2.21k followers • 30 symbols Watchlist by Yahoo Finance
Follow this list to discover and track stocks with the greatest 52-week loss. These are stocks whose price has increased the most over the past 52 weeks (percent change). This list is generated daily, the losses are based on today's closing price and limited to the top 30 stocks that meet the criteria.
(Bloomberg) -- Kraft Heinz Co. could end up as one of the biggest junk issuers if it doesn’t tame its debt load by mid-2021.S&P Global Ratings said it could cut the packaged-food company to speculative-grade if it doesn’t boost earnings, pay down some of its more than $30 billion of long-term debt, or both. Roughly two-thirds of those borrowings currently sit in the Bloomberg Barclays high-grade company bond index, and, if cut, Kraft Heinz would be the third-largest issuer of dollar-denominated junk debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.For now, the company’s debt is trading around investment-grade levels, implying that investors aren’t particularly worried about a downgrade. Kraft Heinz has steps it can take to maintain its ratings, including reducing or eliminating its dividend, S&P said. That could free up as much as $2 billion of cash a year to pay down debt. The rater also said Kraft Heinz could sell assets, but those plans appear to be on hold until management completes a comprehensive strategic review, said Bloomberg Intelligence.Chief Executive Officer Miguel Patricio took the reins at Kraft Heinz this summer with a long road ahead. He inherited a company struggling to spruce up its brands and plagued by accounting issues. In his first earnings report as CEO earlier this month, Patricio suspended financial forecasts, which sent the company’s shares tumbling.Kraft Heinz, backed by Warren Buffett, has said it’s committed to maintaining its investment-grade ratings, and debt investors seem to agree: the company’s 4.625% notes due 2029 trade at a risk premium of around 1.93 percentage points, below the average level of debt at the highest junk tier, which is 2.23 percentage points.Email and voicemail messages seeking comment from Kraft Heinz weren’t returned.Fallen AngelsWith S&P joining Fitch Ratings in assigning a negative outlook, Kraft Heinz has inched closer to becoming a potential fallen angel, according to analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence. Late last year, investors had feared that a slew of high-grade issuers could cross the line into junk territory, as a decade-long binge on cheap debt has caused debt levels to soar.Many companies, looking to boost revenue in a slow growing economy, borrowed heavily at low rates to finance acquisitions, often sacrificing credit ratings in the process. That’s led to rapid growth in the lowest tier of investment-grade debt, rated BBB, where now half of the $5.8 trillion market resides.With economic growth showing signs of slowing, some of the largest investment-grade issuers have been focusing on cutting debt. AT&T Inc. chief executive officer said in January that reducing borrowings is the company’s top priority this year. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV cut its dividend. General Electric Co. has sold assets, while Mylan NV is combining with a Pfizer Inc. business.To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Smith in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nikolaj Gammeltoft at email@example.com, Dan Wilchins, Nicole BullockFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Kraft Heinz Co. could be hit with a junk credit rating by mid-2021 if it fails to turn itself around, S&P Global Ratings said Friday.S&P said results for the maker of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Heinz ketchup have been weaker than it expected, and the company needs to cut debt relative to a measure of earnings. The credit grader said it is worried about the risks Kraft Heinz could face in the second half of 2019, including higher commodity costs and lower stocking at retailers.Kraft Heinz carries the lowest investment-grade rating from all three major graders. With about $30.3 billion of long-term debt outstanding, the company is among the 20 largest issuers of debt in the lowest tier of investment-grade, excluding financial companies.If Kraft Heinz were downgraded by at least two credit graders, it would fall into junk bond indexes, making it one the biggest issuers of high-yield debt. A growing number of corporations have debt rated in the lowest investment-grade tier, between BBB+ and BBB-, stoking fears from some investors that hundreds of billions of debt could fall to junk status if companies struggle.Bond PressureRisk premiums, or the extra yield investors demand for buying a company’s bonds instead of Treasuries, edged higher for some of Kraft Heinz’s most actively traded bonds on Friday. That spread rose by 0.03 percentage point for the company’s bonds maturing in 2029 with a 4.625% coupon, to 1.93 percentage point according to data provider Trace. The company’s high debt levels and doubts about the long-term success of its cost cutting efforts could pressure its bonds to weaken further, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts