• Mexico’s Finance Chief Confident of 2020 Economy Turnaround
    Bloomberg

    Mexico’s Finance Chief Confident of 2020 Economy Turnaround

    (Bloomberg) -- Having suffered the worst economic performance in a decade last year, Mexican Finance Minister Arturo Herrera sees reasons to be more optimistic about Latin America’s second-largest economy in 2020.In his first sit-down interview with English-language media this year, Herrera says that after almost a decade of expansion since the global financial crisis, last year’s 0.1% contraction was more natural and in line with disappointing economic activity worldwide. Now, things are looking better.His argument goes: inflation and debt levels are in check, the peso is stable, and the troubled state oil company known as Pemex has halted a production decline. The main boost for the country comes from the ratification of the reworked North American free trade agreement.“The Mexican economy’s performance is very different with this agreement,” he told Bloomberg News at the National Palace in Mexico City on Monday. “This is one of the great advantages we have now.”Production chains may invest more in North America based on the certainty created by the treaty, known as USMCA, especially as competitors in Asia are beset by trade wars and a health crisis, he said.Read More: USMCA Ratification More Relief Than Opportunity For MexicoHerrera’s ministry has even kept its 2% growth forecast for the year, although he won’t say whether that will change when it reports a preliminary budget proposal to congress in April.His optimism isn’t fully shared by Mexico watchers. Economists have been steadily reducing the country’s 2020 growth estimates to an average of just 1% from 1.7% six months ago, with Bank of America Corp. even forecasting an expansion as little as 0.5%.Inflation, RatesAn area that is likely to provide more stimulus is monetary policy. Subdued inflation and peso stability mean Mexico “clearly” has room to keep cutting interest rates, the minister said.“I’m not the only one saying it. It’s something that’s said by the Western Hemisphere director of the International Monetary Fund,” Herrera said.Banco de Mexico has been lowering its policy rate since August as declining oil output and uncertainty over President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s policies stalled the economy. Even after reducing the key rate by 1.25 percentage point since August, Mexico has one of the highest inflation-adjusted interest rates in the world.Analysts expect the bank to cut borrowing costs by another half percentage point in the rest of 2020, ending the year at 6.5%.Alejandro Werner, the Western Hemisphere director of the IMF, said last month that Mexico has “significant space” to keep cutting interest rates to bolster growth, noting that other Latin American countries have reduced borrowing costs recently.Read More: Zero-Growth Year Is Price AMLO Pays for Mexican ‘Transformation’Inflation ended 2019 at 2.83%, the second-lowest December rate in the 2000s. It has rebounded slightly to 3.24% last month, but is still within the central bank’s target range of 3%, plus or minus one percentage point.The strength of the Mexican peso, which on Monday reached its highest intraday level in almost a year and a half, is explained by factors including the government’s fiscal responsibility and the nation’s relatively high interest rates, Herrera said. The peso ended Monday trading with a 0.1% loss to 18.5561 per dollar at 4 p.m.He also reiterated the government’s commitment to a “stable” and “flexible” currency.“It’s very risky for somebody to start playing with the exchange rate policy,” he said. “It has cost Mexico a lot of work to understand this and we’re very respectful.”To contact the reporters on this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.net;Eric Martin in Mexico City at emartin21@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Cancel at dcancel@bloomberg.net, ;Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Matthew Bristow, Jiyeun LeeFor 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.

