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Tesla Builds Facility To Store Data Locally In China Amid Heightened Regulatory Scrutiny

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) has put in place a data center on Chinese soil to store data from all vehicles sold on the mainland, CnEVPost reported Tuesday. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaMay 26th, 2021

Cracker Barrel Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year Fiscal 2021 Results And Declares Quarterly Dividend

LEBANON, Tenn., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. ("Cracker Barrel" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: CBRL) today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 ended July 30, 2021. Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2021 Highlights Total revenue in the fourth quarter of $784.4 million was approximately flat compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 total revenue of $787.1 million. Compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 20191, comparable store restaurant sales decreased 6.8% and comparable store retail sales increased 18.2%. Comparable store off-premise restaurant sales grew 108.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 20191 and represented approximately 19% of restaurant sales. GAAP operating income in the fourth quarter was $62.7 million, or 8.0% of total revenue, and adjusted2 operating income was $65.9 million, or 8.4% of total revenue. GAAP net income was $36.4 million, or 4.6% of total revenue. EBITDA was $93.5 million, or 11.9% of total revenue, which represented a 30 basis point sequential improvement compared to fiscal 2021 third quarter EBITDA margin. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.53, and adjusted2 earnings per diluted share were $2.25. The Company announced that its Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $1.30 per share and authorized share repurchases up to $100 million of the Company's outstanding common stock. Commenting on the fourth quarter results, Cracker Barrel President and Chief Executive Officer Sandra B. Cochran said, "Despite the well-known headwinds that the industry continues to face with respect to staffing, commodity and wage inflation, and the resurgence of the pandemic, we were pleased that our fourth quarter profitability continued to trend positively from the third quarter and that our off-premise sales, retail business, and Maple Street Biscuit Company concept continued to outperform.  In addition to these strengths, our impressive field and home office support teams delivered on multiple fronts throughout the year, including cost-savings, the introduction of our new dinner menu and the continued roll-out of beer and wine to our stores, and helped ensure our continued recovery in 2021.  I'm confident that these and other initiatives position us well for 2022 despite the uncertain environment." Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2021 Results RevenueThe Company reported total revenue of $784.4 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, representing an increase of 58.4% compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, and a decrease of 0.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.   Cracker Barrel comparable store restaurant and retail sales compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 20191 and versus the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 were as follows: Versus FY19Comparable Period1 Versus FY20 Comparable Period Fourth Quarter Ended7/30/21 Fourth Quarter Ended7/30/21 Comparable restaurant sales -6.8% 53.5% Comparable retail sales 18.2% 74.8% Operating IncomeGAAP operating income in the fourth quarter was $62.7 million, or 8.0% of total revenue. Excluding the approximately $3.2 million in non-cash amortization related to the gains on the previously disclosed sale and leaseback transactions adjusted2 operating income for the fourth quarter was $65.9 million, or 8.4% of total revenue. Net Income, EBITDA and Earnings per Diluted Share GAAP net income in the fourth quarter was $36.4 million, or 4.6% of total revenue, and EBITDA was $93.5 million, or 11.9% of total revenue. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.53, and adjusted2 earnings per diluted share were $2.25. Convertible Debt OfferingAs previously disclosed, during the fourth quarter the Company completed the private offering of $300 million of 0.625% convertible senior notes due 2026, which generated net proceeds of approximately $291 million. The Company used approximately $30 million net, of the proceeds to fund the cost of entering into certain convertible note hedging transactions to minimize the risk of potential future dilution from the offering. The remainder of the proceeds were used to pay down debt under the Company's revolving credit facility. The Company ended the fourth quarter with approximately $327 million in total debt. The Company also paid approximately $18 million to terminate the interest rate swaps that it had been using to hedge interest rate risk on the debt outstanding under the Company's revolving credit facility. We anticipate this action will result in savings on interest expense over the next two years. In connection with the offering, the Company also repurchased $35 million of its common stock. Quarterly Dividend and Share Repurchase AuthorizationThe Company's Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend to common shareholders of $1.30 per share, payable on November 9, 2021 to shareholders of record on October 22, 2021. This dividend represents a return to the Company's pre-pandemic quarterly dividend level. Additionally, the Board of Directors authorized share repurchases up to $100 million of the Company's outstanding common stock. Fiscal 2021 ResultsRevenueThe Company reported total revenue of $2.81 billion for fiscal 2021, representing an increase of 11.8% compared to fiscal 2020 and a decrease of 8.2% compared to fiscal 2019. Comparable store restaurant sales for fiscal 2021 increased 8.4% compared to fiscal 2020, including a 5.3% increase in store traffic and a 3.1% increase in average check. Comparable store retail sales for fiscal 2021 increased 20.9% compared to fiscal 2020. Operating IncomeGAAP operating income in fiscal 2021 was $366.7 million, or 13.0% of total revenue, compared to $103.6 million, or 4.1% of total revenue, in fiscal 2020. Adjusted2 operating income for fiscal 2021 was $166.8 million. Net Income, EBITDA and Earnings per Diluted Share GAAP net income was $254.5 million, or 9.0% of total revenue, and EBITDA was $488.0 million, or 17.3% of total revenue, in fiscal 2021. Adjusted2 EBITDA was $275.4 million, or 9.8% of total revenue. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $10.71, and adjusted2 earnings per diluted share were $5.14. Fiscal 2022 OutlookAs a result of the ongoing business impact and significant uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the nationwide increase in infections and responsive public health restrictions brought about by the rise of the "Delta variant" of the virus, the Company is not providing its customary annual earnings guidance for fiscal 2022 at this time. For the full fiscal year 2022, the Company expects: Commodity and wage inflation in the mid-to-high single digits; Capital expenditures of approximately $120 million; An effective tax rate of approximately 18%; and The opening of three new Cracker Barrel locations and 15 new Maple Street Biscuit Company locations. The Company reminds investors that its outlook for fiscal 2022 reflects a number of assumptions, many of which are outside the Company's control.  1 For the purpose of comparing to fiscal 2019, comparable stores are defined as restaurants open a full 30 months before the beginning of the applicable period.2 For Non-GAAP reconciliations, please refer to the Reconciliation of GAAP-basis operating results to non-GAAP operating results section of this release. Fiscal 2021 Fourth Quarter Conference CallAs previously announced, the live broadcast of Cracker Barrel's quarterly conference call will be available to the public on-line at investor.crackerbarrel.com today beginning at 11:00 a.m. (ET). The on-line replay will be available at 2:00 p.m. (ET) and continue through October 5, 2021. About Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) provides a caring and friendly home-away-from-home experience while offering guests high-quality homestyle food to enjoy in-store or to-go and unique shopping — all at a fair price. Established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn., Cracker Barrel and its affiliates operate more than 660 company-owned Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations in 45 states and own the fast-casual Maple Street Biscuit Company. For more information about the Company, visit crackerbarrel.com. CBRL-F Except for specific historical information, certain of the matters discussed in this press release may express or imply projections of revenues or expenditures, statements of plans and objectives or future operations or statements of future economic performance. These, and similar statements are forward-looking statements concerning matters that involve risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual performance of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. and its subsidiaries to differ materially from those expressed or implied by this discussion. All forward-looking information is subject to completion of our financial procedures for Q4 FY 2021 and is provided pursuant to the safe harbor established under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and should be evaluated in the context of these factors. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "trends," "assumptions," "target," "guidance," "outlook," "opportunity," "future," "plans," "goals," "objectives," "expectations," "near-term," "long-term," "projection," "may," "will," "would," "could," "expect," "intend," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "potential," "regular," "should," "projects," "forecasts," or "continue" (or the negative or other derivatives of each of these terms) or similar terminology and include the expected effects of COVID-19 on our business, financial condition and results of operations and of operational improvement initiatives, such as new menu items and retail offerings. Factors which could materially affect actual results include, but are not limited to: risks and uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ultimate impact on our business, levels of consumer confidence in the safety of dine-in restaurants, restrictions (including occupancy restrictions) imposed by governmental authorities, the effectiveness of cost saving measures undertaken throughout our operations, disruptions to our operations as a result of the spread of COVID-19 in our workforce, and our level of indebtedness, or constraints on our expenditures, ability to service our debt obligations or make cash distributions to our shareholders or cash management generally, brought on by additional borrowing necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic; general or regional economic weakness, business and societal conditions, and weather on sales and customer travel; discretionary income or personal expenditure activity of our customers; information technology-related incidents, including data privacy and information security breaches, whether as a result of infrastructure failures, employee or vendor errors, or actions of third parties; our ability to identify, acquire and sell successful new lines of retail merchandise and new menu items at our restaurants; our ability to sustain or the effects of plans intended to improve operational or marketing execution and performance; uncertain performance of acquired businesses, strategic investments and other initiatives that we may pursue now or in the future; changes in or implementation of additional governmental or regulatory rules, regulations and interpretations affecting tax, wage and hour matters, health and safety, pensions, insurance or other undeterminable areas; the effects of plans intended to promote or protect our brands and products; commodity price increases; the ability of and cost to us to recruit, train, and retain qualified hourly and management employees; the effects of increased competition at our locations on sales and on labor recruiting, cost, and retention; workers' compensation, group health and utility price changes; consumer behavior based on negative publicity or changes in consumer health or dietary trends or safety aspects of our food or products or those of the restaurant industry in general, including concerns about outbreaks of infectious disease, as well as the possible effects of such events on the price or availability of ingredients used in our restaurants; the effects of our indebtedness, including under our credit facility and our convertible senior notes, and associated restrictions on our financial and operating flexibility and ability to execute or pursue our operating plans and objectives; changes in interest rates, increases in borrowed capital or capital market conditions affecting our financing costs and ability to refinance all or portions of our indebtedness; the effects of dilution of our existing stockholders' ownership interest that may ensue from any conversions of our convertible senior notes or the related warrants issued in connection with our convertible note hedging transactions; the effects of business trends on the outlook for individual restaurant locations and the effect on the carrying value of those locations; our ability to retain key personnel; the availability and cost of suitable sites for restaurant development and our ability to identify those sites; our ability to enter successfully into new geographic markets that may be less familiar to us; changes in land, building materials and construction costs; the actual results of pending, future or threatened litigation or governmental investigations and the costs and effects of negative publicity or our ability to manage the impact of social media associated with these activities; economic or psychological effects of natural disasters or unforeseen events such as terrorist acts, social unrest or war and the military or government responses to such events; disruptions to our restaurant or retail supply chain, including as a result of COVID-19; changes in foreign exchange rates affecting our future retail inventory purchases; the impact of activist shareholders; our reliance on limited distribution facilities and certain significant vendors; implementation of new or changes in interpretation of existing accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"); and other factors described from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, press releases, and other communications. Any forward-looking statement made by us herein, or elsewhere, speaks only as of the date on which made. We expressly disclaim any intent, obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based.   CRACKER BARREL OLD COUNTRY STORE, INC. CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT (Unaudited) (In thousands, except share and per share amounts, percentages and ratios)    Fourth Quarter Ended   Twelve Months Ended Percentage Percentage 7/30/21 7/31/20 Change 7/30/21 7/31/20 Change Total revenue $784,405 $495,065 58% $2,821,444 $2,522,792 12% Cost of goods sold, exclusive of depreciation and rent 235,754 150,778 56 865,261 779,937 11 Labor and other related expenses 268,702 187,785 43 983,120 924,994 6 Other store operating expenses 180,333 141,267 28 676,301 614,733 10 General and administrative expenses 36,948 40,950 (10) 147,825 146,975 1 Gain on sale and leaseback transactions 0 (69,954) (100) (217,722) (69,954) 211 Impairment 0 4,160 (100) 0 22,496 (100) Operating income 62,668 40,079 56 366,659 103,611 254 Interest expense 24,964 9,944 151 56,108 22,327 151 Income before income taxes 37,704 30,135 25 310,551 81,284 282 Provision for income taxes (income tax benefit) 1,341 5,069 (74) 56,038 (28,683) 295 Loss from unconsolidated subsidiary 0 0 0 (142,442) Net income (loss) $36,363 $25,066 45.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 21st, 2021

Facebook no longer among Glassdoor"s top 10 workplaces

Facebook Inc dropped to the 23rd spot in Glassdoor's list of "Best Places to Work" in 2020 from the seventh it secured last year, amid heightened regulatory scrutiny of the world's largest social network......»»

Category: topSource: reutersDec 11th, 2019

Kroger, Walgreens to stop sales of e-cigarettes amid U.S. vaping crackdown

Kroger Co and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc said on Monday they would stop selling e-cigarettes at their stores, amid heightened regulatory scrutiny of the product and reports of lung disease and some deaths linked to vaping......»»

Category: topSource: reutersOct 7th, 2019

"Damn You To Hell, You Will Not Destroy America" - Here Is The "Spartacus COVID Letter" That"s Gone Viral

