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Samsung looks to involve domestic IC designers in 3nm foundry ecosystem

Samsung Electronics has introduced a new strategy to quickly involve South Korean IC designers in the 3nm foundry ecosystem by strengthening its 3nm semiconductor foundry design support infrastructure......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesNov 25th, 2021

Ucommune International Ltd. Announces Unaudited Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results

BEIJING, Nov. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ucommune International Ltd. (NASDAQ:UK) ("Ucommune" or the "Company"), a leading agile office space manager and provider in China, today announced its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021. Third Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights Net revenues were RMB253.5 million, representing an increase of 26.8% from the third quarter of 2020. Net loss was RMB181.5 million, compared with RMB169.3 million in the third quarter of 2020. Adjusted net loss[1], which excluded share-based compensation expense, impairment loss on long-lived assets, change in fair value of warrant liability, impairment loss on long-term investments and loss on disposal of subsidiaries, was RMB60.4 million, narrowing by 49.5% year over year from RMB119.8 million in the third quarter of 2020. EBITDA loss[2] was RMB161.2 million, compared with RMB158.2 million in the third quarter of 2020. Adjusted EBITDA loss[3] was RMB40.4 million, compared with RMB76.1 million in the third quarter of 2020. Third Quarter 2021 Operating Highlights As of September 30, 2021, Ucommune had committed to 274 office spaces in 62 cities, including 106 office spaces in tier-1 cities, 66 office spaces in new tier-1 cities and 97 office spaces in cities tier-2 and below, and was providing approximately 758,000 square meters of managed area to 1,170,400 members. Among those, 215 office spaces, or 78.5% of total committed spaces, were in operation. As of September 30, 2021, Ucommune's total number of spaces contracted under the Company's asset-light model increased by 56% to 165 spaces located across 54 cities from 106 spaces located across 42 cities as of September 30, 2020. The Company's total managed area under contract[4] for the asset-light model increased by 84% to 502,000 square meters from 273,000 square meters as of September 30, 2020. [1] For a reconciliation of net loss to adjusted net loss, see the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section and the table captioned "Ucommune International Ltd. Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Results" below. [2] For a reconciliation of net loss to EBITDA, see the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section and the table titled "Ucommune International Ltd. Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Results" below. [3] For a reconciliation of net loss to adjusted EBITDA, see the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section and the table titled "Ucommune International Ltd. Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Results" below. [4] Spaces and managed area under contract include those in operation, under construction, and in preparation for construction. Dr. Daqing Mao, Founder and Chairman of Ucommune, commented, "In sync with China's urbanization trend of focusing more on quality development rather than outward expansion, we continued to penetrate domestic and international markets with our intelligent agile office service ecosystem. During the third quarter, we increased our asset-light model's contribution to our business in terms of both total number of spaces contracted and total managed area under contract. By the end of 2021, we expect to have grown the proportion of projects managed under the asset-light model to about 75% from roughly 50% in 2020. Evidence of the progressive development of our asset-light model was shown through several new partnerships during the quarter, as we entered into an agreement in the domestic market to help Besunyen improve its operating efficiency and accelerate its corporate transformation by providing customized office spaces and comprehensive facility services. In addition, we formed a partnership with Australia-based Hexa Group to jointly develop the 'Hexa Space-Ucommune' co-working project in Melbourne, adding another international market to our geographic footprint in addition to Hong Kong and Singapore. Leveraging our expertise in agile workspace management and operations, we plan to capitalize on the emerging market demand for green, smart, and efficient urban development and augment our growth momentum going forward." Ms. Xin Guan, Chief Executive Officer of Ucommune, commented, "As we continued to shift our project mix towards the asset-light business model, we not only expanded our geographic coverage by entering into 2 new cities and adding 11 new office spaces, but also broadened our comprehensive facility service offerings. During the quarter, we acquired an equity interest of 60% in 'Xiao Sushi', to officially enter the consumer services sector by integrating its 300,000 self-owned platform members into our operations of nearly 300 chain office spaces and 1.16 million offline members. Utilizing our combined resources, we plan to form a closed-loop ecosystem offering a variety of new products, including working meals, conference event meals, afternoon tea sets, and affordably-priced beverages, as well as for a wide range of sales scenarios, including those for office buildings, office parks, and commercial buildings. Going forward, we will continue to explore new business opportunities that have synergies with our core business to sustain our growth trajectory." Mr. Siyuan Wang, Chief Financial Officer of Ucommune, added, "In the third quarter, we grew our net revenues by 26.8% to RMB253.5 million while narrowing our adjusted net loss by 49.5% to RMB60.4 million year over year. Despite the revenue recognition impact from our business mix shift, we improved the occupancy rates of our self-operated co-working spaces, increased our advertising and marketing service revenues, and expanded our interior design and construction services as well as our SaaS services. Meanwhile, we continued to simplify our corporate structure, streamline our business processes, optimize our operating efficiency, and reduce our costs and expenses. With a leaner, fitter, and more agile business operation, we are well positioned to seize emerging market opportunities and grow in a healthy manner for the long run." Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results Total net revenues increased by 26.8% to RMB253.5 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB199.9 million in the third quarter of 2020. Revenues from the asset-light model increased by 275.9% to RMB21.8 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB5.8 million in the third quarter of 2020. Workspace membership services revenues decreased by 8.5% to RMB98.0 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB107.2 million in the third quarter of 2020. This decrease was mainly due to the closure of unprofitable spaces in operation and contraction of the Company's self-operated coworking space services resulting from the Company's transformation to an asset-light model. Marketing and branding services revenues increased by 23.8% to RMB100.1 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB80.9 million in the third quarter of 2020, mainly due to increased demand for advertising and marketing services from certain customers. Other services revenues increased by 366.0% to RMB55.3 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB11.9 million in the third quarter of 2020, primarily due to increased net revenues from the Company's interior design and construction services and its SaaS services. Total costs of revenues increased by 15.8% to RMB273.1 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB235.8 million in the third quarter of 2020. Costs of revenues from the Company's asset-light model increased by 427.0% to RMB19.5 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB3.7 million in the third quarter of 2020, which was primarily in line with the increase in revenues from the Company's asset-light model. Costs of workspace membership decreased by 11.4% to RMB129.0 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB145.6 million in the third quarter of 2020, mainly due to decreased operational costs related to leases and staff, partly offset by an increase in share-based compensation expense, amounting to RMB9.0 million. Costs of marketing and branding services increased by 33.2% to RMB95.2 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB71.5 million in the third quarter of 2020, mainly due to increased advertising spending, which was in line with the increase in advertising revenue. Costs of other services increased by 161.6% to RMB49.0 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB18.7 million in the third quarter of 2020, which was in line with the increase in other services revenues. General and administrative expenses increased by 71.0% to RMB79.7 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB46.6 million in the third quarter of 2020, mainly due to an increase in share-based compensation expense of RMB41.2 million and professional service fees. Sales and marketing expenses increased by 196.4% to RMB17.7 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB6.0 million in the third quarter of 2020, mainly due to the increase in share-based compensation expense. EBITDA loss[5] was RMB161.2 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared with RMB158.2 million in the third quarter of 2020. Adjusted EBITDA loss[6] narrowed by 47.0% to RMB40.4 million in the third quarter of 2021 from RMB76.1 million in the third quarter of 2020.  [5] For a reconciliation of net loss to EBITDA, see the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section and the table titled "Ucommune International Ltd. Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Results" below. [6] For a reconciliation of net loss to adjusted EBITDA, see the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section and the table titled "Ucommune International Ltd. Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Results" below. Impairment loss on long-lived assets was RMB74.1 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared with nil in the third quarter of 2020, primarily due to the impairment of three substantial prepaid rent from previous periods accrued in the third quarter of 2021 as a result that the carrying value is not expected to be recoverable based on current market conditions.  Other income, net was RMB0.2 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to other expense, net of RMB32.5 million in the third quarter of 2020, primarily due to a disposal loss of long-term assets of unprofitable spaces was recorded during the third quarter of 2020. Net loss was RMB181.5 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared with RMB169.3 million in the third quarter of 2020.  Adjusted net loss[7] was RMB60.4 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared with RMB119.8 million in the third quarter of 2020. [7] For a reconciliation of net loss to adjusted net loss, see the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section and the table captioned "Ucommune International Ltd. Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Results" below. Basic and diluted net loss per share were both RMB2.01 in the third quarter of 2021, compared with RMB2.50 in the third quarter of 2020. Basic and diluted adjusted net loss per share[8] were both RMB0.58 in the third quarter of 2021, compared with RMB1.71 in the third quarter of 2020. [8] For a reconciliation of net loss to adjusted net income, see the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section and the table captioned "Ucommune International Ltd. Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Results" below. Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash were RMB288.7 million as of September 30, 2021, compared with RMB400.8 million as of December 31, 2020. Business Outlook For the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company expects net revenues to be in the range of RMB250 million to RMB280 million. The forecasts reflect the Company's current and preliminary views on the market and its operating conditions, which are subject to change. Recent Developments On July 1, 2021, Besunyen Holdings Company Limited, an investment company engaged in the manufacture and sale of therapeutic tea products, agreed to occupy 3,047.6 square meters at the Company's landmark asset-light project in the Beijing Asia Finance Center for a total of 327 workstations from July 1, 2021, to December 31, 2023. In addition, the Company will also furnish its one-stop customized U Design services to Besunyen. In September 2021, the Company's wholly owned subsidiary, Beijing Zerone Management & Consulting Company Ltd. ("Beijing Zerone"), an office space management services provider in China, acquired a 60% equity interest in Beijing Kuanneng Technology Co., Ltd., which owns and operates the Japanese culinary restaurant brand "Xiao Sushi." In October, Beijing Zerone acquired a 60% equity interest in Beijing Jiajia Renhe Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd, a human resources solution platform. On October 1, 2021, the Company started a five-year cooperation with Hexa Group, an Australian property developer, to jointly develop the "Hexa Space-Ucommune" co-working project located in Melbourne, Australia. About Ucommune International Ltd. Ucommune is China's leading agile office space manager and provider. Founded in 2015, Ucommune has created a large-scale intelligent agile office ecosystem covering economically vibrant regions throughout China to empower its members with flexible and cost-efficient office space solutions. Ucommune's various offline agile office space services include self-operated models, such as U Space, U Studio, and U Design, as well as asset-light models, such as U Brand and U Partner. By utilizing its expertise in the real estate and retail industries, Ucommune operates its agile office spaces with high efficiency and engages in the urban transformation of older and under-utilized buildings to redefine commercial real estate in China. Exchange Rate Information This announcement contains translations of certain RMB amounts into U.S. dollars ("US$") at specified rates solely for the convenience of the reader. Unless otherwise stated, all translations from RMB to US$ were made at the rate of RMB6.4434 to US$1.00, the exchange rate on September 30, 2021, set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board. The Company makes no representation that the RMB or US$ amounts referred could be converted into US$ or RMB, as the case may be at any particular rate or at all. Statement Regarding Preliminary Unaudited Financial Information The unaudited financial information set out in this earnings release is preliminary and subject to potential adjustments. Adjustments to the consolidated financial statements may be identified when audit work has been performed for the Company's year-end audit, which could result in significant differences from this preliminary unaudited financial information. Safe Harbor Statements  This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "potential," "continue," "ongoing," "targets," "guidance" and similar statements. The Company may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases, and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Any statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the Company's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: the Company's growth strategies; its future business development, results of operations and financial condition; its ability to understand members' needs and provide products and services to attract and retain members; its ability to maintain and enhance the recognition and reputation of its brand; its ability to maintain and improve quality control policies and measures; its ability to establish and maintain relationships with members and business partners; trends and competition in China's agile office space market; changes in its revenues and certain cost or expense items; the expected growth of China's agile office space market; PRC governmental policies and regulations relating to the Company's business and industry, and general economic and business conditions in China and globally and assumptions underlying or related to any of the foregoing. Further information regarding these and other risks, uncertainties, or factors is included in the Company's filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of this press release, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law. Non-GAAP Financial Measures To supplement the Company's consolidated financial statements, which are prepared and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP, Ucommune uses the following non-GAAP financial measures for Ucommune's consolidated results: EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net loss. The Company believes that EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net loss help understand and evaluate the Company's core operating performance. EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net loss are presented to enhance investors' overall understanding of the Company's financial performance and should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Investors are encouraged to review the reconciliation of the historical non-GAAP financial measure to its most directly comparable GAAP financial measures. As EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net loss have material limitations as analytical metrics and may not be calculated in the same manner by all companies, they may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures used by other companies. In light of the foregoing limitations, you should not consider EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net loss as substitutes for, or superior to, net loss prepared in accordance with GAAP. The Company encourages investors and others to review its financial information in its entirety and not rely on any single financial measure. For more information on these non-GAAP financial measures, please see the table captioned "Ucommune International Ltd. Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Results" near the end of this release. EBITDA represents net loss before interest expense, net, provision for income taxes, depreciation of property and equipment and amortization of intangible assets. Adjusted EBITDA represents net loss before (i) interest expense, net, other (expense)/income, net, provision for income taxes and loss on disposal of subsidiaries and (ii) certain non-cash expenses, consisting of share-based compensation expense, impairment loss on long-lived assets, impairment loss on long-term investments, depreciation of property and equipment,  amortization of intangible assets and change in fair value of warrant liability, which we do not believe are reflective of the Company's core operating performance during the periods presented. Adjusted net loss represents net loss before share-based compensation expense, impairment loss on long-lived assets, impairment loss on long-term investments, change in fair value of warrant liability and loss on disposal of subsidiaries. For investor and media inquiries, please contact: Ucommune International Ltd.ir@ucommune.com ICR, LLC.Robin Yangucommune@icrinc.com +1 (212) 537-3847 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS UCOMMUNE INTERNATIONAL LTD. UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (Amounts in thousands of RMB and USD, except for number of shares) As of December 31, 2020 As of September 30, 2021 RMB RMB USD ASSETS Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents 348,064 236,914 36,768 Restricted cash 52,199 51,742 8,030 Term deposits 47,710 4,760 739 Short-term investments 5,900 5,905 916 Accounts receivable, ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 26th, 2021

Autodesk, Inc. Announces Fiscal 2022 Third Quarter Results

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) today reported financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2022. All growth rates are compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2021, unless otherwise noted. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP results is provided in the accompanying tables. For definitions, please view the Glossary of Terms later in this document. Third Quarter Fiscal 2022 Financial Highlights Total revenue increased 18 percent to $1,126 million; GAAP operating margin was 17 percent, down 1 percentage point; Non-GAAP operating margin was up 2 percentage points to 32 percent; GAAP diluted EPS was $0.61; Non-GAAP diluted EPS was $1.33; Cash flow from operating activities was $270 million; free cash flow was $257 million. "Our customers continue to embrace and prioritize digital transformation to drive growth, efficiency and  sustainability, generating strong demand for Autodesk's platform," said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk president and CEO. "We are rapidly innovating and optimizing our business to enable more customers to experience our ecosystem, and realize the opportunities ahead." "Demand was robust in Q3, driving strong new subscriptions growth and renewal rates. We expect it to remain so in Q4," said Debbie Clifford, Autodesk CFO. "However, supply chain disruption and resulting inflationary pressures, a global labor shortage, and the ebb and flow of COVID, are impacting the pace of our recovery and outlook." Additional Financial Details Total billings increased 16 percent to $1,168 million. Total revenue was $1,126 million, an increase of 18 percent as reported, and 17 percent on a constant currency basis. Recurring revenue represents 97 percent of total. Design revenue was $994 million, an increase of 17 percent as reported, and 15 percent on a constant currency basis. On a sequential basis, Design revenue increased 5 percent as reported and on a constant currency basis. Make revenue was $94 million, an increase of 23 percent as reported and on a constant currency basis. On a sequential basis, Make revenue increased 5 percent as reported and on a constant currency basis. Subscription plan revenue was $1,071 million, an increase of 21 percent as reported, and 19 percent on a constant currency basis. On a sequential basis, subscription plan revenue increased 5 percent as reported and on a constant currency basis. Maintenance plan revenue was $18 million, a decrease of 56 percent as reported and on a constant currency basis. On a sequential basis, maintenance plan revenue increased 4 percent as reported, and 1 percent on a constant currency basis. Net revenue retention rate remained within the range of 100 to 110 percent. GAAP operating income was $193 million, compared to $168 million in the third quarter last year. GAAP operating margin was 17 percent, down 1 percentage point. Total non-GAAP operating income was $365 million, compared to $287 million in the third quarter last year. Non-GAAP operating margin was 32 percent, up 2 percentage points compared to the third quarter last year. GAAP diluted net income per share was $0.61, compared to $0.59 in the third quarter last year. Non-GAAP diluted net income per share was $1.33, compared to $1.04 in the third quarter last year. Deferred revenue increased 14 percent to $3.34 billion. Unbilled deferred revenue was $888 million, an increase of $239 million compared to the third quarter of last year. Remaining performance obligations (RPO) increased 18 percent to $4.23 billion. Current RPO increased 21 percent to $2.88 billion. Cash flow from operating activities was $270 million, a decrease of $91 million compared to the third quarter last year. Free cash flow was $257 million, a decrease of $83 million compared to the third quarter last year. Third Quarter Fiscal 2022 Business Highlights Net Revenue by Geographic Area Three Months Ended October 31, 2021 Three Months Ended October 31, 2020 Change compared to prior fiscal year Constant currency change compared to prior fiscal year (In millions, except percentages) $ % % Net Revenue: Americas U.S. $ 383.2 $ 328.5 $ 54.7 17 % * Other Americas 78.7 64.4 14.3 22 % * Total Americas 461.9 392.9 69.0 18 % 17 % EMEA 433.2 364.3 68.9 19 % 16 % APAC 230.7 195.2 35.5 18 % 17 % Total Net Revenue $ 1,125.8 $ 952.4 $ 173.4 18 % 17 % Emerging Economies $ 139.7 $ 114.9 $ 24.8 22 % 20 % ____________________  *  Constant currency data not provided at this level.   Net Revenue by Product Family Our product offerings are focused in four primary product families: Architecture, Engineering and Construction ("AEC"), AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, Manufacturing ("MFG"), and Media and Entertainment ("M&E"). Three Months Ended October 31, 2021 Three Months Ended October 31, 2020 Change compared to prior fiscal year (In millions, except percentages) $ % AEC $ 511.1 $ 419.4 $ 91.7 22 % AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 318.4 278.8 39.6 14 % MFG 225.0 194.1 30.9 16 % M&E 63.0 54.0 9.0 17 % Other 8.3 6.1 2.2 36 % $ 1,125.8 $ 952.4 $ 173.4 18 % Business Outlook The following are forward-looking statements based on current expectations and assumptions, and involve risks and uncertainties, some of which are set forth below under "Safe Harbor Statement."  Autodesk's business outlook for the fourth quarter and full-year fiscal 2022 takes into consideration the current economic environment and foreign exchange currency rate environment. A reconciliation between the fourth quarter and fiscal 2022 GAAP and non-GAAP estimates is provided below or in the tables following this press release. Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2022 Q4 FY22 Guidance Metrics Q4 FY22 (ending January 31, 2022) Revenue (in millions) $1,185 - $1,200 EPS GAAP $0.71 - $0.77 EPS non-GAAP (1) $1.41 - $1.47 _______________ (1) Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share excludes $0.62 related to stock-based compensation expense, $0.11 for the amortization of purchased intangibles, $0.02 for acquisition-related costs, partially offset by ($0.05) related to GAAP-only tax benefit.   Full Year Fiscal 2022 FY22 Guidance Metrics FY22 (ending January 31, 2022) Billings (in millions) (1) $4,740 - $4,800 Up 14% - 16% Revenue (in millions) (2) $4,360 - $4,375 Up Approx. 15% GAAP operating margin Approx. 15% Non-GAAP operating margin (3) Approx. 31% EPS GAAP $2.54 - $2.60 EPS non-GAAP (4) $4.98 - $5.04 Free cash flow (in millions) (5) $1,420 - $1,460 _______________ (1) Excluding the approximately $45 million impact of foreign currency exchange rates and hedge gains/losses, billings guidance would be $4,695 - $4,755 million. (2) Excluding the approximately $55 million impact of foreign currency exchange rates and hedge gains/losses, revenue guidance would be $4,305 - $4,320 million. (3) Non-GAAP operating margin excludes approximately 13% related to stock-based compensation expense, approximately 2% for the amortization of purchased intangibles, and 1% related to acquisition-related costs. (4) Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share excludes $2.48 related to stock-based compensation expense, $0.41 for the amortization of purchased intangibles, $0.12 related to acquisition-related costs, partially offset by ($0.06) related to gains on strategic investments and dispositions, and ($0.51) related to a GAAP-only tax benefit. (5) Free cash flow is cash flow from operating activities less approximately $65 million of capital expenditures. The fourth quarter and full-year fiscal 2022 outlook assume a projected annual effective tax rate of 16 percent for GAAP and non-GAAP results, respectively. Shifts in geographic profitability continue to impact the annual effective tax rate due to significant differences in tax rates in various jurisdictions. Therefore, assumptions for the annual effective tax rate are evaluated regularly and may change based on the projected geographic mix of earnings. Earnings Conference Call and Webcast Autodesk will host its third quarter conference call today at 5 p.m. ET. The live broadcast can be accessed at autodesk.com/investor. A transcript of the opening commentary will also be available following the conference call.  A replay of the broadcast will be available at 7 p.m. ET at autodesk.com/investor. This replay will be maintained on Autodesk's website for at least 12 months. Investor Presentation Details An investor presentation, excel financials and other supplemental materials providing additional information can be found at autodesk.com/investor. To help better understand our financial performance, we use several key performance metrics including billings, recurring revenue and net revenue retention rate ("NR3"). These metrics are key performance metrics and should be viewed independently of revenue and deferred revenue. These metrics are not intended to be combined with those items. We use these metrics to monitor the strength of our recurring business. We believe these metrics are useful to investors because they can help in monitoring the long-term health of our business. Our determination and presentation of these metrics may differ from that of other companies. The presentation of these metrics is meant to be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for or in isolation from, our financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. Glossary of Terms Billings: Total revenue plus the net change in deferred revenue from the beginning to the end of the period. Cloud Service Offerings: Represents individual term-based offerings deployed through web browser technologies or in a hybrid software and cloud configuration. Cloud service offerings that are bundled with other product offerings are not captured as a separate cloud service offering. Constant Currency (CC) Growth Rates: We attempt to represent the changes in the underlying business operations by eliminating fluctuations caused by changes in foreign currency exchange rates as well as eliminating hedge gains or losses recorded within the current and comparative periods. We calculate constant currency growth rates by (i) applying the applicable prior period exchange rates to current period results and (ii) excluding any gains or losses from foreign currency hedge contracts that are reported in the current and comparative periods. Design Business: Represents the combination of maintenance, product subscriptions, and all EBAs. Main products include, but are not limited to, AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, Industry Collections, Revit, Inventor, Maya and 3ds Max. Certain products, such as our computer aided manufacturing solutions, incorporate both Design and Make functionality and are classified as Design. Enterprise Business Agreements (EBAs): Represents programs providing enterprise customers with token-based access to a broad pool of Autodesk products over a defined contract term. Free Cash Flow: Cash flow from operating activities minus capital expenditures. Industry Collections: Autodesk Industry Collections are a combination of products and services that target a specific user objective and support a set of workflows for that objective. Our Industry Collections consist of: Autodesk Architecture, Engineering and Construction Collection, Autodesk Product Design & Manufacturing Collection, and Autodesk Media and Entertainment Collection. Maintenance Plan: Our maintenance plans provide our customers with a cost effective and predictable budgetary option to obtain the productivity benefits of our new releases and enhancements when and if released during the term of their contracts. Under our maintenance plans, customers are eligible to receive unspecified upgrades when and if available, and technical support. We recognize maintenance revenue over the term of the agreements, generally one year.    Make Business: Represents certain cloud-based product subscriptions. Main products include, but are not limited to, Assemble, Autodesk Build, BuildingConnected, Fusion 360 and Shotgrid. Certain products, such as Fusion 360, incorporate both Design and Make functionality and are classified as Make. Net Revenue Retention Rate (NR3): Measures the year-over-year change in subscription and maintenance revenue for the population of customers that existed one year ago ("base customers").  Net revenue retention rate is calculated by dividing the current quarter subscription and maintenance revenue related to base customers by the total corresponding quarter subscription and maintenance revenue from one year ago. Subscription and maintenance revenue is based on USD reported revenue, and fluctuations caused by changes in foreign currency exchange rates and hedge gains or losses have not been eliminated. Subscription and maintenance revenue related to acquired companies, one year after acquisition, has been captured as existing customers until such data conforms to the calculation methodology. This may cause variability in the comparison. Other Revenue: Consists of revenue from consulting, training, and other products and services, and is recognized as the products are delivered and services are performed.  Product Subscription: Provides customers a flexible, cost-effective way to access and manage 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software tools. Our product subscriptions currently represent a hybrid of desktop and cloud functionality, which provides a device-independent, collaborative design workflow for designers and their stakeholders.  Recurring Revenue: Consists of the revenue for the period from our traditional maintenance plans and revenue ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 23rd, 2021

