Few investors have realized better sustained profits than George Soros. His hedge fund’s annualized returns exceeded 30% for over 30 years, and made him one of the world’s richest men. He gained fame in 1992 when he made a famous bet against the Pound Sterling and generated over $1 billion in profits in just 24 hours. While his political activities have generated controversy and criticism, no one can doubt his financial acumen.He bases that acumen on a simple aphorism: “If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing in boring.” He means, of course, that the most reliable stocks are the ones least likely to make waves in the markets or headlines in the news. So, don’t expect to find anything exciting in his firm’s $3.6 billion worth of 13F securities – but do expect to find solid returns and reliable dividends. After all, that’s where the profit is.To find out just how good that profit can get, we’ve taken three of Soros’ big dividend moves and looked them up in the TipRanks database. These are investments that the Stock Screener tool reveals as ‘Buy’ rated and, more importantly, all three offer robust dividend yields, between 4% and 11%. The average dividend yield of the S&P-listed stocks is just about 2%, so Soros’ choices start at double that – and work their way up.BP (BP)Up first is BP, the world’s sixth largest oil and gas company. The company’s revenues in calendar year 2018 totaled $303.7 billion, and gave a net profit of $9.6 billion. BP has had some trouble maintaining that sort of performance in 2019, however. In the Q3 earnings release, the company reported $2.3 billion in profits, a 17% decline sequentially and a 39% drop year-over-year.The drop in profits comes on the heels of declining oil prices. Brent crude, the global benchmark price on the oil markets, is down 12.7% from its peak in April of this year. There are subtleties in pricing, however. BP’s quarterly earnings reflect the generally low oil prices, but those same oil prices have been trending slightly upwards since October – and BP’s Q3 numbers did beat the analysts’ expectations. Among the headwinds the company faces is a CEO transition, as current head Bob Dudley will be stepping down this coming March. He will be followed by the company’s upstream chief. The promotion from within promises continuity despite the upper level churn.So, BP is a stock that is weathering a down time in commodity prices, with the resources to wait out a low-price regime. That’s a good position for a company to hold. Even better, for investors, the company has maintained its dividend. The quarterly payment has been set at 61 cents for the last six quarters, and the was 60 cents prior to that. The annualized dividend of $2.44 gives a yield of 6.67%, more than triple the S&P average. At 92%, the payout ratio, while high, is sustainable long-term.With a background like that, it’s no wonder that Soros moved heavily into BP in Q3. The stock offers a solid industry position, a reliable dividend, and a clear path for future profits. Soros’ purchase of BP marked a new position, of 270,000 shares for his fund. At today’s prices, those shares are worth nearly $10 million.Wall Street is upbeat about BP prospects. Setting that tone is BMO analyst Daniel Boyd, who writes, “We think BP is turning a corner after years flagging financial performance driven in part by oil-spill payments that are dropping off. We expect strong production and cashflow growth, enabled by high margin projects, to fuel dividend growth and improved returns.”Boyd’s Buy rating is backed up by a $53 price target, suggesting a strong upside of 43%. (To watch Boyd’s track record, click here)BP shares have received three recent Buy ratings, giving the stock a unanimous ‘Strong Buy’ from the analyst consensus. The average price target stands tall at $51.33 -- indicating a robust upside potential of 39%. (See BP stock analysis on TipRanks)Dominion Energy (D)BP wasn’t the only energy industry company that Soros was interested in. The master investor also made a large entry purchase in Dominion Energy, a power company based in Richmond, Virginia. Dominion is a major supplier of electricity in Virginia and the Carolinas, and also supplies natural gas to customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia.Utilities are a profitable business. Dominion’s earnings in Q3 2019 came in at $1.18 per share, beating the estimates by 1.7%, and beating the year-ago number by 2.6%. Revenues were up more than 23% year-over-year, but missed the Q3 forecast by 3%.Dominion is due to pay out its next dividend on December 20. The payment, of 92 cents, annualizes to $3.67, giving a solid yield of 4.54%. The company has a 10-year history of committing to its dividend payment, and has been raising it annually for the last three years. Dominion has proven itself a reliable dividend stock.Long-term reliability of return likely drew in Soros, who purchased 150,000 D shares in Q3. His purchase is now worth over $12 million. Like BP, this was a new position for Soros, signaling an interest in the energy industry.Wolfe analyst Steve Fleishman takes a bullish stance on Dominion. Writing on the stock this week, he said, “Dominion has a balanced strategy, combining high-growth electric and gas utility operations with heavily contracted gas pipeline and LNG export assets. The company has done a good job de-risking the earnings mix and balance sheet, and we see it as attractive at current levels…”Fleishman gives D shares a ‘Buy’ rating with a $90 price target. His target indicates confidence, and about 12% upside potential for the stock. (To watch Fleishman’s track record, click here)Wall Street is evenly split right now on Dominion, with the analysts giving the stock 4 Buys and 4 Holds. The stock is trading for $80.69, and the $87.57 average price target implies a premium of 8.5% from the trading price. (See Dominion stock analysis on TipRanks)Annaly Capital Management (NLY)Turning away from the energy industry, we come to a stock in which Soros had already held a position. In the third quarter, the billionaire added over 1.15 million shares to his exiting holding in Annaly Capital Management, a substantial increase of 49%. The company is a real estate investment trust, and one of the largest in the US.Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are companies that own and manage combinations of residential or commercial properties, or invest in the loans and mortgages used to fund those properties. Annaly invests primarily in mortgage-backed securities, and holds some $133 billion worth of assets in its portfolio.For dividend investors, whether small-scale or billionaire hedge gurus, the stock is an obvious target. US tax code regulations require REITs to return as much as 90% of their income directly to shareholders, which is usually done in the form of dividends. For income investors, this is a boon. Stocks like NLY generally have dividend payout ratios that start at 85%; in Q3, NLY’s ratio was just over 100%, meaning all of the company’s income was sent back to investors. The current dividend, paid out quarterly at 25 cents per share, annualizes to a yield exceeding 10%.The high dividend makes up for slipping share value, helping to keep investors interested in NLY even though the stock has slipped 4.8% this year. As noted above, Soros’ interest in the company is substantial – and his total holding in the stock, of 3.517 million shares, is worth $32.88 million.4-star Barclays analyst Mark Devries lays out a clear thesis for investing in Annaly: “NLY's diversification into non-Agency and commercial real estate investments are initiatives that could generate attractive returns longer term. We like Agency focused Mortgage REITs at this point in the cycle given their defensive nature and ability to outperform in a bear market for equities.”Devries puts a $10 price target and a Buy rating on this stock. His target suggests a 7% upside to the stock – not spectacular, but still profitable. (To watch Devries’ track record, click here)Wall Street’s analyst give approval to NLY by a 3 to 1 advantage, putting a Strong Buy consensus rating on the stock. The average price target, $9.69, implies a modest upside of 4% from the $9.35 share price. From an investor’s perspective, the high yielding dividend here is more attractive than the shares’ appreciation potential. (See Annaly stock analysis on TipRanks)
Representing one of the oldest vices in human civilization, casinos have always tempted people with their get-rich-quick allure. Naturally, it doesn't take much to interest speculative investors toward casino stocks to buy. However, the impact from the still ongoing U.S.-China trade war has taken the wind out of this sector's international market.Still, multiple reasons exist why 2020 could see a sentiment resurgence in casino stocks. First, gambling experts believe that Macau may enjoy a rebound next year. Although Las Vegas receives the notoriety of the gambling image -- and probably will forever -- Macau is home to the industry's richest hub. Analysts predict that we'll see a return of mass market gambling, which is less directly affected from trade war issues than VIP gamblers.Second, our own economy and labor market is, at least on print, robust. Primarily, consider the November 2019 jobs report, which produced non-farm payrolls of 266,000, far exceeding the 187,000 that economists expected. Combined with near record-low unemployment, theoretically, Americans have both the money and the time (via employee-earned vacation hours) to gamble.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsTo add to that point, President Donald Trump's public opinion polls have routinely soured. In order to win reelection, he must implement policies that keep the economy going. Logically, this is a net positive for casino stocks to buy.Finally, the casino industry is building out new projects, particularly in Sin City. For example, the much hyped and highly anticipated Resorts World Las Vegas is still scheduled to open in 2020. Again, this points the needle in a positive direction for the industry. * The 10 Worst Dividend Stocks of the Decade So, if you're ready to roll the dice, here are (lucky) seven casino stocks to buy Casino Stocks to Buy: Las Vegas Sands (LVS)Source: Andy Borysowski / Shutterstock.com When it comes to premium casino stocks to buy, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) often tops several lists. With luxurious properties in the major gambling meccas of the world under its belt, LVS stock is an easy buy for those who want serious exposure to this market.To be fair, LVS stock hasn't exactly earned its lofty reputation from its market performance in recent years. For instance, if you compare the trailing five-year period, Las Vegas Sands shares are basically flat. However, I think this is also appealing for those who have a contrarian mindset.Recall above that analysts expect the Macau gambling sector to rebound. If so, this will have a material impact on LVS stock: The underlying company owns several properties there. And while you're waiting for this narrative to play out, LVS offers a generous 4.7% dividend yield. MGM Growth Properties (MGP)Source: Jason Patrick Ross / Shutterstock.com Levered to one of the most powerful names in entertainment, MGM Growth Properties (NYSE:MGP) offers unique gambling exposure to investors. First, MGP stock provides investors with equity against a broad sector footprint. Although