June 27 (Reuters) - Xinjiang Guannong Fruit & Antler Group Co Ltd:
* SAYS CHAIRMAN GUO LIANG RESIGNS DUE TO CHANGE IN JOB ROLE Source text in Chinese: https://bit.ly/2IwQDCb Further company coverage: (Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom)
June 27 (Reuters) - Xinjiang Guannong Fruit & Antler Group Co Ltd:
* SAYS CHAIRMAN GUO LIANG RESIGNS DUE TO CHANGE IN JOB ROLE Source text in Chinese: https://bit.ly/2IwQDCb Further company coverage: (Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom)
Bitcoin dropped as much as 15% late Saturday, its biggest intraday drop since February, just days after hitting record highs.
(Bloomberg) -- Johnson & Johnson indicated that uncertainty regarding its Covid-19 vaccine could ease in coming days, as regulators review whether the shot can cause rare blood clots and inspect a factory that’s key to the drugmaker hitting its production targets.The U.S. paused use of the vaccine last week after six women who received it developed serious but rare blood clots in the brain. A panel of medical experts reviewing data on the clots could vote Friday on whether the hold should end. No additional cases of the clots have been confirmed since the pause began, according to Jason McDonald, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.“In the next couple of days we will have a very solid path forward, and we’re going to do all we can to make sure that’s a positive outcome,” J&J Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk said in an interview.Shares of J&J gained 2.6% at 11:22 a.m. in New York, a sign that investors expect that the vaccine could soon be returned to use in the U.S. and elsewhere.The European Medicines Agency’s safety committee warned on Tuesday that there was a link between the rare clots and the vaccine, but said the potential benefits outweigh any risk. The ruling clears a path for European Union countries to decide whether to restrict access to the shot for any patient groups. The committee recommended that a warning be added to the shot’s product information.As of April 15, some 7.7 million people in the U.S. had received the J&J shot. J&J said Tuesday that it brought in $100 million in sales for the company in the first quarter.While the J&J shot had earlier been seen as critical to the U.S. immunization program, the Biden administration has said it expects other currently available vaccines will make up for any shortfall caused by the pause. In Europe, where a wider vaccine rollout has gone more slowly, access to the J&J shot could help cover more residents and stem the spread of viral variants that have contributed to higher infection rates.Forecast on HoldNew Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J didn’t provide a full-year forecast for vaccine sales because of uncertainty around the pause in its use, Wolk said in an interview Tuesday. J&J is offering the shot on a not-for-profit basis, at no more than $10 a dose, for the duration of the pandemic.“We don’t want to be presumptuous and perhaps maybe even offend regulators, we want that process to play out and make sure that we’re being respectful of it,” Wolk said. “Since it’s a not-for-profit construct, it’s not going to have a material impact on earnings.”This week, U.S. regulators will likely finish an inspection of an Emergent BioSolutions Inc. facility responsible for making the underlying drug substance used in the shot, said J&J Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee Joaquin Duato during a call with investors.On April 16, Emergent was told by U.S. regulators to stop work at the Baltimore facility. Some 15 million doses worth of a key ingredient in the J&J shot had to be discarded after a manufacturing mix-up. J&J executives said Tuesday that it’s too early to determine how the hurdle will affect the timing of deliveries of 100 million doses to the U.S.Read More: Emergent Factory Halt Adds to Obstacles for J&J’s Covid VaccineJ&J also said on Tuesday that it expects adjusted earnings per share this year of $9.42 to $9.57, narrowing the guidance of $9.40 to $9.60 given in January. Wall Street analysts expect $9.50 a share, on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. First-quarter revenue was $22.32 billion, outpacing the average analyst estimate of $21.98 billion.The company’s pharmaceutical unit continues to account for more than half its sales, as revenue in the division jumped 10% to $12.2 billion in the first quarter. Medical-device sales rose 11% to $6.58 billion.Wolk said he expects device trends to continue to improve. In the Asia Pacific region, medical devices rebounded by 70% this quarter, and he said that other regions will follow suit. “Elective surgeries seem to be a little bit soft yet in terms of the market,” he said.But consumer sales slipped 2.3% year-over-year to $3.54 billion. Within consumer health, J&J saw sales decline in over-the-counter products driven by comparisons with last year’s pantry loading and a weaker cough, cold and flu season.Overall, J&J reported first-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $2.59, up from $2.30 a year earlier. It also boosted its dividend on Tuesday by 5%, from $1.01 a share to $1.06 a share.