Why is Buy Strategy Apt for Kimco Realty (KIM) Right Now?

Though store closures and higher e-commerce adoption remain woes, Kimco Realty (KIM) is likely to benefit from its focus on the grocery-anchored centers and balance-sheet strengthening moves. Kimco Realty Corp. KIM, the owner and operator of open-air, grocery-anchored shopping centers and mixed-use assets, has properties in the drivable first-ring suburbs of its top 20 major metropolitan Sunbelt and coastal markets. Capitalizing on these, this REIT continues witnessing a decent leasing activity and healthy rent collections.The grocery component has been the saving grace of the retail REITs so far and 79.4% of Kimco’s annual base rent came from the grocery-anchored centers in the third quarter. KIM also has a highly diversified tenant base, led by a healthy mix of essential, necessity-based tenants and omni-channel retailers. Given the strength of its retailers with a developed omni-channel presence, KIM remains well poised to navigate the challenging times.Apart from its focus on the grocery and home-improvement tenants, Kimco emphasizes the mixed-use assets clustered in the strong economic metropolitan statistical areas. Particularly, KIM is targeting higher net asset value through a select collection of mixed-use projects, redevelopments and an active investment management.Though dwindling traffic at retail properties, store closures and higher e-commerce adoption remain concerns, balance sheet-strengthening moves help Kimco sail through any mayhems and bank on growth scopes.Kimco exited the third quarter of 2021 with cash and cash equivalents of $483.5 million. It had more than $2.4 billion of immediate liquidity at the end of the reported quarter, including full availability under its $2-billion unsecured revolving credit facility. Further, KIM has strong investment grade ratings of BBB+ from S&P and Baa1 from Moody’s, allowing it to borrow at an advantageous rate.Additionally, the recent estimate revision trend indicates a favorable outlook as the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 funds from operations (FFO) per share has been revised marginally upward in the past month.Shares of this presently Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) player have gained 19.1% over the past six months against the industry’s decline of 2.7%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchOther Stocks to ConsiderSome other top-ranked stocks from the REIT sector are Kite Realty Group Trust KRG, EPR Properties EPR and Federal Realty Investment Trust FRT.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kite Realty’s 2021 FFO per share has been raised 2.2% in the past two months. Over the last four quarters, KRG’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus mark thrice and was in line with the same in the remaining quarter, the average beat being 4.7%.Currently, KRG sports a Zacks Rank of 1. Shares of Kite Realty have appreciated 7.3% in the past six months.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for EPR Properties’ 2021 FFO per share has been raised 3.3% over the past two months. Over the last four quarters, EPR’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus mark on three occasions and missed the mark on the remaining one, the average surprise being 4.4%.EPR Properties carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. Shares of EPR have declined 11.6% in the past six months.Federal Realty carries a Zacks Rank of 2 at present. Shares of FRT have gained 15.5% in the past six months.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Federal Realty’s 2021 FFO per share has been raised 1.5% over the past month. Over the last four quarters, FRT’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus mark on all occasions, the average being 15.2%.Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents FFO — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Kimco Realty Corporation (KIM): Free Stock Analysis Report Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT): Free Stock Analysis Report Kite Realty Group Trust (KRG): Free Stock Analysis Report EPR Properties (EPR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 14th, 2022

Buy These 5 Large-Cap Stocks for Their Dividends

Companies offering steady and growing dividends may be relatively safer bets in the current environment. Attempting to guess which way the market will move is a difficult exercise in the best of times. And when things are as volatile as they are now, your guess is probably as good as mine.Take China, for example. That government is cracking down on tech companies, bailing out its construction giant, issuing directives to bring down manufacturing and a host of other things. And with the way supply chains are connected these days, there will of course be an impact in the rest of the world, no matter what it does. China is also the manufacturing hub of so many different things that its decisions to buy or sell commodities also has a significant impact on global markets. And since we don’t really know if there are more actions in store, a bit of China-driven volatility and risk will be there.Then there’s the Fed that has been supportive so far. But conversations on tapering and interest rate hikes have escalated, and this of course has an impact on sentiments. Particularly when companies appear to be losing sales because of supply chain issues and when input cost inflation is set to increase further, partly driven by sky-high energy prices. And given all this, we are seeing steadily rising inflation, however temporary it may be.The third point is to do with the earnings season. A good earnings season usually lifts the market. But with the supply chains being what they’ve been, we could be in for some negative surprises. Analyst estimates don’t look too bad right now with third quarter earnings for the S&P 500 expected to be up 26.1% year over year, on revenue that’s expected to grow 13.8%. This is nothing to scoff at, but it’s worth noting that it follows a second quarter earnings increase of 95.3% on revenue growth of 25.3%. So it’s possible that investors will be disappointed with this showing, even if we don’t see the negative surprises, which will very likely be there considering that supply side issues have piled up rather than alleviated through the quarter.And finally, we have COVID, which is another unguessable phenomenon. It continues to create production issues in Asia and consumption issues in the U.S., although there have been some reports that restaurants are holding up.So that’s where we’re at right now, and although all these problems will likely blow over, it’s better to adopt a safe strategy, if we still want to buy stocks.Today’s recommendations are therefore based on large cap safe plays that have a steady and rising dividend, as well as solid cash flows to ensure continuity in the dividend stream.Zacks metrics like a Zacks Buy or Strong Buy Rank, Value and Growth Scores of A or B, and an attractive Zacks Industry Rank outline the safety parameter. The estimated earnings growth is indicative of positive current prospects. The dividend stream ensures that returns for investors even if all else fails.Additionally, all these stocks have an attractive valuation.Best Buy Co., Inc. BBYBest Buy is a multinational specialty retailer of consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment software, communication, food preparation, wellness, heath, security, appliances and related services. The company operates in the United States and Canada.The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock with value and Growth Scores of A belongs to the Retail - Consumer Electronics industry, which is in the top 10% of Zacks-classified industries.The company is expected to grow its earnings 25.9% this year. Its dividend yields 2.65% and its 5-year historical dividend growth is 19.0%.Valuation multiples of 10.6X earnings and 0.50X sales indicates that investors are undervaluing both its revenue and earnings.C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. CHRWC.H. Robinson operates as an asset-light logistics company offering freight transportation services and logistic solutions to companies across a range of industries. It has both single-shipment as well as comprehensive and integrated relationships. The scale of its operations is evident in the 19 million shipments it handled in 2020 that served more than 105,000 customers. This was achieved through 73,000 contracted transportation companies, including motor carriers, railroads (mainly intermodal service providers), air and ocean carriers.The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock with Value and Growth Scores of B operates in the Transportation – Services industry (top 24% of 250+ Zacks-classified industries).Currently, its earnings are expected to grow 45.4%. Its dividend yields 2.36%. The dividend has grown 3.5% over the past five years.The shares are currently trading at a P/E multiple of 16.0X and a P/S multiple of 0.60X, both of which support appreciation in share prices.Deutsche Post AG DPSGYOne of the world’s largest logistics services companies, Deutsche Post operates in Germany, Europe, America, Asia Pacific and other regions. Its Post-eCommerce-Parcel division offers various mail delivery services; the Express division offers time-definite international (TDI) shipments of urgent documents and goods; Global Forwarding transports goods by rail, road, air and sea; the Supply Chain division warehousing, distribution, managed transport, value-added services and supply chain management and consulting services; the eCommerce Solutions segment provides parcel delivery and cross-border non-TDI services.The supply chain issues stemming from port congestion and driver shortages impacts the company just as it does other transportation companies. But the company is seeing pricing strength, which is likely an offsetting factor in the current environment.The Zacks Rank #2 stock with Value and Growth Scores of A also operates in the Transportation – Services industry.It is currently expected to grow its 2021 earnings by 67.0%. The company’s dividend yields 1.87% at current share prices. The dividend has grown 1.0% over the last five years.Its P/E valuation of 13.9X and P/S valuation of 0.88X indicate upside potential in share prices.Steel Dynamics, Inc. STLDSteel Dynamics is among the leading steel producers and metal recyclers in the United States. It is also extremely diversified with a vast range of specialty steel products. It currently has steelmaking and coating capacity of more than 11 million tons.The Zacks Rank #1 stock with value and Growth Scores of B operates in the Steel – Producers industry (top 24%).The company’s earnings are set to grow 431.0% this year. Its dividend has grown 15.0% over the last five years and now yields 1.78%.At 3.9X earnings and 0.92X sales, the shares are definitely worth considering.ITOCHU Corp. ITOCYThis is a trading company with domestic trading operations in Japan, as well as import and export operations. It deals in textiles, machinery, information and communications technology, aerospace, electronics, energy, metals, minerals, chemicals, forest products, general merchandise, food, finance, realty, insurance, etc.The Zacks Rank #2 stocks with Value and Growth Scores of A and B, respectively operates in the Retail – Miscellaneous industry (top 40%).Its earnings are expected to grow 69.8% this year. Its dividend yields 2.25% and it has grown 20.9% over the last five years.Additionally, Its 6.5X earnings and 0.43X sales indicates an extremely cheap valuation.One-Month Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment Research Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Steel Dynamics, Inc. (STLD): Free Stock Analysis Report Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY): Free Stock Analysis Report C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW): Free Stock Analysis Report Deutsche Post AG (DPSGY): Free Stock Analysis Report Itochu Corp. (ITOCY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 6th, 2021

What Twin Cities execs think it takes to lead for tomorrow

Late management guru Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” A strong organizational culture is especially important among the rapidly changing demands of the workforce and shifting workplace dynamics. As people increasingly expect employers to be more responsive to their needs, conscious leadership, in which leaders focus on serving those they lead, seems to be replacing a leadership-by-authority strategy. Creating a conscious culture by engaging employees at a….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 23rd, 2022

