Income Baskets – Basket Village USA Fri, 18 Nov 2022 09:11:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Income Baskets – Basket Village USA 32 32 Letter to the editor: Letter on wealth, income not quite right Fri, 18 Nov 2022 09:05:43 +0000

Regarding yesterday’s letter (“Who Wins? Follow the Numbers,” Nov. 17), the Dow Jones Industrial Average going from 1,000 to 33,436 (these numbers don’t represent money) over 50 years is not a 3,253.6% return. Using a calculation of the time value of money, this represents an average annual return of around 7%. And the median household income going from $11,120 to $70,784 over 50 years represents, according to the same method of calculation, a return of approximately 4% per year.

Also, the Dow Jones Average is not necessarily a measure of corporate wealth, and household income is not a measure of personal wealth. Wealth and income are different things.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average represents the price of a basket of stocks that can be bought by anyone. If the author of the letter does not increase his fortune by investing part of his income in the stock market, it is his fault. It’s not the companies fault that people don’t choose to participate in the growth of American industry. There are problems with the industry, but that’s the wrong argument.

Rob Glenn


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How to make African capital markets more lucrative — Quartz Africa Member Brief — Quartz Wed, 16 Nov 2022 08:50:00 +0000

Hi Quartz Africa members,

Africa’s biggest stock markets have performed horribly in 2022 as billions of dollars of investor wealth have been wiped out, largely thanks to foreign investors fleeing emerging markets for safer shores.

In the first half of 2022, Ghana and Egypt were tied underperforming markets in Africa, with yields of -32%. Kenya was the third worst, returning -30%, wiping out $6.5 billion in investor funds. Nine of the continent’s ten largest stock markets posted negative returns, including stock exchanges in South Africa, Morocco, Botswana, Mauritius and Tanzania. At 21%, the Nigerian stock market is the only one of the ten to post a positive return.

Deteriorating macroeconomic conditions, including rising inflation and weakening currencies, have also contributed to the downward trend seen in many African countries. The Kenyan shilling, for example, reached a historic low against the dollar this October. As of October 18, the Ghana cedi was the worst performing currency worldwide this year, according to a Bloomberg report.

To this mix, add low disposable income and eroded purchasing power due to the high cost of living, and it’s not hard to see why market participation among retail investors in Africa remains low. In Kenya, dormant trading accounts currently represent 97% of all registered accounts.

Other factors behind the weakness in retail investment include the addition of very few new listings in recent years, new transaction fees, and limited knowledge of financial markets and how they work. For Kenya, fixing the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has become crucial as the state, suffocated by increasingly expensive external debt repayments, now wants to ease the pressure by listing up to 10 “mature” public companies.

President William Ruto, elected in August on a promise to empower small and medium-sized businesses and low-income people, has announced a drive to massively embrace retail in Kenya. He argued that with greater accessibility to capital markets, trading could replace betting as a multi-billion dollar business in Kenyaand generate much-needed cash for the government.

Startups are also trying to increase their participation in African capital markets, creating digital tools that make trading in different asset classes more accessible and providing education that enables people to improve their financial knowledge and start their career. investment journey.


💡The Opportunity: African countries need capital markets to generate more wealth, but retail investor participation remains low and markets are dominated by foreign investors.

🤔 The challenge: Many people in Africa are not equipped with the specific tools or knowledge to participate effectively in capital markets, transaction costs can be high and the different markets in Africa are not yet integrated.

🗺The roadmap: Startups enabling easy access to trading, education and financial literacy tools can boost participation in African capital markets.

💰Stakeholders: Startups, private companies, capital markets, regulators, governments, financiers and investors.

By the numbers

9: The number of major African stock exchanges, out of the top 10, that posted negative returns in the first half of 2022

$6.5 billion: Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) losses in the first half of 2022

2015 : The year of the last initial public offering (IPO) took place at the NSE

97%: Share of trading accounts in Kenya considered inactive, having not traded for at least 24 months

9.2%: Kenya’s annual inflation rate in September, after rising for the seventh consecutive month to the highest level since June 2017

Case study

Startup: Abacus

Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya

Founder: Joel Macharia

Founded by Joel Macharia in Kenya in 2014, Abacus is a multi-asset online brokerage agent. Through partnerships with regulated financial service providers, it offers local and global investors access to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and mutual funds, as well as market data, all accessible from only one account.

Abacus allows investments from 200 Kes ($1.67). Shortly after founding the company, Macharia noticed that adoption remained low. He discovered a lack of confidence, as well as a lack of knowledge, which caused him to rethink his strategy.

