Advertisements



North Dakota bar to donate 100% of sales to family of Cayler Ellingson

Buck-it's Bar in New Rockford, ND says it will be giving 100% of its sales to the family of Cayler Ellingson on Saturday......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsSep 22nd, 2022

North Dakota bar to donate 100% of sales to family of Cayler Ellingson

Buck-it's Bar in New Rockford, ND says it will be giving 100% of its sales to the family of Cayler Ellingson on Saturday......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsSep 22nd, 2022

How Amazon Became the Largest Buyer of Renewable Energy in the World

Amazon is now the largest buyer of renewable energy as it races to reach net zero and helps drive an energy boom When Richard and Carson Harkrader first heard that 696 acres of North Carolina farmland had come up for sale, in 2016, one feature of the rolling landscape particularly caught their attention: the power lines that sliced across it as though someone had dog-eared its map. Hard up against the Virginia border, it was a pretty spot—pretty enough that a home builder would eventually take a quarter of the acres for a lakefront subdivision. But for the Harkraders, father-and-daughter operators of Carolina Solar Energy, an independent developer of solar-energy projects, the prettiest thing of all were those heavy-duty transmission lines that arced to the northwest, lacing into the PJM Interconnection, the giant electric grid that dominates the mid-Atlantic. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “It was kind of a gold rush,” the elder Harkrader says one morning this summer, standing amid the hundreds of thousands of glistening black panels, now known as Hawtree Creek Solar Farm, that follow the curve of the hills and tower over our heads. By midmorning the panels are sending 34 megawatts out to the grid, about the same as 10,000 backyard generators buzzing at once. By noon, it’s 65 megawatts—the maximum the grid will take. “I still think it’s magic,” Harkrader says. “Take sunlight and … boom!” Except the only noise is the occasional creaking of their steel frames, as small motors tilt the panels to follow the arc of the sun across the Carolina sky. About 200 miles north, in Virginia, are the eager buyers of that electric gold: the mega-technology companies, like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, that operate giant data centers essential to our daily lives, whether we’re ordering on Prime or backing up family photos. Under pressure from customers, employees, and shareholders—and, arguably, out of their own eagerness to reduce emissions—they have been increasingly determined to run these data centers on renewable energy. Once the Harkraders had secured the new solar farm’s preliminary permits and permissions—making a plan to accommodate local deer and joining the crowded “interconnection queue” to plug into the grid—they leased the land to Engie, a French energy giant that builds and operates more than 4,500 megawatts of solar power around the world. And then, before the panels had even arrived on site for installation, Engie in turn struck a deal to sell all the site’s power to a single company: Amazon. That financial and legal arrangement, known as a PPA (power purchase agreement), has been a crucial force in the U.S.’s transition to clean energy. Of the approximately 235 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity now installed on the nation’s grid, nearly one quarter (more than 52 gigawatts) has been contracted by corporations, mostly over the past decade. That vigorous—and notably voluntary—corporate action has boosted a web of wind and solar manufacturers, developers, and operators. It has made renewables cost-competitive and helped grid operators learn to manage systems with more variability. As the modern mortgage made the suburbs, the PPA has made the renewables industry. It bridges the economic needs of renewable–energy developers with the climate goals of corporate executives and shareholders. Solar panels and wind turbines are expensive to build but cheap to operate, given that their fuel—sunlight and fresh air—are free. By guaranteeing the electricity will be sold long before it’s been generated, a PPA gives banks confidence to front the money for construction—especially when there’s a giant corporation guaranteeing the deal. In the way that power grids work, all that electricity isn’t wired directly to these companies’ facilities, but adds more juice to each region as a whole. But the way that PPAs work means the companies can legitimately argue that these giant renewable projects wouldn’t have happened without them. PPAs stitch together developers like the Harkraders, energy operators like Engie, electric grids like PJM, and—above all—the large companies hungry for power from renewable sources. ROGER KISBY—REDUXAmazon delivery trucks line up to enter the Amazon DAX3 delivery station on Jan. 12, 2022 in Chatsworth, California. They also set up the biggest corporate power purchase of all: Amazon has leveraged that ecosystem to go on the largest ever solar and wind shopping spree, buying 15.7 gigawatts globally over the past three years, nearly equal to the prodigious energy demands of the $1.4-trillion company. Like an early shopper on Black Friday, Amazon’s fervor has been felt across the industry—while also giving a glimpse of the incredible growth still to come, with the arrival of $369 billion in federal funds provided by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Understanding this key driver of the past decade of solar and wind development helps us see what is likely to happen next: an unprecedented boom in renewable energy that could form a significant wedge in the broader effort to reduce carbon emissions and limit the warming of the atmosphere. “If it was a market that only waited till something was built—and then you went out and tried to sell the -electricity—these projects wouldn’t get done,” says Harkrader. “People like Amazon, or Microsoft, Walmart, Target—on and on—are standing up and making this market possible. And it’s exploding.” These days, Amazon is the hungriest of all. The behemoth was not the first to buy renewable power for its operations, but it is now buying the most. The plans it has announced, globally, amount to the equivalent of around 250 more Hawtree Creeks, and more or less equal to all the solar generation built in the U.S. last year. The buying spree is part of Amazon’s broader effort to reach “net-zero carbon” by 2040—meaning it will eliminate or offset the carbon emissions from all its operations, including trucks, planes, and manufacturing. That won’t be easy. An estimated two-thirds of American households are Amazon Prime members; it is almost impossible to use the internet without accessing an Amazon data center. Since it announced its climate goal in 2019, Amazon’s emissions have grown 40%—as its sales have grown more than 50%. “The path to achieving some of our goals will be long and complex,” acknowledges Kara Hurst, who leads Amazon’s sustainability efforts. But clean electricity is Amazon’s climate bright spot. With today’s technology—and a fat checkbook—the company has nearly eliminated its use of dirty energy, prioritizing the hard realities of glass and steel over tree planting or tricky accounting, building at a scale that rivals that of many countries. Amazon has catapulted itself to the front ranks of corporate buyers, contracting last year for more than double its nearest competitor, Microsoft. Read More: The Future Is Being Written By Climate Devastation and Green Investment For the past decade, in the absence of major climate legislation and in the face of a complex patchwork of regulations that limited the ability of utility companies to build renewable power, PPAs have done the job. But the IRA—the most substantial piece of climate-focused legislation the U.S. has seen—takes that progress and adds billions of dollars in federal incentives. “It supercharges both the role and the potential for customers to drive even more of this,” says Brynn Baker, senior director at the Clean Energy Buyers Association. The latest predictions are gargantuan. Solar developers expect to install more than 215 gigawatts of capacity over the next five years—40% more than was expected before the IRA, according to a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie. But electricity is only one segment of carbon emissions, meaning that alone will not be enough to meet the climate goals set by the Paris Agreement. The hope is that the paths established by renewable energy can be applied to harder-to-decarbonize segments, like electric vehicles and manufacturing. Amazon, for example, has announced plans for 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030. “I think we could see even faster progress on transportation than we’ve seen with clean energy on the grid,” says Bill Weihl, executive director of Climate Voice and a former director of sustainability at Facebook. In corporate renewable power purchasing, we can see the narrow path that will need to be expanded into a highway over the next decade. For the Harkraders, Hawtree Creek required years of close attention to bring to fruition: attending county planning meetings, mapping wetlands, and exploring an old cemetery that, in the end, couldn’t be moved (the solar panels wrap around it). But for Charlie Daitch, who spearheads Amazon’s renewable-power purchasing, Hawtree was one row on a very tall spreadsheet. “I have a pretty good map in my head of the portfolio—where are we distributed, maybe not each individual project,” Daitch says from the passenger seat of a rented SUV, barreling across North Carolina, on his first visit to the site. “It’s gotten bigger than that.” JAMIE KELTER DAVIS—BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGESAmazon delivery electric vans (EV), built by Rivian Automotive, at charging stations parked outside the Amazon Logistics warehouse in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday, July 21, 2022. Amazon Inc. is starting delivery of packages to US customers using the first of as many as 100,000 electric vans built by Rivian Automotive Inc., which aims to hand over thousands of the vehicles this year. When Amazon announced the “Climate Pledge” in 2019, it set its own target for reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. Included in that was an earlier goal: to use 100% renewable energy by 2030. For a company like Amazon, which has a sprawling -infrastructure for moving goods around the world, eliminating emissions is a challenge that stretches across the business. Sustainable aviation fuel and heavy-duty electric trucks are still years, if not decades, away from broad adoption. But wind and solar power are ready now. “Renewables is a place we identified where we could go fast to decarbonize our electricity stack,” adds Daitch, a mechanical engineer by training. Compared with its competitors, Amazon came late to that realization. Walmart announced the first-ever “utility scale” PPA in 2008, with a 153-megawatt wind farm in Texas. At the time, it was a controversial move. “Those early companies that made these commitments did not do so because customers were asking for it,” says Miranda Ballentine, who led Walmart’s sustainability efforts at the time and is now CEO of the Clean Energy Buyers Association. The corporate winds shifted in 2010. That March, Greenpeace called out the technology companies for their energy use. Their report was perfectly timed, coming just days before the first iPad was released—a device that self-evidently depended on the internet behind it. The tech companies went on the defensive. “There is no such thing as a coal-powered data center,” insisted Facebook in a statement. “Every data center plugs into the grid offered by their utility or power provider.” Dirty energy, in other words, wasn’t their problem—it was the grid’s problem. That half-shrug emoji of an argument didn’t last long. The next year, in a joint statement with Greenpeace, Facebook announced a new “preference” for “clean and renewable” energy. Over the next several years, the other tech giants lined up to follow suit. Putting solar panels on the roof or wind turbines in the parking lot was never going to be enough; data centers require too much energy for that, often hundreds of megawatts each. Power purchase agreements give large corporations a way to use renewable energy without having to wait for utilities. “Large off-site power purchase agreements remain the tool that allows you to move more quickly,” says Erin Decker, a consultant at Schneider Electric, one of the leading clean-energy advisers. Big Tech firms are happy to make long-term deals—especially if they can send out a press release. According to the logic of corporate climate action, if a solar farm is built in the desert, it needs to make a sound. “When we think about our renewable-energy strategy, we’re like, ‘Well, how can we tell the most credible story to our customers about what we’re doing?’” says Amazon’s Nat Sahlstrom. “We don’t want to be greenwashing. We don’t want to be chasing investments that aren’t really having an impact.” Most of Amazon’s competitors have already completed the deals that lock them into a decade or more of renewable power. Facebook, now known as Meta, long ago “unfriended coal” and has 7.5 gigawatts of renewables under contract. Google reached 100% renewable electricity in 2017, with over 7 gigawatts procured; its next effort is ensuring its data centers run “24/7” carbon-free, meaning all of its energy all the time comes from renewable sources, rather than, for example, buying excess solar during the day to make up for coal power it needs at night. Apple announced that it had sourced 100% renewable energy for its operations in 2018, with 87% of that in the form of PPAs; the next, far more challenging step is helping its suppliers and manufacturers do the same—a goal it has set for 2030. And Microsoft has nearly 8 gigawatts, 5.8 of which it bought in 2021. Outside of tech, large companies have more catching up to do. “It’s not just Big Tech companies,” says Tyler Espinoza at 3Degrees, a climate-action consultancy. “You have a broad swath of massive corporations that are willing to put their money behind it.” In 2021, Pfizer announced a 15-year contract for 310 megawatts of electricity from a Texas wind farm, enough to power 100% of its North American operations—a gigantic leap from the mere 6% of its global usage previously met by renewables. In August, Ford announced an agreement with a Michigan-based utility for 650 megawatts of solar. But small and medium-sized businesses struggle with the level of complexity, and commitment, that PPAs require. “The power purchase agreement is a wonderful tool for large, fairly sophisticated, high–creditworthy companies to be able to procure clean energy,” says Ballentine, of the Clean Energy Buyers Association. “It is not as easy of a tool for smaller companies.” As long as there are still large corporations eager to sweep up the available inventory of projects, that hasn’t been a great concern. In the first half of 2022, corporations contracted for 9.8 gigawatts of renewable power in the U.S.—a third of which was Amazon’s. But across the board, the challenge is coming to terms with how significant the impact of this renewable-energy purchasing can be on the broader effort to counter climate change. Ballentine, who was in the trenches for Walmart’s early actions, sees a single-mindedness in these corporate actions. “The big ‘why’ is very simple,” she says. “It’s about solving the climate crisis. There is no other reason that a company would set a voluntary zero-carbon energy procurement goal or renewable-energy goal.” Even on a global scale, Amazon’s efforts stand out. The company’s initial Climate Pledge called for 100% renewable energy by 2030. But early in the pandemic, that pace shifted, when Daitch and his colleagues realized they could move much faster than they already were. Yet other aspects of Amazon’s business—like all those trucks and planes—were not going to decarbonize anytime soon. Will Warasila for TIMESolar panels on the 526 acre plot at Hawtree Creek in North Carolina. At the time Amazon had about 1 gigawatt of renewable energy procured. Daitch, who got his start at a traditional energy utility in the Pacific Northwest, working on distribution planning, increased the intensity of his team’s search. Their criteria varied. Wind might work better in Kansas, while solar was preferable in Ohio. Some regions relied heavily on coal power, heightening the impact of any new renewables. But others had crowded—or dysfunctional—processes for connecting new projects to the grid. Generally, Hawtree Creek is emblematic of how the process often works: a local developer who really knows the geography of the state, its electric-transmission network, and the local politics of its counties might respond to Amazon’s solicitation. But once things are under way, they hand the project off to a large energy operator, like Engie. At the end of 2021, Amazon announced a blockbuster purchase: 18 new projects around the world, bringing its total to 12 gigawatts and making Amazon the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world. In April, it added 3.5 more gigawatts. Amazon’s projects dot the map. In Kansas, two wind farms, both finished in 2021, produce more than 500 megawatts of power. In Halifax County, Virginia, 65 miles west of Hawtree Creek, are four more similarly sized solar farms, totaling 261 megawatts of additional energy. In Ohio, more than 2,000 megawatts have been completed or are coming soon—and on, across 134 utility-scale projects in 15 countries. “There’s a flywheel,” says Daitch. “Our commitment, and signal to the market that we are moving at scale, then gets developers ramped up developing more projects. It gets solar manufacturers investing in more plants and production. So there’s that feedback loop.” The past year has tested that presumption as the renewables industry struggled with rising prices and constrained supplies. Making matters worse, in April 2022 solar development ground to nearly a complete halt when the Commerce Department announced an investigation into Chinese companies violating tariffs—raising the threat of retroactive import taxes on even the modules that were already in the U.S. Then in June, the situation reversed, when the Biden Administration invoked the Defense Production Act to increase solar production. By the time industry analysts finished calculating the impact of the investment introduced by the IRA, a sense of giddiness settled in among climate activists. According to analysts at Wood Mackenzie, total investment in renewable energy will reach $1.2 trillion by 2035. In a look at the manufacturing of solar polysilicon, the key component in new panels, Bloomberg-NEF found that by 2025 global capacity will be enough to manufacture 940 gigawatts of panels annually—almost as much as the total 971 gigawatts of solar currently installed around the world. For both corporations and individuals, all this comes back to the broadest goal of reducing emissions sufficiently to counter the effects of climate change. According to an analysis by the International Energy Agency, that means—at least—reaching global net-zero emissions by 2050, on a path that is “narrow but still achievable.” For the past decade, that has looked, frankly, improbable—at least at the pace corporations were going. With the IRA, the U.S. now has a chance. Blum is the author of Tubes and The Weather Machine.....»»

Category: topSource: timeSep 16th, 2022

MetLife (MET) Adds Benefits as a Means to Advance Dental Plan

MetLife (MET) unveils a dental plan-related incentive, promising to expand rewards by reducing out-of-pocket expenses of employees who opt for regular dental diagnosis. MetLife, Inc. MET recently introduced a Dental Wellness Incentive offered as part of its Dental Plan beginning Sep 1, 2022. The offer is open for two more months (Nov 1, 2022) to employers who choose to integrate the incentive into their plans.The incentive aims to extend personalized rewards to employees if they opt for routine dental care visits. The rewards might come in the form of enhancing the yearly maximum and percentage of coinsurance (the amount that the insurance company pays in a claim) in a members’ plan or can also increase any one of the above-mentioned components. Additionally, the benefits might decrease plan deductibles to lure employees to choose more preventive visits.Depending on the past year’s count of preventive dental care visits, the bunch of rewards can be availed by qualifying employees and their enrolled family members. Notably, the incentives will continue to increase for a maximum of three years.The latest initiative reflects MetLife’s efforts to devise a dental benefit program that tends to improve the overall well-being of the employees. The insurer went ahead of merely offering dental benefits and attempted to relieve employees of financial stress by minimizing out-of-pocket costs.The attractive rewards associated with a dental plan might increase the chances of more people opting for the plan. The Group Benefits business through which MET distributes dental insurance within the United States is expected to benefit from higher premiums.Increased premiums augur well for MetLife since the same accounts for the bulk of the insurers’ top line. MET also has its reach outside the United States via its provision of dental, life, medical, credit and other accident & health insurances.MetLife continuously strives to leverage its exceptional capabilities and a solid financial footing to roll out innovative solutions and services.Shares of MetLife have gained 6.7% in a year against the industry’s decline of 13.8%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks Rank & Key PicksMetLife currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the insurance space are Radian Group Inc. RDN, MGIC Investment Corporation MTG and Unum Group UNM. While Radian Group and Unum Group sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), MGIC Investment carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Radian Group’s earnings surpassed estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed the mark once, the average surprise being 29.51%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RDN’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 32.7% from the year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for RDN’s 2022 earnings has moved 16.1% north in the past 60 days.The bottom line of MGIC Investment outpaced earnings estimates in three of the last four quarters and matched the mark once, the average surprise being 22.25%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MTG’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 33%, while the same for revenues suggests growth of 3.6% from the respective year-ago reported figures. The consensus mark for MTG’s 2022 earnings has been revised 4.5% upward in the past 30 days.Unum Group’s earnings surpassed estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed the mark once, the average being 30.13%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for UNM’s 2022 earnings indicates a rise of 40.5%, while the same for revenues suggests an improvement of 1.1% from the respective prior-year reported numbers. The consensus mark for UNM’s 2022 earnings has moved 1.3% up in the past seven days.The Unum Group stock has gained 57.4% in a year. However, shares of Radian Group and MGIC Investment have lost 4.6% and 2.8%, respectively, in the same time frame. Free Report Reveals How You Could Profit from the Growing Electric Vehicle Industry Globally, electric car sales continue their remarkable growth even after breaking records in 2021. High gas prices have fueled his demand, but so has evolving EV comfort, features and technology. So, the fervor for EVs will be around long after gas prices normalize. Not only are manufacturers seeing record-high profits, but producers of EV-related technology are raking in the dough as well. Do you know how to cash in?  If not, we have the perfect report for you – and it’s FREE! Today, don't miss your chance to download Zacks' top 5 stocks for the electric vehicle revolution at no cost and with no obligation.>>Send me my free report on the top 5 EV stocksWant 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 MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG): Free Stock Analysis Report MetLife, Inc. (MET): Free Stock Analysis Report Unum Group (UNM): Free Stock Analysis Report Radian Group Inc. (RDN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 15th, 2022