  • U.S. Considering New Wave of China Tech Restrictions
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Considering New Wave of China Tech Restrictions

    (Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration is considering new restrictions on exports of cutting-edge technology to China in a push aimed at limiting Chinese progress in developing its own passenger jets and clamping down further on tech giant Huawei’s access to vital semiconductors, according to four people familiar with the discussions.Senior officials are expected to decide by the end of this month whether to block exports of jet engines made by a General Electric Co. joint venture with France’s Safran to China for use in the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China’s C919 single-aisle passenger jet now undergoing flight tests, three of the people familiar with the discussions said.At the same time, the administration is also considering separate measures to broaden export controls related to the Trump administration’s restrictions on Huawei Technologies Co. by blocking foreign chipmakers, such as Taiwan’s TSMC and U.S. suppliers, from selling components made overseas to Huawei, according to some of the people.Both moves come as some within the Trump administration are pushing for more aggressive efforts to limit China’s technological rise and to contain what they see as a potential national security threats or rivals to U.S. innovative power in the 21st century. That effort so far has been focused largely on Huawei but has led to broader fears of a new technological Cold War splintering the global tech industry.The steps being considered face debate within the administration and would ultimately need the president’s approval. A representative for the White House declined to comment. But the discussions illustrate the sometimes dueling priorities inside the U.S. government on China.Phase OneEven as the moves are being contemplated, President Donald Trump is touting a Chinese commitment to buy an additional $200 billion over the next two years in American farm exports, manufactured products and energy as part of a “phase one” deal that went into effect on Friday.Some analysts and industry experts say that a short-term effort to clamp down on China’s access to technology could have long-term consequences for vital U.S. export industries like the aviation and semiconductor sectors.“What the administration seems to fail to understand is that U.S. advanced technology companies need global scale to succeed, whether in engines, chips or other advanced technologies,” said Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think-tank. “Cutting off exports works against that goal, and will limit U.S. innovation.”Both of the new measures, which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, are expected to be decided on at a meeting of cabinet-level officials Feb. 28, according to the four people familiar with the discussions. A meeting of lower-level officials is planned for Thursday of this week, they said.GE EnginesThe discussions over banning the sale of the GE/Safran Leap 1C engine to China is based on fears that it could help Chinese companies reverse engineer the technology used and speed up the development of their own jet engine programs. But the engine has been approved for sale to China multiple times since 2014 and a dozen of the engines have already been shipped to Comac, according to some of the people familiar with the situation.In a statement, GE, which is lobbying heavily against being blocked out of what it sees as a promising new market, said that it had decades of experience selling products internationally. “We aggressively protect and defend our intellectual property and work closely with the U.S. government to fulfill our responsibilities and shared security and economic interests,” a spokesperson for the company said in an emailed statement.The Commerce Department, which is considering the new GE restrictions, declined to comment on the state of those discussions.The new measures aimed at Huawei are part of a broader administration campaign to both limit its rise and convince allies not to use its equipment in new fifth-generation communications networks, an effort that heated up again at a weekend security conference in Munich.Read more: Huawei Rift Between U.S. and Europe an Issue for NATOHuawei, which has faced long-standing U.S. accusations of being a conduit for Chinese espionage efforts, was placed on a Commerce Department black list last year that effectively bans U.S. suppliers from doing business with it. In a related development, the company was last week charged with racketeering by the Department of Justice in connection with its alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property. Huawei called the charges “unfounded and unfair.”The administration is now considering closing a loophole that allows U.S. companies to use overseas production facilities to sell materials with less than 25% U.S. content by lowering that limit to 10%. It is also discussing changing something known as the “foreign direct product rule” to further restrict Huawei’s access to products based on U.S. technology manufactured overseas by non-U.S. companies.Among the discussions related to the latter move has been extending a ban on doing business with Huawei to any semiconductor plant using U.S.-made chip-making equipment, according to some of the people familiar with the discussions. But one person close to the debate said the talks related to a ban on sales that in any way touched U.S.-made chip-making equipment were not as advanced as other steps.The Commerce Department, which is leading the discussions, declined to comment on any details. In an emailed statement, a spokesperson said it was continuing a review of individual applications to do business with Huawei and that staff-level discussions related to Huawei where there was any disagreement were being kicked up to the “Secretarial level” to balance national security considerations against corporate commercial interests.“The U.S. continues to have major concerns about Huawei,” the spokesperson said.Derek Scissors, an expert on U.S.-China economic ties who has advised the Trump administration in the past, said the discussions about broadening the crackdown on Huawei’s access to U.S. semiconductors made sense given the larger concerns about Chinese theft of U.S. technology and the broader economic rivalry.But he said he had doubts that either a ban on the GE engine sales or moves to extend the Huawei battle to chipmaking equipment would ever come into force.“Most of the administration does not want to take any action,” Scissors said. “They float these discussions all the time.”To contact the reporter on this story: Shawn Donnan in Washington at sdonnan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Kennedy at skennedy4@bloomberg.net, Vince Golle, Margaret CollinsFor 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.