wrote in a note.Kraft Heinz shares had fallen 1.2% to $25.31 as of noon in New York trading. The stock had already lost 41% of its value this year through Thursday’s close.Speculative-grade ratings can make it more expensive for companies to fund daily business and harder to weather economic cycles. Warren Buffett-backed Kraft Heinz has said it’s committed to maintaining its investment-grade ratings. Email and voicemail messages to Kraft Heinz seeking comment weren’t immediately returned.Fixing ProblemsKraft Heinz is still trying to move past myriad issues that have hammered its shares this year. The company has struggled ever since its bid to buy Unilever collapsed in 2017, and in February, it announced a $15.4 billion writedown on the value of its brands and a subpoena. Its own internal investigations have also revealed accounting issues, and it had to restate results going back to 2015.As the company tries to turn things around, it announced new leadership: Longtime Anheuser-Busch InBev executive Miguel Patricio replaced Bernardo Hees as chief executive officer this summer. But he has an uphill battle ahead: He said earlier this month that Kraft Heinz needs a “comprehensive strategy,” but that he didn’t have enough confidence to issue guidance at this time. The company also withdrew its previous guidance for a key measure of results, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and investors sent the shares tumbling.S&P said Kraft Heinz could take steps like boosting income, selling assets, or reducing or eliminating its dividend to reduce debt levels relative to earnings.(Updates with comment from Bloomberg Intelligence in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Deena Shanker.To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Roeder in Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.org;Claire Boston in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dan Wilchins, Nicole BullockFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
J&J (JNJ) is facing several litigation in multiple states related to abuse of its opioid-based drugs. A ruling is expected on Aug 26 in a trial filed by the state of Oklahoma.
FDA approves AbbVie's (ABBV) upadacitinib to be marketed as Rinvoq. Bayer (BAYRY) is set to divest its Animal Health unit to Elanco for $7.6 billion in a cash-and-stock deal.
(Bloomberg) -- A looming U.S. sanctions deadline is threatening to clobber Venezuela’s dwindling oil-rig fleet and hamper energy production in the nation with the world’s largest crude reserves.Almost half the rigs operating in Venezuela will shut down by Oct. 25 if the Trump administration doesn’t extend a 90-day waiver from its sanctions, according to data compiled from consultancy Caracas Capital Markets. That could further cripple the OPEC member’s production because the structures are needed to drill new wells crucial for even maintaining output, which is already near the lowest level since the 1940s.A shutdown in the rigs will also put pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s administration, which counts oil revenues as its main lifeline. The U.S. is betting on increased economic pressure to oust the regime and bring fresh elections to the crisis-torn nation, a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Latin America’s biggest crude exporter until recent years.Venezuela had 23 oil rigs drilling in July, down from 49 just two years ago, data compiled by Baker Hughes show. Ten of those are exposed to U.S. sanctions, according to calculations by Caracas Capital Markets. The Treasury Department extended waivers in July for service providers to continue for three more months, less than the six months the companies had sought.Most other government agencies involved in the deliberations opposed any extension, a senior administration official said last month, adding that another reprieve will be harder to come by.“Almost half the rigs are being run by the Yanks, and if the window shuts down on this in two months, then that’s really going to hurt Venezuela unless the Russians and the Chinese come in,” said Russ Dallen, a Miami-based managing partner at Caracas Capital Markets.Output RiskA U.S. Treasury official said the department doesn’t generally comment on possible sanctions actions.More than 200,000 barrels a day of output at four projects Chevron Corp. is keeping afloat could shut if the waivers aren’t renewed. That would be debilitating to Maduro because the U.S. company, as a minority partner, only gets about 40,000 barrels a day of that production.The departure of the American oil service providers would hurt other projects in the Orinoco region, where operators need to constantly drill wells just to keep output from declining. The U.S.-based companies are also involved in state-controlled Petroleos de Venezuela SA’s joint ventures in other regions such as Lake Maracaibo.Limiting ExposureHalliburton Co., Schlumberger Ltd. and Weatherford International Ltd. have reduced staff and are limiting their exposure to the risk of non-payment in the country, according to people familiar with the situation. The three companies have written down a total of at least $1.4 billion since 2018 in charges related to operations in Venezuela, according to financial filings. Baker Hughes had also scaled back before additional sanctions were announced earlier this year, the people said.Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford, PDVSA and Venezuela’s oil ministry all declined to comment.Halliburton has adjusted its Venezuela operations to customer activity, and continues operating all of its product service lines at its operational bases, including in the Orinoco Belt, it said in an emailed response to questions. It works directly with several of PDVSA’s joint ventures, and timely payments from customers are in accordance with U.S. regulations, it said.Hamilton, Bermuda-based Nabors Industries Ltd. has three drilling rigs in Venezuela that can operate for a client until the sanctions expire in October, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Petrello said in a July 30 conference call, without naming the client.The sanctions carry geopolitical risks for the U.S. If Maduro manages to hang on, American companies would lose a foothold in Venezuela, giving Russian competitors such as Rosneft Oil Co. a chance to fill the void. Chinese companies could also benefit. Even if the waivers get extended, the uncertainty hinders any long-term planning or investments in the nation by the exposed companies.Rosneft’s press office didn’t respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment on operations in Venezuela.\--With assistance from David Wethe, Debjit Chakraborty and Dina Khrennikova.To contact the reporters on this story: Peter Millard in Rio de Janeiro at email@example.com;Fabiola Zerpa in Caracas Office at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at email@example.com, Pratish Narayanan, Joe RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
These department store stocks may have been beaten down enough to once again provide value to your portfolio with significant dividend yields hedging some of the risks of buying into a potentially dying sector.
Stocks were mixed Thursday after the closely watched spread between the yield on the U.S. 10-year bond and 2-year note turned negative yet again. Investors parsed through Fed commentary suggesting a rate cut may not necessarily be the central bank’s next move.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- This is the second of two columns about MiMedx and the short-sellers. Read the first here.Most of the time, Eiad Asbahi, the 40-year-old founder of Prescience Point Capital Management, is a short-seller.According to its website, the firm, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, specializes “in extensive investigations of difficult-to-analyze public companies in order to uncover significant elements of the business that have been overlooked or ignored by others.” Such investigations usually lead to the discovery of problems that will cause the stock to fall once they become known.“But every now and then,” Asbahi says, “we find a company that is incredibly hated and where the shorts have it wrong.” SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., which has been hammered for its treatment of its whales and dolphins, was one such company. Two years ago, Asbahi bought the stock, believing that “the mispricing was extreme.” He was right. Since it bottomed out in November 2017, SeaWorld’s shares have more than tripled.On Jan. 8 of this year, Prescience Point released a report about its latest big investment idea: MiMedx Group Inc., a company that was under siege by Marc Cohodes and a handful of other short-sellers. After six months of research, Asbahi concluded that the thesis developed by the shorts — which had helped push the stock from $18 to $1.15 — was wrong.Contrary to what Cohodes et al were claiming, Prescience Point’s research suggested that MiMedx products were “legitimate and sustainable”; that it had positive cash flow; and that, while “channel stuffing” to improperly boost revenue at the end of the quarter had taken place, the company’s critics had “failed to produce any smoking guns to support their claims of massive fraud.”“In our view MDXG is one of the largest mispricings we have ever identified,” the report concluded. At the time it was issued, MiMedx stock was at $2.16. Prescience Point predicted that it would quadruple.When I spoke to Asbahi a few weeks ago — by which time the stock had topped $5 — he went further in his criticism of Cohodes and the other short-sellers. In his view, MiMedx’s stock had tanked in 2018 as much because of what the shorts had gotten wrong as what they had gotten right.