3 Residential REITs With Solid Dividend Despite Inflation Woes

Solid dividend payouts are arguably the biggest enticements for REIT shareholders. Residential REITs like EQR, MAA and BRT look poised to deliver better results and reward shareholders simultaneously. Inflation woes are refusing to abate and the ongoing anticipation of a rate hike in the upcoming policy meeting of the Federal Reserve to tame inflationary pressure is making the market jittery. REITs are no exception and their historical dependence on debt is making investors all the more skeptical.However, it won’t be prudent to shy away from this sector as there are several pockets of strength in this hybrid asset class. Particularly, the REIT And Equity Trust - Residential industry happens to be one of them. Housed within the broader Finance sector, this industry carries a Zacks Industry Rank #82. This places it in the top 33% of more than 250 Zacks industries, reflecting the industry’s bullish prospects.In the upcoming days, residential REITs are poised to benefit as rental housing demand remains robust, with young adults forming new households and the job market showing improvement. De-densification and the desire for more space are resulting in fewer adults per apartment, thereby creating incremental demand for renting units. Also, due to the high cost of homeownership, the transition from being a renter to a homeowner is difficult. Thus, renting apartments units emerges as a viable option.As far as REIT shareholders are concerned, solid dividend payouts are arguably the biggest enticements. Residential REITs like Equity Residential EQR, Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. MAA and BRT Apartments Corp. BRT look poised to not only deliver better results but also reward shareholders simultaneously.In fact, global uncertainties helped dividend-paying stocks gain traction. Therefore, income-seeking investors still have a large appetite for REIT stocks as U.S. law requires REITs to distribute 90% of their annual taxable income in the form of dividends. Indeed, this has enabled the industry to stand out and gain a footing over the last 15–20 years.Now if REITs’ historical dependence on debt makes investors skeptical in a rising rate environment, then it needs to be noted that over the years, REITs have managed their balance sheets efficiently and are now well prepared for a rising rate environment. Instead of looking for debt to finance the portfolios, these companies have strategically resorted to equity capital over the past decade.What’s more encouraging is REITs’ characteristic of providing natural protection against inflation. Particularly, both rents and real estate values have a tendency to move north with prices increasing, thereby aiding dividend growth. In fact, the majority of leases are tied with inflation, which leads to rent increases as inflation goes up. Therefore, even amid the inflationary period, investment in the REIT industry can offer a steady stream of income.Here’s How We Selected These Residential REITsHowever, not all residential REITs are equally capable of keeping up their dividend-paying momentum. Therefore, to pick the right dividend stocks, we have employed the Zacks Stocks Screener and have shortlisted the residential REITs with a dividend yield of more than 2% (this criterion includes companies with a dividend yield above the S&P 500′s average dividend yield of roughly 2%). Apart from this, we have considered Residential REITs that have five-year historical dividend growth of greater than or equal to 0.001 (includes companies that have increased their dividend over the past five years).Moreover, these stocks have a sturdy business model, which protects them from market volatility, and are known for providing a steady stream of income. As such, our shortlisted stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Our ChoicesBased in Chicago, IL, Equity Residential is one of the leading, publicly-traded multi-family REITs in the United States. It is well-positioned to benefit from the improving demand for apartment living, its portfolio rebalancing efforts in the urban and suburban markets and a strong balance sheet.It concluded a strong leasing season, driven by healthy demand and pricing for its apartment units. As a result, same-store revenue growth is on track to either match or surpass the projections mentioned in the company’s second-quarter earnings release. Also, occupancy levels remained high. Equity Residential’s efforts to diversify its portfolio in the urban and suburban markets, with an affluent tenant base, bode well. Its strategic buyouts and focus on technology and organizational capabilities to drive innovation and efficiency of its operating platform act as tailwinds.Analysts seem bullish on this Zacks Rank #2 stock. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2022 funds from operations (FFO) per share indicates a favorable outlook, with estimates revised marginally upward over the past month to $3.51.EQR pays out a quarterly dividend of 62.50 cents per share ($2.50 annualized), which gives it a 3.37% yield at the current stock price. The company has increased its dividend four times in the last five years and the five-year annualized dividend growth rate is 4.3%. Check Equity Residential’s dividend history here.Equity Residential Dividend Yield (TTM) Equity Residential dividend-yield-ttm | Equity Residential QuoteHeadquartered in Germantown, TN, Mid-America Apartment Communities — commonly known as MAA — is engaged in owning, managing, acquiring, developing and redeveloping quality apartment communities, mainly in the Southeast, Southwest and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.Mid-America Apartment’s well-diversified Sunbelt-focused portfolio is set to gain from healthy operating fundamentals and a strong development pipeline. The favorable in-migration trends of jobs and households in SunBelt submarkets are likely to fuel demand. We expect strong rent growth and stable occupancy to drive revenues going forward. The prospects of its redevelopment program and progress in technology measures are likely to expand margins. Its solid balance sheet acts as a tailwind.MAA currently has a Zacks Rank #3. The recent trend in estimate revision indicates a favorable outlook for MAA. Particularly, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 FFO per share has been revised 1.1% upward over the past two months to $8.28.MAA pays out a quarterly dividend of $1.25 per share ($5.00 annualized), which gives it a 2.9% yield at the current stock price. The company has increased its dividend six times in the last five years and the five-year annualized dividend growth rate is 4.22%. Check Mid-America Apartment’s dividend history here.MidAmerica Apartment Communities, Inc. Dividend Yield (TTM) MidAmerica Apartment Communities, Inc. dividend-yield-ttm | MidAmerica Apartment Communities, Inc. QuoteHeadquartered in Great Neck, NY, BRT Apartments Corp. is engaged in the ownership, operation and, to a lesser extent, development of multi-family properties.With well-located properties in growth markets, this residential REIT is poised to benefit from the growth in population in-migration of jobs in its markets. Also, the shortage of quality housing is likely to act as a positive.This Zacks Rank #2 stock has witnessed upward estimate revisions in recent times, indicating analysts’ bullish stance. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 FFO per share has been revised 5.8% upward over the past two months.BRT pays out a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share ($1.00 annualized), which gives it a 4.40% yield at the current stock price. The company has increased its dividend five times in the last five years and the five-year annualized dividend growth rate is 5.36%. Check BRT Apartments’ dividend history here.BRT Apartments Corp. Dividend Yield (TTM) BRT Apartments Corp. dividend-yield-ttm | BRT Apartments Corp. QuoteNote: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs. Free Report Reveals How You Could Profit from the Growing Electric Vehicle Industry Globally, electric car sales continue their remarkable growth even after breaking records in 2021. High gas prices have fueled his demand, but so has evolving EV comfort, features and technology. So, the fervor for EVs will be around long after gas prices normalize. Not only are manufacturers seeing record-high profits, but producers of EV-related technology are raking in the dough as well. Do you know how to cash in?  If not, we have the perfect report for you – and it’s FREE! Today, don't miss your chance to download Zacks' top 5 stocks for the electric vehicle revolution at no cost and with no obligation.>>Send me my free report on the top 5 EV stocksWant 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 Equity Residential (EQR): Free Stock Analysis Report MidAmerica Apartment Communities, Inc. (MAA): Free Stock Analysis Report BRT Apartments Corp. (BRT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 15th, 2022

3 Real Estate Operations Stocks Set to Escape Industry Blues

Despite the cautious stance of clients due to rising interest rates and inflation, the Zacks Real Estate Operations industry stocks like CBRE, FSV and CIGI are in focus as outsourcing of real estate needs and some other trends gain momentum. The Zacks Real Estate Operations industry constituents’ performances are likely to be affected by rising interest rates, inflationary pressure and a choppy geopolitical environment. Investors have become more cautious, which has been affecting transaction closing time and pricing. In the debt markets, there is an increase in underwriting requirements. Also, limited business travel and face-to-face business dealings, and a large chunk of workers remaining out of their offices will likely affect real estate decisions in the near term.Nevertheless, the rising tendency of outsourcing real estate needs by companies and the acceleration of certain trends amid the pandemic are creating scope for these industry participants to bank on, while technological investments are creating a competitive edge. CBRE Group, Inc. CBRE, FirstService Corporation FSV and Colliers International Group Inc. CIGI are likely to benefit from these favorable trends.About the IndustryThe Zacks Real Estate Operations industry comprises companies that provide leasing, property management, investment management, valuation, development services, facilities management, project management, transaction and consulting services, among others. Nonetheless, real estate investment trusts or REITs are excluded from this group. Economic trends and government policies impact the real estate market, both global and regional, which, in turn, determine this industry’s performance. Economic activity, employment growth, office-based employment, interest-rate levels, cost and availability of credit, tax and regulatory policies, as well as the geopolitical environment are the major factors shaping the real estate market’s fate. Pandemic-induced public health challenges and mayhem too have impacted property sales and leasing lines of businesses.What's Shaping the Real Estate - Operations Industry's Future?Geopolitical Environment, Interest Rates and Inflation Affecting Business: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing military conflict pose concerns for Europe’s real estate industry. Moreover, the conflict has escalated supply-chain disruptions and led to higher inflation and other macroeconomic challenges worldwide. Therefore, despite the presence of liquidity in the market, the industry’s performance is likely to be affected by rising interest rates, inflationary pressure and a choppy geopolitical environment. Particularly, investors have become more cautious, which has been affecting transaction closing time and pricing. Debt markets are not only adhering to a cautious stance but there is also an increase in underwriting requirements, affecting transaction activities. Also, the cautious attitude of clients/corporate occupiers are causing delays in real-estate decisions, thereby affecting this industry’s revenues.Covid-19 continues to impact operations: With improvements in the global economic conditions, the effects of COVID-19 eased significantly in 2021 and early this year. However, the health crisis continues to impact this industry’s operations. This is because a large chunk of workers remains out of their offices. Amid this, occupier confidence with respect to office leasing decisions for the long term is yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. Also, business travel and face-to-face business dealings are still limited. The operating challenges are expected to continue in the upcoming period. Particularly, the cautious attitude of clients/corporate occupiers is likely to keep causing delays in real estate decisions in the days to come.Ample Liquidity, Resilient Sectors, Pandemic Accelerating Trends to Drive Growth: With increased competition and ample capital being directed toward commercial real estate, pricing is getting a boost. While a number of commercial real estate segments showing operational resilience have already attracted capital flows, the asset categories that were considered not favorable during the earlier months of the pandemic are now experiencing an increase in capital flow, which is encouraging. Moreover, the pandemic accelerated a number of trends that were present prior to its onset, as well as compelled businesses to transform. Specifically, the global industrial leasing activity, backed by e-retailing, has been robust, proving this asset type’s resiliency amid challenging times. Also, a number of workplace trends that were present before the pandemic, such as experiential workspaces, outsourced real estate functions, together with a greater-than-before focus on employee well-being, have gained prominence. These are creating scope for the industry participants to bank on and opportunities for players with broad diversifications across property types, geography, business lines and clients to excel.Technology Investments Offer Competitive Edge: The pandemic has intensified technological disruptions in the commercial real estate industry. Amid this, big players in this industry are aiming for process improvements and leveraging their technology platforms. These moves drive efficiency, deliver differentiated client services, help in market-share gains, and aid in differentiating from peers.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bleak ProspectsThe Zacks Real Estate Operations industry is housed within the broader Zacks Finance sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #155, which places it at the bottom 38% of more than 250 Zacks industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bleak near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.The industry’s positioning in the bottom 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of the negative earnings per share outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings per share estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are losing confidence, of late, in this group’s growth potential. Over the past year, the industry’s earnings per share estimate for 2022 has moved 2.5% south.However, before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.Industry Underperfoms Sector & S&P 500The Zacks Real Estate Operations industry has underperformed the broader Zacks Finance sector as well as the S&P 500 composite over the past year.The industry has declined 31.5% during this period compared with the S&P 500’s fall of 13.2% and the broader Finance sector’s decline of 11.8%.One-Year Price PerformanceIndustry's Current ValuationOn the basis of the forward 12-month price-to-EPS, which is a commonly-used multiple for valuing Real Estate Operations stocks, we see that the industry is currently trading at 14.07X compared with the S&P 500’s forward 12-month price-to-earnings (P/E) of 17.2X. However, the industry is trading above the Finance sector’s forward 12-month P/E of 13.67X. This is shown in the chart below.Forward 12-Month Price-To-Earnings RatioOver the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 33.77X, as low as 11.61X, with a median of 15.95X.3 Real Estate - Operation Stocks Trying to Survive the Industry ChallengesFirstService Corporation: Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, FirstService offers property services to commercial, institutional and residential customers, primarily in North America and internationally.The company, a leader in essential outsourced property services in the United States and Canada, is poised to benefit from the strong demand for the company’s services and increased activity levels.FirstService carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ongoing-year earnings per share of $4.28 is backed by a 12.2% projected increase in full-year revenues. The company’s shares have rallied 3.2% quarter to date.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Colliers International Group: Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Colliers International Group provides commercial real estate services, including outsourcing and advisory services, investment management, leasing and capital markets. The company operates across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the Asia Pacific.The company is poised to ride on the growth curve backed by strategic acquisitions that increase market share, expansion of service offerings and geographic reach.Colliers International currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings per share has moved 4% north over the past month, reflecting positive sentiments. The consensus mark suggests an increase of 21.4% year on year. The company’s shares have rallied 6.5% so far in the quarter.CBRE Group: Headquartered in Dallas, TX, CBRE Group is a commercial real estate services and investment firm, offering a wide range of services to tenants, owners, lenders and investors in office, retail, industrial, multi-family and other types of commercial real estates in all major metropolitan areas across the globe.CBRE Group continues to benefit from the expansion of its resilient contractual businesses. Furthermore, a strong balance sheet supports its acquisition moves aimed at enhancing the company’s service offerings and geographic reach.CBRE Group currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings per share has moved 1.3% upward over the past month to $6.13. This also calls for 5.7% increase year over year. The stock has appreciated 7.3% so far in the quarter.  Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Electric Vehicles Big money has already been made in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry. But, the EV revolution has not hit full throttle yet. There is a lot of money to be made as the next push for future technologies ramps up. Zacks’ Special Report reveals 5 picks investorsSee 5 EV Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report CBRE Group, Inc. (CBRE): Free Stock Analysis Report Colliers International Group Inc. (CIGI): Free Stock Analysis Report FirstService Corporation (FSV): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 1st, 2022

Cigna (CI) to Widen Access to Individual Health Plans in 2023

Cigna (CI) unveils enhanced individual and family health plans for its customers to opt for in the 2023 Open Enrollment Period. CI will enter newer counties and states to offer better health outcomes. Cigna Corporation CI recently introduced an expansion outline for its individual and family health plans available on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace for 2023. The expansion awaits final regulatory approvals.The above-mentioned plans are offered by CI through its U.S. Government business. Individuals below 65 years and without the option to enroll in an employer or government program like Medicare or Medicaid can avail of the above-mentioned plans.Cigna intends to bolster the geographic reach of its ACA Marketplace exchange plans across areas with solid provider partnerships in place. Logically, it aims to take its health plans across the three untapped states of Texas, Indiana and South Carolina. Simultaneously, CI aims to foray into surplus counties of Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina.The newer markets that the health insurer intends to delve into are expected to aid it in reaching out to roughly 730,000 additional customers next year. Cigna’s endeavor to cover more people across the United States with cost-effective and advanced quality care for better health outcomes is clearly reflected in its latest expansion plan.During the 2023 Open Enrollment Period, which will start Nov 1, 2022 and continue through Jan 15, 2023, individuals and families can opt for health care coverage by enrolling in Cigna’s health plan on the national individual exchange or a state-based exchange. Once the Open Enrollment Period commences, the health plans purchased within Dec 15, 2022 will be effective the beginning of next year.The individual and family plans for 2023 will provide several enhanced benefits for its members. The new features include anytime access to the primary care physician network of the virtual care provider MDLIVE to avail of routine visits remotely, wellness screenings free of cost and personalized support for chronic condition management through digital tools, such as myCigna mobile app and Cigna One Guide.The latest announcement also marks Cigna’s continuous efforts to further solidify its presence on the ACA Marketplace. The health insurer continues to have a significant presence on the marketplace for nearly a decade. The list of markets that CI intends to penetrate this time will allow it to provide individual and family plans on the individual exchanges altogether across 363 counties of 16 states.Such expansion endeavors are likely to provide an impetus to the U.S. Government business of Cigna through which, it offers Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and Medicare Part D plans besides delivering individual and family plans. The business has performed well to date, courtesy of continuous plan enhancements, contract wins, growing membership and collaborations with renowned healthcare systems.With more customers from different U.S. regions getting an opportunity to opt for improved individual and family plans as a result of this latest move, Cigna’s membership base is likely to get a boost. Concurrently, membership growth is usually accompanied by higher premiums, the most significant contributor to a health insurer.  Shares of Cigna have gained 35.7% in a year compared with the industry’s growth of 26.7%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks Rank & Key PicksCigna currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the Medical space are The Ensign Group, Inc. ENSG, AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN and Molina Healthcare, Inc. MOH. While AMN Healthcare flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Ensign Group and Molina Healthcare carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Ensign Group’s earnings beat earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and matched the mark once, the average surprise being 1.32%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ENSG’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 13.2%, while the same for revenues indicates growth of 13% from the respective year-ago reported figures.  The consensus mark for ENSG’s 2022 earnings has moved 0.5% north in the past 30 days.The bottom line of AMN Healthcare outpaced earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 15.66%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AMN’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 40.2% from the year-ago reported figure. The same for revenues implies 28.5% growth from the year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for AMN’s 2022 earnings has moved 8.2% north in the past 30 days.Molina Healthcare’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 3.22%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MOH’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 29.8%, while the same for revenues indicates growth of 12.5% from the respective year-ago reported figures. The consensus mark for MOH’s 2022 earnings has moved 0.7% north in the past 30 days.Shares of Ensign Group and Molina Healthcare have gained 4.8% and 25.2%, respectively, in a year. However, the AMN Healthcare stock has dropped 9% in the same time frame. How to Profit from the Hot Electric Vehicle Industry Global electric car sales in 2021 more than doubled their 2020 numbers. And today, the electric vehicle (EV) technology and very nature of the business is changing quickly. The next push for future technologies is happening now and investors who get in early could see exceptional profits. See Zacks' Top Stocks to Profit from the EV Revolution >>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 Molina Healthcare, Inc (MOH): Free Stock Analysis Report Cigna Corporation (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report AMN Healthcare Services Inc (AMN): Free Stock Analysis Report The Ensign Group, Inc. (ENSG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksAug 31st, 2022

In Sureal Story, 20-Year-Old Student Acquires 6% Of Bed Bath & Beyond, Makes $110 Million In 3 Weeks

