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7 Ways to Invest for Income

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 13:48

Income investors have choices. Investing for income is an appealing concept for investors of all kinds. Regardless of your age, strategy or portfolio value, income investing is an important area that should be at least a small part of how you allocate your money.

Here's Why I Think Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) Is An Interesting Stock

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 13:36

Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of...

Did Zosano Pharma Corporation (NASDAQ:ZSAN) Insiders Buy Up More Shares?

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 13:24

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. On the other hand, we'd be...

Goldman Sachs: These 3 Stocks Are Poised to Surge by at Least 15%

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 13:23

The stock analysts at Goldman Sachs have been busy. The bank – one of the world’s largest and most influential investment and financial services organizations, with alumni in government positions throughout the major Western nations – maintains a cadre of Wall Street experts, who keep close tabs on the constant shiftings of the stock markets. The result is a wealth of expert opinion, backed by data, on the current go-to investments.All of this is bread and butter for TipRanks, a platform that makes financial recommendations accountable, and expensive institutional datasets available, to all investors. We’ve pulled up three of Goldman’s recent tech sector stock picks, and run them through TipRanks' Stock Screener tool to confirm that Goldman is in the majority on Wall Street in recommending these equities.So, here are the results. Three tech stocks that usually fly under the radar – but Goldman sees them all with more than 15% upside potential in the coming year.GSX Techedu, Inc. (GSX)First on our list is an education-related tech stock from China. GSX is a software company, providing educational packages for after-school tutoring. The company is a leader in the K-12, large-class, after-school market in China, an important segment in a culture that puts a premium on education.A combination of factors worked to push GSX shares sharply upward in December – as much as 24%. While’s China’s overall economic growth has been slowing in recent years, and the trade tensions with the US have put pressures on most sectors of the Chinese economy, Chinese parents still put a premium on giving their kids the best possible education. That cultural imperative helped insulate GSX, and the company showed a tremendous 460% year-over-year revenue gain in Q3, posting 557 million yuan in sales – approximately $80 million in US currency. Total student enrollment rose by 240%, to 820,000.When news broke of the Phase 1 trade agreement between the US and Chinese governments last month, however, Chinese markets experienced a broad rally – and that included GSX. Investors were suddenly bullish after the trade agreement was announced and the signing was scheduled, and more willing to invest – and a company with GSX’s proven recent growth was sure to attract plenty of investor attention.Goldman’s Christine Cho reviewed GSX, and outlined the major advantages of the stock for investors. First, regarding the educational market generally in China, she wrote, “We expect online AST penetration will grow from 15% of the total AST market to 41% over the same period, as we believe online AST courses have a wider reach given their scalability, lack of physical constraints and better affordability…” And, looking at GSX specifically, Cho laid out her firm’s line: “We believe its competitive moat lies in its technology DNA and ROI mindset, scalable business model via well-managed star teachers, and best-in-class operating efficiency…”Cho initiated coverage of this stock for Goldman, giving it a Buy rating and setting an aggressive price target of $45. Her target indicates confidence in an upside potential of 28% for the next 12 months. (To watch Cho’s track record, click here)Overall, investors and analysts are bullish on this stock. The price run-up in December pushed the share price to $35.25, well above the consensus price target. However, Cho’s