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Today’s "Diversity" Oaths Resemble 1950s "Loyalty" Oaths

Today’s 'Diversity' Oaths Resemble 1950s 'Loyalty' Oaths Authored by Charles Lipson via RealClear Politics (emphasis ours), It is rare to meet someone with true moral courage, someone who risks everything to do what he knows is right. I was privileged to know such a man, George Anastaplo. His story, set during the Red Scare of the 1950s, needs to be told because it applies today, when political zealots again demand rigid conformity. George, a boy from rural Illinois, refused to bow down to the most powerful lawyers in his home state. He knew their demands were wrong, even though he could have easily and truthfully said “yes” to their substance. He refused solely because he thought asking him violated basic guarantees in the U.S. Constitution. The time was the early 1950s, and the demands came from ideological crusaders on the right, who insisted on anti-communist loyalty oaths. Today’s crusaders come from the left, demanding pledges of support for “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI). More on today’s ideological frenzy in a moment, but first, George’s story. Born in downstate Illinois, the son of Greek immigrants, George’s most formative experience was serving in World War II, where he was a navigator on B-17 and B-29 bombers. In the service, he told me, he met soldiers with backgrounds and life experiences far different from anyone he had known growing up. For someone as bright and curious as George, that experience opened up a wider world. After the war, George moved to the big city and went to the University of Chicago, where he earned his undergraduate and law degree (top of his class, 1951). He passed the bar exam and had only one more step before pursuing his chosen profession. Like all applicants, he had to answer a few questions from the Illinois State Bar Association. The examination began with some standard questions about communism. Those should have been easy since George abhorred Marxism. Still, George’s answers, focused on civil liberties, were not what the bar association wanted to hear. First, he noted that dissent and even revolution were integral features of America’s constitutional history. Then, the hapless members asked George the big question: “Are you now or have you ever been … ?” George Anastaplo refused to answer. He could have truthfully said, “No.” End of story. He could have noted that his parents’ homeland was fighting a brutal civil war to prevent communists from seizing control. He could have done all that, but he refused. His three-fold reply was that (1) the Constitution guaranteed freedom of association; (2) it was not illegal to belong to the Communist Party; and, most important, (3) it was totally improper for the Illinois Bar Association to ask him that question – or any question about an applicant’s political affiliation. His application to practice law was promptly denied. So, George and the Illinois Bar Association then did what all good American attorneys do: they sued each other. The constitutional challenge, in which George represented himself, took a full decade to reach the Supreme Court. It was the only case George ever argued, and he lost it despite a powerful dissent from Justice Hugo Black. “Too many men are being driven to become government-fearing and time-serving because the Government is being permitted to strike out at those who are fearless enough to think as they please and say what they think,” Justice Black wrote. “This trend must be halted if we are to keep faith with the Founders of our Nation and pass on to future generations of Americans the great heritage of freedom which they sacrificed so much to leave to us.” George also received strong support from Leo Strauss, the great political philosopher and a seminal figure in conservative thought. He congratulated George for his “brave and just action” and added, “If the American Bench and Bar have any sense of shame, they must come on their knees to apologize to you." Of course, they never did. George was never admitted to the bar. Instead, he taught political philosophy for six decades, wrote multiple books on political thought and civil liberties, eventually teaching at Loyola University’s law school. He was also our neighborhood Socrates, walking the streets of Hyde Park (near the University of Chicago) into his mid-80s, meeting friends and engaging in the kind of rigorous conversations recounted in Plato’s Dialogues. Why does George Anastaplo’s moral courage matter for us today? Because we are enduring another age of ideological zealotry, coupled with demands to “sign or resign.” Or never be hired in the first place. Today’s clearest analogy to anti-communist oaths are those demanding adherence to statements of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” The crucial point here is not the specific content of DEI statements. You might agree or disagree with them. The crucial point is that it is improper to make these demands for political conformity. Such demands are, unfortunately, commonplace on university campuses. So are the bureaucracies that enforce them. Those demands and those bureaucracies are antithetical to the basic mission of a university, where freedom of expression and diversity of viewpoint should be core values, vigorously protected. Instead, every university has its burgeoning DEI bureaucracy, which writes these statements, runs seminars to indoctrinate students, staff, and faculty, and punishes the recalcitrant. Many departments won’t even consider hiring someone who refuses to kneel in obedience. Here, for example, is Berkeley’s “Rubric for Assessing Candidate Contributions to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging,” which it urges departmental search committees to use. (“Belonging” is a nice additional touch, isn’t it?) Note that voters in Deep Blue California strongly favor “merit” and have twice rejected any racial advantages in admissions. They are clearly opposed to what the university administrators are trying to impose here. No matter. Being a bureaucrat means never having to say you are sorry – or paying any attention to the desires of the taxpayers who pay your salary. Another recent example comes from George Anastaplo’s home state, from one of the country’s great research institutions, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The top academic officer there, Provost Andreas Cangellaris, recently announced that the university “will soon require all faculty members to submit a diversity statement to be considered for tenure or promotion.” So, if you study quantum physics, organic chemistry, statistics, or artificial intelligence, you must pledge allegiance to an ideological statement far removed from your field of academic excellence. Until now, the university had been requiring DEI statements on a “voluntary basis.” Yeah, sure. Imagine refusing and trying to get hired? I know what my friend George Anastaplo would do because he already did it. He would refuse to buckle to the DEI bureaucrats. He would fight the good fight all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, where today’s justices might listen more closely to Hugo Black’s powerful dissent: The entire course of [George Anastaplo’s] life, as disclosed by the record, has been one of devotion and service to his country-first, in his willingness to defend its security at the risk of his own life in time of war and, later, in his willingness to defend its freedoms at the risk of his professional career in time of peace. The one and only time in which he has come into conflict with the Government is when he refused to answer the questions put to him by the Committee about his beliefs and associations. And I think the record clearly shows that conflict resulted, not from any fear on Anastaplo's part to divulge his own political activities, but from a sincere, and in my judgment correct, conviction that the preservation of this country's freedom depends upon adherence to our Bill of Rights. We need a lot more people like George Anastaplo, and a lot fewer like Andreas Cangellaris and his heavy-handed cadre of DEI enforcers. We need a lot more people with George Anastaplo’s integrity in public and private universities, in K-12 schools, and in private businesses and nonprofits. His courage and his reverence for America’s Constitution are an enduring model. Tyler Durden Fri, 05/13/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 14th, 2022

We Don"t Get A Vote On The Woke Revolution

We Don't Get A Vote On The Woke Revolution Authored by J.Peder Zane via RealClearPolitics.com, You don’t get to vote on the revolution. That’s kind of the point. From the happy example of Colonial America to the terrors that mutilated and murdered innocents in France, Russia, and China, revolutionaries work outside the established system to impose a new order. So it is with today’s woke revolution. The potent cultural forces that have mainstreamed radical concepts such as “white privilege,” “microaggressions,” and “gender fluidity” are beyond the reach of American democracy. No one voted for any of it; it cannot be stopped at the ballot box. Electing anti-woke politicians in 2022 and 2024 will not turn the tide. The embrace of woke ideology by many prestigious news outlets – as symbolized by the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which recasts American society through the cramped lens of racism and oppression – is not subject to popular approval. Neither is the American Medical Association’s move to view health disparities between blacks and other Americans as the result of “systemic racism” (rather than biology, personal behavior, or cultural influences). We don’t get to vote on the decision by the National Institutes of Health, the nation’s largest funder of biomedical research, to commit $90 million in funding along with “every tool at our disposal to remediate the chronic problem of structural racism.” The same goes for the diktat in corporate America to mandate race and gender into their hiring decisions, or the woke-saturated culture that predominates at most American colleges and universities, where faculty applicants are asked to sign loyalty oaths to diversity and equity. Parental opposition to the influence of critical race theory in public schools shows that pushback is possible. School board meetings are one of the few public venues where ordinary Americans can voice their discontent to this ideology, which casts white kindergarteners as oppressors and non-white tots as victims. But these critics are labeled “domestic terrorists” for their efforts — and it’s still not clear what, if any, impact the parents will have on what and how children are taught. In fairness, broad swaths of the culture always operate and evolve outside of politics. The world of ideas and entertainment – the books we read, movies we watch, groups we join – must never be subject to electoral will. But the woke revolution feels different. First, it is an explicitly political ideology that is, at bottom, about power. Second, it is remarkably ambitious: It seeks a wholesale transformation of America’s past, present and future. Third, while some of its ideas resonate with plenty of people, it is a top-down movement that seeks to impose alien ways of thinking and being on everyone – hence the rise of cancel culture and other illiberal mechanisms to silence and punish those who fail to conform. One of the great paradoxes of the social justice movement is that even as it claims to fight inequality, it is itself a reflection of the growing inequality in America: both of wealth and culture. Like most revolutions, it is not led by the downtrodden but by the elites. It is not the person of color on the streets but the swells at the top (most of them white) who are imposing the new order. Although it might seem that the woke revolution erupted in 2020 with George Floyd’s murder, or with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement following Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014, its intellectual framework – which includes critical race theory, postmodernism, anti-colonialism, black power and queer/gender studies – emerged at America’s universities in the 1960s and 1970s. Heavily influenced by Marxism, leftist scholars suffered a crisis of confidence after communism was discredited 30 years ago as the Soviet Union collapsed. In response, activist academics essentially repackaged their old ideas. They still saw politics as a zero-sum battle between oppressors and the oppressed, with themselves in the moral vanguard, but they replaced the concept of class with new identity markers: racial and sexual identity. The struggle was no longer between capitalists and the proletariat, but privileged “cisgendered heteronormative” whites versus the rest of humanity. There was always a kernel of truth to this narrative – America, like every other nation, has unequal distributions of wealth and power (hierarchy is inevitable; even the communists, who pledged to create true equality, simply replaced the tsar’s hierarchy with their own, one dominated by party leaders and apparatchiks). But the expansion of rights and opportunities we’ve achieved over the last half-century – the fact that legions of people defined as “oppressed” enjoy status, respect, wealth and power only dreamed of in most corners of the globe – exposes the absurdity of the claim that race and gender determine one’s fate. Nevertheless, this narrative increasingly informs the education delivered at Western colleges and universities, especially at elite schools. The graduates of these institutions, in turn, become the professors, journalists, managers, administrators and other moral enforcers using their positions to advance the woke revolution from within. The key question – why would seemingly intelligent people commit to an ideology so at odds with reality? – requires a complex set of answers. The collapse of traditional social norms, the offshoring of the blue-collar sector, the baneful influence of social media, the realignment of legacy media into tribal factions, the creation of overeducated citizens saddled with crippling debt, rapidly rising living standards that create rising expectations — all this and more play a part. Radicalism is opportunistic, lying dormant for decades until the right combination of conditions presents itself. But a pivotal, if underappreciated, force is the rise of the information-based global economy, which has doubled the number of millionaires in the United States in just a decade, opening a chasm of envy between the haves and the super-haves. Statista reports that there were close to 6 million U.S. households with financial assets worth more than $1 million in 2019; more than double the number in 2008. At the same time, Pew reports that “as of 2016, the latest year for which data are available, the typical American family had a net worth of $101,800.” This growing inequality is not based on the false claim that the wealthy are benefiting at the expense of non-rich – they are, more accurately, getting a bigger slice of a growing pie in a world where living standards continue to rise. But this increase does make it easier for radicals to exploit the false argument, insistently advanced by prestigious news and information outlets, that the current system is unjust and that, given America’s history, today’s disparities stem from race. To buy peace, and peace of mind, many well-off Americans – especially the well-educated ones who now call the Democrat Party home – are happy to acquiesce to ideas that, as a practical matter, will have little immediate impact on their own comfortable lives: agreeing that the American Revolution was fought over slavery, that social justice requires reparations, that gender identities are malleable, that reality is socially constructed, that “silence is violence.” It costs them nothing to spout these slogans, which allow them to feel morally superior. In the long run, I hope, truth will out. But those who oppose the revolution should know they are battling powerful and entrenched forces that are, in significant ways, beyond their reach. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/24/2021 - 20:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 24th, 2021