obviously geared toward Las Vegas, MGM Growth Properties also has assets in Atlantic City, as well as in states such as Michigan and Mississippi.Second, MGP stock separates itself from other major casino stocks to buy because it's a real estate investment trust. As a REIT, MGM Growth Properties must pay out most of its taxable income as a dividend to shareholders. Currently, it pays out a very handsome yield of 6.3%. * 4 Beaten-Up Pot Stocks Worth Considering in 2020 Finally, MGP stock has steadily moved higher this year. If we see a resurgence among casino stocks as analysts forecast, expect shares to have a little more pep. Golden Entertainment (GDEN)Source: chara_stagram / Shutterstock.com Standing out in Las Vegas is an impossible task. With an endless supply of garish displays, you'd have to be over the top to be conspicuous there. Naturally, you can multiply that sentiment five-fold for casino stocks to buy. However, Golden Entertainment (NASDAQ:GDEN) has one asset that tops the rest, literally: The Strat Hotel.Housing this remarkable hotel is the building known as the Stratosphere Tower. Not only does it dominate the Las Vegas skyline -- sorry Mr. President -- the Stratosphere is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the U.S. This adds another reason to visit Las Vegas besides gambling -- and something else. As a family friendly asset, the Stratosphere offers lucrative opportunities for GDEN stock.With renovations of the building nearing completion, GDEN stock should indeed see a revenue boost. However, do note the one bummer impacting shares: As of this writing, they don't offer passive income. Century Casinos (CNTY)Source: Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock.com As you probably know, casino stocks represent an extremely competitive business. Realistically, though, this segment offers much room for industry players, especially if they're outside the typical Vegas fare. Should sentiment resume in this market next year, Century Casinos (NASDAQ:CNTY) and CNTY stock facilitate an interesting take.Miles away from the gaudy lights of Sin City, you'll find Century assets in states such as Colorado. Furthermore, CNTY stock offers international exposure, such as in the Canadian gambling market as well as in Europe.One of the reasons that CNTY stock piqued my curiosity is its Casinos Poland asset. I'm not Polish, and I don't pretend to be Polish on TV. However, Poland is one of the underappreciated economic gems in Europe. According to some expert views, the central European nation is enjoying an economic golden age. * 10 Best-Performing Growth Stocks of the 2010s If you like smart contrarian plays, keep CNTY stock on your shopping list. Penn National Gaming (PENN)Source: Jeffrey J Coleman / Shutterstock.com If casino stocks are supposed to enjoy a resounding year of profitability in 2020, Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) got the memo early. On a year-to-date basis, PENN stock is up 31%. While that doesn't sound like much compared to other high-flying investments, consider this: Basically, all these gains came in the second half of this year and specifically in the last three months.Naturally, investors may question whether PENN stock still has room to run. After all, many enticing casino stocks to buy are still comparatively undervalued in the technical charts. Admittedly, I don't like buying into momentum. However, Penn National Gaming offers a possible hedge in this sometimes wild industry. Here's what I'm talking about.As a regional gaming operator, the company doesn't have the big bills associated with international casinos. Therefore, PENN stock limits its geopolitical risk, especially if the trade war talks go awry.That said, like Century Casinos above, Penn National currently doesn't pay passive income. Thus, it's all about the capital returns. Scientific Games (SGMS)Source: Maridav/Shutterstock Another distinct play on casino stocks to buy, Scientific Games (NASDAQ:SGMS) plays an ancillary but critical role in the industry. As the name suggests, Scientific Games is an expert in the science of providing gambling machines and services. Therefore, SGMS stock also acts as a hedge in that it doesn't have the overhead of premium properties.Still, don't confuse SGMS stock as a minor player in the gaming industry. Although headquartered in Las Vegas, the company has offices on six continents. For this market's alpha dogs, Scientific Games is a very well-known commodity. * 7 Entertainment Stocks to Buy to Escape Holiday Blues Thus, I'm not surprised that SGMS stock has enjoyed a resurgence in bullish sentiment. On a year-to-date basis, shares are up over 54%. I don't care what sector you're looking at: This is a fantastic return. And if worldwide gambling takes off in 2020 like experts predict, you'll want exposure to this name. William Hill (WIMHF)Source: Mick Atkins / Shutterstock.com As a bookmaker, William Hill (OTCMKTS:WIMHF) technically doesn't belong in a list of casino stocks to buy. Nevertheless, the storied company has invested heavily in the mobile gaming app business. Furthermore, William Hill has greatly expanded its footprint in the U.S. over the years. Thus, WIMHF stock benefits from essentially bringing the casino to you.On the surface, this sounds great. However, as an over-the-counter equity, WIMHF stock is an extremely speculative bet. With a share price a little above $2, it's really flirting with penny stock status. And over the last five years, shares have declined over 62%.However, WIMHF stock is levered to one of the most recognized brands in international betting. And since the global market is apparently due for a rebound, William Hill might receive some love. As a further temptation, consider its 5.5% dividend yield.