new coverage, with her higher target, indicate the potential available in GSX shares. (See GSX stock analysis at TipRanks)Avaya Holdings Corporation (AVYA)The next two stock on our list are related, operating in the same sector and, more importantly, having just entered a strategic partnership. First up is Avaya Holdings, a holding company whose main subsidiary, Avaya, Inc., provides software in the business communication and collaboration niche. Avaya’s products offer services to unify communications, contact centers, and real-time video systems.Business communications is an essential niche; no company can do without an efficient system for managing its analog, digital, and online communications. Avaya has ridden that need, and put up strong revenue numbers from filling it. In Q4 of fiscal 2019, reported in November, the company showed $723 million in quarterly revenues, and $2.89 billion in annual revenues. These numbers reflect GAAP figures, and the annual total shows a 1.4% year-over-year gain. The company’s cash on hand has shown steady increases in the past year, and stands at $752 million.During the quarter, Avaya announced a partnership with RingCentral (more below), through which Ring will become Avaya’s sole provider of UCaaS solutions. In addition, Ring committed to paying $500 million to Avaya in return for stock shares and licensing rights. The move brings Avaya’s services and migration capabilities into combination with Ring’s UCaaS platform, for both companies’ benefit.Goldman Sachs sees plenty of reason for optimism in Avaya’s current situation. Writing for the firm, 4-star analyst Rod Hall says, “We believe the economics of the announced RingCentral deal are likely to drive Avaya’s revenue and profitability above consensus expectations… In our central case, we estimate that ACO conversions could add ~$28m in revenue to Avaya in the first full year of its availability…”Hall puts a Buy rating on AVYA shares and his price target of $18 suggests an upside of 28% for stock. (To watch Hall’s track record, click here)Shares in AVYA are priced at $14, and the average target of $16.25 suggests room for 16% growth in the coming year. The Moderate Buy analyst consensus rating is based on 6 reviews, including 4 Buys and 2 Holds. (See Avaya stock analysis at TipRanks)RingCentral, Inc. (RNG)Third on our list is Avaya’s new partner, RingCentral. RNG brings cloud computing to the realm of business communications, with software packages combining two staples of the modern office: telephone and computer systems. RingCentral Office, the company’s flagship product, is sync-compatible with popular business applications like Salesforce, Outlook, Google Docs, and DropBox, plus it provides RNG’s unique features in call forwarding, multiple telephone extensions, video conferencing, and screen sharing.RingCentral’s strong product, solving real problems and improving business efficiencies, has brought the company equally strong profits. Revenues and earnings were both up in Q3 2019, the most recent reported. EPS, at 22 cents, was up 15% year-over-year, and beat the forecast by 15%. Revenues came in at $222 million, showing an impressive 34% year-over-year growth. Strong profits and earnings, in turn, powered RNG’s share appreciation – the stock gained 108% in 2019.Heather Bellini, 5-star analyst with Goldman, was impressed enough by RNG’s performance to upgrade the stock from Neutral to Buy, while setting a $230 price target. Her target suggests a about 15% upside to the stock.In her comments, Bellini noted RNG’s fast-paced growth, and recent AVYA partnership’s potential to drive further growth. She writes, “We see continued runway for outperformance driven by secular growth from UCaaS adoption, enterprise traction, and continued evolution in the companies go-to-market strategy, most notably RingCentral’s recently announced partnership with Avaya.” (To watch Bellini’s track record, click here)RNG holds a Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus, with 14 Buy ratings and just a single Hold. Shares are priced high, at $197.75, reflecting the stock’s recent gains. The average price target is $201.36, implying a 2% upside for the stock – but as cited above, Goldman analyst sees a 15% upside ahead for RingCentral. (See RingCentral stock analysis at TipRanks)

