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Luby"s to issue first liquidating distribution to shareholders

Houston-based Luby's Inc. (NYSE: LUB) is making its first liquidating distribution to shareholders as it continues to wind down its business. The liquidation is expected to be complete by June 30, 2022......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 13th, 2021

Strength Seen in Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc. (CDOR): Can Its 13.6% Jump Turn into More Strength?

Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc. (CDOR) witnessed a jump in share price last session on above-average trading volume. The latest trend in FFO estimate revisions for the stock doesn't suggest further strength down the road. Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc. (CDOR) shares rallied 13.6% in the last trading session to close at $6.15. This move can be attributable to notable volume with a higher number of shares being traded than in a typical session. This compares to the stock's 6.4% loss over the past four weeks.The increased investor optimism can be attributed to the announcement made by Condor to sell its entire portfolio of hotels for $305 million, to the affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Partners. The all-cash deal is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2021.Condor’s board of directors has also adopted a Plan of Liquidation and Dissolution, which might lead to an orderly wind down of the company’s business affairs. The company intends to distribute certain net proceeds from the sale of the hotel portfolio to shareholders in one or more liquidating distribution installments, after taking care of the actions specified in the plan, along with completing the sale and payment of outstanding liabilities.This real estate investment trust is expected to post quarterly funds from operations (FFO) of $0.09 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of +181.8%. Revenues are expected to be $14.39 million, up 62.8% from the year-ago quarter.While FFO and revenue growth expectations are important in evaluating the potential strength in a stock, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in FFO estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.For Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc., the consensus FFO per share estimate for the quarter has been revised 5.9% lower over the last 30 days to the current level. And a negative trend in FFO estimate revisions doesn't usually translate into price appreciation. So, make sure to keep an eye on CDOR going forward to see if this recent jump can turn into more strength down the road.The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>> Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc. (CDOR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

New York REIT to issue a $3.25 per share cash liquidating distribution

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

Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallOct 5th, 2018

Salisbury Bancorp (SAL) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Salisbury Bancorp (SAL) have what it takes? Let's find out. Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.Salisbury Bancorp in FocusSalisbury Bancorp (SAL) is headquartered in Lakeville, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 37.51% since the start of the year. The bank holding company is paying out a dividend of $0.31 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.42% compared to the Banks - Northeast industry's yield of 1.95% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.38%.Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1.24 is up 6.9% from last year. In the past five-year period, Salisbury Bancorp has increased its dividend 2 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 1.53%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Salisbury Bancorp's current payout ratio is 21%. This means it paid out 21% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Looking at this fiscal year, SAL expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $5.92 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 40.95%.Bottom LineFrom greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, SAL is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. (SAL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

Why Texas Instruments (TXN) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Texas Instruments (TXN) have what it takes? Let's find out. Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.Texas Instruments in FocusHeadquartered in Dallas, Texas Instruments (TXN) is a Computer and Technology stock that has seen a price change of 17.28% so far this year. The chipmaker is currently shelling out a dividend of $1.02 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.12%. This compares to the Semiconductor - General industry's yield of 0.68% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.38%.Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $4.08 is up 9.7% from last year. Texas Instruments has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 18.90%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Texas Instruments's current payout ratio is 57%, meaning it paid out 57% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Earnings growth looks solid for TXN for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $7.92 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 32.66%.Bottom LineInvestors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide a quarterly payout.Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that TXN is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

SCOTT GALLOWAY: "Squid Game" is a lesson. Streaming services are in a race to the top, and some are getting left behind.

As Netflix invests in "glocal" content across 40 countries, other streaming platforms are fighting to keep up. Netflix's innovation is committing to "glocal" content - content sourced and distributed locally with global scale. Youngkyu Park Scott Galloway is a bestselling author and professor of marketing at NYU Stern. The following is a recent blog post, republished with permission, that originally ran on his blog, "No Mercy / No Malice." In it, Galloway talks about how "the market of content is infinite," and how streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are battling to dominate it. Two weeks ago, at the Code Conference, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel claimed "the total addressable market of content is infinite." Netflix is spending $17 billion a year to validate his thesis. So far, they're both right. Since last Friday, Netflix raised subscription prices in 11 countries by as much as 40%. A company's ability to raise prices is a function of the delta between the price and the perceived value. Nothing better illuminates this delta than the below chart: Scott Galloway Glocal"Squid Game" was sourced, written, and produced in South Korea. Within 10 days of its release, the show was No. 1 on Netflix in 90 countries. The Tarantino-meets-Terry-Gilliam take on children's games has the fastest-growing audience of any Netflix original ever, registering a 981% engagement increase in its first week. On TikTok, #SquidGame has been viewed more than 22.8 billion times. The jump in South Korean internet traffic was so great that internet service provider SK Broadband is suing Netflix to pay for the costs it's incurred to deliver the megahit.Q: How did this happen? A: Intentionally. Netflix landed on foreign shores in 2011, when it launched its service in 43 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Now it's available in every country except for China, North Korea, Syria, and the disputed region of Crimea. Four years ago, Co-CEO Reed Hastings estimated Netflix could achieve a 75% to 80% international user base. Currently its non-US streamers make up 65% of its users and generate 56% of total revenue. Netflix is far and away the world leader in distribution. Scott Galloway But expanding distribution globally is nothing new. That's been Hollywood's strategy for generations. Think big production budgets, special effects, and guys in capes. Netflix's innovation was committing to "glocal" content - content sourced and distributed locally with global scale and Nasdaq capital to build an army that's registered historic success. The company is now investing in original programming in 40 countries and has produced original scripted shows in 20 foreign languages. It's spent more than $1 billion on Korean content alone. This year the company has either built or announced plans to build two production facilities in South Korea, offices in Canada, Italy, Colombia, and Turkey, a production hub in Sweden, and a full-service post-production facility in India. In each country, Netflix hires content executives to commission work from the local creative community.The obvious benefit is more local content. South Koreans like "Spider-Man" and "Star Wars," but they have their own cultural traditions and preferences, too, as do the other 189 non-US countries in Netflix's empire. This is true in other industries. Only 10% of Nestlé brands are in more than one country, and fewer than 1% are in more than 10, as it recognizes people want global scale but local products. Consumers in other nations face a choice: the production values of US content or the relevance and connection of local content. Netflix offers both, and it can now provide more home cooking than any other firm. Take HBO Max. Its user interface cannot be changed from English, and it's produced original scripted programming in just two languages other than English. Peacock, Paramount+, and Apple TV+ have all produced none.The secret weapon here is boring and obvious - brute strength. Netflix will spend as much on content this year as Apple, Facebook, or Samsung spend on R&D. Disney and Warner/Discovery can claim they spend more, but their munitions are spent across multiple offerings/brands with different business models. Netflix's investment in glocal content is now paying off at home as well as abroad: US consumption of its non-English-language programming has grown 71% since 2019, and 97% of American Netflix subscribers have watched at least one non-English title in the past year. Read that last sentence again. This is a radical change to the American media landscape. Meanwhile, the number of Americans studying Korean on Duolingo has spiked this month. Should we really have a best "foreign" film award? Scott Galloway Per Ted Sarandos (the other CEO), "Squid Game" is likely to be Netflix's most successful series ever. That means two of its top three series will be internationally produced: "Squid Game" Season 1 (South Korea), "Bridgerton" Season 1 (US), and "Money Heist" Season 4 (Spain). Expect to see more subtitles moving forward.PreyWhile Netflix ascends, the previous prestige television king has lost its crown in a corporate swamp. HBO has demonstrated remarkable resilience, and the case study that still needs to be written is how its culture continues to do more with less. The firm's in late-stage puberty - it's now in its forties - and converting to a streaming platform was as awkward as it sounds.AT&T should never have owned it and, to its credit, recognized this and spun it to Discovery. But Discovery will probably inherit AT&T's legacy shareholder base, which likes dividends and may not have the stomach for the kinds of investments required to muscle up and glocalize. Discovery Inc.'s first-half revenue is up 12% from last year, to $3 billion. That sounds nice until you realize it's a fifth of Netflix's H1 revenue and is still dependent on advertising through linear channels. Put another way, AT&T shareholders may still be in a consensual hallucination that you can have ATT profits with NFLX growth. You can't, and the transition period will likely produce neither. The wild card may be CNN+ - rumor is they've signed up some remarkable talent. Yep, we're talking dragons, bounty hunters, scorching-hot dukes, and sublime chess protégés, all wrapped into one person. So excited for them. But I digress.A scenario: Discovery misses a quarter, as companies do, and the shareholder base realizes this is not the guy they thought they were marrying and bail. Stock takes a hit and invites a new, older suitor, as it's the only media firm with iconic assets that can be acquired - others are too big or have dual-class shareholder structures. The inamorato is from Philadelphia, rough around the edges … and rich. Comcast has the capital and the backbone (see above: Philadelphia) and likely already realizes its homegrown effort (Peacock) is fighting Panzers on horseback.Unleash the mouseDisney had the most impressive launch in OTT history, but its staggering potential is still unrecognized. The company should double down on the rundle (recurring revenue bundle) model and tie all its assets into a tiered subscription offering. Disney² members would get exclusive access to Disney parks, experiences, and merchandise, which today account for 34% of the company's total revenue. Disney is Lebron James in junior high school: It's got unmatched assets but is short on coordination.Our D² rundle vision included a new content feature: edutainment. We suggested the company launch an education product for kids in grades K-12, advice the company seemed to take halfheartedly onboard. In July, Disney licensed its characters to an Indian education company, Byju's, to launch a learning app in the US - a start, but I still think Disney should take matters into its own hands. The synergy of education with parks, merchandise, streaming, and singular IP is a subscription-based motherload the company hasn't tapped.Lieutenant acquirerI correctly predicted Amazon would add healthcare to its ever-accelerating flywheel. I could not have predicted it would pick up James Bond along the way. Amazon announced the acquisition of MGM Studios in May for $8.5 billion (subject to antitrust review), more than double what Disney paid for Marvel or Lucasfilm. Bob Iger's balance sheet used to be his superpower. But $386 billion in annual revenue and a $1.7 trillion market cap make Amazon a formidable force in M&A. It now leads all streamers as measured by number of titles. There are seven times as many movies on Prime Video than on Netflix. Scott Galloway Dark horseRoku has quietly gone door to door through the streaming neighborhood, picking up partnership deals with major distributors. It's now a key operating system for content. In the second quarter, the company registered an almost 20% increase in TV viewing hours year over year, compared to the slight hit other streaming platforms took when we began our slow return to a less-indoor life.The market has provided Roku with the capital to go hunting, even if its first kill is a newborn wildebeest that never learned to walk. Roku acquired Quibi's assets this year for a seventeenth of the funding raised to create its content. It still may have overpaid.The silent generalApple doesn't release any financial data for its streaming product, nor does it report its subscriber numbers. I don't see this as cause for concern. Apple TV+ is Roman Roy - it doesn't matter how badly it fucks up ... it's going to be successful, because Dad owns the railroad. "Ted Lasso" is a good, if not great show. If it was on Hulu, it would be a cult hit getting a fraction of the views and buzz. BTW, if someone showed you "Ted Lasso" a decade ago and told you either Apple or Nike had produced it, you'd have guessed Nike. Nike should and will get into the content game. But that's another post.In sum: Netflix goes global, Disney grows into its content body, HBO ends up with a third owner in as many years, Roku takes off its glasses and becomes the hot girl, the swoosh shows up with sports content, and Amazon and Apple continue to underwhelm but eventually land on their feet, as they were born into privilege.What's the key takeaway, the only thing I'm sure of? I can't wait for Season 3 of "Succession."Life is so rich,ScottRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

