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Walmart's (NYSE: WMT) fiscal first-quarter 2021 (ended April 30, 2020) results were strong, faring better than many other retailers that had to shut down their physical stores. Sure, management admitted that the coronavirus pandemic drove increased demand as people ran out to buy the company's goods. The Walmart U.S. business had a same-store sales (comps) increase of 10% and Sam's Club's comps rose 12%.
The company said it would also search for CROs for its commercial, consumer and small business, and investment banking arms and also for its wealth management unit. Since taking over the scandal-plagued bank late last year, Chief Executive Charlie Scharf has shaken up its leadership and overhauled the bank's business lines. The bank has had to contend with a federal investigation, a dozen consent orders and an unprecedented Federal Reserve cap on its balance sheet growth as the fallout of a 2016 sales practices scandal.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced the appointment of two new Corporate Risk leaders and an enhanced organizational structure designed to provide greater oversight of all risk-taking activities and a more comprehensive view of risk across the company. The new risk model will have five line-of-business Chief Risk Officers (CROs) along with other teams aligned by risk type, each reporting to Wells Fargo CRO Mandy Norton.
On May 29, 2020, Delaware Enhanced Global Dividend and Income Fund (NYSE: DEX) (the "Fund"), a closed-end fund, paid a monthly distribution on its common stock of $0.0714 per share to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 22, 2020.
(Bloomberg) -- The head of SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund received a substantial increase in compensation even as the investment business delivered a $17.7 billion loss.Rajeev Misra earned 1.61 billion yen ($15 million) in the year ended March 31, more than double his pay a year earlier, SoftBank said in a statement on Friday. The Vision Fund lost 1.9 trillion yen in the period, triggering the worst loss ever in the Japanese company’s 39-year history.SoftBank had to write down the valuations of companies like WeWork and Uber Technologies Inc. because of business missteps and the coronavirus fallout. Its return on the fund was negative 6%, compared with 62% just a year ago. Still, Misra was SoftBank’s second-highest-paid executive last year after Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure, even though Misra received no bonus and most of his compensation was in base pay. Founder Masayoshi Son took a 9% compensation cut, earning 209 million yen.“What kind of message is Son sending by giving Misra a raise despite the disastrous results he delivered?” said Atul Goyal, senior analyst at Jefferies Group. “The optics is just not good.”The pay hike for Misra comes at a time when the Vision Fund is planning deep cuts in staffing. The reductions across all levels of staff could affect about 10% of the fund’s workforce of roughly 500, according to people familiar with the matter. The Vision Fund, which has stopped making new investments after spending 85% of its capital, lists 30 people as investors on its website, including all of its managing partners, partners and directors.The fund has struggled since WeWork botched its efforts to go public last year and SoftBank stepped in to bail the company out. The Vision Fund currently manages more than 80 portfolio companies, but Son expects about 15 of the fund’s startups will likely go bankrupt while predicting another 15 will thrive.Separately, SoftBank is moving two managing partners at the Vision Fund into new roles. Akshay Naheta will become senior vice president, assisting Son in investments and providing strategic advice. Kentaro Matsui will transition to a senior advisory role at SoftBank Group.Claure, who helped close Sprint Corp.’s merger with T-Mobile US Inc. and is leading the effort to turn around WeWork, made 2.11 billion yen, a 17% raise. He also oversees a Latin American investment fund for SoftBank.SoftBank declined to comment on the reasons for changes in pay.Chief Strategy Officer Katsunori Sago earned 1.11 billion yen, a 13% increase for the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive. Ken Miyauchi, head of SoftBank’s domestic telecom operation, made 699 million yen, a 43% drop. Simon Segars, head of its ARM Holdings Plc chip unit, did not make the list because his pay dropped below 100 million yen. Segars earned 1.1 billion yen the previous year.Ronald Fisher, Son’s long-time lieutenant and SoftBank Group vice chairman, saw his pay plunge 79% to 680 million yen. Fisher’s remuneration from the Vision Fund, where he runs the U.S. operations, totaled 1.27 billion yen, including a 767 million yen bonus. But he lost 701 million yen in compensation not related to the fund. SoftBank said the drop reflects a decline in stock price, but didn’t provide further details.SoftBank’s disastrous bet on WeWork has been viewed internally as Fisher’s project. Before SoftBank first invested in the company in 2017, Fisher met with executives at IWG Plc, a European competitor with a much lower valuation and many more sites, according to people familiar with the matter. Fisher interpreted the unfavorable metrics as a sign of growth potential. A month later, the Vision Fund led a $4.4 billion investment round into WeWork at a $20 billion valuation.Last year, after WeWork’s effort to go public fell apart, SoftBank stepped in to organize a bailout and put Claure in charge of turning around the business. But the pandemic has hammered its operations as workers shy away from gathering in shared office spaces. Earlier this month, SoftBank wrote down the value of its stake to $2.9 billion, more than 90% lower than its peak.