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Lorne Steinberg's Top Picks: June 21, 2022 – BNN



Lorne Steinberg, president, Lorne Steinberg Wealth Management

FOCUS: Global value stocks and high-yield bonds 


The high level of inflation has lasted longer than anticipated, resulting in aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. The war in Ukraine has put added pressure on commodity prices, while supply chain issues and labour shortages persist. There are already signs that the rate increases are having an impact, as the housing market has started to cool off.

It is worth noting that it usually takes about nine months for the economy to experience the full impact of rate changes. That is why there is increasing concern by investors that the Fed may “overshoot” by raising rates too aggressively, which could result in a recession.

Rising yields, the war in Ukraine and fear of recession have caused markets to sell off, and opportunities abound. As we look forward over the next twelve months, the war in Ukraine will probably be over (possibly to no one’s satisfaction), supply chain problems will subside and the inflation rate should be significantly lower than today.

Fear and uncertainty always result in opportunity for long-term investors and today’s situation is no exception. In the present market, investors can buy some of the world’s great businesses on sale, which should result in substantial wealth creation over the next many years.  

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Lorne Steinberg’s Top Picks

Lorne Steinberg, president of Lorne Steinberg Wealth Management, discusses his top picks: Amazon, Morgan Stanley, and Berkshire Hathaway.


The technology sector has suffered more than most, as rising yields have caused valuation multiples to compress. Amazon’s revenues will exceed $500 billion this year, as it continues to expand into new businesses, usually with flawless execution. It has funded this growth through its cash generation and we expect earnings and free cash flow growth to accelerate over the next several years. The recent decline in the share price gives investors the opportunity to buy this great company with a margin of safety and significant upside.


Bank stocks have been another victim of the recent market decline and Morgan Stanley is no exception. This company is the largest wealth manager in the U.S. and has reduced its exposure to more cyclical businesses such as trading and investment banking. The company has been exceptionally well managed, as evidenced by its growth and profitability since the financial crisis. The shares currently trade at a P/E of 10, with a 3.8 per cent dividend yield, a truly compelling value.


Berkshire Hathaway shares are lower today than one year ago, offering investors a truly unique opportunity. The company is the largest shareholder of Apple, whose shares are down with the tech market. Berkshire is also a major insurance company through its ownership of GEICO and other insurance businesses. Of course, it also has a significant portfolio of private and public companies which have created exceptional value over many years. Despite criticism for sitting on a large cash position, the company is now perfectly positioned to deploy its cash at opportunistic prices, as it has done successfully in the past.  While Buffett and Munger are now in their 90s, they have hired capable successors to run this company while sticking to its core principles.


PAST PICKS: June 28, 2021

Lorne Steinberg’s Past Picks

Lorne Steinberg, president of Lorne Steinberg Wealth Management, discusses his past picks: Compass Group plc, Corning Incorporated, and Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd.

Compass Group (CPG LON)

  • Then: 1509.00 GBp
  • Now: 1695.00 GBp
  • Return: 12%
  • Total Return: 14%

Corning (GLW NYSE)

  • Then: $40.99
  • Now: $32.27
  • Return: -21%
  • Total Return: -19%

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM NYSE)

  • Then: $119.61
  • Now: $87.62
  • Return: -27%
  • Total Return: -25%

 Total Return Average: -10%


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Tesla to shut down production at Gigafactory Berlin to upgrade the factory and add a shift –



Tesla is reportedly going to shut down production at Gigafactory Berlin in order to upgrade the factory and add a shift to achieve higher production capacity.

The top priority at Tesla is to ramp up production to catch up with customer demand.

The automaker is doing that at all its factories, but the ramps are more significant at Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas, which only recently started production.

Giga Berlin appeared to be doing relatively well thanks to utilizing the 2170 cells, which enables a battery infrastructure that Tesla is used to, and it achieved a production rate of 1,000 Model vehicles per week in June.

Giga Texas appeared to be falling behind since it had difficulties ramping up production of the 4680 battery cell and structural battery pack, but we reported that last week that the factory ramped up production significantly with Tesla starting to build Model Y Long Range with 2170 cells at the plant.

Now Tesla is looking for Gigafactory Berlin to catch up, and it will reportedly shut down the factory for about two weeks in order to upgrade it.

Germany’s Bild reported the news today:

According to BILD information, Tesla therefore wants to interrupt operations for two weeks starting next Monday. It is unclear how many of the 4,500 employees will be sent on vacation and how many technicians will remain to convert production.

The publication also says that the automaker will add a third shift and start producing electric motors at the factory instead of importing them from Gigafactory Shanghai:

According to employees, after the break in production, work should be carried out in three instead of two shifts. In addition, Tesla could then start manufacturing the drive in a neighboring hall.

While the upgrade could help, Gigafactory Berlin’s biggest bottleneck is reportedly its workforce.

Over the last few months, there have been many reports of Tesla having issues hiring and retaining employees. Some of them suggested that salaries have been a particular issue and the local union, IG Metall, was starting to get involved. But Tesla did increase salaries by 6% for many employees in order to address the concern.