Delta Air Lines Announces March Quarter 2022 Financial Results

March quarter 2022 GAAP operating loss of $783 million and loss per share of $1.48 on total operating revenue of $9.3 billion March quarter 2022 adjusted operating loss of $793 million and adjusted loss per share of $1.23 on adjusted operating revenue of $8.2 billion With an improving demand environment, achieved a solid operating margin in the month of March ATLANTA, April 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) today reported financial results for the March quarter 2022 and provided its outlook for the June quarter 2022. Highlights of the March quarter 2022 results, including both GAAP and adjusted metrics, are on page five and are incorporated here. "With a strong rebound in demand as omicron faded, we returned to profitability in the month of March, producing a solid adjusted operating margin of almost 10 percent.  As our brand preference and demand momentum grow, we are successfully recapturing higher fuel prices, driving our outlook for a 12 to 14 percent adjusted operating margin and strong free cash flow in the June quarter," said Ed Bastian, Delta's chief executive officer.  "I would like to thank the Delta people, who once again enabled our best-in-class operational performance, provided an unmatched customer experience and continue to power our industry leadership each and every day." March Quarter 2022 Financial Results  Adjusted operating loss of $793 million excludes a net gain of $9 million Pre-tax loss of $1.2 billion with adjusted pre-tax loss of $1.0 billion, excluding a net expense of $164 million Adjusted operating revenue of $8.2 billion, which excludes third-party refinery sales, was 79 percent recovered versus March quarter 2019 on capacity that was 83 percent restored Total operating expense of $10.1 billion increased $679 million compared to the March quarter 2019 Adjusted for costs primarily from third-party refinery sales, total operating expense of $9.0 billion decreased $400 million or 4 percent in the March quarter 2022 versus the comparable 2019 period Generated $1.8 billion of operating cash flow and $197 million of free cash flow, after investing $1.6 billion into the business, primarily related to aircraft purchases and modifications At the end of the March quarter, the company had $12.8 billion in liquidity, including cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and undrawn revolving credit facilities June Quarter 2022 Outlook 2Q22 Forecast Capacity 1 ~84% Total Revenue 1, 2 93% - 97% CASM-Ex 1, 2 Up ~17% Fuel Price ($/gal) 2, 3 $3.20 - $3.35 Operating Margin 2 12% - 14% Gross Capital Expenditures 2 ~$1.2 billion Adjusted Net Debt 2 ~$20 billion 1 Compared to June quarter 2019 2 Non-GAAP measure; Refer to Non-GAAP reconciliations for 2Q19 comparison figures 3 Fuel guidance based on prices as of April 8th  (Brent at $102, cracks at $30, $0.20 refinery contribution with RINS at $1.27) Revenue Environment "Delta is well-positioned to capitalize on robust consumer demand and an accelerating return of business and international travel. The strength of Delta's brand has never been more evident with record-setting performance for co-brand card acquisitions, co-brand spend and SkyMiles acquisitions in March," said Glen Hauenstein, Delta's president. "In the June quarter, we are successfully recapturing higher fuel prices and expect our revenue recovery to accelerate to 93 to 97 percent with unit revenue up double digits compared to 2019." Adjusted operating revenue of $8.2 billion for the March quarter 2022 was 79 percent restored to March quarter 2019 levels, 5 points ahead of the mid-point of the company's initial guidance. Compared to the March quarter 2019, total passenger revenue was 75 percent recovered on system capacity that was 83 percent restored.  Domestic passenger revenue was 83 percent recovered, and international passenger revenue was 54 percent restored in the March quarter.  Consumer demand accelerated through the quarter, highlighted by strong spring break performance.  As omicron faded, offices reopened and travel restrictions were lifted, resulting in an improvement in business travel demand and a stronger fare environment. Revenue-related Highlights: Unit revenue exceeds 2019 levels in March month for the first time in two years: March quarter adjusted total unit revenue (TRASM) was 5 percent lower than the same period in 2019. As demand improved, March month adjusted TRASM inflected to positive versus 2019, marking the first month of positive unit revenue versus 2019 since the start of the pandemic. This strength was led by premium revenue and diversified revenue streams, including loyalty and cargo. Business travel recovery boosted by improvement in corporate: Domestic corporate sales* for the quarter were ~50 percent recovered, with March improving to ~70 percent versus 2019. International corporate sales for the quarter were ~35 percent recovered, with March improving to ~50 percent versus 2019. Internationally, Transatlantic improved the most as European countries reopened. Premium cabin revenue recovery outpacing Main Cabin: Premium products continued to lead the recovery with Domestic premium revenue approximately 100 percent restored to 2019 levels in the month of March. Domestic and Latin premium product revenue recovery outpaced Main Cabin by approximately 10 points during the March quarter. *Corporate sales include tickets sold to corporate contracted customers, including tickets for travel during and beyond the referenced time period American Express remuneration 25 percent higher than 2019 levels: American Express remuneration of $1.2 billion in the quarter was up 25 percent compared to March quarter 2019. Co-brand spend was up 35 percent compared to March quarter 2019, reflecting a significant increase in T&E spend, with air travel spend outpacing lodging in the month of March for the first time since 2019. Co-brand acquisitions were nearly 95 percent recovered compared to March quarter 2019. Cargo strength continues with record revenue month in March: Cargo revenue was $289 million for the March quarter, a 51 percent increase compared to the same period in 2019 on strong demand and yields. Cost Performance "Thanks to the team's hard work, we maintained a competitive cost structure in the March quarter amid a dynamic operating environment, an important driver of our financial recovery," said Dan Janki, Delta's chief financial officer.  "As demand continues to recover and we restore additional capacity in the second half of the year, we expect our non-fuel unit cost comparisons to 2019 will improve to up mid-single digits, keeping us within our full year non-fuel unit cost guidance range. Our intense focus on non-fuel costs will serve us well moving ahead as we scale the airline and better utilize our fleet and our facilities." Total adjusted operating expense of $9.0 billion in the March quarter 2022 increased 11 percent sequentially, driven by higher fuel prices and costs from the continued restoration of the airline. Adjusted fuel expense was $2.1 billion in the March quarter 2022. Adjusted fuel price of $2.79 per gallon was up 33 percent compared to the December quarter 2021 driven by higher market prices, including a 7¢ refinery contribution. Adjusted non-fuel cost of $6.9 billion was up 6 percent sequentially. This was primarily driven by a normalization in maintenance expense. Compared to the March quarter of 2019, non-fuel unit costs (CASM-Ex) were 15 percent higher on 17 percent less capacity. Balance Sheet, Cash and Liquidity "During the March quarter we generated free cash flow, continued to pay down debt and finished the quarter with nearly $13 billion in liquidity," Janki said. "Reducing debt is our top financial priority as we target investment-grade metrics and $15 billion of adjusted net debt by the end of 2024." At the end of the March quarter 2022, the company had total debt and finance lease obligations of $25.6 billion with adjusted net debt of $20.9 billion and a weighted average interest rate of 4.3 percent. During the quarter, the company repaid $1.4 billion of gross debt. Operating cash flow during the March quarter 2022 was $1.8 billion. Free cash flow was $197 million for the quarter with $1.6 billion of gross capital expenditures reinvested in the business. The company's Air Traffic Liability was $9.1 billion at March quarter-end, up $2.8 billion compared to the end of the December quarter and up $2.5 billion compared to the March quarter 2019.  Delta ended the March quarter with $12.8 billion in liquidity, including $2.9 billion in undrawn revolver capacity.  Fleet and Partner Updates In the March quarter, Aeroméxico emerged from its bankruptcy proceedings and in connection with the consummation of the transaction, Delta now holds a 20 percent equity stake in the reorganized company. Delta will recognize the 20 percent share of Aeroméxico's results under the equity accounting method within non-operating expense in the company's income statement beginning in the June quarter. As part of Delta's fleet renewal initiatives, the company took delivery of its first A321neo aircraft at the end of March 2022 and expects to take delivery of 26 A321neos in total this year. The introduction of these next-generation aircraft to the fleet contributes to Delta's 2022 goal of using at least 6 percent less fuel per available seat mile compared to 2019. In total, Delta has committed to purchase 155 A321neos through 2027. Other Highlights from the March Quarter 2022 Culture and People Awarded a special profit-sharing payment of $1,250 to eligible employees in appreciation for extraordinary efforts resulting in a profitable second half of 2021 Announced a 4 percent base pay increase for eligible employees worldwide, effective May 1, 2022 Recognized by Glassdoor as one of its Best Places to Work for a 6th year in a row. Delta was the highest-ranking U.S. airline on the list and ranked No. 18 on the 2022 list of 100 large companies Honored by Fortune as one of the World's Most Admired Companies for the 9th year in a row, and ranked higher than any other airline on the list Hosted celebrations with employees and family of Team USA Olympic and Paralympic athletes traveling on Delta planes to and from the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing Customer Experience and Loyalty Ranked No. 1 U.S. airline by the Wall Street Journal, including the best performance in on-time arrivals, completion factor, preventing extreme delays and the lowest levels of U.S. DOT complaints Unveiled major airport infrastructure milestones at Delta's Los Angeles and Seattle global hubs, as part of a $12 billion, decade-long effort to modernize and elevate the customer journey Increased flexibility by extending ticket validity through year-end 2023 and rolling over all Medallion Qualification Miles from 2021 to 2022 Enhanced in-flight experience with the return of hot meals on flights over 900 miles in First Class, and introduced plant-based and vegetarian menu items Reintroduced and refreshed Delta One services with multi-step, three-course meal service, more pre-departure beverage options, new cocktail bites and more dessert options Announced summer service schedule to Europe, with more than 500 weekly flights to Europe, including new flights between New York-JFK and Stockholm, Salt Lake City and London-Heathrow and restarting service from New York-JFK to Zurich, Brussels, Edinburgh, Copenhagen and Prague Environmental, Social and Governance Released Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report outlining progress against the company's commitments to advancing racial justice and diversity within its business Published a Climate Lobbying Report detailing global advocacy activities and policy engagements that support and complement Delta's Paris Agreement-aligned climate goals Expanded partnership with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) maker Gevo to increase supply of SAF and bring Delta closer to the goal of fueling 10 percent of its airline operation with SAF by the end of 2030 Announced collaboration with Airbus on industry-leading research to accelerate the development of hydrogen-powered aircraft Created first Propel Collegiate Pilot Career Path Program with Hampton University, the airline's first such partnership with a historically Black university Contributed $1 million to the American Red Cross and Global Red Cross Movement in support of humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine Launched new, more sustainable onboard products; together the new products are expected to reduce single-use plastic onboard by approximately 4.9 million pounds annually March Quarter Results March quarter results have been adjusted primarily for the unrealized losses on investments, loss on extinguishment of debt and third-party refinery sales as described in the reconciliations in Note A. GAAP $ Change % Change ($ in millions except per share and unit costs) 1Q22 1Q19 Operating (loss)/income (783) 1,020 (1,803) NM Pre-tax (loss)/income (1,200) 946 (2,146) NM Net (loss)/income (940) 730 (1,670) NM (Loss)/diluted earnings per share (1.48) 1.09 (2.57) NM Operating revenue 9,348 10,472 (1,124) (11) % Total revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) (cents) 18.04 16.78 1.26 8 % Operating expense 10,131 9,452 679 7 % Operating cash flow 1,771 1,942 (171) (9) % Capital expenditures 1,766 1,360 406 30 % Cost per available seat mile (CASM) (cents) 19.56 15.14 4.42 29 % Fuel expense 2,092 1,978 114 6 % Average fuel price per gallon 2.79 2.06 0.73 35 % Total debt and finance lease obligations 25,557 10,764 14,793 NM   Adjusted $ Change % Change ($ in millions except per share and unit costs) 1Q22 1Q19 Operating (loss)/income (793) 1,026 (1,819) NM Pre-tax (loss)/income (1,037) 831 (1,868) NM Net (loss)/income (784) 639 (1,423) NM (Loss)/diluted earnings per share (1.23) 0.96 (2.19) NM Operating revenue 8,161 10,381 (2,219) (21) % TRASM (cents) 15.75 16.63 (0.88) (5) % Operating expense 8,954 9,354 (400) (4) % Free cash flow 197 751 (553) (74) % Gross capital expenditures 1,565 1,511 54 4 % Non-fuel cost 6,858 7,171 (313) (4) % Consolidated unit cost (CASM-Ex) (cents) 13.24 11.49 1.75 15 % Fuel expense 2,097 1,963 133 7 % Average fuel price per gallon 2.79 2.04 0.75 37 % Adjusted net debt 20,863 10,198 10,664 NM About Delta Air Lines  More than 4,000 Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) flights take off every day, connecting people across more than 275 destinations on six continents with award-winning operational excellence, customer service, safety and innovation. As the leading global airline, Delta's mission is to create opportunities, foster understanding and expand horizons by connecting people and communities to each other and their potential. Delta's more than 75,000 employees believe our customers should never have to choose between seeing the world and saving the planet. Delta is leading the travel industry in building a foundation for sustainable aviation with its Flight to Net ZeroTM and its intention to set science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions aligned with the Paris Agreement. And we are continuing to take action to advance diversity, equity and inclusion and to reflect the world and the passengers we serve. Our people lead the way in delivering a world-class customer experience, and we're continuing to ensure the future of travel is personalized, enjoyable and stress-free. Our people's genuine and enduring motivation is to make every customer feel welcomed and respected across every point of their journey with us. Forward Looking StatementsStatements made in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements regarding our estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections, goals, aspirations, commitments or strategies for the future, should be considered "forward-looking statements" under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are not guarantees or promised outcomes and should not be construed as such. All forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections, goals, aspirations, commitments and strategies reflected in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the material adverse effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our business; the impact of incurring significant debt in response to the pandemic; failure to comply with the financial and other covenants in our financing agreements; the possible effects of accidents involving our aircraft or aircraft of our airline partners; breaches or lapses in the security of technology systems on which we rely; disruptions in our information technology infrastructure; our dependence on technology in our operations; our commercial relationships with airlines in other parts of the world and the investments we have in certain of those airlines; the effects of a significant disruption in the operations or performance of third parties on which we rely; failure to realize the full value of intangible or long-lived assets; labor issues; the effects of weather, natural disasters and seasonality on our business; the cost of aircraft fuel; the availability of aircraft fuel; failure or inability of insurance to cover a significant liability at Monroe's Trainer refinery; failure to comply with existing and future environmental regulations to which Monroe's refinery operations are subject, including costs related to compliance with renewable fuel standard regulations; our ability to retain senior management and other key employees, and to maintain our company culture; significant damage to our reputation and brand, including from exposure to significant adverse publicity; the effects of terrorist attacks, geopolitical conflict or security events; competitive conditions in the airline industry; extended interruptions or disruptions in service at major airports at which we operate or significant problems associated with types of aircraft or engines we operate; the effects of extensive government regulation we are subject to; the impact of environmental regulation, including increased regulation to reduce emissions and other risks associated with climate change, on our business; and unfavorable economic or political conditions in the markets in which we operate or volatility in currency exchange rates. Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties that could cause differences between actual results and forward-looking statements is contained in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. Caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements, which represent our views only as of the date of this press release, and which we undertake no obligation to update except to the extent required by law.   DELTA AIR LINES, INC. Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited) Three Months Ended March 31, (in millions, except per share data) 2022 2019 $ Change % Change Operating Revenue:      Passenger $                 6,907 $                 9,254 $                (2,347) (25) %      Cargo 289 192 97 51 %      Other 2,152 1,026 1,126 NM        Total operating revenue 9,348 10,472 (1,124) (11) % Operating Expense:      Salaries and related costs 2,826 2,732 94 3 %      Aircraft fuel and related taxes 2,092 1,978 114 6 %      Ancillary businesses and refinery 1,382 351 1,031 NM      Contracted services 753 709 44 6 %      Depreciation and amortization 506 615 (109) (18) %      Landing fees and other rents 504 524 (20) (4) %      Regional carrier expense 491 538 (47) (9) %      Aircraft maintenance materials and outside repairs 465 476 (11) (2) %      Passenger commissions and other selling expenses 312 474 (162) (34) %      Passenger service 275 288 (13) (5) %      Aircraft rent 122 102 20 20 %      Restructuring charges (5) — (5) NM      Profit sharing — 220 (220) (100) %      Other 408 445 (37) (8) %           Total operating expense 10,131 9,452 679 7 % Operating (Loss)/Income (783) 1,020 (1,803) NM Non-Operating Expense:      Interest expense, net (274) (83) (191) NM      Equity method results — (54) 54 (100) %      Gain/(loss) on investments, net (147) 100 (247) NM      Loss on extinguishment of debt (25) — (25) NM      Pension and related benefit/(expense) 73 (15) 88 NM      Miscellaneous, net (44) (22) (22) 100 %           Total non-operating expense, net (417) (74) (343) NM (Loss)/Income Before Income Taxes (1,200) 946 (2,146) NM Income Tax Benefit/(Provision) 260 (216) 476 NM Net (Loss)/Income $                   ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaApr 13th, 2022

Perpetual Tyranny: Endless Wars Are The Enemy Of Freedom

Perpetual Tyranny: Endless Wars Are The Enemy Of Freedom Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes… known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” - James Madison War is the enemy of freedom. As long as America’s politicians continue to involve us in wars that bankrupt the nation, jeopardize our servicemen and women, increase the chances of terrorism and blowback domestically, and push the nation that much closer to eventual collapse, “we the people” will find ourselves in a perpetual state of tyranny. It’s time for the U.S. government to stop policing the globe. This latest crisis—America’s part in the showdown between Russia and the Ukraine—has conveniently followed on the heels of a long line of other crises, manufactured or otherwise, which have occurred like clockwork in order to keep Americans distracted, deluded, amused, and insulated from the government’s steady encroachments on our freedoms. And so it continues in its Orwellian fashion. Two years after COVID-19 shifted the world into a state of global authoritarianism, just as the people’s tolerance for heavy-handed mandates seems to have finally worn thin, we are being prepped for the next distraction and the next drain on our economy. Yet policing the globe and waging endless wars abroad isn’t making America—or the rest of the world—any safer, it’s certainly not making America great again, and it’s undeniably digging the U.S. deeper into debt. Indeed, even if we were to put an end to all of the government’s military meddling and bring all of the troops home today, it would take decades to pay down the price of these wars and get the government’s creditors off our backs. War has become a huge money-making venture, and the U.S. government, with its vast military empire, is one of its best buyers and sellers. What most Americans—brainwashed into believing that patriotism means supporting the war machine—fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with propping up a military industrial complex that continues to dominate, dictate and shape almost every aspect of our lives. Consider: We are a military culture engaged in continuous warfare. We have been a nation at war for most of our existence. We are a nation that makes a living from killing through defense contracts, weapons manufacturing and endless wars. We are also being fed a steady diet of violence through our entertainment, news and politics. All of the military equipment featured in blockbuster movies is provided—at taxpayer expense—in exchange for carefully placed promotional spots. Back when I was a boy growing up in the 1950s, almost every classic sci fi movie ended with the heroic American military saving the day, whether it was battle tanks in Invaders from Mars (1953) or military roadblocks in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). What I didn’t know then as a schoolboy was the extent to which the Pentagon was paying to be cast as America’s savior. By the time my own kids were growing up, it was Jerry Bruckheimer’s blockbuster film Top Gun—created with Pentagon assistance and equipment—that boosted civic pride in the military. Now it’s my grandkids’ turn to be awed and overwhelmed by child-focused military propaganda. Don’t even get me started on the war propaganda churned out by the toymakers. Even reality TV shows have gotten in on the gig, with the Pentagon’s entertainment office helping to sell war to the American public. It’s estimated that U.S. military intelligence agencies (including the NSA) have influenced over 1,800 movies and TV shows. And then there are the growing number of video games, a number of which are engineered by or created for the military, which have accustomed players to interactive war play through military simulations and first-person shooter scenarios. This is how you acclimate a population to war. This is how you cultivate loyalty to a war machine. This is how, to borrow from the subtitle to the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove, you teach a nation to “stop worrying and love the bomb.” As journalist David Sirota writes for Salon, “[C]ollusion between the military and Hollywood - including allowing Pentagon officials to line edit scripts—is once again on the rise, with new television programs and movies slated to celebrate the Navy SEALs….major Hollywood directors remain more than happy to ideologically slant their films in precisely the pro-war, pro-militarist direction that the Pentagon demands in exchange for taxpayer-subsidized access to military hardware.” Why is the Pentagon (and the CIA and the government at large) so focused on using Hollywood as a propaganda machine? To those who profit from war, it is—as Sirota recognizes—“a ‘product’ to be sold via pop culture products that sanitize war and, in the process, boost recruitment numbers….At a time when more and more Americans are questioning the fundamental tenets of militarism (i.e., budget-busting defense expenditures, never-ending wars/occupations, etc.), military officials are desperate to turn the public opinion tide back in a pro-militarist direction — and they know pop culture is the most effective tool to achieve that goal.” The media, eager to score higher ratings, has been equally complicit in making (real) war more palatable to the public by packaging it as TV friendly. This is what professor Roger Stahl refers to as the representation of a “clean war”: a war “without victims, without bodies, and without suffering”: “‘Dehumanize destruction’ by extracting all human imagery from target areas … The language used to describe the clean war is as antiseptic as the pictures. Bombings are ‘air strikes.’ A future bombsite is a ‘target of opportunity.’ Unarmed areas are ‘soft targets.’ Civilians are ‘collateral damage.’ Destruction is always ‘surgical.’ By and large, the clean war wiped the humanity of civilians from the screen … Create conditions by which war appears short, abstract, sanitized and even aesthetically beautiful. Minimize any sense of death: of soldiers or civilians.” This is how you sell war to a populace that may have grown weary of endless wars: sanitize the war coverage of anything graphic or discomfiting (present a clean war), gloss over the actual numbers of soldiers and civilians killed (human cost), cast the business of killing humans in a more abstract, palatable fashion (such as a hunt), demonize one’s opponents, and make the weapons of war a source of wonder and delight. “This obsession with weapons of war has a name: technofetishism,” explains Stahl. “Weapons appear to take on a magical aura. They become centerpieces in a cult of worship.” “Apart from gazing at the majesty of these bombs, we were also invited to step inside these high-tech machines and take them for a spin,” said Stahl. “Or if we have the means, we can purchase one of the military vehicles on the consumer market. Not only are we invited to fantasize about being in the driver’s seat, we are routinely invited to peer through the crosshairs too. These repeated modes of imaging war cultivate new modes of perception, new relationships to the tools of state violence. In other words, we become accustomed to ‘seeing’ through the machines of war.” In order to sell war, you have to feed the public’s appetite for entertainment. Not satisfied with peddling its war propaganda through Hollywood, reality TV shows and embedded journalists whose reports came across as glorified promotional ads for the military, the Pentagon has also turned to sports to further advance its agenda, “tying the symbols of sports with the symbols of war.” The military has been firmly entrenched in the nation’s sports spectacles ever since, having co-opted football, basketball, even NASCAR. This is how you sustain the nation’s appetite for war. No wonder entertainment violence is the hottest selling ticket at the box office. As professor Henry Giroux points out, “Popular culture not only trades in violence as entertainment, but also it delivers violence to a society addicted to a pleasure principle steeped in graphic and extreme images of human suffering, mayhem and torture.” No wonder the government continues to whet the nation’s appetite for violence and war through paid propaganda programs (seeded throughout sports entertainment, Hollywood blockbusters and video games)—what Stahl refers to as “militainment“—that glorify the military and serve as recruiting tools for America’s expanding military empire. No wonder Americans from a very young age are being groomed to enlist as foot soldiers—even virtual ones—in America’s Army (coincidentally, that’s also the name of a first person shooter video game produced by the military). Explorer Scouts, for example, are one of the most popular recruiting tools for the military and its civilian counterparts (law enforcement, Border Patrol, and the FBI). No wonder the United States is the number one consumer, exporter and perpetrator of violence and violent weapons in the world. Seriously, America spends more money on war than the combined military budgets of China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Italy and Brazil. America polices the globe, with 800 military bases and troops stationed in 160 countries. Moreover, the war hawks have turned the American homeland into a quasi-battlefield with military gear, weapons and tactics. In turn, domestic police forces have become roving extensions of the military—a standing army. We are dealing with a sophisticated, far-reaching war machine that has woven itself into the very fabric of this nation. Clearly, our national priorities are in desperate need of an overhaul. Eventually, all military empires fall and fail by spreading themselves too thin and spending themselves to death. It happened in Rome: at the height of its power, even the mighty Roman Empire could not stare down a collapsing economy and a burgeoning military. Prolonged periods of war and false economic prosperity largely led to its demise. It’s happening again. The American Empire—with its endless wars waged by U.S. military servicepeople who have been reduced to little more than guns for hire: outsourced, stretched too thin, and deployed to far-flung places to police the globe—is approaching a breaking point. The government is destabilizing the economy, destroying the national infrastructure through neglect and a lack of resources, and turning taxpayer dollars into blood money with its endless wars, drone strikes and mounting death tolls. This is exactly the scenario President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against when he cautioned the citizenry not to let the profit-driven war machine endanger our liberties or democratic processes. Eisenhower, who served as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, was alarmed by the rise of the profit-driven war machine that, in order to perpetuate itself, would have to keep waging war. Yet as Eisenhower recognized, the consequences of allowing the military-industrial complex to wage war, exhaust our resources and dictate our national priorities are beyond grave: Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. We failed to heed Eisenhower’s warning. The illicit merger of the armaments industry and the government that Eisenhower warned against has come to represent perhaps the greatest threat to the nation today. What we have is a confluence of factors and influences that go beyond mere comparisons to Rome. It is a union of Orwell’s 1984 with its shadowy, totalitarian government—i.e., fascism, the union of government and corporate powers—and a total surveillance state with a military empire extended throughout the world. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, this is how tyranny rises and freedom falls. The growth of and reliance on militarism as the solution for our problems both domestically and abroad bodes ill for the constitutional principles which form the basis of the American experiment in freedom. As author Aldous Huxley warned: “Liberty cannot flourish in a country that is permanently on a war footing, or even a near-war footing. Permanent crisis justifies permanent control of everybody and everything by the agencies of the central government.” Tyler Durden Thu, 02/24/2022 - 23:40.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytFeb 24th, 2022