A Minneapolis-area executive’s top lessons in becoming a better leader

Mike Bauer has come to appreciate strategy, people and culture more as he has developed in his role as a leader. He also has learned to trust his team and turn to the right advisors when he needs help. Simultaneously, Bauer Design Build has grown as an organization by implementing a comprehensive business framework and strategy with support from expert consultants. “We’ve learned what it means to better communicate as a team and how great communication and accountability builds the trust that….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 23rd, 2022

Outside the Box: ‘Net zero’ pledges can amount to greenwashing. This is the better way to reduce deadly carbon emissions

Many offset programs are based on dubious assumptions and can actually worsen the climate problem. MIT Sloan's John Sterman outlines a more effective strategy......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchJan 22nd, 2022

China is spending $300,000 to get US influencers to share positive social media posts to boost the country"s image ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics

The US and several other countries announced a diplomatic boycott of the games in December over the country's human rights abuses. Beijing will host the Olympic Winter Games in February.Yi Haifei/China News Service via Getty Images Chinese officials have hired a US-based media firm to help promote China and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Vippi Media signed a $300,000 deal to employ influencers to create content across TikTok, Instagram, and Twitch. The contract comes amid complicated bilateral relations between the US and China over human rights issues. The Chinese government is turning to social media influencers to help improve its tarnished image ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games next month in Beijing. Vippi Media, a New Jersey-based firm, signed a $300,000 contract with the Chinese consulate general in New York to organize a social media campaign that promotes positive messaging about China and the Beijing Games on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitch.The agreement, registered with the US Department of Justice, began in November and runs through March 2022, when the Winter Paralympics ends. The contract comes as President Joe Biden and officials in Great Britain, Canada, and Australia declared a "diplomatic boycott" of the games in December to denounce China's record of human rights abuses, including the treatment of its Uyghur population of Turkic Muslims and the handling of tennis star Peng Shuai's accusations of sexual assault against a high-ranking Chinese official. China continues to deny allegations of human rights abuses in its territories and people have expressed concern about the safety of US athletes competing in the games. Human rights organizations warned athletes they could face punishment for speaking out against the government while in China. "There's really not much protection that we believe is going to be afforded to athletes," Rob Koehler, the director general of the Global Athlete group, said in a seminar on Tuesday. "We're advising athletes not to speak up. We want them to compete and use their voice when they get home."China has spent more than a decade on media messaging efforts overseas, spending nearly $60 million in the US in 2020 and $23 million in 2021, according to Open Secrets, a DC-based organization that tracks money in American politics. The Vippi Media agreement lays out a detailed social media strategy in which influencers will be tasked with producing three to five pieces of content for their target audiences. The influencers are divided into three tiers — "macro influencers," "mid-tier influencers," and "social publishers" — based on their number of followers and platform activity.According to the contract, the Chinese government is requesting the posts be divided into 70% culture-related content — highlighting the history, cultural relics, modern life, and current trends in Beijing — 20% diplomatic content related to "cooperation and any good things in China-US relations." The remaining 10% of content will pertain to the news and trends from the consulate general. Vipinder Jaswal, a former Fox News and HSBC executive who runs Vippi Media, told The Guardian he was well-aware of the controversies surrounding the Chinese government ahead of inking the deal. "What we are trying to do is to simply highlight the integrity and dignity of the Olympics", he told The Guardian. "Boycotts don't help mutual understanding … I don't support boycotts. They are ineffective, irrelevant and inconsequential."Jaswal told The Guardian his company has already received up to 50 pitches from influencers, including former Olympic athletes and entrepreneurs. As outlined in the contract, Jaswal plans to deliver a total of 3.4 million impressions across social media platforms frequented by younger demographics.He also received a $210,000 advance after sealing the deal, according to the contract's documents.In a response to request to comment from Insider, Jaswal reiterated and confirmed his statements made to The Guardian. Still, the Vippi Media exec has faced criticism over the deal with the Chinese government. Earlier this month, Florida Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to Newsweek, where Jaswal serves as a contributor, asking the publication to reconsider its working relationship with Jaswal in light of China's human rights problems.Newsweek has not publicly responded to the senator's letter. In a response to the letter, Jaswal called the senator's request an "attempt at seeking senseless sensation.""I find his pretensions of endorsing righteousness quite breathtaking and the arrogance with which he projects his hypocrisies truly entertaining," Jaswal previously said in a statement. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 22nd, 2022

Fear And Panic As Bitcoin Crashes 50% From All Time High

Fear And Panic As Bitcoin Crashes 50% From All Time High Just two months after cryptos hit an all time high amid widespread euphoria that the newly launched bitcoin ETF would lead to even more substantial upside, the two largest tokens have lost half of their value, with the broader crypto sector suffering more than $1 trillion in losses amid an accelerating liquidation panic that the Fed's tightening cycle will lead to another crypto winter.  Such is the volatility in the sector where, as Bloomberg put it overnight, there has been just one constant recently: "decline after decline after decline." Of course, for veteran hodlers, Bloomberg hyperbole seems trivial in a world where 80% drawdowns are the norm and the current drop may have a ways to go before it hits a bottom, before a new all time high is hit. Where Bloomberg is right however, is that superlatives for the latest carnage have been easy to come by: Friday’s decline led to the liquidation of more than $1.1 billion in crypto futures positions and overall more than $1 trillion in market value has been destroyed since the last peak. In other words, "the meltdown is pouring salt on an already-deep wound." After the latest furious puke that pushed Bitcoin RSI's indicator to the most oversold level since the covid crash in March of 2020... ... Bitcoin, which lost more than 12% on Friday, saw its price drop just above $34,000 with Ethereum sliding as low as $2,400, as the two largest digital assets now trade at a 50% discount from their all time highs and are back to levels last seen in late July, early August. Other digital currencies have suffered just as much, if not more, most meme coins mired in similar drawdowns. While the selling has been relentless for the past two months, it accelerated in the past three weeks, after the latest Fed minutes - published in early January - showed its intention to not only hike rates but to accelerate the unwind of its balance sheet, which has sent all "bubble baskets" plunging, with bitcoin getting hit especially hard amid the carnage. And while there have been much larger percentage drawdowns for both Bitcoin and the aggregate market, according to Bespoke,  this marks the second-largest ever decline in dollar terms for both. “It gives an idea of the scale of value destruction that percentage declines can mask,” wrote Bespoke analysts in a note. “Crypto is, of course, vulnerable to these sorts of selloffs given its naturally higher volatility historically, but given how large market caps have gotten, the volatility is worth thinking about both in raw dollar terms as well as in percentage terms.” Another fact that Bloomberg gets right, is that over the past year, cryptos have transformed from relatively uncorrelated assets providing diversification during market turbulence, into what is effectively a high beta stock. This is easily seen in the following chart showing the 60d correlation between cryptos and stocks. One can thank institutional adoption for that, because the same institutions that are now facing margin calls on their tech holdings, are also dumping cryptos to provide much needed liquidity. “Crypto is reacting to the same kind of dynamics that are weighing on risk-assets globally,” said Stephane Ouellette, chief executive and co-founder of institutional crypto-platform FRNT Financial. “Unfortunately for some of the mature projects like BTC, there is so much cross-correlation within the crypto asset class it’s almost a certainty that it falls, at least temporarily in a broader alt-coin valuation contraction.” Antoni Trenchev,, co-founder of Nexo, cites Bitcoin’s correlation to the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100, which right now is near the highest in a decade. “Bitcoin is being battered by a wave of risk-off sentiment. For further cues, keep an eye on traditional markets,” he said. “Fear and unease among investors is palpable.” According to  Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, it’s useful to think of cryptocurrencies as living in the same space as other speculative sectors, including special-purpose acquisition companies and electric-vehicle makers. “When we’re in an environment where all of those riskier assets are selling off, crypto is going to find itself doing the same,” Hogan said. “When the Nasdaq 100 or any of the other more-speculative, rapid-growth, momentum-type asset classes start to gain some traction, so will cryptocurrencies.” Unfortunately for Bitcoin longs, one place where the token's correlation is especially high is that to such market naplam as Cathie Wood’s sinking ARK Innovation ETF, a pandemic poster-child of speculative risk-taking. That correlation stands at around 60% year-to-date, versus about 14% for the price of gold, according to Katie Stockton, founder and managing partner of Fairlead Strategies, a research firm focused on technical analysis. It’s “reminding us to categorize Bitcoin and altcoins as risk assets rather than safe havens,” she said. Perhaps unaware what "hodling" means, data from Coinglass shows that more than 342,000 traders had their positions closed over the past 24 hours, with liquidations totaling roughly $1.1 billion. “Digital-currency markets in total have been challenged this month,” said Jonathan Padilla, co-founder of Snickerdoodle Labs, a blockchain company focused on data privacy. “There’s definitely some pain there.” Though liquidations have spiked, the numbers are rather muted when compared to previous declines, according to Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis Global Trading. Acheson points out that Bitcoin’s one-week skew, which compares the cost of bearish options to bullish ones, spiked to almost 15% on Wednesday compared to an average of about 6% in the past seven days. “This flagged a jump in bearish sentiment, in line with overall market jitters given the current macro uncertainty,” she said. Amid the pain, some of bitcoin's most faithful are professing patience... HODLing #Bitcoin is painful. If you survive the journey, you will truly know what HODL means. — Dan Held (@danheld) January 21, 2022 ... while others are starting to wonder out loud at what point the battering might end. Famed crypto investor and (former?) billionaire Mike Novogratz mused on Twitter that “this will be a year where people realize being an investor is a difficult job.” 2600 $Eth would be the next support. Hoping and thinking it holds. Unfortunately Russel has like 14 percent more to go before it bottoms. Won’t be a straight line down. This will be a year where people realize being an investor is a difficult job. — Mike Novogratz (@novogratz) January 21, 2022 Unfortunately for Novogratz, 2600 did not hold and Eth is now trading below 2,400. Still, many point out that like on all previous occasions when cryptos crashed, they eventually rebounded to new all time highs. At some point, sellers will become exhausted and the market could see some capitulation soon, said Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. “When that happens, the institutions will come back in in a meaningful way,” he said. “Once the asset class becomes more washed-out, they’ll have a lot more confidence to come back in and buy them. They know that cryptos are not going away, so they’ll have to move back into them before long.” But it's not just central bank tightening fears and liquidation technicals that have depressed cryptos: one can also throw in a relentless news cycle, where just in recent days, regulators from Russia, the U.K., Singapore and Spain all announced interventions that could undermine crypto companies looking to grow in those regions. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is preparing to release an initial government-wide strategy for digital assets as soon as next month and task federal agencies with assessing the risks and opportunities that they pose, Bloomberg reported late on Friday. Testing the resilience and patience of the faithful, so far the sharp drop below the psychological level of $40,000 has failed to serve as an upward inflection point. Crypto proponents say heavy liquidations often serve to cut out the froth in easy-win asset speculation, helping to solidify new bottoms in the market. Ultimately, the real support will come from none other than the Fed, which will soon realize that it is hiking into a slowing economy... Tightening into a slowdown… Déjà vu? — Julien Bittel, CFA (@BittelJulien) January 22, 2022 ... and will be forced to be far more dovish during this week's FOMC meeting, a reversal which should serve to send risk assets sharply higher. “Fear and unease among investors is palpable,” Nexo's Trenchev,said. “If we see a bigger selloff in equities, expect the Fed to verbally intervene to calm nerves and that’s when Bitcoin and other cryptos will bounce.” In other words, the more the Fed tightens - or the more the Fed scares markets into believing it will tighten - the bigger the market selloff, and the worse the economic slowdown, until eventually Powell will be forced to ease, a key point brought up by  Bank of America CIO Michael Hartnett yesterday. Incidentally, it also means that the faster markets crash, the faster the Fed panics, and is forced to stabilize stocks because even if the new and improved Powell Put is well below previous levels, the Fed can't risk a market crash just to appease Biden's demands for an inflationary slowdown so Democrats aren't destroyed in the midterms. And incidentally, this weekend's ongoing selloff in cryptos means that while stocks are currently mercifully not trading, Monday should be another bloodbath, as Jim Bianco reminds us. The BTC/SPX correlation is "significant" Or as @jeffdorsman says, crypto is a 24/7 VIX. See the table, as of this writing, Crypto is down another 10% since Friday's NYSE Close. If this hold, no-coiners have about 36 more hours to gloat before it is their turn. — Jim Bianco biancoresearch.eth (@biancoresearch) January 22, 2022 One thing is certain: several more 2% drops in the Nasdaq, and Powell - who two years ago crossed the Fed's final rubicon and bought corporate bonds to halt a catastrophic collapse - will be making emergency phone calls to put an end to the carnage. As such, a continuation of the meltdown may just be the best thing that the bitcoin faithful can hope for. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 13:04.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 22nd, 2022

