Micron shows how the cloud is saving chip makers


Memory-chip maker Micron Technology Inc. was saved by a boom in data centers, adding to chip makers’ growth as the pandemic forces more companies to expand their cloud computing capabilities.

On Monday, Micron
MU,
+1.35%

reported better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter earnings and had a stronger outlook for the next quarter, despite some issues with the global supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Micron’s shares jumped nearly 6% in after-hours trading. At Monday’s close, Micron was trading at $49.15, down 8.62% for the year but a huge recovery from its plunge in March, when it hit a low of $31.13 in the early days of the pandemic.

“We continue to see healthy demand trend in cloud in the second half of the year,” Micron Chief Executive Sanjay Mehrotra told analysts on a conference call. “Cloud is still actually in early innings, and long-term trends for cloud are strong.” In the second quarter, the company said that the work-from-home economy, e-commerce and videogame streaming all drove a strong surge in demand for more cloud-computing capabilities.

Micron’s comments echo those that other chip giants, such as Intel Corp.
INTC,
+1.33%

and Nvidia Corp.
NVDA,
+0.49%

NVDA,
+0.49%
,
made last quarter. On Monday, Xilinx Inc.
XLNX,
+1.03%

joined the crowd when it updated its guidance for its fiscal first quarter, noting that strong performance in wireless and data center were offsetting weakness in consumer segments.

In the second half of the year, Micron said that it expects demand for consumer technology products such as PCs and smartphones to improve. That’s in part due to the ongoing rollout of 5G networks, which will drive demand of new smartphones that have more dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips, compared to 4G-network phones. The company said that average selling prices of both DRAM chips and NAND flash memory were up sequentially from the previous quarter.

One issue hovering over the company, and indeed most chip makers, is the growing rise in inventories, both by Micron and its customers, especially in the smartphone market. When asked by an analyst about the growing inventories, Mehrotra said its customers are trying to prepare for when consumer demand returns.

“Customers want to be prepared to supply the smartphone demand” when it returns, he said. “So, overall, you know, it’s a mixed picture with respect to the inventory on the customer front. Cloud inventories are in decent shape,” while mobile inventories are “somewhat in anticipation of demand.”

NVDA,
+0.49%

The chip industry has been amazingly resilient during the coronavirus pandemic, and most of the demand is due to data centers and the demand for more cloud computing. If the PC and smartphone markets return to growth, there could be even more upside for chip makers such as Micron. But for now, the sure thing is centered around the data center.



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Kiplinger’s ‘Most Reliable Dividend Stocks On Earth’ Shows 16 Buys For July


Foreword

Any collection of stocks is more clearly understood when subjected to yield-based (dog catcher) analysis, these Kiplinger world’s most reliable dividend stocks are perfect for the dogcatcher process. Here is the June 25 data for 90 dividend paying stocks in the Kiplinger-documented collection. Suspended now are 9 dearly departed former dividend payers felled by their board of directors reaction to Covid19 stresses.

Now departed are: BAE Systems (OTCPK:BAESY); Bunzl (OTCPK:BZLFY); Essilorluxottica (OTCPK:ESLOY); Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co KGaA (FMS); Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (OTCPK:GBLBF); L’Oreal (OTCPK:LRLCY); Micro Focus International (MFGP); Flutter Entertainment PLC (OTCPK:PDYPY); Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (OTCPK:SKVKY); WPP PLC (WPP).

The post-Ides-of-March plunge in the stock market took an 11% toll on the 99 international aristocrats. The Scandinavian bank was the first of the ten to suspend dividend payouts. However the drop in prices of 19 of the top 90 (listed by yield) most reliable dividend payers in the world has made the possibility of owning productive dividend shares from this collection more viable for first-time investors.

The following 19 currently live up to the ideal of having their annual dividends from a $1K investment exceed their single share price: RDEIY; ENGGY; ENB; XOM; PRU; CNQ; T; BTI; BNS; MEOH; BCE; IMBBY; CMPGY; BEN; LEG; WBA; ASBFY; SU; WTBDY.

To learn which of the nineteen are ‘safer’ dividend dogs, click here after July 1.

Actionable Conclusions (1-10): Analysts Estimated 17.32% To 45.99% Net Gains For Ten Top International Dividend Aristocrat Dogs To July 2021

Five of these ten top Kiplinger “world’s most reliable dividend stocks” by yield were among the top ten gainers for the coming year based on analyst 1-year target prices. (They are tinted gray in the chart below). Thus, the yield-based forecast for these incoming-July dogs was graded by Wall St. Wizards as 50% accurate.