The best air mattresses for all sleepers in 2021

We consulted experts and slept on air mattresses for weeks on end to find the best air mattresses for visitors, camping, sleepovers, and more. Suzy Hernandez/Business Insider Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky An air mattress is a convenient option for unexpected visits, sleepovers, and camping trips. A great air mattress is comfortable, easy to set up, and can be stored quickly. Our top pick from SoundAsleep provides great back support and comes with excellent customer service. An air mattress is a great investment for those who like to be prepared for unexpected visits, sleepovers, spontaneous trips, or even camping. It can be set up quickly and stored easily, but still comfortable enough for a good night's rest. As a researcher with three years of experience studying sleep, running a sleep lab, and reviewing sleep products, I've seen firsthand the importance of getting a good night's sleep - no matter the circumstances. Well-rested people experience a better mood, more energy, and enjoy their surroundings more; something we can all appreciate while traveling or staying the night away from home.Improper sleep could potentially have an impact on your guests' social interaction or even ruin their mood for the rest of the day. As the host, you'll want to provide your guests with an enjoyable option to make them feel right at home so they can wake up feeling their best. The same applies to nature-lovers who need to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for their camping adventures. With that in mind, we tested four of the most popular air mattresses on the market and evaluated each of them on firmness, comfort, durability, and ease of use. You can also read tips for caring for and cleaning your air mattress below. Here are the best air mattresses in 2021Best air mattress overall: SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress (Queen)Best air mattress for camping: REI Co-op Kingdom Insulated Sleep System 40 (Queen)Best air mattress on a budget: Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed (Queen)Best air mattress with an automatic pump: Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress (Queen) Best air mattress overall Suzy Hernandez/Insider Sleeping on the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress (Queen) feels like you're resting on a giant soft pillow; it's a durable, comfortable option for in-home use.Pros: Raised 19 inches off the ground for easy access in and out of bed, extremely comfortable, inflates quickly, built-in pump, comes with storage bag and patch kit, great customer service Cons: Not designed for everyday useThe SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress (Queen) is one of the most popular air mattresses on the market because of its comfort, high-quality materials, and great customer service. The mattress is designed with 40 discs on the surface that the company calls "air coils," since they're meant to mimic the firmness and bounce of a spring mattress. The "coils" ensure a balanced distribution of air throughout the mattress as it inflates. It's made with eco-friendly polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which makes it extra durable, waterproof, and long-lasting. It can hold up to 500 pounds; a good size for two people to comfortably sleep on. The queen-sized air mattress inflated relatively quietly and in under four minutes. The pump is built into the mattress, so all you have to do is plug it in and set the dial to inflate until you've reached your desired firmness.The bottom of the air mattress has a grippy material to make sure it stays in place, and the whole mattress is made with puncture-resistant material. While it did have the new mattress plastic/chemical odor that I've encountered with most air mattresses, the smell disappeared after only a couple of hours of airing it out. It feels like any traditional mattress; it was so comfortable that I almost forgot I was sleeping on an air mattress until I woke up. Its soft, velvety surface prevented my deep pocket sheets from slipping off, and also helped maintain the right temperature throughout the night; I never got too cold or too hot, as can sometimes be an issue with air mattresses since there isn't much insulation between you and the air. It's raised 19 inches off the ground, which is a good height for easily climbing out of bed in the morning.I had to give it a brief top-up before bed on the last night of testing, but I didn't notice any air loss during the first couple of nights. Deflating the mattress after the last night took approximately four minutes, and the integrated cord storage and carrying bag are convenient additions. Overall, the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress is a fantastic option for in-home use; it was the best air mattress we tested because of its simplicity and the extraordinary level of comfort.  Best air mattress for camping Suzy Hernandez/Insider The REI Co-op Kingdom Insulated Sleep System 40 (Queen) is extremely well-insulated and made with high-quality materials that will keep you warm and comfortable while you're camping. Pros: Easy-to-use hand pump, insulated system for warmth, firm, does not deflate during the nightCons: Very bulky compared to typical camping items, which might limit how and where you carry itIf you don't want to give up quality sleep while camping, the REI Co-op Kingdom Insulated Sleep System 40 (Queen) is definitely the best option for a camping-specific air mattress. This air mattress is intended to keep you warm through temperatures as low as 40 degrees. It's made from 100% polyester with an eco-friendly thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) laminate and the bottom contains a polyurethane coating for high durability and weather resistance. It includes a machine-washable mattress cover and top sheet made of polyester so you don't need to worry about bringing a sleeping bag. It also has a 600-pound weight capacity and an included hand pump for electricity-free inflation. Although it's completely PVC-free, it still emits a mild odor when first unpacked, but the smell dissipates once it airs out for a few hours. Inflating it with the hand pump was a little laborious considering I have very little upper body strength, but it honestly wasn't as difficult as I expected and only took 12 minutes to fully inflate (including a couple of breaks between pumping). The inflation hose is conveniently long enough to pump from outside of your tent, in the chance that the air mattress occupies your entire tent footprint. I slept surprisingly well on this air mattress; it's very comfortable and cozy. The sheets are soft and warm and the quilted mattress cover has a durable water-repellent finish. This air mattress is firm, which is great for proper spine alignment and a good night's rest, even outdoors. It didn't make any noise when I moved around and it lost very little air, if any, during the four nights that I slept on it. The hand pump has an option to deflate the air mattress, but I found it easier to open the valves and let it deflate as I rolled it up and packed it into the included storage bag. The rectangular-shaped air mattress is only six inches thick and very lightweight for an air mattress at just 15 pounds. However, while this may be light compared to other air mattresses, it's on the bulky side for camping gear and is probably too heavy for hiking and backcountry camping. I recommend investing in this air mattress if you enjoy backyard or car camping, but don't want to have to give up a good night's sleep. It's also a good system to have around for situations where you might not have access to electricity, such as in a rural cabin. Best air mattress on a budget Suzy Hernandez/Insider The Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed (Queen) is an affordable option that will still provide great support and comfort for occasional use. Pros: Comfortable, affordable price, lightweightCons: Low to the ground, built-in pillow bar might be uncomfortable for some, limited 90-day warranty, takes a few days for the chemical smell to dissipate, moves a bit during the nightAt less than half the price of any other mattress we tried, the Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed (Queen) is quite inexpensive, but will still provide your guests with a solid surface to sleep on. This mattress is made with a built-in pillow bar and composed of thousands of high-strength polyester fibers which provide stability and support. The top is covered in a velvety material for extra comfort and the mattress has a weight capacity of 600 pounds, so two people can sleep on it. It has an internal electric pump, but can also be inflated manually with a properly-sized hand pump. The mattress comes with easy instructions and inflates with the switch of a button. It took less than four minutes to lay out and inflate and I was able to adjust it to my desired level of firmness by turning the dial. The indented sides are positioned to keep sheets in place, and my deep pocket sheets did not slip off during the night. The new mattress plastic/chemical odor was stronger than the other air mattresses I tested but slowly decreased after a couple of days. It's only about 16 pounds; one of the lightest we tested. However, since it's so lightweight, it also moved a lot during the night. Sleeping on this air mattress for the first two nights was actually very comfortable. The firmness is good and the surface is very cushiony. It's raised 16.5 inches from the ground, making it slightly more difficult to get in and out of than some other models we tried. By the third night, it had lost a noticeable amount of air so I had to re-inflate it again. The ambient temperature also dropped significantly the last night and I noticed that the air mattress, even with the sheets on, felt colder than usual. The built-in pillow rest sounds like a great idea, but it creates too much elevation and is too firm; it definitely does not compare to the comfort of a real pillow.Deflating the Intex Pillow Rest Raised Airbed took less than four minutes and it also comes with a convenient storage bag. Considering the price, this is the best option for occasional use; it's very comfortable for one or two nights, just make sure you provide your guests with a couple of pillows and an extra blanket. Best air mattress with an automatic pump Suzy Hernandez/Insider The Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress is built with two internal pumps that constantly adjust the air pressure throughout the night to ensure that you never wake up flat on the floor. Pros: Pump automatically shuts off when the mattress is inflated, secondary pump makes sure the air mattress stays inflated through the nightCons: Larger and heavier than most air mattresses, automatic pump makes noise throughout the night The Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress (Queen) is constructed with a top layer of pierce-resistant PVC, making it water-resistant and extra durable. It's built with 35 circular coils to provide a balanced and supportive surface. Its weight limit is 500 pounds and can hold up to two people. The primary built-in pump inflates the mattress to your preferred firmness, allowing you to choose from three different options — plush, medium, or firm. The primary pump automatically shuts off when the air mattress has reached your desired inflation. What makes this air mattress particularly unique is the secondary pump system that monitors air levels and quietly maintains the air mattress at your chosen level of firmness throughout the night. Setting up the Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress was the most effortless experience of all the air mattresses I tested. All I had to do was unpack, plug it in, and turn the dial to my desired firmness level — I chose medium. The pump is loud compared to the other air mattresses, but I was able to leave it alone and wait in a different room thanks to the auto shut-off feature. It only took around four minutes to completely inflate. My sheets fit well on this air mattress and I had no issues with them slipping off during the night. It had a very strong and supportive surface that was comfortable to sleep on. I slept really well on this air mattress without ever having to worry about it deflating, and it's raised 19 inches from the ground, so it was easy to climb in and out. That said, it's also a little on the heavy side, weighing 22 pounds. Some users might find the secondary pump somewhat bothersome when it's plugged in. I didn't have an issue with it but I recommend sleeping on the opposite side of the pump if you think you'll be disturbed by a subtle buzzing, or you can also choose to unplug it completely. Deflating the Insta-Bed works the same as inflating; just set the dial to deflate, wait around three minutes for it to completely collapse, fold it, and pack it inside the included carry bag. Our testing methodology Suzy Hernandez/Insider In order to determine the best air mattress on the market, I used my knowledge of sleep science from two years in sleep research and implemented what I learned from sleep expert Bill Fish, president of OneCare media, on how to properly test air mattresses. I slept on every air mattress in this guide for at least four consecutive nights.During the testing period, here's what I looked for in the best air mattresses: Inflation: I took notes of the unboxing process for each air mattress, including how easy it was to assemble (if necessary) and whether or not the product came with instructions. I also timed how long each air mattress took to inflate and noted whether or not the air mattress emitted any strong chemical odors.Firmness: This was the most important factor since a good air mattress should be firm enough to support you throughout the night. I paid close attention to any air loss over the course of four nights and took notes on my own sleep quality and how refreshed I felt after waking up. Comfort: I noted how comfortable each air mattress was to sleep on over four nights, including any major issues with temperature regulation. I also recorded whether or not the air mattresses made any noise when I moved, or whether my pillow and sheets fell off during the night. I also considered how easy it was to climb in and out of each mattress.Durability: At the end of the four days of sleeping on each air mattress, I used an uncapped pen to test the durability of the air mattress by poking it in three different places and noting if it punctured. Fortunately, all the air mattresses passed this test. Deflating/packing up: I recorded how long it took for each air mattress to deflate. I assessed the difficulty of folding up and packing the air mattress into its respective carry bag, and also noted the ease of storage considering its weight and size. Size and special features: In addition to testing out any special features, such as insulated sheets or double pumps, I also noted the dimensions of each air mattress, including length, width, and height, both when fully inflated and when packed up and stored. I also noted each mattresses' weight and method of inflation. What to look for in an air mattress To find out what makes a good air mattress, I interviewed sleep expert Bill Fish, president of OneCare media, which runs several major sleep product review sites like sleepfoundation.org, sleep.org, and tuck.com (of which he is founder). Fish has tested thousands of sleep products over many years. "Spinal alignment is key to getting a good night of sleep, and an air mattress is no different," Fish said. "If you can achieve spinal alignment, you will wake up feeling refreshed."The key with an air mattress, he said, "is finding a product where the quality is enough to maintain enough pressure so you do not 'bottom out' either when stationary or rolling over." According to a scientific systematic review, a medium-firm air mattress tends to result in better sleep quality.Here's what to look for:Medium firm fill with a level sleeping surface.Durable materials (and robust brand information on how to patch holes and tears).A large sleeping surface that mimics the size of your usual bed.Preferably a quiet, automatic pump that maintains the air level throughout the night. Air mattress FAQs Suzy Hernandez/Insider How do I clean my air mattress?To clean your air mattress, first lay it out flat on the floor and use a handheld vacuum to remove any crumbs and dust on the surface. To remove stains, you can inflate the air mattress, unplug it, and then use a soft cloth and a mild soapy solution to wash it. Don't use any harsh chemicals or cleaning products as they could damage the air mattress. Why is my new air mattress losing air?Due to the elastic materials, you might think that the air mattress is losing air during the first couple of uses. There's nothing wrong with your air mattress: it usually takes a few inflations for it to completely stretch to its full shape. Manufacturers recommend inflating your brand new air mattress a few hours before using it and then topping it off before sleeping on it. How long does an air mattress last?An air mattress won't last you as long as your regular mattress, and you shouldn't expect it to — most air mattresses are designed for occasional use and should not be used to replace an actual mattress. That said, proper use and care of an air mattress can keep it in good condition for more than five years. The best way to extend the life of your mattress is to take good care of it. This includes avoiding opportunities for punctures such as using it on clean floors, not allowing pets on the bed, not jumping on the bed, and avoiding overfilling with air. If the mattress comes with a dust bag for storage, be sure to use it, especially when storing it in a garage or anywhere damage could occur. Does my warranty cover a hole in my air mattress?If your mattress came with a warranty, it's likely limited to only manufactured defects. Holes caused by use or puncture will not be covered. You can usually contact the company for a patch kit, however.Can I recycle an air mattress?In the case that your air mattress is beyond repair, you should check with your local recycling center to see if they accept items made of PVC, otherwise, you'll have to throw the mattress away. If you're looking to get rid of a blow-up mattress in good condition, consider giving it to a local shelter or donation center. Types of air mattress pumps There are three main types of air mattress pumps:Manual pump: A hand or foot pump that you operate to inflate the mattress. These can be a great option for situations where you don't have access to electricity, but they're tiring and time consuming to operate.Electric pump: A pump that plugs into a wall outlet and uses electricity to inflate the air mattress with no manual labor required from you. These pumps can either be separate from or built into the the air mattress. This is the most common type of pump you'll find on air mattresses.Automatic pump: A built-in electric pump that automatically inflates the mattress to your desired firmness, stops when full, and periodically adjusts the air to maintain the right firmness levels.  Check out our other mattress, bedding, and camping buying guides Ellen Hoffman/Insider The best mattressesThe best pillowsThe best sheetsThe best weighted blanketsThe best duvet coversThe best camping tentsThe best camping chairs Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