Bitcoin Has Lost Half Its Value Since Hitting Record High

Bitcoin’s decline from its peak has wiped out more than $600 billion in market value Bitcoin extended its decline on Saturday, and has shed more than 50% from its record high in November while adding further momentum to the meltdown in cryptocurrencies. “Margin positions being liquidated caused a wave of additional sell pressure, as assets that had been held as collateral were forcibly sold to pay for margin loans,” said Hayden Hughes, chief executive officer at Alpha Impact in Singapore. Bitcoin’s decline from its peak has wiped out more than $600 billion in market value, and over $1 trillion has been lost from the aggregate crypto market. While there have been much larger percentage drawdowns for both Bitcoin and the aggregate market, this marks the second-largest ever decline in dollar terms for both, according to Bespoke Investment Group. Bitcoin fell as low as $34,042.78 Saturday, a drop of 7.2%, before paring most of those losses. Other digital assets also slid, with Ethereum down 12%. Solana and Cardano each fell at least 17%, according to Coinbase. “I would expect it to take some time for a bottom to form and for confidence to return, before expecting any sort of bullishness,” Hughes said. With the Federal Reserve’s intentions on reining in inflation rocking both cryptocurrencies and stocks, a dominant theme has emerged in the digital-asset space: cryptos have moved in the same way as equities and many other risk assets. And the case for further caution was reinforced on Friday. Bloomberg News reported that the Biden administration is preparing to release an initial government-wide strategy for digital assets as soon as next month and will ask federal agencies to assessing the risks and opportunities they pose. –With assistance from Andrew Davis......»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 22nd, 2022

Kohl"s reportedly receives $9 billion bid from hedge fund Starboard Value Group as Wall Street pressures the retailer to make major changes or sell

Though the department store had largely been able to avoid the demise of the retail apocalypse, its performance began to falter during the pandemic. Eric Risberg / AP Images A Wall Street consortium offered approximately $9 billion to purchase department store chain Kohl's. Kohl's faces pressure from activist investors to sell or make significant changes to the company. The company had largely been able to avoid the retail apocalypse, but saw slumping sales during the pandemic.  Acacia Research Corp. — a consortium backed by the hedge fund Starboard Value Group — placed an offer on Friday to purchase Kohl's for approximately $9 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. The consortium offered to buy the department store chain for $64 a share on Friday, sources told the Wall Street Journal's Cara Lombardo. Although it is unknown if Kohl's will accept the offer, bankers assured Acacia that the consortium would receive the funding needed for the buy. The possible deal comes following a Reuters report earlier this week that found the retailer was in talks with Acacia about a bid. Although Acacia has a market value of $215 million, the group told Kohl's it received a "highly confident" letter from a bank stating it will be able to attain a debt-financing package for a portion of the bid, sources told the Journal.Starboard and Kohl's did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the deal.In recent weeks, Wall Street activist investors have put pressure on Kohl's to sell or make stark changes to the company, according to previous reporting by Insider. In a public letter to shareholders on Tuesday, activist investor Macellum Advisors – which owns a 5% stake in Kohl's – accused the retailer's executive team and board of directors of mismanagement and asked the company to make substantial changes or else sell the business."We firmly believe that without significantly more change to the Board, the Company will fail to deliver acceptable value creation in the years to come," the letter stated. "Absent more Board change, we believe the Board must pursue strategic alternatives."While the company had largely been able to avoid the demise of peers like JCPenney and Sears that were particularly hard hit by the retail apocalypse, Kohl's performance began to falter during the pandemic."In our view, the business is falling short of its potential," GlobalData managing director Neil Saunders wrote in a note to clients in August.Kohl's plans to share an updated financial plan and capital allocation strategy to improve its long-term profitability at the company's forthcoming "Investor Day" at the beginning of March.    Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 22nd, 2022

Biden administration anniversary video with Tom Hanks mocked for mirroring The Simpsons

Republican commentators and politicians took to social media to compare it to a scene in The Simpsons Movie. Tom Hanks speaks during the Celebrating America Primetime Special on January 20, 2021. The livestream event hosted by Tom Hanks featured remarks by president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris and performances representing diverse American talent.Photo by Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images A Biden Administration anniversary video featuring Tom Hanks is being mocked on Twitter.  Conservative commentators say the video mirrors a scene from The Simpsons Movie. "The Simpsons did it first!" Republican senator Ted Cruz said in a tweet.  A White House video promoting the achievements of the Biden administration is being lampooned because it mirrors a scene from the 2007 Simpsons Movie. Narrated by Tom Hanks, the Biden video was released to celebrate the President's first anniversary in office, showing everyday Americans —and the President — reflecting on the past 365 days.  But Conservative commentators were quick to draw comparisons to a scene from The Simpsons Movie in 2007, featuring a cartoon Tom Hanks saying, "Hello, I'm Tom Hanks. The US government has lost its credibility so it's borrowing some of mine." "The Simpsons did it first!" Republican senator Ted Cruz exclaimed in a tweet. Conservative commentator Matt Whitlock said, "Oh my gosh it's the Simpsons in real life."—Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 20, 2022 Broadcasting the president's promotional video cost several million dollars from Biden's inaugural funds, Axios reports.Biden's media push is part of a strategy to reverse sinking approval ratings and push his flagging agenda, Insider's Tom Porter reports.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 22nd, 2022