Source: YCharts.com

Projections were based on estimated dividends from $1000 invested in each of the highest yielding stocks and their aggregate one year analyst median target prices, as reported by YCharts. Note: one year target prices by lone analysts were not applied. Ten probable profit-generating trades projected to June 25, 2021 were:

Enbridge Inc (ENB) was projected to net $459.88, based on dividends, plus the median of target price estimates from twenty-seven analysts, less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to risk 16% less than the market as a whole.

British American Tobacco PLC (BTI) was projected to net $404.81, based on the median of target price estimates from four analysts, plus annual dividend, less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to risk 5% less than the market as a whole.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ) was projected to net $380.61 based on the median of target estimates from twenty-four analysts, plus dividends, less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to risk 74% greater than the market as a whole.

Suncor Energy Inc (SU) was projected to net $276.45, based on dividends, plus the median of target price estimates from twenty-five analysts, less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to risk 43% over the market as a whole.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) netted $271.68 based on the median of estimates from twelve analysts, plus dividends. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to risk 4% less than the market as a whole.

BCE Inc (BCE) was projected to net $239.60, based on dividends, plus median target price estimates from nineteen analysts, less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to risk 62% under the market as a whole.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY) was projected to net $207.55 based on a median of target price estimates from fourteen analysts, plus annual dividend, less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to risk 6% less than the market as a whole.

Chevron Corp (CVX) was projected to net $173.82, based on the median of target price estimates from thirteen analysts, plus annual dividend, less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to risk 5% less than the market as a whole.

Prudential Financial Inc (PRU) was projected to net $181.08, based on a median of target price estimates from thirteen analysts, plus dividends, less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to risk 124% greater than the market as a whole.

Consolidated Edison Inc (ED) was projected to net $155.71 based on dividends, plus the median of target price estimates from nineteen brokers, less transaction fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to risk 77% less than the market as a whole.

The average net gain in dividend and price was estimated at 20.41% on $10k invested as $1k in each of these ten stocks. These gain estimates were subject to average risks 2% under the market as a whole.

Source: doggingtonpost.com

The Dividend Dogs Rule

Stocks earned the “dog” moniker by exhibiting three traits: (1) paying reliable, repeating dividends, (2) their prices fell to where (3) yield (dividend/price) grew higher than their peers. Thus, the highest yielding stocks in any collection became known as “dogs.” More precisely, these are, in fact, best called, “underdogs”.

90Kiplinger Most ReliableDividend Stocks On Earth By July Target Gains

Source: YCharts.com

90 Kiplinger Most ReliableDividend Stocks On Earth By July Yield

Source: YCharts.com

Actionable Conclusions (11-20): 10 Top InternationalDividend Aristocrats By Yield

Top ten International Dividend Aristocrats selected 6/25/20 by yield represented five of eleven Morningstar sectors. The top slots went to two from utilities, Red Electrica Corporacion SA (OTCPK:RDEIY) [1], and Enagas SA (OTCPK:ENGGY).

Third, fourth and sixth slots went to the energy sector: Enbridge Inc (ENB) [3], Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM) [4], and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ) [6].

In fifth place was the first of three financial services representatives, Prudential Financial Inc [5]. Two more from financial services emerged in ninth and tenth places by yield, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) [9], and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) [10].

The lone communications services representative placed seventh, AT&T Inc. (T) [7], and a lone consumer defensive representative, placed eighth, British American Tobacco PLC (BTI) [8]to complete the pending International Aristocrats top ten by yield for July.

Actionable Conclusions: (21-30) Top Ten Kiplinger Most Reliable Dividend Dogs Showed 13.62%-39.23% July Price Upsides While (31) Two Lowly Down-siders Submerged.

Source: YCharts.com

To quantify top dog rankings, analyst price target estimates provided a “market sentiment” gauge of upside potential. Added to the simple high-yield metrics, the median of analyst target price estimates became another tool to dig out bargains.

Analysts Forecast A 5.36% Disadvantage For 5 Lowest Priced of 10 Highest Yield, Kiplinger Most Reliable International Dividend Aristocrats To July 2021

Ten top Kiplinger most reliable dividend dogs were culled by yield for this update. Yield (dividend / price) results provided by YCharts did the ranking.