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * The 10 Best-Performing Growth Stocks of the 2010s * 10 Stocks With Little or No Debt to Own for the Next 50 Years * 5 Restaurant Stocks Dominating Holiday Season Foot Traffic The post 7 Sinfully Good Casino Stocks That Could Win the Jackpot in 2020 appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The Bank of Korea is looking to hire digital currency and crypto-assets experts – but has denied it is preparing for a national cryptocurrency. The successful candidates will be in charge of researching digital payment innovation and blockchain, according to local outlet edaily.co.kr. But South Korea’s central bank was quick to pour water on speculation about a central bank digital currency (CBDC). An official from the Bank of Korea's Digital Innovation Research Group said: “It is necessary to examine not only digital currency but also overall technology including distributed ledger technology and certification according to the current situation. "There is no change in the existing position that there is no need to issue a CBDC for the time being," heThe post Bank of Korea looks to hire crypto experts appeared first on Coin Rivet.
FEATURES - MAIN U.S. stocks are ending the year on a high note. The S&P 500 index boasts a total return of 29% year to date—a great showing in the 11th year of an extraordinary bull market. With stocks near record highs, where can investors turn for 2020? Barron’s has identified 10 top stocks for the coming year, as it has every December for the past decade.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterAt the heart of Zimbabwe’s economic paralysis is a personality clash.Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya don’t get on, are pursuing different agendas and at times issue directives without informing each other, two people with direct knowledge of the situation said.The result: policies that are quickly reversed, confusing contradictions in public statements, an economy that’s forecast by the government to contract 6.5% this year and an annual inflation rate that reached 440% in October.While Ncube, a Cambridge-trained economist, is often accused of being overly optimistic, his push to cut spending and bring order to chaotic government finances has been lauded. By comparison, Mangudya, an appointee of former President Robert Mugabe, is seen as a governor who puts political considerations ahead of rational economic decisions.“They seem to be at two polar opposites,” said Jee-A van der Linde, an economic analyst at NKC African Economics in Paarl, South Africa.The governor has bristled at the minister taking decisions he feels are within the central bank’s domain since a fallout earlier this year, the people said.The Zimbabwe Independent on Feb. 15 reported on an alleged row between the two men over how to handle the nation’s monetary policy, citing people it didn’t identify. The Harare-based newspaper said Mangudya threw paper files at Ncube before he walked out of a meeting. It later retracted the report, saying it was based on “wrong and unverified information.”Surprise InstructionThere’ve been other points of discord.On Nov. 29, the Treasury surprised the central bank by issuing an instruction that exporters must pay their bills to the state power utility in foreign currency, one of the people said. On one occasion, the Treasury told the bank it was issuing a directive and not seeking an opinion, the person said.Earlier unilateral measures include the Treasury’s abolition in June of the decade-old multi-currency system that allowed the use of the greenback and the South African rand within the country, a decision the central bank then had to implement, the person said. On Sept. 30, the Treasury directed the bank to issue a ban on dominant mobile-money service Ecocash paying out cash, a move that would have brought the economy to a halt as almost all transactions are done through the mobile platform.In at least one instance, Mangudya has pushed back. A Treasury proposal in September to give tourists coupons for their foreign exchange, to starve the black market of supply, was thwarted by the central bank, the person said.Mangudya is wary of political backlash to monetary-policy decisions, one of the people said.In September, a parliamentary committee was told that the central bank sold Treasury bills worth $971 million to pay government debt without the necessary approvals by lawmakers. That boosted money supply and weakened the local currency.The central bank head also convinced President Emmerson Mnangagwa to restore corn and rice subsidies on Nov. 28, two weeks after Ncube had announced in his 2020 budget that they would be scrapped, one of the people said.While economically crippling, the subsidies are politically prudent in a nation where the United Nations World Food Programme expects half the population to face hunger early next year. The Treasury has yet to pay out the subsidies and prices for the staples have subsequently risen.For Ncube, Mangudya is an impediment to the task he feels he was given by Mnangagwa when he was appointed in September last year and told to right the economy, one of the people said. The way the central bank handles policy has troubled analysts.“The blame for the collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy may be squarely placed on the mismanaged reintroduction by the central bank of a local currency after 10 years of dollarization,” said Robert Besseling, a director at EXX Africa, a South African business-risk advisory firm. “The mismanaged currency regime is being accompanied by interventionist measures that have effectively shut down business and trade in the country.”Ncube’s focus on austerity and orthodox economics has been seen by Mangudya as unwise in a country with Zimbabwe’s unstable politics, the other person said.