The company’s second quarter earnings release failed to impress investors. South Dakota-based Daktronics Inc. is cutting about 100 jobs as the company anticipates financial setbacks created by the coronavirus pandemic. Every week, Benzinga conducts a survey to collect sentiment on what traders are most excited about; interested in; or thinking about when they are managing and building their personal portfolios.What Are FAANG Stocks?The term FAANG stocks refers to five of the most popular tech stocks traded on the NASDAQ The fall presidential campaign accelerated into its traditional Labor Day kick off with fireworks over the weekend over an anonymously-sourced report that President Trump regularly disparages U.S. war dead in private — a report Democrats quickly rallied around in an attempt to undermine Mr. Trump’s recent gains in the polls. In a normal year, the Fredericksburg Area Museum uses funds raised during its summer programming-such as the Sounds of Summer outdoor concert series-to pay staff salaries for the months of October, November and December.
Shares of Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE:CGC) fell 12.1% during the month of August, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The Canadian cannabis company reported earnings during the month, which wasn’t enough to sustain the company’s late July surge, when it announced its direct-to-consumer e-commerce shop in the U.S. Continued struggles in the brick-and-mortar retail business in Canada revealed themselves in relatively low growth numbers and a worrisome decline in gross margins.
Image source: Getty Images.
Part of the reason for the August decline was Canopy stock’s strong performance at the end of July, after the launch of ShopCanopy.com, its new U.S.-based e-commerce site, on July 27. Given that cannabis is still illegal in the U.S., the site only features Canopy’s hemp-derived CBD products; most notably, its new Martha Stewart CBD product line.
On the May conference call from the previous quarter, new CEO David Klein, who came from Canopy investor Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), noted that the U.S. CBD market is forecast to reach $10 billion in the next few years, so the company’s aggressive moves in e-commerce with recognized celebrities backing its brands got investors enthusiastic.
That enthusiasm fell back to earth, however, when the company reported earnings in early August. Revenue grew 22%, somewhat underwhelming for a company in a high-growth industry. More concerning is that adjusted gross margin fell to just 7% from 20% in the year-ago quarter. According to Klein, the reason for the low margin is that Canopy has high fixed costs in anticipation of more growth — enough to support $2.5 billion to $3 billion in revenue versus just CA$110 million in the quarter.
With continuing losses from its heavy infrastructure investments and demand still a question mark, Canopy’s ample cash hoard has decreased by about CA$1.1 billion, from CA$3.1 billion to CA$2 billion in just one year. The company continues to struggle with demand in Canada, due to both regulatory delays for retail rollouts and COVID-19.
In addition, the cheaper black market continues to be a problem. Canopy has been able to lower its EBITDA and cash burn losses by cutting selling, general, and administrative expenses, but that can only go so far.
As such, I would still steer clear of Canopy — or any other Canadian cannabis producer, for that matter — until the various problems around Canadian retail distribution, black market sales, and U.S. legalization are clarified further, or until these companies show evidence they can turn a profit. Until then, the entire cannabis industry remains a no-go for me, and should be for all but the most speculative investors.
Author: Billy Duberstein
Daktronics announces job cuts blamed on coronavirus pandemic
BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota-based Daktronics Inc. is cutting about 100 jobs as the company anticipates financial setbacks created by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Argus Leader reports the Brookings-based maker of electronic displays and billboards reported its net sales, net income and cash generated by operations for the first fiscal quarter were down.
The company reported net sales dropped from $180.3 million to $143.6 million, for the quarter, while cash generated dropped from $18.2 million to $8.5 million.
The company said the job cuts will affect employees across the United States and Canada. The layoffs equal less than 4% of the company’s workforce.
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.
Author: The Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com
Which FAANG Stock Will Grow The Most By 2025?
Every week, Benzinga conducts a survey to collect sentiment on what traders are most excited about; interested in; or thinking about when they are managing and building their personal portfolios.
What Are FAANG Stocks?
The term FAANG stocks refers to five of the most popular tech stocks traded on the NASDAQ and NYSE.
This week we posed the following question related to FAANG stocks: Over the next five years, which stock will have the largest percentage gain?
- Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB)
- Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)
- Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX)
- Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)
See Also: ‘Caution But Not Bearishness’: Analysts Respond To Tech Stock Plunge
Which FAANG Stock Will Grow The Most?
About 44.7% of traders and investors believe Amazon’s price per share over the next five years, relative to its FAANG counterparts. Readers chose Amazon’s stock to increase the most out of the options provided.