Coronavirus links: not game over

A coronavirus-focused linkfest is a weekly feature here at Abnormal Returns. Please stay safe, get a booster shotat a vaccination site near... VaccinesShifting the Covid vaccine targets will require a global approach. ( lot of vaccine side effects are due to the nocebo effect. ( successful, universal Covid vaccine would be a huge accomplishment. ( coming up with an effective vaccine schedule for young children has proven challenging. ( current boosters are not a sustainable strategy against variants. ( diseasePublic health should focus on all respiratory diseases in addition to Covid-19. ( and flu are going to be entangled for a long time. ( crossed: we may a booster that covers Covid, flu and other respiratory viruses by 2023. ( is already in retreat in the U.S. ( Omicron pick up in death rates is real and notable. ( shots have been highly effective at keeping people out of the hospital compared to the unvaccinated. ( Covid-19 has boosted deaths among working age Americans. ( Markel, "We now know that social distancing, no matter how boring, tedious, or difficult, works to help prevent the spread of this illness and ultimately end the pandemic. This statement is based on the billions of data points collected during the past two years." ( study showing a link between Covid-19 and diabetes is severely flawed. ( is a huge issue for hospitals. ( ($CVS) and Walgreen's ($WBA) are having a hard time keeping staffed. ( so many women physicians are quitting or cutting back. ( have an obligation to treat patients even if they made poor choices. ( coronavirus tests likely missed some Omicron cases. ( Biden administration is on the hook for distributing these at-home tests. ( Covid pandemic shows the need to have domestic capacity for all manner of supplies. ( wastewater testing works. ( your free Covid tests here. ( the rise of admissions to the hospital for children. ( schools are not enforcing the rules, like masking, they have in place. ( and prior infections are building a wall against future variants. ( exposure doesn't necessarily translate into immunity. ( healthWhy Omicron caught us flat-footed. ( CDC and FDA have failed in working together. ( was a 'near miss' which is why governments shouldn't let their guard down. ( data would be much more useful if it was done nationwide. ( counselors could help the CDC communicate about uncertainty. ( who vape show more Covid symptoms. ( really don't know if Omicron can cause long Covid. ( big data wasn't a big player in the pandemic. ( luck getting a Paxlovid prescription filled these days. ( should have access to Paxlovid so they can send many patients home. ( can now be administered on an oupatient basis. ( N95 masks work. ( CDC now acknowledges people should wear the best mask, N95, mask possible. ( sign that Japan is moving on the endemic stage of Covid-19. ( steps to vaccinate the world including funding last-mile efforts. ( is the end-game for the pandemic. ('t confused endemical with no or low cost. ( are beginning to recognize Covid as endemic through their policies. ( Thompson talks Omicron data with John Burn-Murdoch. ( Klein talks with Zeynep Tufekci about how the pandemic has exposed all manner of issues in American life. ( Slavitt talks antivirals with Dr. David Kessler, Chief Science Officer of the White House COVID-19 Response Team. ( mediaPoliticians are aligning themselves with the largely, silent vaccinated majority. ( some ways people are welcoming 'hybrid immunity.' ( families are hiding the fact that unvaccinated relatives died from Covid-10. (»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsJan 22nd, 2022

Forget a bitcoin winter — a crypto "ice age" might be coming as the Fed ends the easy-money era

Crypto prices have tumbled as bond yields have shot higher. Some investors think they might not recover for a long time. Prices have slumped, raising fears about a crypto winter.FTiare/Getty Images A crypto "ice age" might be coming as the Fed slashes its support for markets and the economy. Crypto prices have slumped, with bitcoin tumbling to a six-month low below $38,000 on Friday. With the Fed hiking interest rates, and nagging questions about regulation and the technology, the outlook could be bleak. Things are getting cold in crypto-land. Bitcoin is down dramatically from its November peak of close to $69,000, falling to a six-month low below $38,000 Friday. Trading volumes have slumped.Some investors are concerned that the market is going into a "crypto winter" — a period when prices fall sharply and fail to recover for more than a year — as the Federal Reserve abruptly tightens monetary policy.But it could be worse than that. Crypto could in fact be heading for an "ice age," where prices stay low for years and many investors lose interest, Paul Jackson, Invesco's global head of asset allocation research, told Insider recently.It's not just Fed policy. Many potential investors have niggling doubts about the robustness of cryptocurrency technology, and regulation that could stifle industry development.The Fed could put crypto in the deep freezeEarly last year, "Bond King" Jeff Gundlach said he thought bitcoin was "the stimulus asset"  boosted the most by the "torrent" of money from the Fed and US government during the coronavirus crisis.But less than a year later, the Fed is turning off its faucet as it tackles soaring inflation. Markets are now expecting four interest rate hikes in 2022.The resultant jump in bond yields has already whacked unprofitable tech stocks and cryptocurrencies. The two speculative assets look a lot less attractive when returns on risk-free bonds are higher.But more pain is likely, as bond yields have considerably further to rise, according to Invesco's Jackson."Central banks and governments have played a role in jacking up these markets, and as those policies reverse, then I think they will have a role in depressing them," he said.Read more: A 21-year veteran trader breaks down an options trade designed to help investors 'sustain risks long enough to see the light of profitability' — and explains why bitcoin could continue to move in tandem with tech stocksEven bulls such as Galaxy Digital founder Mike Novogratz have said crypto is likely to stay under pressure."I think it could be an ice age," Jackson said. "I think if you take away those conditions that have been created by the Fed ... it does change the outlook."Nagging questions about regulation and crypto technologyOf course, many cryptocurrency supporters disagree. Dan Morehead, CEO of investment firm Pantera, said in a note last week the sector should stay strong because the uses for crypto networks have ballooned.He pointed in particular to the growth in decentralized finance, or DeFi, where financial activities such as trading can be carried out without the need for intermediaries, thanks to crypto technology.But many investors are less convinced, with regulation a particular worry. The central bank of Russia, a crypto hub, this week proposed an outright ban of mining and transactions, adding to Friday's sell-off. European regulators could be about to toughen up their rules, and Spain and the UK are cracking down on crypto adverts.James Malcolm, head of foreign-exchange strategy at UBS, told Insider he thinks problems with crypto technology could be one of several factors, alongside stricter regulation, that could drag the crypto world into another winter.Malcolm cited a blog by the founder of the Signal messaging app, which concluded that blockchain technology is clunky and far from decentralized. Meanwhile, users of the ethereum crypto network have been infuriated by congestion and high transaction fees, which are proving very hard to fix."A lot of people in the technology space seem to be questioning whether or not [crypto tech] is that effective," Malcolm said. "It begs the question if it was so blatantly next-generation technology, then why aren't a lot of big tech companies all over it? Why isn't Google massively invested?"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 22nd, 2022

Companies are paying people thousands of dollars to quit their jobs. Experts say it can empower employees to take charge of their future.

The pay-to-quit technique was pioneered by the late CEO of online retailer Zappos. Now, more companies are jumping on board. The pay-to-quit technique can have surprising benefits.Maskot Some companies are paying people thousands of dollars to quit their jobs. The technique is giving employees the power to pursue a future they want, experts say. "It opens a window to a much more self-determined employee experience," Ralf Specht told Insider.  The current state of the US labor market has left some businesses struggling to find and retain staff amid a seemingly never-ending labor shortage. At the same time, however, some companies are paying their employees to quit their jobs altogether.While it may seem odd at first, it is in fact a technique that has helped corporations keep hold of their employees. Experts say that it also empowers workers to take full control of their future by deciding whether they are happier staying at a company or not. The technique was pioneered by the late former CEO of online retailer Zappos, Tony Hsieh, and was designed to filter out those who would not be as committed to and passionate about their work at the company. Hsieh told Insider in a 2016 interview: "We want to make sure that employees aren't here just for paychecks and truly believe this is the right place for them."The program, which was labeled "the offer," presented unhappy new employees with a $2,000 bonus to quit, following a four-week training period. The policy was later inherited by Amazon after it acquired Zappos in 2009.Since then, more companies have followed the trend. Chris Ron zio, the CEO of  Trainual, a software company in Arizona, instituted the policy at his firm in May 2020. He offers employees $5,000 to quit after two weeks if they have any sense of doubt. He told Insider the technique empowers employees to the fullest extent. "This sort of strategy puts employees in the driver's seat and lets them know that we recognize the fact that at any time, they can leave and find a better opportunity," he said.Ronzio said that giving employees a financial incentive "really gives the employee the power to make a decision they feel is right for their future."When asked how the technique impacts him as a leader, Ronzio said: "If a leader doesn't want to empower their people, I don't think that makes them much of a leader."People don't stay at the same job forever like they used to, according to Ronzio, but they'll stay as long as they're happy, fulfilled, and productive. "It's a partnership, and employers need to treat it as such," he said. Last November, Embark, a financial advisory firm based in Dallas, also started using the technique. It offered $10,000 to each employee on a one-off basis, in an effort to allow staff to reflect on whether the job was right for them or not."We thought perhaps what we do isn't for everyone so this was an opportunity for our employees to assess," Paul Allen, the founder and chief vision officer of Embark told Insider. Allen said that four out of the 300-plus employees at the firm took the offer so the technique was very effective in clearing out people who weren't motivated to stay at the company. Abby Sesker, an employee who chose to decline the bonus and stay at Embark, told Insider she "was not tempted by the offer.""I think the technique empowered people to take ownership of their careers," she said. Ralf Specht, author of "Building Corporate Soul" and expert in corporate culture, said also believes that paying people to quit has the potential to empower employees. He told Insider that it requires the organization to create a hiring and on-boarding process in which co-workers are involved."It opens a window to a much more self-determined employee experience. And that is highly relevant for millennials," he said. Both Ronzio and Allen hope the technique will stick around and become more popular among companies."This choice holds firms accountable and that makes them better companies to make a positive difference, internally and externally," Allen said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 22nd, 2022