Learning From James Dyson

When you look back in history at some of mankind’s greatest achievements, one of the things that stands out in almost every case is that those successes came with a lot of blood, sweat and tears and an incredible amount of persistence. Often what appeared on the surface to be an “overnight success’’ actually took […] When you look back in history at some of mankind’s greatest achievements, one of the things that stands out in almost every case is that those successes came with a lot of blood, sweat and tears and an incredible amount of persistence. Often what appeared on the surface to be an “overnight success’’ actually took years to achieve. Henry Ford and his self-propelled vehicle, Walt Disney and his animated pictures, Alexander Bell and his telephone and even the Wright Brothers and their aeroplane; all were examples of people who failed many, many times before they eventually succeeded, often facing distressing financial hardship along the way. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Icahn eBook! Get our entire 10-part series on Carl Icahn and other famous investors in PDF for free! Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet or print it! Sign up below. NO SPAM EVER (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more But if you were one of these people and were inventing something that could be potentially momentous and change things forever, at what point would you give up after encountering multiple failures? After 10 attempts? 50? What about 1,000? You’d have to think you were on a road to nowhere if you had failed that many times. So how about 5,127 times? How does that grab you? Incredibly, that’s the number of hand-made prototypes James Dyson built over a four year period before he finally achieved success with his cyclonic vacuum cleaner. Labouring through trial and error, Dyson overcame a brutal patent abuse, endless rejections from both venture capitalists and the world’s leading appliance manufacturers whilst managing an ever expanding overdraft he didn’t extinguish until the age of forty-eight. Contrast that with today, Sir James Dyson is the UK’s fourth richest resident with a net worth of c.US$9.7 billion. Dyson struck on the idea of a cyclonic vacuum from his experience manufacturing his first product, the ‘Ballbarrow.’ Applying paint to the metal frame created havoc in the factory - excess waste and mess. Seeking a solution, Dyson asked around the trade and eventually arrived at a cyclonic separator. He recalled, ‘I found the centrifuge dust extraction principle of the cyclonic separator utterly fascinating.’ James Dyson’s recently published memoir, ‘James Dyson - Invention: A Life,’ is a tale of constant innovation, incredible challenges overcome and the deep resilience required to create one of today’s leading technology companies. One of my favourite insights from the book relates to the opportunity set afforded Dyson by the vacuum industry’s incumbent players. Hamilton Helmer labelled this power ‘Counter-Positioning’ in his best-selling book on competitive strategy, ‘7 Powers.’ The opportunity arises when a newcomer adopts a new, superior business model which the incumbent doesn’t mimic due to anticipated damage to their existing business. In the case of vacuum cleaners, the incumbents were making billions selling replacement bags to their customers. Why create a product which puts at risk that perpetual revenue stream? If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about successful business founders, it’s that there is no straight line to success. Without perseverance and resilience beyond the scope of all but the rarest of people, these businesses would die on the vine. I’ve included some of my favourite extracts below. Failure and 'Trial & Error' “This might sound boring and tedious to the outsider. I get that. But when you have set yourself an objective that, if reached, might pioneer a better solution to existing technologies and products, you become engaged, hooked and even one-track-minded. Folklore depicts invention as a flash of brilliance. That eureka moment! But it rarely is, I’m afraid. It is more about failure than ultimate success. I even thought about calling this book ‘James Dyson: Failure’, but was talked out of it because it might give the wrong impression.” “The failures began to excite me. ‘Wait a minute, that should have worked, now why didn’t it?’” “Research is about conducting experiments, accepting and even enjoying failures, but going on and on, following a theory garnered from observing the science. Invention is often more about endurance and patient observation than brainwaves.” “Learning by trail and error, or experimentation, can be exciting, the lessons learned deeply ingrained. Learning by failure is a remarkably good way of gaining knowledge. Failure is to be welcomed, rather than avoided. It should not be feared by the engineer or scientist or indeed by anyone else.” “The Ballbarrow - my first consumer product, my first solo effort - was a failure but one from which I learned valuable lessons. There was a lesson about assigning patents, another about not having shareholders. I learned the importance of having absolute control of my company and not undervaluing it.” “One of the really important principles I learned to apply was changing only one thing at a time to see what difference that one change made. People think that a breakthrough is arrived by a spark of brilliance or even a eureka thought in the bath. I wish it were for me. Eureka moments are very rare. More usually, you start off by testing a particular set-up, and by making one change at a time you start to understand what works and what fails. By that empirical means you begin the journey towards making the breakthrough, which usually happens in an unexpected way.” “I worked on the [production] line for two weeks to understand how to make the vacuum cleaner more efficiently and have watched all of our lines ever since .. I learned which components were difficult to assemble and encouraged our engineers to visit lines frequently. Most importantly, this experience helped me look as all our subsequent products to understand where production inefficiencies fell.” “Of the 5,127 prototypes I made in the coach house of the cyclone technology for my first vacuum cleaner, all but the very last one were failures. And yet, as well as painstakingly solving a problem, I was also going through a process of self-education and learning. Each failure taught me something and was a step towards a working model. I have been questioning things and learning every day ever since.” “Learning by doing, Learning by trial and error. Learning by failing. These are all effective forms of education.” “When I was trying, unsuccessfully, to raise capital to start my vacuum cleaner business, all the venture capitalists turned me down, with one even saying that they might consider the opportunity if I had someone heading up the company from the domestic appliance industry. This was at a time when that industry was vanishing from Britain because, taken as a whole, its products were uncompetitive.” Life Lessons “Every day is a form of education.” “It was playing games, however, that taught me the need to train hard and to understand teamwork and tactics. The planning of surprise tactics, and the ability to adapt to circumstance, are vital life lessons. These virtues are unlikely to be learned from academic life and certainly not from learning by rote.” “Long-distance running taught me to overcome the pain barrier: when everyone else feels exhausted, that is the opportunity to accelerate, whatever the pain, and win the race. Stamina and determination along with creativity are needed in overcoming seemingly impossible difficulties in research and other life challenges.” “Doing things with my hands, often as an autodidact and with an almost absence of fear, became second nature. Learning by making things was as important as learning by the academic route. Visceral experience is a powerful teacher. Perhaps we should pay more attention to this form of learning. Not everyone learns in the same way.” Creativity & Invention “In order to stay ahead we need to focus increasingly on our creativity.” “At Dyson, we don’t particularly value experience. Experience tells you what you ought to do and what you’d do best to avoid. It tells you how things should be done when we are much more interested in how things shouldn’t be done. If you want to pioneer and invent new technology you need to step into the unknown and, in that realm, experience can be a hindrance.” “[You] need to listen to your customers, aiming to improve products wherever necessary and, if you are an inventor, simply for improvements sake. This is not to say we at Dyson ask our customers what they want and build it. That type of focus-group-led designing may work inn the very short term, but not for long.” “I still find myself saying and putting into practice some of the same things Jeremy Fry [an early mentor/employer] said and did when I worked for him half a century ago. As an inventor, engineer and entrepreneur, he believed in taking on young people with no experience because this way he employed those with curious, unsullied and open minds.” “The inventing mind knows instinctively that there are always further questions to be asked and new discoveries to be made.” “The Land Rover, the Swiss Army penknife, the Citroen 2CV, the Bell 47 helicopter and Alec Issigoni’s Mini - what I liked so much about these machines - and my affection for them remains undimmed - is their ingenuity and the fact that the power of invention invested in them made for designs that re-imagined and revolutionised their market sectors and even created wholly new markets. And yet, for all their functionality, each is a highly individual product with a character and charm of its own. What is equally interesting is that these radical machines made use of pre-existing ideas and components.” “A design might be considered ahead of its time and, sometimes because of this, even ridiculous. The hugely successful Sony Walkman was dismissed when first launched because who could possibly want a tape recorder that couldn’t record. And it was received knowledge, until Volkswagen and, later, Honda crossed the Atlantic with the Beetle and the Accord that Americans were wedded resolutely to big cars.” “The Sony Walkman is another fascinating success story because, at first, its design appeared to defy common sense. Priced at $150, the compact silver and blue Walkman wasn’t cheap, while within Sony it was controversial and brave because it was unable to record, and no one made a ‘tape recorder’ that wouldn’t do so before… With lightweight foam headphones and no function other than playback, the Walkman emerged. The press lampooned it. Even the name was ridiculous. The Japanese press was wrong, although the market hadn’t known it wanted a tiny personal stereo. When it saw the attractive little device, and heard it in action, it fell in love with it… By the mid-1980’s, the word had entered the Oxford English Dictionary. Sony’s Masura Ibuka - one of the Japanese company’s founders - hoped to sell 5,000 Walkmans a month. He sold 50,000 in the first two months. By the time production ended in Japan in 2010, more than 400 million had been sold worldwide.” “Without entrepreneurship, an inventor may not be able to bring their radical or revolutionary products to the marketplace or at least not under their own control. Without becoming an entrepreneur, they have to licence their technology, putting them at the mercy of other companies that may or may not have a long-term commitment to a particular new idea or way of thinking about the future.” “The idea [for the cyclonic vacuum cleaner] had been in my head since welding up the giant metal cyclone for the Ballbarrow factory. Now it made increasing sense. Here was a field - the vacuum cleaner industry - where there has been no innovation for years, so the market ought to be ripe for something new. And, because houses need cleaning throughout the year, a vacuum cleaner is not, like my Ballbarrow, a seasonal product. It is also recession proof. Every household needs one. It seemed to tick all the boxes. In any case, I’d used one since childhood and knew from experience that there had to be a better vacuum cleaner.” “If you believe you can achieve something - whether as a long distance runner or maker of a wholly new type of vacuum cleaner - then you have to give the project 100% of your creative energy. You have to believe that you’ll get there in the end. You need determination, patience and willpower.” “Bio-mimicry is clearly a powerful weapon in an engineer’s armoury.” “It’s a part of the Dyson story that I made 5,127 prototypes to get a model I could set about licensing. This is indeed the exact number. Testing and making one change after another was time-consuming. This, though, was necessary as I needed to follow up and prove or disprove every theory I had. And, however frustrating, I refused to be defeated by failure. All of the 5,126 I rejected - 5,126 so-called failures - were part of the process of discovery and improvement before getting it right on the 5,127th time. Failure, as I had already begun to learn with my experience with the Ballbarrow business is very important. I find it important to repeat that we do, or certainly should, learn from our mistakes and we should be free to make them.” “Every judgement in science stands on the edge of error and is personal… I have long had great admiration for engineers like Alec Issigonis [designed the Mini] and Andrew Lefebvre of Citroen .. they questioned orthodoxy, experimented, took calculated risks, stood on the edge of error and got things right. And when they got there, they continued to ask questions.” “One of the ways we made Dyson distinctive is by not allowing ourselves to rest on our laurels.” “A jet engine spins at 15,000 rpm, a Formula 1 engine at 19,000 rpm and a conventional vacuum cleaner motor at 30,000 rpm. Why go very much faster? Although at the time we were neither designers nor manufacturers of electric motors, we wanted to come up with a breakthrough in their design, creating a quantum leap in performance: many times faster, much lighter and smaller, brushless for a longer life and no emissions, more electrically efficient and above all controllable for speed, power and consumption.. The turbine speed we initially aimed for was 120,000 rpm.. Today, Dyson pioneers the world’s smallest high-speed motors. These have enabled us to reinvent the vacuum cleaner again with a pioneering new Dyson format. They have also allowed us to improve products in wholly new areas.” “People often ask if we would supply other companies with our motors. Although it might be profitable to do so, we supply no one other than ourselves. This is because I want Dyson engineers to be 100% focused on our next exciting motor development and not retrofitting our motors to someone else’s product.” “With each new motor we aimed to double its power output and halve it’s weight.” “We had been experimenting for some time with blades of air and working with sophisticated computational fluid-dynamics models for a project that remains secret… We had accidentally developed a new form of hand dryer. What’s more it didn’t need a heater… It has a carbon footprint six times smaller than that of paper towels… Despite our inroads, the paper towel industry retains 90% of the hand-drying market, worth billions of dollars each year. The big players want to defend a highly lucrative status quo.” “As often happens, our observations during the development of the Dyson Airblade hand dryer led us to the principles used in other products, like our Air Multiplier fans and, in turn, to heaters, humidifiers and air purifiers.” “For me, [the hairdryer] was another of those products, used frequently by hundreds of millions of people, stuck in a technological time warp. Existing hairdryers were heavy and uncomfortable to use.” “Ever since the Industrial Resolution, inventions had tended to compound inventions.” “It is hard for other people to understand or get excited about an entirely new idea. This requires self-reliance and faith on part of the inventor. I can also see that it is hard for an outsider to understand the challenge and thrill of inventing new technology, designing and manufacturing the product then selling it to the world.” “After the event, a revolutionary new idea can look so obvious - surely no one could possibly have doubted it? At their conception, though, new ideas are not blindingly obvious. They are fragile things in need of encouragement and nurturing against doubting Thomases, know-it-alls and so-called experts. Just as Frank Whittle discovered, it is easy for people to say ‘no,’ to dismiss new ideas and to be stick-in-the-muds, pessimists, or even cynics. It is much harder to see how something unexpected might be a success.” “We certainly have taken big risks, with the digital electric motors, the washing machine, the electric car and our research into solid-state batteries. Not all have been commercially successful. That is the point. By its very nature, pioneering will not always be successful, otherwise it would be all too easy. We don’t start these ventures with the inevitability of success - we are all to aware we may well fail.” Obliquity “Inventors rarely set out to make money per se, and if they do theirs is more often than not a pipe dream.” “I didn’t work on those 5,127 vacuum cleaner prototypes or even set up Dyson to make money. I did it because I had a burning desire to do so. And as do my thousands of colleagues, I find inventing, researching, testing, designing and manufacturing both highly creative and deeply satisfying.” Focus Groups & Experts “Just before the launch of the Mini car, Austin Morris did indeed consult a focus group, and nobody wanted this tiny car with small wheels. So they cut the production lines down to one. When the public saw it on the street, they were most enthusiastic for it. Austin Morris never caught up with demand, missing out on serious profits.” “The bestselling British car of all time is the Mini - If market research had ruled Alec Issigoni’s roost at BMC, it would never had existed… Alec’s view [was] that ‘market research is bunk’ and that one should ‘never copy the opposition.’” “I am cautious of experts .. Experts tend to be confident that they have all the answers and because of this trait, they can kill new ideas. But when you are trying to break new ground, you have no interest in getting stuck in engineering conventions or intellectual mud.” “Venture capitalists proved to be no help. [Six] venture capitals turned me down.” “I had been warned that at £200, or at least three times as expensive as most other vacuum cleaners, the DC01 would prove to be too expensive. It sold really well.” “The marketing team, who I listened to, said to me, ‘If you make it £200 cheaper you will sell a lot more [Dyson washing machines],’ and I believed them. We made it £200 cheaper and sold exactly the same number at £899.99 as we had a £1,089 and ended up losing even more money. I had made a classic mistake. This might sound counter-intuitive, but I should have increased the price. The Contrarotator was not meant to be a low cost washing machine.” “Although there is no guarantee of success, disruptive ideas can revolutionise a company and its finances through intuition, imagination and risk-taking as opposed to market research, business plans and strategic investment.” “Early on in our story, the [Dyson vacuum cleaner’s] clear bin was another ‘clear’ example of going our own way regardless. Trusting our own instincts, we decided to ignore the research and the retailers. Pete and I had been developing the vacuum cleaner and we loved seeing the dust and the dirt. We didn’t want to hide all the hard work the machine had done. Going against established ‘experts’ was a huge risk. No one could confirm that what we were doing was a good idea. Everyone, in fact, confirmed the reverse. The data were all against it. If, however, we had believed ‘the science’ and not trusted our instincts, we would have ended up following the path of dull conformity.” Innovation, Constant Improvement & Change “I greatly admire Soichiro Honda for his addiction to the continuous improvement of products. and Takeo Fujisawa. Their genius was to think against the grain while focusing on continuous improvement. The company [Honda] continues to invest a sizeable chunk of its income into R&D, aiming for constant improvement and innovation.” “Rather like the way some sharks have to keep moving to stay alive, innovative engineering-led manufacturers need continuous innovation to stay competitive. Striving for new and better products is often what defines such companies. At Dyson, we never stand still. In a quarter of a century, we have gone from making a revolutionary vacuum cleaner to prototypes of a radical electric car. Invention tends to compound invention and companies need to be set up for this.” “What was exciting is that, although our main focus was the vacuum cleaner, our thinking was that of a tech company. How else could we evolve cyclonic technology? What other uses could we put it to?” “Investment in new technologies requires many leaps of faith and huge financial commitment over long periods.” “I believe that it is critical to keep on improving and never to relax with a product that appears to be selling well. Permanently dissatisfied is how an engineer should feel.” “Our product development process is now truly a twenty-four hours a day process.” “What I can say is that if you came back to see what Dyson’s up to in five, ten, twenty or a hundred years from now, whether with our products or through our farms, things will be very different indeed. It’s all tremendously exciting and we should have cause for optimism.” “Every day is an adventure and a response to the unexpected. Even if things appear to be in some kind of stasis, a company must move on. It has to get better, evolve and improve in order to survive. There is no greater danger than satisfaction.” “What we do know is that companies always have to change to get better at what they do, plan to do and even dream of doing in the future. The adage that the only certainty is change is true, and this means not being afraid of change even if, for a company, it means dismantling what you have built in order to rebuild it stronger or killing your own successful product with a better one, as we did with our new format battery vacuum cleaners.” Counter-Positioning “Anyone watching me at work might reasonably have wondered why Electrolux and Hoover weren’t making and selling a vacuum cleaner like mine. With all their resources, surely they could have leaped ahead of me - one man and his dog, as it were, in a rural coach house - and cornered the market between them. There were though, at least three good reasons why they didn’t even think of pursuing a similar path to me. One, which went without saying, was that the ‘No Loss of Suction’ vacuum cleaner had yet to be invented. The second was that the vacuum cleaner bag replacement business was highly profitable. And the third, to my surprise, was that well established electrical goods companies seemed remarkably uninterested in new technology. With no outside challenges, they could afford to rest on their laurels. For the moment at least.” “I went to see Electrolux, Hotpoint, Miele, Siemens, Bosch, AEG, Philips - the lot - and was rejected by every one of them. Although frustrating, what I did learn is that none of them was interested in doing something new and different. They were, as I had already understood, more interested in defending the vacuum cleaner bag market, worth more than $500 million in Europe alone at the time. Here, though was an opportunity. Might consumers be persuaded to stop spending so much on replacement bags, which, by the way, are made of spun plastic and are not biodegradable, and opt for a bag-less vacuum cleaner that offered constant suction instead? If so, I might stand a chance against these established companies.” Multi-Disciplinary Approach “I loved my time at the Royal College of Art not least because of its lively and inventive cross-disciplinary approach. Here, as I progressed, I realised that art and science, inventing and making, thinking and doing could be one and the same thing. I dared to dream that I could be an engineer, designer and manufacturer at one and the same time.” Commerciality & The ‘Art of Selling’ “Inventions, though, no matter how ingenious and exciting, are of little use unless they can be translated through engineering and design into products that stimulate or meet a need and can sell.” “Even the most worthwhile and world changing inventions, from ballpoint pen to the Harrier Jump Jet, need to be a part of the process of making and selling to succeed.” “Selling goes with manufacturing as wheels do with a bicycle. It is far more than flogging second-hand cars or contraband wristwatches. Products do not walk off shelves and into people’s homes, And when a product is entirely new, the art of selling is needed to explain it. What it is. How it works. Why you might need and want it.” “Jeremy Fry taught me not to try to pressure people into buying but to ask them lots of questions about what they did, how they worked and what they might expect of a new product. Equally, I learned that most people don’t really know exactly what they want, or if they do it’s only from what they know , what is available or possible at the time. As Henry Ford said, famously if he asked American farmers what they wanted in terms of future transport, they would have answered ‘faster horses.’ You need to show them new possibilities, new ideas and new products and explain these as lucidly as possible. Dyson advertising focuses on how our products are engineered and how they work, rather than on gimmicks and snappy sales lines.” “Word of mouth and editorial remain the best way to tell people what you have done. It is far more believable than advertising and a real compliment when intelligent journalists want to go off and talk about your product on their own free will. If you have new technology and a new product, a journalist’s opinion and comment is far more important and believable than an advertisement.” “Within eighteen months, the DC01 vacuum cleaner was the biggest seller in the UK market. Our first sales were through hefty mail order catalogues. These devoted a few pages to vacuum cleaners. We were among the last pages, at the bottom, with a small, square picture of the DC01… Ours was the most expensive in these catalogues by some margin and they were not the sort of place you would expect expensive items to be sold. Both we and the buyers at the catalogue were, in fact, astonished that DC01 did so well through their pages, with repeat orders coming in. I have never, though, believed that someone’s income is a bar to them wanting to buy the best product and a vacuum cleaner is an important purchase.” “We decided to highlight the Achilles’ heel of other vacuums - the bag and its shortcomings.” “I love the fact we tackled prosaic products, making the vacuum cleaner into a high-performance machine.” “From the beginning we decided that we would create our own publicity materials and advertising. We would not use outside agencies. This is because we want to talk fearlessly about technology, which, of course is what had driven Dyson into being. Since we have developed the technology, we should know how to explain it to others.” “I didn’t want anyone to buy our vacuum cleaner through slick advertising. I wanted them to buy it because it performed. We could be straightforward in what we said, explaining things simply and clearly.” “I believe that trustworthiness and loyalty come from striving to develop and make high performing products and then looking after customers who have bought them. I am not a believer in the theory that great marketing campaigns can replace great products. What you say should be true to who you are.” Manufacturing “Experience taught me that, ideally, a manufacturer - Dyson certainly - should aim to source as little as possible from outside the company. Those of us who drove British cars made in the 1970’s know pretty much exactly why. Poor assembly aside, what often let these cars down were components sourced from poor-quality external suppliers. Electrical failures were legion.” “Obviously at Dyson we cannot make absolutely everything on own own, but we work with suppliers so that they are in tune with us, with our manufacturing standards and our values. Because what we’re doing is special and different, we can’t go to a company like Foxconn, for example. which makes well known American, Canadian, Chinese, Finnish & Japanese electronic products. Those products are mostly made from off-the-shelf components. We design our own components. We don’t buy them off the shelf.” “You can manufacture good-quality, pioneering technology much more readily when you sit side by side with your suppliers rather than 10,000 miles away in a different time zone.” “We build close relationships with owners of factories so we can build our machines in their premises. The tooling, assembly lines and test stations are ours and we control the purchasing and quality. We don’t approach a sub-contractor and say, ‘Make me a product of this or this design.’ We tend to go to outfits which have never made vacuum cleaners before or hairdryers, robots, fans and heaters or purifiers or lights, and we teach their people to make things using our production methods. It’s a heavily engaged and involved process of learning and improvement.” “We need other factories because, expanding at the rate of 25% each year, we simply couldn’t cope with the planning and building of new factories even in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philiipines.” Going Global “I knew that if Dyson was to be a successful technology company, rather than just a British vacuum cleaner manufacturer, we couldn’t be Little Englanders. We needed to become global, and quickly. England, and the rest of the United Kingdom, is simply not a big enough market on its own to sustain the constant and huge investment technology requires.” “In 2004, we took the DC12 cylinder vacuum to Japan, calling it the ‘Dyson City.’ It was engineered specifically for the tiny, perfectly formed homes of Japan. We were amazed by its success. Within three months it had captured 20% of the Japanese market.” “Dyson has become as much an Asian business as a British one: our products are sold in eighty-three countries around the world, so we are arguably a truly global company. Having started in Britain and consistently grown in Britain, we, for some time now, sell over 95% of our products in our global markets.” Acquisitions “We are not in the business of buying up other companies. It may be a quick way to acquire technology or a business that would augment a company, but it can be difficult to assimilate the people and their ways of doing things. Usually, I feel, it’s better to start your own research project or your own business, which, although slower to begin with, develops organically and is stronger for it.” Dyson Electric Car “Because of the shifting commercial sand, we made the decision to pull out of production [of our electric car] at the very last minute. N526 was a brilliant car. Very efficient motors. Very aerodynamic. Wonderful to drive and be driven in. We just couldn’t ever have made money from it, and for all our enthusiasm for the project we were not prepared to risk the rest of Dyson.” “Fortunately, we were able to stomach the £500 million cost and survive. We did, though, push ourselves to learn a great deal in areas including batteries, robotics, air treatment, and lighting. We also learned more about virtual engineering as a tool in the design process and how, we would be able to make products more quickly and less expensively. These were all valuable lessons for the future.” Private Company & Long Term Thinking “Today, Dyson is a global company. I own it, and this really matters to me. It remains a private company. Without shareholders to hold back, we are free to take long-term and radical decisions. I have no interest in going public with Dyson because I know that this would spell the end of the company’s freedom to innovate in the way it does.” “When you own the whole company, and especially if you are free of debt, from the early days and for better or worse, all decisions are your own. So you take these very seriously and follow your own view of risk balanced, hopefully, with reward. This certainly sharpens the mind.” “We’re one family-owned company following its interest and passions.” “The advantages of a family business are that they can think in the very long term, and invest in the long term, in ways public companies are unable to do. I also believe that family-owned enterprises have a spirit, conscience and philosophy often lacking in public companies.” Win-Win & ESG “In our first year in Currys [retailer], Mark Souhami, one of the bosses alongside the founder Stankley Kalms, invited me to lunch with them both. They explained that because of Dyson they were now making a profit in their vacuum cleaner section and he wanted more Dyson products.” “I have always loathed companies that use ‘greenwash’ as part of their marketing. I would rather reduce our environmental impact quietly and by action. We were, and remain, a company primarily of engineers and because of this we have sought from the outset to use as little energy or materials as possible to solve or complete one particular task. Lean engineering is good engineering.” “For me, as for all Dyson engineers, lightness - lean engineering and material efficiency - is a guiding principle. Using less material means using less energy in the process of making things. It also means lighter products that need less energy to power them and are easier to handle and so more pleasurable to use.” “Dyson has always focused on making long-lasting machines that use fewer resources while achieving higher performance. Lighter machines resulting from developing new technology and reinventing the format, consumer less energy and are not only better for the planet but also more pleasurable to use. Our cord-free vacuum cleaners, for instance, are a fraction of the weight and use a fraction of the electricity than their predecessors did. This has come about by taking an entirely different approach and developing new technology, motors and batteries, from the ground up.” “We must move ever closer to a culture whereby we minimise the use of materials through lean engineering along with the recycling of products at the end of their lives. It’s not just okay to politely offset our carbon footprint. We have to deal with it at source.” “As Dyson, we are trying at every turn to touch the ground lightly in everything we do, to make more from less and to create a circular system through which we aim to recycle everything we use.” Removing Middlemen “Over the past three years we had been striving to sell more products direct to our customers ourselves, either online or through Dyson Demo stores. By early 2021 we had 356 Dyson stores. We have been opening them around the world so that customers can try our Dyson products in the best possible way. There are two reasons for this. First, we like to have a direct relationship with our customers, who are buying our product for which we are responsible, and we want to know how we can help them. Secondly, retailers around the world are declining in numbers and sales. They are nothing like the force they were, due of course to the decline of the high street and the rise of internet shopping. If you want to buy from a website, why not buy from the Dyson website! Why not deal directly with the manufacturer?’” “When I started out with the vacuum cleaner business, wholesales and retailers made most of the money .. which is why today a lot of our sales at Dyson are direct.” “Cutting out the middleman, and those who add no value, ought to be a popular national campaign. It would mean a possibility of profit for risk takers and producers, and lower prices for consumers.” Listen to Customers “Listening to what our users say is gold dust and I really enjoy reading or hearing about complaints. We devised a system of reporting all remarks heard by customers in stores or by store salespeople from all over the world, so that everyone in the company can see this priceless intelligence.” Optimism “I have great faith that science and technology can solve problems, from more sustainable and efficient products to the production of more and better food, and a more sustainable world. It is technological and scientific breakthroughs, far more than messages of doom, that will lead to this world. We need to go forwards optimistically into the future as if into the light, and with bright new ideas rather than darkness and end to human ingenuity portrayed by doomsayers.” “The depressing thing is that harbingers of doom and gloom get far more attention than optimists and problem solvers. I feel very strongly that progress should be embraced and encouraged, and it is a duty of governments and companies to catalyse the ideas of the progressive and harness them to achieve good ends.” Summary Most people would consider someone who’d failed 5,126 times and succeeded just once, a failure. Yet, that’s exactly what James Dyson did. That one success was the acorn that grew into a $US10 billion dollar fortune (talk about asymmetric returns!) There’s a myriad of lessons for inventors, investors and entrepreneurs in the pages of this book. Many of the lessons are equally applicable to each endeavour; maintaining focus, taking a long term view, continuously learning, challenging conventional wisdom and adopting a multi-disciplinary mindset. As you delve into the story an investment case emerges and the pieces of the puzzle start to fit together. An inventive fanatic full of passion, tenacity, resilience and self-belief recognises a prosaic industry that’s been neglected by technology and ripe for disruption. The target market is huge and somewhat immune from the vagaries of the economic cycle. A kernel of inventive insight, a variant perception on consumers preparedness to pay more for quality products and constant iteration leads to the development of a revolutionary product. Driven by a purpose beyond wealth accumulation (obliquity), a ‘technology’ business emerges. Full control of the ecosystem and intellectual property become further competitive attributes difficult to challenge. As technology compounds (a’la Brian Arthur) the barriers to competition widen. The tone is set from the top - a culture of continuous innovation and rejecting the status quo flourishes. Risk taking on a scale where failure is tolerable (a’la Palchinsky principle) is encouraged, creating new possibilities. Private ownership and low debt affords a long term view - no one is watching the quarterly shot clock. While there is no spreadsheet or financial model, there is a full scale mental model, or theory, developing. The component mental models, together, shed light on the Dyson company’s extraordinary success. My contention is this latter model will prove more useful in determining whether Dyson will continue to prosper in the future. Let’s not forget however, that without James Dyson, there would be no Dyson. Like many of the great businesses we’ve studied, it started with a fanatic. Source: ‘James Dyson - Invention: A Life,’ James Dyson, Simon & Schuster, 2021. Further Learning: ‘James Dyson - Invention: A Life - Interactive Portal.’ Follow us on Twitter : @mastersinvest * NEW * Visit the Blog Archive Article by Investment Masters Class Updated on Nov 22, 2021, 3:44 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 22nd, 2021