  • How Much Are MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) Insiders Spending On Buying Shares?
    Simply Wall St.

    How Much Are MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) Insiders Spending On Buying Shares?

    We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. The...

  • Marathon Oil Enters Oversold Territory
    Zacks

    Marathon Oil Enters Oversold Territory

    Marathon Oil has been on a bit of a cold streak lately, but there might be light at the end of the tunnel for this overlooked stock.

  • Huawei Scare Pushes Carriers to Tackle Dominance of 5G Suppliers
    Bloomberg

    Huawei Scare Pushes Carriers to Tackle Dominance of 5G Suppliers

    (Bloomberg) -- With the U.S. campaign against Huawei Technologies Co. threatening to disrupt the rollout of 5G wireless networks, phone carriers are joining forces to develop technology that can reduce their reliance on a handful of powerful equipment suppliers.The Chinese company dominates the European market for telecommunications gear, ahead of Ericsson AB of Sweden and Finland’s Nokia Oyj. Governments are weighing whether to follow the U.K. and limit Huawei’s share of 5G networks over concerns -- denied by the company -- that it represents a security risk.If they do, it could knock the progress of 5G off course: The big three have designed a lot of their wireless gear so it can’t easily be integrated in the same network, much like an electric toothbrush only works with its own brush heads. So building 5G with Nokia or Ericsson kit on top of Huawei 4G infrastructure is fraught with complexity and costs.Companies including Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc have decided to combine separate projects to develop a more standardized, flexible network architecture that would make it easier for carriers to use products from multiple vendors, according to people familiar with the matter.Under the plans, the O-RAN industry alliance, backed by Deutsche Telekom and AT&T Inc. among others, will align its work with the Telecom Infra Project, which was started by Facebook Inc. and is supported by several phone companies, said the people, who asked not to be named as the plans aren’t yet public.The industry is pursuing the efforts with greater urgency partly because they’re alarmed by the prospect of restrictions on Huawei in more markets such as Germany, one of the people said. The U.K.’s decision to limit Huawei’s share of broadband infrastructure already led BT Group Plc to predict a 500 million-pound ($650 million) hit to its finances.The carriers were planning to announce the O-RAN/TIP initiative at the wireless industry’s biggest annual showcase in Barcelona next week, before it was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the people said. An announcement could instead come as early as this week.O-RAN’s goal from the start has been to “invite in more players with new ideas to help make the network stronger and more secure,” said Deutsche Telekom spokeswoman Pia Habel. She declined further comment.A spokeswoman for TIP declined to comment. A representative for O-RAN could not immediately be reached for comment.Negotiating PowerEnsuring that antennas, switches and other gear from competing suppliers can communicate seamlessly may also make it harder for any vendor -- Ericsson and Nokia included -- to clinch contracts just because the customer already uses its equipment. That could strengthen the negotiating position of carriers in contracts for 5G networks that are set to cost the industry hundreds of billions of dollars.AT&T has said it wants to replace the proprietary software that Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei use to run their wireless network gear with an open software.Vodafone has begun issuing small contracts for OpenRAN, an initiative backed by TIP to standardize radio access network hardware and software. CEO Nick Read said in October that Vodafone was “ready to fast track it into Europe as we seek to actively expand our vendor ecosystem.”O-RAN began in 2018 as a lobbying and research effort to make the radio access network -- the largest part of a wireless system -- more transparent and inter-operable. TIP is a broader project involving hundreds of companies working across all elements of networks.O-RAN and TIP may already be changing the economics of the industry and giving newer players more room. It’s now possible to design a “virtual” wireless network, which uses standardized, open-source software in conjunction with hardware from different vendors.Rakuten Inc. is using such technology to roll out a virtual network in Japan. U.S. satellite broadcaster Dish Network Corp., a member of the O-RAN alliance, aims to build a 5G network along similar lines.Ericsson and Nokia, reluctant to pick a fight with their biggest customers, have publicly welcomed O-RAN and TIP. Ericsson has joined O-RAN, while Nokia supports TIP and has been helping Rakuten build the Japanese network.Nokia Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri said in April last year it’s “better to be involved than not,” although he didn’t expect the model to be replicated in other parts of the world.\--With assistance from Thomas Seal, Angelina Rascouet, Niclas Rolander and Scott Moritz.To contact the reporters on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net;Rodrigo Orihuela in Madrid at rorihuela@bloomberg.net;Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at ndrozdiak1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at tpfeiffer3@bloomberg.net, Jennifer RyanFor 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.