Instead of simply offering access to multiple investments through a single account, Abacus has taken a more holistic approach, incorporating enhanced ‘gamified’ learning tools and financial advisory services. Abacus offers customers comprehensive personal finance planning, covering everything from debt reduction to insurance, education and living expenses.

This allows Abacus to match people with investments in different baskets, such as safety wallets made up of low-risk money market funds, treasury bills, and emergency funds; income portfolios, with income such as rental properties; lifestyle portfolios, geared towards goals such as saving for a car; growth portfolios; and speculative wallets, which can include land or even cryptocurrencies.

This shift was accelerated by the pandemic, when Abacus noticed clients were liquidating their assets after losing their jobs or a significant portion of their income.

“Activity on our platform tends to follow what is happening in the economy. When [people] have money, we see more investment, and when it’s down, we have more people pulling out,” Macharia told Quartz.

Along with advisory fees and transaction fees, Abacus also counts education as one of its sources of income, with an introductory course on its online academy costing Kes 4,000 ($33.30). It also offers newbies to learn the ropes of investing in a practice trading account, in addition to news, company profiles, and explanations of investment lingo.

The company wants to develop more financial services products, including financial management software for businesses, and hopes to expand into new markets on the continent, including South Africa.

In conversation with

Image copyright: Abacus

Joel Macharia – Founder, Abacus

🧑🏾‍🏫On the role of education in improving market participation:

“Education is one of the things we have experienced. We focus more on habits and how we can create habits of learning, implementing and learning from them. We create not only online courses, but also fun virtual trading and budgeting tools.

📋On the policies needed to increase participation in capital markets:

“’We need policies that increase disposable income and improve access to credit for businesses…because this creates opportunities for businesses to spread risk through capital markets. We must also relax the regulation of this risk distribution by facilitating the listing of companies.

😠On what market regulators should do (instead of introducing new fees):

“We need a lot more in terms of investor education and investments to make the new IPOs they’re considering more attractive… What we’re seeing right now is a search trend income because the market is performing poorly, in order to increase their own income.

More Capital Markets deals at 👀

SecondSTAXa Ghanaian startup that enables investors to access markets outside their own country, launched in September 2022, and announced at the same time a $1.6 million pre-seed round of financing from private investors and venture capitalists, including LoftyInc Capital, Orbit54 and STEMeIn.

Bambooa Nigerian startup that allows investors to buy and sell US stocks, raised $15 million in a Series A funding in February 2022. Bamboo wants to expand into other countries, including Ghana and Kenya.

Shakaa Nigerian startup, announced a $1.5 million pre-seed round in 2021 to expand its menu of digital investments for individuals and businesses. Chaka offers access to local and foreign stocks.

More Quartz

🤔 Retail apps in Nigeria are facing a watershed moment

📱 Africans want their apps to do more for them

😺 Why 2022 Could Be A Boom Year For Nigerian Retail Investment Apps

😱 Nigeria punishes lending apps that misuse user data

💥 Africa’s largest telecom operator and how it plans to appeal to Gen Z users

🏦 African credit unions harness fintech for growth

🔀 Why the digital payments landscape in Africa is still very fragmented

🤔 A new African payment is a push for independence from the dollar

This dissertation was prepared by listening Déjà vu by Mr. Right, Ajay, Da vaji and K Splash. 🇰🇪 . Have an amazing week!

—Martin KN Siele, Nairobi-based Quartz contributor

A 🍃 thing

Seventeen countries surveyed in this year’s Absa Africa Financial Markets Indexan analysis of market infrastructures in different countries, have sustainability-oriented policies, five more than in 2021.

ANC doubles NHI and income grants for South Africa Mon, 14 Nov 2022 07:27:47 +0000

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has stuck to its positions on the controversial National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme and the extension of social security in South Africa, despite the rollback of these measures.

In his closing remarks at the ANC’s national executive committee meeting on Sunday (November 13th), party chairman Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC would continue to tackle the “triple fault lines” of poverty , unemployment and inequality in South Africa.

Stemming from days of engagement between key ruling party figureheads, the president said the ANC has engaged critically with the challenges facing the country today.

Exacerbated by the Russian war in Ukraine, the economic repercussions of the two-year pandemic and extreme weather events resulting from climate change, many countries around the world, including South Africa, are facing difficulties as the day-to-day living costs are rising, Ramaphosa said.

To mitigate the impact of the rising cost of living, he said the party has carried out several interventions, many of which remain in place, such as:

  • Social Relief Distress grant extended to March 2024;
  • Zero-rate VAT on the main food products;
  • Consolidate social assistance to reach 18 million people.

Going forward, without giving specific plans, Ramaphosa said the ANC will redouble its efforts to deal with the growing crisis by extending social grants where possible and focusing on the education of basic and universal health care.

