News Overload

Today US markets managed a rally despite misses in both the growth and employment data. Both oil and precious metals rose along with stock prices for several of our ADR holdings.

We continue in news overload mode as our companies report to beat the August doldrums. And as my new website is not accessible despite the techies thinking it is. 

Today the Financial Times headlined a call for US Treasuries reform from “grandees” including Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers, Mervyn King (a Brit), Bill Dudley, and Axel Weber (a German now working to clean up UBS). They want the world's largest bond market to use other means than its own bond holdings in exchange for cash to stabilize markets, something the Fed is now planning to do. But they also want more visible clearing and more transparency to cut counterparty risks to banks and the Fed. The statement read; “In the Treasury market, the pressure for reform can be undermined by the belief that the Fed can always step in and fix things... not a particularly wise approach. It is better to act when the memory of the last crisis is still fresh,.” “Financial crises play a valuable role in exposing problems in the structure of financial systems” but “the impetus for reforms fades quickly”.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The big good news is that our plans to get to London after 18 months of quarantine in New York now look like a real possibility. This will mean fewer write-ups during the stay abroad, and more fun and family. I need a break badly. BA which already has our ticket money is unable to handle the calls it is getting from, among others, my husband who is working on the bookings. 

We have big news and results from several of our companies today, starting with a hard-to-cover Mexican. This is for paid subscribers only, reported by Eduardo Garcia from Mexico City:

Latinas

*Grupo Bimbo, the largest bakery owner in the world, acquired the Emmy's Organics firm in the US which produces ultra-premium “organic” gluten-free cakes. This is a growth market. The price was not given. The acquisition was revealed in its Q2 result conference call. It is just over 5 months since GRBMF bought a minority stake in Rule Breaker Snacks, a maker of vegan nibbles, also gluten-free and aimed at people with allergies. Bimbo also said it had completed the acquisition of the Spanish Cerealto Siro Foods in Medina del Campo, Spain, maker of sweet breads for Mercadona and other private brands. Grupo Bimbo was up 9.52% today after it opened up over 18%..

*Orbia Advance Corp. (still trading as MXCHF) reported today under IFRS standards and showed a huge recovery in key markets it serves with plastics for crop nutrition and irrigation, infrastructure, connectivity, and advanced materials. CEO Sameer Bharadwaj cited strong results from its Polymer Solutions and Wavindrive lines, as well as Netfin, Kowa, and Donoline. Q2 sales hit $2,243 bn, up 59% from prior Q2 which operating income rose 225% to $410 mn. Its free cash flow (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) rose 113% from prior Q2 to $560 mn, and was also up 24% from Q1, EBITDA margins jumped 629 basis points to 25%. Its free cash flow reached $264 mn or 47.3% of EBITDA.

During the quarter Orbia upped its investment in Netafim (of Israel) and Duraline, and took a majority stake in Shakun Polymers Private Ltd in Asia. Yet it did manage to cut its still high net debt 8% to $2.733 bn.

*Banco Santander of Spain gained 2.73% in European trading today. SAN profits rose to Euros 2 mn in the June quarter thanks to high loan demand for cars in the US and for houses in London during the pandemic. A year ago it lost euros 11 bn. It is increasing revenues and lowering provisions. Chair Ana Patricia Botin was confirmed in her taste for investing in US and UK banking by this country providing the highest underlying net profit among SAN's key markets in H1. The mystery firm being purchased here, Amherst Pierpont, is a fixed income brokerwhich should strengthen its services in investment banking for retail and institutional accounts. SAN also gobbled up a New England retail bank.

*Mexican Cemex rose 2.2% Thursday. CX.

*My stock of the year, Brazilian Cosan S.A., CSAN, has been added to the London Stock Exchange FTSE4Good Index. This is an international index of sustainability that ranks companies for environmental, social, and corporate governance factors.

*Mercado Libre of Brazil gained 0.7% despite or because of horrific covid-19 outbreaks which may lead to a coup against Bolsonaro or a victory for Lula if there is no coup. MELI.

Related companies

*South Korean Coupang fell 2.63% today after a rise yesterday because the telephone link to North Korea was restored by Seoul. CPNG is a copycat of MELI for Asia.

*Canadian Solar rose 2.43% as it declared its independence from China by another Latin American deal, with Brazil, for making solar panels. CSIQ earlier did a deal with Colombia. It will make its panels in both countries avoiding the risk of using Uighurs.