Jack in the Box (JACK) Banks on Menu Innovation, Hurt by Costs

Jack in the Box (JACK) continues to focus on repairing its franchisee relationship, mapping markets and rebuilding its store pipeline. However, wage and commodity inflation are a concern. Jack in the Box Inc. JACK is likely to benefit from menu innovations, digital initiatives and franchise business. Also, focus on unit expansion bodes well. A decline in restaurant-level margin due to wage and commodity inflation along with coronavirus-related woes is a headwind.Let us discuss the factors that highlight why investors should retain the stock for the time being.Growth CatalystsMenu innovation is one of the company’s primary aspects. Jack in the Box is continuously working on maintaining the uniqueness of its brand, menu and premium food offerings. Sales in the fiscal fourth quarter were primarily driven by solid breakfast daypart offerings (including Stacked Croissant and core breakfast menu items) and high volume LTO’s (Spicy Tiny Tacos). It not only regained the trust of its customers but also witnessed repetitive guest ordering. Also, the company benefitted from strength in burger performance owing to Triple Bacon Cheesy Jack and Bacon BBQ Cheeseburger promotions. Given the menu diversity, price points and positive customer feedback, the company remains flexible and resilient against shifts in customer behavior. Going forward, the company intends to build a long-term product pipeline to drive growth. Also, it is shifting toward travel-indulgent food that offers great overall value.To respond to the high demand for its services, Jack in the Box is focused on its delivery channels. The company has undertaken third-party delivery channels to bolster transactions and sales by partnering with DoorDash, Postmates, Grubhub and Uber Eats. It is expanding its mobile application in a few markets that support order-ahead functionality and payment. During fourth-quarter fiscal 2021, digital sales increased 90.6% year over year. Enhancements in digital ordering and off-premise channels added to the upside. The company benefitted from the Jack Pack Rewards loyalty program owing to a 61% increase in app downloads on a year-over-year basis. The company is concentrating on this area of business through exclusive offers and optimization initiatives. Jack in the Box intends to launch mobile web ordering and loyalty program offerings in store during the first half of 2022.Jack in the Box continues to focus on repairing its franchisee relationship, mapping markets and rebuilding its store pipeline to drive growth. Recently, the company awarded seven development agreements to open 47 new restaurants. With this initiative, the company will boost presence in existing markets including Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston as well as new ones like Salt Lake City and Louisville. The company also mentioned expansion plans with the involvement of veteran multi-unit franchisees like David Beshay (one of the brand’s largest operators). The franchisee expects to open at least 30 additional locations within the next five to eight years. It is worth mentioning that the company awarded 23 development agreements (year to date) to build 111 stores over the next several years.We believe that franchising a large chunk of its system will lower Jack in the Box’s general and administrative expenses, boosting earnings. In the long term, it would generate a higher return on equity by lowering capital requirements. This would also boost free cash flow and boost shareholders’ returns. The company aims to effectively manage costs and improve guest experience by striving toward operational excellence. Notably, the company believes that the majority of Jack in the Box’s new unit growth will be through franchise restaurants.ConcernsImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchShares of Jack in the Box have declined 8.1% so far this year against the industry’s 8.9% growth. The downside was mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic. Going forward, the company intends to evaluate the situation on a quarterly basis to gauge the impacts of COVID-19. Moreover, it expects the impact of COVID-19 to continue through 2021. Due to the crisis, it is unsure whether restaurant traffic will return to the pre-COVID-19 level.The company is persistently shouldering higher expenses, which have been detrimental to margins. During the fiscal fourth quarter, restaurant-level adjusted margin came in at 20.1% compared with 27% reported in the prior-year quarter. This was due to the take-back of lower-volume franchise restaurants, higher food and packaging costs, wage inflation of 9.8%, and rise in utilities and maintenance and repair costs. Commodity costs during the quarter increased 11.8% year over year. The increase was due to a rise in pork, beef and beverages costs. Selling, general and administrative expenses accounted for 7.7% of total revenues compared with 5.8% in the prior-year quarter.Zacks Rank & Key Restaurant PicksJack in the Box currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Some better-ranked stocks in the same space include Papa John's International, Inc. PZZA, Noodles & Company NDLS and McDonald's Corporation MCD.Papa John's currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company benefits from its off-premise business model. Sales at off-premise business model have exceeded pre-pandemic levels. We believe that a boost in customer count coupled with targeted off-premise marketing is likely to drive the channel’s performance in the upcoming periods.Papa John's reported better-than-expected earnings in three of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 27.2%. The company’s fiscal 2021 earnings is likely to witness growth of 142.9%. PZZA stock has gained 55.1% in the past year.Noodles & Company carries a Zacks Rank #2. Robust comparable restaurant sales growth and increase in average unit volumes is favoring the company. In third-quarter 2021, average unit volumes climbed 16% year over year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Noodles & Company’s current financial year sales and earnings per share (EPS) suggests growth of 22.5% and 196.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels. NDLS has returned 28.1% in the past year.McDonald’s carries a Zacks Rank #2. A robust drive-thru presence and investments in delivery and digitization in the past few years have helped the company to tide over the pandemic. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.8%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for McDonald's current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 20.9% and 54.9%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels. MCD has rallied 24.6% in the past year. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Janus Henderson Sustainable & Impact Core Bond ETF (JACK): Free Stock Analysis Report McDonald's Corporation (MCD): Free Stock Analysis Report Papa John's International, Inc. (PZZA): Free Stock Analysis Report Noodles & Company (NDLS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 8th, 2021

Why The Swiss Electorate Put The Brakes On Climate Policy

Why The Swiss Electorate Put The Brakes On Climate Policy Authored by Hans Rentsch via RealClearEnergy.com, On June 13th, the revised CO2 law failed at the Swiss ballot box. Judging from the rather confused debate following the rejection of the bill, one can hardly say that the shock in the politically competent circles had a beneficial effect in favor of more realism. Many commentators were surprised that the electorate put the brakes on climate policy, and many seemed puzzled about how to interpret the will of the people as expressed in the vote. In the referendum of May 2017, the revised Energy Act had been approved by a clear majority, but four years later a tight "no" to the revised CO2 Law followed. No Inconsistency in Voting Behavior Both legislative revisions are to be viewed as interconnected partial steps in the former energy minister Doris Leuthard's Energiewende (energy transition project). First yes, then no - and that looks quite inconsistent. The VOTO and VOX studies from the follow-up surveys allow a comparison of the two votes. The crucial point sounds almost trivial: The electorate that approved the Energy Act in May 2017 was not the same electorate that voted against the CO2 Act four years later - even disregarding the demographic shifts. The main difference lies in the much higher voter turnout for the CO2 Act - almost 60 percent, versus just 43 percent for the Energy Act. This high mobilization, well above the average of 46 percent, was due to the four other proposals that were voted on the same day, above all the two popular initiatives aiming at a reorientation of the agricultural policy. Due to radical requirements regarding the protection of drinking water and the use of pesticides for agriculture as well as upstream and downstream industries, these had led the farming sector to expect drastic consequences. In an extensive and expensive campaign, the associations of the agricultural sector fought the initiatives and lured many people to the polls in rural regions. According to an analysis by the survey institute GFS Bern, a double no to the agricultural initiatives is the strongest explanation factor for a no to the CO2 law. Obviously, it didn't take a lot of additional energy to also write a no on the voting slip for the CO2 law.  A detail from the VOTO-study is also worth being mentioned. Although the conservative Schweizerische Volkspartei (SVP) was the only major party to support the referendum against the Energy Act in 2017, the party was unable to mobilize its supporters. Only 38 percent took part in the vote, the lowest percentage of any party. The SVP, on the other hand, mobilized its supporters most strongly in the vote on the CO2 Act in June this year: 73 percent of SVP sympathizers took part in the vote - because of the two strongly mobilizing agricultural initiatives. The CO2 law, so to speak as the sidecar, bore the consequences.  The Urban-Rural Divide and Other Gaps Many comments on the vote complained about a growing urban-rural divide. As if this were something new! The same would have been visible in other referenda if one had looked more closely. The urban-rural divide only depicts the different political positions: urban Switzerland ticks left, rural Switzerland non-left. Instead of superficially complaining about a divide between town and country, it is worth looking at other ditches. It goes without saying that the differences between left and right are particularly great when it comes to issues that are as ideologically and morally charged as energy and climate policies. Supporters of the Green Party voted in favor of the Energy Act with a yes share of 94 percent, while only 16 percent of SVP party supporters voted in favor. Almost the same gap appeared in the referendum on the CO2 law: 93 percent versus 17 percent. There are also astonishing divides within parties. The official voting recommendation of the national pro-business and pro-market party "FDP. Die Liberalen" was yes in both votes, but some cantonal FDP sections opposed the national pro decision. And a majority of the FDP party supporters voted against the official party line. In the referendum on the new Energy law, 53 percent rejected the bill, and no less than 63 percent voted against the revised CO2 law. In an opinion poll amongst party members before the elections to the lower house in autumn 2019, the party leadership was able to win support for a green "last-minute" swivel, obviously under the influence of the "Fridays for Future" strikes, very much inflated by the compliant media. However, such surveys typically produce declamatory statements at zero cost, while referenda on new legislation are about concrete measures and noticeable effects. There was a very special divide in the sphere of influence of the traditional farmers' party SVP, which was the only significant party in both referenda to oppose the bills. But in the case of the revised CO2 law the Swiss Farmers Association had recommended adoption, thus departing far from its political base. The informed observer suspects, that the Swiss Farmers Association had entered into an logrolling deal with economic interests that fought for the law, who in return promised to respect agricultural protection interests, especially in the case of new Free Trade Agreements. Since the research institutes mandated to produce the VOX or VOTO studies still collect genderrelated data, somewhat old-fashioned, according to binary-biological gender, a gap between men and women becomes visible. Women had voted in favor of the Energy Act with a pro share of 64 percent, men only with 53 percent. In the referendum on the CO2 Act, women approved the law with a yes majority of 52 percent, while men produced only 45 percent yes votes. The difference was somewhat smaller than in the case of the Energy law. But the gender divide was of a more serious quality, because men dominated women by overturning the law approved by a majority of women. The Educational Elite as the Spearhead of the Energiewende (energy transition) There is also a wide gap in voting behavior based on the level of education. Highly educated people owning a university degree emerged from the referenda as the most convinced "energy transitioners." The group with only basic vocational training or an apprenticeship rejected the Energy Act with around 55 percent no votes. In contrast, people with a tertiary education voted for the law with a three-quarters majority. In the vote on the CO2 bill, the differences were smaller, but with a pro share of around 70 percent, the bracket of the highly educated was still well above the approval rates of the groups with a lower level of education. These are typically people who have to cope with their everyday life and usually have other worries than using scarce material resources to express some ideal values. An orientation based on certain morally rewarding values is widespread among the materially privileged educated elite. Such attitudes are often used for personal image cultivation, but such behavior is associated with costs. Just think of the high prices for "ethical consumption." In an article in the leading Swiss daily newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the cultural scientist Wolfgang Ullrich wrote that to orient one's life towards higher values is the bliss only of elites. Their privileged social position enables the "new moral nobility" to implement a value-conscious lifestyle and thus to rise above other people. The fact that the support for the Energy and the CO2 bills was so strong in the university educated and the cultural milieus can primarily be explained with this value orientation and not with a superior technical or economic insight into the effects of the new legislation. The prominent American moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt said in a speech, only slightly exaggerating, that highly educated people are not, as they themselves would think, better informed than others, they are just more adept at justifying their prejudices. The rough categorization "highly educated" also blurs an important fact. In terms of numbers, the predominant university degrees stem from "soft" subjects generally referred to as humanities (typically with female over-representation) such as languages, psychology, journalism, media, law, political science, sociology, history, geography, ethnology and medical-social subjects. In contrast to the political-ideological spectrum of the entire electorate, there is a pronounced left-green "value bias" among university graduates in the above-mentioned fields of study. Such orientation towards self-defined values also reflects a tendency towards illusory social goals and a massive overestimation of political will and ability in the sense of: all we want is also feasible. Farewell to Illusions: The Paris 2015 1.5 Degree Target It goes without saying that the electorate's no to the new CO2 law does not fit into the officially promoted path towards the projected energy transition and the intermediate targets of CO2 reduction in line with the Paris 2015 commitments. But how is the will of the people to be derived from the two seemingly opposed outcomes in the referenda on energy and climate policy? On the one hand, the participating electorates in the two votes differ greatly in many respects. On the other, the voting results obviously depend on whether a bill is presented to voters as a single issue or in a package with other projects of legislation. In times of rising alarmist voices, nothing would be more useful than to engage in a sober analysis of the situation without prejudice and to part from all the illusions that shape current energy and climate policy. This applies in particular to the Fukushima-fueled Swiss Energiewende.  The 1.5 degree target from the Paris 2015 conference and agreement and the connected grandiose "zero carbon" oaths are the great basic illusions. Unattainable goals are bound to make climate policy a constant failure. Why should the world state of 1850 at the end of the Little Ice Age with a CO2 concentration of 280 ppm represent a natural climate optimum for the environment, health, and nutrition? Furthermore, since the average global temperature has already increased by 1.1 degrees since then, and since the temperature reacts with a delay to today's CO2 concentration of 415 ppm, the 1.5 degrees would probably also be exceeded, even if the human world were to stand still tomorrow. Nonetheless, our responsible authorities continue to announce unperturbed that the 1.5 degree target of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement can be achieved, if we only want it. The blurred meaning of "we" is confusing the message. We in tiny Switzerland have nothing to do with reaching the 1.5 degree target. We have only made commitments to reduce greenhouse gases in solidarity, in the hope that the other Paris 2015 committed countries will do the same and stick to their nationally determined contributions (NDC). In light of the free-rider problem, this hope is built on sand. If, on the other hand, "we" is meant globally, it is outside of Switzerland's political responsibilities and competencies. The enormous technological and economic progress and the high level of prosperity in the societies of mass consumption in the western welfare states and in successful Asian countries as well as the development in poorer countries are outright unimaginable without the availability of fossil energy. From simple logics, it can be concluded that a brutal decarbonization of economies would be an extremely costly project - social costs expressed, economically correct, as opportunity costs. (Note: If scarce resources are put to a new use, they are missing elsewhere. The added value that is lost from the next best or even better use of these resources are economic costs). Moreover, the distribution conflicts to be expected from a radical decarbonization policy, both within and between states, would hardly be politically resolvable. Anyone who throws the catchphrase "climate justice" into the debate in order to remind rich countries of their special responsibility takes a narrow view. Because it is the technological and economic achievements of the countries shaped by western values that have massively reduced extreme poverty and child mortality worldwide and have more than doubled the average life expectancy since 1900 - with the greatest progress in the (formerly) poor countries of Asia and Africa.  The public debate about the costs and benefits of an "ambitious climate policy" is characterized by vague warnings and illusions. The best-founded cost estimates of the long-term damage caused by climate change and the costs of climate policy are due to the American Yale economist William Nordhaus. In 2018, he received the Nobel Prize for his contributions to the "calculus" of climate policy. Nevertheless, his findings seem to have no effect on the usual current climate policy, which is by and large based on grandiose declamations, spilling scarce resources with mostly symbolic effect. Among climate activists of all kinds who live in the illusionary world of Paris 2015, Nordhaus has few supporters anyway. No wonder, because according to Nordhaus' estimates, a climate policy that seeks to achieve the 1.5 degree target is unaffordable in practice. In the trade-off between the costs of climate policy and the damage caused by climate change, a warming scenario of around 3.5 degrees does best in the model simulations of Nordhaus. Even if many may doubt these model-based results or outright dismiss them as cynical, such cost-benefit comparisons are indispensable, not least because the model assumptions realistically reflect the way people think and act. The choice of a realistic discount rate for calculating present values of costs is of utmost importance here, but an ongoing debate among economists on this issue would call for a separate discussion. An Energy Transition Without Nuclear Power? The illusions cultivated in Switzerland, including "fake facts," also disseminated by official bodies in the federal administration, concern alleged savings in electricity consumption despite the planned electrification of mobility and buildings, the grossly overestimated future expansion of renewable energies wind, solar and hydropower, availability of electricity imports to cover the massively growing winter electricity production deficit, and the vague hopes for technological breakthroughs in electricity storage and in carbon capture and storage. All this has been reported in detail elsewhere, with no visible effect on current policies and projects. Political Switzerland is a heavy steamer with many actors in the engine room and at the helm. The approval of the Energy Act in 2017 was primarily a vote in favor of phasing out nuclear energy. In the VOTO follow-up survey, four out of five respondents expressed a wish for a nuclear-free Switzerland. The images of the reactor explosion in Fukushima were still firmly imprinted on people's minds. "Hard cases make bad law" is an old political adage that pops up here. We could have learned a lot from the Fukushima hard or even worst case, if we had analyzed the consequences more calmly, instead of announcing an "energy transition" two months after the disaster with the phasing out of nuclear energy. Winston Churchill is credited with observing that security lies in the multitude of variables that are available as options for action. If, based on costless wishes and on vague hopes, a county's voting population restricts options for action, it must also be prepared to deal with a reality that might behave differently than hoped for. After all, voices are now gradually being raised calling for a reassessment of nuclear energy in times of ruthless but very fragile targets for "net-zero 2050." Due to the highest possible democratic legitimation by a popular vote, an exit from the nuclear phase-out currently seems practically impossible in Switzerland. What makes a turnaround even harder: the fundamentalistic rejection of nuclear energy is a central element of the mission and self-image of politically influential persons, parties and NGOs. A sober reassessment would be a betrayal of a fundamental position, to which one has been completely devoted for decades. Finally, if around four-fifths of those eligible to vote are in favor of phasing out nuclear energy, it takes civil courage to stand up and give the remaining fifth a vote. A counter-experience to Fukushima that could stir up people's mindset in a similar way favoring a more realistic energy policy, would be an electricity blackout provoking the failure of important systems. Such an event is not unrealistic under the pressures and constraints of the announced energy transition. Relevant warnings can be found in official risk scenarios for Switzerland. With the ongoing and increasing uncoupling from the European electricity network due to Switzerland’s rejection of an institutionally binding general agreement with the EU, these risks are rising. But as long as the perception and the media communication of accidents in the energy sector - not least thanks to the specters "Fukushima" and "Chernobyl" - are so distorted at the expense of nuclear energy, the prevailing opinions in the population should not be overestimated. Perhaps in a few years we shall see a climate youth on strike who - in contrast to today's ideologically blind Fridays for Future activists - is calling for an exit from the "nuclear exit." All to the benefit of ambitious climate targets. *  *  * (Note: This essay expresses a personal opinion and in no way presents an officially approved perspective of either the CCRS or the University of Zurich).  Tyler Durden Sat, 10/09/2021 - 09:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 9th, 2021