Truist Financial (TFC) Q3 Earnings Beat Despite Higher Costs

Truist Financial (TFC) records a marginal rise in revenues in the third quarter of 2021. Truist Financial’s TFC third-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $1.42 per share easily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.20. The bottom line jumped 46.4% from the prior-year quarter.Results were aided by strong performance from its insurance business, wealth management business, investment banking business, and card and payment related fees. This supported fee income growth, which along with provision benefits acted as a tailwind.However, lower interest rates and a fall in loan balances hurt net interest income (NII). Higher operating expenses posed another undermining factor.Results for the reported quarter excluded restructuring and BB&T-SunTrust Banks merger-related charges, incremental operating expenses related to the merger, and one-time professional fee expenses. After considering these, net income available to common shareholders (GAAP basis) was $1.62 billion or $1.20 per share, up from $1.07 billion or 79 cents per share in the prior-year quarter.Revenues Improve Marginally, Expenses RiseTotal revenues were $5.60 billion, up marginally year over year. The top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.52 billion.Tax-equivalent NII decreased 3.8% from the year-ago quarter to $3.26 billion. The decline was due to a fall in purchase accounting accretion, lower rates on earning assets and a decrease in loans, partially offset by growth in the securities portfolio, lower funding costs, higher fees on Payroll Protection Program loans and fewer interest deferrals on COVID-19 loan accommodations.Net interest margin contracted 29 basis points (bps) year over year to 2.81%.Non-interest income increased 7% to $2.37 billion. Excluding securities gains, fee income grew 12% year over year.Non-interest expenses were $3.80 billion, up 1.1% from the prior-year quarter. Adjusted expenses rose 3.5%.The adjusted efficiency ratio was 57.9%, up from 57.3% in third-quarter 2020. A rise in efficiency ratio indicates deterioration in profitability.As of Sep 30, 2021, total average deposits were $402.7 billion, up 1.6% from the prior quarter. Average total loans and leases of $290.3 billion declined nearly 1% sequentially.Credit Quality ImprovesAs of Sep 30, 2021, total non-performing assets (NPAs) were $1.2 billion, down 8.4% year over year. As a percentage of total assets, NPAs were 0.23%, decreasing 3 bps year over year.Allowance for loan and lease losses was 1.65% of total loans and leases held for investment, which decreased 26 bps. Provision for credit losses was a benefit of $324 million against a provision of $421 in the prior-year quarter. Reserve releases, owing to improving economic outlook, led to provision benefits.Net charge-offs were 0.19% of average loans and leases, down 23 bps from the year-ago quarter.Profitability & Capital Ratios RobustAt the end of the reported quarter, return on average assets was 1.28%, up from 0.91% in the prior-year quarter. Return on average common equity was 10.2%, up from 6.9% in the third quarter of 2020.As of Sep 30, 2021, Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio was 11.9% compared with 12.2% recorded in the prior-year quarter. Common equity Tier 1 ratio was 10.1% as of Sep 30, 2021, up from 10.0% as of Sep 30, 2020.Capital Deployment UpdateIn the quarter under review, Truist Financial did not repurchase any shares.The company continues to expect to be able to deploy $4-$5 billion of capital (either in the form of share buybacks or acquisitions) through third-quarter 2022.Our TakeTruist Financial’s efforts to capitalize on the investment banking and insurance businesses bode well. It completed the acquisition of the insurance distribution platform, Constellation Affiliated Partners. Moreover, with an aim to augment its point-of-sale (POS) lending business, it has agreed to acquire Service Finance Company for $2 billion. These efforts will further aid fee income growth. However, the low interest-rate environment is expected to continue to hurt margin growth. Mounting expenses (as witnessed in the third quarter as well) remains another major concern.Truist Financial Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise  Truist Financial Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Truist Financial Corporation QuoteTruist Financial currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Performance of Other Major BanksBank of America’s BAC third-quarter 2021 earnings of 85 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 71 cents. The bottom line compared favorably with 51 cents earned in the prior-year quarter. Results in the quarter included a reserve release of $1.1 billion.Robust advisory business, reserve release and a modest rise in demand for loans drove JPMorgan’s JPM third-quarter 2021 earnings of $3.74 per share. The bottom line outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.00.First Republic Bank FRC delivered an earnings surprise of 4.4% in third-quarter 2021 on solid top-line strength. Earnings per share of $1.91 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.83. The bottom line improved 18.6% from the year-ago quarter’s figure. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Bank of America Corporation (BAC): Free Stock Analysis Report JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM): Free Stock Analysis Report First Republic Bank (FRC): Free Stock Analysis Report Truist Financial Corporation (TFC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

Fortune Brands (FBHS) Exhibits Solid Prospects, Risks Remain

Fortune Brands (FBHS) is likely to gain from strength in its businesses, acquired assets, and shareholder-friendly policies. Escalating costs and operating expenses and a high debt level weigh on it. Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. FBHS stands to benefit from strength in the U.S. housing market, supported by expected new construction growth and product launches. The company has been witnessing strong momentum in its plumbing business, backed by the growing popularity of its brands. Robust demand for the company’s doors and decking products and strength in its security business are also likely to drive its performance in the coming quarters. For 2021, it expects sales growth of 23-25% on a year-over-year basis, higher than the previously mentioned 20-22%.The company intends to solidify its product portfolio and leverage business opportunities through the addition of assets. In the first half of 2021, it used $5.2 million (net of cash acquired). In December 2020, Fortune Brands acquired LARSON Manufacturing, which has enhanced its outdoor living product offering in the doors and decking market. In the first and second quarters of 2021, the LARSON buyout expanded the Outdoors & Security segment’s sales by 32% and 35%, respectively.Fortune Brands believes in rewarding shareholders handsomely through dividend payments and share buybacks. In the first half of 2021, it paid out dividends of $72 million and bought back shares worth $156 million. In December 2020, it also raised the quarterly dividend rate by 8%. The company’s focus on operational efficiency and cost-control measures might also help it in maintaining a solid margin performance in the quarters ahead.However, escalating costs and expenses pose a major concern. In 2020 and second-quarter 2021, the company’s cost of sales increased 38% and 24%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. Its selling, general and administrative expenses recorded a year-over-year increase of 43% and 18% in 2020 and second-quarter 2021, respectively.Its high-debt profile is also a major issue. Exiting the second quarter, Fortune Brands’ long-term debt balance was $2,608.3 million, reflecting a 1.4% increase from 2020-end. Any further increase in debt levels can raise the company’s financial obligations and hurt profitability.The company faces stiff competition from several of its peers in the industry like Allegion plc ALLE, American Woodmark Corporation AMWD, and InSinkErator business of Emerson Electric Co. EMR. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Emerson Electric Co. (EMR): Free Stock Analysis Report American Woodmark Corporation (AMWD): Free Stock Analysis Report Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (FBHS): Free Stock Analysis Report Allegion PLC (ALLE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