Union Pacific CEO on 'Phase 1' of the U.S., China trade deal

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 13:19

Union Pacific is out with its fourth-quarter earnings report. Lance Fritz, Union Pacific President and CEO, joins Yahoo Finance's On The Move to discuss that and more.

A Look at David Einhorn's Most Undervalued Stock Holdings

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 13:06

Einhorn's value holdings are trading at single-digit price-earnings ratios Continue reading...

When Will Canopy Growth Corporation (TSE:WEED) Breakeven?

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 12:52

Canopy Growth Corporation's (TSE:WEED): Canopy Growth Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in engages...

Scaramucci: Here's why Trump won’t get re-elected

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 12:49

Anthony Scaramucci has several reasons why he thinks President Trump won't get re-elected in the 2020 election.

Russia says U.S. Nord Stream sanctions are attack on Europe's energy transition

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 12:28

Russia called on Europe on Thursday to give full support to its Nord Stream gas pipeline, saying the United States would undermine Europe's transition to greener energy if its sanctions delayed the project. "We are not very happy with sanctions on Nord Stream-2 because we believe those are sanctions on Europe's transition to a more ecologically safe energy market", the head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, Kirill Dmitriev, told the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Trump administration clashes with Greta Thunberg at Davos

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 12:25

The Trump administration is clashing with Greta Thunberg at Davos, as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says she can criticize "after she goes and studies economics". Yahoo Finance's Max Zahn joins Alexis Christoforous and Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in Davos, Switzerland to discuss.