NATO"s Plans To Hack Your Brain

NATO's Plans To Hack Your Brain Authored by Ben Norton via TheGrayZone.com, Western governments in the NATO military alliance are developing tactics of “cognitive warfare,” using the supposed threats of China and Russia to justify waging a “battle for your brain” in the “human domain,” to “make everyone a weapon.” NATO is developing new forms of warfare to wage a “battle for the brain,” as the military alliance put it. The US-led NATO military cartel has tested novel modes of hybrid warfare against its self-declared adversaries, including economic warfare, cyber warfare, information warfare, and psychological warfare. Now, NATO is spinning out an entirely new kind of combat it has branded cognitive warfare. Described as the “weaponization of brain sciences,” the new method involves “hacking the individual” by exploiting “the vulnerabilities of the human brain” in order to implement more sophisticated “social engineering.” Until recently, NATO had divided war into five different operational domains: air, land, sea, space, and cyber. But with its development of cognitive warfare strategies, the military alliance is discussing a new, sixth level: the “human domain.” A 2020 NATO-sponsored study of this new form of warfare clearly explained, “While actions taken in the five domains are executed in order to have an effect on the human domain, cognitive warfare’s objective is to make everyone a weapon.” “The brain will be the battlefield of the 21st century,” the report stressed. “Humans are the contested domain,” and “future conflicts will likely occur amongst the people digitally first and physically thereafter in proximity to hubs of political and economic power.” The 2020 NATO-sponsored study on cognitive warfare While the NATO-backed study insisted that much of its research on cognitive warfare is designed for defensive purposes, it also conceded that the military alliance is developing offensive tactics, stating, “The human is very often the main vulnerability and it should be acknowledged in order to protect NATO’s human capital but also to be able to benefit from our adversaries’s vulnerabilities.” In a chilling disclosure, the report said explicitly that “the objective of Cognitive Warfare is to harm societies and not only the military.” With entire civilian populations in NATO’s crosshairs, the report emphasized that Western militaries must work more closely with academia to weaponize social sciences and human sciences and help the alliance develop its cognitive warfare capacities. The study described this phenomenon as “the militarization of brain science.” But it appears clear that NATO’s development of cognitive warfare will lead to a militarization of all aspects of human society and psychology, from the most intimate of social relationships to the mind itself. Such all-encompassing militarization of society is reflected in the paranoid tone of the NATO-sponsored report, which warned of “an embedded fifth column, where everyone, unbeknownst to him or her, is behaving according to the plans of one of our competitors.” The study makes it clear that those “competitors” purportedly exploiting the consciousness of Western dissidents are China and Russia. In other words, this document shows that figures in the NATO military cartel increasingly see their own domestic population as a threat, fearing civilians to be potential Chinese or Russian sleeper cells, dastardly “fifth columns” that challenge the stability of “Western liberal democracies.” NATO’s development of novel forms of hybrid warfare come at a time when member states’ military campaigns are targeting domestic populations on an unprecedented level. The Ottawa Citizen reported this September that the Canadian military’s Joint Operations Command took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to wage an information war against its own domestic population, testing out propaganda tactics on Canadian civilians. Internal NATO-sponsored reports suggest that this disclosure is just scratching the surface of a wave of new unconventional warfare techniques that Western militaries are employing around the world. Canada hosts ‘NATO Innovation Challenge’ on cognitive warfare Twice each year, NATO holds a “pitch-style event” that it brand as an “Innovation Challenge.” These campaigns – one hosted in the Spring and the other in the Fall, by alternating member states – call on private companies, organizations, and researchers to help develop new tactics and technologies for the military alliance. The shark tank-like challenges reflect the predominant influence of neoliberal ideology within NATO, as participants mobilize the free market, public-private partnerships, and the promise of cash prizes to advance the agenda of the military-industrial complex. NATO’s Fall 2021 Innovation Challenge is hosted by Canada, and is titled “The invisible threat: Tools for countering cognitive warfare.” “Cognitive warfare seeks to change not only what people think, but also how they act,” the Canadian government wrote in its official statement on the challenge. “Attacks against the cognitive domain involve the integration of cyber, disinformation/misinformation, psychological, and social-engineering capabilities.” Ottawa’s press release continued: “Cognitive warfare positions the mind as a battle space and contested domain. Its objective is to sow dissonance, instigate conflicting narratives, polarize opinion, and radicalize groups. Cognitive warfare can motivate people to act in ways that can disrupt or fragment an otherwise cohesive society.” NATO-backed Canadian military officials discuss cognitive warfare in panel event An advocacy group called the NATO Association of Canada has mobilized to support this Innovation Challenge, working closely with military contractors to attract the private sector to invest in further research on behalf of NATO – and its own bottom line. While the NATO Association of Canada (NAOC) is technically an independent NGO, its mission is to promote NATO, and the organization boasts on its website, “The NAOC has strong ties with the Government of Canada including Global Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence.” As part of its efforts to promote Canada’s NATO Innovation Challenge, the NAOC held a panel discussion on cognitive warfare on October 5. The researcher who wrote the definitive 2020 NATO-sponsored study on cognitive warfare, François du Cluzel, participated in the event, alongside NATO-backed Canadian military officers. The October 5 panel on cognitive warfare, hosted by the NATO Association of Canada The panel was overseen by Robert Baines, president of the NATO Association of Canada. It was moderated by Garrick Ngai, a marketing executive in the weapons industry who serves as an adviser to the Canadian Department of National Defense and vice president and director of the NAOC. Baines opened the event noting that participants would discuss “cognitive warfare and new domain of competition, where state and non-state actors aim to influence what people think and how they act.” The NAOC president also happily noted the lucrative “opportunities for Canadian companies” that this NATO Innovation Challenge promised. NATO researcher describes cognitive warfare as ‘ways of harming the brain’ The October 5 panel kicked off with François du Cluzel, a former French military officer who in 2013 helped to create the NATO Innovation Hub (iHub), which he has since then managed from its base in Norfolk, Virginia. Although the iHub insists on its website, for legal reasons, that the “opinions expressed on this platform don’t constitute NATO or any other organization points of view,” the organization is sponsored by the Allied Command Transformation (ACT), described as “one of two Strategic Commands at the head of NATO’s military command structure.” The Innovation Hub, therefore, acts as a kind of in-house NATO research center or think tank. Its research is not necessarily official NATO policy, but it is directly supported and overseen by NATO. In 2020, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) tasked du Cluzel, as manager of the iHub, to conduct a six-month study on cognitive warfare. Du Cluzel summarized his research in the panel this October. He initiated his remarks noting that cognitive warfare “right now is one of the hottest topics for NATO,” and “has become a recurring term in military terminology in recent years.” Although French, Du Cluzel emphasized that cognitive warfare strategy “is being currently developed by my command here in Norfolk, USA.” The NATO Innovation Hub manager spoke with a PowerPoint presentation, and opened with a provocative slide that described cognitive warfare as “A Battle for the Brain.” “Cognitive warfare is a new concept that starts in the information sphere, that is a kind of hybrid warfare,” du Cluzel said. “It starts with hyper-connectivity. Everyone has a cell phone,” he continued. “It starts with information because information is, if I may say, the fuel of cognitive warfare. But it goes way beyond solely information, which is a standalone operation – information warfare is a standalone operation.” Cognitive warfare overlaps with Big Tech corporations and mass surveillance, because “it’s all about leveraging the big data,” du Cluzel explained. “We produce data everywhere we go. Every minute, every second we go, we go online. And this is extremely easy to leverage those data in order to better know you and use that knowledge to change the way you think.” Naturally, the NATO researcher claimed foreign “adversaries” are the supposed aggressors employing cognitive warfare. But at the same time, he made it clear that the Western military alliance is developing its own tactics. Du Cluzel defined cognitive warfare as the “art of using technologies to alter the cognition of human targets.” Those technologies, he noted, incorporate the fields of NBIC – nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science. All together, “it makes a kind of very dangerous cocktail that can further manipulate the brain,” he said. Du Cluzel went on to explain that the exotic new method of attack “goes well beyond” information warfare or psychological operations (psyops). “Cognitive warfare is not only a fight against what we think, but it’s rather a fight against the way we think, if we can change the way people think,” he said. “It’s much more powerful and it goes way beyond the information [warfare] and psyops.” De Cluzel continued: “It’s crucial to understand that it’s a game on our cognition, on the way our brain processes information and turns it into knowledge, rather than solely a game on information or on psychological aspects of our brains. It’s not only an action against what we think, but also an action against the way we think, the way we process information and turn it into knowledge.” “In other words, cognitive warfare is not just another word, another name for information warfare. It is a war on our individual processor, our brain.” The NATO researcher stressed that “this is extremely important for us in the military,” because “it has the potential, by developing new weapons and ways of harming the brain, it has the potential to engage neuroscience and technology in many, many different approaches to influence human ecology… because you all know that it’s very easy to turn a civilian technology into a military one.” As for who the targets of cognitive warfare could be, du Cluzel revealed that anyone and everyone is on the table. “Cognitive warfare has universal reach, from starting with the individual to states and multinational organizations,” he said. “Its field of action is global and aim to seize control of the human being, civilian as well as military.” And the private sector has a financial interest in advancing cognitive warfare research, he noted: “The massive worldwide investments made in neurosciences suggests that the cognitive domain will probably one of the battlefields of the future.” The development of cognitive warfare totally transforms military conflict as we know it, du Cluzel said, adding “a third major combat dimension to the modern battlefield: to the physical and informational dimension is now added a cognitive dimension.” This “creates a new space of competition beyond what is called the five domains of operations – or land, sea, air, cyber, and space domains. Warfare in the cognitive arena mobilizes a wider range of battle spaces than solely the physical and information dimensions can do.” In short, humans themselves are the new contested domain in this novel mode of hybrid warfare, alongside land, sea, air, cyber, and outer space. NATO’s cognitive warfare study warns of “embedded fifth column” The study that NATO Innovation Hub manager François du Cluzel conducted, from June to November 2020, was sponsored by the military cartel’s Allied Command Transformation, and published as a 45-page report in January 2021 (PDF). The chilling document shows how contemporary warfare has reached a kind of dystopian stage, once imaginable only in science fiction. “The nature of warfare has changed,” the report emphasized. “The majority of current conflicts remain below the threshold of the traditionally accepted definition of warfare, but new forms of warfare have emerged such as Cognitive Warfare (CW), while the human mind is now being considered as a new domain of war.” For NATO, research on cognitive warfare is not just defensive; it is very much offensive as well. “Developing capabilities to harm the cognitive abilities of opponents will be a necessity,” du Cluzel’s report stated clearly. “In other words, NATO will need to get the ability to safeguard her decision making process and disrupt the adversary’s one.” And anyone could be a target of these cognitive warfare operations: “Any user of modern information technologies is a potential target. It targets the whole of a nation’s human capital,” the report ominously added. “As well as the potential execution of a cognitive war to complement to a military conflict, it can also be conducted alone, without any link to an engagement of the armed forces,” the study went on. “Moreover, cognitive warfare is potentially endless since there can be no peace treaty or surrender for this type of conflict.” Just as this new mode of battle has no geographic borders, it also has no time limit: “This battlefield is global via the internet. With no beginning and no end, this conquest knows no respite, punctuated by notifications from our smartphones, anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” The NATO-sponsored study noted that “some NATO Nations have already acknowledged that neuroscientific techniques and technologies have high potential for operational use in a variety of security, defense and intelligence enterprises.” It spoke of breakthroughs in “neuroscientific methods and technologies” (neuroS/T), and said “uses of research findings and products to directly facilitate the performance of combatants, the integration of human machine interfaces to optimise combat capabilities of semi autonomous vehicles (e.g., drones), and development of biological and chemical weapons (i.e., neuroweapons).” The Pentagon is among the primary institutions advancing this novel research, as the report highlighted: “Although a number of nations have pursued, and are currently pursuing neuroscientific research and development for military purposes, perhaps the most proactive efforts in this regard have been conducted by the United States Department of Defense; with most notable and rapidly maturing research and development conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).” Military uses of neuroS/T research, the study indicated, include intelligence gathering, training, “optimising performance and resilience in combat and military support personnel,” and of course “direct weaponisation of neuroscience and neurotechnology.” This weaponization of neuroS/T can and will be fatal, the NATO-sponsored study was clear to point out. The research can “be utilised to mitigate aggression and foster cognitions and emotions of affiliation or passivity; induce morbidity, disability or suffering; and ‘neutralise’ potential opponents or incur mortality” – in other words, to maim and kill people. The 2020 NATO-sponsored study on cognitive warfare The report quoted US Major General Robert H. Scales, who summarized NATO’s new combat philosophy: “Victory will be defined more in terms of capturing the psycho-cultural rather than the geographical high ground.” And as NATO develops tactics of cognitive warfare to “capture the psycho-cultural,” it is also increasingly weaponizing various scientific fields. The study spoke of “the crucible of data sciences and human sciences,” and stressed that “the combination of Social Sciences and System Engineering will be key in helping military analysts to improve the production of intelligence.” “If kinetic power cannot defeat the enemy,” it said, “psychology and related behavioural and social sciences stand to fill the void.” “Leveraging social sciences will be central to the development of the Human Domain Plan of Operations,” the report went on. “It will support the combat operations by providing potential courses of action for the whole surrounding Human Environment including enemy forces, but also determining key human elements such as the Cognitive center of gravity, the desired behaviour as the end state.” All academic disciplines will be implicated in cognitive warfare, not just the hard sciences. “Within the military, expertise on anthropology, ethnography, history, psychology among other areas will be more than ever required to cooperate with the military,” the NATO-sponsored study stated. The report nears its conclusion with an eerie quote: “Today’s progresses in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science (NBIC), boosted by the seemingly unstoppable march of a triumphant troika made of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and civilisational ‘digital addiction’ have created a much more ominous prospect: an embedded fifth column, where everyone, unbeknownst to him or her, is behaving according to the plans of one of our competitors.” “The modern concept of war is not about weapons but about influence,” it posited. “Victory in the long run will remain solely dependent on the ability to influence, affect, change or impact the cognitive domain.” The NATO-sponsored study then closed with a final paragraph that makes it clear beyond doubt that the Western military alliance’s ultimate goal is not only physical control of the planet, but also control over people’s minds: “Cognitive warfare may well be the missing element that allows the transition from military victory on the battlefield to lasting political success. The human domain might well be the decisive domain, wherein multi-domain operations achieve the commander’s effect. The five first domains can give tactical and operational victories; only the human domain can achieve the final and full victory.” Canadian Special Operations officer emphasizes importance of cognitive warfare When François du Cluzel, the NATO researcher who conducted the study on cognitive warfare, concluded his remarks in the October 5 NATO Association of Canada panel, he was followed by Andy Bonvie, a commanding officer at the Canadian Special Operations Training Centre. With more than 30 years of experience with the Canadian Armed Forces, Bonvie spoke of how Western militaries are making use of research by du Cluzel and others, and incorporating novel cognitive warfare techniques into their combat activities. “Cognitive warfare is a new type of hybrid warfare for us,” Bonvie said. “And it means that we need to look at the traditional thresholds of conflict and how the things that are being done are really below those thresholds of conflict, cognitive attacks, and non-kinetic forms and non-combative threats to us. We need to understand these attacks better and adjust their actions and our training accordingly to be able to operate in these different environments.” Although he portrayed NATO’s actions as “defensive,” claiming “adversaries” were using cognitive warfare against them, Bonvie was unambiguous about the fact that Western militaries are developing these tecniques themselves, to maintain a “tactical advantage.” “We cannot lose the tactical advantage for our troops that we’re placing forward as it spans not only tactically, but strategically,” he said. “Some of those different capabilities that we have that we enjoy all of a sudden could be pivoted to be used against us. So we have to better understand how quickly our adversaries adapt to things, and then be able to predict where they’re going in the future, to help us be and maintain the tactical advantage for our troops moving forward.” ‘Cognitive warfare is the most advanced form of manipulation seen to date’ Marie-Pierre Raymond, a retired Canadian lieutenant colonel who currently serves as a “defence scientist and innovation portfolio manager” for the Canadian Armed Forces’ Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security Program, also joined the October 5 panel. “Long gone are the days when war was fought to acquire more land,” Raymond said. “Now the new objective is to change the adversaries’ ideologies, which makes the brain the center of gravity of the human. And it makes the human the contested domain, and the mind becomes the battlefield.” “When we speak about hybrid threats, cognitive warfare is the most advanced form of manipulation seen to date,” she added, noting that it aims to influence individuals’ decision-making and “to influence a group of a group of individuals on their behavior, with the aim of gaining a tactical or strategic advantage.” Raymond noted that cognitive warfare also heavily overlaps with artificial intelligence, big data, and social media, and reflects “the rapid evolution of neurosciences as a tool of war.” Raymond is helping to oversee the NATO Fall 2021 Innovation Challenge on behalf of Canada’s Department of National Defence, which delegated management responsibilities to the military’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program, where she works. In highly technical jargon, Raymond indicated that the cognitive warfare program is not solely defensive, but also offensive: “This challenge is calling for a solution that will support NATO’s nascent human domain and jump-start the development of a cognition ecosystem within the alliance, and that will support the development of new applications, new systems, new tools and concepts leading to concrete action in the cognitive domain.” She emphasized that this “will require sustained cooperation between allies, innovators, and researchers to enable our troops to fight and win in the cognitive domain. This is what we are hoping to emerge from this call to innovators and researchers.” To inspire corporate interest in the NATO Innovation Challenge, Raymond enticed, “Applicants will receive national and international exposure and cash prizes for the best solution.” She then added tantalizingly, “This could also benefit the applicants by potentially providing them access to a market of 30 nations.” Canadian military officer calls on corporations to invest in NATO’s cognitive warfare research The other institution that is managing the Fall 2021 NATO Innovation Challenge on behalf of Canada’s Department of National Defense is the Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM). A Canadian military officer who works with CANSOFCOM, Shekhar Gothi, was the final panelist in the October 5 NATO Association of Canada event. Gothi serves as CANSOFCOM’s “innovation officer” for Southern Ontario. He concluded the event appealing for corporate investment in NATO’s cognitive warfare research. The bi-annual Innovation Challenge is “part of the NATO battle rhythm,” Gothi declared enthusiastically. He noted that, in the spring of 2021, Portugal held a NATO Innovation Challenge focused on warfare in outer space. In spring 2020, the Netherlands hosted a NATO Innovation Challenge focused on Covid-19. Gothi reassured corporate investors that NATO will bend over backward to defend their bottom lines: “I can assure everyone that the NATO innovation challenge indicates that all innovators will maintain complete control of their intellectual property. So NATO won’t take control of that. Neither will Canada. Innovators will maintain their control over their IP.” The comment was a fitting conclusion to the panel, affirming that NATO and its allies in the military-industrial complex not only seek to dominate the world and the humans that inhabit it with unsettling cognitive warfare techniques, but to also ensure that corporations and their shareholders continue to profit from these imperial endeavors. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 03:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