(Updates with analyst comment in fourth paragraph)For 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Wall Street giants such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have tens of billions of dollars at stake in China as political tension risks derailing the nation’s opening of its $45 trillion financial market.Five big U.S. banks had a combined $70.8 billion of exposure to China in 2019, with JPMorgan alone plowing $19.2 billion into lending, trading and investing. That’s a 10% increase from 2018.While their assets in the country are comparatively small, they have big expansion plans there that may come undone if financial services firms are dragged into the tit-for-tat between the two countries. Not only would that cloud their growth plans, it would also threaten the income they have generated over the years from advising Chinese companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.Profits in China’s brokerage industry could hit $47 billion by 2026, Goldman estimates, with foreign firms gunning for a considerable chunk. There are $8 billion in estimated commercial banking profits as well as a projected $30 trillion in overall assets to go after, also being pursued by fund giants such as Blackrock Inc. and Vanguard Group Inc.“If you’re an American financial institution and you have an approved plan to expand into China, you’re going to continue that plan to the extent that the U.S. government allows you to because you see great future profits,” said James Stent, a former banker who’s spent more than a decade on the boards of two Chinese lenders. “A U.S.-China cold war is not good for your plans to build business in China.”After years of trade war turmoil, U.S. policy makers are now starting to take aim at the financial industry amid growing skepticism over American firms plowing money into a country perceived as a big geopolitical foe. Policy makers and lawmakers are looking at restricting U.S. pension fund investments in Chinese companies and limiting the ability of Chinese companies to raise capital in the U.S.A body advising the U.S. Congress this week questioned Wall Street’s push, saying lawmakers need to “evaluate the desirability of greater U.S. participation in a financial market that remains warped by the political priorities of a strategic competitor.” Add to that potential sanctions against China and even its banks over the crackdown on Hong Kong, and the situation could further escalate.President Donald Trump said he’s “not happy with China” after the country passed a new security law on Hong Kong and will announce new U.S. policies on Friday. His top economic adviser said Beijing would be held accountable by the U.S.Here’s a run down on the biggest U.S. banks’ presence in China right now and their plans.GoldmanGoldman, which has spent years lobbying for control of its onshore business, won approval this year. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon has pledged to infuse its mainland business with hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital as the bank plans to embark on a hiring spree to double its workforce to 600 and ramp up a wide variety of businesses.Goldman put its “cross-border outstandings” to China at $13.2 billion at the end of last year. But its two onshore operations had capital of just 1.8 billion yuan ($251 million), making a profit of almost 300 million yuan.A spokesman for Goldman declined to comment.Morgan StanleyHosting an annual summit in Beijing with 1,900 investors and 600 companies last year, Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said in a Bloomberg Television interview that the bank is in China “for the long run.” He highlighted its presence there for 25 years and its handling of hundreds of billions of dollars in equity and merger deals for Chinese businesses.Morgan Stanley won a nod to take majority control of its securities venture this year, and last year had a net exposure of $4.1 billion to Chinese clients. Its local securities unit, however, has revenue of just 132 million yuan, posting a loss of 109 million yuan last year.The bank has been overhauling senior management of the venture, installing its staff in key roles. It plans to apply for additional licenses to broaden its products and invest in new businesses, build market-making capability and expand its asset management partnership and ultimately take control.“It’s a natural evolution to bring the global investment banks into this market,” Gorman said in May last year.A Morgan Stanley spokesman declined to comment.JPMorganThe biggest U.S. bank has been doing business in China since 1921. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has said that his firm is committed to bringing its “full force” to the country. This year it applied for full control of an asset management firm as well as a securities venture, and is expanding its office space in China’s tallest skyscraper in downtown Shanghai.JPMorgan’s China total exposure in 2019 was $19.2 billion, including $11.3 billion in lending and deposits and $6.5 billion in trading and investing.JPMorgan China’s banking unit had 47 billion yuan in assets last year and made a profit of 276 million yuan, while its newly started securities firm had capital of 800 million yuan.A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment.CitigroupCitigroup Inc., which has been doing business in China since 1902, had total exposure to the country of $18.7 billion at the end of last year. Its local banking arm had total assets of 178 billion yuan, making a profit of 2.1 billion yuan.Citigroup, which is setting up a new securities venture in China, is the only U.S. lender that has a consumer banking business in the country with footprint in 12 cities including Beijing, Changsha and Chengdu.New York-based Citigroup said last month that it has doubled its overall revenue from China to more than $1 billion over the past decade.China represents 1.1% of Citi’s total global exposure and includes local top tier corporate loans and loans to US and other global companies with operations in China, a bank spokesman said.Bank of AmericaBank of America Corp., the only major bank to decide against pursuing a securities joint venture, is continuing to expand into the world’s second-largest economy. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender is looking to provide a fuller range of fixed income services in the country.Its largest emerging market country exposure in 2019 was China, with net of $15.6 billion, concentrated in loans to large state-owned companies, subsidiaries of multinational corporations and commercial banks. It followed only the U.S., U.K., Germany, Canada and France in terms of exposure for the bank.A spokeswoman for the bank declined to comment.(Adds Trump comments in eighth paragraph.)For 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.