The 6 best weighted blanket we tested in 2021

A weighted blanket may help if you have trouble falling asleep. We tested 12 of them to round up the best weighted blankets for a good night's rest. Brooklinen Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Research is limited, but recent findings say weighted blankets can aid in sleep and reduce anxiety. We tested 12 of them. Our favorites are the Brooklinen Weighted Comforter and the Bearaby Napper. Click here for more advice on what to consider when buying a weighted blanket. If you toss and turn at night or find your mind racing when trying to fall asleep, you might benefit from adding a weighted blanket to your bedding. Usually weighing somewhere between 15 and 25 pounds, weighted blankets provide gentle, constant pressure as you sleep, and recent studies have shown promising results in their ability to ease anxiety and reduce insomnia, though research remains limited. I spoke with Rebecca Robbins, sleep researcher, author, and instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate scientist at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She said the reason why weighted blankets tend to work is quite primal. "It really hearkens back to the way we entered the world," said Robbins. "You were in a womb, compressed on all sides by water and fluid, and so there was a sense of pressure. We try to emulate that with infants by swaddling them. We might look at weighted blankets as the adult version of swaddling or emulating those circumstances where we feel at ease."I tested 12 of the most popular weighted blankets on the market to determine the best ones you can buy. I evaluated them for how well I slept while using them, the quality of materials and construction, how easy they were to wash and care for, and how comfy they were. The best weighted blankets in 2021Best weighted comforter: Brooklinen Weighted ComforterBest extra-heavy weighted blanket: Gravity 35-Pound BlanketBest cooling weighted blanket: BlanQuil ChillBest weighted throw blanket: Bearaby NapperBest budget weighted blanket: Luna Weighted BlanketBest king-size weighted blanket: HomeSmart Products King Size Weighted Blanket Best weighted comforter Jen Gushue/Insider Brooklinen's Weighted Comforter has a premium plush design that blends seamlessly with the rest of your bedding.Available sizes: Twin/twin XL (64" x 90"), full/queen (90" x 90"), king/Cali king (106" x 90")Available weights: 15 lbs., 20 lbs., 30 lbs.Available colors: WhiteMaterials: 400 thread-count cotton sateen shell, polyfill interior, glass micro-beadsCare instructions: Dry clean only, spot clean with soap and warm water, and dry with hairdryerPros: Looks just like a normal comforter, lots of plush fill, made of 400-thread-count cotton sateen, has duvet cover loops, accepts returns in any condition within one year of purchaseCons: Dry clean only, duvet cover sold separately, difficult to adjust while using itIf you don't want to sleep under a stack of blankets or compromise your bedroom's look, you'll want a weighted comforter, and Brooklinen makes the best one I tried. It looks and feels like a traditional plush comforter but with an extra 20 pounds of weight integrated with small glass beads. The blanket itself is made of 400-thread-count cotton sateen, so it's soft enough to throw on your bed without a duvet cover.That being said, we recommend adding one — corner loops make it easy to tie on — because the blanket is dry-clean only, which could run you anywhere from $20 to $50.I found that the 20-pound comforter I tested weighed closer to 24 pounds, but the extra weight didn't make too much of a difference once I laid it out on the bed. Sleeping under it was pretty dreamy (excuse the pun). I felt enveloped by the cushy fill but not too overwhelmed or overheated. It was somewhat difficult to adjust while lying under it due to the weight and size, but I found this typical for just about every comforter-sized weighted blanket I tested.Though pricey, this comfortable weighted blanket is worth the investment, especially because it will entirely replace your comforter. If you find it's not right for you, Brooklinen has an incredibly lenient return policy, accepting returns for any reason in any condition within 365 days of your purchase. Best extra-heavy weighted blanket Jen Gushue/Insider Gravity's 35-pound weighted blanket evenly distributes weight across your king-size bed and is perfect for those who are looking for some extra heft.Available sizes: Queen/king (90" x 90")Available weights: 35 lbs.Available colors: White, navy, grayMaterials: Micro-fleece removable cover, glass beadsCare instructions: Removable cover is machine wash cold and tumble dry low, inner blanket is hand wash and air dry onlyPros: Great for those who need a heavier blanket, weight is evenly distributed, no beanbag feel, the cover is machine washable, low profile blanketCons: Queen/king size only comes in 35 pounds, the cover should be washed before use, too heavy to adjust in the middle of the night, the inner blanket is hand-wash only, customers are responsible for return feesWhen I first received the Gravity 35-pound blanket, I thought it would feel way too heavy, but I found it pretty manageable. It did tend to slide down the bed as I was sleeping, and I'd often wake up about a foot lower than usual because I was chasing the blanket around through the night. It was simply too heavy to pull up or adjust while laying under it, though someone stronger than me will likely not have this issue.One issue with this blanket was that the included micro-plush duvet cover felt oddly greasy out of the package. It left a film on my hands as I tried to smooth it out over the bed. But the zip-on cover is removable and washable, and a run through the wash resolved the issue. I can't imagine hauling such a heavy blanket into and out of a washing machine, so the removable cover is a huge plus. The Gravity blanket is low-profile without any excess fill, so it won't add a lot of bulk to your bed. That said, it's not as plush or cozy as the Brooklinen comforter, which does also come in a 35-pound version, though it's much more expensive.The brand also makes "single" size weighted blankets that measure 48-inches by 72-inches. I tested a 15-pound one with a cooling cover and found it performed well, but nothing made it stand out from the pack. Best cooling weighted blanket Jen Gushue/Insider The BlanQuil Chill's unique cover disperses heat and stays cool to the touch as you fall asleep, but its slick fabric can cause it to slide off the bed.Available sizes: 48" x 74"Available weights: 15 lbs., 20 lbs.Available colors: White with blue threadingFill materials: Glass micro-beadsCare instructions: Removable cover is machine wash cold and tumble dry low, inner blanket is spot clean onlyPros: Stays cool to the touch, no beanbag feel, glass beads don't shift, 60-night sleep trialCons: Slides off the bed easily; internal blanket is spot-clean only; only one size, one color, and two weights availableI sleep hot, and the BlanQuil Chill is the weighted blanket I have the longest relationship with. It's been on my bed for about a year and a half, and I've had two iterations of the design.I lined up all the cooling blankets I tested for this guide and ran my hand across each one, and the BlanQuil felt noticeably cooler than all the others. Plus, it did the best job of dissipating heat and getting back to its cool baseline.Since it's slightly bigger than a twin bed, it's not a blanket that's intended to be shared. Glass beads add weight, but there's no beanbag feeling, and I've never felt them shift in a way that causes the blanket to feel lumpy or uneven.The zipper on the removable, washable cover of the first version of the design was weak, couldn't handle the weight of the blanket, and broke just a couple of months into its use. But BlanQuil has since reinforced the zipper, and I've yet to have a problem with it. I even stress tested it by holding the weight of the blanket against the zipper, and it held strong.Though it's one of the best I've used, the cooling cover's material has a bit of a sheen to it, which makes it slick so it slides off the bed easily — especially if you toss and turn at night. As soon as it gets off-center, the blanket's weight will cause it to slide. Best weighted throw blanket Jen Gushue/Insider The cocoon-like, knit-woven Bearaby Cotton Napper keeps you cozy yet cool as you lounge on the couch, it's entirely machine washable, and it's one of the heftiest blankets we tested.Available sizes: 40" x 72", 45" x 72", 48" x 72"Available weights: 15 lbs., 20 lbs., 25 lbs.Available colors: Eight colors currently availableMaterials: Organic long-staple cottonCare instructions: Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, tumble dry lowPros: Aesthetic design, has significant heft, made from organic cotton, washable and dryable, 30-day return policy if blanket remains unwashed, most versatile weighted blanket I testedCons: Doesn't fit in compact washing machines, takes multiple cycles to dry, open weave may catch toes and fingers, heavier than advertised (though this may be a pro, depending on your preference)The weight of the Bearaby Napper comes entirely from the dense organic cotton strands hand-knit into one of the most aesthetically minded weighted blankets I've ever seen.This is a really heavy blanket — the blanket I tested, which was advertised as the 15-pound version, actually tipped the scales at 24 pounds. I contacted the company to verify that they sent me the right item, and they assured me they did. It's not necessarily bad that they're heavier than advertised, but it's something to keep in mind when you order.A blanket this heavy — and bulky — can be tough to shift around, and if it's going to live on your couch, it will take up quite a bit of space. I've shifted it to my bed. It drapes nicely over my partner and me, but the open weave makes it prone to stretching if you need to pull it up in the night. It hasn't become misshapen in any significant way, thankfully.It's not quite a cooling blanket — Bearaby does offer one called the Tree Napper that I haven't tested — but it doesn't trap heat thanks to the open weave. The holes are quite large, though, so if you are bothered by some toes or fingers poking through, you might want to look elsewhere.The Napper is fully machine washable and can go in the dryer on a delicate setting. I wanted to see how the blanket washed and dried as part of my test, but it didn't fit in my space-saving apartment-sized washing machine. Best budget weighted blanket Jen Gushue/Insider Weighted blankets are typically expensive, but the Luna Weighted Blanket is gentle on your wallet despite being constructed from Oeko-Tex-certified cotton and filled with natural glass beads.Available sizes: 36" x 48", 41" x 60", 48" x 72", 60" x 80", 80" x 87"Available weights: 5 lbs., 7 lbs., 10 lbs., 12 lbs., 15 lbs., 17 lbs., 20 lbs., 22 lbs., 25 lbs., 30 lbs.Available colors: 11 solid colors and 14 patterns currently availableMaterials: Cotton shell, glass beadsCare instructions: Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, hang dry or tumble dry lowPros: Excellent quality at a low price; comes in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and weights; fully machine washable; Oeko-Tex Certified construction; true to weightCons: Thinner blanket than some others on our listWeighted blankets tend to be very expensive, but Luna offers an excellent weighted blanket at an affordable price.I tested the 15-pound queen-size blanket, and the glass beads inside were barely noticeable, producing no beanbag effect. Where many other cheap weighted blankets are loaded with chemicals, the Luna Weighted Blanket is Oeko-Tex Certified, meaning it contains no harmful materials.The blanket is much thinner than some of the others I tested, but it stayed breathable and was light enough to easily adjust in the middle of the night. It wasn't quite as cozy as some others, but it's a great option to layer with your usual comforter or use during the warmer months.As I've continued to test these blankets, the Luna has become a bit of a travel-sized weighted blanket for me. I wouldn't recommend taking it on an airplane — it's a bit bulky for that — but the Luna is thin enough to fold into a car trunk-friendly size. The blanket was a true 15 pounds according to my scale, but that weight was dispersed over a queen-size surface area, making it feel lighter. It's also one of the easiest blankets to clean that I tested. The entire thing fits into my compact washer-dryer and was fully dry within one cycle — and it got softer after just one wash. Best king-size weighted blanket James Brains/Insider The HomeSmart Products King Size Weighted Blanket is large enough for couples, breathes well to keep you from overheating, and can go in the washer and dryer.Available sizes: 60" x 80", 80" x 86", 88" x 104"Available weights: 15 lbs., 20 lbs., 25 lbs., 30 lbs., 35 lbs., 40 lbs., 50 lbs.Available colors: White, dark grey, cool mint, burgundy, greyMaterials: Cotton shell, glass beadsCare instructions: Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, hang dry or tumble dry lowPros: Breathable organic cotton shell, glass beads sewn into 5-by-5-inch pockets for even weight distribution, machine washable and dryable, the king size is large enough for couples, weight options up to 50 lbs.Cons: The blanket started to leak beads after 18 months of use, hard to track down customer supportAs a big guy, one of the problems I run into with weighted blankets is that they aren't large enough to cover my whole body. Even queen-size blankets tend to be too small to reach my giant feet. This was not a problem with the HomeSmart Products King Size Weighted Blanket.At 88 inches by 104 inches and with weight options up to 50 pounds, it's the ideal blanket for couples who want to enjoy the comfort of a weighted blanket without sacrificing intimacy.The HomeSmart blanket features micro glass beads sewn into the 400-thread count organic cotton shell with 5-by-5-inch pockets to keep the weight evenly distributed. The blanket is machine washable and dryable, which is a must for me since I don't use duvet covers. I've washed the blanket several times over the last two-and-a-half years and have found it's an effortless endeavor. If you want to add a duvet cover, the blanket has 10 loops for tying one on.I tested the 15-pound and 25-pound comforters and enjoyed both, though the 25-pounder was almost too restrictive for me. I prefer the 15-pounder, and it's what I sleep under when I'm not testing other models. Thanks to its breathability, it's a great year-round blanket. Even in the summer, overheating has never been an issue.The HomeSmart Weighted Blanket isn't without its flaws. The 25-pound blanket started to leak beads after 18 months of use. This was likely due to one of our pets working a hole into it. I tried to reach customer service but couldn't get a hold of anyone.-James Brains, reporter What else we tested The Gravity Cooling, Helix, and Brooklyn Bedding weighted blankets were among the others we tested. Jen Gushue/Alyssa Powell/Insider What we recommend and why Baloo Cool Cotton Weighted Blanket: The Baloo weighted blanket struck a great balance between comfort and cost. Its construction and quality felt similar enough to the Luna that we'd rather recommend the one that's even more affordable.Gravity Cooling Blanket: The blanket itself is well-built and high-quality, but the cooling cover did little to actually cool me off as I slept. It just felt like any other weighted blanket and didn't do much to distinguish itself from the other blankets I tried.Brooklyn Bedding Dual Therapy Weighted Blanket: This blanket is dual-sided — with a silky cooling side and a minky textured side. The silky side stayed cool to the touch, and the bumps on the minky side provided a nice sensory option. It didn't feel beanbaggy, and the weight was evenly distributed. But it was only available in one size, two weights, and one dark gray color that severely limited how many home decor scenarios it would work within.What we don't recommend and whyYaasa Weighted Blanket: This is a knit-style blanket similar to the Bearaby Napper, but Yaasa's weave was much tighter and allowed for less airflow. The material also felt spongier and less cozy than the Napper's. The Yaasa blanket was also dry clean only.Helix Weighted Blanket: This blanket is dual-sided with a white sherpa fleece side and a gray minky fleece side. I found the sherpa side especially cozy, and so did my cat. But it had one of the worst beanbag effects of any of the blankets I tried, and there is only one size and color option available, though it did come in three weights. If this blanket suits your style, it's a decent buy for an affordable price.YnM Weighted Blanket: This is an Amazon bestseller in weighted blankets, so we wanted to put it to the test. It's a perfectly serviceable budget blanket, but the glass beads created a sort of beanbag effect that the Luna did not. Plus, the Luna is even cheaper and made of Oeko-Tex certified cotton, which isn't found with the YnM. Our testing methodology There are several factors I took into consideration while assessing weighted blankets. Aside from the general coziness and comfort provided by each blanket, I also assessed things like quality of material, value, weight options, and aesthetics. For example, a blanket that came in more color and weight options beat out a blanket of equal quality that came in fewer options. I also considered return policies, sleep trials, and how easy these blankets were to clean.The following are three tests I ran each blanket through to assess general user experience:Sleep test: I slept with each weighted blanket on my bed for at least three consecutive nights. I noted how well I slept overall and how the blanket regulated my sleep temperature. I also paid attention to how well the blanket stayed in place as I slept and how easy it was to adjust while lying under it. Part of this test also included making the bed every day (hauling a weighted blanket is harder than it looks).Wash test: I washed every weighted blanket or cover that was machine washable at least once to ensure they held up well in the wash and didn't shrink, shed, or otherwise show signs of wear. I noted if the added weight made them more difficult to haul into and out of the washing machine. I also discovered that one of the machine-washable blankets was so bulky it didn't fit into my washing machine. For those blankets that weren't machine-washable, I noted the care instructions and factored that into the cons of the blanket as I assessed them.Weight test: I wanted to ensure each blanket was actually the advertised weight. To get an accurate reading, I weighed myself and then weighed myself again while holding each blanket, noting any discrepancies in the advertised weight versus the actual weight. What we're testing next Bearaby Sleeper: This is the only weighted blanket I've discovered designed specifically for couples. While there's little data available to determine the best weight for a couple to share, Bearaby has eliminated some of that guesswork by weighting the two halves of the blanket differently, allowing you to choose the right weight for each person. This is especially useful if you and your partner are drastically different sizes and would benefit from different blanket weights. The two halves can unzip from each other and become two distinct blankets. Right now, they are sold out, but Bearaby has assured us that they'll be restocking soon, and we hope to test it once they do.Luxome Luxury Weighted Blanket: The Luxome weighted blanket comes with a reversible cover with a plush minky fabric on one side and a cooling bamboo fabric on the other. This allows you to customize your blanket with the seasons. I'm curious to see if this versatility makes a difference in how the blanket affects my body temperature. It's also a nice mid-range option in terms of price, and I'm hoping to add more affordable options to this guide.Slumber Cloud Weighted Blanket: In my ongoing quest to find a cooling weighted blanket that stays put throughout the night, I'm looking forward to testing the Slumber Cloud. It's made using thermoregulation technology developed by NASA to keep astronauts comfortable in their spacesuits. The Outlast technology uses small beads that absorb body heat when you get too hot and release it back to you when you get too cold. I'm fascinated by this concept, and I'm excited to see if it works. Weighted blanket FAQs What weight should a weighted blanket be?It's recommended that you select a blanket that's roughly 10% of your body weight. But Robbins adds that there are no clinically established guideposts for choosing a blanket weight. "It's hard for the one size fits all approach because we're all just so unique and have different physiologies," she says.This is especially true when blankets come in different sizes. A 15-pound throw blanket is going to feel much heavier than a 15-pound comforter since a larger blanket distributes its weight over a larger surface area. Robbins suggests trying out weighted blankets before purchasing them. If you can't test weighted blankets in a store, look for brands that offer sleep trials or have buyer-friendly return policies like many of our top picks.What if I'm sharing the weighted blanket with a partner?If you're sharing a weighted blanket with a partner, you'll likely want something a bit heavier, mostly because larger blankets feel lighter than smaller ones. A blog from Layla Sleep advises purchasing a blanket that's roughly 7.5% of the couple's combined weight.I reached out to the brand to determine how they established this number, and a representative responded, "Most suggestions in terms of weight are based on anecdotal evidence. We also factor in the customer satisfaction data that we have when making suggestions, but ultimately the weight that's right for any one person will depend heavily on personal preference."It's important to note that this parameter hasn't been established in any clinical trial or scientific study, so take it with a grain of salt. As long as you're comfortable and can move freely under the blanket, you should choose the weight that works best for you.What size weighted blanket should I get?If you're sharing a blanket with a partner with a similar body weight, you'll want a weighted blanket that covers your entire bed. Many brands, including almost all of our top picks, offer blankets in multiple sizes to fit standard twin, full, queen, and king beds.Some weighted blankets in these sizes are a bit smaller than typical comforters so the weighted blanket doesn't hang off the side of your bed too much. Excess fabric hanging off the side can pull the weighted blanket off-center as you shift around in the night.If you and your partner are very different weights, consider opting for two smaller separate blankets in a throw or twin size. This way, you can each get the weight that's most comfortable for you. Plus, you'll have the added benefit of not having to worry about blanket theft in the middle of the night.How do I choose a weighted blanket?In addition to weight and size considerations (see above), you'll also want to consider how easy the blanket is to clean and what type of fill it uses. A duvet cover will be easier to wash than a weighted blanket, but with a cover, you have to deal with the hassle of removing it and putting it back on. Even with ties to keep it in place, the blanket may still bunch up inside the cover.Weighted blankets rely on glass beads, plastic pellets, or, less commonly, steel shot beads. What you prefer is a matter of personal preference. Comforters with plastic pellets tend to be cheaper, but it's a less eco-friendly material.How often should I wash my weighted blanket?Brian Sansoni, Senior Vice President at The American Cleaning Institute, recommends you treat your weighted blanket like any comforter, washing it once or twice a year, provided it's covered by a duvet cover that you're washing monthly. If it doesn't have a removable cover, the entire blanket should be washed roughly once a month.Are weighted blankets good for anxiety?In theory, the answer is yes. However, there are no randomized clinical trials that can speak to the efficacy of weighted blankets in the treatment of anxiety. This is because it would be obvious once participants curl up under one of the blankets that they're either in the control group or the weighted blanket group. The theory is that weighted blankets help reduce some anxiety symptoms, like quickened breathing or heart rate, by putting your autonomic nervous system at ease. Anecdotally, my wife and I have both been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. We've found lounging with a weighted blanket helps us unwind.The bottom line is weighted blankets may help with anxiety, but there isn't any hard science to back it up.  Check out our other sleep and bedding guides Lauren Savoie/Insider 7 weighted blankets for kids that may help with sleep, anxiety, and sensory issuesThe best pillowsThe best mattressesThe best sheetsThe best duvet coversThe best comforters Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Oil-Dri Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2021 Results

