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Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Scorpio Tankers

Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Scorpio Tankers.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 23rd, 2022

How a new platform is helping leaders in sustainable tourism build strong partnerships

The Sigmund Project exclusively highlights businesses with a "triple bottom line": an emphasis on both profit and benefitting people and the planet. Insider Collaboration is the driving force behind The Sigmund Project. Courtesy of The Sigmund Project. The not-for-profit The Sigmund Project connects sustainability-focused innovators in tourism. Entrepreneurs and leaders can submit ideas or peruse projects to find an apt partnership. The site is already facilitating successful collaborations and aims to issue grants by mid-2022. This article is part of a series called "Partners for a Sustainable Future," profiling innovative alliances that are driving real progress in sustainability. The ethos behind "open source" is that the more brainpower involved in a product's evolution, the better. Things like peer production, review, critique, and collaboration are all encouraged.Recently, not-for-profit startup The Sigmund Project decided to apply this concept to tourism innovation. "The moniker we have regarding [open source] is 'nothing mentioned, nothing gained,'" founder Alan Elliott Merschen told Insider. "If you don't share the idea, it's never going to take root."Though it just launched in June 2021, The Sigmund Project has attracted thousands of unique visitors from more than 108 countries and facilitated about a dozen collaborations. For example, one Switzerland-based NGO recently connected with an ecoresort in the Solomon Islands via the platform, and the two companies are now in talks to become sustainability partners.Here's how Mershcen got The Sigmund Project off the ground, what some of the partnerships look like, and what he has planned for the future.An industry inflection point Ideas on The Sigmund Project's Website. Courtesy of The Sigmund Project Merschen has worked in the travel and tourism field for more than 30 years. He founded the travel marketing company Myriad, which specializes in international destination marketing for private and government clients across five continents. "My interest has always been the impact that tourism can have on a global economy as well as a local environment," Merschen said.When the COVID-19 crisis hit, it decimated the industry. Before the pandemic, the sector accounted for as much as 25% of all new job creation worldwide, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. But in 2020, more than 62 million tourism-related jobs vanished virtually overnight.Merschen wanted to find a way to revitalize the industry while simultaneously addressing its sustainability problem - in 2016, the sector was responsible for about 5% of manmade carbon emissions worldwide, a number forecast to increase to 5.3% by 2030. So he began brainstorming and taking the pulse of his professional network.He found that COVID-19 was paving the way for previously unthinkable partnerships. "I saw an openness and willingness to collaborate that I had never seen before, not only among complementary products but also among competitors," Merschen said.Leaning into this observation, Merchen launched a digital platform to connect tourism industry innovators with one another. He envisioned an open-source ecosystem in which entrepreneurs with an app idea could connect with the perfect coder, for instance, or where a huge tourism company with a new product could identify niche distribution channels.Merchen saw this vision come to life recently when a multinational travel corporation found synergy with a startup called Gozee after posting about their needs on The Sigmund Project. The two organizations ended up sharing an Application Programming Interface (API) to help customers filter for sustainable travel experiences.How it worksNamed in honor of Merschen's father, The Sigmund Project went live on Father's Day 2021 and exclusively highlights businesses with a "triple bottom line": an emphasis not just on profit but also on benefitting people and the planet. Before submitting an idea, users watch a short video and take a quick quiz, which gauges if their proposed project fits into the platform's parameters. Aligning with one or more of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals is mandatory.Next, innovators can officially submit their idea to be vetted by a Sigmund Project staff member. If the proposal passes muster, the innovator is invited to a call with someone on the Sigmund team, where they talk through the idea, fine-tune its messaging, and suggest potential partners.The organization describes itself as both "high-tech and high-touch." Though the vetting process is largely manual and will remain so for the foreseeable future, the platform also has built-in automation features that will help it scale as traffic and submissions continue to increase.Travel with a side of social good Amina Mohamed, right, and Elizabeth discussing her photos at a Cameras for Girls workshop in Kampala, Uganda. Daniel Moxie Projects on the platform run the gamut when it comes to the UN's SDGs. One of the collaborators currently featured on The Sigmund Project is Amina Mohamed, an Ontario-based entrepreneur and founder of both Triple F Photo Tours and the nonprofit Cameras for Girls. Her companies align with the UN's fifth SDG around gender equality and empowering women."I designed my nonprofit to give back to my home country of Uganda and support marginalized females endeavoring to become journalists," she told Insider. To support the nonprofit work, Mohamed developed a separate for-profit company, Triple F, to lead "anti-tourist" photo tours that support local culture. About 10% of its revenue flows to Cameras for Girls, which is a registered charity in Canada as of fall 2021. Amina Mohamed riding on a boda boda with the driver on the back in Bombo, Uganda, on a Triple F Photo Tour. Courtesy of Triple F Photo Tours When COVID-19 hit, it nearly tanked her tour operation. "I had a choice to make - to let this business die, or go all in and make it work" she said. She ultimately went for option B, venturing down multiple avenues to stay afloat, including posting about Triple F and Cameras for Girls on The Sigmund Project. In Mohamed's post, she writes about looking for resources to expand her women-focused photography tours to Costa Rica.The Sigmund team connected Mohamed with a reputable, Toronto-based travel agency in the company's network. In turn, the agency connected Mohamed with resources in Costa Rica. Thanks to the introduction, Mohamed now has plans to expand Triple F's tours to the country starting in February 2022, with future trips to follow.Looking to the futureThanks to contributions from an anonymous donor, The Sigmund Project is fully funded for the next five years. "Everything that people are doing is completely free, and it will continue to be like that," Merschen said. "We like to say our only currency is collaboration."In that vein, The Sigmund Project is on the prowl for its own partnerships. The organization has forged an agreement with NYU's Tisch Center of Hospitality. Other notable institutions from Canada to Germany have expressed interest in becoming involved. One professor has already included the site in a class assignment, requiring students to collaborate on the platform with entrepreneurs from around the world.Another upcoming goal for The Sigmund Project is to provide financial support to innovators. In 2022, Merschen plans to roll out an investment grant feature to establish a healthy middle ground between micro-financing and the big-bucks world of venture capitalism."There's nobody in the middle," he said. "That's where we want to be."Another differentiating factor for the grants, Merschen explained, is that no company will be able to secure one single-handedly - innovators will need to submit proposals with at least one other entity, in line with the platform's ethos of collaboration.The Sigmund Project plans to take a small interest in companies that receive grants. "The idea is that that company will be successful/profitable, and it will share some of that back with The Sigmund Foundation," Merschen said. He clarified that all returns are immediately reinvested in Sigmund's operating expenses and future grant recipients.Merchen hopes that this tactic will enable The Sigmund Project to develop its own circular operating model. "That's how we become sustainable," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 27th, 2021