A U.S. judge on Thursday said institutional investors, including BlackRock Inc <BLK.N> and Allianz SE's <ALVG.DE> Pacific Investment Management Co, can pursue much of their lawsuit accusing 15 major banks of rigging prices in the $6.6 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market. U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan said the nearly 1,300 plaintiffs, including many mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, plausibly alleged that the banks conspired to rig currency benchmarks from 2003 to 2013 and profit at their expense. "This is an injury of the type the antitrust laws were intended to prevent," Schofield wrote in a 40-page decision.
The Wells Fargo Income Opportunities Fund (NYSE American: EAD), the Wells Fargo Multi-Sector Income Fund (NYSE American: ERC), the Wells Fargo Utilities and High Income Fund (NYSE American: ERH), and the Wells Fargo Global Dividend Opportunity Fund (NYSE: EOD) have each announced a distribution.
Walmart will add used clothing, as well as a number of new brands, to its online clothing lineup through a partnership with ThredUp.
Hormel reported a rise in sales as consumers snapped up products like Spam and Skippy during coronavirus lockdowns.
On May 27, Goldman Sachs declared cryptocurrency, "not an asset class", while other institutions continued buying more Bitcoin.
Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal breaks down the latest outlook for cable providers as more Americans cut the cord and opt for streaming platforms.
Among the Dow Jones stocks, Apple and Microsoft are among the top stocks to buy and watch in May 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic has ripped a hole in America’s retailers, but the country’s budget chains and mega-stores have fared much better. Chains such as Walmart and Dollar Tree have been able to keep their doors open because they sell essential items, and they’ve found that even though more than 40 million people have sought unemployment insurance since the pandemic started, many shoppers are still surprisingly flush with cash. Americans were issued $1,200 stimulus checks as part of the Cares Act, and unemployment insurance has been topped up with an additional $600-per-week supplement that lasts through the end of July.
Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL) today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Appeal Board (PTAB) has ruled in favor of Mylan in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings finding all challenged claims of Sanofi's Lantus® SoloSTAR® device patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,603,044, 8,992,486, and 9,526,844 unpatentable. The PTAB found three claims of the 9,604,008 patent unpatentable, and two claims to be patentable. However, Mylan has previously obtained a covenant not to sue from Sanofi on the '008 patent and therefore this ruling does not impact Mylan's ability to launch upon final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The PTAB also found Sanofi's proposed amended claims for the '486 and '844 patents unpatentable.