Telecom Stock Roundup: Corning Boosts Fiber Production, Telefonica Inks Deal & More

While Corning (GLW) will invest $150 million in its Catawba County facility in North Carolina to augment fiber production for AT&T, Telefonica (TEF) will migrate most of its database systems to Oracle. Over the past five trading days, U.S. telecom stocks have witnessed a roller-coaster ride, punctuated by the uncertainty regarding the final passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by the House and a transatlantic pledge to strengthen semiconductor supply chains to tackle chip shortage. Although Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi has scheduled the bill for a vote today, it appears to be still stuck in a potential stalemate, as several progressive Democrats want the bill to be tied to the larger $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that is facing massive backlash from both Republicans and Democrats. Despite interventions by President Biden to broker a compromise with the dissident groups, the bill appears poised on a tender balance to pass through the House. The infusion of federal funds to improve broadband infrastructure for greater access and deeper penetration in the underserved domestic markets could have worked wonders for the beleaguered industry and helped to bridge the digital divide. However, the uncertainty over the much sought-after infrastructure bill that focuses on affordability and low-cost service option has hard hit the industry. While the policy paralysis has crippled operations, an FCC-mandate to ‘rip and replace’ telecommunications equipment manufactured by China-based firms like Huawei and ZTE has affected the sustainability of rural telecom firms amid widespread resentment of the release of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou from three-year detention in Canada. The removal of the low-cost gear is likely to affect rural network service, hurt profitability and jeopardize the progress of 5G deployment when most local operators would be forced to reshuffle their existing infrastructure. Although the FCC is slated to initiate a $1.9 billion program to reimburse the carriers by seeking applications from Oct 29 through Jan 14, 2022, it is unlikely to pacify the huge number of rural telecom operators that are likely to go out of office.Meanwhile, senior cabinet officials from both the United States and the European Union have come together to coordinate transatlantic ties to better address supply chain headwinds for chip shortage and take a pro-active and unified approach against foreign adversaries. With the launch of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, the continents aim to strengthen the regional technology ecosystem by pledging to cooperate on export controls for sensitive dual-use technologies and on the development of AI. Although this appeared to be a positive signal for the industry, unless the tangible effects percolate within the system, it is unlikely to reap significant benefits.     Regarding company-specific news, partnership, strategic agreements, portfolio enhancements, and 5G deals primarily took the center stage over the past five trading days.Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories1.     Corning Incorporated GLW has extended its long-term partnership with AT&T Inc. T by committing to invest $150 million in its Catawba County facility in North Carolina to augment fiber production. In addition to generating about 200 jobs initially to boost regional economic development, the investment is likely to help AT&T increase its fiber footprint across the country and scale up its broadband network connectivity.A surge in demand for broadband connectivity has led to a wide proliferation of fiber infrastructure throughout the country and carriers like AT&T are aiming to significantly increase their fiber coverage to gain a greater pie in the market. An integrated fiber expansion strategy is expected to improve AT&T’s broadband connectivity for both enterprise and consumer markets, while steady 5G deployments are likely to boost end-user experience. The carrier intends to achieve this objective by leveraging its long-term business association with Corning spanning over three decades and gain a competitive edge in the fiber industry, which is probably in the early stages of a major growth cycle.      2.     To better utilize the benefits of 5G and edge computing facilities in core network functions, Telefónica, S.A. TEF recently inked a multi-year agreement with cloud-service provider Oracle Corporation to migrate most of its database systems to the cloud. The deal is the second of its kind this month with Telefonica forging an agreement with IBM to develop its first-ever Unica Next cloud-based 5G core network platform using IBM intelligent automation software and services.Per the Oracle deal, the Spain-based carrier will transfer all its internal and commercial operations data, including business intelligence services and billing, revenues, and customer management products to the cloud-based platform in tune with the evolving business conditions. It will be operated by Oracle in Telefonica’s datacenters to comply with European data laws. Moreover, this is likely to safeguard data security issues while keeping operating costs down as Telefonica has a debt-laden balance sheet.3.     Verizon Communications Inc. VZ has upgraded some of the features of its subsidiary BlueJeans that offers an interoperable cloud-based video conferencing service across a wide range of devices and conferencing platforms. The move is aimed to facilitate a seamless transition to a hybrid workplace with a spontaneous and engaging interactive digital platform as the work-from-home option continues to gain traction.Such technological innovations are likely to provide flexibility to remote workers and unlock workplace productivity and happiness. By creating a virtual space that simulates a real-life office environment where distributed teams can collate together to brainstorm, organize and socialize, BlueJeans aims to address a major hurdle in today’s hybrid work reality.4.   Nokia Corporation NOK has partnered with Slovenia-based telecommunications company — Telekom Slovenije — to power the latter’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network with the deployment of avant-garde broadband equipment. Per the agreement, Telekom Slovenije will also capitalize on the Quillion chipset-powered Nokia ISAM FX series. The ISAM FX series involve high-capacity access nodes that have been specifically designed to deliver ultra-broadband services rapidly and cost-effectively. The deployment, which is scheduled to commence this year, will bring 10Gb/s fiber to Slovenia. Currently, the FTTH network caters to more than half of Slovenian households. The 10Gb/s fiber installation will enable these households to benefit from high-speed broadband connections.  5.    Ericsson ERIC has inked a 10-year 5G partnership deal with Digital Nasional Berhad (“DNB”) to deliver a nationwide 5G network in Malaysia. DNB is helping Malaysia to achieve its digital goals as outlined in the government’s MyDIGITAL blueprint, which plans to transform Malaysia into a digitally-driven, high-income country.DNB’s partnership with Ericsson covers the latter’s Radio System products and solutions, including Spectrum Sharing, cloud-native 5G Core, and 5G Radio Access Network. The Sweden-based telecom gear maker will supply its Managed Services offering, Ericsson Operations Engine. It will also provide operational support systems and business support systems solutions.Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some of the major telecom stocks over the past week and six months.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the past five trading days, Juniper has been the best performer with its stock gaining 2.1% while Bandwidth has declined the most with its stock falling 12.7%.Over the past six months, Motorola has been the best performer with its stock appreciating 20.2% while Bandwidth has declined the most with its stock falling 44.3%.Over the past six months, the Zacks Telecommunications Services industry has gained 4.4% and the S&P 500 has rallied 10.5%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhat’s Next in the Telecom Space?In addition to 5G deployments and product launches, all eyes will remain glued to how the administration implements key policy changes to safeguard the interests of the industry and address the bottlenecks to spur growth. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report AT&T Inc. (T): Get Free Report Ericsson (ERIC): Get Free Report Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Get Free Report Nokia Corporation (NOK): Get Free Report Telefonica SA (TEF): Get Free Report Corning Incorporated (GLW): Get Free Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 30th, 2021

Shell (RDS.A) Ends Permian Asset Sale, Begins Stock Buyback

Shell (RDS.A) to use the cash proceeds from the Permian asset sale to buy back up to $1.5 billion of shares from Dec 2, 2021 through Jan 28, 2022. Royal Dutch Shell plc’s (RDS.A) subsidiaryShell Enterprises LLCrecently announced the completion of the sale of all its assets in the Permian, the most prolific basin in the United States, to competitor ConocoPhillips COP.The divesture worth $9.5 billion, announced in September 2021, involves Shell's 225,000 net Permian acres with current production of nearly 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The divested assets involve 600 miles of operated oil, natural gas, water pipelines and other energy infrastructure. The acquisition makes ConocoPhillips one of the leading producers in the Permian Basin.For Shell, the asset sale was a more attractive option for its shareholders instead of acquiring additional assets to boost its Permian footprint. RDS.A planned to use the cash proceeds from the transaction to fund $7 billion of additional shareholder distributions, most likely through share repurchases. The distributions were expected in addition to RDS.A's shareholder distributions of 20-30% of cash flow from operations. The remaining amount was intended to be used in strengthening RDS.A's balance sheet.Shell’s Stock Buyback CommencementWith the closure of the Permian asset divestment, management announced that it will buy back up to $1.5 billion of shares from Dec 2, 2021 to Jan 28, 2022. This will be the first instalment of the $7-billion dividends due to its shareholders following the sale of Shell's Permian operation to COP. In early 2022, the form and the date for releasing the remaining $5.5 billion will be disclosed.What Makes ConocoPhillips' Permian Acquisition So Special?The Permian assets acquisition will help COP generate massive cash in the coming days. It expects to generate $1.9 billion of free cash flow in 2022. Rising cash from operations owing to the deal will help COP provide higher returns to its shareholders, in line with its plan to return 30% cash from operations to its shareholders.ConocoPhillips' Permian footprint expanded significantly over the past year. Due to the changing perspectives on fossil fuels, oil and gas producers were often skeptical about focusing on hydrocarbons. The shifting approach among the industry's leading producers created opportunities for ConocoPhillips, which remains more aligned with regular oil and gas production.Why Did Shell Exit America’s Hottest Shale Play?Even last year, the Anglo-Dutch oil supermajor had named the Permian one of its key oil and gas-producing locations. However, it is under tremendous pressure to expedite its departure from fossil fuels.In May, the District Court in The Hague issued a major verdict on a climate dispute brought forth by environmentalists that might set a precedent for other oil firms. It ordered Shell to trim its carbon emissions by 45% within 2030 from its 2019 baseline.The Permian asset divestment underlines the growing divide between the European oil firms like Shell, BP and TotalEnergies, which are striving to shift toward renewable energy and low-carbon power, and their American counterparts, who continue to rely on oil and gas as a long-term investment.Shell belongs to a global group of energy and petrochemical companies. It is involved in all phases of the petroleum industry, right from exploration to final processing and delivery. RDS.A is scheduled to release fourth-quarter 2021 earnings results on Feb 3, 2022. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at $1.59 per share for the December quarter.Zacks Rank & Key PicksShell currently has a Zack Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the energy sector might look at the following stocks worth considering with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Range Resources Corporation RRC, based in Fort Worth, TX, is an independent energy company that engages in exploring, developing and acquiring oil and gas properties, primarily in the Appalachian Basin and North Louisiana. RRC is among the top 10 natural gas producers in the United States. It is among the top NGL producers in the domestic market. As of 2020 end, RRC’s total proved reserves were 17.2 trillion cubic feet equivalent.In the past year, shares of Range Resources’ have increased 169.7% compared with the industry’s growth of 102.3%. In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for RRC's 2021 earnings has been raised 24%. RRC’s 2021 earnings are expected to surge 2,511.1% from the year-ago reported figure. RRC has witnessed five upward estimate revisions in the past 30 days.Occidental Petroleum Corporation OXY is an integrated oil and gas company with significant exploration and production exposure. OXY is also a producer of a variety of basic chemicals, petrochemicals, polymers and specialty chemicals. As of 2020 end, Occidental Petroleum's preliminary worldwide proved reserves totaled 2.91 billion BOE compared with 3.9 billion BOE at the end of 2019.In the past year, shares of Occidental Petroleum have surged 99% compared with the industry's growth of 96.6%. OXY's 2021 earnings are expected to soar 151.4% from the year-ago reported figure. Occidental Petroleum has also witnessed eight northward estimate revisions in the past 60 days. In the third quarter, OXY achieved its planned divestiture target of $10 billion by inking a deal to sell its interest in two offshore Ghana assets for $750 million. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report ConocoPhillips (COP): Free Stock Analysis Report Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A): Free Stock Analysis Report Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): Free Stock Analysis Report Range Resources Corporation (RRC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 3rd, 2021

Methode Electronics, Inc. Reports Fiscal Second Quarter 2022 Financial Results

Record Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Application Sales Strong Industrial Segment Sales $34.8 Million in Share Buybacks CHICAGO, Dec. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Methode Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:MEI), a leading global supplier of custom-engineered solutions for user interface, LED lighting and power distribution applications, today announced financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 ended October 30, 2021. Fiscal Second Quarter 2022 Highlights Net sales were $295.5 million Electric and hybrid vehicle applications were 16 percent of net sales, a record in dollars Net income was $27.5 million, or $0.72 per diluted share Company purchased 807,516 shares of its common stock for $34.8 million Consolidated Fiscal Second Quarter 2022 Financial ResultsMethode's net sales were $295.5 million, which included a favorable foreign currency impact of $2.8 million, down 1.8% compared to $300.8 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2021. Excluding the foreign currency impact, net sales were down 2.7% compared to the same quarter of fiscal 2021. The decrease was due to lower sales volumes in the Automotive segment, partially offset by higher sales volumes in the Industrial segment. Income from operations was $33.2 million or 11.2% of net sales, compared to $45.0 million or 15.0% of net sales in the same quarter of fiscal 2021. The decrease was mainly due to higher material and other costs associated with supply chain disruptions. Other income was $0.9 million, compared to $2.6 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2021. The decrease was primarily due to lower international government assistance and unfavorable foreign exchange. Income tax expense was $5.5 million, compared to $7.6 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2021. The effective tax rate was 16.7%, compared to 16.5% in the same quarter of fiscal 2021. Net income was $27.5 million or $0.72 per diluted share, compared to $38.6 million or $1.01 per diluted share in the same quarter of fiscal 2021. The decrease was mainly driven by the lower income from operations and the lower other income. EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization of Intangibles), a non-GAAP financial measure, was $47.4 million, compared to $60.2 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2021. Debt was $223.1 million at the end of the quarter, compared to $240.1 million at the end of fiscal 2021. Net debt, a non-GAAP financial measure defined as debt less cash and cash equivalents, was $45.9 million, compared to $6.9 million at the end of fiscal 2021. The increase in net debt was primarily driven by the use of cash to fund the share buyback program. Free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure defined as net cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property, plant, and equipment, was $21.6 million, compared to $36.7 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2021. The decrease was mainly due to investment in working capital including inventory to support sales and supply chain mitigation efforts.On March 31, 2021, the Board of Directors authorized the purchase of up to $100.0 million of Methode common stock. The company purchased and retired 807,516 shares of stock for $34.8 million in the quarter. As of October 30, 2021, a total of 1,132,978 shares have been purchased under the authorization at a total cost of $49.9 million. Segment Fiscal Second Quarter 2022 Financial ResultsComparing the Automotive segment's quarter to the same quarter of fiscal 2021, Net sales were $196.0 million, down $19.7 million or 9.1% from $215.7 million. The decrease was mainly due to lower sales volumes in North America resulting from customer production being reduced due to semiconductor shortages. The segment net sales in the quarter were positively impacted by $1.9 million from foreign currency translation. Income from operations was $23.6 million, down $15.2 million or 39.2% from $38.8 million primarily due to lower sales volumes and higher material costs and other costs associated with supply chain disruptions. Income from operations was 12.0% of net sales, down from 18.0%. Comparing the Industrial segment's quarter to the same quarter of fiscal 2021, Net sales were $80.7 million, up $12.8 million or 18.9% from $67.9 million. All product categories had higher sales including electric vehicle busbars, commercial vehicle lighting, and radio remote controls. The segment net sales in the quarter were also positively impacted by $0.9 million from foreign currency translation. Income from operations was $18.8 million, up $2.7 million or 16.8% from $16.1 million primarily due to higher sales volume. The increase was partially offset by higher material and logistics costs. Income from operations was 23.3% of net sales, down from 23.7%. Comparing the Interface segment's quarter to the same quarter of fiscal 2021, Net sales were $18.0 million, up $1.6 million or 9.8% from $16.4 million primarily due to higher sales in cloud computing applications. Income from operations was $4.4 million, up $1.3 million or 41.9% from $3.1 million. Income from operations was 24.4% of net sales, up from 18.9%. Comparing the Medical segment's quarter to the same quarter of fiscal 2021, Net sales were $0.8 million, unchanged from the prior year. Loss from operations was $1.8 million, compared to a loss of $1.5 million. Fiscal 2022 Full Year GuidanceFor the fiscal year 2022, due to the ongoing supply chain disruptions, the company revised its expectation for net sales to be in the range of $1,140 to $1,160 million, compared to the previous range of $1,175 to $1,235 million. Its expectation for diluted earnings per share was revised to a range of $3.00 to $3.20, compared to the previous range of $3.35 to $3.75. The guidance is subject to disruption due to a variety of factors including the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing semiconductor shortage, other supply chain disruptions, and both short and long-term supply chain rationalization and mitigation efforts. Management CommentsPresident and Chief Executive Officer Donald W. Duda said, "While our businesses continued to be impacted by the ongoing supply chain and logistics disruptions, our mitigation efforts helped support solid sales, including a strong performance in the Industrial segment and a record for EV applications." Mr. Duda added, "The ongoing supply chain disruptions have lingered longer than anticipated and, while our diversification will lessen the impact, the auto demand recovery will take more time. However, despite these short-term headwinds, we remain committed to our long-term, balanced capital allocation strategy as evidenced by over $34 million in shares purchased in the second quarter."Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresTo supplement the company's financial statements presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("GAAP"), Methode uses certain non-GAAP financial measures, such as EBITDA, Net Debt, and Free Cash Flow. Reconciliation to the nearest GAAP measures of all non-GAAP measures included in this press release can be found at the end of this release. Management believes EBITDA is useful to investors as it is a measure that is commonly used by other companies in our industry and provides a comparison for investors to the company's performance versus its competitors. Management believes Net Debt is a meaningful measure to investors because management assesses the company's leverage position after considering available cash that could be used to repay outstanding debt. Management believes Free Cash Flow is a meaningful measure to investors because management reviews cash flows generated from operations after taking into consideration capital expenditures, which are both necessary to maintain the company's asset base and which are expected to generate future cash flows from operations. Methode's definitions of these non-GAAP measures may differ from similarly titled measures used by others. These non-GAAP measures should be considered supplemental to, and not a substitute for, financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. Conference CallThe company will conduct a conference call and webcast to review financial and operational highlights led by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Donald W. Duda, and Chief Financial Officer, Ronald L. G. Tsoumas, today at 10:00 a.m. CST. To participate in the conference call, please dial 888-506-0062 (domestic) or 973-528-0011 (international) at least five minutes prior to the start of the event. A simultaneous webcast can be accessed through the company's website, www.methode.com, on the Investors page. A replay of the teleconference will be available shortly after the call through December 16, 2021, by dialing 877-481-4010 and providing passcode 43618. A webcast replay will also be available through the company's website, www.methode.com, on the Investors page. About Methode Electronics, Inc.Methode Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:MEI) is a leading global supplier of custom-engineered solutions with sales, engineering and manufacturing locations in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia. We design, engineer, and produce mechatronic products for OEMs utilizing our broad range of technologies for user interface, LED lighting system, power distribution and sensor applications. Our solutions are found in the end markets of transportation (including automotive, commercial vehicle, e-bike, aerospace, bus, and rail), cloud computing infrastructure, construction equipment, consumer appliance, and medical devices. Our business is managed on a segment basis, with those segments being Automotive, Industrial, Interface and Medical. Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release contains certain forward-looking statements, which reflect management's expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements are subject to the safe harbor protection provided under the securities laws. Methode undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in Methode's expectations on a quarterly basis or otherwise. The forward-looking statements in this press release involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations are detailed in Methode's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as our annual and quarterly reports. Such factors may include, without limitation, the following: 1) Impact from pandemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic; 2) Dependence on the automotive and commercial vehicle industries; 3) Dependence on our supply chain, including semiconductor suppliers; 4) Dependence on a small number of large customers, including two large automotive customers; 5) Dependence on the availability and price of materials; 6) Failure to attract and retain qualified personnel; 7) Timing, quality and cost of new program launches; 8) Risks related to conducting global operations; 9) Ability to compete effectively; 10) Investment in programs prior to the recognition of revenue; 11) Ability to withstand pricing pressures, including price reductions; 12) Impact from production delays or cancelled orders; 13) Ability to successfully benefit from acquisitions and divestitures; 14) Ability to withstand business interruptions; 15) Breaches to our information technology systems; 16) Ability to keep pace with rapid technological changes; 17) Ability to protect our intellectual property; 18) Costs associated with environmental, health and safety regulations; 19) International trade disputes resulting in tariffs and our ability to mitigate tariffs; 20) Impact from climate change and related regulations; 21) Ability to avoid design or manufacturing defects; 22) Recognition of goodwill and long-lived asset impairment charges; 23) Ability to manage our debt levels and any restrictions thereunder; 24) Currency fluctuations; 25) Income tax rate fluctuations; 26) Judgments related to accounting for tax positions; 27) Adjustments to compensation expense for performance-based awards; 28) Timing and magnitude of costs associated with restructuring activities; and 29) Impact to interest expense from the replacement or modification of LIBOR. For Methode Electronics, Inc.Robert K. CherryVice President, Investor Relationsrcherry@methode.com 708-457-4030 METHODE ELECTRONICS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIESCONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (Unaudited)(in millions, except per-share data)     Three Months Ended     Six Months Ended       October 30, 2021     October 31, 2020     October 30, 2021     October 31, 2020   Net sales   $ 295.5     $ 300.8     $ 583.3     $ 491.7                                     Cost of products sold     226.3       220.0       442.4       365.8                                     Gross profit     69.2       80.8       140.9       125.9                                     Selling and administrative expenses     31.2       30.8       64.0       57.4   Amortization of intangibles     4.8       5.0       9.6       9.7                                     Income from operations     33.2       45.0       67.3       58.8                                     Interest expense, net     1.1       1.4       2.2       3.0   Other income, net     (0.9 )     (2.6 )     (2.7 )     (6.0 )                                   Income before income taxes     33.0       46.2       67.8       61.8                                     Income tax expense     5.5       7.6       11.2       2.5  .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaDec 2nd, 2021