These 46 pitch decks helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. New twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series APersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalG 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of TulipshareTulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundHelping small banks lendTKCollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed roundA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BAn alternative auto lenderTricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investors A new way to access credit The TomoCredit teamTomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingQuantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOSussing out bad actorsFrom left to right: Cofounders CTO David Movshovitz, CEO Doron Hendler, and chief architect Adi DeGaniRevealSecurityAn encounter with an impersonation hacker led Doron Hendler to found RevealSecurity, a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity startup that monitors for insider threats.Two years ago, a woman impersonating an insurance-agency representative called Hendler and convinced him that he made a mistake with his recent health insurance policy upgrade. She got him to share his login information for his insurer's website, even getting him to give the one-time passcode sent to his phone. Once the hacker got what she needed, she disconnected the call, prompting Hendler to call back. When no one picked up the phone, he realized he had been conned.He immediately called his insurance company to check on his account. Nothing seemed out of place to the representative. But Hendler, who was previously a vice president of a software company, suspected something intangible could have been collected, so he reset his credentials."The chief of information security, who was on the call, he asked me, 'So, how do you want me to identify you? You gave your credentials; you gave your ID; you gave the one time password. How the hell can I identify that it's not you?' And I told him, 'But I never behave like this,'" Hendler recalled of the conversation.RevealSecurity, a Tel Aviv-based cyber startup that tracks user behavior for abnormalities, used this 27-page deck to raise its Series AA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series AHelping fintechs manage dataProper Finance co-founders Travis Gibson (left) and Kyle MaloneyProper FinanceAs the flow of data becomes evermore crucial for fintechs, from the strappy startup to the established powerhouse, a thorny issue in the back office is becoming increasingly complex.Even though fintechs are known for their sleek front ends, the back end is often quite the opposite. Behind that streamlined interface can be a mosaic of different partner integrations — be it with banks, payments players and networks, or software vendors — with a channel of data running between them. Two people who know that better than the average are Kyle Maloney and Travis Gibson, two former employees of Marqeta, a fintech that provides other fintechs with payments processing and card issuance. "Take an established neobank for example. They'll likely have one or two card issuers, two to three bank partners, ACH processing for direct deposits and payouts, mobile check deposits, peer-to-peer payments, and lending," Gibson told Insider. Here's the 12-page pitch deck a startup helping fintechs manage their data used to score a $4.3 million seed from investors like Redpoint Ventures and Y CombinatorE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series AShopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy VoProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series ADeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Branded cards for SMBsJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym.TandymJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is no stranger to the private-label credit-card business. As a former Capital One exec, she worked in both the card giant's co-brand partnerships division and its tech organization during her seven years at the company.Now, Glaspie-Lundstrom is hoping to use that experience to innovate a sector that was initially created in malls decades ago.Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym, which offers private-label digital credit cards to merchants. Store and private-label credit cards aren't a new concept, but Tandym is targeting small- and medium-sized merchants with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Glaspie-Lundstrom said that group often struggles to offer private-label credit due to the expense of working with legacy players."What you have is this example of a very valuable product type that merchants love and their customers love, but a huge, untapped market that has heretofore been unserved, and so that's what we're doing with Tandym," Glaspi-Lundstrom told Insider.A former Capital One exec used this deck to raise $60 million for a startup helping SMBs launch their own branded credit cardsCatering to 'micro businesses'Stefanie Sample is the founder and CEO of FundidFundidStartups aiming to simplify the often-complex world of corporate cards have boomed in recent years.Business-finance management startup Brex was last valued at $12.3 billion after raising $300 million last year. Startup card provider Ramp announced an $8.1 billion valuation in March after growing its revenue nearly 10x in 2021. Divvy, a small business card provider, was acquired by Bill.com in May 2021 for approximately $2.5 billion.But despite how hot the market has gotten, Stefanie Sample said she ended up working in the space by accident. Sample is the founder and CEO of Fundid, a new fintech that provides credit and lending products to small businesses.This May, Fundid announced a $3.25 million seed round led by Nevcaut Ventures. Additional investors include the Artemis Fund and Builders and Backers. The funding announcement capped off the company's first year: Sample introduced the Fundid concept in April 2021, launched its website in May, and began raising capital in August."I never meant to do Fundid," Sample told Insider. "I never meant to do something that was venture-backed."Read the 12-page deck used by Fundid, a fintech offering credit and lending tools for 'micro businesses'Embedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote teamHighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingSpeeding up loans for government contractors OppZo cofounders Warren Reed and Randy GarrettOppZoThe massive market for federal government contracts approached $700 billion in 2020, and it's likely to grow as spending accelerates amid an ongoing push for investment in the nation's infrastructure. Many of those dollars flow to small-and-medium sized businesses, even though larger corporations are awarded the bulk of contracts by volume. Of the roughly $680 billion in federal contracts awarded in 2020, roughly a quarter, according to federal guidelines, or some $146 billion that year, went to smaller businesses.But peeking under the hood of the procurement process, the cofounders of OppZo — Randy Garrett and Warren Reed — saw an opportunity to streamline how smaller-sized businesses can leverage those contracts to tap in to capital.  Securing a deal is "a government contractor's best day and their worst day," as Garrett, OppZo's president, likes to put it."At that point they need to pay vendors and hire folks to start the contract. And they may not get their first contract payment from the government for as long as 120 days," Reed, the startup's CEO,  told Insider. Check out the 12-page pitch deck OppZo, a fintech that has figured out how to speed up loans to small government contractors, used to raise $260 million in equity and debtHelping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Jackson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersAutomating accounting ops for SMBsDecimal CEO Matt Tait.DecimalSmall- and medium-sized businesses can rely on any number of payroll, expense management, bill pay, and corporate-card startups promising to automate parts of their financial workflow. Smaller firms have adopted this corporate-financial software en masse, boosting growth throughout the pandemic for relatively new entrants like Ramp and massive, industry stalwarts like Intuit. But it's no easy task to connect all of those tools into one, seamless process. And while accounting operations might be far from where many startup founders want to focus their time, having efficient back-end finances does mean time — and capital — freed up to spend elsewhere. For Decimal CEO Matt Tait, there's ample opportunity in "the boring stuff you have to do to survive as a company," he told Insider. Launched in 2020, Decimal provides a back-end tech layer that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to integrate their accounting and business-management software tools in one place.On Wednesday, Decimal announced a $9 million seed fundraising round led by Minneapolis-based Arthur Ventures, alongside Service Providers Capital and other angel investors. See the 13-page pitch deck for Decimal, a startup automating accounting ops for small businessesInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now co-foundersNowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionCheckout made easyRyan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DPayments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia MontesiQoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ABetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay DavisAtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounderGleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPOAgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of LadderLadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionData science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of CounterpartCounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in fundingDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysSoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair SilverbergHum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Helping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo ParejoKaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed roundThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider3 hr. 23 min. ago