“We are committed to maintaining and, where possible, extending social security to protect the vulnerable and reduce poverty,” Ramaphosa said. “This must be part of our efforts to build a comprehensive social security system.”

The party highlighted its pursuit of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme and accelerated land redistribution — two of the most controversial policies in its current basket — while talking about black economic empowerment and cracking down on poverty. corruption.

Social distress allowance

One of the most controversial developments is the extension and increased applicability of the Social Distress Grant.

In Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s last medium-term fiscal policy statement in October, the Covid-19 Social Relief Distress (SRD) grant was extended until the end of March 2024.

“The SRD grant was introduced in May 2020 as a temporary measure to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, who have been affected by [Covid-19 induced] containment measures. It has been extended several times since then. Discussions about the future of the grant are ongoing and involve very difficult trade-offs and funding decisions,” Godognwana said.

The National Treasury has found that the SRD grant is likely to increase by around 8.8% per year and the implications it could have on state finances could reach R64.9 billion in the financial year. 2030/21.

Despite this tax grab, recent amendments to the subsidy have raised the income threshold for the means test from R350 to the food poverty threshold of R624 per month – allowing more people to qualify, with up to R12 million now applying each month.

The Treasury noted that this is not sustainable and that economic growth through employment is a better bet for solving poverty in the country.


The National Department of Health, meanwhile, is moving forward with laying the groundwork for the eventual deployment of the NHI in South Africa, although laws governing the scheme have yet to be approved and many legal questions remain.

While systems for sharing information between the private and public sectors are being put in place and recruitment for key INSA positions is now allowed to continue, no one in government has yet been able to s address the elephant in the room: how much will the diagram cost?

The government’s push for the NHI comes amid a cacophony of warnings and dissenting voices saying the program is unaffordable, unmanageable and unsustainable.

Private health care groups have been the the most vocal on this frontclaiming that the system is being set up for failure given the scale of what the government wants to achieve in the context of how it has already failed in the public health space.

We are also concerned about a exodus of health professionals who refuse to be subjected to the harsh conditions of the regime, as evidenced by the court decision which the department is appealing.

Medical aids have fought for their continued existence, given that the NHI scheme envisions a healthcare system with the state fully in control and little or no room for private financing of health care.

Lily: South Africa’s most exclusive credit cards – how much you need to earn to get them

How to live like Joan Didion with 11 products inspired by her real estate sale Fri, 11 Nov 2022 20:41:25 +0000

Last week, along with many other people on the internet, I spent my lunch hour window shopping in Joan Didion’s gallery real estate auction on the staircase galleries. The sale features some of the beloved author’s belongings from his California and New York homes, with prices currently ranging from $175 to $25,000 (and surely rising as the auctions continue). While some read with the intent to buy, I think most of us (or maybe just me) took the opportunity to stick our noses up on our screens to get a glimpse of the real Joan.

Celine sunglasses. The portrait personally drawn by Les Johnson. Mother-daughter photography taken by Annie Liebovitz. Elegant crockery and cutlery. The original works of art, an extensive library of books and a collection of blank notebooks. Not only was it representative of a life that I wish I could copy and paste like my own, but it told the story of someone who had lived to the full, and it was heartwarming to take a peek to that.

Although I’m not in an income bracket that allows me to spend $400 for a set of four books, let alone $8,500 for a painting by Richard Serra, I like the challenge of finding a good dupe. So here are 11 products from Joan Didion’s auction to help you channel your inner literary icon.

Of course, many of the pieces in the Joan Didion estate sale are either one-of-a-kind or rare pieces that you would be hard pressed to find today. But some pieces are still currently at retail, like the beloved cookware from his Le Creuset set. While unfortunately you won’t find anything that shows the same nicks, dings, and wear courtesy of Didion herself, Le Creuset still sells cookware like Didion’s and in the same burnt orange color.

Le Creuset Signature 8-Piece Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Round Oven

Wooden goblets don’t just belong in medieval times – they were also in Joan Didion’s house and they can be in yours too. Moreover, they are a lot sturdier than a typical wine glass.

Vintage Jujube Wooden Wine Goblets

Crystal glass decanters are essential for any bar cart or dining table, and sometimes even decanters need their own personalized accessories too. Take a page from Didion’s book and add labels to your bottles to help you identify spirits and add extra character to your glassware collection.

Waterford Crystal Lismore Decanter

Treasure Gurus Silver Floral Blank Decanter Labels

You can never have too many trays, bowls, vases and platters in pastel colours, and obviously Didion was inclined to agree.