Apple Analysts See Little Room for Error After Stock Rally

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 12:22

(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. shares have been on a nearly uninterrupted move higher over the past several months, and analysts are starting to ask whether the rally might be overdone.The stock has already risen more than 8% in 2020, an advance that builds on 2019’s 86% rally, the biggest one-year percentage gain in a decade. Shares have hit repeated records over the advance, which has solidified Apple’s position as the largest U.S. stock by market capitalization.Shares of the company slipped 0.1% on Thursday.The gains have come on growing optimism over the company’s 2020 prospects, driven by improved China demand, growth in its services business, and strong sales expectations for wearable products like AirPods or the Apple Watch. In addition, it is expected to debut a 5G version of its iPhone this year, a product that is almost universally expected to be a blockbuster.“There is a perception of relative safety” in the stock, but the rally has resulted in a “historically high valuation,” according to KeyBanc Capital Markets. The share price “appears to require a sustained re-acceleration in top-line growth that we do not anticipate, while leaving little room for error.”In a note dated Jan. 22, analyst Andy Hargreaves reiterated his sector-weight rating on the shares, writing that the valuation “limits the potential for further multiple expansion” while exposing investors to a number of risks, including potential declines in average selling prices for the iPhone, “stagnating” user growth and brand risk in China.Apple is scheduled to report its first-quarter results later this month, and despite its long-term concerns, KeyBanc wrote the quarter should be “very good relative to consensus estimates.” This view was echoed by BofA, which also forecast a “strong” quarter, adding, “who doesn’t.”While BofA has a buy rating on the stock and raised its price target by $10 to $340 on Thursday, analyst Wamsi Mohan noted that upside potential over the longer term looked “more hazy.” The valuation is “at the high-end of the long-term range,” he wrote, and “further positive estimate revisions beyond [the first-quarter results] may be hard to achieve”, given headwinds related to tariffs, gross margins and operating expenses.The average price target on Apple shares stands around $296, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While this is up from the $268 average at the end of 2018, it represents downside of nearly 7% from the stock’s most recent close.(Updates to market open in third paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Vlastelica in New York at rvlastelica1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at, Steven FrommFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Tesla's German factory gets off to an explosive start

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 12:21

Seven U.S. bombs from World War Two have been found in the plot of land outside Berlin where electric car pioneer Tesla wants to build its first European factory, local authorities said on Thursday. The duds weigh about 50 kg each and explosives experts plan to defuse them in future, said a spokesman for the interior minister in the state of Brandenburg where the property is. Tesla has agreed to buy land in Gruenheide just outside Berlin where it wants to build a giant factory that would give its cars the "Made in Germany" branding.

'Cats' was a massive failure that hurt Comcast earnings

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 12:19

Comcast film profit dropped 49% in Q4 2019, with "Cats" mostly to blame.

How To Invest $5,000

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 12:05

So you've got a few thousand extra dollars in the bank. Maybe you got a bonus at work, or a small inheritance, or a tax refund. Or maybe you've just been saving more than you've been spending lately. Regardless, you … Continue reading ->The post How To Invest $5,000 appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.