Here"s Why Investors Should Retain Restaurant Brands (QSR) Now

Restaurant Brands (QSR) is likely to benefit from a rise in comparable sales, unit growth and menu innovation. Restaurant Brands International Inc. QSR is likely to benefit from a rise in comparable sales, unit growth and menu innovation. However, high costs remain a concern. Year to date, the company’s shares have fallen15.4%, compared with the industry’s decline of 20%. Let’s delve deeper.Key CatalystsDespite the coronavirus crisis, the company impressed investors with solid comps. During the first quarter of 2022, comps in the Tim Hortons (Canada) and Burger King (international business) reflected growth of 10.1% and 20.1%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. The upside was primarily driven by solid promotions with respect to its core platform and a rise in delivery and digital sales.The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company believes that there is a huge opportunity to grow all its brands around the world by expanding its presence in existing markets as well as entering new markets. Currently, it has more than 29,000 restaurants worldwide. During second-quarter 2021, the company opened the 400th Burger King store in France in association with its master franchisee, Groupe Bertrand. Restaurant Brands continues to evaluate opportunities to accelerate the international development of all the three brands by establishing master franchisees with exclusive development rights and joint ventures with new and existing franchisees. The company is very optimistic about growth opportunities in 2022 and remains on track to grow its restaurant base toward its long-term goal of 40,000 locations.Restaurant Brands’ loyalty program, Tim's Rewards, has been gaining popularity. The company announced that following a rapid ramp-up phase, nearly half of the customers pay through Tim's Rewards. Restaurant Brands is presently testing a loyalty program in Canada across different markets as high loyalty card adoption rates have been witnessed in these test markets. During fourth-quarter 2021, monthly active users in the platform were 4.5 million, representing growth of 50% from the prior-year quarter’s levels. It plans to integrate loyalty cards into the digital channel, basically through its mobile app. During the first quarter of 2021, the company rolled out a new Royal Perks loyalty program at its Burger King restaurants. It unveiled a new digital-first loyalty program at Popeyes. In September, Restaurant Brands completed the nationwide in-store rollout of its Royal Perks loyalty program. The company is satisfied with the initial results of the loyalty program, with approximately 80% of registered digital guests now having transformed to Royal Perks.The company has been focusing on expanding delivery via digital platforms amid the pandemic. Two years ago, the company had just a couple of hundred restaurants in North America on delivery. However, currently, it has more than 10,000 active restaurants across its three brands, with most offering delivery via the company’s digital platforms. Since February 2020, the company has added approximately 3,000 new restaurants to deliver in the United States and Canada. In Canada, the company provides delivery services from nearly 1,200 restaurants. During first-quarter 2022, Tims Canada generated more than 36% of its sales from digital channels. Burger King, Popeye's, and Firehouse Subs generated 9%, 18% and 30% of sales, respectively, through digital channels. The company’s performance has been primarily driven by attributes such as growth in delivery, an increase in mobile order and pay and continued traction in the loyalty program.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchKey PicksSome better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Retail-Wholesale sector are MarineMax, Inc. HZO, BBQ Holdings, Inc. BBQ and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store CBRL.MarineMax sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 32.8%, on average. Shares of the company have declined 19.1% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MarineMax’s 2022 sales and EPS suggests growth of 16% and 21.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.BBQ Holdings carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). BBQ Holdings has a long-term earnings growth of 14%. Shares of the company have decreased 11.7% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BBQ Holdings’ 2022 sales and EPS suggests growth of 46.1% and 67.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.Cracker Barrel carries a Zacks Rank #2. Cracker Barrel has a long-term earnings growth of 9.4%. Shares of the company have declined 34.8% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Cracker Barrel’s 2022 sales and EPS suggests growth of 17.3% and 33.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels. Just Released: The Biggest Tech IPOs of 2022 For a limited time, Zacks is revealing the most anticipated tech IPOs expected to launch this year. Concerns about Federal interest rates and inflation caused many private companies to stay on the bench- leading to companies with better brand recognition and higher growth rates getting into the game. With the strength of our economy and record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. See the complete list today.>>See Zacks Hottest IPOs NowWant 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 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL): Free Stock Analysis Report MarineMax, Inc. (HZO): Free Stock Analysis Report Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR): Free Stock Analysis Report BBQ Holdings, Inc. (BBQ): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks7 hr. 45 min. ago

Gap (GPS) Dips on Wider-Than-Expected Q1 Loss, Beats on Sales

Gap's (GPS) Q1 results have been hurt by industry-wide challenges, headwinds in its Old Navy brand and muted demand in China. It slashes the fiscal 2022 view. Shares of The Gap Inc. GPS declined 13% in the after-market session on May 26, following the first-quarter fiscal 2022 results, wherein the company reported a wider-than-expected loss, while its top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Both metrics declined year over year.Results were affected by industry-wide challenges as well as headwinds in its Old Navy brand, including issues related to the launch of BODEQUALITY. Also, lower-than-anticipated demand in key categories like active, fleece, and kids and baby hurt the quarterly results. However, management remains on track with the Power Plan, which is likely to lead to growth, margin expansion and good value for shareholders.For the fiscal first quarter, the company’s loss of 44 cents per share was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 11 cents. Also, the metric compared unfavorably with earnings of 48 cents in first-quarter fiscal 2021.Net sales declined 13% year over year to $3,477 million. However, the figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,432 million. Comparable sales (comps) slumped 14% on a year-over-year basis.Digital sales decreased 17% year over year, accounting for 39% of total sales for the reported quarter. Store sales declined 10% year over year.The Gap, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise   The Gap, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | The Gap, Inc. QuoteBrand-Wise Sales & CompsOld Navy: Net sales at Old Navy Global declined 19% year over year due to imbalances in size and assortment, ongoing inventory delays and headwinds related to product acceptance in some key categories. Comps also declined 22% year over year.Gap Global: For first-quarter fiscal 2022, net sales declined 11% year over year, owing to weak demand stemming from inflationary pressures as well as COVID-related forced lockdowns and muted demand in China. Comps decreased 11% year over year across North America and globally.Banana Republic: Net sales advanced 24% and comps were up 27%, driven by gains from the prior year’s relaunch of work-based categories.Athleta: Net sales jumped 4% for the Athleta brand, while comps declined 7%. Segmental results gained from increased awareness along with strength in women’s active and wellness category.Margins & CostsGross profit of $1,096 million reflected a 32.8% decrease from $1,630 million in the prior-year quarter. The gross margin of 31.5% contracted 930 basis points (bps) year over year due to a 760-bps decline in merchandise margins stemming from higher air freight. Also, huge discounts at Old Navy and rising commodity price increases were somewhat offset by fewer discounts at Banana Republic.Operating loss was $197 million against income of $240 million in the year-ago quarter due to weak sales volumes, higher air freight costs, higher promotions and rising inflation.Operating expenses declined 7% year over year to $1,293 due to dismal sales.Other FinancialsGap ended the fiscal first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $845 million, representing a significant decline from $2,066 million in the year-ago period. As of Apr 30, 2022, it had total stockholders’ equity of $2,454 million and long-term debt of $1,485 million.In the quarter under review, the company used $362 million in cash from operating activities. Gap bought back 3.7 million shares worth $54 million and paid out a dividend of $56 million. GPS also approved a quarterly dividend of 15 cents per share in the quarter under review.In the reported quarter, the company’s capital expenditure was $228 million. For fiscal 2022, capital expenditure is forecast to be $700 million for enhancing digital facilities, loyalty, supply-chain improvement, and investment in store growth for Old Navy and Athleta.Store UpdateAs of Apr 30, 2022, Gap had 3,414 stores in more than 40 countries, out of which 2,825 were company-operated and 589 were franchise outlets.For fiscal 2022, GPS plans to close 50 Gap and Banana Republic stores in North America as part of its 350 store-closure plan. It also expects to open 30-40 Old Navy and Athleta stores each.Fiscal 2022 GuidanceManagement slashed the fiscal 2022 view due to headwinds at the Old Navy brand, the current macro consumer environment, inflationary pressures and sluggishness in China. It expects adjusted earnings of 30-60 cents, down from the prior mentioned $1.85-$2.05. Sales are anticipated to decline in the low to mid-single-digit range, which compares unfavorably with earlier stated low-single-digit growth. The adjusted operating margin is likely to be 1.5-2.5%, down from the previously communicated 6-6.5%. The gross margin is envisioned to be 36.5-37.5%.The company anticipates continued elevated air freight expenses for fiscal 2022, with $170 million incurred in the first quarter and $50 million to be incurred in the second quarter. GPS expects to return to normalized levels in the second half of fiscal 2022.That said, management expects the overall performance to improve in the second half of fiscal 2022. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research In the past three months, shares of this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) company have declined 22.7% compared with the industry’s 28.1% fall.Stocks to ConsiderHere are three better-ranked stocks to consider — Boot Barn Holdings BOOT, Dillard’s DDS and Kroger KR.Boot Barn, which provides western and work-related footwear, apparel and accessories, currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 25.2%, on average. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Boot Barn’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 17% and 4.4%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported figures. BOOT has an expected EPS growth rate of 20% for three-five years.Dillard’s operates as a departmental store chain featuring fashion apparel and home furnishings. It presently sports a Zacks Rank #1. DDS has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 224.1%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Dillard’s current financial-year sales suggests growth of 6.1%, while the same for EPS indicates a decline of 33.9% from the year-ago period’s reported numbers. DDS has an expected EPS growth rate of 12.6% for three-five years.Kroger, which provides an array of goods ranging from household essentials, groceries and electronics to toys and apparel for men, women and kids, currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. KR has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 22.1%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kroger’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 3.2% and 4.1%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported figures. KR has an expected EPS growth rate of 9.9% for three-five years. Just Released: The Biggest Tech IPOs of 2022 For a limited time, Zacks is revealing the most anticipated tech IPOs expected to launch this year. Concerns about Federal interest rates and inflation caused many private companies to stay on the bench- leading to companies with better brand recognition and higher growth rates getting into the game. With the strength of our economy and record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. See the complete list today.>>See Zacks Hottest IPOs NowWant 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 Dillard's, Inc. (DDS): Free Stock Analysis Report The Kroger Co. (KR): Free Stock Analysis Report The Gap, Inc. (GPS): Free Stock Analysis Report Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. (BOOT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks17 hr. 3 min. ago

