|Bid||41.78 x 1000|
|Ask||41.79 x 900|
|Day's Range||40.92 - 42.00|
|52 Week Range||26.13 - 47.95|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.81|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||44.54|
|Earnings Date||Feb 04, 2021 - Feb 08, 2021|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.24 (0.58%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Oct 06, 2020|
|1y Target Est||48.50|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Now that Donald Trump’s administration has allowed Joe Biden’s team to formally begin its transition into the White House, the president is running out of overt ways to disrupt an election he clearly lost 18 days ago.His flimsy and misbegotten lawsuits challenging the vote are all but deflated and he’s been less active than usual on TV and Twitter. Perhaps he’ll make his traditional visit to Mar-a-Lago for the Christmas holidays and then stay put, preferring to endure his humiliation over Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration outside the capital.Out of sight shouldn’t mean out of mind, however. Even if he’s off sulking, Trump has ample opportunity over the next two months to abuse his powers or throw sand in the federal machinery Biden will inherit. In this context, Trump loyalists overseeing the bureaucracy, including Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and senior adviser Stephen Miller, may be just as important to watch as the president.Trump’s clemency powers enable him to issue potentially undeserved pardons at the last minute (think back on the 176 pardons Bill Clinton issued just two hours before exiting the White House in 2001). Seven of Trump’s political advisers have been charged with crimes since his own inauguration, and he’s already commuted the sentence of one them, Roger Stone. Trump is also mired in ongoing civil and criminal probes, and he’ll undoubtedly be tempted to pardon himself and family members for potential federal crimes, such as obstruction of justice. (His pardoning power doesn’t extend to the possible state charges he faces in New York.)Trump also can deploy executive orders, which he has already used to great effect to roll back environmental regulations and change immigration rules. In June, he signed an order instructing federal agencies to drop environmental laws that slow approvals for oil pipelines, mines, highways and other projects in protected areas. That same month, Trump issued an order suspending new work visas for foreigners and their dependents — making it impossible for American companies to hire skilled immigrants. His administration is now reportedly considering an order meant to end birthright citizenship and challenging whether it’s protected by the 14th Amendment.A couple of weeks ago, Trump moved to lock down his tough trade stance toward China through an order banning U.S. investments in companies linked to China’s military. The day after Election Day, the Health and Human Services Department introduced a new rule that would suspend thousands of its own regulations automatically after granular reviews — a move the New York Times reported was likely meant “to tie the hands of the next administration.”Last week, the Treasury Department successfully clawed back $455 billion in Covid-19 relief funds from the Federal Reserve, a move it said was designed to sunset unused rescue programs. But it also gave the incoming Biden administration less flexibility and resources to combat any further economic downturns stemming from the pandemic. On Tuesday, Mnuchin placed the funds in an account that his likely successor, Janet Yellen, can’t access without approval from Congress.Trump still holds the nuclear weapons codes (try not to think about that one) and also has the latitude to pursue covert special operations and military confrontations overseas. Christopher Miller, the interim defense secretary Trump installed after canning Mark Esper recently, has been rushing policy changes that will be thorny for Biden to manage — including a Jan. 15 troop drawdown in Afghanistan. On Nov. 12, Trump reportedly asked senior advisers, including Miller and Pompeo, about options for a military strike against Iran. (The group advised against it.)Shortly after Election Day, Barr gave Justice Department prosecutors the authority to probe Trump’s claims of voting fraud, a move that roiled the agency and broke with longstanding federal policies aimed at keeping law enforcement authorities from influencing election outcomes. Given his track record running interference for Trump in the Mueller probe and other matters, it’s possible that Barr could use his agency’s Office of Legal Counsel to draft memos in coming weeks that protect Trump from future Biden administration investigations.What about recordkeeping? I imagine Barr and others in the executive branch might tell the West Wing that, despite the legal perils, it’s well within the president’s rights to shred or retain files that outsiders, such as law enforcement officials, journalists and historians, might otherwise want preserved.Executive orders can be unwound, of course, and policies eventually can be retrofitted by the Biden team, but some of Trump’s personnel moves may be longer-lasting. For all of its complaints about a “deep state” of civil servants set against it in the federal bureaucracy, the Trump White House has been determined to leave an indelible imprint on the federal workforce. It has hollowed out agencies such as the State Department and Justice Department, and spread Trump loyalists across the rest of the government and federal judiciary — some of whom may prove hard for Biden to ignore, much less dislodge.Trump has nominated or installed supporters on such government panels as the Federal