(Bloomberg) -- Not many Goldman Sachs partners seek out citizenship in a tiny Caribbean island to speed through airports. Ali Meli wasn’t your typical Goldman partner.Couch-surfing inside the investment bank, an almost $10 million paycheck as a junior trader and clashing with peers are all parts of the legend of Meli, described by colleagues as an unlikely figure in Wall Street’s most elite club: Abrasive but brilliant, subversive but successful, and above all one of its most “eccentric” figures.Now, after exiting the investment bank last year, Meli is setting up his own venture in some of the most treacherous markets in generations. The 38-year-old plans to recreate a model of doing business that he learned in an especially profitable part of Goldman’s trading division, putting together complex financing deals.“Everything about Ali was unusual but he was one of the most incredible people we’ve ever hired,” said Ram Sundaram, who brought Meli into his team, which went on to become the Principal Funding & Investments group. “He could think through all aspects of a deal to a degree that was abnormal. He was in a league of his own.”Meli is now seeking the backing of many of his former mentors as he looks to raise money for a structured credit fund, ramping up at a time of severe economic disruption.As companies seek out capital amid market distress, Meli hopes he finds himself in the center of transactions, borrowing a playbook from his Goldman days.Passport ShoppingBorn in the shadow of the Iran revolution, Meli’s earliest memories of Tehran, where he spent 20 years, was the conflict with Iraq, as his family shuttled between houses to shield themselves.“To some extent it was awesome -- the night lights up,” Meli said of the artillery and warplanes that thundered over the city. “When you’re a kid and you see these things, you don’t feel fear. It feels like a movie and it’s so cool. You don’t have the right context.”Meli’s ticket to escape the mandatory deployment in Iran’s army was a world physics competition. He later left the country altogether on a scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.After a delay in his security clearance, Meli landed in Boston on Sept. 10, 2001. Terrorists attacked the U.S. early the next morning, prompting unprecedented scrutiny of recent arrivals from the Middle East. Meli soon had to submit to a government registry tracking his movements. But it didn’t end there.Every time he flew, the Iranian emigre was singled out for more rigorous checks. Even years later, while jet-setting with Goldman bankers to set up billion-dollar trades, the airport ordeals continued. So he solved it in a way only the wealthy would -- he went passport shopping.Meli settled on St. Kitts and Nevis, a haven for the rich where a property investment can buy citizenship outright. When Goldman published its full list of partners last year, he was the sole member of the group professing ties to the island nation.Ali Meli’s name is itself a bureaucratic mishap. Someone in the Social Security office misspelled the fairly common Iranian name “Melli.” He chose to live on with the new identity, not wanting to get into any paperwork battle that could jeopardize his status in the U.S.Harvey’s OfficeFor Meli, the worry of being sent back to Iran was paramount. His response was insane work hours.During his early days at Goldman, after other traders went home, Meli would sneak into one of the plush partner offices to sleep. He often found refuge on the office couch belonging to Harvey Schwartz, then a senior deputy to trading co-head Gary Cohn. Both men nearly went on to become the bank’s CEO.Meli’s justification: “Harvey had an open-door policy.”“I was worried about losing my job because it would have meant deportation to Iran,” Meli said. “I didn’t want to risk that. But I wasn’t stupid -- I never slept on Gary’s couch.” Cohn, known for his hard-charging ways, eventually joined President Donald Trump’s White House.Word of Meli’s antics started making the rounds soon after his arrival.The reception he got on the trading floor in the mid-2000s wouldn’t fly today. He was branded “Smelly Ali” -- a riff on his name, Ali S Meli -- and “Chemical Ali” -- after Saddam Hussein’s trusted adviser accused of gassing Kurds and executed in 2010. Meli said he reveled in the attention.“I had a few nicknames and I enjoyed it,” he said.There were also awkward moments. At one point he copied lyrics from a love ballad into a performance review of his manager, to express adoration. He was promptly told off.Yet Meli charted quick success, becoming a pillar of Sundaram’s group. Known as PFI, it had latitude to use Goldman’s own money to take on positions that wouldn’t be easy to quickly offload. Some of its big-ticket financings around the 2008 credit crisis generated massive gains for Goldman even as the rest of Wall Street struggled.The group came to be seen as a clique inside Goldman’s trading operation. Once a loose coalition of fewer than a dozen executives, it has been at the forefront of some of the most knotty transactions that can churn out big “P&L,” jargon for profits and losses. Its deals ranged from helping Sprint raise cash backed by airwaves, to financing Mexican toll roads. The group even structured bonds for Malaysia’s 1MDB investment fund after Goldman investment bankers clinched the troubled business. Officials in the country later looted the money.Insulated from the rest of the trading division, PFI’s stature grew as it tackled outsize risks and generated eye-popping returns.Meli just happened to be its quirkiest and most outspoken member, unafraid of challenging colleagues’ views. Some senior partners came to rate others based on how they fared in confrontations with him.$10 Million PaydayJust a few years into his banking career, Meli was already eyeing big risks. He encouraged his team to pile on short positions as the housing market headed into the 2008 credit crisis.