  • Regions Financial (RF) Down 0.7% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?
    Zacks

    Regions Financial (RF) Down 0.7% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

    Regions Financial (RF) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China's new airplane - sources
    Reuters

    U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China's new airplane - sources

    The potential restriction on the engine sales - possibly along with limits on other components for Chinese commercial aircraft such as flight control systems made by Honeywell International Inc - is the latest move in the battle between the world's two largest economies over trade and technology. The issue is expected to come up at an interagency meeting about how strictly to limit exports of U.S. technology to China on Thursday and at another meeting with members of President Donald Trump's Cabinet set for Feb. 28, sources said. The White House and the U.S. Commerce Department, which issues licenses for such exports, declined to comment, as did a GE spokeswoman.

  • U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China's new airplane: sources
    Reuters

    U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China's new airplane: sources

    The potential restriction on the engine sales - possibly along with limits on other components for Chinese commercial aircraft such as flight control systems made by Honeywell International Inc - is the latest move in the battle between the world's two largest economies over trade and technology. The issue is expected to come up at an interagency meeting about how strictly to limit exports of U.S. technology to China on Thursday and at another meeting with members of President Donald Trump's Cabinet set for Feb. 28, sources said. The White House and the U.S. Commerce Department, which issues licenses for such exports, declined to comment, as did a GE spokeswoman.

  • Bloomberg

    U.S. May Stop Sale of Jet Engines by GE Venture to China: DJ

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world threatened by trade wars. Sign up here. The Trump administration is considering a proposal to stop the sale of jet engines made by a General Electric Co. joint venture to a new airliner in China, Dow Jones reported, citing a person familiar with the discussions.The administration may not issue a license that would allow the venture with France’s Safran SA to export more LEAP 1C jet engines to China, the news wire reported, citing the person who wasn’t identified. The engines would be used to build the Comac C919 jetliner, part of a series of new planes, it added, with some in the administration concerned they could be reverse-engineered.The new license is on the agenda for a meeting of administration officials Thursday, Dow Jones said. The White House and U.S. Trade Representative didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the report on Saturday.To view the source of this information click hereTo contact the reporter on this story: Sebastian Tong in San Francisco at stong41@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Angela Moon at hmoon43@bloomberg.net, Linus Chua, James LuddenFor 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.

  • Vipshop Holdings Limited (VIPS) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Vipshop Holdings Limited (VIPS) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

    Vipshop Holdings Limited (VIPS) closed the most recent trading day at $14.30, moving -0.28% from the previous trading session.

  • Tech Daily: NVIDIA & Intel Earnings, JEDI Stay Order, Facebook App, More
    Zacks

    Tech Daily: NVIDIA & Intel Earnings, JEDI Stay Order, Facebook App, More

    Earnings reports from NVIDIA and Cisco, a stay order on the JEDI contract, Facebook's app to compete with Pinterest and other stories are covered in this daily.