In Sureal Story, 20-Year-Old Student Acquires 6% Of Bed Bath & Beyond, Makes $110 Million In 3 Weeks We thought that today's story about Ryan Cohen filing to dump his entire stake in Bed Bath & Beyond after sparking a massive gamma squeeze using deep OTM call options would be the most absurd meme-related story of the day. Boy, were we wrong. In a late Wednesday article published on the FT which at first (and second, and third) read comes across as a cross between absurdist satire and a PR puff piece, we read the day's feel-good "riches to riches" story in which a 20-year-old university student, Jake Freeman, who is an applied mathematics and economics major at the University of Southern California, managed to accumulate 6.2% of the entire outstanding stock of Bed Bath & Beyond at under $5.50 share (did we mention he is a 20-year-old university student) amounting to $27 million, which he announced in an activist 13-G letter to BBBY Management on July 21, 2022, and less than a month later sold out of his entire stake - thanks to the insane gamma squeeze in the stock - not through some prime broker but through his TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers accounts, making $110 million in the process! For the sake of simplicity, here is what happened summarized in one chart. First things first - how the FT got the idea for the story in the first place was rather inspired: they looked at the HDS page of BBBY and found that the 4th largest holder of BBBY is a completely unknown entity called Freeman Capital, which alongside only Ken Griffen's Citadel and Federated Hermes, were the only three Top 20 holders to build out their entire stakes in the second quarter (as a reminder, shortly before the close we learned that the 2nd largest holder, Ryan Cohen's RC Ventures, filed a 144 to dump its entire 9.450MM share-equivalent stake). And while we wait for RC Ventures to liquidate its stake, we now know for a fact that the #4 top BBBY holder already sold to unwitting retail investors. What is remarkable is that at the same time Freeman disclosed its 6.21% (or 4,968,000) stake, the 20-year-old also sent out a 9 page activist letter (hardly the stuff 20-year-old college math majors write) to BBBY management explaining that the company is "facing an existential crisis for its survival" and that the company "needs to cut its cash-burn rates, drastically improve its capital structure and raise cash." The first page of the letter is below (link to the full letter here). In it... ... Jake Freeman writes that his "plan for the realignment of BBBY consists of two crucial legs: cutting debt and raising capital." He proceeds to detail his proposal for both legs, which would culminate in reducing the company's senior debt from $1.2 billion to $500 million (through an exchange offer of the current discounted debt into far less par debt), and the issuance of converts to somehow raise $1 billion in the market (how this would have worked when the stock was trading around $5 with imploding EBITDA is anyone's guess). But what was most remarkable is what Freeman said in the highlighted section: namely that the "US options market is pricing in high implied volatility for BBBY derivatives which can be leveraged and capitalized on in order to effect a realignment of BBBY's debt", in other words a debt reduction using... a gamma squeeze? Perhaps. We don't know who on the board (or management team) read Freeman's letter, or what they did next, but less than ten days after the recent teenager shipped out his "activist letter" to BBBY, the stock doubled, then tripled, quadrupled and so on, from his cost basis... at which point Freeman, quite content with the 6x return he made on his initial investment of $27 million, sold his BBBY stake north of $130 million, making more than $100 million in less than a month! By this point, readers should have some questions, like for example how did a 20-year-old get $27 million in cash to buy 6.2% of the outstanding shares of Bed Bath & Beyond, and become the 4th largest shareholder? Here, the FT comes to the rescue: Freeman’s initial stake cost about $25mn, which he said was mostly raised from friends and family. He has invested for years with his uncle, Dr Scott Freeman, a former pharmaceutical executive. The two recently built an activist stake in a publicly traded pharmaceutical company called Mind Medicine. There's more: Freeman also said he had interned for years at a New Jersey hedge fund, Volaris Capital. Just before his 17th birthday, Freeman and its founder, Vivek Kapoor, a former Credit Suisse executive, published a paper titled “Irreducible Risks of Hedging a Bond with a Default Swap”. But we digress: let's get this straight: "friends and family" handed a tiny $25 million (really, $27 million) to a 20-year-old math major at USC, whose extensive financial background is co-investing with his uncle "a former pharma executive" and interning at a hedge fund located above a Starbucks office in Milburn, NJ, yet which oddly enough is primarily focused on various options trading strategies. ... $25 million which he invested, through his hedge fund Freeman Capital Managent, LLC, which doesn't really exist except through a Sheridan, Wyoming-based commercial registered agent at 30 N Gould St. (where more than one registration scam has been discovered recently) and which was "founded" in May 2022 ... .... into just one high-beta, practically bankrupt stock just weeks after the company reported dismal earnings report according to which BBBY sales plunged by 25% in Q2 while its net loss widened to $358mn from $51mn, and its cash position had dwindled to just $107 million from $1 billion at the start of the year, or just a few weeks from insolvency, culminating a catastrophic trend of disappearing EBITDA. Surely such a concentrated, undiversified investment by a young "hedge fund" guru who doesn't even have an active Bloomberg account... ... screams "fiduciary duty", and we can only applaud the "friends and family" who handed their $25 million to this young investing wizard, who were surely expecting a few percent returns here and there, instead of a 5x return in 3 weeks. Surely. According to the FT, Freeman himself quite shocked by the outcome: “I certainly did not expect such a vicious rally upwards,” Freeman told the Financial Times in an interview on Wednesday. “I thought this was going to be a six months plus play . . . I was really shocked that it went up so fast.” So young Master Freeman was expecting the 5x return to take place in "six months" but was "really shocked" it took just 24 calendar days. Come to think of it, we would be too (or maybe not, especially since the entire idea was that of Jake's uncle Scott, M.D.... but more on that in a subsequent post. But here one additional thing is worth noting, between July 13 (when FCM BBBY HOLDINGS, LLC was registered in Wyoming by Jake Spencer Freeman) and July 20 when the 13G was filed disclosing the 5 million share stake, just 41.9 million shares traded, which means that young Master Jake was in quite a rush to build up his stake: as JC Oviedo pointed out, "to amass its stake in this time period, FCM BBBY HOLDINGS, LLC would have had to be over 11% of the average daily volume!" That's not only a ton of conviction where to put in every last penny of your "friends and family" money but one hell of a rush too. Finally, what did Freeman do after making $100 million in what may be the luckiest investment ever made by a 20-year-old? After selling the shares, Freeman went for dinner with his parents in the suburb of New York City where they live and on Wednesday he flew to Los Angeles to return to campus, he said. We, for one, can't wait to see how Freeman Capital Management makes its next 5x return in under a month next (actually we know how, and we will reveal it tomorrow). Tyler Durden Wed, 08/17/2022 - 23:01.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 18th, 2022

Futures Tumble After UK Double-Digit Inflation Shock Sparks Surge In Yields

Futures Tumble After UK Double-Digit Inflation Shock Sparks Surge In Yields Futures were grinding gingerly higher, perhaps celebrating the end of the Cheney family's presence in Congress, and looked set to re-test Michael Hartnett bearish target of 4,328 on the S&P (which marked the peak of yesterday's meltup before a waterfall slide lower when spoos got to within half a point of the bogey), when algos and the few remaining carbon-based traders got a stark reminder that central banks will keep hammering risk assets after the UK reported a blistering CPI print, which at a double digit 10.1% was not only higher than the highest forecast, but was the highest in 40 years. The print appeared to shock markets out of their month-long levitating complacency, and yields - both in the UK and the US - spiked... ... and with yields surging, futures had no choice but to notice and after trading at session highs just before the UK CPI print, they have since tumbled more than 40 points and were last down 0.85% or 37 points to 4,271. Nasdaq 100 futures retreated 0.9% signaling a selloff in technology names will continue. The dollar rose as investors awaited the minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting for clues on policy makers’ sensitivity to weaker economic data. In US premarket trading, retail giant Target slumped 4% after reporting earnings that missed expectations despite still predicting a rebound. Applied Materials and PayPal dropped at least 1.3%. Tech stocks are the forefront of the growing pessimism over equity valuations on the back of Fed rate increases. The S&P 500 had posted a small gain on Tuesday, aided by earnings reports from retailers Walmart Inc. and Home Depot. Here are some of the other biggest U.S. movers today: Manchester United (MANU US) rises as much as 17% in US premarket trading before trimming most of the gains, after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he was buying the English football club but later added that he was joking. Hill International (HIL US) shares rise 61% in premarket trading hours after it announced Global Infrastructure Solutions will commence an all-cash tender offer for $2.85/share in cash, representing a premium of 63% to the last closing price. BioNTech (BNTX US) was initiated with a market perform recommendation at Cowen, which expects demand for Covid-19 vaccines to mirror annual flu trends as the pandemic enters its endemic phase. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY US) shares surge 20% in premarket trading, putting the stock on track for its sixth day of gains. The home-goods company has helped reinvigorate a wave of meme stock buying Agilent (A US) saw its price target boosted at brokers as analysts say the scientific testing equipment maker’s results were strong thanks to growth in biopharma and a recovery in China, while the company’s guidance was on the conservative side. Shares rose . Jefferies initiated coverage of Waldencast Plc (WALD US) class A with a buy recommendation as analyst Stephanie Wissink sees 29% upside potential. Sea Ltd. (SE US) ADRs slipped as much as 2.1% in US premarket trading, extending Tuesday’s declines, as Morgan Stanley cut its PT on expectations of slowing growth at the Shopee owner’s e-commerce business in the third quarter. Weber (WEBR US) downgraded to sell from neutral at Citi, which says there are too many concerns to remain on the sidelines, including a decline in point-of-sale traffic and macro factors like inflation weighing on consumer demand In the past two months, US stocks rallied on signs of peaking inflation and an earnings-reporting season that saw four out of five companies meeting or beating estimates. Boosted by relentless systematic (CTA) buying and retail-driven short squeezes, as well as a surge in buybacks, stocks recovered more than 50% of the bear market retracement. Yet, continuing rate hikes and the likelihood of a recession in the world’s largest economy are weighing on sentiment. Meanwhile, concern is growing that Fed rate setters will remain focused on the fight against inflation rather than supporting growth. “We expect the FOMC minutes to have a hawkish tilt,” Carol Kong, strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd., wrote in a note. “We would not be surprised if the minutes show the FOMC considered a 100 basis-point increase in July.” In Europe, the Stoxx 600 fell after a strong start amid signs the continent’s energy crisis is worsening. Benchmark natural-gas futures jumped as much as 5.1% on expectations the hot weather will boost demand for cooling. In the UK, consumer-price growth jumped to 10.1%, sending gilts tumbling. Real estate, retailers and miners are the worst performing sectors. The Stoxx 600 Real Estate Index declined 2%, making it the worst-performing sector in the wider European market, as focus turned to UK inflation that soared to double digits for the first time in four decades and also to today's FOMC minutes. German and Swedish names almost exclusively account for the 10 biggest decliners. TAG Immobilien drops 5.4%, Wallenstam is down 4.7%, Castellum falls 4% and LEG Immobilien declines 3.3%. The sector tumbles on rising bond yields, with 10y Bund yield up 11bps, and dwindling demand for Swedish real estate amid rising rates. Earlier on Wednesday, stocks rose in Asia amid speculation that China may deploy more stimulus to shore up its ailing economy while Japanese exporters were boosted by a weaker yen. After a string of weak data driven by a property-sector slump and Covid curbs, China’s Premier Li Keqiang asked local officials from six key provinces that account for 40% of the economy to bolster pro-growth measures. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 0.8%, with consumer-discretionary and industrial stocks such as Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda among the leaders on Wednesday. The benchmark Topix erased its year-to-date loss. Chinese food-delivery platform Meituan also rebounded after dropping more than 9% in the previous session on a Reuters report that Tencent may divest its stake in the firm. Chinese stocks erased declines early in the day, as investors hoped for more economic stimulus after a surprise rate cut on Monday failed to excite the market. Premier Li Keqiang has asked local officials from six key provinces that account for about 40% of the country’s economy to bolster pro-growth measures. “I believe policymakers have the tools to prevent a hard landing if needed,” Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco, said in a note. “I find investors are overly pessimistic about Chinese stocks -- which means there is the potential for positive surprise.” Asia’s stock benchmark is trading at mid-June levels as traders attempt to determine the trajectory of interest-rate hikes and economic growth globally -- as well as the impact of China’s property crisis and Covid policies. Meanwhile, minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s July policy meeting, out later Wednesday, will be carefully parsed. New Zealand stocks closed little changed as the country’s central bank raised interest rates by a half percentage point for a fourth-straight meeting. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3% to close at 7,127.70, supported by materials and consumer discretionary stocks. South Korea’s benchmark missed out on the rally across Asian equities, as losses by large-cap exporters weighed on the measure In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose as the dollar gained versus most of its Group-of-10 peers. The pound was the best G-10 performer while gilts slumped, led by the short end and sending 2-year yields to their highest level since 2008, after UK inflation accelerated more than expected in July. The yield curve inverted the most since the financial crisis as traders ratcheted up bets on BOE rate hikes in money markets, wagering on 200 more basis points of hikes by May. The euro traded in a narrow range against the dollar while the region’s bonds slumped, led by the front end. Scandinavian currencies recovered some early European session losses while the aussie, kiwi and yen extended their slide in thin trading. EUR/NOK one-day volatility touched a 15.12% high before paring ahead of Norges Bank’s meeting Thursday where it may have to raise rates by a bigger margin than indicated in June given Norway’s inflation exceeded forecasts for a fourth straight month, hitting a new 34-year high. Consumer sentiment in Norway fell to the lowest level since data began in 1992, according to Finance Norway. New Zealand’s dollar and bond yields both rose in response to the Reserve Bank hiking rates by 50bps, while flagging concern about labor market pressures and consequent wage inflation; the currency subsequently gave up gains in early European trading. The Aussie slumped after data showing the nation’s wages advanced at less than half the pace of inflation in the three months through June, backing the Reserve Bank’s move to give itself more flexibility on interest rates. In rates, treasuries held losses incurred during European morning as gilt yields climbed after UK inflation rose more than forecast. US 10-year around 2.87% is 6.5bp cheaper on the day vs ~13bp for UK 10-year; UK curve aggressively bear-flattened following inflation data, with long-end yields rising about 10bp. Front-end UK yields remain cheaper by ~20bp, off session highs, leading a global government bond selloff. US yields are higher on the day by by 4bp-7bp; focal points of US session are 20-year bond auction and FOMC minutes release an hour later. Treasury auctions resume with $15b 20-year bond sale at 1pm ET; WI 20-year yield at around 3.35% is ~7bp richer than July’s sale, which stopped 2.7bp through the WI level. In commodities, oil fluctuated between gains and losses, and was in sight of a more than six-month low -- reflecting lingering worries about a tough economic outlook amid high inflation and tightening monetary policy.  Spot gold is little changed at $1,774/oz Looking at the day ahead, the FOMC minutes from July will be the main highlight, and the other central bank speaker will be Fed Governor Bowman. Otherwise, earnings releases include Target, Lowe’s and Cisco Systems, and data releases include US retail sales and UK CPI for July. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,293.00 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 443.30 MXAP up 0.5% to 163.48 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 530.38 Nikkei up 1.2% to 29,222.77 Topix up 1.3% to 2,006.99 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 19,922.45 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,292.53 Sensex up 0.5% to 60,168.83 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,127.68 Kospi down 0.7% to 2,516.47 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.06% Euro little changed at $1.0178 Gold spot down 0.0% to $1,775.21 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 106.50 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg More market prognosticators are alighting on the idea of benchmark Treasury yields sliding to 2% if the US succumbs to a recession. That’s an out-of-consensus call, compared with Bloomberg estimates of about a 3% level by the end of this year and similar levels through 2023. But it’s a sign of how growth worries are forcing a rethink in some quarters The euro-area economy grew slightly less than initially estimated in the second quarter as signs continue to emerge that momentum is unraveling. Output rose 0.6% from the previous three months between April and June, compared with a preliminary reading of 0.7%, Eurostat said Wednesday Egypt became a prime destination for hot money by tethering its currency and boasting the world’s highest interest rates when adjusted for inflation Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, posted its biggest loss since the pandemic as rate hikes, surging inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spurred volatility. It lost an equivalent of $174 billion in the six months through June, or 14.4% A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks just about shrugged off the choppy lead from the US where markets were tentative amid mixed data signals and strong retailer earnings, but with gains capped overnight ahead of the FOMC Minutes and as participants digested another 50bps rate hike by the RBNZ. ASX 200 swung between gains and losses with the index indecisive amid a slew of earnings and with strength in the consumer sectors offset by underperformance in tech, energy and healthcare. Nikkei 225 climbed above the 29,000 level with the index unfazed by mixed data releases in which Machinery Orders disappointed although both Exports and Imports topped forecasts. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were somewhat varied with Hong Kong led higher by tech amid plenty of attention on Meituan after reports its largest shareholder Tencent could reduce all or the bulk of its shares in the Co. which a Tencent executive later refuted, while the mainland was less decisive amid headwinds from the ongoing COVID situation and with power restrictions disrupting activity in Sichuan, although reports also noted that Chinese Premier Li told top provincial officials that they must have a sense of urgency to consolidate the economic recovery and reiterated to step up macro policies. Top Asian News RBNZ hiked the OCR by 50bps to 3.00%, as expected, while it stated that conditions need to continue to tighten and they agreed that maintaining the current pace of tightening remains the best means. RBNZ also agreed that further increases in the OCR were required to meet the remit objective and that domestic inflationary pressures had increased since May. Furthermore, the RBNZ raised its projections for the OCR and inflation with the OCR seen at 3.69% in Dec. 2022 (prev. 3.41%) and at 4.1% for both Sept. 2023 and Dec. 2023 (prev. 3.95%), while it sees annual CPI at 4.1% by Sept. 2023 (prev. 3.0%). RBNZ Governor Orr stated at the press conference that they are not forecasting a recession but expected below-potential growth amid subdued consumer spending. Governor Orr also stated that they did not discuss a 75bps rate hike today and that 50bps moves have been orderly and sufficient, while he added that getting rates to 4% would buy comfort for the policy committee and that a Cash Rate of around 4% is unambiguously above neutral and sufficient to meet the inflation mandate. Chongqing, China is to curb power use for eight days for industry. China’s Infrastructure Boom Gets Swamped by Property Woes Tencent 2Q Revenue Misses Estimates Hong Kong Denies Democracy Advocates Security Law Jury Trial UN Expert Says Xinjiang Forced Labor Claims ‘Reasonable’ Singapore’s COE Category B Bidding Hits New Record Delayed Deals Add to Floundering Singapore IPO Market: ECM Watch European bourses have dipped from initial mixed/flat performance and are modestly into negative territory, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.5%. Stateside, futures are under similar pressure awaiting fresh corporate updates and the July FOMC Minutes, ES -0.6%. Fresh drivers relatively limited throughout the session with known themes in play and focus on upcoming risk events; stocks also suffering on further hawkish yield action. Lowe's Companies Inc (LOW) Q1 2023 (USD): EPS 4.68 (exp. 4.58), Revenue 27.47 (exp. 28.12bln); expect FY22 total & comp. sales at bottom-end of outlook range, Operating Income and Diluted EPS at top-end. Target Corp (TGT) Q1 2023 (USD): EPS 0.39 (exp. 0.72), Revenue 26.0bln (exp. 26.04bln); current trends support prior guidance. Top European News German Gas to Last Less Than 3 Months if Russia Cuts Supply European Gas Surges Again as Higher Demand Compounds Supply Pain Entain Falls; Citi Views Fine Negatively but Notes Steps by Firm UK Inflation Hits Double Digits for the First Time in 40 Years Crypto.com Receives Registration as UK Cryptoasset Provider FX Greenback underpinned ahead of US retail sales data and FOMC minutes, DXY holds tight around 106.500. Pound pegged back after spike in wake of stronger than expected UK inflation metrics, Cable hovers circa 1.2100 after fade into 1.2150. Kiwi retreats following knee jerk rise on the back of hawkish RBNZ hike, NZD/USD near 0.6300 from 0.6380+ overnight peak. Aussie undermined by marginally softer than anticipated wage prices and lower RBA tightening bets in response, AUD/USD well under 0.7000 vs 0.7026 at one stage. Yen weaker as yield differentials widen again, but Euro cushioned by more pronounced EGB reversal vs USTs, USD/JPY probes 21 DMA just below 135.00, EUR/USD bounces from around 1.0150 towards 1.0200. Loonie and Nokkie soft amidst latest slippage in oil, USD/CAD closer to 1.2900 than 1.2800, EUR/NOK nudging 9.8600 within 9.8215-9.8740 range. Fixed Income Debt retracement ongoing and gathering pace ahead of Wednesday's key risk events. Bunds now closer to 154.00 than 156.00 and 157.00 only yesterday, Gilts not far from 114.50 vs almost 116.00 and 117.00+ earlier this week and T-note sub-119-00 vs 119-31 at best on Monday. Sonia strip hit hardest as markets price in aggressive BoE hikes in response to UK inflation data toppy already elevated expectations. Commodities Crude benchmarks are currently little changed overall, having recovered from a bout of initial pressure; newsflow thin awaiting fresh JCPOA developments Spot gold is little changed overall but with a slight negative bias as the USD remains resilient and outpaces the yellow metal as the haven of choice. Aluminium is the clear outperformer amid updates from Norsk Hydro that they are shutting production at their Slovalco site (175k/T year) by end-September, due to elevated energy prices. OPEC Sec Gen says he sees a likelihood of an oil-supply squeeze this year, open for dialogue with the US. Still bullish on oil demand for 2022. Too soon to call the outcome of the September 5th gathering. Spare capacity at around the 2-3mln BPD mark, "running on thin ice". US Private Inventory Data (bbls): Crude -0.4mln (exp. -0.3mln), Cushing +0.3mln, Gasoline -4.5mln (exp. -1.1mln), Distillates -0.8mln (exp. +0.4mln). Shell (SHEL LN) announced it is to shut its Gulf of Mexico Odyssey and Delta crude pipelines for two weeks in September for maintenance, according to Reuters. Uniper (UN01 GY) says the energy supply situation in Europe is far from easing and gas supply in winter remains "extremely challenging". China sets the second batch of the 2022 rare earth mining output quota at 109.2k/T, via Industry Ministry; smelting/separation quota 104.8k/T. Geopolitics China's military is to partake in a military exercise in Russia, their participation has nothing to do with the international situation. Taiwan's Defence Ministry says they have detected 21 Chinese aircraft and five ships around Taiwan on Wednesday, via Reuters. Iran is calling on the US to free jailed Iranian's, says they are prepared for prisoner swaps, via Fars. US Event Calendar 07:00: Aug. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 0.2% 08:30: July Retail Sales Advance MoM, est. 0.1%, prior 1.0% 08:30: July Retail Sales Ex Auto MoM, est. -0.1%, prior 1.0% 08:30: July Retail Sales Control Group, est. 0.6%, prior 0.8% 10:00: June Business Inventories, est. 1.4%, prior 1.4% 14:00: July FOMC Meeting Minutes DB's Tim Wessel concludes the overnight wrap Starting in Europe, where the looming energy crisis remains at the forefront. An update from our team, who just published the fourth edition of their indispensable gas monitor (link here), where they note the surprisingly fast rebuild of German gas storage, driven by reductions in industrial activity, reduces the risk that rationing may become reality this winter. Many more insights within, so do read the full piece for analysis spanning scenarios. Keep in mind, that while gas may be available, it is set to come at a higher clearing price, which manifest itself in markets yesterday where European natural gas futures rose a further +2.64% to €226 per megawatt-hour, just shy of their closing record at €227 in March. But, that’s still well beneath their intraday high from March, where at one point they traded at €345. Further, one-year German power futures increased +6.30%, breaching €500 for the first time, closing at €507. Germany is weighing consumer relief measures in light of climbing consumer prices and also announced that planned nuclear facility closures would be “temporarily” postponed. The upward energy price pressure and attenuated (albeit, not eliminated) risk of rationing pushed European sovereign yields higher. 10yr German bunds climbed +7.1bps to 0.97%, while 10yr OATs kept the pace, increasing +7.4bps. 10yr BTPs increased +15.9bps, widening sovereign spreads, while high yield crossover spreads widened +10.2bps in the credit space. Equities were resilient, however, with the STOXX 600 posting a +0.16% gain after flitting around a narrow range all day. Regional indices were also robust to climbing energy prices, with the DAX up +0.68% and the CAC +0.34% higher. In the States the S&P 500 registered a modest +0.19% gain, with the NASDAQ mirroring the index, falling -0.19%. Retail shares drove the S&P on the day, with the two consumer sectors both gaining more than +1%, following strong earnings reports from Wal Mart and Home Depot. Treasury yields also climbed, but the story was the further flattening in the curve. 2yr yields were +7.5bps higher while 10yr yields managed to increase just +1.6bps, leaving 2s10s at its second most negative close of the cycle at -46bps. 10yr yields are another basis point higher this morning. A hodgepodge of data painted a mixed picture. Housing permits beat expectations (+1674k vs. +1640k) while starts (+1446k vs. +1527k) fell to their slowest pace since February 2021. However, under the hood, even permits weren’t necessarily as strong as first glance, as single family permits fell -4.3% with gains in multifamily pushing the aggregate higher. Indeed, year-over-year, single family permits have now fallen -11.7% while multifamily permits are +23.5% higher. So the single family housing market continues to feel the impact of Fed tightening. Meanwhile, industrial production climbed +0.6% month-over-month (vs. +0.3%), with capacity utilization hitting its highest level since 2008 at 80.3%. Drifting north of the border, Canadian inflation slowed to 7.6% YoY in July in line with estimates, while the average of core measures climbed to a record 5.3%. Bank of Canada Governor Macklem penned an opinion piece saying that while it looks like inflation may have peaked, “the bad news is that inflation will likely remain too high for some time.” In turn, Canadian OIS rates by December climbed +16.2bps. In other data, the expectations component of the German ZEW survey fell to -55.3, its lowest level since October 2008 at the depths of the GFC. In the UK, regular pay (excluding bonuses) fell by -3.0% in real terms over the year to April-June 2022, its fastest decline on record. On the Iranian nuclear deal, EU negotiators reportedly found Iran’s response constructive, though Iran still had some concerns. Notably, Iran is looking for guarantees that if a future US administration withdraws from the JCPOA the US will "have to pay a price”, seeking insulation from the vagaries of representative democracy. Asian equity markets are trading higher after Wall Street’s solid performance overnight. The Nikkei (+0.76%) is leading gains across the region with the Hang Seng (+0.57%), the Shanghai Composite (+0.23%) and the CSI (+0.51%) all rebounding from its opening losses this morning. US futures are struggling to gain traction this morning with the S&P 500 (-0.02%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.09%) trading just below flat. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand lifted its official cash rate (OCR) for the fourth consecutive time by an expected +50bps to 3%, a seven-year high, while bringing forward the estimate of future rate increases. The central bank expects the OCR will reach 3.69% at the end of this year and expects it to peak at 4.1% in March 2023, higher and sooner than previously forecast. Early morning data coming out from Japan showed that exports rose +19.0% y/y in July (v/s +17.6% expected) posting 17 straight months of gains while imports advanced +47.2% (v/s +45.5% expected) driven by global fuel inflation and a weakening yen. With the imports outweighing exports, the nation reported trade deficit for the 14th consecutive month, swelling to -2.13 trillion yen in July (v/s -1.91 trillion yen expected) compared to a revised deficit of -1.95 trillion yen in June. In terms of the day ahead, the FOMC minutes from July will be the main highlight, and the other central bank speaker will be Fed Governor Bowman. Otherwise, earnings releases include Target, Lowe’s and Cisco Systems, and data releases include US retail sales and UK CPI for July. Tyler Durden Wed, 08/17/2022 - 07:55.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 17th, 2022