“What we found,” Asbahi said, “is that they had some credible channel stuffing allegations” — and then they made a series of additional, less credible accusations. There was never any bribery or Medicare fraud, Asbahi said. And MiMedx’s products, often maligned by the shorts, were considered “best in class” by many doctors. “It is not a short activist campaign they’re running,” Asbahi concluded. “It is a smear campaign.”Cohodes’s initial allegations were serious enough that the MiMedx board hired a law firm to investigate. That investigation led to the discovery of the channel stuffing and the dismissal of several top MiMedx executives, including chief executive Parker Petit. But as I noted Monday, even after Petit and the others resigned, Cohodes kept MiMedx in his crosshairs, vowing to take down the company “if it’s the last thing I do.” Once Asbahi released his MiMedx report, Cohodes added Prescience Point to his list of targets.Within days of the report’s release, Cohodes was tweeting that it was “false & misleading” and that Prescience Point “will be ruined.” He has kept up a steady drumbeat of criticism ever since. Just a few weeks ago, he called Prescience Point a “pump-and-dump operation,” a charge he’s made several times before.This last allegation is ludicrous. Prescience Point is MiMedx’s largest shareholder, with 7.7% of the stock. In May, it launched a proxy fight that led to the company agreeing to add six new board members. Three of them were Prescience Point’s nominees.When I asked Cohodes what proof he had to back up the pump-and-dump charge, he replied (via email) that it was his understanding that Prescience Point had purchased the stock at between $6 and $10 a share — and was now “obviously attempting to generate positive interest to make back its investment.” He also said that Prescience Point had sold MiMedx stock after publishing “glowing information about the company.”In truth, Prescience Point bought the stock at an average price of about $2.60 a share, a fact that can be easily found in government disclosure documents. Although the firm sold some stock, it did so only to avoid triggering the company’s poison pill. Once the proxy fight ended — and the poison pill was a nonissue — Prescience Point bought more stock. “We set up a single-idea fund to invest in MiMedx with a two-year lockup,” Asbahi told me. “Does that sounds like a pump-and-dump scheme?”Today, MiMedx is a very different company from when Petit was running it. Of Petit’s 16 top executives, 13 are gone. Its new chief executive, Timothy Wright, has been a top level executive at a number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, the big generics manufacturer.Among the new directors is Richard Barry, a respected health-care investor. He is so bullish about MiMedx’s prospects that he bought 3% the stock. All of this information is readily available. Yet Cohodes and his allies refuse to acknowledge that MiMedx has changed. Instead they are making the same allegations they’ve been making all along — except louder and more insistently.Why?Cohodes gave me two reasons. The first, he said, was that the company was still engaged in “criminal activity.” “Doctors have been bribed by MiMedx. And all the perps who carried out the fraud are still there doing it,” he told me.The second reason, he said, was that MiMedx’s products are deeply flawed. “This is a public health deal. This stuff is so bad, and they are taking advantage(1) of veterans. I have to speak out.”Let’s examine the bribery issue first. One doctor the shorts have targeted — including online — is Brandon Hawkins, a podiatrist in Bakersfield, California. He is a major buyer of MiMedx’s primary product, a wound graft made from placental tissue called EpiFix. Indeed, Hawkins told me he is probably the fourth or fifth biggest user of EpiFix in California. He has been paid by MiMedx to give occasional lectures, a common practice in medicine, which he discloses. His brother-in-law is a MiMedx salesman. And he lives quite well, something one can glean from the family’s Facebook page.The MiMedx critics have linked these facts to claim that Hawkins is on the take. But Hawkins says he uses EpiFix for a perfectly sensible reason: It works better than competing wound grafts. “Wounds that would normally heal in 12 to 20 weeks sometimes heal in four weeks with EpiFix,” he said. He added that there is a high incidence of diabetes in Bakersfield, and EpiFix has been an important tool in healing the foot ulcers that often develop in diabetics.Matthew Garoufalis,(2) a Chicago podiatrist, explained that diabetics are often “so immunocompromised” that their ulcers don’t heal. Studies show that some 20% of diabetics who develop foot ulcers will eventually have part or all of a leg amputated below the knee. But the placental-cell formula used in EpiFix “stimulates the wound healing cycle” even with ulcers that are not responding to other healing products, Garoufalis said. He also told me there are lots of good data affirming the efficacy of EpiFix. A 2016 study published in the International Wound Journal concluded that the technology used by EpiFix “is superior to standard care” in healing foot ulcers. After my first MiMedx column was published Monday, several of Cohodes’s short-selling allies took to Twitter, saying they had proof that MiMedx was guilty of bribing doctors. As Bloomberg News reported last year, three employees of a South Carolina Veterans Affairs hospital were indicted for accepting payments and other inducements from the company that resulted in “excessive use of MiMedx products.” One of the three was a doctor. The indictment, however, does not allege any wrongdoing by MiMedx. You see, MiMedx had contracts with