The Actual Impact Of Bitcoin On War

The Actual Impact Of Bitcoin On War Authored by Matthew Pines via, The impact of Bitcoin on war will not simply be the eradication of violence, a problem of humanity since the dawn of time... As bitcoin has appreciated and seen increased global adoption, it has emerged as a macroeconomically relevant phenomenon. This has turned formerly theoretical debates into live, practical questions on how Bitcoin will affect geopolitical relations. The current balance of global power is defined by complex arrangements of military alliances, trade flows, ethnic and religious affinity, cultural influence, linguistic agreement, and, of course, national borders. In this author’s view, it is hubris to expect Bitcoin to singularly override or sweep away the accumulated weight and historical inertia of this tightly-bound matrix of interlinked forces. Of course, it is tempting to smooth over this irreducible complexity and hypothesize a “saved” world, where bitcoin is that “one weird trick” to fix all that’s wrong with human civilization. This temptation to “immanentize the eschaton” is common among totalizing belief systems and becomes an emotionally attractive picture of the future, especially in an era where formerly trusted verities of common belief are losing their stabilizing force. And yet, we can still, and increasingly must, analyze the question of violence – especially state violence – in a future world order where Bitcoin is a major, if not the dominant, economic and political force. Some reason that Bitcoin will positively adjust the calculus of violence by which states decide how and where to project power and secure their respective interests. By shifting a large portion of national wealth from easily seized and vulnerable tangible assets into digital form, the incentives to violent conflict – as a means of confiscating this wealth – are substantially reduced. This moves the locus of inter-state conflict from the battlefield to the global, competitive mining market. Real wars become hash wars, and the negative externalities of the former (death and destruction) are replaced by the positive externalities of the latter (energy efficient computation and power generation). While this is well-reasoned and accords with the likely directional influence of Bitcoin on state competition, it is overly simplistic and incomplete. For human conflict exists on a spectrum: from soft power influence and psychological operations (psyops), gray zone subversion, and deniable covert action or sabotage to more overt forms of military violence via stand-off strikes, large-scale invasion, and (in the escalatory limit) all-out nuclear war. To claim Bitcoin will usher in an era of enduring world peace is to argue that it will eliminate all of these long-enduring sources and methods of human conflict. It is possible it will, but there are contrary forces at play that must not be overlooked. Considering the full set of relevant factors, a more reasonable thesis to hold is one in which Bitcoin may constrain certain forms of large-scale, expensive conventional war, but may not (on net) materially reduce human conflict or substantially constrain state violence. One can argue that all property claims, when it comes down to it, are enforced via violence or the threat thereof. (Bracket off for now the strong anthropological evidence, especially in human prehistory, that it is possible for communal social arrangements to endure with group-rights to “property,” though it remains an open question how durable these arrangements are as populations scale and cultural heterogeneity erodes the informal norms and coherence of group identity which mitigates violent dispute.) If Bitcoin succeeds in transposing most property claims from a vulnerable physical form to a more easily protected digital bearer asset, then one may argue that bitcoin removes one potent locus of physical violence from the world: physical property. However, even if one holds that all physical property claims are inherent or latent sources of violence, this doesn’t imply that all sources of human violence (namely, war) result from conflict over physical property. So even if Bitcoin succeeds in reducing one driver of war, one may not feel confident in the claim that Bitcoin fixes all, or even the dominant, drivers of war. I) Bitcoin reduces the state budget for war … but warfighting technology improvements will give states (and everyone else) “more for less” (partly because of bitcoin). One important, and little remarked-upon, factor is a corollary of Jeff Booth’s thesis (well-articulated in his book, ”The Price Of Tomorrow”) on the deflationary impact of technology. Much recent technological progress – especially in computational hardware, machine learning/artificial intelligence, resilient network communications, quantum computation, robotics/unmanned systems, 3D manufacturing, biological synthesis, propulsion systems, novel energetics, space launch and surveillance , among others – is being driven by and for military applications. The implication of Jeff Booth’s thesis (which has been borne out to date) is that just as technology drives exponential progress in consumer goods and services getting better and cheaper, so will the warfighter get “more for less.” More problematic, however, is that this will likely result in a proliferation of advanced technology that “democratizes” violence and distributes powerful capabilities to a broad range of human actors, with their use increasingly unconstrained by rules of engagement, Geneva Conventions, or deterrence considerations. One can imagine a world that has fully adopted a Bitcoin standard, but in which zero-day exploits in critical enterprise software and industrial control systems are found and deployed by teenage Minecraft players, autonomous drone-swarms are built and launched by hobbyists for a few hundred dollars, a disaffected postdoc cooks up synthetic viruses in his garage laboratory, and AI-bot armies execute continuous psyops campaigns against target populations. Further, as Jeff Booth has argued, Bitcoin’s natural alignment with these deflationary forces may accelerate technological progress, which while certainly positive for civilization at large, will likely have these kinds of spillover effects. At a different scale, once bitcoin becomes a globally-adopted neutral reserve asset, protection of domestic mining operations tightly integrated into energy grids becomes a national security issue. While mining firms within each nation will likely be regulated into coopetitive arrangements that dissuade disorderly sabotage, no such constraints will exist between states. In the zero-sum battle for the next nonce (and assuming the combination block reward and fee reflect the state of global adoption), the incentive to undercut one’s global competition will be large. This will manifest first in sophisticated corporate espionage and sabotage operations, likely involving the same sorts of firms which now hire armies of ex-intelligence and military professionals to conduct all sorts of unsavory activities around the world. As is the case with strategically important industries today, these types of activities tend to fuse with state intelligence services. Bitcoin mining may become a strategically important industry, if not the most important such industry in the most geopolitically powerful and relevant nations. Thus, it should not be surprising if we come to see state intelligence agencies brought into service to protect domestic mining operations and develop offensive capabilities to threaten their global competitors. Given the interconnection of these mining operations with regional energy production and grid networks, this will compound the existing risks states face in protecting against cyberattacks and disruption to critical infrastructure. States (and/or their deniable proxies) will find and exploit vulnerabilities in each other’s mining and national Bitcoin operations, which may range from executing sophisticated supply chain attacks that compromise competitor ASICs, to outright physical or cyber-enabled sabotage. This will set off an increasingly expensive game to relocate and protect one’s domestic mining infrastructure. However, the lessons from the current spate of cyber-incidents is that the offense is inherently advantaged over defense in these types of digital environments. It could be the case that the direct, substantial incentive that Bitcoin provides energy owners to protect their networks will finally focus attention on basic cyber-hygiene, insider-threat mitigation, and effective business continuity activities, but this is more a hope than a rational expectation. While beyond the scope of this essay to fully analyze, it is plausible that bitcoin, if adopted as the primary global neutral reserve asset, will constrain (but not eliminate) most forms of national debt finance. Note that it is likely that before it reaches equilibrium adoption as a unit of account (which could be a very long ways away), bitcoin will spend a substantial period of time as a reserve asset (taking increasingly dominant share of similar assets) in its store of value function and somewhat as a medium of exchange vehicle to settle large balances between institutions and governments and in jurisdictions which have adopted it as legal tender. In such a period, there are reasons to believe that large states will still find willing creditors for their national debt (denominated in local currency or, more likely, USD), subject to collateral conditions relating to that nation’s (provable) bitcoin reserve. Such creditors will assess the default risk of such sovereigns in a similar manner as today (and as throughout history), and will take the nation’s bitcoin reserve, its taxing ability, fiat currency acceptability, and extant geopolitical position as factors to consider when lending out their own bitcoin to help these governments’ finance expenditures beyond their existing fiscal balance. Note that this will likely be a much more constrained form of debt finance than we currently see, though it is hard to estimate this precisely. It most likely would not be sufficient to enable states to debt-finance large-scale, conventional wars involving mass mobilization, extensive heavy armaments, and protracted deployments, let alone decades-long occupations or “nation-building” imperial misadventures. Even if one doubts the above argument and believes that Bitcoin will absolutely bind governments to self-fund entirely via tax arrangements subject to revised social contracts delimiting the scope of such spending, war likely won’t disappear. This is because war (especially in the form near-future technology will enable) may not be that expensive to prosecute. As we saw above, the exponential effect of technological deflation (partly enabled by bitcoin shifting investor time preference and raising the hurdle rate for productive capital investment) will accelerate the trend already underway to radically cheap, but asymmetrically effective weapons. National defense strategies (among the most geopolitically significant states) will plausibly evolve towards a barbell strategy that combines irregular warfare capabilities with nuclear deterrence. The most expensive parts of national defense budgets derive from having to pay, train, equip, supply, transport, and provide medical benefits to human soldiers, and to construct manned platforms (e.g., aircraft carrier battlegroups) to project violent force. The next few decades will see a shift towards autonomous and unmanned weapons systems and cyber-enabled electronic warfare to deny, disrupt, and destroy similar adversary systems. Humans will be reserved for the special operations and irregular warfare activities in the broadening “gray zone” of state conflict that sits just below the threshold of overt peer-on-peer war. One perverse effect of the very power of nuclear weapons is the creation of deterrence voids for non-nuke threshold conflict, especially in deniable or gray-zone domains. As the capabilities to cheaply execute effective operations in these domains increases, the incentive to do so, while knowing the nuclear threshold sits high above, will be strong for many states. One can imagine revanchist regimes or those disposed to take special advantage of newly affordable weapons systems to prosecute long-awaited grievances or secure what they may see as marginal, and increasingly perishable, military superiority. For example, the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war saw Azerbaijan combine drone technology and long-range sensors to direct precision fires that dominated the battlefield and decisively tipped the scales in a decades-long conflict. These capabilities would have been out of reach just a few years ago, but were made affordable to such a small state by the deflationary impact of technological progress. It’s possible that even the relatively minimal costs of sustaining these forms of asymmetric capabilities will outweigh their benefit (priced in bitcoin, even). But this seems unlikely, especially if the technology deflation continues to make them ever cheaper, and while the world remains a contested, finite geography riven by historically embedded lines of division and political heterogeneity. II) States will likely continue to sustain and expand world-ending nuclear capabilities, even under a Bitcoin standard, merely as a result of the locked-in logic of deterrence. The one military technology where states are likely to be less cost sensitive are nuclear weapons. Despite the hopes of disarmament activists decades running, this particular genie isn’t going back in the bottle. The existential consequences of nuclear weapons will continue to hang like a sword of Damocles over humanity until we reach some (as yet unenvisioned) plane of enlightenment that ushers in enduring global accord. Until that time, we will require that states invest whatever is necessary in order to maintain extremely secure and reliable nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3) systems. It isn’t too much of a stretch to call the U.S. government (to take one example) as a form of nuclear monarchy. While our constitution vests the Commander in Chief (CiC) executive powers over the armed forces, it formally remands the authority to declare war with the Congress. While presidents have found various ways around this particular constraint, they still feel compelled to come to Congress to receive the political dispensation offered by “authorizations to use military force.” The time-scales of nuclear war, however, render all of that moot. Given the precious few minutes between launch detection and detonation, the CiC is given sole and unchallenged authority to issue counter-strike orders, able to select from a menu of pre-selected target packages (defined in the Single Integrated Operational Plan). This nuclear SIOP is designed explicitly to convince our nuclear adversaries that a devastating retaliatory strike is guaranteed, a deterrence logic captured by the dictum of mutually assured destruction. The fraught stability of this system courted catastrophe several times during the Cold War, and that era was comparatively simple from a game-theoretic perspective. As more (and less stable) states continue to nuclearize, the dynamics of multi-party deterrence becomes dangerously unpredictable. Further, technology is pushing the capability envelope, from dial-a-yield “tactical” weapons (e.g., the U.S. B61 bomb) to mega-weapons (e.g., Russia's Status-6 unmanned nuclear torpedo with a potentially 100MT payload), as well as novel delivery platforms like hypersonic glide vehicles and fractional orbital bombardment systems (like that recently demonstrated by China). Now, you may be asking why this excursion on nuclear weapons. Well, if the question at issue is the degree to which Bitcoin may constrain state violence, and war in particular, it seems to me absolutely imperative to recognize the deeply embedded present system of nuclear deterrence. Such a structure – which places the power of world-ending violence in the hands of individual political leaders – isn’t likely to change anytime soon (no matter what happens with Bitcoin). Humble Bitcoiners must reconcile themselves to this unfortunate reality, and hope that the enlightened Bitcoiner leaders of the future will dedicate themselves to reinvigorate the failed non-proliferation, denuclearization, and arms-reduction efforts of our current politicians. III) Bitcoin fixes a lot of things, but war is unlikely to be one of them (at least for the foreseeable future). More fundamentally, human conflict isn't always (or even mostly) motivated to directly seize monetary wealth. We fight each other for many reasons, including over scarce assets (e.g., water rights, agricultural land, minerals, rare earth metals, oil, and natural geographic features like ports, navigable waterways, straits, etc.), ethnic, tribal, or religious enmity, national pride or honor, domestic political wagging-of-the-dog, or just because of some individual leader’s mania or even group collective insanity. While humans are capable of some wondrous things, our capacity for violence and destruction (especially against our own self-considered and “rational” interest) is legion. In the "long-run," one can, possibly, envision a utopia of abundance where all conceivable axes of human conflict have been eliminated or mitigated. But this seems so far off as to distract from the more likely practical scenarios we must navigate in the decades ahead. Bitcoin as a bearer asset presents immense benefits as well as security challenges for individual holders. These will scale with the scale of adoption. It will be hard to steal a nation's or a large corporation’s bitcoin, but not impossible, and the incentives to try will be large. Right now, national governments substantially invest in securing domestic critical infrastructure – especially the financial system and its centralized, interconnected digital ledgers – from cyberattack, insider exploitation, theft, sabotage, and natural hazard disruption. Bitcoin’s ledger needs no such protection thanks to the geographic distribution, scale-free self-healing network structure, and endogenous incentives of miners (bracket off the 51% attack arguments here), but our keys do. If you don't believe the combined intelligence and defense capabilities of the world's (remaining, likely most powerful) states will not invest in forms of violence, compellence, theft, sabotage, and manipulation to undercut their rival's economic stability, I encourage more "adversarial thinking." Conclusion The precise outlines of the future state of geopolitical competition in a Bitcoin standard are hard to foresee. Exactly how the incentives of Bitcoin mining and national reserve adoption may affect the calculus of inter-state violence is unknowable. Still, we can reason and explore the parameter space of possibilities given present conditions and projected trends. There are good reasons to believe that Bitcoin may reduce the incentive for large-scale, conventional war and imperial-style occupations. At the same time, such forms of state violence may become outmoded regardless of Bitcoin due to the dramatic improvement in weapons technology to asymptotically project power with relatively little cost. Further, the posture of nuclear forces – and the taught logic of deterrence we rely on to prevent their use – will likely be entirely unchanged by Bitcoin (at least for the foreseeable future). Where does this leave us on the question of Bitcoin and war? Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic that it will fundamentally alter the strategic balance of geopolitical forces in such a way as to substantially reduce the likelihood of destructive state conflict. This is no fault of Bitcoin, which promises a great reformation and improvement in many critical aspects of our civilization. Rather, this is merely a statement that, for all its power, Bitcoin is unlikely to change (in our lifetimes, at least) inherent aspects of the human condition, existing as we are on a finite planet, burdened by the frailties of nature and our fraught history. Bitcoin is a net good for humanity, and especially good for those states that recognize its virtues before others. Bitcoin fixes a lot of things, and these should be explained clearly and proclaimed proudly, to all who wish to hear. For all its promise however, Bitcoin is unlikely to fix war. Until it does, stay humble and stack sats. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/21/2022 - 21:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 21st, 2022