CHICAGO, Oct. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Oil-Dri Corporation of America (NYSE:ODC), producer and marketer of sorbent mineral products, today announced results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2021.   Fourth Quarter Year to Date (in thousands, except per share amounts) Ended July 31 Ended July 31   2021   2020   Change 2021 2020 Change Consolidated Results             Net Sales $78,129 $64,844   20  % $304,981 $283,227 8  % Net Income Attributable to Oil-Dri $603 $5,886   (90 )% $11,113 $18,900 (41 )% Earnings per Common Diluted Share $0.08 $0.83   (90 )% $1.57 $2.65 (41 )% Business to Business             Net Sales $30,022 $26,628   13  % $110,120 $104,260 6  % Segment Operating Income* $3,791 $6,255   (39 )% $25,086 $26,882 (7 )% Retail and Wholesale             Net Sales $48,107 $38,216   26  % $194,861 $178,967 9  % Segment Operating Income (Loss)* $3,283 ($825 ) 498  % $11,916 $13,079 (9 )% *Segment operating income (loss) for fiscal year 2020 has been adjusted. See Note 1 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in our Annual Report on form 10-K for the year ended July 31, 2021. Daniel S. Jaffee, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Our performance in the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2021 was disappointing despite tremendous top-line growth with record high consolidated net sales for both periods. Our profitability was greatly reduced due to significant cost inflation across all input channels. Not only did the price of resin used in our jugs and pails spike, but higher lumber costs for pallets also contributed to the considerable increase in our overall packaging expenses. Dramatic increases in freight, natural gas and other material costs also negatively impacted our margins. In response to these rising costs, we implemented price increases across our product portfolio. However, it is clear we did not keep up with the rapid pace of inflation. Additionally, our supply chain was challenged as a result of trucking and ocean carrier capacity constraints combined with a nationwide labor shortage. Despite these headwinds, we achieved many of our strategic goals and delivered increased dividends to our shareholders during the fiscal year. We continue to push forward with our two biggest growth opportunities: mineral-based antibiotic alternative feed additives and lightweight cat litter. I am excited to report that our animal health products are currently in several trials across the globe. In addition, consumer demand for our lightweight cat litter remains strong, and our branded and private label products continue to surpass category growth. Our new Cat's Pride UltraClean and Cat's Pride Flushable items were recently launched, and we are convinced consumers will enjoy the products' unique benefits. As we begin fiscal year 2022, we will continue to focus on developing our value-added businesses and enhancing profitability." Full Year ResultsConsolidated net sales for fiscal year 2021 reached an all-time record high of $305 million, reflecting an 8% increase over the prior year. This was primarily due to higher demand of our cat litter and agricultural products which increased 9% and 19%, respectively, in fiscal year 2021 compared to the prior year. Revenues from our fluid purification products were 3% greater than last year, while sales of animal health and nutrition products were essentially flat. Industrial and sports business revenues grew 9% year over year, and we experienced steady sales gains of 2% from our co-packaging coarse cat litter business. Annual consolidated gross profit decreased by $3.5 million, as margins were reduced to 21% in fiscal 2021 from 24% in the prior year. Severe inflationary pressures caused domestic cost of goods sold per manufacturing ton to increase approximately 8% in the twelve month period compared to the prior year. Domestic freight, packaging and natural gas per manufactured ton rose 13%, 19%, and 15%, respectively over the prior year. U.S. non-fuel manufacturing costs per ton increased approximately 3%, primarily driven by higher costs of purchased materials. Included in fiscal year 2020's results, was the one-time pre-tax receipt of $13 million in connection with an intellectual property license agreement which occurred in the fourth quarter of the same year. Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses for fiscal year 2021 decreased 8% from the prior year primarily due to lower advertising spending, estimated annual incentive bonus accrual and pension expense. Fiscal 2020 SG&A expenses included a legal contingency offset by a curtailment gain related to our Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan. In addition, a change in the allocation of expenses from SG&A to cost of goods sold affected quarterly segment operating income in both fiscal years 2021 and 2020 by $5.3 million and $7.1 million, respectively. This reclassification did not affect consolidated operating or net income. Consolidated annual operating income was $13 million, reflecting a 47% decrease from the prior year. Excluding the aforementioned one-time pre-tax receipt of $13 million in fiscal 2020, operating income for fiscal 2021 was 10% greater than last year. Other income (expense), net in fiscal year 2021 included approximately $600,000 of settlement costs under our pension plan, compared to $2 million in fiscal year 2020. Full year net income attributed to Oil-Dri was $11.1 million, reflecting a 41% decrease from the prior year. Cash and Cash Equivalents decreased to $24.6 million in fiscal 2021 from $41 million in fiscal 2020, as a result of higher cost of goods sold and a significant fiscal 2020 bonus payout which was paid in fiscal 2021. Debt decreased to $9 million in fiscal 2021 from $10 million in the prior year. Fourth Quarter ResultsConsolidated net sales in the fourth quarter reached an all-time quarterly high of $78 million, or a 20% increase over the prior year. Sales from our cat litter, industrial and sports, and agricultural businesses drove the majority of this growth. Demand for fluids purification products and co-packaged coarse cat litter also increased in the fourth quarter over the prior year, while revenues from our animal health and nutrition products were essentially flat. Fourth quarter consolidated gross profit decreased by approximately $1.5 million, while margin was reduced to 19% in fiscal 2021 from 21% in fiscal 2020. Although revenues grew significantly in the quarter, these gains were offset by a 7% increase in domestic cost of goods sold per manufactured ton compared to the prior year. Trucking capacity constraints and high fuel costs resulted in a 7% increase in domestic freight per manufactured ton compared to the same period last year. Due to extreme inflation on resin and lumber prices, domestic packaging costs per manufactured ton increased 40%. Further contributing to the reduction in margin was higher domestic natural gas per manufactured ton which increased 67% in the fourth quarter over the prior year. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, consolidated operating income was $1.7 million compared to $9.1 million in fiscal 2020. Revenue increases and a $4 million, or 24%, reduction in SG&A expenses were partially offset by significantly higher cost of goods sold. Also, impacting the quarterly results comparison was the one-time pre-tax receipt of $13 million resulting from an intellectual property license agreement which occurred in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020. Last year's results included a legal contingency as well as an accrual which was no longer deemed necessary in fiscal year 2021. In addition, a change in the allocation of expenses from SG&A to cost of goods sold affected quarterly segment operating income in both fiscal years 2021 and 2020 by $755,000 and $2.2 million, respectively. This reclassification did not affect consolidated operating or net income. Fourth quarter consolidated net income attributed to Oil-Dri was $603,000 in fiscal 2021 compared to $5.9 million in fiscal 2020. Product Group ReviewThe Business to Business Products ("B2B") Group's fourth quarter revenues reached a record $30 million, a 13% gain over the prior year. This increase was primarily driven by strong revenue growth from the agricultural and fluid purification businesses. Sales of agricultural products increased by 37% over the prior year, as demand from one of our largest customers rose in the quarter. The B2B Products Group also benefited from a 7% increase in revenues within the fluids purification business. Sales of bleaching clay products were strong in North America and Latin America, while softer revenues were experienced in Europe and Asia. COVID-19 continued to limit our ability to conduct and participate in product tests at edible oil plants, thus resulting in lower than expected sales growth. The ongoing pandemic also negatively impacted our jet fuel business in regions such as Europe and Asia where air travel is still at low levels. Our co-packaging coarse cat litter experienced sales gains of 16% in the fourth quarter compared to the prior year, primarily due to increased pricing. Fourth quarter revenues of animal health products remained flat compared to the same period last year. African Swine Fever and the ongoing pandemic created challenges for the global animal protein production market, including feed additives. Despite this, we achieved sales increases of 66% in China during the fourth quarter compared to the prior year, as well as top line growth in Asia, Latin America, and North America. However, these increases were offset by lower revenues in Mexico, as fiscal 2020 included the sale of animal health related equipment that did not recur this year. Operating income for the B2B Products Group was $3.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to $6.3 million in fiscal 2020. The prior year's results reflect the reallocation of $943,000 between SG&A expenses and cost of goods sold. Higher sales were offset by inflationary headwinds and an 11% increase in SG&A expenses over the previous fourth quarter. These elevated SG&A costs were a result of increased compensation and travel expenses, reflecting investments in our animal health business through additional sales personnel and leadership. The Retail and Wholesale ("R&W") Products Group's fourth quarter revenues were $48 million, a 26% increase over the prior year. This was driven by a 25% increase in domestic cat litter sales due to strong demand for our branded and private label products. We exceeded category sales growth of 12.1% for the 12-week period ended July 17, 2021, according to third-party market research data for retail sales1. Demand for our branded and private label lightweight litter products continued to rise as demonstrated by the 43% increase in fourth quarter sales over the prior year. Our e-commerce business experienced double-digit revenue gains for the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year. As more consumers have broadened their online purchases since the onset of the pandemic, e-commerce retailers have increased their Cat's Pride product offerings, including some of our newly launched products. Revenues from our Canadian subsidiary demonstrated strong top line growth due to higher demand of cat litter and industrial absorbent products. Our domestic industrial and sports products business also contributed to the R&W Products Group's revenue improvement in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 with sales increasing 36% over the prior year. This gain can be attributed to the return of pre-pandemic industrial product purchasing levels and the reopening of sports fields across the United States. Operating income for the R&W Products Group was $3.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021 compared to ($825,000) in the prior year. Prior year's results reflect the reallocation of $1.3 million between SG&A expenses and cost of goods sold. SG&A expenses for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021 declined by 10% from last year. This was primarily due to a reduction in advertising spending as a result of a shift in timing of our marketing campaign from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 to fiscal 2022. We expect advertising costs for the upcoming fiscal 2022 to be higher than fiscal 2021. The Company will host its fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 earnings teleconference on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Central Time. Participation details are available on our website's Events page. 1Based in part on data reported by NielsenIQ through its Scantrack Service for the Cat Litter Category in the 12-week period ended July 17, 2021, for the U.S. xAOC+Pet Supers market. Copyright © 2021 Nielsen. Oil-Dri Corporation of America is a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialty sorbent products for the pet care, animal health and nutrition, fluids purification, agricultural ingredients, sports field, industrial and automotive markets. Oil-Dri is vertically integrated which enables the company to efficiently oversee every step of the process from research and development to supply chain to marketing and sales. With 80 years of experience, the company continues to fulfill its mission to Create Value from Sorbent Minerals. "Oil-Dri" and "Cat's Pride" are registered trademarks of Oil-Dri Corporation of America. Certain statements in this press release may contain forward-looking statements that are based on our current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about our future performance, our business, our beliefs, and our management's assumptions. In addition, we, or others on our behalf, may make forward-looking statements in other press releases or written statements, or in our communications and discussions with investors and analysts in the normal course of business through meetings, webcasts, phone calls, and conference calls. Words such as "expect," "outlook," "forecast," "would," "could," "should," "project," "intend," "plan," "continue," "believe," "seek," "estimate," "anticipate," "may," "assume," or variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially including, but not limited to, the dependence of our future growth and financial performance on successful new product introductions, intense competition in our markets, volatility of our quarterly results, risks associated with acquisitions, our dependence on a limited number of customers for a large portion of our net sales and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these or other risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, intended, expected, believed, estimated, projected or planned. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Except to the extent required by law, we do not have any intention or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements after the distribution of this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions, or otherwise. Category: Earnings Contact:Leslie A. GarberManager of Investor RelationsOil-Dri Corporation of AmericaInvestorRelations@oildri.com(312) 321-1515 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME   (in thousands, except per share amounts)   (unaudited)   Fourth Quarter Ended July 31     2021   % of Sales   2020   % of Sales Net Sales   $ 78,129     100.0  %   $ 64,844     100.0  % Cost of Sales (1)   (63,323 )   (81.0 )%   (51,521 )   (79.5 )% Gross Profit   14,806     19.0  %   13,323     20.5  % Other Operating Income (2) —     —  %   13,000     20.0  % Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (1)(3) (13,122 )   (16.8 )%   (17,190 )   (26.5 )% Operating Income 1,684     2.2  %   9,133     14.1  % Interest Expense (180.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaOct 13th, 2021