"Damn You To Hell, You Will Not Destroy America" - Here Is The 'Spartacus COVID Letter' That's Gone Viral Via The Automatic Earth blog, This is an anonymously posted document by someone who calls themselves Spartacus. Because it’s anonymous, I can’t contact them to ask for permission to publish. So I hesitated for a while, but it’s simply the best document I’ve seen on Covid, vaccines, etc. Whoever Spartacus is, they have a very elaborate knowledge in “the field”. If you want to know a lot more about the no. 1 issue in the world today, read it. And don’t worry if you don’t understand every single word, neither do I. But I learned a lot. The original PDF doc is here: Covid19 – The Spartacus Letter Hello, My name is Spartacus, and I’ve had enough. We have been forced to watch America and the Free World spin into inexorable decline due to a biowarfare attack. We, along with countless others, have been victimized and gaslit by propaganda and psychological warfare operations being conducted by an unelected, unaccountable Elite against the American people and our allies. Our mental and physical health have suffered immensely over the course of the past year and a half. We have felt the sting of isolation, lockdown, masking, quarantines, and other completely nonsensical acts of healthcare theater that have done absolutely nothing to protect the health or wellbeing of the public from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now, we are watching the medical establishment inject literal poison into millions of our fellow Americans without so much as a fight. We have been told that we will be fired and denied our livelihoods if we refuse to vaccinate. This was the last straw. We have spent thousands of hours analyzing leaked footage from Wuhan, scientific papers from primary sources, as well as the paper trails left by the medical establishment. What we have discovered would shock anyone to their core. First, we will summarize our findings, and then, we will explain them in detail. References will be placed at the end. Summary: COVID-19 is a blood and blood vessel disease. SARS-CoV-2 infects the lining of human blood vessels, causing them to leak into the lungs. Current treatment protocols (e.g. invasive ventilation) are actively harmful to patients, accelerating oxidative stress and causing severe VILI (ventilator-induced lung injuries). The continued use of ventilators in the absence of any proven medical benefit constitutes mass murder. Existing countermeasures are inadequate to slow the spread of what is an aerosolized and potentially wastewater-borne virus, and constitute a form of medical theater. Various non-vaccine interventions have been suppressed by both the media and the medical establishment in favor of vaccines and expensive patented drugs. The authorities have denied the usefulness of natural immunity against COVID-19, despite the fact that natural immunity confers protection against all of the virus’s proteins, and not just one. Vaccines will do more harm than good. The antigen that these vaccines are based on, SARS-CoV- 2 Spike, is a toxic protein. SARS-CoV-2 may have ADE, or antibody-dependent enhancement; current antibodies may not neutralize future strains, but instead help them infect immune cells. Also, vaccinating during a pandemic with a leaky vaccine removes the evolutionary pressure for a virus to become less lethal. There is a vast and appalling criminal conspiracy that directly links both Anthony Fauci and Moderna to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. COVID-19 vaccine researchers are directly linked to scientists involved in brain-computer interface (“neural lace”) tech, one of whom was indicted for taking grant money from China. Independent researchers have discovered mysterious nanoparticles inside the vaccines that are not supposed to be present. The entire pandemic is being used as an excuse for a vast political and economic transformation of Western society that will enrich the already rich and turn the rest of us into serfs and untouchables. COVID-19 Pathophysiology and Treatments: COVID-19 is not a viral pneumonia. It is a viral vascular endotheliitis and attacks the lining of blood vessels, particularly the small pulmonary alveolar capillaries, leading to endothelial cell activation and sloughing, coagulopathy, sepsis, pulmonary edema, and ARDS-like symptoms. This is a disease of the blood and blood vessels. The circulatory system. Any pneumonia that it causes is secondary to that. In severe cases, this leads to sepsis, blood clots, and multiple organ failure, including hypoxic and inflammatory damage to various vital organs, such as the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and intestines. Some of the most common laboratory findings in COVID-19 are elevated D-dimer, elevated prothrombin time, elevated C-reactive protein, neutrophilia, lymphopenia, hypocalcemia, and hyperferritinemia, essentially matching a profile of coagulopathy and immune system hyperactivation/immune cell exhaustion. COVID-19 can present as almost anything, due to the wide tropism of SARS-CoV-2 for various tissues in the body’s vital organs. While its most common initial presentation is respiratory illness and flu-like symptoms, it can present as brain inflammation, gastrointestinal disease, or even heart attack or pulmonary embolism. COVID-19 is more severe in those with specific comorbidities, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. This is because these conditions involve endothelial dysfunction, which renders the circulatory system more susceptible to infection and injury by this particular virus. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild and do not cause significant disease. In known cases, there is something known as the 80/20 rule, where 80% of cases are mild and 20% are severe or critical. However, this ratio is only correct for known cases, not all infections. The number of actual infections is much, much higher. Consequently, the mortality and morbidity rate is lower. However, COVID-19 spreads very quickly, meaning that there are a significant number of severely-ill and critically-ill patients appearing in a short time frame. In those who have critical COVID-19-induced sepsis, hypoxia, coagulopathy, and ARDS, the most common treatments are intubation, injected corticosteroids, and blood thinners. This is not the correct treatment for COVID-19. In severe hypoxia, cellular metabolic shifts cause ATP to break down into hypoxanthine, which, upon the reintroduction of oxygen, causes xanthine oxidase to produce tons of highly damaging radicals that attack tissue. This is called ischemia-reperfusion injury, and it’s why the majority of people who go on a ventilator are dying. In the mitochondria, succinate buildup due to sepsis does the same exact thing; when oxygen is reintroduced, it makes superoxide radicals. Make no mistake, intubation will kill people who have COVID-19. The end-stage of COVID-19 is severe lipid peroxidation, where fats in the body start to “rust” due to damage by oxidative stress. This drives autoimmunity. Oxidized lipids appear as foreign objects to the immune system, which recognizes and forms antibodies against OSEs, or oxidation-specific epitopes. Also, oxidized lipids feed directly into pattern recognition receptors, triggering even more inflammation and summoning even more cells of the innate immune system that release even more destructive enzymes. This is similar to the pathophysiology of Lupus. COVID-19’s pathology is dominated by extreme oxidative stress and neutrophil respiratory burst, to the point where hemoglobin becomes incapable of carrying oxygen due to heme iron being stripped out of heme by hypochlorous acid. No amount of supplemental oxygen can oxygenate blood that chemically refuses to bind O2. The breakdown of the pathology is as follows: SARS-CoV-2 Spike binds to ACE2. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 is an enzyme that is part of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, or RAAS. The RAAS is a hormone control system that moderates fluid volume in the body and in the bloodstream (i.e. osmolarity) by controlling salt retention and excretion. This protein, ACE2, is ubiquitous in every part of the body that interfaces with the circulatory system, particularly in vascular endothelial cells and pericytes, brain astrocytes, renal tubules and podocytes, pancreatic islet cells, bile duct and intestinal epithelial cells, and the seminiferous ducts of the testis, all of which SARS-CoV-2 can infect, not just the lungs. SARS-CoV-2 infects a cell as follows: SARS-CoV-2 Spike undergoes a conformational change where the S1 trimers flip up and extend, locking onto ACE2 bound to the surface of a cell. TMPRSS2, or transmembrane protease serine 2, comes along and cuts off the heads of the Spike, exposing the S2 stalk-shaped subunit inside. The remainder of the Spike undergoes a conformational change that causes it to unfold like an extension ladder, embedding itself in the cell membrane. Then, it folds back upon itself, pulling the viral membrane and the cell membrane together. The two membranes fuse, with the virus’s proteins migrating out onto the surface of the cell. The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid enters the cell, disgorging its genetic material and beginning the viral replication process, hijacking the cell’s own structures to produce more virus. SARS-CoV-2 Spike proteins embedded in a cell can actually cause human cells to fuse together, forming syncytia/MGCs (multinuclear giant cells). They also have other pathogenic, harmful effects. SARS-CoV- 2’s viroporins, such as its Envelope protein, act as calcium ion channels, introducing calcium into infected cells. The virus suppresses the natural interferon response, resulting in delayed inflammation. SARS-CoV-2 N protein can also directly activate the NLRP3 inflammasome. Also, it suppresses the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway. The suppression of ACE2 by binding with Spike causes a buildup of bradykinin that would otherwise be broken down by ACE2. This constant calcium influx into the cells results in (or is accompanied by) noticeable hypocalcemia, or low blood calcium, especially in people with Vitamin D deficiencies and pre-existing endothelial dysfunction. Bradykinin upregulates cAMP, cGMP, COX, and Phospholipase C activity. This results in prostaglandin release and vastly increased intracellular calcium signaling, which promotes highly aggressive ROS release and ATP depletion. NADPH oxidase releases superoxide into the extracellular space. Superoxide radicals react with nitric oxide to form peroxynitrite. Peroxynitrite reacts with the tetrahydrobiopterin cofactor needed by endothelial nitric oxide synthase, destroying it and “uncoupling” the enzymes, causing nitric oxide synthase to synthesize more superoxide instead. This proceeds in a positive feedback loop until nitric oxide bioavailability in the circulatory system is depleted. Dissolved nitric oxide gas produced constantly by eNOS serves many important functions, but it is also antiviral against SARS-like coronaviruses, preventing the palmitoylation of the viral Spike protein and making it harder for it to bind to host receptors. The loss of NO allows the virus to begin replicating with impunity in the body. Those with endothelial dysfunction (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, obesity, old age, African-American race) have redox equilibrium issues to begin with, giving the virus an advantage. Due to the extreme cytokine release triggered by these processes, the body summons a great deal of neutrophils and monocyte-derived alveolar macrophages to the lungs. Cells of the innate immune system are the first-line defenders against pathogens. They work by engulfing invaders and trying to attack them with enzymes that produce powerful oxidants, like SOD and MPO. Superoxide dismutase takes superoxide and makes hydrogen peroxide, and myeloperoxidase takes hydrogen peroxide and chlorine ions and makes hypochlorous acid, which is many, many times more reactive than sodium hypochlorite bleach. Neutrophils have a nasty trick. They can also eject these enzymes into the extracellular space, where they will continuously spit out peroxide and bleach into the bloodstream. This is called neutrophil extracellular trap formation, or, when it becomes pathogenic and counterproductive, NETosis. In severe and critical COVID-19, there is actually rather severe NETosis. Hypochlorous acid building up in the bloodstream begins to bleach the iron out of heme and compete for O2 binding sites. Red blood cells lose the ability to transport oxygen, causing the sufferer to turn blue in the face. Unliganded iron, hydrogen peroxide, and superoxide in the bloodstream undergo the Haber- Weiss and Fenton reactions, producing extremely reactive hydroxyl radicals that violently strip electrons from surrounding fats and DNA, oxidizing them severely. This condition is not unknown to medical science. The actual name for all of this is acute sepsis. We know this is happening in COVID-19 because people who have died of the disease have noticeable ferroptosis signatures in their tissues, as well as various other oxidative stress markers such as nitrotyrosine, 4-HNE, and malondialdehyde. When you intubate someone with this condition, you are setting off a free radical bomb by supplying the cells with O2. It’s a catch-22, because we need oxygen to make Adenosine Triphosphate (that is, to live), but O2 is also the precursor of all these damaging radicals that lead to lipid peroxidation. The correct treatment for severe COVID-19 related sepsis is non-invasive ventilation, steroids, and antioxidant infusions. Most of the drugs repurposed for COVID-19 that show any benefit whatsoever in rescuing critically-ill COVID-19 patients are antioxidants. N-acetylcysteine, melatonin, fluvoxamine, budesonide, famotidine, cimetidine, and ranitidine are all antioxidants. Indomethacin prevents iron- driven oxidation of arachidonic acid to isoprostanes. There are powerful antioxidants such as apocynin that have not even been tested on COVID-19 patients yet which could defang neutrophils, prevent lipid peroxidation, restore endothelial health, and restore oxygenation to the tissues. Scientists who know anything about pulmonary neutrophilia, ARDS, and redox biology have known or surmised much of this since March 2020. In April 2020, Swiss scientists confirmed that COVID-19 was a vascular endotheliitis. By late 2020, experts had already concluded that COVID-19 causes a form of viral sepsis. They also know that sepsis can be effectively treated with antioxidants. None of this information is particularly new, and yet, for the most part, it has not been acted upon. Doctors continue to use damaging intubation techniques with high PEEP settings despite high lung compliance and poor oxygenation, killing an untold number of critically ill patients with medical malpractice. Because of the way they are constructed, Randomized Control Trials will never show any benefit for any antiviral against COVID-19. Not Remdesivir, not Kaletra, not HCQ, and not Ivermectin. The reason for this is simple; for the patients that they have recruited for these studies, such as Oxford’s ludicrous RECOVERY study, the intervention is too late to have any positive effect. The clinical course of COVID-19 is such that by the time most people seek medical attention for hypoxia, their viral load has already tapered off to almost nothing. If someone is about 10 days post-exposure and has already been symptomatic for five days, there is hardly any virus left in their bodies, only cellular damage and derangement that has initiated a hyperinflammatory response. It is from this group that the clinical trials for antivirals have recruited, pretty much exclusively. In these trials, they give antivirals to severely ill patients who have no virus in their bodies, only a delayed hyperinflammatory response, and then absurdly claim that antivirals have no utility in treating or preventing COVID-19. These clinical trials do not recruit people who are pre-symptomatic. They do not test pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis. This is like using a defibrillator to shock only flatline, and then absurdly claiming that defibrillators have no medical utility whatsoever when the patients refuse to rise from the dead. The intervention is too late. These trials for antivirals show systematic, egregious selection bias. They are providing a treatment that is futile to the specific cohort they are enrolling. India went against the instructions of the WHO and mandated the prophylactic usage of Ivermectin. They have almost completely eradicated COVID-19. The Indian Bar Association of Mumbai has brought criminal charges against WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan for recommending against the use of Ivermectin. Ivermectin is not “horse dewormer”. Yes, it is sold in veterinary paste form as a dewormer for animals. It has also been available in pill form for humans for decades, as an antiparasitic drug. The media have disingenuously claimed that because Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug, it has no utility as an antivirus. This is incorrect. Ivermectin has utility as an antiviral. It blocks importin, preventing nuclear import, effectively inhibiting viral access to cell nuclei. Many drugs currently on the market have multiple modes of action. Ivermectin is one such drug. It is both antiparasitic and antiviral. In Bangladesh, Ivermectin costs $1.80 for an entire 5-day course. Remdesivir, which is toxic to the liver, costs $3,120 for a 5-day course of the drug. Billions of dollars of utterly useless Remdesivir were sold to our governments on the taxpayer’s dime, and it ended up being totally useless for treating hyperinflammatory COVID-19. The media has hardly even covered this at all. The opposition to the use of generic Ivermectin is not based in science. It is purely financially and politically-motivated. An effective non-vaccine intervention would jeopardize the rushed FDA approval of patented vaccines and medicines for which the pharmaceutical industry stands to rake in billions upon billions of dollars in sales on an ongoing basis. The majority of the public are scientifically illiterate and cannot grasp what any of this even means, thanks to a pathetic educational system that has miseducated them. You would be lucky to find 1 in 100 people who have even the faintest clue what any of this actually means. COVID-19 Transmission: COVID-19 is airborne. The WHO carried water for China by claiming that the virus was only droplet- borne. Our own CDC absurdly claimed that it was mostly transmitted by fomite-to-face contact, which, given its rapid spread from Wuhan to the rest of the world, would have been physically impossible. The ridiculous belief in fomite-to-face being a primary mode of transmission led to the use of surface disinfection protocols that wasted time, energy, productivity, and disinfectant. The 6-foot guidelines are absolutely useless. The minimum safe distance to protect oneself from an aerosolized virus is to be 15+ feet away from an infected person, no closer. Realistically, no public transit is safe. Surgical masks do not protect you from aerosols. The virus is too small and the filter media has too large of gaps to filter it out. They may catch respiratory droplets and keep the virus from being expelled by someone who is sick, but they do not filter a cloud of infectious aerosols if someone were to walk into said cloud. The minimum level of protection against this virus is quite literally a P100 respirator, a PAPR/CAPR, or a 40mm NATO CBRN respirator, ideally paired with a full-body tyvek or tychem suit, gloves, and booties, with all the holes and gaps taped. Live SARS-CoV-2 may potentially be detected in sewage outflows, and there may be oral-fecal transmission. During the SARS outbreak in 2003, in the Amoy Gardens incident, hundreds of people were infected by aerosolized fecal matter rising from floor drains in their apartments. COVID-19 Vaccine Dangers: The vaccines for COVID-19 are not sterilizing and do not prevent infection or transmission. They are “leaky” vaccines. This means they remove the evolutionary pressure on the virus to become less lethal. It also means that the vaccinated are perfect carriers. In other words, those who are vaccinated are a threat to the unvaccinated, not the other way around. All of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use have undergone minimal testing, with highly accelerated clinical trials. Though they appear to limit severe illness, the long-term safety profile of these vaccines remains unknown. Some of these so-called “vaccines” utilize an untested new technology that has never been used in vaccines before. Traditional vaccines use weakened or killed virus to stimulate an immune response. The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines do not. They are purported to consist of an intramuscular shot containing a suspension of lipid nanoparticles filled with messenger RNA. The way they generate an immune response is by fusing with cells in a vaccine recipient’s shoulder, undergoing endocytosis, releasing their mRNA cargo into those cells, and then utilizing the ribosomes in those cells to synthesize modified SARS-CoV-2 Spike proteins in-situ. These modified Spike proteins then migrate to the surface of the cell, where they are anchored in place by a transmembrane domain. The adaptive immune system detects the non-human viral protein being expressed by these cells, and then forms antibodies against that protein. This is purported to confer protection against the virus, by training the adaptive immune system to recognize and produce antibodies against the Spike on the actual virus. The J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines do something similar, but use an adenovirus vector for genetic material delivery instead of a lipid nanoparticle. These vaccines were produced or validated with the aid of fetal cell lines HEK-293 and PER.C6, which people with certain religious convictions may object strongly to. SARS-CoV-2 Spike is a highly pathogenic protein on its own. It is impossible to overstate the danger presented by introducing this protein into the human body. It is claimed by vaccine manufacturers that the vaccine remains in cells in the shoulder, and that SARS- CoV-2 Spike produced and expressed by these cells from the vaccine’s genetic material is harmless and inert, thanks to the insertion of prolines in the Spike sequence to stabilize it in the prefusion conformation, preventing the Spike from becoming active and fusing with other cells. However, a pharmacokinetic study from Japan showed that the lipid nanoparticles and mRNA from the Pfizer vaccine did not stay in the shoulder, and in fact bioaccumulated in many different organs, including the reproductive organs and adrenal glands, meaning that modified Spike is being expressed quite literally all over the place. These lipid nanoparticles may trigger anaphylaxis in an unlucky few, but far more concerning is the unregulated expression of Spike in various somatic cell lines far from the injection site and the unknown consequences of that. Messenger RNA is normally consumed right after it is produced in the body, being translated into a protein by a ribosome. COVID-19 vaccine mRNA is produced outside the body, long before a ribosome translates it. In the meantime, it could accumulate damage if inadequately preserved. When a ribosome attempts to translate a damaged strand of mRNA, it can become stalled. When this happens, the ribosome becomes useless for translating proteins because it now has a piece of mRNA stuck in it, like a lace card in an old punch card reader. The whole thing has to be cleaned up and new ribosomes synthesized to replace it. In cells with low ribosome turnover, like nerve cells, this can lead to reduced protein synthesis, cytopathic effects, and neuropathies. Certain proteins, including SARS-CoV-2 Spike, have proteolytic cleavage sites that are basically like little dotted lines that say “cut here”, which attract a living organism’s own proteases (essentially, molecular scissors) to cut them. There is a possibility that S1 may be proteolytically cleaved from S2, causing active S1 to float away into the bloodstream while leaving the S2 “stalk” embedded in the membrane of the cell that expressed the protein. SARS-CoV-2 Spike has a Superantigenic region (SAg), which may promote extreme inflammation. Anti-Spike antibodies were found in one study to function as autoantibodies and attack the body’s own cells. Those who have been