Here"s Why You Should Keep Visa (V) in Your Portfolio Now

Visa (V) to gain heavily from its growing cross-border transactions as the travel and tourism sector is on a recovery . Visa Inc. V is well-poised to grow on the back of strategic acquisitions, increasing business volumes and investments in digital technology. Also, the ongoing recovery of the travel and tourism sector can be a major boon for Visa.Visa — with a market cap of $390.7 billion — operates as a payments technology company all over the world. It offers a wide range of in-house payment products, which can be leveraged by its financial institution clients. Plus, V delivers core business solutions, credit, debit, prepaid and cash access programs to different types of account holders (individuals, businesses and government entities).Courtesy of solid prospects, this presently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock is worth retaining at the moment.Trend in EstimatesThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for V’s current-year earnings is pegged at $7.16 per share, indicating a 21.2% rise from the year-ago reported figure. The stock has witnessed 13 upward estimate revisions in the past 60 days against one in the opposite direction. Visa beat on earnings in each of the last four quarters, the average being 8.4%.Visa Inc. Price and EPS Surprise Visa Inc. price-eps-surprise | Visa Inc. QuoteThe consensus mark for current-year revenues is $28.6 billion, indicating an 18.7% rise from the prior-year reported number.Key DriversA significant portion of V’s revenues comes from currency exchanges generated by the cross-border transactions. The COVID-related restrictions had kept cross-border transactions dormant. As the transaction volumes are expected to grow in the coming days, so will Visa’s top line, positioning it well for long-term growth. A glimpse of this improvement was witnessed in second-quarter fiscal 2022. Cross-border volume, excluding transactions within Europe, surged 47% year over year on a constant-dollar basis.The travel and tourism sector is on a recovery route, with more and more people opting to fly globally this year after a long break due to COVID-imposed restrictions. This trend can help boost Visa’s payments and processed transaction volumes.Visa is one of the most profitable companies around the globe. Thanks to its lucrative business model, V is expected to stay ahead of the competition amid the current market volatility. While the present economic uncertainty concerns some investors, the consumer spending numbers instill hope. In second-quarter fiscal 2022, U.S. payments volume jumped 16% year over year.Domestic credit spending also witnessed growth during this time. Even though inflation and last year’s “stimulus-fueled spending” can act as headwinds in current growth readings, the situation is expected to improve in the long run.Visa’s focus on strategically investing in the growth areas is praiseworthy. Its Acceptance Fast Track program, under which small businesses in the Asia Pacific will be able to leverage V’s new solutions, onboarding processes and program participants and subsequently accept digital payments seamlessly, can be a game changer. It can boost the digital prospects of small and medium businesses throughout the region.Visa also joined forces with Fundbox, the embedded working capital platform for small businesses to introduce digital payment offerings. This move highlights V’s sincere efforts to pave the way for a widespread adoption of digital means by small businesses. It has a longstanding commitment of digitally empowering 50 million small businesses by 2023.Key ConcernsThere are a few factors that are impeding the stock’s growth, lately.Increasing expenses due to higher personnel expenses are eating into its profits. Non-GAAP operating expenses are anticipated to increase in the mid-teens during the third quarter of fiscal 2022. This can dent Visa's profit levels. Also, V's cash volume from the Asia Pacific and Europe is declining, which can be concerning. Nevertheless, we believe that a systematic and strategic plan of action will drive growth in the long term.Better-Ranked PlayersSome better-ranked stocks in the broader businessservices space are International Money Express, Inc. IMXI, Paysafe Limited PSFE and EVERTEC, Inc. EVTC, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Headquartered in Miami, FL, International Money Express provides money remittance services. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for IMXI’s 2022 earnings indicates a 17.7% increase from the prior-year reported number.Based in London, Paysafe is a digital commerce solution provider for different types of businesses. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for PSFE’s second-quarter earnings indicates a 175% increase from the prior-year reported number.San Juan, Puerto Rico-based EVERTEC boasts a lucrative transaction processing business. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for EVERTEC’s 2022 bottom line has increased 2% in the past 60 days. EVTC’s earnings beat estimates in three of the last four quarters and met the mark once, the average surprise being 16.9%. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Visa Inc. (V): Free Stock Analysis Report Evertec, Inc. (EVTC): Free Stock Analysis Report INTERNATIONAL MONEY EXPRESS, INC. (IMXI): Free Stock Analysis Report Paysafe Limited (PSFE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

DTEGY vs. TU: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

DTEGY vs. TU: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option? Investors with an interest in Diversified Communication Services stocks have likely encountered both Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGY) and Telus (TU). But which of these two stocks is more attractive to value investors? We'll need to take a closer look to find out.Everyone has their own methods for finding great value opportunities, but our model includes pairing an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system with a strong Zacks Rank. The proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.Currently, Deutsche Telekom AG has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Telus has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that DTEGY is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. However, value investors will care about much more than just this.Value investors also tend to look at a number of traditional, tried-and-true figures to help them find stocks that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.Our Value category highlights undervalued companies by looking at a variety of key metrics, including the popular P/E ratio, as well as the P/S ratio, earnings yield, cash flow per share, and a variety of other fundamentals that have been used by value investors for years.DTEGY currently has a forward P/E ratio of 14.38, while TU has a forward P/E of 23.66. We also note that DTEGY has a PEG ratio of 1.38. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. TU currently has a PEG ratio of 2.42.Another notable valuation metric for DTEGY is its P/B ratio of 0.97. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock's market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, TU has a P/B of 2.37.These metrics, and several others, help DTEGY earn a Value grade of A, while TU has been given a Value grade of C.DTEGY sticks out from TU in both our Zacks Rank and Style Scores models, so value investors will likely feel that DTEGY is the better option right now. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGY): Free Stock Analysis Report TELUS Corporation (TU): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Ritchie Bros. (RBA) Upgraded to Strong Buy: What Does It Mean for the Stock?

Ritchie Bros. (RBA) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. Ritchie Bros. (RBA) appears an attractive pick, as it has been recently upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). An upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices -- has triggered this rating change.A company's changing earnings picture is at the core of the Zacks rating. The system tracks the Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus measure of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years.Since a changing earnings picture is a powerful factor influencing near-term stock price movements, the Zacks rating system is very useful for individual investors. They may find it difficult to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, as these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time.As such, the Zacks rating upgrade for Ritchie Bros. is essentially a positive comment on its earnings outlook that could have a favorable impact on its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investment action then leads to price movement for the stock.Fundamentally speaking, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade for Ritchie Bros. imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsAs empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, tracking such revisions for making an investment decision could be truly rewarding. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for Ritchie Bros.For the fiscal year ending December 2022, this heavy equipment auctioneer is expected to earn $2 per share, which is a change of 3.1% from the year-ago reported number.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Ritchie Bros. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 25.4%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Ritchie Bros. to a Zacks Rank #1 positions it in the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated (RBA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Sinclair (SBGI) Upgraded to Buy: What Does It Mean for the Stock?

Sinclair (SBGI) might move higher on growing optimism about its earnings prospects, which is reflected by its upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Sinclair (SBGI) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This rating change essentially reflects an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The sole determinant of the Zacks rating is a company's changing earnings picture. The Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years is tracked by the system.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for Sinclair basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their transaction of large amounts of shares then leads to price movement for the stock.Fundamentally speaking, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade for Sinclair imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsEmpirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, so it could be truly rewarding if such revisions are tracked for making an investment decision. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for SinclairThis television broadcasting company is expected to earn -$0.12 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2022, which represents a year-over-year change of 97.8%.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Sinclair. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 68%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Sinclair to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (SBGI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Outokumpu (OUTKY) Upgraded to Buy: What Does It Mean for the Stock?

Outokumpu (OUTKY) might move higher on growing optimism about its earnings prospects, which is reflected by its upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Outokumpu (OUTKY) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This rating change essentially reflects an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The sole determinant of the Zacks rating is a company's changing earnings picture. The Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years is tracked by the system.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for Outokumpu basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their transaction of large amounts of shares then leads to price movement for the stock.Fundamentally speaking, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade for Outokumpu imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsEmpirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, so it could be truly rewarding if such revisions are tracked for making an investment decision. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for OutokumpuThis company is expected to earn $1 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2022, which represents a year-over-year change of 44.9%.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Outokumpu. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 22%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Outokumpu to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Outokumpu (OUTKY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Commercial Metals (CMC) Upgraded to Strong Buy: What Does It Mean for the Stock?

