UW Bothell, Cascadia College unveil $79M Innovation Hall

The 80,000-square-foot building will host classes in biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, and electrical and mechanical engineering......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 20th, 2023

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 2, 2023 Apple Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $1.46, expectations were $1.39. Operator: Good day, and welcome to the Apple Q4 Fiscal Year 2023 Earnings Conference Call. Today’s call is being recorded. At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to […] Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 2, 2023 Apple Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $1.46, expectations were $1.39. Operator: Good day, and welcome to the Apple Q4 Fiscal Year 2023 Earnings Conference Call. Today’s call is being recorded. At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the call over to Suhasini Chandramouli, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead. Suhasini Chandramouli: Thank you. Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us. Speaking first today is Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook. And he’ll be followed by CFO, Luca Maestri. After that, we’ll open the call to questions from analysts. Please note that some of the information you’ll hear during our discussion today will consist of forward-looking statements, including without limitation, those regarding revenue, gross margin, operating expenses, other income and expense, taxes, capital allocation and future business outlook, including the potential impact of macroeconomic conditions on the company’s business and results of operations. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or trends to differ materially from our forecast. For more information, please refer to the risk factors discussed in Apple’s most recently filed annual report on Form 10-K and the Form 8-K filed with the SEC today along with the associated press release. Apple assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. I’d now like to turn the call over to Tim for introductory remarks. Tim Cook: Thank you, Suhasini. Good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for joining the call. Today, Apple is reporting revenue of $89.5 billion for the September quarter. We achieved an all-time revenue record in India, as well as September quarter records in several countries, including Brazil, Canada, France, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE, Vietnam and more. iPhone revenue came in ahead of our expectations, setting a September quarter record, as well as quarterly records in many markets, including China mainland, Latin America, the Middle-East, South Asia and an all-time record in India. In services, we set an all-time revenue record with double-digit growth and ahead of our expectations. During the September quarter, we continue to face an uneven macroeconomic environment, including foreign exchange headwinds and we’ve navigated these challenges by following the same principles that have always guided us. We’ve continued to invest in the future and manage for the long-term. We’ve adapted continuously to circumstances beyond our control, while being thoughtful and deliberate on spending. And we’ve carved a path of groundbreaking innovations and delivered with excellence every step of the way. That includes Apple Vision Pro, which has gotten such an amazing response from developers who are currently creating truly incredible apps. We’re excited to get this magical product in the hands of customers early next year. Now let me share more about our products, beginning with iPhone. iPhone revenue came in at $43.8 billion, 3% higher than a year ago, and a new record for the September quarter. This fall, we were thrilled to debut the iPhone 15 lineup. The all-new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus feature a gorgeous design, powerful cameras and the intuitive Dynamic Island. Powered by the industry-leading A17 Pro, our iPhone15 Pro lineup has a beautiful strong and durable titanium design and the best iPhone camera system ever, including a 5X Telephoto lens on iPhone 15 Pro Max. Customers are loving the entire iPhone 15 family and reviews have been off the charts. In Mac, revenue came in at $7.6 billion, down 34% year-over-year from the prior year’s record quarter. This was due to challenging market conditions, as well as difficult compares against the supply disruptions and subsequent demand recapture we experienced a year ago. Earlier this week, we were excited to unveil the next generation of Apple silicon with our incredible family of M3 chips, M3; M3 Pro; and M3 Max. We’re continuing to innovate at a tremendous pace. And our industry-leading lineup of personal computers just got even better. The new MacBook Pro lineup brings our most advanced technology to our Pro users, while iMac, the world’s best-selling all-in-one, just got faster and more capable. And according to the latest data from Student Monitor, nearly two out of three college students chose a Mac. We couldn’t be more excited about the future. Turning to iPad. Revenue for the September quarter was $6.4 billion. iPad sets the gold standard for tablets and our competitors are unable to match the iPad experience that is enabled by our seamless integration of hardware and software. iPad is also our most versatile product. In classrooms around the world, it’s helping educators bring lessons to life, while giving students a window into the world around them. And in artist workshops, design studios and everywhere else, creative minds come together, iPad supercharges the creative process, helping users take their ideas farther than they ever could before. Across wearables, home and accessories, revenue came in at $9.3 billion. Apple Watch has become essential in our lives and this is our best Apple Watch lineup ever. With Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, we’re giving people even more tools to stay safe and live healthy, active lives. With the new double tap gesture, users can easily control Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 using just one hand and without touching the display. It feels like magic. Our latest Apple Watch lineup also includes our first-ever carbon-neutral products, a significant achievement of innovation and determination. Apple’s unique ecosystem of hardware, software, and services delivers an unparalleled user experience. During the quarter, we also had the chance to introduce a range of exciting new updates to our software that will allow users to get even more out of their devices. Whether it’s personalized contact posters and new face time features in iOS 17, new tools for users to make their experience their own in macOS Sonoma and iPadOS 17, or a bold new look in watchOS 10 that lets you see and do more, faster than ever, Apple is delivering an even better, richer experience that users are loving. Services revenue set an all-time record of $22.3 billion, a 16% year-over-year increase. We achieved all-time revenue records across App Store, advertising, AppleCare, iCloud, payment services, and video, as well as the September quarter revenue record in Apple Music. Whether subscribers are waking up to headlines on Apple News+, getting their morning workout in with Fitness+, feeling the beat with Apple Music on their way to work or school, or unwinding at the end of the day with Apple Arcade, we have so many different services to enrich their day. Apple TV+ continues to delight customers as well, with new and returning shows like the Morning Show, Lessons in Chemistry and Monarch. We’re telling impactful stories that inspire imagination and stir the soul. Making movies that make a difference is also at the heart of Apple TV+ and we were thrilled to produce Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, a powerful work of cinema that premiered in theaters around the world last month. We’re proud to say that since launch, just over four years ago, Apple TV+ has earned nearly 1,600 award nominations and nearly 400 wins. We also offer subscribers an unprecedented live sports experience with MLS Season Pass. We couldn’t be more pleased with how our partnership with Major League Soccer has gone in its first year. Subscriptions to MLS Season Pass have exceeded our expectations and we’re excited to continue that momentum next year. With the playoffs now underway, we can’t wait to see who takes home MLS cup. And nowhere does the magic of Apple come alive more than it does in our stores. Over the past year, we’ve continued to find ways to connect with even more customers. We welcomed customers to our first-ever retail locations in India. We also opened doors to new stores in Korea, China and the UK and expanded the Apple store online to Vietnam and Chile. And we have another store opening in China this week. In September, I joined our team at Apple Fifth Avenue on launch day and the energy and excitement were unbelievable. Every time we connect with the customer, we’re reminded why we do what we do. From simple joys of creating and sharing memories, to lifesaving features like emergency SoS via satellite, we’re enriching lives in ways large and small. And whether we’re working to safeguard user privacy, ensure technology made by Apple is accessible for everyone, or build an even more inclusive workplace, we’re determined to lead with our values. Our environmental efforts are a great example of the intersection of our work and our values. Across Apple, we act on a simple premise, the best products in the world should be the best products for the world. We’ve made our environmental work a central focus of our innovation, because we feel a responsibility to leave the world better than we found it and because we know that climate change cannot be stopped, unless everyone steps up and does their part. Our first ever carbon-neutral products represent a major milestone and we’re going to go even further. We plan to make every product across our lineup carbon neutral by the end of the decade. And we’re not doing it alone. Over 300 of our suppliers have committed to using a 100% clean energy for Apple production by 2030. We also continue to invest in entrepreneurs who are lighting the way for a greener, more equitable future. Through our third impact accelerator class, we’re proud to support a new class of diverse innovators on the cutting edge of green technology and clean energy. Apple is always looking forward, driven in equal measure by a sense a possibility and a deep belief in our purpose. We’re motivated by the meaningful difference we can make for our customers and keenly determined to push the limits of technology even further. And that’s why I’m so confident that Apple’s future is bright. With that, I’ll turn it over to Luca. Luca Maestri: Thank you, Tim, and good afternoon, everyone. Revenue for the September quarter was $89.5 billion, down less than 1% from last year. Foreign exchange had a negative impact of over 2 percentage points. And on a constant-currency basis, our revenue grew year-over-year in total, and in each geographic segment. We set a September quarter record in the Americas and saw strong performance across our emerging markets, where both iPhone and Services grew double digits. Products revenue was $67.2 billion, down 5% from last year, due to very challenging compares on both Mac and iPad, which I will discuss in more detail later on. At the same time, we reached a September quarter record on iPhone, driven by strength in emerging markets. Our total installed-base of active devices reached an all-time high across all products and all geographic segments, thanks to our high levels of customer satisfaction and many new customers joining our ecosystem. Our Services revenue set an all-time record of $22.3 billion, up 16% year-over-year, with growth accelerating sequentially from the June quarter. Our performance in Services were broad based, as we reached all-time revenue records in the Americas, Europe and rest of Asia-Pacific and a September quarter record in Greater China. We also set new records in every Services category. Company gross margin set a September quarter record at 45.2%, up 70 basis points sequentially, driven by leverage and favorable mix, partially offset by foreign exchange. Products gross margin was 36.6%, up 120 basis points sequentially, also driven by leverage and mix, partially offset by foreign exchange. Services gross margin was 70.9%, up 40 basis points from last quarter due to a different mix. Operating expenses of $13.5 billion were at the low end of the guidance range we provided, up 2% year-over-year. Net income was $23 billion, diluted earnings per share was $1.46, up 13% versus last year and a September quarter record, and operating cash flow was strong at $21.6 billion. Let me now provide more detail for each of our revenue categories. iPhone revenue was $43.8 billion, up 3% year-over-year and a new September quarter record. We had strong performance in several markets, including an all-time record in India as September quarter records in Canada, Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asia . Our iPhone active installed base grew to a new all-time high and fiscal 2023 was another record year for switches. We continue to see extremely high levels of customer satisfaction which 451 Research recently measured at 98% in the U.S. Mac revenue was $7.6 billion, down 34% year-over-year, driven by challenging market conditions and compounded by a difficult compare in our own business, whereby last year we experienced supply disruptions from factory shutdowns in the June quarter and were subsequently able to fulfill significant pent-up demand during the September quarter. We also had a difference in launch timing with the MacBook Air launching earlier this year in the June quarter compared to the September quarter last year. We have great confidence in our Mac lineup and are excited about the recently announced iMac and MacBook Pro powered by our M3 chips. Our installed base is at an all-time high and half of Mac buyers during the quarter were new to the product, driven by MacBook Air. Also, we saw reported customer satisfaction of 97% for Mac in the U.S. iPad generated $6.4 billion in revenue, down 10% year-over-year. Similar to Mac, these results were a function of a difficult compare from the supply disruptions in the June quarter a year ago and the subsequent fulfillment of pent-up demand in the September quarter. iPad continues to attract a large number of new customers to the installed base with over half of the customers who purchase iPads during the quarter being new to the product and the latest reports from 451 Research indicate customer satisfaction of 98% in the U.S. Wearables, Home and Accessories revenue was $9.3 billion, down 3% year-over-year. We had a September quarter record in Europe and we saw strong performance in several emerging markets around the world. Apple Watch continues to expand its reach with nearly two-thirds of customers purchasing Apple Watch during the quarter being new to the product and customer satisfaction for the Watch was recently measured at 97% in the U.S. Services had a great quarter. We reached a new all-time revenue record of $22.3 billion, up 16% year-over-year. And we’re happy to see growth coming from all categories and every geographic segment, which is a direct result of the strength of our ecosystem. Our installed base of over 2 billion active devices continues to grow at a nice pace and establishes a solid foundation for the future expansion of the ecosystem. And we continue to see increased customer engagement with our Services. Both transacting accounts and paid accounts grew double-digits year-over-year, each reaching a new all-time high. Also our paid subscriptions showed strong growth. We have well over 1 billion paid subscriptions across the services on our platform, nearly double the number we had only three years ago. And finally, we continue to improve the breadth and quality of our current services from exciting new content on Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade to additional storage tiers on iCloud. We believe our customers will love this new offering. Turning to enterprise. We are excited to see our business customers in both developed and emerging markets expand their deployment of Apple products and technologies to drive business innovation and employee satisfaction. Starbucks continuously invest in Apple technology to bring the best experience to the customers and employees, including tens of thousands of iPads across all retail stores to help their teams streamline order management, operations and training. In addition, Starbucks recently refreshed over 10,000 Macs to the latest M2-powered MacBook Air for all store managers, enabling them to do their best work and improve productivity. And in Indonesia, popular technology company GoTo is offering Mac as a choice, so that employees can have the best tools to be most productive. Today, more than half of its workforce are already choosing Mac for work. Let me now turn to our cash position and capital return program. We ended the quarter with over $162 billion in cash and marketable securities. We increased commercial paper by $2 billion, leaving us with total debt of $111 billion. As a result, net cash was $51 billion at the end of the quarter. And our goal of becoming net cash-neutral over time remains unchanged. During the quarter, we returned nearly $25 billion to shareholders, including $3.8 billion in dividends and equivalents and $15.5 billion through open market repurchases of 85 million Apple shares. We also began a $5 billion accelerated share repurchase program in August, resulting in the initial delivery and retirement of 22 million shares. Taking a step back, as we close our 2023 fiscal year, our annual revenue was $383 billion. While it was down 3% from the prior year, it grew on a constant-currency basis despite the volatile and uneven macroeconomic environment. Our year-over-year revenue performance improved each quarter as we went through the year, and so did our earnings per share performance, as we reported double-digit EPS growth in the September quarter. We are particularly pleased with our performance in emerging markets with revenue reaching an all-time record in fiscal 2023 and double-digit growth in constant currency. We are expanding our direct presence in these markets from new Apple retail stores in India to online stores in Vietnam and Chile. And we continue to work with our partners to offer a wide range of affordability programs so that we can best serve our customers. We’re very excited about the momentum we have in these markets and the opportunity ahead of us. As we move ahead into the December quarter, I’d like to review our outlook, which includes the types of forward-looking information that Suhasini referred to at the beginning of the call. The color we are providing today assumes that the macroeconomic outlook doesn’t worsen from what we are projecting today for the current quarter. Also, on foreign exchange, we expect a negative year-over-year revenue impact of about 1 percentage point. As a reminder, the December quarter this year will last the usual 13 weeks, whereas the December quarter a year ago spanned 14 weeks. For clarity, revenue from the extra week last year added approximately 7 percentage points to the quarter’s total revenue. Despite having one less week this year, we expect our December quarter, total company revenue to be similar to last year. We expect iPhone revenue to grow year-over-year on an absolute basis. We also expect to grow after normalizing for both last year’s supply disruptions and the one extra week. We expect Mac year-over-year performance to significantly accelerate from the September quarter. We expect the year-over-year revenue performance for both iPad and Wearables, Home and Accessories to decelerate significantly from the September quarter due to a different timing of product launches. On iPad, we launched a new iPad Pro and iPad 10th Generation during the December quarter a year ago. For the Wearable category, last year we had the full December quarter benefit from the launches of the AirPods Pro 2nd Generation, the Watch SE, and the first Watch Ultra. For our Services business, we expect the average revenue per week to grow at a similar strong double-digit rate as it did during the September quarter. We expect gross margin to be between 45% and 46%. We expect OpEx to be between $14.4 billion and $14.6 billion. We expect OI&E to be around negative $200 million, excluding any potential impact from the mark-to-market of minority investments and our tax-rate to be around 16%. Finally, today our Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.24 per share of common stock, payable on November 16, 2023, to shareholders of record as of November 13, 2023. With that, let’s open the call to questions. Suhasini Chandramouli: Thank you, Luca. We ask that you limit yourself to two questions. Operator, may we have the first question, please? See also 15 Best African Countries To Find A Loyal Wife and 13 Cash-Rich Dividend Stocks To Buy Now. Q&A Session Follow Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Follow Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Operator: Certainly. We will go ahead and take our first question from Mike Ng of Goldman Sachs. Please go ahead. Michael Ng: Hey. Good afternoon, and thank you very much for the questions. I just have a question on iPhone storage and demand versus iCloud. As demand for storage grows, are you seeing a mix-shift towards higher storage iPhone models or are consumers mostly opting for the same because of increased uptake of iCloud+? What are some of the strategic and financial considerations here and trade-offs, as you think about the mix shift towards higher storage models versus iCloud penetration? Thanks. Tim Cook: Michael, it’s Tim. As you probably know, we started the line with the iPhone Pro Max at 256, and so we are seeing a different mix, if you will, this year than last year. Outside of that, not significant changes. Michael Ng: Great. Thank you. And as a separate follow-up, I was just wondering if you could talk a little bit about the market conditions on notebooks and desktops, and then any color that you can share regarding the timing of the Mac — M3 MacBook Pros this year versus the M2 earlier in the calendar year? Thank you. Tim Cook: Yeah. We’re thrilled to have announced the M3 lineup and get the new MacBook Pro, the new iMac out there. We couldn’t be more excited about it. We — as Luca said, with the lineup that we’ve got and the compare issue that we don’t have during Q1, we anticipate a significant acceleration in the Mac space for Q1. To just repeat a little bit about the circumstances of the performance last quarter, in the year-ago June quarter, we had a factory disruption that lasted several weeks. The pent-up demand that resulted from that was filled in the September quarter, and that made the September quarter not only a record, but a substantial record. And obviously, we’re now comparing against that for ’23 and so that, I wouldn’t look at the negative 34% as representative of the underlying business performance. It’s sort of the net of it. Michael Ng: Excellent. That’s very clear. Thank you, Tim. Tim Cook: Yeah. Suhasini Chandramouli: All right. Thanks, Mike. Can we have the next question, please? Operator: Our next question is from Aaron Rakers with Wells Fargo. Please go ahead. Aaron Rakers: Yeah. Thanks for taking the question and congratulations on the execution in the quarter. I’m curious, if you could help us characterize what the demand environment you’re seeing in China looks like. How has the reception been to the iPhone 15? And kind of similar question to the prior one, how would you characterize the mix within China as you go through this current product cycle? And I have a follow-up. Tim Cook: Yeah. If you look at how we did in Greater China for the quarter, we came in at, on a revenue basis, minus 2. But one thing to keep in mind here is that the FX impact was nearly 6 points. So we grew in constant currency. And underneath that, if you look at the different — the categories, iPhone actually set a September quarter record in mainland China. And the — what pulled down the performance was a combination, largely of Mac and iPad. Services also grew during the quarter and the Mac and iPad suffered from the same issues that the company did with the compare issues to factory disruptions in Q3 that were filled subsequently in Q4 of ’22. We had the — in addition to that, we had the top four selling phones in urban China for last year, and I was — I just took a trip over there and could not be more excited about the interactions I had with the customers and employees and others. Aaron Rakers: Yeah. And then, as a quick follow-up, I’m curious as we move towards more of an inflationary component pricing environment. Luca, how do we think about that effect? How you’re thinking about the gross margin at the product level, as maybe component pricing starts to turn, what’s been clearly very favorable over the last several quarters to more of an inflationary environment? Thank you. Luca Maestri: Well, as you’ve seen from our results in Q4 and the guidance for Q1, we’re obviously experiencing very strong levels of gross margin. The 45.2% was a record for the September quarter. And then, the guidance for Q1 is obviously strong at 45% to 46%. Our gross margins are affected by multiple factors. Obviously, the commodity environment is one of them, as you mentioned. It’s been a good environment in recent quarters. But equally important is the mix of what we sell. And obviously, growth in Services for us is favorable, and that has helped our company gross margin. Foreign exchange, on the other hand, has been a drag for us for several quarters, given the strength of the dollar. We don’t provide guidance past the December quarter, which is a very important one for us because it’s the beginning of the product cycle for many products. And so we feel very good, very confident about, this coming year, and I think the gross margin guidance reflects that. Aaron Rakers: Thank you. Suhasini Chandramouli: Thanks, Aaron. Can we have the next question, please? Operator: Our next question is from Erik Woodring with Morgan Stanley. Please go ahead. Erik Woodring: Awesome. Thank you very much for taking my questions. Maybe if I start, Luca, I know that the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are constrained today, but I think some of your comments suggests you should be back to supply demand balance before quarter end. So, I guess, my question is, does your December quarter revenue guidance account for any supply constraints? And if so, is there any way to kind of quantify how much supply would be limiting your December quarter revenue performance? And then, I have a follow-up. Thank you. Luca Maestri: Yes. It’s correct. We are constrained today on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. We’re working very hard to get the product in the hands of all the customers that have ordered it. We expect, as of today, that we’re going to be in supply demand balance by the end of the quarter. So the guidance reflects that. Erik Woodring: Okay, very clear. Thanks. And then, maybe for you and Tim. You guys have been on the leading end of — edge of innovation across hardware, software, silicon, services. And I’m sure there’s plenty of technology in kind of longer-term projects that you’re investing in. How should we think about your capital intensity as we look to fiscal year ’24, just given over the last few years, CapEx as a percentage of revenue had been relatively low compared to the eight years prior? So should we expect a step-up or kind of similar capital intensity? And what are the more notable moving pieces, if any, that we should be thinking about? Thanks. Luca Maestri: Well, the big areas of investment for us are tooling and equipment for manufacturing plants. Our investments in data centers and our investments in our own facilities, both corporate facilities and retail stores. And so, both for the tooling in our plants and our data center investments, we tend to have a bit of a hybrid model where we share some of the investments with our partners and suppliers and so maybe that’s why you see sometimes a bit of variability. But over the last few years, we’ve made all the investments that we needed to make. And obviously, we’re planning to make all the investments that we believe are needed and appropriate in order to continue to innovate. Erik Woodring: Great. Thanks so much for the color, guys. Suhasini Chandramouli: Thanks, Eric. Can we have the next question, please? Operator: Our next question is from David Vogt with UBS. Please go ahead. David Vogt: Great. Thanks, guys for taking my question. I know you covered China. I want to pivot to the US for a second. Obviously, iPhone and the business looks like it returned to growth in the quarter. But it’s still relatively softer kind of where I thought it would be at this point in the cycle and some of the U.S. carriers obviously haven’t been that particularly aggressive in promoting upgrades. So just wanted to kind of get a sense, first, what you’re seeing from your partners in the U.S. kind of currently and going forward and what do you expect? And then, second, Luca, on the margins, I mean, is it fair to say that the mix in Q1 from a product versus services dynamic is kind of the key driver of the better gross margin guide as a whole relative to, let’s say, the December quarter? Or is there anything else? I know you mentioned there’s a lot of moving pieces, but is that the primary driver of the uplift in the margin? Thanks. Tim Cook: On the U.S. carriers and the U.S. business in general, it’s really too early to call the iPhone cycle, particularly with the constraint around the Pro and the Pro Max and the U.S. tends to do quite well with those products. It’s really too early to tell what the upgrade rates will be and what the switcher rates will be......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 4th, 2023

SJP Properties and DEVCO Announce Plans to Develop Phase II of HELIX in New Brunswick, New Jersey

As growth in New Jersey’s life sciences sector accelerates demand for modern lab and innovation space, SJP Properties, in collaboration with New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), has unveiled plans to develop H-2, the second phase of HELIX Health + Life Science Exchange — the dynamic innovation district currently under development... The post SJP Properties and DEVCO Announce Plans to Develop Phase II of HELIX in New Brunswick, New Jersey appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. As growth in New Jersey’s life sciences sector accelerates demand for modern lab and innovation space, SJP Properties, in collaboration with New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), has unveiled plans to develop H-2, the second phase of HELIX Health + Life Science Exchange — the dynamic innovation district currently under development on a four-acre site in downtown New Brunswick. HDR has been appointed as the lead architect for H-2 and JLL will serve as the building’s leasing agent. HELIX aims to bring together the power of academia and public and private sector research under one roof and will provide businesses, universities and researchers with the critical space to work, learn and experiment. With a total cost of $731 million, HELIX, which will be built in three phases, represents the largest investment in life sciences and medical education in the state of New Jersey’s history. SJP’s mixed-use building, H-2, will include 600,000 square feet of build-to-suit lab and office space that can accommodate a range of uses for large corporate life sciences and technology company tenants. “New Jersey is one of the most important regions in the country for the life sciences industry with New Brunswick emerging as a hotbed for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in recent years,” said Steve Pozycki, CEO of SJP Properties. “As more innovators enter the region, the location of their research and development facilities will be of paramount importance. With a prime position directly across the street from two major rail lines, and situated within commuting distance of both New York City and Philadelphia, HELIX will provide exceptional access to workforce talent, enabling its future tenants to attract professionals from both cities’ life sciences and technology industries.” Adjacent to Rutgers University and opposite the city’s train station, H-1, the first phase of HELIX, is currently under construction and will comprise 574,000 square feet that includes the New Jersey Innovation HUB, the new home of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and a Rutgers translational research facility equipped with a variety of labs to advance the work of 80 research teams and put into practice Rutgers Health innovations that will improve individual and public health. Core Partners for the New Jersey Innovation HUB include NJ Economic Development Authority, RWJBarnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, Middlesex County, Rutgers University, Tel Aviv University and Atlantic Technological University of Galway, Ireland. Rising two stories in height, H-1’s ground floor will feature amenities and kiosks that will be accessible to the public, including a 10,000-square-foot market hall with food options and a 3,000-square-foot restaurant that opens onto a 70-foot-wide plaza. H-3, the final phase of HELIX, is proposed as a 42-story mixed-use building to include additional office space and 220 units of housing. The New Brunswick train station, in line for a $49 million renovation, affords HELIX tenants convenient and easy access to both NJ TRANSIT, operating nearly 100 train stops in the city each day, and Amtrak. The headquarters and regional offices of several major health, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies are situated within proximity to HELIX, including those of Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb and Ascendia Pharmaceuticals. Additionally, the complex is immediately adjacent to the Rutgers University campus and within an hour’s drive of several other prominent colleges and universities, including Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. “The unique combination of Northeast Corridor train service, Big 10 college town atmosphere and the expanding presence of New Jersey’s most prominent higher education, corporate and healthcare stakeholders make the HELIX project incredibly attractive for innovation and talent recruitment,” said Daniel J. Loughlin, Vice Chairman at JLL. In recent years, New Brunswick has experienced an influx of public and private real estate investment totaling nearly $3 billion for in-progress developments — with an additional $1 billion in the pipeline. For more than 30 years, DEVCO has been the catalyst for redevelopment capitalized by academic, public and private investments that include the Rutgers Honors College, Gateway Transit Village, the Jack & Sheryl Morris Cancer Center, New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, Wellness Plaza and The Heldrich Hotel & Conference Center. These transformative projects have elevated New Brunswick to the state’s leading transit-oriented innovation cluster. “We are establishing the only ecosystem in the county where academic researchers, private sector researchers, entrepreneurs, medical students, and educators will co-locate in an environment of discovery and collaboration – where creative collisions can occur,” said Christopher Paladino, President of DEVCO.  New Brunswick’s vibrant downtown offers walkable access to a wide array of amenities including top restaurants, cultural and performing arts venues; a world-class fitness and wellness plaza, award-winning hotels and a diverse concentration of residential opportunities. For further information about H-2 or leasing inquiries, please visit The post SJP Properties and DEVCO Announce Plans to Develop Phase II of HELIX in New Brunswick, New Jersey appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyMay 23rd, 2023