Kroger Reports Third Quarter 2021 Results and Raises Full-Year Guidance

CINCINNATI, Dec. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) today reported its third quarter 2021 results and will update investors on how key initiatives are positioning the company for long-term sustainable growth. Comments from Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen   "Kroger's strategy to lead with fresh and accelerate with digital continues to connect with our customers. Our agility, and the commitment from our amazing associates, is allowing us to navigate current labor and supply chain conditions and provide the freshest food at affordable prices across our store and digital ecosystem. "Our focus on execution, combined with our continued discipline in balancing investments in our associates and customers with exceptional cost management, and growth in our alternative profit business allowed us to exceed internal expectations and deliver strong sales and earnings growth. "Across all aspects of our business, we are innovating and executing with speed against the key initiatives that are transforming our business. Kroger is in a position of strength. We are committed to delivering for our associates, customers, and communities, and we remain confident in our ability to deliver total shareholder returns of 8% to 11% over time." Third Quarter Financial Results 3Q21 ($ in millions; except EPS) 3Q20 ($ in millions; except EPS) ID Sales* (Table 4) 3.1% 10.9% EPS $0.64 $0.80 Adjusted EPS (Table 6) $0.78 $0.71 Operating Profit $868 $792 Adjusted FIFO Operating Profit (Table 7) $974 $871 FIFO Gross Margin Rate* Decreased 41 basis points OG&A Rate* Decreased 49 basis points *without fuel and adjustment items, if applicable Third Quarter Results versus Two Years Ago 3Q21 ($ in millions; except EPS) ID Sales Two Year Stacked* (Table 8) 14.0% EPS Two Year CAGR (Table 8) 41.4% Adjusted EPS Two Year CAGR (Table 8) 28.8% Operating Profit Two Year CAGR (Table 8) 84.9% Adjusted FIFO Operating Profit Two Year CAGR (Table 8) 22.1% FIFO Gross Margin Rate Compared to Q3 2019* Decreased 43 basis points OG&A Rate Compared to Q3 2019* Decreased 79 basis points *without fuel and adjustment items, if applicable Total company sales were $31.9 billion in the third quarter, compared to $29.7 billion for the same period last year. Excluding fuel, sales increased 2.9% compared to the same period last year. Gross margin was 21.66% of sales for the third quarter. The FIFO gross margin rate, excluding fuel, decreased 41 basis points compared to the same period last year. This decrease primarily related to higher supply chain costs and continued price investments partially offset by sourcing benefits.   The LIFO charge for the third quarter was $93 million, compared to $23 million for the same period last year. This increase was primarily attributable to higher inflation across several categories, including grocery and meat. The Operating, General & Administrative rate decreased 49 basis points, excluding fuel and adjustment items, which reflects sales leverage and the execution of cost savings initiatives. Kroger recorded a nonrecurring benefit of $47 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, primarily due to the favorable outcome of income tax audit examinations covering multiple years. This amount is excluded from the company's adjusted net earnings per diluted share result for the third quarter. The income tax rate for the third quarter was 13.8%, compared to 24.2% for the same period last year. Capital Allocation Strategy Kroger continues to generate strong free cash flow and remains committed to investing in the business to drive long-term sustainable net earnings growth, maintaining its current investment grade debt rating, and returning excess free cash flow to shareholders via share repurchase and a growing dividend over time. Kroger's net total debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio is 1.68, compared to 1.74 a year ago (Table 5). The company's net total debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio target range is 2.30 to 2.50. During the quarter, Kroger repurchased $297 million of shares and year-to-date, has repurchased $1 billion of shares. As of the end of the third quarter, $511 million remains on the board authorization announced on June 17, 2021.   2021 Guidance Comments from CFO Gary Millerchip   "Driven by the momentum in our third quarter results and sustained food at home trends, we are raising our full-year guidance. We now expect our two-year identical sales stack to be in the range of 13.7% to 13.9%. We expect our adjusted net earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $3.40 to $3.50.   "Kroger is executing against its key financial and operational initiatives and continues to invest in strategic priorities that will drive attractive and sustainable total shareholder returns. We believe our business is emerging stronger through the pandemic and is well positioned to grow beyond 2021." Full Year 2021 Guidance IDs (%) EPS ($) Operating Profit ($B) Tax Rate** Cap Ex ($B) Free Cash Flow ($B)**** Adjusted* (0.4%) - (0.2%) $3.40 - $3.50 $4.1 - $4.2 22.1% - 22.5% $3.1 - $3.3 $2.4 - $2.6 2-Year Basis*** 13.7% - 13.9% (Stack) 25% - 26% (CAGR) 17.0% - 18.4% (CAGR) $3.3 - $3.4 (Average) * Without adjusted items, if applicable; Identical sales is without fuel; Operating profit represents FIFO Operating Profit. Kroger is unable to provide a full reconciliation of the GAAP and non-GAAP measures used in 2021 guidance without unreasonable effort because it is not possible to predict certain of our adjustment items with a reasonable degree of certainty. This information is dependent upon future events and may be outside of our control and its unavailability could have a significant impact on 2021 GAAP financial results. ** This rate reflects typical tax adjustments and does not reflect changes to the rate from the completion of income tax audit examinations or changes in tax laws, which cannot be predicted. Accordingly, this does not reflect the effect of the $47 million benefit recognized in the third quarter of 2021. *** Identical sales, without fuel, guidance for 2-year basis represents the sum of actual 2020 identical sales percentage and 2021 identical sales rate guidance. The 2-year basis guidance items denoted with CAGR represent the compounded annual growth rate utilizing 2019 as the base year. Average free cash flow is the average of actual 2020 free cash flow and 2021 guidance. **** 2021 free cash flow guidance includes a $300M payment of deferred payroll taxes. This excludes planned payments related to the restructuring of multi-employer pension plans. Third Quarter 2021 Highlights Leading with Fresh Surpassed $1 billion in annualized sales for Home Chef, becoming the newest Our Brands billion dollar brand in Kroger's portfolio Our Brands launched 216 new items during the quarter with plans to launch several innovative and unique products focused on helping customers enjoy the holiday season like Private Selection Holiday Trail Mix and Simple Truth Cranberry Pistachio Bread Expanded launch of our End-to-End Fresh program to over 50 additional stores Announced plans with Kipster Farms, the award-winning system founded in The Netherlands, to bring the world's first carbon-neutral, cage-free eggs to retail shelves under Simple Truth® brand Accelerating with Digital Launched Kroger Delivery Now nationwide with Instacart to provide 30-minute delivery, enabled by first-of-its-kind virtual convenience store shopping experience Introduced Boost by Kroger Plus, an annual membership program that provides customers free delivery and additional fuel points on purchases in four divisions Shared plans for five new customer fulfillment centers powered by the Ocado Group including expansions in California and Florida and entrance for the first time into the Northeast region Announced collaboration with Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy Baby on a national e-commerce experience via Kroger.com and a small-scale physical store pilot to expand home and baby product offerings Kroger Precision Marketing launched a new programmatic advertising marketplace   allowing agencies and brands to reach consumers by applying Kroger customer data to campaigns within their preferred ad-buying platform Associate Experience Increased Kroger Family of Companies' average hourly wage to greater than $16 and with comprehensive benefits, will be greater than $21 by the end of 2021 Received two Brandon Hall Group - Excellence in Human Capital Management Awards, including Gold recognition for Leading through a Crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic and Silver recognition for A Fresh Welcome, organization's new and innovative onboarding program, which launched in 2020 Held nationwide hiring event with more than 20,000 opportunities in retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, merchandising, corporate, healthcare and more Live Our Purpose Kroger Health partnered with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to offer new Medicare Advantage plans that include an allowance to help customers purchase groceries and health items Kroger Health has administered more than 8.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to date, supporting customers and associates Marked one-year anniversary of organization's Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan to better use company's platform to create and advocate for more equitable communities. Shared the following progress: 405,000 associates completed diversity and inclusion training Increased our partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions from six to seventeen Achieved $4.1 billion in diverse supplier spend in 2020, a 21% increase versus prior year The Kroger Co. Foundation collectively invested $3.1 million to advance racial equity through partnerships with Black Girl Ventures, Everytable, LISC, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and other organizations Scored 100 on both the Disability Equality Index presented by Disability: IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the Corporate Equality Index presented by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation The Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation Innovation Fund made impact investments during the first-ever Venture Showcase in two peer-selected startups, Agua Bonita and Matriark Foods About KrogerAt The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom  and investor relations site. Kroger's third quarter 2021 ended on November 6, 2021. Note: Fuel sales have historically had a low gross margin rate and operating expense rate as compared to corresponding rates on non-fuel sales. As a result, Kroger discusses the changes in these rates excluding the effect of fuel. Please refer to the supplemental information presented in the tables for reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures used in this press release to the most comparable GAAP financial measure and related disclosure. This press release contains certain statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" about the future performance of the company. These statements are based on management's assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. Such statements are indicated by words or phrases such as "achieve," "believe," "committed," "confident," "continue," "deliver," "expect," "future," "guidance," "positioning," "strategy," "target," "trends," and "will." Various uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. These include the specific risk factors identified in "Risk Factors" in our annual report on Form 10-K for our last fiscal year and any subsequent filings, as well as the following: Kroger's ability to achieve sales, earnings, incremental FIFO operating profit, and adjusted free cash flow goals may be affected by: COVID-19 pandemic related factors, risks and challenges, including among others, the length of time that the pandemic continues, new variants of the virus and the effectiveness of vaccines against variants, continued efficacy of vaccines over time and availability of vaccine boosters, the extent of continued vaccine disinformation and vaccine refusal, and global access to vaccines, as well as the effect of emerging  vaccine and/or testing mandates and related regulations, the potential for additional future spikes in infection and illness rates including breakthrough infections among the fully vaccinated, and the corresponding potential for disruptions in workforce availability and customer shopping patterns, re-imposed restrictions as a result of resurgence and the corresponding future easing of restrictions, and interruptions in domestic and global supply chains or capacity constraints; the pace of recovery when the pandemic subsides; labor negotiations or disputes; changes in the unemployment rate; pressures in the labor market; changes in government-funded benefit programs; changes in the types and numbers of businesses that compete with Kroger; pricing and promotional activities of existing and new competitors, including non-traditional competitors, and the aggressiveness of that competition; Kroger's response to these actions; the state of the economy, including interest rates, the inflationary and deflationary trends in certain commodities; changes in tariffs; the effect that fuel costs have on consumer spending; volatility of fuel margins; manufacturing commodity costs; diesel fuel costs related to Kroger's logistics operations; trends in consumer spending; the extent to which Kroger's customers exercise caution in their purchasing in response to economic conditions; the uncertainty of economic growth or recession; changes in inflation or deflation in product and operating costs; stock repurchases; Kroger's ability to retain pharmacy sales from third party payors; consolidation in the healthcare industry, including pharmacy benefit managers; Kroger's ability to negotiate modifications to multi-employer pension plans; natural disasters or adverse weather conditions; the effect of public health crises or other significant catastrophic events, including the coronavirus; the potential costs and risks associated with potential cyber-attacks or data security breaches; the success of Kroger's future growth plans; the ability to execute our growth strategy and value creation model, including continued cost savings, growth of our alternative profit businesses, and widening and deepening our strategic moats of fresh, our brands, personalization, and seamless; and the successful integration of merged companies and new partnerships. Our ability to achieve these goals may also be affected by our ability to manage the factors identified above. Our ability to execute our financial strategy may be affected by our ability to generate cash flow. Kroger's effective tax rate may differ from the expected rate due to changes in tax laws, the status of pending items with various taxing authorities, and the deductibility of certain expenses. Kroger assumes no obligation to update the information contained herein unless required by applicable law. Please refer to Kroger's reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties. Note: Kroger's quarterly conference call with investors will broadcast live at 10 a.m. (ET) on December 2, 2021 at ir.kroger.com. An on-demand replay of the webcast will be available at approximately 1 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, December 2, 2021. 3rd Quarter 2021 Tables Include: Consolidated Statements of Operations Consolidated Balance Sheets Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows Supplemental Sales Information Reconciliation of Net Total Debt and Net Earnings Attributable to The Kroger Co. to Adjusted EBITDA Net Earnings Per Diluted Share Excluding the Adjustment Items Operating Profit Excluding the Adjustment Items Two-Year Financial Results   Table 1.THE KROGER CO.CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS(in millions, except per share amounts)(unaudited) THIRD QUARTER YEAR-TO-DATE 2021 2020 2021 2020 SALES $    31,860 100.0% $ 29,723 100.0% $    104,840 100.0% $   101,761 100.0% OPERATING EXPENSES MERCHANDISE COSTS, INCLUDING ADVERTISING,      WAREHOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION (a),      AND LIFO CHARGE (b) 24,959 78.3 22,901 77.1 81,820 78.0 77,906 76.6 OPERATING, GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE (a) 5,177 16.2 5,194 17.5 17,692 16.9 18,162 17.9 RENT 197 0.6 205 0.7 648 0.6 682 0.7 DEPRECIATION AND AMORTIZATION 659 2.1 631 2.1 2,168 2.1 2,073 2.0      OPERATING PROFIT  868 2.7 792 2.7 2,512 2.4 2,938 2.9 OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE) INTEREST EXPENSE (135) (0.4) (129) (0.4) (438) (0.4) (438) (0.4) NON-SERVICE COMPONENT OF COMPANY-SPONSORED      PENSION PLAN COSTS (77) (0.2) 9 - (44) - 28 - (LOSS) GAIN ON INVESTMENTS (94) (0.3) 162 0.6 (694) (0.7) 952 0.9      NET EARNINGS BEFORE INCOME TAX EXPENSE 562 1.8 834 2.8 1,336 1.3 3,480 3.4 INCOME TAX EXPENSE  77 0.2 202 0.7 239 0.2 816 0.8      NET EARNINGS INCLUDING NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS 485 1.5 632 2.1 1,097 1.1 2,664 2.6 NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO      NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS 2 - 1 - 7 - 2 - NET EARNINGS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE KROGER CO.  $         483 1.5% $       631 2.1% $         1,090 1.0% $       2,662 2.6% NET EARNINGS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE KROGER CO.      PER BASIC COMMON SHARE $        0.64 $      0.81 $           1.44 $         3.39 AVERAGE NUMBER  OF COMMON SHARES USED IN      BASIC CALCULATION 742 772 747 777 NET EARNINGS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE KROGER CO.      PER DILUTED COMMON SHARE $        0.64 $      0.80 $           1.43 $         3.35 AVERAGE NUMBER OF COMMON SHARES USED IN      DILUTED CALCULATION 752 780 757 785 DIVIDENDS DECLARED PER COMMON SHARE $        0.21 $      0.18 $           0.60 $         0.52 Note: Certain percentages may not sum due to rounding. Note: The Company defines First-In First-Out (FIFO) gross profit as sales minus merchandise costs, including advertising, warehousing and transportation, but excluding the Last-In First-Out (LIFO) charge. The Company defines FIFO gross margin as FIFO gross profit divided by sales. The Company defines FIFO operating profit as operating profit excluding the LIFO charge. The Company defines FIFO operating margin as FIFO operating profit divided by sales. The above FIFO financial metrics are important measures used by management to evaluate operational effectiveness.  Management believes these FIFO financial metrics are useful to investors and analysts because they measure our day-to-day operational effectiveness. (a) Merchandise costs ("COGS") and operating, general and administrative expenses ("OG&A") exclude depreciation and amortization expense and rent expense which are included in separate expense lines. (b) LIFO charges of $93 and $23 were recorded in the third quarters of 2021 and 2020, respectively.  For the year to date period, LIFO charges of $177 and $77 were recorded for 2021 and 2020, respectively.   Table 2.THE KROGER CO.CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS(in millions)(unaudited) November 6, November 7, 2021 2020 ASSETS Current Assets Cash $                   324 $                   367 Temporary cash investments 1,964 1,813 Store deposits in-transit 1,140 1,102 Receivables 1,914 1,610 Inventories 7,520 7,478 Prepaid and other current assets 518 576 Total current assets 13,380 12,946 Property, plant and equipment, net 23,316 21,902 Operating lease assets 6,655 6,843 Intangibles, net 954 1,012 Goodwill 3,076 3,076 Other assets 2,448 2,686 Total Assets $              49,829 $              48,465 LIABILITIES AND SHAREOWNERS' EQUITY Current Liabilities.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaDec 2nd, 2021

GDP represents the sum total of a nation"s output and income

Gross domestic product is a measure of the value of all goods and services produced in a country over a period of time. GDP is most commonly discussed in terms of its growth or contraction.AndreyPopov/Getty Gross domestic product is the total value of goods and services produced in a country over a period of time. There are various ways to calculate GDP and different types of GDP that look at different factors. GDP is used to track economic expansion or contraction but lacks some important nuance. Visit Insider's Investing Reference library for more stories. Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measurement of the total value of goods and services produced in a country during a set period of time. The amount that GDP increases or decreases periodically is an important metric that investors use to assess the health of the economy and particular industries.GDP is also a key consideration in the government's tax-and-spending plans and the Federal Reserve's monetary policies. Read on to learn how GDP works, how it's calculated, and the limitations of using GDP as a measurement for economic health.Understanding how GDP works GDP is used to monitor both the size and strength of an economy and is usually discussed in terms of the percentage of its growth or contraction over time. For example, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that real GDP increased at an annual rate of  2.1% in the third quarter of 2021. GDP for the US is measured in quarterly and annual intervals."It's typically used as a method of measuring a country's economic strength when compared to others," explains Jim Pendergast, senior vice president of altLINE, a division of The Southern Bank Company.The size and scope of the more than $22 trillion US economy makes calculating GDP a complex task. Finding the total dollar value of the goods and services produced in a year involves collecting data in four main categories: consumer spending, government spending, business spending (or investment), and net exports.The BEA describes each of the main categories like this:Consumer spending: The goods and services you buy, such as groceries, clothes, cellphone service and health careBusiness spending: Money spent on everything from land, buildings, and equipment to unsold inventory; also includes consumer home purchasesGovernment spending: The money spent on goods and services including schools, roads, and national defenseNet exports: The value of exports to other countries minus the value of imports into the USThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) notes that while GDP is valuable because it gives information about the size and performance of an economy, it's also important to understand what GDP does not show. This includes the overall standard of living or well-being of countries where increased output may come at the cost of damage to the environment or the reduction of leisure time.  On the surface, evaluating GDP numbers shows that the economy is either expanding or contracting. It doesn't track everything, though.Some of the things not included in GDP are unpaid domestic labor such as childcare, activities that occur on the black market, the sale of used items, the sale of items not produced in the US, stock transactions, unemployment or Social Security payments, and volunteering. GDP is used by various entities in different ways. Federal and local government officials use it as part of the budgeting process. It's a key metric informing the Fed's decision making on monetary policy. Businesses use it when making strategic decisions about expansion. Investors can use GDP to assess the pulse of the economy and certain industries as well as review international markets. "It helps investors know which countries are most profitable. If a country is struggling financially, investors could lose a lot of money in the market," says Pendergast. "For example, when Greece experienced its significant economic downturn, many foreign investors lost money on the market. By analyzing trends in the GDP, investors can know where to put their money."How is GDP calculated? According to the BEA, GDP is calculated as the sum of the four main categories:Consumer spending + business spending + government spending + net exports = GDPAdding these together, you get GDP, which reflects the overall market value of all goods and services that are produced. This GDP calculation is typically referred to as the expenditure approach, but there are two other ways to calculate GDP as well. According to the IMF, the income approach takes the total sum of all the incomes that are created by production. Additionally, there is the production approach, which calculates any added value from the production process. This can include things such as food ingredients creating a meal, or designers' services included in a project that comes to life later on. The BEA releases GDP estimates and reports that you can review yourself. You can also turn to the IMFto see global GDP data in its World Economic Outlook or Global Financial Stability Reports.Quick tip: As an investor, you can review GDP data by industry to help you evaluate growth and inform your financial decision-making. What are the types of GDP? There are also various types of GDP that are measured in different ways, each serving a different purpose. "Nominal GDP is an evaluation of a country's economic production, excluding inflation and the cost of rising prices within the country," says Pendergast. Sometimes this can also be called "current-dollar GDP". Since nominal GDP doesn't account for inflation, you need to look at real GDP numbers which are adjusted for inflation over time to provide a more accurate picture. "Real GDP is the inflation-adjusted GDP with information of years past in terms of monetary value over time," explains Pendergast. There are other important GDP-based metrics that offer more insights and nuance. "GDP per capita measures the average assets of everyone within a country's population, which can include productivity and living standards," Pendergast notes. "GDP growth rate primarily focuses on the average change in economic growth over time based on new policies, inflation, and unemployment rates."There's also a way to compare GDP among countries. Each country reports GDP data in its own currency, so to evaluate GDP among different countries, a purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rate is used to convert GDP into US dollars.The PPP exchange rate reflects the rate that a particular country would need to convert its GDP currency to another country and hold the same 'purchasing power' to buy an equal amount of goods and services. Limitations of GDP GDP is used as a go-to economic benchmark on a global level. While it can provide markers for economic growth, it doesn't show you the big picture for everything and lacks some important nuance. "For the most part, GDP can give an accurate account of areas of improvement and decline, both of which are essential to rebuilding a population's economy," says Pendergast.But it falls short in other aspects because evaluating output is just one way to look at the productivity of a particular country or economy. "GDP gives a poor evaluation of quality of life. Since a GDP report is broad, it's difficult to analyze how people are thriving within the country," explains Pendergast. "Different standards of living and unemployment in a variety of cities are extremely different, and such a broad view doesn't improve a country's ability to make small changes to fix big problems."The financial takeawayGDP is an economic metric that is used in a wide variety of contexts and has uses that are far-reaching on a national and global level. It's a good benchmark to use as an investor to assess the health of the economy and certain industries. What it doesn't do is take into account unpaid labor, quality of life, or happiness.To do your own research on GDP, you can check out reports published by BEA and look at data from the IMF.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2021

Highlights of the day: PCB, IC substrate equipment demand robust

Strong demand for PCBs and IC substrates is sending suppliers increasing capacity, which in turn is extending order visibility at equipment suppliers to second-half 2022. And shortage of ABF substrates for notebook processors are expected to widen. Rising foundry costs amid tight supply are expected erode IC designers' profits, as their customers are now relutant to accept further price increases......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesNov 26th, 2021

Hepsiburada Announces Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results