Republicans Should Rethink Idea-Free Campaigns

Party leaders have decided that running without a legislative agenda is the winning 2022 strategy. One problem with their plan: If it works, it’ll make governing painful......»»

Category: topSource: washpostJan 21st, 2022

6 Must-Buy Large-Cap Stocks Ahead of Q4 Earnings Next Week

Six large-cap companies will report earnings next week. These are: TSLA, URI, FCX, VRTX, STLD and BRO. Wall Street is facing severe volatility in this week as market participants are keeping their fingers crossed for a hawkish Fed in the near term. However, the fourth-quarter 2021 earnings season is gathering pace with better-than-expected results so far. Earnings results are expected to stay strong this time around.Six large-cap stocks are poised to beat on fourth-quarter earnings results next week. These stocks carry a favorable Zacks Rank and a possible earnings beat is likely to make them attractive to investors in the near future. These are - Tesla Inc. TSLA, Steel Dynamics Inc. STLD, Brown & Brown, Inc. BRO, United Rentals Inc. URI, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. FCX and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. VRTX.Solid Start to Fourth-Quarter EarningsAs of Jan 19, 43 S&P 500 companies have reported fourth-quarter 2021 results. Total earnings of these companies are up 18.3% year over year on 11.7% higher revenues with 86% beating EPS estimates and 79.1% surpassing revenue estimates.Total fourth-quarter earnings of the market's benchmark — the S&P 500 Index — are projected to climb 21.5% from the same period last year on 12% higher revenues, following 41.4% year-over-year earnings growth on 17.4% higher revenues in the third quarter, 95% year-over-year earnings growth on 25.3% higher revenues in the second quarter and 49.3% year-over-year earnings growth on 10.3% higher revenues in first-quarter 2021.The first three quarters of last year were favorably impacted since the preceding quarters of the year before that were affected by pandemic-induced lockdowns and restrictions. However, the U.S. economy started reopening at a very slow pace since the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2020.Our Top PicksSix large-cap (market capital > $10 billion) companies will report earnings next week. Each of these stocks carries either a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and has a positive Earnings ESP. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Our research shows that for stocks with the combination of a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better and a positive Earnings ESP, the chance of an earnings beat is as high as 70%. These stocks are anticipated to appreciate after their earnings releases. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.The chart below shows the price performance of our six picks in last quarter.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchTesla has acquired a substantial market share within the electric car segment. Increasing Model 3 delivery, which forms a significant chunk of TSLA’s overall deliveries, is aiding its top line. Along with Model 3, Model Y is contributing to its revenues.In addition to increasing automotive revenues, Tesla’s energy generation and storage revenues boost its earnings prospects. TSLA said that its overall deliveries surged 20% in the third quarter from its previous record in the second quarter, marking the sixth consecutive quarter-on-quarter gain.The Zacks Rank #1 Tesla has an Earnings ESP of +6.30%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 33.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 1.7% over the last 30 days.TSLA recorded earnings surprises in three out of the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 25.4%. Tesla is set to release earnings results on Jan 26, after the closing bell.Steel Dynamics Inc. is expected to gain from acquisitions as well as strong liquidity and efforts to expand capacity. The acquisitions of Heartland and United Steel Supply have boosted Steel Dynamics' shipping capabilities. Moreover, the buyout of Zimmer will support its raw material procurement strategy at its new Texas flat roll steel mill.STLD is also expected to gain from its investments to beef up capacity and upgrade facilities. Steel Dynamics is executing several projects that should add to capacity and boost profitability. The electric-arc-furnace flat roll steel mill will strengthen its steelmaking capacity and value-added product capability.The Zacks Rank #2 STLD has an Earnings ESP of +6.38%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 1.2% over the last 30 days. Steel Dynamics recorded earnings surprises in the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 5.1%. STLD is set to release earnings results on Jan 24, after the closing bell.Brown & Brown has a compelling portfolio along with an impressive growth trajectory driven by organic and inorganic initiatives across all its segments. Buyouts and collaborations enhanced Brown & Brown's existing capabilities and extended its geographic foothold.Strategic efforts continue to drive commission and fees. BRO’s sturdy performance has driven cash flow, enabling it to deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. BRO boasts a strong balance sheet backed by a solid cash position.The Zacks Rank #1 Brown & Brown has an Earnings ESP of +1.56%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 5.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 0.9% over the last 7 days.BRO recorded earnings surprises in the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 18.3%. Brown & Brown is set to release earnings results on Jan 24, after the closing bell.Freeport-McMoRan is conducting exploration activities near existing mines to expand reserves. FCX is expected to gain from the progress in exploration activities that will boost production capacity. Freeport’s Lone Star project provides additional upside.FCX is also well-positioned to benefit from automotive electrification, which is positive for copper as electrical vehicles are copper intensive. Higher copper prices are also expected to support its margins. Freeport’s efforts to reduce debt is also encouraging.The Zacks Rank #2 Freeport has an Earnings ESP of +2.86%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 32.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 1.2% over the last 7 days.FCX recorded earnings surprises in three out of the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 4.3%. Freeport is set to release earnings results on Jan 26, before the opening bell.United Rentals is benefiting from higher rental revenues, fleet productivity and absorptions. Fleet productivity was up 13.5% in the third quarter from the prior-year quarter, depicting better fleet absorption. URI’s raised 2021 guidance exhibits broad-based growth across the company’s verticals, with persistent growth opportunities for certain non-residential verticals including datacenter, healthcare and warehouse projects.The Zacks Rank #2 United Rentals has an Earnings ESP of +1.34%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 22.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 0.1% over the last 30 days.URI recorded earnings surprises in two out of the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 5.7%. United Rentals is set to release earnings results on Jan 26, after the closing bell.Vertex’s cystic franchise sales continue to grow despite the impact of the pandemic. Trikafta/Kaftrio’s early approval/launch were a significant milestone. New reimbursement agreements in ex-U.S. markets and label expansions to younger age groups in United States are driving VRTX’s Trikafta/Kaftrio sales higher.Vertex’s non-CF pipeline is progressing rapidly with data from multiple programs expected in the next few months. Vertex faces only minimal competition in its core CF franchise. Vertex has collaborations with several companies.The Zacks Rank #2 VRTX has an Earnings ESP of +10.77%. It has an expected earnings growth rate of 3.3% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 0.2% over the last 30 days.Vertex recorded earnings surprises in three out of the last four reported quarters, with an average beat of 8%. VRTX is set to release earnings results on Jan 26, after the closing bell.Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Steel Dynamics, Inc. (STLD): Free Stock Analysis Report FreeportMcMoRan Inc. (FCX): Free Stock Analysis Report Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX): Free Stock Analysis Report Brown & Brown, Inc. (BRO): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report United Rentals, Inc. (URI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Should Investors Bet on Oil Hitting $100 a Barrel Soon?