"A Dark Alliance": Musk"s Twitter Files Exposed The Fifth Estate

'A Dark Alliance': Musk's Twitter Files Exposed The Fifth Estate Authored by Mike Solana via, Dangerous alliance. In 1787, Edmund Burke said there were “Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there [sits] a Fourth Estate more important than they all." The notion of some vital power beyond our government was imported to the New World, and today constitutes a core belief of the American liberal: there is no free people, we’re often told, without a free press independent of congress, the courts, and our president. But throughout the 20th Century thousands of media outlets gradually consolidated, and by the dawn of our internet era only a few giants remained. These giants largely shared a single perspective, and in rough agreement with the ruling class the Fourth Estate naturally came to serve, rather than critique, power. This relationship metastasized into something very close to authoritarianism during the Covid-19 pandemic, when a single state narrative was written by the press, and ruthlessly enforced by a fifth and final fount of power in the newly-dominant technology industry. It was a dark alliance of estates, accurate descriptions of which were for years derided as delusional, paranoid, even dangerous. But today, on account of a single shitposting billionaire, the existence of the One Party’s decentralized censorship apparatus is now beyond doubt. A couple weeks back, alleging proof Twitter acted with gross political bias, and in a manner that influenced U.S. elections (!), Elon Musk opened his new company’s internal communications to a small handful of journalists. They set immediately to breaking a series of major stories that have rewritten the history of Trump-era tech. Long story short, Twitter leadership lied to the public, relentlessly, for years, and everything the most paranoid among us ever said about the platform was true. “Trust and safety” is a euphemism for political censorship, with “expert” teams comprised almost exclusively of the most radical, joyless grievance studies majors you ever met in college. Their goal is to reshape American politics by dominating the bounds of what the public is permitted to consider American politics. In these efforts, they have mostly been succeeding. On December 2nd, Matt Taibbi shared conversations from the company’s “trust and safety” team that led to Twitter’s suppression of the New York Post’s infamous Hunter Biden laptop story. While interesting, Taibbi’s most notable revelation came almost as a side: both major political parties, as well as the White House, maintained direct lines of communication with Twitter, which they used to formally request content be removed from the platform. The company responded enthusiastically to many of these requests, and the examples we have (for now) come from the Democratic Party. Critics have been quick to point out Trump was in the White House at the time, though less interested, for some reason, in what — if anything — he removed from the site. On December 6th, Bari Weiss and her colleagues reported out proof of Twitter’s secret blacklists, in which both specific topics and, more problematically, people were de-amplified by the “trust and safety” team. The blacklisting was done for a nebulous host of reasons that generally amounted to something like ‘this feels dangerous.’ Danger was, of course, defined by partisan operatives, and exclusively targeted right-coded positions. Skepticism of radical gender ideology, distrust of public Covid policy, and almost anything having to do with the integrity of our last election were at the top of the list. Separate from any opinion concerning whether such topics, or the purveyors of such topics, should have been “shadow banned,” the revelation that they were is immensely important on account of Twitter’s censors, with their many supporters in the press, have denied the existence of these tools for years. Finally, over the last few days, Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, and Bari have all reported out pieces of Donald Trump’s deplatforming, which is easily the most famous digital unpersoning in history. It is also the least compelling story in the series. While it’s good to finally know exactly what happened, it really just was what everyone assumed: Trump was not banned for violating policy. Trump was banned because Twitter employees, who donated literally 99% of their political contributions to the Democratic Party, demanded it be done regardless of their own rules. Altogether, the Twitter Files — an ongoing story — paint a portrait of clear and inevitable partisan bias at one of the most dominant speech platforms in history. A small handful of very left-wing executives, who naturally perceived most opinion right of center as dangerous, worked tirelessly to limit those opinions from view. Empowered to censor “unsafe” content, and protected by a team of people who shared their political orientation, the executives produced, in a legal and decentralized manner, a key component of our defacto state censorship apparatus. While we don’t know for sure this is also happening at Google, Meta, or TikTok (which is for some reason still allowed to operate in this country), I think it’s a safe bet we’re looking at an industry-wide affliction.   But I do have questions. Where is the full list of shadow-banned accounts? Which political campaigns, specifically, communicated with Twitter, and what specifically was taken down? What about requests from foreign governments? What about requests from our own government? We need to know which of our government agencies, if any, had content removed from the platform, and we need to know the nature of this content. Taibbi alluded to Trump’s White House — did someone from the Trump administration request a takedown? Who made the request? Who received the request? Was it answered? What, if anything, was removed? The Trump line of questioning is, in particular, something you might assume attractive to the media, which has waged all-out war on the populist clown king for the last seven years. Alas, the press seems broadly disinterested. Is this because they don’t believe the former president ever made such requests, or is their lack of interest rather stemming from a fear of validating a major story most of them are currently trying to frame — for their own obvious political reasons — as not worth reading? A brief selection of positions from our cherished Fourth Estate: This entire story is a “dud” (The Washington Post) — no bombshells here! (Forbes). The Twitter Files, in which a handful of committed partisans enthusiastically censor large swaths of the conservative base, including a former president, actually prove the company was not politically biased. It is, however, now biased against Democrats (New York Magazine). Elon’s exposé is a flop that doesn’t matter. It has also placed multiple “trust and safety experts” in mortal danger (The Verge, predictably). Then, my favorite: it is good to finally see the blacklist tools I have been curious about for many years, which we have by the way always known existed, and therefore don’t matter (The Atlantic). The charge of shadow banning evoked uniquely loud jeering from the press, including Charlie Warzel in particular, a man formerly of the position “Twitter isn’t shadow banning Republicans.” Now, in the face of evidence the company absolutely shadow banned Republicans, the official position is we are using the term “shadow ban” incorrectly. It’s a game of semantics, in which the public is dragged through the exhausting, useless question of how much invisible speech suppression, precisely, constitutes a “real” shadow ban, rather than the glaringly important questions of both ethics and, frankly, safety. In the first place, is it right to run a decentralized censorship apparatus, and to make your rules invisible? In the second, what happens to a free country when the bounds of acceptable speech are set by a small cabal of unelected partisan cops? Because my sense is the answer isn’t “freedom.” There have been a few notable, if cautiously dissenting opinions from prominent voices in media. Buzzfeed’s Katie Notopoulos, the Los Angeles Times’ Jeff Bercovici, and the New York Times’ Mike Isaac all took somewhat risky positions in favor of transparency, apparently no longer in vogue among journalists, with Jeff explicitly acknowledging the important nature of the revelations. But I’ve only seen one actual piece, drafted and published by a reasonably mainstream media entity, embrace any aspect of the Twitter Files. Anthony Fisher, an opinion editor at the Daily Beast, danced around the subject, and awkwardly tried to obscure his overall agreement the story mattered behind many paragraphs demonstrating his conservative-hating bonafides. But in addressing Twitter’s censorship he did include the following important line: And that lesson is “Don’t trust (or demand) billionaire tech bros to be the arbiters of truth and news.” It was a flashback to the position most journalists and activists shared in the days before Donald Trump. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before they realized they had a political ally in tech industry hall monitors, and set about a national power grab. In any case, if you were to strip the above position from all its obnoxious tribal language, it would really just be: no few people should control the bounds of acceptable discourse. I agree. But narrowly focused on the “tech bro,” the point not only betrays a bias, but misses a defining aspect of technology. The Fifth Estate is a fundamentally different kind of power. It’s more difficult to consolidate than media, and more difficult to control than even our government divided by design. Its impact is also far more difficult to predict. This is because technology is above all things defined in terms of newness, which not only makes it disruptive of pre-existing power, but destructive of itself — a sort of anti-power that only guarantees change. The true failsafe. Our ultimate reset. Tremendously empowering of tyranny in times of stagnation, technology is also our most powerful weapon against tyranny in times of innovation. While many tech giants have gone the way of media in consolidating power, centralizing, and aligning with the state, the future of technology is always change. From encrypted chats and blockchain to artificially intelligent search, every tech giant that amassed power over the last two decades will be facing existential threats in the years to come — not only from the government, but from the industry.    In terms of Twitter, Elon is already leveraging Fifth Estate properties, and not by employing current tools to amplify his own opinions (an emerging conspiracy). He is iterating product more rapidly than we’ve seen from any major, consumer-facing tech company in years. The trial and error here has largely been ridiculed by people who have never built a technology company. But while detractors are obsessed with his censorship abilities, Elon’s platform experiments are the things actually capable of root-changing the national discourse. The medium is the message, and the medium is evolving. Whatever works on Twitter will be cloned. The bounds of acceptable discourse will change, and none of this will have anything to do with Elon’s spicy tweets. But about those spicy tweets —  As the former lords of Twitter descend into hysterics with outlandish comments declaring Elon a Nazi, or a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy, or whatever other bit of unhinged loser bullshit, he faces two significant threats. First, he’s clearly made an enemy of every other major fount of power, including in particular the Fourth Estate. This will impact all of Elon’s companies, as they all require support from the government and public, and the opinions of our government and public are still shaped, to a large extent, by the media. It’s no coincidence most powerful tech executives, from Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos to Jack Dorsey, share a carefully-crafted language of neutrality. This air of neutrality is how a king behaves, because the air of neutrality is how a king survives. In flaunting his power, rather than obscuring it, Elon is asking to be attacked, and his enemies are happy to oblige, even while more dominant platforms go unbothered. Something like 80 million Americans are using TikTok, a company hopelessly compromised by the Chinese Communist Party. Do you even know the name of its CEO? For a man who controls the bounds of acceptable speech for a third of the country’s adults, he sure doesn’t seem especially interested in speaking. Elon’s second danger is the far more formidable danger of himself. What the Twitter Files prove beyond doubt is censorship in the age of social media is power — a real and dangerous power that corrupts. Last year, Dorsey appeared before Congress, and declared neither he nor anyone else, and certainly not anyone in government, should be allowed to set the bounds of acceptable speech for the entire country. But with no viable alternative, someone does need to bear the ring. In leaked texts from the recent Twitter legal saga, it’s clear Jack believed Elon a worthy steward of this tremendous power, and, for what it’s worth, I agree. But provided the nation remains free, the rules of the Fifth Estate are immutable. Power comes in dramatic upward swings, and resets the status quo. It will not — it can not — last forever. So change the world, but be mindful of temptation, and make good use of your god mode powers while you have them. Because they never last forever.    *  *  * Long story short, Pirate Wires exists because people subscribe. If you’re into what we’re doing here, drag your friends on board for a free sub, and if you haven’t yet already: Subscribe, or die. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/14/2022 - 23:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 15th, 2022

Cities With the Fastest-Growing Creative Classes

America’s creative class has long been a key driver of innovation, economic growth, and culture. Creative class occupations – defined as those that typically require high levels of creative thinking – span multiple industries, including architecture, the arts, engineering, technology, and business. These types of jobs usually require at least a bachelor’s degree and tend […] The post Cities With the Fastest-Growing Creative Classes appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. America’s creative class has long been a key driver of innovation, economic growth, and culture. Creative class occupations – defined as those that typically require high levels of creative thinking – span multiple industries, including architecture, the arts, engineering, technology, and business. These types of jobs usually require at least a bachelor’s degree and tend to be well paying. (These 25 American industries are booming.) While creative class jobs can be found in communities across the country, historically, they have been especially concentrated in large, so-called “superstar” cities, that regularly draw in large numbers of young, college-educated, and upwardly mobile professionals. These cities include Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. This may be beginning to change, however. Now that remote work has become the new normal for millions of Americans and more companies are looking outside of Manhattan and Silicon Valley, other U.S. cities are reporting a boom in creative-class workers.  Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7 Wall St. identified the cities with the fastest-growing creative classes. We ranked metro areas on the change in creative class occupations as a share of all jobs from 2018 to 2022.  Among the 40 metro areas on this list, the share of all jobs considered to be in creative occupations has increased by anywhere from 4.9 percentage points to more than 16 percentage points in the last five years.  This list includes several metro areas that are strongly associated with technology and innovation, including Boulder, Colorado, San Francisco, San Jose, California, and Washington D.C. The creative class in each of these places now accounts for over 25% of all workers, and has accounted for over 15% since 2018. In other cities on this list, like Morgantown, West Virginia, and Rochester, Minnesota, the creative occupations still account for less than 14% of all jobs.  These cities span the country, with four in the Northeast, nine in the West, 11 in the Midwest, and 16 in the South. Though geographically diverse, many of these places are similar in that they are home to at least one major college or university. Many college towns are already hubs of research and innovation and are attractive places for employers seeking a skilled workforce. This list includes many of the largest college towns in the U.S., such as Blacksburg, Virginia; Bloomington, Indiana; State College, Pennsylvania; and the Raleigh and Durham-Chapel hill metro areas in North Carolina. (These are the 50 best college towns in America.) Here are the cities with the fastest-growing creative classes.    40. Springfield, IL > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 14.8% (+4.9 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $97,268 (+12.3% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Producers and directors; audio and video technicians; computer systems analysts 39. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 19.2% (+4.9 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $121,209 (+14.8% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Biological scientists; computer hardware engineers; biochemists and biophysicists 38. Burlington-South Burlington, VT > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 16.9% (+5.0 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $97,105 (+13.6% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Hydrologists; commercial and industrial designers; education and childcare administrators, preschool and daycare 37. Richmond, VA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 16.2% (+5.0 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $106,222 (+8.9% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Life scientists; postsecondary chemistry teachers; operations research analysts 36. Rochester, MN > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 10.4% (+5.1 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $98,613 (+28.4% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Medical scientists, except epidemiologists; clinical and counseling psychologists; interpreters and translators 35. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 17.1% (+5.1 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $110,884 (+11.4% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Athletes and sports competitors; archivists; computer systems analysts 34. Columbia, MO > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 13.6% (+5.1 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $83,333 (+13.8% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Postsecondary psychology teachers; postsecondary biological science teachers; postsecondary computer science teachers 33. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 17.8% (+5.2 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $96,386 (+9.4% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Soil and plant scientists; actuaries; survey researchers 32. Colorado Springs, CO > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 16.2% (+5.3 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $106,210 (+19.5% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Electronics engineers, except computer; computer network architects; computer hardware engineers 31. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 12.5% (+5.3 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $89,592 (+4.7% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Postsecondary computer science teachers; postsecondary geography teachers; postsecondary business teachers 30. Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 23.4% (+5.4 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $130,809 (+13.8% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Biochemists and biophysicists; microbiologists; medical scientists, except epidemiologists 29. Madison, WI > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 19.1% (+5.4 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $98,051 (+12.8% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Postsecondary agricultural sciences teachers; microbiologists; postsecondary health specialties teachers 28. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 20.0% (+5.4 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $117,727 (+14.1% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers; cartographers and photogrammetrists; electronics engineers, except computer 27. Columbus, GA-AL > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 13.8% (+5.5 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $89,385 (+9.7% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Education administrators; psychologists; computer occupations 26. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 17.4% (+5.6 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $104,958 (+16.6% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Aerospace engineers; engineers; atmospheric and space scientists 25. Charlottesville, VA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 15.7% (+5.6 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $102,832 (+7.9% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Landscape architects; medical scientists, except epidemiologists; physical scientists 24. Lincoln, NE > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 17.6% (+5.6 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $87,096 (+13.8% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Postsecondary agricultural sciences teachers; choreographers; soil and plant scientists 23. Provo-Orem, UT > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 19.1% (+5.6 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $96,780 (+20.4% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Umpires, referees, and other sports officials; web developers; writers and authors 22. State College, PA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 14.2% (+5.7 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $91,109 (+12.7% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Engineers; computer programmers; statisticians 21. Morgantown, WV > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 13.6% (+5.7 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $99,182 (+9.2% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Postsecondary health specialties teachers; postsecondary education administrators; web developers 20. Columbus, IN > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 12.1% (+5.8 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $98,659 (+29.0% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Industrial engineers; mechanical engineers; industrial production managers 19. Bloomington, IN > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 13.2% (+5.8 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $92,193 (+20.5% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Postsecondary environmental science teachers; curators; court reporters and simultaneous captioners 18. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 18.1% (+5.8 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $95,416 (+16.5% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Food scientists and technologists; personal service managers; soil and plant scientists 17. Tallahassee, FL > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 16.5% (+5.8 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $81,123 (+9.7% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Environmental scientists and specialists, including health; zoologists and wildlife biologists; anthropologists and archeologists 16. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 22.1% (+6.0 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $118,789 (+6.9% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Sociologists; life scientists; statisticians 15. Corvallis, OR > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 15.1% (+6.0 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $99,580 (+29.2% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Zoologists and wildlife biologists; cartographers and photogrammetrists; soil and plant scientists 14. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 14.5% (+6.5 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $89,086 (+24.1% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Mechanical engineers; personal service managers; industrial engineers 13. Midland, MI > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 14.4% (+6.8 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $111,815 (+16.8% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Chemists; purchasing managers; industrial production managers 12. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 19.9% (+6.8 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $113,597 (+12.2% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Physical scientists; atmospheric and space scientists; information security analysts 11. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 18.5% (+7.0 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $109,495 (+12.6% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Sales engineers; petroleum engineers; court reporters and simultaneous captioners 10. Raleigh, NC > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 20.2% (+7.4 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $107,597 (+13.3% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Postsecondary social work teachers; soil and plant scientists; life scientists 9. California-Lexington Park, MD > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 26.4% (+7.9 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $118,212 (+2.7% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Aerospace engineers; computer and information research scientists; electronics engineers, except computer 8. Huntsville, AL > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 23.8% (+8.1 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $110,918 (+10.4% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Aerospace engineers; engineers; atmospheric and space scientists 7. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 21.8% (+8.2 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $129,088 (+21.9% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Mathematical science occupations; special effects artists and animators; epidemiologists 6. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 27.0% (+8.6 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $135,108 (+10.7% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Political scientists; economists; artists and related workers 5. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 25.3% (+8.6 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $158,176 (+26.3% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Physicists; biochemists and biophysicists; biological scientists 4. Trenton, NJ > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 23.6% (+8.6 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $126,968 (+11.4% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Natural sciences managers; medical scientists, except epidemiologists; environmental scientists and specialists, including health 3. Austin-Round Rock, TX > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 22.5% (+9.0 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $108,298 (+15.1% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers; computer occupations; sales engineers 2. Boulder, CO > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 27.5% (+9.2 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $125,303 (+19.0% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Atmospheric and space scientists; physicists; aerospace engineers 1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA > “Creative class” as share of all jobs, 2022: 32.4% (+16.0 ppts. from 2018) > Avg. annual “creative class” wage, 2022: $191,391 (+43.0% from 2018) > Most concentrated “creative class” jobs: Computer hardware engineers; sales engineers; computer and information research scientists Methodology To determine the cities with the fastest-growing creative classes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on employment by detailed occupation from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Metropolitan statistical areas were ranked based on the percentage-point change in “creative class” occupations as a percentage of all occupations from 2018 to 2022. The “creative class” includes scientists and engineers, university professors, artists, architects, and other creative occupations, and are formally classified within the federal Standard Occupation Classification system for detailed occupations by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Data used to calculate weighted average annual wage among “creative class” occupations, as well as the most concentrated “creative class” occupations — measured by location quotient — also came from the BLS OEWS. Sponsored: Want to Retire Early? Here’s a Great First Step Want retirement to come a few years earlier than you’d planned? Or are you ready to retire now, but want an extra set of eyes on your finances? Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help you build your plan to retire early. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free. Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions. The post Cities With the Fastest-Growing Creative Classes appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstDec 6th, 2023

I"m a Harvard student. Our freshman dining hall looks amazing, but some of our meals lack seasoning and variety.

He was told that the food at Harvard was terrible. As a freshman, he found the meals lacked seasoning and variety. He loves Taco Tuesday, though. The dining-hall food at Harvard isn't great.Courtesy of Ezekiel Wells & Rick Friedman/Getty ImagesHarvard is known for its prestige and luxury — not for its food.As a freshman, I had some pretty bad meals, which proved the rumors true. I've also had some great meals that show the school is making improvements.When I first thought of Harvard, I imagined the food would be great. A private university with a multibillion-dollar endowment —how could it not have a great selection of dining options?However, after I was admitted to Harvard's class of 2027, upperclassmen at the university warned me about how bad the food would be.Now I'm a freshman living in Harvard Yard, and I've found most of the meals aren't terrible, just lackluster.Freshmen typically eat in Annenberg, a large, churchlike hall next to Harvard Yard.Annenberg Hall.Ezekiel WellsAnnenberg Hall — or "Berg," as the students affectionately call it —was built in 1874. It looks like a building straight out of "Harry Potter."According to the Harvard Gazette, it's been the freshman dining hall since 1994. It's still a gathering place that all first-year students share. Each day, Annenberg serves about 3,400 meals to freshmen.On weekday evenings, we also stop by for Brain Break to eat food, study, and socialize in the post-dinner hours.Students at the university get unlimited meal swipes, making things much simpler and more convenient.Students have unlimited meal swipes.Courtesy of Ezekiel WellsOne of my favorite, and maybe most underrated, parts of Harvard dining is that we do not have to keep track of our swipes or manage meal plans.It makes it so that students can easily grab food with their friends, meet people in their dining halls, and stop by for a quick snack. Students also don't need to spend extra time managing matters of food — providing us with greater flexibility with our time.Within my first few months at Harvard, I noticed the breakfast menu had a lot of room for improvement. The breakfast options.Courtesy of Ezekiel WellsOne of the biggest downsides of Harvard's food is that the breakfast is not great. Each day, I have the option of eggs, sausages, waffles, or breakfast potatoes.It's not all terrible, but the lack of seasoning and variety makes breakfast one of Annenberg's worst offerings.Most meals at the Berg are fairly average.Dinner at Harvard.Courtesy of Ezekiel WellsRecently, Annenberg offered shrimp fettuccini, vegan Parmesan, and cheese pizza — among other smaller options, including a chocolate-chip-cookie bar.The quality of these dishes, as well as the variety of options, represents a typical meal at Harvard. Compared with other schools I've visited, the variety in each meal is below average, but from one meal to the next, Harvard does a decent job of keeping things interesting.The quality of food seems to have improved over recent months because of a revamp program.Here's me enjoying a meal at the Berg.Courtesy of Ezekiel WellsWhen I arrived at Harvard, I heard a lot of students complain about Harvard's dining-hall food.In spring, however, Harvard University Dining Services began an effort to revamp the dining options throughout the college, The Harvard Crimson reported.It seems to have paid off, as I've heard fewer complaints, and the food is passable. But as a freshman, I don't have much to compare it with.One of the biggest hits recently was Taco Tuesday.Taco dinner at Harvard.Courtesy of Ezekiel WellsEvery Tuesday, the dining hall serves a selection of both vegan and meat tacos on the grill. I took the vegan option, which came with a nice sauce in addition to the veggie crumbles.It also served yuca fries, which were new to me. I'd rate them a solid seven or eight out of 10.After my freshman year, I'll move to the upperclassman dining halls.A Dunster House common area.Ezekiel WellsOnce we begin our sophomore year, we move out of Harvard Yard and into upperclassman housing, which consists of 12 houses across campus.These 12 houses each offer a dining hall, and the food in these halls is generally regarded as better than Annenberg's. This makes sense, too, because Annenberg has to prepare for an entire first-year class, while each house has to provide for a significantly smaller number of people on a daily basis. While they're not as pretty as the freshman hall, most people are relatively happy about the switch.Overall, Harvard's food for first-year students isn't perfect, but it's decent. I'm trying to make the best of it.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 5th, 2023

15 Biggest Countries that Qualify for the Green Card Lottery

In this article, we will explore the 15 biggest countries that qualify for the Green Card Lottery. You can skip our comprehensive analysis and proceed directly to the 5 Biggest Countries that Qualify for the Green Card Lottery. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, commonly referred to as the Green Card Lottery, is an initiative that […] In this article, we will explore the 15 biggest countries that qualify for the Green Card Lottery. You can skip our comprehensive analysis and proceed directly to the 5 Biggest Countries that Qualify for the Green Card Lottery. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, commonly referred to as the Green Card Lottery, is an initiative that allocates a maximum of 50,000 immigrant visas annually through a randomized selection method. Since its initiation in 1990, its primary objective has been to enhance the diversity of immigrants in the United States by granting visas to individuals hailing from nations with minimal immigration rates. Interested participants are required to complete a straightforward online form within the stipulated registration window, typically spanning from early October to early November. The Diversity Visa Program comprises a ten-step process: submitting an entry, applicant selection, confirmation of selection, confirming qualifications, submitting the visa application, providing supporting documents, attending an interview, preparing for it, undergoing the interview, and managing post-interview procedures. This systematic approach guides applicants through the program’s stages toward potential immigration opportunities. Successful candidates and their immediate families, upon selection, gain the opportunity to secure permanent residency in the United States. Notably, the application process is free, and winners are chosen randomly by a computer. Those selected must fulfill the same criteria as any other US Green Card applicant. Notification for successful applicants generally occurs approximately 7 months after submission, and the government may take up to 14 months to arrange interviews and issue visas. According to Travel.State.Gov, the entry window for the DV-2025 Diversity Visa Program was open from October 4, 2023, to November 7, 2023. As of now, no entries are being accepted. As of September 5, 2023, over 54,000 status issuances/adjustments have been recorded globally out of the 54,833 Diversity Visas (DVs) allocated for fiscal 2023. Moreover, according to US immigration regulations, no individual country can obtain more than 7% of the total available DVs within a single fiscal year. The American Dream highlights restrictions on Green Card Lottery participation, barring individuals from specific countries. According to the current regulations, those born in Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Venezuela, and Vietnam cannot apply for the program. These exclusions are based on historical immigration rates to the United States and aim to diversify the pool of immigrants entering the country through this particular visa program. In certain regions, particularly in Africa, the Green Card Lottery can yield more than 3,500 winners due to the random selection process. Countries with higher applicant numbers, like Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, and the Congo, might generate more winners proportionally. However, the actual successful applicants tend to be lower due to factors like some winners not proceeding with the application, educational and professional disparities, and financial constraints. To maintain immigration diversity, a cap of 3,500 Green Cards per participating country is set, processing only the first 3,500 qualified responses in cases of overflow. Countries with fewer winners have higher chances of obtaining the desired immigrant visa if all requirements are met during the acceptance process, usually assisted within the service tariff for customers. Diversity Immigrant Visa Program: Impact on the US Economy The Green Card lottery enables immigrants from less represented nations to enrich diverse sectors such as technology, healthcare, and entrepreneurship. Their presence fuels innovation and economic expansion, evidenced by their entrepreneurial ventures, elevated rates of business inception, and substantial tax contributions. This not only boosts consumer expenditure and government revenue but also aids in tackling demographic hurdles. According to The White House, immigrants significantly contribute to the U.S. economy by expanding the labor force and boosting productivity. Economists find that immigrants, being more mobile in response to economic changes, help labor markets function more efficiently. Research also shows that a 1% increase in immigrant college graduates leads to a 9% to 18% rise in patents per capita, highlighting their substantial impact on innovation. American companies are industry pioneers. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sets design and user experience standards with its iconic iPhone, Mac, and iPad. Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) revolutionizes automotive technology, promoting electric vehicles and advancing autonomous driving., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has transformed retail through its online platform, branching into cloud computing (Amazon Web Services) and entertainment (Amazon Prime Video). On November 30, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) revealed its partnership with the new Amkor manufacturing and packaging facility in Peoria, Arizona. Amkor, investing approximately $2 billion, will package Apple silicon from the nearby TSMC fab, where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the primary customer. This collaboration aims to establish the largest outsourced advanced packaging facility in the U.S., creating over 2,000 jobs upon completion. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) remains committed to its $430 billion investment in the U.S. economy over five years, progressing steadily through direct spending with American suppliers, data center investments, U.S. capital expenditures, and other domestic initiatives. On November 30, Bloomberg reported that Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) has begun delivering Cybertrucks resembling Blade Runner’s aesthetic. CEO Elon Musk handed over a few trucks, including one to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. The base model costs $60,990, up over 50% from the initially speculated price four years ago. However, this model won’t be available until 2025. Reservations are open for models priced at $79,990 and $99,990, with the highest battery range at around 340 miles, falling short of the initially advertised 500 miles. On December 1, CNBC reported that, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has purchased three rocket launches from SpaceX for its Project Kuiper internet satellites. This unexpected decision from, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) comes as the company’s Kuiper system seeks to enter the competitive satellite broadband market, directly challenging Elon Musk’s Starlink. Despite SpaceX’s assertive stance on launching competitors to its own Starlink program,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) opted to collaborate with the prolific rocket operator for its satellite deployment needs. Let’s now move to the 15 top countries that qualify for the DV lottery. frank-mckenna-JB92NeJSxW4-unsplash Methodology Our approach to rank the 15 largest countries eligible for the Green Card Lottery involved an analysis of The American Dream‘s 2023 data, specifically focusing on global winner statistics. The ranking was determined by identifying the countries with the highest number of global winners. The list is in ascending order of winner statistics of the diversity visa program. 15 Biggest Countries that Qualify for the Green Card Lottery 15. Yemen Winner Statistics DV-24: 3485 The U.S. Department of State has designated the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti as the location responsible for handling the processing of Diversity Visa (DV) applications submitted by individuals from Yemen. This could involve managing the selection process, conducting interviews, and processing the necessary paperwork for Yemeni citizens who have applied for the Diversity Visa Program to potentially obtain a Green Card and immigrate to the US. Facilitating this process aims to provide opportunities for individuals from Yemen to pursue residency in the United States and contribute to its diverse cultural landscape. 14. Tajikistan Winner Statistics DV-24: 3580 As evident by the DV-24 statistics, many Tajikistanis see the American Dream as a path to improved economic opportunities, education, and a better life through hard work in the United States. Some are attracted by the promise of greater prosperity, rights, and freedoms linked to this dream. Influenced by cultural beliefs and opportunities depicted in American media, some aspire to pursue their dreams in the U.S. 13. Turkey Winner Statistics DV-24: 3684 As reported by US Embassy and Consulates in Turkiye, Turkish immigration to the United States has fostered strong business connections between U.S. and Turkish firms. Turkey’s thriving economy, marked by substantial GDP growth and a burgeoning middle class, has led to increased consumer demand and a dynamic workforce. This has generated a significant market for U.S. exports, valued at $10.0 billion in 2019. Over 1,000 U.S. companies have established offices in Turkey, drawn by its strategic location as a regional hub linking Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, facilitating bilateral trade and economic partnerships. 12. Kenya Winner Statistics DV-24: 3760 Culturally, Kenya is diverse, home to numerous ethnic groups, each with its languages, traditions, and practices. The Maasai, Luo, Kikuyu, and Luhya are among the various ethnic communities contributing to the rich cultural fabric of the country. Kenya’s participation in the Diversity Visa Lottery program reflects the aspirations of its citizens to seek better opportunities, education, and a different way of life in the US. 11. Armenia Winner Statistics DV-24: 3869 Armenians in the US have access to better prospects in education, employment across various industries like technology, finance, and healthcare, entrepreneurship, cultural organizations, arts, and professional associations. They can tap into scholarships, job openings, entrepreneurial support, cultural networks, artistic collaborations, and advocacy initiatives. 10. Morocco Winner Statistics DV-24: 4250 Morroco ranks 10th on our list of biggest Green Card Lottery countries, with a total of 4250 winners in the DV-24 lottery. Morocco represents a substantial portion of the entrants in the diversity visa program, this high number underscores the considerable interest and participation of Moroccan citizens in this immigration opportunity. 9. Ukraine Winner Statistics DV-24: 4286 4286 Ukrainian individuals applied in the DV-24 lottery, marking a notable interest among Ukrainians in pursuing the chance for a Green Card. The country’s participation signals a strong desire among Ukrainians for new prospects, embracing the chance to explore lucrative opportunities and experiences in the US. 8. Kyrgyzstan Winner Statistics DV-24: 4464 The DV-24 statistics show 4464 applicants from Kyrgyzstan, indicating a strong desire among its citizens to seize the chance for permanent residency to fulfill their American dream. Many hopefuls from Kyrgyzstan are eager to secure permanent residency, viewing it as a pivotal step towards realizing their aspirations in the US. 7. Afghanistan Winner Statistics DV-24: 4536 Afghanistan’s history of political unrest, coupled with economic challenges, has led many individuals and families to pursue opportunities in more stable environments. The Green Card Lottery serves as a beacon of hope for many Afghans looking to escape the pervasive turmoil and secure a chance at a better life abroad. 6. Iran Winner Statistics DV-24: 5077 Iranians who seek participation in the Green Card Lottery often aim to escape political restrictions, economic hardships, and limited opportunities within their home country. The desire for greater personal and professional freedom, along with the chance for socio-economic advancement, motivates a substantial number of Iranians to take part in this immigration opportunity. Click to continue reading and see the 5 Biggest Countries that Qualify for the Green Card Lottery. Suggested Articles: 15 Hardest Countries to Get Citizenship in Europe 18 Hardest Countries to Get Citizenship in 2023 20 Best US Cities for Digital Nomads Disclosure: none. 15 Biggest Countries that Qualify for the Green Card Lottery is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyDec 3rd, 2023