Pharmaceuticals

*Novacure reported Q2 losses of $14.6 mn because of covid impact on its sales and spending. A year earlier it had a gain of $1.7 mn. Its EPS was minus 14¢ whereas the consensus forecast was minus 1¢. Its adjusted cash flow fell 36% to $18.1 mn. The stock opened down over 8% on the results. Later it fell 9.9%. NVCR.

*Glaxo got US FDA approval of its Shingrex vaccine against shingles. This is mainly for older people who are prone to getting it. Elliott is lowering its visibility against GSK.

*Compugen after reporting on its trials yesterday rose 6.4% at the opening today, CGEN is an Israeli small cap.

*Teva Pharmaceuticals, which reported a Q2 revenue miss and lower outlook for the 2nd half-year initially fell 2.4% yesterday but then rose 13%. It missed consensus revenue forecast of $4 bn by just a $1 mn. It is up still by about 10% after being rated outperform by Raymond James brokerage. CEO Käre Schultz said TEVA would aim to end its opioid lawsuits within the next 12 months. It is a leading Israeli maker of drugs and generics and to some extent got roped into the opioids cases despite the potential fines being much lower (because it sold less of the stuff.) The CEO until now had refused to predict how the US state-led cases would go, so his timetable impressed the markets. Piper Sandler said the H2 cuts in forecasts to $16-16.4 bn from $16.8-16.4 bn earlier were because of covid, by rates Teva only a hold with a $11 target price. Teva now trades at $9.73.

*Genfit of France gained 0.9% today. GNFT did a secondary last week via a local bank which was viewed as weird.

*Grifols of Spain rose 3.6%. GRFS specializes in blood antigens.

*Overcoming its tainted link with Biogen, Japanese Eisai today gained 0.35%. ESALY.

*Merck fell 1% after its profits missed by 10¢/sh but its revenues beat by 2.2%. MRK.

Tech & Tel

*Vodafone is up 0.7%. VOD.

*Nokia after a bang-up result yesterday and good forecasts is up 6.11%. NOK.

*Qualcomm and Comcast which reported after yesterday's close both beat. QCOM gained 5%.

*Naspers of South Africa and Dutch Prosus are up 5.8% and 6.2% resp because they have more than merely a position in Tencent to recommend them. NPSNY; PROSY.

*Israeli-US Tower Semiconductor opened up 4.7% today but then Benzinga questioned its hefty debt level and the stock lost half its rise. It is now 2.5% up. TSEM.

*Taiwan Fund, TWN, gained 1.5% on chip shortages and Chinese nastiness to Hong Kongers, ag moguls, tech champs, and crammers parents use to get their children into good colleges.

Energy

*Royal Dutch Shell B gained 4.2% today after its Q2 adjusted earnings beat, and its decision to continue to buy back shares plus a dividend hike to 24¢. Adjusted earnings were 9% over the consensus forecast at $5.53 bn. However charges chopped net income to $3.43 bn, from the adjusted forecast of $5.43 bn so this was not a clear gain. The Q1 level was $3.23 bn so this was not a big gain. Cash flow from operations was a big winner, at $12.62 bn, up by a third from Q1. What did help was higher oil prices. RDS-B.

*BP plc which didn't report today gained 1.53%.

*Schlumberger Ltd gained 1.5%. SLB helps plot how you drill for oil and gas.

*Energy Fuels, UUUU, gained another 0.92% today. It is up 10% since Monday.

*NIO, the electric car maker which has not misled investors, which is not hollow like Lordstown, or undermined by Beijing, or run by a millionaire who keeps tapping the market, is up 9% in the last two days. It doesn't need a SPAC like Allego (the Dutch vehicle charging firm) as it already offers vehicle charging.

Finance

*Gold-miner Kirkland Lake is up 7.7% today because this relatively low-cost producer gains more when the price of gold rises. KL.

*Lazard the fund manager gained 3.78% today. LAZ gained when its US yield fund lost traction. The two need to go separate ways.

*Investor A/B of Sweden gained 2.2% today in reflection of the rise yesterday in Nasdaq stocks. IVSBF owns a chunk of Q which had a market in Sweden now controlled by the fund.

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William K. 2 years ago Member's comment

Thanks for the updates, especially on Grupo Bimbo. That one was "big" even long ago when I spent a year in Mexico City one month. Being in the right spot at the right time and making the right moves looks good. At that time the city was SO VERY MUCH different from here in the USA Detroit area. It may still be different, I never went back to see.