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PG&E Probation Judge Threatens to Restrict Manager Bonuses

Forest Products IIII - 11 hours 32 min ago

(Bloomberg) -- PG&E Corp. could be ordered by a federal judge to restrict bonuses and incentives for supervisors and other high-ranking employees until the company meets obligations under its wildfire-prevention plan.As PG&E struggles to prove it can operate safely after a series of devastating wildfires blamed on its equipment, U.S. District Judge William Alsup threatened in a filing Friday to tie incentive pay “exclusively” to meeting goals for fire mitigation and other safety issues. He directed the company to explain in writing by Feb. 12 why he shouldn’t issue such an order.The bankrupt utility disclosed this month that it had fallen short of some of the commitments it made to inspect and repair lines, clear vegetation and cut tree branches. In response, Alsup has said he may require PG&E to hire and train more crews to inspect and cut trees to come into compliance with state requirements.Alsup is overseeing PG&E’s criminal probation after the utility was convicted in 2016 of violating gas-pipeline safety standards and obstructing a federal investigation. Alsup imposed new probation conditions to make sure the utility complies with both California law and its own wildfire prevention efforts after investigators found that its lines ignited wildfires in 2017 and 2018.PG&E said it would respond to Alsup’s order by the deadline. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 19.“PG&E shares the court’s commitment to safety and recognizes that we must take a leading role in keeping our customers and communities safe from the ever-growing threat of wildfire,” the company said in a statement.Last year, the judge overseeing PG&E’s bankruptcy approved an incentive plan that allowed for a maximum payout of $350 million for non-insider employees if they hit certain metrics tied to public safety, gas inspections and financial performance. The bankruptcy court later rejected a PG&E request for executive bonuses.PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2019 after its equipment was blamed for some of the worst fires in California history, crippling it with an estimated $30 billion in liabilities. A probe by state regulators found the utility failure to clear vegetation and trees around power lines contributed to several fires that charred parts of northern California wine country in 2017.(Updates with PG&E statement in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter Blumberg, Steve StrothFor 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.


Owners of solar company that caused loss for Buffett plead guilty over Ponzi scheme

Forest Products IIII - 11 hours 55 min ago

The husband-and-wife owners of DC Solar, a California solar company that caused Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc to take a $377 million charge last year, pleaded guilty on Friday to involvement in an estimated $912 million Ponzi scheme. Jeff Carpoff, 49, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while Paulette Carpoff, 46, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.


U.S. Secretary of Transportation talks importance of World Economic Forum

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 23:07

The 2020 World Economic Forum has officially wrapped up, but before it did Yahoo Finance's Editor In Chief Andy Serwer sat down with the United States Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao. The two spoke about the importance of the annual event and supporting innovation. 


Boeing Mulls Another Cut to 787 Output in New Threat to Cash

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 23:03

(Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co. is considering another cut to production of its marquee 787 Dreamliner as the aerospace giant contends with sluggish demand, people familiar with the matter said.Executives are studying whether to trim monthly output by two planes to 10 a month from a reduced pace that was announced in October, the people said. While no final decision has been made, a new production schedule for the twin-aisle jet could be announced as early as next week when the company reports earnings.Boeing is grappling with slowing sales for wide-body aircraft in a market glutted with used models. The manufacturer has struggled to persuade airlines to accelerate deliveries to fill empty production slots, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.Slowing output of the carbon-composite Dreamliner, with a list price that starts at about $250 million, would crimp a critical source of cash for Boeing as it attempts to recover from a global grounding of the 737 Max following two fatal crashes. The 787 accounted for about 40% of Boeing’s jetliner deliveries in 2019 as the company was barred most of the year from shipping the best-selling Max.“We maintain a disciplined rate-management process, taking into account a host of risks and opportunities,” Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers said when asked about a possible output cut for the Dreamliner. “We will continue to assess the demand environment and make adjustments as appropriate in the future.”Boeing rose 1.7% to $323.05 at the close in New York. On a volatile day for the stock, Boeing fell in midday trading on the potential Dreamliner rate cut before reversing losses when Reuters reported that the Federal Aviation Administration was “pleased” with Boeing’s latest work on fixing the Max. The shares have fallen 9.8% over the last 12 months, the second-worst performance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.Cutting Dreamliner output to 10 a month from last year’s levels would clip $324 million from cash flow, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst George Ferguson. That’s “small vs. the $4 billion-plus the 737 will earn” when the Max grounding ends and production normalizes at a monthly rate of 57 jets, he said in a note to clients.In addition, the impact on cash flow of any new cut in Dreamliner production could take years to materialize. In October, Boeing executives cited an extended order drought from China when they said the company would slow production to 12 Dreamliners a month by late this year from its peak rate of 14.China FactorBoeing has gotten more bad news into the open under new Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun, who took the reins this month. The Chicago-based company has already delayed expectations for the Max’s return to midyear and is expected to report a multibillion-dollar accounting charge for compensating airlines that didn’t receive planes on order.A nascent thaw in trade tensions between the U.S. and China could weigh against reducing output of the Dreamliner, which can seat as many as 336 passengers. In a trade pact announced last week, China agreed to purchase almost $80 billion in U.S. goods including aircraft through next year.“I would expect a rate reduction sooner rather than later, with one caveat,” John Plueger, CEO of Air Lease Corp., predicted earlier this month. “If Boeing had any suspended 787 deals which get reactivated quickly, then that might modify their rate decision.”He said he had no particular knowledge of Boeing’s plans.(Updates with analyst comment in seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Charlotte Ryan and Brandon Kochkodin.To contact the reporters on this story: Julie Johnsson in Chicago at jjohnsson@bloomberg.net;Siddharth Philip in London at sphilip3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Case at bcase4@bloomberg.net, ;Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Tony Robinson, Richard CloughFor 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.