Analysts: These 3 “Strong Buy” Penny Stocks Could Gain Over 50%

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 11:47

Penny stocks are controversial, to say the least. When it comes to these under $1 per share investment opportunities, Wall Street observers usually either love them or hate them. The penny stock-averse point out that while the bargain price tag is tempting, there could be a reason shares are trading at such low levels like poor fundamentals or insurmountable headwinds.However, the other side of the coin has merit as well. Naturally, with these cheap tickers, you get more bang for your buck in terms of the amount of shares. On top of this, other more expensive and well-known names aren’t as likely to produce the colossal gains that penny stocks are capable of.Given the nature of these investments, Wall Street analysts recommend doing some due diligence before pulling the trigger, noting that not all penny stocks are bound for greatness.With this in mind, we set out on own search for compelling investments that look like a steal. Using TipRanks’ Stock Screener tool, we filtered the results by current share price, analyst consensus and price target upside to track down 3 penny stocks that have amassed enough analyst support to earn a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. Adding to the good news, each pick boasts over 50% upside potential. Let’s dive in.Lineage Cell Therapeutics (LCTX)Like the name implies, this biotech uses its proprietary cell-based therapy platform to develop specialized, terminally-differentiated human cells. These cells can potentially replace or support cells that are dysfunctional or absent as a result of a degenerative disease or traumatic injury, or even help the body defend itself against cancer. On the heels of its recent data readout, one analyst argues that the $0.81 price tag is a steal.The company just released data from the Phase 1/2a study for OpRegen, its retinal pigment epithelium cell transplant for advanced dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD). According to the results, the therapy produced significant improvements in vision, with no unexpected complications or serious adverse events reported. Not to mention for some patients, structural improvements in the retina and decreases in drusen density have been maintained, and there is evidence of the continued presence of transplanted OpRegen cells three years after the therapy was administered.Based on this outcome, Dawson James analyst Jason Kolbert stated, “The data continues to demonstrate improvements in visual acuity, pointing to what may be a robust new therapy for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration.” On top of this, he believes the fact that the Orbit Subretinal Delivery System (Orbit SDS) and a new Thawand-Inject (TAI) formulation of OpRegen have already demonstrated signs of success “continues to support the use of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells.”With the analyst estimating that macular degeneration is a multi-billion dollar market opportunity, he thinks OpRegen is the lead product and the performance driver for LCTX. In line with his optimistic take, Kolbert maintained a Buy rating as well as the $6 price target. This brings the potential twelve-month gain to a whopping 641%. (To watch Kolbert’s track record, click here)It turns out that the rest of the Street wholeheartedly agrees with the Dawson James analyst. With 4 Buys and no Holds or Sells, the message is clear: LCTX is a Strong Buy. The $4.25 average price target puts the upside potential below Kolbert’s forecast at 431%. (See Lineage Cell price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)Great Panther Mining (GPL)Intermediate gold and silver mining and exploration company Great Panther operates three mines including the Tucano Gold Mine in Amapá State, Brazil and two primary silver mines in Mexico: the Guanajuato Mine Complex and the Topia Mine as well as owns the Coricancha Mine in Peru. At only $0.60 per share, some members of the Street see an attractive entry point.Part of the excitement surrounding the company is related to its recent production beat. On January 13, GPL announced that fourth quarter 2019 consolidated production reached 146,853 gold equivalent ounces, blowing expectations out of the water. Management stated that this strong result was driven primarily by a better-than-expected quarter in Tucano, with production landing at 34,181 ounces. While Roth Capital’s Jake Sekelsky acknowledges that the company beat his conservative estimate at Tucano thanks to additional tonnage from the Urucum North and Urucum South pits, he sees the geotechnical review at the UCS pit as an inflection point for shares.Also encouraging is management’s decision to raise non-dilutive cash at the end of Q4 and early Q1 2020 via two separate transactions. “Given the company's increased cash balance, we believe the company possesses the necessary working capital to move forward with the technical review at Tucano aimed at bringing the UCS pit back into production in 2021,” Sekelsky explained. He adds that this approach also de-risks GPL.To this end, the analyst stays on the bulls’ side. Along with his bullish call, Sekelsky bumped up the price target from $0.80 to $1, implying shares could be in for a 67% gain in the next twelve months. (To watch Sekelsky’s track record, click here)What does Wall Street have to say? It has been relatively quiet when it comes to analyst activity. That being said, the two other analysts that published a review in the last three months were also bullish, making the consensus rating a unanimous Strong Buy. To top it all off, the $1.38 average price target suggests that 128% upside could be in the cards. (See Great Panther price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)Auryn Resources, Inc. (AUG) The last penny stock on our list is another player in the metal mining and exploration space. Auryn currently has seven projects including two flagships: the Committee Bay high-grade gold project in Nunavut and the Sombrero copper-gold project in southern Peru. With the price per share landing at $1.27, Heiko Ihle of H.C. Wainwright tells investors to get on board before it takes off.After the company broke the news that the intrusives related to mineralization at its Sombrero project in Peru are from the same metallogenic event that previously created many of the top deposits in the Andahuaylas-Yauri belt, Ihle likes what he’s seeing. “We believe that the Sombrero project could host a world-class deposit within its 130,000-hectare land package,” he commented.Additionally, the analyst sees the Curibaya site as particularly promising. The asset’s initial sampling program delivered solid results, including 7,990 grams per tonne (gpt) silver, 17.65 gpt gold and 6.97% copper. According to Ihle, this outcome demonstrates the magnitude of precious and base metal grades at Curibaya.“As Auryn’s surficial data at Curibaya continues to line up, the firm intends on further refining its drill targets through geophysical surveys to provide the necessary resolution for subsurface drilling. Auryn plans to apply for drill permitting at the end of 1Q20 with the ultimate goal of drilling the project in 4Q20,” the analyst noted.Given that 2020 could see some important discoveries for AUG, it makes sense, then, that the analyst takes a bullish approach, leaving both a Buy rating and the $2 price target as is. Should the target be met, shares could be in for a 57% twelve-month climb. (To watch Ihle’s track record, click here)All in all, the rest of the Street has been impressed by AUG. Out of 3 total analysts, 102% see the stock as a Buy, making the Street consensus a Strong Buy. At $2.49, the average price target suggests 96% upside potential, surpassing Ihle’s estimate. (See Auryn price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)

Who Should Consider a Roth Conversion Now?

