• Congrats, Frequent Flyers. You Helped Save Branson
    Bloomberg

    Congrats, Frequent Flyers. You Helped Save Branson

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- More than a decade ago Time magazine anointed “You” its person of the year, in recognition of our collective effort to create free content for social media.Today Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. owes a similar debt of gratitude to its long-suffering customers. The cash they’ve advanced the transatlantic airline for future bookings was every bit as important as that provided by billionaire founder Richard Branson and hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management in saving it from collapse. Issuing customer refunds at a snail’s pace helped the airline preserve cash during the pandemic but unhappy customers will make Virgin Atlantic’s recovery that much tougher.Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that Davidson Kempner will inject 170 million pounds ($213 million) in secured debt as part of a 1.2 billion pounds rescue deal. That provides an external vote of confidence. The airline’s co-owners, Branson’s Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines Inc., will forgo 400 million pounds of fees owed. On top of that, Virgin Group injects 200 million pounds; in precisely what form isn’t specified. The deal must still be approved by a court. The rescue suggests the U.K. government was right to push Virgin Atlantic to exhaust other options before demanding a government bailout.Finding private money was a tall order because the carrier entered the pandemic with a lot of debt, a paucity of assets it could sell and a track record of losses. A strategic focus on the once lucrative North American market — the destination accounted for about 70% of group revenues — has become a vulnerability. The coronavirus is still ripping through the southern United States; those flying transatlantic face a fortnight in quarantine. It’s difficult to know when and to what extent demand will return.Branson, whose billionaire status and tax residency in the British Virgin Islands made a rescue politically unpalatable, has done the honorable thing by stumping up more of his own cash rather than relying on taxpayers. He also stays in control. Fortunately for him, monetizing part of his stake in space-tourism business Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc., hasn’t crimped its stratospheric valuation too much.Davidson Kempner is taking a risk because the value of the takeoff slots and aircraft against which its loan is secured is uncertain, but at least it has some fallback. It’s Virgin Atlantic’s customers who have gone the extra mile. Blaming the difficulty of processing such a high volume of refund requests, the airline has taken up to 120 days to give customers their money back when their flights were cancelled, thereby turning its passengers into unsecured creditors.  At December 2018, the most recent date for which there are published accounts, Virgin Atlantic and the associated holidays operation held 520 million pounds of cash from forward sales. Since the crisis began, social media has been awash with complaints about poor customer service; the airline came near bottom of a recent consumer survey of the way travel companies have handled refund requests. Chief Executive Shai Weiss acknowledged that “we have not lived up to the high standards we set ourselves.”One sticking point in the rescue talks was apparently that credit card acquirers, which authorize and process card payments, threatened to withhold the cash that Virgin Atlantic generated from future bookings, instead of passing it on to the airline.You can understand why Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s Cardnet and Fiserv Inc.’s First Data may have been hesitant: They’d be on the hook if Virgin Atlantic went bust and customers claimed a refund via their bank. The company said Tuesday it has credit-card providers’ support.This rescue shows those already exposed to Virgin Atlantic, and some who aren’t, will give it another chance. But the carrier’s path back to profitability — targeted for 2022 — remains precarious. The $7 billion pre-tax quarterly loss that co-owner Delta just announced included a $200 million write-down on Virgin Atlantic and underscores the scale of the challenge now facing the aviation sector. Not only is Virgin Atlantic focused on a difficult route but its small size could be an impediment to operating efficiently: After retiring less efficient aircraft it expects to operate fewer than 40 planes. A plan to cut the workforce by one-third will deliver savings, but at what cost to service quality? Branson’s “child” lives to fly another day but the airline’s mission statement — to become “the most-loved travel company” — now requires urgent attention.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • American Express Launches First Automated Accounts Payable Solution: American Express One AP™
    Business Wire

    American Express Launches First Automated Accounts Payable Solution: American Express One AP™

    American Express (NYSE: AXP) launched American Express One AP™, the company’s first proprietary automated accounts payable (AP) solution that enables U.S. businesses to process supplier payments more easily and efficiently. The new American Express One AP, which is built on the technology acquired as part of the company’s purchase of acompay™ in 2019, offers complete end-to-end payment processing that supports multiple payment methods, including virtual Card payments, check, and ACH. The solution is designed to work seamlessly with businesses’ existing accounting systems.