  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire adds Kroger stock, scales back on Wells Fargo, Goldman and BofA
    Yahoo Finance

    Warren Buffett's Berkshire adds Kroger stock, scales back on Wells Fargo, Goldman and BofA

    Warren Buffett's holding company has added a familiar name, and scaled back on a few others.

  • Why Is Bank of America (BAC) Up 0.6% Since Last Earnings Report?
    Zacks

    Why Is Bank of America (BAC) Up 0.6% Since Last Earnings Report?

    Bank of America (BAC) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Mastercard, Comcast, Honeywell International, QUALCOMM and Dominion Energy
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Mastercard, Comcast, Honeywell International, QUALCOMM and Dominion Energy

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Mastercard, Comcast, Honeywell International, QUALCOMM and Dominion Energy

  • Zacks.com featured highlights include: AllianceBernstein, Vipshop, Calavo Growers, BMC Stock and USANA Health Sciences
    Zacks

    Zacks.com featured highlights include: AllianceBernstein, Vipshop, Calavo Growers, BMC Stock and USANA Health Sciences

    Zacks.com featured highlights include: AllianceBernstein, Vipshop, Calavo Growers, BMC Stock and USANA Health Sciences

  • Transco Growth Projects to Aid Williams' (WMB) Q4 Earnings
    Zacks

    Transco Growth Projects to Aid Williams' (WMB) Q4 Earnings

    In Q4, Williams Companies (WMB) is expected to have gained from additional volumes from the expansion projects around its core Transco pipeline system.

  • MGM Resorts-led consortium named as lead bidder for Osaka casino project
    Reuters

    MGM Resorts-led consortium named as lead bidder for Osaka casino project

    A consortium led by U.S. entertainment giant MGM Resorts International has been named as the lead bidder for an integrated casino complex in Osaka, the local government said on Friday. Japan is planning to approve the construction of several integrated resorts - Las Vegas-style complexes that include casinos, shopping arcades and conference centres - to boost tourism after the Tokyo Olympics end in August. The government has authorised licences for three resorts and is expected to receive official bids next year from regions vying to build the facilities, potentially including Japan's three largest cities, Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka.

  • Bank Stock Roundup: Covid-19 Virus, Restructuring Efforts, JPM, WFC in Focus
    Zacks

    Bank Stock Roundup: Covid-19 Virus, Restructuring Efforts, JPM, WFC in Focus

    Restructuring efforts and use of technology to enhance revenues have been the main themes for banks over the last five trading days amid concerns related to impact of Covid-19 virus globally.

  • Coty's Luxury Unit Looks Solid, Consumer Beauty Segment Soft
    Zacks

    Coty's Luxury Unit Looks Solid, Consumer Beauty Segment Soft

    Solid brand performances, innovations and strong consumer demand are aiding Coty's (COTY) Luxury business. However, challenges in the Consumer Beauty unit persist.

  • 5 Great GARP Stocks Based on Discounted PEG
    Zacks

    5 Great GARP Stocks Based on Discounted PEG

    PEG-based investing can be more rewarding with the addition of a few other relevant parameters.

  • Nvidia reports record data center revenue, but warns of coronavirus impact
    Yahoo Finance

    Nvidia reports record data center revenue, but warns of coronavirus impact

    Nvidia announced its Q4 earnings on Thursday, beating on the top and bottom lines.