25 Huge Companies That Apple Could Buy Right Now, With Cash

  In every sense of the word, Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) is a behemoth. The world’s largest company by market capitalization (the term for the total value of a publicly traded company’s stockholder-owned shares), it’s also the world’s largest technology company by revenue, the fourth-largest PC vendor by unit sales, the largest manufacturing company by revenue, and […] The post 25 Huge Companies That Apple Could Buy Right Now, With Cash appeared first on 24/7 Wall St..   In every sense of the word, Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) is a behemoth. The world’s largest company by market capitalization (the term for the total value of a publicly traded company’s stockholder-owned shares), it’s also the world’s largest technology company by revenue, the fourth-largest PC vendor by unit sales, the largest manufacturing company by revenue, and the world’s second-largest mobile phone manufacturer. So it goes without saying that they’ve got some cash laying around.  Apple’s current cash balance is currently about $61 billion. Apple is no stranger to major acquisitions; it’s bought more than 100 companies over the years, ranging from weather forecasters (Dark Sky) to music recognition apps (Shazam) to headphone companies (Beats). While most of the companies Apple acquires are ones that have perfected a software or hardware that Apple can incorporate into existing products – AI and machine learning, image recognition, wireless charging, payments, and low-light photography companies, for example – it’s fun to imagine the possibilities if they should decide to merge with something completely unexpected, like Ford (NYSE: F), Nintendo, or Kroger (NYSE:KR). Because with the amount of cash the company has on hand, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. In fact, with its current cash flow, Apple can buy all of these companies with cash.   Warner Bros. Discovery Market Cap: $24.38 B A mass media and entertainment conglomerate formed in 2022 when WarnerMedia was spun off from AT&T and merged with Discovery, Inc., Warner Bros. Discovery nine divisions, each with a wide variety of assets. These include Warner Bros. Entertainment (assets including DC Studios), CNN Worldwide, Warner Bros. Discovery U.S. Networks (assets including Discovery Channel, Food Network, and TBS), HBO, and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports. It has its hand in everything from comic books to amusement parks to streaming platforms, and its 2022 revenue was $33.8 billion. Dollar General Market Cap: $25.88 B A discount general merchandise store headquartered in Tennessee, Dollar General (NYSE:DG) operates more than 19,400 stores in the US and Mexico, and is one of the most profitable stores in rural parts of the US. It’s what’s called a “variety store” specializing in general merchandise ranging from food to clothes to household goods to toiletries, and in 2022 it brought in nearly $38 billion in revenue. HP Market Cap: $27.29 B Formerly known as Hewlett-Packard before the computer and printer side was spun off in 2015, HP (NYSE: HPQ). is the world’s second largest personal computer vendor by sales. Founded in Palo Alto by Bill Hewlett and David Packard in 1939, HP today develops PCs, printers, and 3-D printers. In 2022, it brought in about $30 billion from the sale of laptops and about $11 billion from the sale of desktops. Kroger Market Cap: $31.57 B The United States’ largest supermarket operator by revenue, Kroger (NYSE: KR) was founded by Bernard Kroger in Cincinnati in 1883. Today, it operates more than 2,700 grocery stores in 35 states and Washington, DC under many names including Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter, King Soopers, Fry’s, and Ralphs. A merger with Albertsons is expected to close in early 2024. Adidas Market Cap: $32.55 B Europe’s largest sportswear manufacturer and the second largest in the world (after Nike), Adidas was founded in Germany by Adi Dassler in 1924; the name is an amalgam of his first and last names. It first found popularity with spiked running shoes. Nowadays it’s a true global behemoth, and while shoes are still one of its top sellers, it makes official products for just about every sport as well as t-shirts, jacket, hoodies, and sandals. It’s also the world’s second-largest manufacturer of sports bras. 7-Eleven Market Cap: $33.19 B The world’s most famous convenience store chain, 7-Eleven is headquartered in Irving, Texas, and it operates, franchises, and licenses more than 78,000 stores in 19 countries and territories. Just about every American has stopped into a 7-Eleven at some point in their lives, either for a snack or soda, to buy a lottery ticket, or to purchase a hot dog or their signature frozen drink, the Slurpee. Spotify Market Cap: $33.36 B A streaming music service founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2006, Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) has over 574 million monthly active users who tune in to listen to more than 100 million songs and 5 million podcasts. It offers both free subscriptions (with ads) and paid ad-free subscriptions, and is available in 184 markets worldwide. DoorDash Market Cap: $34.83 B If you’ve ordered food delivery at any point within the past few years, there’s a good chance you’ve ordered through DoorDash (Nasdaq: DASH). America’s largest food delivery company with 56% market share, in 2020 it surpassed 450,000 merchants, 20,000,000 customers, and a million couriers. In recent years, it’s been experimenting with ghost kitchens called DoorDash Kitchen, with multiple restaurants operating out of each location. Yum! Brands Market Cap: $35.30 B Yum! Brands is the parent company behind KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill. It can trace its origins to 1977, when PepsiCo spun it off as Tricon Global Restaurants after acquiring Pizza Hut, and was officially formed in 2002 when Tricon merged with Yorkshire Global Restaurants. Today it has restaurants in more than 130 countries and territories worldwide, with $6.84 billion in 2022 revenue. Electronic Arts Market Cap: $35.71 B Founded by Apple employee Trip Hawkins in 1982, EA pioneered games intended to be played on home computers instead of separate consoles. Its most popular line of games, EA Sports, includes FIFA Football, Madden NFL, NBA Live, and NASCAR. Other popular EA games include The Sims, Star Wars, and Mass Effect.  General Mills Market Cap: $37.94 B Originally a large flour miller back in the 1850s, General Mills is today the manufacturer and marketer of some of the food world’s most well-known brands. Along with breakfast cereals sold under the General Mills name including Cheerios, Chex, Lucky Charms, and Trix, other General Mills brands include Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Pillsbury, Haagen-Dazs, and Nature Valley. Its revenue in 2020 was $17.63 billion. The Hershey Company Market Cap: $39.15 B America’s most famous candy company, Hershey’s was founded by Milton Hershey in 1894 and famously headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It rose to fame with Milton’s perfection of the milk chocolate bar in 1900, and seven years later the Hershey’s Kiss, which benefitted from machine wrapping. Mr. Goodbar, Hershey’s Syrup, chocolate chips, and the Krackel bar followed within the next few decades, and today Hershey Company brands include Almond Joy, Kit Kat, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, Milk Duds, and York Peppermint Patties. Ford Market Cap: $39.46 B Founded by Henry Ford, the Ford Motor Company famously pioneered using assembly lines to build cars, and its Model T famously made automobiles affordable for the masses. Today, it’s the second-largest US automaker behind GM, and it sells cars under both Ford and Lincoln brands. It’s the 11th-ranked American company on the Fortune 500, and it produced more than 4 million vehicles in 2022. Kraft Heinz Market Cap: $40.34 B Formed in 2015 by the merger of two of the food world’s biggest brands, Kraft Heinz is now America’s third-largest food and beverage company. Several dozen are in its portfolio (along with Kraft and Heinz), including Grey Poupon, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Oscar Mayer, A.1 Sauce, Boca Burger, Ore-Ida, Jell-O, Velveeta, Lunchables, and Maxwell House. Pernod Ricard Market Cap: $44.23 B You may not be familiar with French company Pernod Ricard, but you’re most likely with some of the world’s second-largest wine and spirits seller’s brands: Beefeater, Seagram’s, and Plymouth gin; Kahlua; Gosling’s and Malibu rum; Absolut vodka; Chivas, Glenlivet, and Jameson whiskey; and Mumm and Perrier-Jouet Champagne. It’s also well-known for its anise-flavoured pastis apéritifs Pernod and Ricard. Universal Music Group Market Cap: $46.08 B The world’s biggest music company, UMG can trace its roots back to the formation of Decca Records in 1934, and it’s tangentially related to Universal Pictures (although the two have different owners). Known for its innovation in the music industry, UMG is one of the Big Three music labels (along with Sony and Warner), and it’s signed licensing agreements with more than 400 platforms worldwide. Its main labels include Capitol Music Group, Decca Records, Def Jam Records, EMI, Island Records, Motown Records, and Polydor. Lululemon Athletica Market Cap: $52.34 B Commonly styled as lululemon, Lululemon Athletica was founded in Vancouver by Chip Wilson in 1998, and is credited with inventing yoga pants. The company became hugely successful be selling women’s yoga wear, and it’s since expanded into other athletic wear, bags, yoga mats, and other exercise-adjacent products. Today, there are more than 650 locations worldwide.  Nintendo Market Cap: $52.95 B Founded in 1889 as a playing card company, Nintendo expanded into video games in the 1970s and became an international phenomenon in the 80s with the release of Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. It’s produced some of the industry’s most successful game consoles including Game Boy, N64, Wii, and Switch, as well as some of the most popular video games of all time, including The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Super Smash Bros., and Animal Crossing. It’s one of Japan’s most valuable companies. Heineken Market Cap: $52.96 B Heineken is best known as the Dutch pale lager beer, but its parent company, Heineken N.V., owns more than 165 breweries in more than 70 countries and produces nearly 350 beers and ciders worldwide. Founded in Amsterdam in 1864, the company today owns brands including Tecate, Amstel, Fosters, Krušovice, and Birra Moretti. Dell SANTA CLARA, CA – OCTOBER 19: The Dell logo is displayed on the exterior of the new Dell research and development facility on October 19, 2011 in Santa Clara, California. California governor Jerry Brown and Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell attended a ribbon cutting to open the new Dell research and development facility that was followed by a career fair to hire hundreds of employees for the new facilty. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Market Cap: $53.17 B Founded by college freshman Michael Dell in 1984, Dell today sells personal computers as well as servers, software, TVs, cameras, and other electronics. Dell remains chairman and CEO, and in 2022 it had revenue of $101.6 billion. Marriott International Market Cap: $58.03 B The largest hotel chain in the world based on number of rooms, Marriott was founded by Mormon missionaries J. Willard and Alice Marriott in 1927 as – believe it or not – a root beer stand. Today, Marriott operates 30 hotel chains internationally, including The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, Sheraton, Renaissance, Westin, and Aloft. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, it had a 2022 revenue of $20.77 billion. Chipotle Mexican Grill Market Cap: $58.19 B A pioneer of what’s today known as “fast casual” dining, Chipotle was founded by Steve Ells in 1993 after he was inspired by the large, filling burritos he fell in love with in San Francisco’s Mission District. The first location opened in Denver, and today it has more than 3,000 locations nationwide and a handful overseas. Along with burritos, Chipotle also serves bowls, tacos, and quesadillas, and in 2022 it brought in $8.6 billion in revenue.  PayPal Market Cap: $59.04 B Founded as by a team that included Peter Thiel and Elon Musk and renamed PayPal in 2001, the online payments company went public and was acquired by eBay (at a valuation of $1.5 billion) in 2002. It was spun off to become an independent company in 2015, and today it’s a very popular payment processor for online vendors. It’s ranked 143rd on the 2022 Fortune 500 of the largest United States corporations by revenue. Target Market Cap: $60.00 B Minneapolis-based Target Corporation was founded by George Dayton in 1902, and today there are nearly 2,000 locations nationwide and it’s number 32 on the Fortune 500. Its stores sell what’s called general merchandise, which includes clothes, electronics, toys, home goods, food – basically anything you want. Despite its success, efforts to open international locations haven’t been successful. Ferrari Market Cap: $61.34 B The legendary Italian luxury sports car manufacturer, Ferrari was founded by race car driver Enzo Ferrari in 1939. Some Ferraris sold during the 50s and 60s count among the most expensive cars ever sold at auction, and in 2019 it was actually named the world’s strongest brand by Brand Finance, largely due to its devoted fans and licensing deals. It became a public company in 1960. Sponsored: Tips for Investing A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit. The post 25 Huge Companies That Apple Could Buy Right Now, With Cash appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstDec 2nd, 2023

20 Best Luggage Brands Heading Into 2024

In this article, we are going to present the 20 best luggage brands heading into 2024. If you’d like to skip our discussion, you can see the 5 Best Luggage Brands Heading Into 2024. There are conflicting reports about the size of the global luggage market. According to P&S Market Research the global luggage market […] In this article, we are going to present the 20 best luggage brands heading into 2024. If you’d like to skip our discussion, you can see the 5 Best Luggage Brands Heading Into 2024. There are conflicting reports about the size of the global luggage market. According to P&S Market Research the global luggage market was $38.6 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a 7.5% annual rate through 2030. According to Mordor Intelligence the global luggage market was valued at $165.4 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 7.1% over the next 5 years. Mordor believes that consumers are currently leaning towards luxury brands and some of the major players in this industry are LVMH, Kering, Chanel Limited, Hermes International SA, and Tapestry (NYSE:TPR). Out of these companies Tapestry Inc. (TPR) looks like an interesting stock to invest in. Tapestry shares were trading at $40 five years ago which means, the stock’s total return over the last 5 years is close to zero after adjusting for dividend payments. That’s mainly because of the significant contraction in its price-earnings multiple. Tapestry Inc (TPR) shares currently trade at less than 8 times its trailing earnings and offer a dividend yield of 4.5%.  Selecting the appropriate suitcase for your holiday can significantly reduce the time and inconvenience associated with packing, navigating the airport, and unpacking at your destination. Whether you opt for lightweight suitcases or complete luggage sets, there is a wide array of choices available when it comes to investing in top-notch luggage. The evolution of suitcases has been notable since their introduction to the market in the 19th century, coinciding with the rise of mass tourism. The prospect of purchasing luggage can be both intimidating and enjoyable. Along the way, you might encounter the best and worst luggage brands. Given the different variations of sizes, types, and brands available, selecting the right suitcases can be challenging. Opting for luggage or suitcase sets provides a practical solution to this dilemma, offering a range of options tailored to diverse travel styles and plans. Additionally, these sets often feature a nesting design, serving as a valuable space-saving bonus. When choosing a luggage, most people are torn between a 4-wheel or a 2-wheel option. Each type comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Four-wheeled cases offer ease of movement in any direction. Another perk is the ability to stack additional bags on top. They also exhibit better balance, reducing the likelihood of toppling over. However, it’s worth noting that the extra wheels can occupy more space within the case. If traversing rocky terrain or cobblestones, 4-wheel versions may not be as maneuverable as their 2-wheel counterparts. Once you’ve exited the airport, and you’re more likely to be pulling your case, the 2-wheel rollers are better suited for this task. Another factor to take into account is the outer shell, specifically whether you prefer a soft or hard one. Soft cases provide more flexibility, allowing for a less rigid packing approach. The materials used for soft cases are typically synthetic and durable, making them easy to clean. While soft side cases are lighter than their hard case counterparts, they may be more susceptible to rips and tears. On the other hand, hard cases offer enhanced protection for delicate items and provide a safeguard against inclement weather. If you’ve ever experienced the inconvenience of having your luggage exposed to wet and windy conditions on the tarmac, you’ll appreciate the significant advantage of hard cases in such scenarios. Dealing with damp belongings at the beginning of a vacation is a situation most would prefer to avoid. In addition to checking the luggage’s storage capacity, it’s crucial to consider the inclusion of extra features such as built-in luggage tags, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved locks, and internal compartments with zippers. However, the assessment shouldn’t stop there. Factors like price and quality should be part of the top considerations. When choosing a piece of luggage, the saying “you get what you pay for” often holds true, with price correlating directly to the product’s quality and durability. Prioritize durability and scratch resistance, not only in external materials but also in handles and wheel mechanisms. Pay attention to the resilience of zippers and fastenings, as these components typically endure the most wear and tear. Meanwhile, if your travel plans involve less frequent trips and fewer airport visits, you might find that you can compromise on the durability of your luggage. However, for those with more regular and diverse travel itineraries, investing in sturdy, well-crafted luggage becomes an important and wise choice. alphaspirit/ Our Methodology To compile our list of the top 20 best luggage brands heading into 2024, we conducted comprehensive research, gathering data from a variety of credible sources. We assigned points to each brand based on references in these sources, encompassing reviews that touched upon aspects like pricing, appearance, and quality. Starting with an initial pool of over 30 brands, our systematic approach enabled us to distill the selection to the top 20 best luggage brands heading into 2024. Our approach guarantees that the brands included in this list have substantial customer reviews, providing valuable insights for individuals looking to invest in luggage that enhances their travel experience. So, without further ado, let us now discuss our list of the 20 best luggage brands heading into 2024 internationally. 20 Best Luggage Brands Heading into 2024 20. FPM Milano FPM Milano is among our list of the best luggage brands heading into 2024. Established in Italy in 1946, FPM stands as a distinguished leather goods and luggage brand, renowned for its exceptional interpretation of Italian prowess in beauty and craftsmanship excellence. Continuing to produce its products in Italy, FPM Milano injects a touch of La Dolce Vita into their inherently functional line of polycarbonate suitcases. Notably, the Bank model, inspired by vintage trunks, features a leather lining on the inside, adding an extra layer of luxury to the design. 19. Globe-Trotter Ranking 19th in our list of the best luggage brands heading into 2024 is Globe-Trotter. Exemplifying vintage British luxury, Globe-Trotter’s leather cases, inspired by old-school aesthetics, embody a harmonious blend of functionality and meticulous craftsmanship. Handmade in Hertfordshire, these luggage are crafted from materials reminiscent of 20th-century vintage trunks, establishing them as sought-after collaborators with esteemed brands such as Gucci, Berluti, and many more. 18. Rockland Melbourne  Rockland Melbourne ranks 18th in our list of the best luggage brands heading into 2024. The Rockland’s Rockland Melbourne 20 is an affordable hard-sided spinner featuring a 360-degree rotation capability. With its clamshell design, it provides a straightforward, open layout. Equipped with four double-wheel spinners and a telescoping handle, the suitcase ensures relatively smooth maneuvering whether you’re rushing to catch a flight or checking in at a hotel. 17. Monos Taking the 17th spot in our list of the best luggage brands heading into 2024 is Monos. Monos adheres to a “less is more” design philosophy, emphasizing simplicity and timelessness to steer clear of fleeting trends. The brand prioritizes high quality, ensuring that its bags withstand the test of time. The majority of their hardside bags are crafted entirely from polycarbonate, while some incorporate a combination of polycarbonate and aluminum for enhanced durability. Additionally, Monos integrates practical packing features, such as wide compression straps, to facilitate efficient use of space within the case. 16. Calpak While style is undeniably crucial for luggage, considering it as an accessory, one shouldn’t compromise on quality and functionality. Calpak strikes a balance by offering well-crafted cases with distinctive designs. Although their collection may be more curated compared to some larger brands, Calpak provides a diverse selection of materials, including sleek hardside polycarbonate, printed ABS/polycarbonate blends, and durable ripstop polyester. 15. Amazon Basics Securing the 15th spot in our list of the 20 best luggage brands heading into 2024 is Amazon Basics. Finding quality luggage priced under $100 can be challenging, but Amazon’s luggage options rise to the occasion. With a variety of softside and hardside styles, as well as garment bags and duffels, there’s a diverse selection to suit different preferences. Amazon emphasizes extensive testing to ensure durability, and while it may not rank as the absolute best in terms of quality, the unbeatable price makes it a compelling choice. Of course, Amazon Basics is also among the 20 best luggage brands heading into 2024 in Amazon. 14. Eagle Creek Eagle Creek ranks 14th in our list of the best luggage brands heading into 2024. Whether you’re embarking on international backpacking adventures or exploring a national park, Eagle Creek provides the ideal combination of convenience and durability in a bag. Certain options come equipped with multiple compartments, facilitating organization or allowing you to separate items like shoes and dirty laundry. Additionally, some bags feature backpack straps, offering a hands-free option when needed. 13. Delsey Paris Delsey Paris is also included in our list of the best luggage brands heading into 2024. Delsey’s Chatelet from Delsey Paris, distinguished by faux leather accents and rounded edges, presents a compelling option. Crafted from polycarbonate, this suitcase combines durability with a lightweight design and encompasses numerous impressive features. These include multidirectional double-spinner wheels, a USB port for electronic charging, a recessed TSA-approved lock, and an ergonomic handle. Additionally, the suitcase is equipped with practical accessories like laundry and shoe bags, along with mesh-zippered pockets. 12. Osprey Osprey, a well-regarded brand for backpacks, particularly catering to women, offers travel backpacks meticulously designed to suit the female form. Available in feminine colors such as teal and purple, these backpacks are easily recognizable on the baggage carousel. Additionally, Osprey’s convertible luggage proves convenient for seamless transitions between traditional luggage and backpack use, especially in challenging terrains. 11. L.L.Bean Whether you’re planning an extended trip or simply have a substantial amount to pack, L.L.Bean’s duffels offer ample space to accommodate all your necessities. Available in options with or without wheels and varying sizes, the extra-large bag stands out for its remarkable durability, making it a preferred choice for family vacations. The duffel’s versatile shape allows for convenient storage under your bed, making it an ideal choice for college students or individuals with limited storage space. Crafted from robust, water-resistant nylon fabric, it ensures longevity regardless of the destinations you explore. 10. Tumi Ranking 10th in our list of the best luggage brands heading into 2024 is Tumi. Originating in New Jersey, TUMI stands as one of the most reputable and recognized luggage brands. Renowned for their commitment to high quality, they provide a diverse range of styles crafted from premium materials such as ballistic nylon, leather, and aluminum. The expandable hardside suitcase offered by TUMI features four spinner wheels, a TSA lock, and a shell made from recycled polycarbonate, ensuring a lightweight and flexible design without compromising on durability. 9. Travelpro Specializing in soft case bags, Travelpro, founded by a former pilot credited with inventing the roll-on bag, is recognized for its expertise. Travelpro luggage sets consistently receive high praise in reviews, particularly for their durability and weight, solidifying their status among the top travel luggage brands in 2024. The Platinum Elite Hardside Luggage from Travelpro adheres to check-in size restrictions, boasts self-aligning magnetic spinner wheels, and incorporates an ultra-strong hard shell crafted from 100% polycarbonate with aluminum corner guards. Moreover, Travelrpo luggage can be recognized as one of the best lightweight luggage for international travel. 8. Antler Antler ranks 8th in our list of the best luggage brands heading into 2024. With a legacy as a British heritage brand, Antler has been crafting elegant, hand-finished luggage long before the emergence of contemporary quirky start-ups. Despite the competition, Antler maintains its lead in innovation and eco-credentials. The brand has recently introduced its inaugural collection of bags, crafted entirely from recycled materials, offering a comprehensive range that includes everything from wash bags to check-in size suitcases. 7. July Crafted from elegant German polycarbonate with aluminum handles, July, an Australian brand, delivers suitcases that encompass a wide range of features at an attractive price point. These suitcases are not only robust and sturdy but also lightweight, emitting a whisper-quiet operation. Despite their expansive storage capacity, they manage to weigh only a few kilos, making them a versatile and practical choice. 6. Rimowa Securing the 6th spot in our list of the best luggage brands heading into 2024 is Rimowa. Rimowa has consistently been a pioneer in luggage materials, introducing the first polycarbonate suitcase in 2000. Specializing exclusively in hardside luggage, Rimowa offers various collections, catering to different needs. These collections span from the Essential Lite, recognized for being the lightest and most affordable, to the Original, constructed from durable aluminum and featuring intelligent packing compartments.   Click to continue reading and see 5 Best Luggage Brands Heading into 2024. Suggested articles: 10 Stocks Hedge Funds Are Talking About 25 Most Racist States in America Ranked by Hate Crimes 25 Richest Criminals of All Time Disclosure: None. 20 Best Luggage Brands Heading into 2024 is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 30th, 2023

20 Most Advanced Countries in Science and Technology

In this article, we will look into the 20 most advanced countries in science and technology. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to the 5 Most Advanced Countries in Science and Technology. In today’s era of digital connectedness and innovation, science and technology act as catalysts for driving global […] In this article, we will look into the 20 most advanced countries in science and technology. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to the 5 Most Advanced Countries in Science and Technology. In today’s era of digital connectedness and innovation, science and technology act as catalysts for driving global economic progress. Science and technology have permeated every aspect of our lives, playing a pivotal role in redefining the economic front of countries. Over the past few decades, scientific progress and innovation, and increased investments in technology have led to great advancements in improving life. Global Research and Development Outlook According to a report by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, the United States was the top spender on R&D in 2019. Global R&D spending increased from $726 billion in 2000 to $2.4 trillion in 2019. The R&D funding in Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia and South Asia surged compared to other regions with high R&D performance. Moreover, some small economies such as South Korea exhibited good R&D performance. The R&D intensity of the US ranged from 2.5% to 3% for over two decades. According to the 2019 estimates, it surpassed 3% for the first time in history. South Korea and China also experienced significant growth in R&D intensity over the decade. Both countries reported a surge of 4.6% from 2.1% and 2.2% from 0.9%, respectively. Germany also showed substantial growth, reaching 3.2% in 2019. The United States allocated a large share of R&D funding to basic research, whereas China focused on experimental development. The US spent a total of $607.5 billion on R&D activities in 2018. France also dedicated notable R&D funds to basic research compared to other countries. The business sector served as a major source of research and development funding in the top-performing countries, accounting for over 60% of total R&D funding in 2018. The business sector’s contribution to R&D funding surged 75% in Asian economies including Japan, China, and South Korea. The business sector’s R&D contributions accounted for over 60% in the United States and Germany. Global Tech Outlook  According to the 2023 Global Tech report by KPMG, which assesses global technological advancements across the globe based on a survey of 2,100 executives from 16 countries, 63% of respondents reported a boost in performance as a result of their digital transformation efforts. According to the findings, global profitability and performance have increased by over 10% due to increased investments in technology in 2023. Technologies that positively impacted profitability include AI, AR/VR, data analytics, and cyber security, among others. AI and automation technologies are evolving the future of industries and businesses. In 2023, investments in AI and automation resulted in a 27% increase in financial performance across various sectors including healthcare, financial services, education, retail, tech, manufacturing, and the government sector, among others. Businesses are now actively integrating AI into their operations. According to a report by McKinsey and Company, generative AI is poised to generate $4.4 trillion in economic value. Despite the continuous developments in AI, businesses need to investigate the underlying potential of AI technologies. For instance, on October 15,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced that it had partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study the impact of automation and AI integration on work. The research would be focused on how AI and robotics have the potential to improve work efficiency while supporting employees in their daily tasks., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has deployed over 750,000 mobile robots and it has helped the company create more than 700 new jobs. Data and analytics are also becoming rapidly integrated into business operations. For instance, in America, 24% of organizations reported an increase in financial performance from investments in data and analytics. Whereas the Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regions reported an increase of 35% and 28% respectively. Major Players in Science and Technology Some of the top names leading the global market with scientific and technological innovations include Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Let’s discuss what these companies have been up to. On October 31, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced its partnership with Siemens Aktiengesellschaft (OTC:SIEGY) to expand generative AI offerings to industries globally. The companies have launched an AI-powered assistant called Siemens Industrial Copilot to enhance human-machine collaboration and boost productivity. Both companies will be working closely to develop further copilots for the manufacturing, infrastructure, transportation, and healthcare industries. The leading automotive supplier, Schaeffler AG (OTC:SCFLF) has adopted the Siemens Industrial Copilot. Moreover, the Siemens Teamcenter app will be available in 2023 and expedite innovation and development across the product lifecycle Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a leader in R&D and technological innovation, which explains the company’s strong financial performance. On November 2, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2023. The company reported an EPS of $1.46 and outperformed estimates by $0.07. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported a revenue of $89.50 billion and beat estimates by $131.13 million. Here are some of the comments from Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Q4 2023 earnings call: “We’re continuing to innovate at a tremendous pace. And our industry-leading lineup of personal computers just got even better. The new MacBook Pro lineup brings our most advanced technology to our Pro users, while iMac, the world’s best-selling all-in-one, just got faster and more capable. And according to the latest data from Student Monitor, nearly two out of three college students chose a Mac. We couldn’t be more excited about the future. Turning to iPad. Revenue for the September quarter was $6.4 billion. iPad sets the gold standard for tablets and our competitors are unable to match the iPad experience that is enabled by our seamless integration of hardware and software. iPad is also our most versatile product. In classrooms around the world, it’s helping educators bring lessons to life, while giving students a window into the world around them.”, Inc. (AMZN) is leading the market with a commitment to scientific research and technological advancements. On November 16, the company announced its partnership with Hyundai Motor Company (OTC:HYMTF) to sell vehicles on Amazon’s U.S. stores starting in 2024. The partnership will help Hyundai Motor Company (OTC:HYMTF) become more data-driven with a cloud-first technology strategy. Hyundai Motor Company (OTC:HYMTF) will utilize Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its cloud provider. Moreover, the next generation of Hyundai Motor Company (OTC:HYMTF) vehicles will have built-in Alexa, which will help the customers control their cars and smart homes. Now that we have talked about developments in science and technology across the globe and discussed the prominent names working at the forefront of innovation, let’s have a look at the 20 most advanced countries in science and technology. 20 Most Advanced Countries in Science and Technology Methodology To compile our list of the most advanced countries in science and technology, we utilized metrics including High Technology Exports in US$, Digital Adoption Index (DAI), R&D Expenditure, and High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports. We sourced the data for our metrics from the World Bank. First, we sorted our list based on High Technology Exports in US$ and collated a list of 60 countries. Then, we employed our other three metrics to further refine the list. To calculate the score, we allocated weights to each metric: 40% to the Digital Adoption Index, 40% to R&D Expenditure, and 20% to High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports. Finally, we calculated our weighted average and listed the countries in ascending order of the calculated score. Please note that we have ranked the United States 1st on our list because the US is a global powerhouse of innovation and technology. The US is the largest economy in the world, boasting a GDP of $26.95 trillion, as of 2023. It is a global leader in scientific research and development and is home to businesses and institutes that foster innovation and technology. 20 Most Advanced Countries in Science and Technology 20. Lithuania High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $3.10 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.793 R&D Expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 11.74% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 1.15% Insider Monkey Rating: 34.54 out of 100 Lithuania is ranked among the most advanced countries in science and technology with high technology exports of $3.10 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, Lithuania reported a DAI of 0.793 in 2016. The R&D expenditure in Lithuania was 11.74% of its GDP in 2020. 19. Belgium High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $52.27 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.780 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 12.53% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 3.45% Insider Monkey Rating: 35.10 out of 100 Belgium is ranked 19th on our list, reporting high technology exports of $52.27 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, Belgium reported a DAI of 0.780 in 2016. Belgium spent 12.53% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 18. Finland High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $5.49 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.806 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 8.44% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 2.91% Insider Monkey Rating: 35.13 out of 100 Ranked 18th on our list, Finland reported high technology exports of $5.49 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, Finland reported a DAI of 0.806 in 2016. Finland spent 8.44% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 17. United Kingdom High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $66.70 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.764 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 21.83% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 1.72% Insider Monkey Rating: 35.61 out of 100 The United Kingdom is ranked 17th on our list, reporting high technology exports of $66.70 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, the UK reported a DAI of 0.764 in 2016. The UK spent 21.83% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 16. Denmark High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $12.35 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.791 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 15.67% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 2.96% Insider Monkey Rating: 35.96 out of 100 Denmark reported high technology exports of $12.35 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, Denmark reported a DAI of 0.791 in 2016. Denmark spent 15.67% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 15. Estonia High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $2.68 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.833 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 10.34% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 1.75% Insider Monkey Rating: 36.09 out of 100 Estonia is ranked 15th on our list, reporting high technology exports of $2.68 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, Estonia reported a DAI of 0.833  in 2016 and spent 10.34% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 14. Malaysia High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $108.68 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.686 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 42.97% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 0.95% Insider Monkey Rating: 36.42 out of 100 Ranked 14th on our list, Malaysia reported high technology exports of $108.68 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, Malaysia reported a DAI of 0.686 in 2016 and spent 8.44% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 13. France High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $97.53 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.753 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 26.67% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 2.34% Insider Monkey Rating: 36.43 out of 100 France is ranked among the most advanced countries in science and technology with high technology exports of $97.53 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, France reported a DAI of 0.753 in 2016. The R&D expenditure in France was 26.67% of its GDP in 2020. 12. Luxembourg High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $806 million Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.863 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 7.6% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 1.12% Insider Monkey Rating: 36.50 out of 100 Luxembourg reported high technology exports of $806 million in 2021. According to the World Bank, Luxembourg reported a DAI of 0.863 in 2016 and spent 7.6% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 11. Norway High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $4.75 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.804 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 19.28% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 2.27% Insider Monkey Rating: 36.93 out of 100 Norway is ranked 19th on our list, reporting high technology exports of $4.75 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, Norway reported a DAI of 0.804 in 2016. Norway spent 19.28% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 10. Israel High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $16.08 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.787 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 18.38% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 5.35% Insider Monkey Rating: 37.33 out of 100 Ranked 10th on our list, Israel reported high technology exports of $16.08 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, Israel reported a DAI of 0.787 in 2016 and spent 18.38% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 9.  Sweden High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $18.96 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.831 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 14.28% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 3.48% Insider Monkey Rating: 37.52 out of 100 Sweden reported high technology exports of $18.96 billion in 2021. According to the World Bank, Sweden reported a DAI of 0.831 in 2016. Sweden spent 14.28% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 8. Japan High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $116.51 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.834 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 16.22% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 3.27% Insider Monkey Rating: 37.94 out of 100 Japan is ranked 8th on our list, reporting high technology exports of $116.51 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, Japan reported a DAI of 0.834 in 2016 and spent 16.22% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 7. Netherlands High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $101.16 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.838 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 17.77% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 2.30% Insider Monkey Rating: 38.01 out of 100 The Netherlands reported high technology exports of $101.16 billion in 2021. According to the World Bank, the Netherlands reported a DAI of 0.838 in 2016. According to the World Bank, the Netherlands spent 17.77% of its GDP on R&D in 2020. 6. Germany High Technology Exports in US$ (2021): $209.74 billion Digital Adoption Index (2016): 0.839 R&D expenditure as % of GDP (2020): 16.90% High Technology Exports as % of Manufactured Exports (2016): 3.11% Insider Monkey Rating: 38.21 out of 100 Germany is ranked among the most advanced countries in science and technology with high technology exports of $209.74 billion as of 2021. According to the World Bank, Germany reported a DAI of 0.839 in 2016. The R&D expenditure in Germany was 16.90% of its GDP in 2020. Click to continue reading and see 5 Most Advanced Countries in Science and Technology. Suggested articles: Top 25 Digital Countries in the World 15 Best Countries for Dental Implants 15 Most Technologically Advanced Countries in Africa Disclosure. None. 20 Most Advanced Countries in Science and Technology is originally published in Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 30th, 2023

