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ARK Investment Management and Resolute Investment Managers Reaffirm Long-term Partnership – Yahoo Finance

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Wells Fargo: 3 Chip Stocks to Buy as We Head Into 2021

Semiconductors are one of the modern world’s essential industries, making possible so much of what we rely on or take for granted: internet access, high-speed computers with high-speed memory, even the thermostats that control our air conditioning – there isn’t much, tech-wise, that doesn’t use semiconductor chips.With the end of 2020 in sight, it’s time for the annual ritual of evaluating the equities for the New Year. Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers has cast his eye on the chip industry, tagging several companies as likely gainers next year.The analyst sees several factors combining to boost demand for chips in 2021, including cloud demand, new gaming consoles, and a market resolution to the future of the PC segment. Overall, however, Rakers expects that memory chips and 5G enabled chips will emerge as the drivers of the industry next year. The analyst expects that semiconductor companies, as a group, will see between 10% and 12% growth over the next 12 months.That’s an industry-wide average, however. According to Raker, some chip companies will show significantly higher growth, on the order of 30% to 40% in year ahead. We can look at those companies, along with the latest TipRanks data, to find out what makes these particular chip makers so compelling.Micron Technology (MU)Among the leading chip makers, Micron has staked out a position in the memory segment. The company has seen its market cap expand to $78 billion this year, as shares have appreciated 32% year-to-date. The surge comes on a product line heaving on computer data storage, DRAM, and flash storage.Look back at 2020, Micron has seen revenues increase each quarter, from $4.8 billion in Q1 to $5.4 billion in Q2 to $6.1 billion in Q3. Earnings came in at 87 cents per share, up from 71 cents in Q2 and 36 cents in Q1.The calendar third quarter was Micron’s 4QFY20, and the full fiscal year showed a decline due attributed to the COVID pandemic. Revenue came in at $21.44 billion, down 8.4% year-over-year, and operating cash flow fell to $8.31 billion from $13.19 billion in FY19. During this past quarter, Micron’s 1QFY21, the company announced the release of the world’s first 176-layer 3D NAND chip. The new chip promises higher density and faster performance in flash memory, and the architecture is described as a ‘radical breakthrough.’ The layer count is 40% higher than competing chips.Looking ahead, Micron has updated its F1Q21 guidance, predicting total revenue of $5.7 billion to $5.75 billion. This is a 10% increase from the previous guidance.Wells Fargo’s Aaron Rakers calls Micron his top semiconductor idea for 2021. He points out “a deepening positive view on the memory, and in particular the DRAM industry. DRAM accounts for approximately two-thirds of Micron’s revenue and over 80% of the company’s bottom-line profits.” In addition, Rakers notes “Micron’s technology execution – 1Znm DRAM leadership; recently outlined 1αnm ramp into 2021, as well as Micron’s move to 176-Layer 2nd -gen Replacement Gate 3D NAND to drive improved cost curve. We would also highlight Micron’s execution on graphics memory (e.g., GDDR6X), Multi-Chip Packages (MCPs), and High-Bandwidth Memory (e.g., HBME2) as positives.”In line with these comments, Rakers rates Micron shares a Buy, along with a $100 price target. This figure suggests room for 41% growth in 2021. (To watch Rakers’ track record, click here)Micron has 24 recent reviews on record, breaking down to 19 Buys, 4 Holds, and 1 Sell, and giving the stock a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus. Shares are priced at $70.96, and recent appreciation has pushed them almost to the $74.30 average price target. But as Rakers’ outlook suggests, there may be more than just 4.5% upside available here. (See MU stock analysis on TipRanks)Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)With $6.5 billion in total sales last year, and a market cap of $110.7 billion, AMD is a giant company – but it doesn’t even crack the top five of the world’s largest chip makers. Still, AMD has a solid position in the