How latest FICO changes impact your credit score

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 22:45

FICO has announced updates to its credit scoring algorithm, which could change where your credit score sits. CreditCards.com analyst Ted Rossman joins The Final Round to discuss.


With Wuhan virus genetic code in hand, scientists begin work on a vaccine

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 22:45

CHICAGO/LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - When a newly organised vaccine research group at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) met for the first time this week, its members had expected to be able to ease into their work. In just three months time, they likely will be testing the first of a number of potential experimental vaccines against the new SARS-like coronavirus that is spreading in China and beyond. "I told them, 'you are going to have your baptism of fire, folks'," Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within NIH, said of his inaugural address to the group this week.


Investing during retirement

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 22:37

AJ Smith, Smartasset’s Vice President of Content and Financial Education, joined Yahoo Finance to reiterate why it's important to continue investing during retirement and ways to do so.


Canopy Growth (CGC): Why The Beverage Debacle Is a Big Problem

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 22:20

Canopy Growth (CGC) had an astonishing revelation prior to this past holiday weekend for the stock market. The new CEO was expected to reorganize the business, but a delay to the cannabis beverages business was an unexpected jolt to the Canadian cannabis company. One has to wonder what other issues will be disclosed as CEO David Klein completes his second week on the job.Beverage DebacleCanopy Growth shocked the market last week by admitting their cannabis-infused beverages were not ready to scale for the market. The news is surprising considering the company is already a month into the legalization of Cannabis 2.0 products such as edibles and beverages.New CEO David Klein suggests the time period since Canopy Growth obtained Health Canada license in late November 2019 wasn’t enough time to work out the kinks with THC in a brand new beverage facility. The company suggests updates will be provided on the release of the FQ3 results on February 14, or roughly two months after the market already thought their cannabis beverages were hitting the market.Canopy Growth provided a Cannabis 2.0 update back on December 6 with no indication of these impending problems with ramping up a new facility. At the time, the large cannabis player promoted several drinks hitting store shelves in early January followed by other varieties of the Tweed, Houseplant, Quatreau and Deep Space brands. Previously, Canopy Growth had outlined in detail a vast selection of cannabis-infused drinks expected to be ready for the 2.0 launch in December or early January.Investors had no reason to doubt the company’s beverage ambitions considering the backing of wine and spirits giant Constellations Brands (STZ).High ExpensesWhat the news means is that Canopy Growth remains in the R&D phase without the revenues. The company continues to spend while not getting any returns for investors as the 150,000 sq. ft. beverage facility is now open and only producing expensive THC chocolate bars.Naturally, Canopy Growth is wise to delay any release to get the THC mix correct before hitting market. The company might have been wiser to focus on the beverages endeavor versus recently jumping into the U.S. CBD market.The company has a massive operating expense base by trying to be all things to the global cannabis market with none of the results warranting the vast investments. Canopy Growth has the weakest gross margins in the sector at 38% in the last quarter assuming tons of adjustments while having the largest operating expense base. For FQ2, the company had adjusted operating expenses at C$160 million, or nearly double the amount spent by Aurora Cannabis.The first step of the new CEO was to delay the cannabis beverages hitting market, but what investors really wanted to see is Canopy Growth rationalizing expenses. This beverage facility delay only elevates expenses unattached to current revenue production.Consensus VerdictWall Street isn’t completely sold on this ‘show me’ story. Out of 15 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 6 are bullish on Canopy Growth stock, while 9 remain sidelined. Is the stock overvalued or undervalued based on these expectations? With a downside potential of nearly 8%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $20.83. (See Canopy Growth stock analysis on TipRanks)TakeawayThe key investor takeaway is that Canopy Growth hit another big problem with meeting financial targets. The company remains in major spend mode over six months after firing ex-CEO Bruce Linton and the latest news suggests the new CEO is nowhere close to reorganizing the business.The stock is far too expensive at an $8.5 billion market cap when the company can’t even get cannabis-infused beverages onto the market while daily operating losses remain in the millions.To find good ideas for cannabis stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.