“Ncube seems out of his depth in the current cash-shortage crisis,” said Besseling. “He lacks the political clout to implement real structural change in the distressed economy.”Mangudya didn’t respond to calls made to his mobile phone seeking comment. The Treasury didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.For now, the economy is in dire straits. There isn’t enough money to pay for adequate fuel and food imports, and the currency is trading at 16.54 to the greenback after a 1:1 peg was removed in February. Attempts to attract investors to the country have been largely unsuccesful.Monetary policy is erratic. Last month, the central bank halved the benchmark interest rate to 35%. In September, it had been raised by 20 percentage points to 70%.“Monetary policy is an absolute shambles,” Van der Linde said.(Adds absence of investment in third last paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Ray Ndlovu in Harare at firstname.lastname@example.org;Godfrey Marawanyika in Harare at email@example.com;Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Gordon Bell at email@example.com, ;John McCorry at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paul Richardson, Rene VollgraaffFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
This article originally appeared on MarketWatch, a sister publication of Barron’s. We publish articles from other Dow Jones sites when we think our readers will enjoy them. Clearly, the country’s in the midst of a savings crisis as families struggle to cover rising home costs, hefty student-loan debt and everything in between. With almost half of all working-age families having zero in retirement savings, the fact that the median family had only $7,800 in these accounts shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Amarin stock remained halted late Friday after U.S. regulators approved its drug, Vascepa, to cut down on cardiovascular events in patients with an above-normal level of triglycerides.
Dec.12 -- Nestle SA is selling its U.S. ice cream business to a joint venture with private equity firm PAI Partners. It’s valued at $4 billion. The deal aims to create a stronger challenger to Unilever. Bloomberg Intelligence’s Duncan Fox discusses the deal on “Bloomberg Markets: European Open.”
The U.S. and China say they have a “phase one” trade agreement, a positive for the global economy. But details were scarce and the deal hasn’t been signed, which means trade issues could continue to rattle markets.
Workers who diligently put away money from their paycheck into a 401(k) retirement plan expect that acting responsibly will provide greater financial security in old age. Read about this troubling reality for American workers, and don’t miss a report about how women can get the investment advice they want. Then, check out tips for managing a 529 college-savings plan, and learn about a contrarian stock investing strategy where one year’s losers are the next year’s winners.
(Bloomberg) -- California Governor Gavin Newsom rejected PG&E Corp.’s proposed restructuring plan on Friday, dealing a major blow to the power giant as it tries to exit the biggest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history.Newsom said in a letter to PG&E Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson that the utility’s restructuring plan falls “woefully short” of the state’s requirements. The governor said any reorganization of the San Francisco-based power company would require a better financing plan, an entirely new board with a majority from California and the option of a government takeover should PG&E fail to meet safety performance metrics.PG&E’s bankruptcy punctuates “more than two decades of mismanagement, misconduct, and failed efforts to improve its safety culture,” Newsom said in his letter. And its plan to reorganize does not “result in a reorganized company positioned to provide safe, reliable and affordable service to its customers,” he said. Newsom’s support is crucial to PG&E’s restructuring. The company declared bankruptcy in January after its equipment was blamed for starting catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018, including the deadliest blaze in California history. The fires saddled the utility with an estimated $30 billion in liabilities, and it has spent months trying to cobble together a viable restructuring plan as shareholders and bondholders fight for control of it.PG&E, which has until Tuesday to respond and make changes, said in a statement that it believes its current plan meets state requirements and “is the best course forward for all stakeholders.” The San Francisco-based company said it will “work diligently in the coming days to resolve any issues that may arise.”Deal with VictimsThe rejection is a major setback for PG&E just a week after it reached a $13.5 billion settlement to pay victims affected by the fires its equipment caused. A deal with victims had emerged as the company’s largest obstacle in planning a reorganization. Based on a provision in that settlement, the governor had to find that PG&E’s plan complied with state legislation passed in July. The law required PG&E to settle past fire liabilities and resolve its bankruptcy by June if it wants to participate in a newly established wildfire insurance fund and avoid future damages tied to catastrophic fires.Read More: Elliott Bashes PG&E Plan, Says It Would Be Junk-Bond Issuer Newsom’s demands could give activist investor Elliott Management Corp. and Pacific Investment Management Co. another shot at rallying support around a rival restructuring plan. They’re