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 11:43

If you’ve saved a lot for retirement, or your parents have, you could be affected by recent changes in the rules about retirement distributions. The recently enacted Secure Act eliminated…

How Private Equity Wrecked New York's Favorite Grocery

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 11:42

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Have we finally reached the point where we automatically assume that every new retail disaster has been caused by a private equity firm? Yes, I believe we have. When the New York Post published a report on Tuesday contending that New York’s Fairway Market grocery chain was going to liquidate — a claim denied by the company, which subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday — I began exploring whether private equity was indeed responsible for its problems.It was.The year was 2007. Fairway, a treasured New York institution that was founded in 1933, had grown from one store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side to four stores, three in New York City and one on Long Island. The stores were supermarket size, but they didn’t much resemble a Safeway or a Kroger. They were eclectic, with 50 brands of olive oil, dozens of varieties of olives, cheese, smoked salmon, imported beer and who knows what else. It was quintessential New York. On a per-square-foot basis, the four Fairways were among the highest grossing grocery stores in the country.Howie Glickberg, the grandson of the founder, was one of three partners who owned Fairway Market. The other two were ready to cash out, and others in management who held small equity stakes were looking for a payday. Glickberg needed to find a source of liquidity. Unfortunately for him, he found Sterling Investment Partners, a private equity firm based in Westport, Connecticut, that focuses on mid-market companies.“I was looking to expand the business,” Glickberg told me when I caught up with him on Wednesday afternoon. In the ensuing buyout, Sterling put $150 million into the company in return for an 80% ownership stake. The majority of that was debt. Needless to say, the debt landed on Fairway’s books, not Sterling’s. Three Sterling partners, including co-founder Charles Santoro, joined the board. None of them had any grocery experience.Sterling had enormous ambitions for the company. Glickberg had envisioned expanding slowly, a store at a time. Santoro talked about turning Fairway into a national chain with hundreds of stores that would compete with Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Santoro did not respond to an email request for an interview.By 2012, Fairway was up to 12 stores, including some in suburban New Jersey, where the company’s urban cachet didn’t necessarily translate. Most of this expansion was fueled by yet more debt. Not surprisingly, the expansion eviscerated the company’s profits while adding millions more in debt to its balance sheet. By 2012, its debt burden had grown to more than $200 million, and it was losing more than $10 million a year.Badly in need of cash, Sterling turned to the public markets. In April 2013, Fairway Group Holdings Corp., as the company was now called, went public at $13 a share, raising $177 million. Its prospectus said that the money would go toward “new store growth and other general corporate purposes.” But that wasn’t quite accurate; the prospectus showed that more than $80 million went to pay “dividends” to preferred shareholders — i.e. Sterling Investment Partners. An additional $7.3 million went to management.Around the same time as the IPO, Glickberg was pushed aside and a new chief executive officer was brought in, an accountant who had been an executive at Grand Union, a grocery chain that failed in 2013. Glickberg did stay on the board, however, where he was the only person with either grocery or retail experience.By 2014, Fairway was up to 15 stores. Its directors — a number of them Sterling executives — were paying themselves absurd amounts of money: $12.1 million in 2013, according to the company’s 2014 proxy. Santoro alone took down $5.4 million that year — at a company with a market cap below $170 million.And that wasn’t the only problem with how Fairway was being run. Hannah Howard, Fairway’s former director of communications, would later describe what it looked like from the inside:[T]he place was kind of a mess: It took months to get paid, with leadership claiming paychecks had been lost on the truck to Red Hook. As expansion scaled, finding talented, knowledgeable staff became more difficult, so quality at new locations began to suffer. It became increasingly apparent that Fairway’s corporate leaders were good at running two or three stores, but they didn’t make the right preparations to run a dozen. “There were not processes or systems in place that were scalable,” says one erstwhile executive. “The leadership was completely incompetent.”Meanwhile, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s were expanding methodically. When Amazon Inc. bought Whole Foods, it meant that Fairway had a competitor with limitless cash. Fairway’s vaunted revenue-per-square-foot numbers dropped by a third. Cash flow was consistently negative. The stores looking increasingly shabby because the company couldn’t afford to keep them up. By 2016, saddled with $267 million in debt, Fairway filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It hadn’t turned a quarterly profit the entire time it was a public company.Here perhaps is the strangest part of the story: Although Fairway managed to reduce its debt by $140 million through the bankruptcy process, it didn’t use bankruptcy to close stores or break any of its expensive leases ($6 million alone for the flagship store on the Upper West Side). It didn’t try to go back to what it was, a small chain of groceries that were part of New York’s central nervous system. Meanwhile, Sterling Investment Partners, having milked Fairway for nine years, walked away. Another private equity firm, the Blackstone Group Inc., took over. Glickberg retired.By August 2018, Blackstone had exited and the company had been bought by two other private equity firms: Brigade Capital Management LP and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. In November, they hired a new CEO, a turnaround specialist named Abel Porter, who actually did have grocery experience. He was the company’s fourth CEO in six years.“We’re not burning cash, we’re accumulating cash,” Porter told Bloomberg News at the time. He added that there was “no risk of running out of capital” despite a debt level that exceeded $300 million. In that same article, however, a credit analyst for Moody’s Investment Service, Mickey Chadha, predicted that Fairway would need to be restructured again within 18 months. More money was going out the door than was coming in.Chadha’s prediction was off, but not by much. It’s been 14 months since that article ran, and Fairway is once again in deep trouble. When I asked him how he saw it coming, he laughed. “That’s my job,” he said. “You could see it when you looked at their liquidity. They just weren’t generating enough cash. No free cash flow, and lots of debt. It was highly predictable.”A few months ago, Chadha updated his analysis of Fairway’s bonds. He said that, as of June, the company’s remaining cash was down to $10 million and he predicted that it would continue to dwindle through 2020. “The company,” he concluded, “has limited alternative sources of liquidity as virtually all tangible and intangible assets are pledged to the credit facilities.”As part of its bankruptcy plan, Fairway agreed to sell five stores and a distribution facility to Village Supermarket Inc. for $70 million. Village Supermarket is another grocery chain owned by a family, the Sumas family of New Jersey. It seems to have done what Sterling Investment Partners could not: expand sensibly. The company now has 30 stores. If a handful of Fairway stores end up being run by the Sumas family, it will have saved an institution that private equity nearly destroyed.“I’m upset about what happened,” Glickberg told me. “They made a lot of bad decisions. They brought in people who knew nothing about the business and nothing about New York. My grandfather started the company, so it was more than a business to me.”I guess one moral of this story is that if you run a family company, don’t sell it to a private equity firm unless you don’t care what happens afterward. But mainly, it reaffirms what we are all coming to realize: private equity firms like Sterling Investment Partners aren’t on the side of the companies they buy. Not really. They’re out for themselves.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at jnocera3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of 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 now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Your credit score could take a hit with new FICO changes: Report