The New Year has started on a highly bullish note for oil, which is trading around seven-year highs. Consequently, the top gainer of the S&P 500 this year is an energy-related name - Schlumberger (SLB). A year and half after the pandemic-driven epic oil price crash, optimism is back in the sector as prices have soared above $85-a-barrel, with talks of a potential spike of more than $100 from the top energy traders and forecasters like JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs GS, OANDA, Rystad Energy. The bullish outlook is a far cry from the depths of minus $38 a barrel in April 2020.According to Goldman Sachs, oil prices could reach the magic figure around the third quarter though the investment bank’s official target for 2022 is $96 a barrel. Jeff Currie — Goldman Sachs’ head of commodities research — believes that the oil market is “fundamentally tight” with a high probability of upside going into the first half of next year.    While it’s typically a case of an ever-improving demand picture against constrained supply, let’s discuss the important dynamics driving the oil markets.Could We See $100 Oil Again?Following the historic plunge of 2020, the oil market has made a remarkable recovery, and a tight commodity market is clearly evident.Apart from a favorable demand/supply dynamic, high vaccination rates in most parts of the developed world and the calibrated production cuts by the OPEC+ cartel, the commodity’s upward momentum is being supported by recent geopolitical headlines that could impact production. For example, the Russia-Ukraine tensions and the attack by Yemen's Houthi group on OPEC-member UAE gave a boost to oil by threatening supply disruptions.Further, even though oil prices have rebounded strongly from the coronavirus-induced depths, most producers will likely continue with their disciplined approach to capital allocation in 2022. With not much chance of a significant upstream capex increase this year, investment in long-term projects appears to be dwindling.For example, U.S. biggie Chevron CVX has pegged its capital and exploratory budget for 2022 at $15 billion — at the low end of its previous estimation of $15-$17 billion. This year’s budget is also down around 29% from Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) CVX’s 2019 pre-pandemic expenditure of $21 billion.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.According to Chevron's Chairman and CEO Michael K. Wirth, the company is following a capital deployment strategy that is aligned with its plans to move ahead in tune with the global economic recovery. CVX’s policy of spending restraint and cost efficiency aligns with its goal to improve returns and lower carbon footprint.This capital shortage, coupled with the slow pick-up in U.S. shale production, point to an impending supply shortfall against demand, especially with most individuals resuming activities post vaccination and pent-up consumption starting to take effect.It also seems that fears of a slowdown in oil demand recovery from the Omicron variant are starting to subside, with the strain likely to be short-lived and less deadly than expected. At the same time, the available vaccines might be effective in neutralizing it, while the broad-based reluctance to reapply harsh lockdown measures averted a major hit to consumption.Many oil traders believe it to be the perfect recipe to see a price spike north of $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014.The Cost of Triple-Digit CrudeThere is no doubt that the energy space has been tightening rapidly this year but revisiting triple-digit prices might not be the best news for the economy and the oil industry. As fuel rallies, there could be demand destruction, especially from the emerging economies that are not only sensitive to commodity prices and currency fluctuations but also are yet to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, $100 oil will not be sustainable for nations that depend heavily on imports as well as finished crude products. What Lies Ahead?Though we do not see the price of a barrel of crude reaching $100 anytime soon, there is a strong argument building for a bull run in the coming months. Demand is set to surpass the pre-pandemic threshold of 100 million barrels per day once again this year, while supply from the OPEC+ coalition looks likely to remain restricted in the foreseeable future, considering the group’s lack of spare capacity. Moreover, 2020’s unprecedented price collapse has prompted operators to trim their exploration budgets by billions of dollars, translating into a relatively dry pipeline of new projects.With all the tailwinds, the Zacks Oil/Energy sector has continued to move higher in 2022 after comfortably topping the S&P 500 leaderboard last year. While 2021 marked the best annual performance since 2009, with the space gaining 55%, crude has already risen more than 15% this year. Although still in its early days, the New Year has started on a highly bullish note for the commodity, which is trading at around seven-year highs.Consequently, the top gainer of the S&P 500 this year is an energy-related name — Schlumberger SLB. The oilfield services behemoth, which is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results today, is the best-performing stock with a year-to-date gain of 23.7%.Should oil hit $100, the likes of SLB could be even bigger winners in the coming months. Elevated crude realization generally leads to wider margins for companies like Schlumberger that make it possible for upstream players to drill for oil. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS): Free Stock Analysis Report Chevron Corporation (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report Schlumberger Limited (SLB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Plains GP (PAGP) Is Attractively Priced Despite Fast-paced Momentum

Plains GP (PAGP) made it through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen and could be a great choice for investors looking for stocks that have gained strong momentum recently but are still trading at reasonable prices. Momentum investors typically don't time the market or "buy low and sell high." In other words, they avoid betting on cheap stocks and waiting long for them to recover. Instead, they believe that "buying high and selling higher" is the way to make far more money in lesser time.Everyone likes betting on fast-moving trending stocks, but it isn't easy to determine the right entry point. These stocks often lose momentum when their future growth potential fails to justify their swelled-up valuation. In that phase, investors find themselves invested in shares that have limited to no upside or even a downside. So, betting on a stock just by looking at the traditional momentum parameters could be risky at times.A safer approach could be investing in bargain stocks with recent price momentum. While the Zacks Momentum Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system) helps identify great momentum stocks by paying close attention to trends in a stock's price or earnings, our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen comes handy in spotting fast-moving stocks that are still attractively priced.Plains GP Holdings (PAGP) is one of the several great candidates that made it through the screen. While there are numerous reasons why this stock is a great choice, here are the most vital ones:Investors' growing interest in a stock is reflected in its recent price increase. A price change of 15.2% over the past four weeks positions the stock of this oil and gas holding company well in this regard.While any stock can see a spike in price for a short period, it takes a real momentum player to deliver positive returns for a longer time frame. PAGP meets this criterion too, as the stock gained 3.4% over the past 12 weeks.Moreover, the momentum for PAGP is fast paced, as the stock currently has a beta of 2.07. This indicates that the stock moves 107% higher than the market in either direction.Given this price performance, it is no surprise that PAGP has a Momentum Score of B, which indicates that this is the right time to enter the stock to take advantage of the momentum with the highest probability of success.In addition to a favorable Momentum Score, an upward trend in earnings estimate revisions has helped PAGP earn a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Our research shows that the momentum-effect is quite strong among Zacks Rank #1 and #2 stocks. That's because as covering analysts raise their earnings estimates for a stock, more and more investors take an interest in it, helping its price race to keep up. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>Most importantly, despite possessing fast-paced momentum features, PAGP is trading at a reasonable valuation. In terms of Price-to-Sales ratio, which is considered as one of the best valuation metrics, the stock looks quite cheap now. PAGP is currently trading at 0.06 times its sales. In other words, investors need to pay only 6 cents for each dollar of sales.So, PAGP appears to have plenty of room to run, and that too at a fast pace.In addition to PAGP, there are several other stocks that currently pass through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen. You may consider investing in them and start looking for the newest stocks that fit these criteria.This is not the only screen that could help you find your next winning stock pick. Based on your personal investing style, you may choose from over 45 Zacks Premium Screens that are strategically created to beat the market.However, keep in mind that the key to a successful stock-picking strategy is to ensure that it produced profitable results in the past. You could easily do that with the help of the Zacks Research Wizard. In addition to allowing you to backtest the effectiveness of your strategy, the program comes loaded with some of our most successful stock-picking strategies.Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Plains Group Holdings, L.P. (PAGP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

