Happy News Day

Happily, we again have good news. Stock markets are in clover because March retail sales hit 9.8% according to the Dept of Commerce, greatly over the estimate of 6.1%. And the Labor Dept. reported that last week's jobless claims were 576,000—the lowest level since the pandemic began.

Business newspaper article

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There is lots of company-specific news as well, from A to Z.

*Swiss ABB was bought recently because I liked what I saw at the Wallenberg publicly listed holding company Investor A/B of Sweden (as did fellow investment advisor Gen. Joe Shaefer, USAF-Ret). IVSBF owns a chunk of ABB which today issued a preliminary estimate for its Q1. It will be formally presented on April 27. The stock rose 4.15%. Its revenues are set to rise 11% y/y in constant francs to 6.9 bn, whereas the consensus estimate was for a 6.6% rise. Its orderbook is up 6% to francs 7-7.5 bn. Its operating EBITA is up 133% to 13.5%. (I assume depreciation is not in this cash flow measure.) It guided to revenues up 5% or more for the full year, versus an earlier level of “in-line”. It is now at a 13 year high. It makes electrical equipment, industrial robots, and drivers and says it gained from “customer stockpiling”. I bought a month ago at $29.53 and now am ahead over $1000.

IVSBF was up only 2.06% so Joe and I are doing better than the Wallenbergs in this instance at least.

*Another stock we own indirectly, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, NYSE - TSM, held by the Taiwan Fund, TWN which I also cover, today reported EPS up 28% y/y to 96 cents, beating the consensus by a penny. Its revenues were up 25.35% y/y at $12.919 bn beating the forecast of $12.86 bn. TSM also forecast Q2 sales of $12.9 bn to $13.2 bn. The stock fell 2.8% because Taiwan is under pressure from the Mainland, after opening at $122. It is at $117.49 now. TWF rose fractionally.

*My rant against fiddled accounts at Standard Life Aberdeen was shared by UK stockholders who chopped its share price 3% Weds. SLPFY. Today I got a less Madoffian annual report from its Chair Sir Douglas Flint, but it was too late. SLFPY fell another 2.23% today in London.

*While I sold SLFPY I did not sell the funds it manages. FAXAsia Pacific Income Fund, today revealed it will pay 3¢ (US) per month in dividends, a 7.8% yield. I have owned it since it was managed Down Under at the urging of my late father.

*Finnish Sampo Oyj today revealed that BlackRock, itself a US fund, now owns 4.93% or under 5% of SAXPY.

*Nokia gained in European trading but fell fractionally hereafter it decided to do a fiberoptic deal with National Cable TV Cooperative to bring home and large-scale 5G programs to US rural areas. This is part of the Biden US infrastructure spending bill.

*Azure Power of Mauritius (a Z stock) dropped 6.37% today despite the RBC Capital group last week setting a $45 target price for AZRE by Q1 2022 after it sold its non-core rooftop solar portfolio to Radiance Renewables, an Indian green fund. Long-term forecasts are quickly forgotten.


*Novocure NVCR, half sold, rose 6.23% today as the electric cancer treatment firm was rated by for its glioblastoma (brain) and mesothelioma (asbestos) treatments. It has so far not been proven to work against pancreatic cancer which my UK bookseller cousin suffered from. I spoke to her husband who said she spent 6 months after diagnosis not going for hospitalization or extreme measures, and he administered pain killers and nightly glasses of champagne to her.

*Glaxo rose thanks to a Goldman Sachs forecast that it would hit £1810 in the next 12 months or ~$47/ADR vs $36.76 per 1348.4 now. Elliott Mgmt took a multibillion-pound stake in the British firm. GSK abandoned its phase II-III trial of feladelimab, an ICOS receptor agonist in head and neck cancer.

*Z is Astra-Zeneca, a UK drug firm (another Z) rose 2.55% at the opening because blood clot risks turn out to be a risk not only for the Johnson & Johnson AZN jabs against Covid-19, but also those from Moderna (the one my husband and I got) and Pfizer.

*Merck will test molnupiravir in phase III trials vs Covid 19 but is dropping MK 7110. MRK rose 0.3%.

*Thermo Fisher Scientific, a US firm, my largest holding in this sector, is spending $17.4 bn to buy (CEO) contract research operations firm PPD Inc of Research Triangle (North Carolina) which offers outsourced drug development, lab, and lifecycle management to the industry. TMO says it will speed up new drug finds. PPD gained 6.71%. TMO is a $187 bn company I have owned for 40 odd years.

*Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla predicts that Covid-19 jabs will need to be used about a year after people have been vaccinated, just as with classic flu shots, because of mutations.

*Germany may use Sputnik V vaccines from Russia to inoculate against Covid-19 for want of any alternatives.

*Spanish Grifols is up another 2.46%. GRFS.


*BP's target price was raised to $30 from $28 by Bank of Nova Scotia analysts. BP fell 1.6% in London. BNS.

*Royal Dutch Shell B revealed that it will have produced all the oil and gas in its reserves by 2050. I will now call for a shareholder vote on its plan to shift to cleaner energy. RDS-B.

*Dutch Antillean Schlumberger dropped another 2.51%. SLB is being hurt for its haven incorporation. SLB.


*The London FTSE rose on stronger sterling against the greeback and earnings coming in from mining companies. Antofgasta, a Chilean ADR firm whose primary listing as ANTO is in London, rose 3.36%. The US variant ANFGF barely trades so I now look to the LSE.

*Barrick Gold, GOLD, reported lower production in Q1, 1.1 mn oz of gold down from prior year's 1.3 mn oz, and 93 mn lbs of copper, down from 115 mn oz a year ago. We opted for a higher risk stock, Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd, KL, rated buy now by CFRA after buying 9.9% of fellow Canadian Wallbridge Mining Co yesterday under a charity flow-through over-allotment deal with the underwriters led by Bank of Montreal. KL has owned 9.9% Wallbridge since Dec. 2019 and the underwriters got 5.5% of the offering of the unlisted shares as a cash commission. All this stuff is pure Canadian and only works for Canadian taxpayers. The site being developed is in Quebec near the Detour site KL operates. It also has sites with nickel, copper, and platinum group metals in Ontario. 


*Bae Systems, UK BAESY, is up another 2.1%today. It is a winner from its deals with our Pentagon. 

*Korean Ooupang is up another 1/2% today. It is going to be another Amazon copycat in an exotic market, like Mercado Libre, MELI. It gained 3.23% today.

*Brazil's Cosan is up another 1.52% today. CSAN is my 2021 pick. 

*Harry Geisel wants me to tell you that Multichoice, MCHOY, up 2.44% today, is a video entertainment provider rather than a cellphone operator, offering pay-TV above all. I have not been accurate in describing it.

Today's blog is late because I again tried to get help from my corporate bank, Chase, for a credit card acceptance app and it took 1 ½ hours for them to find my decades-old corporate ...

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William K. 2 years ago Member's comment

Thank you for the sunshine, Vivian. It was certainly welcome.