Election Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who will enjoy lengthy terms that may outlast Biden’s presidency.In October, Trump issued an executive order making it easier to fire civil servants critical of the president, stripping them of protections meant to guard against partisan meddling. Ronald Sanders, a Trump appointee who oversaw a government panel that sets compensation for civil servants, quit after the order was issued.The order was “nothing more than a smokescreen for what is clearly an attempt to require the political loyalty of those who advise the President,” Sanders wrote in his resignation letter. “I simply cannot be part of an Administration that seeks to do so, to replace apolitical expertise with political obeisance.”The House of Representatives temporarily blocked the order, so for now Trump can’t use his remaining time in office to purge naysayers. But would he have liked to? You bet. And does he want to make life as hard as possible for his successor? You bet.Some of this isn’t new. Herbert Hoover went out of his way to stymie Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policies before they traded places in the White House in 1933. But as with all things in the Trump era, the wrecking ball is now swinging with far more force. What began with Trump’s efforts to overturn a presidential election will end in a flood of policy and personnel decisions grounded in resentment and retribution.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Timothy L. O'Brien is a senior columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If there’s one Thanksgiving food that you might expect to struggle in a year when millions of Americans are gathering on Zoom rather than around a dining table, it’s the bird that can feed an extended family in one sitting.In any given year, 40 million turkeys are eaten over the Thanksgiving holiday — equivalent to roughly a billion pounds of meat at average slaughter weights. Getting through all that breast and leg is a problem in the best of times, and the coronavirus pandemic should have made things even harder.The typical Thanksgiving meal hosted a dozen people in 2010. At a pound or so per person, that’s enough to get through most of a 17-pound turkey hen. This year, however, only about 27% of Americans are planning to have dinner with anyone outside their homes, according to a survey conducted for the New York Times. With your average household having just 2.6 people, the same bird would provide enough meat to feed the family for a week. There’s a fine line between leftovers and force-feeding turkey at every meal.It would be reasonable to think the sharp reduction in place settings would have accentuated a gradual trend toward eating smaller meals from individual parts of the bird, such as legs, breast and ground meat. A couple of generations ago, about half of Americans’ annual turkey consumption was in the form of whole birds eaten in the holiday season stretching from Thanksgiving to Christmas, according to Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation, an industry group. Nowadays that share has fallen to about one-third, as packaged and processed meat has become more of a year-round staple of lunch counters and school canteens. Whole birds comprised just 26% of the turkey in cold storage in the post-holiday lull at the end of November last year, down from 38% in 2017.In fact, the opposite has happened. “It’s been somewhat surprising. Whole bird sales have been strong throughout the pandemic,” says John Zimmerman, 47, a second-generation turkey farmer who raises about 150,000 birds annually in Northfield, south of Minneapolis.The best explanation seems to be the larger amount of time that everyone’s spending at home. Just cooking a full-sized turkey can take four hours or so. If you add in time for brining (and you should) the whole project will use up a day or more.In normal years, that substantial time investment has meant that the convenience of using portions or other foods often wins out over home-cooked whole turkey, except around the holiday season. But the past year has been anything but normal. Some 46% of Americans said they were spending more time under lockdown cooking, according to a March survey by Morning Consult — a larger increase than streaming television or films, reading books or virtual social events. Preparing a full-sized bird for one meal and using up the leftovers through the week, like making sourdough bread, seems to have been one way that Americans have made it through the enforced isolation of coronavirus.That’s helped lift prices for farmers and processors. Typically, America’s 123 million households are gathered under a much smaller number of roofs for Thanksgiving dinner, meaning the 40 million birds are just enough to go around. This year, socially isolated families are cooking far more individual meals, putting pressure on a fairly inflexible supply of poultry. Fresh whole turkey hens were selling for $1.32 per pound last week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, up about 13% from a year earlier.For Zimmerman, that’s been less than ideal. While the whole-bird market prefers hens that weigh in at around 17 pounds each, he specializes in the larger male toms, which can be 41 pounds apiece and are mostly processed and used in the food service industry. At the peak of the pandemic, with schools and restaurants closed, those sales were down 60% on their usual levels, according to Brandenberger. That's been recovering gradually, but is unlikely to go back to usual until vaccine immunization becomes more widespread.Still, skills learned under lockdown aren't easily forgotten. Just as office workers have acquired new talents for home working, a nation that's grown more adept at cooking whole birds (and more importantly, using up their leftovers) may keep up the habit even as they return to a semblance of normality.