Only 7% of traders thought Netflix would gain the most. They didn’t see much upside with Facebook or Google, with both stocks garnering 10.6% and 11.7% of investors support, respectively.
Respondents were mixed on Apple’s long term growth with 25.9% of readers saying Apple would gain the most in the coming years.
At the time of publication, the FAANG stock trading at the highest price per share Amazon at $3,320.29 per share. Facebook is trading the lowest of the five stocks at $286 per share.
This study was conducted by Benzinga in August 2020 and included the responses of a diverse population of adults 18 or older. Opting into the survey was completely voluntary, with no incentives offered to potential respondents. The study reflects results from over 700 adults.
Robert Schultz contributed to this report.
See more from Benzinga
- 10 Most And Least Healthy States In America For 2020
- 10 Most-Watched Netflix Original Films In 2020
- East Coast Bias: How Ivy League College Acceptance Rates Rank For 2020
© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Author: Henry Khederian
Trump on offense over Atlantic article claiming he disparages U.S. war dead
The fall presidential campaign accelerated into its traditional Labor Day kick off with fireworks over the weekend over an anonymously-sourced report that President Trump regularly disparages U.S. war dead in private — a report Democrats quickly rallied around in an attempt to undermine Mr. Trump’s recent gains in the polls.
While the attempt struggled to gain traction beyond media already critical of the president, Democrat nominee Joseph R. Biden led the charge by asserting that Mr. Trump should apologize if the report by The Atlantic claiming Mr. Trump called U.S. Marines who died in World War One are “suckers” and “losers” is true.
The president spent the weekend slamming the story as “totally fake,” and by Sunday his administration was the offensive, with Mr. Trump personally lashing out at The Atlantic’s ownership and key administration officials taking to the talk shows to characterize the magazine’s reporting as little more than a sloppily crafted political hit job.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie said he’s “absolutely” never heard Mr. Trump say disparaging things about service members and questioned why not a single on-the-record source had come forward to corroborate The Atlantic story in the three-plus days since it was published.
“Anonymous [sources] are the same people that brought you fake heart attacks, fake strokes [and] Russian collusion,” Mr. Wilkie said in an appearance on CNN, during which he pushed back at one of the network’s anchors who claimed other media were corroborating the Atlantic’s reporting.
“Well, nobody is backing down from the anonymous sourcing on it,” Mr. Wilkie said.
His comments came after Mr. Trump took to Twitter early Sunday to attack Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, for “wasting” her deceased husband’s money by serving as a prominent financial backer of The Atlantic.
“Steve Jobs would not be happy that his wife is wasting money he left her on a failing Radical Left Magazine that is run by a con man and spews FAKE NEWS & HATE. Call her, write her, let her know how you feel!!!” the president tweeted.
Goldberg defends article
Atlantic Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg, who penned the article in question, also took to Sunday’s talk shows to defend his article, the crux of which claimed Mr. Trump canceled a trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because he had no interest in honoring the dead soldiers buried there.
“‘Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,’” Mr. Trump reportedly said, according to Mr. Goldberg, who wrote that “four people with firsthand knowledge” of the conversation had told him what the president said.
Mr. Trump also allegedly said the more than 1,800 Marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood were “suckers.”
Mr. Goldberg told CNN on Sunday that his decision to publish the article without any on-the-record corroboration from former administration officials was “complicated.”
“It’s a complicated thing, as you well know, we all have to use anonymous sources, especially in a climate in which the president of the United States tries to actively intimidate journalism organizations and people who provide information to journalism organizations,” he said. “But the formula is simple. What you do is you have to say ‘Does the public’s right to know or need to know a particular piece of information outweigh the morally complicated and ambiguous qualities of anonymous sourcing?’”
“In this climate, with information that we judge the voters to need, we are going to use anonymous sources because we think that the public has a right to know, especially when you have four, five or six sources primary sources, corroborating sources, telling you the same thing,” he said.
More than a dozen current or former Trump administration officials have publicly denounced the report in the last several days, disputing especially the Atlantic’s claim that the publicly stated reason for the cancellation of the cemetery — rain made the planned helicopter trip unsafe — was a mere pretext.
“I can attest it to the fact that there was a bad weather call in France and that the helicopters were unable to safely make the flight,” said Dan Walsh, former White House deputy chief of staff.
One defense of Mr. Trump came from an unexpected source — former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who also left the White House on bad terms with Mr. Trump and wrote a scathing tell-all book about him.