leading a group of bondholders that have offered to inject $20 billion in cash into PG&E in exchange for most of the equity in the company.The bondholders were, in fact, the first to reach a deal with wildfire victims, agreeing to pay them $13.5 billion while PG&E initially proposed just $8.4 billion. But the utility later raised its offer and won over fire victims, announcing the settlement last week.Junk BondsIn a statement Thursday, Elliott said PG&E’s own restructuring proposal would saddle the company with an additional $10 billion in debt, limit its safety investments and turn the utility into a “junk-bond issuer.”In his letter, Newsom similarly raised concerns about the company’s plan to use a combination of debt, secured debt, securitization and monetization of its net operating losses leaving it “with limited ability to withstand future financial and operational headwinds.” He also said the state is focused on meeting the needs of Californians and not “on which Wall Street financial interests fund an exit from bankruptcy.”PG&E described Elliott’s rival plan as “a last-ditch effort to derail the wildfire victims’ settlements, and force costly, uncertain and protracted litigation.” The company said the bondholders’ proposal only stands to “enrich those firms backing it” and said the group would actually charge interest rates on debt that are above market rate.In the hours leading up to Newsom’s letter, PG&E issued statements from fire victims’ attorneys, backing its settlement.Read More: PG&E Could Have Prevented Deadly California Fire, State Says In a rare display of solidarity with the company, consumer advocate Erin Brockovich -- best known for her success in a court case against PG&E over water contamination in the 1990s -- voiced support for the deal, saying it would “fairly and justly compensate wildfire victims in a timely manner.”PG&E’s equipment was identified as the cause of the November 2018 Camp Fire that killed 85 people, burned down tens of thousands of homes and all but destroyed the Northern California town of Paradise.(Updates with PG&E statement in seventh paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Steven Church in Wilmington, Delaware at email@example.com;Mark Chediak in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rick Green at email@example.com, Lynn DoanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Strategists see modest gains ahead for stocks in 2020, supported by a stable economy, accommodative monetary policy, and a pickup in manufacturing.
Dec.12 -- U.S. regulators are digging into a topic that has been the talk of Wall Street and Washington ever since a controversial Vanity Fair article suggested investors made billions of dollars trading ahead of market-moving news: Are government leaks fueling big profits in the futures market? Bloomberg's Matt Robinson has more on "Bloomberg Markets."
AT&T Inc. said Friday its board has agreed to increase its quarterly dividend by 2% to 52 cents a share. The new dividend is payable Feb. 3 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 10. The company said it has begun retiring shares after entering a $4 billion accelerated share repurchase program and plans to retire about $100 million worth in the first quarter of 2020. AT&T is also on track to hit its 2019 net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA ratio target in the 2.5 times range and expects its leverage ratio to range from 2.0 times to 2.25 times by the end of 2022. Shares were slightly lower Friday, but have gained 34% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 26%.
General Electric could be set for a big comeback in 2020 as its turnaround makes solid progress, a new GE analyst said.
Shares of ViacomCBS gain after two analysts give their respective seals of approval on the newly merged media giant, and also raise their one-year price targets.
The Roth IRA 5-year rule applies in three situations and dictates whether withdrawals get dinged with penalties.
(Bloomberg) -- Scott Lang, the new chief executive officer of Turvo Inc., wants to emphasize an important corporate policy at his startup: Employees may not entertain clients at strip clubs and certainly not bill those trips to the business. The rule is salient because his predecessor was fired for doing just that.The board accused the co-founder, Eric Gilmore, of expensing $76,120 at strip clubs over a three-year span and removed him as CEO in May, according to legal filings. Gilmore, 39, didn’t deny the accusations, but he sued the company, claiming the board didn’t follow the proper protocol for his termination. Turvo said it did, and they settled in September. Gilmore declined to comment through a spokesman.Lang, a former executive in the energy industry, joined Turvo just before Thanksgiving. The Silicon Valley startup makes software to help companies track the movement of freight and is backed by about $85 million in venture capital. In his first interview since taking the job, Lang said he’s focused on helping the company move past the scandal. When asked about trying to win over prospective clients at stripper joints, he said: “Never have. Never will.”The situation at Turvo, which hasn’t been previously reported, illustrates the steps some boards are taking to quietly address allegations of misconduct before they become public. The MeToo movement has claimed the jobs of many technology executives, such as Kris Duggan of Betterworks Systems Inc. and Andy Rubin of Essential Products Inc., and venture capitalists Justin Caldbeck and Shervin Pishevar. Often, the consequences only arrive after allegations are published in the news.Gilmore, a veteran of Microsoft Corp. and Coupons.com, started Turvo in 2014. Mubadala Investment