(Updates throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Danske Bank A/S has once again lost a chief executive, ushered out under yet another cloud of scandal. Denmark’s main shareholder group says the question now is whether there’s such a thing as a qualified CEO with a perfectly clean record.The biggest Danish bank stunned investors on Monday when it revealed it was parting ways with Chris Vogelzang, its third CEO in as many years. The 58-year-old is leaving Danske after becoming the subject of an investigation tied to his former employer, ABN Amro, and its alleged failure to live up to anti-money laundering laws.Read: Danske Bank CEO Quits After Being Named in ABN Amro Probe Mikael Bak, the head of the Danish Shareholders’ Association, says Vogelzang’s departure is “regrettable.” He also says it’s possible that the modern-day “code of ethics, in a way, makes it difficult to recruit top managers.”“It’s good for society that the ethical judgment is tough,” he said. “But when it becomes so tough that it limits the number of candidates for top managerial positions, it may become problematic from a shareholder’s point of view.”Shares in Copenhagen-based Danske slid for a second day on Tuesday, with their 3.8% decline putting the bank at the bottom of the Bloomberg index of European financial stocks.Danske’s board chose Vogelzang back in 2019, after a drawn-out and difficult process. The bank, which is itself being investigated in the U.S. and Europe for its role at the center of a vast Estonian laundering scandal, had fired Thomas Borgen as CEO in late 2018. Efforts to get Danske’s chief financial officer promoted to the top job backfired when the Danish regulator said he wasn’t experienced enough. An interim CEO was then kicked out after he got caught up in a separate scandal.‘Very Careful’Vogelzang was thoroughly vetted, according to Chairman Karsten Dybvad, whose predecessor was ousted for failing to prevent Danske’s laundering scandal. “We really looked into everything at that time. We were very careful.” So news of the Dutch criminal investigation was a “surprise,” Dybvad said by phone.Denmark’s financial workers’ union said Vogelzang’s departure was “disappointing.” Danske’s staff “are now being exposed to yet another [leadership] change,” Chairman Kent Petersen and Danske Bank’s union representative, Kirsten Ebbe Brich, said in a joint statement. It’s not clear what Vogelzang, who’s taking 18 months’ pay with him as he heads out the door, will do next. The outgoing CEO got just over 15 million kroner ($2.4 million) in salary and benefits last year, and 4.2 million kroner in incentive pay.Read: Ex-ABN Banker Running Danske Says He Knows Nothing of Dutch CaseDanske’s board has now promoted its chief risk officer, Carsten Egeriis, to the top job. The 44-year-old former Barclays Plc CRO points out that he’s had “more than 20 years of experience across various different financial services and institutions.”“I’m very comfortable in the work and the decisions that I have done in that career so far,” Egeriis said by phone. Dybvad said the Danish regulator has already told Danske that Egeriis can be CEO.Denmark’s financial laws and regulations, including those guiding qualifications for executives and board members, have been tightened considerably since Danske’s money laundering scandal erupted in late 2018. The bank admitted in September of that year that a large part of 200 billion euros ($240 billion) in non-resident funds that flowed through a now-shuttered Estonian unit was suspicious.‘Thin Ethical Line’Denmark’s government would be willing to look into making changes to existing financial legislation if the regulator deems it necessary, said Olav Hav, a spokesman for the ruling Social Democrats on the parliamentary committee overseeing bank laws.“If the Danish FSA sees a need to make adjustments to rules, I am confident that both parliament and the government will listen very closely to that,” he said. The regulator declined to comment.Meanwhile, Hav said that it’s “a concern that people with the necessary experience to enter Danske Bank at this level can only be recruited among people working very closely to the thin ethical line in the international world of finance.”Egeriis says bank CEOs have to accept the new rules of the game, which he says require being “hyper-vigilant” when it comes to the risk of financial scandals.“There is clearly a lot that’s happened in the banking industry in terms of improving controls and processes, and investments,” he said. “But it is not easy and it is something that takes up a lot of management time and will continue to do so.”(Updates to reflect deepening share slump, adds union comment, reference to severance package)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
The government says an estimated 8,800 bondholders of the collapsed scheme will receive a share of the money.