If You Invested $1000 in Albemarle 10 Years Ago, This Is How Much You"d Have Now

Holding on to popular or trending stocks for the long-term can make your portfolio a winner. How much a stock's price changes over time is important for most investors, since price performance can both impact your investment portfolio and help you compare investment results across sectors and industries.FOMO, or the fear of missing out, also plays a role in investing, particularly with tech giants and popular consumer-facing stocks.What if you'd invested in Albemarle (ALB) ten years ago? It may not have been easy to hold on to ALB for all that time, but if you did, how much would your investment be worth today?Albemarle's Business In-DepthWith that in mind, let's take a look at Albemarle's main business drivers. Charlotte, NC-based Albemarle Corporation is a premier specialty chemicals company with leading positions in attractive end markets globally. It is a leading producer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals geared to meet customer requirements across a bevy of end markets including petroleum refining, consumer electronics, energy storage, construction and automotive.Albemarle, in January 2015, completed its acquisition of Rockwood Holdings, Inc for $5.7 billion. Rockwood became a fully-owned subsidiary of Albemarle following the deal closure.The company’s former Performance Chemicals segment was split in 2016 into two separate segments, Lithium and Advanced Materials and Bromine Specialties. This led to the creation of three reportable segments – Lithium and Advanced Materials, Bromine Specialties and Refining Solutions.Albemarle, in April 2018, completed the sale of its polyolefin catalysts and components business to W. R. Grace & Co. (GRA). Per the terms of the deal, the curatives and organometallics portions of the Performance Catalysts Solutions (PCS) business remain with Albemarle.The company realigned its reportable segments following this divestment, effective first-quarter 2018. The PCS business has been merged with the Refining Solutions segment to form a new segment called Catalysts. As such, the company now has three reportable segments – Lithium, Bromine Specialties and Catalysts.The Lithium unit is a low-cost producer of one of the most diverse portfolios of lithium derivatives in the industry. The segment develops lithium materials (including lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide) for a vast range of end-use markets.The company’s bromine business includes products used in fire safety solutions and other specialty chemicals applications.The Catalysts unit includes product lines such as clean fuels technologies (CFT), FCC catalysts and additives and performance catalystsolutions (PCS).Albemarle recorded sales of $3,327.9 million in 2021 with Lithium, Bromine Specialties and Catalysts segments accounting 41%, 34%, 23%, respectively. Its other businesses represented the balance 2% of sales. Bottom LineWhile anyone can invest, building a lucrative investment portfolio takes research, patience, and a little bit of risk. If you had invested in Albemarle ten years ago, you're probably feeling pretty good about your investment today.According to our calculations, a $1000 investment made in May 2012 would be worth $4,151.88, or a gain of 315.19%, as of May 27, 2022, and this return excludes dividends but includes price increases.The S&P 500 rose 207.92% and the price of gold increased 14.10% over the same time frame in comparison.Analysts are forecasting more upside for ALB too. Albemarle’s adjusted earnings and sales for the first quarter beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company should gain from long-term growth in the battery-grade lithium market. It is expected to benefit from its actions to boost its global lithium derivative capacity. The company will also benefit from the synergies of the Rockwood acquisition. The buyout has enhanced diversity across end markets. Albemarle also remains focused on executing its cost-reduction program. Its cost saving actions are also expected to support margins in 2022. The company also remains committed to boost shareholder returns leveraging strong cash flows. It remains focused on maintaining its dividend payout. The company has ample liquidity to meet its short-term debt obligations. Albemarle has also outperformed the industry over a year. Shares have gained 30.62% over the past four weeks and there have been 8 higher earnings estimate revisions for fiscal 2022 compared to none lower. The consensus estimate has moved up as well. Just Released: The Biggest Tech IPOs of 2022 For a limited time, Zacks is revealing the most anticipated tech IPOs expected to launch this year. Concerns about Federal interest rates and inflation caused many private companies to stay on the bench- leading to companies with better brand recognition and higher growth rates getting into the game. With the strength of our economy and record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. See the complete list today.>>See Zacks Hottest IPOs NowWant 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 Albemarle Corporation (ALB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks17 hr. 3 min. ago

Here"s Why You Should Retain Chipotle (CMG) in Your Portfolio

Chipotle's (CMG) focus on new menu offerings and marketing activities bode well. However, supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures are a concern. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. CMG is likely to benefit from digital efforts, Chipotlane add-ons and menu innovation. Also, focusing on human capital technology bodes well. However, pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures remain concerns.Let us discuss the factors highlighting why investors should retain the stock for the time being.Key CatalystsChipotle is leaving no stone unturned to make digital ordering more appealing to customers and highly efficient for restaurants. The company redesigned and simplified the online ordering site, enabled online payment for catering and collaborated with several well-known third-party providers for delivery. Since its Smarter Pickup Times technology rollout, there has been a significant increase in digital orders and guest satisfaction. Digital sales contributed 41.9% to sales during the during first-quarter 2022. The company witnessed a rise in order-ahead transactions, courtesy of enhanced guest access and convenience. This and Chipotlanes’ add-ons drove its performance.Chipotle is also gaining from the rollout of Chipotlanes. During first-quarter 2022, Chipotle opened 51 new restaurants, including 42 Chipotlanes. The addition of Chipotlanes enhanced customer access and convenience and bolstered new store restaurant sales, margins and returns. It continues to expand its digital drive with Chipotlanes. Backed by impressive unit economics and the success of small-town locations, the company anticipates operating more than 7,000 restaurants over the long term in North America. CMG emphasized building a real estate pipeline with more than 80% of the restaurants having Chipotlane.The company has been focusing on human capital technology to enhance its restaurant team member experience, paving the path for a more efficient, consistent and compliant environment. During first-quarter 2022, the company initiated testing an autonomous kitchen assistant — Chippy — that integrates culinary traditions with artificial intelligence to make tortilla chips. The initiative involves robotics collaboration, thereby allowing the company to focus on other culinary tasks in the restaurant without sacrificing the quality and deliciousness of the item. The company plans to implement the initiative in a Southern California restaurant and leverage it with the stage-gate process before deciding its future course of implementation.Chipotle has been working on a new pipeline for its menu offerings. During the first quarter of 2022, the company benefited from the solid performance of Pollo Asado. It also unveiled new variations to its health-oriented Lifestyle Bowls that resonated well with consumers. Also, it is witnessing a strong recall for Plant-Based Chorizo (limited time offering). The company stated that it has several new products in the pipeline that are in the early stages of consumer testing. The introduction of new items and solid marketing activities that include a combination of brand-building efforts and transaction-driving promotions and advertising are likely to lead to a steady inflow of new customers. The company is likely to emphasize on Tractor beverages, which are subject to normalization of the pandemic scenario. Nonetheless, increased focus on the stage gate process, leveraging digital programs to expand access and convenience, frequent customer interaction through the loyalty program and menu innovation, unit expansion and operational excellence are likely to benefit the company. Notably, these factors will help customers to resonate more with the company.ConcernsImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchShares of Chipotle have declined 23.2% in the past six months compared with the industry’s 18.7% fall. The downside was caused by the coronavirus crisis. Pandemic-induced restrictions and labor challenges had taken an enormous toll on the company. Although most dining services are open, traffic is still low compared with pre-pandemic levels. Going forward, the company intends to monitor the situation regularly to gauge the impacts of COVID-19.Chipotle has been continuously incurring increased expenses, which have been detrimental to margins. Like other industry players, the company has been facing significant supply chain challenges and inflation across most commodities and categories. During first-quarter 2022, food, beverage and packaging costs, as a percentage of revenues, increased 100 basis points (bps) year over year to 31%. The upside was primarily caused by a rise in beef, paper and avocado costs. Labor costs (as a percentage of revenues) during the quarter came in at 26.3%, reflecting an increase of about 140 basis points from the last year. This increase was driven by its strategy to bolster average nationwide wages to $15 per hour. For second-quarter 2022, the company anticipates labor costs to be in the mid-24% range.Zacks Rank & Key PicksChipotle currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Retail-Wholesale sector are MarineMax, Inc. HZO, BBQ Holdings, Inc. BBQ and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store CBRL.MarineMax sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 32.8%, on average. Shares of the company have declined 23.8% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MarineMax’s 2022 sales and earnings per share (EPS) suggests growth of 16% and 21.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.BBQ Holdings carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). BBQ Holdings has a long-term earnings growth of 14%. Shares of the company have decreased 18.3% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BBQ Holdings’ 2022 sales and EPS suggests growth of 46.1% and 67.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.Cracker Barrel carries a Zacks Rank #2. Cracker Barrel has a long-term earnings growth of 9.4%. Shares of the company have declined 37.8% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Cracker Barrel’s 2022 sales and EPS suggests growth of 17.3% and 33.5%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top buy-and-hold tickers for the entirety of 2022? Last year's 2021 Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolio returned gains as high as +147.7%. Now a brand-new portfolio has been handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these long-term buysAccess Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 today >>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 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL): Free Stock Analysis Report Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG): Free Stock Analysis Report MarineMax, Inc. (HZO): Free Stock Analysis Report BBQ Holdings, Inc. (BBQ): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 26th, 2022

Bridge Industrial Announces Formal Launch of its ESG Program

Bridge Industrial (“Bridge”), a privately-owned, vertically integrated real estate operating company and investment manager, announced today the formation of its environmental, social, governance (ESG) program and that it is working with ESG consultancy firm Verdani Partners (“Verdani”) to ensure the smooth integration of the newly established program throughout the company’s corporate culture. In establishing the program, Bridge aims... The post Bridge Industrial Announces Formal Launch of its ESG Program appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Bridge Industrial (“Bridge”), a privately-owned, vertically integrated real estate operating company and investment manager, announced today the formation of its environmental, social, governance (ESG) program and that it is working with ESG consultancy firm Verdani Partners (“Verdani”) to ensure the smooth integration of the newly established program throughout the company’s corporate culture. In establishing the program, Bridge aims to create lasting value through sustainability. To help spearhead the program, Bridge promoted Francesca De Amicis as the firm’s Vice President of Operations and Sustainability. In this role, Francesca will be responsible for the implementation of policies and strategies which support and drive the organization’s ESG goals and will facilitate coordination between Bridge and Verdani. “We are impressed with Verdani’s track record of developing industry leading ESG programs for commercial real estate portfolios. At Bridge, we want to demonstrate ESG leadership, and with Verdani’s partnership, we feel confident that we can make significant strides toward reaching net zero emissions and advancing decarbonization efforts in the industrial sector,” said De Amicis. As part of its comprehensive ESG program, Bridge has established environmental, social, and governance initiatives that align with the company’s visioned corporate impact. Environmental – Bridge seeks to create value through innovative and sustainable practices that center around environmental conservation, decarbonization, and resilience. To do so, Bridge will focus on operational excellence for reduced resource intensity as well as strategic positioning in green buildings and climate resilient assets to improve energy efficiency and ensure the longevity of its portfolio.   Social – Through emphasis on engagement and education, health and well-being, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Bridge believes in fostering a healthy, vibrant, and diverse workforce, partnerships, and communities. To drive positive community impact, Bridge tailors its projects to meet local community needs and involves itself in community improvement initiatives that extend beyond individual asset performance. Governance – Priding itself on strong business ethics, transparency, and integrity, Bridge is committed to creating lasting value for stakeholders by infusing ESG into its corporate identity and leading through demonstrated performance. “As the industrial sector continues to experience tremendous growth and seemingly unlimited demand, we believe it is our job as a leader in the industry to take the initiative on driving sustainable efforts in the sector,” said Steve Groetsema, Chief Operating Officer and Partner at Bridge. “Discussions around ESG and sustainability are not new to the commercial real estate industry, but the conversation holds more gravity now than ever before as we witness first-hand the irrefutable need for greater resilience and regeneration of assets. We’re proud to be at the forefront of this conversation, working diligently to create lasting value for our tenants and investors alike.”  Bridge has already demonstrated commitment to ESG excellence by partnering with USGBC, ULI Greenprint, EPA’s Energy Star Program, ISSP and Measurabl, all leading organizations in sustainability. With assistance from Verdani, Bridge will strengthen alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), establish a roadmap strategy to reach net zero emissions across all operations, and will report to the GRESB Real Estate Assessment for the first time this year. The post Bridge Industrial Announces Formal Launch of its ESG Program appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyMay 25th, 2022

Global progress on DEI goals has stalled in wake of pandemic and war, according to a panel of experts at the World Economic Forum

Speakers at this year's World Economic Forum said setbacks, including the pandemic and Ukraine war, have allowed inequalities to persist and progress to slow. Ilham Kadri, CEO of Solvay, speaking at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 in Davos-Klosters on May 25, 2022World Economic Forum/Manuel Lopez A panel convening at the World Economic Forum in Davos today reviewed the world's diversity, equity, and inclusion outlook. Quotas and KPIs will not be enough to improve the lives of marginalized people, panelists told event attendees. Companies, countries, and institutions must do more to give LGBTQ+, those living with disabilities, and those from marginalized genders and ethnicities equal access to opportunity. A panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos today concluded that progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion is not coming fast enough for the world's marginalized.Since the last time world leaders met at the conference, companies, institutions, and governments have launched various DEI programs. Some of these included introducing quotas that ensure traditionally marginalized people make it into the interview rooms of big businesses and organizations. Yet the room at Davos heard that setbacks, which included the pandemic and the Ukraine war, have meant that inequalities not only persist but that we are also seeing progress slowing down in some areas. "You just can't take your foot off the gas for a minute," said Bloomberg chairman, Peter T Grauer, who spoke at the event. "This is a race without a finish line."With the global gender gap extended by another generation; LGBTQ+ rights and women's rights under continued pressure; and reportedly less money materializing from the companies that pledged $50 billion towards ending racism in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, it may even be time to push down harder on the pedal. More than a box-ticking exercise "It's not enough to use quota or KPIs," Petra De Sutter, deputy prime minister of Belgium, said. When we do, those who do not wish to disclose their disabilities or sexual orientation are at risk of being left behind, she added. Plus, box-ticking exercises such as these ignore the unconscious bias that takes place in interview rooms. This bias often prevents marginalized people from getting work, or even from being able to access certain spaces. "Unconscious bias is a part of all of us," Ilham Kadri, CEO and chairman of the executive committee for chemicals company Solvay told the panel. "We really need to be trained, and remind ourselves of it during interviews," she added. Kadri's company ensures all 100 of her top-level management receive unconscious bias training, and that 50% of Solvay's interviewees come from minority backgrounds; Bloomberg runs unconscious bias training for all of their employees once a year. But for Kadri's company, Solvay, the issue is not just getting marginalized people into the building, but getting them into the boardroom, and they are far from alone in this. "Women can enter the public service," added De Sutter, speaking on disparities in global governments. "But if you look at the top management, 25% are women."DEI faces pushback A wider adherence to diversity and inclusion programs is not only a moral imperative but also an economic one, panelists agreed. DEI has the powerful potential to improve efficiency, bring in new, untapped talent, and drive revenue. "We are not doing this as a charity, we are a company. I'm running a profitable company, and it impacts the bottom line," Kadri told Davos attendees. Despite this, there has been significant pushback on DEI, with efforts at inclusion becoming fodder in the culture wars. To combat this, governments and lawmakers need to get behind efforts to implement change, said panelists. This starts with implementing and normalizing the legal frameworks that help protect marginalized people. "Legal frameworks are very important as a political struggle so that you know you're living in a country where laws protect you, you cannot be discriminated against, you can go to court, you have your rights," said De Sutter. Beyond legalities, gender mainstreaming — the concept of considering the different implications for people of different genders of any planned policy action, including legislation and government programs — will be essential for enacting real change. Other policy and company-wide changes, like extended maternity leave for all genders, unconscious bias training for all employees, and bringing together all sectors of society, from academics and policymakers to business leaders and industry heavyweights to drive new solutions, will all help to implement change. Plus, advocating for equal access to education will prove necessary in giving all workers the opportunity to develop their skillsets. "Diversity and inclusion merit the same urgency as climate change," said Kadri. "It's time we started acting like it."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2022

Marriott (MAR) to Expand Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Saudi Arabia

Marriott (MAR) collaborates with The Red Sea Development Company to open its first Ritz-Carlton Reserve branded hotel in the Middle East. Marriott International, Inc. MAR recently announced an agreement with The Red Sea Development Company to open its first Ritz-Carlton Reserve branded hotel —  Nujuma —  in the Middle East region. The company anticipates opening the property in 2023.Located on the west coast of Saudi Arabia (on Red Sea's Blue Hole cluster of islands), the resort will likely comprise 63 one-to-four-bedroom water and beach villas. It will come with amenities like spas, swimming pools, culinary venues, a retail area and a conservation center.The company stated that the destination is expected to include 18 Ritz-Carlton Reserve branded residences. The regenerative tourism project will include development features such as an archipelago of more than 90 untouched natural islands, dormant volcanoes, sweeping desert dunes, mountains and wadis, and more than 1,600 cultural heritage sites.Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International, stated, "We are thrilled to bring our most luxurious brand, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and its exemplary experience to the Middle East. Perfectly situated on one of the most anticipated regenerative tourism projects in the world, the resort will blend seclusion and sophistication to provide a highly personalized luxury escape."Increased Focus on Expansion Bodes WellMarriott is consistently trying to expand its presence worldwide and capitalize on the demand for hotels in international markets. Moving ahead, the company plans to expand its global portfolio of luxury and lifestyle brands. At the end of first-quarter 2022, Marriott's development pipeline totaled nearly 2,878 hotels, with approximately 489,000 rooms. Nearly 201,400 rooms were under construction. During the quarter, the company added 75 new properties (11,799 rooms) to its worldwide lodging portfolio.In 2022, Marriott anticipates net rooms growth in the range of 3.5-4%. The hotel company is also trying to strengthen its presence outside the United States, especially in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. The company’s European pipeline has grown consistently in the recent past and is expected to continue going forward.Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchComing to price performance, shares of Marriott have gained 5.7% in the past year against the industry’s fall of 9.9%. The company is benefiting from its focus on expansion initiatives, digital innovation and the loyalty program. Also, it is gaining from the reopening of the international borders and leniency in travel restrictions. Also, recovery in business transient and group demand bodes well. With global trends improving, the company expects the recovery momentum to continue in the upcoming periods as well. Earnings estimates for 2022 have increased in the past 30 days, depicting analysts’ optimism regarding the stock growth potential.Zacks Rank and Other Stocks to ConsiderMarriott currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Some other top-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are Civeo Corporation CVEO, Funko, Inc. FNKO and Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation BVH.Civeo sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 1,565.1%, on average. Shares of the company have increased 71.6% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CVEO’s 2022 sales and earnings per share (EPS) suggests growth of 12.5% and 1,450%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.Funko carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). FNKO has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 78.7%, on average. Shares of the company have declined 29.9% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Funko’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 26.8% and 31%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels.Bluegreen Vacations carries a Zacks Rank #2. BVH has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 85.9%, on average. The stock has increased 20.6% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BVH’s current financial year sales and EPS indicates growth of 11.2% and 35.1%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Marriott International, Inc. (MAR): Free Stock Analysis Report Civeo Corporation (CVEO): Free Stock Analysis Report Funko, Inc. (FNKO): Free Stock Analysis Report Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation (BVH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 25th, 2022