Co., the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund, led a $60 million investment in the Sunnyvale, California-based company last year. Soon after, Gilmore hired a new chief financial officer, who discovered a pattern of unusual charges from the CEO in a review of corporate spending.The stripper-related expenses spanned most of the company’s life, and Gilmore made no attempt to conceal them. Strip clubs represented more than half of the $125,000 in entertainment charges initially flagged by the CFO.At a hastily called meeting in May after the board learned of the expenses, directors from Mubadala and venture capital firms Felicis Ventures and Activant Capital told Gilmore he was out. They demanded he sign a separation agreement. Gilmore declined and argued the process violated company bylaws because the confrontation wasn’t at first presented as a formal board meeting and didn’t adhere to other rules. The board disagreed. Gilmore’s lawsuit over the dispute lasted three months. Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.Gilmore remains on the board and is the company’s largest shareholder, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly and asked not to be identified. Gilmore’s two co-founders still hold executive roles at Turvo, and there has been no suggestion they misused their expense accounts.The Turvo board selected Lang as the new CEO in the hope he could reinvigorate a company still grappling with a demoralizing situation. Lang, the former CEO of Silver Spring Networks, praised the 200-person team at Turvo for winning several big contracts recently and posting “massive” growth this year. He declined to provide details.To contact the author of this story: Sarah McBride in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at email@example.com, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Real estate investment trusts, or REITs, invest in properties, allowing investors to enjoy the benefits of ownership without its associated headaches. "REITs must payout at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders," says Chris Burbach, co-founder and partner at Phoenix-based Fundamental Income. While earning a dividend payout is tempting, it's not the only reason to consider REIT investing.
The oil industry in North America has grown dramatically in the last decade. The rapid expansion of fracking technology has opened previously non-viable oil reserves, and discoveries of recoverable shale oil in Texas and the Dakotas have made the US into the world’s largest oil producer six years running. In fact, this past September, the US exported more crude oil than in imported – the first time that has happened since records began in 1949.The boom has not been without growing pains. Expansion of supplies on the market have pushed prices down, negatively impacting oil companies’ incomes and stock prices in recent months. Data for the first week of December showed a surprise build of 800,000 barrels in US stockpiles, a sharp reversal from the expected 2.8-million-barrel reduction. The news put further downward pressure on oil prices.But oil isn’t just a commodity, it’s a necessity in today’s world. According to Norwegian energy consulting firm Rystad, “North American shale supply will continue growing even in an environment with lower oil prices.” The firm sees shale production’s robust growth continuing into 2022.So, the main variable for oil prices heading into next year and beyond is likely to be demand. Oil producers and midstream suppliers will continue to see a profitable environment despite the headwinds as long as economic conditions remain firm. And given last week’s jobs report from the US, that looks to be a sound prediction for the near-term – making the energy sector attractive for investors.To help that along, we’ve used the TipRanks Stock Screener tool to pick out three energy sector players that fit a bullish investment profile. These are Strong Buy stocks with upside potentials exceeding 30%, and the recent price pressure in the oil markets has pushed share prices down, making them bargains to boot.WPX Energy (WPX)WPX is typical of the small- to medium-cap extraction companies that are hard at work exploiting the resources of Texas and North Dakota. WPX operates in the Bakken Formation, one of the early oil patches to benefit from the fracking revolution, but most of the company’s operations are centered in the Delaware Basin of West Texas, a component of the larger Permian Basin that holds the largest recoverable reserves in North America.Recoverable reserves are a key metric in the oil industry, defining the potential resources a company can tap for production and profit. WPX, in its two areas of operation, as more than 480 million barrels of oil equivalent in proved reserves, of which 61% is crude oil and the rest is split between natural gas and natural gas liquids. WPX operates over 700 wells on its land holdings.Strong reserves and strong production have made WPX profitable. The company brought in $2.3 billion in total revenues in calendar year 2018, with a net income exceeding $150 million. Turning to more recent financial results, WPX showed a Q3 EPS of 9 cents per share, missing the 7-cent forecast but beating the year-ago quarter’s 7 cents. Revenues were even better. The $795 million for the quarter beat the forecast by 25%, and beat the year-ago result by an even more impressive 64%.Wall Street is understandably sanguine about WPX shares looking forward. Neal Dingmann, from SunTrust Robinson, writes of the stock, “Given the company’s position as one of the strong operators in both the Williston and Delaware, in our opinion, we believe the company could look to act as a consolidator while noting we don’t