(Bloomberg) -- Carry traders blindsided by bouts of dollar strength are looking beyond the currency to fund their bets -- even if it means giving up some returns.Borrowing dollars to buy assets in higher-yielding currencies, a usually profitable strategy in emerging markets, proved loss-making in the first quarter as U.S. yields surged. That pushed money managers including Fidelity International and AMP Capital to cut dollar-short positions and fund their arbitrage with euro or yen, given the low interest rates in those currencies.While that helped traders protect their carry returns, it also underscored the need to have a broad basket of funding currencies to tide over dollar volatility. Now, even as the dollar weakens again and Treasury yields moderate, they continue to finance part of their emerging-market investments with other currencies.“Having a diversified basket of funding currencies against emerging-market long carry positions has the advantages of lower risk and an overall better Sharpe ratio on the trade versus one that’s funded solely out of the U.S. dollar,” said Nader Naeimi, the head of dynamic markets at AMP in Sydney. “I am happy to stick with a diversified basket.”Returns DichotomyA Bloomberg index of carry-trade returns from eight developing-nation currencies, funded by short positions in the greenback, fell 3.1% in the first quarter, the first decline in a year.Meanwhile, a strategy that involves borrowing the lowest-yielding currencies to invest in higher-yielding assets jumped 3.4% in the first three months of the year.At the core of this divergence was the dollar’s resurgence. A near-consensus call at the end of last year for a weaker U.S. currency came undone as the prospects for a sharp recovery in the world’s largest economy drove 10-year Treasury yields up by the most since 2016. With an accelerated vaccine rollout and unprecedented fiscal stimulus, the rebound is set to outpace its developed peers.While the Federal Reserve has been reluctant to push back against higher yields, the European Central Bank has ramped up bond-buying and the Bank of Japan has pledged to keep the yield curve stable and low.Beyond DollarWhile the start of the second quarter has flipped that trade -- dollar-funded carry trades are outperforming again with a 2.2% return this month -- traders still bet on volatility in the U.S. currency. So last quarter’s tactical dash into the euro and yen as funding currencies is now morphing into a strategic choice to reduce dollar dependency.Fidelity International, which sees carry opportunities in Brazilian real and Ghanaian cedi, prefers “to diversify the funding of these positions away from exclusively using the U.S. dollar,” said Paul Greer, a money manager in London at the firm, which oversees about $700 billion.“In the near term, we think the dollar will appreciate against G10 peers as the U.S. continues to demonstrate global leadership on growth recovery,” he said. “Looking further ahead, we expect the dollar to resume its medium term trend of depreciation, which should be supportive of the EM carry trade.”The U.S. currency has strengthened against 17 of 22 emerging-market currencies this year. In comparison, the euro has dropped against nine of the same group and the yen is weaker against 18 of those currencies.Investors looking for interest-rate arbitrage in emerging markets need not necessarily go to Japan or Europe to raise funds. There are plenty of low-rate currencies within the developing world that can do the job.Greer of Fidelity uses the Polish zloty and Hungarian forint as carry-funding currencies. Alessio de Longis, the New York-based head of tactical asset-allocation solutions at Invesco Ltd., drives his wagers with short positions in the currencies of South Korea, Taiwan, Chile and the Czech Republic. His basket is gaining this year, even though his long positions included some of the world’s worst-performing currencies such as the Brazilian real and Turkish lira.World’s Worst Currencies Pay Off for Debt Veteran at Invesco Even those who continue to fund their carry trades mostly with the dollar are turning wary of that strategy.”It’s been pretty painful,” said Edwin Gutierrez, head of emerging-market sovereign debt at Aberdeen Standard Investments in London. “The second quarter could be more of the same.”(Updates carry return funded by short-dollar positions in ninth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
A mortgage slump is showing signs of a turnaround thanks to the lowest rates since March.
(Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc pulled out of its role as the lead underwriter of a municipal-bond sale that was set to build prisons for CoreCivic Inc. after criticism that the bank was backtracking on a pledge to no longer provide financing to for-profit jail companies.KeyBanc Capital Markets, another manager, also said it was resigning from the transaction.The $634 million bond issue was set to be sold as soon as last week through a Wisconsin agency to raise money for a CoreCivic-owned company that was planning to build two prisons in Alabama. The facilities were set to be leased and run by the state’s Department of Corrections.The bank’s lead role in the deal drew controversy because it appeared to be at odds with Barclays’ announcement two years ago that it would no longer provide new financing to private prison companies, whose model of profiting from incarceration has drawn controversy for years. Other banks, including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., also said at the time that they were severing ties with the industry.The banks’ last minute decision to abandon the deal was highly unusual and may reflect the growing clout of investors who are pouring into socially minded investment funds, creating a lucrative and growing business that financial institutions are eager to court.Bloomberg News was first to report Barclays’ involvement in the muni-bond deal earlier this month.“We have advised our client that we are no longer participating in the transaction intended to provide financing for correctional facilities in the State of Alabama,” Barclays said Monday through a spokesman in an emailed statement. “While our objective was to enable the State to improve its facilities, we recognize that this is a complex and important issue. In light of the feedback that we have heard, we will continue to review our policies.”KeyBanc Capital Markets has “resigned” from the transaction, a bank spokesperson said via email. A representative for Stifel Financial Corp., another underwriter, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The banks’ retreat may not derail the project, though the departure of the lead underwriter will almost certainly delay the financing. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican who has spearheaded the overhaul of the prisons, said in a statement that the state was disappointed by the decision but would move forward with the projects.CoreCivic spokesperson Amanda Gilchrist said in an emailed statement on Monday that the company is proceeding with efforts to “deliver desperately needed, modern corrections infrastructure to replace dilapidated, aging facilities.”“The reckless and irresponsible activists who claim to represent the interests of incarcerated people are in effect advocating for outdated facilities, less rehabilitation space and potentially dangerous conditions for correctional staff and inmates alike,” she said.The taxable municipal bond sale was expected to provide about 68% of the financing totaling $927 million, according to investor roadshow documents dated March 31. Those plans included the potential sale of $215.6 million in debt issued through a private placement and an equity contribution from CoreCivic.Barclays had defended its work on the deal, saying it wasn’t at odds with its 2019 decision because the money was financing facilities that would be run by Alabama. The state’s officials said the deal with CoreCivic will help it improve conditions within its prison system after the state and its corrections department were sued by the U.S. Justice Department in December for failing to protect male prisoners from violence and unsanitary conditions.Governor Ivey said in the statement that the new facilities would be safer and provide more secure correctional environments.“These new facilities, which will be leased, staffed, and operated by the state, are critical to the state’s public infrastructure needs and will be transformative in addressing the Alabama Department of Corrections’ longstanding challenges,” the statement said.Related: Barclays Bond Deal Shows Limits to Vow on Financing Prison FirmsBarclays nevertheless drew fire from advocacy groups and the public portion of the debt sale was reduced last week, a step that usually indicates that a bank is having difficulty lining up buyers for securities.Last week, the American Sustainable Business Council and partner organization Social Venture Circle, which represents 250,000 businesses to advocate for responsible practices and policies, announced that they would refund Barclays’ membership dues. Barclays joined the group in 2019.“We applaud Barclays’ decision to not underwrite the Alabama private prison bonds,” said David Levine, president of American Sustainable Business Council in a statement on Monday. He said that he invites the bank and other financial institutions to “chart a responsible and beneficial path forward for investing and rebuilding our communities, and our economy.”Related: Barclays Kicked Out of Business Group Over Prison-Bond Work(Adds comment from Alabama governor starting in ninth paragraph and CoreCivic comment in 10th paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Despite a surge at reopened stores in England and Wales, the chain lost £1.1bn in sales under lockdown.
Dogecoin briefly replaced XRP as the fourth-largest coin early Monday.
The commercial aerospace giant raised its retirement age for CEO Dave Calhoun, 64, and announced that 54-year-old CFO Greg Smith is retiring.
The Dogecoin faithful have declared April 20 “Doge Day,” but on Wall Street, having your own ‘day’ is no guarantee of legitimacy or longevity.
Just last Friday, the S&P 500 had closed at a record high. This week, the index can’t seem to find its footing.
Those counties accuse Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Endo International Plc and AbbVie Inc's Allergan unit of fueling a drug crisis that according to the U.S. government resulted in nearly 500,000 opioid overdose deaths over two decades. The populous Santa Clara, Los Angeles and Orange counties and the city of Oakland say that should a judge following the non-jury, virtual trial find the drugmakers liable, they should have to pay more than $50 billion to cover the costs of abating the public nuisance they created, plus penalties. The plaintiffs' lawyer, Fidelma Fitzpatrick, told Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson that the case was about the companies' "deadly legacy" of promoting opioid painkillers to treat chronic pain, resulting in a "mountain" of addictive pills flooding the state and country.