Night Of The Living Ed: Zombie Public Schools, Drained Of Pandemic Lifeblood, Haunt The Land

Night Of The Living Ed: Zombie Public Schools, Drained Of Pandemic Lifeblood, Haunt The Land Authored by Vince Bielski via RealClear Wire, Call them “zombie” schools. A significant but unknown number of public schools across the U.S., particularly in big cities, have lost so many students in the last half-decade that many of their classrooms sit empty. Gone is the loud clatter of students bursting through crowded hallways and slamming lockers. The harm from these half-empty schools is inflicted directly on all students in a district. Without enough per-pupil state funding to cover their costs, they require financial subsidies to remain open, forcing district-wide cutbacks in academic programs. “I visited one school that takes up an entire city block but there were only five classrooms used, plus a library, a computer room, and an afterschool room,” said Sam Davis, a member of the Board of Education in Oakland, California. “As our budget officer said, if you don’t have enough students for two teams to play kickball, there are a lot of other academic activities that are not going to be sustainable either.” But nothing in public education is more controversial and difficult than closing a neighborhood school. The protests that recently flared up in cities like Oakland and Denver over proposals to shut low-enrollment schools, which also tend to be the worst academic performers in districts, are just a prelude of the reckoning to come, according to interviews with school leaders, researchers, educators, and charter officials. The permanent closure of schools slowed drastically during the pandemic, even though many urban districts suffered a major exodus of students, with double-digit losses in New York City and Los Angeles. Many hollowed-out districts have temporarily sidestepped the tempest of shutting schools because Congress provided them with a historic windfall of pandemic-related funding and wide latitude in spending it, said Georgetown Professor Marguerite Roza, who directs the Edunomics Lab. But the $190 billion lifeline – called the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund – ends next September. So school leaders are facing mounting pressure to shrink their oversized districts, setting up the next battleground over public schools. “Many districts have too many schools, not enough kids, and are propping them up with federal relief funds,” Roza said. “And they haven’t laid the groundwork for closures when the funding goes away. Imagine the anger and protests when families learn suddenly that their schools are on the list to close.” With aid flowing during the pandemic, districts shut an average of 810 schools a year in 2021 and 2022, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s far less than the 1,350 average from 2011 to 2020, a difference that underscores the magnitude of the problem of zombie schools.  Why Schools Are Hard to Close In the business and nonprofit sectors, wasteful spending is typically reined in by downsizing operations into fewer buildings and personnel. But public schools often find protection from the calls for efficiency. The first wave of pandemic-era proposals to shut schools in several districts has been countered by a formidable coalition of local advocates, forcing school boards to backpedal on their consolidation plans. Families are leading the protests at school board meetings. Some have sentimental ties to neighborhood schools that go back generations, and others cite transportation issues in switching to another location that’s further from home. Teachers unions have joined the fight in Oakland and other cities, arguing that closures pose unfair labor practices. And racial justice advocates have succeeded in reframing the issue as a matter of equality rather than wasteful spending since nearly all the schools to be closed serve mostly black and Latino kids. Districts like Seattle that aim to shutter schools often cite reasons that are out of their control. The birth rate has been dropping since 2007, according to federal data, chipping away at enrollment. Families are also leaving cities like Los Angeles and Chicago because of the rising cost of living and concerns over crime and homelessness. San Francisco, for instance, lost 7.5% of its population between 2020 and 2022, according to the census. But public schools share in the blame. With test scores on the Nation’s Report Card in decline since 2012, families have been quitting traditional schools in search of a better education and a safer environment at charters, micro, and home schools. Charter enrollment, for instance, grew 7% from 2020 to 2022, while district schools lost 3.5% of students, according to the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools. School districts can’t do anything about the birth rate. But many of them do control the fate of charters. In Los Angeles and other cities facing closures, school boards that formerly encouraged the expansion of charters have grown hostile toward them and blocked their expansion, in part to preserve their own enrollment. How Zombie Schools Hurt Education Some districts are now devising proposals to close under-enrolled facilities because of the financial burden they create. Even a school at half capacity needs a principal, support and food service staff, custodians, and sometimes a nurse, librarian, and counselor. Education is highly labor-intensive, with compensation comprising at least 85% of a school’s expenses, Georgetown’s Roza says. Since zombie schools don’t cover their own expenses, superintendents have to pull resources from other schools and programs to subsidize them. Funding for art, music, special education, and advanced placement classes may be cut, affecting students throughout the district. “In the end, districts have to spread resources too thinly, across too many buildings, and nobody gets served well,” Roza says. In Denver, Superintendent Alex Marrero detailed the financial benefit of shutting schools in a memo to families last year. In proposing to close 10 out of about 155 traditional and innovation schools – one of which had only 93 students – Marrero said the cost to the district to subsidize them was $5 million annually. That money was pulled from healthier schools and programs. But if the 10 skeletal schools were closed, the superintendent added, the district could hire an additional 50 full-time employees to benefit students. The financial logic of school closures has won the day in some districts. Indianapolis announced it was shutting six schools in May to promote the efficient use of taxpayer funding and higher student achievement. St. Louis said it would lock the gates on eight schools, some of them half-empty, two years ago. The city of Jackson, Miss., may approve a sweeping closure plan in December. The superintendent is calling for the elimination of more than a quarter of its 55 district schools after community outcries scuttled plans over the years to close under-enrolled facilities. “The closures are long overdue and I think they will happen,” says Rachel Canter, executive director of Mississippi First, a nonpartisan education policy group. “The reality is that the population has declined so much that Jackson cannot support the number of schools it has and provide a quality education.” Opponents Prevail in Oakland But in many cities, schools that are almost empty shells are protected from closing. Consider the heated battle in Oakland. The performance of the Oakland school district, which is two-thirds Latino and black, is among the worst in California: Just 25% of students meet or exceed math standards, and only 33% reach this bar in English. The poor results have contributed to a steady drop in enrollment to about 34,000 last year from more than 50,000 two decades ago. Many students left for charters, which now educate about a quarter of students in Oakland. To improve performance, the district had set up a number of small schools with about 400 kids. That provided enough funding for a couple of teachers at each grade, as well as art and music programs, to create a rich learning environment. That’s now mostly gone. “Several of our campuses have dwindled to what I call micro schools that are each under 250 students, with only one class at every grade level and without much enrichment,” said Davis, the school board member. “We no longer have that robust environment for teachers or students.” The urgency for Oakland to close schools, in addition to buildings it shut years ago, is underscored by the state takeover of the district in 2003 to prevent bankruptcy. The district is still paying off the bailout loan, so wasting money on under-enrolled schools could prompt another intervention by its Alameda County overseer. To stave off more financial trouble, the board approved a plan in 2022 to shut or merge 11 schools, beginning with two that year. The savings would give the district a chance to reinvigorate the remaining schools with more teachers and programs. But weeks of community demonstrations and a hunger strike by a group of protestors culminated in the election of new board members who opposed school closures. Two of the winners were backed by the Oakland Education Association teachers’ union. In January, the new board hastily overturned the earlier vote on closures, saving five schools from shuttering without considering the financial impact in apparent violation of its own policy. Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez, who has numerous relatives attending Oakland schools, helped rally thousands of protesters to keep them open. She says the schools targeted by the board were disproportionally black and low-income and questioned whether the savings would actually benefit students or get absorbed in what she considers a bloated district bureaucracy. “I oppose closing schools,” said Ritzie-Hernandez, who lost a race for an open board seat in November. “Families in Oakland didn’t feel like they were involved in the decision-making process, so we mobilized parents to the board meetings because there was not robust community engagement.” The decision to keep the schools open adds at least $5 million a year to the district’s budget, forcing the board to consider across-the-board cuts to its 78 schools, which could only add to their struggles. Up Next: Denver The Denver school district is now in the throes of a closures fight after enrollment has suffered from a declining birth rate and gentrification. While Latinos make up the biggest group of students, their families are having fewer children. At the same time, rising housing costs are pushing lower-income families out of the city, and young couples without kids are moving in. The district is becoming whiter and smaller. Enrollment peaked in 2019 at about 94,000 students and has fallen each year to 89,000 in 2022, according to the district. It projects it will lose thousands more students in the next few years. When birth rates fall, elementary schools are emptied first. At the beginning of the year, the Board of Education expected that 15 district-run elementary and middle schools would have fewer than 215 students. Two elementary schools would have fewer than 120 students and not enough incoming kindergarteners to form a viable class. After more than a year of gathering community feedback and analysis by an advisory committee, Superintendent Marrero, in the fall of 2022, recommended closing 10 of the 15 schools with fewer than 215 students. Nine of them were predominately Latino and black. In the racial politics of Denver, the plan drew swift blowback from families and some members of the school board, which was entirely backed by the influential Denver Classroom Teachers Association. Vice President Auon’tai Anderson declared in the media that the closure plan was a “tactic of white supremacy culture” – despite the fact that it was developed by a Latino superintendent. Bowing to pressure, several weeks later, Marrero was expected to cut the list in half to five schools, targeting those that required the largest subsidies. Instead, he chopped the list to just two schools. Still, that wasn’t good enough. The school board rejected the slimmed-down plan, saying more input from the community was needed. A few months later, in early 2023, as the financial burden of zombie schools sank in, the board finally acted, closing just three of them. What will happen to the rest of the under-enrolled schools is anyone’s guess. This month, Denver voters signaled they wanted a more moderate school board, electing three new members – none of them backed by the teachers union – to the seven-person panel. One new member is the former CEO of a charter network in Colorado who has expressed support for closing under-enrolled schools. If Denver shutters more schools, it will likely happen slowly over many years, says William Anderson, a former public school teacher in the city who’s now on the faculty at the University of Denver. “Maybe they close three next year, and see if it’s working the way they expected, and then they tweak the process before closing three more,” he says. Charters on the Firing Line As a subplot in the battle over vacated schools, districts in Oakland and Denver have rejected several requests by charters to expand. While that may help protect a district’s funding, it’s not good for families looking for better options for educating their children. Charters, which are publicly funded but privately managed, have been particularly effective in accelerating the academic growth of low-income students, outperforming traditional schools by a significant margin, according to a 2023 study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford. This is true in Denver, according to a separate CREDO study of the city, where charters make up about a quarter of all public schools. DSST, a charter network in Denver with waiting lists for many of its schools, stands out. It won national acclaim for the outstanding academic results of its disadvantaged students, 80% of whom are Latino or black. All of its graduates have been admitted to college since 2008, according to its website. Yet DSST’s expansion in Denver has come to an abrupt halt. It last started a school in 2021, and that required the charter to appeal to the state after the school board sought to delay the opening for years. Since 2020, the Denver board has received three requests for new charter schools and rejected all of them, citing the potential difficulties they would have in recruiting students and other reasons, according to board memos. “The local school board has been controlled by members who are hostile to authorizing new charter schools,” says Todd Ziebarth, senior vice president for state advocacy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “While Colorado’s law does create an appeals process, the time-consuming nature of it can serve as a deterrent to growth." In Oakland, the school board has rejected two charter proposals it has received since 2020: a new school was denied because it didn’t have a sound educational program, and an expansion was shot down because of the financial impact on the district from losing more students to the charter, said Davis, the board member. Even Yu Ming, the top performing K-8 public school in Alameda County, which includes Oakland, encountered resistance in its request to grow its enrollment in the city. Students in the Mandarin immersion charter—30% of whom are low-income—performed about three times better than Oakland students on a 2022 state test, an extraordinary margin. Although Yu Ming has a waiting list, the Oakland board passed a resolution to compel the county, which controls the charter, to allow it to expand into a neighboring city. “The problem is that if we expand enrollment at charter schools, including the highly successful ones, that contributes to the decreasing enrollment in the district and leads to us closing more neighborhood schools, which is very painful,” Davis said. But the benefit to students who would have enrolled in an expanded charter like Yu Ming could be significant. One of the most effective ways to deal with the chronic academic problems of low-income students is simply to put them in a better school. That alone makes a big difference, according to a CREDO study of school closures in 26 states. The research showed that students – particularly blacks and Latinos – who transferred to superior schools made greater academic gains than their peers who remained in poorly performing schools. But a little less than half of the displaced students were moved to higher quality schools, which are in short supply in many cities. Margaret Raymond, the CREDO director, says local boards closing facilities should also focus on finding ways to transfer students to better schools, including charters, even if districts take a financial hit. “The lesson is that choosing the worst schools to close is probably a good thing, but that’s only half the exercise,” Raymond said. “Districts also have to figure out how to marshal those kids into settings where they have a chance of recovering academically.” Tyler Durden Wed, 11/29/2023 - 16:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 29th, 2023

13 Best Growth Stocks To Buy According To George Soros

In this article, we will take a look at the 13 best growth stocks to buy according to George Soros. To see more such companies, go directly to 5 Best Growth Stocks To Buy According To George Soros. Billionaire George Soros is one of the most respected and notable hedge fund managers in the world, […] In this article, we will take a look at the 13 best growth stocks to buy according to George Soros. To see more such companies, go directly to 5 Best Growth Stocks To Buy According To George Soros. Billionaire George Soros is one of the most respected and notable hedge fund managers in the world, with a net worth of over $6.7 billion. The 93 year-old Hungarian American is known as the philosopher investor in the Wall Street, mainly due to his contributions to philosophy and his deep desire to leave his mark in the world of philosophy, which many believe he fulfilled thanks to his General Theory of Reflexivity for capital markets. A Failed Philosopher? George Soros in his book The New Paradigm of Financial Markets wrote a chapter titled “Autobiography of a Failed Philosopher” in which he talked in detail about how many, including his son and his biographer, started accepting the idea that Soros was a failed philosopher.  Soros talks in detail about his childhood, his relationship with his father who at one point, according to Soros, lost all ambition in life and did not amass any wealth. A Jew by birth, Soros decided to come to the UK after the Nazi occupation of Hungary. Soros’ first interactions with philosophy started when he was impressed by the works of Karl Popper. But Soros’ dreams of creating a career in philosophy could not realize for several reasons, some of which he talks about in his book: “I would have preferred to stay within the safe walls of academe—I even had a teaching assistant job prospect at the University of Michigan in Kalamazoo, but my grades were not good enough, and I was forced to go out into the real world. After several false starts, I ended up working as an arbitrage trader, first in London and then in New York.* At first I had to forget everything I had learned as a student in order to hold down my job, but eventually my college education came in very useful. In particular, I could apply my theory of reflexivity to establish a disequilibrium scenario or boom-bust pattern for financial markets. The rewarding part came when markets entered what I called far-from-equilibrium territory because that is when the generally accepted equilibrium models broke down.” At the end of the chapter Soros said he was able to come out of the period of self-doubt and finally achieved his goal of becoming a philosopher. “I am aware of the various shortcomings in my previous presentations, which I hope to have overcome, and I believe that it will be worth the reader’s while to make the effort required to understand my philosophy. Needless to say, this makes me very happy. I have been fortunate in making a lot of money and spending it well. But I have always wanted to be a philosopher, and finally I may have become one. What more can one ask for from one life?” Soros Fund Management’s Performance Whether or not Soros is a philosopher might still be up for debate but that he is an accomplished stock picker is a fact hardly questioned by any, including his naysayers. George Soros founded Soros Fund Management in 1970. Since its inception through 2010, the fund posted on average a 20% annual rate of return. A Wall Street Journal report earlier this year said that Soros Fund Management has posted a compound annual return of 13.5% over the past three years through June 30, 2023. George Soros in 2017 donated $18 billion to Open Society Foundations, which he founded as a non-profit organization to work for causes like justice, education and civil rights. Earlier this year George Soros handed over the reins of his empire to his son Alexander Soros. Methodology For this article we scanned George Soros’ hedge fund’s Q3 portfolio and picked its top growth stock picks. We preferred stocks that are posting high revenue growth rates, operate in high-growth areas and have long-term sales growth projections. Best Growth Stocks To Buy According To George Soros 13. DoorDash, Inc. (NASDAQ:DASH) Stake Value: $14.15M George Soros’ hedge fund upped its stake in DoorDash, Inc. (NASDAQ:DASH) by 30% in the third quarter of 2023, ending the period with a $14.15 million stake in the company. DoorDash, Inc. (NASDAQ:DASH)’s revenue in the third quarter of this year jumped by about 30% year over year to $2.2 billion, beating estimates by $110 million. Total orders increased by 24% year over year to 543 million. 12. Snowflake Inc. (NYSE:SNOW) Stake Value: $11 M Snowflake Inc. (NYSE:SNOW) ranks 12th in our list of the best growth stocks to buy according to billionaire George Soros’ hedge fund. The fund initiated a new position in Snowflake Inc. (NYSE:SNOW) in the September quarter as it bought 71,800 shares of the company worth about $11 million. Out of the 910 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey, 65 hedge funds had stakes in Snowflake Inc. (NYSE:SNOW). The biggest stakeholder of Snowflake Inc. (NYSE:SNOW) as of the end of June was Brad Gerstner’s Altimeter Capital Management which had a $2.7 billion stake in the firm. ClearBridge Multi Cap Growth Strategy made the following comment about Snowflake Inc. (NYSE:SNOW) in its Q2 2023 investor letter: “While the ClearBridge Multi Cap Growth Strategy has limited mega cap exposure, which has been a recent headwind to relative performance, we own several companies that stand to benefit from the explosive growth in generative AI. These holdings play key roles in building out the necessary infrastructure and helping customers leverage capabilities enabled by this emerging technology. Snowflake Inc. (NYSE:SNOW), a cloud-based data platform company, is positioned well to help enterprises better leverage their own data to get the most out of AI models. Though it is still early days in terms of adoption, Snowflake saw workloads for data science, machine learning, and AI use cases grow more than 90% year-over-year in its most recent quarter.” 11. Fastly, Inc. (NYSE:FSLY) Stake Value: $39M Cloud computing company Fastly, Inc. (NYSE:FSLY) ranks 11th in our list of the best growth stocks in George Soros’ hedge fund portfolio. The fund reported owning a $39 million stake in the company. 10. Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) Stake Value: $43M Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) has been enjoying strong growth amid a rising travel demand all over the world. In the third quarter, Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG)’s revenue increased by about 21% year over year in the third quarter to $7.34 billion, missing estimates $80 million. Soros Fund Management increased its stake in Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) by about 7.7% in the third quarter, concluding the period with a $43 million stake in the company. RiverPark Advisors made the following comment about Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) in its Q3 2023 investor letter: “Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG): BKNG was a top contributor in the quarter following better than expected bookings, revenue and profit margins in the company’s 2Q driven by strong summer travel demand. BKNG reported $40 billion of bookings, $5.5 billion of revenue, and 23% EBITDA margins, which were $1.5 billion, $300m, and two percentage points ahead of expectations, respectively. In addition to strong summer demand, management pointed to continued strength in leisure travel (they raised travel booking guidance for the remainder of the year), building momentum in its alternative accommodation business and improvement in marketing efficiency. Booking is the world’s leader in online travel, operating in 200 countries with brands including,,, Kayak, and OpenTable. The company has been a dominant on-line travel agency for more than a decade with a high-margin business model that requires limited capital expenditures, typically less than 3% of revenue, producing $6.2 billion of free cash flow for 2022 and $7.2 billion expected for 2024. The company has used its free cash flow for episodic acquisitions as well as to return cash to shareholders. BKNG is well positioned in travel as the largest player in online lodging bookings and the second largest player in alternative accommodations.” 9. Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) Stake Value: $40.4M Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) has been showing rapid growth as the company continues to cut costs. During the third quarter, Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER)’s revenue jumped about 11.4% year over year to $9.29 billion, missing estimates by $250 million. Gross bookings in the period increased by about 21% year over year to $35.3 billion. George Soros’ hedge fund increased its stake in Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) by about 16.58% in the third quarter, ending the period with about $40.4 million stake in the company. RiverPark Advisors made the following comment about Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER) in its Q3 2023 investor letter: “Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER): UBER was the top contributor in the quarter following a better-than-expected 2Q23 earnings report and 3Q23 guidance. Gross bookings of $33.6 billion were up 16% year over year. Mobility gross bookings of $17 billion grew 25% over last year driven by a combination of product innovation and driver availability. Delivery gross bookings of $16 billion were up 12% from last year. 2Q Adjusted EBITDA of $916 million, up $552 million year over year, significantly beat Street estimates of $845 million and the company generated $1.1 billion of free cash flow. Management guided to continuing growth in 3Q Gross Bookings (17%-20% growth) and Adjusted EBITDA (of $975-1,025 million). UBER remains the undisputed global leader in ride sharing, with a greater than 50% share in every major region in which it operates. The company is also a leader in food delivery, where it is number one or two in the more than 25 countries in which it operates. Moreover, after a history of losses, the company is now profitable, delivering expanding margins and substantial free cash flow. We view UBER as more than just ride sharing and food delivery, but also as a global mobility platform with the ability to sell to its 130 million users (by comparison, Amazon Prime has 200 million members) and penetrate new markets of on-demand services, such as package and grocery delivery, travel, and worker staffing for shift work. Given its $4.3 billion of unrestricted cash and $4.4 billion of investments, the company’s enterprise value of $95 billion equates to just over 20x next year’s estimated free cash flow.” 8. Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) Stake Value: $38M Business software company Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) ranks 8th in our list of the best growth stocks to buy according to billionaire George Soros. In August Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) posted fiscal fourth quarter results. Adjusted EPS in the period came in at $1.65, beating estimates by $0.21. Revenue totaled $2.7 billion, surpassing estimates by $60 million. For fiscal 2024 Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) expects revenue in the range of $15.89 billion to $16.105 billion, which would show growth of about 11% to 12%. Here is what Baron FinTech Fund has to say about Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) in its Q3 2023 investor letter: “Intuit Inc. is the leading provider of accounting software for small businesses and tax preparation software for individuals and tax professionals. Shares increased after the company reported financial results that exceeded Street expectations, with 13% revenue growth and 22% EPS growth in the recently completed fiscal year. Management provided favorable guidance for the next fiscal year that demonstrated confidence in the business momentum despite macroeconomic uncertainty. Intuit is benefiting from the sale of higher-value services and is well positioned to capitalize on increasing adoption of artificial intelligence given the company’s vast datasets. We continue to own the stock due to Intuit’s strong competitive position and numerous growth opportunities. 7. indie Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ:INDI) Stake Value: $35M indie Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ:INDI) ranks 7th in our list of the best growth stocks to buy according to George Soros. Recently indie Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ:INDI) posted Q3 results. GAAP EPS in the period came in at -$0.12, beating estimates by $0.05. Revenue in the quarter jumped about 101.7% year over year to $60.5 million, beating estimates by $0.5 million. George Soros’ hedge fund owns a stake worth about $35 million in indie Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ:INDI) as of the end of the third quarter of 2023. 6. Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLK) Stake Value: $88M Enterprise security software and cybersecurity company Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLK) ranks 6th in our list of the best growth stocks to buy according to George Soros. Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLK) was trending after Cisco announced to buy the company for a whopping $28 billion. As of the end of the third quarter of 2023, Soros’ fund had an $88 million stake in Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLK). This was a new position initiated by the fund in Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLK). Alger Mid Cap Focus Fund made the following comment about Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLK) in its Q3 2023 investor letter: “Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLK) is a software platform for searching, monitoring, and analyzing machine-generated data in real time. The company collects data from a wide variety of sources, including application logs, web server logs, network devices, and security systems. Splunk then indexes and stores this data in a searchable format, making it easy to query and analyze. It can be used to detect and respond to security threats such as malware intrusions and data breaches. During the quarter, shares of Splunk contributed to performance after receiving an all-cash acquisition offer of $28 billion from Cisco. With unanimous approval from both boards, the company expects to complete the transaction by the third quarter of 2024.”   Click to continue reading and see 5 Best Growth Stocks To Buy According To George Soros.   Suggested articles: 10 Stocks Hedge Funds Are Talking About 25 Most Racist States in America Ranked by Hate Crimes 25 Richest Criminals of All Time Disclosure: None. 13 Best Growth Stocks To Buy According To George Soros is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 29th, 2023