Commercial Metals (CMC) might move higher on growing optimism about its earnings prospects, which is reflected by its upgrade to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Commercial Metals (CMC) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). An upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices -- has triggered this rating change.A company's changing earnings picture is at the core of the Zacks rating. The system tracks the Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus measure of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years.Since a changing earnings picture is a powerful factor influencing near-term stock price movements, the Zacks rating system is very useful for individual investors. They may find it difficult to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, as these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time.As such, the Zacks rating upgrade for Commercial Metals is essentially a positive comment on its earnings outlook that could have a favorable impact on its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their transaction of large amounts of shares then leads to price movement for the stock.Fundamentally speaking, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade for Commercial Metals imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsAs empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, tracking such revisions for making an investment decision could be truly rewarding. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for Commercial MetalsThis manufacturer and recycler of steel and metal products is expected to earn $8.93 per share for the fiscal year ending August 2022, which represents a year-over-year change of 153%.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Commercial Metals. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 14.9%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Commercial Metals to a Zacks Rank #1 positions it in the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Commercial Metals Company (CMC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Banc of California (BANC) Upgraded to Buy: Here"s What You Should Know

Banc of California (BANC) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. Investors might want to bet on Banc of California (BANC), as it has been recently upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This rating change essentially reflects an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The sole determinant of the Zacks rating is a company's changing earnings picture. The Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years is tracked by the system.The power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements makes the Zacks rating system highly useful for individual investors, since it can be difficult to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts. These are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time.As such, the Zacks rating upgrade for Banc of California is essentially a positive comment on its earnings outlook that could have a favorable impact on its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, has proven to be strongly correlated with the near-term price movement of its stock. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investment action then leads to price movement for the stock.Fundamentally speaking, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade for Banc of California imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsEmpirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, so it could be truly rewarding if such revisions are tracked for making an investment decision. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for Banc of CaliforniaFor the fiscal year ending December 2022, this banking service and lending company is expected to earn $1.88 per share, which is a change of 62.1% from the year-ago reported number.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Banc of California. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 7.8%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Banc of California to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Banc of California, Inc. (BANC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Looking for a Growth Stock? 3 Reasons Why Toro (TTC) is a Solid Choice

Toro (TTC) possesses solid growth attributes, which could help it handily outperform the market. Growth investors focus on stocks that are seeing above-average financial growth, as this feature helps these securities garner the market's attention and deliver solid returns. However, it isn't easy to find a great growth stock.That's because, these stocks usually carry above-average risk and volatility. In fact, betting on a stock for which the growth story is actually over or nearing its end could lead to significant loss.However, it's pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks with the help of the Zacks Growth Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system), which looks beyond the traditional growth attributes to analyze a company's real growth prospects.Our proprietary system currently recommends Toro (TTC) as one such stock. This company not only has a favorable Growth Score, but also carries a top Zacks Rank.Research shows that stocks carrying the best growth features consistently beat the market. And for stocks that have a combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), returns are even better.While there are numerous reasons why the stock of this landscaping, maintenance and irrigation equipment maker is a great growth pick right now, we have highlighted three of the most important factors below:Earnings GrowthArguably nothing is more important than earnings growth, as surging profit levels is what most investors are after. For growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is highly preferable, as it is often perceived as an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.While the historical EPS growth rate for Toro is 9.2%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 13.3% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 5.8%.Cash Flow GrowthWhile cash is the lifeblood of any business, higher-than-average cash flow growth is more important and beneficial for growth-oriented companies than for mature companies. That's because, growth in cash flow enables these companies to expand their businesses without depending on expensive outside funds.Right now, year-over-year cash flow growth for Toro is 16.2%, which is higher than many of its peers. In fact, the rate compares to the industry average of 9.7%.While investors should actually consider the current cash flow growth, it's worth taking a look at the historical rate too for putting the current reading into proper perspective. The company's annualized cash flow growth rate has been 10.8% over the past 3-5 years versus the industry average of 8.5%.Promising Earnings Estimate RevisionsBeyond the metrics outlined above, investors should consider the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is a plus here. Empirical research shows that there is a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.The current-year earnings estimates for Toro have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 1.5% over the past month.Bottom LineWhile the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Toro a Zacks Rank #2 stock, it has earned itself a Growth Score of B based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above.You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.This combination positions Toro well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Toro Company The (TTC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Here is Why Growth Investors Should Buy Chefs" Warehouse (CHEF) Now

Chefs' Warehouse (CHEF) possesses solid growth attributes, which could help it handily outperform the market. Investors seek growth stocks to capitalize on above-average growth in financials that help these securities grab the market's attention and produce exceptional returns. But finding a great growth stock is not easy at all.In addition to volatility, these stocks carry above-average risk by their very nature. Also, one could end up losing from a stock whose growth story is actually over or nearing its end.However, it's pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks with the help of the Zacks Growth Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system), which looks beyond the traditional growth attributes to analyze a company's real growth prospects.Our proprietary system currently recommends Chefs' Warehouse (CHEF) as one such stock. This company not only has a favorable Growth Score, but also carries a top Zacks Rank.Research shows that stocks carrying the best growth features consistently beat the market. And for stocks that have a combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), returns are even better.While there are numerous reasons why the stock of this distributor of specialty food products is a great growth pick right now, we have highlighted three of the most important factors below:Earnings GrowthArguably nothing is more important than earnings growth, as surging profit levels is what most investors are after. For growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is highly preferable, as it is often perceived as an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.While the historical EPS growth rate for Chefs' Warehouse is 9.8%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 2530% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 4.9%.Impressive Asset Utilization RatioGrowth investors often overlook asset utilization ratio, also known as sales-to-total-assets (S/TA) ratio, but it is an important feature of a real growth stock. This metric exhibits how efficiently a firm is utilizing its assets to generate sales.Right now, Chefs' Warehouse has an S/TA ratio of 1.88, which means that the company gets $1.88 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 0.85, it can be said that the company is more efficient.While the level of efficiency in generating sales matters a lot, so does the sales growth of a company. And Chefs' Warehouse is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company's sales are expected to grow 38.1% this year versus the industry average of 3.7%.Promising Earnings Estimate RevisionsSuperiority of a stock in terms of the metrics outlined above can be further validated by looking at the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is of course favorable here. Empirical research shows that there is a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.There have been upward revisions in current-year earnings estimates for Chefs' Warehouse. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 55.8% over the past month.Bottom LineWhile the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Chefs' Warehouse a Zacks Rank #2 stock, it has earned itself a Growth Score of A based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above.You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.This combination positions Chefs' Warehouse well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Chefs' Warehouse, Inc. (CHEF): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Here is Why Growth Investors Should Buy Nucor (NUE) Now

Nucor (NUE) is well positioned to outperform the market, as it exhibits above-average growth in financials. Growth investors focus on stocks that are seeing above-average financial growth, as this feature helps these securities garner the market's attention and deliver solid returns. But finding a growth stock that can live up to its true potential can be a tough task.That's because, these stocks usually carry above-average risk and volatility. In fact, betting on a stock for which the growth story is actually over or nearing its end could lead to significant loss.However, the task of finding cutting-edge growth stocks is made easy with the help of the Zacks Growth Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system), which looks beyond the traditional growth attributes to analyze a company's real growth prospects.Nucor (NUE) is one such stock that our proprietary system currently recommends. The company not only has a favorable Growth Score, but also carries a top Zacks Rank.Studies have shown that stocks with the best growth features consistently outperform the market. And returns are even better for stocks that possess the combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy).Here are three of the most important factors that make the stock of this steel company a great growth pick right now.Earnings GrowthEarnings growth is arguably the most important factor, as stocks exhibiting exceptionally surging profit levels tend to attract the attention of most investors. And for growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is definitely preferable, and often an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.While the historical EPS growth rate for Nucor is 30.9%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company's EPS is expected to grow 28.5% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 3.3%.Cash Flow GrowthWhile cash is the lifeblood of any business, higher-than-average cash flow growth is more important and beneficial for growth-oriented companies than for mature companies. That's because, growth in cash flow enables these companies to expand their businesses without depending on expensive outside funds.Right now, year-over-year cash flow growth for Nucor is 326.4%, which is higher than many of its peers. In fact, the rate compares to the industry average of 253.3%.While investors should actually consider the current cash flow growth, it's worth taking a look at the historical rate too for putting the current reading into proper perspective. The company's annualized cash flow growth rate has been 38.7% over the past 3-5 years versus the industry average of 29.2%.Promising Earnings Estimate RevisionsSuperiority of a stock in terms of the metrics outlined above can be further validated by looking at the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is of course favorable here. Empirical research shows that there is a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.The current-year earnings estimates for Nucor have been revising upward. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 0.6% over the past month.Bottom LineNucor has not only earned a Growth Score of A based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above, but it also carries a Zacks Rank #1 because of the positive earnings estimate revisions.You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.This combination indicates that Nucor is a potential outperformer and a solid choice for growth investors. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Nucor Corporation (NUE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Has American Financial Group (AFG) Outpaced Other Finance Stocks This Year?