(Reuters) -Harley-Davidson Inc on Monday raised its full-year earnings forecast after smashing analysts' quarterly profit estimates, vindicating Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz's decision to focus on more-profitable touring bikes at the expense of cheaper entry-level models. The company, however, also received a setback in the European Union - its second-biggest market - where all of its products, regardless of origin, will be subjected to a 56% import tariff from June following a new EU ruling. The ruling revokes the credentials that currently allow Harley to ship certain motorcycles to the EU from its international manufacturing facilities at a 6% tariff.
Britain stepped up efforts on Monday to look at the case for a digital pound in response to the challenge posed by cryptocurencies such as bitcoin, and outlined plans to make its financial market more attractive after Brexit. "We're launching a new taskforce between the Treasury and the Bank of England to coordinate exploratory work on a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC)," Britain's finance minister Rishi Sunak told a financial industry conference. "Alongside this we will set up a new financial market infrastructure 'sandbox' for firms innovating with technologies like distributed ledger technologies," he added.
Rebates required under Obamacare could put hundreds of dollars back in your pocket.
Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE) has been hard to ignore lately, as the meme-based cryptocurrency rose to become the sixth-largest with over $46 billion in market cap. What Happened: With 7,000% year-to-date returns and considerable outperformance against several top cryptocurrencies, DOGE’s appeal to retail investors has steadily been on the rise. However, several crypto influencers and traders have cautioned against going “all-in” on DOGE, citing concerns of a few large holders controlling the majority of its supply. See also: How to Buy DOGE Over 65% of Dogecoins are distributed among just 98 wallets across the world, while the single largest wallet holds 28% of all Dogecoins. In fact, just five wallets control 40% of the coin’s supply. Essentially, around 100 people control the entire $46 billion DOGE market. “The scam is simple - Hold on to Dogecoin till there is enough traction after it multiplies, dump all coins and cash out - Become instant billionaires,” said Akand Sitra of cryptocurrency risk management platform TRM Labs. Why It Matters: Sitra’s analysis of DOGE’s supply distribution was possible due to the nature of blockchain transactions, which are available for anyone to see on the open distributed ledger. Some on-chain analytics of the top DOGE holders led experts to believe that the cryptocurrency’s supply is concentrated among just a few holders. “The Dogecoin bubble will burst by the end of this year, easily,” said Sitra. Other traders in the space echoed this sentiment, calling it the reason why they will never be in DOGE “no matter the gains.” Why I'm not in $DOGE and will never be no matter the gains. https://t.co/jFVU2yQf03 — QuartzHands (@NFTiepie) April 19, 2021 At press time, DOGE was trading at $0.3976, up 32% overnight and 394% in the past seven days. DOGE holders were preparing for April 20, where a large group of retail traders has predicted the coin will touch $0.69. See Also: Dogecoin Creator Defends Meme Crypto's Supply: Doesn't 'Matter For Price' Image: Ivan Radic via Flickr See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaDeFi Blue Chip Season? Here's What Cryptos Coinbase Employees Are Buying Right NowInvestors In Disbelief As DOGE Becomes Top 5 Crypto With B Market Cap© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
(Bloomberg) -- Tribune Publishing Co. ended talks with a group contesting hedge fund Alden Global Capital’s takeover of the newspaper giant after the interlopers lost their biggest funding source, but the takeover fight may not be over yet.Choice Hotels International Inc. Chairman Stewart Bainum Jr. is pressing ahead with efforts to buy the publisher and is pursuing other partners, a person with knowledge of the matter said Monday.Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss dropped out of the $18.50-a-share bid for Tribune led by Bainum Jr., Bloomberg News reported on April 17. After conducting due diligence for the past two weeks, Wyss decided not to go forward with the proposal, people familiar with the situation said at the time. A representative for Wyss declined to comment. In a filing Monday, Tribune said it received a letter from Bainum informing the company of Wyss’s departure and concluded the Bainum group could no longer top Alden’s $17.25-a-share proposal.The Bainum-Wyss group, which called itself Newslight, was seen as friendlier to the publishing company’s news staff than Alden, since the investors have vowed to protect local journalism. Alden, which already owns 32% of Tribune Publishing, has a reputation for deep cuts at the companies it acquires. Tribune’s newspapers include the Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News.Tribune shares were down 5.3% to $17.40 in New York trading at 12:52 p.m.Prior to the Newslight offer, Tribune Publishing agreed in February to be acquired by Alden. Bainum was initially part of that transaction, with a side deal that would have allowed him to acquire the Baltimore Sun and smaller newspapers in Maryland.But Bainum and Alden disagreed over how they would share services in the time before the Maryland newspapers were fully independent of Tribune, and Bainum grew skeptical of Alden’s intentions in the deal, people familiar with the situation said in March.Bainum then decided to pursue an acquisition of the whole company, with the help of like-minded backers. On April 5, Tribune Publishing said it would hold talks with Newslight about its $680.8 million bid, which it said was probably superior to Alden’s $634.8 million offer.(Updates with continuation of Bainum plans starting in first paragraph, shares in sixth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