Futures Flat As Crushing 37bps Curve Inversion Screams Recession

Futures Flat As Crushing 37bps Curve Inversion Screams Recession US futures are mixed on Thursday, first trading in the red, then turning green before moving unchanged, as investors shrugged off growth warnings from the bond market while Taiwan war fears faded further despite drills launched by China overnight. Oil bounced back from the lowest level in almost six months. Contracts on the S&P 500 were flat while Nasdaq futures were modestly green, suggesting the tech-heavy Nasdaq will extend an advance of 19% from its June 16 low on the back of a massive CTA, buyback and retail-driven buying frenzy. In premarket trading, Alibaba gained 3.4% after reporting revenue for the first quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. Adjusted earnings per American depositary receipt also topped expectations. Altice USA shares jumped 5% after the cable television provider reported second-quarter results and announced it received inquiries for its Suddenlink assets. US-listed Chinese tech stocks including JD.com, Pinduoduo and Baidu rise in premarket trading Thursday as Alibaba shares jump 3.9% after reporting better-than-expected revenue in the first quarter. Here are some other notable premarket movers: AMTD Idea (AMTD) shares slump 11.5% putting the Hong-Kong based financial services firm on track to slump for a second straight day after a wild 237% jump earlier this week. Eli Lilly (LLY) falls 2% after the company cut its adjusted earnings per share forecast for the full year. Equinox Gold Corp. (EQX) slides 2.5% after reporting second quarter results that missed consensus analyst estimates for revenue and posted a loss per share, and announced a CEO change. Fastly Inc. (FSLY) shares are down 7% after the infrastructure software company reported second quarter revenue that beat expectations. Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI) shares plunge 5% after the company lowered its full-year revenue and Ebitda outlook, citing “current economic conditions.”. Kohl’s Corp. (KSS) was downgraded to market perform from outperform at Cowen, with analyst Oliver Chen saying a “weakening and inflationary consumer backdrop” could drive EPS downside. Shares decline 3%. Pacific Biosciences (PACB) 2Q results look broadly in line but guidance has been cut significantly, albeit this is not a major surprise, analysts say. Shares down 4% in US premarket trading. Revolve Group Inc. (RVLV) shares are down 13% after the e-commerce fashion company reported quarterly net sales and earnings per share that fell short of analysts’ expectations. Skillz (SKLZ) shares tumble 11.6% after the mobile games platform operator cut its full-year guidance for revenue, with Citi noting that revenue and user metrics disappointed. Under Armour (UAA) is downgraded to neutral from outperform at Baird, which says its view of the athletic-wear retailer’s near-term prospects has “deteriorated materially” over the past two quarters, and faces further pressure from an uncertain macroeconomic environment. The stock declines 0.5% in premarkettrading. Yellow Corp. (YELL) shares jump 37% after the logistics company reported earnings per share for the second quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. So far US stocks have proven resilient to heightened bond market anxiety and an inverted Treasury yield curve flashing warnings on economic risks, as the S&P 500 climbs back toward the highest level in two months ignoring the screaming recession warning from the 2s10s curve which is now 37bps inverted. But a global wave of monetary tightening risks upending those gains. The Bank of England unleashed its first half-point hike since 1995 in an effort to control inflation, joining some 70 other institutions around the world moving rates up in outsized steps. “There’s an intense tug-of-war happening in the economy and markets,” said Dan Suzuki, deputy chief investment officer at Richard Bernstein Advisors. “On one side, you have a narrative that reasonable growth is going to support continued inflation pressure and keep the Fed hiking. The other narrative is that slowing growth is going to ease inflation and allow the Fed to stop hiking.” Meanwhile, US-China tension remains among the uncertainties clouding the outlook. Taiwan braced for the Chinese military to start firing in exercises being held around the island in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit. Here are the latest headlines surrounding Taiwan/Pelosi: China's Taiwan Affairs Office said the Taiwan issue is not a regional issue but is a China internal affairs issue, while it added that punishment of pro-Taiwan independence diehards and external forces is reasonable and lawful. Taiwan's Defence Ministry said unidentified aircraft which were likely drones, flew above Kinmen Islands on Wednesday night, while the military fired flares to drive away the aircraft, according to Reuters. Taiwan's Defence Ministry said troops will continue to reinforce alertness level and are carrying out daily training as usual, while the military will react appropriately to an enemy situation and safeguard national security and sovereignty, according to Reuters. ASEAN Foreign Ministers are concerned about international and regional volatility and are concerned volatility could lead to a miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts, and unpredictable consequences among major powers, according to Reuters. US House Speaker Pelosi plans to visit an inter-Korean border area jointly controlled by the American-led UN Command and North Korea, according to a South Korean official cited by Reuters. China's PLA has added an additional zone for its military exercise encircling Taiwan starting Thursday, exercises have been extended until Monday at 10:00, via dwnews' Yang citing Taiwan's port authority. Now seven zones around Taiwan. Gains in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index were led by retailers, leisure and technology firms, alongside an advance in shares of Chinese tech companies.  Among individual stock moves, Glencore Plc shares fell as much as 2% as its capital return plans overshadowed solid first-half results. Ubisoft shares surged as much as 21% after Tencent reached out to Ubisoft’s founding Guillemot family and expressed interest in increasing its stake, according to Reuters. Here are the most notable European movers: Rolls-Royce drops as much as 12% in London. Jefferies highlights that 1H adjusted Ebit came in 24% below consensus, is disappointed Civil margin “once stripped of a number of one-offs, remains well below breakeven.” SES shares drop as much as 10%, the most intraday since April 2020, as some analysts raised doubts about a potential combination with Intelsat after the FT reported deal talks between the two companies. Ambu falls as much as 16%, the most intraday since May 6, after the company slashed its organic revenue forecast for the full year and said it will cut about 200 jobs from its global workforce. Lufthansa gains as much as 7.4% after the airline forecast a “significant increase” in earnings in the third quarter compared to the second and provided a clearer outlook for full-year profit, predicting adjusted Ebit of more than EU500m. Next shares climb as much as 3.2% after the UK apparel retailer reported better-than-expected 2Q sales and raised its profit outlook for the year. Adidas shares gain as much as 4.4% after the German sportswear company reported 2Q results that were largely in line with expectations, following last week’s profit warning. Merck KGaA shares rise as much as 1.7% after the German pharmaceutical group’s 2Q report showed stable growth for its Life Science division despite abating Covid-19 tailwinds, with Jefferies saying it sends a “positive message” for the rest of 2022. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rebounded as easing tensions over Taiwan and overnight gains on the Nasdaq fueled a rally in Chinese tech shares ahead of key earnings reports. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.5%, set for its first gain in three sessions. Alibaba, which is scheduled to release earnings later Thursday, and e-commerce peers Meituan and JD.com helped boost the Hang Seng Tech Index as much as 3.4%, most in more than a month. Other benchmarks in Hong Kong and South Korea’s tech-heavy Kosdaq were among the region’s outperformers.  “Hong Kong stock markets are getting re-rated after seeing the risk-off mood due to Taiwan tensions, as there were no military conflicts,” said Xuehua Cui, a China equity analyst at Meritz Securities in Seoul.  US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan after reaffirming US support for the democratically elected government in Taipei. China responded with trade curbs and military drills.  Elsewhere in Asia, the main Philippine index reached its highest since June 10 on foreign inflows. Asia’s key stock benchmark has rebounded from its July low, but its recent recovery has been lagging behind US peers amid a property crisis in China and heightened geopolitical risks. Japanese equities erased earlier gains and slipped as Toyota announced first-quarter earnings that missed estimates and as investors continue to evaluate corporate earnings both domestically and abroad.  The Topix Index was virtually unchanged at 1,930.73 with Toyota Motor leading declines as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 0.7% to 27,932.20. Toyota Motor shares dropped during market hours as the automaker reported disappointing first quarter earnings and kept its conservative outlook for the current year. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,198 rose and 849 fell, while 123 were unchanged. “Toyota Motor’s financial results confirmed that the impact of high raw material and fuel prices was strong enough to offset the effects of the weak yen,” said Shuji Hosoi, an analyst at Daiwa Securities. “The fact that the company didn’t change its full-year operating income forecast negatively impacted the markets, which had been expecting an upward revision.” India’s Sensex index snapped a six-session rally, dragged by Reliance Industries and leading lenders, on risk-aversion ahead of a monetary-policy announcement on Friday.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.1% to 58,298.80, in Mumbai, after paring decline of as much as 1.3% in the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index was flat. Both gauges posted early gains and appeared headed for their longest winning streaks since October 2021, but reversed course.  “The sudden drop in indexes is most likely led by ‘basket selling’ from foreign portfolio investors ahead of the central bank’s rate decision on Friday,” said Abhay Agarwal, a fund manager at Piper Serica Advisors. “Stocks have gained for six straight sessions and investors may want to reap gains ahead of a major policy event.” Reliance Industries fell 1.3%, while State Bank of India and Axis Bank led declines among lenders.  Economists expect the Reserve Bank of India to raise rates for a third consecutive time on Friday but remain divided on the level of the hike aimed at fighting inflation and supporting a weakening currency.  Of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 17 rose and 13 fell. Both of India’s equity benchmarks had gained least 5.5% in previous six sessions driven by $1.7 billion of net purchases by foreigners since the end of June amid signs that inflationary pressures are cooling.  Eight of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined on Thursday. A measure of telecom stocks was the worst performer among the sectoral measures. In FX,  the dollar consolidated as traders awaited US payrolls data due later in the day for clues on the pace of future Federal Reserve rate hikes. Sterling tumbled after the BOE delivered its biggest rate hike in 27 years, pushing rates up by 50bps, however it also warned of a devastating stagflation, hiking its inflation forecast to 13.3% in October even as it predicted a harrowing 5-quarter long recession. In rates, Treasuries were moderately cheaper across the curve - which continues to invert deeply with the 2s10s now -37bps, the biggest yield curve inversion since 2000 as traders increased wagers on Federal Reserve rate hikes ahead of Friday’s US jobs data - as US stock futures added to Wednesday’s gains.  The US 10-year yield dropping to 2.70% as Federal Reserve officials indicated they were resolute on aggressive hikes to cool inflation, dashing market hopes they were ready to embark on a shallower rate path. Treasuries offered little initial reaction to Bank of England decision to hike rates 50bp in an 8-1 vote while warning of a 5 quarter-long recession. Front-end yields cheaper by ~2bp on the day, flattening 2s10s and 5s30s spreads by ~1.5bp and ~0.5bp; 10-year yields around 2.71% trade cheaper by 5bp vs bunds.  European long-end bonds nudged higher. In the UK, focus is on the Bank of England’s rate decision, with a majority of economists anticipating a 50-basis-point hike. In commodities, oil drifted 0.2% lower to trade at the $90 level as investors weighed weaker US gasoline demand and rising inventories against a token supply increase from OPEC+. Spot gold rises roughly $20 to trade near $1,787/oz. Base metals are mixed; LME lead falls 1.1% while LME zinc gains 1.2%. Bitcoin slips back below the USD 23k mark but remains in relative proximity to the level in a tight range. Looking to the day ahead now and we have US June trade balance and Initial Jobless Claims, Germany June factory orders, July construction PMI, UK July new car registrations, construction PMI, Canada June building permits and international merchandise trade. Earnings will include Alibaba, Eli Lilly, Toyota, ICE, ConocoPhillips, Bayer, Glencore, Cigna, Rolls-Royce, adidas, Cheniere, DBS, Apollo, Lyft, Expedia, Deutsche Lufthansa, Warner Bros Discovery, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, DoorDash, Atlassian, Amgen, Block, EOG, Kellogg and AMC. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,153.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 439.32 MXAP up 0.4% to 159.68 MXAPJ up 0.6% to 521.36 Nikkei up 0.7% to 27,932.20 Topix little changed at 1,930.73 Hang Seng Index up 2.1% to 20,174.04 Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,189.04 Sensex down 0.6% to 57,993.23 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 6,974.93 Kospi up 0.5% to 2,473.11 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.89% Euro up 0.1% to $1.0178 Brent Futures little changed at $96.78/bbl Brent Futures little changed at $96.75/bbl Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,773.19 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.13% to 106.37 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China’s military fired missiles into the sea on Thursday in live-fire military exercises around the island in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit, even as Taipei played down the impact on flights and shipping. The Bank of England on Thursday is expected to push through the biggest interest-rate increase in 27 years despite growing risks of a recession. European stocks edged higher on Thursday as investors continued to weigh the path of corporate earnings, while attention turned to the Bank of England’s policy decision later in the day. The dollar is close to a 20-year high, despite talk of its inevitable demise. While reluctant to add another article that ends up in traders’ trash cans, current pricing is extreme. Asia’s emerging economies are drawing on large foreign exchange reserves to help prop up their currencies rather than going all-out with interest-rate hikes. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were firmer as the positive momentum rolled over from global peers. ASX 200 was kept afloat by tech after similar outperformance of the sector stateside. Nikkei 225 briefly reclaimed the 28k level amid recent JPY weakness and as the earnings deluge continued. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp conformed to the heightened risk appetite with firm gains in tech including Alibaba ahead of its earnings and with Hong Kong set to provide HKD 2k in consumption vouchers from Sunday. Top Asian News   China’s Yiwu city will conduct mass testing and China's Sanya city is on lockdown amid a COVID flare-up, according to state media. China Cancels Japan Meeting Over G-7 Criticism of Taiwan Drills SoftBank Raises $22 Billion Through Alibaba Derivatives: FT China State-Backed Builder’s Dollar Bonds Slump as Worries Mount Tiger Global Fund Halves Stake in India Food Platform Zomato Additional Share Sales Break Asia’s Usual Summer Lull: ECM Watch Li Ka-shing’s CK to Sell AMTD Stake After Unit Soars 14,000% European bourses are firmer across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.9%, with the general tone constructive though the FTSE 100 lags pre-BoE amid GBP strength. Stateside, US futures have lifted from initial rangebound action, ES +0.3%, with specific newsflow limited pre-data/Fed speak Top European News Next Raises Profit Outlook as Hot Spell Spurs Fashion Buying French Tech Startup Back Market Said to Start Early IPO Prep Goldman, Bernstein Strategists Say Stocks Rally Can Fizzle Out European Retailers Outperform, Fueled by Zalando Relief Rally Czech Finance Minister Attending Central Bank’s Rate Meeting Credit Agricole’s Investment Bank Drives Earnings Beat FX DXY remains subdued in early European trade following a relatively contained APAC session; fresh session lows are seen heading into the US entrance. GBP/USD and EUR/USD are currently buoyed, but seemingly more as a function of the Dollar with the former gearing up for the BoE. A mixed session thus far for the non-US Dollars, with the Antipodeans leading the charge whilst the Loonie remained suppressed by crude prices. JPY resides as the current G10 laggard with recent Fed rhetoric fuelling a retracement of last week’s USD/JPY downside. Fixed Income Core consolidation after recent rampant upward move, knife-edge BoE looms; Bund Sep'22 towards mid-point of a +100 tick range. USTs are following suit with the yield curve flattening modestly but generally quite contained ahead of Mester (2022 voter, Hawk) who has provided commentary recently. Pre-BoE Gilts are supported, but in narrower parameters than EGB peers, as participants look for clarity on the 25/50bp debate as pricing implies a 90% chance of 50bp and circa. 150bp total by end-2022. Commodities Crude consolidates and moves with broader sentiment post-OPEC & pre-JCPOA. Currently, benchmarks are firmer by circa. USD 1.00bbl and towards the top-end of relatively/comparably narrow ranges. Saudi Arabia OSPs (Sep) vs Oman/Dubai average: Arab Light to Asia at USD +9.80/bbl (exp. 9.80-11.10/bbl), according to Reuters sources. Spot gold is bid and benefitting from a USD pullback that has sent the yellow-metal above the 50-DMA at best; base metals somewhat mixed. US Event Calendar 07:30: July Challenger Job Cuts YoY, prior 58.8% 08:30: June Trade Balance, est. -$80b, prior -$85.5b 08:30: July Initial Jobless Claims, est. 260,000, prior 256,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.38m, prior 1.36m DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap One thing we can say for sure is that August hasn’t been dull so far and we’ve only had three days. This is all before the biggest BoE hike for 27 years (50bps) likely today, and then US payrolls tomorrow. Indeed, there have been some remarkable ranges in treasuries so far in the three days of August. In just over 24 hours from mid-afternoon London time on Tuesday, 2yr US yields moved from 2.83% to 3.18%, 5yrs from 2.58% to 2.96% and 10yrs from 2.52% to 2.83%. These all marked the high points as the three closed at 3.07% (+1.4bps on the day), 2.83% (-2.4bps) and 2.71% (-4.5bps) respectively, 11bps to 13bps off their intra-day highs immediately after a strong US services ISM yesterday. This led to a big curve flattening as 2s10s closed c.6bps lower at -36bps. This morning in Asia, treasury yields are pretty much unchanged. If that wasn’t enough, the Nasdaq 100 (+2.73%) surged to finish the day at a level last seen on May 4th leaving a strong S&P 500 (+1.59%) slightly behind. The narratives at the moment are struggling to be consistent though as equities have recently rallied on weaker growth that has been seen as helping to limit how far the Fed can hike. However yesterday equities rallied on stronger economic data regardless of the potential Fed impact. Discretionary (+2.52%), IT (+2.69%) and communications stocks (+2.48%) were the major drivers of the S&P. The broad rally lifted 79% of benchmark’s members with energy (-2.97%) being the only sector to close in the red as oil plummeted. Speaking of which, although the OPEC+ agreed to increase its September output by 100k bpd, way below the July and August increases north of 600k, crude’s short-lived almost +3% gain unwound fairly quickly, with both WTI (-3.87%) and Brent (-3.60%) weaker on lower US gasoline demand as consumers seem to be driving less. Oil is very slightly higher in Asia. In terms of earnings, Moderna (+16%), PayPal (+9.25%) and CVS (+6.3%) were among top performers in the S&P 500 after a combination of upbeat results and perhaps more importantly buy back announcements. Another interesting snippet from this earnings season came when Bloomberg reported that Meta is looking for a potential debut in bond markets. News of debt sales by Apple and Intel already came through earlier this week as well, supporting narratives of resilience in corporate debt markets. Dissecting the data, just before the ISM services was released, we got a slight upward revision for the US services PMI (47.3 vs 47.0) but the real surprise was the ISM services index itself. The print showed an unexpected expansion from 55.3 in June to 56.7 last month, the highest since April, while the median Bloomberg estimate stood at 53.5. The employment index also improved to 49.1 from 47.4 and business activity and new orders indicators were the highest since January, while prices paid plunged from 80.1 to 72.3. Another strong reading came from June factory orders that increased +2.0% (vs +1.2% expected), up from May’s revised reading of +1.8% (from +1.6% previously). This data dovetailed with comments from a list of Fed speakers over the last 24 hours, including Bullard, Daly, Barkin and Kashkari, all saying that the central bank is not close to finishing its work and markets shouldn’t expect a quick reversal to cuts. This all supports our view that the US isn’t in recession yet. As we’ve said many times before we think it’s almost inevitable it does go into one within say 12 months but that we still might need the lagged impact of an aggressive (but necessary) series of rate hikes first to get us there. The risks to this view in terms of an earlier recession would probably be due to a sudden self fulfilling loss of confidence as everyone talks about imminent recession risk, or if financial conditions dramatically collapse. To be fair the latter was very worrying by mid-June but we’ve seen a tremendous loosening since. Over to Asia and the strong gains in US equities are echoing in Asia with all the key markets trading higher. As I type, the Hang Seng (+1.78%) is leading the way across the region helped by gains in Chinese technology companies with shares of Alibaba climbing around +5.0% ahead of its earnings results later today. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.54%), and the Kospi (+0.36%) are trading higher in early trade. Over in Mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (+0.15%) and the CSI (+0.40%) are both trading in the green. Outside of Asia, stock futures in the US are pausing for breath with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.10%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.20%) moving slightly lower. Early morning data showed that Australia’s trade balance swelled to a record high of A$17.67bn in June (v/s A$14.0bn expected) from A$15.97bn in May driven by strong prices of key exports from grains to metals and gold. Elsewhere, although Pelosi left Taiwan yesterday without incident, remember that China will start 4 days of military drills today around the island. So be prepared for headlines to come through. Back to yesterday and European shares rallied but missed the main part of the US climb with the STOXX 600 closing with a +0.51% advance for the day after a steady march higher throughout the session. It was an across-the-board rally led by IT (+2.78%), financials (+1.60%) and discretionary (+1.52%) stocks. The few sectors in the red - utilities (-0.94%), healthcare (-0.92%) and communications (-0.35%) - were left behind by a risk-on mood. Speaking of European utilities, it is a sector that has faced challenges not only amid the Russian gas story but also the extreme heat in Europe. Our European economists cover implications of the drought-driven low water levels for the German economy here. As a reminder, it was an important topic back in 2018 but today’s situation with gas supplies reinforces its effect given coal plants’ reliance on waterways for supplies. Linked in, yesterday’s announcement by Uniper about potentially limiting output at a coal plant in Germany sent gas futures in New York up by almost +10%, with contracts holding on to a +7.71% gain by the close of US markets. Other companies depend on water traffic too and water-intensive industries are likely to get affected as well. Earlier this week EDF has warned about potential further nuclear power cuts as river water, used for plant cooling, becomes too warm. Expect this to be an increasingly pertinent and market-moving issue across industries. Diving back into market movements, the bullish sentiment in European stocks was strong enough to overpower surging yields. In Germany the belly of the curve surged, with 5y yields (+7.6bps) racing ahead of both the front end (+6.9bps) and the 10y (+5.6bps) that was mainly upheld by higher breakevens (+6.1bps). While a similar story was seen in France (OATs +3.4bps), Italy stood out with an across the curve decline in yields. 2s10s still flattened as the 2y yield (-1.5ps) fell by less than the 10y (-4.1bps). We should note that US yields rallied 7-8bps after Europe closed. Central banks and yields will be in focus today as well since today’s BoE’s meeting will likely be top of the list in terms of events for European markets and our UK economists expect the Bank to hike by +50bps (taking the Bank Rate to 1.75%). Their full preview is here. This hike would imply the largest single Bank Rate increase since 1995 and come amid the 9.4% CPI print for June, a 40-year high. They also updated their growth outlook for the country yesterday (link here) and now expect the economy to contract in Q4-22 and Q1-23 in a short and mild technical recession. Gilts behaved similar to other European bond markets yesterday, with the 2y yield (+7.1bps) rising by more than the 10y (+4.4bps) but both lagging the 5y (+9.0bps). Staying with Europe and briefly returning to yesterday’s other data releases, Germany’s exports accelerated to +4.5% in June, way ahead of the +1.0% median estimate on Bloomberg’s and May’s revised +1.3% (from -0.5% previously). Imports came in softer than expected, however, slowing to just +0.2% (+1.3% expected). Elsewhere, Eurozone’s retail sales contracted -3.7% yoy in June, missing estimates of -1.7%. The PPI accelerated to a monthly gain of +1.1% in June relative to the prior +0.5% (revised from +0.7%). To the day ahead now and we have US June trade balance, Germany June factory orders, July construction PMI, UK July new car registrations, construction PMI, Canada June building permits and international merchandise trade. Earnings will include Alibaba, Eli Lilly, Toyota, ICE, ConocoPhillips, Bayer, Glencore, Cigna, Rolls-Royce, adidas, Cheniere, DBS, Apollo, Lyft, Expedia, Deutsche Lufthansa, Warner Bros Discovery, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, DoorDash, Atlassian, Amgen, Block, EOG, Kellogg and AMC. Tyler Durden Thu, 08/04/2022 - 08:25.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 4th, 2022