Here is how American Financial Group (AFG) and EPR Properties (EPR) have performed compared to their sector so far this year. The Finance group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Is American Financial Group (AFG) one of those stocks right now? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Finance sector should help us answer this question.American Financial Group is a member of our Finance group, which includes 891 different companies and currently sits at #6 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different sector groups. The average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups is measured, and the sectors are listed from best to worst.The Zacks Rank is a successful stock-picking model that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions. The system highlights a number of different stocks that could be poised to outperform the broader market over the next one to three months. American Financial Group is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AFG's full-year earnings has moved 9.8% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.Our latest available data shows that AFG has returned about 0.2% since the start of the calendar year. At the same time, Finance stocks have lost an average of 15.7%. This shows that American Financial Group is outperforming its peers so far this year.One other Finance stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is EPR Properties (EPR). The stock is up 0.2% year-to-date.For EPR Properties, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 5.1% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Breaking things down more, American Financial Group is a member of the Insurance - Property and Casualty industry, which includes 40 individual companies and currently sits at #148 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have lost 5% this year, meaning that AFG is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.EPR Properties, however, belongs to the REIT and Equity Trust - Retail industry. Currently, this 25-stock industry is ranked #86. The industry has moved -18.5% so far this year.Going forward, investors interested in Finance stocks should continue to pay close attention to American Financial Group and EPR Properties as they could maintain their solid performance. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG): Free Stock Analysis Report EPR Properties (EPR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Is American Electric Power (AEP) Stock Outpacing Its Utilities Peers This Year?

Here is how American Electric Power (AEP) and WEC Energy Group (WEC) have performed compared to their sector so far this year. The Utilities group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. American Electric Power (AEP) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Utilities peers, we might be able to answer that question.American Electric Power is a member of our Utilities group, which includes 108 different companies and currently sits at #12 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank gauges the strength of our 16 individual sector groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups.The Zacks Rank is a successful stock-picking model that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions. The system highlights a number of different stocks that could be poised to outperform the broader market over the next one to three months. American Electric Power is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AEP's full-year earnings has moved 0.3% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.Our latest available data shows that AEP has returned about 5.2% since the start of the calendar year. In comparison, Utilities companies have returned an average of -3.1%. As we can see, American Electric Power is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.Another Utilities stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is WEC Energy Group (WEC). The stock has returned 0.1% year-to-date.In WEC Energy Group's case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 1.8% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Breaking things down more, American Electric Power is a member of the Utility - Electric Power industry, which includes 61 individual companies and currently sits at #163 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has lost an average of 3.7% so far this year, meaning that AEP is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns. WEC Energy Group is also part of the same industry.Investors with an interest in Utilities stocks should continue to track American Electric Power and WEC Energy Group. These stocks will be looking to continue their solid performance. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP): Free Stock Analysis Report WEC Energy Group, Inc. (WEC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Is Chico"s FAS (CHS) Outperforming Other Retail-Wholesale Stocks This Year?

Here is how Chico's FAS (CHS) and Designer Brands (DBI) have performed compared to their sector so far this year. The Retail-Wholesale group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Is Chico's FAS (CHS) one of those stocks right now? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Retail-Wholesale sector should help us answer this question.Chico's FAS is a member of our Retail-Wholesale group, which includes 230 different companies and currently sits at #15 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different sector groups. The average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups is measured, and the sectors are listed from best to worst.The Zacks Rank is a successful stock-picking model that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions. The system highlights a number of different stocks that could be poised to outperform the broader market over the next one to three months. Chico's FAS is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for CHS' full-year earnings has moved 49% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.Our latest available data shows that CHS has returned about 1.5% since the start of the calendar year. At the same time, Retail-Wholesale stocks have lost an average of 23.4%. This shows that Chico's FAS is outperforming its peers so far this year.One other Retail-Wholesale stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is Designer Brands (DBI). The stock is up 2.7% year-to-date.For Designer Brands, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 8.8% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).Breaking things down more, Chico's FAS is a member of the Retail - Apparel and Shoes industry, which includes 42 individual companies and currently sits at #201 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have lost 38.9% this year, meaning that CHS is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns. Designer Brands is also part of the same industry.Going forward, investors interested in Retail-Wholesale stocks should continue to pay close attention to Chico's FAS and Designer Brands as they could maintain their solid performance. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Chico's FAS, Inc. (CHS): Free Stock Analysis Report Designer Brands Inc. (DBI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Is Safe Bulkers (SB) Stock Outpacing Its Transportation Peers This Year?

Here is how Safe Bulkers (SB) and Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK) have performed compared to their sector so far this year. Investors interested in Transportation stocks should always be looking to find the best-performing companies in the group. Is Safe Bulkers (SB) one of those stocks right now? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Transportation sector should help us answer this question.Safe Bulkers is a member of the Transportation sector. This group includes 141 individual stocks and currently holds a Zacks Sector Rank of #3. The Zacks Sector Rank gauges the strength of our 16 individual sector groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups.The Zacks Rank is a successful stock-picking model that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions. The system highlights a number of different stocks that could be poised to outperform the broader market over the next one to three months. Safe Bulkers is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for SB's full-year earnings has moved 3.2% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.Based on the latest available data, SB has gained about 1.1% so far this year. Meanwhile, the Transportation sector has returned an average of -15.1% on a year-to-date basis. This shows that Safe Bulkers is outperforming its peers so far this year.Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK) is another Transportation stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has returned 7%.The consensus estimate for Star Bulk Carriers' current year EPS has increased 17.3% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).To break things down more, Safe Bulkers belongs to the Transportation - Shipping industry, a group that includes 43 individual companies and currently sits at #41 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has gained an average of 19.8% so far this year, meaning that SB is slightly underperforming its industry in terms of year-to-date returns. Star Bulk Carriers is also part of the same industry.Safe Bulkers and Star Bulk Carriers could continue their solid performance, so investors interested in Transportation stocks should continue to pay close attention to these stocks. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Safe Bulkers, Inc (SB): Free Stock Analysis Report Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (SBLK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Is Lantheus (LNTH) Stock Outpacing Its Medical Peers This Year?

Here is how Lantheus Holdings (LNTH) and DBV Technologies S.A. (DBVT) have performed compared to their sector so far this year. The Medical group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Lantheus Holdings (LNTH) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Medical peers, we might be able to answer that question.Lantheus Holdings is a member of our Medical group, which includes 1181 different companies and currently sits at #7 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank gauges the strength of our 16 individual sector groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups.The Zacks Rank is a successful stock-picking model that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions. The system highlights a number of different stocks that could be poised to outperform the broader market over the next one to three months. Lantheus Holdings is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for LNTH's full-year earnings has moved 38.6% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.Our latest available data shows that LNTH has returned about 117.4% since the start of the calendar year. In comparison, Medical companies have returned an average of -12.7%. As we can see, Lantheus Holdings is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.Another Medical stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is DBV Technologies S.A. (DBVT). The stock has returned 56.3% year-to-date.In DBV Technologies S.A.'s case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 21.6% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Breaking things down more, Lantheus Holdings is a member of the Medical - Products industry, which includes 95 individual companies and currently sits at #172 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has lost an average of 24% so far this year, meaning that LNTH is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.On the other hand, DBV Technologies S.A. belongs to the Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry. This 550-stock industry is currently ranked #103. The industry has moved -21.3% year to date.Investors with an interest in Medical stocks should continue to track Lantheus Holdings and DBV Technologies S.A. These stocks will be looking to continue their solid performance. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Lantheus Holdings, Inc. (LNTH): Free Stock Analysis Report DBV Technologies S.A. (DBVT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Are Investors Undervaluing Beazer Homes USA (BZH) Right Now?