Discover Falls Most in a Decade After Warning on Costs, Debt

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 22:15

(Bloomberg) -- Discover Financial Services slumped the most in more than a decade after warning it will spend more on marketing and technology, including to beef up collections on troubled debt.Full-year operating expenses could rise to as high as $4.9 billion from $4.4 billion in 2019, Discover executives said late Thursday on a conference call. Marketing non-card products such as a new digital checking account will contribute to higher costs, as will investments in analytics.Shares of Discover tumbled 11% to $76.29 at 4 p.m. in New York, the most since April 2009.The company has been using some of its new analytics capabilities to identify customers who might be close to falling behind on their payments, Chief Financial Officer John Greene said. Discover has long had a program for “troubled debt restructurings,” or TDRs, that allows customers experiencing financial hardship to modify their repayment terms.In the past, those customers had to call Discover to qualify, but the lender has now made it part of its online and mobile-banking capabilities. That’s led to an increase in usage: The amount of receivables it classifies as TDRs rose to $3.4 billion as of Dec. 31, a 48% increase from a year earlier.Analysts on Discover’s earnings conference call pressed executives to explain their view on the credit quality of the portfolio.“We have seen growth in TDRs because we now make them available not just when you call but as part of our expansion of digital collections,” Chief Executive Officer Roger Hochschild said. Still, he said, “we feel good about credit. Look at charge-offs. Look at delinquencies.”For the year, net charge-offs rose 10% to $2.88 billion, in line with analysts’ estimates. The percentage of credit-card loans that were at least 90 days overdue rose to 1.32% from 1.22% a year earlier.Synchrony Financial, the largest provider of store cards in the U.S., also tumbled Friday after the company said it would spend more on developing card programs for PayPal Holdings Inc.’s Venmo and Verizon Communications Inc. Shares of the company slid 9.9% to $32.63, the biggest drop since November 2018. “The biggest add to the year is through the Verizon and Venmo investment we’re making,” Margaret Keane, Synchrony’s CEO, said on a conference call with analysts. “We’ve done a really good job on the front end, meaning how you apply and buy, and using your mobile capabilities,” Keane said. “But we’re really looking at how do we get more efficiency out of our back office.” (Adds Synchrony Financial starting in the ninth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jenny Surane in New York at jsurane4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Steve Dickson, Peter EichenbaumFor 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.


Stock market news live: Stocks end week lower as confirmed cases of coronavirus rise

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 22:07

Headlines moving the stock market in real time.


Novavax exec: Making a coronavirus vaccine could take a long time

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 22:03

The coronavirus that has killed dozens and rattled markets has no immediate cure — and a vaccine could be years in the making, a medical executive told Yahoo Finance.