the three VA employees — just as it has contracts with doctors all over the country. And MiMedx itself didn’t play a part in the conduct that got the VA employees into hot water. The employees were supposed to get the contracts approved by the hospital. But apparently that didn’t happen. The case wasn’t about bribery; it was about violating government rules. Within five months of the indictments, prosecutors had concluded that the case wasn’t worth going to trial over. The three employees agreed to “pretrial diversion,” meaning that if they paid the money back — about $3,500 in two cases, and about $20,000 in the third — the indictments would be dismissed. That happened in April. What about Cohodes’s charge that MiMedx’s products are creating a public health hazard? This should also raise an eyebrow (or two). The product he is primarily criticizing is AmnioFix. It also uses placental tissue, but it’s processed in such a way that it can be injected. AmnioFix’s primary purpose is to relieve degenerative joint and tendon pain — pain that is currently difficult to treat. It’s a relatively new product, and many of those who are long MiMedx stock think it has blockbuster potential.Cohodes, however, says that AmnioFix has never been proved effective for anything, and that it hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. “MiMedx was and is selling unapproved products to an unsuspecting and vulnerable public,” he said in an email. “People in pain often search for solutions in the unapproved drug world when they have run out of options. MiMedx has exploited that vulnerability and that is tragic.”Let me offer an alternate take. In December 2017, the FDA issued new guidelines for injectable tissue — and gave companies three years to come into compliance and get approved indications for their products. With a year and a half to go, MiMedx is in the middle of a Phase III trial for the use of AmnioFix to relieve plantar fasciitis, and a Phase II trial for osteoarthritis. MiMedx bulls think it will have the indications approved by the December 2020 deadline.Studies indicate that the technique MiMedx is pioneering with AmnioFix works: One showed that three months after an injection, 91 percent of patients felt significant pain relief. And the FDA is on record as saying that AmnioFix “has the potential to address unmet medical needs.” My exchanges with Cohodes left me with the distinct impression that he views AmnioFix as some kind of rogue drug, operating outside the FDA system. Based on everything I've learned, it’s not.Digging into Cohodes’s claims, I concluded that Asbahi is probably right: The short-seller and his allies are conducting a smear campaign intended to damage the company. I say this with a heavy heart. I’ve written in the past about companies Cohodes and his former partner David Rocker exposed, and I’m a big believer in the importance of short-sellers. Investors need to listen to skeptical voices as well as bullish ones. As a general rule, those who bet against companies are performing a service for all investors.But it’s also important that short-sellers tell the truth about what they find and have an open mind if a company, say, changes its tactics and its senior management. Stretching the facts to push a stock down is as bad as stretching them to push a stock up. And flogging a misguided narrative about products that could help millions of patients is just wrong. Campaigns like Cohodes’s against MiMedx give short-sellers a bad name.In an email, I asked Cohodes why he remained so obsessed with MiMedx. “You call it ‘obsessed,’ he replied, “but that’s the wrong word. I am committed to truth and always have been.”There was a time when I would have believed him. Not anymore.*****A postscript: On Monday afternoon, Bloomberg and I received a lengthy letter from Cohodes’s lawyer, David Shapiro, claiming that my first MiMedx column was “false and defamatory” and demanding a retraction. The letter reminded me of how this all started for Cohodes: with a presentation at a 2017 investment conference in which he denounced MiMedx and its then-CEO Petit for having sued three of the company’s critics. “Quit intimidating the shorts, the critics, the free speakers,” Cohodes said then. “It has to stop.”Apparently, Petit isn’t the only one willing to use intimidation tactics to quiet his critics.(1) Bloomberg’s standards regarding foul language prevent me from repeating his actual words.(2) I spoke to a third doctor, Raymond Otto of Boise, Idaho, who also praised EpiFix as a superior wound product. I should note that all three doctors have given lectures on MiMedx’s behalf. Garoufalis told me that the typical lecture fee is $1,500 or less.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stacey Shick at email@example.comThis 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/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Hormel, Simply Good Foods, PG&E, JPMorgan Chase and Qantas are the companies to watch.
Ormat Technologies (ORA) continues to develop geothermal projects across the globe. One of its wholly-owned unit enters into an agreement with a private investor for the McGinness Hills Phase 3 Plant.