Climate Action 30: Top global leaders addressing the climate crisis in 2023

Climate Action 30 spotlights global activists, academics, founders, executives, and nonprofit and public sector leaders tackling the climate crisis. Máximo Tuja for Business Insider30 of the top global leaders working toward climate solutions in 2023In a year of record-breaking climate disasters, shifting ESG priorities, and news about a looming environmental tipping point, the need for climate action has never been more urgent.Luckily, there are leaders up for the challenge of taking on big climate goals with the aim of making tangible progress for current and future generations. Business Insider's second-annual Climate Action 30 list highlights 30 of these top global leaders working to address the climate crisis through collectivism, community, and accountability. The list is more than just a page of accomplishments — it's a call to action. We gave each honoree the platform to tell our readers about their fight to curb the climate crisis, as well as the specific actions they think our readers can take to do the same. While this list is far from definitive, a team of Business Insider reporters and editors selected honorees based on recommendations from relevant sources, insights from our One Planet council, and submissions from our readers. Categories — and each group’s honorees — are listed alphabetically.This year, we've matched each honoree with a category — academics and scientists; activists and influencers; corporate executives; entrepreneurs; and nonprofit, public sector, and government leaders — to serve as a climate-action "lens" to help us understand the various meanings of the word "impact" and what it can look like across sectors. The academics and scientists we've featured are at the forefront of uncovering and advancing some of the world's most significant climate discoveries. The activists and influencers are using their voices and creative actions to build momentum in their communities. Our corporate leaders are featured for their influence over the products and services that can trigger industry-wide shifts.And our nonprofit, public sector, and government leaders are championing bold, community-driven change.Together, the list showcases an eclectic mix of dedicated climate leaders — whether they're on the front lines, in the boardroom, at the policy table, or in the classroom. Climate Action 30 goes beyond recognizing the crisis — it empowers people to be part of the solution. It's a testament to how the power of leadership and hope can create historic change.  document.documentElement.classList.add("gi-static-graphic"); if (document.querySelector(".gi-static-graphic")) { const sizes = { reg: { viewport: [320, 390, 600, 960, 1260], imgSize: [280, 350, 570, 555, 640], }, noRR: { viewport: [320, 390, 600, 960], imgSize: [280, 350, 570, 640], }, es: { viewport: [320, 390, 600, 960], imgSize: [280, 350, 480, 640], }, breakout: { viewport: [320, 390, 600, 960], imgSize: [280, 350, 560, 890], }, }; const figureElements = [...document.querySelectorAll(".gi-static")]; const scale = clamp(1, window.devicePixelRatio, 3); const lazyloader = new IntersectionObserver(lazyLoadCb, { rootMargin: "0px 0px 300px 0px", }); figureElements.forEach((figure) => { const imageIds = JSON.parse(figure.getAttribute("data-image-ids")); const embedType = figure.dataset.embedType; const pictureElement = figure.firstElementChild; imageIds.forEach((image, i) => { pictureElement.insertAdjacentHTML( "afterbegin", ` ` ); }); const lazyloadTargets = [...pictureElement.children]; lazyloadTargets.forEach((lzTarget) => { lazyloader.observe(lzTarget); }); }); } function clamp(min, input, max) { return Math.max(min, Math.min(input, max)); } function lazyLoadCb(entries, observer) { entries.forEach((entry) => { if ( (entry.isIntersecting && !== || (entry.isIntersecting && !== ) { if ( === "SOURCE") { =; } if ( === "IMG") { =; } observer.unobserve(; } }); } Abdulla Al Mandous, President, World Meteorological Organization; Director general, United Arab Emirates National Center of MeteorologyVidhyaa Chandramohan for Business InsiderAbdulla Al Mandous is a meteorologist and the president of the World Meteorological Organization, a UN agency dedicated to weather, climate, and water resources.Mandous, who holds a Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Belgrade in Serbia, has worked for the WMO for 30 years. He joined after completing a degree in meteorology — "I became a meteorologist by luck," he said — as a principal delegate from the United Arab Emirates. Over that time, he's seen the WMO's mission change. When Mandous started his career, he said that the WMO's central focus was monitoring and forecasting weather events. Today, it puts a lot more effort into research on the climate crisis."We have a big network," Mandous told Business Insider, citing the WMO's numerous weather stations, data centers, and radar networks. "This should be used for the climate." One of Mandous' goals is to turn the Early Warnings for All initiative — a project that provides warning systems for communities at risk of extreme weather events — into reality. He said that he hoped to secure funding at the upcoming COP28 conference to "close the gap of monitoring" in countries in the Global South."We have a lot of missing gaps in the countries, especially in Africa and small islands, and we want to initiate alarm systems that will warn those countries for that," Mandous said. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Andrew Baker, Professor, University of MiamiT.J. Levonien, University of MiamiAndrew Baker, a marine biologist at the University of Miami, researches coral reefs and the climate crisis. He has been fascinated by the ocean since he was young and "never grew out of that," he told Business Insider. His defining moment came during his Ph.D. research on coral-algal symbiosis — the relationship between coral and their symbiotic algae that powers reef growth — when the 1997-1998 El Niño event triggered coral bleaching. Bleaching happens when coral release their algal symbionts after being exposed to warmer temperatures. "It turned out that some algal symbionts were very resistant to high temperature. They didn't get bleached from the coral, and the coral survived," Baker said. The observation put his work at the center of understanding how coral reefs respond to the climate crisis. Baker continued his work and grew his team over the next 2 ½ decades. This year, he said, they released a first-of-its-kind paper showing how algal symbionts' thermal tolerance can impact a whole reef system. Healthy reefs are full of biodiversity and underpin fisheries, drug discovery, and tourism. Baker's research is an important step toward helping to increase coral reefs' resilience. Reefs also act as coastline protection and mitigate flooding. Today, Baker leads an interdisciplinary project to design climate-resilient hybrid reefs that combine artificial structures with coral. The coral will be engineered to handle warmer temperatures for both ecosystem restoration and coastline protection, as reefs also help absorb waves, mitigate flooding, and prevent erosion.  .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Director, Office of Science, US Department of EnergyOak Ridge National LaboratoryThroughout her career, Asmeret Asefaw Berhe has been driven by her fascination with the world beneath our feet."That thin layer of soil that covers the land surface represents the difference between life and lifelessness in the earth system because pretty much all terrestrial life has to depend on soil," Berhe told Business Insider.Berhe is a biogeochemist, a political ecologist, and the director of the US Office of Science. She has a Ph.D. in biogeochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Before taking the role at the Office of Science, she was a professor of soil biogeochemistry at the University of California, Merced. One of the biggest achievements of her career, she said, has been raising awareness about the importance of soil, especially as a climate-crisis solution."It really controls the fluxes of these greenhouse gasses from land to the atmosphere," Berhe said. She added that the soil ecosystem was "being degraded in a major and unprecedented way."In her role as director at the Office of Science, the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the US, one of Berhe's top priorities has been equity."The work that the public is funding has to be inclusive, accessible to everyone," Berhe said. She cited the office's launch of the Urban Integrated Field Labs as a key example. The program pairs scientists with local communities in inner cities and promotes research on adapting urban environments to the climate crisis."To me, we can't address the climate crisis if we cannot approach this issue with a perspective that's grounded in environmental justice," Berhe said. "And we cannot really pursue true environmental justice if we're not addressing these issues of inequity and lack of representation in STEM that we keep having decade after decade." .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }   Sigrid Heuer, Consultant, Cambridge Discovery LimitedLina M. HeuerSigrid Heuer is a research scientist who has worked in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia on genetic diversity and molecular breeding to develop resilient crops and mitigate the effects of the climate crisis on food security. Heuer, who holds a Ph.D. in molecular plant biology, was part of the team that developed flood-tolerant rice for India and Bangladesh, which would give farmers respite from short-term flooding. Today, she's known for her work on heat-tolerance mechanisms for breeding temperature-resilient crops such as wheat and beans.Many countries are now facing long droughts followed by massive floods, Heuer said. "You need management solutions for that; you need water management and a plan on how to deal with climate change, but crop resilience can have a massive impact on that." Heat-tolerant plants could prevent significant yield losses due to climate change, she added. Heuer noted that there's a lack of women in leadership positions in science and applied research, and she hopes to inspire more women to enter the field. "The other part of impact is training the next generation of scientists," she said. Heuer has taught students from across the world, many of whom have joined international research groups, she said. Two former students described their field work as "life-changing," she added.The scientist has now moved into consulting and plans to work with philanthropic foundations to channel capital into climate-resilience projects across the world. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Ermias Kebreab, Professor and associate dean, University of California, DavisGregory Urquiaga from UC DavisErmias Kebreab is a professor and associate dean at the University of California, Davis' agriculture and environment department, where he researches methane reduction in livestock through a food-justice lens.Methane has accounted for 30% of the rise in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution; it stays in the atmosphere for less time than CO2, but is 80 times more potent over a 20-year period. Agriculture — cows, other ruminant animals, and rice paddies — is responsible for a third of methane emissions. By finding new ways to feed livestock to reduce or eliminate methane, Kebreab, who has a Ph.D. in ecological modeling, wants to help create more sustainable food systems without harming economic development or the health of low-income countries.He coauthored a study in 2019 that introduced seaweed as a feed additive for dairy cows; it reduced enteric methane emissions by over 50%. The same year, he contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change update on how to measure livestock and manure methane emissions. More recently, he worked on the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's overview of methane emissions in livestock and rice paddies. Today, Kebreab is focused on a $70 million project exploring the use of gene-editing technology to edit a cow's gut microbes, which produce methane during digestion, to reduce methane production. "This could be a game changer if it works. Obviously, it's a high-risk, high-reward kind of activity," he told Business Insider.  .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Imogen Napper, Research fellow, University of PlymouthJamie MitchellImogen Napper is a marine scientist and National Geographic Explorer who has investigated various ways plastic gets into the environment.Napper's journey began when she was 8 years old and her school released balloons into the air. She wondered where they went and whether they'd end up in the ocean. This curiosity characterizes her research, she told Business Insider. Napper is driven by providing scientific answers to those kinds of questions in an effort to create change. "It's giving evidence to consumers, industry, and government about what's happening. From that evidence, we can make more informed decisions," she said.Her Ph.D. research helped kick-start an international conversation about microbeads in cosmetics, which were ultimately banned in several countries. Napper went on to investigate biodegradable plastic bags and the pollution created by washing laundry. While research had been done to measure the number of fibers that come off clothes during a wash, hers was the first to break it down by different polymer types. Her research found that a single wash of polyester clothing can shed up to 700,000 plastic fibers.She's now exploring how the lessons from studying ocean pollution can be applied to space, which is becoming increasingly littered with old satellites. Napper has also worked on various National Geographic expeditions. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Nouhad Awwad, Campaigner, Ummah for Earth; Global outreach coordinator, Greenpeace MENARoland SalemFor Nouhad Awwad, faith and environmental values are intertwined. People often view the environment as "something created for their benefit, rather than something that's their duty to preserve," she said. But Awwad believes protecting nature is a core part of her Islamic values.She works for Ummah for Earth, an alliance of 22 organizations that empowers Muslim communities to tackle the climate crisis. Awwad told Business Insider that talking to people through their faith values could be an effective way to spread awareness and mobilize climate action.Alongside her campaigning for Ummah for Earth, Awwad is a global outreach coordinator at Greenpeace MENA, which stands for the Middle East and North Africa. She's passionate about coordinating climate action in the Middle East. "I felt that this is something very underrepresented in my community," Awwad said.Awwad started Lebanon's chapter of the Arab Youth Climate Movement in 2015. She said that socioeconomic factors in Lebanon could make engaging with environmental issues an "elite thing" for young people. Awwad added that a lack of funding and resources had made youth climate action in the Global South trickier.She created a free training program on solar-panel installation in Arabic, as resources on renewable energy are difficult to access in the language. She said about 2,000 young people applied for the program, and many of the trainees started their own solar-roof-garden initiatives. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }   Isaias Hernandez, Environmental media creator, Queer Brown VeganRachel FallerIsaias Hernandez is an environmental and social-justice content creator.Driven by the disparities in access to clean air and green spaces in different areas of Los Angeles and fueled by his teenage asthma diagnosis, Hernandez is committed to change at the intersection of environment, social justice, and equity."I had to realize, how do we make a green space green but also equitable through an economic lens?" he told Business Insider. In 2019, Hernandez founded the media platform Queer Brown Vegan to educate others on that intersectionality. He does this through people-led storytelling, which he felt was different from the content that existed at that time.In response to the 2020 wildfires on the Pacific coast, Hernandez created what he dubbed a "climate-emotion scale" to help people process and discuss eco-anxiety. It gained traction online, and Hernandez said that Gen Z is "redefining the curriculum" with new climate and mental-health resources. The creator was also featured on the digital cover of Vogue with Billie Eilish and spoke at the Harvard Chan C-Change Youth Summit as part of the Climate Creators 2023 Program. Now, Hernandez wants to help young people find work at sustainable companies. He recently published a series of interviews with businesses to showcase their environmental and social credentials. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Tara Houska, Environmental and Indigenous rights advocate; attorney; founder, Giniw CollectiveNedahness GreeneTara Houska is a tribal lawyer and environmental and Indigenous rights activist from Couchiching First Nation.Houska interned in the first Obama administration and then worked for a law firm in Washington, DC, that lobbies for tribal rights to basic infrastructure needs like schools and hospitals and environmental-justice issues.She attended her first protest, against Keystone XL, in 2014 and is now known for boots-on-the-ground activism to protect Indigenous land and water. In 2016, Houska spent six months camping and protesting on the front lines of the Dakota Access pipeline resistance at Standing Rock. In 2021, she was arrested for trespassing while taking part in a direct action against the Line 3 oil pipeline. She recently participated in a direct-action protest against the Mountain Valley pipeline, where she was arrested after locking herself to construction equipment. Houska also served as a Native American affairs advisor to Bernie Sanders in 2016 and founded an Indigenous women activist group called Giniw Collective in 2018."Native folks are the first and worst impacted by the climate crisis. We're the folks who are still deeply in relationship with nature. The extractive-industry projects tend to really disparately impact our people," she told Business Insider. Houska is now set on shifting the narrative around climate-crisis solutions and repairing the relationship humans have with nature. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }   Cheryl Johnson, Executive director, People for Community RecoveryTaylor Glascock for Business InsiderFor Cheryl Johnson, pollution is personal. She's a lifelong resident of Altgeld Gardens in Chicago, a neighborhood surrounded by one of the largest concentrations of hazardous-waste sites in the US. She's also the daughter of Hazel Johnson, who is considered the mother of environmental justice. "Keeping her legacy alive is a huge passion of mine," Johnson told Business Insider.Johnson serves as the executive director of People for Community Recovery, a nonprofit her mother founded to improve the quality of life for communities affected by pollution.Under her leadership, PCR has prevented hundreds of units in Altgeld Gardens from being torn down, led a program to remove harmful chemicals from residential homes, and stopped another landfill from being constructed in the community.Poorer communities, Johnson said, are more likely to experience the "devastating" impacts of the climate crisis because they don't have the necessary resources to respond. "People are not even aware to be prepared," Johnson said. "We need an environmental-remediation workforce to be able to prepare, to intervene, and to respond to issues that are related to our climate condition."This is the work of everybody. It has come to the point where business, industry, community, government, academic institutions sit at the table and look at how we can create precautionary principles to protect public health from any type of natural or manmade catastrophe." .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }    Adam McKay, Film directorCaroline McCredie/Stringer/Getty ImagesRarely do movies about climate change become blockbusters. Adam McKay's "Don't Look Up" changed the game. The satirical comedy about a comet hurtling toward Earth — and our collective inaction — is a metaphor for the climate crisis. It smashed Netflix's record for viewing hours within the first 28 days of its release and continues to hold second place. It received four Academy Award nominations.McKay said many movie studios passed on making it because of the ending. Ultimately, the planet gets destroyed. "My argument was always twofold. We need to show that there isn't always a happy ending, because with the way climate change is headed, that is not a guarantee," McKay told Business Insider. "And people want this. People are tired of the old story tropes of everything ending up great."Movies like "Don't Look Up" are a powerful way to influence the public's view of the climate crisis and call out politicians, wealthy executives, and the media for downplaying its severity, McKay said. Stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, and Meryl Streep certainly help.Despite the success, McKay said some of the response made him realize there is a lot more work to do. He has personally given $4 million to the Climate Emergency Fund, which supports a network of activist groups in the US. He said that throughout history, disruptive protests have led to major societal change. He also felt disillusioned by Washington politicians and big environmental nonprofits. In June, one of those activist groups disrupted an event featuring Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who became a millionaire from his family's coal business and carved out concessions for fossil fuels in the Inflation Reduction Act, a major climate law. "I told my wife that this is the best money we've ever given," McKay said. Earlier this year, McKay founded Yellow Dot Studios, a nonprofit that makes short videos and commercials about the climate crisis. The launch was inspired by a spoof Chevron ad that went viral last year, made by McKay and some colleagues now at Yellow Dot."My wife and I will be continuing to give as much as we possibly can, as well as our time and support, to these activists," McKay said. "I really think that's the way it's going to work — a constructive populist movement." .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  The youth plaintiffs in Held v. Montana, a first-of-its-kind climate lawsuitThe Montana Plaintiffs with Plaintiff Olivia, in the center.Robin Loznak/Courtesy of Our Children's TrustOlivia Vesovich was only 11 the first time the thought of a changing climate terrified her. Her sixth-grade class in Missoula, Montana, was learning about the ice and snow in the state's Glacier National Park."My teacher told us that my generation's children are going to be the last generation to see the snow and the glaciers," Vesovich, pictured above in a green dress, said. "And I was like, 'No glaciers at Glacier National Park — how can this be?'"Vesovich, now 20, would go on to face what she called "climate despair." That's part of what led her to join 15 other young people in a lawsuit against Montana, Held v. Montana, which accused the state of depriving them of the clean environment they're entitled to under Montana's constitution. In August, a judge ruled that by allowing fossil-fuel development, the state was violating the young people's rights.The legal action by the young plaintiffs, only one of whom was old enough to vote when the trial began, marked the first constitutional case on climate change to go to trial in the US. Montana has said it plans to appeal. Nonetheless, Vesovich said she's excited about the outcome of the trial because it could provide a blueprint for other cases. While only a handful of states have the constitutional guarantees Montana does, Vesovich said the ruling gave her hope that leaders would be forced to listen to those most at risk from a changing climate. Already, the law firm that led the Montana suit has filed a motion in Hawaii on behalf of a group of 14 youth activists. The group sued the Hawaii Department of Transportation last year over greenhouse-gas emissions related to transportation. It's one more sign for Vesovich of the impact the Montana win has had."They can't not listen," she said. "They can't look away." .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Ayisha Siddiqa, Youth climate advisor to the UN Secretary-GeneralPamela EAAyisha Siddiqa is a human-rights and environmental activist. Growing up in Pakistan, Siddiqa saw the effects of pollution firsthand when members of her family and community became ill from unsafe drinking water, and she learned that conflict and war are linked to resource demand.Later, Siddiqa asked herself: "What is the most pertinent issue for me, which cause would I need to answer to my children for in the future? For me, that is the environmental cause." In 2020, she cofounded the youth-activist coalition Polluters Out and helped launch an activist training course called Fossil Free University. More recently, Siddiqa together with other activists successfully lobbied for the Loss and Damage Fund at COP27 to support the countries that are harmed the most by the effects of the climate crisis and to force fossil-fuel lobbyists to identify themselves when registering for COP28. Siddiqa currently serves as a youth climate advisor to the UN secretary-general. She's also on the steering committee of the Youth Climate Justice Fund, which aims to be the largest youth-led regranter in the climate space — meaning it secures grants to issue them to others. Looking ahead, she wants to continue her legislative work and help protect the planet for future generations. The urgency of the situation is what keeps Siddiqa going. "There's nothing more to lose, and nothing more left at risk," she said.  .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Esther An, Chief sustainability officer, City Developments LimitedCDLEsther An is the chief sustainability officer at City Developments Limited, or CDL, a real-estate company in Singapore. CDL was Southeast Asia's first real-estate conglomerate to sign the World Green Building Council's Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment in February 2021. Under An's leadership, the company has committed to offsetting new developments by 2030 and getting all its buildings to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050."I see my role as a catalyst," An told Business Insider. She said that construction sites were big polluters when she started her career. She played a pivotal role in creating CDL's corporate character and setting up its sustainability portfolio. "I think establishing the ethos of conserving as we construct is very fundamental," she said.An has championed sustainability reporting and ESG-disclosure practices within her field. She published the first sustainability report using Global Reporting Initiative, or GRI, standards in Singapore in 2008 and it remains an important part of her approach. "If you don't measure, you can't manage," An said.She's also passionate about education and empowerment. She said she was particularly proud of the CDL Green Gallery at the Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Museum, which hosts exhibitions about the climate crisis and sustainable living. An said that the gallery is "net zero" and runs on solar power. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Lisa P. Jackson, Vice president, Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, AppleAppleLisa P. Jackson has always been driven by her desire to protect people and the planet. "Devastating storms like Katrina that destroyed the home I grew up in have shown us the consequences of inaction," she told Business Insider. Jackson, who has a background in chemical engineering, had a two-decade career in public service before joining the corporate world. She served under President Barack Obama as the administrator of the Environment Protection Agency, where she led the EPA's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, took action on air and water quality, and made environmental justice a key priority. She joined Apple in 2013. "My entire career has been motivated by the mission to protect people's health and the environment was a great motivator for me. Joining Apple was an opportunity to continue my life's work to drive climate progress forward globally," she said. Apple has helped suppliers improve sustainability for over a decade, and its facilities have run on 100% renewable energy since 2018, Jackson said. While Apple has faced criticism for its frequent product launches, which encourage consumers to upgrade their devices regularly, the company plans to make every product carbon neutral by the end of the decade and eliminate plastic packaging by 2025.Jackson also leads Apple's more than $200 million global Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to expand opportunities for Black, Hispanic, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Nicole Systrom, Chief impact officer, Galvanize Climate SolutionsLuci ValentineIn her role as chief impact officer at Galvanize Climate Solutions, a climate-focused global investment firm, Nicole Systrom leads a team of experts across science and technology, policy, and markets.Systrom supports investors to make "as much climate impact as possible," she said. Galvanize has three strategies — a venture strategy, a public-equity strategy, and a real-estate strategy — all focused on decarbonization in different ways, she said."I hope they'll become a model for other investors to follow in the future," Systrom said.Systrom said that climate technology needed capital to close the "financing gap." In September, Galvanize announced the final close of its Innovation + Expansion Fund at over $1 billion, which is one of the largest climate venture funds raised to date. Systrom described the fund as "pretty remarkable.""We need all different parts of the investment ecosystem, all different asset classes, all types of investors, really activated towards climate transition. I think there's a role for every type of investor to play," Systrom said.Systrom also serves on the steering committee of a group called the Venture Climate Alliance, which formed in April. It's seeking to shape a net-zero standard for the venture industry and "try to drive consensus around the role venture capitalists should be playing," she said. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Kathleen Talbot, Chief sustainability officer and vice president of operations, ReformationReformationReformation began as a vintage boutique in Los Angeles in 2009 but soon became known for making simple, sexy dresses worn by celebrities including Rihanna and Taylor Swift. Kathleen Talbot joined the company in 2014, about a year after Reformation launched its website and started selling clothes worldwide."At that time, I don't think many people even associated the clothes in their closet with climate change," Talbot said. "So it was fun to try and set the standard in what was still a very niche market."Since then, Talbot has helped Reformation become a leader in sustainable fashion and transparency. The company says more than 70% of its materials are recycled or "regenerative," meaning they are made from animal- and plant-based fibers grown on farms using practices that address climate change. Less than 2% of the material it uses are synthetic fabrics made from petrochemicals, such as nylon. Reformation aims to use as little new material as possible and reduce waste in order to become "climate positive" by 2025, which involves removing more greenhouse-gas emissions from the atmosphere than the company produces. About a third of its carbon footprint comes from the virgin materials it uses, including cashmere, silk, and viscose. Reformation's road map calls for using more recycled wool and eliminating silk, as well as buying carbon offsets that remove carbon from the atmosphere as opposed to avoiding emissions.  "The fashion industry is throwing away almost the same amount of materials we are generating every year," Talbot said. "If we just connect those dots and circulate these raw materials, we can eliminate waste and emissions."In March 2022, Reformation launched RefRecycling so customers can drop off their old clothes at retail locations. And shoppers won't find racks and racks of clothing at its stores. Reformation releases limited collections every week, and only makes more if the sales demand it, to limit waste. About 16% of its sales come from vintage, rental, or resale.It's a different model than fast fashion, which emits about 10% of greenhouse gasses globally and makes 40 billion garments every year that are never sold.Reformation is also getting into politics. It's one of a handful of brands that has endorsed legislation in New York state and Congress that would require more transparency in fashion supply chains. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Etosha Cave, Cofounder and CSO, TwelveTwelveEtosha Cave started Twelve in 2015 while she was a grad student at Stanford University, along with her fellow graduate students Kendra Kuhl and Nicholas Flanders.Cave, who holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, and Kuhl developed a carbon-transformation technology that can take carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into products including shoes, clothes, and electronics. The technology can even make a sustainable aviation fuel, called E-Jet, according to Cave."Carbon is such a ubiquitous molecule — it's used in so many things," Cave told Business Insider. "If we can provide this air-based carbon, instead of fossil-based carbon, we can start to shift away from fossil fuels."Twelve is collaborating with major partners such as Microsoft, Alaska Airlines, and the US Air Force to advance the development of its sustainable E-Jet fuel. "For every gallon of sustainable aviation fuel we can make, we're displacing a gallon of fossil fuels," Cave said.The shift from grad school to running a startup has had its challenges, but for Cave, this is a "golden era" for climate tech. She cited the Inflation Reduction Act as an example of a "unique alignment of policy and technology and public opinion.""This is kind of an all-hands-on-deck moment," she said. "We need lots of people and lots of technologies working toward reducing our CO2 emissions." .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Pablo Ribeiro Dias, Cofounder and CTO, SolarCycleMarcio Pimenta for Business InsiderSome 2 billion solar panels are installed around the world. That number is rapidly rising as countries expand renewable energy. But those panels don't last forever, and Pablo Ribeiro Dias wants to make sure they don't end up in a landfill. So he cofounded SolarCycle, a Texas-based startup that reclaims old solar panels so they can be turned into new ones. The company has raised $37 million so far and expects to process about 1 million panels a year at a new recycling and manufacturing plant. SolarCycle's customers include some of the largest renewable-energy companies including Ørsted and Sunrun."If we can use the same resources for longer, that means less resources are extracted from the Earth," Dias, who has two Ph.D.s and pioneered research on new ways to recycle solar panels, said. "That is one way for us to live sustainably."Dias said he learned the value of materials from a young age growing up in Brazil, where throwaway culture isn't as prevalent as in the US. Dias researched e-waste recycling technology for cellphones and other electronics, which paved the way for his work on solar panels. SolarCycle says its technology can reclaim more than 95% of all the valuable materials in solar panels, including aluminum, glass, copper, silver, and silicon. These materials are sold back into the solar value chain. The hope is that by scaling a circular system, the demand for mining new metals in countries like Mexico, China, and Democratic Republic of Congo will drop. Plastics are a trickier material, Dias said, because the plastic used in solar panels is similar to rubber tires. Right now, it's not feasible to recycle that. The next stage for SolarCycle is opening a second recycling plant in Phoenix and establishing a research and development center. "We're in a great position to build a real circular economy, not just a fairy-tale one," Dias said. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }    Amanda Hall, Founder and CEO, Summit NanotechMecoh Bain for Business InsiderWhen Amanda Hall founded Summit Nanotech in 2018, it was an all-or-nothing moment."One day, I woke up, had a bit of an existential crisis, said I want to leave the future better for my kids than it is today, and started this company," she told Business Insider.After 20 years as a geophysicist in the oil, gas, and mining industry, Hall spotted a gap in the market for lithium extraction.Lithium is used to make batteries in laptops, cellphones, and electric cars. It's crucial to the clean-energy transition. However, traditional lithium-extraction methods require vast amounts of land and water. Hall wanted to find a more sustainable way to meet the growing demand for the metal.Summit Nanotech employs a method called direct lithium extraction, which uses less land and produces less waste than traditional extraction methods, Hall told BI, adding that there's a common misconception that cleantech is costly. In reality, she said, the reductions in energy use, water use, and waste management result in "a cheaper process that's also cleaner and more efficient."The company opened a facility in Chile to scale up its direct-lithium-extraction technology following a pilot program in 2022. For Hall, it was important to have "boots on the ground" and establish good relationships with Indigenous communities in Chile, she said.Hall also worked with the Chilean government to introduce new standards for lithium extraction in the country. The legislation, announced in April, implements higher standards for things such as water and energy preservation. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Luke Haverhals, Founder and CEO, NFWBrett Rhoades for NFWMost of the materials used by major fashion brands pose a problem for the environment: They're made from fossil fuels. NFW, an alternative-materials manufacturer led by its founder, Luke Haverhals, is working to solve this problem by making plant-based leather, rubber, and yarn that are free from animals, petrochemicals, and plastics. There are many startups in this "next-gen" materials space. Part of what sets NFW apart, Haverhals said, is: "You have to perform cost competitively and be able to scale not just to millions but billions of square feet of materials in order to be relevant." Haverhals says NFW is set up to scale. The company has raised $160 million so far and its plant-based leather is already used in Stella McCartney handbags, Allbirds sneakers, and Bellroy wallets. BMW's venture-capital unit invested in NFW in July and said the startup's alternative leather was the only one in that market that's scalable, durable, and cost-competitive while having a low carbon footprint.Haverhals grew up on a farm in Iowa and taught chemistry at Bradley University and the US Naval Academy before founding NFW in 2015. NFW's approach, he told Business Insider, involves taking the byproducts of what farmers grow at a massive scale, such as rice husks, coconut fiber, and cork, and feeding them into machines that already make textiles."NFW isn't remaking textile mills or car-manufacturing facilities," Haverhals said. "We want to bring our technology into those factories."NFW has tested its material "recipes" on machines at its commercial factory in Peoria, Illinois, The next step is to prove the technology can work on a larger scale. The startup needs to raise tens of millions of dollars to fund the next phase of development, which Haverhals acknowledged would be challenging. He said investors were wary of material innovation after another startup earlier this year paused production of its mushroom-based leather.Haverhals remains a firm believer that NFW has an edge over the competition for all the reasons BMW cited in its endorsement."Impact is scale; scale is impact," Haverhals said. "And if we don't want to use synthetic materials, then we need to grow the future." .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  David Kirtley, Founder and CEO, Helion EnergyMadison Kirkman/Madison Kirkman PhotographyScientists have tried for decades to harness the power of nuclear fusion, the same process that powers the sun and the stars. Fusion could provide nearly limitless energy without greenhouse-gas emissions or long-lived radioactive waste. Some experts have predicted fusion won't be a viable power source for decades. But David Kirtley and his team at Helion Energy are confident the timeline is much closer.  In May, Microsoft agreed to buy 50 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power about 40,000 homes, from a fusion power plant being developed by Helion. The startup's plant is expected to come online by 2028. In October, Helion announced plans to build a 500-megawatt power plant at a steel plant owned by Nucor, America's biggest steel supplier and recycler. The companies said the operation could start as early as 2030.These fusion facilities would mark the dawn of a new era of energy. Kirtley, a nuclear and aerospace engineer, wasn't always convinced that humans could harness fusion for electricity during his lifetime. At one point, he left the field and worked on advanced rockets instead. But as fusion systems became smaller and more energy efficient through modern electronics and fiber optics, Kirtley saw a path forward. He helped build those fusion systems at MSNW, a research company backed by NASA and the US Department of Energy. That work was spun off into Helion in 2013. All six of Helion's fusion prototypes have set records for their energy output and the temperature at which they operate, recently exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius — an ideal threshold for a power plant. The seventh prototype, expected to be completed this year, is set to be the first to convert fusion energy into electricity, Kirtley said. He told Business Insider that his work can be traced back to a childhood experience in Bermuda, when his father was stationed there while serving in the Navy. Kirtley could see the space shuttle launch from Cape Canaveral. "I just felt the majesty of what people and technology can do," Kirtley said. "As I grew older, I also reflected on the disparities in Bermuda, and how our standard of living is directly tied to access to electricity. So I got into college thinking, 'Man, we need to solve these energy problems.'" .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Sandeep Nijhawan, Cofounder and CEO, ElectraElectraSandeep Nijhawan is an entrepreneur and investor who's currently focused on creating more sustainable steelmaking processes. The industry is responsible for up to 10% of annual global greenhouse-gas emissions. Electra, founded in 2020, has developed a way to purify iron ore otherwise deemed too contaminated to use for steelmaking, Nijhawan said. This adds to the sector's circularity and reduces the need to mine for high-grade materials, he said. Traditionally, iron ore is smelted at high temperatures and converted to steel. Electra's technology uses cooler temperatures to refine iron ore, making it more compatible with intermittent renewable energy, Nijhawan said. Electra is left with the extracted impurities, often minerals and iron plates. The latter can be made into steel using electric furnaces. The company has raised $85 million from investors, including Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Nijhawan said Electra plans to produce iron for green steel at a pilot scale by the end of the year.Nijhawan described Electra as a continuation of his previous venture, Staq Energy, an energy-storage company he launched in 2016 to accelerate the adoption of renewables. "Instead of storing renewable energy in the form of chemical storage, we're using it to produce clean iron, which is the key constraint to decarbonize steel," he said. The founder has always had the "entrepreneurial bug," he said, but he was inspired to focus on solutions to the climate crisis after a conversation with his children where he promised them he would try to make a positive impact on the environment. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Kimiko Hirata, Executive director, Climate IntegrateTakao OchiKimiko Hirata's work as an activist has led to the cancellation of 17 planned coal power plants in Japan.After the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, the Japanese government shut down many of its nuclear-power facilities and turned to coal power to provide the country's energy instead. At the time, Hirata, who holds a Ph.D. in social sciences from Waseda University, worked on environmental policy at the Japanese nonprofit Kiko Network. She knew that the expansion of coal power would lead to an increase in greenhouse-gas emissions and said she was wary that there were "no voices on the ground" to fight the decision.Hirata told Business Insider that she felt nongovernmental organizations and civil society in Japan were too small to stop the government and big industry and that public awareness of the climate impact of coal power was low. "The government advertised that the latest coal power is clean, so people believed that this is clean and there's no harm," she said. For instance, the Japanese government has promoted ammonia cofiring, where ammonia is blended with coal, as "clean" despite warnings that the method does little to affect overall greenhouse-gas emissions.Hirata wanted to change that, so she started to make connections at the community level."I tried several different approaches to get the support, talking about air pollution, or economic impacts, or climate change," Hirata said. She said it was "trial and error" at first. Gradually, the campaign was picked up by local people, and the media started to cover the story, which Hirata said was a "game changer."Hirata said that while she "planted the seeds" for the campaign, "the success was made by local people's voice and power." Today, Hirata runs Climate Integrate, a think tank, because she wants to increase climate expertise in Japan. She's also running a new campaign based around shareholder activism, a type of activism that targets fossil-fuel financers. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Mia Mottley, Prime minister, Barbados Caribbean GovernmentJOEL SAGET/Getty ImagesMia Mottley became Barbados' first woman prime minister in 2018. The politician and lawyer broke political glass ceilings earlier in her career, as the leader of the Barbados Labour Party and as attorney general. Mottley has made a name for herself by calling out wealthy nations, and the global financial system as a whole, for failing to support poorer countries. She spearheaded the Bridgetown Initiative, a climate-action plan named after Barbados' capital city, which aims to restructure finance for disaster-stricken nations. She believes tackling the climate crisis through the global economic system will help to "make meaningful progress."Barbados is one of the Caribbean countries most vulnerable to more powerful hurricanes and rising sea levels, which lead to other issues such as flooding and coastal erosion. The politician has long called for more collaboration between public and private investors."Let's take hotels that are on beaches," Mottley told the World Economic Forum. "If coastal erosion is bad, their revenue is going to be compromised."She worked with the International Monetary Fund and creditors to give Barbados more flexibility with debt payments after a natural disaster. The country also struck a deal with The Nature Conservancy to redirect part of its sovereign debt service toward ocean conservation. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }   Rep. Samuel Onuigbo, Former member of Nigeria's House of RepresentativesMaryam Turaki for InsiderIn the small Nigerian village where Samuel Onuigbo grew up, he and his neighbors would draw drinking water from six springs, and there were gullies where he and his friends from primary school would go to pick snails and chase rabbits. When Onuigbo returned to his village after finishing his college studies and a year of national service, he discovered that five of the springs had run dry and erosion had made many of the gullies in which he had once played too dangerous for people to enter. Those experiences made Onuigbo realize how much the climate crisis was hurting his country. As a member of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, Onuigbo sponsored a climate bill that was signed into law in 2021. The law requires the government to draw up plans on how to deal with the climate crisis and establish a carbon budget. The law also set up funding for dealing with emerging climate hazards and required many businesses to meet annual emissions-reduction targets. Onuigbo said before the law was passed, government directors in various agencies often tried to tackle the problem piecemeal. "They preferred working in silos, not reporting to anybody, not being coordinated. And that, for me, is absolutely unproductive," he said. Now, Onuigbo said, the president appoints people to oversee these efforts. That means there's greater accountability. Beyond the legal framework, Onuigbo, who left the Nigerian House of Representatives in June after eight years, said the bill helped bring everyday Nigerians' attention to the effects of the climate crisis on the country. "You are getting conversations on climate change from different angles within the nation," he said. Onuigbo is currently a board member and the chairman of the committee on security, special interventions, and climate change of the North East Development Commission.  .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Matt Petersen, President and CEO, Los Angeles Cleantech IncubatorLACIMatt Petersen has been an environmental leader for three decades. The Modesto, California, native spent the first part of his career advocating for nuclear demilitarization and pioneering the green-building movement before becoming Los Angeles' first chief sustainability officer in 2013. He also created Climate Mayors, a coalition of 250 US mayors fighting the climate crisis.For the past six years, Petersen has led the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, or LACI, a nonprofit that helps startups scale their low-carbon transportation and energy technologies in communities exposed to high levels of pollution. Petersen has expanded LACI's work beyond just a startup incubator. The nonprofit launched the Transportation Electrification Partnership in May 2018, which pools public and private money and invests it in pilot programs aimed at cleaning up LA's busy ports, freeways, and local communities. The goal is to drive down greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollution from heavy-duty shipping trucks and personal cars by 2028, when LA is hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games. LACI startups are testing electric-vehicle car-sharing at public-housing developments in East LA and a zero-emissions delivery zone in Santa Monica. The nonprofit has also assembled funding for electric-truck charging stations at the Port of LA and Long Beach, where some 40% of the country's shipping containers arrive before dirty diesel-engine trucks drive the goods around the region. LACI is expanding its work into clean energy, releasing a road map in October focused on electrifying buildings and deploying smaller renewable-energy systems powered by solar, battery storage, and other technologies. LACI also has a workforce development program that trains about 300 people each year, including an all-female course on EV charging maintenance, Petersen said.Petersen told Business Insider that he wants the green economy to be inclusive of all races, classes, and genders. Petersen worked with Habitat for Humanity, helping to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and he saw the barriers families faced to live in affordable, energy-efficient homes that didn't leave them with high utility bills and poor indoor-air quality. Petersen said he's also had many female mentors who instilled the importance of empowering women in the workforce.  "Changing the composition of our startups to be more diverse was important to me so LACI better represents the economy and the population of Los Angeles," Petersen said. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Maisa Rojas, Chile's environment ministerGobierno de ChileIn 2022, world leaders gathered in Egypt for the UN's annual climate summit. One of the most important outcomes of that event was the creation of a "loss and damage" fund — effectively a pot of money that poor, climate-vulnerable countries can tap into to pay for the damage caused by the climate crisis. Wealthy powers such as the US and European Union, which are historically responsible for the greenhouse-gas emissions warming the planet, are expected to contribute. Maisa Rojas, Chile's environment minister, led those negotiations with Jennifer Morgan, Germany's special envoy for the climate crisis.Rojas told Business Insider it was an incredible privilege to have been asked by Egyptian officials to handle the talks. But at the outset, there was no guarantee of success. It wasn't clear whether loss and damage would be on the agenda at all, given the decades of opposition from rich countries. After that hurdle, days of negotiations ensued over what a deal would look like. "The momentum was there," Rojas said, adding that a coalition of small island states and developing countries known as the Group of 77 and China was united in the cause. "Very late in the negotiations, the EU decided to say yes to a fund, and then we'd sort out the details afterward. That was a very exciting moment."A year later, those details are starting to take shape in a proposal that could be adopted during the UN climate summit in Dubai, which starts in November. Many issues remain contentious, such as which countries are eligible for the funds, which have to contribute money, and how much. A UN-commissioned report said that based on recent climate-fueled disasters, the future costs of loss and damage could be as much as $150 billion to $300 billion by 2030 based."In a way, we are admitting that we as humanity have failed to address climate change," Rojas said. "Now there are irreversible losses that need to be addressed. This fund can help the most vulnerable and the most affected."Rojas, who holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric physics, also wants to ensure the most vulnerable populations in Chile benefit from the green transformation the country is undergoing, she said. Rojas took office in March 2022 under President Gabriel Boric and is responsible for implementing a new climate law that requires Chile to become carbon-neutral by 2050.Before holding political office, Rojas was the director of the Center for Climate and Resilience Research at the Universidad de Chile and a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Patricio Sepúlveda, Head of public debt management office, Chile Ministry of FinancePaula FaríasChile is known as a trailblazer in the sustainable-bond market. As of this year, the country has $43.5 billion in public debt — more than a third of its total debt — tied to achieving its climate and social goals.The architect of the program is Patricio Sepúlveda. His office developed financial frameworks that paved the way for Chile in 2019 to become the first country in the Americas to issue a green bond, creating a model for other countries in the region. The bond funds projects to electrify public transportation, expand renewable energy, and make buildings more energy efficient. "We need to have more sustainable growth," Sepúlveda told Business Insider. "We can grow our economy without forgetting about protecting the environment." Since then, Sepúlveda has expanded Chile's bond program for sustainable development. In 2022, Chile became the first country in the world to issue a sustainability-linked bond, or SLB. Unlike green or social bonds that are tied to specific projects, SLBs are attached to achieving longer-term targets. If those targets aren't met, Chile will face financial penalties.Chile aims to peak its greenhouse-gas emissions by 2025 and achieve net-zero emissions by midcentury. That goal is enshrined in the country's climate law published last year. Chile also wants 60% of its electricity to come from renewable energy by 2032 — compared to 27% in 2021. On the issue of gender equality, the country is pushing for women to represent 40% of corporate board directors by 2031. Women currently only make up about 13% of board positions.Sepúlveda said SLBs are a powerful way to ensure Chile continues making progress toward its sustainability goals, regardless of who's in charge politically. He added that the next goal is to incorporate biodiversity goals into Chile's SLBs, because protecting forests and oceans is key to solving climate change. .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  Jiqiu "JQ" Yuan, Vice president of engineering, National Institute of Building SciencesNational Institute of Building SciencesJQ Yuan works toward making buildings, infrastructure, and communities resilient against natural disasters.With more frequent extreme weather events predicted as a result of the climate crisis, Yuan said that it's vital that we're "building for life." "Sometimes it's not easy to sell that concept because when you have a building better and stronger, it always comes with a cost," Yuan said. But, he said, investing in resilience now could have a huge payoff in the future.Yuan, who has a Ph.D. in structural engineering from the University of Kansas, led a study that found for every dollar spent by federal agencies on natural-hazard mitigation, $6 was saved. The study also found that adopting the latest building-code requirements saved $11 for every $1 invested. "The return on investment is huge," Yuan said. For Yuan, incentivizing the private sector to invest in provisions to mitigate against natural disasters is hugely important. He recently coauthored a road map outlining how to create "mutual benefit" for both the private sector and society when responding to extreme weather. Yuan is also working on the National Institute of Building Sciences' Lifeline Infrastructure Hub, which aims to create public-private partnerships at the community level to aid in disaster recovery.Current building codes, Yuan said, are based on what has happened in the past and take the climate crisis into account. He said we needed to bring together the current science with engineering and "design for the future climate-change conditions." .gi-static-img { max-width: 100%; }  CreditsSeries Editor: Lily KatzmanEditors: Stephanie Hallett, Josée Rose, Michael CogleyReporters: Catherine Boudreau, Tim Paradis, Tasmin Lockwood, Freya GrahamCopy Editors: Jonann Brady, Kevin Kaplan, Nick Siwek, Jonas DominguezProduction: Isabella SayeghDesign and Development: Máximo Tuja, Alyssa Powell, Rebecca ZisserPhoto Editor: Isabel Fernandez-Pujol Audience: Hannah Williams, Victoria Gracie .gi-credits { font-size: 1rem; Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 27th, 2023