immunized with COVID-19 vaccines have developed blood clots, myocarditis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Bell’s Palsy, and multiple sclerosis flares, indicating that the vaccine promotes autoimmune reactions against healthy tissue. SARS-CoV-2 Spike does not only bind to ACE2. It was suspected to have regions that bind to basigin, integrins, neuropilin-1, and bacterial lipopolysaccharides as well. SARS-CoV-2 Spike, on its own, can potentially bind any of these things and act as a ligand for them, triggering unspecified and likely highly inflammatory cellular activity. SARS-CoV-2 Spike contains an unusual PRRA insert that forms a furin cleavage site. Furin is a ubiquitous human protease, making this an ideal property for the Spike to have, giving it a high degree of cell tropism. No wild-type SARS-like coronaviruses related to SARS-CoV-2 possess this feature, making it highly suspicious, and perhaps a sign of human tampering. SARS-CoV-2 Spike has a prion-like domain that enhances its infectiousness. The Spike S1 RBD may bind to heparin-binding proteins and promote amyloid aggregation. In humans, this could lead to Parkinson’s, Lewy Body Dementia, premature Alzheimer’s, or various other neurodegenerative diseases. This is very concerning because SARS-CoV-2 S1 is capable of injuring and penetrating the blood-brain barrier and entering the brain. It is also capable of increasing the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to other molecules. SARS-CoV-2, like other betacoronaviruses, may have Dengue-like ADE, or antibody-dependent enhancement of disease. For those who aren’t aware, some viruses, including betacoronaviruses, have a feature called ADE. There is also something called Original Antigenic Sin, which is the observation that the body prefers to produce antibodies based on previously-encountered strains of a virus over newly- encountered ones. In ADE, antibodies from a previous infection become non-neutralizing due to mutations in the virus’s proteins. These non-neutralizing antibodies then act as trojan horses, allowing live, active virus to be pulled into macrophages through their Fc receptor pathways, allowing the virus to infect immune cells that it would not have been able to infect before. This has been known to happen with Dengue Fever; when someone gets sick with Dengue, recovers, and then contracts a different strain, they can get very, very ill. If someone is vaccinated with mRNA based on the Spike from the initial Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2, and then they become infected with a future, mutated strain of the virus, they may become severely ill. In other words, it is possible for vaccines to sensitize someone to disease. There is a precedent for this in recent history. Sanofi’s Dengvaxia vaccine for Dengue failed because it caused immune sensitization in people whose immune systems were Dengue-naive. In mice immunized against SARS-CoV and challenged with the virus, a close relative of SARS-CoV-2, they developed immune sensitization, Th2 immunopathology, and eosinophil infiltration in their lungs. We have been told that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines cannot be integrated into the human genome, because messenger RNA cannot be turned back into DNA. This is false. There are elements in human cells called LINE-1 retrotransposons, which can indeed integrate mRNA into a human genome by endogenous reverse transcription. Because the mRNA used in the vaccines is stabilized, it hangs around in cells longer, increasing the chances for this to happen. If the gene for SARS-CoV-2 Spike is integrated into a portion of the genome that is not silent and actually expresses a protein, it is possible that people who take this vaccine may continuously express SARS-CoV-2 Spike from their somatic cells for the rest of their lives. By inoculating people with a vaccine that causes their bodies to produce Spike in-situ, they are being inoculated with a pathogenic protein. A toxin that may cause long-term inflammation, heart problems, and a raised risk of cancers. In the long-term, it may also potentially lead to premature neurodegenerative disease. Absolutely nobody should be compelled to take this vaccine under any circumstances, and in actual fact, the vaccination campaign must be stopped immediately. COVID-19 Criminal Conspiracy: The vaccine and the virus were made by the same people. In 2014, there was a moratorium on SARS gain-of-function research that lasted until 2017. This research was not halted. Instead, it was outsourced, with the federal grants being laundered through NGOs. Ralph Baric is a virologist and SARS expert at UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina. This is who Anthony Fauci was referring to when he insisted, before Congress, that if any gain-of-function research was being conducted, it was being conducted in North Carolina. This was a lie. Anthony Fauci lied before Congress. A felony. Ralph Baric and Shi Zhengli are colleagues and have co-written papers together. Ralph Baric mentored Shi Zhengli in his gain-of-function manipulation techniques, particularly serial passage, which results in a virus that appears as if it originated naturally. In other words, deniable bioweapons. Serial passage in humanized hACE2 mice may have produced something like SARS-CoV-2. The funding for the gain-of-function research being conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology came from Peter Daszak. Peter Daszak runs an NGO called EcoHealth Alliance. EcoHealth Alliance received millions of dollars in grant money from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (that is, Anthony Fauci), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (part of the US Department of Defense), and the United States Agency for International Development. NIH/NIAID contributed a few million dollars, and DTRA and USAID each contributed tens of millions of dollars towards this research. Altogether, it was over a hundred million dollars. EcoHealth Alliance subcontracted these grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a lab in China with a very questionable safety record and poorly trained staff, so that they could conduct gain-of-function research, not in their fancy P4 lab, but in a level-2 lab where technicians wore nothing more sophisticated than perhaps a hairnet, latex gloves, and a surgical mask, instead of the bubble suits used when working with dangerous viruses. Chinese scientists in Wuhan reported being routinely bitten and urinated on by laboratory animals. Why anyone would outsource this dangerous and delicate work to the People’s Republic of China, a country infamous for industrial accidents and massive explosions that have claimed hundreds of lives, is completely beyond me, unless the aim was to start a pandemic on purpose. In November of 2019, three technicians at the Wuhan Institute of Virology developed symptoms consistent with a flu-like illness. Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszak, and Ralph Baric knew at once what had happened, because back channels exist between this laboratory and our scientists and officials. December 12th, 2019, Ralph Baric signed a Material Transfer Agreement (essentially, an NDA) to receive Coronavirus mRNA vaccine-related materials co-owned by Moderna and NIH. It wasn’t until a whole month later, on January 11th, 2020, that China allegedly sent us the sequence to what would become known as SARS-CoV-2. Moderna claims, rather absurdly, that they developed a working vaccine from this sequence in under 48 hours. Stephane Bancel, the current CEO of Moderna, was formerly the CEO of bioMerieux, a French multinational corporation specializing in medical diagnostic tech, founded by one Alain Merieux. Alain Merieux was one of the individuals who was instrumental in the construction of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s P4 lab. The sequence given as the closest relative to SARS-CoV-2, RaTG13, is not a real virus. It is a forgery. It was made by entering a gene sequence by hand into a database, to create a cover story for the existence of SARS-CoV-2, which is very likely a gain-of-function chimera produced at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and was either leaked by accident or intentionally released. The animal reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 has never been found. This is not a conspiracy “theory”. It is an actual criminal conspiracy, in which people connected to the development of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 are directly connected to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and their gain-of-function research by very few degrees of separation, if any. The paper trail is well- established. The lab-leak theory has been suppressed because pulling that thread leads one to inevitably conclude that there is enough circumstantial evidence to link Moderna, the NIH, the WIV, and both the vaccine and the virus’s creation together. In a sane country, this would have immediately led to the world’s biggest RICO and mass murder case. Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszak, Ralph Baric, Shi Zhengli, and Stephane Bancel, and their accomplices, would have been indicted and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Instead, billions of our tax dollars were awarded to the perpetrators. The FBI raided Allure Medical in Shelby Township north of Detroit for billing insurance for “fraudulent COVID-19 cures”. The treatment they were using? Intravenous Vitamin C. An antioxidant. Which, as described above, is an entirely valid treatment for COVID-19-induced sepsis, and indeed, is now part of the MATH+ protocol advanced by Dr. Paul E. Marik. The FDA banned ranitidine (Zantac) due to supposed NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine) contamination. Ranitidine is not only an H2 blocker used as antacid, but also has a powerful antioxidant effect, scavenging hydroxyl radicals. This gives it utility in treating COVID-19. The FDA also attempted to take N-acetylcysteine, a harmless amino acid supplement and antioxidant, off the shelves, compelling Amazon to remove it from their online storefront. This leaves us with a chilling question: did the FDA knowingly suppress antioxidants useful for treating COVID-19 sepsis as part of a criminal conspiracy against the American public? The establishment is cooperating with, and facilitating, the worst criminals in human history, and are actively suppressing non-vaccine treatments and therapies in order to compel us to inject these criminals’ products into our bodies. This is absolutely unacceptable. COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Links to Transhumanism: This section deals with some more speculative aspects of the pandemic and the medical and scientific establishment’s reaction to it, as well as the disturbing links between scientists involved in vaccine research and scientists whose work involved merging nanotechnology with living cells. On June 9th, 2020, Charles Lieber, a Harvard nanotechnology researcher with decades of experience, was indicted by the DOJ for fraud. Charles Lieber received millions of dollars in grant money from the US Department of Defense, specifically the military think tanks DARPA, AFOSR, and ONR, as well as NIH and MITRE. His specialty is the use of silicon nanowires in lieu of patch clamp electrodes to monitor and modulate intracellular activity, something he has been working on at Harvard for the past twenty years. He was claimed to have been working on silicon nanowire batteries in China, but none of his colleagues can recall him ever having worked on battery technology in his life; all of his research deals with bionanotechnology, or the blending of nanotech with living cells. The indictment was over his collaboration with the Wuhan University of Technology. He had double- dipped, against the terms of his DOD grants, and taken money from the PRC’s Thousand Talents plan, a program which the Chinese government uses to bribe Western scientists into sharing proprietary R&D information that can be exploited by the PLA for strategic advantage. Charles Lieber’s own papers describe the use of silicon nanowires for brain-computer interfaces, or “neural lace” technology. His papers describe how neurons can endocytose whole silicon nanowires or parts of them, monitoring and even modulating neuronal activity. Charles Lieber was a colleague of Robert Langer. Together, along with Daniel S. Kohane, they worked on a paper describing artificial tissue scaffolds that could be implanted in a human heart to monitor its activity remotely. Robert Langer, an MIT alumnus and expert in nanotech drug delivery, is one of the co-founders of Moderna. His net worth is now $5.1 billion USD thanks to Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine sales. Both Charles Lieber and Robert Langer’s bibliographies describe, essentially, techniques for human enhancement, i.e. transhumanism. Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum and the architect behind the so-called “Great Reset”, has long spoken of the “blending of biology and machinery” in his books. Since these revelations, it has come to the attention of independent researchers that the COVID-19 vaccines may contain reduced graphene oxide nanoparticles. Japanese researchers have also found unexplained contaminants in COVID-19 vaccines. Graphene oxide is an anxiolytic. It has been shown to reduce the anxiety of laboratory mice when injected into their brains. Indeed, given SARS-CoV-2 Spike’s propensity to compromise the blood-brain barrier and increase its permeability, it is the perfect protein for preparing brain tissue for extravasation of nanoparticles from the bloodstream and into the brain. Graphene is also highly conductive and, in some circumstances, paramagnetic. In 2013, under the Obama administration, DARPA launched the BRAIN Initiative; BRAIN is an acronym for Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies®. This program involves the development of brain-computer interface technologies for the military, particularly non-invasive, injectable systems that cause minimal damage to brain tissue when removed. Supposedly, this technology would be used for healing wounded soldiers with traumatic brain injuries, the direct brain control of prosthetic limbs, and even new abilities such as controlling drones with one’s mind. Various methods have been proposed for achieving this, including optogenetics, magnetogenetics, ultrasound, implanted electrodes, and transcranial electromagnetic stimulation. In all instances, the goal is to obtain read or read-write capability over neurons, either by stimulating and probing them, or by rendering them especially sensitive to stimulation and probing. However, the notion of the widespread use of BCI technology, such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink device, raises many concerns over privacy and personal autonomy. Reading from neurons is problematic enough on its own. Wireless brain-computer interfaces may interact with current or future wireless GSM infrastructure, creating neurological data security concerns. A hacker or other malicious actor may compromise such networks to obtain people’s brain data, and then exploit it for nefarious purposes. However, a device capable of writing to human neurons, not just reading from them, presents another, even more serious set of ethical concerns. A BCI that is capable of altering the contents of one’s mind for innocuous purposes, such as projecting a heads-up display onto their brain’s visual center or sending audio into one’s auditory cortex, would also theoretically be capable of altering mood and personality, or perhaps even subjugating someone’s very will, rendering them utterly obedient to authority. This technology would be a tyrant’s wet dream. Imagine soldiers who would shoot their own countrymen without hesitation, or helpless serfs who are satisfied to live in literal dog kennels. BCIs could be used to unscrupulously alter perceptions of basic things such as emotions and values, changing people’s thresholds of satiety, happiness, anger, disgust, and so forth. This is not inconsequential. Someone’s entire regime of behaviors could be altered by a BCI, including such things as suppressing their appetite or desire for virtually anything on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Anything is possible when you have direct access to someone’s brain and its contents. Someone who is obese could be made to feel disgust at the sight of food. Someone who is involuntarily celibate could have their libido disabled so they don’t even desire sex to begin with. Someone who is racist could be forced to feel delight over cohabiting with people of other races. Someone who is violent could be forced to be meek and submissive. These things might sound good to you if you are a tyrant, but to normal people, the idea of personal autonomy being overridden to such a degree is appalling. For the wealthy, neural laces would be an unequaled boon, giving them the opportunity to enhance their intelligence with neuroprosthetics (i.e. an “exocortex”), and to deliver irresistible commands directly into the minds of their BCI-augmented servants, even physically or sexually abusive commands that they would normally refuse. If the vaccine is a method to surreptitiously introduce an injectable BCI into millions of people without their knowledge or consent, then what we are witnessing is the rise of a tyrannical regime unlike anything ever seen before on the face of this planet, one that fully intends to strip every man, woman, and child of our free will. Our flaws are what make us human. A utopia arrived at by removing people’s free will is not a utopia at all. It is a monomaniacal nightmare. Furthermore, the people who rule over us are Dark Triad types who cannot be trusted with such power. Imagine being beaten and sexually assaulted by a wealthy and powerful psychopath and being forced to smile and laugh over it because your neural lace gives you no choice but to obey your master. The Elites are forging ahead with this technology without giving people any room to question the social or ethical ramifications, or to establish regulatory frameworks that ensure that our personal agency and autonomy will not be overridden by these devices. They do this because they secretly dream of a future where they can treat you worse than an animal and you cannot even fight back. If this evil plan is allowed to continue, it will spell the end of humanity as we know it. Conclusions: The current pandemic was produced and perpetuated by the establishment, through the use of a virus engineered in a PLA-connected Chinese biowarfare laboratory, with the aid of American taxpayer dollars and French expertise. This research was conducted under the absolutely ridiculous euphemism of “gain-of-function” research, which is supposedly carried out in order to determine which viruses have the highest potential for zoonotic spillover and preemptively vaccinate or guard against them. Gain-of-function/gain-of-threat research, a.k.a. “Dual-Use Research of Concern”, or DURC, is bioweapon research by another, friendlier-sounding name, simply to avoid the taboo of calling it what it actually is. It has always been bioweapon research. The people who are conducting this research fully understand that they are taking wild pathogens that are not infectious in humans and making them more infectious, often taking grants from military think tanks encouraging them to do so. These virologists conducting this type of research are enemies of their fellow man, like pyromaniac firefighters. GOF research has never protected anyone from any pandemic. In fact, it has now started one, meaning its utility for preventing pandemics is actually negative. It should have been banned globally, and the lunatics performing it should have been put in straitjackets long ago. Either through a leak or an intentional release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a deadly SARS strain is now endemic across the globe, after the WHO and CDC and public officials first downplayed the risks, and then intentionally incited a panic and lockdowns that jeopardized people’s health and their livelihoods. This was then used by the utterly depraved and psychopathic aristocratic class who rule over us as an excuse to coerce people into accepting an injected poison which may be a depopulation agent, a mind control/pacification agent in the form of injectable “smart dust”, or both in one. They believe they can get away with this by weaponizing the social stigma of vaccine refusal. They are incorrect. Their motives are clear and obvious to anyone who has been paying attention. These megalomaniacs have raided the pension funds of the free world. Wall Street is insolvent and has had an ongoing liquidity crisis since the end of 2019. The aim now is to exert total, full-spectrum physical, mental, and financial control over humanity before we realize just how badly we’ve been extorted by these maniacs. The pandemic and its response served multiple purposes for the Elite: Concealing a depression brought on by the usurious plunder of our economies conducted by rentier-capitalists and absentee owners who produce absolutely nothing of any value to society whatsoever. Instead of us having a very predictable Occupy Wall Street Part II, the Elites and their stooges got to stand up on television and paint themselves as wise and all-powerful saviors instead of the marauding cabal of despicable land pirates that they are. Destroying small businesses and eroding the middle class. Transferring trillions of dollars of wealth from the American public and into the pockets of billionaires and special interests. Engaging in insider trading, buying stock in biotech companies and shorting brick-and-mortar businesses and travel companies, with the aim of collapsing face-to-face commerce and tourism and replacing it with e-commerce and servitization. Creating a casus belli for war with China, encouraging us to attack them, wasting American lives and treasure and driving us to the brink of nuclear armageddon. Establishing technological and biosecurity frameworks for population control and technocratic- socialist “smart cities” where everyone’s movements are despotically tracked, all in anticipation of widespread automation, joblessness, and food shortages, by using the false guise of a vaccine to compel cooperation. Any one of these things would constitute a vicious rape of Western society. Taken together, they beggar belief; they are a complete inversion of our most treasured values. What is the purpose of all of this? One can only speculate as to the perpetrators’ motives, however, we have some theories. The Elites are trying to pull up the ladder, erase upward mobility for large segments of the population, cull political opponents and other “undesirables”, and put the remainder of humanity on a tight leash, rationing our access to certain goods and services that they have deemed “high-impact”, such as automobile use, tourism, meat consumption, and so on. Naturally, they will continue to have their own luxuries, as part of a strict caste system akin to feudalism. Why are they doing this? Simple. The Elites are Neo-Malthusians and believe that we are overpopulated and that resource depletion will collapse civilization in a matter of a few short decades. They are not necessarily incorrect in this belief. We are overpopulated, and we are consuming too many resources. However, orchestrating such a gruesome and murderous power grab in response to a looming crisis demonstrates that they have nothing but the utmost contempt for their fellow man. To those who are participating in this disgusting farce without any understanding of what they are doing, we have one word for you. Stop. You are causing irreparable harm to your country and to your fellow citizens. To those who may be reading this warning and have full knowledge and understanding of what they are doing and how it will unjustly harm millions of innocent people, we have a few more words. Damn you to hell. You will not destroy America and the Free World, and you will not have your New World Order. We will make certain of that. *  *  * This PDF document contains 14 pages, followed by another 17 pages of references. For those, please visit the original PDF file at Covid19 – The Spartacus Letter. *  *  * We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support. Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Donate with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon. Tyler Durden Mon, 09/27/2021 - 00:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt2 hr. 22 min. ago