  • Cambridge Global Payments Announces New Endorsement Partnership with Financial Executives International Canada
    Business Wire

    Cambridge Global Payments Announces New Endorsement Partnership with Financial Executives International Canada

    Cambridge Global Payments ("Cambridge"), a FLEETCOR company (NYSE: FLT) and a provider of integrated cross-border payments and currency risk management solutions, is pleased to announce they have been selected by the Financial Executives International Canada ("FEI Canada") board as the endorsed and exclusive provider of foreign currency exchange and international payments solutions for FEI Canada members across the country.

  • Great Setups with Canadian Dollar
    FX Empire

    Great Setups with Canadian Dollar

    Tuesday brings us significant weakness of the Canadian Dollar, which is quite surprising as this movement has no clear fundamental background.

  • Buffett Has Gained $108 Billion on These 5 Stocks
    Motley Fool

    Buffett Has Gained $108 Billion on These 5 Stocks

    In recent years, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A)(NYSE: BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett has taken a lot of criticism for underperforming the benchmark S&P 500. According to Berkshire Hathaway's 2019 shareholder letter, the broad-based S&P 500 has gained a cool 19,784%, including dividends paid, over the past 55 years. Comparatively, Berkshire Hathaway's per-share market gain has totaled (drum roll) 2,744,062% over the same period.

  • ACI Worldwide Research Reveals Increase in June eCommerce Sales – Largest Since the Start of COVID-19 Pandemic Restrictions
    Business Wire

    ACI Worldwide Research Reveals Increase in June eCommerce Sales – Largest Since the Start of COVID-19 Pandemic Restrictions

    ACI Worldwide Research Reveals Increase in June eCommerce Sales – Largest Since the Start of COVID-19 Pandemic Restrictions

  • Economic Data Puts the GBP and EUR in Focus as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Spike
    FX Empire

    Economic Data Puts the GBP and EUR in Focus as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Spike

    COVID-19 and corporate earnings in focus, with economic data to drive the GBP and the EUR.

  • Sky News

    Care workers do not qualify for health visa in new post-Brexit immigration plans

    Home Secretary Priti Patel has unveiled details of how the UK's new points-based system will operate when it comes into effect on 1 January next year, after EU freedom of movement rules end. A health and care visa will provide a route for key health professionals to work in the UK.

  • Will a Subscription Service Stabilize Twitter’s Business?
    Motley Fool

    Will a Subscription Service Stabilize Twitter’s Business?

    Twitter might be developing a subscription service -- but it could target advertisers and developers instead of its end users.

  • Dollar Bears Hanging in There
    FX Empire

    Dollar Bears Hanging in There

    The Commitments of Traders reports highlight speculators positions and changes made during the week to July 7 in FX, bonds and stocks. Appetite for risk during this U.S. holiday shortened week was firm with the Nasdaq 100 rising by 3.6% while the dollar weakened against its peers.

  • Barrons.com

    7 Financial-Technology Stocks to Buy, According to Goldman Sachs

    Visa, Mastercard, Fiserv, Global Payments, and Open Lending are among the firms that are likely to benefit from greater adoption of contactless payments and online commerce.

  • If You Own FleetCor Technologies (FLT) Stock, Should You Sell It Now?
    Insider Monkey

    If You Own FleetCor Technologies (FLT) Stock, Should You Sell It Now?