“Home cooking will still remain a fixture,” said Brandenberger. “Nobody’s going back overnight to the old patterns.”This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- President Donald Trump has had no more prominent supporter on Wall Street than Stephen Schwarzman, the chief executive officer of the Blackstone Group. Yet on Monday, he said it was time for the president to accept the outcome of the election. And Schwarzman is not alone. His voice is joining a chorus of CEOs.When Dave Calhoun took over as CEO of Boeing Co. late last year, Yahoo Finance noted that since 2017 he had contributed $64,000 to various Republican candidates and committees. “He didn’t contribute to any Democratic candidates or committees over that period,” the website added. Yet on Friday, as Trump continued his futile but damaging effort to overturn election results, Calhoun’s company issued a statement that said bluntly, “We look forward to working with the Biden administration,” according to the New York Times.Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, wrote a post acknowledging the Biden victory and offering special praise for the nation’s first female vice president, Kamala Harris. Late last week, during Walmart Inc.’s quarterly earnings call, CEO Doug McMillon pointedly congratulated “President-elect Joe Biden.” Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, never makes political statements. But it did this time, even though many of its stores are in Trump country.Tom Donohue, the longtime president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is the person most responsible for moving the business organization from a centrist position to a staunch ally of the Republicans. Yet there he was last Thursday, sending a statement to the news website Axios in support of Biden. “Vice President Biden was fairly elected as our next president, and it’s time for the transition to proceed,” Donohue said.CEOs dislike few things as much as openly wading into politics. Making a statement of any sort will inevitably upset customers — or at least those customers who disagree. After Nike built an advertising campaign around Colin Kaepernick, the former professional quarterback whose decision to kneel during the National Anthem sparked a movement, conservatives called for a boycott of the shoe company. And in July, anti-Trump partisans called for a boycott of Goya Foods after its CEO, Robert Unanue, appeared in the Rose Garden and said that the U.S. was “truly blessed” to have Trump as its president. Three weeks after the election, though, far more CEOs have acknowledged the president-elect — and called on the Trump administration to begin the transition — than Republican senators and representatives. The Business Roundtable congratulated “the incoming Biden administration” soon after the Associated Press called the election for Biden. CEOs are realists; if they weren’t, they wouldn’t have the job. They can see that Trump has no chance of overturning the election and that they’ll be dealing with a new Democratic administration soon enough. But getting on the right side of the Biden team is not the main reason they are speaking out. For them, there are two far more compelling reasons.The first is Covid-19. The business community is as focused on the pandemic as everyone else — perhaps more so because of how the virus has affected their operations, their employees and their profits. Eight months into the crisis, with no new rescue package emerging from Congress, mass layoffs are in the offing. While some businesses such as Amazon.com Inc. have thrived, many others have been devastated, particularly airlines and hotels. CEOs absolutely understand that until the pandemic has ended, the economy will continue to suffer.They also understand that Trump’s refusal to concede and begin the transition process is not helping to resolve the pandemic. They know how urgent it is for Biden’s transition team to be involved in planning for the distribution of the vaccine. They would like to see presidential leadership on issues such as wearing masks, taking hold of the distribution of protective equipment for hospitals and carrying out other measures. CEOs are pressing for the transition to begin because it has become important for the short-term future of their companies. And they are hoping that the urgency of their statements will push more Republicans to press the president to begin the transition. But there’s another reason, too. Most CEOs are patriots. It’s been widely reported that almost as soon as it became clear that Trump was going to try to overturn the election results, several dozen CEOs held a Zoom meeting led by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, the well-known Yale School of Management professor.“Their anxiety was off the charts,” Sonnenfeld told me. “Yes, they didn’t want Trump’s actions to destabilize the markets, but more importantly, they didn’t want a divided work force or a divided customer base.” They were concerned about their companies — but they were also concerned about their country. Axios described this as an example of CEOs “filling the D.C. leadership vacuum.”In some ways, Biden is going to be better for business than Trump — offering more stability and fewer about-faces and surprises. In other ways, he’ll be tougher. He’ll seek higher corporate taxes and increased regulations. But all that can be dealt with after Jan. 20. For now, business needs Trump to get out of the way, and CEOs aren’t afraid to say so.(Corrects the timing of the call for a boycott of Goya Foods in the sixth paragraph.)This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.