Sunday links: out of left field

StrategyWhy it's difficult for the average investor to know who to trust on financial TV. (ritholtz.com)On the dangers of selling a stock too soon. (humbledollar.com)Successful investing involves a willingness to let go of some control. (evidenceinvestor.com)If you want to get rich start a company, instead of becoming an investor. (philo.substack.com)CryptoChina is not messing around this time with it's crypto ban. (coindesk.com)FTX is in the process of moving its headquarters to the Bahamas. (theblockcrypto.com)Binance is facing regulatory scrutiny across the globe. (protocol.com)CompaniesWhy DraftKings's ($DKNG) bid for Entain is a big deal for the industry. (frontofficesports.com)The story of how Toast ($TOST) came to be a public company. (cnbc.com)A big profile of Twist Bioscience s($TWST) and how it is changing the industry. (alexdanco.com)What is the Petershill Partners Plc private-equity business worth as a public company. (washingtonpost.com)GlobalDoes combating climate change mean higher inflation down the road? (ft.com)Tel Aviv, Israel is being transformed by the startup boom. (wsj.com)PolicyWhy child care workers are quitting in droves. (washingtonpost.com)Why does the FDA still not have a permanent chief? (npr.org)Plenty of public companies got PPP loans and didn't pay them back. (propublica.org)No single technology can solve rural America's broadband problem. (bloomberg.com)Debt ceilingDebt ceiling debates are pointless and should just go away. (pragcap.com)How an actual debt ceiling-induced default would affect markets. (econbrowser.com)How the press should cover the debt limit issue (fallows.substack.com)EconomyInflation can show up in ways, i.e. inconvenience, than just prices. (awealthofcommonsense.com)The economic schedule for the coming week. (calculatedriskblog.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsTop clicks this week on the site. (abnormalreturns.com)What you missed in our Saturday linkfest. (abnormalreturns.com)Coronavirus links: flu season. (abnormalreturns.com)Are you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. (newsletter.abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaThere is a big difference between data and information. (incognitomoneyscribe.com)To get more done, do less if the stuff that doesn't matter. (fs.blog)Lessons learned from a year on Substack. (niemanlab.org).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturns16 hr. 10 min. ago

Two-thirds of low wage workers still don"t have sick days amid ongoing pandemic

Paid sick days have a positive benefit to employers as it reduces employee turnover, researchers say. Westend61/Getty Images Two-thirds of low-wage workers do not have sick days, despite the ongoing pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, paid sick days have a positive benefit to employers as it reduces employee turnover. There has been a recent push by Democratic politicians and workers in the US to secure paid leave for low-wage workers. See more stories on Insider's business page. Two-thirds of low-wage workers do not have sick days, even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Over three-quarters, or about 77%, of private-sector workers in the US have the ability to earn paid sick time at work, but the benefit is mostly available to higher-wage workers, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Only 33% of the lowest-paid workers are able to earn paid sick days in the US, the data found.Low-wage workers, such as people working in education, restaurants, and manufacturing, are typically working in positions where they have more direct contact with the public, putting them at a higher risk for developing a contagious disease like COVID-19, falling ill, and subsequently being forced to miss work, the Economic Policy Institute points out. Access to paid sick days has positive benefits to employers as it reduces employee turnover with no impact on employment, according to EPI. Depending on where workers live can also impact their access to paid sick days, the EPI reported. 95% of private-sector workers living in the Pacific Region (California, Oregon, and Washington) have access to paid sick leave while only 67% in East South Central states (Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee) have the same access. Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee all have preemption laws prohibiting cities and counties from requiring local employers to offer paid sick leave or other forms of paid family or medical leave, according to the EPI.There is no federal law requiring employers to provide paid sick leave. Recently, Tyson Foods, the world's second-largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, granted workers fully vaccinated against the coronavirus 20 hours of paid sick leave a year to incentivize employees to get the vaccine, Insider Reported. However, Amazon, which currently employs every 1 out of 153 workers in the US, does not offer its warehouse workers paid sick leave. Amazon has come under scrutiny from its employees and labor activists for offering unsafe working conditions for its warehouse workers and delivery drivers. The company has repeatedly said the safety of drivers and communities is its top priority and it invests millions of dollars in safety protocols for workers.-Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) June 23, 2021House Democrats are currently drafting a bill that includes 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for American workers. The proposed $3.5 trillion infrastructure plan, called the Build Back Better Act, would guarantee workers time off to raise newborn children or deal with a medical emergency, Insider reported. "This is our historic opportunity to support working families and ensure our economy is stronger, more inclusive, and more resilient for generations to come," Chairman Richard E. Neal, a Massachusetts representative, previously told Insider.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 25th, 2021

China has banned all crypto transactions in the country. Here is what it means and why experts say bitcoin will bounce back.

"A banning of crypto possession probably would have sent everything crypto 20% lower," an analyst said. A sign is installed at first bitcoin retail store open in Hong Kong in 2014. Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images China's declaration that crypto-transactions are illegal drove down bitcoin and other digital currencies Friday. China, however, didn't ban possession of digital currencies, which likely prevented deeper losses. The central bank warned of criminal investigations into people suspected of buying and trading cryptocurrencies. See more stories on Insider's business page. China took its most forceful action so far against cryptocurrencies by saying crypto-transactions are illegal. But Beijing stopped short of publicly prohibiting possession, shielding bitcoin from long-term price pressure amid an ongoing crackdown, analysts said.The People's Bank of China said bitcoin, ether and tether "are not legal and should not and cannot be used as currency in the market," according to a translated version of its statement. The PBOC said virtual currencies don't have the same legal standing as fiat currency because they're issued by non-monetary authorities and use encryption technology.But the government didn't ban possession of cryptocurrencies, a move that "would have dealt a massive blow to the entire crypto space," said Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a Friday note. "A banning of crypto possession probably would have sent everything crypto 20% lower," he said. Bitcoin fell as much as 9% initially to near $41,000. But bitcoin, ether and tether came off their intraday lows by midday Friday. China has waged a years-long campaign again virtual currencies dating back to 2013, when it banned banks from handling bitcoin transactions. In 2017, it also ordered local cryptocurrency exchanges to cease operations, forcing people in China to use off-shore exchanges. Earlier this year, Beijing cracked down on financial institutions from offering crypto services as well as bitcoin mining. Now China is going even further, targeting individuals, not just businesses, and closing off ways to get around earlier limits.On Friday, the PBOC warned that people suspected of a range of activities such as buying and selling cryptocurrencies and offering pricing information will face criminal investigation. It also took aim at overseas, online virtual currency exchanges serving Chinese residents, saying they are conducting business illegally. Amid the crackdown, China has cited environmental concerns related to mining as well as worries about digital assets being used in financial crimes and sparking financial instability.But as China bans crypto activities, it has been working on its own digital yuan, with the project's roots tracing back to 2014 and testing with commercial institutions beginning in 2017. Why the latest ban isn't that badBut there was one big sign that investors would eventually set aside China's latest announcement, Jake Wujastyk, chief market analyst at TrendSpider, told Insider on Friday. "If you look at the low of bitcoin on September 20, we didn't even hit that low [around $36,900 on Friday]", he said. Bitcoin "should have broken to new lows and it didn't - at least not yet," said Wujastyk. "Right now [the news] is moving the market but over the longer term, it's not going to make a huge difference... China has been cracking down on a lot of things lately." China in recent months has been imposing restrictions and rule changes on companies ranging from technology makers to education services providers. It's part of a campaign to reform business and social practices and prevent what it sees as security risks from large companies listing securities in the US. President Xi Jinping has also touted a "common prosperity" campaign, targeting China's widening wealth disparities.Friday's move, "seems to us to be a reaction to what news [China] had earlier this week with Evergrande," Chris Kline, COO and co-founder of Bitcoin IRA, told Insider. He was referring to the potential collapse of China's second-largest property developer that's facing default on $309 billion in liabilities. "What happened with Evergrande has put shame on the state-controlled economy. I would expect to see more clamping down and regulatory action. Obviously, bitcoin was the first target," said Kline, whose fintech platform allows clients to invest in cryptocurrencies using retirement funds. Overall, the crypto-transactions announcement "it's not surprising or shocking to us," he said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 24th, 2021