“Bottom line: housing is in free fall,” he wrote in an email in August 2006 after poring through reports. Sundaram’s crew ramped up wagers against asset-backed indexes and bond-insurance companies. Meli said he framed a printed copy of that email after the hedges paid off for Goldman.Meli also had a hand in another incident that reverberated across financial markets. He helped his team come up with the valuation for marking down positions in its swaps transaction with AIG, which forced the insurer to put up more cash as others followed suit. AIG insisted for years that Goldman’s aggressive move was what led to its failure.“It’s one of those things you wish you weren’t right,” Meli said. “But what caused the marks to go down was not because we put the marks down, but a real housing recession had started to hit.”Some of the most profitable transactions were trades Goldman designed with the likes of CIT Group and European banks. That helped Meli score his giant paycheck for 2009. But as his success mounted, so did his skirmishes. Often passionate, he wouldn’t hold back in disagreements over transactions -- incidents that sometimes left more-senior colleagues red-faced.“He was unusually bright and eccentric,” said Joe McNeila, a former colleague in the PFI group. “It was a business of natural conflict. He could be very formidable and he was a tough guy to go up against.”Meli was one of the youngest people in Goldman’s class of new partners in 2014, but looking back, he figures that his combativeness probably slowed him down.“There was a period when I would get into these arguments sometimes with people more senior than me,” he said. “I was told I needed to learn to be more humble, and it was a valuable lesson.”Days after he was named partner, he bought his first car: a second-hand Mercedes.Over the years, people familiar with the situation said, his bosses fielded grievances that ranged from the ordinary to the bizarre.For a stretch of time, Meli tried commuting daily from Toronto to New York, raising concerns among colleagues about his manic schedule. He launched a crusade to support higher pay for junior bankers, which raised hackles. He proposed transactions that, while legal, were so novel or aggressive that bosses would sometimes squirm, worried about the optics.His political views on government overreach and the impact of regulation on daily life also made some colleagues uncomfortable.He jumped on the Trump train before many on Wall Street. And since becoming a permanent resident in 2018, he’s become a prolific political operative, dispensing more than a quarter million dollars to mostly conservative and libertarian candidates.Meli gave up butting heads at Goldman and officially exited the bank last year.This year, markets are presenting a once-in-a-century opportunity for brave credit traders. Meli’s firm has already announced a transaction, a credit line to a fintech company in Colombia. He’s named his new venture Monachil Capital Partners after a Spanish village that traces its name to the word monastery -- to try to denote inner calm, he said.(Updates with detail on investment in final paragraph.)For 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.
The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 821 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds' portfolio positions as of March 31st, 2020. […]
(Bloomberg) -- It “hasn’t been easy” for Wells Fargo & Co. to operate under an asset cap as the bank faces a flurry of deposits and credit-line draws tied to the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf said.The San Francisco-based lender has had to take substantial actions to get below the cap, including moving some deposits outside the company, Scharf said at an AllianceBernstein Holding LP virtual conference Friday.The asset cap is “unfortunate, especially in an environment like this, but it’s a fact of life, and we’re more focused than ever on doing the work that’s necessary to get it behind us,” Scharf said. “It’s very, very clear what has to get done.”The Federal Reserve in 2018 limited Wells Fargo’s growth until it addressed lapses following a series of scandals. Scharf has declined to forecast when the asset cap would be lifted, but has cautioned that the bank still has a lot of work to do. Scharf said Friday that the cap is just one of 12 public consent orders Wells Fargo has to satisfy, with all of them being “extremely important.”Here are other takeaways from Scharf’s remarks:The timing and pace of the recovery, as well as Wells Fargo’s ability to improve its results, will determine the appropriate dividend level for the bank, Scharf said. Its capital base is strong, but earnings were weak in the first quarter and will remain so this quarter, he said.The buildup in Wells Fargo’s reserves will likely be “quite significant” in the second quarter as expectations are worse today than they were at the end of March, Scharf said, cautioning that many unknowns remain.Expenses are “way too high,” Scharf said, adding that Wells Fargo will probably have more than $500 million in unanticipated costs in the second quarter related to the pandemic.Scharf said he hopes to create a road map for the company by the end of the year. The early days of the Covid-19 crisis made his business reviews difficult, he said, but Wells Fargo remains “as committed as ever to getting the work done.”For 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.
Scott Baxter, Kontoor Brands President & CEO, joins Yahoo Finance's Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to speak about the company's partnerships with major retailers, its supply chain, the retail industry overall and more.
Warren Buffett considers one basic principle, elementary probability, the core of his investing philosophy, helping him to identify tremendous stock opportunities.
Costco is selling off despite beating top- and bottom-line quarterly estimates, adding to persistent selling pressure since early April.