  • SEC Urged to Seek More Disclosure When Investors Tout Short Bets
    Bloomberg

    SEC Urged to Seek More Disclosure When Investors Tout Short Bets

    (Bloomberg) -- A group of law professors is asking the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to require that traders who publicize their intent to drive down a company’s share price be more transparent when backing off those bets to avoid market losses.The request that the SEC seek more disclosure by short sellers, sent to the agency on Wednesday, cited an increase in so-called negative activism, in which traders sometimes use fake names to disseminate adverse views of a company.“The commission should vigilantly ensure that short position disclosure, when voluntarily initiated by a short seller, remains truthful and accurate,” the professors said in a petition lead written by Columbia University professors John C. Coffee and Joshua Mitts. “When a short seller has chosen to disclose a short position, failure to disclose that the position has been closed is doubly misleading,” they wrote, noting that they’re not advocating mandatory reporting of all shorts.To illustrate the need for more disclosure, the professors highlighted whistle-blower Harry Markopolos’s report accusing General Electric Co. of accounting fraud, which drove down the company’s shares in August of last year. Markopolos, who rose to prominence by calling attention to Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme before it became public, said that he was working with a midsize hedge fund that was shorting GE, but the firm’s identity was never disclosed.The report doesn’t accuse Markopolos of violating the law or intending to manipulate the market, but the professors argue that more information should have been shared about the hedge fund’s position in GE stock and derivatives.Markopolos didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent via LinkedIn.GE dismissed the claims at the time as “meritless,” and Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp called the report “market manipulation, pure and simple.” GE shares subsequently recovered.The SEC rarely passes rules based on outside petitions, but such letters can serve as the basis for policy discussions that lead to changes. The professors’ request is notable because it calls for action in the thorny area of regulating short-sellers, a frequent nemesis of corporate executives such as Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk.“This petition raises critical issues for ordinary investors, and I urge the commission to help us find the best path forward,” said Robert Jackson Jr., who’s leaving his seat on the commission this week to return to New York University as a law professor.Judy Burns, an SEC spokeswoman, declined to comment.To contact the reporters on this story: Matt Robinson in New York at mrobinson55@bloomberg.net;Ben Bain in Washington at bbain2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory Mott at gmott1@bloomberg.net, Steve GeimannFor 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.

  • Bernie Sanders Blasts Embattled Utility PG&E Before California Primary
    Bloomberg

    Bernie Sanders Blasts Embattled Utility PG&E Before California Primary

    (Bloomberg) -- PG&E Corp., the California utility that’s still struggling to emerge from bankruptcy court, is being dragged into another brutal arena -- the presidential campaign.A new ad from Senator Bernie Sanders blasts the power company for repeatedly sparking deadly wildfires, and uses the devastation to argue for his version of a Green New Deal. It signals that the contender for the Democratic presidential nomination sees PG&E as a useful foil as California gears up for its March 3 primary vote.Sanders has built a strong operation aimed at winning in the state, with more campaign offices there than any candidate in the race. He is leading among young voters, liberals and Latinos, who could make up one-fourth of the Democratic electorate in California.It’s not the first time Sanders has taken aim at PG&E. Last fall, as the company cut power across northern California to prevent fires in a wind storm, he slammed its “irresponsible corporate greed.” An online petition funded by his campaign calls for a public takeover of the utility, a possibility state Governor Gavin Newsom has also raised.Destroyed TownThe latest ad, which runs for almost three minutes, shows Sanders surveying burned out homes, as people criticize the company. A resident of Paradise, the town destroyed by a 2018 fire blamed on PG&E’s equipment, says the company only filed for bankruptcy to limit its payments to wildfire victims.It ends with a woman’s voice saying “If we’re going to be paying for everything that PG&E does, the people of California should have a say in how it is run.” Many state residents have already received their mail-in ballots for the primary vote.PG&E said it has already committed to $25.5 billion in settlements with wildfire victims. “We are committed to doing right by the communities impacted by wildfires, and to doing everything we can to reduce the risk of wildfires in the future,” company spokesman James Noonan said in an email.The Sanders campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News).\--With assistance from Emma Kinery.To contact the reporter on this story: David R. Baker in San Francisco at dbaker116@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Ryan at jryan173@bloomberg.net, Pratish Narayanan, Christine BuurmaFor 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.

  • Walmart stock may crater after execs host its big investor day in 2020
    Yahoo Finance

    Walmart stock may crater after execs host its big investor day in 2020

    Here is a quick preview of Walmart's key investor day on February 18 down at the New York Stock Exchange.