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

It has been three months since James Taylor left his role as global head of electronic foreign exchange sales at BNY Mellon. The former JP Morgan and Barclays Capital has joined Unizen as chief business development officer, with the first aim of reinforcing the compliance and regulatory aspects of the CeDeFi ecosystem. Q2 2021 hedge […] It has been three months since James Taylor left his role as global head of electronic foreign exchange sales at BNY Mellon. The former JP Morgan and Barclays Capital has joined Unizen as chief business development officer, with the first aim of reinforcing the compliance and regulatory aspects of the CeDeFi ecosystem. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Taylor comes from the traditional finance industry, and has landed at Unizen at a critical stage in which the company is furiously working on innovating the UX environment for crypto traders and developers. We talked to James about his move and what Unizen is working on in the crypto space, while looking to use CeFi to bridge the gaps while delivering “compliant liquidity” to the end-user. It's been three months since you joined Unizen. How has it been? What did you find when joining the company? The time has flown by! The pace of innovation and development in the crypto industry is really quite staggering and it’s really exciting to be a part of it. I was already interested in the space and there are similarities between traditional finance and crypto but it wasn’t until I joined Unizen that I realized how much I didn’t know! So I’ve been busy. I spend a large part of my time talking to and getting to know the team, asking “dumb” questions, and learning. Also, a lot of focus and effort has been on the compliance and regulatory side which is very high on our agenda and an area that I was able to help with from day one. You come from traditional finance and have broken your way into crypto. Was it a revealing transition? It was only ever going to be a unique and special opportunity to move me from traditional finance to crypto, and Unizen was precisely that. One big reason was the team, which is top-notch in terms of talent and diverse experience, but more importantly, it operates with high moral standards and ethics. Throughout my career, although I was working at some of the biggest and most successful global investment banks, the areas I worked in were essentially new and very much like startup businesses –we were redefining the way that fixed-income products would be traded. So the combination of working with a brilliant team and the ability to be a part of building out something special again in the crypto space is why I'm here. Unizen is working on a CeDeFi crypto solution. What can you share about this? The Unizen team and community have identified multiple challenges that face investors in the crypto space including KYC, security, liquidity, and high network fees –we are looking to fix actual problems that exist in the space at present, rather than those in a hypothetical future. Unizen is an ecosystem that unifies centralized and decentralized products and services –CeDeFi. It is a cohesive workspace that integrates UIs and aggregates data. Regular DeFi falls short of compliance requirements that are needed by most investment firms and asset managers. We are looking to use CeFi to bridge the gaps while still respecting and protecting the essential DeFi elements, delivering “compliant liquidity” to the end-user –liquidity that they are permitted to interact with, according to their specific regulatory, legal, or fiduciary obligations. What are the advantages of Unizen’s hybridization for traders? The main advantages of hybridization are simplicity, security, and locating the best liquidity and pricing available. The first modules are exchanges, but over time there will be other essential products and services added. However, Unizen is not just for traders. Both experienced traders and occasional investors will have a much simpler and straightforward experience, and loyal community members who hold and/or stake ZCX tokens will receive various perks such as reduced trading fees, regular airdrops of project tokens, access to pre-sales, and more. How could a DeFi system be scaled? The short and simple answer here is “cross-chain interoperability.” Most DeFi is currently siloed, something that is very limiting. Interoperability is crucial in any software or ecosystem, as it simply won’t work to its full potential if it can’t work with other software or networks. Should the future be DeFi, how do you see Altcoin performing versus bitcoin? CeFi and DeFi need to co-exist and evolve –likely the future will be CeDeFi. Regarding bitcoin versus altcoin, the former is primarily a store of value, when compared to Ethereum, whose smart contracts allow the development of DeFi apps. I think we will see BTC “Dominance” move to less than 30% as we move to a multipolar blockchain. According to many, we could see ETH move to around $35,000, and there absolutely will be other projects coming in the future that jostle and take top 10 spots in terms of market capitalization. What’s next for Unizen and how do you envision the future of CeDeFi? The current crypto market is small relative to the institutional capital that is sitting on the sidelines. Institutions will go “all in” in the coming years, once institutional-grade products and compliant liquidity are available. This is why we are pushing CeDeFi as a solution, and the CeDeFi Alliance of companies will partner and build to create the required infrastructure. Updated on Sep 24, 2021, 12:07 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 24th, 2021

Civilized founders pushed out

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar cannabis boom. As the legal cannabis market grows in the US, there are many ways for investors to gain exposure to the industry. Bloomberg Creative/Getty Images Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.Hello everyone,In some respects, the fight over how to legalize cannabis is a microcosm of larger social debates, pitting social justice activists against more free-market-oriented folks. Take the debate this week over the SAFE Banking Act. The cannabis banking bill passed the House for the fifth time last night. This go-around, language from the bill - which would open up the banking system to cannabis companies and allow consumers to pay with credit cards - was shoehorned into the National Defense Authorization Act.The NDAA usually passes the Senate without much fanfare. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Ron Wyden, and Sen. Cory Booker have their own more comprehensive cannabis bill, The Cannabis Opportunity and Administration Act. Booker has said that he opposes adding cannabis banking protections to the Senate's version of the NDAA ahead of broader criminal justice reforms.It remains to be seen whether SAFE will be included in the Senate's version of the NDAA. Many cannabis activists say that the SAFE Act would only help banks and large cannabis companies make more money in the industry. They'd rather see full-scale legalization or at least record expungement and other criminal and social justice measures passed first.But supporters of the SAFE Act say it's a necessary tool to help protect and grow small businesses since many social equity license holders are unable to get loans or open lines of credit to start their businesses, and that dealing in all cash is a safety risk. In other news, Amazon doubled down on its support for cannabis legalization and said it was lobbying the federal government for legalization. Aurora Cannabis closed a major facility and cut around 8% of its workforce. The company delayed its earnings until next week. Tilray closed its Nanaimo, British Columbia facility as well. California will be adding a cannabis competition to its state fair, where farmers will show off their best buds. I'll be moderating a panel about the New York cannabis opportunity at the Prohibition Partners x Business of Cannabis conference in New York City on Wednesday, September 29. I'm looking forward to seeing many of you in person, and let me know if you'll be around. - Jeremy Berke (@jfberke)If you like what you read, share this newsletter with your colleagues, friends, boss, spouse, strangers on the internet, or whomever else would like a weekly dose of cannabis news. Here's what we wrote about this week:Investors are pushing out the founders of troubled cannabis startup Civilized. We got ahold of the full memo.Investors are pushing Civilized founders Derek and Terri Riedle out of the company, according to a memo circulated among investors on Monday and obtained by Insider. The investors say the founders, Derek and Terri Riedle, saddled the company with debt.A startup accelerator that's worked with J&J and L'Oréal is getting into psychedelics as the industry goes mainstreamA new accelerator program is targeting early-stage ancillary startups focused on psychedelics, in the latest sign that psychedelics are entering the mainstream and that funding dollars are trailing closely behind. The House just passed cannabis reforms as part of a defense bill. Here's what would change for businesses and their customers.The US House of Representatives has passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, or SAFE Banking Act, yet again.Lawmakers tucked the cannabis banking bill into the National Defense Authorization Act that passed lower chamber on Thursday. It's not clear whether the Senate will include cannabis reforms in its version of the defense package once the upper chamber takes it up. Executive movesNew York Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced two more appointees - Reuben R. McDaniel, III and Jessica Garcia - to the board of the Office of Cannabis Management, the regulatory body responsible for building out the adult-use cannabis industry in the state. Deals, launches, and IPOsCannabis tech company Dispense said on Tuesday that it had raised a $2 million seed round led by NextView Ventures and Poseidon Asset Management.Michigan-based cannabis company SKYMINT said on Tuesday that it raised $78 million and acquired 3Fifteen Cannabis. Investors in the round include Tropics LP, an affiliate of Sundial Growers' JV SunStream Bancorp Inc., and Merida Capital Holdings.Christine De La Rosa, the CEO of The People's Ecosystem, is raising a $50 million fund to invest in BIPOC and women-led cannabis businesses. Psychedelics company Delic Holdings Corp said on Monday it would acquire Ketamine Wellness Centers Inc, increasing its footprint to 12 clinic locations across the US, in a $5 million cash-and-stock deal. Crain Communications is acquiring cannabis financial media site Green Market Report. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Marijuana activists hold up a 51-foot inflatable joint during a rally at the U.S. Capitol to call on Congress pass cannabis reform legislation on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Policy movesThe House of Representatives on Thursday passed the SAFE Banking Act, a cannabis banking bill, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. It's not clear whether the Senate will include cannabis reforms in its version of the defense package once the upper chamber takes it up. Italy is expected to hold a referendum on legalizing cannabis early next year after organizers gathered the 500,000 signatures within a week, reports Reuters. Research and dataA new report from the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute found that unionized cannabis workers could make $8,690 more per year than non-unionized peers. Psychedelics company Atai Life Sciences said on Tuesday that its platform company DemeRx has started its early-stage clinical trials of ibogaine to treat opioid use disorder.Cannabis data firm BDSA says in a report that cannabis sales will hit $31 billion this year, a 41% increase over last year. By 2026, BDSA expects cannabis sales to exceed $62 billion. EarningsMedMen reported its Q4 and FY21 results on Thursday. The company reported $42 million in revenue and a net loss of $46 million in Q4. For the full year, the company reported $145 million in revenue and a net loss of $157.6 million. What we're reading Why Amazon wants to make sure everyone knows it's totally cool with smoking pot now (Insider)Lawyers, race and money: Illinois' messy weed experiment (Politico)'Millions of pounds' of legal marijuana diverted to underground market, California lawsuit alleges (MJ Biz Daily)Getting high before exercise is the secret to sticking with a fitness routine, some athletes say (Insider)Illegal marijuana farms take West's water in 'blatant theft' (Associated Press)Marijuana banking sponsor discusses path through Senate after House approves reform for fifth time (Marijuana Moment)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 24th, 2021

Cathie Wood"s Ark Invest snapped up $55 million in Twitter stock after it rolled out its bitcoin-tipping feature

The Twitter bet reflects Wood's thinking that regulatory issues for digital assets will be manageable. Cathie Wood. Brendan McDermid/Reuters Cathie Wood's Ark Invest bought about 830,000 Twitter shares worth about $55 million on Thursday. She bought stock after the social-media company said it will let users send and get tips in bitcoin. The Twitter bet reflects Woods' thinking that regulatory issues for digital assets will be manageable. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. Cathie Wood's Ark Invest bought about 830,000 Twitter shares worth $55 million Thursday after the social-a company rolled out a feature that enables users to send and receive tips in bitcoin.The investment firm's flagship fund ARK Innovation ETF purchased 661,141 shares in the company, while the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF picked up another 168,766 shares, according to a trade notification update.Cathie Wood's Twitter bet reflects her thinking that ongoing regulatory issues for digital assets will be manageable. Rule-enforcing agencies around the world have intensified their scrutiny of exchanges and cryptocurrencies as they have become more popular.In the US, Securities and Exchange Commission boss Chair Gary Gensler has taken a tough stance, saying recently that cryptocurrencies might not be a viable form of payment for long-term use. The SEC chairman has called for greater investor protection around the industry, stoking fears that Wall Street's top regulator is working overtime to create a set of rules that may limit innovation within the volatile cryptocurrency market.But Wood, whose investing strategy is centered around disruption innovation in tech, recently made a bullish prediction for bitcoin, saying it could hit as much as $500,000 in five years. The digital asset was trading at $42,563 Friday, 3.5% lower on the day, according to data from CoinDesk.Bitcoin tipping is not the only new feature Twitter flagged. The social network plans to allow its users to connect their crypto wallets to facilitate bitcoin tips, and to authenticate non-fungible tokens displayed on profiles as belonging to the account holder. There are no concrete plans for NFTs yet, but Twitter has said it's in the exploration process.Another new feature announced by Twitter is Super Follows, a monthly subscription service where creators charge a fee for access to premium content.Twitter was last trading at $66.72 per share on Friday, and is up 23% so far this year. Read More: Veteran professor Erik Gordon outlines why he doesn't expect a stock-market crash, calls Cathie Wood a dot-com 'throwback' for her grand claims, and warns against owning meme stocksRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 24th, 2021

China Bans Cryptocurrency Trading, Bitcoin and Ethereum Dive

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) banned cryptocurrency trading on Friday, declaring that all activities related to this type of asset –from payments and trading to advertising– are now illegal. Bitcoin and ethereum dived 8% and 11% on the announcement, respectively. Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Cryptocurrency Trading Banned “Overseas virtual currency […] The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) banned cryptocurrency trading on Friday, declaring that all activities related to this type of asset –from payments and trading to advertising– are now illegal. Bitcoin and ethereum dived 8% and 11% on the announcement, respectively. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Cryptocurrency Trading Banned “Overseas virtual currency exchanges that use the internet to offer services to domestic residents is also considered illegal financial activity,” the PBOC said, according to a CNBC translation. Reuters reports that the regulator’s move was rooted in the premise that these assets entail a threat to national stability due to speculation. George Zarya, CEO of Bequant crypto exchange in London, was quoted as saying: “China has been known to go to extremes with either very assertive statements and prosecutions to complete radio silence.” "This time the point was made very clear that China will not support cryptocurrency market development as it goes against its policies of tightening up control over capital flow and big tech.” The decision to ban cryptocurrency trading prohibits financial institutions, payment companies, and internet firms from facilitating trade or opening cryptocurrency accounts, as well as their promotion and advertising. The regulator will also strengthen the monitoring of these activities. Shockwaves “The Chinese regulators have always been extreme in their views and these comments are not new,” said Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia Pacific at digital currency exchange Luno. “They have said these things many times in the past. But the reaction is interesting purely because we are anyway in a slightly nervous environment for crypto with the recent SEC comments and overall macro environment with the Evergrande news. So any comments of this nature will cause a selloff in risky assets.” The measure also means that all transactions related to cryptocurrencies, including services provided by foreign platforms to national residents, are illegal. China has cranked the pressure on the industry amid heightened concern about the risks of fraud, money laundering, and the excessive energy use in crypto mining. The nation's economic planning agency had said it was urgent to root out crypto mining to meet carbon emissions targets. In the meantime, the PBOC is preparing its own digital currency as the Asian giant is set to spearhead the issuing of the world’s first digital currency by a central bank. The country has already tested a virtual version of the yuan in various provinces. Updated on Sep 24, 2021, 10:16 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: valuewalkSep 24th, 2021

Ford (F) Teams Up With Redwood for EV Battery Recycling

The collaboration between Ford (F) and Redwood is aimed at amalgamating battery recycling into the auto biggie's domestic battery strategy in order to bring down costs of EVs. Ford F recently announced that it is partnering with Redwood Materials, a leading battery materials company, to make electric vehicles (EVs) more sustainable and economical for customers by building a domestic battery supply chain for EVs, creating recycling options for the end-of-life vehicles and enhancing battery production.Based in northern Nevada, Redwood recycles scrap from battery cell production and consumer electronics like cell phone batteries and laptop computers. The company then processes these discarded goods, extracting materials like cobalt, nickel and lithium that are typically mined, and supplied back to its customers.The collaboration between Ford and Redwood aims to amalgamate battery recycling into the auto biggie’s domestic battery strategy. Redwood’s recycling technology can recover most of the key elements,critical to manufacturing EV battery packs, which can be reused by Ford in a closed-loop system for future battery production. By using locally-produced, recycled battery materials, Ford can bring down costs, and reduce its reliance on imports and mining of raw materials. This approach will help ensure that the valuable materials in the end-of-life batteries re-enter the supply chain and do not get wasted. It will also reduce Ford’s dependence on the existing supply-chain network.Additionally, Redwood is creating a circular supply chain for batteries, and aiding its partners by providing processes and technologies to reuse and remanufacture lithium-ion batteries. Creating a U.S. circular supply chain is a crucial step toward making battery-powered EVs viable and cheaper for more customers.Ford is highly optimistic about this partnership. Accelerating the production of batteries and their materials through domestic recycling can help the automaker fortify its U.S. manufacturing foothold of lithium-ion batteries, decrease the cost of EVs and in turn, speed up the domestic adoption of EVs. The collaboration with Redwood will help ensure the right infrastructure is in place to cost-effectively recycle the end-of-life Ford batteries to create a solid pool of domestic raw materials and thus, make EVs economical.Ford has invested $50 million into Redwood to support the latter’s expansion in the United States, and further scale up the relationship between the two companies.Amid the heightening climate change concerns, investors are intrigued by automakers that provide green transportation solutions. Automakers like Tesla TSLA, General Motors GM and Volkswagen VWAGY are leaving no stone unturned to step up their EV game. Thus, amid the intensified competition, the development of batteries used to power EVs has become crucial in order to decarbonize the global economy. This has also forced automakers to increasingly focus on the enhancing the life cycle of EV batteries and make them more cost-effective.The latest agreement is an evidence that automakers are taking significant steps to address the supply and cost of raw materials needed to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles, in order to make EVs more pocket friendly.The deal comes when Ford is adding more electric vehicles to its product menu, including the upcoming F-150 Lightning pick-up truck, the first-ever all-electric F-Series truck designed for commercial customers. The latest agreement also builds on Ford’s previously-announced plans to boost battery production through multiple BlueOvalSK battery plants in North America commencing mid-decade.Dearborn-based Ford is committed toward its goal of providing completely carbon-free transportation in the upcoming years and is boosting the company’s electrification efforts to attain this target. The company has always been at the forefront of the automotive revolution and is focused on its vision of an all-electric future, including providing fifth-generation lithium ion batteries as well as preparing for the transition to solid-state batteries, which warrant longer ranges, reduced costs and safer EVs for customers. The automaker has committed to invest more than $30 billion by 2025 for the electrification of its commercial and retail fleet by capitalizing on its strength, starting with the EV versions of the company’s most popular models.Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report Volkswagen AG (VWAGY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Steven Madden (SHOO) Stock Outpaces Industry YTD: Here"s Why