“I didn’t hear either of those comments or anything even resembling them,” said Mr. Bolton of the “losers” and “suckers” language, while also cautioning in other interviews that he doesn’t think the comments exactly out of character.
“I was there at the point in time that morning when it was decided that he would not go Aisne-Marne cemetery,” he told Fox News. But “it was entirely a weather-related decision, and I thought the proper thing to do.”
However, Mr. Goldberg’s claims were echoed by Mr. Biden, who had claimed Friday that the revelations in The Atlantic article were “disgusting” and noted that they fit a pattern of Mr. Trump, who received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War, having no sense of service to anyone but himself.
“It affirms what most of us believe to be true: That Donald Trump is not fit to do the job of president and be the commander-in-chief,” Mr. Biden said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a slightly different tact Sunday.
She suggested it’s irrelevant whether The Atlantic article is true because Mr. Trump publicly “dishonored” the U.S. soldiers buried in Normandy, France, by giving a highly political TV interview while visiting the cemetery to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
“What is important is that the president sat there in front of that cemetery and dishonored that sacred ground by engaging in political anti-rhetoric against some of us who were on the trip, including me,” Mrs. Pelosi told MSNBC on Sunday.
In an interview at the time, Mr. Trump referred to her as “Nervous Nancy” and described her leadership as “a disaster.”
There was no sign over the weekend that outrage over The Atlantic article will slow the gradual comeback in pre-election opinion polls that Mr. Trump enjoyed in August after Mr. Biden took a double-digit lead in the initial wake of the coronavirus surge.
A Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll released Sunday showed Mr. Biden’s lead over Mr. Trump in that key battleground state has evaporated, with the president now ahead of his challenger there by 2 percentage points.
With such numbers as a backdrop, pro-Trump analysts note the president position against Mr. Biden in the polls is now roughly the same as it was between him and Hillary Clinton at this point in 2016.
Some also argue The Atlantic article packed less of a salacious punch than the October 2016 Access Hollywood imbroglio, in which The Washington Post published audio of Mr. Trump make extremely lewd comments about women.
Who was the source?
Mr. Trump told reporters on Friday night that he believes former White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly “could have been” a source for Mr. Goldberg’s article.
“It could have been a guy like a John Kelly,” the president said. “You look at some of his news conferences [at the White House], what happened to him, he got eaten alive. He was unable to handle the pressure of this job.”
Mr. Kelly, a retired four-star general, departed the job on unfriendly terms in early 2019. The president said Mr. Kelly “didn’t do a good job, had no temperament, and ultimately he was petered out.”
While Mr. Kelly has not commented publicly on the article, a significant portion of which is devoted to illustrating an alleged interaction he had with Mr. Trump on Memorial Day 2017, when the two men visited Arlington National Cemetery together.
Mr. Goldberg wrote that the visit included a stop at a section of Arlington where Mr. Kelly’s son Robert — a Marine Corps first lieutenant who was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan — is buried.
“According to sources with knowledge of this visit, Trump, while standing by Robert Kelly’s grave, turned directly to his father and said, ‘I don’t get it. What was in it for them?’” the article states.
While Mr. Goldberg wrote that Mr. Kelly declined to comment for the article, the Atlantic editor maintained that “people close to” Mr. Kelly had revealed his own personal reflections on the exchange with the president.
Mr. Kelly “initially believed … that Trump was making a ham-handed reference to the selflessness of America’s all-volunteer force. But later he came to realize that Trump simply does not understand non-transactional life choices,” Mr. Goldberg wrote.
Mr. Kelly was serving as Homeland Security secretary in May 2017, and critics of Mr. Goldberg’s article pointed out over the weekend that roughly eight weeks later, Mr. Kelly accepted Mr. Trump’s invitation to become White House chief of staff.
While Melania Trump said on Twitter Friday night that The Atlantic article “is not true,” a range of prominent journalists spent the weekend questioning its veracity.
Jonah Goldberg, executive editor of The Dispatch — a website that describes itself as a purveyor of “fact-based reporting” informed by “conservative principles” — was among the first to suggest The Atlantic may have veered into journalistically unethical territory by publishing the article.
While Mr. Goldberg, who has no relation to the Atlantic editor, tweeted that “the Atlantic story is entirely believable,” he added that “someone should have gone on record and without someone on the record, they should have sat on it.”
Others across the political spectrum appeared to agree.