These past 12 months have seen the S&P 500 return its best performance ever – an 80% gain as of the end of March. But are the good times wrapping up? Some historical data would suggest that the bulls will keep running. Since 1950, the market has seen 9 sustained, year-long runs with a rolling return of 30% or better on the S&P 500. These periods have seen an average one-year gain of 40% (the median has been 34%) – and none of these bull markets has ever ended in its second year. But investors should not expect the same sky-high returns in the coming 12 months as they have just seen in the last, according to Callie Cox, a senior investment strategist at Ally Invest. "[I]t's typical for the bull market to lose a little bit of steam going into year two... Expectations start rising and makes it harder for the market to… beat everybody's expectations. And that leaves a greater chance for disappointment. And to be clear, again, we're not calling for doom and gloom. We just think the market is due for a breather up in the next quarter or two," Cox opined. For investors focused on returns, the prospect of a lower sustained gain in share appreciation will naturally prompt a look at dividend stocks. Reliable, high-yield dividend payers offer a second income stream, to complement the share appreciation and ensure a solid return for investors. With this in mind, we used the TipRanks' database to pinpoint three stocks that meet a profile: a Strong Buy rating from Wall Street’s analysts and a dividend yield around 7%. Trinity Capital (TRIN) We’ll start with Trinity Capital, a venture debt company that makes capital available to start-ups. Trinity’s investment portfolio totals $494 million, spread over 96 companies. The company entered the public markets earlier this year, closing its IPO early in February. The opening saw 8.48 million shares become available for trading, and raised over $105 million after expenses. In its 4Q20 report – the company’s first quarterly report as a public entity, covering the last quarter as a private firm – Trinity showed net investment income of $5.3 million, with a per-share income of 29 cents. This was more than enough to fund the dividend, paid in December at 27 cents per share. Since then, Trinity has declared its 1Q21 dividend, raising the payment by a penny to 28 cents per common share. Trinity has a announced a policy of paying between 90% and 100% of taxable quarterly income in the dividend. At the current rate, the payment annualizes to $1.12 per share, and gives a yield of 7.6%. This is significantly higher than the average yield of 1.78% found among peers in the financial sector. In his note on the stock, Compass Point analyst Casey Alexander states his belief that Trinity has a clear path toward profitable returns. “TRIN operates within the attractive, growing venture debt ecosystem. As such we expect strong net portfolio growth followed by improved NII and increasing dividend distributions, with potential upside from equity/warrant investments,” Alexander noted. To this end, Alexander rates TRIN a Buy, and his $16.75 price target implies an upside of ~14% for the next 12 months. (To watch Alexander’s track record, click here) This newly public stock has already picked up 5 analyst reviews – and those break down to 4 Buys and 1 Hold, for a Strong Buy consensus rating. Trinity shares are selling for $14.74; their $16.46 average price target suggests the stock has ~12% upside potential. (See TRIN stock analysis on TipRanks) Energy Transfer LP (ET) With our second stock, Energy Transfer, we move into the energy midstream universe. Midstream is the necessary sector connecting hydrocarbon exploration and production with the end markets; midstreamers control the transport networks that move oil and gas products. ET has a network of assets in 38 states, which link three major oil and gas regions: North Dakota, Appalachia, and Texas-Oklahoma-Louisiana. The company’s assets include pipelines, terminals, and storage facilities for both crude oil and natural gas products. The big news for Energy Transfer, in recent weeks, comes from two sources. First, on April 9, reports came out that that the US Army Corps of Engineers is not likely to recommend shutting down the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). This project, when complete, will move oil from Alberta’s oil sands region across the US to the Gulf Coast; the Biden Administration wants to shut it down for environmental reasons, but the industry is fighting to keep it. And second, two largest shareholders of Enable Midstream have approved a proposed merger, by which ET will acquire