Sheryl Sandberg has officially stepped down as Meta"s COO. Here"s how she got her start in tech and became No. 2 at one of the world"s most influential companies.

After getting her start at Google, Sandberg, 52, has spent the past 14 years as Mark Zuckerberg's second-in-command. Sheryl Sandberg, Meta's chief operating officer.Lino Mirgeler/picture alliance via Getty Images Sheryl Sandberg has stepped down as Meta's chief operating officer after 14 years at the company. During her tenure, Sandberg pioneered her own brand of feminism and weathered high-profile scandals. Here's how Sandberg got her start in tech and became Meta's second-in-command. Sheryl Sandberg was born on August 28, 1969, in Washington, D.C. Her father was an ophthalmologist and her mother taught French at a local college. She has two younger siblings: a brother named David and a sister named Michelle.An aerial view of Washington, D.C.Getty ImagesSource: The New YorkerThe family moved to North Miami Beach when Sheryl was 2 years old. Her parents helped create the South Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry and turned their home into a safe haven for Soviet Jews looking to escape anti-Semitism.People on the beach in Miami Beach, Florida.CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty ImagesSource: The New YorkerSandberg always shone in school, and was in the National Honor Society. "In public schools, for a girl to be smart was not good for your social life," her mother, Adele, told The New Yorker. She also taught aerobics while in high school.CBS 60 MinutesSource: The New Yorker, BloombergShe went on to attend Harvard University, where both of her siblings also went. She majored in economics, and started an organization at college called Women in Economics and Government. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in 1991.Students gather on Harvard's campus.Charles Krupa/APSource: Miami Herald, CNN MoneyAt college, Sandberg researched with future US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who would serve as an important mentor for Sandberg in the beginning phases of her career. Summers served as her thesis advisor in college, then hired her to work for him at the World Bank after she graduated.Larry Summers.Hyungwon Kang/ReutersSource: The New Yorker, CNN MoneySandberg stayed at the World Bank for a year, during which she traveled to India to help curb the spread of leprosy. She then returned to Harvard to get an MBA, and worked for a year at the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.Reuters / Mike SegarSource: CNN Money, GuardianSandberg said her parents instilled in her that the time to find a man was in college, because "the good ones go young." At age 24, Sandberg married a businessman named Brian Kraff, but they got divorced after only a year. Sandberg told Cosmopolitan she was nervous her divorce would prevent her from ever meeting someone else.Paul Morigi/ Getty ImagesSource: Cosmopolitan, The New YorkerNot long after Sandberg finished up her MBA in 1995, her mentor, Summers, joined President Bill Clinton's administration. Sandberg followed Summers to D.C. to work for him, and eventually became his chief of staff when he was named Treasury secretary in 1999.Larry Summers.REUTERS/Mark WilsonSource: CNN MoneyBut after the Democrats lost the 2000 election, Sandberg decided to move to Silicon Valley to join the booming tech industry. At the time, Google was a small company with less than 300 people that wasn't making a profit. However, she found the company's mission attractive: "to make the world's information freely available."Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.GettySource: The New Yorker, CNN Money When courting her, Eric Schmidt — Google's CEO at the time — reportedly called her every week, and told her, "Don't be an idiot ... This is a rocket ship. Get on it." Sandberg joined Google as the business-unit general manager in 2001 and took over the company's ad program, which had four people working on it at the time.Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Sheryl Sandberg.CBS 60 MinutesSource: The New YorkerIn 2004, Sandberg married her longtime best friend Dave Goldberg, whom she had met a decade before and dated for five years. They had a son in 2005, and a daughter born two years later. "The most important career choice you'll make is who you marry," Sandberg said at Insider's Ignition conference in 2011. Goldberg became the CEO of SurveyMonkey in 2009.Sandberg and Dave Goldberg.Kevork Djansezian / Getty ImagesSource: Guardian, Business InsiderSandberg and her family have lived in a 9,200-square-foot mansion in Menlo Park since 2013. The home has six bedrooms, a wine room, gym, movie theater, basketball court, and a giant waterfall. It's only a 20-minute drive from Meta's headquarters.Meta headquarters in Menlo Park, California.Liu Guanguan/China News Service via Getty ImagesSource: InsiderGoogle grew immensely during Sandberg's time there, and she was instrumental in landing a deal with AOL to make Google its search engine. She was eventually promoted to Google's vice president for global online sales and operations.Small toy figures are seen in front of Google logo in this illustration pictureReutersSource: The New YorkerBut after nearly seven years at Google, Sandberg was ready for a new challenge. Schmidt proposed she become chief financial officer, but she turned it down for more responsibility. She asked about becoming chief operating officer, but Google executives reportedly didn't want to rock the boat and mess with the three men already in charge of decision-making: Schmidt and Google's two cofounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.ReutersSource: The New YorkerFortunately, someone else was pursuing her: Mark Zuckerberg, the 23-year-old whose company, Facebook, was still relatively new. He introduced himself to Sandberg at a Christmas party in 2007, and started to court her to come work at Facebook."Charlie Rose"/PBSSource: New YorkerSandberg began to meet with Zuckerberg for dinner once or twice a week, first at a cafe in Menlo Park and then at Sandberg's home. Sandberg returned to that restaurant, Flea Street Cafe, for an interview with Oprah in 2013. After six weeks of dinner meetings, Zuckerberg eventually offered her the position as Facebook's chief operating officer.Sheryl Sandberg and Oprah.YouTube, OWN TVSource: Fortune, The New Yorker Zuckerberg told The New Yorker that Sandberg "handles things I don't want to." "There are people who are really good managers, people who can manage a big organization," Zuckerberg said in 2011. "And then there are people who are very analytic or focused on strategy. Those two types don't usually tend to be in the same person."Sheryl Sandberg and, in the background, Mark Zuckerberg.David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSource: The New YorkerSandberg is known by many as an advocate for women's rights in the workplace. Sandberg has campaigned against using the word "bossy," arguing that it damages women's confidence and desire to pursue leadership roles. She has also partnered with Getty Images to take stock photos that are meant to change the perception of women in the workforce.Allison Shelley/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderIn March 2013, Sandberg published "Lean In," a best-selling book that recounts some of her own personal work experience as well as advice for women to pursue top positions in their field. "A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes," Sandberg wrote in the book.Amazon, AP ImagesBut not everyone has been so crazy about Sandberg's advice to lean in. Some critics have said that it's not enough to tell women to have confidence if they're not being given the opportunity to succeed. Others say it's unfair to use Sandberg as a model for all women, as she is able to afford a nanny and a staff at work.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesSource: The New YorkerSandberg announced in 2014 she and her husband would sign onto the Giving Pledge, a commitment by billionaires to donate at least half of their fortune during their lifetime or upon their death. The Giving Pledge was launched by Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Melinda French Gates.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg at the 2018 Code conferenceGreg Sandoval/Business InsiderSource: ForbesTragedy stuck in 2015 when Goldberg, Sandberg's husband, died suddenly after he collapsed while on vacation with his family in Mexico. Reports first indicated he died from head trauma after falling while on the treadmill, but Sandberg later revealed his death was due to a cardiac arrhythmia.Dave Goldberg.SurveyMonkey/GettySource: Insider"[Dave] showed me the internet for the first time, planned fun outings, took me to temple for the Jewish holidays, introduced me to much cooler music than I had ever heard. He gave me the experience of being deeply understood, truly supported and completely and utterly loved — and I will carry that with me always," Sandberg wrote on Facebook a day after Goldberg's death.Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg.Getty Images, Kevork DjansezianSource: InsiderFollowing Goldberg's death, Sandberg penned an essay about dealing with grief and "kick(ing) the s--t" out of option B in life when plan A is no longer available. Two years later, Sandberg turned that lesson into a book about her personal experience dealing with death and other stories of adversity.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderSandberg also joined the board of directors of SurveyMonkey — the company her late husband served as CEO for — two months after his death. When SurveyMonkey went public in 2018, the company said Sandberg would donate her 10% stake to the charity she founded in her husband's honor: The Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation.Dave Goldberg.Business Insider VideoSource: InsiderA year after Goldberg's death, Sandberg began dating longtime friend Bobby Kotick, the CEO of video gaming company Activision Blizzard. Kotick was reportedly a "huge source of strength" for Sandberg in the wake of her late husband's death. However, the couple split in early 2019.Bobby Kotick and Sheryl Sandberg.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesSource: Page SixSandberg publicly backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. In return, Sandberg was reportedly on Clinton's shortlist for one of two cabinet positions: Treasury secretary and Commerce secretary, neither of which came to fruition after Clinton's defeat.Hillary Clinton.Mark Sagliocco/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderSandberg spoke out against former President Donald Trump's policies on abortion and immigration. A day after Trump reinstated the global gag rule that banned federally funded groups from discussing abortion, Sandberg donated $1 million to Planned Parenthood.Sheryl Sandberg, Mike Pence, and Donald Trump.Getty / Drew AngererSource: InsiderSandberg, and Facebook, drew heavy scrutiny in the wake of the 2016 election. Facebook revealed that Russia paid for thousands of ads on the platform to interfere with and manipulate political sentiment. The New York Times later reported that Sandberg tried to downplay implicating Russia in spreading misinformation on Facebook.GettySource: The New York TimesThen in March 2018, details about the Cambridge Analytica scandal surfaced. The data-analytics company had harvested data from 87 million Facebook users and used it to target voters during the 2016 election. Sandberg admitted that Facebook knew about the improper data use back in 2015, but didn't make it public.Robert Galbraith/ReutersSource: InsiderZuckerberg reportedly blamed Sandberg for the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and told her she should have been more aggressive in dealing with the "troublesome content." After meeting with Zuckerberg, Sandberg had told friends she worried whether she'd keep her job at Facebook, according to a Wall Street Journal report.Facebook's executives have repeatedly pledged to do better about cleaning up the platform, but the company has a long way to go.Drew Angerer/Getty Images; The Asahi Shimbun/Getty ImagesSource: The Wall Street JournalA bombshell New York Times report later revealed that Facebook directed a PR firm called Definers Public Affairs to conduct an "aggressive lobbying campaign" to blame billionaire George Soros — a Facebook critic — for spreading anti-Facebook sentiment. Both Zuckerberg and Sandberg denied knowing about Definers' activities, and communications head Elliot Schrage instead took the fall. However, Sandberg later admitted she had received a "small number of emails where Definers was referenced."George Soros.Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderThe New York Times report put mounting scrutiny on Sandberg's role at Facebook. Although Facebook staffers threw their support behind Sandberg, investors reportedly questioned whether they should be worried Sandberg would leave the company.Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of FacebookKrista Kennell / ShutterstockSource: InsiderDespite the speculation, Sandberg remained at the company. In 2018, she was called to testify before Congress alongside then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey regarding Russian interference in the US election.Sheryl Sandberg and then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderThrough it all, Sandberg's net worth has continued to rise. She's currently worth an estimated $1.6 billion, making her one of the 20 richest self-made women in the US.Sheryl Sandberg Facebook COO.Richard Bord/Getty Images for Cannes LionsSource: ForbesIn early 2020, Sandberg announced that she had gotten engaged to Tom Bernthal, the founder and CEO of a consulting firm in Los Angeles. The couple reportedly met through the brother of Sandberg's late husband, and started dating in spring 2019. Engaged!!! @tom_bernthal, you are my everything. I could not love you more. A post shared by Sheryl Sandberg (@sherylsandberg) on Feb 3, 2020 at 10:00am PSTFeb 3, 2020 at 10:00am PST Source: People, Insider In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that while she was dating Kotick, Sandberg pushed the UK tabloid the Daily Mail to drop reporting on a temporary restraining order filed against him by a former girlfriend. Sandberg reportedly worried that the Mail's story would damage her reputation as a champion of women.Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity FairSource: Insider, The Wall Street JournalIn June, Sandberg announced that she would step down as COO later this year, writing in a Facebook post that "it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life." Zuckerberg wrote that Sandberg is "a superstar who defined the COO role in her own unique way." She officially left her role on August 1, and her last day at Meta will be September 30.Facebook executives Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg walk together at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesSource: Insider, SECMadeline Stone and Paige Leskin contributed to an earlier version of this article.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 3rd, 2022