The New Yorker, for instance, ran with an article over the weekend beneath the headline: “It’s Time for the Former General John Kelly to Speak Out About Trump’s Views on the Military.”
“Other news outlets, including Fox News, have confirmed various parts of the [Atlantic] story, while some current and former members of the Trump Administration have called parts of it false,” New Yorker writer John Cassidy wrote.
“The best way to resolve the controversy would be for John Kelly, the highly decorated military veteran who served as Trump’s chief of staff, from 2017 to 2019, to say publicly what he knows. He ought to do this without hesitation,” Mr. Cassidy wrote.
⦁ Ryan Lovelace, Seth McLaughlin and Dave Boyer contributed to this report.
Author: The Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com
Pandemic hobbles Fredericksburg area museums
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) – In a normal year, the Fredericksburg Area Museum uses funds raised during its summer programming-such as the Sounds of Summer outdoor concert series-to pay staff salaries for the months of October, November and December.
This year, because of COVID-19, there was no summer programming.
“Programming is a very big chunk and that’s gone,” said Sara Poore, president and CEO of the museum. “We are scheduling fall programming as we can, based on the state guidelines.
“It is very, very tricky. The programming we can do will by no means cover our costs, but rather hopefully just cover our general operating bills such as utilities.”
The museum reopened Aug. 1 after being closed since mid-March. Visitors purchase timed tickets-preferably in advance of arriving at the building-and can enter in 15-minute intervals. Only one floor of the museum is open and masks are required for entry.
During the four-month closure, the museum stepped up its virtual presence, with daily Facebook posts and some virtual programming. It also held “Camp in a Bag”-a week’s worth of summer camp activities that families could pick up and complete at home-as well as a four-session outdoor archaeology camp with limited space to preserve social distancing.
Poore said the museum received a payroll protection loan to cover staff salaries for April, May and June. Though none of the “small and mighty” staff have had to be let go, Poore said the way forward for the area museum-and all museums-is murky.
“We have taken a severe financial hit because we were not able to be open,” she said. “That’s four months’ worth of community outreach that we’ve lost. Our membership is down, our revenues are down. The local museums really need support.”
According to the results of a July survey conducted by the American Alliance of Museums, one-third of museums are in danger of closing permanently due to coronavirus-related closures and financial disruptions. More than half of museum directors surveyed said their endowments or other financial reserves would not last more than six months and 87 percent said their reserves would hold out for a year, but not longer.
“It’s mind-boggling,” American Alliance of Museums President Laura Lott told the Los Angeles Times in July. “For hundreds of years, museums have been there to collect, preserve, interpret and share what our culture determines is important for future generations to be able to experience and be inspired by and learn from. And the prospect of (so much) of that going away is really devastating to a culture.”
None of the local museum officials The Free Lance–Star spoke to said their venues are in immediate danger of closing, but all said they are working hard to figure out how to reopen or stay open safely and stay financially viable.
“Every museum is sort of on the cusp anyway,” said Meghan Budinger, curator at the George Washington Foundation, which oversees Historic Kenmore and George Washington’s Ferry Farm. “Even a good year for a museum is not really what most businesses would call financially stable.”
The foundation’s sites reopened July 1 after being closed since March 13. Visitors are encouraged to buy tickets for tours online in advance.
“We’re not going to turn somebody away if they walk up without an online reservation, but we really, really, really, really strongly encourage it,” Budinger said.
Tour groups are limited to seven people at Kemore and nine people at Ferry Farm, and the amount of time tour groups spend inside buildings has been shortened.
Budinger said admission revenue makes up a “pretty small component” of the foundation’s annual budget, but the nearly-four-month closure also affected its fundraising ability.
“It was rough,” Budinger said. “We definitely took a hit. Our development office especially took a huge dive into grant applications and did a lot of increased work trying to keep in touch with our donors.”
Anne Darron, executive director of the Washington Heritage Museums-which oversees the Mary Washington House, the Rising Sun Tavern, the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop and the St. James House-said admission proceeds make up a little less than a quarter of the organization’s annual budget.
The sites are still closed and have been closed since March. In addition, the organization’s largest fundraiser, the Bourbon and Boxwood gala usually held in September, has also been cancelled this year because of COVID-19.
Though members are continuing to renew, the loss of revenue has “obviously been detrimental,” Darron said.
“It has caused us to reevaluate our budget and make cuts where necessary, and delay some other things we had hoped to take on this year,” she said.