  • MGM Slips After Yanking Its Forecast, Announcing CEO Departure
    Bloomberg

    MGM Slips After Yanking Its Forecast, Announcing CEO Departure

    (Bloomberg) -- MGM Resorts International fell the most in more than two weeks after yanking its forecast and announcing the departure of its longtime chairman and chief executive officer, Jim Murren, bringing fresh upheaval to a company dealing with fallout from the deadly coronavirus.Murren is leaving before his contract expires, but plans to remain on the job until a successor is named, the company said Wednesday. The 58-year-old has held the post since 2008 and has been with MGM since 1998. On a conference call, Murren said he would remain involved in efforts to win a casino license in Japan.“Our growth areas of sports betting, Japan and entertainment have never looked better,” he said. “Our bench of management talent is deep.”Separately, MGM on Wednesday withdrew its earnings forecast for 2020, citing the impact of the virus on its casinos in Macau and Las Vegas. That sent the shares down as much as 6.1% to $31.60 in New York trading Thursday, the biggest intraday drop since Jan. 27. They were up 1.2% this year through Wednesday’s close.The company, fresh off the sale of some of its last remaining real estate, said the virus has made its outlook “unpredictable.” To placate investors, MGM announced a $3 billion share repurchase, including a $1.25 billion tender offer that started Thursday morning, and raised its dividend 15%. The company set the price range of the offer at $29 to $34 a share.Like other casino owners in the Chinese enclave of Macau, MGM Resorts shut its operations there this month under a government order. That’s led to a loss of business -- all while the company has to keep paying staff and maintaining its properties. Last year, MGM got about 27% of its revenue from Macau, the largest gambling market in the world.Even before the coronavirus hit, business in Macau was already hurting because of the political unrest in Hong Kong and trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Gaming revenue in the region fell 8.4% industrywide in the final three months of 2019.Baccarat PlayersLas Vegas, where MGM is the biggest operator, is also taking a hit as fewer Asian baccarat players travel to the U.S. Profits from those customers were about $100 million lower in 2019 than they had been the year before, the company told investors.MGM had previously forecast as much as $3.9 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for 2020. The company spent about $10 million in the fourth quarter on its sports-betting business, which includes a joint venture with GVC Holdings Plc. Profitability in that business may not come until 2025, MGM President Bill Hornbuckle said on the call.The Chinese government closed Macau’s casinos for a 15-day period that began Feb. 5, although Matt Maddox, CEO of rival Wynn Resorts Ltd., told investors last week there’s no certainty as to when they will reopen. Wynn said it is losing about $2.5 million a day in Macau. MGM put its figure at $1.5 million a day.To boost returns, Murren spearheaded MGM Resorts’ “asset light” strategy, by selling its real estate while continuing to operate the properties. Previously announced transactions are expected to bring in net cash proceeds of $8.2 billion, including the still-to-close sale of the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas.Kerkorian EraMurren joined the company when it was under the control of founder and billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who died in 2015, and he was the force behind CityCenter, the massive Las Vegas Strip development that opened in 2009, during the financial crisis. He’s also led the company’s current effort to open a resort in Japan.In January 2019, the company named Keith Meister, the founder of Corvex Management LP, to its board, an acknowledgment that activist investors have been pressuring the hotel-casino operator to boost returns.Murren was also was instrumental in bringing professional sports to Las Vegas. He was involved in the building of T-Mobile Arena and bringing the NHL’s Golden Knights, the WNBA’s Aces and the NFL’s Raiders to the city.An independent board committee is conducting the search for his successor, the company said.Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019, excluding some items, totaled 8 cents a share, missing the 25-cent average of analysts’ estimates. The company cited weaker-than-expected results in Macau and the related softness in Las Vegas. Revenue, at $3.2 billion, met projections.(A previous version corrected the date when Meister joined the board.)To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Rob Golum, John J. Edwards IIIFor 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.

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