Jared Fogle, former face of Subway and admitted child abuser, is scheduled to be released from prison a year early

Jared Fogle was sentenced in 2015 to 15 years in federal prison for traveling for sex with a minor. He's likely to be out before then. Jared Fogle was sentenced in 2015 to 15 years in federal prison.AP Photo/Michael Conroy, FileJared Fogle was once the face of Subway sandwiches.In 2015, Fogle was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for having sex with minors.Fogle, now 46, could be released as early as 2029, records show. For the last eight years, Jared Fogle, once the face of Subway sandwiches, has been living on an even blander diet at a federal prison mess hall.A judge sentenced Fogle in November 2015 to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty earlier that year to charges of traveling to have sex with a minor and child pornography. The former pop-culture icon will likely only serve 14 years of that sentence — with his release from FCI Englewood in Colorado scheduled for March 24, 2029, according to court records obtained by Business Insider.Fogle was parachuted to his place as a pop-culture icon more than 20 years ago when Subway made him a spokesperson after the company learned he lost over 200 pounds from a diet that consisted mostly of Subway sandwiches.By 2015, though, the company pivoted from Fogle's image as a newly slim college student to one of a family man — and announcing an ad campaign showing animated versions of him and his family, according to court documents.Months after the campaign was announced, the FBI raided Fogle's home and federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against him.In 2016, Fogle's ex-wife, Kathleen McLaughlin, sued Subway in Indiana state court, claiming the company knew about his "sexual interest in and activity with children" but kept featuring him in ads and did not notify authorities. That lawsuit was later dismissed.Fogle also filed his own lawsuit in 2018 against his former lawyers and a federal prosecutor, claiming he was tricked into his plea agreement — but it was dismissed later that year.Jared Fogle is serving a 15 year sentence at a federal prison in Colorado.APFogle continues to serve his sentence at a low security prison in Littleton, Colorado, where he spends his days among 910 male inmates, according to Bureau of Prison records.The BOP declined to comment on Fogle's release date, per security policy, and it is unclear when his release was scheduled.It is completely normal for federal inmates to serve less time that their total original sentence that was handed down by a judge.The prison programming they participate in, their behavior, and their health, can all contribute to earlier release dates.As of 2018, eligible federal inmates are allowed up to 54 days of "good conduct time" off their sentence for each year of the sentence imposed by the court, according to the Bureau of Prisons. Completing "Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction" programs may also qualify them for earlier release.An attorney for Fogle could not immediately be identified, as he represented himself in his last federal court matter.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 25th, 2023

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE:AEO) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE:AEO) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 21, 2023 American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.49, expectations were $0.47. Operator: Greetings and welcome to the American Eagle Outfitters Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now […] American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE:AEO) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 21, 2023 American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.49, expectations were $0.47. Operator: Greetings and welcome to the American Eagle Outfitters Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Judy Meehan. Thank you. You may begin. Judy Meehan: Good morning, everyone. Joining me today for our prepared remarks are Jay Schottenstein, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Jen Foyle, President, Executive Creative Director for AE and Aerie; and Mike Mathias, Chief Financial Officer. Before we begin today’s call, I need to remind you that we will make certain forward-looking statements. These statements are based upon information that represents the company’s current expectations or beliefs. Results actually realized may differ materially based on risk factors included in our SEC filings. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. Additionally, you can find our third quarter investor presentation posted on our corporate website at in the Investor Relations section. And now I will turn the call over to Jay. Jay Schottenstein: Good morning. Overall, I am pleased with our third quarter performance. Although the macro environment remains highly dynamic, we are seeing encouraging trends. Our brands remain stronger than ever and our strategic priorities are propelling us forward. AEO’s customers are at the center of our strategy, driving constant innovation that enables us time and time again to deliver exciting collections, and this fall was no exception. Additionally, we provide an industry-leading customer experience, reflecting our investments in data-driven insights and operational excellence. With the launch of our profit improvement program, structural initiatives to drive growth and higher margins are taking hold. Now a few financial and strategic highlights from the quarter. Third quarter revenue hit a record of $1.3 billion, driven by 5% comp growth, reflecting growing brand momentum and terrific fall merchandise collection. Our market-leading brands are true lifestyle destinations for our customers, and that was evident this quarter. Aerie returned to double-digit revenue and comp growth, and AE generated positive revenues and comps. We also saw a significant strength across digital and stores, with new merchandise and strong execution, driving improved traffic across AE and Aerie. The digital channel was a star performer, accelerating to 10% growth. We are seeing great momentum here. Under the leadership of our new Head of Digital, David Zhang, we have introduced innovative customer engagement tactics, enhanced our user data and analytics to drive stronger KPIs. This work has yielded remarkable improvement in our e-commerce business, will receive plenty of runway ahead. Stores were also positive in the quarter. We are pleased with early results from new store designs, including our Gateway store in SoHo. The store encompasses all of our collections across AE, Aerie, OFFL/NE, AE77, AE 24/7 and our Unsubscribed, seamlessly under one roof. New Aerie and OFFL/NE stores are also coming out of the gate positive to expectations. Turning to profit. We achieved our second highest third quarter gross margin and operating income in over a decade. This is only second only to 2021 when stimulus fueled exceptional results across the industry. Margin expansion to last year was driven by improved markup as well as numerous structural changes aligned with our ongoing focus on profit improvement. A few highlights of this work include: Maintaining tight inventory and promotional discipline, changing our clearance strategy to yield higher profit, scaling Aerie and shifting our product mix into higher margin categories, modernizing our delivery network to reduce costs, and optimizing AE’s real estate footprint. As we continue to drive strong demand and build momentum on this work, we are raising our full year operating income guidance to the high-end of our prior range. We now expect to be in a range of $340 million to $350 million from $325 million to $350 million prior. Lastly, our capital allocation priorities remain unchanged. We are committed to investing in our brands to continue growth, while returning capital to shareholders. Our balance sheet is resilient, and we maintain a healthy liquidity position. We ended the quarter with $241 million in cash and nearly $900 million in total liquidity with no debt. Looking ahead, we remain intently focused on advancing our long-term strategic priorities. Two: One, drive consistent growth across our portfolio of brands; and two, generated efficiencies and cost savings for improved profit flow through. We continue to advance towards our priorities and are investing in talent, which further positions us for future success. During the quarter, as part of our COO, Michael Rempell succession plan, we made two key leadership appointments. We are excited to welcome Sarah Clarke, our new Chief Supply Chain Officer, who is responsible for ensuring operational excellence across our global supply chain from sourcing through distribution and a welcome to Valerie van Ogtrop, our new Head of Brand Operations, a role we created to drive greater collaboration and synergies across AE and Aerie’s growth and profit plans. Sarah and Valerie nicely complement our teams of experienced executives and excellent bench of division leaders and associates. There is a high level of focus and energy across the organization around our profit improvement project. We have had strong engagement from our leadership teams with great support from our Board of Directors, enhancing our innovative spirit to rethink how we operate every day, and with work streams focused on unlocking both revenue growth and efficiencies moving forward. We intend to host an investors meeting in spring of 2024 where we will unveil specifics on our go-forward strategy and provided long-term financial targets. In the near-term, with incentives fully embedded in our 2023 expense base and early benefits from our profit improvement initiatives, I am confident of our ability to leverage expenses even on modest sales growth in 2024. AEO has enduring brands, robust operations and strong talent. I am confident that with our strong foundation and new strategic direction, we have the right recipe in place to build revenue and profit from here and deliver shareholder returns. With that, I will turn the call over to Jen. Jen Foyle: Thanks, Jay, and good morning, everyone. As Jay noted, we had a strong quarter with sequential improvement across brands and channels. Top collections were well received, and I am proud of how the teams executed on our brand strategies. It was incredibly exciting to see American Eagle return to growth with revenue and comps up 2%. We delivered a winning assortment that showcased our incredible brand heritage and an exciting customer experience. Women’s was particularly strong where we wrote positive comps across tops and bottoms. We are seeing strong demand for fleece, tees, skirts and newer bottoms such as swirls, cargos, and wider legs. Men saw strength in tees, sweaters, twill bottoms, and shorts. AE also delivered strong operating profit growth, up 6% to last year, aligned with the strategic plan we laid out in 2021. We have made significant progress in improving the health of the AE brand over the last few years. We stepped away from low-margin sales, rationalized SKUs to eliminate unprofitable offerings and optimized our brand’s real estate footprint. As a proof point, third quarter brand profit is up 20% relative to third quarter 2019 levels with revenue modestly down 2%. With profit restored to a healthy level, as discussed in prior quarters, we are strategically focused on growth. Early initiatives have been highly impactful, and I am pleased to note that, AE returned to growing its customer file this quarter. Casual wear is a lifestyle that continues to evolve, providing exciting new trends for us to drive and play into. We are focused on expanding our dominance in denim, leveraging our industry-leading fits and fabrics to deliver newness. At the same time, we are also making investments to better penetrate categories and occasions that are important to our customers with collections like AE 24/7 in men’s activewear and AE77, our premium capsule. We are also continuing to invest in our store fleet to improve productivity and ensure we put our best foot forward. We have seen a positive response to AE’s new store design with remodeled stores delivering significantly improved comps. Based on the success of these initial tests, we are expanding our remodel program next year to include additional stores, while continuing to close and reposition low-productivity locations. And we are also focused on improving inventory allocation and replenishment to better serve our customers. And lastly, we continue to leverage and innovate marketing campaigns and amplifying excitement around the AE brand. This fall, we collaborated with the Ziegler sisters on a limited edition capsule to showcase key fashion items for back-to-school season. This included our OMJeans event, a powerful takeover on the High Line in New York City, an immersive installation that stepped many New Yorkers in their tracks. We showcased the quality and versatility of our iconic denim assortment, underscoring in our strong heritage and dominance in the category. The campaign outperformed our expectations, driving strong sales both online and in stores. Now turning to Aerie. We had an exceptional quarter with revenue and comps up 12% and profits expanding 34%. Newness and assortment changes in our core intimates business drove a nice sequential recovery. We grew market share and had our best ever third quarter performance in — We also continued to see rapid growth in our core apparel business with particular strength in fleece and sweater, where new collections are resonating very well. And our activewear collection OFFL/NE also had a great quarter, achieving double-digit growth. Aerie has seen incredible expansion over the last few years, growing into a beloved destination for exciting fashion and comfy, cozy fits in intimates, apparel, swimwear and activewear. Since 2019, we have doubled our sales and quadrupled our profits. We are gaining new customers every season with our total customer file now over 10 million. Yet with just a low single-digit share of close to $80 billion total addressable market, we are just scratching the surface. Activewear in particular provides an attractive opportunity fueled by strong demand for athleisure. We see a unique opportunity to build share here with OFFL/NE. Aerie is vibrant and playful take on activewear as we continue to develop the assortment. We are focused on continuing to build brand awareness as we leverage investments in our store fleet and innovative marketing strategies to grow our customer base and share of wallet. New store performance remained strong, providing a positive lift to comps, as they come into the comp base. Additionally, OFFL/NE openings are exceeding plan. On the marketing side, Aerie’s fall campaigns were focused on elevating the brand as the go through for high-quality, fashionable and comfortable intimates and apparel. We showed up across the season within the ray of notable influencer talent and programs. This included a first-to-market partnership with the popular dating app, Bumble, encouraging users to find their company match with Aerie. We also hosted the Hidden Gems Marketplace, a fun, interactive customer event in New York City that generated strong marketing KPIs. We have two of the best brands in retail. For over a decade, we have consistently ranked in the top three brands in the Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teen survey. AE is the market leader in denim in the age 15 to 25 cohort, the #2 brand across all ages and the #1 brand for women in particular. Aerie is one of the most exciting brand platforms and fashion, celebrating body positivity and empowering women to feel their best selves every day. It’s a strategic priority to profitably grow our portfolio of brands and driving meaningful opportunity ahead. Before I turn this call over to Mike, a big thank you to the AE and Aerie teams for their hard work in delivering a strong quarter. Our brand, category and channel strategies are gaining momentum, which is a true testament to this talented team. And with that, I will turn the call over to Mike. Mike Mathias: Thanks, Jen. Good morning, everyone. As Jay mentioned, third quarter results marked continued progress on our strategic priorities to grow our brands and set us up for improved profit flow-through. Strong brand momentum, combined with actions taken on our profit improvement initiatives, resulted in improved gross margins and operating income year-over-year. We entered the quarter with momentum that continued into the early holiday season, fueling a strong top line result. Consolidated revenue of $1.3 billion was up 5% to last year, and comparable sales also rose 5%. Operating income of $125 million reflected a 9.6% operating margin. Gross profit of $544 million increased $64 million, representing a gross margin of 41.8%, up 310 basis points to last year. As Jay noted, we achieved some of our highest merchandise margins on record reflecting strong demand, lower costs and a number of benefits from our profit improvement initiatives. Inventory discipline resulted in lower markdowns as we maintained healthy promotions. With the change in our clearance model announced last quarter, we continue to sell through end-of-season merchandise at better margins. We also saw leverage on rent, reflecting our focus on strengthening fleet productivity at AE and the ramp-up of new Aerie stores as well as delivery, distribution and warehousing costs with efficiencies across several key metrics, including lower shipments per order and lower cost per shipment. SG&A expense of $362 million was up 16% from last year and in line with guidance. Consistent with strong business trends, roughly half of the increase was driven by incentive expense after zero accruals last year. As discussed last quarter, incentives are weighted to the back half of this year. Their payroll also increased largely due to higher wages. Depreciation was up year-over-year and in line with guidance provided last quarter, primarily reflecting our investment in new stores. As noted previously, we have reset incentives through reflective improvement in business performance with incentives now on our base and an ongoing focus on cost efficiencies, we’re well positioned to leverage our expense based on modest top line growth next year. EPS for the third quarter of $0.49 per share. Turning to our brands. Aerie revenue and comparable sales increased 12% in the third quarter, a positive non-comp lift from these stores was offset by lower third-party sell-offs, reflecting greater inventory control and our shift to a more profitable clearance model. Aerie’s operating margin of 19.3% hit an all-time high, expanding over 3 points to last year as the brand continued to scale and we saw improved markups, lower markdowns and early benefits from the clearance shift. American Eagle revenue and comps increased 2% with the operating margin expanding 70 basis points to 21.5%. As we discussed on numerous occasions, our focus over the past several years has been strengthening the profitability of the AE brand. I’m extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made, expanding profit margin by 400 basis points since the third quarter of 2019. We’re now turning our echo growing the top line with a sharp eye on profit flow-through. Consolidated ending inventory cost was down 4% compared to last year with units down 3%. Inventory levels remain healthy and controlled as we maintain buying discipline and case demand. We ended the quarter with a balance sheet in a strong position, including $241 million of cash and total liquidity of $875 million, including our revolver. Capital expenditures totaled $43 million, and we continue to expect full year CapEx to be in the range of $150 million to $175 million. Our plan for our consolidated store count in 2023 remains roughly flat to last year reflecting approximately 25 new Aerie store openings offset by approximately 25 net closures for the AE brand. Before I move on to our outlook, I’d like to provide more color on our ongoing profit improvement work. Last quarter remained an important change to our clearance model, which is tracking in line with plan to generate $25 million in savings in 2023 and $50 million in savings on an annualized basis. As we continue to lock down efficiencies that have supported our gross margin expansion, other significant work streams within SG&A have also been identified and are being actioned on. We are instilling an internal culture around continuous improvement and expense management, the results of which are incorporated into our 2024 plans. As a result, next year, we expect to drive continued gross margin expansion, leverage on SG&A and depreciation, operating rate expansion and healthy earnings growth, structuring the business to deliver — low single-digit revenue growth. A more positive trend would drive incremental leverage and profit flow-through. We’ll give further details in future months as we provide our specific expectations for 2024 and beyond in the spring. Quarter-to-date, we are seeing sustained momentum across our brands with revenue up in the mid-single digits. Additionally, we continue to make good progress in executing on profit improvement initiatives. With the background, we’re raising our full year outlook for operating income to the high end of prior guidance. We now expect to be in the range of $340 million to $350 million. This reflects revenue up mid-single digits with comps up low to mid-single digits. For the fourth quarter, this implies operating income in the range of $105 million to $115 million, with revenue up in the high single digits, including a 4-point tailwind from the 53rd week. Comp sales are projected to be up in the mid-single digits. SG&A is expected to be up approximately 20%, including a 5-point impact from the 53rd week. As previously discussed, it also includes higher incentive accruals, which are skewed to the back half of this year. As Jane mentioned, we look forward to providing more color on our long-term strategic priorities and financial goals at our spring investor meeting. With that, I’ll open it up for questions. See also 10 Stocks Billionaire Leon Cooperman Just Bought and Sold and 10 Stocks Hedge Funds Are Talking About. Q&A Session Follow American Eagle Outfitters Inc (NYSE:AEO) Follow American Eagle Outfitters Inc (NYSE:AEO) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Operator: [Operator Instructions]. Our first question comes from the line of Matthew Boss with JPMorgan. Matthew Boss : So Jen, could you speak to key areas of acceleration at Aerie in the third quarter and just how you see the brand position for holiday? And on the return to growth at American Eagle this quarter, how do you view sustainability of positive comps at this concept moving forward? And then, Mike, could you just elaborate on the profit improvement project and maybe the modest top line to leverage SG&A next year? Just taking a step back how that compares to historical flow-through in the model. Jen Foyle: Sure. And happy Thanksgiving to all, by the way. Look, I’m going to take a small victory lap here. I just loved what we saw in Q3. And let me just say one thing. This team, okay, my team JC, all of our American Eagle team, they were in stores last week. We saw almost 20 stores in basically 2.5 days. This is what my team commits to. We’re in this for the long haul. That’s all I can tell you. To grow year-over-year, day-over-day, quarter after quarter, you have to have a long-term strategy. And I’d like to say we’re delivering on it. Really proud of what we accomplished in Q3. Women’s, in particular, in AE, we did double down there. Their comps definitely superseded the men’s comps and we’re going to continue that. And I love what I’m seeing for spring, more fashion, more node to what I think is relevant in today’s trends. We went back and we decided that we needed to get same as for our nearion categories, and we’ve been up to that for 3 years now. And now it’s time to jump off in American Eagle and well, do I like what I’m seeing in the future for trends. In Aerie, well, I think this is long overdue. Keep in mind, Aerie held their market share in bras in a declining business. We held our own in Q3. It’s an $80 billion opportunity for us to grow into that category, and the team is up to it. I like what I’m seeing early on. Q4, it’s still — we have many weeks ahead of us. And as you know, the big week ahead heading into what we call Green Friday, not black. I think we’re ready to go. Like I said, we were in 18 stores, almost 20, in 2.5 days, and we are ready to compete on our terms. And as Mike alluded to, we’re going to talk more in the spring season when we speak to you all about our long-term growth plans. But I can — I see it. I see what’s happening here, and we’re going to deliver and build this incredible brand strategy. Jay Schottenstein: Yes. And Jen, when you were in the stores, you would agree that our stores were the best — we’re like the best looking stores out there, too. Jen Foyle: I think so. I think the way we operate. It’s one thing to grow your business is another thing to deliver operational excellence. That’s what I have to say. Mike Mathias: Yes. And on profit improvement work, Matt, the third quarter was another proof point on where we’ve had the focus, which has been expenses and margin improvement, all generating and providing that gross margin expansion. So now for 3 quarters now, we’ve seen gross margin expansion. We’ve leveraged the expenses in gross margin. Fourth quarter, we’ll do it again. As we talked about, this work is sort of a multiyear journey and the SG&A piece of that would take a little longer as we’ve looked at labor models, services, things type of contracts and vendors that we’re negotiating either reductions to current rates or looking to consolidate our move vendors that work we have line of sight now that we have into 2024, and we know what the benefits look like. So on top of the gross margin expansion that we believe that will continue next year and now we’ve got the opportunity to leverage SG&A at low single-digit revenue growth next year, if that would be the result. Anything better than that, we’d see even higher leverage against that historical model. Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Paul Lejuez with Citi. Kelly Crago: This is Kelly on for Paul. Could you just talk about how the clearance strategy change impacted the P&L this quarter? Was it a headwind to sales? And how much of a benefit, was it the gross margin at 3Q? And how do we expect — how do you expect that to impact 4Q and F ’24 from both a sales and margin perspective? And then I have a follow-up. Mike Mathias: Yes. I think the headwind to revenue was 1 or 2 points in the quarter just based on the sell-off revenue not being booked, which is unprofitable. And that’s the story around this improvement. The $50 million annualized benefit, that will happen over a 12-month basis. Historically, we have hits in Q2 and Q4, for the most part, selling off clearance versus clearing it ourselves now, which is what we’re doing. So we’ll see this benefit across a 12-month period. Saw some benefit in Q2. There’s some benefit in the Q3 results. Again, most of that benefit is markdown management, inventory management in total and then leverage of our expenses and gross margin in Q3. And then Q4, we’ll see another slight benefit. But again, those other pieces are bigger than the clearance benefit. So it’s a 12-month model now versus sort of Q2, Q4 sell-off model we’ll see that $50 million annualized across the 12-month period go forward. Kelly Crago : And just on the SG&A guidance for the fourth quarter. I think coming into today, we sort of had that the SG&A up mid-teens in the fourth quarter. So I guess trying to understand what’s driving the greater growth in fourth quarter relative to your previous expectations. Is that all accrual of incentive comp? Or — and I guess, on that, I mean, we — you’ve been talking about sort of finding cost savings for a while now. Just wondering why we would be seeing more offset......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 22nd, 2023

I"m a trained chef working towards a hospitality career in Miami. Cooking is all about creating an experience — and faking it "til you make it.