Community Leaders, City Officials and Residents Break Ground on Affordable Homeownership Project in Chelsea

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher and Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) joined with community leaders and residents to celebrate the groundbreaking of an affordable homeownership project that will transform a blighted corner of the Chelsea neighborhood, reactivating... The post Community Leaders, City Officials and Residents Break Ground on Affordable Homeownership Project in Chelsea appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher and Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) joined with community leaders and residents to celebrate the groundbreaking of an affordable homeownership project that will transform a blighted corner of the Chelsea neighborhood, reactivating a site that has been underutilized for decades. The project at 201-207 7th Avenue is financed through HPD’s Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program (ANCP), which selects qualified developers to rehabilitate or redevelop distressed city-owned multifamily buildings in order to create affordable co-ops for low and moderate-income households. The four distressed buildings currently on the site, which include 14 rental apartments, will be demolished and replaced with one new nine-story building with 26 co-op apartments and ground floor retail. The five existing residents have been temporarily relocated, are attending co-op homeownership training, and when the project is complete, they will purchase their brand new homes for $2,500 (or $250 if they income qualify). The remaining 21 units will be marketed through the City’s Housing Connect lottery with sales prices affordable to households earning 130% of AMI. The project will not only create rare affordable homeownership opportunities in one of New York City’s most expensive neighborhoods but will also remove a longtime eyesore along 7th Avenue, replacing it with a new development thoughtfully designed to blend into the neighborhood. “This administration is committed to helping long-time New Yorkers own a piece of their neighborhoods and ensuring that those homes remain affordable far into the future, said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “Through our Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program (ANCP), we’re thrilled to provide deeply affordable homeownership opportunities to both new and existing residents in Chelsea. I want to thank AAFE, Council Member Bottcher, Community Board 4, the residents, and the entire community who advocated for and lent their expertise to this project.” “I would like to thank the dedicated community advocates in Chelsea, including former City Council member Corey Johnson, current Council Member Erik Bottcher and Community Board 4 who have been tireless for so many years in their efforts to see this project get off the ground,” said AAFE Co-Executive Director Thomas Yu. “AAFE has made a long-term commitment to creating new opportunities for first-time homeowners in New York City. We developed the first ANCP project five years ago and are now working on co-op conversions in the East Village and here in Chelsea. Our team is looking forward to a continued partnership with building residents and the Chelsea community to revitalize this corner of the neighborhood.” “This development is helping 26 families achieve the American Dream of becoming homeowners,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “Manhattan’s average monthly rent hitting $5,000 underscores the urgent need for more affordable housing like 201-207 7th Avenue. I look forward to continuing to work with AAFE to help address the city’s housing crisis.” “I am thrilled that after decades, these derelict and mostly vacant buildings on the corner of 22nd and Seventh Avenue will finally be turned into a new, affordable housing building, and will allow for the original tenants to return to their original homes,” said City Council Member Erik Bottcher. “This project is a true win for the community and New York as a whole, and provides desperately needed housing, and a reactivation of a longtime overlooked corner in Chelsea. Thank you very much for HPD, AAFE, CB4, and local community leaders for everything you all have done on this project.” “Manhattan rents just hit a record average of $5,000 per month. Now more than ever, we need affordable housing, so the new development at 201-207 7th Avenue is welcome news,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I’m grateful to HPD, Council Member Erik Bottcher, Asian Americans for Equality and Community Board 4 (MCB4) for making this project a reality.” “After decades of advocacy and negotiations, Manhattan Community Board 4 is excited to finally celebrate the groundbreaking of these buildings. MCB4 has been involved in almost every aspect of the creation of this affordable housing development. The Board is grateful for the combined efforts of HPD and AAFE in bringing this project to this important milestone, said Jeffrey LeFrancois, Chair, Manhattan Community Board 4. “We are really excited to be part of this collaboration, bringing a much-needed affordable homeownership project into the heart of Chelsea”, said Salvatore D’Avola, Executive Director, Restoring Communities HDFC. “These long-derelict buildings will be transformed into a new 26 unit affordable cooperative building that will allow the existing low-income residents and new first-time purchasers the opportunity to become homeowners in this great city.” Keyla Espinal, a longtime resident leader, who grew up in the buildings said, “We are relieved and happy that this day is finally here! Our family is excited to come home as homeowners in our own community. It’s a victory not only for the residents of the buildings, but also the whole neighborhood, which will see this corner of Chelsea transformed into something we can all take pride in for many years to come.” City Council representatives, Community Board 4 and other community leaders advocated for the renovation of the four buildings on the site for many years. Through the Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program, HPD designated AAFE to redevelop the distressed properties to create affordable homeownership opportunities for new and existing residents. The development team worked closely with the community on a new building design. 201-207 7th Avenue was transferred to Restoring Communities HDFC at the closing of the construction loan last month, and when construction is complete, it will be conveyed to a newly formed Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC), owned and managed by the residents. Building Design Building materials are inspired by the various architectural styles in Chelsea, utilizing elements typical of traditional mercantile buildings and residential buildings with detailed facades, including a strong base, columns and the blending of stone and brick. Amie Gross Architects, as the project architect, will be working with contractors to preserve decorative elements from the buildings, which date to about 1920. Every effort will be made to remove intact the cast iron Italianate entrance now located on West 22nd Street and to install it as part of the new building. The project will include a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, as well as a 3,500 square foot ground floor retail space which will be leased to commercial tenants selected with input from the residents. There will be a shared terrace and recreational space on the eighth floor with stunning views looking north and south along 7th Avenue, a shared courtyard, a laundry room, bike room and elevator. The building will also include numerous sustainable features such as energy efficient mechanical systems, natural daylight in corridors and energy saving thermal insulation. Amie Gross AIA, President of Amie Gross Architects, noted, “The building design is inspired by the community – by both its residents and architecture. This project embodies the commitment of Amie Gross Architects to sustainable and affordable structures that are made to last. Together with the input of Manhattan CB4 and AAFE, AGA designed this mixed-use building to honor its context, while contributing to a more inclusive and equitable urban environment.” Demolition of the existing buildings is expected to begin in early- to mid-August and extend for approximately three months. Construction of the new building will likely start in early 2023 with completion in approximately 24 months. Financing for this project includes a construction loan from Enterprise Community Partners, in collaboration with Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and subsidies through NYC HPD’s Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program. Additional funding will come from a combination of sales proceeds from the vacant units, funding from the Manhattan Borough President, and sponsor equity. The total development cost is $25.7 million. “As skyrocketing housing costs continue to push homeownership away from too many families, it’s profoundly meaningful to transform a blighted corner into affordable homeownership opportunities,” said Elise Balboni, president of Enterprise Community Loan Fund. “Enterprise is proud to partner alongside HPD, AAFE, New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher and others to celebrate the creation of 26 places of pride, power and belonging.” “The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) is proud to support AAFE’s work to address New York City’s broad range of housing needs. This project will have deep impact for the returning residents and make affordable homeownership a reality in Chelsea,” said Kirsten Shaw, Vice President, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions. “This site also demonstrates that HPD’s Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program continues to be an impactful source of capital to revitalize properties across the city.” Asian Americans for Equality has a successful track record in the Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program. In 2017, AAFE completed New York City’s first project through the program at 244 Elizabeth St. in Manhattan, creating 19 affordable co-op apartments. Currently, the organization is transforming three more buildings in the East Village, creating 44 additional homeownership opportunities for both existing and future residents. The post Community Leaders, City Officials and Residents Break Ground on Affordable Homeownership Project in Chelsea appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyJul 26th, 2022

Solid Business Model Boosts KB Home (KBH), Inflation Ails

KB Home (KBH) to witness moderate demand amid inflation and supply woes. Amid significant inflation, supply chain woes and rising affordability issues, U.S. homebuilders are experiencing moderate housing demand. Also, they are incurring high costs to support current operations and expected growth. Recently, a notable homebuilder, KB Home KBH, reported its second-quarter fiscal 2022 results.Although it generated solid earnings and revenues year over year, its net orders dropped 9% from the prior-year quarter. The cancellation rate, as a percentage of gross orders, rose to 17% compared with 9% a year ago. Due to the growing uncertainty in the market, it has narrowed its previously-announced guidance for fiscal 2022.Nonetheless, KBH remains confident about its Built-to-Order business model, enabling it to navigate these changing market conditions. (Read more: KB Home’s Q2 Earnings & Revenues Beat, Margins Up Y/Y)Its continuous focus on the Returns-Focused Growth plan, consumer-centric approach and favorable pricing environment are helping it to mitigate these challenges. KBH’s shares slightly outperformed the Zacks Building Products - Home Builders industry this year.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLet’s discuss factors influencing this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s growth prospects. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Strategic Growth initiatives Solid, Supply-Chain & Costs Issue PersistOver the past six years, KB Home has been pursuing a Returns-Focused Growth Plan that is designed to drive revenues and margins, return on invested capital and equity and maintain leverage ratio. The plan mainly focuses on executing its core business strategy, improving asset efficiency and monetizing significant deferred tax assets.KB Home is in a better position to expect meaningful growth in fiscal 2022, attributable to an increase in backlog and its ability to match housing starts to net orders. The company is executing its plan to expand the scale of operations while driving both margins and returns.However, it has been witnessing challenges related to raw material shortages and municipal delays. Raw material inflation is eating into homebuilders’ margins. Also, labor shortages are leading to higher wages and construction delays, eventually hurting the number of homes delivered. Land prices are also increasing due to limited availability. Owing to these headwinds, KBH reduced its year-end community count to 250 in fiscal 2022 from 255 expected earlier.Built-to-Order Approach Attracts, Affordability Issue WorriesKB Home’s highly consumer-centric approach helps homebuyers design a home with the features and amenities of their choice. It provides buyers with a wide range of choices in the major aspects of their future home and a personalized customer experience through in-house community teams.This approach has given KB Home a competitive advantage over its peers and led to low-cost production. The company follows a strategy of initiating construction only after a purchase agreement has been executed. This reduces inventory risk, enhances efficiencies in construction and provides greater visibility and predictability on future deliveries.However, significantly high home prices and Fed’s expectation of future interest rate hikes have made homebuyers apprehensive. Per the recent report from the Census Government, the median sales price of new houses sold in May was up 15% year over year. The average sales price also rose 14.8% from the prior-year period. Consumer confidence dropped 4.5 points in June, the lowest level since February 2021, due to decades of high inflation.Although home prices have started moderating, the trend is likely to remain consistent for housing this year.Supply Constraint Limits Land Acquisition MoveKB Home invests aggressively in land acquisition and development, mainly in high-end locations, which is critical for community count as well as top-line growth. During fiscal second-quarter 2022, the company expanded its lot position to 89,778 lots owned or controlled. The lot pipeline has expanded 16% since May 31, 2021, reflecting KBH’s substantial investments in land and land development over the past 12 months. In the first half of fiscal 2022, it invested $1.40 billion in land acquisitions and development, up 24% year over year.However, a shortage of buildable lots, skilled labor and available capital for smaller builders are limiting home production, which is lowering the inventory of new and existing homes. Limited capital for land and land development has left entitled lands in short supply while growing demand drove land prices higher. The labor market is tightened with the limited availability of labor, arresting the rapid growth in housing production. If the supply picture does not improve, prices could increase, affecting affordability.2 Better Ranked Stocks From the Same IndustryTwo better-ranked stocks which warrant a look in the same space are Meritage Homes Corporation MTH and Toll Brothers, Inc. TOL.Meritage Homes is one of the leading designers and builders of single-family homes. The company currently sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Meritage Homes has declined 36.8% year to date. That said, earnings are expected to grow 42.7% in 2022. Earnings estimates have moved 1.4% north for 2022 over the past 60 days.Toll Brothers is a leading builder of luxury homes. The company has been benefiting from its strategy of broadening the product lines, price points and geographies. Also, it has been gaining from a favorable housing backdrop, lack of competition in the luxury new home market and buyout synergies.Earnings for Toll Brothers — carrying a Zacks Rank #2 — are expected to grow 53.7% in fiscal 2022. It has declined 35% this year. Toll Brothers has seen an upward estimate revision of 3.2% for fiscal 2022 earnings over the past 60 days.A Recent Homebuilding ReleaseLennar Corporation LEN reported second-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended May 31, 2022) results. Quarterly earnings and revenues topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate, despite unprecedented supply-chain challenges.Lennar has declined 46.8% year to date. That said, earnings are expected to grow 42.7% in 2022. Earnings estimates for 2022 have moved 1.4% north in the past 30 days. 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. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in 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 Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL): Free Stock Analysis Report KB Home (KBH): Free Stock Analysis Report Lennar Corporation (LEN): Free Stock Analysis Report Meritage Homes Corporation (MTH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 4th, 2022

3 Reasons to Retain Veeva Systems (VEEV) Stock in Your Portfolio

Veeva Systems' (VEEV) slew of strategic deals raises optimism about the stock. Veeva Systems Inc. VEEV is well poised for growth in the coming quarters, backed by a slew of strategic deals inked over the past few months. A robust first-quarter fiscal 2023 performance, along with increasing adoption of the company’s products, is expected to contribute further. Stiff competition and forex woes persist.Over the past year, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has lost 35.4% compared with 64.1% fall of the industry and 12.6% decline of the S&P 500 composite.The renowned provider of cloud-based software applications and data solutions for the life sciences industry has a market capitalization of $31.61 billion. The company projects 17.2% growth for the next five years and expects to maintain its strong performance. It has delivered an earnings surprise of 7.4% for the past four quarters, on average.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLet’s delve deeper.Strategic Deals to Drive Growth: Veeva Systems has entered into a slew of partnerships over the past few months, raising our optimism. In June, the company announced a collaboration with ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to define and operationalize data-driven commercial strategies for the latter’s new Rare Disease business unit.In April, Veeva Systems announced that it has expanded its partnership with LEO Pharma to drive relevant discussions within the scientific community using Veeva Link for Key People — a real-time intelligence application from the Veeva Link family of data products.Increasing Product Adoption: Veeva Systems has been registering robust adoption of its products over the past few months. The company, in May, announced that Lucid Diagnostics Inc. had selected Veeva Vault Clinical Data Management Suite to provide electronic data capture, coding and data cleaning in their upcoming study for EsoGuard.The same month, Veeva Systems announced that AmplifyBio will be building a foundation for advanced quality, study execution and reporting with Veeva Vault Quality Suite.Strong Q1 Results: Veeva Systems’ solid first-quarter fiscal 2023 results buoy optimism. Both of its segments performed impressively during the quarter. The company continues to benefit from its flagship Vault platform, which is encouraging. Veeva Commercial Cloud’s continued strength looks impressive. Expansion of gross margin also bodes well.DownsidesForex Woes: Veeva Systems derives a major share of its revenues from international operations. Some of its international agreements provide for payment denominated in local currencies and the majority of its local costs are also denominated in local currencies. Fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar versus foreign currencies may impact its operating results when converted into U.S. dollars.Stiff Competition: Veeva Systems operate in a highly competitive market. In new sales cycles within the company’s largest product categories, it competes with other cloud-based solutions from providers that make applications inclined toward the life sciences industry. The company’s Commercial Cloud and Veeva Vault application suites also compete to replace client-server-based legacy solutions offered by large companies and other smaller application providers.Estimate TrendVeeva Systems is witnessing a positive estimate revision trend for 2022. In the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for its earnings has moved 2.9% north to $4.14.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s second-quarter fiscal 2023 revenues is pegged at $530.8 million, suggesting a 16.5% improvement from the year-ago quarter’s reported number.Key PicksSome better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN, Patterson Companies, Inc. PDCO and Masimo Corporation MASI.AMN Healthcare, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 1.1%. AMN’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 15.6%.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.AMN Healthcare has gained 18.2% against the industry’s 47.8% fall in the past year.Patterson Companies, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 9.6%. PDCO’s earnings surpassed estimates in all the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 16.5%.Patterson Companies has gained 0.7% against the industry’s 10.1% fall over the past year.Masimo, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 at present, has an earnings yield of 3.4% against the industry’s negative yield. MASI’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 4.4%.Masimo has lost 46.1% compared with the industry’s 24.9% fall over the past year. 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. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in 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 Masimo Corporation (MASI): Free Stock Analysis Report Patterson Companies, Inc. (PDCO): Free Stock Analysis Report AMN Healthcare Services Inc (AMN): Free Stock Analysis Report Veeva Systems Inc. (VEEV): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 4th, 2022

Acuity Brands (AYI) Q3 Earnings & Sales Top Estimates, Stock Down

Acuity Brands' (AYI) fiscal third-quarter results benefit from higher segmental sales amid industry woes. Acuity Brands, Inc. AYI reported solid third-quarter fiscal 2022 results. The top and the bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved from the prior-year quarter’s levels. The upside was backed by higher sales from both of its segments along with price increases and product and productivity improvement.However, the stock fell 1.09% on Jun 30. The company expects market conditions to remain consistent in the fiscal fourth quarter.Pertaining to the quarterly release, Neil Ashe — chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Acuity Brands — said, "We are executing consistently as a result of significant and ongoing improvements in our business, and we continue to generate value for shareholders through share repurchases."Delving DeeperAYI reported adjusted earnings of $3.52 per share, which topped the consensus estimate of $2.98 by 18.1%. The metric also improved 27.1% from the year-ago reported figure of $2.77 per share.Acuity Brands Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise  Acuity Brands Inc price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Acuity Brands Inc Quote Net sales of $1,061 million surpassed the consensus mark of $997 million by 6.4% and increased 17.9% from the prior-year quarter. The improvement was mainly driven by ABL and its focus on product vitality and service levels. Also, strong demand, benefits from recent price increases and the OSRAM DS business acquisition added to the positives.Segment DetailsAcuity Brands Lighting and Lighting Controls or ABL’s net sales grew 18.6% year over year to $1,008.4 million, backed by a 3% contribution from the acquisition of the Osram DS business.Net sales in the Independent Sales Network were up 15.6% year over year to $725.9 million. Direct Sales Network sales were 0.6% down from the prior-year period’s levels to $96.1 million. Sales in the Corporate Accounts channel increased 34.3% from the prior year to $59.1 million. Yet, Retail sales of $44.7 million increased 23.8% from the prior-year quarter.Adjusted operating profit in the segment increased 17.7% from the prior year. Yet, the adjusted operating margin was down 20 basis points (bps) year over year.Intelligent Spaces Group or ISG generated net sales of $58.3 million, marking a 5.2% year-over-year increase. Adjusted operating profit was up 22.5% from third-quarter fiscal 2021. Adjusted operating margin was up a notable 330 bps year over year.Operating HighlightsGross margin declined 100 bps on a year-over-year basis to 42%, owing to the dilutive mix of the acquisition of the OSRAM DS business.Adjusted operating margin came in at 15.3%, up 10 bps year over year. Adjusted EBITDA rose 16.2% to $176.1 million from a year ago.FinancialsAt the fiscal third quarter-end, Acuity Brands had cash and cash equivalents of $318.2 million compared with $491.3 million at the fiscal 2021-end. For the first nine months of fiscal 2022, cash provided by operating activities totaled $165.7 million, reflecting a decrease from $316.2 million in the prior-year period.During the first nine months of fiscal 2022, the company repurchased 2.3 million shares of its common stock for $405 million.Zacks Rank & Key PickAcuity Brands currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Meritage Homes Corporation MTH has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present and is one of the leading designers and builders of single-family homes.Earnings are expected to grow 42.7% in 2022. Earnings estimates for the current year have moved north to $27.52 per share from $27.14 over the past 30 days.Few Recent Construction ReleasesLennar Corporation LEN reported second-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended May 31, 2022) results. Quarterly earnings and revenues topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate, despite unprecedented supply-chain challenges.Lennar has declined 39.3% year to date. That said, earnings are expected to grow 18.2% in fiscal 2022. Earnings estimates for the year have moved 1.4% north in the past seven days.KB Home KBH reported stellar results for second-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended May 31, 2022). Its earnings and revenues beat their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate and increased on a year-over-year basis.KB Home has declined 36.4% year to date. That said, earnings are expected to grow 69.6% in fiscal 2022. Earnings estimates for the year have moved 1.3% north in the past seven days. 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. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in 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 KB Home (KBH): Free Stock Analysis Report Lennar Corporation (LEN): Free Stock Analysis Report Meritage Homes Corporation (MTH): Free Stock Analysis Report Acuity Brands Inc (AYI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 1st, 2022