4 Software Stocks to Watch for in a Booming Industry

Computer Software industry participants like Microsoft (MSFT), Salesforce (CRM), Intuit (INTU) and Cadence Design Systems (CDNS) are benefiting from a steady digital transformation environment and strong adoption of cloud computing, despite coronavirus-led disruptions. The Zacks Computer Software industry is benefiting from the pandemic-induced accelerated digital transformation drive across the globe. Software is ubiquitous and has become the focal point of technological innovation. Apart from running devices and applications, its usage has been extended to managing infrastructure. The industry is primarily gaining from the ongoing cloud transition. The role of software is evolving. With the continuation of remote work setup and mainstream adoption of hybrid/flexible work model, the demand for voice and video communication software as well as productivity software is expected to increase exponentially. These trends bode well for industry participants like Microsoft MSFT, Salesforce CRM, Intuit INTU and Cadence Design Systems CDNS. Industry DescriptionThe Zacks Computer Software industry comprises companies that provide software applications related to cloud computing, electronic product designing, digital media and marketing, customer relationship management, on-premises as well as cloud-based database management, accounting and tax purposes, human capital management, cybersecurity and application performance monitoring and cloud-based enterprise communications platform among others. Some of the companies specialize in the development and marketing of simulation software (like the computer-aided design or “CAD”, 3D modelling, product lifecycle management or “PLM”, data orchestration and experience creation), which are widely used by engineers, designers and researchers across a broad spectrum of industries like architecture, engineering and construction; product design and manufacturing; and digital media3 Trends Shaping the Future of the Software IndustryHigher Spending on Software Aids Prospects: The industry’s prospects are bright, given higher spending by the enterprises on software procurement. Continued investment in big data and analytics along with the ongoing adoption of software as a service or SaaS opens up significant opportunities for industry players. Cloud offers a flexible and cost-effective platform to develop and test applications. The deployment time is also much shorter compared with legacy systems. SaaS companies are expected to register strong top-line growth on a higher percentage of recurring revenues, subscription gross margin and a lower churn rate.Cloud Computing Adoption Gaining Traction: The increasing need to secure the cloud platforms, amid growing incidents of cyber-attacks and hacking, is driving demand for cyber security software. Enterprises are focused on rapid migration to cloud and DevOps technologies to achieve scalability and agility for software development as well as IT operations. This helps in delivering a flawless digital experience to clients. This trend has brought immense value to application and infrastructure performance monitoring. It is driving the demand for performance management monitoring tools that are not only scalable but also suitable for cloud-based environments.Remote Work to Drive Demand, Worsening COVID-19 Situation a Concern: The continuation of work-from-home and online-learning set up along with the adoption of distributed workforce model is fueling demand for enterprise communication, workspace management and human capital management software solutions, among others. However, the coronavirus situation is highly evolving with the emergence of a more contagious Omicron variant. Several parts of the world (especially the U.K. and the rest of Europe) are grappling with increasing infection rates, leading to the reimposition of several COVID-19 restrictions. Even the United States is witnessing a surge in the Omicron outbreak. This could affect spending across small- and medium-sized businesses globally. The uncertainty in business visibility could dent the industry’s performance in the near term.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bright ProspectsThe Zacks Computer Software industry is housed within the broader Zacks Computer And Technology sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #99, which places it in the top 39% of more than 254 Zacks industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bright near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are gaining confidence in this group’s earnings growth potential. Since Jan 31, 2021, the industry’s earnings estimate for 2021 has improved 6.1%.Before we present some stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, considering their prospects, let us look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.Industry Outperforms Sector and S&P 500The Zacks Computer Software industry has outperformed the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector and the S&P 500 Index in the past year.The industry has rallied 25.1% over this period compared with the S&P 500’s rise of 18.4% and the broader sector’s increase of 8%.One-Year Price PerformanceIndustry's Current Valuation On the basis of forward 12-month P/E, which is a commonly used multiple for valuing software companies, we see that the industry is currently trading at 32.9X compared with the S&P 500’s 20.65X. It is also above the sector’s forward-12-month P/E of 26.08X.Over the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 37.26X, as low as 22.60X and at the median of 27.07X, as the chart below shows.Forward 12-Month Price-to-Earnings (P/E) RatioForward 12-Month P/E Ratio4 Software Stocks to Snap Up Right NowSalesforce: Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Salesforce is the leading provider of on-demand Customer Relationship Management software, enabling organizations to manage critical operations, such as sales force automation, customer service and support, marketing automation, document management, analytics and custom application development.Salesforce is benefiting from a robust demand environment as customers are undergoing a major digital transformation. The rapid adoption of its cloud-based solutions is driving demand for its products. Salesforce’s sustained focus on introducing more aligned products per customers’ needs is driving the top line. The recent acquisition of Slack would position the company as a leader in the enterprise team collaboration solution space and compete with Microsoft’s Teams product.Salesforce sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s fiscal 2022 earnings is at $4.68 per share, up 6.4% in the past 60 days.Price and Consensus: CRMMicrosoft: The Redmond, WA-based company is benefiting from momentum in its Azure cloud platform amid accelerated digital transformation around the globe. The company is now one of the two public cloud providers that can deliver a wide variety of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions at scale.Microsoft is witnessing growth in the user base of its different applications, including Microsoft 365 suite and Dynamics. Recovery in ad and job market boosted LinkedIn and Search revenues. Teams’ user growth is gaining from the continuation of remote work and the implementation of a flexible work model. The solid uptake of new Xbox consoles is aiding the gaming segment performance.Shares of Microsoft have returned 33.5% in a year’s time. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company’s fiscal 2022 earnings is pegged at $9.14 per share, up 2 cents in the past 60 days.Price and Consensus: MSFT  Intuit: Mountain View, CA-based Intuit is a business and financial software company that develops and sells financial, accounting and tax preparation software and related services for small businesses, consumers and accounting professionals globally.Intuit is benefiting from strong momentum in online ecosystem revenues and solid professional tax revenues. The TurboTax Live offering is also driving growth in the Consumer tax business. Solid momentum in the company’s lending product, QuickBooks Capital, remains a positive factor. Moreover, the company’s strategy of shifting its business to a cloud-based subscription model will help generate stable revenues over the long run.Shares of Intuit have returned 45.3% in a year’s time. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this Zacks Rank #2 company’s fiscal 2022 earnings is pegged at $11.68 per share.Price and Consensus: INTU Cadence Design Systems: The San Jose, CA-based company is well-positioned to gain from strength across segments like digital & signoff solutions and functional verification suite. Expanding product portfolio and frequent product launches are a key catalyst.Increasing investments on emerging trends like Internet-of-things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) as well as autonomous vehicle sub-systems present significant growth opportunities for the company in the long haul. The recent acquisitions of Pointwise and NUMECA are expected to boost the top line.In the past year, shares of Cadence have returned 9.4%. The consensus mark for this Zacks Rank #2 company’s 2021 earnings is pegged at $3.25 per share, unchanged in the past 60 days.Price and Consensus: CDNS  5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report, inc. (CRM): Free Stock Analysis Report Intuit Inc. (INTU): Free Stock Analysis Report Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (CDNS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Should Value Investors Buy Bank7 (BSVN) Stock?

Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks. The proven Zacks Rank system focuses on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find winning stocks. Nevertheless, we know that our readers all have their own perspectives, so we are always looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong picks.Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors use tried-and-true metrics and fundamental analysis to find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.In addition to the Zacks Rank, investors looking for stocks with specific traits can utilize our Style Scores system. Of course, value investors will be most interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with "A" grades for Value and high Zacks Ranks are among the best value stocks available at any given moment.One company value investors might notice is Bank7 (BSVN). BSVN is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), as well as an A grade for Value. The stock is trading with a P/E ratio of 8.67, which compares to its industry's average of 13.20. Over the past year, BSVN's Forward P/E has been as high as 9.92 and as low as 7.50, with a median of 8.47.Finally, we should also recognize that BSVN has a P/CF ratio of 10.03. This metric focuses on a firm's operating cash flow and is often used to find stocks that are undervalued based on the strength of their cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 17.19. BSVN's P/CF has been as high as 10.61 and as low as 6.68, with a median of 8.24, all within the past year.These are just a handful of the figures considered in Bank7's great Value grade. Still, they help show that the stock is likely being undervalued at the moment. Add this to the strength of its earnings outlook, and we can clearly see that BSVN is an impressive value stock right now. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Bank7 Corp. (BSVN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022

Should Value Investors Buy CACI International (CACI) Stock?

Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks. The proven Zacks Rank system focuses on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find winning stocks. Nevertheless, we know that our readers all have their own perspectives, so we are always looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong picks.Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.Luckily, Zacks has developed its own Style Scores system in an effort to find stocks with specific traits. Value investors will be interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with both "A" grades in the Value category and high Zacks Ranks are among the strongest value stocks on the market right now.One company value investors might notice is CACI International (CACI). CACI is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and an A for Value.Another notable valuation metric for CACI is its P/B ratio of 2.34. Investors use the P/B ratio to look at a stock's market value versus its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. This company's current P/B looks solid when compared to its industry's average P/B of 4.22. Over the past year, CACI's P/B has been as high as 2.49 and as low as 1.89, with a median of 2.30.Value investors also frequently use the P/S ratio. This metric is found by dividing a stock's price with the company's revenue. Some people prefer this metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement. This means it could be a truer performance indicator. CACI has a P/S ratio of 1.05. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 2.17.Finally, we should also recognize that CACI has a P/CF ratio of 11.30. This data point considers a firm's operating cash flow and is frequently used to find companies that are undervalued when considering their solid cash outlook. CACI's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 13.75. Over the past year, CACI's P/CF has been as high as 13.32 and as low as 10.16, with a median of 11.47.These are just a handful of the figures considered in CACI International's great Value grade. Still, they help show that the stock is likely being undervalued at the moment. Add this to the strength of its earnings outlook, and we can clearly see that CACI is an impressive value stock right now. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report CACI International, Inc. (CACI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 21st, 2022