industry, and its x86 processors provide stiff competition for market-leading Intel (INTC). AMD shares have shown solid growth this year, and are up 101% as 2020 comes to a close.The share growth rides on the back of steady revenue gains since the corona crisis peaked in Q1. AMD’s Q3 top line came in at $2.8 billion, up 55% from the $1.8 billion recorded in the year-ago quarter and beating the forecast by 10%. Earnings, at 37 cents per share, were up 220% year-over-year. The company credited the growth to solid results in the PC, gaming, and data center product lines, and boasted that it was the fourth consecutive quarter with >25% yoy revenue growth.AMD announced last month a new product for the scientific research market, the Instinct MI100 accelerator. The new chip is billed as the world’s fasted HPC GPU, and the first such x86 server to exceed 10 teraflops performance.Covering AMD for Wells Fargo, Rakers wrote: “We remain positive on AMD’s competitive positioning for continued sustained gradual share gains in PCs… We also believe AMD’s deepening data center GPU strategy with new Instinct MI100 GPUs and the release of RoCM 4.0 software platform could become increasingly visible as we move through 2021. AMD’s roadmap execution would remain an important focus – 7nm+ Ryzen 4000-series, new RDNA Radeon Instinct data center GPUs (MI100 / MI120), and the 3 rd -gen 7nm+ EPYC Milan CPUs…”Rakers’ stance supports his Buy rating, and his $120 price target implies a 30% one-year upside to the stock.The Moderate Buy analyst consensus view on AMD reflects some residual Wall Street caution. The stock’s 20 recent reviews include 13 Buys, 6 Holds, and 1 Sell. AMD shares are selling for $91.64, and like Micron, their recent appreciation has closed the gap with the $94.71 average price target. (See AMD stock analysis on TipRanks)Western Digital Corporation (WDC)Closing out the Wells Fargo picks on this list is Western Digital, a designer and manufacturer of memory systems. The company’s products include hard disk drives, solid state drives, data center platforms, embedded flash drives, and portable storage including memory cards and USB thumb drives. WDC has had a tough year in 2020, with shares down 19% year-to-date. Still, the stock has seen gains in November and December, on the heels of what was seen as a strong fiscal 1Q21 report.That earnings report showed $3.9 billion in revenue, which was down 3% year-over-year, but the EPS net loss, at 19 cents, was a tremendous yoy improvement from the 93-cent net loss in the year-ago quarter. The earnings improvement, which beat the forecast by 20%, was key for investors, and the stock is up 30% since the quarterly report. The company also generated a solid cash flow in the quarter, with cash from operations growing 111% sequentially.Wells Fargo’s Rakers acknowledges WDC’s difficulties in 2020, but even so, he believes that this is a stock which is worth the risk.“Western Digital has been our toughest constructive call of 2020 and while we believe calling a bottom in NAND Flash (mid/2H2021?) remains difficult and WD’s execution in enterprise SSDs will remain choppy, our SOTP analysis leaves us to continue to believe that shares present a compelling risk / reward. We continue to believe that Western Digital can drive to a ~$7/sh.+ mid-cycle EPS story; however, we continue to think a key driver of this fundamental upside will not only be a recovery in the NAND Flash business, coupled with WD’s ability to see improved execution in enterprise SSDs, but also a continued view that WD’s HDD gross margin can return to a sustainable 30%+ level,” Rakers opined.To this end, Rakers rates WDC a Buy along with a $65 price target. Should the target be met, investors could pocket gains of 29% over the next months Where does the rest of the Street side on this computer-storage maker? It appears mostly bullish, as TipRanks analytics demonstrate WDC as a Buy. Out of 11 analysts tracked in the last 3 months, 7 are bullish, while 4 remain sidelined. With a return potential of 9%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $54.44. (See WDC stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for tech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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A classic investing read for summer (psst … it’s free) – The Globe and Mail