Enable. The merger is projected to be worth $7 billion. Earlier this year, Energy Transfer reported 4Q20 EPS of 19 cents per share, on income of $509 million. While down year-over-year from the 38 cent EPS reported in 4Q19, the recent result was a strong turnaround from the 29-cent net loss reported in Q3. The company’s income is supporting the current dividend of 15.25 cents per common share. This annualizes to 61 cents, and give a yield of 7.7%. The company has paid out a dividend every quarter since Q2 of 2006. Covering this stock for Credit Suisse, analyst Spiro Dounis writes: “We updated our model to reflect a mid-2021 completion of the Enable Midstream acquisition. We view the deal as accretive and see additional potential upside resulting from operational/commercial synergies. ET highlighted potential synergies around both ENBL’s natural gas and NGL assets, noting that gas synergies could be realized fairly quickly while NGL opportunities are more long-term as legacy contracts roll. Upwards of ~$100mm of NGL uplift over the next several years doesn’t appear unreasonable, in our view.” Dounis also notes that the main risk to the company arises from DAPL, which may still be shut down by the Biden Administration. Even so, he rates the stock an Outperform (i.e. Buy), with an $11 price target indicating a 39% one-year upside. (To watch Dounis’s track record, click here) Wall Street’s analysts can be a contentious lot – but when they agree on a stock, it’s a positive sign for investors to take note. That’s the case here, as all of the recent reviews on ET are Buys, making the consensus rating a unanimous Strong Buy. The analysts have given an average price target of $11.60, indicating ~47% upside from the current share price of $7.94. (See ET stock analysis on TipRanks) Oaktree Specialty Lending (OCSL) Last but not least is Oaktree Specialty Lending. This company is one of many specialty finance providers, making loans and credit available in the mid-market segment, to smaller firms that would otherwise have difficulty accessing capital. Last month, Oaktree Specialty Lending completed a merger with Oaktree Strategic Income Corporation (OCSI). The combined company, using OCSL’s name, has more than $2.2 billion in assets. Oaktree’s investment portfolio totals more than $1.7 billion, primarily in first and second liens, which make up 85% of the company’s investment allocations. Oaktree finished 2020 with its fiscal first quarter, ending December 31. In that quarter, the company increased its dividend payment by 9%, to 12 cents per share, or 48 cents per share annualized. At this rate, the dividend yields 7.25% -- and marks the third quarter in a row of a dividend increase. Oaktree has kept up reliable dividend payments for more than three years. Among the bulls is Kyle Joseph, a 5-star analyst with Jefferies, who puts a Buy rating and an $8 price target on this stock. His target implies room for 20% upside potential in the next 12 months. (To watch Joseph’s track record, click here) “OCSL's conservative strategy in recent years has ultimately paid off, as the BDC is deploying dry powder into higher-yielding investments. Credit performance remained solid through the MRQ, while fundamentals are encouraging… We believe the BDC has sufficient liquidity to support near-term opportunities and believe the company is positioned to take advantage of the recent economic volatility, which was particularly highlighted by the recent 9% increase in the quarterly distribution... In the longer term, we believe OCSL represents an attractive investment,” Joseph wrote. Overall, OCSL has received 3 recent Buy reviews, making the analyst consensus rating a Strong Buy. The stock is currently trading at $6.66 and its average price target of $7.33 indicates ~10% upside from that level. (See OCSL stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
The new week kicked off on a negative note, as all 3 major indexes pulled back from record highs. After applauding recent strong economic data, the worsening global coronavirus situation appeared to have soured investor sentiment. But according to Goldman Sachs chief US equity strategist David Kostin, investors shouldn’t get too worked up. The overall trend remains upward, and Kostin points out that volatility – the difference between the high and low points in the market – is down. He sees the relative predictability of policy, now that the election is decided and behind us, as more definitive for near-term performance. "Low volatility has outweighed low correlations among stocks, driving return dispersion back below the long-term average. As the U.S. moves beyond key macro events such as the 2020 election, the $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus package, and peak economic activity, we expect three defining themes for markets will be tax reform, infrastructure, and pricing power," Kostin opined. Taking Kostin’s outlook into consideration, Goldman Sachs analysts are pounding the table on two stocks, noting that each could double or more in the next year. Using TipRanks’ database, we found out that the rest of the Street is also on board, as each boasts a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. DigitalOcean Holdings (DOCN) We’ll start in high-tech, where DigitalOcean is a mid-size fish among the giants of the sea. The company offers cloud