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. While the proven Zacks Rank places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find strong stocks, we also know that investors tend to develop their own individual strategies. With this in mind, we are always looking at value, growth, and momentum trends to discover great companies.Of these, value investing is easily one of the most popular ways to find great stocks in any market environment. Value investors use fundamental analysis and traditional valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are being undervalued by the market at large.On top of the Zacks Rank, investors can also look at our innovative Style Scores system to find stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will want to focus on the "Value" category. Stocks with high Zacks Ranks and "A" grades for Value will be some of the highest-quality value stocks on the market today.One company value investors might notice is Beazer Homes USA (BZH). BZH 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 1.95, which compares to its industry's average of 4.19. Over the last 12 months, BZH's Forward P/E has been as high as 6.21 and as low as 1.69, with a median of 4.28.Investors should also recognize that BZH has a P/B ratio of 0.47. 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 stock's P/B looks solid versus its industry's average P/B of 0.99. Over the past year, BZH's P/B has been as high as 1.04 and as low as 0.42, with a median of 0.79.Value investors also frequently use the P/S ratio. This metric is found by dividing a stock's price with the company's revenue. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. BZH has a P/S ratio of 0.18. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.5.Finally, investors will want to recognize that BZH has a P/CF ratio of 2.07. This figure highlights a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find firms that are undervalued when considering their impressive cash outlook. This company's current P/CF looks solid when compared to its industry's average P/CF of 4.36. BZH's P/CF has been as high as 7 and as low as 1.84, with a median of 4.11, all within the past year.Toll Brothers (TOL) may be another strong Building Products - Home Builders stock to add to your shortlist. TOL is a # 2 (Buy) stock with a Value grade of A.Shares of Toll Brothers are currently trading at a forward earnings multiple of 4.06 and a PEG ratio of 0.36 compared to its industry's P/E and PEG ratios of 4.19 and 0.52, respectively.TOL's Forward P/E has been as high as 9.97 and as low as 3.80, with a median of 6.79. During the same time period, its PEG ratio has been as high as 0.63, as low as 0.18, with a median of 0.28.Toll Brothers sports a P/B ratio of 0.97 as well; this compares to its industry's price-to-book ratio of 0.99. In the past 52 weeks, TOL's P/B has been as high as 1.70, as low as 0.91, with a median of 1.39.These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Beazer Homes USA and Toll Brothers are likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, BZH and TOL feels like a great value stock at the moment. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Beazer Homes USA, Inc. (BZH): Free Stock Analysis Report Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Microsoft (MSFT) Releases New Gaming Features on Edge Browser

Microsoft (MSFT) releases new gaming features on Microsoft Edge version 103 to improve gamers' experience. Microsoft MSFT recently unveiled new gaming features for its Edge browser on Windows 11 and 10. Starting with version 103, Microsoft Edge includes a new gaming homepage and integration for casual gaming.The tech giant has also created a gaming homepage for Edge, which includes gaming news, live streams, Xbox content, and quick access to Xbox Cloud Gaming. Users can also keep a tab on the upcoming game releases and other information.The browser also has a dedicated Games menu, which offers a slew of free-to-play casual and arcade games such as Microsoft Solitaire, Microsoft Mahjong, Microsoft Jewel, and Microsoft Edge Surf Game.Microsoft Edge is also getting a Clarity Boost to improve Xbox Cloud Gaming streams and an efficiency mode to prevent it from taking PC resources when a game is being played.Microsoft Edge Efficiency Mode is another feature that Microsoft is touting in order to improve gaming performance. This feature will reportedly ensure that games run smoothly by cutting down on the browser’s resource usage. This feature minimizes the impact on performance and users can enjoy their games without having to completely exit the browser. The update is compatible with both Windows 10 and Windows 11 versions.The new Clarity Boost feature for Xbox Cloud Gaming is a spatial upscaling feature designed to make Xbox streamed games much clearer and sharper. Microsoft claims that this feature will bring the cloud gaming experience a little closer to the console experience.The new version of Edge comes with some Xbox-exclusive features. Users can log in to their Xbox account in the browser and check for games that have been playing recently. It also has shortcuts to discover games and access the Xbox Cloud Library.The Xbox Game Pass widget is particularly useful, as it lists new games that have been added to the subscription, games which are slated for release, and games that are currently trending on the service.Microsoft Corporation Price and Consensus Microsoft Corporation price-consensus-chart | Microsoft Corporation QuoteStrong Footprint Within Gaming to Aid GrowthPer Fortune Business Insights report, the global cloud gaming market size is expected to rise from $3.24 billion in 2022 to $40.81 billion by 2029 at a CAGR of 43.6% during the said period. This augurs well for Microsoft, which is a prominent player in the videogame domain.Microsoft, which currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), is down 24.2% year to date compared with the Zacks Computer – Software industry’s fall of 28.4% and the Computer and Technology sector’s decline of 31.9%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Combining cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service, for no extra cost, is likely to fortify Microsoft’s competitive position in the cloud gaming space. Microsoft added that its cloud gaming is now being powered by custom Xbox Series X hardware, thereby improving the overall gaming experience.Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL Google offers Stadia, a cloud gaming platform. Stadia’s availability on Chromecast with Google TV and on compatible Android TV OS devices has made it a popular gaming platform for users.NVIDIA Corporation NVDA stands to benefit from the rapid adoption of cloud gaming as it offers its cloud gaming service, namely, GeForce NOW. The total number of titles available on NVIDIA’s platform has reached 1,000, including nearly 100 free-to-play titles.Meta Platforms META offers cloud gaming on its platform that provides coverage to more than 98% of the people in mainland United States. Assassin’s Creed Rebellion by Ubisoft has gained immense popularity as a cloud game on Facebook Gaming.Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard in an all-cash deal for $68.7 billion has helped it become the third-largest gaming company in the world and provided it with the expertise to claim its stake in the multimillion-dollar metaverse market.Microsoft already owns two massive video game titles, Halo — the company’s flagship video game, and Minecraft — the best-selling game of all time. The company has published all Activision’s video game titles on its Xbox Game Pass.Microsoft’s Game Pass Subscription Service has also emerged as a key factor driving its video game business. Subscription services ensure a stable and recurring revenue stream. For a low monthly fee of $9.99, Game Pass allows subscribers to gain access to 100 video game titles on consoles.Xbox Game Pass subscriber count exceeded 25 million in January of this year, and Activision titles currently have around 400 million monthly active players. Providing affordable access to the most iconic gaming franchises will undoubtedly fuel Microsoft’s gaming segment growth and propel its top line. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report Meta Platforms, Inc. (META): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