Darron said she hopes the downtown properties can reopen on Sept. 11, though she stressed that this is only a hope.
“The rooms in our properties are very small,” Darron said. “The largest of our rooms can accommodate only six people that aren’t related to each other. So given state guidelines, we’ve been having to work hard to figure out exactly how to do all this. It’s not an easy process.”
Docents at the three sites have not worked since mid-March. The managers of each historic site are still employed, checking on the collections and planning for reopening, Darron said.
Washington Heritage Museums, like the Fredericksburg Area Museum, has relied heavily on volunteers in the past to assist at the front desk, help maintain the garden at the Mary Washington House, set up before events and clean up afterwards and assist with programming.
Social distancing requirements and virus fears will limit the number of volunteers available to help with those activities, Poore said.
“Volunteers make up a very large percentage of our workforce,” Poore said. “Although several volunteers are returning, the impact this loss will also greatly impact what we can do.”
PLUSES AND MINUSES
Scott Harris, director of the University of Mary Washington Museums-which oversees the James Monroe Museum and the Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont, as well as the Papers of James Monroe-said the loss of admissions and event revenue since March has been “a very large financial hit” for the two museum sites.
“(The financial loss) is only partially offset by savings from not paying hourly wage employees, such as front desk and interpretive staff, and some other savings of on-site costs, such as catering at events, regular trash service, etc,” Harris said.
He said membership renewals at both the James Monroe Museum and the Gari Melchers Home and Studio have been “fairly steady” and some members have increased their giving levels.
“It remains to be seen what General Assembly actions will do to our state appropriations,” Harris said. Both UMW museums belong to the state of Virginia and receive funding from the assembly.
Both sites have a “benchmark” reopening date of Sept. 14, when UMW students begin their fall semester, he said.
Local National Park sites have had a slightly different experience as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
John Hennessy, chief historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park-which includes the Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania and Wilderness battlefields-said that early on in the pandemic, more local people discovered the parks.
Buildings and visitor centers were closed, but trails and landscapes were open and were heavily used in April, May and June, Hennessy said.
“Many local people discovered the park as a place of quiet, a place they could just get away to-out of their house, without having to worry about crowds,”Hennessy said. “It was a time that revealed to many people that these places-yes, they’re historic, they’re important, but they’re also quiet places of refuge from the world around us. And the world around us has been more tumultuous than we’ve ever known.”
Park staff returned to work in June and with fewer out-of-state visitors travelling to the sites than in previous years, rangers have had more time to engage people, he said.
“So it’s been a different summer, but I think lots of the folks who have worked on the landscape interacting with people have said they’ve had a great many meaningful conversations with people because it hasn’t been as busy,” Hennessy said. “So that’s been a boon.”
COVID-19 has forced all museums and cultural organizations to expand and diversify their online content in order to continue engaging with visitors while physical sites have been closed.
“It has definitely made us think about taking our message out rather than waiting for people to come to us,” Budinger said. “I think maybe we have reached a lot more people than we used to. I guess that’s the bright side.”
For local museums, this engagement has meant live Facebook events, such as curator chats; virtual programs such as upcoming joint event between the James Monroe Museum and the Washington Heritage Museums titled “Fabrics of History;” and daily Facebook posts.
“It’s been very interesting because when you don’t have visitors in, you notice things in your collection or in your buildings-small details, say, on a chair or a chest-that you didn’t particularly notice before,” Darron said. “So we’ve been sharing that on our Facebook page.”
The UMW museums compiled printable activities, links to videos and other educational resources on their websites and Harris said the response to these has been “very positive.”
Both sites also received grants from the Community Foundation for the Rappahanaock Region to create 3D tours.
Kenmore and Ferry Farm did daily social media posts sharing archival images of the sites from the 1920s through World War II, as well as peeks into the collection.
They also asked their social media following to take Flat George Washington and his sister, Flat Betty Lewis, around town and share pictures of them.
“We got lots of pictures of George and Betty all over town, doing different things,” Budinger said. “Our views and interactions and managements on social media really skyrocketed during the closure.”
Darron said the push to find new ways to engage with visitors has been “a silver lining” to the COVID-19 crisis, as it may help museums figure out how stay relevant to new audiences.
This work is crucial to museums’ ability to survive, Poore said.
“The future of museums is on shaky ground all across the country,” she said. “This has really made us think about our future and how to keep ourselves relevant. How do we come outside of our four walls?”
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.
Author: The Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com