Albertsons (ACI) Gains Market Share on Operational Strength

Albertsons Companies (ACI) has been directing resources toward expanding digital and omni-channel capabilities in order to better engage with members and provide them a convenient way to shop. Albertsons Companies, Inc. ACI, one of the widely recognized names in the grocery space, has been making tactical changes to its business operations to adapt and stay relevant in the competitive retail landscape. This Boise, ID-based company has been making concerted efforts to enhance shopping methods and techniques, be it in-store or online. The food and drug retailer has been striving to enhance digital payment facilities alongside expanding the availability of online assortments. It has been strengthening its delivery capabilities to make shopping more seamless.Let’s IntrospectAlbertsons Companies’ focus on providing efficient in-store services, enhancing digital and omni-channel capabilities, and increasing productivity has been contributing to its upbeat performance.Efforts to bolster assortments, especially in the fresh and Own Brands categories, continue to elevate the customer experience. The company’s right assortment in each local market, loyalty program, and ease of checkout through frictionless and contactless payments have been aiding in attracting customers. Through its “just for U” loyalty program, the company has been acquiring new customers and retaining old members and incentivizing them to spend more and buy more often. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, membership increased 18% year over year to reach nearly 30 million members. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe company has been directing resources toward expanding digital and omni-channel capabilities to better engage with members and provide them a convenient way to shop, whether in-store, curbside or at home. To this end, the company’s unified mobile application, digital wallet, AI chat capability, and expanded self-checkout installations enhance the customer shopping experience. Albertsons Companies’ fourth-quarter digital sales rose 5% year on year and 287% on a two-year stacked basis. The company expanded its Drive Up & Go curbside pickup service to more than 2,000 locations.In addition to its home delivery network, the company has partnered with third-party delivery services to provide customers with the platform of their choice. It has collaborated with Instacart for rush delivery and DoorDash for the delivery of prepared and ready-to-eat offerings. The company has teamed up with Uber, whereby customers can order a full assortment of groceries on the Uber platform. Recently, Albertsons Companies expanded its partnership with Uber to include more than 2,000 banner stores nationwide. This expansion brings nearly 800 new locations to Uber Eats, including consumers in Connecticut, Indiana, New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont, and Rhode Island for the very first time.Markedly, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have advanced 55.8% in the past year against the industry’s decline of 34.9%.3 Hot Stocks to ConsiderWe have highlighted three better-ranked stocks, namely McCormick & Company MKC, Kroger KR and Sysco Corporation SYY.McCormick, a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of spices, seasoning mixes and condiments, currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has an expected EPS growth rate of 6.1% for three-five years. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for McCormick’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of nearly 5% and 3.9%, respectively, from the year-ago reported figure. MKC has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of around 7.3%, on average.Kroger, the renowned grocery retailer, carries a Zacks Rank #2 at present. The company has an expected EPS growth rate of 9.9% for three-five years.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kroger’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 3.2% and 4.1%, respectively, from the year-ago reported numbers. KR has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 22.1%, on average.Sysco Corporation, the leading global foodservice distribution company, carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 9.1%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Sysco Corporation’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 32.6% and 124.3%, respectively, from the year-ago period. Sysco has an expected EPS growth rate of 11% for three-five years. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Kroger Co. (KR): Free Stock Analysis Report Albertsons Companies, Inc. (ACI): Free Stock Analysis Report McCormick & Company, Incorporated (MKC): Free Stock Analysis Report Sysco Corporation (SYY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 25th, 2022

Here"s How Hibbett (HIBB) is Placed Just Ahead of Q1 Earnings

Hibbett's (HIBB) Q1 results are expected to reflect the impacts of higher freight costs, the lack of last year's government stimulus, inflation and higher wages. Hibbett, Inc. HIBB is likely to witness a year-over-year decline in the top and bottom lines when it reports first-quarter fiscal 2023 earnings on May 27. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $423.2 million, suggesting a decline of 16.5% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings has been unchanged in the past 30 days at $3.45 per share, indicating a decline of 31% from the figure reported in the prior-year period.Hibbett, which engages in the retail of athletic-inspired fashion products, has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 62.3%, on average. HIBB’s earnings were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last reported quarter.Hibbett, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise  Hibbett, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Hibbett, Inc. QuoteKey Factors to ConsiderHibbett’s first-quarter fiscal 2023 results are expected to reflect the adverse impacts of the ongoing supply-chain disruption, the lack of stimulus and unemployment benefits, inflation, and higher wages.On the last reported quarter’s earnings call, management anticipated comps to decline in the low-teens in the first half of fiscal 2023. The company expected supply-chain disruptions to continue in the fiscal first quarter, leading to higher freight expenses. It also predicted elevated shipping costs and deleverage from store occupancy costs.Delay in launches, higher promotions, elevated freight costs and rising store occupancy costs, stemming from drab comps, have been hurting the company’s gross margin. Continued impacts from these factors are likely to have marred the gross margin in the fiscal first quarter. Wage inflation, higher fixed costs and back-office infrastructure investments are expected to have weighed on the operating margin in the to-be-reported quarter.However, Hibbett has been benefiting from increased investments in customer acquisition and retention, store growth, improved store productivity, better omni-channel capabilities, and enhanced back-office infrastructure. Also, strong vendor relationships have been contributing to growth in the Hibbett and City Gear brands. The company is also likely to have gained from the progress on the e-commerce front and the expansion of the loyalty program.The company remains focused on increasing the customer base by connecting with more customers through e-commerce and selective store expansion. Further, it has been leveraging its omni-channel capabilities to fulfill online orders and serve customers. Growth in e-commerce sales is likely to have contributed to sales gains in the to-be-reported quarter.What the Zacks Model UnveilsOur proven model doesn’t conclusively predict an earnings beat for Hibbett this time. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat, which is not the case here. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell, before they’re reported, with our Earnings ESP Filter.Hibbett currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%.Stocks With Favorable CombinationHere are some companies you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this season:The Kroger Co. KR currently has an Earnings ESP of +2.95% and a Zacks Rank of 2. The company is expected to have registered top and bottom-line growth in first-quarter fiscal 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for KR’s quarterly revenues is pegged at $43.2 billion, which suggests a rise of 4.7% from the figure reported in the prior-year quarter.You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kroger’s quarterly earnings moved up 6.7% in the last 30 days to $1.27 per share, suggesting 6.7% growth from the year-ago quarter's reported number. KR has delivered an earnings beat of 22.1%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Designer Brands DBI has an Earnings ESP of +4.35% and a Zacks Rank #2 at present. The company is expected to have registered top and bottom-line growth in first-quarter fiscal 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for DBI’s quarterly revenues is pegged at $806.7 million, which suggests a rise of 14.7% from the figure reported in the prior-year quarter.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Designer Brands’ quarterly earnings moved up by a penny in the last 30 days to 23 cents per share, suggesting 91.7% growth from the year-ago quarter's reported number. DBI has delivered an earnings beat of 112.8%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Casey's General Stores CASY currently has an Earnings ESP of +7.07% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is anticipated to have registered top and bottom-line growth in fourth-quarter fiscal 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CASY’s quarterly earnings moved up by a penny in the last seven days to $1.49 per share, suggesting 33% growth from the year-ago quarter's reported number.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Casey's quarterly revenues is pegged at $3.4 billion, suggesting growth of 44.7% from the figure reported in the prior-year quarter. CASY has delivered an earnings beat of 21.6%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Kroger Co. (KR): Free Stock Analysis Report Hibbett, Inc. (HIBB): Free Stock Analysis Report Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY): Free Stock Analysis Report Designer Brands Inc. (DBI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 25th, 2022

Jushi Holdings Inc. Reports First Quarter 2022 Financial Results

First Quarter 2022 Revenue Increased 48.5% to $61.9 million as Compared to the First Quarter of 2021 Established Fourth Vertically Integrated State-Level Operation in Nevada with the Completion of the Acquisition of The Apothecarium(2) dispensary in Las Vegas BOCA RATON, Fla., May 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jushi Holdings Inc. ("Jushi" or the "Company") (CSE:JUSH) (OTCQX:JUSHF), a vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis operator, is pleased to announce its financial results for the first quarter 2022 ("Q1 2022") ended March 31, 2022. All financial information is provided in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated. First Quarter 2022 Highlights Total revenue of $61.9 million, an increase of 48.5% year-over-year Adjusted gross profit(1) of $25.5 million, an increase of 33.1% year-over-year Net loss of $14.3 million Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $1.1 million, or 1.7% of revenue Cash and cash equivalents were $76.2 million as of the quarter end First Quarter 2022 Operational Highlights Completed the acquisition of The Apothecarium(2) in Las Vegas, Nevada ("Apothecarium Nevada"), an operating adult-use and medical retail dispensary Debuted a series of cannabis brands and product launches in Massachusetts, beginning with the launch of flower brands The Bank and Sèchè Closed a non-brokered private placement (the "Offering"), for total proceeds of approximately $13.7 million Placed on The Globe and Mail's Third-Annual Women Lead Here benchmark of executive gender diversity Announced that Jim Cacioppo, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, and Founder, purchased 66,800 Class B Subordinate Voting Shares of the Company in the open market for an approximate amount of $220,000 Recent Developments Awarded a provisional medical marijuana dispensary license in Ohio, establishing the Company's fifth vertically integrated state-level operation Expanded the Company's vertically integrated footprint in Nevada with the completion of the NuLeaf, Inc. ("NuLeaf") acquisition, adding a 27,000 sq. ft. cultivation facility, 13,000 sq. ft. processing facility, and three adult-use and medical retail dispensaries in the state Launched the Company's first line of solventless cannabis extracts in the Pennsylvania market under its award-winning The Lab brand, comprised of high-quality live rosin vapes and concentrates Opened the 32nd retail location nationwide and 3rd BEYOND / HELLO™ dispensary in California Closed on the purchase of land adjacent to the Company's Toledo Ohio grow facility which will allow Jushi to significantly expand its cultivation footprint at the Ohio grow facility, subject to regulatory approvals Management Commentary "Despite the seasonal weakness in the first quarter and a series of challenges including the loss of store hours due to Omicron, snowstorms, and the Pennsylvania distillate cartridges recall, I am pleased with our first quarter performance and the progress we have made in positioning our business for the long term," said Jim Cacioppo, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, and Founder of Jushi. "We remain focused on investing in our businesses, including building out our store base, significantly expanding our cultivation and processing facilities in both Pennsylvania and Virginia, scaling our wholesale channel in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and integrating our two recently acquired businesses in Nevada. At the same time, we have taken decisive steps to manage our costs across all operating units and are encouraged by the initial results. I am confident that our investments into the business and the cost savings measures we have recently implemented position us to achieve accelerated growth and profitability through the balance of the year." Jim Cacioppo concluded, "I am very encouraged by what we have accomplished to date and remain confident that we are creating one of the most robust and exciting platforms to capitalize on the growth in the U.S. cannabis industry. I am incredibly proud of our people and their contributions and look forward to scaling our operations in 2022 and beyond." (1) See "Reconciliation of Non-IFRS Financial Measures" at the end of this press release for more information regarding the Company's use of non-IFRS financial measures.(2) The Apothecarium is used under license with an affiliate of TerrAscend Corp. Financial Results for the First Quarter 2022 The following is a tabular summary and commentary of revenue, gross profit, adjusted gross profit, net income (loss), and net income (loss) per share for the three-month periods ended March 31, 2022, December 31, 2021, and March 31, 2021.         ($ in millions, except per share amounts)    Quarter EndedMarch 31,2022 Quarter EndedDecember 31,2021 % Change Quarter EndedMarch 31,2022 Quarter EndedMarch 31,2021 % Change Revenue $ 61.9   $ 65.9   (6.1 )% $ 61.9   $ 41.7   48.5 % Gross profit $ 27.9   $ 20.9   33.8 % $ 27.9   $ 20.1   39.1 % Adjusted gross profit(1) $ 25.5   $ 26.4   (3.1 )% $ 25.5   $ 19.2   33.1 % Net income (loss) $ (14.3 ) $ 7.5     $ (14.3 ) $ (26.6 )   Net income (loss) per share - basic $ (0.08 ) $ 0.04     $ (0.08 ) $ (0.18 )   Net loss per share - diluted $ (0.08 ) $ (0.15 )   $ (0.08 ) $ (0.18 )   Revenue in Q1 2022 increased 48.5% to $61.9 million as compared to $41.7 million in the first quarter of 2021 ("Q1 2021"), driven by the expansion of our retail footprint from 17 to 29 stores, the acquisition of Nature's Remedy of Massachusetts, and increased wholesale sales at our Pennsylvania and Virginia grower-processor facilities. On a sequential quarterly basis, revenue declined 6.1% from $65.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 ("Q4 2021"). The 6.1% sequential decrease in revenue was driven primarily by a seasonal slowdown in activity, industry headwinds, such as continued inflationary pressures on consumer spending, regulatory delays impacting the expansion and sale of product offerings in select states, and temporary store closures related to the pandemic and snowstorms. Adjusted gross profit(1) in Q1 2022 was $25.5 million, or 41.3% of revenue, compared to $26.4 million, or 40.0% of revenue, in Q4 2021. The increase in gross margin was primarily driven by margin improvement in Pennsylvania, partially offset by an increase in promotional activity at retail in Illinois and Massachusetts and pricing compression in wholesale as the Company continues to build out its brands across state markets. Q1 2022 net loss was $14.3 million, or $0.08 per basic share and net loss of $0.08 per diluted share, compared to net income of $5.2 million, or $0.04 per basic share and net loss of $0.15 per diluted share, in Q4 2021. The net loss of $0.08 per diluted share in Q1 2022 was primarily due to the infrastructure and headcount investments that were completed in 2021 that are expected to have a transitional impact on our 2022 results. Adjusted EBITDA(1) in Q1 2022 was $1.1 million, a decrease of $0.4 million as compared to $1.5 million in Q4 2021 and a decrease of $3 million compared to the $4 million in Q1 2021. The decrease in Adjusted EBITDA(1) on a sequential quarterly basis was driven by lower revenues and gross profit. Balance Sheet and Liquidity As of March 31, 2022, the Company had $76.2 million of cash and cash equivalents, including proceeds from the Offering closed in Q1 2022. The Company paid approximately $29 million in capital expenditures during Q1 2022, of which $10 million was paid for capital expenditures accrued at year end 2021. The Company expects to incur approximately $40 to $60 million of new cash capital expenditures for the full year 2022, subject to market conditions and regulatory changes. As of March 31, 2022, the Company had approximately $147 million in principal amount of total debt, excluding leases and property, plant, and equipment financing obligations. As of May 25, 2022, the Company's Acquisition Facility had $60 million of available capacity, including the $25 million accordion feature. As of May 25, 2022, the Company's issued and outstanding shares were 194,542,278 and its fully diluted shares outstanding were 281,438,589. Outlook Mr. Cacioppo commented, "Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, we expect to open an additional four dispensaries and continue to build-out the grow rooms in our Pennsylvania and Virginia grower-processor facilities, which will increase our margins and substantially grow our wholesale sales in 2022 and beyond." Mr. Cacioppo added, "We are modestly revising our fourth quarter 2022 annualized revenue to be between $340 to $380 million, and our 2022 annualized Adjusted EBITDA to be between $60 to $80 million on an IFRS basis. The slight reduction in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA guidance was driven by (1) weakening in the macro environment; (2) ongoing regulatory delays; and (3) supply chain issues. We want to be conservative in regard to our projected revenue ramp through the remainder of the year. By the end of 2022, we are targeting 50 retail licenses across seven markets, including 36 operating retail locations and approximately 330,000 sq. ft. of cultivation and processing capacity." Mr. Cacioppo concluded, "We are putting in significant work, optimizing our resources, and making important investments where needed, to execute on our strategic initiatives and build out our business for long-term, sustained growth for our shareholders." The Company's MD&A and consolidated financial statements for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, will be filed in May. The Company's previous public filings may be found on SEDAR at www.SEDAR.com. Conference Call and Webcast Information The Company will host a conference call to discuss its financial results for the first quarter 2022 at 9:00 a.m. ET today, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Event: First Quarter 2022 Financial Results Conference Call Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2022 Time: 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time Live Call: +1-833-646-0490 (U.S. Toll-Free) or +1-918-922-6617 (International) Conference ID: 6827238 Webcast: Register For interested individuals unable to join the conference call, a dial-in replay of the call will be available until June 24, 2022, and can be accessed by dialing +1-855-859-2056 (U.S. Toll-Free) or +1-404-537-3406 (International) and entering replay pin number: 6827238. Consolidated Financial StatementThe financial information reported in this press release is based on unaudited management prepared financial statements for the three months March 31, 2022. These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with IFRS. This release contains certain preliminary financial results for first quarter 2022, including, but not limited to, Cost of goods sold; Gross profit; Income tax (expense) benefit; Net loss; Inventory, net; Goodwill, net; Deferred taxes, contingent consideration and accrued expenses. The Company expects to file its unaudited consolidated financial statements for the first quarter 2022 ended March 31, 2022, on SEDAR in May. Accordingly, such financial information may be subject to change. All financial information contained in this press release is qualified in its entirety with reference to such financial statements. While the Company does not expect there to be any material changes between the information contained in this press release and the consolidated financial statements it files on SEDAR, to the extent that the financial information contained in this press release is inconsistent with the information contained in the Company's financial statements, the financial information contained in this press release shall be deemed to be modified or superseded by the Company's filed financial statements. The making of a modifying or superseding statement shall not be deemed an admission for any purposes that the modified or superseded statement, when made, constituted a misrepresentation for purposes of applicable securities laws. Further, the reader should refer to the additional disclosures in the Company's unaudited financial statements for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022. About Jushi Holdings Inc.        We are a vertically integrated cannabis company led by an industry-leading management team. In the United States, Jushi is focused on building a multi-state portfolio of branded cannabis assets through opportunistic acquisitions, distressed workouts, and competitive applications. Jushi strives to maximize shareholder value while delivering high-quality products across all levels of the cannabis ecosystem. For more information, visit jushico.com or our social media channels, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Forward-Looking Information and Statements        This press release contains certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and may also contain statements that may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking information and forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or current conditions but instead represent only the Company's beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, involve estimates, projections, plans, goals, forecasts, and assumptions that may prove to be inaccurate. As a result, actual results could differ materially from those expressed by such forward-looking statements and such statements should not be relied upon. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans," "expects" or "does not expect," "is expected," "budget," "scheduled," "estimates," "forecasts," "intends," "anticipates" or "does not anticipate," or "believes," or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results "may," "could," "would," "might" or "will be taken," "will continue," "will occur" or "will be achieved". The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained herein may include but are not limited to, information concerning the expectations regarding Jushi, or the ability of Jushi to successfully achieve business objectives, and expectations for other economic, business, and/or competitive factors. By identifying such information and statements in this manner, the Company is alerting the reader that such information and statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance, or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such information and statements. In addition, in connection with the forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release, the Company has certain expectations and has made certain assumptions. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward- looking information and statements are the following: the ability of Jushi to successfully and/or timely achieve business objectives, including with regulatory bodies, employees, suppliers, customers and competitors; changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; changes in applicable laws; and compliance with extensive government regulation, as well as other risks and uncertainties which are more fully described in the Company's Management, Discussion and Analysis for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2021, and other filings with securities and regulatory authorities which are available at www.sedar.com. Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward- looking information or statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated, or expected. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing, and the expectations contained in, the forward-looking information and statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and statements, and no assurance or guarantee can be given that such forward-looking information and statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information and statements. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information and/or forward-looking statements that are contained or referenced herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking information and statements attributable to the Company or persons acting on its behalf is expressly qualified in its entirety by this notice. Not for distribution to United States newswire services or for dissemination in the United States. For further information, please contact: Investor Relations Contact:Michael PerlmanExecutive Vice President of Investor Relations561-281-0247investors@jushico.comMedia Contact:Ellen Mellody570-209-2947ellen@mattio.com JUSHI HOLDINGS INC.CONDENSED UNAUDITED INTERIM CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE LOSS (in thousands of U.S. dollars, except share and per share amounts)     Three Months Ended     March 31,2022 (1)   December 31,2021   March 31,2021 REVENUE, NET   $ 61,888     $ 65,892     $ 41,675   COST OF GOODS SOLD     (42,014 )     (46,181 )     (22,934 ) GROSS PROFIT BEFORE FAIR VALUE CHANGES   $ 19,874     $ 19,711     $ 18,741   Realized fair value changes included in inventory sold     (148 )     (2,892 )     (4,783 ) Unrealized fair value changes included in biological assets     8,217       4,059       6,135   GROSS PROFIT  .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaMay 25th, 2022