Source: YCharts.com

As noted above, top ten Kiplinger most reliable dividend dogs screened 6/25/20 showing the highest dividend yields represented five of eleven in the Morningstar sector scheme.

Actionable Conclusions: Analysts Predicted 5 Lowest-Priced Of The Top Ten Highest-Yield Kiplinger World’s Most Reliable Dividend Dogs (32) Delivering 21.18% Vs. (33) 22.38% Net Gains by All Ten Come July, 2021

Source: YCharts.com

$5000 invested as $1k in each of the five lowest-priced stocks in the top ten Kiplinger most reliable dividend kennel by yield were predicted by analyst 1-year targets to deliver 5.36% LESS gain than $5,000 invested as $.5k in all ten. The fifth lowest-priced selection, Enbridge Inc (ENB), was projected to deliver the best net gain of 45.99%.

Source: YCharts.com

The five lowest-priced top-yield Kiplinger most reliable international dividend aristocrat dogs as of June 25 were: Red Electrica Corporacion (OTCPK:RDEIY); Enagas SA (OTCPK:ENGGY); Canadian Natural Resources LTD (CNQ); AT&T Inc (T); Enbridge Inc (ENB), with prices ranging from $9.70 to $30.31.

Five higher-priced Kiplinger world’s most reliable international dividend aristocrat dogs as of June 25 were: British American Tobacco PLC (BTI); Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS); ExxonMobil Corp (XOM); Prudential Financial Inc (PRU); Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada (CM), whose prices ranged from $39.31 to $68.15.

The distinction between five low-priced dividend dogs and the general field of ten reflected Michael B. O’Higgins’ “basic method” for beating the Dow. The scale of projected gains based on analyst targets added a unique element of “market sentiment” gauging upside potential. It provided a here-and-now equivalent of waiting a year to find out what might happen in the market. Caution is advised, since analysts are historically only 20% to 80% accurate on the direction of change and just 0% to 20% accurate on the degree of change.

The net gain/loss estimates above did not factor in any foreign or domestic tax problems resulting from distributions. Consult your tax advisor regarding the source and consequences of “dividends” from any investment.

Stocks listed above were suggested only as possible reference points for your International Aristocrat stock purchase or sale research process. These were not recommendations.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed to constitute investment advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation or endorsement to buy or sell any security. Prices and returns on equities in this article except as noted are listed without consideration of fees, commissions, taxes, penalties, or interest payable due to purchasing, holding, or selling same.

Graphs and charts were compiled by Rydlun & Co., LLC from data derived from www.indexarb.com; YCharts.com; finance.yahoo.com; analyst mean target price by YCharts. Dog photo: doggingtonpost.com

Get The Entire Kiplinger Most Reliable ‘Safer’ Dividend Dog Story

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Disclosure: I am/we are long T. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor’s Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.





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This chart shows just how badly the U.S. coronavirus response has damaged America’s reputation in Europe


The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t just hurt the U.S. economy — it’s also hurt America’s reputation abroad.

The European Council on Foreign Relations surveyed 10,000 Europeans in nine countries, which make up about two-thirds of the European Union, to get their opinions on how governments have responded to the COVID-19 outbreak that has infected 9.5 million and killed more than 484,000 and counting around the world.

And the report found what it called a “shocking” collapse of the image of the U.S. in the eyes of many Europeans. China suffered a drop in public opinion, as well.

“Each superpower has seen its reputation collapse in some of the countries that were its closest allies and partners,” the report notes.

More than half of those surveyed overall (59%) said that their view of the U.S. has worsened during the coronavirus crisis, while just under half (48%) expressed a worse opinion of China, where cases of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 were first reported. Those who have soured on the U.S. the most include people hailing from Denmark (71%), Portugal (70%) and Germany (65%). Almost half of Italians (48%) have also adopted a more negative view of America.


“If Trump’s America struggles so much to help itself, how can it be expected to help anyone else?”

Most residents in many EU nations, including France, Sweden and Spain, on the other hand, reported that their view of the U.S. had “stayed the same.” Overall, just 6% of those surveyed said that their view of the U.S. has improved during the pandemic.

It should be noted that this survey was conducted in late April — before the nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, and before coronavirus cases began spiking again across the country. Indeed, the EU may decide to ban Americans from visiting because the U.S. has failed to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The chart highlighting the changing sentiment toward America went viral on reddit, drawing more than 4,000 comments as of press time on Thursday. Many in the comments didn’t express much surprise, noting that their own opinions of the country have stayed pretty much the same.

See it for yourself below:


ECFR

And here’s how EU views of China have changed, in comparison:


ECFR

The report suggests that the fragmented coronavirus response in the U.S., with individual states dictating their own rules for closing and reopening their local economies, reveal a deeply divided country.

“If Trump’s America struggles so much to help itself, how can it be expected to help anyone else?” the report muses. “If this domestic chaos continues, many Europeans could come to see the U.S. as a broken hegemon that cannot be entrusted with the defense of the Western world.”

Many Americans are also struggling with national pride at home, according to a recent WalletHub survey, which found almost one in three feel less patriotic heading into the Fourth of July holiday celebrating U.S. independence this year.

Granted, the surveyed European citizens also expressed plenty of disappointment to the EU’s own coronavirus response, as well. Many Europeans, including 58% of the French, said that the EU has been “irrelevant” during the pandemic, and one in three of those surveyed said that they have lost confidence in their government’s ability to act based on the handling of the pandemic.



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As Trump visits Wisconsin, new poll shows him trailing Biden by double digits in key battleground state


President Donald Trump is en route to Wisconsin in a bid to shore up support in the battleground state, as a new poll shows him 11 points behind Joe Biden.

Trump will speak on Thursday at a shipyard in the small town of Marinette, as well as participate in a town hall to be broadcast by Fox News. The president eked out a narrow victory over Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016, and has painted a target on it and other battlegrounds as polling shows him trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Biden.

A New York Times/Siena College survey released Thursday showed Trump with an 11-point deficit against Biden in Wisconsin, and put the president behind the former vice president in five other battleground states. RealClearPolitics’ average of Wisconsin polls gives Biden an eight-point lead. Democrats will hold their nominating convention in Milwaukee in August, even as the party urges delegates to skip in-person attendance over coronavirus concerns.

National polling also gives the advantage to Biden, and Trump has blasted at least one survey, by Fox News, as “phony” — even as more respondents said they approved of his handling of the economy than said they did not approve.

Now read:Biden’s lead grows to 12 points in Fox News poll, which Trump blasts as ‘phony’

The New York Times/Siena poll also found Trump had the most support among battleground-state voters on economic issues, but the least on issues related to race, in the wake of protests following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody.

U.S. stocks
DJIA,
+0.12%

were trading modestly higher Thursday, as financial stocks got a boost from what investors saw as regulators rolling back red tape on the industry.

Investors were also digesting economic reports including on new jobless claims, which fell slightly last week to 1.48 million. Claims remain high three months after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and signal that an economic recovery is likely to be uneven.

See:Jobless claims dip to 1.48 million, but slow decline signals choppy economic recovery

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Empire State index shows stable conditions in June after two months of record declines


The numbers: Business activity steadied in New York State in June after two months of record contractions, according to the New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey released Monday. The Empire State business conditions index rose 48 points to negative 0.2 in June. A reading close to zero indicates steadying conditions. However, the report is still well below levels at 50 or below that would indicate contraction. Economists had expected a reading of negative 30, according to a survey by Econoday.

What happened: Thirty-six percent of manufacturers reported that conditions were better in early June than in May, up from 15% in the prior survey.

The new orders index rose 42 points to a level close to zero, indicating that the quantity of orders was unchanged from last month. Shipments climbed 42 points to 3.3, indicating a slight rise.

The index for employees was little changed at -3.5, the second month of slight employment declines. Eighteen percent of firms said they were increasing employment levels.

Firms were optimistic that conditions would be better in six months, with the index for future conditions rising 27 points to 56.5, its highest level in more than a decade.

Big picture: The Empire State index has climbed nearly 80 points over the past two months, as factory activity has stopped falling after the lock down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Economists emphasized that the ground lost in the past couple of months hasn’t been recovered only that manufacturing has stabilized.

What are they saying? “Diffusion indexes like the factory surveys measure the direction of change in activity from one month to the next, not the level of activity. New York State was slow to reopen its economy last month, which meant that the Empire State survey was the weakest of all the regionals in ISM-weighted terms in May. With many factories emerging from lockdown in June, the month-to-month change seems likely to be positive even if total output remains far below pre-pandemic levels,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP, who forecast a big rebound while most economists were predicting the index to remain well below break-even.

Market reaction: Futures tied to U.S. equity benchmarks point to a lower opening on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-2.36%

lost 5.55% last week and the S&P 500 index
SPX,
-1.88%

dropped 4.8%.



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