Steven Madden's (SHOO) e-commerce business exhibits momentum. The company ramps up its digital marketing efforts and innovates capabilities to tap higher sales. Steven Madden, Ltd. SHOO is climbing up the charts, thanks to immense strength in its e-commerce wing and strategic ploys. The company’s commerce business is reflecting a sturdy momentum since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Management also remains encouraged about its prudent buyouts. Its cost-containment efforts are also fruitful and aiding margins. Buoyed by such strengths, shares of this currently Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) player have increased 21.4% in the year-to-date period while its industry has rallied 12.9%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Delving DeeperSolid gains from increased investment in digital marketing and robust online capabilities, such as try before you buy, are steadily yielding results. Its constant efforts to optimize features and functionality of its website are also contributing. The company also significantly accelerated its digital commerce initiatives with respect to distribution. It added high level talent to the organization, ramped up digital marketing spend, improved data science capabilities, launched try-before-you-buy payment facility, rolled out buy online, pick-up in store across its entire U.S. full-price retail outlets, and introduced advanced delivery and return options.The e-commerce momentum continued in the second quarter of 2021 with revenues surging 105% including a 119%-increase in Steve Madden’s e-commerce business. Digital sales represented about 54% of the company’s total Retail segment sales in the quarter.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchSpeaking of its smart buyouts, Steven Madden is optimistic about the takeover of BB Dakota, a California-based women's apparel company through which the former is steadily expanding its apparel category. Its European joint venture (JV) is also noteworthy. This transaction distributes the company’s branded footwear and accessories across majority countries in Europe.Steven Madden formed this JV roughly five years ago, and the same registered solid double-digit percentage revenue growth each year with a 21% revenue increase in 2020. For 2021, management anticipated revenues from the European JV of about $55 million, more than 3/4 of which will be generated from digital channels. Also, the business is expected to generate a mid-teen operating profit margin before allocation of corporate overhead.Management remains focused on creating trendy products, deepening relations with customers via marketing, enhancing digital-commerce solutions and expanding in the international markets. Growth in the company’s brands and a robust business model position it well to cash in on the market-expansion opportunities and boost stakeholder value.More StrengthsStrong e-commerce momentum along with other aforementioned strategies will continue helping the company stay afloat on a tough operating landscape. Results are also benefiting from trend-right product assortments as well as an accelerated business recovery. Higher consumer demand and spending on fashion products are further adding up to the company’s performance. Brick-and-mortar business continues to be impressive on a steady recovery from the pandemic.For 2021, management projected revenue growth of 43-47% from the total revenues of $1,201.8 million reported in 2020. Adjusted earnings per share are likely to fall in the bracket of $2-$2.10. In 2020, the company reported adjusted earnings of 64 cents. Sturdy growth trends witnessed during the second quarter are likely to remain throughout 2021.In addition, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 sales and earnings is currently pegged at $1.76 billion and $2.10 per share, respectively. These estimates suggest corresponding growth of about 46% and 228% from the respective year-ago reported figures. An expected long-term earnings growth rate of 15% further exhibits strength. Considering all the aforesaid factors, Steven Madden is a solid investment bet now.Eye These Solid Picks TooRalph Lauren RL has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15% and a Zacks Rank #1, currently.GIII Apparel GIII currently has a Zacks Rank of 1 and a long-term earnings growth rate of 11.6%.Wolverine WWW has a long-term earnings growth rate of 10% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), presently. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>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 Ralph Lauren Corporation (RL): Free Stock Analysis Report Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (WWW): Free Stock Analysis Report GIII Apparel Group, LTD. (GIII): Free Stock Analysis Report Steven Madden, Ltd. (SHOO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2021

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

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

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 23rd, 2021

Vail Resorts Reports Fiscal 2021 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results, Provides Fiscal 2022 Outlook, Announces Transformational Capital Plan and Declares Dividend

BROOMFIELD, Colo., Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) today reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended July 31, 2021, which were negatively impacted by COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions, and reported results of season-to-date season pass sales. Vail Resorts also provided its outlook for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2022, announced a one-time transformational capital plan for calendar year 2022, and declared a dividend payable in October 2021. Highlights Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. was $127.9 million for fiscal 2021, an increase of 29.4% compared to fiscal 2020. Fiscal 2021 was negatively impacted by COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions, including the early closure of Whistler Blackcomb on March 30, 2021 and "stay at home" orders and periodic resort closures impacting our Australian ski areas. The prior year period was negatively impacted by the early closure of the Company's North American destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas on March 15, 2020 due to COVID-19 (the "Resort Closures"). Resort Reported EBITDA was $544.7 million for fiscal 2021, an increase of 8.2% compared to fiscal 2020. Fiscal 2021 was negatively impacted by COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions. The prior year period was primarily impacted by the Resort Closures, which included the resulting deferral of approximately $120.9 million of pass product revenue and $2.9 million of related deferred costs from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2021 as a result of pass holder credits offered to 2019/2020 North American pass product holders. Pass product sales through September 17, 2021 for the upcoming 2021/2022 North American ski season increased approximately 42% in units and approximately 17% in sales dollars as compared to the period in the prior year through September 18, 2020, without deducting for the value of any redeemed credits provided to certain North American pass product holders in the prior period. To provide a comparison to the season pass results released on June 7, 2021, pass product sales through September 17, 2021 increased approximately 67% in units and approximately 45% in sales dollars as compared to the period through September 20, 2019, with pass product sales adjusted to include Peak Resorts pass sales in both periods. Pass product sales are adjusted to eliminate the impact of foreign currency by applying an exchange rate of $0.79 between the Canadian dollar and U.S. dollar in all periods for Whistler Blackcomb pass sales. The Company issued its fiscal 2022 guidance range and expects Resort Reported EBITDA to be between $785 million and $835 million. The guidance includes an expectation that Resort Reported EBITDA for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 will be between negative $118 million and negative $106 million, which includes the negative impact from COVID-19 resort closures in Australia. Fiscal 2022 guidance assumes, among other assumptions described below, no material impacts associated with COVID-19 for the 2021/2022 North American ski season or the 2022 Australian ski season, other than an expected slower recovery for international visitation and group/conference business. The Company continues to maintain significant liquidity with $1.2 billion of cash on hand as of July 31, 2021 and $613 million of availability under our U.S. and Whistler Blackcomb revolving credit facilities. The Company declared a cash dividend of $0.88 per share payable in October 2021 and plans to exit the temporary waiver period under the Vail Holdings, Inc. revolving credit facility ("VHI Credit Agreement") effective October 31, 2021. The Company announced a transformational $315 million to $325 million capital plan for calendar year 2022 focused on the addition and/or upgrade of 19 new chairlifts and other improvements to enhance the guest experience ahead of the 2022/2023 North American ski season. Commenting on the Company's fiscal 2021 results, Rob Katz, Chief Executive Officer, said, "Given the continued challenges associated with COVID-19, we are pleased with our operating results for the year. Our results highlighted our data-driven marketing capabilities, the value of our pass products, the resiliency of demand for the experiences we offer throughout our network of world-class resorts and our disciplined cost controls. "Results continued to improve as the 2020/2021 North American ski season progressed, primarily as a result of stronger destination visitation at our Colorado and Utah resorts. Excluding Peak Resorts, total skier visitation at our U.S. destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas for fiscal 2021 was only down 6% compared to fiscal 2019. Whistler Blackcomb's performance was disproportionately negatively impacted due to the closure of the Canadian border to international guests, including guests from the U.S., and the resort closing earlier than expected on March 30, 2021 following a provincial health order issued by the government of British Columbia. Whistler Blackcomb's total skier visitation for fiscal 2021 declined 51% compared to fiscal 2019. Our ancillary lines of business were more significantly and negatively impacted by COVID-19 related capacity constraints and limitations throughout the 2020/2021 North American ski season. We generated Resort Reported EBITDA margin of 28.5% driven by our disciplined cost controls as well as a higher proportion of lift revenue relative to ancillary lines of business compared to prior periods." Regarding the Company's fiscal 2021 fourth quarter results, Katz said, "We are pleased with the strong demand across our North American summer operations during the fourth quarter, which exceeded our expectations and which we believe highlights our guests' continued affinity for outdoor experiences. In Australia, we experienced strong demand trends at the beginning of the 2021 Australian ski season. However, subsequent COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders and temporary resort closures negatively impacted financial results for the fourth quarter by approximately $8 million relative to our guidance expectations issued on June 7, 2021. Fourth quarter results were also negatively impacted relative to our June 7, 2021 guidance by a one-time $13.2 million charge for a contingent obligation with respect to certain litigation matters." Katz continued, "We remain focused on our disciplined approach to capital allocation, prioritizing our investments in our people, as well as high-return capital projects, strategic acquisition opportunities, and returning capital to shareholders. Our liquidity position remains strong, and we are confident in the free cash flow generation and stability of our business model. Our total cash and revolver availability as of July 31, 2021 was approximately $1.9 billion, with $1.2 billion of cash on hand, $418 million of revolver availability under the VHI Credit Agreement, and $195 million of revolver availability under the Whistler Blackcomb Credit Agreement. As of July 31, 2021, our Net Debt was 3.0 times trailing twelve months Total Reported EBITDA. Given our strong balance sheet and outlook, we are pleased to announce that the Company plans to exit the temporary waiver period under the VHI Credit Agreement effective October 31, 2021, declared a cash dividend of $0.88 per share payable in October 2021, and announced a transformational $315 million to $325 million capital plan for calendar year 2022 to add or upgrade 19 new chairlifts and make other investments to enhance the guest experience and are expected to generate strong returns for our shareholders." Operating Results A more complete discussion of our operating results can be found within the Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations section of the Company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2021, which was filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The discussion of operating results below compares the results for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2021 to the fiscal year ended July 31, 2020, unless otherwise noted. The following are segment highlights: Mountain Segment Total lift revenue increased $163.5 million, or 17.9%, to $1,076.6 million primarily due to strong North American pass sales growth for the 2020/2021 ski season, including the deferral impact of the pass holder credits offered to 2019/2020 North American pass product holders from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2021 as a result of the Resort Closures, partially offset by a decrease in non-pass visitation due to limitations and restrictions on our North American operations due to the impacts of COVID-19, which disproportionately impacted Whistler Blackcomb. Ski school revenue decreased $44.9 million, or 23.7%, dining revenue decreased $70.4 million, or 43.8%, and retail/rental revenue decreased $42.3 million, or 15.7%, each primarily as a result of by COVID-19 related capacity limitations and restrictions in the current year, partially offset by the Company operating for the full U.S. ski season in the current year as compared to the impact of the Resort Closures in the prior year. Operating expense decreased $65.9 million, or 5.4%, which was primarily attributable to cost discipline efforts in the current year associated with lower levels of operations and limitations, restrictions and closures of resort operations resulting from COVID-19. Mountain Reported EBITDA increased $50.3 million, or 10.1%, which includes $20.3 million of stock-based compensation for fiscal 2021 compared to $17.4 million in the prior year. Lodging Segment Lodging segment net revenue (excluding payroll cost reimbursements) decreased $26.4 million, or 11.1%, primarily due to operational restrictions and limitations of our North American lodging properties in the current year as a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, partially offset by stronger summer demand in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021. Lodging Reported EBITDA decreased $9.0 million, which includes $3.8 million of stock-based compensation expense in fiscal 2021 compared to $3.4 million of stock-based compensation expense in fiscal 2020. Resort - Combination of Mountain and Lodging Segments Resort net revenue was $1,907.9 million for fiscal 2021, a decrease of $50.9 million, or 2.6%, compared to resort net revenue of $1,958.9 million for fiscal 2020. Fiscal 2021 revenue included approximately $12 million of favorability from currency translation, which the Company calculated on a constant currency basis by applying current period foreign exchange rates to the prior period results. Resort Reported EBITDA was $544.7 million for fiscal 2021, an increase of $41.3 million, or 8.2%, compared to fiscal 2020. Fiscal 2021 includes the impact from the deferral of $118 million of pass product revenue and related deferred costs from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2021 as a result of credits offered to 2020/2021 North American pass product holders, a one-time $13.2 million charge for a contingent obligation with respect to certain litigation matters, and approximately $2 million of favorability from currency translation from Whistler Blackcomb, which the Company calculated on a constant currency basis by applying current period foreign exchange rates to prior period results. Total Performance Total net revenue decreased $54.0 million, or 2.7%, to $1,909.7 million. Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. was $127.9 million, or $3.13 per diluted share, for fiscal 2021 compared to net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. of $98.8 million, or $2.42 per diluted share, in fiscal 2020. Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. for fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2020 included tax benefits of approximately $17.9 million and $8.0 million, respectively, related to employee exercises of equity awards (primarily related to the CEO's exercise of SARs). Additionally, fiscal 2021 net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. included approximately $3 million of unfavorability from currency translation, which the Company calculated by applying current period foreign exchange rates to the prior period results. Season Pass Sales Commenting on the Company's season pass sales for the upcoming 2021/2022 North American ski season, Katz said, "We are very pleased with the results of our season pass sales to date, which continue to demonstrate the strength of our data-driven marketing initiatives and the compelling value proposition of our pass products, driven in part by the 20% reduction in all pass prices for the upcoming season. Pass product sales through September 17, 2021 for the upcoming 2021/2022 North American ski season increased approximately 42% in units and approximately 17% in sales dollars as compared to the period in the prior year through September 18, 2020, without deducting for the value of any redeemed credits provided to certain North American pass holders in the prior period. To provide a comparison to the season pass results released on June 7, 2021, pass product sales through September 17, 2021 for the upcoming 2021/2022 North American ski season increased approximately 67% in units and approximately 45% in sales dollars as compared to sales for the 2019/2020 North American ski season through September 20, 2019, with pass product sales adjusted to include Peak Resorts pass sales in both periods. Pass product sales are adjusted to eliminate the impact of foreign currency by applying an exchange rate of $0.79 between the Canadian dollar and U.S. dollar in all periods for Whistler Blackcomb pass sales." Katz continued, "We saw strong unit growth from renewing pass holders and significantly stronger unit growth from new pass holders, which include guests in our database who previously purchased lift tickets or passes but did not buy a pass in the previous season and guests who are completely new to our database. Our strongest unit growth was from our destination markets, including the Northeast, and we also had very strong growth across our local markets. The majority of our absolute unit growth came from our core Epic and Epic Local pass products and we also saw even higher percentage growth from our Epic Day Pass products. Compared to the period ended September 18, 2020, effective pass price decreased 17%, despite the 20% price decrease we implemented this year and the significant growth of our lower priced Epic Day Pass products, which continue to represent an increasing portion of our total advance commitment product sales. "We are very pleased with the performance of our pass product sales efforts to date, which exceeded our original expectations for the impact of the 20% price reduction, particularly in the growth of new pass holders and in the trade up we are seeing from pass holders into higher priced products. As we enter the final period for pass product sales, we feel good about the current trends we are seeing. However, it is important to point out that we know a portion of the growth we have seen to date represents certain pass product holders purchasing their pass earlier in the selling season than in the prior year period and we saw strong growth in the late fall in the prior year period due to concerns around COVID-19, including questions about resort access as a result of our mountain access reservation system. Given these factors and the other changing economic and COVID-related dynamics, it is difficult to provide specific guidance on our final growth rates, which may decline from the rates we reported today." Capital Investments Commenting on the Company's capital investments, Katz said, "As previously announced, we are on track to complete several signature investments in advance of the 2021/2022 North American ski season. In Colorado, we are completing a 250 acre lift-served terrain expansion in the signature McCoy Park area of Beaver Creek, further differentiating the resort's high-end, family focused experience. We are also adding a new four-person high speed lift at Breckenridge to serve the popular Peak 7, replacing the Peru lift at Keystone with a six-person high speed chairlift, and replacing the Peachtree lift at Crested Butte with a new three-person fixed-grip lift. At Okemo, we are completing a transformational investment including upgrading the Quantum lift to replace the Green Ridge three-person fixed-grip chairlift. In addition to the transformational investments that will greatly improve uplift capacity, we are continuing to invest in company-wide technology enhancements, including investing in a number of upgrades to bring a best-in-class approach to how we service our guests through these channels. "We are encouraged by the outlook for our long-term growth and the financial stability we have created. The success of our advance commitment strategy, the expansion of our network and our focus on creating an outstanding guest experience remain at the forefront of our efforts. Toward that end, we are launching an ambitious capital investment plan for calendar year 2022 across our resorts to significantly increase lift capacity and enhance the guest experience as we drive increased loyalty from our guests and continuously improve the value proposition of our advance commitment products. These investments are also expected to drive strong financial returns for our shareholders. The plan includes the installation of 19 new or replacement lifts across 14 of our resorts that collectively will increase lift capacity in those lift locations by more than 60% and a transformational lift-served terrain expansion at Keystone, as well as additional projects that will be announced in December 2021 and March 2022. All of the projects in the plan are subject to regulatory approvals. "We expect our capital plan for calendar year 2022 will be approximately $315 million to $325 million, excluding any real estate related capital or reimbursable investments. This is approximately $150 million above our typical annual capital plan, based on inflation and previous additions for acquisitions, and includes approximately $20 million of incremental spending to complete the one-time capital plans associated with the Peak Resorts and Triple Peaks acquisitions. Given our recent financings and strong liquidity, the outlook for our business driven by the growth of our advance commitment strategy, and the tax benefit in 2022 from additional accelerated depreciation on U.S. investments, we believe this is the right time for our Company to make a significant investment in the guest experience at our resorts and expect this one-time increase in discretionary investments will drive an attractive return for our shareholders. Additional details associated with our calendar year 2022 capital plan can be found in our capital press release issued on September 23, 2021. We also intend to return our capital spending to our typical long-term plan in our calendar year 2023 capital plan, with the potential for reduced spending given the number of projects we would complete in calendar year 2022. We will be providing further detail on our calendar year 2022 capital plan in December 2021." Return of Capital Commenting on the Company's return of capital, Katz said, "The Company plans to exit the waiver period under the VHI Credit Agreement effective October 31, 2021, reinstating the required quarterly compliance with our financial maintenance covenants beginning with the first quarter of fiscal year 2022. We are also pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has reinstated our quarterly dividend by declaring a cash dividend on Vail Resorts' common stock of $0.88 per share, payable on October 22, 2021 to shareholders of record on October 5, 2021. This dividend payment equates to 50% of pre-pandemic levels and reflects our continued confidence in the strong free cash flow generation and stability of our business model despite the ongoing risks associated with COVID-19. Our Board of Directors will continue to closely monitor the economic and public health outlook on a quarterly basis to assess the level of our quarterly dividend going forward." Guidance Commenting on guidance for fiscal 2022, Katz said, "As we head into fiscal 2022, we are encouraged by the robust demand from our guests, the strength of our advance commitment product sales and our continued focus on enhancing the guest experience while maintaining our cost discipline. Our guidance for net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. is estimated to be between $278 million and $349 million for fiscal 2022. We estimate Resort Reported EBITDA for fiscal 2022 will be between $785 million and $835 million. We estimate Resort EBITDA Margin for fiscal 2022 to be approximately 32.1%, using the midpoint of the guidance range, which is negatively impacted as a result of COVID-19 impacts associated with Australia in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and the anticipated slower recovery in international visitation and group/conference business. We estimate Real Estate Reported EBITDA for fiscal 2022 to be between negative $6 million and $0 million. The guidance assumes normal weather conditions, a continuation of the current economic environment and no material impacts associated with COVID-19 for the 2021/2022 North American ski season or the 2022 Australian ski season other than an expected slower recovery for international visitation, which is expected to have a disproportionate impact at Whistler Blackcomb, and group/conference business, which is expected to have a disproportionate impact in our Lodging segment. At Whistler Blackcomb, we estimate the upcoming winter season will generate approximately $27 million lower Resort Reported EBITDA relative to the comparable period in fiscal 2019, primarily driven by the anticipated reduction in international visitation. "Fiscal 2022 guidance includes an expectation that the first quarter of fiscal 2022 will generate net loss attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. between $156 million and $136 million and Resort Reported EBITDA between negative $118 million and negative $106 million. We estimate the negative impacts of COVID-19 in Australia and the associated limitations and restrictions, including the current lockdowns, will have a negative Resort Reported EBITDA impact of approximately $41 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 as compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2020. "There continues to be uncertainty regarding the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on our business results in fiscal year 2022, including any response to changing COVID-19 guidance and regulations by the various governmental bodies that regulate our operations and resort communities, as well as changes in consumer behavior resulting from COVID-19, which are not factored into the guidance and could negatively impact it. The guidance assumes an exchange rate of $0.80 between the Canadian Dollar and U.S. Dollar related to the operations of Whistler Blackcomb in Canada and an exchange rate of $0.74 between the Australian Dollar and U.S. Dollar related to the operations of Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia." The following table reflects the forecasted guidance range for the Company's fiscal 2022 first quarter ending October 31, 2021 and full year ending July 31, 2022, for Reported EBITDA (after stock-based compensation expense) and reconciles net (loss) income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. guidance to such Reported EBITDA guidance. Fiscal 2022 Guidance Fiscal 2022 Guidance (In thousands) (In thousands) For the Three Months Ending For the Year Ending October 31, 2021 (6) July 31, 2022 (6) Low End High End Low End High End Range Range Range Range Net (loss) income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. $ (156,000) $ (136,000) $ 278,000 $ 349,000 Net (loss) income attributable to noncontrolling interests (3,000) (7,000) 24,000 18,000 Net (loss) income (159,000) (143,000) 302,000 367,000 (Benefit) provision for income taxes (1) (60,000) (54,000) 82,000 100,000 (Loss) income before income taxes (219,000) (197,000) 384,000 467,000 Depreciation and amortization 63,000 61,000 250,000 238,000 Interest expense, net 41,000 38,000 150,000 142,000 Other (2) (5,000) (8,000) (5,000) (12,000) Total Reported EBITDA $ (120,000) $ (106,000) $ 779,000 $ 835,000 Mountain Reported EBITDA (3) $ (122,000) $ (110,000) $ 766,000 $ 814,000 Lodging Reported EBITDA (4) 3,000 5,000 16,000 24,000 Resort Reported EBITDA (5) (118,000) (106,000) 785,000 835,000 Real Estate Reported EBITDA (2,000) — (6,000) — Total Reported EBITDA $ (120,000) $ (106,000) $ 779,000 $ 835,000 (1) The (benefit) provision for income taxes may be impacted by excess tax benefits primarily resulting from vesting and exercises of equity awards. Our estimated (benefit) provision for income taxes does not include the impact, if any, of unknown future exercises of employee equity awards, which could have a material impact given that a significant portion of our awards are in-the-money. (2) Our guidance includes certain known changes in the fair value of the contingent consideration based solely on the passage of time and resulting impact on present value. Guidance excludes any change based upon, among other things, financial projections including long-term growth rates for Park City, which such change may be material. Separately, the intercompany loan associated with the Whistler Blackcomb transaction requires foreign currency remeasurement to Canadian dollars, the functional currency of Whistler Blackcomb. Our guidance excludes any forward looking change related to foreign currency gains or losses on the intercompany loans, which such change may be material. (3) Mountain Reported EBITDA also includes approximately $5 million and $21 million of stock-based compensation for the three months ending October 31, 2021 and the year ending July 31, 2022, respectively. (4) Lodging Reported EBITDA also includes approximately $1 million and $4 million of stock-based compensation for the three months ending October 31, 2021 and the year ending July 31, 2022, respectively. (5) The Company provides Reported EBITDA ranges for the Mountain and Lodging segments, as well as for the two combined. The low and high of the expected ranges provided for the Mountain and Lodging segments, while possible, do not sum to the high or low end of the Resort Reported EBITDA range provided because we do not expect or assume that we will hit the low or high end of both ranges. (6) Guidance estimates are predicated on an exchange rate of $0.80 between the Canadian Dollar and U.S. Dollar, related to the operations of Whistler Blackcomb in Canada and an exchange rate of $0.74 between the Australian Dollar and U.S. Dollar, related to the operations of our Australian ski areas. Earnings Conference Call The Company will conduct a conference call today at 5:00 p.m. eastern time to discuss the financial results. The call will be webcast and can be accessed at www.vailresorts.com in the Investor Relations section, or dial (888) 204-4368 (U.S. and Canada) or (323) 994-2093 (international). A replay of the conference call will be available two hours following the conclusion of the conference call through October 7, 2021, at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. To access the replay, dial (888) 203-1112 (U.S. and Canada) or (719) 457-0820 (international), pass code 8866986. The conference call will also be archived at www.vailresorts.com. About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts' subsidiaries operate 37 destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, and Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com. Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements discussed in this press release and on the conference call, other than statements of historical information, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including the statements regarding fiscal 2022 and the first quarter of fiscal 2022 performance (including the assumptions related thereto), including our expected net income and Resort Reported EBITDA; our expectations regarding our liquidity; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on, among other things, our operations; expectations related to our season pass products; our expectations regarding our ancillary lines of business; the payment of dividends and our expectations regarding electing out of the temporary waiver period under the VHI Credit Agreement; and our calendar year 2022 and calendar year 2023 capital plan and expectations related thereto. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 23rd, 2021