ISTANBUL, Nov 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- D-MARKET Electronic Services & Trading (d/b/a "Hepsiburada") (NASDAQ:HEPS), a leading Turkish e-commerce platform (referred to herein as "Hepsiburada" or the "Company"), today announces its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021. Third-Quarter 2021 Financial and Operational Highlights Gross merchandise value (GMV) grew by 49.8% compared to Q3 2020, reaching TRY 6.5 billion. This growth was achieved against a strong baseline from the Covid-19 pandemic last year, and was driven by strong order growth supported by our progress in our growth drivers as well as robust NPS performance. In the first nine months of 2021, GMV growth was 54.9% compared to the same period in 2020. Number of orders increased 71.5% to 13.8 million, an all-time quarterly high, compared to 8.0 million orders delivered in Q3 2020. In the first nine months of this year, the number of orders increased 53.6% compared to the same period in 2020. Active Customers reached 10.7 million from 8.5 million in Q3 2020 on 26% increase. Frequency grew to 4.4 in Q3 2021 from 3.7 in Q3 2020 on 21% increase. Active Merchant base increased to 67 thousand from 36 thousand in Q3 2020 while number of SKUs reached 77 million as at September 30, 2021 compared to 37 million at September 31, 2020. Share of Marketplace GMV reached 70%, compared to 57% in Q3 2020, reflecting our commitment to a hybrid business model. The GMV shift to Marketplace is expected to result in long-term strategic advantages, enabling a wider selection of products with improved availability across long-tail products and services.  Revenue slightly decreased by 0.8% compared to Q3 2020, reaching TRY 1,658.3 million. Despite the 49.8% GMV growth, the revenue outcome is mainly a reflection of the shift in GMV mix in favor of Marketplace and an increase in customer discounts in response to slowdown in market growth rate and intensified competition.   EBITDA was negative TRY 659.4 million in Q3 2021 compared to positive TRY 8.9 million in Q3 2020. The decline is mainly due to lower gross contribution driven primarily by higher customer discounts offered to stimulate customer demand. These discounts were also supported by an increase in advertising. Compared to Q3 2020, we experienced higher unit cost of advertising. As a result, net loss for the period was TRY 778.4 million compared to a net loss of TRY 79.6 million for Q3 2020. Free cash flow was negative TRY 639.0 million, compared to negative TRY 76.5 million in Q3 2020, driven by the increase in cash flow from operating activities to negative TRY 582.4 million which is mainly due to the TRY 698.8 million increase in our net loss for the period. Commenting on the results, Mr. Emirdag, CEO of Hepsiburada said: "In the third quarter, we observed challenging market conditions with competition intensifying and online consumer activity slowing as Turkey began to emerge from the COVID 19 restrictions. We responded to this new environment by increasing total customer discounts and expanding advertising and marketing spend. However, we also continued to invest in our growth drivers, brand, customer and merchant experience, and our infrastructure across operations, logistics and technology. As a result, we saw strong momentum in growth drivers of our business including active customers, order frequency, active merchants, and selection. Our NPS performance is a strong sign of the value of our differentiated customer experience, including frictionless return. Furthermore, considering the encouraging progress in our strategic assets, particularly HepsiPay, HepsiExpress and HepsiJet, we believe we are well positioned for long-term value creation. Based on the current trends, we expect to achieve around TRY 24 billion GMV in 2021. As the Turkish e-commerce market is expected to double its penetration within total retail by 2025, we are committed to delivering on our drivers of sustainable growth, key differentiators and strategic assets with a disciplined cash management." Summary: Key Operational and Financial Metrics The following table sets forth a summary of the key operating and financial data for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2021, and September 30, 2020. The following table contains selected quarterly operational and financial information derived from our unaudited quarterly and nine months consolidated interim financial information, which are reported under IFRS applicable to interim financial reporting. The interim consolidated financial information included herein have not been audited. (in TRY million unless indicated otherwise) Three months ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30, 2021 2020 y/y % 2021 2020 y/y % GMV (TRY in billions) 6.5 4.3 49.8% 16.8 10.9 54.9% Marketplace GMV (TRY in billions) 4.5 2.4 84.5% 11.7 6.3 84.1% Share of Marketplace GMV (%) 70% 57% 13pp 69% 58% 11pp Number of orders (millions) 13.8 8.0 71.5% 36.1 23.5 53.6% Active Customer (millions) 10.7 8.5 26.1% 10.7 8.5 26.1% Revenue 1,658.3 1,671.7 (0.8%) 4,798.9 4,176.0 14.9% Gross contribution 280.0 380.6 (26.4%) 1,187.3 1,065.8 11.4% Gross contribution margin (%) 4.3% 8.8% (4.5pp) 7.1% 9.8% (2.7pp) Net loss for the period (778.4) (79.6) 877.9% (1,339.8) (151.7) 783.2% EBITDA (659.4) 8.9 n.m (951.6) 94.9 n.m EBITDA as a percentage of GMV (%) (10.2%) 0.2% (10.4pp) (5.7%) 0.9% (6.6pp) Net cash provided by operating activities (582.4) (47.8) n.m 44.6 182.9 n.m Free Cash Flow (639.0) (76.5) n.m (92.3) 120.1 n.m Note that EBITDA and free cash flow are non-IFRS financial measures. See "Presentation of Financial and Other Information" section of this press release for a definition of such non-IFRS measures, a discussion of the limitations on their use, and reconciliations of the non-IFRS measures to the most directly comparable IFRS measures. See the definitions of metrics such as GMV, Marketplace GMV, share of Marketplace GMV, gross contribution, gross contribution margin, EBITDA as a percentage of GMV and number of orders and Active Customer in the "Certain Definitions" section of this press release. Financial Outlook The below forward-looking statements reflect Hepsiburada's expectations as of November 23, 2021, considering trends year to date and could be subject to change, and involve inherent risks which we are not able to control. The financial outlook is based on management's current views and estimates with respect to market conditions, customer demand, the uncertainty of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the broader competitive environment.  Please refer to the Forward Looking Statements section below.  Management's views and estimates are subject to change without notice. Based on the recent performance and current outlook, as we reported on November 12, 2021, our guidance of full year 2021 GMV is at around TRY 24 billion. We remain committed to our long term value proposition and to delivering on our drivers of sustainable growth, key differentiators, strategic assets and value-added services for customers and merchants with a disciplined cash management, which we believe will result in long-term value for our company and shareholders. We believe in the significant long-term market opportunity in the digitalization of the Turkish market. As we address these growth opportunities, we have no plans to go to capital markets to raise any funds in the next 18 months. Key Business Developments GMV and Order Growth Our Q3 2021 GMV grew by 49.8% compared to the same period of last year to TRY 6.5 billion. This solid growth was registered against an already strong third quarter of 2020 (i.e. 127% GMV growth in Q3 2020 compared to Q3 2019). At a two-year compounded annual growth rate1, our Q1 2021, Q2 2021 and Q3 2021 GMV growth rates were 68%, 86% and 84%, respectively. Total number of orders in the third quarter was 13.8 million, a 71.5% increase compared to the same period of last year and a 5.2% increase compared to the second quarter of 2021. The continued growth in orders is also supported by our strategic assets, particularly HepsiExpress and underpins our success in attracting and engaging customers to shop on the Hepsiburada platform. The GMV growth was achieved via a larger Active Customer base and rising frequency since our Active Customer base increased to 10.7 million in Q3 2021 from 8.5 million in Q3 2020 while our frequency grew to 4.4 in Q3 2021 from 3.7 in Q3 2020. Our last twelve month GMV per Active Customer grew by 32.8% in the third quarter compared to the same period of Q3 2020. Marketplace In the third quarter, Marketplace's share of overall GMV rose 13 percentage points to 70% compared with the third quarter of 2020. This performance matched the first half of 2021, during which Marketplace accounted for roughly 70% of GMV. We believe a greater share of Marketplace in our hybrid model (1P, direct sales and 3P, Marketplace) is essential to offer greater availability, wider selection, and more long-tail products and services. Accordingly, our Active Merchant base continued to increase reaching 67 thousand in Q3 2021 from 36 thousand in Q3 2020 while number of SKUs reached 77 million as at September 30, 2021 compared to 37 million as at September 30, 2020. In line with our strategy, we continued to provide a set of value-added-services to our merchants on our platform. As such, during the third quarter, our last mile delivery service, HepsiJet delivered around 53% of total Marketplace parcels. HepsiLojistik, our fulfillment services provider, has increased its focus on scaling its volume from merchants on our platform, running its operations at our six fulfillment centers. Meanwhile, approximately 12 thousand merchants used our adtech solution through our advertising platform, HepsiAd in the third quarter, generating our advertisement revenues. Moreover, in the first nine months, around 39 thousand training sessions were completed on HepsiAkademi (our training portal) by our merchants, accelerating their integration. We continued to make it easy for our merchants to maximize their success on our platform by providing them with a comprehensive set of advanced tools and services. Our merchant portal and proprietary merchant store management tools contribute to efficiency both from the merchant and the platform perspective and help to boost their sales. We continuously invest in enhancing the toolkits on our merchant portal and, in the third quarter, introduced new capabilities regarding campaign management as well as financial performance analytics. Furthermore, we developed a new merchant app, namely HepsiPartner, which became available in app stores in November. We believe HepsiPartner app will bring along further convenience and efficiency for our merchants. As the total number of SKUs on our platform reached 77 million at the end of the third quarter, we successfully onboarded one of the leading local department stores in Turkey (Boyner) and one of the leading mother and baby product retailers (ebebek) among others. During the past 12 months, over 50 thousand brands were introduced on our platform, expanding our selection largely in fashion & lifestyle, books & hobbies and home & garden domains. In the third quarter, HepsiGlobal Inbound also continued to increase its selection nearly by five times compared to the previous quarter by onboarding nearly 300 additional merchants. Customer Experience Based on the results of the market research by Future Bright (a local research company) conducted for Hepsiburada, our NPS performance marked the highest at 65% in the Turkish e-commerce market in September. This score underpins superior customer experience on our platform. As a household brand name in Turkey with 99% total awareness2, we welcomed 240 million sessions on our platform on a monthly average, up from 164 million during the same period of last year. During the third quarter, we continued our focus on excelling customer experience by scaling key differentiators. Being instrumental to our strong performance in customer experience, HepsiJet is highly focused on increasing its delivery speed through its operations in 81 cities with 153 cross-docks and around 1,800 carriers as of the end of the third quarter.  In the third quarter, HepsiJet delivered 75% of the orders from retail (1P) on the next day. With regards to delivery speed, in the third quarter, we introduced an option to filter "Next-day Delivery" products across our platform, facilitating further convenience. Our aim is to widen the range of such products across the platform as we partner with more merchants committing to this operational speed. By the end of October 2021, our logistics footprint reached over 190 thousand sqm, following the rental of a new warehouse in Tuzla (Istanbul) along with the rise in number of transfer hubs from 9 to 14. Thanks to our robust logistics capabilities, we offer "frictionless return" where we pick up returns from customers' doors at their preferred schedule across the country at no additional fee (subject to certain exceptions). To our knowledge, we are the only e-commerce player that offers this service in Turkey. With this service, we were awarded with the Golden Stevie at the International Business Awards in the "Best User Experience" category in October. During the quarter, HepsiJet also expanded the coverage of cities where it provides the two-man cargo handling service, called HepsiJet XL, and began offering scheduled return pick-up for such oversized products. Addressing the need for high quality and reliable service in that particular segment, HepsiJet's two-man cargo handling service is highly appreciated by customers, recording nearly 97% customer satisfaction score in September according to our internal reporting. New Strategic Assets: HepsiPay and HepsiExpress With its license to operate as an open wallet, HepsiPay aspires to evolve into best-in-class payment companion enabling frictionless platform experience across payments, money transfers, and incremental fintech capabilities across online and offline. Since its debut in June 2021, HepsiPay has continued its rapid penetration, recording 2.7 million HepsiPay Wallet customers and TRY2.4 billion GMV passing through its wallet as of the end of October. HepsiPay is focused on developing new use cases linked with the Hepsipay Wallet and payments landscape including seamless integration with other Hepsiburada assets. HepsiPay is also expanding its partner ecosystem. Accordingly, in November, HepsiPay has agreed with Paycell, a fintech subsidiary of Turkey's leading telecom operator Turkcell, to enable direct carrier billing capability at HepsiPay Wallet. By doing so, Turkcell subscribers will be able to shop at Hepsiburada without a credit or debit card. HepsiExpress, our on-demand grocery delivery service with instant and slotted delivery options, had expanded its ecosystem to include over 50 brands and roughly 1,950 stores at the end of the third quarter. Aiming to offer the widest selection for grocery shopping, HepsiExpress continues its progress in its partnership ecosystem. Migros, a leading national retailer, also agreed to join our HepsiExpress partner ecosystem in November. By the end of the third quarter, HepsiExpress delivery resources (i.e. pickers, vehicles and motorbikes) exceeded 3,400. With its scaled operational resources and optimization efforts, HepsiExpress has increased its daily order capacity. The introduction of cross-service search capability provided easy product discoverability as well as frictionless price and product portfolio comparison among different stores. By expanding into adjacent offerings such as Water and Flower, HepsiExpress began providing a greater spectrum of services in a hyper-localized way. Moreover, HepsiExpress enlarged its addressable audience by accepting payments via debit card. Social Consciousness, Diversity and Inclusion Our "Technology Empowerment for Women Entrepreneurs" program providing numerous benefits to women entrepreneurs on our platform covered approximately 24,000 entrepreneurs from across Turkey as at the end of the third quarter. Since August, through our collaboration with one of the mid-tier banks in Turkey, women entrepreneurs in our program have easier access to funding alternatives. We remain committed to continuing this inspirational program which was awarded with The Stevies For Women in Business in November. In July, together with TOBB (Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey), we initiated the "HepsiTurkiye'den" program ("Everything from across Turkey") which gathers over three thousand long-tail products from local manufacturers and entrepreneurs with local practices including specialty food products, traditional handcrafts, organic farming and such with a geographical indication. By doing so, we aim to provide wider reach to local selection from local manufacturers and entrepreneurs. Hepsiburada Financial Review (in TRY million unless indicated otherwise) Three months ended September 30, Nine months ended September 30, 2021 2020 y/y % 2021 2020 y/y % GMV (TRY billion) 6.5 4.3 49.8% 16.8 10.9 54.9% Marketplace GMV (TRY billion) 4.5 2.4 84.5% 11.7 6.3 84.1% Share of Marketplace GMV (%) 70% 57% 13pp 69% 58% 11pp Revenue 1,658.3 1,671.7 (0.8%) 4,798.9 4,176.0 14.9% Gross contribution 280.0 380.6 (26.4%) 1,187.3 1,065.8 11.4% Gross contribution margin (%) 4.3% 8.8% (4.5pp) 7.1% 9.8% (2.7pp) Net loss for the period (778.4) (79.6) 877.9% (1,339.8) (151.7) 783.2% EBITDA (659.4) 8.9 n.m (951.6) 94.9 n.m EBITDA as a percentage of GMV (%) (10.2%) 0.2% (10.4pp) (5.7%) 0.9% (6.6pp) Net cash provided by operating activities (582.4) (47.8) n.m 44.6 182.9 n.m Free Cash Flow (639.0) (76.5) n.m (92.3) 120.1 n.m Revenue (in TRY million unless indicated otherwise) Three months ended September 30, 2021 % of Revenues 2020 % of Revenues y/y% Sale of goods1 (1P) 1,432.5 86.4% 1,420.8 85.0% 0.8% Marketplace revenue2 (3P) 30.0 1.8% 151.1 9.0% (80.1%) Delivery service revenue 173.3 10.5% 94.9 5.7% 82.6% Other 22.5 1.3% 4.9 0.3% 359.2% Revenue 1,658.3 100.0% 1,671.7 100.0% (0.8%) 1: In 1P model, we act as a principal and initially recognize revenue from the sales of goods on a gross basis at the time of delivery of the goods to our customers.2: In 3P model, revenues are recorded on a net basis, mainly consisting of marketplace commission, transaction fees and other contractual charges to the merchants. Revenue slightly declined by 0.8% to TRY 1,658.3 million in Q3 2021 compared to the ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 23rd, 2021

Samsung Reportedly Picks Texas for $17 Billion U.S. Semiconductor Plant

Samsung is planning to invest $17 billion and create about 1,800 jobs in Taylor, Texas over the first 10 years, according to documents submitted to local officials. Samsung Electronics has decided to build an advanced U.S. chip plant in Texas, a win for the Biden administration as it prioritizes supply chain security and greater semiconductor capacity on American soil. South Korea’s largest company has decided on the city of Taylor, roughly 30 miles from its existing giant manufacturing hub in Austin, a person familiar with the matter said. Samsung and Texas officials will announce the decision Tuesday afternoon, according to people familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified because the news hasn’t been made public. A Samsung representative said it hadn’t made a final decision and declined further comment. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Samsung is hoping to win more American clients and narrow the gap with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Its decision, which came months after de facto leader Jay Y. Lee was released from prison on parole, follows plans by TSMC and Intel Corp. to spend billions on cutting-edge facilities globally. The industry triumvirate is racing to meet a post-pandemic surge in demand that’s stretched global capacity to the max, while anticipating more and more connected devices from cars to homes will require chips in future. The new plant will augment Samsung’s already sizable presence in Austin, where it’s invested about $17 billion to date on a sprawling complex that houses more than 3,000 employees and fabricates some of the country’s most sophisticated chips. Samsung’s planning to invest another $17 billion and create about 1,800 jobs over the first 10 years, according to documents the company submitted to Taylor officials. Korea’s Yonhap and the Wall Street Journal had reported earlier on Taylor’s selection. The Asian giant is taking advantage of a U.S. government effort to counter China’s rising economic prowess and lure home some of the advanced manufacturing that in past decades has gravitated toward Asia. That ambition crystallized after a global chip shortage hobbled the tech and auto industries, cost companies billions in lost revenue and forced plants to furlough workers, exposing U.S. vulnerability to diversified supply chains. In June, President Joe Biden laid out a sweeping effort to secure critical supply chains, including a proposed $52 billion to bolster domestic chipmaking. His administration has repeatedly voiced the need to increase chip production in the U.S., saying that was the best way to compete with China and mitigate supply chain disruptions like the one stemming from Covid 19. Last month, the U.S. created an “early alert system” to detect Covid-related shocks. And it asked producers and consumers of semiconductors to complete a survey about inventories, demand, and delivery systems, to identify potential issues. Recently, Intel’s troubles ramping up on technology and its potential reliance in the future on TSMC and Samsung for at least some of its chipmaking have underscored the extent to which Asian giants have pulled ahead in recent years. The administration discouraged Intel from pursuing plans to operate a factory in Chengdu, China to manufacture silicon wafers. The White House has also called on Democrats in the House of Representatives to pass a $52 billion bill known as the CHIPS Act, which would fund domestic semiconductor research and manufacturing. Administration officials have pointed to the bill when pressed about security concerns in Taiwan, the world’s foremost chip producer. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Congress should pass the legislation as “quickly as possible” when asked if the U.S needed a clearer defense strategy related to the island. Samsung adds to a growing list of companies moving to or expanding in Texas. In the last year, electric carmaker Tesla Inc. said it would move headquarters to the state, as did Oracle Corp. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. Samsung’s move would be a win for Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott, who has long touted the Lone Star state’s business-friendly tax policies and is gearing up for a re-election battle next year. The local government pulled out the stops to snag Samsung, including waiving 90% of property taxes for a decade, and 85% for the following 10 years. Abbott is scheduled to make a statement about the state’s economy at 5 p.m. local time Tuesday. Samsung itself has been accelerating investment activity since Lee was released from jail, where he was serving time for corruption. It unveiled a commitment to bolster South Korea’s economy by spending 240 trillion won ($205 billion) and expand hiring to 40,000 people over the next three years. It’s going head-to-head in Intel’s backyard with TSMC, which is on track to start production on its own $12 billion chip plant in Arizona by 2024. Samsung is trying to catch TSMC in the so-called foundry business of making chips for the world’s corporations — a particularly pivotal capability given a deepening shortage of semiconductors in recent months. Samsung’s envisioned U.S. foundry will adopt ASML Holding NV’s extreme ultraviolet lithography equipment. The company, which has struggled with poor yields on advanced chip processes for years, has been improving and accelerating its capacity expansion at home. It aims to mass-produce 3-nanometer chips via so-called Gate All Around technology around 2022, employing what some regard as game-changing technology that can more precisely control current flows across channels, shrink chip areas and lower power consumption. Rival Intel has pledged to retake its industry lead by 2025. —With assistance from Justin Sink, Debby Wu, Peter Elstrom, Tom Giles and Matthew Miller......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 23rd, 2021

TSMC ecosystem partners see bright prospects ahead

TSMC's ecosystem partners, particularly equipment makers, are poised to embrace strong growth momentum, as the foundry will be expanding its fab capacities over the next three years, according to industry sources......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesNov 23rd, 2021

Highlights of the day: Vendors expanding 176-layer NAND output

Memory vendors are increasing output for 176-layer 3D NAND chips although they are generally cautious about expanding overall supply the NAND market. But the foundry sector is much more eager to expand capacity. TSMC's ecosystem partners are set to see strong shipments to satisfy the needs of the world's top pure-play foundry house. In a recent interview with DIGITIMES, Inventec chairman Tom Cho expressed optimism that Taiwan's ICT firms will have a key role to play future cars......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesNov 23rd, 2021