10 Things in Tech: Why workers are leaving Amazon

Today we are looking at leaked documents that show Amazon employees are quitting at twice the rate of recent years. Happy Wednesday, folks! Today we are looking at leaked documents that show Amazon employees are quitting at twice the rate of recent years, and revealing why EVs cost less to run than gas cars. Let's dive in. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app – click here for iOS and here for Android.Isaac Brekken/AP1. Leaked documents show Amazon employees are quitting at twice the rate of recent years. Low pay, a stagnant stock price, and a grueling work culture are largely cited as fueling the exodus, but increased competition also makes it easier for the most prized corporate workers to find better opportunities. Amazon's "regretted attrition" — the portion of employees the company doesn't want to leave — has reached an average of 12.1% since June 2021, double the average in recent years. The ecommerce giant is on track to spend a record amount on employee stock grants, in a bid to address pay concerns and retain key staff. According to internal documents, Amazon's Delivery Service Partner team, which manages the company's third-party delivery contractors, saw a 55% total attrition rate last year.Read the full report here.In other news:Taylor Tyson/Insider, source: LaborIQ2. Have you been with your current employer for more than a year? Then you're probably underpaid. The "Great Resignation" has forced many tech companies to dole out huge paychecks to lure new candidates to roles — meaning long-time workers are paying a big price for their loyalty. You can see how much new hires are being paid in different roles here. 3. Leaked Netflix survey reveals how the streamer is thinking about including ads. Netflix has started outlining advertising plans to senior ad industry executives, as part of a push to deliver a less interruptive experience for viewers than rivals.  The leaked survey could shape the future of ads on the platform, here's what's in it. 4. Why electric cars cost less to own than gas cars. The price tag of an EV can certainly scare a lot of people away from going electric. However, new research shows once you factor in just a few benefits  — like fuel costs — EV's are more economical than their gas counterparts. Here's why EVs cost less to own each month than gas cars.5. We've ranked the 16 best-paid executives in adtech. A slew of adtech companies went public last year — rewarding their top executives with stock, performance-based equity awards, and bonuses on the way. If you thought a pay package of $10 million would land you near the top, think again. These are the 16 best-paid executives in adtech. 6. Lyft joins Uber in slowing hiring. As per the Wall Street Journal, Lyft will scale back on hiring and reduce spending budgets, but is stopping short of layoffs. In an internal memo, Lyft's president cited a "slower than expected recovery" and a "need to accelerate leverage in the business." Here's what we know about the slowdown.7. Investors and VCs predict which ultrafast-delivery startups will survive — and which won't. Rapid-delivery startups thrived in the US a year ago, but now just four main players remain. Amid a tumultuous market, here's which ones investors think have what it takes to succeed. 8. Snap's sudden warning shows a major consumer pullback is hitting digital advertising budgets. Just over a month ago, Snap's business was expanding at 30% or more. But yesterday, Snap's CEO wrote a memo to staff saying: "The macro environment has deteriorated further and faster than we anticipated." Here's why growth suddenly collapsed at Snap, and why rivals won't be spared from the carnage.Odds and ends: Amazon9. Best early Memorial day tech device sales. The Holiday offers some of the year's best savings on tech, including TVs, photography equipment, streaming services, tablets and earbuds. Take a look at the best deals on offer this Memorial Day.10. Google Maps' Street View is getting some big upgrades to celebrate its 15th anniversary. One new feature coming to its mobile app is the ability to display historical Street view imagery on your phone. Check out what else is coming. What we're watching today:NVIDIA, Amerco, and others are reporting earnings. Keep up with earnings here.Twitter's annual shareholder meet is set to happen today.SpaceX is targeting this afternoon for a Falcon 9 rocket launch, carrying a Transporter-5 rideshare mission. Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.Curated by Hallam Bullock in London (Feedback or tips? Email hbullock@insider.com or tweet @hallam_bullock.)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2022

Things to Note as Ulta Beauty (ULTA) Lines Up for Q1 Earnings

Ulta Beauty's (ULTA) first-quarter fiscal 2022 results are likely to reflect gains from omnichannel strength and the robust skincare category. Ulta Beauty, Inc. ULTA is likely to register growth in the top and the bottom line when it reports first-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings on May 26. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $2,131 million, suggesting a rise of almost 10% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ulta Beauty’s quarterly earnings has moved up 0.2% in the last seven days to $4.44 per share, indicating growth of 8.3% from the figure reported in the prior-year quarter. This beauty products retailer has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 67.8%, on average. ULTA delivered an earnings surprise of 17.4% in the last reported quarter.Ulta Beauty Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise  Ulta Beauty Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Ulta Beauty Inc. Quote Things To NoteUlta Beauty has been benefiting from focus on six strategic priorities. These include solidifying the omnichannel business and exploring the potential of both physical and digital facets, undertaking various tools to enhance the experience of guests, offering customers an exclusive range of beauty products through innovation, deepening customer engagement by boosting rewards and loyalty programs, optimizing the cost structure and boosting organizational talent.The company is enriching its omnichannel experience through launches like Beauty to Go; options like same-day delivery and unique salon services across stores among others. Apart from this, the company’s skincare category has been gaining traction, thanks to consumers’ rising interest toward self-care and its focus on newness and innovation. Persistence of these upsides are likely to have worked well in the quarter to be reported.What the Zacks Model UnveilsOur proven model predicts an earnings beat for Ulta Beauty this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.Ulta Beauty currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 and has an Earnings ESP of +5.16%.Stocks With a Favorable CombinationHere are some more companies worth considering as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this season:Designer Brands DBI currently has an Earnings ESP of +4.35% and a Zacks Rank of 2. The company is likely to register top- and bottom-line growth when it reports first-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings. The consensus mark for Designer Brands’ quarterly revenues is pegged at $806.7 million, which suggests 14.7% growth from the figure reported in the prior-year quarter. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The consensus mark for quarterly earnings has moved up by a penny in the last 30 days to 23 cents per share. The consensus estimate for DBI suggests growth of 91.7% from the year-ago quarter’s levels. Designer Brands’ has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 112.8%, on average.Casey's General Stores CASY currently has an Earnings ESP of +7.07% and a Zacks Rank of 3. CASY is anticipated to register a top-line increase from the last fiscal year’s quarterly reading when it reports fourth-quarter fiscal 2022 results. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CASY’s revenues is pegged at $3,443 million, indicating a rise of 44.7% from the figure reported in the prior fiscal year’s quarter.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Casey's General Stores’ quarterly earnings is pegged at $1.49 per share, suggesting an improvement of 33% from the last fiscal year’s quarterly reported number. CASY has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 21.6%, on average.American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. AEO currently has an Earnings ESP of +3.55% and a Zacks Rank of 3. AEO is expected to register robust top-line growth when it reports first-quarter fiscal 2022 results. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal first-quarter revenues is pegged at $1.14 billion, which indicates growth of 9.9% from the year-ago reported figure.  However, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal first-quarter earnings is pegged at 24 cents per share, suggesting a 50% decline from the year-ago quarter's reported number. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the to-be-reported quarter's earnings has moved down by a penny in the past seven days. American Eagle has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 10.6%, on average.Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO): Free Stock Analysis Report Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA): Free Stock Analysis Report Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY): Free Stock Analysis Report Designer Brands Inc. (DBI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 25th, 2022

Will Higher Costs Continue to Mar Gap"s (GPS) Earnings in Q1?

Gap's (GPS) Q1 results are expected to reflect lower margins due to higher air freight costs, increased investments in marketing and technology, and a rise in compensation and fulfillment costs. The Gap, Inc. GPS is scheduled to report first-quarter fiscal 2021 numbers on May 26. The company is likely to register a decline in the top and bottom lines when it reports first-quarter fiscal 2022 results.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fiscal first-quarter bottom line is pegged at a loss of 11 cents per share, suggesting a sharp decline of 122.9% from earnings of 48 cents reported in the prior-year quarter. The loss estimate for the fiscal first quarter has widened by 2 cents in the past seven days. For revenues, the consensus mark is pegged at $3.43 billion, indicating a 14% decline from that reported in the year-ago quarter.In the last reported quarter, the company reported an earnings surprise of 85.7%. The bottom line beat the consensus mark by 647.4%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.The Gap, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise  The Gap, Inc. price-eps-surprise | The Gap, Inc. QuoteKey Factors to NoteGap has been witnessing supply-chain headwinds, including higher air freight costs. The increase in air freight has been resulting in lower merchandise margins, which have been denting gross margins. The persistence of higher freight costs is likely to have marred the company’s gross margin in the fiscal first quarter.Additionally, the company has been reporting higher operating expenses, owing to increased investments in marketing and technology, and a rise in compensation and fulfillment costs. The company’s focus on marketing and technology investments, along with higher compensation expenses, is expected to have weighed on its bottom line in the to-be-reported quarter.Also, higher inventory levels are expected to have acted as deterrents.On its last reported quarter’s earnings call, management predicted inventory levels in the fiscal first quarter to remain high due to earlier bookings to offset longer in-transit times. The persistence of higher inventory levels is likely to have hurt the company’s profitability in the to-be-reported quarter.However, strength in Old Navy and Athleta brands is likely to have been upsides for Gap. The company’s powerhouse brand Old Navy is expected to have gained from strong demand for the loyalty launch and the introduction of inclusive sizing via the BODEQUALITY launch.The Athleta brand’s value-driven active and lifestyle categories, increased digital marketing investments, and focus on product strategy have been aiding sales. Athleta is likely to have witnessed strength in the activewear category and the launch of its online fitness and wellness platform, AthletaWell. The launch of Athleta’s Canada online business, and efforts to expand its base internationally with franchise partnerships in Costa Rica and Europe also bode well.The company’s solid online show is expected to have continued in the quarter under review. Gains from its e-commerce business have been contributing significantly to its Gap, Old Navy and Athleta brands. Its online business has also been benefiting from the company’s dominant omni-channel strength, increased focus on mobile experience and the launch of the native Android app.Zacks ModelOur proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Gap this season. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.Gap has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%.Stocks With Favorable CombinationHere are some companies you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this season:The Kroger Co. KR currently has an Earnings ESP of +2.95% and a Zacks Rank of 2. The company is expected to have registered top and bottom-line growth in first-quarter fiscal 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for KR’s quarterly revenues is pegged at $43.2 billion, which suggests a rise of 4.7% from the figure reported in the prior-year quarter.You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kroger’s quarterly earnings moved up 6.7% in the last 30 days to $1.27 per share, suggesting 6.7% growth from the year-ago quarter's reported number. KR has delivered an earnings beat of 22.1%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Designer Brands DBI has an Earnings ESP of +4.35% and a Zacks Rank #2 at present. The company is expected to have registered top and bottom-line growth in first-quarter fiscal 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for DBI’s quarterly revenues is pegged at $806.7 million, which suggests a rise of 14.7% from the figure reported in the prior-year quarter.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Designer Brands’ quarterly earnings moved up by a penny in the last 30 days to 23 cents per share, suggesting 91.7% growth from the year-ago quarter's reported number. DBI has delivered an earnings beat of 112.8%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Casey's General Stores CASY currently has an Earnings ESP of +7.07% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is anticipated to have registered top and bottom-line growth in fourth-quarter fiscal 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CASY’s quarterly earnings moved up by a penny in the last seven days to $1.49 per share, suggesting 33% growth from the year-ago quarter's reported number.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Casey's quarterly revenues is pegged at $3.4 billion, suggesting growth of 44.7% from the figure reported in the prior-year quarter. CASY has delivered an earnings beat of 21.6%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Kroger Co. (KR): Free Stock Analysis Report The Gap, Inc. (GPS): Free Stock Analysis Report Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY): Free Stock Analysis Report Designer Brands Inc. (DBI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 25th, 2022