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Is there a good book you recommend for retail investors? I have read several that explain how markets and trading work, but I have found very few that discuss the strategies one should use to invest profitably. One of the hardest decisions I have is when to sell, since if I don’t have extra cash the only way to buy another stock is to sell something first.

As I discussed in a recent column, I’m not a fan of trying to create wealth by trading. Instead, I believe in building a diversified portfolio of solid companies, or exchange-traded funds, and holding them for the long run. Focusing on stocks that raise their dividends regularly has worked well for me, as a growing payout is usually a sign of a healthy company and provides a powerful incentive to stay invested instead of constantly trading in and out.

When I was starting out, one of the most influential books I read was Lowell Miller’s The Single Best Investment: Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth. It is an engaging and accessible read that will not only give you the tools to identify great dividend stocks, but will help you deal with the 24/7 onslaught of market noise that often leads small investors astray.

I’m not exaggerating when I say the book might very well change how you think about investing.

As Mr. Miller, the founder and now-retired chief investment officer of Miller/Howard Investments, writes in the book’s introduction:

“Investing isnʼt some athletic event where agility and flashes of virtuosity are the secrets of success. Rather, investing really is investing – the methodical accumulation of capital through a sensible and disciplined plan which recognizes that ‘shares’ are not little numbers that jump around in the paper every day.

“They represent a partnership interest in a real and going business. Your plan, very simply, must recognize that you will manage your investments by actually being an investor – a passive partner in a real and going business.”

Even though it’s a U.S. book and the latest edition was published in 2006, the principles are still relevant to Canadian investors. Here’s the best part: The book is now available as a free PDF download from Miller/Howard’s website at: bit.ly/SingleBestInvest.

Prefer a hard copy? Check online or at your local library.


In The Single Best Investment, Lowell Miller writes that a company’s bonds should have a Standard & Poor’s credit rating of BBB+ or better – considered “investment grade” – to qualify as a suitable stock. Is the bond rating something you consider when buying a stock for your model portfolio? Is there an easy way to check this for individual companies in Canada? I have tried scrolling through lists of bonds in my brokerage account but I can’t seem to find bond ratings for individual companies.

Yes, I consider the credit rating when buying stocks personally and in my model Yield Hog Dividend Growth Portfolio (tgam.ca/dividendportfolio). A lousy credit rating indicates that a company could have trouble meeting its obligations, and in such cases the dividend is often the first casualty. For that reason, I usually stay away from companies whose bonds are rated as “speculative,” or below investment grade.

Mr. Miller’s minimum credit rating is slightly more stringent than the common definition of investment grade, which includes anything rated BBB- or higher by Standard & Poor’s. According to S&P, companies in the BBB family generally have “adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but [are] more subject to adverse economic conditions” than those rated A, AA or AAA. (Fitch and DBRS use a similar letter rating system as S&P, while Moody’s defines investment grade as anything rated Baa3 or higher on its scale.)

(One exception to the investment grade rule in my model portfolio is Restaurant Brands International Inc., whose debt is rated BB by S&P. However, the agency recently upgraded the owner of Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes to “stable” from “negative,” saying it expects a continued rebound in sales and profitability as the pandemic recedes and the company opens more franchised restaurants. So I’m comfortable giving Restaurant Brands some slack on its credit rating.)

There are several ways to find a company’s credit ratings. One is to check the investor relations section of its website. A Google search of “BCE credit rating,” for example, brought up a company web page with all of BCE Inc.’s bond, commercial paper and preferred share credit ratings from S&P, Moody’s and DBRS. BCE and other companies typically provide additional credit rating information and analysis in their annual reports.

Another option is to go directly to the credit rating agencies themselves. For example, the DBRS website – dbrsmorningstar.com – lets you search for a company and read detailed reports about its recent credit rating changes or confirmations. This will give you an even deeper understanding of the company’s financial position and outlook. S&P and Moody’s also make credit reports available, but you’ll need to register to get access.

E-mail your questions to jheinzl@globeandmail.com. I’m not able to respond personally to e-mails but I choose certain questions to answer in my column.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

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Condo Smarts: Existing condominium buildings can be good investment – Times Colonist

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Dear Tony: We are retiring this year and considering downsizing to a condo. We have started looking at both new and existing properties around Vancouver and Victoria, but we encounter challenges with both options.

New developments are often available only through presales and the time periods for completion would require us to sell, rent until the property is ready, and with few assurances of completion dates would require us to move twice with no guarantees how the properties would be managed or how fees would be structured for long term operations.

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Existing buildings are more attractive; however, we find most properties are sold within days of listing, and there appears to be more of a concern by realtors to keep strata fees low rather than looking at the age of the buildings and the long-term maintenance to protect owner investments.

Are there any standards or consumer rules we might consider following? As new buyers into a condo lifestyle we would like to avoid a sinking investment.

Karyn and Jerry W.

There are many existing buildings and communities that are an excellent investment. They are easily identified by reviewing the financial reports, investments, a depreciation report completed by a qualified consultant or reserve planner, and by reviewing the minutes of the strata corporation to identify how they address maintenance, planning and funding for the future.