see the need to make any large acquisitions in the next 6-12 months.”Dingmann backs up his Buy rating with a $16 price target, implying room for 47% growth on the upside. (To watch Dingmann’s track record, click here)The consensus view on WPX is a unanimous Strong Buy – 9 analysts have given this stock a Buy in recent months. The stock’s low price offers investors a chance to ‘buy the dip’ on a high-upside opportunity. Shares are priced at $10.89, and the average price target of $15.11 indicates potential for nearly 40% growth. (See WPX stock analysis on TipRanks)Liberty Oilfield Services (LBRT)Exploration, and proving reserves, is only part of the game in the oil business. Owning a barrel’s worth of oil is no use if it can’t be brought to the surface and shipped to market. This is where the oilfield service companies step in. Production companies own wells and drilling machinery and technology; the services companies provide the specialized equipment, tech, and know-how to conduct fracking operations and activate the wells.Liberty occupies this niche. The company supplies the water, sand, chemicals, piping equipment, and engineering knowledge to conduct and maintain fracking operations. It’s a difficult sector in which to operate. Overhead is high, while income can vary based on the price oil, and LBRT has seen both top-line revenues and bottom-line EPS decline year-over-year. In the recent Q3 report, the company showed revenues of $515 million, 1.3% below the forecast, and EPS of 15 cents, 44% below expectations.The poor quarterly results, released at the end of October, hurt share prices, temporarily pushing the stock down by 11%. Share price has since recovered, and surpassed the pre-report values. On a high note, from an investor’s perspective, the current EPS is more enough to sustain the company’s quarterly dividend payout of 5 cents per share. Annualized, this gives LBRT a dividend yield of 2.1%, higher than the average yield among S&P listed companies.Analyzing the company for JPMorgan, analyst Sean Meakim sets out a bullish case: “The company’s differentiated focus on technology, data analytics, and talent has allowed it to deliver peer-leading profitability and return metrics through the cycle… Liberty’s strong customer relationships should help the company maintain margins above the peer group.”Meakim gives LBRT a Buy rating with a $12 price target, indicating confidence in an 18% upside. (To watch Meakim’s track record, click here)With 6 Buy and 1 Hold ratings given in the past 3 months, LBRT stock gets a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus. The stock’s recent headwinds have pushed the share price down to an affordable $10.62, offering a low point of entry for investors. The average price target of $14.07 suggests an upside potential of 33%. (See Liberty stock analysis on TipRanks)Cheniere Energy (LNG)Petroleum isn’t the only product that comes out of oil wells. Oil patches product natural gas and related products in large quantities, sometimes even exceeding the percentage of oil extracted. The flood of natural gas into the markets has driven a revolution in clean energy, as gas burns cleaner than oil. Increased use of natural gas has helped the US to greatly reduce carbon emissions in recent years.Cheniere Energy, based in Texas, is a leading producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Liquified gas is less volatile and more easily transported than the gaseous product, and is the chief form in which gas is conveyed to market. Cheniere buys gas from producers, liquifies the product, and loads it onto ocean-going vessels. The company also owns rail cars and pipelines for overland transport within the US. Cheniere has been exporting LNG from the US since 2016, when it became the first company to do so.Falling prices, the flip side of high production, have pushed the company into net loss in the last two quarters. In Q3, the company showed an EPS net loss of $1.25, a severe blow when compared to the expected 8-cent per share profit. Revenues, however, were up, at $2.17 billion beating the estimate by 2.4% and gaining 19% year-over-year.LNG has a great deal of potential, however, even in a low-price regime. Wolfe analyst Steve Fleishman says of the stock, “We believe that upsides are underappreciated by the market including at least one more train and a reversion to wider global gas spreads. We also expect new management to boost visibility and focus on operations and capital efficiency.” Fleisman puts an Outperform rating and $80 price target on LNG, indicating his confidence and a 36% upside. (To watch Fleishman’s track record, click here)5-star analyst Elvira Scotto, of RBC Capital, agrees that LNG is a Buy proposition. She wrote, in a note last month, “We believe LNG can generate highly visible cash flow growth and return significant cash to shareholders via buybacks and dividends longer-term.” In line with her Buy rating, Scotto sets an $84 target on the stock, suggesting a 38% upside potential. (To watch Scotto’s track record, click here)All in all, this natural gas has earned one of the best analyst consensus ratings on the Street. Out of 10 analysts tracked in the last 3 months, 9 are bullish on LNG’s prospects, with just 1 on the sidelines, highlighting a strong bullish backing here. With a healthy return potential of 31%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $79.80.Check out these 5 ‘Strong Buy’ stocks that top Wall Street analysts recommend.
Dec.12 -- Sachin Khajuria, Achilles Management founder and a former partner at Apollo Global Management LLC, discusses the Achilles' strategy and the outlook for private equity with Bloomberg's Vonnie Quinn, Sonali Basak and Guy Johnson on "Bloomberg Markets."