    On July 14, 2020, Wedgewood Partners released its Q2 2020 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download here. The Fund returned 27.13% for the second quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, the benchmark Russell 1000 Growth Index and the Russell 1000 Value Index gained 27.84% and 14.29%, respectively. You should check out Wedgewood Partners' top […]

  • Why Paypal Holdings (PYPL) Stock is a Compelling Investment Case
    Insider Monkey

    Why Paypal Holdings (PYPL) Stock is a Compelling Investment Case

    On July 14, 2020, Wedgewood Partners released its Q2 2020 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download here. The Fund returned 27.13% for the second quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, the benchmark Russell 1000 Growth Index and the Russell 1000 Value Index gained 27.84% and 14.29%, respectively. You should check out Wedgewood Partners' top […]

  • Benzinga

    Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For July 14, 2020

    Upgrades * For Hanesbrands Inc (NYSE: HBI), Credit Suisse upgraded the stock from Neutral to Outperform. For the first quarter, Hanesbrands had an EPS of $0.05, compared to year-ago quarter EPS of $0.27. The stock has a 52-week-high of $17.09 and a 52-week-low of $6.96. Hanesbrands's stock last closed at $11.46 per share. * B of A Securities changed the rating for Laboratory Corp of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) from Neutral to Buy. Laboratory Corp earned $2.37 in the first quarter, compared to $2.62 in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $196.36 and a 52-week-low of $98.02. Laboratory Corp's stock last closed at $178.31 per share. * B of A Securities changed the rating for Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE: DGX) from Neutral to Buy. For the first quarter, Quest Diagnostics had an EPS of $0.94, compared to year-ago quarter EPS of $1.40. The stock has a 52-week-high of $125.00 and a 52-week-low of $73.02. Quest Diagnostics's stock last closed at $119.07 per share. * CLSA changed the rating for Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE: HMC) from Underperform to Buy. For the fourth quarter, Honda Motor Co had an EPS of ($0.16), compared to year-ago quarter EPS of ($0.07). The stock has a 52-week-high of $29.44 and a 52-week-low of $19.38. Honda Motor Co's stock last closed at $25.82 per share. * BMO Capital upgraded the stock for Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE: HOG) from Market Perform to Outperform. In the first quarter, Harley-Davidson showed an EPS of $0.51, compared to $0.98 from the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $40.89 and a 52-week-low of $14.31. Harley-Davidson's stock last closed at $25.95 per share. * For Matador Resources Co (NYSE: MTDR), MKM Partners upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy. Matador Resources earned $0.20 in the first quarter, compared to $0.19 in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $19.94 and a 52-week-low of $1.11. Matador Resources's stock last closed at $7.76 per share. Downgrades * Northcoast Research downgraded the stock for Lyft Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT) from Buy to Neutral. Lyft earned ($0.32) in the first quarter, compared to ($9.02) in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $68.33 and a 52-week-low of $14.56. Lyft's stock last closed at $28.81 per share. * B. Riley FBR changed the rating for Benefytt Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: BFYT) from Buy to Neutral. The stock has a 52-week-high of $30.85 and a 52-week-low of $15.60. Benefytt Technologies's stock last closed at $30.80 per share. * For ManpowerGroup Inc (NYSE: MAN), Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock from Neutral to Sell. For the first quarter, ManpowerGroup had an EPS of $0.82, compared to year-ago quarter EPS of $0.88. The stock has a 52-week-high of $100.99 and a 52-week-low of $49.57. ManpowerGroup's stock last closed at $70.34 per share. * For Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE: RCL), Macquarie downgraded the stock from Outperform to Neutral. Royal Caribbean Cruises earned ($1.48) in the first quarter, compared to $1.31 in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $135.31 and a 52-week-low of $19.25. Royal Caribbean Cruises's stock last closed at $49.60 per share. * Macquarie changed the rating for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NYSE: NCLH) from Outperform to Neutral. Norwegian Cruise Line earned ($0.99) in the first quarter, compared to $0.83 