Why Portland General Electric (POR) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Portland General Electric (POR) have what it takes? Let's find out. All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.Portland General Electric in FocusBased in Portland, Portland General Electric (POR) is in the Utilities sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 12.91%. The electric utility is paying out a dividend of $0.43 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.56% compared to the Utility - Electric Power industry's yield of 3.39% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.42%.Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.72 is up 8.5% from last year. Portland General Electric has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 6.13%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, Portland General Electric's payout ratio is 59%, which means it paid out 59% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Earnings growth looks solid for POR for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $2.76 per share, with earnings expected to increase 60.47% from the year ago period.Bottom LineFrom greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, POR is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Portland General Electric Company (POR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

Why Hubbell (HUBB) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Hubbell (HUBB) have what it takes? Let's find out. Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.Hubbell in FocusHeadquartered in Shelton, Hubbell (HUBB) is an Industrial Products stock that has seen a price change of 14.15% so far this year. The electrical products manufacturer is paying out a dividend of $0.98 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.19% compared to the Manufacturing - Electrical Utilities industry's yield of 3.02% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.42%.Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $3.92 is up 5.7% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Hubbell has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 8.42%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, Hubbell's payout ratio is 48%, which means it paid out 48% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.HUBB is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $8.62 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 13.72%.Bottom LineInvestors like dividends for a variety of different reasons, from tax advantages and decreasing overall portfolio risk to considerably improving stock investing profits. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide a quarterly payout.High-growth firms or tech start-ups, for example, rarely provide their shareholders a dividend, while larger, more established companies that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, HUBB is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Hubbell Inc (HUBB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (MDC) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (MDC) have what it takes? Let's find out. Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. In FocusM.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (MDC) is headquartered in Denver, and is in the Construction sector. The stock has seen a price change of 7.31% since the start of the year. The company is paying out a dividend of $0.4 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.31% compared to the Building Products - Home Builders industry's yield of 0.48% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.42%.Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.60 is up 24.3% from last year. M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 16.54%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. M.D.C. Holdings, Inc.'s current payout ratio is 23%. This means it paid out 23% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Earnings growth looks solid for MDC for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $8.56 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 65.57%.Bottom LineInvestors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. But, not every company offers a quarterly payout.High-growth firms or tech start-ups, for example, rarely provide their shareholders a dividend, while larger, more established companies that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, MDC is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (MDC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

Are You Looking for a High-Growth Dividend Stock? Otter Tail (OTTR) Could Be a Great Choice

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Otter Tail (OTTR) have what it takes? Let's find out. All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.Otter Tail in FocusHeadquartered in Fergus Falls, Otter Tail (OTTR) is a Utilities stock that has seen a price change of 34.4% so far this year. The power company and manufacturer is paying out a dividend of $0.39 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.72% compared to the Utility - Electric Power industry's yield of 3.39% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.42%.Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.56 is up 5.4% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Otter Tail has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 4.92%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, Otter Tail's payout ratio is 51%, which means it paid out 51% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Looking at this fiscal year, OTTR expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $3.55 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 51.71%.Bottom LineInvestors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. But, not every company offers a quarterly payout.For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. With that in mind, OTTR presents a compelling investment opportunity; it's not only an attractive dividend play, but the stock also boasts a strong Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy). Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Otter Tail Corporation (OTTR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

Are You Looking for a High-Growth Dividend Stock? China Petro&Chm (SNP) Could Be a Great Choice

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does China Petro&Chm (SNP) have what it takes? Let's find out. Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.China Petro&Chm in FocusHeadquartered in Beijing, China Petro&Chm (SNP) is an Oils-Energy stock that has seen a price change of 14.62% so far this year. The energy and chemical company is paying out a dividend of $2.2 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 8.61% compared to the Oil and Gas - Integrated - Emerging Markets industry's yield of 5.69% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.42%.Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $4.40 is up 4.5% from last year. China Petro&Chm has increased its dividend 3 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 11.73%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, China Petro&Chm's payout ratio is 44%, which means it paid out 44% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Earnings growth looks solid for SNP for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $8.92 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 115.98%.Bottom LineFrom greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. But, not every company offers a quarterly payout.For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, SNP is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SNP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

