbaud products across the United States. The company plans to make these two options available internationally in 2022. Blackbaud added that PayPal and Venmo options are available within Blackbaud Online Express, Blackbaud Church Management Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXTÒ, Blackbaud eTapestry, Blackbaud Luminate Online through the integration with Blackbaud Merchant Services.Blackbaud also collaborated with the Change donation platform to provide companies with ‘customer-facing giving experiences’. Change is a technology platform used by companies across the globe to conduct charitable endeavors, including carbon-neutral shipping, loyalty programs and charitable non-fungible token or NFTs.Margin DetailsNon-GAAP gross margin came in at 58.5%, down 90 basis points (bps) from the prior-year quarter’s levels.Total operating expenses were up 28% on a year-over-year basis to $139.7 million. As a percentage of revenues, the figure expanded 450 bps to 54.3%.Non-GAAP operating margin contracted 460 bps from the year-ago quarter’s figure to 16.9%.Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA margin came in at 22.2%, down 120 bps year over year.Balance Sheet & Cash FlowAs of Mar 31, 2022, Blackbaud had total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash of $313.4 million compared with $651.6 million as of Dec 31, 2021.Total debt (including the current portion) as of Mar 31, 2022, amounted to $981.2 million compared with $$956.2 million as of Dec 31, 2021.Cash provided by operating activities for three months ended Mar 31, 2022, was $24.5 million compared with $30.1 million in the prior year period.Non-GAAP adjusted free cash flow for the first quarter was $8.4 million compared with $18.8 million of non-GAAP adjusted free cash flow in the previous year quarter.2022 Guidance ReiteratedBlackbaud expects non-GAAP revenues between $1.075 billion and $1.095 billion.The company projects a non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA margin in the range of 24-24.5%. Non-GAAP earnings are expected to be between $2.63 and $2.82 per share.Non-GAAP adjusted free cash flow for the year is forecast in the range of $165-$175 million.Zacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderBlackbaud currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).Some better-ranked stocks from the broader technology sector are Flex FLEX, Jabil JBL and Broadcom AVGO. Flex and Jabil sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Broadcom carries a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Flex’s fiscal 2022 earnings is pegged at $1.88 per share, unchanged in the past 60 days. The long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 14.9%.Flex earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate all last four quarters, with the average being 25.6%. Shares of FLEX have declined 2.3% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Jabil fiscal 2022 earnings is pegged at $7.25 per share, up 10.2% in the past 60 days. The long-term earnings growth rate is 12%.Jabil earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate all last four quarters, with the average being 13.5%. Shares of JBL have gained 12.5% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Broadcom’s fiscal 2022 earnings is pegged at $35.67 per share, up 1.1% in the past 60 days. AVGO’s long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 15.6%.Broadcom’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the preceding four quarters, with the average being 1.9%. Shares of AVGO have increased 31% in the past year. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Jabil, Inc. (JBL): Free Stock Analysis Report Flex Ltd. (FLEX): Free Stock Analysis Report Broadcom Inc. (AVGO): Free Stock Analysis Report Blackbaud, Inc. (BLKB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 4th, 2022

Hong Kong is nearing "peak exodus," as residents look for an out amid pandemic restrictions and China"s crackdown. Here are 5 places benefiting from Hong Kong"s loss.

Since the fifth Covid wave started in December, Hong Kong has seen a net outflow of over 147,324 residents. Hong Kong's strict Covid-zero policies mean the city's still subject to mass testing and lengthy quarantines as the global pandemic enters its third year.Chen Yongnuo/China News Service/Getty Images People are leaving Hong Kong in droves due to strict pandemic control measures and China's crackdown. In February and March, Hong Kong experienced a net outflow of 65,295 and 66,334 residents respectively. Australia, Canada, UK, and Singapore are among the destinations benefiting from Hong Kong's exodus. Hong Kong's stringent pandemic measures have taken a toll on the city's residents, with exits picking up pace over the last two years as the city's zero-Covid strategy wears on.Hong Kong residents are leaving the financial hub in droves due to strict pandemic measures.Peter Parks/AFP/Getty ImagesHong Kong is now in its fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The city-state's 7.5 million residents are facing weeks-long quarantines and mass testing, with some children being quarantined away from their families if they test positive.Even before the pandemic, many Hong Kong residents were leaving due to China's increasing oversight on the territory. The two combined factors have created an exodus out of the city-state: Hong Kong saw a net outflow of 65,295 and 66,334 residents in February and March respectively, per an analysis of official immigration data by the Hong Kong Free Press. This was in contrast to a net inflow over the same period in 2021, the media outlet added."We believe that March/April will probably see 'peak exodus,' with expats moved either back to their own countries or to Singapore in a collective loss of patience at anti-pandemic measures," real-estate consultancy Savills wrote in a report last week, citing "exceptionally strict" pandemic measures in Hong Kong as a push factor.In late March, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam called the city's brain drain "unarguable" — although she said it may not be a sign of emigration since the those departing may return in the future.In recent years, countries including Australia and Canada have implemented aggressive immigration policies to attract talent in sectors like fintech and artificial intelligence. These have helped lure talent out of Hong Kong amid the city's changing political landscape, immigration specialist John Hu told Insider.Here's where Hong Kong residents are heading.1. Australia is luring in highly skilled Hong Kongers with its Global Talent Visa.Australia is aggressively pursing skilled immigrants in target sectors including fintech, data science and robotics.Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty ImagesAustralia has long been a popular choice for Hong Kongers seeking to migrate, attracting one-third of those who left the city in 2018.After Beijing passed the national security law in June 2020, Australia implemented initiatives to help fast-track permanent residency for Hong Kongers, Hu told Insider.Australia granted 1,849 permanent residency visas to Hong Kong passport holders from July to November 2020 — a 26% increase over the previous five months from February to June, according to Australia's SBS News, which obtained the data under the Freedom of Information Act.Australia is also aggressively courting talents in selected sectors including fintech, data science, and robotics through its Global Talent Visa Program.To be eligible for the visa, candidates must be "able to attract a salary that meets the high income threshold" of A$158,500 ($118,000) a year, according to the Australian Department of Home Affairs.Hu said the Global Talent Visa is particularly attractive to specialist talents because those eligible don't even need to have a job to apply for it."Most of my clients get permanent residency within six to nine months, so it's a fast-track PR program that attracts very high talents," said Hu, who is the founder of John Hu Migration Consulting.2. The number of Hong Kong migrants to Canada has surged to levels not seen in almost 25 years.Canada offersAndrew Chin/Getty ImagesHong Kong migration to Canada has soared to levels not seen since 1998, the South China Morning Post reported, citing data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.In 2021, more than 22,500 Hongkongers received Canadian permanent residency, work permits, or study permits — a 256% surge from 2019, per the SCMP.Canada is offering open work permits to Hong Kongers who have graduated from post-secondary education within five years of their application."You don't need even need a local employment or employer sponsor," Hu told Insider. "You get what we call an open work permit, and then you can fly to Canada and find your work."The Canadian government launched the program in 2021 in the wake of Hong Kong's newly implemented national security law, saying it was "committed to taking action and standing up for the people of Hong Kong."3. Some Hong Kong expats are heading to rival financial hub Singapore.The number of foreigners entering Singapore from Hong Kong nearly doubled from January to February 2022.Roslan Rahman/AFPRival financial hub Singapore has become a top destination for expats who want to get away from Hong Kong's strict restrictions, but stay in the same region and time zone. Banks like SocGen, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase have moved bankers out of their Hong Kong offices to Singapore, Bloomberg reported in March."Some Hong Kong expatriates are moving to Singapore because they don't like the Covid restrictions," said Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty Network. But Mak also said that while Singapore is an attractive option for people leaving Hong Kong, it's not as popular a destination as Australia, Canada, UK, or Taiwan.Hu, the immigration specialist, also said Singapore isn't at the top of the destination list for Hong Kongers because it requires foreigners to have an employment visa for long-term stays.4. The UK is offering Hong Kongers a route to British citizenship.The UK is offering a new visa for Hong Kongers holding a special passport.Maria Noyen/InsiderIn 2021, in response to China's implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong, the UK launched a program that grants Hong Kongers holding a special British passport a pathway to citizenship.Applicants need to hold the British National (Overseas) status (BNO) that was offered to Hong Kongers before the city's 1997 handover to China. As of October 2020, there were about 2.9 million BNO status-holders — and another 2.3 million dependents — eligible to move to the UK, according to the UK government.Under the visa program, BNO status-holders can apply for the BNO visa with their immediate family members. They can apply to stay in the UK permanently after five years and can then apply for citizenship after one more year.In its first year, 103,900 people applied for a British National (Overseas) visa, according to statistics from the UK government. This was lower than the 123,000 to 153,700 arrivals it had expected for the first year of the program.5. Taiwan beckons to Hong Kongers who want to stay in a Chinese-language environment.Taiwan has experienced an influx of Hong Kong residents.Cavan ImagesTaiwan is not a top destination for finance and corporate professionals from Hong Kong, but the island is experiencing an influx of residents from the financial hub.Some 11,173 Hong Kongers received permits last year to live in Taiwan — 3% higher than a year earlier and the highest in 31 years, according to data from Taiwan's National Immigration Agency. It's a niche market, said Hu, as many who head to the independently governed island are those who want to continue their work in journalism, politics, or culture in a Chinese-language environment."If you prefer the Chinese community, the similarity in Chinese culture, then probably you'll select Taiwan, but it'll be more appealing to certain sectors of the community," Hu told Insider.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytApr 22nd, 2022