Bowl #3 deflated orange in sticky glass

Gary Bodker Designs Blue Nesting Bowl

Mid-Century Vintage Glass Dish

Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne and their daughter Quintana Roo Dunne (then aged six), as seen in a vogue characteristic of the Issue of October 1, 1972.

Photo: Henry Clarke, vogue, October 1, 1972

Didion spent the first 22 years of her life in her native California, then bounced around a bit on each coast during her adult life. The sunny state influenced much of his work and the decor of his cooler Manhattan home. This throne-esque rattan armchair has a timeless coastal bohemian vibe that’s just as much at home in 2022 as it was for Didion when she moved into the apartment in the ’80s.

Everyone needs an intricate gold mirror in their home. Bonus points if he can give the same royal vibe as that of 1stDibs.

Baroque gilded wooden mirror from the 1930s, France

Plain old candle holders are fun, but what about candelabras? Let’s bring them back. I want to wear my flowy white nightgown and walk the halls of my house holding one of these babies aloft to light my way. (Or you can be normal and use it for Friendsgiving and other cozy dinner parties.)

English candelabra in silver metal

It’s still “minimalist ceramic plates” this, “solid color melamine bowls” that. Personally, I want to go back to when part of your coming of age meant receiving an incredibly intricately patterned dinnerware set, and the colors and prints on Didion’s porcelain medallion set still make me do not want anymore. So for any family member or friend of mine who is currently reading this, I would like to point out these salad plates from Williams-Sonoma for a holiday gift.

Plates Mixed Salad Famille Rose

Similar to dinnerware sets, cloth napkins are a marker of sophistication and adulthood for me. Of course, Didion embodied both of those things and shouldn’t we all aspire to those heights? Of course, they require a little maintenance and require washing. But Didion inspired me to de-stigmatize the frivolity of cloth napkins, and I’m starting with this damask set from Bloomingdales.

Villeroy & Boch Barcelona Jacquard Damask Napkins

Saro Lifestyle Striped Damask Napkins in Cocoa

The classic, clean design of this marble table means there are many others like it, making it a particularly accessible Didion-inspired piece of furniture. Although this Pottery Barn option features a different shape, it has the same chic Parisian cafe vibe.

Rae Rectangular Marble Dining Table

The iconic photograph of hanging storage baskets at the Malibu home of Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, as seen in the October 1, 1972 issue of vogue.

Photo: Henry Clarke, vogue, October 1, 1972

Hanging Storage Baskets

At least once every spring cleaning season, interior design enthusiasts and organization fanatics share images of Didion’s hanging produce baskets documented by vogue for a feature film in 1972. Although they are not available at auction, I would be remiss if I did not offer an option to recreate the look in your own home. Now, these aren’t your average three-tier hanging baskets. The ones in Didion’s house hung individually under the cabinet and could stack on top of each other using little hooks to help optimize a small space (we love a resourceful queen). They were also made of clean yarn, so the storage tactic didn’t look like an eyesore. While these copper wire baskets from Wayfair aren’t stackable or attach directly to your cabinets, they’re compact enough that you can stack them on top of each other when hanging or spreading them out.

3 Piece Wall Mounted Storage Basket

How are biotech ETFs reacting to Q3 earnings releases? – November 9, 2022 Wed, 09 Nov 2022 12:16:38 +0000

The biotechnology sector has been in an ideal position for some time now. Biotech stocks have been huge beneficiaries of the pandemic as many of these companies were developing new vaccines and treatments for Covid-19, leading to increased IPOs and venture capital investments. But then stocks took a massive dive to rebound now. iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB Free report) increased by 8% last month (as of November 7, 2022).

According to the FT, hedge funds have started buying downed biotech stocks as they believe ultra-low valuations could revive M&A activity in the space. Many big pharma companies are looking to boost their drug pipelines through acquisitions.

Benefits in a nutshell

In early November, Amgen (AMGN Free Report) reported Q3 2022 earnings of $4.70 per share, which beat Zacks’ consensus estimate of $4.43 as well as our estimate of $4.37 per share. Revenue increased 15% year over year. Lower operating expenses and lower share counts boosted earnings in the quarter.

Total revenue of $6.65 billion also exceeded Zacks’ consensus estimate of $6.57 billion as well as our estimate of $6.61 billion. Total revenue decreased 1% year-over-year due to lower product sales.

Total product revenue decreased 1% from the prior year quarter to $6.32 billion (US: $4.46 billion; non-US: $1.77 billion). The increase in volumes was offset by lower selling prices for several drugs and currency headwinds. Volumes increased 8% in the quarter, offset by a net selling price decline of 5%. Currency movements hurt sales by 2% in the quarter.

End of October, