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The stocks of large, traditional retailers have been in decline for over two years. Almost none have fallen as hard as J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) with its share price off 70% to $2.37. CEO Marvin Ellison has had his job since August 2015. If the board does not replace him with someone in which investors have more confidence, Penney shares will continue to march toward $1.
Over the two year period in question, other retailers like Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) and Macy’s (NYSE: M) have lost a third to a half their market values. The only one which has plunged more than Macy’s is nearly bankrupt Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD), the owner of Kmart and Sears, which is off by 74%.Penney has been through a period of management turmoil which dates back to June 2011 when Ron Johnson, the head of Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) retail operation, was brought in to replace CEO Mike Ullman. By April 2013, Johnson’s plans had so deeply wounded the company that he was fired and Ullman took back the reigns. It was no wonder. Same-store sales in the last quarter of 2012 had dropped over 30%.Ellison was as odd a pick as Johnson from the start. He had been head of U.S. stores for Home Depot (NYSE: HD), a large national retailer which could not be more unlike Penney than almost any other. However, the board took the chance that the executive from a successful company could bring the tactics of that success with him. It has not worked.
In Ellison’s defense, Penney has not disintegrated as it did under Johnson. However, it has not turned around at all. Based on Penney’s forecast for the balance of the year, it is heading into a flat spin now. No troubled large retailer can afford that during the critical fourth quarter of this year. Therefore, Penney has already put itself in a nearly untenable position.
Among the two things company boards do when they are in deep trouble are stay with a CEO because they worry a new leader will take too long to put fresh plans into place. The other is to find a replacement who has radical plans as quickly as possible. Penney needs to to the latter. It needs a leader who will swiftly restructure Penney, via a sharp reduction in its size, an e-commerce alliance with other large retailers, and, perhaps a plan to challenge creditors with bankruptcy. Nothing short of these sorts of actions will do
Newwell Brands Inc blamed misfires in the back to school season for a weak quarterly report, but an uncertain out look spooked investors sending its shares down 27%. Newell lost more than $5 billion in market value Thursday as the maker of Sharpie markers and Rubbermaid containers cut its 2017 forecast and declined to offer any predictions for 2018. Newell said its third quarter profit rose to $234 million from $187 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 7% to $3.7 billion thoough excluding divestitures core sales increased .4%. The results come about 18 months after Newell completed its $15/4 billion acquistion of Jarden Corp which added Rawlings baseball gloves and Mr Coffee machines among other products,
NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER 3
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) released its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed Wednesday and the stock took a small step back. Even though results were fairly strong, the cloud of Russian political ads hangs over the company, and it could be facing more headwinds in the future.24/7 Wall St. has included some highlights from the earnings report, as well as what analysts are saying after the release.The social media giant reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.59 on $10.328 billion in revenues. Thomson Reuters had the consensus estimates at $1.28 EPS on revenues of $9.84 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.09 and $7.01 billion in revenue.
The daily active users were 1.37 billion, up 16% from a year ago. Monthly active users were 2.07 billion, up 16% from the prior year.
The quarterly operating margin was 50% and mobile advertising revenue accounted for 88% of all ad revenues — up from 84% a year ago.Facebook did not issue guidance for the fourth quarter, but analysts are calling for $1.70 in EPS and $12.02 billion in revenue. Also looking to the future, CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the security of its platform:
We’re serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We’re investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.FBN Securities reiterated its Buy rating with a $210 price target. The firm believes that Facebook is being conservative and could be overreacting to criticism from Congress, but politically this is a good move.Aegis Capital reiterated its Buy rating and $215 price target. The firm called Facebook’s earnings another impressive beat over expectations.
JMP Securities pointed out that there are multiple tailwinds now that Facebook has 6 million advertisers. The firm maintained its Top Pick status on top of a Market Outperform rating and raised its price target to $225 from $195.24/7 Wall St.
Why Analysts Are Chasing Apple Even Higher
Here’s what a few other analysts had to say:
Oppenheimer raised its price target to $200 from $195.
SunTrust Robinson raised its price target to $215 from $210.
Moffett Nathanson raised its price target from $200 to $205.
Wedbush raised its price target from $225 to $230.
Cantor Fitzgerald raised its price target to $220 from $190.
Citigroup raised its price target to $210 from $200.
Credit Suisse cuts its price target to $230 from $235.
JPMorgan raised its price target to $225 from $210.
Jefferies has a Buy rating and raised its target to $225 from $215.
Barclays raised its price target from $200 to $215.
RBC Capital Markets raised its price target to $230 from $195.
Morgan Stanley raised its price target to $200 from $195.
Canaccord Genuity raised its price target to $200 from $190.
Shares of Facebook closed out the week at $178.92, with a consensus analyst price target of $206.38 and a 52-week trading range of $113.55 to $182.90.
For some taxpayers, it's a familiar tale. Somewhere during those first four months of every year, you do your taxes in a haphazard fashion, or you look for someone to prepare your taxes, and because you've waited until the last minute, you find someone in a hurry to do them. Every April, as you pay your preparer and Uncle Sam, you vow: Next year, I'm finding a good tax accountant.
Well, the year will be over before you know it. Now would be an excellent time to look for that good tax accountant. Or, rather, the right tax accountant. There are plenty of good ones out there; they just may not all be the right one for you.
This is easier said than done, however. If it was simple to find the right tax accountant, you would have by now. So what accountant should you be looking for – and where?How to look when selecting a tax accountant. Beyond trying to find someone who is competent, someone who you feel comfortable working with is a good start.
And you'll feel comfortable by asking a lot questions, says Abby Eisenkraft, CEO of Choice Tax Solutions in New York City.
If you're working in the U.S. but you aren't an American citizen, you'll want to inquire if they have experience working with expats, Eisenkraft says. Same goes with if you're self-employed or have any unusual or special circumstances."If your tax professional doesn't specialize in your area, something could potentially be missed. Not good," she says.
You should also ask if they're available throughout the year, she adds. This is especially a good question if you are self-employed and make quarterly estimated payments or have issues with the IRS and fear this may not be a one-time tax visit.If you receive a notice after the tax season ends, you want to be sure you can locate your tax professional for assistance. Those shops that are gone on April 16 are of no use to you long term," Eisenkraft says.
Where to look. That can be tough at first, if you want something beyond a tax preparation chain – and there's nothing wrong with going with one, but obviously, you can find one pretty quickly in a phone book (yes, those still exist) or in a search engine. If you're looking for something particular, you may want to try …
Social media. Ask your friends and family who they use. You'll likely get a ton of answers, many of them impractical – your cousin, 2,000 miles away, may have a great idea for a tax preparer, but you probably don't want to travel 2,000 miles. You may find some gems among the answers, however.Industry trade shows. This can be a smart option if you're self-employed or a small business owner, says Betsy Storey-Bono, director of business development at Concannon, Miller & Co. P.C., an accounting firm and business consultancy in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Storey-Bono says that tax accountants and business consultants from her company often show up at trade shows, sometimes at a booth and sometimes not.
But if you can find a tax accountant at an industry event, that's ideal. "Typically, that person or firm will really understand the industry," Storey-Bono says.Consult other professionals that you use. If you have a financial advisor, he or she probably can make a referral. If you are a business owner, Storey-Bono suggests "talking with business peers or to your attorney, commercial lenders or other business professionals."What to look for when you work with a tax accountant. Unfortunately, kind of like taking a car for a test drive, you really won't know if your tax accountant is a good fit until you're working with him or her.
But Nathan Byers, a certified financial planner who runs JBC Wealth Advisors in Madison Wisconsin, says that a red flag may be if your tax accountant keeps warning you about red flags.Are they afraid of the IRS or are they interested in you paying the least amount of tax? To clarify, paying the least amount of tax is legal. This is called tax avoidance," he says, adding that tax evasion is different and should obviously never be considered.
"However, if your tax accountant avoids certain tax strategies because they think it is a red flag, then this a tax accountant who is scared of the IRS. Following the rules and paying the least amount of tax is why you hire a tax accountant. Hire one who is an advocate for you," Byers says. "If they advise you to avoid red flags when it's perfectly the right tax strategy, you are intentionally overpaying tax."
Of course, you aren't a tax accountant, and if you aren't a financial advisor like Byers, you may not know if you're suggesting something that is the perfectly right tax strategy – or an idea that could end up with you being audited, then in court, explaining that you didn't mean to cheat the government. Still, Byers has a point that your tax advisor should be looking out for you, their client, and if your gut is telling you that he or she isn't, it's probably best to move on.
On the other hand, as noted, there are a lot of good tax accountants out there, but there are also a lot of disorganized and frustrated people who struggle with maintaining receipts, records and old tax returns. If you have trouble finding someone that you enjoy working with, the trouble may not be with the tax accountants but the taxpayer, i.e., you
At the end of last year, the International Energy Agency estimated that there were more than 2 million electric vehicles in the global automobile fleet. That’s well below 1% of the global fleet.
A tipping point for electric vehicle sales has not been reached yet, and most forecasts don’t expect one until the second half of the next decade. But sales of electric vehicles are gaining ground in several of the world’s biggest cities, and a new report from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has the details.
The report also takes a look at the policies, incentives, and infrastructure that led these 20 cities to account for 40% of the global electric vehicle fleet.
The 20 world cities with most electric vehicles are listed below in order of most to fewest in cumulative sales through 2016, along with electric vehicle sales as a percentage of total sales last year.
Los Angeles: 4% of 2016 new car sales
San Francisco: 6%
San Jose: 10%
New York: 1%
The ICCT study noted that almost all these cities had higher electric vehicle sales shares than their national averages. This difference is most notable in San Jose and San Francisco (11 and six times the U.S. average, respectively) and Qingdao and Beijing (eight and six times the China national average, respectively). Oslo and Bergen had shares 15% to 25% above Norway’s 29% sales share, highest among countries. The Paris, London and Amsterdam areas also were narrowly ahead of their respective national averages
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