Are You Looking for a High-Growth Dividend Stock? Essential Utilities (WTRG) Could Be a Great Choice

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Essential Utilities (WTRG) have what it takes? Let's find out. Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.Essential Utilities in FocusHeadquartered in Bryn Mawr, Essential Utilities (WTRG) is a Utilities stock that has seen a price change of -2.22% so far this year. The water utility is paying out a dividend of $0.27 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.32% compared to the Utility - Water Supply industry's yield of 1.53% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.42%.Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1.07 is up 10.3% from last year. Essential Utilities has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 7.05%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, Essential Utilities's payout ratio is 58%, which means it paid out 58% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Earnings growth looks solid for WTRG for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $1.67 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 5.70%.Bottom LineFrom greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. But, not every company offers a quarterly payout.For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that WTRG is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Essential Utilities Inc. (WTRG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

VOXX International Corporation Reports Its Fiscal 2022 Second Quarter And Six-Month Financial Results

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- YTD Highlights Net sales of $280.2 million, up $80.2 million or 40.1% - 1st half of Fiscal 2022 vs. 1st half of Fiscal 2021. Adjusted EBITDA of $14.6 million, up $3.9 million - 1st half of Fiscal 2022 vs. 1st half of Fiscal 2021. Shipments of new rear-seat entertainment solutions with Amazon Fire TV to Stellantis and Nissan began, with Ford scheduled to start in Q4 of Fiscal 2022. New distribution agreement with GalvanEyes approved by shareholders in August 2021. Acquisition of Onkyo's Home Entertainment A/V business completed in September 2021. VOXX International Corporation (NASDAQ:VOXX), a leading manufacturer and distributor of automotive and consumer technologies for the global markets, today announced its financial results for its Fiscal 2022 second quarter and six-months ended August 31, 2021. Commenting on the Company's Fiscal 2022 results year-to-date and continued business momentum, Pat Lavelle, President and Chief Executive Officer stated, "The VOXX team has done a good job navigating through what we believe was the worst of the supply chain shortfalls and we have the inventory on hand or in transit, to deliver for our customers. Excluding professional fees related to transactions which are now complete, our operations performed slightly better than the first half of Fiscal 2021, with Adjusted EBITDA up $3.9 million. We expect growth will continue in the second half of the year and to be up approximately 15% for the full fiscal year. We also expect good bottom-line performance, with extra investments in R&D to support new automotive OEM programs and future EyeLock business." Lavelle continued, "While the industry still faces supply chain constraints, I believe we have taken the right steps to offset the higher costs of doing business, providing us with more flexibility. New automotive OEM awards received and with more expected, expanded distribution within our Premium Audio group and the added contributions from our acquisition of Onkyo's home entertainment A/V business, and our new distribution agreement with GalvanEyes for EyeLock's biometrics products, all provide avenues for strong growth and improved bottom-line performance in the years ahead." Fiscal 2022 and Fiscal 2021 Second Quarter Comparisons Net sales in the Fiscal 2022 second quarter ended August 31, 2021, were $143.1 million as compared to net sales of $128.0 million in the Fiscal 2021 second quarter ended August 31, 2020, an increase of $15.1 million or 11.8%. Automotive Electronics segment net sales in the Fiscal 2022 second quarter were $45.8 million as compared to $32.6 million in the comparable year-ago period, an increase of $13.1 million or 40.2%. For the same comparable periods, OEM product sales were $16.4 million as compared to $10.7 million, an increase of $5.7 million or 53.1%. Aftermarket product sales for the Fiscal 2022 second quarter were $29.4 million as compared to $21.9 million, an increase of $7.4 million or 33.9%. Driving the year-over-year improvements were higher sales from the Company's DEI subsidiary, which was formed pursuant to our July 2020 acquisition, higher OEM sales for rear-seat entertainment solutions with Amazon's Fire TV, and an increase in sales for automotive safety and security products, among other factors. Consumer Electronics segment net sales in the Fiscal 2022 second quarter were $97.0 million as compared to $95.0 million in the comparable year-ago period, an increase of $2.0 million or 2.1%. For the same comparable periods, Premium Audio product sales were $76.1 million as compared to $69.3 million, an increase of $6.9 million or 9.9%. Driving the year-over-year improvements were higher sales from the Company's 11 Trading Company LLC subsidiary ("11TC"), higher sales of premium wireless speakers and wireless computer speakers, and an increase in sales within Europe. Other Consumer Electronics ("CE") product sales of $20.8 million and $25.7 million, declined by $4.9 million or 19.0% when comparing the Fiscal 2022 and Fiscal 2021 second quarter periods. The CE product sales declines were driven primarily by higher sales in Fiscal 2021 brought about by the COVID-19 environment as more people were working from home, as well as industrywide supply chain constraints. Biometrics segment net sales in the Fiscal 2022 and Fiscal 2021 second quarters were approximately $0.3 million, relatively flat for the comparable periods. The gross margin in the Fiscal 2022 second quarter was 26.0% as compared to 29.7% in the Fiscal 2021 second quarter, a decline of 370 basis points, or a $0.9 million decline in gross profit. The year-over-year decline in gross margin was primarily driven by global, industry-wide supply chain constraints. Automotive Electronics segment gross margin of 23.9% as compared to 20.6%, up 330 basis points. The year-over-year improvement was primarily related to sales of aftermarket products from the Company's DEI subsidiary and higher sales of OEM security and remote start products. Offsetting factors include the higher costs of materials and shipping, as well as start-up production costs related to new OEM rear-seat entertainment programs. Consumer Electronics segment gross margin of 26.9% as compared to 32.9%, down 600 basis points. The primary driver for the year-over-year declines were significant increases in container costs and surcharges, and sales of certain products through new distribution channels, the latter of which, positively impacted revenue and gross profit dollars, but led to lower gross margin. Sales of premium headphones and products sold through 11TC positively contributed to gross margin, and in Europe, gross margins improved primarily due to product mix. Biometrics segment gross margins of 30.4% as compared to 0.4%. The year-over-year improvement was primarily driven by price reductions in the Fiscal 2021 second quarter as new products were introduced to market. Total operating expenses in the Fiscal 2022 second quarter were $39.9 million as compared to $29.6 million in the comparable Fiscal 2021 period, an increase of $10.4 million. Selling expenses increased by $2.6 million when comparing the periods ended August 31, 2021, and August 31, 2020. This was primarily due to a $1.5 million increase in salary expenses and related payroll taxes due to the absence of COVID-19 related furloughs and salary and bonus reductions, and higher headcount related to the newly formed subsidiaries. Higher commissions as a result of an increase in net sales, as well as higher advertising expenses, digital payment fees and travel expenses comprised the majority of the remainder of the increase. General and administrative expenses increased by $2.5 million when comparing the periods ended August 31, 2021, and August 31, 2020. Higher salary and office expenses related to COVID-19 comprised $1.4 million of the year-over-year increase. The remainder was primarily related to higher professional fees, which increased by approximately $0.9 million for the comparable periods. Engineering and technical support expenses increased by $3.1 million when comparing the periods ended August 31, 2021 and August 31, 2020. The year-over-year increase was due to higher labor and related payroll taxes associated with the DEI subsidiary, research and development expenses to support a new automotive OEM program, product certification costs, the absence of companywide furloughs related to the COVID-19 environment, and reimbursements of engineering expenses in prior periods. The Company reported an operating loss in the Fiscal 2022 second quarter of $2.7 million as compared to operating income of $8.5 million in the Fiscal 2021 second quarter. Total other income, net, for the three-months ended August 31, 2021, was $1.8 million as compared to total other income, net, of $0.6 million for the three-months ended August 31, 2020. The primary drivers were a decline of $0.4 million in interest and bank charges, a $0.2 million improvement in equity in income of equity investees, which relates to higher sales and net income from the Company's 50% non-controlling interest in ASA Electronics, LLC ("ASA"), and a $0.6 million increase in other, net for the comparable periods, which relates to net foreign currency gains or losses, interest income, rental income, and other miscellaneous income and expense. Net income attributable to VOXX International Corporation in the Fiscal 2022 second quarter was $0.3 million as compared to net income attributable to VOXX International Corporation of $7.3 million in the comparable Fiscal 2021 period. The Company reported basic and diluted net income per share attributable to VOXX International Corporation of $0.01 in the Fiscal 2022 second quarter as compared to basic and diluted net income per common share attributable to VOXX International Corporation of $0.30 in the comparable Fiscal 2021 period. Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization ("EBITDA") in the Fiscal 2022 second quarter was $3.2 million as compared to EBITDA in the Fiscal 2021 second quarter of $13.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA in the Fiscal 2022 second quarter was $6.4 million as compared to Adjusted EBITDA in the Fiscal 2021 second quarter of $14.0 million. Fiscal 2022 and Fiscal 2021 Six-Month Comparisons Net sales in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period ended August 31, 2021, were $280.2 million as compared to net sales of $200.0 million in the Fiscal 2021 six-month period ended August 31, 2020, up $80.2 million or 40.1%. Automotive Electronics segment net sales in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period were $88.4 million as compared to $49.9 million in the comparable year-ago period, an increase of $38.5 million or 77.2%. For the same comparable periods, OEM product sales were $31.3 million as compared to $18.4 million, an increase of $12.9 million or 70.5%, and aftermarket product sales were $57.1 million as compared to $31.5 million, an increase of $25.6 million or 81.1%. Consumer Electronics segment net sales in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period were $191.1 million as compared to $149.5 million in the comparable Fiscal 2021 six-month period, an increase of $41.6 million or 27.8%. For the same comparable periods, Premium Audio product sales were $147.7 million as compared to $103.8 million, an increase of $43.9 million or 42.3%, and Other Consumer Electronics product sales declined were $43.3 million as compared to $45.7 million, a decline of $2.3 million or 5.1%. Biometrics segment net sales in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period were $0.5 million as compared to $0.4 million in the comparable Fiscal 2021 six-month period, an increase of $0.1 million or 27.2%. The gross margin in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period was 26.4% as compared to 29.0% in the Fiscal 2021 six-month period, a decline of 260 basis points, and a $15.8 million improvement in gross profit. Automotive Electronics segment gross margin of 25.4% as compared to 19.6%, up 580 basis points. Consumer Electronics segment gross margin of 26.7% as compared to 32.1%, down 540 basis points. Biometrics segment gross margins of 25.5% as compared to negative gross margin of -6.1%. Total operating expenses in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period were $77.0 million as compared to $57.6 million in the comparable Fiscal 2021 six-month period, an increase of $19.4 million. Within this and for the same six-month periods ended August 31, 2021 and August 31, 2020: Selling expenses increased by $5.5 million. General and administrative expenses increased by $6.3 million. Engineering and technical support expenses increased by $4.9 million. Acquisition costs increased by $2.7 million. The Company reported an operating loss in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period of $3.1 million as compared to operating income of $0.4 million in the comparable Fiscal 2021 six-month period. Total other income, net, for the six-month period ended August 31, 2021, was $4.5 million as compared to total other income, net, of $1.4 million for the six-month period ended August 31, 2020, an improvement of $3.1 million. Within this and for the same six-month periods ended August 31, 2020 and August 31, 2021: Interest and bank charges declined by $0.7 million. Equity in income of equity investee increased by $2.0 million. Other, net increased by $0.4 million. Net income attributable to VOXX International Corporation in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period was $3.0 million as compared to a net loss attributable to VOXX International Corporation of $0.9 million in the comparable Fiscal 2021 period. The Company reported basic and diluted net income per share attributable to VOXX International Corporation of $0.12 in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period as compared to a basic and diluted net loss per common share attributable to VOXX International Corporation of $0.04 in the comparable Fiscal 2021 period. Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization ("EBITDA") in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period was $9.6 million as compared to EBITDA in the Fiscal 2021 six-month period of $10.2 million. Adjusted EBITDA in the Fiscal 2022 six-month period was $14.6 million as compared to Adjusted EBITDA in the Fiscal 2021 six-month period of $10.7 million. Balance Sheet UpdateAs of August 31, 2021, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $41.1 million as compared to $36.7 million as of May 31, 2021 and $59.4 million as of February 28, 2021. Total debt as of August 31, 2021, was $7.7 million as compared to $7.0 million as of May 31, 2021 and $7.1 million as of February 28, 2021. The increase in total debt is related to a Euro asset-based lending credit facility related to VOXX Germany. Total long-term debt, net of debt issuance costs as of August 31, 2021 was $5.2 million as compared to $5.3 million as of May 31, 2021 and $6.0 million as of February 28, 2021. Conference Call InformationVOXX International Corporation will be hosting its conference call and webcast on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Interested parties can participate by visiting www.voxxintl.com and clicking on the webcast in the Investor Relations section or via teleconference using the information below. Toll-free number: 877-303-9079 / International number: 970-315-0461 / Conference ID: 1156805 A webcast and teleconference replay will be available approximately one hour after the completion of the call. Replay Information Replay number: 855-859-2056 / International replay number: 404-537-3406 / Conference ID: 1156805 Non-GAAP MeasuresEBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not financial measures recognized by GAAP. EBITDA represents net income (loss) attributable to VOXX International Corporation, computed in accordance with GAAP, before interest expense and bank charges, taxes, and depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA adjusted for stock-based compensation expense, acquisition costs, certain non-routine legal and professional fees, and life insurance proceeds. Depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation are non-cash items. We present EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA in this Form 10-Q because we consider them to be useful and appropriate supplemental measures of our performance. Adjusted EBITDA helps us to evaluate our performance without the effects of certain GAAP calculations that may not have a direct cash impact on our current operating performance. In addition, the exclusion of certain costs or gains relating to certain events allows for a more meaningful comparison of our results from period-to-period. These non-GAAP measures, as we define them, are not necessarily comparable to similarly entitled measures of other companies and may not be an appropriate measure for performance relative to other companies. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA should not be assessed in isolation from, are not intended to represent, and should not be considered to be more meaningful measures than, or alternatives to, measures of operating performance as determined in accordance with GAAP. About VOXX International CorporationVOXX International Corporation (NASDAQ: VOXX) has grown into a leader in Automotive Electronics and Consumer Electronics, with emerging Biometrics technology to capitalize on the increased need for advanced security. Over the past several decades, with a portfolio of approximately 35 trusted brands, VOXX has built market-leading positions in in-vehicle entertainment, automotive security, reception products, a number of premium audio market segments, and more. VOXX is a global company, with an extensive distribution network that includes power retailers, mass merchandisers, 12-volt specialists and many of the world's leading automotive manufacturers. For additional information, please visit our website at www.voxxintl.com. Safe Harbor StatementExcept for historical information contained herein, statements made in this release constitute forward-looking statements and thus may involve certain risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements made in this release are based on currently available information and the Company assumes no responsibility to update any such forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, may cause actual results to differ materially from the results suggested in the forward-looking statements. The factors include, but are not limited to the: risk factors described in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021, and other filings made by the Company from time to time with the SEC. The factors described in such SEC filings include, without limitation: the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the Company's results of operations, the Company's ability to realize the anticipated results of its business realignment; cybersecurity risks; risks that may result from changes in the Company's business operations; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; significant competition in the automotive electronics, consumer electronics and biometrics businesses; our relationships with key suppliers and customers; ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaOct 12th, 2021