Here are all the famous people Jeffrey Epstein was connected to

Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's ex-girlfriend and madam, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for sex-trafficking girls for the late disgraced financier. American financier Jeffrey Epstein (L) and then-real-estate developer Donald Trump (R) pose together at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 1997.Davidoff Studios/Getty Images Jeffrey Epstein was known for jet-setting with the likes of Bill Gates, President Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew. Wall Street billionaire Leon Black paid Epstein at least $50 million in consulting and other fees, The New York Times reported. Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2020, as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking minors. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Former L Brands CEO Les Wexner may have been Jeffrey Epstein's only confirmed client, but he was far from the only billionaire paying the convicted sex offender.Epstein, who pleaded guilty to charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida in 2007, ran a years-long "trafficking pyramid scheme" from the US Virgin Islands, prosecutors alleged in a lawsuit against the former wealth manager's estate in January 2020.Meanwhile, the convicted sex offender maintained a vast social and professional network both on and off the Islands, which even included the wife of the US Virgin Islands' former governor. In October 2020, Wall Street billionaire Leon Black acknowledged to The New York Times through a spokesperson that he hired Epstein as an advisor and paid Epstein at least $50 million in consulting and other fees between 2012 and 2017.Epstein, a former hedge-fund manager, kept his client list under wraps, but he often bragged of his elite social circle that included presidents and Hollywood stars."I invest in people — be it politics or science," Epstein was known to say, according to New York Magazine. "It's what I do."Epstein, 66, died by apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2020, as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking of minors. He had been in police custody since his arrest on July 6, shortly after exiting his private jet in New Jersey's Teterboro Airport. He pleaded not guilty on July 8 and was being held without bail in New York City, where he was already on suicide watch after an earlier reported suicide attempt that had led to his hospitalization, at the time of his death. Here's what we know about the famous people who crossed paths with Epstein.Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's ex-girlfriend and madam, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex-trafficking young girls for Epstein.Epstein with Maxwell.Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesMaxwell is a British socialite and the daughter of media tycoon Robert Maxwell.She started dating Epstein shortly after moving to New York in 1991, Business Insider previously reported. After they broke up, court documents allege that Maxwell started recruiting underage girls for him to have sex with.The FBI began investigating Maxwell's relationship with Epstein in 2019 as the British heiress hit out with armed guards in the United States or the United Kingdom.Maxwell was ultimately found in New Hampshire, where she was arrested on charges of sex trafficking and perjury in New Hampshire on July 2, 2020.A federal jury in December 2021 convicted the former socialite of five sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors alleged Maxwell worked with Epstein to "recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse" children. In June 2022, a federal judge sentenced Maxwell to 20 years in prison for trafficking girls to have sex with Epstein and sexually abusing them herself. She was also fined $750,000, the judge said, and will have to remain on probation for five years following her time in prison.  Outgoing L Brands CEO Les Wexner is Epstein's only confirmed client.AP Photo/Matt SullivanEpstein became a trusted confidant of Wexner's while Epstein managed the CEO's fortune, according to Vanity Fair. Wexner has a net worth of $7.15 billion, Bloomberg reported. The magazine reported that Wexner allowed Epstein to take an active role in L Brands, which owns Bath & Body Works, Express, and Victoria's Secret.In 1989, Wexner used a trust to buy an Upper East Side townhouse that is believed to be the largest private residence in Manhattan for $13.2 million, Vanity Fair reported. Epstein moved in after Wexner and his wife, Abigail Koppel, moved to Ohio in 1996. Wexner's trust transferred ownership of the house to Epstein in 2011 for $0, Bloomberg reported.Wexner later fired Epstein as his money manager. "Mr. Wexner severed ties with Mr. Epstein more than a decade ago," an L Brands spokesperson told Forbes in July 2019.In February, L Brands announced that Wexner would step down after nearly six decades as the company's CEO. L Brands also announced that it would sell the majority stake in Victoria's Secret to private equity firm Sycamore Partners and spin-off Bath & Body Works into a separate company. The company has been marred in controversy following reports of the mistreatment of models and plummeting sales.More information about Wexner's relationship with Epstein may soon be revealed after US District Judge Loretta Preska ordered that Wexner's correspondence with Epstein's former lawyer Alan Dershowitz be unsealed as a part of Dershowitz and Giuffre's defamation suits against each other, Business Insider reported on August 11.Former President Donald Trump once considered Epstein a friend.From left, Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000.Davidoff Studios/Getty ImagesThe future president claimed in 2002 that he had a long friendship with Epstein. "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy," Trump said, according to New York Magazine. "He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."According to Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, Trump now believes the crimes Epstein was charged with are "completely unconscionable and obviously criminal." She also labeled them "disgusting," according to a July report from the Associated Press."The president told me this morning he hasn't talked to Epstein, he doesn't think he's talked to him or seen him in 10 or 15 years," Conway added.Prince Andrew and Epstein were close friends, the Guardian reported in 2015.WPA Pool / Getty ImagesMaxwell introduced Epstein and the Duke of York in the 1990s, the Guardian reported, and the two became close friends.The Duke is the son of the UK's Queen Elizabeth. He has also been criticized for frequently taking flights on the taxpayer's dime while serving as the country's special representative for international trade. This earned him the nickname "Airmiles Andy," according to the Washington Post.Court documents reviewed by the Guardian allege that Epstein instructed Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a 15-year-old employee at Trump's Mar-a-Largo resort, to have sex with Prince Andrew on three separate occasions. Buckingham Palace said in 2015 that the allegations against Prince Andrew were "false and without any foundation," according to the Guardian.According to a July 22 article from NY Magazine's Intelligencer, a number of royals and royal connections were among Epstein's contacts. That includes Prince Andrew's then-wife, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York; and Charles Althorp, Princess Diana's brother. According to Intelligencer, all three were named in Epstein's black book; Ferguson and Prince Andrew were also named in his private jet log.In a interview with the BBC in November, Prince Andrew said his relationship with Epstein brought him "opportunities," and that his slowness in ditching Epstein as a friend was because of his tendency to be "too honorable." The interview was widely criticized over Prince Andrew's lack of sympathy with Epstein's victims and his defense of his friendship with the convicted sex offender, Business Insider reported.Prince Andrew resigned from public royal duties in November, Business Insider reported.Former President Bill Clinton traveled with Epstein in 2002 and 2003, a Clinton representative confirmed.Andrew Chin/Getty Images, Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty ImagesA statement released in July 2019 by Clinton spokesperson Angel Ureña said the former president traveled to Europe, Asia, and twice to Africa on Epstein's private jet. Clinton's staff and Secret Service agents also went on these trips, which were to further the work of the Clinton Foundation, according to the statement.Court documents unsealed on July 31 show Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre testified that Clinton also visited Epstein's island — something the former president has denied.Last year, Clinton told New York Magazine through a spokesperson that Epstein was "both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science."Ureña also said that Clinton and Epstein hadn't spoken in "well over a decade" and that Clinton "knows nothing about the terrible crimes" Epstein was charged with.Actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Chris Tucker also took trips with Epstein.Kevin Spacey attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards ProductionsEpstein, Clinton, Spacey, and Tucker spent a week in 2002 touring AIDS project sites in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, and Mozambique for the Clinton Foundation, according to a New York Magazine report.Spacey was also charged with sexual assault, but in December, The New York Times reported that the case had been dropped by the plaintiff's estate. The plaintiff, a 62-year-old massage therapist, had died in September.Former Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta worked with Epstein's legal team to arrange a plea deal after Epstein was charged with solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida in 2007.Alexander Acosta.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesAn investigation by the Miami Herald revealed that Acosta, then a US attorney, had enough evidence against Epstein to request a life sentence. Instead, he reportedly met with one of Epstein's lawyers, who happened to be a former colleague of Acosta's.In the resulting plea deal, Epstein served 13 months in a private wing of a county prison, which he was allowed to leave six days a week to work in his office.Business Insider previously reported that Acosta said he was "pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence," on Twitter.—Secretary Acosta (@SecretaryAcosta) July 9, 2019Acosta resigned on July 12, 2019.Film publicist Peggy Siegal planned a star-studded dinner party for Epstein and Prince Andrew at Epstein's New York mansion in 2010.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP ImagesSiegal, known for hosting events to promote films including "The Big Short," "Argo," and "The Revenant" to Oscar voters, invited Epstein to screenings after he was released from prison in 2010, according to The New York Times."I was a kind of plugged-in girl around town who knew a lot of people," Siegal told The New York Times. "And I think that's what he wanted from me, a kind of social goings-on about New York."Siegal also planned a dinner party for Epstein and Prince Andrew at his Upper East Side home. The event was attended by Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, and Chelsea Handler. "The invitation was positioned as, 'Do you want to have dinner with Prince Andrew?'" Siegal said. Many of the guests didn't know who the host was or about his criminal history, The New York Times reported.A spokesperson for Siegal told Business Insider that Siegal's relationship with Epstein was social, not professional. Siegal told The New York Times that she ended her relationship with Epstein at the height of the #MeToo era in 2017.Netflix, FX and Annapurna Pictures severed their ties with Siegal in July 2019 after her connection to Epstein became public, Variety reported.Epstein also told the Times that he spoke often with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.Saudi Arabia Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the G20 opening ceremony at the Hangzhou International Expo Center on September 4, 2016 in Hangzhou, China. World leaders are gathering for the 11th G20 Summit from September 4-5.Nicolas Asfouri - Pool/Getty ImagesEpstein said that MBS had visited Epstein's Manhattan mansion many times and had a framed photo of the crown prince hanging on the wall, according to New York Times reporter James B. Stewart.Representatives of MBS did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.According to the New York Times, Epstein claimed to have advised Tesla CEO Elon Musk.Tesla CEO Elon Musk was photographed at a 2014 Oscars after-party next to Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of being Epstein's madam in media reports and legal documents.Kevin Mazur/VF14/Contributor/Getty ImagesIn an interview published in the New York Times on August 12, Epstein claimed that Elon Musk had sought him out to help manage the trouble he had gotten into with the SEC a year earlier, in August 2018.Epstein told reporter James B. Stewart that he had promised to keep his work for Tesla private because of his prior conviction. Epstein also warned that both Musk and Tesla would deny their connection to Epstein if it ever became public, the Times reported. In a statement to Business Insider, a spokesperson for Musk denied Epstein's claims of having served as an adviser to the CEO.Musk and Maxwell were photographed at an Oscars after-party hosted by former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014, in West Hollywood. The same Musk spokesperson told Business Insider that "Ghislaine simply inserted herself behind him in a photo he was posing for without his knowledge."Musk has confirmed crossing paths with Epstein at least once, Business Insider reported. Musk, Epstein, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were all guests at a dinner hosted by LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman sometime after he was released from jail in 2008.MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito quietly worked with Epstein to secure anonymous donations, Vanity Fair reported.Phillip Faraone/Getty ImagesIto worked with other directors and staff at the MIT Media Lab to quietly receive large anonymous donations from Epstein after he was convicted of soliciting underage girls for prostitution, a New Yorker exposé published on September 6 reports. The article contains emails sent between Ito and Epstein.The emails show Epstein also worked as an in-between for other wealthy donors, including Bill Gates and Leon Black, and that Epstein had a role in determining what his donations would be used for at MIT, contradicting previous statements from Ito and the university.Ito resigned from his posts at MIT, The New York Times Company, and the MacArthur Foundation on September 7, Business Insider reported.Epstein worked as a go-between for the MIT Media Lab and Bill Gates to arrange donations, Vanity Fair reported.Bill Gates speaks ahead of former U.S. President Barack Obama at the Gates Foundation Inaugural Goalkeepers event on September 20, 2017 in New York City.Yana Paskova/Getty ImagesEmails obtained and published by The New Yorker show former MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito wrote that Gates was "directed by" Epstein to donate $2 million to the research lab in October 2014.Gates also met with Epstein at least once in New York in 2013, and flew on one of his private planes to Palm Beach, Business Insider previously reported. "Bill attended a meeting in New York with others focused on philanthropy. While Epstein was present, he never provided services of any type to Bill," a Gates spokesperson told Business Insider.A spokesperson for Gates told Business Insider that "Epstein was introduced to Bill Gates as someone who was interested in helping grow philanthropy. Although Epstein pursued Bill Gates aggressively, any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is simply not true. And any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grantmaking for Bill Gates is completely false."A New York Times investigation published in October found that Gates met with Epstein multiple times after Epstein's conviction in 2011, including at least three meetings at Epstein's Manhattan townhouse. Following the publication of that story, a spokesperson for Gates said Gates regretted the association, but Gates himself hadn't publicly addressed it until November, Business Insider's Aaron Holmes reported.Gates said at The New York Times' Dealbook Conference in November that he believed "billions of dollars" would come from his meetings with Jeffrey Epstein. "I made a mistake in judgment in thinking those discussions would go to global health," Gates said. "That money never appeared.""I gave him the benefit of my association," Gates said.Reid Hoffman defended Ito after news of Epstein's connections to the MIT Media Lab broke.REUTERS/Brian SnyderA "few years ago," Epstein attended a dinner Hoffman hosted to honor an MIT neuroscientist, Vanity Fair reported in July. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk were also in attendance. Both denied having had ongoing relationships with Epstein to Vanity Fair through spokespeople.Hoffman also implicated himself in the cover up of Epstein's donations to the MIT Media Lab. As pressure mounted on Media Lab director Joi Ito to resign, Hoffman defended Ito to author and fellow MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award jury member Anand Giridharadas in a private email, Giridharadas tweeted in September. "Hoffman basically hid behind bureaucracy and the old 'ongoing investigation' excuse," Giridharadas said in the now-unavailable tweet. "He said it would be complicated to release the correspondence publicly because other names might get dragged in. Someone should tell him about redaction."According to Giridharadas, Hoffman wrote in a second email that Giridharadas was making the situation "all about you" by threatening to resign. In the end, Giridharadas resigned from the Disobedience Award jury.Hoffman not only sits on the Disobedience Award's jury, but funds it personally, according to the Media Lab's website. In 2017, MIT awarded Epstein and other donors "orbs" to thank them for their support, according to The Boston Globe. The orb looks similar to the trophy given to winners of the Disobedience Award.A lawsuit has also shined light on Epstein's connection to former U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh while he was in office.U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh participates in a meeting dealing with healthcare at the Southern Governors' Association convention in Little Rock, Ark., Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.AP Photo/Danny JohnstonGov. John P. de Jongh's wife Cecile de Jongh served on the board of Epstein's Financial Trust Co. for most of her husband's time in office, Business Insider's Becky Peterson and John Cook reported. Cecile de Jongh held the titles of secretary and vice president in her decade-long tenure with the company, even staying on board after Epstein was first charged with sexual assault in 2007.Prosecutors in the US Virgin Islands alleged that Epstein was trafficking women and children through the US territory during that same time, as stated in a January lawsuit. The lawsuit describes one 15-year-old victim who was "forced into sexual acts with Epstein and others and then attempted to escape by swimming off the Little St. James island."In a statement, a lawyer representing Epstein's estate told Business Insider that some of the allegations in the lawsuit were inaccurate — particularly allegations that the estate to this day engages in "a course of conduct aimed at concealing the criminal activities of the Epstein Enterprise.""The Estate is being administered in accordance with the laws of the US Virgin Islands and under the supervision of the Superior Court of the US Virgin Islands," the statement said.Barclays CEO Jes Staley is under investigation by British authorities because of his friendship with Epstein.Jes Staley, CEO Barclays, arrives at Downing Street for a meeting in London on January 11, 2018. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May mets with business leaders from the financial services sector at Downing Street. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga Akmen (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty ImagesStaley had a "professional relationship" with Epstein that dated back to "early in his career," Barclays said in a statement. "In the summer of 2019, in light of the renewed media interest in the relationship, Mr. Staley volunteered and gave to certain executives, and the Chairman, an explanation of his relationship with Mr. Epstein," Barclays stated. "Mr. Staley also confirmed to the Board that he has had no contact whatsoever with Mr. Epstein at any time since taking up his role as Barclays Group CEO in December 2015."The relationship is the subject of an investigation by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, according to the bank.Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black hired Epstein as an advisor.Leon Black.LUCY NICHOLSON/ReutersIn August 2019, Black said that he had only consulted Epstein on financial matters "from time to time" and that his relationship with the convicted sex offender was "limited," Business Insider previously reported.However, Black had engaged Epstein as an advisor and paid him at least $50 million, The New York Times reported on October 12. Two of the Times' sources said the total may actually be closer to $75 million.The two financiers also regularly dined together at Epstein's New York mansion, per the Times report.A spokesperson for Black confirmed that between 2012 and 2017, Black had received "personal trusts and estates planning advice as well as family office philanthropy and investment services from several financial and legal advisors" including Epstein. A spokesperson for Black also told the Times that the relationship ended after a "fee dispute" in 2018.Black "continues to be appalled by the conduct that led to the criminal charges" against Epstein, the spokesperson said, adding that Black "deeply regrets having any involvement" with Epstein.   If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit their website to receive confidential support.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

UFP Industries" (UFPI) PalletOne Buys 50% Stake in Dempsey

UFP Industries' (UFPI) Dempsey Wood buyout will aid the acquirer in securing more industrial woods. UFP Industries, Inc. UFPI continued its acquisition spree with the latest buyout of a 50% stake in Dempsey Wood Products, LLC via its subsidiary PalletOne, Inc. Moreover, the agreement has an option for PalletOne to acquire the remaining interest in Dempsey after three years.Share price of UFP has gained 1.5% during the trading session on Jun 27, 2022.Buyout SynergiesDempsey Wood Products has been producing kiln-dried lumber, pallet lumber and other industrial wood products from a single location in Orangeburg, SC. PalletOne has been securing industrial lumber from Dempsey for many years. Hence, this buyout will help PalletOne secure lumbers, which usually face supply shortages as larger mills produce less of this type of lumber.Dempsey generated $8.9 million of sales in 2021 and five of its 10 largest customers were UFP affiliates. Almost 40 other UFP locations are expected to be served by Dempsey, courtesy of this buyout.In view of this latest buyout, Howe Wallace, president of PalletOne said, “They’ve been a trusted supplier of ours for many years, and this investment will strengthen our ties, improve our work efficiencies and help satisfy our increasing need for lumber in this market.”UFPI’s Inorganic DriveAcquisitions have been a preferred route to solidify UFP’s product portfolio and leverage new business opportunities. Acquisitions contributed 7% to unit sales’ growth in first-quarter 2022. Acquisitions contributed $10 million to quarterly earnings.On May 9, 2022, UFP announced the acquisition of Cedar Poly LLC via its unit Deckorators, Inc. The purchase price is $17 million and comprises incentive payments. Cedar Poly will operate in UFP’s Deckorators business unit.Cedar Poly is a Tipton, IA-based full-service recycler of high-density and low-density polyethylene flakes and pellets. These pellets are used in composite decking and other products. With this addition, UFP will be able to expand its Deckorators product line using more sustainable raw materials.UFPI’s capital-allocation strategy expects acquisitions to provide reasonable returns on investments. UFP’s balanced business model and a diversified product portfolio are the major positives in these challenging times. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchShares of UFP have outperformed the Zacks Building Products - Wood industry in the year-to-date period. The trend is likely to continue as UFPI steadily benefits from its strategy of exploring new markets and enhancing its existing product portfolio via acquisitions and product innovation.Earnings estimates for 2022 have moved up to $9.60 per share from $9.01 over the past 60 days. The trend signifies bullish analyst sentiments, indicating robust fundamentals and the expectation of a further outperformance in the near term. The estimated figure implies 11.8% growth from the year-ago reported figure.Zacks RankUFP currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.3 Better-Ranked Construction StocksMeritage Homes Corporation MTH has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present and is one of the leading designers and builders of single-family homes.Earnings are expected to grow 42.7% in 2022. Earnings estimates for the current year have moved north to $27.52 per share from $27.14 over the past 30 days.AECOM ACM currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. It is a leading solutions provider for professional, technical and management solutions for diverse industries across end markets like transportation, facilities, government, and environmental, energy and water businesses.AECOM’s expected earnings growth rate for 2022 is 21.6%. The consensus mark for the ongoing yearly earnings has moved up to $3.43 per share from $3.40 in the past 60 days.Sterling Construction Co., Inc. STRL, a Zacks #2 Ranked player, has been benefiting from broad-based growth across the e-Infrastructure, Building and Transportation solutions segments.The consensus mark for Sterling’s 2022 earnings rose to $2.88 per share from $2.80 in the past 60 days. The estimated figure indicates 34% growth from the prior-year reported number. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report UFP Industries, Inc. (UFPI): Free Stock Analysis Report AECOM (ACM): Free Stock Analysis Report Meritage Homes Corporation (MTH): Free Stock Analysis Report Sterling Infrastructure, Inc. (STRL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 28th, 2022