Stocks Post Biggest Drop Since October on Virus: Markets Wrap

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 22:02

(Bloomberg) -- The spread of a deadly respiratory virus rattled global markets, sending U.S. stocks lower and fueling demand for havens in government bonds and gold. Oil fell for a fourth day on concern the outbreak will dent economic growth.The S&P 500 Index posted its biggest drop since October amid reports that U.S. officials had confirmed two more cases of the illness, which originated in China and has also spread to several countries in Asia and to Europe. Benchmark Treasury yields fell to a three-month low, while the dollar advanced for a second day.Investors are exercising caution with stocks close to all-time highs, cognizant of the chance the respiratory virus migrates across the world and develops into a more devastating pandemic like the SARS illness that emerged 17 years ago. Officials in China boosted travel restrictions to cover 40 million people to contain the virus’s spread.“Investors can’t help but be unnerved by constant headlines of new cases all over the world,” said Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell. “To make matters worse, the market will be closed when we get the next update on the virus’ spread over the weekend. As such, this is quickly turning into a sell first, ask questions later environment.”In company news, United Airlines Holdings Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc. each slid more than 3% on concern the virus will limit demand for air travel and tourism. Financial shares also sank, with Citigroup Inc. down almost 2% as UBS warned the sector could be hurt by less credit-card spending and a decline in cross-border payments.Health shares were among the worst performers Friday on growing speculation that upcoming elections in the U.S. may prompt lawmakers to take action on the increasing cost of medicines in the U.S. Intel Corp. was a rare bright spot after giving a bullish revenue forecast.Elsewhere, the pound slipped for a second day versus the dollar, giving back some of its rally from earlier in the week.These are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 Index fell 0.9% at the close of trading in New York; it lost 1% for the week.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.9%.The MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.1%.The British pound declined 0.4% to $1.3076.The euro fell 0.3% to $1.1027.The Japanese yen rose 0.2% to 109.29 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries fell five basis points 1.69%.Britain’s 10-year yield dipped three basis points to 0.56%.Germany’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to -0.34%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude declined 2.2% to $54.39 a barrel.Gold rose 0.5% to $1,571.30 an ounce.\--With assistance from Cecile Gutscher, Adam Haigh and Brian Chappatta.To contact the reporters on this story: Brendan Walsh in Austin at bwalsh8@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, ;Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Brendan Walsh, Randall JensenFor 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.


Starbucks becomes the latest company to suspend operations in China amid coronavirus outbreak

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 21:43

Starbucks joins a growing list of companies – including McDonald’s and Disney – that are suspending operations in China, as health authorities rush to contain an outbreak of coronavirus that is gripping the nation.


CFRA Analyst To Tesla Investors: Sell Your Stock

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 21:02

CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson said Friday in a Fox Business interview that Tesla Inc's (NASDAQ: TSLA ) stock benefited from a "meteoric run-up" and investors should be selling the stock. What Happened ...


Why this CIO is bullish on two of the most unloved stocks: Boeing and GE

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 20:49

Kramer Capital Research CIO Hilary Kramer joins The Final Round to discuss her top stock picks, and why Boeing and General Electric are buys in this market.


FAA tells U.S. airlines it could approve MAX return to service before mid-year - sources

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 20:45

Federal Aviation Administrator Steve Dickson has called senior U.S. airline officials Friday and told them that the agency could approve the grounded Boeing 737 MAX's return to service before mid-year, people briefed on the calls said Friday. Boeing's best-selling plane has been grounded since March after two fatal crashes killed 346 people. Boeing's stock erased losses on the news and was up 2%.


FAA administrator to tell U.S. airlines MAX approval could come before mid-year

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 20:42

Federal Aviation Administrator Steve Dickson is calling senior U.S. airline officials Friday to tell them that the agency could approve the grounded Boeing 737 MAX's return to service before mid-year, a government official said Friday. FAA approval before mid-year could only happen if Boeing continues to make complete and thorough submissions, the official said, and emphasized that unforeseen issues could always potentially delay approval.


7 Best Vanguard Funds to Buy and Hold

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 20:39

Picking low-fee funds. Vanguard funds are a popular choice among investors who favor an indexing strategy. With index investing, the objective is to match the performance of a stock market benchmark, such ...


Likely 10x more coronavirus cases in China than what’s being reported: Analyst

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 20:26

Raymond James health care policy analyst Chris Meekins joins Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith on The Ticker to explain why he thinks there are likely more cases of the virus in China than what officials have previously reported.


Earnings Showdown: Telecom Giants AT&T And Verizon Battle It Out Amid 5G Rollout

Forest Products IIII - Fri, 24/01/2020 - 20:25

For telecom companies, this year is all about 5G, the next generation of mobile broadband that promises exponentially faster upload and download speeds. Analysts and investors will be keeping an eye on earnings from the two big players in this space—AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ)—to get an understanding of how 5G technology could play out in the future. T acquired Time Warner to own content.


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by Dr. Radut