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 11:21

Consumers with rising debt levels and those who fall behind on loan payments will be graded more harshly.

Oil Sinks to Two-Month Low as Asia Virus Threatens Demand

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 11:19

(Bloomberg) -- Oil tumbled to a two-month low on speculation that China’s coronavirus outbreak may dent demand.Futures declined as much as 3.5% to below $55 a barrel in New York on Thursday as the world’s biggest oil importer effectively quarantined a major city to contain the SARS-like virus, which Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned could trim global consumption. The alert has overshadowed concern over the halt of exports from Libya.“Sentiment has turned negative,” as the coronavirus is set to affect demand, said Andrew Lebow, senior partner at New York consultant Commodity Research Group.Oil is bearing the brunt of the anxiety due to the potential hit to travel, especially as it’s happening just before the Lunar New Year holidays, the biggest human migration in the world. Goldman Sachs predicts the virus may crimp global demand by 260,000 barrels a day this year -- with jet fuel accounting for around two-thirds of the loss -- if the SARS epidemic in 2003 is any guide.West Texas Intermediate futures for March delivery slid $1.77 to $54.97 a barrel at 10:06 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange after earlier falling to as low as $54.77, the lowest since Nov. 20.A measure of oil-market volatility rose to the highest level since October.Brent futures for March settlement declined $1.83 to $61.38/bbl. The global benchmark traded at a $6.42 premium to WTI for the same month.See also: Nodding Donkeys May Hit Sale Block Amid Oil’s Shale MakeoverChina banned travel from Wuhan, a city of 11 million, in efforts to stop the spread of the new virus that has claimed at least 17 lives so far and infected hundreds. The country is the biggest importer of oil, by far. The World Health Organization will meet again Thursday to determine if it should declare then outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, after delaying its decision Wednesday.Libya’s eastern strongman kept virtually all of the nation’s oil fields shut, in a show of defiance after world leaders failed to persuade him to sign a peace deal ending the OPEC country’s civil war. Libya’s oil output plunged to the lowest level since August 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Meanwhile, in the U.S., an Energy Information Administration report on Thursday morning is expected to show domestic crude supplies rose by 800,000 barrels last week, according to the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The American Petroleum Institute reported a 1.57 million-barrel increase in crude inventories.\--With assistance from James Thornhill, Dan Murtaugh and Saket Sundria.To contact the reporters on this story: Grant Smith in London at;Sheela Tobben in New York at vtobben@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at, Jessica Summers, Catherine TraywickFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Comcast's Bad Omen for AT&T

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 11:16

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Cord-cutting isn’t stopping. As it turns out, that’s not such bad news for cable giants like Comcast Corp. It is, however, for AT&T Inc. The streaming wars intensified in the fourth quarter amid Walt Disney Co.’s advertising blitz for its new Disney+ service that overtook billboards, shopping malls, public transit and Twitter feeds. At the same time, Apple Inc. began giving away Apple TV+ free to anyone buying a new iDevice of some sort. Comcast is the first of the traditional media giants to report results for this period, giving a glimpse on Thursday morning at how the pay-TV industry fared as consumers were given more reasons than ever before to ditch cable, skip the box office and start streaming from their couches.Comcast itself reported a generally strong quarter: It signed up 442,000 net new internet customers, one of its biggest boosts ever, while the NBCUniversal media networks took in higher ad revenue and guests also spent more money at its theme parks. Film was a weak spot, with adjusted Ebitda in that business dropping nearly 50%, as its musical “Cats” bombed in theaters. Even more telling, though, was that Comcast’s cable unit lost more video subscribers than expected — 149,000, mostly residential — a sour indicator for AT&T, which is scheduled to report its own results on Jan. 29. “We expect higher video subscriber losses this year,” Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast, said on Thursday’s earnings call. (Even Netflix Inc. is forecasting higher churn in the U.S., after subscriber gains slowed.)Although Comcast may be best known (or hated) by consumers for its cable-TV service, that’s actually its least relevant business. Internet users at Comcast have outnumbered video subscribers since at least 2015, and Comcast management has done a good job of shifting attention to the growth coming from broadband. In unveiling its Peacock app last week, Comcast also gave investors confidence that it’s taking a different tack in streaming than its rivals, choosing to go the free, ad-supported route, which will help Peacock garner eyeballs and not have to compete on price like the others are. AT&T is another story. The wireless carrier is carrying a boatload of debt from its 2018 acquisition of Time Warner, a deal that tied AT&T’s fortunes to the more volatile and uncertain future of pay TV. Its DirecTV/Entertainment Group — about 25% of total company revenue — has lost customers more rapidly than the rest of the industry on account of price hikes aimed at lifting profit and reducing debt. So if video customers were abandoning Comcast last quarter, they were most certainly dumping DirecTV, a technologically inferior product.Even AT&T TV Now, a virtual skinny-bundle service (formerly known as DirecTV Now), has been shrinking as customers look to cheaper options. AT&T’s WarnerMedia division will introduce HBO Max in May for a monthly subscription price of $15, the same rate as regular HBO but with the added bonus of a library of Warner Bros. films, content from its Turner networks, old episodes of “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory” and a slate of original content. But HBO is still the main reason to get HBO Max, and so the question becomes, does everyone who wants HBO already have it? AT&T is investing $2 billion in the product this year, an expense that will ramp up to $4 billion by 2024. It’s not expected to start making money until the following year.Between the debt and streaming foray, the new AT&T still has a lot to prove — and a lot to spend. It won’t help matters if its media networks take a big hit from cord-cutting and if a chunk of those cord-cutters are fleeing DirecTV specifically.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at tlachapelle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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