TROOPS, INC. Announces 2021 Unaudited Interim Financial Results

HONG KONG, Nov. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- TROOPS, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROO) ("TROOPS" or the "Company"), a conglomerate group of various businesses with its headquarters based in Hong Kong. The group is principally engaged in (a) money lending business in Hong Kong providing mortgage loans to high quality target borrowers (b) property investment to generate additional rental income and (c) the development, operation and management of an online financial marketplace that provides one-stop financial technology solutions including API services by leveraging artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain, and cloud computing (SaaS). The group's vision is to operate as a conglomerate to build synergy within its own sustainable ecosystem thereby creating value to its shareholders, today announced its unaudited operating results for the six months ended June 30, 2021. 2021 Interim Results Overview Revenue Our sales were $1.28 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021, which decreased by $0.26 million, or 16.9% from $1.54 million for the same period of 2020.  During the six months ended June 30, 2021, we through 11 Hau Fook Street, Vision Lane and Paris Sky earned property lease and management income of $0.52 million, compared to income of $0.60 million in 2020. We through Giant Credit and First Asia Finance earned interest on loans from money lending services of $0.64 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021, compared to $0.90 million for the same period of 2020. We through GFS and Apiguru earned financial technology solutions and services income of $0.12 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021, compared to $0.04 million for the same period of 2020. Below is the summary presenting the Company's revenues disaggregated by products and services and timing of revenue recognition: For the six months ended June 30, Revenue by recognition over time 2021 2020 (Unaudited) (Unaudited) Revenue by recognition over time $ 1,283 $ 1,536 $ 1,283 $ 1,536   For the six months ended June 30, Revenue by major product line 2021 2020 (Unaudited) (Unaudited) Interest on loans $ 642 $ 901 Property lease and management 521 596 Financial technology solutions and services 120 39 $ 1,283 $ 1,536 Cost of revenues For the six months ended June 30, 2021, cost of revenues decreased by $0.24 million, or 15.2%, to $1.34 million from $1.58 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020. Our cost of revenues mainly includes the amortization of Trademarks and Service Contracts, which were $0.16 million and $0.20 million during the six months ended June 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Gross loss Our gross loss was $0.06 million and $0.05 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021 and 2020. General and administrative expenses General and administrative expenses amounted to approximately $1.35 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021, $0.16 million or 10.6% lower than $1.51 million for the same period of previous year. This decrease was mainly due to lower share based compensation paid to management of approximately $0.12 million and decreased in legal and consultancy fee of approximately $0.05 million. General and administrative expenses include office staff salary and benefits, legal, professional fees, office expenses, travel expenses, entertainment, IT consultancy and support services expenses, depreciation, amortization of intangible assets.Gain on change in fair value of warrant derivative liability Our gain on change in fair value of warrant derivative liability was $0.25 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021, compared to a loss of $0.03 million for the same period of 2020. The gain was due to exercise of warrants, which we issued to our investor and placement agent in May 2017. Income tax benefit Income benefit was $0.15 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021, a decrease of $0.02 million, from income tax benefit of $0.17 million for the same period of 2020. Income tax benefit was related to the deferred tax impact on intangible assets and property and plant. Our PRC entities for the six months ended June 30, 2021 and 2020 were subject to the statutory PRC enterprise income tax rate of 25.0%. Our subsidiaries in Hong Kong are subject to Hong Kong taxation on income derived from their activities conducted in Hong Kong at a rate of 16.5%. Our subsidiary in Australia is subject to the Australian lower company tax rate of 26.0%. Profit and loss from discontinued operations, net of income tax Profit from discontinued operation, net of income tax, of $0.02 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020 represent the net profit from Boca. Net loss As a result of the various factors described above, net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2021 was $1.20 million, as compared to $1.94 million for the same period of 2020. About TROOPS, Inc. TROOPS, Inc. is a conglomerate group of various businesses with its headquarters based in Hong Kong. The group is principally engaged in (a) money lending business in Hong Kong providing mortgage loans to high quality target borrowers (b) property investment to generate additional rental income and (c) the development, operation and management of an online financial marketplace that provides one-stop financial technology solutions including API services by leveraging artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain, and cloud computing (SaaS). The group's vision is to operate as a conglomerate to build synergy within its own sustainable ecosystem thereby creating value to its shareholders. For more information about TROOPS, please visit our investor relations website: www.troops.co Safe Harbor and Informational Statement This announcement contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, those with respect to the objectives, plans and strategies of the Company set forth herein and those preceded by or that include the words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "future," "will," "intend," "plan," "estimate" or similar expressions, are "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements in this release include, without limitation, the effectiveness of the Company's multiple-brand, multiple channel strategy and the transitioning of its product development and sales focus and to a "light-asset" model. Although the Company's management believes that such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee that such expectations are, or will be, correct. These forward looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause the Company's future results to differ materially from those anticipated. These forward-looking statements can change as a result of many possible events or factors not all of which are known to the Company, which may include, without limitation, our ability to have effective internal control over financial reporting; our success in designing and distributing products under brands licensed from others; management of sales trend and client mix; possibility of securing loans and other financing without efficient fixed assets as collaterals; changes in government policy in China; China's overall economic conditions and local market economic conditions; our ability to expand through strategic acquisitions and establishment of new locations; compliance with government regulations; legislation or regulatory environments; geopolitical events, and other events and/or risks outlined in TROOPS 's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 20-F and other filings. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of the issuance, and TROOPS does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.   TROOPS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS AS OF JUNE 30, 2021, AND DECEMBER 31, 2020 (In thousands of U.S. dollars except share and per share data) 2021 2020 (Unaudited) ASSETS CURRENT ASSETS Cash $ 10,297 $ 3,028 Accounts receivable, net 27 8 Loans receivable, net of provision for loan losses of $2,172 and $2,172, respectively 6,046 22,096 Interest receivable 4 286 Other receivables and prepayments, net of provision for credit losses of $39 and $39, respectively 154 232 Total current assets 16,528 25,650 Deposits for acquisition of a subsidiaries 4,966 4,966 Plant and equipment, net 51,235 52,141 Operating lease right-of-use assets, net 120 199 Intangible assets, net 285 446 Long-term loans receivable, net of $nil provision for loan losses 36 1,621 Goodwill 5,107 5,107 Total assets $ 78,277 $ 90,130 LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY CURRENT LIABILITIES Short-term bank loan $ - $ 201 Accounts payable, trade 66 - Other payables and accrued liabilities 1,991 946 Operating lease liability, current 120 160 Unsecured promissory note due to shareholder - 5,192 Taxes payable 537 657 Warrant derivative liability - 249 Convertible notes - current 38 42 Total current liabilities 2,752 7,447.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 22nd, 2021

“The Biggest User Base for NFTs Is Outside Crypto”, Interview With Ioconic’s CEO

In 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) appear to have captured the holy grail of crypto: Attention and mainstream adoption. From Beeple’s $69 million digital art auction to the Filipino community riding the pandemic storm on income from Axie Infinity, NFTs have been everywhere this year. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Even the Economist […] In 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) appear to have captured the holy grail of crypto: Attention and mainstream adoption. From Beeple’s $69 million digital art auction to the Filipino community riding the pandemic storm on income from Axie Infinity, NFTs have been everywhere this year. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Even the Economist caved in and minted an NFT, which it subsequently sold for $420,000. However, the media outlet had to jump through numerous hoops and involve multiple parties to create it, describing the user experience as “lengthy.” Still, the blockchain community is innovative, and in some cases this doesn’t necessarily mean building the fanciest new wallet or fiat onboarding gateway. We spoke to Jamie Lewis, CEO of Ioconic, a digital asset licensing business that recently partnered with MGA, the $25 billion toy company, to launch an NFT of the hugely successful L.O.L. Surprise dolls. Lewis discusses how brands can dabble into the NFT world to generate customer engagement, as well as how companies from other sectors can start developing their own NFT-reward ideas. When you’re considering making digital assets palatable to young collectors, where do you start? In terms of the traditional demographic of digital asset users and MGAs target audience, it would be an understatement to say they are some way off from one another. MGA engaged with us, based on the vision of building out a digital ecosystem for their brand to live in. We all recognized the power of blockchain technology and the ability to tap into this space with a globally renowned brand. The L.O.L. Surprise game’s architecture has no external wallet downloads or exchange accounts. Will this invisibility become a prerequisite for mainstream adoption? Absolutely! Children cannot be expected to understand the technicalities of crypto and digital asset wallets, as well as navigating blockchain infrastructure and potential bridging elements. Ease of use and removal of technological barriers is essential for mass-market appeal. A key step to mainstream adoption is to look towards the consumers and make them grow with the brand –build a collection now that they will be able to monetize externally in the future. As NFTs represent true digital ownership, we are giving fans the opportunity to own a slice of one of the most successful intellectual properties of the last five years from a collectible and gamified experience today – turning into a long-term investment. What should a company ask itself before branching out within the NFT world? The first question is, of course, “Why?” Companies need to understand the benefits as well as risks of entering this space. Those looking to make a quick buck may find their efforts end up damaging their reputation and the integrity of their IP. The digital asset space naturally represents revenue opportunities, but there are also more important elements to take into consideration such as brand engagement, fan rewards, and awareness. Is this the blockchain idea for fan engagement something exclusive of the world of sports, or is there room for expansion? We are working on a number of projects at the moment whereby we are utilizing brand tokens in areas outside of sport. We see big opportunities to integrate these processes into e-commerce platforms as well as in person events. Think live concerts, exhibitions, and arenas. So there really are no limits when it comes to implementing NFTs, but perhaps it’s time for the technology to take a more invisible role in order to increase its mainstream appeal. Updated on Nov 22, 2021, 11:58 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 22nd, 2021

3 ways to cut $1 trillion in defense spending over the next decade

The CBO came up with three approaches to cutting about $1 trillion from the Pentagon budget over the next decade — a decrease of just 14%. An F-35A Combat Power Exercise at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, January 6, 2020.US Air Force/R. Nial Bradshaw Congress is moving to increase the Pentagon budget above the already astronomical level proposed by the Biden administration. But a new Congressional Budget Office report shows three ways to cut $1 trillion in defense spending over the next decade. Whether US leaders meet the challenges of today or continue to succumb to the power of the arms lobby is an open question. Even as Congress moves to increase the Pentagon budget well beyond the astronomical levels proposed by the Biden administration, a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has outlined three different ways to cut $1 trillion in Department of Defense spending over the next decade.A rational defense policy could yield far more in the way of reductions, but resistance from the Pentagon, weapons contractors, and their many allies in Congress would be fierce.After all, in its consideration of the bill that authorizes such budget levels for next year, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives recently voted to add $25 billion to the already staggering $750 billion the Biden administration requested for the Pentagon and related work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy.By any measure, that's an astonishing figure, given that the request itself was already far higher than spending at the peaks of the Korean and Vietnam wars or President Ronald Reagan's military buildup of the 1980s.In any reasonable world, such a military budget should be considered both unaffordable and deeply unsuitable when it comes to addressing the true threats to this country's "defense," including cyberattacks, pandemics, and the devastation already being wrought by climate change.Worst of all, providing a blank check to the military-industrial-congressional complex ensures the continued production of troubled weapon systems like Lockheed Martin's exorbitantly expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is typically behind schedule, far above projected costs, and still not considered effective in combat.Changing course would mean real reform and genuine accountability, starting with serious cuts to a budget for which "bloated" is far too kind an adjective.Three options for reductionsUS Navy aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt, and USS Nimitz in the western Pacific, November 12, 2017.ReutersAt the request of Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the CBO devised three different approaches to cutting approximately $1 trillion (a decrease of a mere 14%) from the Pentagon budget over the next decade.Historically, it could hardly be a more modest proposal. After all, without any such plan, the Pentagon budget actually did decrease by 30% between 1988 and 1997.Such a CBO-style reduction would still leave the department with about $6.3 trillion to spend over that 10-year period, 80% more than the cost of President Joe Biden's original $3.5 trillion Build Back Better proposal for domestic investments.Of course, that figure, unlike the Pentagon budget, has already been dramatically whittled down to half its original size, thanks to laughable claims by "moderate" Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) that it would break the bank in Washington. Yet such critics of expanded social and economic programs rarely offer similar thoughts when it comes to the Pentagon's far larger bite of the budgetary pie.The options in the budget watchdog's new report are anything but radical:Option one would preserve the "current post-Cold War strategy of deterring aggression through [the] threat of immediate U.S. military response with the objectives of denying an adversary's gains and recapturing lost territory." The proposed cuts would hit each military service equally, with some new weapons programs slowed down and a few, as in the case of the B-21 bomber, cancelled.Option two "adopts a Cold War-like strategy for large nuclear powers of making aggression very costly and recognizing that the size of conventional conflict would be limited by the threat of a nuclear response." That leaves nearly $2 trillion for the Pentagon's planned "modernization" of the US nuclear arsenal untouched, while relying more heavily on working with allies in conventional war situations than current strategy allows for. It would mean that the military might take longer to deploy in large numbers to a conflict.Option three "de-emphasizes use of U.S. military force in regional conflicts in favor of preserving U.S. control of the global commons (sea, air, space, and the Arctic), ensuring open access to the commons for allies and unimpeded global commerce." In other words, Afghan- or Iraq-style boots-on-the-ground US interventions would largely be avoided in favor of the use of long-range and "over-the-horizon" weapons like drones, naval blockades, the enforcement of no-fly zones, and the further arming and training of allies.But looking more broadly at the question of what will make the world a safer place in an era of pandemics, climate change, racial injustice, and economic inequality, reductions well beyond the $1 trillion figure embedded in the CBO's recommendations would be both necessary and possible in a more reasonable American world.The CBO's scenarios remain focused on military methods for solving security problems, assuring an all-too-narrow view of what might be saved by a new approach to security.Nuclear excessFour B-61 nuclear gravity bombs at Barksdale Air Force Base.United States Department of Defense SSGT Phil SchmittenThe CBO, for instance, chose not to look at possible savings from simply scaling back (not even ending) the Pentagon's $2-trillion, three-decades-long plan to build a new generation of nuclear-armed missiles, bombers, and submarines, complete with accompanying new warheads.Scaling back such a buildup, which will only further imperil this planet, could easily save in excess of $100 billion over the next decade.One significant step toward nuclear sanity would be to adopt the alternative nuclear posture proposed by the organization Global Zero. That would involve the elimination of all land-based nuclear missiles and rely instead on a smaller force of ballistic missile submarines and bombers as part of a "deterrence-only" strategy.Land-based, intercontinental ballistic missiles were accurately described by former Secretary of Defense William Perry as "some of the most dangerous weapons in the world."The reason: a president would have only a matter of minutes to decide whether to launch them upon being warned of an oncoming nuclear attack by an enemy power. That would, of course, greatly increase the risk of an accidental nuclear war and the potential destruction of the planet prompted by a false alarm (of which there have been several in the past).Eliminating such missiles would make the world a far safer place, while saving tens of billions of dollars in the process.Capping contractorsIsaac Brekken/Getty ImagesWhile most people think about the Pentagon budget in terms of what it spends on new guns, ships, planes, and missiles, services are about half of what it buys every year.These are the contracts that go to various corporate "Beltway bandits" to consult with the military or perform jobs that could often be done more cheaply by federal employees. Both the Defense Business Board and the Pentagon's own cost estimating office have identified service contracting as an area where there are significant opportunities for large-scale savings.Last year, the Pentagon spent nearly $204 billion on various service contracts. That's more than the budgets for the Departments of Health and Human Services, State, or Homeland Security. Reducing spending on contractors by even 15% would instantly save tens of billions of dollars annually.In the past, Congress and the Pentagon have shown that just such savings could easily be realized. For example, a provision in a 2011 defense law simply capped such spending at 2010 levels. Government spending data shows that, in the end, it was reduced by $42 billion over four years.Closing unneeded basesAn aircraft hangar damaged by Hurricane Michael at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, October 11, 2018.ReutersWhile the Biden administration seeks to expand domestic infrastructure spending, the Pentagon has been desperate to shed costly and unnecessary military facilities.Both the Obama and Trump administrations asked Congress to authorize another round of what's called base realignment and closure to help the Defense Department get rid of its excess capacity. The Pentagon estimates that it could save $2 billion annually that way.The CBO report cited above explicitly excludes any consideration of such cost savings as politically unfeasible, given the present Congress. But considering the ways in which climate change is going to threaten current military basing arrangements domestically and globally, that would be an obvious way to go.Another CBO report warns that the future effects of climate change — from rising sea levels (and flooding coastlines) to ever more powerful storms — will both reduce the government's revenue and increase its mandatory spending, if its base situation remains as it is now.After all, ever fiercer tropical storms and hurricanes, as well as rising levels of flooding, are already resulting in billions of dollars in damage to military bases. Meanwhile, it's estimated that, in the decades to come, more than 1,700 US military installations worldwide may be impacted by sea-level rise.Future rounds of base closings, both domestic and global, should be planned now with the impact of climate change in mind.Turning around Congress, fighting off lobbyistsThe House Armed Services Committee at the start of a hearing on the National Defense Authorization Act, September 1, 2021.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesSo far, boosting Pentagon spending has been one of the only things a bipartisan majority of this Congress can agree on, as indicated by that House decision to add $25 billion to the Pentagon budget request for Fiscal Year 2022. A similar measure is included in the Senate version, which it will debate soon.There are, however, glimmers of hope on the horizon as the number of members of Congress willing to oppose the longstanding practice of shoveling ever more funds at the Pentagon, no questions asked, is indeed growing.For example, a majority of Democrats and members of the leadership in the House of Representatives supported an ultimately unsuccessful provision to strip some excess funds from the Pentagon this year. A smaller group voted to cut the department's budget across the board by 10%. Still, it was a number that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.That core group is only likely to grow in the years to come as the costs of non-military challenges like pandemics, climate change, and the financial impact of racial and economic injustice supplant traditional military risks as the most urgent threats to American lives and livelihoods.Opposition to increased Pentagon spending is growing outside of Washington as well. An ever wider range of not just progressive but conservative organizations now support substantial reductions in the Pentagon budget.President Donald Trump at the signing of the 2019 NDAA, authorizing $716 billion in defense spending.Carolyn Kaster/APThe challenge, however, is to translate such sentiments into a concerted, multifaceted campaign of public pressure that will move a majority of the members of Congress to stop giving the Pentagon a yearly blank check. A new poll from the Eurasia Group Foundation found that twice as many Americans now support cutting the Pentagon budget as support increasing it.Any attempt to curb Pentagon spending will run up against a strikingly powerful arms industry that deploys campaign contributions, lobbyists, and promises of defense-related employment to keep budgets high. In this century alone, the Pentagon has spent more than $14 trillion, up to one half of which has gone to contractors.During those same years, the arms industry has spent $285 million on campaign contributions and $2.5 billion on lobbying, most of it focused on members of the armed services and defense appropriations committees that take the lead in deciding how much the country spends for military purposes.The arms industry's lobbying efforts are especially insidious. In an average year, it employs around 700 lobbyists, more than one for every member of Congress. The top five corporate weapons makers got a return of $1,909 in taxpayer funds for every dollar they spent on lobbying. Most of their lobbyists once worked in the Pentagon or Congress and arrived in the world of arms contractors via the infamous "revolving door."Of course, they then used their relationships with their former colleagues in government to curry favor for their corporate employers. A 2018 investigation by the Project On Government Oversight found that, in the prior decade, 380 high-ranking Pentagon officials and military officers had become lobbyists, board members, executives, or consultants for weapons contractors within two years of leaving their government jobs.Lloyd Austin at a ceremonial swearing-in at the White House, January 25, 2021. Austin joined the board of Raytheon after retiring from the military.Doug Mills-Pool/Getty ImagesA September 2021 study by the Government Accountability Office found that, as of 2019, the top 14 arms contractors employed more than 1,700 former military or Pentagon civilian employees, including many who had previously been involved in making or enforcing the rules for buying major weapons systems.The revolving door spins both ways, with executives and board members of the major weapons makers moving into powerful senior positions in government where they're well situated to help their former (and, more than likely, future) employers.The process starts at the top. Four of the past five secretaries of defense have also been executives, lobbyists, or board members of Raytheon, Boeing, or General Dynamics, three of the top five weapons makers that split tens of billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts annually.Both the House and Senate versions of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act extend the periods of time in which those entering the government from such industries have to recuse themselves from decisions involving their former companies. Still, as long as the Pentagon continues to pluck officials from the very outfits driving those exploding budgets, we should all know more or less what to expect.So far, the system is working — if you happen to be an arms contractor. The top five weapons companies alone split $166 billion in Pentagon contracts in Fiscal Year 2020, well over one-third of those issued by the Department of Defense that year.To give you some sense of the scale of all this — and our government's twisted priorities — Lockheed Martin alone received $75 billion in Pentagon contracts in Fiscal Year 2020, nearly one and one-half times the $52.5 billion allocated for the State Department and the Agency for International Development combined.Which way forward?More than 1,000 pieces of US Army equipment and vehicles at the port in Gdansk, Poland, September 14, 2017.US Army/Sgt. 1st Class Jacob A. McDonaldThe Congressional Budget Office's new report charts a path toward a more rational approach to Pentagon spending, but the $1 trillion in savings it proposes should only be a starting point.Hundreds of billions more could be saved over the next decade by reassessing our national security strategy, cutting back the Pentagon's nuclear buildup, capping its use of private contractors, and scaling back the colossal sums of waste, fraud, and abuse baked into its budget.All of this could be done while making this country and the world a significantly safer place by shifting such funds to addressing the non-military risks that threaten the future of humanity.Whether our leaders meet the challenges of today or continue to succumb to the power of the arms lobby is an open question.Mandy Smithberger, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Center for Defense Information at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Program at the Center for International Policy and the author of "Profits of War: Corporate Beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 Surge in Pentagon Spending" (Brown University's the Costs of War Project and the Center for International Policy, September 2021).Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 19th, 2021

Telecom Stock Roundup: QCOM Sets Growth Goals, ERIC to Boost FIFA Experience & More

While Qualcomm (QCOM) sets ambitious growth targets for fiscal 2024, Ericsson (ERIC) is likely to boost FIFA World Cup experience in Qatar in 2022 through its 5G solutions. U.S. telecom stocks traded relatively flat on average over the past week as the industry treaded with caution, navigating some concerns regarding its interference with aviation safety standards that prevented the industry from going gung-ho about the signing of the infrastructure bill into law. The infrastructure bill includes a $65 billion provision to significantly expand broadband access to Americans, as the administration aims to fortify its technological prowess to thwart the dominance of countries like China. The plan envisions reaching the underserved areas of the country and prioritizing support for broadband networks affiliated with local governments, nonprofit organizations, and cooperatives to encourage strong competition with privately-owned companies.The euphoria surrounding the infrastructure bill was marred by concerns raised by the Federal Aviation Administration about aviation safety being likely compromised by the planned use of spectrum for 5G wireless communications. This, in turn, has forced several leading carriers to defer the commercial launch of the C-band wireless service till January next year as both the industry regulators seek to resolve the issue. Moreover, certain industry experts remain circumspect regarding the implementation of the infrastructure bill and effectively fulfill the President’s vision of “build back better”. Meanwhile, the FCC completed the 3.45 GHz auction for $21.8 billion that makes available 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum for commercial use across the country for fixed or mobile uses. The winning bidders reportedly won 4,041 of the 4,060 available generic blocks on offer.Notable company-specific news that grabbed the spotlight over the past week includes Qualcomm Incorporated’s QCOM financial growth targets and Ericsson’s ERIC collaboration to boost the FIFA World Cup experience. Also, Viasat, Inc. VSAT entered into a deal with Embraer, Arista Networks, Inc.’s ANET tied up with Microsoft, and Viavi Solutions Inc.’s VIAV launched Observer 3D v18.6.President Biden continued his hard stance against Beijing and signed the Secure Equipment Act that empowers the FCC to prevent the use of any telecommunications equipment manufactured by China-backed entities in the domestic markets. The bill extended the purview of FCC control to private companies and would not only deter it from approving new requests but also revoke the prior equipment approval on perceived risks to national security interests. This follows an earlier directive to bar China Telecom from operating in the United States over national security concerns and a consequent petition in an U.S. appeals court by the Beijing firm to block the decision in order to prevent irreparable loss to businesses and customer relationships. Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories1.     Qualcomm took the investor community by surprise when it revealed some ambitious growth targets through fiscal 2024. The company expects to witness a stellar rise in its addressable market opportunities from $100 billion at present to more than $700 billion in the next decade, as it continues to diversify its revenue stream to cater to various customer segments across several industries.Management expects fiscal 2024 revenues to reach $46 billion with contribution from IoT devices to be around $9 billion. Revenues from QCT segment of Qualcomm are expected to record a CAGR of mid-teens by fiscal 2024 with an operating margin of more than 30%. Automotive revenues are expected to grow to $3.5 billion in five years and $8 billion in 10 years.      2.     Ericsson and Ooredoo Qatar are collaborating to bring a unique 5G experience for football fans across the Middle Eastern country in the upcoming FIFA World Cup tournament. The partnership between the Sweden-based telecommunications equipment manufacturer and the Qatar-based carrier is likely to add a new dimension to this global football extravaganza set to be held from November to December 2022.Per the deal, the two firms will work in unison to offer seamless 5G connectivity in eight stadiums across six cities, as well as in dedicated fan zones, airports, and places of attraction. This will entail Ericsson to provide network optimization by applying industry-leading AI-powered technologies and leverage live and predictive network data to achieve the maximum potential. The firms will also aim to ensure optimum performance by effectively managing Ericsson Radio System products.3.    Viasat has inked a Buyer-Furnished Equipment deal with Embraer to offer its In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) system as a line-fit option on Embraer’s family of E2 aircraft. Viasat is the first Ka-band IFC supplier to have a line-fit IFC solution on the Embraer E2 family.By choosing Viasat’s IFC system as a factory option on the Embraer E2 aircraft prior to delivery, airlines will be able to offer an advanced IFC experience to passengers and flight crew members. They can also avoid costly downtime associated with taking the aircraft out of service for post-production IFC retrofits.4.    Arista has joined the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association — an ecosystem comprising software vendors and security service providers that have combined their solutions to offer better protection against modern cyber threats. Arista was selected based on the integration between its NDR (Network Detection and Response) platform and Microsoft Azure Sentinel. This enables faster remediation of threats by combining network context and threat detection with log-based and endpoint insights within Azure Sentinel. Arista’s Awake Security is an NDR platform provider that combines artificial intelligence with human expertise to autonomously hunt and respond to insider and external threats.  5.    Viavi has unveiled Observer 3D v18.6, which will deliver complete network observability across a hybrid IT environment to proactively identify network issues and their root causes. It has been specifically designed to allow three-dimensional network observability across data sources, locations, and scales of deployment.With increasing data demand, ubiquitous remote users are required to provide critical IT services, irrespective of their location. However, it becomes difficult for the IT teams to manage end-user experience across an ecosystem this broad. In order to tackle this issue, Viavi’s Observer 3D v18.6 fills the visibility gaps and enhances the overall performance that helps the business.Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some of the major telecom stocks over the past week and six months.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the past five trading days, Qualcomm has been the best performer with its stock gaining 12.9% while Bandwidth has declined the most with its stock falling 9.3%.Over the past six months, Arista has been the best performer with its stock appreciating 38.8% while Bandwidth has declined the most with its stock falling 54.8%.Over the past six months, the Zacks Telecommunications Services industry has declined 9.3% while the S&P 500 has rallied 14.7%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhat’s Next in the Telecom Space?In addition to 5G deployments and product launches, all eyes will remain glued to how the administration implements key policy changes to safeguard the interests of the industry and address the bottlenecks to spur growth. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM): Free Stock Analysis Report Ericsson (ERIC): Free Stock Analysis Report Viasat Inc. (VSAT): Free Stock Analysis Report Arista Networks, Inc. (ANET): Free Stock Analysis Report Viavi Solutions Inc. (VIAV): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 18th, 2021