in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $59.78 and a 52-week-low of $7.03. Norwegian Cruise Line's stock last closed at $15.62 per share. * UBS downgraded the stock for Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) from Buy to Sell. For the first quarter, Spotify Technology had an EPS of ($0.22), compared to year-ago quarter EPS of ($0.90). The stock has a 52-week-high of $285.40 and a 52-week-low of $109.18. Spotify Technology's stock last closed at $261.11 per share. * For EverQuote Inc (NASDAQ: EVER), B of A Securities downgraded the stock from Neutral to Underperform. For the first quarter, EverQuote had an EPS of ($0.05), compared to year-ago quarter EPS of ($0.17). The stock has a 52-week-high of $63.44 and a 52-week-low of $13.01. EverQuote's stock last closed at $58.19 per share. * UBS changed the rating for Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) from Buy to Neutral. In the first quarter, Netflix showed an EPS of $1.57, compared to $0.76 from the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $575.37 and a 52-week-low of $252.28. Netflix's stock last closed at $525.50 per share. Initiations * Citigroup initiated coverage on Change Healthcare Inc (NASDAQ: CHNG) with a Buy rating. The price target for Change Healthcare is set at $15.00. Change Healthcare earned $0.42 in the fourth quarter, compared to $0.50 in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $17.57 and a 52-week-low of $6.18. Change Healthcare's stock last closed at $10.00 per share. * With a rating of Neutral, Citigroup initiated coverage on Inovalon Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: INOV). The price target is set at $20.00 for Inovalon Holdings. Inovalon Holdings earned $0.11 in the first quarter, compared to $0.10 in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $22.99 and a 52-week-low of $13.39. Inovalon Holdings's stock last closed at $18.67 per share. * With a rating of Outperform, Oppenheimer initiated coverage on GrowGeneration Corp (NASDAQ: GRWG). The price target is set at $15.00 for GrowGeneration. The stock has a 52-week-high of $7.82 and a 52-week-low of $2.62. GrowGeneration's stock last closed at $6.83 per share. * Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Euronet Worldwide Inc (NASDAQ: EEFT) with a Neutral rating. The price target for Euronet Worldwide is set at $101.00. In the first quarter, Euronet Worldwide showed an EPS of $0.55, compared to $0.85 from the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $170.94 and a 52-week-low of $61.27. Euronet Worldwide's stock last closed at $95.61 per share. * With a rating of Sell, Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on The Western Union Co (NYSE: WU). The price target is set at $22.00 for The Western Union. For the first quarter, The Western Union had an EPS of $0.44, compared to year-ago quarter EPS of $0.39. The stock has a 52-week-high of $28.45 and a 52-week-low of $17.39. The Western Union's stock last closed at $21.48 per share. * With a rating of Sell, Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Paychex Inc (NASDAQ: PAYX). The price target is set at $64.00 for Paychex. For the fourth quarter, Paychex had an EPS of $0.61, compared to year-ago quarter EPS of $0.63. The stock has a 52-week-high of $90.53 and a 52-week-low of $47.87. Paychex's stock last closed at $71.63 per share. * With a rating of Sell, Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Automatic Data Processing Inc (NASDAQ: ADP). The price target is set at $146.00 for Automatic Data Processing. Automatic Data Processing earned $1.92 in the third quarter, compared to $1.77 in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $182.32 and a 52-week-low of $103.11. Automatic Data Processing's stock last closed at $145.48 per share. * Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on WEX Inc (NYSE: WEX) with a Neutral rating. The price target for WEX is set at $164.00. WEX earned $1.81 in the first quarter, compared to $1.72 in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $236.51 and a 52-week-low of $71.12. WEX's stock last closed at $152.86 per share. * Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Fleetcor Technologies Inc (NYSE: FLT) with a Buy rating. The price target for Fleetcor Technologies is set at $301.00. For the first quarter, Fleetcor Technologies had an EPS of $3.00, compared to year-ago quarter EPS of $2.67. The stock has a 52-week-high of $329.85 and a 52-week-low of $168.51. Fleetcor Technologies's stock last closed at $248.06 per share. * Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Open Lending Corp (NASDAQ: LPRO) with a Buy