Thermo Fisher (TMO) to Advance Precision Medicine in Qatar

Thermo Fisher's (TMO) collaboration with Qatar Genome Program will utilize the power of genomics to enhance the standard of healthcare for the Qatari population. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO recently partnered with the Qatar Genome Program (QGP), a member of the Qatar Foundation, to expedite genomic research and clinical applications of predictive genomics in Qatar. This collaboration marks a step toward extending the benefits of precision medicine to Arab populations worldwide. It supports Qatar’s national vision to provide a high standard of living for its people, including providing access to genomics data, technology and insights that enhance population health nationwide.As part of the agreement, Thermo Fisher and Qatar Genome Program will create an Axiom custom genotyping array for pan-Arab populations leveraging whole-genome sequencing data from 19 Arab countries. However, the array is currently intended for research use only and not for use in diagnostic procedures.The Axiom microarray technology is designed to advance precision medicine. This latest collaboration will likely fortify Thermo Fisher’s microarray genetic solutions business.Detailed View on Axiom ArrayWith more than 800,000 variants, the Axiom custom genotyping array seeks to drive scientific research and insights into conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, autism, inherited genetic disorders and cancer. Per Thermo Fisher’s management, the latest collaboration with QGP will create the building blocks for executing comprehensive precision medicine initiatives at scale for population health.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe Axiom custom genotyping array is stated to be available through Thermo Fisher’s global commercial channels during late 2022. The array, once available, is expected to deliver a cost-effective option to whole-genome sequencing for Arab populations, allowing for greater diversity in large genome-wide studies.More on the NewsIn 2018, Thermo Fisher started collaborating with QGP to create the first microarray tailored for the Qatari population. Under the new collaboration, the organizations will continue to improve algorithms and define clinically actionable content to evaluate polygenic risk scores. The content will measure disease risk and clinically relevant variants, including those associated with pharmacogenomics.Industry ProspectsPer a report by Mordor Intelligence, the genomics market is expected to see a CAGR of nearly 15.89% by 2026. Factors such as increasing government support, rising number of genomics studies, declining sequencing cost and growing genomics applications can be attributable to market growth.Given the market prospects, Thermo Fisher’s latest collaboration with QGP to utilize genomics to improve the standard of care for human health seems well-timed.Other Notable DevelopmentsIn May 2022, Thermo Fisher teamed up with biotech incubator LabShares Newton to support the Greater Boston biotech ecosystem. This collaboration aims to provide instruments, lab equipment and consumables to help early-stage life sciences companies advance their drug discovery efforts. LabShares offers fully furnished lab space, services and equipment to nearly 25 biotech companies. Under the collaboration, Thermo Fisher will add equipments like ultra-low temperature freezers, cell culture incubators, microscopes and PCR instruments to the shared lab area.In April 2022, the company opened a new single-use technology manufacturing site in Ogden, Utah. The state-of-the-art facility adds to the company’s capacity to produce high-quality technology and materials for the development of vaccines and novel therapies. It is part of Thermo Fisher's $650 million multi-year investment to help ensure flexible, scalable and reliable bioprocessing production capacity for crucial materials required to develop new and existing biologics and vaccines, including for COVID-19.Share Price PerformanceThe stock has outperformed its industry in the past year. It has rallied 19.7% compared with the industry’s 16.4% fall.Zacks Rank and Key PicksCurrently, Thermo Fisher carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN, Medpace Holdings, Inc. MEDP and Masimo Corporation MASI.AMN Healthcare has a long-term earnings growth rate of 1.1%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 15.6%, on average. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.AMN Healthcare has outperformed its industry in the past year. AMN has declined 2.2% versus the industry’s 62.9% fall.Medpace has a historical growth rate of 27.3%. Medpace’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 17.1%. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Medpace has outperformed its industry in the past year. MEDP has declined 20.4% against the industry’s 62.9% fall.Masimo has a historical growth rate of 15.1%. Masimo’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 4.4%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.Masimo has underperformed the industry in the past year. MASI has declined 18.2% compared with 16.1% industry drop in the said period. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO): Free Stock Analysis Report Masimo Corporation (MASI): Free Stock Analysis Report AMN Healthcare Services Inc (AMN): Free Stock Analysis Report Medpace Holdings, Inc. (MEDP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 25th, 2022

Report – Millennials Are Saving More Than Their Parents – Are You Saving Enough?

We financial millennials have the punchline for Boomers for way too long. But, guess what? When it comes to saving money? We’re on fire. According to a study by Charles Schwab, millennials save significantly more for retirement than Baby Boomers. Unlike their parents, this younger generation has started saving money as early as their mid-20s. […] We financial millennials have the punchline for Boomers for way too long. But, guess what? When it comes to saving money? We’re on fire. According to a study by Charles Schwab, millennials save significantly more for retirement than Baby Boomers. Unlike their parents, this younger generation has started saving money as early as their mid-20s. In addition, millennials ranked higher than Generation X-ers on the Retirement Preparedness Scale largely due to an increase in their savings rate from 7.5% to 9.7% in the past two years. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Their 401(k) balances are also higher than those of Gen Xers, according to a report released last year by Pew Research Center. There may be some who are surprised by this. To us, it’s nothing new. Despite the misconceptions and stereotypes, like wasting money on avocado toast, millennials are, in fact, savers. Millennials’ Savings Habits “Because of the expensive necessities that surround us, some say millennials aren’t savers,” Matt Rowe wrote in a previous Due article. “However, even though they may perceive us in a certain way, we are savers and work towards saving more and more.” In short, millennials are savers. But, what do millennials do to save? We over save and invest. “One common trend among millennials is that we over save,” adds Matt. We recognize that there will be costly investments in the future, so we should start saving now in order to prepare for them. In order to ensure that we save every week, every month, and every year, we will develop habits and think things through, he says. But, we’re not just saves. We’re over saves. Basically, we purchase the essentials and a bit of what we want, then save the rest. Today, you will find more young people talking about stocks, annuity companies, 401ks, making money online or other investment ideas. If we over-save, we can weather any financial storm. Even better? Once we have financial security, we can get a little riskier with our investments. We set financial goals. “A key aspect of over saving and investing is setting financial goals,” Matt states. This may mean securing a job that pays a certain amount, saving a certain amount each week, or investing a certain amount each month. Our generation sets goals, and we’re savers because we know how to set them and make plans to reach them. Furthermore, we create a budget, accumulate an emergency fund, and pay off our debts following a basic process. It’s not easy. But, we it’s essential if we want to avoid additional debt and live comfortably in retirement. Also, we have a knack from learning from our past financial mistakes. And, if we need help setting goals, we reach out to mentors for assistance. We know how to get deals. The millennial generation knows how to get great deals and save money on everyday products because they grew up in the .com era and Internet explosion. Shoppers often begin by browsing a clearance rack or a tab on a website before making a purchase. Our first step when buying online is to perform a quick Google search to see if discounts are available. In fact, according to the 2019 Millennial Shopping Report, “95% of Millennials search for coupons on the Internet before making an online purchase and report spending more time searching for savings than in prior years.” “Millennials have officially grown up, and so have their shopping and spending habits,” says Marc Mezzacca, CEO of CouponFollow. “As Millennials move towards a fully digital shopping experience, online retailers—like Amazon—have a tremendous opportunity to further increase their market share by prioritizing speed, convenience, and savings across each touchpoint of the consumer journey.” But, it’s just not about finding the best deals. We also save monthly by joining loyalty programs, taking advantage of student discounts, and buying in bulk. Additionally, we have thrifty spending habits and can delay gratification. And, we use apps like Truebill or Trim to manage subscriptions, lower monthly bills, and make the most of our spending. We understand why we spend. While millennials can benefit from saving, understanding the rationale behind a purchase allows them to make smarter choices. When we see an expensive purchase, we think to ourselves, “is it really worth it?”” “In many cases, it is worth it or we don’t have many other options,” explains Matt. To avoid missing out on social events and to fit in with our peers, we spend money to cover our necessities. We like to be social, but we are aware of the cost involved. For example, if we dropped over $100 on sneakers just to fit in, that might prevent us from going to a concert. We can better understand the value of a dollar as long as we know why the purchases were made. We don’t buy a lot of things because they are not worth our money. The millennial generation saves because they know the value of a dollar and understand the reasoning behind our spending habits. It’s Not All Sunshine and Rainbows for Millenials The National Institute on Retirement Security reports that 72% of Millennials are significantly pessimistic about achieving financial security in retirement, compared with 43% of Boomers. And, saving at a younger age has not eased retirement anxiety. Why? Millennials are more financially struggling than previous generations. After all, when we reached our peak earning potential, we began to deal with the Great Recession and Covid. We’re are now preparing for yet another recession, coupled with inflation levels unseen in 40 years. As result millennials are dealing with longer-stretches of joblessness. But, that’s not all. A report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) notes that the middle class is on the verge of disappearing. By comparison, 60 percent of millennials consider themselves middle-class, versus 70 percent of Baby Boomers. We’re also buried under debt — mainly student loan debt. Moreover, 35% of workers over the age of 22 don’t work for firms with defined benefit plans or defined contribution plans. Are Millennials Saving Enough? “I wouldn’t say I’m savvy with it, but I try to be conscientious that I am putting away enough money,” Michelle Wisnieski told Pew. “My dad always told me not to rely on Social Security; you have to invest for yourself. My dad has a pension, and he’s, like, ‘you’re not going to get that.’” At the time, she earned $50,000 and put 4 percent of her earnings into her work’s 401(k). She also gets an additional 4 percent match from her employer. Although she has substantial college debt, which she is also honoring at a regular pace, she has disciplined herself to do this. Despite most millennials following suit, that doesn’t mean that their hard work and discipline will pay off. The Federal Reserve’s most recent Consumer Finance Survey for 2019 shows that Americans have $65,000 in retirement savings. A nest egg of that size will not be able to provide you with an enjoyable retirement. And, it applies to all Americans regardless of age. The median amount of retirement savings held by Americans 55 to 64 years of age was $134,000. While not enough for ensuring a long and happy retirement, it’s still higher than the national average. On the other hand, Americans under 35 have just $13,000 in savings. The good news is that they do have time to catch-up. “Approximately half of Americans are at risk of not being able to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living after they stop working,” said Angie Chen, a research economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Many factors can influence retirement planning — such as long-term inflation rates, market returns, and life expectancy. Even so, there are many calculations to make and assets to accumulate in order to have a comfortable retirement. How Much Should You Save for Retirement? When saving for retirement, most experts recommend an annual retirement savings goal of 10% to 15% of your pre-tax income. High earners generally want to hit the top of that range; low earners can typically hover closer to the bottom since Social Security may replace more of their income. But there is no singular formula for figuring out how much you should save for retirement. More than likely, it will depend on your future, both the known and unknown parts, such as: Life expectancy Current spending and saving levels Retirement lifestyle preferences Here are four steps to figure out how much you should save for retirement. Calculate your income needs for the future. “Having a percentage or dollar amount to give you a rough idea for planning can be helpful, but you can’t be focused solely on that,” said Ben Storey, director of Retirement Research & Insights at Bank of America. “Everybody’s lifestyle is different. What they want to do in their retirement years may be very different as well.” To avoid relying on a generic figure, he suggests estimating what you will live on after retirement using what you live on now and what you might change after you retire. But, to give you an idea on how much you’ll spend, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, states that “older households” typically spend $45,756 per year, or roughly $3,800 per month. FYI, “older households” are defined as those run by someone 65 and older The following are the average retirement spending amounts: Housing: $1,322 Transportation: $567 Health care: $499 Health care: $499 Personal Insurance / Pensions: $237 Charitable Donations In Retirement: $202 Entertainment: $197 Of course, this will vary from person to person. But, for a more personalized calculation, you’ll want to jot down your current spending. Next, determine which of these expenses will increase or decrease. Researchers, for example “have found that once people retire they spend more time shopping carefully and preparing meals at home, for example. Their cost of living for items such as these goes down,” Storey says. Apply a few rules of thumb. In the 2021 Employee Benefit Research Institute’s retirement confidence survey, 7 in 10 workers say they’re sure they’ll have enough money to maintain their lifestyle in retirement. But 1 in 3 say the COVID-19 pandemic hurt their retirement savings. This demonstrates how a job loss or other financial burden may make you have to adjust your retirement plan. And, to accomplish that, here are some pointers to keep in mind. One of the rules used most often is the 80% rule. For those unfamiliar, this simply suggests you’ll need to replace 80% of your preretirement income. However, there is no hard and fast rule here. Some experts advise to aim for about 70%, while others suggest 90%. Want to calculate where you stand? Look at what percentage of your income you’re saving. When you cross the hypothetical finish line, you won’t have to do that anymore. So, for instance, if you’re currently saving 15% of your income, you can easily live on 85% of your income without modifying your expenses. Please don’t forget to add in Social Security and cut payroll taxes — which are typically 7.65% of your earnings. This could possibly reduce your income even more. Using a rule of thumb like this is best used as a comparison tool to take a deeper look into your expenses as a more tailored approach. Use a retirement calculator. By combining your spending estimates with projections, a good retirement calculator will provide you with a clear picture of how far you are along in your savings journey. Generally, with most calculators, certain assumptions are pre-programmed based on research. The default is set for life expectancy, inflation projections, and market returns. As such, you should consider if those assumptions are valid under your situation in order to get the most accurate result. These calculators are easily accessible online. One of the more lauded options, though is the T. Rowe Price calculator. It is a straightforward tool that simplifies retirement planning. And, you can use it whether you’re just getting started with retirement savings, or you’ve already retired. Some other noteworthy retirement calculators are: MaxiFi Basic Retirement Calculator New Retirement Online Tool AARP Retirement Income Calculator Schwab Retirement Savings Calculator Bankrate Retirement Income Calculator Keep visiting regularly. Situations change, which means your retirement needs will also change as well. Examples, would be landing a new job, having a baby, or picking up a new hobby like pickleball. As such, you’ll need to review your retirement calculations. In short, to keep up with the times, it’s always best to make adjustments along the way. It’s much more convenient than trying to catch up later. If you need assistance with balancing your financial goals, you can get help easily. For instance, robo-advisors offer a variety of services and are available online at low fees. But, there are also financial advisors who will work with you in order to reach your long-term goals. Do You Need to Adjust Your Retirement Saving Plan? To make sure you reach your retirement goal, once you know whether you’re behind schedule, on track, or ahead, here’s what you need to do: Take action if you are behind. However, don’t panic. Save more money now. Your money has a longer period of time to potentially grow through compounding if you start saving early. You should increase your annual contributions and ask your employer if they offer a matching contribution. Reevaluate your goals. Would you be able to live on less? Remember, as a retiree, you may not have to pay a mortgage or commute. Keep your options open. You may not need to tap your portfolio for income right away if you work a few more years or work part-time in retirement. Furthermore, delaying Social Security may boost your benefits after reaching full retirement age by up to 8%. As long as you stay on track, keep it up. But, rebalance your portfolio frequently and continue making contributions. Max out your retirement accounts. In 2022, anyone 50 or older can contribute up to $27,000 to a 401(k) and $7,000 to an Individual Retirement Account. Individuals under 50 can contribute a maximum of $20,500 and $6,000, respectively. Don’t give up on stocks. You should be more cautious as you near retirement, but not too cautious. It is advisable to remain exposed to stocks at least to some degree in order to capture market growth without losing sleep in case the market turns sour. Congratulations if you’re ahead! Maintain a steady pace and stay focused. Don’t stop saving. In life, or in the market, you never know what may happen. So, keep on tricking just to play it safe. Consider re-examining your assumptions. Is early retirement on your agenda? Is your retirement spending going to increase? Would you consider supplementing your savings with Social Security or a pension in retirement? Be sure your retirement plans align with your savings. Frequently Asked Questions How much of my income should I put towards savings? Generally, people should try to save at least 20% of their income. Using the 50/30/20 rule of thumb, you should aim to achieve this once you’ve paid off your debts. What amount of savings should you have? Age plays a pivotal role here. For example, you’re unlikely to be able to save as much money if you have just graduated college. Furthermore, the amount of money you can live on while still maintaining your standard of living matters. It’s hard for people to break expensive habits after they become rich because they often develop expensive habits as well, even if they lose their wealth. However, Fidelity and T. Rowe Price, use these ranges as guidelines. You should have saved one year’s salary at the age of 30. It is recommended that you save between 2x and 3x your current salary when you are 40. At age 50, you should have a salary equal to 5x-7x your current income. When you reach the retirement age of 67, when your 401k or retirement account can be withdrawn without tax penalties, you should have saved at least 10x to 11x of your annual salary. How can you start saving more money today? An easy way to get started with saving is to have direct deposit. With direct deposit, your paycheck goes straight into your savings account. If you are offered a 401k plan through your employer, make sure you enroll as soon as possible. For retirement savings, both time and compound interest are your friends. Don’t wait until tomorrow to contribute because you won’t be able to. Where should I save money? It is best to keep emergency savings in a regular savings account. If you don’t have such an account, make sure that you find one that is insured and certified by the FDIC. Consider a high-yield savings account if you are saving for a major purchase or expense. The interest rates are higher than those of a regular savings account, but different conditions and restrictions might apply, such as a minimum balance and deposit amount. Saving for retirement should be done using tax-favored accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s. What’s the difference between saving and investing? In spite of high-yield savings accounts earning you interest, investing will bring you better returns. Any surplus savings you have after you have saved up an emergency fund can be invested. Investments typically earn a greater return than savings accounts. For inexperienced investors, low-cost index funds are recommended since they are relatively safe and have long-term benefits. Although you’ll go through ups and downs, you’ll end up with a bigger profit than you started with. Article by John Rampton, Due About the Author John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old while attending the University of Utah he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine, Finance Expert by Time and Annuity Expert by Nasdaq. He is the Founder and CEO of Due. 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Category: blogSource: valuewalkMay 24th, 2022