The 4 best sewing machines we tested for every skill level, from beginner to pro

I used my experience as a theatrical costume maker with 30 years of experience to test four sewing machines and determine the best one. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.I used my experience as a theatrical costume maker with 30 years of experience to test four sewing machines and determine the best one.AmazonIf you want to make clothes that fit you perfectly, repair clothes or upholstery, or sew anything you want, you'll need a good sewing machine. I've been sewing for 30 years and one of the reasons I love it is because of my sewing machine. As a theatrical costume maker, I've made everything from heavy corsets and hoop skirts to whisper-thin chiffon dresses and elegantly tailored suits.I tried a lot of machines before I landed on a second-hand mechanical model that I bought 20 years ago and still use today. If you're just starting out, it's important to find an easy-to-use machine that does the kind of sewing you want, whether it's quilting or simple repairs. No matter how much you might like to sew, struggling with an unresponsive or frustrating machine can turn it into a terrible chore. That's why I used my own experience, consulted three experts, and tested four machines to evaluate the performance and ease of use for each one. You can check out my full testing methodology below, along with tips on how to shop for a machine.Here are the best sewing machines in 2022Best sewing machine overall: Brother CS7000X, available at Amazon, $199.99Best mechanical sewing machine: Singer Heavy Duty 4452, available at Amazon, $219.99Best high-end sewing machine: Bernina 535, available at Bernina, $3,799Best budget-friendly sewing machine: Brother CS5055, available at Amazon, $159.99Best sewing machine overallElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderThe Brother CS7000X is a beginner-friendly computerized machine that makes it easy to sew at the touch of a button.If you wanted to start a project right away, you could do it without looking at anything besides the Brother CS7000X's Quick Start Guide. This is a great, easy-to-use, beginner-friendly machine with a lot of features that advanced and tech-adverse sewers will appreciate too. For most sewing projects, you'll just need a straight stitch, zig-zag stitch, and a buttonhole. This machine did an excellent job with all three of them — and quietly too. It also handled fabrics like lightweight cotton muslin, cotton jersey, and layers of heavy upholstery fabric very well.It also has a lot of extra features that make sewing easier for beginners and advanced sewers like the needle up/down button, which allows you to move the needle in a single step. The machine can also be programmed to your preference, so you can set the needle to default to the left or center while sewing, or have the needle stop in the up or down position, which is a great feature to sew sharp corners more easily. Beginners will especially appreciate that the machine gives a small beep if they're about to commit a user error, like forgetting to push the buttonhole lever down before trying to sew a buttonhole. I also liked the speed control, which tells the machine how fast or slow you want it to go, so you can use slower speeds for more careful work or faster speeds for zipping along straight lines. The brand lists the machine at around 18 pounds, which makes it easy to carry around. It comes with a hard plastic case, which is good for protection. The flatbed attachment on the front of the machine doesn't have a hinged compartment for storage though — any accessories in the storage compartment have to be kept in a plastic bag. It's not convenient, but not a dealbreaker either.This machine is great for its price, which I had to stop to double-check. Most good machines start around $200, but with all these features, I expected to pay a lot more. It's a great general-purpose machine for garments, crafts, and quilts, and it comes with a lot of stitch options and useful accessories too. Pros: Quiet, reasonably priced, 70 utility and decorative stitches, seven buttonholes, has a wide variety of useful features such as needle up/down and automatic backstitchCons: Computerized controls can be intimidating, inconvenient storage compartmentBest mechanical sewing machineElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderThe Singer Heavy Duty 4452 is a powerful, low-maintenance mechanical sewing machine that will power through any fabric.This machine is so easy to use that a time-traveler from 1963 could probably thread and start sewing without ever having to look at a manual. In fact, a manual wasn't even included in the box, just a Quick Start Guide for how to fill a bobbin and thread the machine. Everything on the machine is controlled via knobs, levers, and dials, so you can pick things up quickly. The Singer Heavy Duty is loud, powerful, and fast. In testing, it handled lightweight cotton muslin, stretch jersey, and several layers of heavy upholstery fabric very well. All the fabric went through the machine evenly, and the stitches were even and straight, though the backstitch didn't look very neat. At first, the zig-zag stitch on the stretch jersey also looked too tight on the bobbin-thread side, but after I adjusted the top thread tension a bit, I was able to make it look even on both sides. This machine can sew lightweight fabrics like silk chiffon and charmeuse, but it's more difficult because the powerful feed yanked the delicate fabric too quickly, causing the fabric to shift and the seam to pucker. To make the seam look nice, I had to test several different thread tensions and baste, or roughly hand sew, the seam to keep the layers from moving. If you plan to use this machine for light fabrics, you'll want to remember to use a sharp, fine needle for delicate fabrics.There's also no speed control other than changing how much pressure you put on the foot pedal. If you push too hard, the fabric might fly through so quickly that you can't control it. This machine has a maximum speed of 1,100 stitches per minute, so it's very fast when you want it to be but it takes some time to figure out speed control.The flatbed attachment at the front of the machine has a convenient hinged compartment for storing accessories. It comes with five presser feet, including a walking foot, which is good for dealing with very thick fabric. It also comes with a light cloth cover to protect it from dust.While this is a simple and straightforward machine, it won't hold your hand the way a lot of computerized machines do. This machine expects you to do all the work, and when something goes wrong, it expects you to troubleshoot it, making it a good option for an experienced sewer who just wants something inexpensive, powerful, and portable without having to learn a whole new sewing machine. Pros: Fast, powerful, simple to use, easy to care for Cons: Only has 32 stitches, doesn't have many decorative stitches, doesn't have an attractive buttonhole, loudBest high-end sewing machineElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderThe Bernina 535 is an expensive computerized machine for people who know how to sew and want to take advantage of its huge array of special stitches.Using this machine is the next best thing to having elves come into my house at night and sew all my projects while I'm asleep. It's solidly built and feels sturdy and well-made. The stitches were perfect and precise on every fabric I tested without having to make any adjustments. The fabric glided through evenly with no pulling or puckering — even the chiffon that was so difficult with the other machines. The stretch zig-zag stitch was so even and balanced that it looked like it came from a store, and made me feel like a better sewer.A machine that costs nearly $4,000 will definitely have more of everything. Where an entry-level machine might come with a simple operating manual, the Bernina 535 has a 180-page spiral-bound user manual and a digital version too. It explains all the features of the machine clearly and offers tips and project ideas. There are also classes online or at various Bernina Creative Centers around the US. This machine is available online, but if you pick it up from a dealer, you can get personal instruction about how to set it up and take advantage of its features. Be warned though — it weighs around 35 pounds, so bring a hand truck.With so many features, it can be overwhelming, so it's not a machine for beginners. With a bit of practice and instruction though, it becomes clearer how to select different functions and operate special features. It has a brightly lit, 3- by 2-inch touch-screen control panel which you can operate with your finger or the included stylus.Overall, this machine helps users avoid a lot of the petty annoyances of sewing. A lot of typical sewing problems are caused by incorrectly putting in a bobbin, but it's physically impossible here because there's only one way to fit it into the case. The machine even alerts you when the bobbin is running low, so you won't have to worry about sewing long channels, only to discover you've been sewing with air the whole time. It also has an automatic thread cutter, which can neatly finish your stitch and snip threads whenever you stop sewing. The Bernina 535 comes with five presser feet, a dust cover, a box for accessories, a slide-on table to increase the sewing surface, and a free-hand system so you can raise and lower the presser foot with your knee without having to let go of the fabric. Pros: Handles lightweight and heavyweight fabric well, easy to control, makes beautiful stitches, has embroidery capability, includes slide-on sewing table Cons: Requires a lot of practice to learn how to use for beginnersBest budget-friendly sewing machineElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderIf you're looking for a powerful sewing machine without a ton of accessories, the Brother CS5055 is an easy-to-use machine for clothes, crafts, masks, and more. It's as powerful as our top pick, the Brother