Expanding Your Store Internationally

Your business has been playing to hometown crowds and getting great reviews. Now you’re looking to expand your repertoire by hitting the international stage. Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more COVID-19 sparked a huge increase in consumers purchasing from brands based outside their home country. Between 80 and 90 percent of shoppers worldwide […] Your business has been playing to hometown crowds and getting great reviews. Now you’re looking to expand your repertoire by hitting the international stage. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more COVID-19 sparked a huge increase in consumers purchasing from brands based outside their home country. Between 80 and 90 percent of shoppers worldwide bought from an international seller in the past year. And the global eCommerce market is expected to total $4.89 trillion in 2021. Who wouldn’t want to tap into that? But international audiences can be a tough crowd. Are you ready to take your show on the road? Going Borderless Running and growing a business is tough. When you’re doing it internationally, the challenges increase exponentially - augmented by factors like language, distance, cultural norms, and legal systems. You’ll be looking at high marketing and shipping costs, and you’ll face logistical challenges like customs and long-distance return issues. So be realistic in assessing what it’ll take to meet your business objectives. Play it safe with conservative expectations: give yourself a generous timeline, and keep your short-term forecast modest. Questions to consider: Is there a need for your product within your target area? Are shoppers in that area likely to buy from you? Do you have a firm grasp of your target area’s unique consumption patterns, marketing practices, and business laws? Can you put enough boots on the ground to ensure a smooth operation? Will international expansion genuinely benefit your business – or will it detract from your core operations at home? If you answer “yes” to all the above – pack your bags. Hit The Road But first, do your homework. Use tools like Google Analytics’ location report to see if you’re on the right track. Scrutinize international traffic by continent, country, region, or city. Test the waters in potential markets by prioritizing your online advertising or social media presence abroad. Invest in a social media management tool to promote your online presence in other countries – even if all you’re doing is tracking engagement. It’s a great way to assess whether your business is likely to flop or fly. If you conclude that you’ve got a solid product-market fit, get down to the nuts and bolts. You’ll need to define: Market segment. Geographic boundaries. Local competition. Market’s monetary size. Realistic market share. Average annual consumption. Estimated average selling price. Research your potential customer base and the current market conditions in which you’ll be operating. Use that information to develop your go-to-market (GTM) strategy, a comprehensive action plan outlining specific steps you’ll take to win customers in your new market. You’ve got three GTM options: Partner with local vendors, and connect with supply chain companies in the destination country so that you can handle returns at a lower cost. Build an on-the-ground team that can cover marketing, logistics, sales, customer support, engineering, etc. Establish an online presence through third-party marketplaces or a branded eCommerce site, which offers more data and better customer connections. Going The Distance If you go international, your time will be at a premium. You can’t clone yourself, but you can take steps to ensure operations stay smooth both at home and abroad. Use automation tools to automate manual tasks, analyze data, find new opportunities to optimize, and send alerts when you’re needed. This lets you stay focused on scaling your business. Effective and timely consumer contact is important for any type of business. For international marketers, it’s crucial. But it’s tricky, given that international customers live in different time zones. Send the right message at the right time by segmenting your audience and sending emails or posting on social media at specific times of the day based on geographic location. You want your potential customers to keep your business top of mind – so use email sequencing to connect with potential customers at different stages as they move through the sales funnel. Once those browsers become buyers, you want to give them a smooth finish. Connect with parcel-forwarding companies that allow customers to buy from online retailers that don’t ship internationally. From a buyer’s perspective, they pay a nominal fee based on the volumetric weight. However, the additional costs are more than made up by the ease of getting products delivered in their home country. Location, Location, Location Learn about your target audience’s community and interests – and meet them there. Shoppers are naturally drawn to marketplaces where they can have a comfortable, familiar shopping experience – so prioritize localized features, including currencies and payment options. Get advice from your local employees to help refine your marketing strategies and gain insight into cultural differences that will inform how you approach the market - and through which medium. Zero in on potential customers both geographically and psychologically. If you run a store in India, for example, expand to migration hubs like Canada, the U.S., or Australia. You’ll have a ready-made audience. Target special interests: if you’re a sporting store - then expand to countries where a particular sport is popular. If you already have a strong organic presence in your domestic market, then consider moving your paid acquisition efforts to the international market, since you don’t (yet) have an organic presence there. Familiarize yourself with compliance and regulatory issues in your new market. Learn about business regulations and packaging standards. Hire a local tax consultant to help you with tax-related matters Be sure that Google can “find” you in the local language. You won’t get traction if you don’t show up in searches, so choose appropriate HREflang tags and URLs to get noticed. When you get noticed in the highly competitive international market, you know you’re on the right track. Cross-border scaling definitely has its challenges -  but they’re outweighed by the potential rewards. An effective borderless business strategy introduces you to a new audience that can grow your business in ways that wouldn’t be possible if you just played to the home crowd. Do your research to figure out what your target audience wants - and whether you can supply it. If you can – prepare for your international debut.  And take a bow. Updated on Sep 23, 2021, 4:00 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 23rd, 2021

Bullish sentiment toward crypto assets increases with 8 of 10 people seeing bitcoin bounce above $56,000 by year"s end, says Voyager Digital