rating. The price target for Open Lending is set at $20.00. The stock has a 52-week-high of $16.36 and a 52-week-low of $12.70. Open Lending's stock last closed at $15.67 per share. * Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Fidelity National Information Services Inc (NYSE: FIS) with a Buy rating. The price target for Fidelity National Info is set at $164.00. For the first quarter, Fidelity National Info had an EPS of $1.28, compared to year-ago quarter EPS of $1.64. The stock has a 52-week-high of $158.21 and a 52-week-low of $91.68. Fidelity National Info's stock last closed at $135.47 per share. * With a rating of Buy, Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA). The price target is set at $364.00 for Mastercard. For the first quarter, Mastercard had an EPS of $1.83, compared to year-ago quarter EPS of $1.78. The stock has a 52-week-high of $347.25 and a 52-week-low of $199.99. Mastercard's stock last closed at $290.14 per share. * Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Visa Inc (NYSE: V) with a Buy rating. The price target for Visa is set at $223.00. In the second quarter, Visa showed an EPS of $1.39, compared to $1.31 from the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $214.17 and a 52-week-low of $133.93. Visa's stock last closed at $189.08 per share. * With a rating of Buy, Jefferies initiated coverage on AudioCodes Ltd (NASDAQ: AUDC). The price target is set at $40.00 for AudioCodes. AudioCodes earned $0.25 in the first quarter, compared to $0.18 in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $40.06 and a 52-week-low of $9.00. AudioCodes's stock last closed at $31.25 per share. * Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) with a Neutral rating. The price target for Square is set at $133.00. Square earned ($0.02) in the first quarter, compared to $0.11 in the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $133.81 and a 52-week-low of $32.33. Square's stock last closed at $118.66 per share. * BTIG initiated coverage on Genetron Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ: GTH) with a Buy rating. The price target for Genetron Holdings is set at $20.00. * Cowen & Co. initiated coverage on Repare Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: RPTX) with an Outperform rating. * SunTrust Robinson Humphrey initiated coverage on CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ: CRSP) with a Buy rating. The price target for CRISPR Therapeutics is set at $140.00. In the first quarter, CRISPR Therapeutics showed an EPS of ($1.15), compared to ($0.93) from the year-ago quarter. The stock has a 52-week-high of $97.82 and a 52-week-low of $32.30. CRISPR Therapeutics's stock last closed at $86.23 per share. * Jefferies initiated coverage on Forma Therapeutics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: FMTX) with a Buy rating. The price target for Forma Therapeutics Hldgs is set at $54.00. * Piper Sandler initiated coverage on Repare Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: RPTX) with an Overweight rating. The price target for Repare Therapeutics is set at $40.00. * With a rating of Outperform, Credit Suisse initiated coverage on Forma Therapeutics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: FMTX). The price target is set at $64.00 for Forma Therapeutics Hldgs.See more from Benzinga * ROCE Insights For General Electric * Recap: Barnes & Noble Education Q4 Earnings * Recap: Wipro Q1 Earnings(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • Onyx CenterSource Announces Global Partnership with WEX to Expand Digitized Payments Options
    CNW Group

    Onyx CenterSource Announces Global Partnership with WEX to Expand Digitized Payments Options

    Onyx CenterSource Announces Global Partnership with WEX to Expand Digitized Payments Options

  • MarketWatch

    Virgin Atlantic to unveil £1.2 billion rescue package: report

    Virgin Atlantic Airways is close to unveiling a £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) rescue package, Sky News reported. Richard Branson's Virgin Group will inject £200 million in cash, while Davidson Kempner, a hedge fund, will lend the company £170 million, the report said. Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines , Virgin Atlantic's two shareholders, will collectively defer approximately £400 million of fees.

  • Barrons.com

    Online Mortgage Marketplace Optimal Blue Set to Go Up for Sale

    The Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused business across the U.S. to close, has put most mergers on hold. Financial services, however, continues to produce transactions.