CS7000X, but has 10 fewer stitches and three fewer presser feet, though none of the missing ones are truly useful for most projects.Due to the minimal price difference, we think the CS7000X is a better value and will serve most people's needs perfectly. But if the CS5055 is on sale or the CS7000X is out of stock, this is a great machine that we're happy to recommend.Pros: Affordable, easy to use, and works for basic sewing needsCons: Fewer stitch options and presser feetOur testing methodologyI tested each machine by making the same stitches on different fabrics and trying out all of the machine's functions.Elizabeth Licata/Business InsiderWith three decades of sewing experience, I know what stitches most people will or won't need. I also consulted quilt artist and educator Valerie C. White; couture designer, educator, and Threads contributing editor Kenneth D. King; CEO and designer of Style Sew Me Patterns Eryn Shields, and my own professional colleagues.Basic stitches on different fabrics: When I spoke with Shields and King, they confirmed that you need three basic things from a sewing machine: a straight stitch, a zig-zag stitch, and a good buttonhole. I tested how each machine performed those three tasks on four common fabrics I would use to make or repair clothes, quilts, or upholstery: plain-weave cotton muslin that has a similar weight to a basic quilting cotton, four-way stretch knit jersey that's 90% cotton and 10% Spandex, lightweight 100% silk chiffon, and heavy-weight upholstery fabric.Every sample was also pressed and pinned before sewing for consistency. I sewed through two layers of cotton muslin, jersey, and silk chiffon to mimic a simple seam made of two pieces of fabric sewn together, and four layers of upholstery fabric to make sure the machine could handle a very thick, heavy project. I tested each machine with Gutermann Sew-All Thread, an all-purpose polyester thread, as both the top thread and the bobbin thread. Due to the different fabric weights, I used the universal needle that came pre-installed on each machine to sew through the cotton muslin and upholstery fabric, a ball-point needle for jersey fabric, and a 70/10 needle for silk chiffon.Decorative stitches: With the three computerized machines, I also tested a sampling of the decorative stitches on cotton muslin to see if the machine could stitch something like a cute row of stars or flowers. Buttonholes: All four machines came with a buttonhole foot, so I used them to create a basic rectangular buttonhole. Because the cotton jersey has some stretch to it, I also tested a stretch buttonhole using the three computerized machines — it's not an option with the manual Singer Heavy Duty machine. Ease of use: During my testing, I also evaluated the machines based on ease of use, taking into whether it was a computerized or mechanical unit.   Extra features: I tested each machine's extra features such as needle up/down buttons, noises or lights that notify you of a user error, knee lift, and more to see if they were helpful or novelties. How to shop for a sewing machineIt's important to have a walking foot for many projects, especially for quilting.Elizabeth Licata/Business InsiderHere are some tips for sewing machine shopping from our experts:Shop in person if you canOur experts suggest going to a dealer for hands-on guidance and support, as well as for future classes, repairs and maintenance, and potential trade-ins — here's how to find a dealer for Brother and Bernina. Singer sewing machines are more readily available at craft stores and big-box retailers around the US, and you can register your machine for warranty and repairs.A good dealer will help you develop your sewing skills, learn to use all the features of your machine, and help troubleshoot if things go wrong. But we realize that some people don't live near reputable dealers. That's why all of our picks can be purchased online, meet criteria based on the experts I spoke with, and performed well in our tests.Know your brandsKing said he likes Bernina machines, but also said Brother and Janome are both reputable brands with good machines."What I like about Bernina machines is that the quality is consistent throughout the line," he said. "You can get a lower-end Bernina machine with fewer features for less money, but you're still going to get a quality machine."Brands like Husqvarna Viking, Pfaff, Juki, and Babylock are also well-regarded and known for making very good machines. Decide what kind of sewing you want to do, but give yourself room to growAccording to Shields, for garment sewers, a straight stitch, zig-zag stitch for stretch fabrics, and a buttonhole are going to take care of all your basic needs.For quilting, one of the most useful attachments is a walking foot. This moves the presser foot so both the presser foot and the feed dogs move the fabric, which keeps the layers from shifting while you sew. White says one of her favorite features for quilting is a knee lift, which raises and lowers the presser foot, so you don't need to use your hand. White also likes a machine that warns you when the bobbin is about to run out — this is especially helpful for beginners. Of the machines we tested, the Brother CS7000X and the Singer Heavy Duty both come with walking feet, and the Brother CS7000X and the Bernina 535 both alert you when the bobbin is low, but only the Bernina 535 has a knee lift. White also suggests a machine that you can grow into. "You're going to learn to do other things, and you should have a machine that will push you to explore some creative avenues," White said. Test the machine on different kinds of fabricShields says garment sewers should think about what kinds of fabrics they want to sew and bring samples with them to the store, if possible, so they can test the machine on different fabrics. "Some people like to sew kids' clothes, so they'll be sewing with a lot of lightweight cottons and you can pretty much use any machine for that," Shields said. "If they plan to sew a lot of outerwear or work in heavy fabrics like wool and denim, they'll want to make sure that they have a workhorse machine that can handle those types of fabric." Of the machines we looked at, the Singer Heavy Duty is a great option for anybody looking to sew heavy outerwear fabric. Look for good customer serviceWhite emphasizes the need for good customer service, which all of the brands we recommend have. "If I call with a question, they're more than happy to answer it," White said of her Bernina dealer.A dealer can be more helpful than videos or online tutorials and can answer questions about what to expect in terms of service, repairs, and more. Read reviews from people who have tried the machineIf you can't shop in person, Shields says to make sure you read a lot of reviews to learn about the experiences of people who have actually been sewing with the machine. Why sewing machines are so expensiveA mechanical machine has knobs and dials, which are easier to fix than computerized machines. They can last for decades with regular maintenance.Elizabeth Licata/Business InsiderSewing machines are available at a range of price points, but many of the good ones can start somewhere around $200 when they're not on sale. While the price is a factor in any purchase, King advised against going for the very cheapest machine you can find, if you can help it. "There are a lot of machines that are very inexpensive, but they aren't very good," he explained. That's especially a problem for beginners, he said, because struggling with a difficult machine can be demoralizing and could put a beginner off sewing forever. Most people will never need a $10,000 sewing machine, but spending $200 or $300 on a sewing machine can be a worthwhile investment, even for a beginner.Here are some things that make sewing machines more expensive:Durability: There are a lot of moving parts inside a sewing machine, and many of them are expected to move very quickly for long periods of time, often in the presence of large amounts of dust, threads, and fluff. Machines with metal parts cost a bit more but are much more durable than machines made with cheaper plastic parts. A good mechanical machine should last for decades with a bit of regular maintenance. Reliability: The most annoying thing about sewing is the tiny day-to-day malfunctions that can happen to anybody. Any machine can jam, skip stitches, or have tension problems, but based on my experience, it tends to happen less often with higher-end machines.  Stability: The quality of the internal parts and engineering also affects the way it feels to sew with a machine. A small, inexpensive machine might be very portable, but it can be uncomfortable to sew if shakes or rattles while you sew with it.  Additional features: Higher-end machines have extra features that aren't essential, but are nice to have. They can cut the thread, add an automatic backstitch, adjust the presser foot pressure, and remember your preferences so the machine is always set up the way you like it. Stitches: Computerized machines can come with tons of stitches, including alphabets and numbers. Some machines even have embroidery capabilities. Most people won't need all those stitches, but they can be fun to play with, especially for adding a bit of flourish to napkins, doll clothes, and masks. Service: If you're spending a couple hundred dollars or more on a machine, there should be some guarantee that it will continue to work. If you buy the machine directly from the manufacturer, it should have a warranty of at least two years for a computerized machine or 20 years for a mechanical machine (Brother has a generous 25-year warranty). Specialized technology: The most expensive sewing machines are designed for specific uses, like quilting or embroidery. A top-tier professional embroidery machine can embroider custom designs using 16 spools of embroidery thread. Special long-arm machines that can make enormous quilts are prized by quilters, but many of them cost well over $10,000.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 24th, 2022