Karen Rosenbloom, a 23-year-old trained chef and full-time college student, explains why hospitality is the industry she's better her career on. Karen Rosenbloom a journalism student, chef and content creator.Karen RosenbloomKaren Rosenbloom is a trained chef who says culinary school was the best decision she's ever made.She's now studying journalism and has a goal to become a private chef who develops recipes.This article is part of the "5 Trends to Bet Your Career On" series.This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Karen Rosenbloom, a 23-year-old student and trained chef from Miami. It has been edited for length and clarity.I've always been drawn to food and being in the kitchen. For every birthday and holiday growing up, I asked for cookbooks, and I was always watching the Food Network and then trying to make recipes from the chefs I'd see on TV.As I got older, despite going to a very serious college prep school, I opted to start working in restaurants right out of high school.Restaurants were a brand new environment for meWhen I turned 18, I got an unpaid internship through the alumni network of my high school and began working for a local restaurant.I was confident in my skills, but there was still a lot to learn when I entered a professional kitchen for the first time, like how to use industrial appliances. It's also difficult to ask lots of questions, so at some point you just have to say, "Yes, chef" and fake it until you make it. That internship was about a month long, and from there I picked up a job in a commissary kitchen.I applied for culinary school in 2018 I was accepted and started in Johnson & Wales University's culinary arts program in Providence, Rhode Island, that August.I recommend culinary school to anyone who's looking for a crash course on everything you need to know about the industry — it was the best decision I've ever made.I learned mixology, the art of hospitality, and how to make desserts and pastries. I also learned about international cuisine, sourcing food, and the history of restaurants.While in culinary school, I worked at a small restaurant I prepped food, chopped onions, and peeled potatoes and garlic — the types of things that professional chefs don't really want to do but someone has to do, including the dishes.Eventually, things slowed down there, so I applied for a position in the dining hall at Brown University and landed the job. I'd work at Brown during the school year, and then at a few different restaurants in Miami whenever I was back there.Working in mass catering was very different from a small restaurantAt Brown, we cooked all different types of foods for thousands of students. I helped serve the Asian cuisine, where we offered things like orange fried rice and sautéed broccoli with garlic.My routine worked great for me until the pandemic hit in March 2020. I wasn't allowed to go to work or my culinary classes. But to graduate, I needed to complete an internship.I decided to try private chef workI found a private chef in the Miami area, and began to work under his mentorship in June 2020, which counted as my internship. I was working out of a commercial kitchen and doing food deliveries, but once we no longer needed to social distance, we went into people's homes and cooked foods like steak, truffle, and lobster for them. This gave me an introduction to the world of being a private chef, and I loved it.I graduated in December 2020 with an associate's degree in culinary arts. Around this time, the chef I was working with opened up his first restaurant, Perl, and I helped him. I got to see a building go from a construction site to being a full working restaurant.Once it opened, I was responsible for the cold dishes, salads, and appetizers and also helped with the desserts. I was often working 60- to 80-hour weeks.I then went back to schoolBeyond my passion for food, I've always loved to write. In January 2021, I enrolled in a creative writing program at Columbia University as a student over Zoom.But no matter what, I have been and will always be a cook. Cooking is a form of expression and creativity; it makes people happy. I'll always want to be in and around the hospitality industry — there's an undeniable rush you get from working as a chef that I'm not prepared to give up.Right now, as a full-time student, I miss cooking and serving people. I miss restaurants and private chef work, too.When I graduate in May 2024, I plan to continue my work as a private chef and also pursue recipe development and publishing.I've received a lot of good adviceThe best advice I've received is that you're never done learning, even after working for decades in a kitchen. Time management is one of the most important skills you can have as a cook — food needs to be timed properly so that it's served at the ideal temperature and you don't keep people waiting.As a chef, there are also many instances where you have to be personable. You have to be able to talk with others from all walks of life and teach them what you're doing.As a private chef, I've learned it's about much more than just cooking or making food to serve — it's about hospitality and the experience you give to the client.I think cooking will always be a viable career pathA lot of prep jobs such as slicing onions, peeling potatoes, and squeezing lemons can now be done by machine; there are even chef-less restaurants now where food is made by robots.But cooking is an art, and there will always be a need for (human) chefs. I'm very optimistic and happy that the industry is continually expanding and that more and more people wish to take part in it.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 20th, 2023

See inside Nvidia"s giant "Voyager" HQ — a futuristic office where work meets nature

Nvidia's enormous headquarters at Santa Clara, California features parks and treehouses. And yes, it was named after a "Star Trek" starship. Nvidia's HQ has been designed to enhance productivity. Jason O'Rear / Gensler San FranciscoUS chipmaker Nvidia opened its "Voyager" office last year.The 750,000-square-foot space reflects the company's "no barriers and no boundaries" philosophy.Business Insider spoke to the lead architect behind the project.Nvidia has had a big few years. Demand for the company's GPU chips surged as artificial intelligence fever swept the world.Nvidia latched onto the AI trend early, and it was able to carve out a significant lead in producing chips used in flourishing technologies such as ChatGPT.The company's valuation quickly soar to $1.2 trillion, up almost 250% this year.One of the keys to Nvidia's success could lie in its flat organizational structure."When you're moving that fast, you want to make sure that that information is flowing through the company as quickly as possible," CEO Jensen Huang said in a recent interview with Harvard Business Review.Nvidia has fully committed to the flat structure — removing three or four layers of management in an effort to operate as efficiently as possible, Huang said.Another key to the company's "no barriers and no boundaries" approach, as Huang described it, is its office.Opened in early 2022, the Santa Clara headquarters is an imposing 750,000-square-foot structure designed to enhance employees' performance in line with the company's vision."Voyager" is the name of the second building given to Nvidia's Santa Clara office.Jason O'Rear / Gensler San FranciscoNamed "Voyager," the building was designed by the architectural firm Gensler – and yes, it was named after a "Star Trek" starship. Hao Ko, the design principal on the project, told Business Insider that the idea for the office "is rooted in that idea that people do their best work when they are provided with a choice."An outside work station at Voyager. Jason O'Rear / Gensler San FranciscoFrom individual places designed to enhance work focus, mentorship, or in-person meetings, the office provides employees with a wide variety of spaces to suit their individual needs."A successful workplace needs to be a destination and not an obligation, so designing a comfortable place that reflects a company's culture is also very important," Ko said.Elevated "bird nests" act as meeting spaces. Jason O'Rear / Gensler San FranciscoKo said his firm's research showed collaboration was most effective when teams operated in the same spaces."The pandemic highlighted that work can happen anywhere, but it also reminded us that bringing people together inspires them to do their best work," he said.Diverse spaces to give employees a choice of environment. Jason O'Rear / Gensler San FranciscoEngineers at Nvidia had previously been siloed in traditional workstations, while other teams were stationed on different floors and even in different buildings. Gensler's solution was to move all Nvidia's teams into one big room.But the team faced certain issues with regards to sound and light in such a vast open space.The "base camp" reception area. Jason O'Rear / Gensler San Francisco"We designed the shape of the roof to bounce sound without reverberation and selected the ceiling material to help absorb noise," Ko said."Driving natural daylight evenly into a large space for all people to enjoy is also a challenge. We solved it by adding an abundance of skylights on the roof, moving people closer to the building's glass façade, and terracing the large floor plates," he added.The central hall of Nvidia is known as the "mountain."Jason O'Rear / Gensler San FranciscoThey also wanted to provide a connection to nature in the space, Ko said, adding that the true innovation of the Voyager office is how the interior environment makes it feel like you're working outside."Inspired by the fact Santa Clara has arguably one of the best climates in the world and that our backyards are an extension of our home lives, Nvidia challenged our team to create a workplace that harnessed the beauty and inspiration of the surrounding nature and allowed people to work outdoors all day," he said."Valleys" have more conventional office spaces and enclosed meeting areas. Jason O'Rear / Gensler San FranciscoThe "four-acre workspace" features parks and '"treehouses" for gatherings, while shading trellis lined with solar panels blends into the building's structure.The company also uses geographical nicknames to describe different areas in the building.The "mountain" stairway leads to upper levels with lab spaces, while along its perimeter are "valleys" — naturally lit corridors that provide intimate meeting spaces and eating areas.Natural light filters throughout the entire office space. Jason O'Rear / Gensler San FranciscoKo said that future workspaces will put a greater emphasis on offering people variety to choose where they work and to push for healthier and more comfortable environments."By refining the design of the workplace based on how people use it, we will continue to drive more innovation and a more resilient future," he believes.Nvidia's H was inspired by "Star Trek." Jason O'Rear / Gensler San FranciscoRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 19th, 2023

Apple"s products are great, even if they"re boring

Apple's designs don't change much under CEO Tim Cook, which is a good thing for its loyal users. Apple iPhone 15 family of devicesAppleI've argued that Apple has become boring under Tim Cook compared to the Steve Jobs era.But there's a good reason why Apple hasn't drastically changed its successful products: reliability.Apple may not be leading many industry innovations lately, but its beautiful products have become classics.In the past, I've argued that Apple products have become boring because Apple seems to have lost its way with useful product innovation. On the one hand, it offers gratuitous iPhone features such as memojis and on the other, Apple created cutting-edge hardware and software for the Vision Pro, a product nobody needs and solving problems no one has.Meanwhile, Apple has been neither a leader nor a follower on useful smartphone innovations such as folding phones, which allow users to have both a small phone and a larger screen in one device.But the truth is, there's a very good reason why Apple doesn't do drastic changes to its products: slow, steady and reliable products are keeping Apple on top.To be fair, under CEO Tim Cook, Apple has had several big hit new products: Apple Watch and Air Pods, come to mind. Although I've also argued that both of those are really iPhone accessories since Watch won't pair with a non-iOS device. While Air Pods will work with others, they are really designed to work best with Apple products.Still, compared to the Steve Jobs era, in the Cook era, Apple does not often release new products that are radically different from previous versions. It tends to focus on making incremental improvements to existing products.Is that boring? Yes, as many in the tech press besides me have also noted. But it also means that Apple products are very consistent and therefore very reliable and hold their value. That's rather important.Users want consistency. They don't want to learn new ways of doing the things they already do, just because the device maker is attempting to be novel by moving everything around. (Microsoft has often been accused of that.)While Ferraris are cool cars, the farthest thing from a boring product in any way, most of us will never buy one (VCs who funded Humane' Ai Pin excluded). Most of us will spend our money on a Honda sedan or a Ford truck or, if we have the budget, a BMW or Tesla. We'll choose something that looks good, is reliable, safe, functional for our needs and will hold its value over time. Ever try to trade in your Android phone? You'll likely get far less for most models than you would if you had traded in an iPhone.One thing I know from my years as a market researcher and my time working at Apple during the Jobs era, is that the vast majority of users won't pay money for flashy new tech that doesn't add something useful to their lives.The industry is buzzing, for instance, about the new Humane Ai Pin, a $600 gadget (plus a $24 monthly subscription fee) that is intended to be a smartphone replacement. It clips to your clothes, has been showcased by fashion models in Milan and looks super cool. While this device may have been developed by former Apple employees this is the most un-Apple product I have ever seen. It's another product looking for a solution, and, with its camera and use of AI, is a privacy conundrum, too. I predict it ends up in the gadget hall of shame next to Juicero and Microsoft Kin.In contrast, Apple products are designed with a minimalist and modern aesthetic and most importantly (Vision Pro aside) a user's needs. They are made with high-quality materials and have a sleek and stylish look. Because Apple doesn't change much over time, the iPhone's design has become classic and iconic. Same for the Macbook.Examples of other classic products with looks that haven't changed much over time include the Rolex Submariner, which today still looks pretty much the same as when 007 wore his in the 1962 film Dr. No. Another example: the Porsche 911, the Coca-Cola glass bottle, Sperry Docksiders. I could go on, but the point is clear. Iconic designs sell well for decades. Goofy designs usually don't.But in Apple's case, it can even make goofy products look cool. Apple has made walking around with what appear to be cigarette butts sticking out of people's ears cool. The AppleWatch Ultra is kind of big and clunky but the watch is so aspirational that it's become popular even with people who aren't the target market of runners, explorers, divers and the like.It's worn on the wrists of people like me who just like the fact that it's lightweight, has a large screen, great battery life. And it also makes people who see it on me think I'm the kind of person who free dives when not trekking across the Sahara (at least I think it it does).Still, as much as I, and millions of others, admire Apple's product design aesthetic, that is not what has made Apple into the tech giant it is today. When people discussed who could be the heir to Apple after Jobs, the most talked about person was Jony Ive. After all, he was Steve's "soulmate." He also gave us nutty things like $10,000 Gold Apple Watches, the infamous butterfly keyboard, and devices so minimalist the designs were changed immediately such as the 2009 Apple Shuffle.But no, it was then-COO Cook who ascended, the man who made Apple's corporate mechanisms run on time, its master of the supply chain. Cook wasn't known for creating new Apple products (and despite some successes, still isn't). He isn't the most dynamic speaker. In fact, his presentations can be kind of dull.What he did do was take Apple to a $3 trillion market cap and made it the most valued company in the world. The truth is Apple can be less innovative and more incremental because it commands such a large and loyal user base who benefit by products that remain steady.There is, of course, danger in being too classic, too slow to change, especially in the tech industry. Apple already needs to catch up to parts of the industry it once led but now trails, like AI. (I've previously argued that Siri is still a mess compared to Google Assistant).And yes, when it leans away from serving users and towards greed (like prioritizing ads in its app store) or protectionism (like its petty walled garden that still won't let Androids interoperate with iMessage), it's inviting trouble.But ultimately, even if you find Apple products boring rather than classic, they are a great choice for those looking for long-lasting, high-quality, user-friendly, reliable technology. Apple doesn't have to be the Ferrari if it's the Ford truck.Michael Gartenberg is a former senior marketing executive at Apple and has covered the company for more than two decades as a market-research analyst at Gartner, Jupiter Research, and Altimeter Group. He is also an Apple shareholder. He can be reached on Twitter at @Gartenberg.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 18th, 2023

NVIDIA Q3 Preview: Another Blowout Quarter Inbound?

Another robust quarter from NVIDIA appears to be in the cards, with scorching-hot Data Center demand and improving Gaming revenues likely to provide tailwinds. How will shares react? Investor-favorite NVIDIA NVDA is gearing up to unveil quarterly results next week, undoubtedly representing one of the most highly-awaited releases of the Q3 cycle. The release will help cap off earnings season, with most notable companies already unveiling results.The release will also wrap up the Q3 cycle for the ‘Big 7’, whose performance as a group in 2023 has been remarkable amid a favorable sentiment shift.Analysts have been bullish on NVIDIA all year, constantly revising their earnings expectations higher following scorching demand for artificial intelligence (AI) chips. The stock has held the highly-coveted Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) for most of 2023.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchNVIDIA reports next week on Tuesday, November 21st, after the market's close. Let’s take a closer look at expectations heading into the release.NVIDIA Q3Concerning headline figures, the Zacks Consensus EPS Estimate of $3.34 for the upcoming release suggests growth of a sizable 475% from the year-ago period, with the estimate up nearly 36% since the end of August.Regarding the top line, the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $16.1 billion implies growth of 170% year-over-year, revised 10% higher over the same period. Both revisions trends are illustrated below.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchData CenterOf course, eyes will be laser-focused on the company’s Data Center results, which include sales of its artificial intelligence chips. It’s more than reasonable to assume the company will speak extensively on Data Center trends and demand, precisely what investors will be tuned in for.Concerning Data Center sales, the Zacks Consensus Estimate presently stands at $12.6 billion, suggesting 230% growth from the same period last year and reflecting another quarterly record. The company has exceeded consensus Data Center sales estimates in back-to-back releases, with the latest beat totaling nearly $2.5 billion.In the Q2 release back in August, Data Center revenue of $10.3 billion grew a remarkable 140% sequentially and 170% year-over-year.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchNVDA will likely again post another strong quarter concerning Data Center sales, particularly as many notable technology companies continue rapidly deploying generative AI. NVIDIA is currently the go-to for AI applications, and given its rich history of rapid innovation, this appears unlikely to change meaningfully anytime soon.In fact, 1600+ generative AI companies are currently building on NVIDIA, further reflecting the company’s current dominant stance. The artificial intelligence race is undoubtedly underway, and NVIDIA is leading the pack.GamingBeyond the Data Center, NVIDIA also generates a notable chunk of its revenues from its Gaming platform (33% of revenues in FY23). The company’s Gaming results include sales of its highly popular GeForce GPUs for PC gaming and GeForce NOW (Cloud Gaming Service).Gaming revenues improved nicely throughout its latest quarter, totaling $2.5 billion and penciling in growth of 22% year-over-year. For the release, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Gaming revenue stands at $2.7 billion, suggesting an impressive 68% year-over-year growth rate on easy comps.The company’s Gaming revenues cooled significantly amid an overall slowdown in video gaming post-pandemic, helping to explain the significant growth expected. Nonetheless, NVIDIA has consistently exceeded consensus Gaming revenue expectations despite the slowdown mentioned above, as shown below.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchBottom LineAnother robust quarter from NVIDIA NVDA appears to be in the cards, with scorching-hot Data Center demand and an improving gaming industry likely to provide tailwinds.Concerning the valuation picture, NVDA shares presently trade at a 46.1X forward earnings multiple (F1), undoubtedly expensive but still beneath the 55.6X five-year median and five-year highs of 93.5X. Given the company’s forecasted growth, investors have had little issue forking up the premium.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchEstimates suggest 225% earnings growth in its current year (FY24) on 102% higher sales. And growth is fully expected to continue, with FY25 estimates indicating an additional 55% of earnings growth on 48% higher sales.Given the company’s scorching-hot demand and favorable earnings estimate revisions that have followed, NVIDIA is certainly the stock for those who want to join in on the AI boom. Zacks Reveals ChatGPT "Sleeper" Stock One little-known company is at the heart of an especially brilliant Artificial Intelligence sector. By 2030, the AI industry is predicted to have an internet and iPhone-scale economic impact of $15.7 Trillion. As a service to readers, Zacks is providing a bonus report that names and explains this explosive growth stock and 4 other "must buys." Plus more.Download Free ChatGPT Stock Report Right Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 17th, 2023

