Working Hard

Friday is proving to be a day when we work hard for a living, after a bunch of market shocks.

First Amazon AMZN proved to be running dry and this hit the tech sector. Then Robin Hood's initial public offering crashed overnight and further spooked markets. The new brokerage turned into a short sell.

Instead of Robin and Maid Marion were in the clutches of the Sheriff of Nottingham when the SEC froze a bunch of Chinese new issues because of Beijing's ban on giving foreigners normal data on sales and earnings. China will stop allowing this data to be published outside the country to retain control over hot issues from companies in sectors like tech, electric vehicles, college prep crammers, and other sectors we can only guess at.

Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

Meanwhile, the crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong, the normal former UK alternative market for Chinese stocks, is hurting. Another attack on Macao gambling concessions is hurting the former Portuguese colony. And even Doc Martens stock fell in Britain on fear of shipping delays for the hot footwear firm.

Then the positive US consumer spending growth figures triggered a new fear of inflation. And my website remains inaccessible to me while the Mexico tech team refuses to believe me when I tell them this. 

For whatever it is worth, there are some positives too.

Rival shoe firms Crocs and Bootbin rose on the drop in Doc Martens, Being the grandmother of three lads I noticed that my local Doc Martens shop in east midtown was running sales at attractive prices but luckily I don't have outlines of the boys' feet so I cannot shop for them. I am still locked out of my website by the Mexican tech team but they don't believe me when I tell them this. 

More from our shares:


*Thermo Fisher Scientific, TMO, my biggest US holding, gained 1.59% early today hitting a 52-wk high at $$536.55. It later fell back.

*Danish Novo Nordisk also hit a new high at $92.78/sh, up 9.125%. It makes weight loss and diabetes meds made with insulin and also has a treatment for leukemia. NVO.

*Genfit rose 4.01% on confirmation that it will get euros 11 mn in the form of a French state-guaranteed loan. I have no idea what this means but GNFT is well-liked among bureaucrats in Paris. GNFT.

*Astra Zeneca was upgraded to strong buy from buy with a target price of 66% vs 57 after it completed the purchase of Alexion Pharma but the stock fell. AZN.

Tech & Tel

*Nokia which tipped the market about its good results before reporting yesterday was upgraded to outperform by Cowen analyst Paul Silverstein who cited its “improved execution” under Pekka Lundmark and the “very favorable demand environment“. NOK shares rose by 0.9% to $6.1/sh.

*Qualcomm Q3 revenues rose 65% to $8.05 bn in GAAP accounting, up 65% from the prior Q3. Its earnings before taxes rose 160% to $2.237 bn and its net income by 140% to $2.027 bn. The diluted GAAP eps was up 139% to $1.77/sh.

Then QCOM restated its number in non-GAAP, to confuse everyone. Its non-GAAP revenues hit $7.995 vn, up 63%. Its non-GAAP eps before taxes was $2.545 bn up 131.% and its net income up 124% to $2.2 bn. Its diluted non-GAAP esps was $i.92, up 12.3%.

Luckily QCOM stated its dividend at 68¢/sh.

It expects to see a major shift in ints business in the final quarter and beyond, with non-Telecom handset sales of $7-7.5 bn well ahead of telephone equipment pegged at $1.45-1.65 bn, because it will shift a lot of its efforts to chips for its own use and that of customers, and away from handsets.

It expects to close the year with asales of $8.4-9.2 bn, a wide range, and non-GAAP earnings of $2.12-2.35/sh. It will take 32¢/sh from that figure for share compensation to staff and 5¢/sh for other costs.

It warned about chip supply constraints. In the 2nd half it expecsts to see sales up 6%.

*BCE of Canada gained 0.5% today after briefly topping $50 (US).


*Banco Santander fell 1.71% to $3.71 today. SAN is hated in Spain because its chair is a woman. SAN.

*Lazard, the financial corp, rose 4.08% today hitting $48.98/s after it reported Q2 and H1 results in GAAP, which both hit records in operating revenues. It reported adjusted net Q2 income of $123 mn in GAAP and $1.46 mn in adjusted GAAP. Non-GAAP adjusted profit was $1.28/sh in Q2 vs $1.08 in the prior Q2.

LAZ is in two major businesses, financial advisory and asset management. The sales breakdown was $471 mn for advisory and $347 mn for asset management. Among the assets is Lazard's yield fund which we also own.

For the half-year, LAZ had adjusted operating revenues of $1.469 bn, and adjusted net income of $247/sh, up from prior-year level of $142. Diluted adjusted net/sh was $2.15 up from prior year's $1.25.

Assets under management rose 29% in the quarter to $277 mn from 215 mn.

However advisory is what the group is most interested in and we got a list of deals in the quarter. These ranged from the public sale of 60% Universal Mustic by Vivendi of France, to UK Prudential selling its retirement business to “Empower” (created for that purpose), from sale of Atlantic Aviation to a sub of KKR to Allstate's sale of its life insurance arm to Blackstone and the Mirion sub of Charterhouse being sold to a Goldman Sachs entity for 2.6 bn. The list is chockablock with buyers and sellers who come from the financial sector, using Lazard to make sure both sides are getting a fair shake.

Another key advisory business is restructuring companies and again there is a list to fall back on: Abengoa; Accor Invest; Assured Guarantey, Bragos Electric, Cineplex, Diamond Offshore Drilling, Garret Moton GICSA, Intelsat (a French share we briefly owned when it was privatized), NMC health, Seadrill, Valorus. These deals resulted in compensation benefits to staffers of 59%, down from prior year's 60%, but in absolute terms $489 mn vs $326 mn. Non-compensation expenses for 19% to $119 mn, equal to 14.5% of operating revenue, up from prior-year level of 18.3%

*CBOE Global reported on its Q2. The former Chicago Board Options market has become a global player. Its diluted EPS this year fell to 98¢/sh while the adjusted et rose 5% to $1.35/sh. Revenues gained 18% to $9.51 mn. It claims to have returned 79¢/sh to shareholders thanks to stock purchases and dividends.

For full-year 2021 CBOE expects to have organic growth of 12-13%, raised from an earlier estimate of 10-12%. This will come from recurring non-transaction revenues. The share gain

*Japanese Mitsubishi Group gained 1.75% to $28.8 while Sumitomo Mitsui fell 1¢

*Banco Latino-Americano de Comercio Exterieur, BLX of Panama, rose 1.15% to $16.6.


*Royal Dutch Shell RDS-B upped its dividend by 40% and announced a $2 bn stock buyback which should have helped its share price but this didn't happen. It is down 0.82%. We own the B which opened a penny over $40 but then plunged to $39.44. Investors worry that the oil price will fall.

*Schlumberger Ltd lost 2.53% on no news except that. SLB.

*Plug Power is back in the black, up 1.47% to $27.56. PLUG is volatile.

*NIO opened up 4.83%at $44.7 before the coming weekend scared investors. It is the least likely to fall into trouble with Beijing as its factory is half-owned by city where it has its HQ, JiangQiao, near Shanghai.

Market trends

*Today's market was mostly very bipolar with good news bulls getting honey and no news bears none.

*Our gainers include preferred stock Algonquin B, AQNB, a new yield play.

*Gold rose and so did our gold share, Kirkland Lake, to $43.05. It gains more as a low-cost miner. KL.

*Ireland Fund, IRL, rose .3% to $12.44. It trades at a hefty discount from NAV. 

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William K. 2 years ago Member's comment

Certainly hard work will often accomplish something, but it may not always be the intended result.