While every building has different amenities, staffing and servicing requirements, an annual budget that identifies all the service contracts for maintenance and operations is a significant asset. An active use of the depreciation report to plan for future renewals and major maintenance components is a healthy indication of a well managed property.

Low strata fees are problematic for strata corporations as they often indicate a community dependent on special levies. Special levies require a 3/4 vote of owners at general meetings and many owners vote against a special levies generally due to affordability issues. The result of failed special levies is deferred repairs that will only rise in cost and damages, and the potential for court actions or CRT orders.

There is also a direct link between low strata fees, deferred maintenance and renewals, and higher risks for insurers. This results in higher insurance rates and deductibles for strata corporations.

Buyers should always request copies of depreciation reports, any engineering and environmental reports, minutes of annual meetings, the bylaws and rules of the property, copy of the strata insurance policy, and a Form B Information Certificate, which will also identify any courts actions or decisions against the strata corporation. Read all documents and discuss any issues with your realtor and lawyer. This should help separate the well managed buildings vs the buildings at risk.

New construction in some ways is easier to manage as the strata corporation is enabled to make the right decisions that will impact funding and future operations. Owners can have a direct effect on their investments by joining and supporting the newly formed strata council and making decisions that ensure a well funded and planned operations plan.

Strata fees for new properties often start low in the first year as there are service contracts included with the new construction that are included in the warranty period and some developers will entice buyers with low costs. Plan on an increase of fees once all units are occupied and the strata corporation is fully serviced for operations and maintenance.

This may be impacted by insurance costs, staffing, and consulting for warranty inspections, legal services and the management of warranty claims, the commissioning of a deprecation report, and operational requirements.

Every building, which consists of endless components, will have failures. The effective management and planning of those issues when they arise is the true test of a well managed property. Product failures and installations are often beyond anyone’s control; however, a well funded property will also be able to respond without a significant crisis for owners.

Tony Gioventu is executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association.

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Goldman and DWS prepare bids for NN Investment Partners – Financial Times

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Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Germany’s DWS are preparing bids for NN Group’s investment management arm as consolidation in the industry gathers pace.

The Dutch insurer said in April it was considering a sale of NN Investment Partners, which has €300bn in assets under management.

The deadline for final binding offers is Monday. GSAM, which has more than $2tn in assets under supervision, and Frankfurt-based DWS are still in the sale process and preparing bids, said people familiar with the situation.

The deal price is in the region of €1.4bn, one of the people said. NN Group, GSAM and DWS declined to comment.

UBS Asset Management, Janus Henderson and US insurer Prudential Financial are among those to have previously registered their interest. All three declined to comment.

Investment managers globally are embarking on mergers and acquisitions designed to shield profits from rising costs and falling fees, while seeking to tap into fast-growing markets such as passive investing, private assets and ESG, and open up new distribution channels.

“The competitive environment for traditional active asset managers has intensified and a smaller group of larger players are now dominating the institutional segment,” said Vincent Bounie, senior managing director at Fenchurch Advisory, a specialist investment bank for financial services.

“It has become complicated to grow and very difficult to have a profitable business, in particular if you have undifferentiated plain vanilla products.”

Asoka Woehrmann, chief executive of DWS, which is majority owned by Deutsche Bank, told shareholders at the €820bn group’s annual meeting last month that it wanted to be “an active player” in industry consolidation. It is seeking further scale to challenge rival Amundi for supremacy in Europe.

Meanwhile for insurance companies, a prolonged period of low interest rates and higher capital requirements under Solvency II rules is prompting groups to weigh up where they allocate their capital, Bounie said. “For many of them, subscale asset management divisions are no longer core activities and there will probably be more divestments.”

NN Group, which is based in The Hague, came under pressure last year from activist hedge fund Elliott Management to improve returns and streamline its operations. It said in April it was considering options including a merger, joint venture or a partial divestment of the division.

NN Investment Partners has about 950 employees. Of its €300bn in assets under management, two-thirds is managed on behalf of its insurance parent company with the remaining third run for external investors.

The division’s range of funds covers fixed income, equity, multi-asset and alternative investment strategies. It has a strong position in ESG investing, notably in areas such as green bonds, impact equity and sustainable equity.

Additional reporting by Ian Smith in London

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