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 16, 2023 Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Target Corporation Third Quarter Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Wednesday, November 15, 2023. I would now like to turn the conference over to […] Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 16, 2023 Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Target Corporation Third Quarter Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Wednesday, November 15, 2023. I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. John Hulbert, Vice President Investor Relations. Please go ahead sir. John Hulbert: Good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us on our third quarter 2023 earnings conference call. On the line with me today are Brian Cornell, Chair and Chief Executive Officer; Christina Hennington, Chief Growth Officer; John Mulligan, Chief Operating Officer; and Michael Fiddelke, Chief Financial Officer. In a few moments Brian, Christina, John and Michael will provide their insights on our third quarter performance along with our outlook and priorities for the fourth quarter. Following their remarks we’ll open the phone lines for a question-and-answer session. This morning we’re joined on this conference call by investors and others who are listening to our comments via webcast. Following the call, Michael and I will be available to answer your follow-up questions. And finally, as a reminder, any forward-looking statements that we make this morning are subject to risks and uncertainties including those described in this morning’s earnings press release and in our most recently filed 10-K. Also in these remarks we refer to non-GAAP financial measures including adjusted earnings per share. Reconciliations of all non-GAAP numbers to the most directly comparable GAAP number are included in this morning’s press release which is posted on our Investor Relations website. With that I’ll turn it over to Brian for his thoughts on the third quarter and his priorities for the remainder of the year. Brian? Brian Cornell: Thanks, John. For many years now we have focused on building a durable business model that allows us to meet guests where they are developing and enhancing the right tools and capabilities while investing heavily in our team, all in the service of providing an affordable, easy and joyful guest experience. And the flexibility of our multi-category model has served us incredibly well over the last few years, delivering unprecedented growth in both traffic and sales. Today, our business generates well over $100 billion in annual revenue and is successfully navigating through a very challenging environment, as consumers continue to rebalance their spending between goods and experiences and make tough choices in the face of persistent inflation. Even as our P&L is being impacted by multiple top line and bottom line challenges including soft industry trends in discretionary categories, moderating inflation rates in Essentials and Food and Beverage and higher inventory shrink. We’ve seen a meaningful improvement in profitability compared with last year. More specifically, our EPS through the first three quarters of 2023 was more than 40% higher than last year and more than 26% higher than in 2019. Importantly, even beyond this year’s rapid progress, we believe we have a significant opportunity to grow both the top line and bottom line in the years ahead. So even as we remain cautious in our near-term outlook, we’re not standing still. We’re playing the long game, investing in our stores, our supply chain, our team, our digital capabilities and our assortment to provide the newness, value and convenience, our guests want for this holiday season and beyond. At the heart of it all is our focus on being our guests’ happy place and delivering the joyful shopping experience that makes Target. In the third quarter, Target’s comparable sales were down 4.9% in line with our expectations. Consistent with prior quarters and overall industry trends discretionary categories were the driver of this decline, partially offset by net sales growth in our frequency categories. Between sales channels, store comp trends were somewhat stronger than in the digital channel. Among our digital fulfillment capabilities, same-day services saw high single-digit comp growth led by Drive-Up, which expanded 12%. Strength in these services was offset by continued softness in brown box delivery, which is most affected by the pullback in discretionary categories. On the bottom line, our third quarter EPS of $2.10 was well above our expectations and more than 36% ahead of last year. This increase reflected the continued benefit of lower freight costs, disciplined inventory management by our team, favorable category and channel mix and the continued benefit of our work to enhance efficiency, which offset multiple pressures throughout our business. This is outstanding profit performance in the face of a very challenging environment, and I want to thank our entire team for their tireless efforts in support of our guests, our business and each other. As you know, one of our top priorities this year was to rebuild our profitability, following the unique challenges we faced in 2022. And while there’s lots more work ahead of us, I’m really pleased with the progress the team has delivered so far this year. At the same time, I want to make it clear. We are not satisfied with the top line trends we’ve been seeing. Our number one priority is to get back to sustainable growth in both traffic and sales and we’re committed to investing in long-term initiatives to deliver this growth. As we assess the external environment, it’s clear that consumers have been remarkably resilient. Yet, at the same time, our research indicates that themes like uncertainty, caution, managing my time and budget and focusing on essentials while still finding ways to celebrate are all top of mind. Overall consumers are still spending, but pressures like higher interest rates, the resumption of student loan repayments, increased credit card debt and reduced savings rates have left them with less discretionary income, forcing them to make trade-offs in their family budgets. For example, this year we’ve seen more and more consumers delaying their spending until the last moment. Guests who previously bought sweatshirts or denim in August or September, are deciding to wait until the weather turns cold before making a purchase. This is a clear indication of the pressures they’re facing, as they work to stretch their budgets until the next paycheck. Consistent with these pressures, as we look at recent trends across the retail industry, dollar sales are being driven by higher prices, with consumers buying fewer units per trip. In fact, overall unit demand across the industry has been down 2% to 4% in recent quarters. And the industry has experienced seven consecutive quarters of declines in discretionary dollars and units. And while we’re happy to see inflation rates moderating this year, if you compare industry pricing in key categories back to 2020, food at home pricing for families has increased 25% overall and in some areas up to 30%. And if you’re a parent raising a baby, you’re facing increases of more than 30% on baby food and formula too. And that’s in addition to persistent increases in a variety of other categories. So when you layer on the impact of higher energy prices, it all puts pressure on discretionary spending. As a result this holiday season, we’re focusing on highlighting the amazing value we’ve always provided in our end caps, promotions and the price points we feature in our marketing. As we built our plans for this holiday season, we maintained our cautious inventory positioning in markdown-sensitive categories. This provides our team the necessary flexibility to quickly adjust to volatile trends, something that has served us well all year. But I want to be crystal clear. That does not mean, we’re backing off on newness. While we’re cautious about the size of our inventory commitments, we’re leaning into the amount of innovation featured in our assortment. And after several years in which our vendors were focused on raising production volumes in the face of unprecedented demand, we’re encouraged by the focus on newness and innovation we’re seeing from them. And as I’ve mentioned throughout this holiday season, we’ll be focused on highlighting value, helping families to celebrate the joy of the season, in a way that fits their budget. Beyond our assortment, as we work to provide a great guest experience, we’ve enhanced our training of retail fundamentals to our teams. This is an important shift after years of operating in an environment that was anything but normal. After all, given the large number of team members we’ve hired over the last few years, a meaningful number of them have never experienced ordinary sales trends. As we’ve said many times, investments in our team are the most important ones we make. And today, we remain on our front foot, investing to ensure they can deliver a joyful industry-leading shopping experience. This holiday season, we’ll be supplementing our existing team by hiring nearly 100,000 seasonal team members to meet expected demand and ensure we can deliver a joyful shopping experience. So now, as I get ready to hand the call over to Christina, I think it would be useful to pause and assess how this year has progressed in comparison to our expectations. As a reminder, at the beginning of this year, we said we were expecting a challenging environment with the sales guidance range centered around flat comparable sales. In terms of profitability, we said we expected to grow our full year operating income by $1 billion or more with an expected EPS range of $7.75 to $8.75. So today with three quarters of the year behind us top line trends have obviously been tougher than expected and we’re firmly focused on getting back to growth. But the story on profitability has been very different. Through the first three quarters of this year we’ve already grown operating income by more than $1 billion compared with last year despite unexpected headwinds from higher-than-expected shrink and softer-than-expected sales. We’re encouraged with this performance against a challenging backdrop which demonstrates the resilience of both our team and our business. I’m incredibly proud to be a member of this great team and excited about the growth we’re positioned to deliver in the years ahead. Now, I’ll turn the call over to Christina. Christina Hennington: Thanks, Brian, and good morning, everyone. As we’ve shared for the past several quarters, now even as our guests face tough choices as they manage their budgets, they’re also continuing to celebrate seasonal moments, while showing their excitement for new product offerings and compelling value. After all, consumers are feeling the weight of multiple economic pressures and discretionary retail has borne the brunt of this weight for many quarters now. In addition, consumers are facing newly emerging headwinds, including higher interest rates and the return of student loan payments. In the face of this mental and emotional tug of war consumers are looking for a respite which is why we are relentless in our pursuit to provide ease, inspiration, joy and comprehensive value every day. And while we are not satisfied with our current performance, I’m confident that, our team’s empathy and their continued focus on serving our guests’ wants and needs will pay dividends in the years ahead. As Brian mentioned, our third quarter comparable sales decline reflected continued softness in discretionary categories, partially offset by growth in Beauty. Notably comps within frequency categories slowed between Q2 and Q3 driven entirely by a deceleration in the comp benefit from growth in average retail. More specifically in both Food and Beverage and Beauty and Essentials, the benefit from average pricing decelerated by about three percentage points between the second and third quarters as we move beyond the period of peak inflation from a year ago. As we’ve said, a lower inflation rate is welcome news as it will reduce pressure on consumer budgets, making room for them to expand back into discretionary categories over time. Beauty-led performance in the quarter, with comparable sales growth in the high single digits driven by strength across core Beauty and our Ulta Beauty at Target offerings. We’re excited to launch Fenty Beauty by Rihanna in the third quarter and it has quickly become one of our top-selling beauty brands across the chain. In Food and Beverage, comp sales were down slightly to last year. Seasonal candy snacks and hosting solutions performed particularly well. Comp sales in Essentials declined in the low single digits despite strength in health care and baby categories. Comp sales in our discretionary categories remained soft in the third quarter, with declines ranging from the high single digits to low double digits. However, trends improved markedly compared with the second quarter thanks to the agility of our team and their focus on listening and responding to our guests. Home saw a high single-digit comp decline, an improvement of more than six percentage points from the second quarter. Most notably, we saw strength in Back-to-School and college categories and a great response to our assortment of Stanley drinkware. Additionally, within kitchenware we launched our most recent owned brand Figmint and received an enthusiastic response from our guests. Figmint offers more than 250 items ranging from enameled cookware, to ceramic mixing bowls, to kitchen gadgets all at a quality aesthetic and value that can’t be topped. Apparel comparable sales also declined high single digits, an improvement of nearly three percentage points when compared with Q2. The business was strongest within new offerings, including our partnership with Kendra Scott jewelry the latest All In Motion performance wear and new fall fashion sets within our women’s categories. Hardlines comparable sales were down in the low teens. While we were encouraged by Back-to-School performance demand for electronics remains particularly soft. This quarter’s performance demonstrates that, while the results are not immune to macro conditions when we focus on retail fundamentals offer exciting new products at incredible value and respond to our guests’ wants and needs in a timely manner we remain relevant with our guests even against the challenging backdrop. By leaning into seasonal moments like Back-to-School, Back-to-College and Halloween we not only drove sales in the current quarter, we helped to build lasting affinity with our guests. This focus on celebrating the season creates an engaging experience that keeps Target top of mind. And that’s why we continue to offer events like our latest Target Circle week in early October, which added another 500,000 members to our loyalty platform, providing future opportunities to engage with these guests in deeper ways. Our goal this holiday season is to create the perfect combination of incredible value, inspiring and fresh products and a joyful shopping experience, as you stroll the aisles in our stores, or on the recently refreshed Target website and app. We aim to deepen the relationships with our guests, as they look to deck the halls and celebrate the joys that the holidays bring. As we do year round, we are leaning into the power of and this holiday season by not focusing only on one aspect of our strategy, but celebrating how they all work together to create a unique offering in a crowded retail landscape. Our plans start with a celebratory experience that you feel the moment you walk into our stores or open the Target website or app featuring on-trend and inspiring color pallets imagery and in-store marketing that complements all the excitement and joy we are creating with our national marketing campaigns. Guests will feel the holiday spirit before they even add their first item to the cart. The excitement builds with our assortment at unbeatable value only at Target-exclusive merchandise and our easy and convenient holiday solutions. And through it all, we’ll remain diligent on executing the necessary retail fundamentals our guests want and expect from us, including being in-stock on the must-have items of the season offering unmatched value and pricing, highlighting our inspiring and differentiated merchandise assortment and making each trip easy and convenient regardless of where, when and how guests chooses to shop. Whether a guest knows exactly what they’re looking for or needs a bit of inspiration, we want to make the trip joyful, easy and welcoming. And we know families want to celebrate the holidays, but they’re relying on us to help them do so affordably. With a combination of everyday low prices, compelling promotions and exciting savings events all season long, we aim to be the holiday destination for affordable joy. So with Thanksgiving right around the corner, guest shopping for food and beverage area will discover how we’re helping families celebrate with a Thanksgiving meal that includes all the family favorites for under $25, featuring $0.99 per pound Good & Gather turkeys and the must-have sides for just $5. As they explore our assortment, guests will discover exciting gifting options for every loved one. In toys, guests will find the characters and items their kids want at prices designed to fit every budget with over two-thirds of this season’s toy assortment priced under $25. In addition, around one in four toy items is a Target exclusive featuring everyone’s favorite properties including Barbie, Paw Patrol, Pokemon, Marvel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, LEGO and so much more. And so far among the most popular toys in our assortment are All Things Target, including plush Bullseye dogs, Barbie First Job at Target Dolls and Target cash register and shopping cart toys, a nod to the Target brand love even among our youngest guests. And back by popular demand, we have an exciting array of toys from FAO Schwarz, including only-at-Target exclusives with 50% of the assortment under $20. With so many options to choose from, we are making it easier than ever to help narrow in on what will bring the biggest smiles this holiday season through exciting in-store displays and experiences. And on as well as the Target app, guests can immerse themselves in a digital 360-degree room filled with the hottest toys for kids of all ages to try before they buy. When the presents are taken care of, it will be time to deck the halls, and we’re offering an array of holiday decor at even lower prices than ever before. Nearly two-thirds of the assortment will be priced under $20 with in-store and digital signing and displays making it easy for guests to see how they can refresh their holiday decor affordably with $15 ornament sets, family baking solutions and Mondo Llama craft sets $10 throw pillows and tree skirts and still much more. And of course, the season is all about gathering with loved ones. Guests will find all the best entertaining gifting and gathering solutions in this year’s assortment, and we’re launching more than 100 new items in Good & Gather and Favorite Day with over half of these priced under $5. Throughout the holiday season, guests can rest assured that they’ll get the best price and quality wherever and however they shop. We’ll be offering incredible deals, leading up to Black Friday, including four weeks of deals on tens of thousands of items with many up to 50% off. Target Circle members will receive exclusive promotions and offers to reward and deepen their love of All Things Target. Plus, we’ve added more personalization than ever before, giving them even more options to earn rewards. And of course, we’ll offer our season-long price match guarantee which assures guests that no matter when they shop, they’ll get the best price of the season. The holidays are so special to so many families and they are made even brighter by everything our team members do for our guests and for each other. I’m so inspired by how each of our teams from marketing to merchandising, to stores, to supply chain are bringing their best to create something truly magical and uniquely target this holiday season. I want to thank the entire Target team around the world for being the not-so-secret weapon that will help us to win the holiday season. As I get ready to end my remarks, John, I want to pause and thank you and acknowledge your countless contributions to the Target brand and team. I’ve greatly appreciated getting to work alongside you for so many years and know your legacy will be felt for many more. With that, I’ll turn the call over to you. John Mulligan: Thanks, Christina. Over the last 3.5 years, our operations have continually faced unusual and rapidly changing external conditions. In 2020 and 2021, after the onset of the pandemic, we couldn’t secure enough inventory to satisfy the explosion in demand for our products and we saw operating margin rates grow well beyond normal levels. Then in early 2022, the period of rapid growth in discretionary categories suddenly reversed and we quickly moved from having too little inventory to having way too much. As a result, both our distribution centers and store backrooms filled up well beyond optimal levels and operating margin rates quickly moved to historical lows. So this year, as Brian mentioned, a key priority was to optimize our inventory position, so it was better aligned to the current size and growth rate of our business. We were confident that if we were successful in that effort, our operations will become more efficient, markdowns will come back down and we’d see our profit rate recover back toward more sustainable long-term levels. And through the first three quarters of the year, despite unexpectedly soft top line trends, the team has delivered a more rapid recovery in our profitability than we’d even planned at the beginning of the year. Looking ahead, we’ve maintained this cautious inventory posture and planning for the fourth quarter as well. More specifically, at the end of the third quarter, total inventory on our balance sheet was 14% lower than a year ago with discretionary category inventory down 19%. And importantly, while this ending inventory position was 29% higher than at the end of Q3 2019, that’s aligned with growth we’ve seen on the sales line over those four years, making us feel really good about both the size and the health of our inventory position as we enter the holiday season. In addition, even though we own a lot less inventory than a year ago, the team has delivered meaningfully improved reliability and in-stock metrics this year and they made additional progress in Q3. More specifically, overall in-stocks in the third quarter improved nearly one percentage point compared with Q2 and more than three percentage points from a year ago. And notably, in-stocks in our highest volume stores saw an even greater year-over-year improvement. In terms of our top-selling items, while the in-stock rate remained consistent between Q2 and Q3 that was after we grew the size of that list by about 75%, meaning that today our top item list accounts for more than one-third of our total sales. Beyond these broader metrics, we also saw meaningful improvements in our seasonal in-stocks and a more than six percentage point improvement in new item in-stocks. In our smaller stores, which on average have less shelf capacity and turn faster than the chain, in-stocks have improved by more than two percentage points between the first and third quarters. And today, our in-stock levels in those stores are slightly better than the overall chain. And finally, in the digital channel, the percent of items available for purchase has improved by more than two points compared with last year, reflecting an improvement of nearly eight percentage points in Apparel. Beyond the work of our team to deliver these outstanding improvements, we’re benefiting from a more than two-week reduction of import lead times compared with last year, and a nearly 10 percentage point improvement in purchase order fill rates compared with a year ago. And with the combined benefit of a faster supply chain and a simultaneous reduction in inventory levels, all of our supply chain facilities stayed at or below our desired capacity thresholds through all 13 weeks of the third quarter this year compared with only three of 13 weeks in Q3 of 2022. So while we’ll continue to focus on ways to consistently deliver higher in-stocks and reliability, I’m incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished so far this year. So now, before I turn the call over to Michael, I want to highlight how our team continues to deliver on their efforts to improve execution of everyday retail fundamentals, as we prepare for the busiest shopping season of the year. One of the key areas of focus for our store teams this year was to ensure priority items remained available on our sales floors throughout the day. And this year, through these efforts, we’ve increased the amount of inventory available on our sales floors by more than $0.25 billion. In addition, we’ve seen improvements in metrics relating to backroom inventory accuracy and the percent of new assortments set on time. In the digital channel, the percentage of orders picked and shipped on time and the average Drive-Up wait time have all improved from last year. Also, in support of the digital business, the percent of items ordered but not found has declined from a year ago, meaning that we are fulfilling more items per order and canceling fewer, a key factor in guest satisfaction. Since our goal is for Target to be the easiest place for our guests to shop, our teams have been focused on the front of store experience, with the goal of providing consistently great service through the in-store checkout experience, along with drive-up and in-store pickup. And because our guests tell us they enjoy interacting with our team, since we’ve refocused on the front-end experience, we’ve seen more than a six percentage point increase in the usage of full service lanes across the chain. And we’ve seen sustained month-over-month improvement in the Net Promoter Score relating to interactions with our team at checkout. In addition, compared with last year, we’ve seen improvements in Net Promoter Scores for both Drive Up and in-store pickup on top of already high levels a year ago. Beyond the front of store, in support of our efforts to highlight value and affordability, our team has been working to increase the number of store end caps, featuring one or two price points. As a result, going into this holiday season, nearly two-thirds of our end caps were meeting the standard and conveying a simple, compelling and easy-to-understand value message. Finally, I want to provide a quick update on our goal of hiring 100,000 seasonal team members to join our team and provide a great guest experience during the holiday season. I’m happy to report that our hiring stats this year have improved relative to last year. I’m confident our entire team will be energized and ready to support our guests throughout the busiest season of the year. So now, as I get ready to turn the call over to Michael, I want to quickly thank all of you for your continued interest and engagement with Target. I’ve been fortunate to meet and interact with many of you over the years, beginning with my time as CFO and continuing with my time leading operations. I also want to say to the entire Target team, thank you for everything I’ve learned from you, for your enduring passion for retail and for your love of this iconic brand. I’ll continue to be a huge supporter of this company and this team, when I’m no longer on these calls. Because of all of you, I know that the company and our guests are in very good hands and I’ll be cheering on your efforts from the sidelines. Now, I’ll turn the call over to Michael. Michael Fiddelke: Thanks, John. Before I begin my formal remarks, I want to thank you for the positive impact you’ve made on this company, our strategy, our team and on me personally. I’ve been fortunate to work with you and learn from you since I first arrived at Target 20 years ago. In the third quarter, total revenue was down 4.2%, reflecting a 4.3% decline in total sales and a 0.6% decline in other revenue. Within the other revenue line, declines in credit card revenue and a few smaller items were nearly offset by growth in Roundel ad revenue. Among the drivers of our third quarter comparable sales, traffic was down 4.1%, combined with a 0.8% decrease in average ticket. While we’re encouraged that our Q3 comp trend improved 0.5 point compared with Q2 and the traffic trend recovered a little bit faster, we’re not at all satisfied with this result and we’re laser-focused on moving both traffic and sales trends back into positive territory. As Christina mentioned, our guests continue to shop around seasonal moments. So not surprisingly, Q3 comp performance was strongest around the Back-to-School and Back-to-College seasons. For the remainder of the quarter, we saw variability week by week with periods of relative strength around promotions. Our third quarter gross margin rate of 27.4% was more than 2.5 points better than last year, driven by multiple benefits within merchandising, including meaningfully lower freight costs and favorable clearance markdowns. In addition, we benefited from year-over-year favorability in digital fulfillment and supply chain costs. And perhaps surprisingly, merchandise mix drove a small rate benefit compared with last year, as we continue to benefit from growth in higher-margin categories like Beauty and we saw the softest performance in very low-margin categories like electronics. Partially offsetting these tailwinds, the rising cost of inventory shrink represented a 40-basis point headwind to our third quarter gross margin rate. While we’re encouraged that this impact was smaller than expected and better than we faced earlier in the year, growth in shrink remains a significant financial headwind and we’re determined to continue making progress in the years ahead. While our Q3 guidance anticipated significant improvement in our gross margin rate, our actual performance was well above our expectations, as the team delivered greater-than-expected progress on several fronts. At the top of that list is their continued agility in managing inventory, which delivered compelling benefits on both the gross margin and SG&A expense lines. In addition, our team’s ongoing efforts to identify long-term efficiency opportunities is already contributing to this quarter’s better-than-expected performance. Beyond those drivers, a couple of macro factors came in better than expected including freight costs and the impact of inventory shrink. On the SG&A line, our third quarter rate of 20.9% was just over one percentage point higher than last year. This growth reflected cost increases throughout our business, including continued investments in our team, along with the deleveraging impact of lower sales, partially offset by disciplined cost management throughout the organization. Our Q3 depreciation and amortization expense rate of 2.4% was about 10 basis points higher than a year ago, reflecting dollar growth of about 3%. Altogether, our third quarter operating margin rate of 5.2% was more than a percentage point higher than last year. And notably, this year’s rate was only about 20 basis points lower than the 5.4% our business delivered prior to the pandemic in the third quarter of 2019, despite the cumulative 110 basis point drag from shrink we faced since then. Also important, given the growth in revenue that our team has delivered over that four-year period. this year’s Q3 operating margin dollars were more than 30% higher than in 2019. As a result, on the bottom-line, both GAAP and adjusted earnings per share of $2.10 in this year’s third quarter were more than 36% ahead of last year and more than 50% higher than in 2019. Important to note while the backdrop today remains tough because of the long-term investments we continue to make and the efforts of our team to identify efficiency opportunities throughout our business, we have a lot more opportunity to grow both our topline and increase our profitability in the years ahead. And our team is already delivering strong profit performance, both compared to a year ago and versus our longer term history as well. Now, I’ll turn to capital deployment and reiterate our priorities which have remained consistent for decades. We first look to fully invest in projects that meet our strategic and financial criteria. Then we look to support the dividend and build on our record of annual increases which we’ve maintained for more than 50 years. And finally, we deploy any excess cash within the limits of our middle A credit ratings through share repurchase over time. Regarding the first priority, capital investment through the first three quarters of the year was just under $4 billion and we expect full year CapEx will be near the high end of the $4 billion to $5 billion range we laid out for the year. While we’re still in the early stages of developing next year’s capital plan, our current expectation is that next year’s CapEx will be somewhat lower than this year in the $3 billion to $4 billion range, reflecting our current view of the optimal timing for key investments we’re planning over the next several years. Regarding our second capital priority, we paid dividends of just over $0.5 billion in Q3, $10 million higher than last year, reflecting a per share dividend increase of 1.9%. Regarding the last priority, we didn’t repurchase any shares in the third quarter as we continue to focus on strengthening our balance sheet and restoring our debt metrics to levels that support our middle A credit ratings. And we continue to make meaningful progress on that journey as the combined benefits of higher profits and lower working capital have led to a meaningful improvement in operating cash flow. More specifically, our operations have generated more than $5.3 billion in cash through the first three quarters of the year, up dramatically from about $550 million through the first three quarters of 2022. As always, I’ll conclude my review of the quarter with our trailing 12-month after-tax ROIC, which was 13.9% in the third quarter, down from 14.6% a year ago. While an after-tax return in the low teens is quite healthy in absolute terms, it’s meaningfully lower than the returns we expect to deliver over time. Importantly, we’ve seen sequential improvement in this metric over the last couple of quarters and we’re focused on continuing that momentum in the years ahead. Now, I’ll turn to our guidance for the fourth quarter. On the topline, our expectations reflect our continued near-term caution leading us to maintain our prior guidance for a mid-single-digit decline in Q4 comparable sales. On the bottom-line, we’re also maintaining a cautious posture, particularly because the fourth quarter is typically a very promotional season. As such we’re planning a wide range for our fourth quarter EPS of $1.90 to $2.60, which represents approximately flat growth to last year on the low end and growth of about 37% on the high end. I also want to note that 2023 is a 53-week year. So, the fourth quarter will include an extra week of sales and profits. We estimate that extra week will add about $1.7 billion in sales and result in about 30 basis points of operating margin rate leverage on the quarter. Note that it will not affect our comparable sales as we base that calculation on periods of equal length. On top of the results our team has already delivered through Q3, our fourth quarter guidance implies a full year EPS range that’s very close to the original guidance range we provided at the beginning of the year with a midpoint less than $0.05 from the center of the original range. That’s an amazing outcome against the backdrop of a tougher-than-expected top-line and it’s a testament to the tireless efforts of our team to stay nimble and successfully navigate through a volatile and unpredictable period. In fact given how strong our profit rate performance has been so far this year we’ve been getting some questions about whether we’re only focused on increasing our profit rate and I want to pause and address that question head on. As John mentioned earlier coming into this year we were confident our team would deliver a significant increase in our profit rate by achieving better alignment between our inventory and our sales. In addition, a year ago we first talked about the significant long-term efficiency opportunities we’re pursuing given that we’ve grown our revenue to more than $100 billion per year. While that work is still in its early stages the team has already delivered hundreds of millions of dollars of efficiency savings so far this year significantly benefiting our profitability. But I want to make it clear we are focused on growing profit dollars. And if we saw an opportunity to invest a portion of our current profit rate to gain sustainable long-term growth in dollars we would gladly do that. Even more fundamentally our first priority is to deliver long-term top line growth because the only way a retailer can sustainably deliver bottom-line growth is by delivering top-line growth as well. At the same time we’re not interested in making any investments that might boost the top line in the short term but which wouldn’t lead to any sustainable growth. In fact our experience has shown that many times those kinds of short-term decisions are actually harmful over time. So today we remain focused on the long-term strategies that have been so successful in driving top line growth over the last half decade including our work to enhance our assortment of both owned brands and national brands our investments in our store assets and our team to deliver a reliable and differentiated shopping experience investments in new stores and markets we’ve not previously served and in existing stores to keep them fresh and enhancing our digital experience beginning with the website and Target app all the way through to the fulfillment services we provide. As we pursue those long-term initiatives we also have opportunity to further grow our operating margin rate in the years ahead and we don’t believe those efforts are incompatible with each other. But more directly based on where we are today we believe we can successfully deliver both top-line growth and rate improvement over time. And as always the basis for my confidence starts and ends with the Target team. They have delivered unprecedented growth over the last several years. And this year they’ve made amazing progress in moving our profitability back toward the optimal level all while focusing on building and maintaining long-term relationships with our guests. Our team is truly the best team in retail. Now I’ll turn the call back over to Brian. Brian Cornell: Thanks, Michael. Before we turn to your questions I want to pause and acknowledge John’s incredible record of service to Target and thank him for his profound impact he’s had on this company. I’m sure he’ll be glad to know I’m not planning to recap his entire 27-year career this morning. But I do want to highlight the impact he’s had since I arrived in 2014 an impact that literally began on my first day when John handed me a large binder a recap of the comprehensive strategy review he and the Board conducted during his time as interim CEO. That body of work was an invaluable resource that allowed me to hit the ground running. It serves as a blueprint for all the strategic changes we made in those early years. One of those changes was the creation of a Chief Operating Officer role the first time we’ve had one at Target. And while John was already an outstanding CFO I knew he was the right person for this new position. Since becoming COO in 2015 and John has led the transformation of our store portfolio from new stores or remodels through the operating model within those buildings. Similarly, John is leading the transformation of our upstream supply chain completely changing the way our distribution network serves our stores. And of course John’s team developed and implemented our stores as hub strategy. When we launched stores as hubs it was a completely unique approach in retail. It’s a model that has changed the way we serve our guests, including Drive-Up service now accounts for well over $7 billion in annual sales $7 billion is larger than the total sales of some other prominent retailers. But beyond the tangible operational changes John has led, it’s his focus on team development and its impact on individual leaders that’s been the most notable. John has served as both a formal and informal mentor to countless members of our team and he’s hired and developed an extraordinary group of leaders, including Mark Schindele in our stores and Gretchen McCarthy in our supply chain, both of whom are ready and well prepared to continue leading the work after John steps down. Perhaps, the strongest complement I can pay John is to say, he will be missed as a colleague, and I will personally miss his partnership. But I know our operations will not miss a beat given how masterfully he’s prepared everyone around him. And that goes for me too. Since the day I arrived, John has been a trusted advisor whose only goal was to do what was best for our guests, for this great company and for our team. I should also reiterate that John will remain in his role through the end of this fiscal year and has agreed to continue in advisory role until February of 2025. We’ll share additional information on our succession plans for John early next year. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I sincerely thank John for all he’s done for Target, and wish him only the best in his retirement. With that, we’ll turn to Q&A. Christina, John, Michael and I will be happy to take your questions. See also 13 Cheap Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy and 20 Most Valuable Brazilian Companies Heading into 2024. Q&A Session Follow Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) Follow Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Operator: Thank you. We will now begin the question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Robby Ohmes with Bank of America. You may go ahead. Robby Ohmes: Good morning, and first I just want to say congrats to Brian and team Target on a great quarter in a really tough environment and to John Mulligan on just everything you’ve accomplished working at Target. But then my question is actually for Mr. Fiddelke. I was hoping that you could talk to us about how to think about the puts and takes on gross margin, differences in say 4Q versus 3Q. You mentioned shrink was a little better. How should we think about that for the fourth quarter also freight versus what you saw in the third quarter? What inventory management could bring in expectations for markdown ranges that we should think about for the fourth quarter say, versus the third quarter to give us something to think about? Michael Fiddelke: Yes. Happy to start Robby. And you had a couple of other drivers in your question. The Q3 relative benefits of shrink coming out in a little better than we thought, freight coming in healthy on a year-over-year basis, were certainly contributing factors. But the one I just underscore is the continued benefit we see from our strong inventory position. The cautious approach we’ve taken to inventory and frankly the team’s good work to drive more productivity with a better inventory position that inventory position just reaps benefits across our operations. Our stores are more efficient, our DCs are more efficient, all systems run better with inventory where it sits today, and with inventory down 14% on the balance sheet as we exit the quarter, we feel really good about that inventory position heading into Q4. Robby Ohmes: And do you still expect shrink to be favorable year-over-year in the fourth quarter? Michael Fiddelke: So that’s probably worth spending just a second on so that we all interpret what we’re likely to see in Q4 the right way. Given the pace of some of our accruals last year, we would expect shrink to not to be quarter-over-quarter headwind in Q4 that we’ve seen throughout the balance of the year. Important to note that, that doesn’t mean we’ve turned the corner on shrink. We’ll continue to watch those trends carefully and we still saw year-over-year pressure in Q3 as the underlying shrink in the business is still a headwind on a year-over-year basis but there’s some things unique to last year in Q4 that are likely to make it less of a driver of year-over-year variance in that quarter. Brian Cornell: Robby, I might build on Michael’s comments around inventory. And we certainly feel very good about the actions we’ve taken and the reduction of inventory by 14%. But if you heard Christina earlier in the call, we’ve also been leaning into newness and feel really good about our position going into the holiday season with 10,000 new items and we’ll continue to lean in to meet demand during the holiday season. So, I think the team has done an exceptional job of managing inventory. The benefits throughout our system have been realized in the third quarter. But we’re playing to win in the fourth quarter. And I think Christina highlighted the amount of newness we have in our system and the great value we’ll offer our guests throughout the holiday season. Robby Ohmes: That sounds great. Best of luck. Thank you. Brian Cornell: Thank you. Operator: Thank you. Our next question comes from Rupesh Parikh with Oppenheimer. You may go ahead. Rupesh Parikh: Good morning, and thanks for taking my question, and also, congrats on a nice quarter. So just for the holiday season, just curious if there’s any early reads you can share and then any commentary just in terms of what you’re seeing quarter-to-date? Brian Cornell: Well, as you might expect, we’re watching it day-by-day, almost hour-by-hour, but we’re still really early in the season. The big days, the big weeks are still in front of us. So we’ll launch it carefully. Again I think we’re prepared for a really solid holiday season but it’s just way too early to tell. Rupesh Parikh: Great. Thank you. And then maybe one follow-up question just on the CapEx. So expectations are lower for next year. Any specific buckets where you guys expect to reduce CapEx spending next year? Just any initial color you can share. Michael Fiddelke: Yeah. You can expect us to unpack that more as we get into the start of next year Rupesh. But wanted to share our latest thinking of how we think the cadence by year flows and as you heard me say in my remarks, importantly we’ll continue to invest in the things that will drive growth over time. We’re really pleased with the almost $5 billion of investments this year and the returns those will drive. And we feel like that $3 billion to $4 billion number is the right number for next year based on what we see today but more to come on that front. Rupesh Parikh: Great. Thank you. I’ll pass it on......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 17th, 2023

The tech world"s quiet connector

A successful founder herself, Ruzwana Bashir connects everyone from Elon Musk to Marissa Mayer. Ruzwana Bashir wears a Danz dress, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, and her own bracelet and ring.Lelanie Foster for Business InsiderStory by Melia RussellPhotography by Lelanie FosterRuzwana Bashir is ransacking her kitchen cabinet for just the right tea. On this fall day in Manhattan, the 40-year-old CEO of Peek, an activities-booking company, looks chic and comfortable in black trousers and a wool turtleneck. She's offered to make tea, and when I tell her I like fruity and black, she seems enthusiastic about the challenge. She's sorting through stacks of tins like it's the most important thing she'll do all day.While she's distracted, I take in her SoHo apartment. A large white sectional wraps around a coffee table laden with candles, fresh roses and ranunculus, and books on Andy Warhol, Picasso, and the Byzantine empire. In a sun-drenched corner, an ecstatic fiddle-leaf fig reaches toward the 13-foot ceiling. Below it, a dining table has two laptops and a stack of notebooks at one end.A minute later Bashir retrieves a container of Mariage Frères loose-leaf tea with blue-cornflower petals, sniffs it, and places it on the counter, satisfied.Being a host is kind of like being a CEO, she says, drawing hot water from an espresso machine. She feels responsible, in both her personal and professional life, for bringing out the best in people, plying them with the right role or the right loose leaf. "Part of your job is to help people find the seat they should be in," she says.I'm at Bashir's home in part to talk about her company, which, despite my eight years of reporting on startups, I had to Google. Though its name barely registers with laypeople, Peek, which started as a kind of OpenTable for travelers and pivoted to providing software to tour companies and operators, is now basically the Salesforce of tourism.Each year, about $1 billion worth of ticket sales — a seaplane tour over the Golden Gate Bridge, a visit to the Museum of Ice Cream, a swim with pigs in the Bahamas — goes through the company's platform. This past spring, the venture-capital powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz declared Peek the 14th-largest virtual marketplace for goods and services in the United States. The company has raised $120 million from the likes of Jack Dorsey, Eric Schmidt, and Goldman Sachs. All of which makes Peek's (and Bashir's) near-anonymity more remarkable. In an industry where success is often measured by how much noise a startup makes, Peek has proved it doesn't need the limelight to commandeer an industry.Bashir wears an Erdem floral-printed bra top, Erdem skirt, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, Old Jewelry earrings along with her own bracelet and ring.Lelanie Foster for Business InsiderEven so, I feel dazzled being with Bashir, not least because her apartment has enough fine art to charge admission. She speaks in a lilting British accent and has wide silver-green eyes like eucalyptus leaves. She's a careful listener, leaning in when I offer my observations on the new status shoe for techies (Allbirds are out, Hokas are in. Though Bashir seems to prefer Chloé's Nama sneakers.)Like her company, Bashir isn't a household name; rather, knowledge of her is passed around in the types of circles that would make the illuminati jealous. She's a conduit for ideas and connection, hobnobbing with tech gods and artificial-intelligence researchers, as well as fashion icons, Hollywood directors, economists, and media moguls. She's played Connect Four with Elon Musk, brunched at Balthazar with the investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, and posed for the September issue of Vogue.She references her network throughout our two-hour conversation. For three years she's been learning to invest from Roelof Botha, a senior steward of Sequoia Capital's brand and operations. "Mustafa Suleyman sat here," she says at one point, patting the Google DeepMind cofounder's preferred couch cushion, "and we've had conversations about what's going to happen with AI but also what's going to happen in the world."Bennett Miller, a close friend of Bashir's known for directing films like "Moneyball" and "Capote," says they often watch movies together. In describing Bashir, he references a bit in "The Big Lebowski" in which The Dude bemoans the destruction of an area rug. "There's a line about the rug — how it really tied the room together," Miller says. "Ruzwana is that rug."I can feel Bashir's penchant for forging connections as she focuses in on me, making me feel like the most important person — and the most discerning tea drinker — alive. ("If it's not strong enough, let me know," she says of the tea. "I can add some more.") She doesn't just host, doesn't just lead; she creates little universes where nothing existed before.Bashir has built a career connecting people to new experiences. She grew up in a Muslim household in northern England, where she wore a shalwar kameez and a head scarf every day. Her parents didn't read or write in English, and her father sold produce to provide for his wife and their three children.After high school, Bashir attended Oxford University and became president of the Oxford Union, the famed debate society, where she welcomed speakers such as Madeleine Albright and Tom Ford. Her love of travel bloomed in school. Jared Cohen, a partner at Goldman Sachs and a college friend, recalls studying for exams with Bashir at an Egyptian resort they booked on a budget travel website. Her idea of a study break: waking up early to drive across Israel and visit the ancient city of Petra.After college Bashir jumped to Goldman Sachs and then to the Blackstone Group, but in 2011, while studying at Harvard Business School, she caught the entrepreneurial bug.The idea for Peek came to her after she spent 20-plus hours looking up things to do on a birthday trip to Istanbul. There had to be a better way to book activities online, she thought. And so, with the help of an engineering virtuoso named Oskar Bruening, she built one. They launched Peek in the fall of 2012.Suddenly, Peek was just about everywhere (though not for those of us who were broke college students at the time). So was Bashir: on Forbes' "30 Under 30" list alongside Mark Zuckerberg; in billboard ads for the luggage brand Tumi; in Elle, where she was described as "one of the hardest-working (and chicest) women in tech." It was the age of the Ubers, the Airbnbs, the WeWorks — a moment when "disruptors" were treated with near-total credulity. "This idea of software eating the world was just starting," Bashir says. "It was a moment where people suddenly realized this incredible value creation happening in tech." The only thing that I've always tried to be is authentically myself. The cult of personality that rose up around Bashir wasn't unusual; founders like Travis Kalanick and Adam Neumann were just as inextricable from their brands. But the line can be blurrier for women, especially if they lead consumer companies, which rely on branding to set themselves apart. Ty Haney's bubbly personality helped position Outdoor Voices as the cool-girl queen of the activewear market. Emily Weiss amassed legions of fans through her beauty blog and online presence before launching Glossier."Part of building a business was going out and sharing what you were doing with the world," Bashir says. But she says she didn't think much about how her personality melded with her brand. "The only thing that I've always tried to be is authentically myself," she says. "Sometimes that means that you're not fitting into people's stereotypes or the box that they're expecting. And that's OK. Hopefully, we're finding ways to expand that box."Bashir wears a strapless Danz dress, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, and her own bracelet.Lelanie Foster for Business InsiderAt first, Bashir's team at Peek focused on bringing experiences directly to people. But they soon learned where the real potential lay. "There's an opportunity to help people book experiences, but in some ways it's quite a narrow one," Bashir tells me. "The bigger opportunity is to unlock everything and bring it all online."In 2013, Peek started putting resources into software to allow travel companies to enable purchases on their own websites and track their reservations — a move that turned out to be the company's saving grace. In 2016, Peek capped hundreds of millions of dollars in annual bookings and opened a second office in Utah. By 2019, downloads of the Peek app, which had spiked at more than 30,000 in December 2013, had dwindled to a few dozen, according to the analytics company even as downloads cratered, bookings were mounting. By then, Peek had gone all in on its software sales. "As a startup you have to be extremely intentional about where you put your resources," Bashir says. "When you're seeing success you have to back that horse." Bashir refashioned her startup to meet the needs of an industry that still operated using pen and paper and, in doing so, earned a second shot at overseeing a business worth billions. That's the hard part of being a founder. You have to make tough decisions and then also live with the consequences. Just as Peek got back on its feet, COVID-19 knocked it all the way down. People were terrified and trapped in their houses, and travel bookings fell to nearly zero overnight.On March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, and Bashir caught a flight to Salt Lake City. She and Bruening were on their way to Utah to lay off almost a third of their staff in person. They hoped such a drastic step would get them to the other side of lockdown. "That's the hard part of being a founder," Bashir says. "You have to make tough decisions and then also live with the consequences."To the delight of investors, Peek rebounded with dizzying speed. During the pandemic, digitization flourished as much of the world moved online. Suddenly a small-business owner with a zip-line park in Costa Rica or a pub-crawl party bike in Atlanta needed software to help them market, process sales, schedule guides, and send emails. For years Bashir's startup had been building muscle around these capabilities; now it had an eager audience.In 2021, Peek crossed $2 billion in all-time bookings from some 35 million customers. It also landed $80 million in Series C funding from investors including the former Airbnb chief financial officer Laurence Tosi's firm, WestCap. Those who know Bashir say things wouldn't have turned out any other way. "She's not a despairing person," Miller says. "There's a determination there that I would bet on 10 out of 10 times.""I need wind," Bashir says as a canvas parachute whips around her.She's standing on the set of her photo shoot at Chelsea's Pier59 Studios in a black bustier dress, metallic pumps, and a red lip. Like Beyoncé asking her team to please for the love of god turn on the fan, Bashir gestures for the hairstylist, who's holding a leaf blower, to come closer.Through hundreds of interviews, I've grown familiar enough with the trope of the misfit founder to know there's some truth to it. But from where I'm standing, that person is not Bashir. At one point she huddles around a monitor, watching images of herself flit across the screen. She takes a swig of tea and wags a pale-polished finger at a photo she likes.I ask if she's fazed by the glamor. She shrugs and launches into a story about how, on the set of her Vogue photo shoot, she rejected a wardrobe selection from Anna Wintour."Can you say no to Anna?" someone asks."I'm not scared of Anna," Bashir replies — though maybe she is, just a little, because she turns to me to ask if we're off the record.Bashir is the rare entrepreneur who can traverse the cultural zeitgeist, leaping from generative art to the Human Genome Project to Taylor Swift. (Though she's not a Swiftie, her role on the SoFi board ties her to the "Eras Tour" movie, which is set at the company's stadium.) "I've rarely come across so many superpowers in one person," says the investor Katie Haun, who met Bashir at a conference. She says Bashir struck her as a "deep thinker across many disciplines."Miller met Bashir 11 years ago at a different conference, fresh off her company's founding. "You have every different type of person, and at the center of it was Ruzwana, probably the youngest person there," he says. "By the end, it felt like the entire conference was orbiting around her.""I just think she's attractive, and I don't mean that in the superficial sense," he adds. "She's generous in her enthusiasm, her spirit, her optimism, her humor. They burn bright and colorfully."Bashir wears a Markarian dress, Agmes earrings, a Grown Brilliance ring, and her own shoes.Lelanie Foster for Business InsiderA few years ago Bashir attended a leadership summit in the mountains where, after a day of discussions, she wandered into a room with board games. She sat down to play Connect Four across from Elon Musk. A crowd formed around them, and things got intense. She won, 3-1. "It was great to take the victory," she says. "He has space; I have Connect Four."She also has a standing invitation to Silicon Valley's most exclusive, semisecret dinner party. Each month, tech's biggest power players — Marc Benioff, Reid Hoffman, Marissa Mayer, Dick Costolo — gather for a Jeffersonian dinner where the conversation ranges from all-knowing artificial intelligence, or AGI, to their industry's impact on geopolitics. Eating at acclaimed restaurants is fine, but Bashir prefers the more-intimate affairs at tech executives' homes because, she says, "you can stay longer." The dinners have the feel of a cool kids' gathering at a hometown bar the night before Thanksgiving — an ease that comes from decades of friendship.This supper club's guest list has the power to affect policy, inspire innovation, and even shape our digital destiny. Bashir has been attending when she can for several years. "The goal for all of us is to shape our thinking so that we can be purposeful with it," she says. It's this kind of intention that defines Bashir's life, says Cohen, more than any material success. "There are people who take a piece of paper and chart out their path to achieving greatness by the age of whatever," he says. "Then there are people who view ambition through the lens of having a good and meaningful life and measuring impact by what that looks like day to day. And she's much more in that latter category."Katherine Maher, the CEO of Web Summit, has gone to one such dinner as Bashir's guest. The two met seven years ago as members of the Young Presidents' Organization, an elite social group for business leaders. Maher wanted to attend the organization's retreat, but she couldn't afford it at the time. So Bashir offered to split a hotel room. They bonded over art, book recommendations, travel stories. "Both of us felt like being CEOs of technology platforms weren't the only interests in our lives," Maher says.The dinners scratch a familiar itch for the startup maven whose curiosity needs constant feeding. It's her reason for traveling — she visited more than 40 countries before turning 30 — and seeking out friends in such disparate fields. She points to one, Daniel Kahneman, a behavioral psychologist who won the Nobel prize in economics. It's not unusual, Bashir says, for laureates to take home prizes in fields where they're not experts. "They have understanding," she says. "But then, they are not beholden to the rules."At the dinner, Maher noticed that when Bashir spoke, the table listened. "She has this way of reminding people of their core value, as opposed to the value that the world projects on them," Maher says. "She's got everyone's trust."Lelanie Foster for Business InsiderCreditsWriter: Melia RussellPhotography: Lelanie FosterCreative Direction: Liane RadelStyling: Becky AkinyodeProp Styling: Elaine WinterHair: Yukiko TajimaMakeup: Ayaka NiheiProduction: Tiffany Bloomfield for Dela RevoluciønPhotography Assistance: Chad Hilliard, Enmi YangDigital Tech: Kenny Aquiles UlloaStyling Assistance: Cyrenae Tademy, Madison PerezProp Styling Assistance: Aidan Lapp, Bashira WebbTailoring: Zunyda for Stitched Tailors AgencyDesign and Development: Bryan Erickson, Jinyoung Chang-Rodriguez, Rebecca ZisserEditing: Claire Landsbaum, Emma LeGault, Joi-Marie McKenzieEditing Assistance: Brea CubitVideo: Conner Blake, Kyle DesiderioSocial: Victoria Gracie, Nicole Forero, Virginia AlvesRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 16th, 2023