It will require a significant hiring effort for Tesla to add a third shift at the plant after the factory restart later this month.

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Travel delays: Canadian airlines, airports top global list – CTV News




Canadian airlines and airports claimed top spots in flight delays over the July long weekend, notching more than nearly any other around the world.

Air Canada ranked No. 1 in delays on Saturday and Sunday that affected 700-plus trips in total, or about two-thirds of its flights, according to tracking service FlightAware. It was more than 14 percentage points above the three carriers tied for second place.

Jazz Aviation – a Halifax-based company that provides regional service for Air Canada – and the lower-cost Air Canada Rouge both saw 53 per cent of flights delayed, putting them in the No. 2 spot alongside Greek regional airline Olympic Air.

On Saturday, WestJet and budget subsidiary Swoop placed third and fourth at 55 per cent.

On the airport front, Toronto’s Pearson claimed the No. 2 spot Sunday after 53 per cent of departures were held up, below only Guangzhou’s main airport in China. Pearson beat out Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and Frankfurt Airport in Germany.

Montreal’s airport placed sixth Sunday at 43 per cent of takeoffs delayed, on par with London’s Heathrow, according to FlightAware figures.

Air Canada said last week it will cut more than 15 per cent of its summer schedule, nearly 10,000 flights in July and August, as the country’s aviation network sags under an overwhelming travel resurgence.

Bookended by statutory holidays in Canada and the U.S., the weekend saw scenes of long lines and luggage labyrinths flood social media as airports across the globe grappled with the start of peak travel season following two years of pent-up demand.

Passenger flow at Canadian airports is already at 2019 levels during peak times, though closer to 80 per cent of pre-pandemic volumes overall, experts say.

“This is going to be with us all summer,” said Helane Becker, an airline analyst for investment firm Cowen.

“Almost every airline encouraged people to retire early or take leaves. And those people that retired early maybe don’t want to come back to work,” she saidof airline employees.

“It’s hard to rebuild off those lows.”

Some pilots have not yet had their licences renewed, while positions with groundcrews and baggage handling remain unfilled – or quickly vacated – due to low wages and stressful work conditions, unions say.

Government agencies have been on a hiring spree for airport security and customs, with 900-plus new security screeners in place since April – though not all have clearance to work the scanners – according to the federal Transport Department.

“The airlines also used the pandemic to eliminate aircraft types from their fleet, and to ground and retire their oldest aircraft. It’s hard to bring these aircraft back once you park them without doing a lot of maintenance,” Becker added.

“As demand continues to surge, we’re basically looking at an inability for the airlines to easily accommodate it. And I think that’s true worldwide.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2022

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High inflation likely to stick around, consumers and businesses tell Bank of Canada in 2 surveys – CBC News



Canadian businesses and consumers think the current era of high inflation will persist for longer than they’d previously hoped, according to two surveys from the Bank of Canada released Monday.

The two reports — known as the Business Outlook Survey and the Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations — are the result of the central bank’s quarterly polling of Canadian businesses and consumers for their outlook on what’s happening on the ground in Canada’s economy.

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While the findings differed in a few ways, the dominant theme of both was inflation and the impact it is having on buying and selling, hiring and firing.

The main takeaway from the business survey was that most businesses are seeing higher sales than they were seeing earlier in the pandemic, as economic activity is returning to some sort of normal. But demand continues to outstrip supply across almost all types of businesses, which is both a factor of and a contributor to the high inflation currently plaguing the economy.

Nearly two-thirds of businesses told the central bank they are seeing labour shortages. Nearly half — 43 per cent — say they are experiencing bottlenecks in their supply chains, and they’re taking longer to resolve than previously anticipated.

Businesses expect Canada’s inflation rate to still be more than five per cent a year from now, and still more than four per cent two years out. But five years from now, the survey suggests they expect the inflation rate to come back to within the range the central bank targets, between one and three per cent.

It was a similar story on the consumer side. Long-term inflation expectations increased from 3.2 per cent to four per cent, while short-term expectations increased to 6.8 per cent, up from 5.1 per cent last quarter.

“Consumers clearly took notice of the recent [consumer price index] releases and the high prices for food and gasoline,” CIBC economists Andrew Grantham and Karyne Charbonneau said of the data. “Uncertainty around the evolution of inflation has increased.”

Wages set to increase

On the employment front, on average, business owners expect their labour costs to increase by 5.8 per cent this year. 

That’s significantly higher than the two per cent wage increases that consumers told the bank they were expecting.

“Workers do not anticipate their wage gains will keep up with inflation,” the bank said, adding that those in the private sector think their wages will increase this year by more than those in the public sector will.

Economist Leslie Preston with TD Bank said the survey shows just how big a concern inflation is in the minds of ordinary consumers.

“This survey suggests consumer spending in real terms is likely to slow in the coming months as wages can’t keep up with inflation, and households are already being forced to economize,” she said, adding that expectations of high inflation to come “is a source of concern for low-income consumers in particular, who are adjusting to high inflation by cutting spending, postponing major purchases, looking for discounts more often, and buying more affordable items.”

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