Cryptocurrency-asset broker Voyager said 85% of respondents to its sentiment survey believe bitcoin is now in a bull market. Bitcoin. Edward Smith/Getty Images Bitcoin is poised to rise above $56,000 by year's end, a wide majority of survey respondents told Voyager Digital. The cryptocurrency-asset broker also found that more people are bullish in bitcoin vs. the prior quarter. The uptick in bullish crypto sentiment comes in the face of increased regulatory scrutiny. See more stories on Insider's business page. Crypto investors have grown more optimistic about the price outlook for bitcoin and other digital assets in the last quarter, even in the face of more regulatory scrutiny, a new survey from Voyager Digital shows. According to the cryptocurrency-asset broker's third-quarter sentiment survey results sent to Insider, 8 out of 10 are bullish on bitcoin over the next three months. That's an uptick from the second quarter, when 7 out of 10 respondents held a bullish view on the market. The latest survey also found 8 out of 10 see bitcoin topping $56,000 by the end of 2021, representing a 27% rise from Thursday's price at around $44,000."As our user base continues to grow and digital asset adoption increases, our survey results suggest that a greater number of investors see Bitcoin as a better store of value compared to more traditional asset classes such as stocks, real estate, and government bonds," Steve Ehrlich, Voyager's founder and CEO, said in the survey statement."This is significant when you consider that over a fifth (22%) of respondents have been investing in crypto for over two years," and that it's likely many of them will consider not having exposure to traditional asset classes again, he said. The results also showed 40% expect bitcoin to trade above $71,000 at some point in the fourth quarter, topping the all-time high of $64,863 reached in April. The prior sentiment survey released in June said 38% had expected bitcoin to finish the third quarter between $56,000 and $70,000. Among altcoins, 40% of investors surveyed by Voyager were bullish on Cardano's ada token followed by ethereum at 16%.Scrutiny of the crypto market continued during the third quarter as US regulators sought more avenues to oversee the market. The Treasury Department and other agencies are quickly moving to target stablecoins for tighter regulation, The New York Times reported Thursday.And Securities and Exchange Commissioner Gary Gensler likened stable coins to "poker chips" in an interview with the Washington Post this week.He has also called on lawmakers to give the agency authority to legally monitor crypto exchanges. Last week, he said those exchanges need to "come in and talk" to the agency, just days after clashing with trading platform Coinbase over a lending product. Coinbase has since dropped its plans for Lend. Meanwhile, big-money investors are shying away from bitcoin futures and pivoting to ethereum futures as expectations for bitcoin soften, according to JPMorgan analysts. They noted that in September, bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have traded below the price of an actual bitcoin.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

Oil & Gas Stock Roundup Headlined by Chevron & Diamondback

Apart from Chevron (CVX) and Diamondback Energy (FANG) there was news from Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), Helmerich & Payne (HP) and Suncor Energy (SU) during the week. It was a week when oil prices bounced back above $70 and natural gas futures registered their highest settlement since February 2014.On the news front, American biggie Chevron CVX broke down its future shift toward an environmentally friendly direction, while shale specialist Diamondback Energy FANG approved a new buyback plan.Overall, it was another good week for the sector. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures moved up 3.2% to close at $71.97 per barrel and natural gas prices gained 3.4% to reach $5.105 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). Overall, both commodities managed to maintain their forward momentum from the previous three weeks.Coming back to the week ended Sep 17, oil prices rose, underpinned by a report from the Energy Information Administration ("EIA") that showed draws in crude and fuel stockpiles. The commodity was also boosted by the major international forecasters’ encouraging view on oil demand growth next year.Natural gas climbed too, buoyed by the slow restoration of hurricane-affected operations, late-season hot weather and strong LNG export demand.Recap of the Week’s Most-Important Stories1.  At its recent environment-themed presentation titled Energy Transition Spotlight, Chevron said that it will invest 200% more in lower-carbon businesses in the next seven years but stopped short of committing any timeline toward achieving net-zero operations.The U.S. oil major set clear targets to ramp up renewable natural gas output to 40,000 million British thermal units (MMBtu) per day by 2030, while growing hydrogen production to 150,000 tons annually. Besides, the company is rapidly expanding its renewable fuels footprint with daily production capacity estimated to reach 100,000 barrels by the end of this decade, in addition to increasing carbon offsets to 25 million tons per year.As part of this plan, the American energy giant will invest $10 billion in clean energy through 2028, more than triple the $3 billion earmarked earlier. Of the total, $3 billion each will be spent on renewable fuels and carbon capture/storage/offsets, $2 billion on hydrogen, while $2 billion is planned to be used to reduce the emissions intensity of the company’s portfolio. (Key Highlights From Chevron's ESG Investor Day)2.   Shares of Diamondback Energy gained more than 3% on Sep 17, a day after the energy player stated that its plans to distribute 50% of free cash flow to investors were expedited. Beginning fourth quarter of this year, this Permian producer’s business will return free cash flow through its basic dividend and additional shareholder return methods.In order to support this return promise, the Midland, TX-headquartered independent energy firm’s board approved a new share repurchase program worth $2 billion, which was implemented with immediate effect. The move underscores the company’s sound financial position and its commitment to reward its shareholders.A much-improved commodity price scenario and the economic recovery contributed to the balance sheet strength of the energy companies like Diamondback. Benefiting from their robust fundamentals, their cash from operations is now covering capital spending. This provides a sustainable financial framework for these firms to increase cash returns to their shareholders. (Diamondback Shares Gain on $2B Buyback Acceleration)3.  Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) has made a final investment decision to construct an 820,000-tonne-per-year biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam in the Netherlands. When completed, the plant will be one of the largest in Europe for producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel from trash.The new plant will help the Netherlands and the rest of Europe in meeting the globally mandated carbon reduction goals. It will also assist the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) Europe-based energy multinational in meeting its objective of becoming a net-zero emissions energy firm by 2050, in line with society's progress toward the Paris Agreement's climate targets.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The biofuels plant in Rotterdam is anticipated to start producing in 2024. Using innovative technology created by Shell, it will manufacture low-carbon fuels such as renewable diesel from waste in the form of used cooking oil, waste animal fat, and other agricultural and manufacturing residual items. (Shell to Build Dutch Biofuels Facility to Cut Emissions)4.   Helmerich & Payne HP recently announced a strategic collaboration with The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (“ADNOC”) and its subsidiary ADNOC Drilling Company wherein ADNOC Drilling will purchase eight FlexRig land rigs from the contract drilling services provider for $86.5 million. Following this buyout, the company will make a $100-million cornerstone investment in ADNOC Drilling's recently announced initial public offering (“IPO”).Earlier, ADNOC expressed its plan to list a 7.5% minority stake in ADNOC Drilling on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in an IPO, reflecting the continuous development, strength and relevance in the Middle Eastern capital city's financial market. ADNOC, a renowned diversified energy and petrochemicals company, and Helmerich & Payne will remain ADNOC Drilling's dedicated, long-term stockholders.The above agreement will help Helmerich & Payne achieve its goal of deploying capital worldwide, especially in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) area, by boosting its entry into the lucrative and rapidly-rising Abu Dhabi market as a vital platform for further regional expansion. (Helmerich & Payne to Pump $100M Into ADNOC Drilling IPO)5.  Suncor Energy SU recently reached agreements with eight indigenous communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to buy the entire 15% equity stake in Canada's Northern Courier Pipeline Limited Partnership held by TC Energy TRPThe partnership, which comprises Suncor, three First Nations, and five Métis communities will hold a 15% interest in this pipeline asset worth roughly C$1.3 billion, which will generate long- term, consistent earnings that will aid the communities for decades ahead.Suncor will run the pipeline that connects its Fort Hills oil production in Alberta to its East Tank Farm asset after the acquisition is completed. Canada's premier integrated energy company stated that the collaboration is projected to generate gross revenues of around C$16 million per year for its partners and offer stable income. Subject to usual closing conditions and regulatory clearances, the deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021. (Suncor, Indigenous Partners Buy Canadian Pipeline Stake)Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some major oil and gas players over the past week and during the last six months.Company    Last Week    Last 6 MonthsXOM              +2.2%                -4.1%CVX               +0.7%               -7.5%COP              +5.7%               +13.6%OXY               +7.8%               -7.4%SLB               +5.7%               -2.6%RIG                -4%                   -11.9%VLO               +3.5%               -12.5%MPC              +3.5%               +8.4%The Energy Select Sector SPDR — a popular way to track energy companies — was up 3.2% last week. The best performer was oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum OXY whose stock climbed 7.8%.Over the past six months, the sector tracker has inched up 0.6%. Upstream biggie ConocoPhillips (COP) was the major gainer during the period, experiencing a 13.6% price appreciation.What’s Next in the Energy World?As the global oil consumption outlook strengthens amid tightening fundamentals, market participants will be closely tracking the regular releases to watch for signs that could further validate the upward momentum. In this context, the U.S. government’s statistics on oil and natural gas — one of the few solid indicators that come out regularly — will be on energy traders' radar. Data on rig count from the oilfield service firm Baker Hughes, which is a pointer to trends in U.S. crude production, is closely followed too. News related to coronavirus vaccine approval/rollout/distribution will be of utmost importance. Finally, investors will be keeping an eye on the health of China’s economy following the Evergrande crisis. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>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 Chevron Corporation (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A): Free Stock Analysis Report Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (HP): Free Stock Analysis Report Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): Free Stock Analysis Report Suncor Energy Inc. (SU): Free Stock Analysis Report TC Energy Corporation (TRP): Free Stock Analysis Report Diamondback Energy, Inc. (FANG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2021

Pfizer (PFE) Booster Dose Gets FDA Nod for High-Risk People

FDA approves Pfizer's (PFE) COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for older adults and high-risk people amid rising infection rates in the country. The FDA granted emergency use authorization (EUA) toa booster or “third” dose of Pfizer PFE/BioNTech’s BNTX mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, for individuals 65 years and older and also those in high-risk groups.The high-risk groups include individuals, aged 16 to 64, who are at a high risk of severe COVID-19, and also those whose occupation exposes them to the virus and puts them at high risk of COVID-related complications, including severe COVID-19, like healthcare workers, teachers, and others. The FDA said that the third jab should be given at least six months after the primary two-dose series.However, inline with the recommendation of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) last week, the FDA did not approve the booster dose for the entire population for which Pfizer/BioNTech was seeking approval. Pfizer/BioNTech had filed its supplemental biologics license application (sBLA), seeking approval for the booster dose of Comirnaty, in people 16 years of age and older, in August.The sBLA for the booster dose included data from a phase III study (n=306), which showed that the booster dose induced significant SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titers against the initial SARS-CoV-2 virus (wild type), as well as the Beta and Delta variants. The antibody levels elicited against the initial wild type virus one month after the booster dose were 3.3 times the levels seen one month after the second dose. Pfizer/BioNTech have submitted the booster data to other regulatory agencies as well.Pfizer’s stock has risen 19.4% this year so far compared with an increase of 9% for the industry.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchBioNTech’s stock has risen 316.2% this year so far against a decrease of 0.6% for the industry.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLast week, the VRBPAC voted unanimously, recommending that the FDA grant EUA to the Comirnaty booster dose for individuals 65 years and older and those at high risk of severe-COVID. However, the panel voted against approving the booster for the general population.Pfizer becomes the first company whose booster dose has been granted emergency approval by the FDA. Moderna MRNA has also submitted an application for authorization/approval for a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine and has provided clinical data to support the efficacy of a booster dose to the FDA.Earlier this week, J&J JNJ presented additional data from the phase III ENSEMBLE study, which showed that a booster dose of its adenovirus-based, single-shot vaccine, given 56 days after the first jab, led to 94% protection against mild-to-severe COVID-19 in the United States. J&J has submitted the latest additional data for the booster dose to the FDA.Last month, the FDA expanded the EUA of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines to allow the third dose to be administered to certain immunocompromised individuals like those who have undergone solid organ transplantation or those diagnosed with other diseases that may have weakened their immune systems. Along with the latest approval for the booster dose, Pfizer clarified that the third dose for immunocompromised individuals is different from the booster dose approved.  While the third dose for immunocompromised individuals is for people who do not build enough protection after two shots of the vaccine, the booster dose is for individuals who have built enough protection after the primary vaccination regimen. However, these individuals may see decreased protection over time due to the declining efficacy of COVID vaccines.Last month, the U.S. government had said that it intends to begin offering the third shots from September to those individuals who had taken their initial shots more than eight months ago. But it clarified that the booster plan was contingent upon approvals by the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In a separate press release, Pfizer/BioNTech announced plans to provide the U.S. government with 500 million additional doses of Comirnaty at a not-for-profit price for donation to the poorest countries. With the latest deal, the total number of vaccine doses to be supplied to the U.S. government for donation by Pfizer/BioNTech adds up to one billion.Both BioNTech and Pfizer carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>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 Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis Report Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report Moderna, Inc. (MRNA): Free Stock Analysis Report BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR (BNTX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2021

Albertsons (ACI) & Firework to Launch Short Video Content

Albertsons (ACI) collaborates with Firework to develop shoppable, short-form videos and livestream content for its website. Rising digital engagement has radically transformed the way companies reach out to customers. Supermarket biggie, Albertsons Companies, Inc. ACI, has been proactive when it comes to adopting innovative digital capabilities to boost the business. Per market sources, Albertsons has entered into a tie up with tech startup Firework to develop shoppable, short-form videos and livestream content. Firework is essentially a video platform, designed for livestream video experience. Let’s take a closer look at this latest initiative.Albertsons Steps Into Shoppable Videos SpaceAccording to sources, Albertsons will be the first grocery retailer to adopt the Firework platform. Firework, which touts itself as a “shoppertainment" specialist, has partnered with Albertsons on a three-phase deployment that will start with the debut of cooking videos and other short video content. These videos will be featured on Albertsons store websites, including more than 20 supermarket banners. The videos will also have swipeable functionality, which will likely help shoppers to build their baskets and learn more about featured products. Firework’s interactive platform will enable Albertsons to make use of data and technological capabilities to personalize its offerings. This is likely to help the company to provide its brands with greater digital shelf space.Through this latest move, the company will be able to offer online customers with the immersive experience of shopping within a store. The video and livestream functionalities are expected to attract greater traffic to Albertsons’ digital platforms and encourage them to purchase groceries. Shoppable videos are likely to feature on the company’s websites by the middle of October, highlighting food-related content like recipes and preparation tips. These videos are likely to be 30 seconds long, optimized for mobile devices. The company will move into livestreaming and sponsored video ads next year.The heightened digital dependency witnessed during the pandemic served as an opportunity for retailers to explore and come up with innovative digital content. Shoppable videos are gathering much popularity in retail media, utilizing platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and Twitch. Albertsons’ latest move to partner with Firework will help the grocer to make significant headway in the shoppable video space.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchEfforts to Boost Digital Capabilities is EncouragingAlbertsons has been ramping up its digital pursuits and connecting with customers in new and innovative ways. In prior efforts, the company partnered with Google to create an interactive and convenient shopping experience. It has also been working with Adobe to bring more personalization to its omnichannel platform. The company also installed automated PickUp kiosks, in collaboration with Cleveron, in stores. Its alliance with DoorDash, to expedite grocery delivery services, is encouraging. Albertsons is striving to expand Drive Up & Go services to more retail outlets and teamed up with third-party operators to provide seamless deliveries.Albertsons is undertaking prudent efforts to offer superior digital experiences and services to online shoppers. These measures are likely to continue supporting the company’s top line in the forthcoming periods.Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have surged 53.4% in the past three months against the industry’s decline of 8.7%.3 Stocks You Can’t MissWalmart Inc. WMT, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 5.5%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The Kroger Co. KR, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8.9%.Costco Wholesale Corporation COST, with a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9.3%. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>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 Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report The Kroger Co. (KR): Free Stock Analysis Report Albertsons Companies, Inc. (ACI): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2021