Weichert’s 22nd Annual Charity Outing to Be Held August 18

Weichert, Realtors has announced it will host its 22nd Annual Charity Outing on Thursday, August 18, at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The event, which will raise funds for the American Cancer Society (ACS) and breast cancer research, will be coordinated by Chairperson Joe McDonald, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, the… The post Weichert’s 22nd Annual Charity Outing to Be Held August 18 appeared first on RISMedia. Weichert, Realtors has announced it will host its 22nd Annual Charity Outing on Thursday, August 18, at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The event, which will raise funds for the American Cancer Society (ACS) and breast cancer research, will be coordinated by Chairperson Joe McDonald, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, the company said. After being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charity Outing returned strong in 2021 and raised $100,000 through the generous donations of Weichert colleagues, associates, friends and sponsors. Collectively, Weichert friends and family have raised $1.737 million for breast cancer research since the fundraiser began in 2001, the company stated. “Cancer never stops affecting our lives, even during a global pandemic. We were thrilled to be back on the golf course last year and raising funds for the ACS,” McDonald said. “After emerging more fully from pandemic restrictions, we hope this year’s event will see a return to pre-COVID participation and monetary support. We are looking forward to a very successful event and seeing a lot of our Weichert community at Fiddler’s Elbow on August 18.” Individuals and businesses are invited to participate in the fundraiser, which features an afternoon of golf on two courses. Team awards for first and second place and the “Most Honest” will be given on each course. There will also be contests for both men and women for longest drive, closest to the hole and straightest drive. In addition, hole-in-one prizes feature 2022 luxury automobiles, and there will be a raffle with the grand prize of an LCD television. TV and radio personality Bill Spadea—a former Weichert sales associate—will emcee the silent auction and raffle drawings, the company said. “So many of us know someone who has been directly or indirectly impacted by breast cancer,” McDonald said. “We encourage members of the community to join us in fighting this devastating disease by attending our Charity Outing or simply making a donation in recognition of a loved one.” A donation of $399 provides individuals a round of golf with cart, lunch, foursome photo, and a three-hour buffet cocktail reception and awards banquet after golfing. There is also a Golf Clinic package at the same cost for novice to advanced golfers that includes three hours of instruction, club rentals, lunch and the buffet cocktail reception. For a donation of $175, an individual may attend only the buffet cocktail reception and awards banquet. For those not wishing to golf, there are two non-golfer options. For a $399 donation, the Member-for-a-Day package allows participants to take advantage of the many facilities and services available at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club, including golf and tennis clinics, the driving range, a yoga class, various exercise or swimming opportunities, or simply lounging by the pool, as well as lunch and the buffet cocktail reception. There is also a three-hour Paint-and-Sip Package for a $259 donation, which includes group painting lessons accompanied by wine or other beverages, plus lunch and the buffet cocktail reception, the company said. A range of eight sponsorship levels ensures an affordable sponsorship option for both large and small businesses. Contributions of gifts and prizes are also welcome from businesses as donations. To register for the Weichert Charity Outing, become a sponsor or donate a prize, contact Laura Metro at (973) 397-8505 or golf@weichertrealtors.net by July 15. Space is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Donations can also be made directly to the American Cancer Society through Weichert’s Charity Outing page. The post Weichert’s 22nd Annual Charity Outing to Be Held August 18 appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJun 24th, 2022

KB Home"s (KBH) Q2 Earnings & Revenues Beat, Margins Up Y/Y

KB Home's (KBH) fiscal Q2 results reflect strong housing market demand and increased pricing. However, softening demand trend ails. KB Home KBH reported stellar results for second-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended May 31, 2022). Its earnings and revenues beat their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate and increased on a year-over-year basis.Shares of this leading homebuilder increased 2.17% in the after-market trading session on Jun 22.Jeffrey Mezger, chairman, president and chief executive officer, stated, “With our ending backlog of over $6 billion, we are rearming our fiscal 2022 guidance, which we believe we are well positioned to achieve.”Management noted that sales rates are moderating as buyers face inflationary pressures and the impact of higher mortgage rates. Nonetheless, KBH remains confident about its Built-to-Order business model, enabling it to navigate these changing market conditions.Earnings & Revenue DiscussionKBH reported adjusted earnings of $2.32 per share, which surpassed the consensus estimate of $1.97 by 17.8%. The metric also rose 55% from the year-ago quarter’s figure of $1.50 per share. The upside was mainly backed by solid revenues and margin growth.KB Home Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise  KB Home price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | KB Home Quote Total revenues of $1.72 billion topped the consensus mark of $1.61 billion by 7.1% and increased 19% on a year-over-year basis.Segment DetailsHomebuilding: The segment's revenues of $1.71 billion increased 19.4% from the prior-year quarter’s levels. The number of homes delivered of 3,469 units was flat from the year-ago levels. The average selling price or ASP increased 21% from a year ago to $494,300.Net orders dropped 9% from the prior-year quarter to 3,914 homes. Nonetheless, the value of net orders rose 4% from the year-ago quarter to $2.12 billion. The average community count rose 3% from a year ago to 211 and the ending community count increased 7% to 214.The cancellation rate, as a percentage of gross orders, was 17% compared with 9% a year ago. Quarter-end backlog totaled 12,331 homes, up 23% from a year ago. Further, potential housing revenues from backlog grew 43% from the prior-year period to $6.12 billion. This marks the highest second-quarter level in the company’s history. It is to be noted that the backlog in all the four regions served increased year over year.MarginsWithin homebuilding, housing gross margin improved 390 basis points (bps) year over year to 25.3%. The increase was attributed to a favorable pricing environment due to robust housing demand, the limited supply of available homes for sale and the lower amortization of previously-capitalized interest. This was partially offset by higher construction costs (especially lumber) and increased expenses to support current operations and expected growth.Selling, general and administrative expenses — as a percentage of housing revenues — reduced 30 bps from the year-ago figure to 9.8%, thanks to lower external sales commissions and increased operating leverage from higher revenues, partly offset by higher expenses to support growth.Homebuilding operating margin (excluding inventory-related charges) increased 410 bps to 15.4%.Financial Services revenues rose 7.8% year over year to $5,236 million. Pretax income of $18.7 million, up 75% from a year ago. This reflects significant growth in the equity in income of its mortgage banking joint venture, KBHS Home Loans, LLC, due to an increase in interest rate lock commitments (“IRLCs”).Financial PositionKB Home had cash and cash equivalents of $244.2 million as of May 31, 2022, down from $290.8 million in the corresponding period of 2021. The company had total liquidity of $925.6 million, including $681.4 million of available capacity under the unsecured revolving credit facility.Inventories increased 16% to $5.56 billion at the end of the fiscal second quarter. As of fiscal second quarter-end, the debt to capital ratio was 38.8%, up from 35.8% at fiscal 2021-end and 37.7% at fiscal second-quarter 2021 end.Fiscal 2022 GuidanceFor fiscal 2022, the company now expects housing revenues in the range of $7.30-$7.50 billion, narrower than the previous expectation of $7.20-$7.60 billion. ASP is likely to be $500,000. Homebuilding operating margin (assuming no inventory-related charges) is expected to improve 16-16.6%.Assuming no inventory-related charges, KB Home expects fiscal 2022 housing gross margin in the range of 25.6-26.2%, narrower than the prior expectation of 25.5-26.3%. SG&A expense, as a percentage of housing revenues, is likely to be in the range of 9.3-9.7% (9.2-9.8% projected earlier). It projects an effective tax rate of approximately 25%, assuming no federal energy tax credit extension is enacted.The company expects a year-end community count of 250 in fiscal 2022.Zacks Rank & Peer ReleaseKB Home currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Lennar Corporation LEN reported second-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended May 31, 2022) results. Quarterly earnings and revenues topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate, despite unprecedented supply-chain challenges.Lennar has declined 46.8% year to date. That said, earnings are expected to grow 42.7% in 2022. Earnings estimates for 2022 have moved 1.4% north in the past 30 days.2 Better Ranked Stocks From the Same IndustryTwo better-ranked stocks which warrant a look in the same space are Meritage Homes Corporation MTH and NVR, Inc. NVR.Meritage Homes is one of the leading designers and builders of single-family homes. The company currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.Meritage Homes has declined 45.8% year to date. That said, earnings are expected to grow 42.7% in 2022. Earnings estimates have moved 1.4% north for 2022 over the past 30 days.NVR currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The company is engaged in the construction and sale of single-family detached homes, townhomes and condominium buildings, all of which are primarily constructed on a pre-sold basis.NVR shares have declined 35.2% over a year. However, earnings are expected to grow 68.4% in 2022. Earnings estimates have increased 20.4% for 2022 in the past 30 days. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Electric Vehicles Big money has already been made in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry. But, the EV revolution has not hit full throttle yet. There is a lot of money to be made as the next push for future technologies ramps up. Zacks’ Special Report reveals 5 picks investorsSee 5 EV Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report KB Home (KBH): Free Stock Analysis Report Lennar Corporation (LEN): Free Stock Analysis Report Meritage Homes Corporation (MTH): Free Stock Analysis Report NVR, Inc. (NVR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 23rd, 2022

Owens Corning (OC) to Buy Natural Polymers, Enhance Portfolio

The Natural Polymers buyout to boost Owens Corning's (OC) core insulation product portfolio. Owens Corning Inc. OC has signed a deal to acquire a manufacturer of spray polyurethane foam insulation, Natural Polymers, LLC, thereby expanding its core insulation product offerings. However, the terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in third-quarter 2022, were not disclosed.Shares of this building materials systems and composite solutions provider slipped by a meager 0.5% in the trading session on Jun 21, 2022.Key TakeawaysBased in Cortland, IL, Natural Polymers has the expertise in developing high-quality products and systems, and offers the least-volatile organic compound products currently available in the spray foam industry.The various business products of Natural Polymers are GREENGUARD Gold Certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories, which help in reducing indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure.This buyout will enhance Owens Corning’s approach to strengthen its core building and construction products, and expand addressable markets into higher-growth segments.Natural Polymers’ technology will enable Owens Corning to offer its customers a more diversified insulation product portfolio.Natural Polymers’ business, which is expected to generate $100 million of sales in 2022, has shown a solid record of above-market growth. It is also expected to realize double-digit growth over the next several years.Product Expansion Via AcquisitionsAcquisitions are an important part of Owens Corning’s growth strategy. It is assessing its investment in bolt-on acquisitions that leverage its commercial, operational and geographic strength and expand its functional areas of offering.In April 2022, Owens Corning signed a deal with JR Plastics Corporation to acquire WearDeck, a premium producer of composite weather-resistant decking for commercial and residential applications. WearDeck is estimated to generate revenues of approximately $60 million in 2022.Owens Corning continues to invest in accelerating new product and process innovation to support customers and generate additional growth. Owens Corning anticipates gaining from the existing product portfolio and initiatives to better production efficiency. Its efforts to introduce products are encouraging. During first-quarter 2022, the company launched 16 new or refreshed products across global businesses. These products span across core product platforms, including roofing shingles and components, insulation XPS foam and mineral wool, and wind, non-woven, and other composite materials. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchComing to the share price performance, OC shares have outperformed its industry so far this year despite supply-chain disruptions, and significant inflation in material and transportation, given the above-mentioned tailwinds.This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is benefiting from market-leading businesses, innovative products and process technologies, and capabilities.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.3 Top-Ranked Construction Stocks to BuySome better-ranked stocks which warrant a look in the Construction sector are Meritage Homes Corporation MTH, NVR, Inc. NVR and M/I Homes, Inc. MHO.Meritage Homes is one of the leading designers and builders of single-family homes. The company currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.Meritage Homes has declined 46.8% year to date. That said, earnings are expected to grow 42.7% in 2022. Earnings estimates have moved 1.4% north for 2022 over the past 30 days.NVR currently holds a Zacks Rank #1. The company is engaged in the construction and sale of single-family detached homes, townhomes and condominium buildings, all of which are primarily constructed on a pre-sold basis.NVR shares have declined 35.6% over a year. However, earnings are expected to grow 68.4% in 2022. Earnings estimates have increased 20.4% for 2022 over the past 30 days.M/I Homes currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This is one of the nation's leading builders of single-family homes.M/I Homes has lost 42.1% year to date. Earnings for 2022 are expected to grow 21.3%. Earnings estimates have increased 5.6% for 2022 over the past 30 days. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Meritage Homes Corporation (MTH): Free Stock Analysis Report NVR, Inc. (NVR): Free Stock Analysis Report Owens Corning Inc (OC): Free Stock Analysis Report MI Homes, Inc. (MHO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 22nd, 2022

Lennar (LEN) Shares Rise on Q2 Earnings & Revenue Beat

Benefits from higher pricing and operating leverage and cost control help Lennar (LEN) post better-than-expected fiscal Q2 earnings amid supply chain woes. Lennar Corporation’s LEN shares rose 3.4% on Jun 21, following its second-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended May 31, 2022) earnings release. Quarterly earnings and revenues topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate, despite unprecedented supply-chain challenges.Pertaining to the quarterly release, Jon Jaffe, the Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-President of Lennar said, “During the quarter, our homebuilding machine continued to be intensely focused on production. Our cycle time during the quarter increased only slightly sequentially so it appears that the well documented supply chain issues have started to subside. Our quarterly starts and sales pace remained strong at 6.2 homes and 5.0 homes per community, respectively, in the second quarter."Quarterly NumbersLEN reported adjusted quarterly earnings (excluding mark-to-market gains and losses in both years) of $4.69 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.95. This marked the 13th consecutive quarter of an earnings beat. Reported earnings also increased 59% year over year, mainly benefiting from effective cost control and focus on making its homebuilding platform more efficient, which in turn resulted in higher operating leverage.Revenues of $8.36 billion topped the consensus mark of $8.13 billion. The reported figure grew 30% year over year.Lennar Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Lennar Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Lennar Corporation QuoteSegment DetailsHomebuilding: Revenues of the segment totaled $7.98 billion, up 32.3% from the prior-year quarter. Within the Homebuilding umbrella, home sales contributed $7.96 billion to total revenues, up 33.2% from a year ago. Land sales accounted for $7.5 million, down from $38.8 million in the prior-year quarter. The Other homebuilding unit contributed $6.78 million to homebuilding revenues, down from $8.53 million a year ago.Home deliveries for the reported quarter improved 14% from the year-ago level to 16,549 units. The average sales price of homes delivered was $483,000, up 17% from the year-ago figure.New orders grew 4% from the year-ago quarter to 17,792 homes. The potential value of net orders also increased 20% year over year to $9.1 billion.Backlog at fiscal second-quarter end climbed 16% from a year ago to 28,624. Potential housing revenues from backlog also advanced 33% year over year to $14.7 billion.Homebuilding MarginsGross margin on home sales was 29.5% for the quarter, up 340 basis points (bps). The upside can be attributed to higher revenues per square foot, flat land costs, its efforts toward reducing construction costs and lower interest expense.Selling, general and administrative or SG&A expenses — as a percentage of home sales — improved 150 bps to 6.1% on improved operating leverage, given the benefits from a decrease in broker commissions and the company's technology efforts. This marks the lowest percentage for the second quarter in Lennar’s history.Homebuilding operating earnings of $1.88 billion for the quarter increased from the year-ago level of $1.11 billion.Financial Services: The segment’s revenues decreased 8.5% year over year to $200.2 million for the reported quarter. Operating earnings for the quarter also declined to $103.9 million from $121.3 million a year ago, owing to lower mortgage net margins, given stiff competition.Lennar Multi-Family: Revenues of $176 million at the segment were slightly down from $177.5 million in the prior-year quarter. The segment registered operating earnings of $0.7 million for the quarter compared with $22.4 million a year ago.Lennar Other: The segment’s revenues totaled $4.5 million, down from $6 million a year ago. The segment’s operating loss was $108.4 million for the quarter compared with $54.1 million in the comparable period of 2021.FinancialsLennar had homebuilding cash and cash equivalents of $1.3 billion as of May 31, 2022, down from $2.7 billion on Nov 30, 2021. Total homebuilding debt was $4.64 billion as of May 31, 2022, almost in line with fiscal 2021 end. Homebuilding debt to capital at fiscal second-quarter end was 17.7%, down from 18.3% at fiscal 2021 end.LEN has no outstanding borrowings under the $2.575 billion revolving credit facility, thereby providing $3.9 billion of available capacity.Lennar repurchased 4.1 million shares for $320.6 million. This resulted in a return on equity of 21.4%, up 260 bps year over year.GuidanceFor fiscal 2022, Lennar expects deliveries of 68,000 homes. The company, however, refrained from providing guidance for other metrics, given the Fed’s actions that Lennar believes “are still quite fluid and responsive to inflation data.”Stuart Miller, the executive chairman of Lennar, added that “the housing market will rebalance supply and demand, and interest rates and purchase price as market conditions evolve.”For the fiscal third quarter, it expects deliveries within 17,000-18,500 homes, with a gross margin on home sales of 28.5-29.5%. New orders are likely to be between 16,000 and 18,000 units, and ASP is expected to be slightly higher than fiscal second quarter level. SG&A expenses, as a percentage of home sales, are likely to be 6-6.5% for the quarter.Zacks RankLennar currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).Some Better-Ranked Stocks From the Same IndustryMeritage Homes Corporation MTH is one of the leading designers and builders of single-family homes. The company currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Meritage Homes has declined 46.1% year to date. That said, earnings are expected to grow 42.7% in 2022. Earnings estimates have moved 1.4% north for 2022 over the past 30 days.NVR, Inc. NVR currently holds a Zacks Rank #1. The company is engaged in the construction and sale of single-family detached homes, townhomes and condominium buildings, all of which are primarily constructed on a pre-sold basis.NVR shares have declined 37.4% over a year. However, earnings are expected to grow 68.4% in 2022. Earnings estimates have increased 20.4% for 2022 over the past 30 days.M/I Homes, Inc. MHO currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This is one of the nation's leading builders of single-family homes.M/I Homes has lost 42.3% year to date. Earnings for 2022 are expected to grow 21.3%. Earnings estimates have increased 5.6% for 2022 over the past 30 days. 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. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in 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 Lennar Corporation (LEN): Free Stock Analysis Report Meritage Homes Corporation (MTH): Free Stock Analysis Report NVR, Inc. (NVR): Free Stock Analysis Report MI Homes, Inc. (MHO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 21st, 2022