Clarus Therapeutics Reports Third Quarter 2021 Financial and Operating Results

Third quarter 2021 revenue increased 93% year-over-year to $4.3 million Third quarter 2021 total prescription growth for JATENZO® increased 12% sequentially and 132% year-over-year Conference call and webcast today at 5:15 p.m. ET  NORTHBROOK, Ill., Nov. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. (Clarus) (NASDAQ:CRXT), a pharmaceutical company dedicated to providing solutions to unmet medical needs by advancing androgen and metabolic therapies for men and women, today reported financial results for the third quarter of 2021.   "We have achieved some exciting milestones this quarter," said Dr. Robert Dudley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Clarus and founder of its wholly-owned operating subsidiary, Clarus Therapeutics, Inc. "JATENZO continues to grow in prescriptions with positive feedback from both patients and physicians. We remain very enthusiastic and optimistic as we focus on executing our plans to increase awareness about the only FDA-approved oral softgel with flexible dosing options in the testosterone replacement therapy market by educating physicians and patients alike about the attributes of JATENZO." "September 10 marked our debut as a public combined company trading on Nasdaq," continued Dr. Dudley. "Also in September, we announced the continued diversification and growth of our internal pipeline with the addition of a new technology we licensed from McGill University to potentially treat rare conditions associated with CoQ10 deficiencies. This, in addition to the recent license agreement with HavaH Therapeutics for the worldwide development and commercialization rights to CLAR-121 to potentially treat androgen-dependent inflammatory breast disease and certain forms of breast cancer, positions us well as we focus on our mission to develop androgen and metabolic therapies for men and women. We thank everyone, including our patients, physicians, and stockholders, for their continued support." Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results- Third quarter 2021 total revenue increased 92.7% to $4.3 million from $2.2 million in the same period last year. For the nine months ended September 30, 2021, total revenue was $9.4 million, an increase of 138.3% from $3.9 million for the comparable period in 2020.- Gross margin percentage was 88.1% for the third quarter of 2021 compared to 88.4% for the prior year period, and 84.8% for the nine months ended September 30, 2021 as compared to a negative margin in the prior year period.- Third quarter 2021 operating expenses decreased by 7.6% to $12.2 million from $13.2 million in the same period last year, primarily attributable to the timing of advertising and promotion costs, offset by slight increases in general and administrative expenses primarily due to increased headcount and financing related costs. For the nine months ended September 30, 2021, operating expenses increased by 16.7% to $40.4 million from $34.6 million for the comparable period in 2020, primarily attributable to increased general and administrative expenses, which increased due to higher personnel costs, as well as increased sales and marketing expenses associated with JATENZO advertising and promotion. - Third quarter 2021 research and development expenses decreased by 11.3% to $1.3 million (29.7% of revenue) from $1.4 million in the same period last year primarily due to decreased costs for consulting services during the quarter, offset by increased license fees in the period. For the nine months ended September 30, 2021, research and development expenses increased by 9.8% to $3.1 million from $2.8 million in the same period last year, primarily due to clinical costs associated with our lead commercial asset, JATENZO, and licensing fees related to the HavaH and McGill agreements, offset by decreased consulting costs.- Third quarter 2021 net loss was $2.8 million, or net loss per common share of $0.26, compared to net income of $5.4 million, or net loss per common share of $0.63 in the same period last year. For the nine months ended September 30, 2021, net loss was $36.3 million, or net loss per common share of $5.68, compared to net income of $4.1 million, or net loss per common share of $2.03 in the same period last year. - Cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2021 were $22.0 million.- In September 2021, the combined company received $25.3 million in cash upon closing of the business combination between Blue Water Acquisition Corp. (Blue Water) and Clarus Therapeutics, Inc. before transaction expenses. Following completion of the business combination, Blue Water changed its name to Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc.- As of September 30, 2021, Clarus had 9.2 million weighted-average common shares outstanding for purposes of calculating net (loss) income per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted. Recent Business Highlights- Continued total prescription growth for JATENZO in the third quarter of 2021 with an increase of 12% sequentially and 132% year-over-year driven primarily by advertising and promotion and an increase in payer coverage across all payer channels   - Announced a comprehensive settlement of patent litigation with Lipocine, resolving all outstanding claims with payments to Clarus as part of the settlement- Received two notices of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) covering JATENZO- Closed the business combination between Blue Water and Clarus Therapeutics, and debuted as a publicly traded combined company focused on androgen and metabolic therapies- Entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with McGill University, Canada's top ranked medical doctoral university, to develop and commercialize technology to treat rare conditions associated with CoQ10 deficiencies- Entered into an exclusive license agreement with HavaH Therapeutics, an Australia-based biopharmaceutical company developing androgen therapies for inflammatory breast disease and certain forms of breast cancer Conference Call and WebcastClarus will host a conference call today at 5:15 p.m. ET to discuss the results. The dial-in numbers are (844) 249-2007 for domestic callers and (224) 619-3902 for international callers. The conference ID number is 1354439. A live webcast and replay of the conference call will be accessible through the Investors section of Clarus Therapeutics' website at Investors.ClarusTherapeutics.com.  About Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc.Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company with expertise in developing androgen and metabolic therapies for men and women – including potential therapies for orphan indications. Clarus Therapeutics' first commercial product is JATENZO (testosterone undecanoate). For more information, visit www.clarustherapeutics.com and www.jatenzo.com. Follow us on Twitter (@Clarus_Thera) and LinkedIn (Clarus Therapeutics). Clarus Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" for purposes of the federal securities laws. The words "anticipate," "believe," "contemplate," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intends," "may," "might," "plan," "possible," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would" and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Clarus' forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding increasing awareness of JATENZO and growing prescriptions, the potential of the technology licensed from McGill University, the potential of CLAR-121, and its ability to execute on its mission, among others. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting us will be those that Clarus has anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond Clarus' control) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks associated with pharmaceutical development, risks associated with Clarus' financial position, and those factors described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) under Rule 424(b)(3) on October 7, 2021, and those that are included in any of Clarus' future filings with the SEC, including the 10-Q. Some of these risks and uncertainties may in the future be amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and there may be additional risks that Clarus considers immaterial, or which are unknown. It is not possible to predict or identify all such risks. Clarus' forward-looking statements only speak as of the date they are made, and Clarus does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. JATENZO® is a registered trademark of Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. Clarus Investor Relations Contact:Kara Stancellkstancell@clarustherapeutics.com(847) 562-4300 x 206 The following presents Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. statements of operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020:   CLARUS THERAPEUTICS HOLDINGS, INC.Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations(Unaudited; in thousands, except share and per share data)           Three Months EndedSeptember 30,   Nine Months EndedSeptember 30,   2021   2020    2021   2020 Revenue:                               Net product revenue $ 4,286     $ 2,224     $ 9,395     $ 3,943   Cost of product sales   510       257       1,431       8,328   Gross profit (loss)   3,776       1,967       7,964       (4,385 ) Operating expenses:               Sales and marketing   7,550       8,733       25,017       23,557   General and administrative   3,384.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 18th, 2021

Woodward Reports Fiscal Year 2021 Results

FORT COLLINS, Colo., Nov. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Woodward, Inc. (NASDAQ:WWD) today reported financial results for its fiscal year 2021 and fourth quarter ending September 30, 2021. All amounts are presented on an as reported U.S. GAAP basis unless otherwise indicated. All per share amounts are presented on a fully diluted basis. All comparisons are made to the same period of the prior year unless otherwise stated. Fourth Quarter 2021 Overview Net sales were $570 million, compared to $531 million. Earnings per share were $0.76, compared to $0.89. Adjusted earnings per share1 were $0.82, compared to $0.75. Fiscal Year 2021 Overview Net sales were $2.25 billion, compared to $2.50 billion. Earnings per share were $3.18, compared to $3.74. Adjusted earnings per share were $3.24 compared to $3.96. Net cash provided by operating activities was $465 million, compared to $349 million. Free cash flow1 and adjusted free cash flow1 were $427 million for 2021. For fiscal year 2020 free cash flow was $302 million and adjusted free cash flow was $315 million. "We delivered solid performance in 2021 despite the continuing impacts of COVID-19 on our markets. Supply chain disruptions and regional market volatility were experienced across the company; however, our effective cost control measures and strong working capital management enabled us to mitigate these impacts and generate robust free cash flow," said Thomas A. Gendron, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Looking into fiscal 2022, we expect continued improvement in most of our end markets, although we also expect uncertainty and volatility around the pace of recovery to persist. We continue to be resilient against a challenging macroeconomic backdrop and remain focused on maintaining our strong financial position to allow us to capitalize on future market opportunities." Company Results Net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 were $570 million, compared to $531 million for the fourth quarter of last year, an increase of 7 percent. Sales for the quarter and the full year were negatively impacted by approximately $32 million due to global supply chain disruptions, which delayed orders scheduled for shipment. Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021 were $50 million, or $0.76 per share, compared to $57 million, or $0.89 per share. Adjusted net earnings1 for the fourth quarter of 2021 were $54 million, or $0.82 per share, compared to $48 million, or $0.75 per share, for the fourth quarter of the prior year. Net sales for fiscal 2021 were $2.25 billion, compared to $2.50 billion last year, a decrease of 10 percent. Net earnings for 2021 were $209 million, or $3.18 per share, compared to $240 million, or $3.74 per share, for the prior year. Adjusted net earnings were $212 million, or $3.24 per share, compared to $254 million, or $3.96 per share, for the prior year. EBIT1 was $69 million for the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to $77 million for the fourth quarter of 2020. Adjusted EBIT1 for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $74 million, compared to $65 million for the fourth quarter of 2020. EBIT was $279 million for fiscal 2021, compared to $316 million for 2020. Adjusted EBIT was $284 million for fiscal 2021, compared to $343 million for 2020. The effective tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2021 was 18.2 percent, compared to 16.0 percent in the prior year. The adjusted effective tax rate1 was 18.8 percent, compared to 13.8 percent for the fourth quarter of 2020. The full year effective tax rate for 2021 was 15.1 percent, compared to 14.7 percent for the prior year. The adjusted effective tax rate for the full year 2021 was 15.3 percent, compared to 17.8 percent for fiscal year 2020. Segment Results Aerospace Aerospace segment net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 were $377 million, compared to $336 million for the fourth quarter a year ago, an increase of 12 percent. Both commercial OEM and aftermarket sales for the fourth quarter of 2021 increased due to higher OEM aircraft production rates and continued recovery in domestic passenger traffic. However, defense aftermarket sales were lower compared to a strong prior year quarter. Segment earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021 were $66 million, compared to $58 million for the fourth quarter of last year. Segment earnings as a percent of segment net sales were 17.4 percent for the fourth quarter of both 2021 and 2020. The increase in segment earnings was primarily the result of higher volume, predominantly in commercial OEM. For fiscal 2021, Aerospace segment net sales were $1.40 billion, a decrease of 12 percent compared to $1.59 billion for the prior year. Segment earnings for 2021 were $234 million, or 16.7 percent of segment net sales, compared to $310 million, or 19.5 percent of segment net sales, in the prior year. Industrial Industrial segment net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 were $193 million, compared to $195 million for the fourth quarter a year ago, a decrease of 1 percent. Industrial sales for the fourth quarter of 2021 declined primarily due to lower industrial gas turbines sales as well as weakness in natural gas engines in China, partially offset by improvements in marine. Industrial segment earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021 were $21 million, or 10.7 percent of segment net sales, compared to $19 million, or 9.6 percent of segment net sales, for the prior year quarter. Industrial segment earnings increased primarily due to the favorable impacts of foreign currency exchange rates. For fiscal year 2021, Industrial segment net sales were $842 million, compared to $905 million for the prior year, a 7 percent decrease. For fiscal year 2020, Industrial segment net sales excluding renewable power systems and related businesses1 ("RPS"), which was divested on April 30, 2020, were $837 million. Foreign currency exchange rates had a favorable impact on Industrial segment net sales for 2021 of approximately $33 million.   Industrial segment earnings for 2021 were $109 million, or 12.9 percent of segment net sales, compared to $100 million, or 11.1 percent of segment net sales, for the same period last year. For fiscal year 2020, Industrial segment earnings excluding RPS1 were $97 million, or 11.6 percent of segment net sales. Nonsegment Nonsegment expenses were $17 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, compared to $0.2 million for the same period of the prior year. Adjusted nonsegment expenses1 for the fourth quarter of both 2021 and 2020 were $12 million. Adjusted nonsegment expenses for the fourth quarter of 2021 excludes restructuring charges. Adjusted nonsegment expenses for the fourth quarter of 2020 primarily excludes the gain on sale of properties. Nonsegment expenses totaled $64 million for 2021, compared to $95 million for 2020. Adjusted nonsegment expenses were $59 million for 2021, compared to $67 million for the prior year. Cash Flow and Financial Position Net cash provided by operating activities for fiscal year 2021 was $465 million, compared to $349 million for the prior year. Payments for property, plant, and equipment for 2021 were $38 million, compared to $47 million for 2020. Free cash flow and adjusted free cash flow were both $427 million for 2021. For fiscal year 2020 free cash flow was $302 million and adjusted free cash flow was $315 million. The increase in free cash flow and adjusted free cash flow in 2021 was primarily related to effective working capital management, partially offset by lower net earnings. Total debt was $735 million at September 30, 2021, compared to $838 million at September 30, 2020. Debt-to-EBITDA1 leverage at September 30, 2021 was 1.7 times EBITDA, consistent with 1.7 times EBITDA at September 30, 2020. During fiscal year 2021, $82 million was returned to stockholders in the form of $36 million of dividends and $46 million of repurchased shares under the previously authorized $500 million share repurchase program of which $441 million remained available at the end of fiscal 2021. Fiscal Year 2022 Outlook End markets and supply chain disruptions are anticipated to improve in fiscal year 2022, although the uncertainty and volatility around the pace of the recovery is expected to persist. Growth and profitability in both segments could be negatively affected if COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions do not improve, or if the pace of inflation puts additional pressure on labor and material costs.   Total net sales for fiscal 2022 are expected to be between $2.45 and $2.65 billion. Aerospace and Industrial sales growth percentage are each expected to be in the low double digits to mid-teens. Aerospace segment earnings as a percent of segment net sales are expected to increase by approximately 200 to 300 basis points, primarily due to the increased sales volume in both commercial OEM and aftermarket, partially offset by lower guided weapon sales and the return of annual variable incentive compensation costs. Industrial segment earnings as a percent of segment net sales are expected to be approximately flat to up by 150 basis points, primarily due to the increased sales volume, partially offset by the return of annual variable incentive compensation costs.   The effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 21 percent. Free cash flow is expected to be approximately $315 million, generating a free cash flow conversion rate of greater than 100 percent. As sales growth returns, we anticipate higher working capital requirements, primarily driven by accounts receivable. Also, capital expenditures are expected to increase by approximately $30 million. Earnings per share is expected to be between $3.55 and $3.95 based on approximately 66 million of fully diluted weighted average shares outstanding. The favorable impacts of sales growth and productivity improvements in both segments are being partially offset by the expected return of annual variable compensation costs, inflationary pressures, and a higher tax rate. Conference Call Woodward will hold an investor conference call at 4:30 p.m. EST, November 18, 2021, to provide an overview of the financial performance for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2021, business highlights, and outlook for fiscal 2022. You are invited to listen to the live webcast of our conference call, or a recording, and view or download accompanying presentation slides at our website, www.woodward.com2. You may also listen to the call by dialing 1-877-231-2582 (domestic) or 1-478-219-0714 (international). Participants should call prior to the start time to allow for registration; the Conference ID is 7551843. An audio replay will be available by telephone from 7:30 p.m. EST on November 18, 2021 until 11:59 p.m. EST on December 2, 2021. The telephone number to access the replay is 1-855-859-2056 (domestic) or 1-404-537-3406 (international), reference access code 7551843. A webcast presentation will be available on the website by selecting "Investors/Events & Presentations." The call and presentation will remain accessible at the website for 14 days. About Woodward, Inc. Woodward is an independent designer, manufacturer, and service provider of control system solutions and components for the aerospace and industrial markets. The company's innovative fluid, combustion, electrical, and motion control systems help customers offer cleaner, more reliable, and more efficient equipment. Our customers include leading original equipment manufacturers and end users of their products. Woodward is a global company headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. Visit our website at www.woodward.com. Cautionary Statement Information in this press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, statements regarding our business and financial outlook for 2022, including trends in our business, statements about the continued and expected or potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, and the management of our business, our continued resilience against a challenging macroeconomic backdrop, the continued and expected uncertainty and volatility around the pace of recovery in our markets, the strength of our financial position and our ability to maintain our financial position, our ability to effectively capitalize on future market opportunities, and expectations related to the performance of our segments and specific markets within those segments, and our future sales, earnings, earnings per share, segment earnings as a percent of segment net sales, cash flows, working capital, and effective tax rate. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are only predictions and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Factors that could cause actual results and the timing of certain events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the COVID-19 pandemic and related significant volatility in financial, product, service, commodities (including oil and gas) and other markets and industries (including the aviation industry); a decline in our customers' business, or our business with, or financial distress of, Woodward's significant customers; global economic uncertainty and instability in the financial markets; Woodward's ability to manage product liability claims, product recalls or other liabilities associated with the products and services that Woodward provides; Woodward's long sales cycle, customer evaluation process, and implementation period of some of its products and services; Woodward's ability to implement and realize the intended effects of any restructuring efforts; Woodward's ability to successfully manage competitive factors, including prices, competitor product development, industry consolidation, and commodity and other input cost increases; Woodward's ability to manage expenses and product mix while responding to sales increases or decreases; the ability of Woodward's suppliers to perform contractual obligations and to provide Woodward with materials of sufficient quality or quantity required to meet Woodward's production needs at favorable prices or at all; Woodward's ability to monitor its technological expertise and the success of, and/or costs associated with, its product development activities; consolidation in the aerospace market and our participation in a strategic joint venture with General Electric Company may make it more difficult to secure long-term sales in certain aerospace markets; Woodward's debt obligations, debt service requirements, and ability to operate its business, pursue its business strategies and incur additional debt in light of covenants contained in its outstanding debt agreements; Woodward's ability to manage additional tax expense and exposures; risks related to Woodward's U.S. Government contracting activities, including liabilities resulting from legal and regulatory proceedings, inquiries, or investigations related to such activities; the potential of a significant reduction in defense sales due to decreases, delays or changes in the amount of U.S. Federal defense spending or other specific budget cuts impacting defense programs in which Woodward participates; changes in government spending patterns, priorities, subsidy programs and/or regulatory requirements; future impairment charges resulting from changes in the estimates of fair value of reporting units or of long-lived assets; environmental liabilities related to manufacturing activities and/or real estate acquisitions; Woodward's continued access to a stable workforce and favorable labor relations with its employees; physical and other risks related to Woodward's operations and suppliers, including natural disasters and COVID-19 related impacts, which could disrupt production; Woodward's ability to successfully manage regulatory, tax, and legal matters; impacts of tariff regulations; risks from operating internationally, including the impact on reported earnings from fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, and compliance with and changes in the legal and regulatory environments of the United States and the countries in which Woodward operates; industry risks, including increases in natural gas prices, unforeseen events that may reduce commercial aviation, such as diseases, epidemics, pandemics and natural disasters, and increasing emissions standards; any adverse effects on Woodward's operations due to cybersecurity breaches or other information technology system interruptions or intrusions; and other risk factors described in Woodward's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2020 and any subsequently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, as well as its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2021, which we expect to file shortly, and other risks described in Woodward's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.     Woodward, Inc. and Subsidiaries   CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS   (Unaudited - in thousands except per share amounts)                                               Three Months EndedSeptember 30,       Year EndedSeptember 30,       2021       2020       2021       2020                                           Net sales   $ 570,217       $ 531,264       $ 2,245,832       $ 2,495,665   Costs and expenses:                                       Cost of goods sold     436,434         407,480         1,694,774         1,855,422   Selling, general and administrative expenses     38,405         40,675         186,866         217,710   Research and development costs     27,703         27,105         117,091         133,134   Impairment of assets sold     -         -         -         37,902   Restructuring charges     5,008         3,176         5,008         22,216   Gain on cross-currency interest rate swaps, net     -         -         -         (30,481 ) Interest expense     8,730         9,309         34,282         35,811   Interest income     (409 )       (424 )       (1,495 )       (1,764 ) Other (income) expense, net     (6,684 )       (24,175 )       (36,493 )       (56,166 ) Total costs and expenses     509,187         463,146         2,000,033         2,213,784   Earnings before income taxes     61,030         68,118         245,799         281,881   Income taxes     11,125         10,879         37,150         41,486   Net earnings   $ 49,905       $ 57,239       $ 208,649       $ 240,395                                           Earnings per share amounts:                                       Basic earnings per share   $ 0.79       $ 0.92       $ 3.30       $ 3.86   Diluted earnings per share   $ 0.76       $ 0.89       $ 3.18       $ 3.74   Weighted average common shares outstanding:                                       Basic     63,500         62,501         63,287         62,267   Diluted     65,711         63,997         65,555         64,209                                           Cash dividends per share paid to Woodward common stockholders   $ 0.1625       $ 0.0813       $ 0.5688       $ 0.6050       Woodward, Inc. and Subsidiaries   CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS   (Unaudited - in thousands)                               September 30,       September 30,         2021       2020   Assets                     Current assets:                     Cash and cash equivalents     $ 448,462       $ 153,270   Accounts receivable       523,051         537,987   Inventories       419,971         437,943   Income taxes receivable       12,071         28,879   Other current assets       61,168         52,786   Total current assets       1,464,723         1,210,865   Property, plant, and equipment, net       950,569         997,415   Goodwill       805,333         808,252   Intangible assets, net       559,289         606,711   Deferred income tax assets       14,066         14,658   Other assets       297,024         265,435   Total assets     $ 4,091,004       $ 3,903,336                         Liabilities and stockholders' equity                     Current liabilities:                     Current portion of long-term debt       728         101,634   Accounts payable       170,909         134,242   Income taxes payable       11,481         4,662   Accrued liabilities       183,139         151,794   Total current liabilities       366,257         392,332   Long-term debt, less current portion       734,122         736,849   Deferred income tax liabilities       157,936         163,573   Other liabilities       617,908         617,905   Total liabilities       1,876,223         1,910,659   Stockholders' equity       2,214,781         1,992,677  .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 18th, 2021