computing services for developers, small- to mid-size businesses, and startups. DigitalOcean can’t compete with the likes of Amazon or Microsoft on scale, so the company has promoted simplicity as a virtue. The move has brought a measure of success; DigitalOcean claims over 570,000 customers globally, and boasted, at the end of 2020, $357 million in annual recurring revenue along with 25% year-over-year revenue growth. The company operates 14 data centers, located in the US and Canada, in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, and in India and Singapore. All of that adds up to a solid foundation, and DigitalOcean capitalized on it in the most direct way possible recently. The company entered the public markets, holding its IPO on March 24 of this year. The shares were priced at $47, and the company raised ~$775 million. Analyst Christopher Merwin saw fit to initiate coverage of this stock for Goldman Sachs with a Buy rating and a $101 price target. At current levels, this target suggests a one-year upside of 143%. (To watch Merwin’s track record, click here) "While we believe some investors are applying a discounted valuation to DigitalOcean due to lower gross margins, we think that approach is overly-punitive, as Digital Ocean has very efficient sales & marketing motion. In fact, sales & marketing spend was just 10% of revenue in 2020, largely due to a highly-efficient self-service go to market motion and developer community which helps to lower the cost of customer acquisition," Merwin opined. The analyst summed up, "With a stronger growth and margin profile, we therefore believe that DigitalOcean should trade at a premium to the mid-growth peer set." In its short time on the public markets, DOCN has picked up 10 reviews. These include 8 Buys and 2 Holds, making the analyst consensus rating a Strong Buy. The shares are priced at $41.50 with an average target of $58.20, making the upside potential 40% in the next 12 months. (See DOCN stock analysis on TipRanks) Apellis Pharmaceuticals (APLS) Shifting gears, we’ll look at Apellis, a biopharma company with a unique niche. Apellis focuses on C3 therapies, aiming to correct overactivation of the complement cascade, a part of the immune system. The complement cascade, or complement, clears away damaged cells, promotes inflammation, and attacks the cell membrane of pathogens. These activities are handled by a series of small proteins in sequence; Apellis targets C3, to control an overactive complement system. C3 is the central component of the cascade, and targeting it addresses three possible pathways for disease conditions. Apellis’s approach has potential applications across a wide range of medical fields, including hematology, nephrology, neurology, and ophthalmology. The company’s pipeline features one drug candidate, pegcetacoplan, with a wide range of applications. The drug acts directly on C3, and its targeted use was recently shown efficacious by positive Phase 3 data in a trial targeting the rare blood disease paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). In addition to studying pegcetacoplan’s use for PNH, Apellis has five other clinical research projects ongoing for the drug candidate. The PNH study is the most advanced, however, and marketing applications for the drug – in the treatment of PNH – are under review by both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The PDUFA date for action by the FDA is May 14 of this year. The top line results from the Phase 3 PRINCE study, using the drug to treat PNH patients, are expected in 2Q21. Among pegcetacoplan’s other applications, the geographic atrophy (GA) Phase 3 study is ongoing, with results expected in the third quarter of this year. Looking ahead, Apellis expects to bring three new drug candidate programs into clinical development by the end of next year. In his coverage of this stock for Goldman Sachs, 5-star analyst Madhu Kumar sees the pegcetacoplan projects as the key here. We view APLS as a story of two independent franchises based on the complement C3 cyclic peptide inhibitor pegcetacoplan. While systemic pegcetacoplan has already provided clinical POC in PNH in the Phase 3 PEGASUS trial, the results of which we believe should support the drug’s approval at the May 14, 2021 PDUFA date, the larger question this year is whether IVT pegcetacoplan will succeed in the potentially considerable market (we model peak risk-adjusted sales of $4.8B) of geographic atrophy (GA) in the Phase 3 DERBY/OAKS trials, for which top-line data are expected in 3Q21," the analyst said. Kumar continued, "Overall, we believe Apellis provides an intriguing risk-reward profile heading into these 3Q21 data not because we are convinced in IVT pegcetacoplan’s success... but because we believe the potential upside with success is substantial while downside risk from failure is limited." Kumar’s Buy rating comes with a $130 price target, implying a robust 185% one-year upside to the stock. (To watch Kumar’s track record, click here) Overall, this stock gets a firm seal of approval from Wall Street, with a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 7 Buys vs. 1 Hold. Shares in APLS are trading for $45.64, and have a $73.67 average target that indicates room for 61% appreciation in the coming year. (See APLS stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.