The IPO Market is Sending Contradictory Signals

Despite the Sino-American standoff shutting down the pipeline of Chinese firms listing in the United States, the initial public offering (IPO) continues to gush with promise. Management, if it is to be true to its fiduciary responsibilities to its existing shareholders, seeks to go public at the most opportune moment, in other words, when it […] Despite the Sino-American standoff shutting down the pipeline of Chinese firms listing in the United States, the initial public offering (IPO) continues to gush with promise. Management, if it is to be true to its fiduciary responsibilities to its existing shareholders, seeks to go public at the most opportune moment, in other words, when it believes it can get the best possible price for its shares. Secondly, IPOs are proxies for the enthusiasm that entrepreneurs have for the opportunities in the economy. These two things are contradictory: after all, the best price to list is when the market is at its top. These “contradictory signals”are flashing across the IPO market, according to Milton Ezrati. .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 Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The Robust IPO Market It should not be surprising that the market for IPOs has been so robust. The most obvious reason why there would be an uptick in the number of IPOs is that many businesses that were planning on listing in 2020, would have kicked their IPOs down the road because of the effects of the Covid-19 lockdowns on their business models and the economy as a whole. For instance, Toast was forced to lay off half its staff early last year in response to the global health crisis, but having adjusted to the pandemic, it was able to list at the end of September this year, having posted record revenue growth. Many businesses will have had their revenues and profitability hit by the pandemic and will, like Toast, have needed time to retool their businesses before they could list. Not only that, but the uncertainty brought on by the market will have made managers weary about listing before they had a handle on whether economic recovery had been established. In the first eight months of the year, there were 280 IPOs, and at that rate, there will have been 420 by year end, nearly twice the figure for 2020. That is an extraordinary turnaround in the IPO market. Currently, there are at least 100 companies that have announced their intention to IPO or have shown an interest in doing so. These figures do not include SPAC IPOs, of which there have been 473 to-date, 70% more than the whole of 2020. The increase in supply of IPOs shows that managers are optimistic that the funds they will raise can be deployed profitably at a period of economic expansion. Nobody raises money in an IPO just to put it in the bank, especially when the value of money declines due to deflationary pressures. Investors certainly do not invest in IPOs because they are looking for firms who will build up their cash reserves for some future event. Investors invest with the understanding that IPOs are operating in fast growing markets filled with opportunity. They do not want management to sit on their cash. They want managers to deploy the capital they raise, and they reward managers according to how well they deploy that capital. Do not forget that being a public company does have drawbacks in terms of the heightened scrutiny and the regulatory restrictions. The reason that we have had a record number of companies staying private for longer is because of the drawbacks of the public markets. If a company can raise all the capital it needs privately, a real possibility with so much easy money floating around, then going public is a real demonstration that the company is chasing sums that private markets cannot provide, and it wants those funds because the market opportunities it sees are so attractive. However, this confidence has to be weighed against the fact that managers have to extract the best possible price from the market. The growth in alternative ways of listing, such as direct listing or SPACS, is a result of the widely held belief, backed up by evidence, that IPOs have not been priced accurately, leaving too much money on the table. Managers are naturally eager to ensure that they are not accused of leaving money on the table. And they are particularly keen on ensuring that they IPO when they feel that the market is most likely to pay a premium for their prices. Listing is not a charitable activity. Getting The Best Price The question of getting the best price suggests that valuations may be off and managers sense that markets will be overly optimistic when assessing their competitive appreciation period and market opportunities. Many of us have marvelled at how a firm can be worth $10 billion in one year, then $15 billion the quarter following that year, and then $20 billion the next quarter when it lists. This pattern is so widespread it begs the question how much fundamental change could have occured in a business’ market that its valuation should jump so dramatically. In most instances, those valuation jumps do not reflect reality. Managers are alive to the eagerness of investors to own IPOs, and they understand that regardless of whether they are profitable or not, or whether they are a market leader or not, they are likely to debut on public markets at valuations in excess of their private market valuations, earning existing shareholders a massive return. This does not suggest that a market correction is round the corner. The market can, as Lord Keynes once remarked, remain dislocated from reality far longer than you can remain solvent. Betting against a continuation of this trend is foolhardy. Indeed, managers may find that this trend continues to a point where their opportunistic entry into the public markets seems overly hasty. The Federal Reserve may continue to pump the markets with easy money and supply chain disruptions may hamper growth, increasing the attractiveness of IPOs for investors. A host of reasons may make present valuations seem low with respect to future ones. As investors assess the market, they need to be aware of the contradictory signals that the market is sending. A thriving IPO market is not a simple case of businesses seeking to take advantage of market opportunities by raising capital. It is also a signal that managers feel that markets are sufficiently irrational for them to take advantage and issue shares at a premium. Get helpful hints as you build your company and plan for a time when you too will enter the public markets. Updated on Oct 12, 2021, 4:04 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 12th, 2021

After suffering two outages in a week, Instagram is testing a feature that lets you know when it"s having issues so you won"t think it"s just your internet

Instagram is testing a feature to notify users when outages or issues occur after the app, alongside Facebook and WhatsApp, had two outages in a week. Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images Instagram says it is testing a feature that notifies users when outages or technical issues occur. The company will use the feature "when we see that people are confused and looking for answers." The news comes after Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp had two outages in five days last week. Instagram is testing out a new feature to notify users about outages after the app suffered two of them in the span of five days last week.The company announced the feature in a blog post on Monday. "We know how confusing it can be when temporary issues happen on Instagram," the post reads. "When they impact engagement or distribution, we also know that it can lead people to think that the problems are unique to them, based on what they post. That lack of clarity can be frustrating, which is why we want it to be easier to understand what's going on, directly from us."Instagram says the feature will notify users in their Activity Feeds when the company is experiencing outages or technical issues - and again when they're fixed.The company says it won't issue notifications every time an outage occurs, but it'll consider sending one "when we see that people are confused and looking for answers."For now, the feature will be available in the US for the next few months.Facebook's suite of apps, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, were down for more than five hours last Monday in an outage spanning multiple countries. In a blog post later that day, Facebook said the outage was caused by a "faulty configuration change" and that it had no evidence that any user data was compromised during the disruption.In a post on his Facebook page, company CEO Mark Zuckerberg also apologized for the outage, saying, "Sorry for the disruption today -- I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about."On Friday, Facebook's apps were hit with a second outage, which lasted roughly two hours. Facebook says this outage wasn't related to the first one that had taken place earlier that week. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 12th, 2021

Why Bryn Mawr Bank (BMTC) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Bryn Mawr Bank (BMTC) have what it takes? Let's find out. All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, dividends. A dividend is the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.Bryn Mawr Bank in FocusBryn Mawr Bank (BMTC) is headquartered in Bryn Mawr, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 60.09% since the start of the year. Currently paying a dividend of $0.28 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.29%. In comparison, the Banks - Northeast industry's yield is 1.98%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.4%.Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.12 is up 5.7% from last year. In the past five-year period, Bryn Mawr Bank has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 6.65%. Any future dividend growth will depend on both earnings growth and the company's payout ratio; a payout ratio is the proportion of a firm's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Bryn Mawr Bank's current payout ratio is 32%. This means it paid out 32% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Looking at this fiscal year, BMTC expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $2.80 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 70.73%.Bottom LineFrom greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide a quarterly payout.Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, BMTC is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). Tech IPOs With Massive Profit Potential In the past few years, many popular platforms and like Uber and Airbnb finally made their way to the public markets. But the biggest paydays came from lesser-known names. For example, electric carmaker X Peng shot up +299.4% in just 2 months. Think of it this way… If you had put $5,000 into XPEV at its IPO in September 2020, you could have cashed out with $19,970 in November. With record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs and a record-setting stock market, this year’s lineup could be even more lucrative.See Zacks Hottest Tech IPOs 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 Bryn Mawr Bank Corporation (BMTC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 12th, 2021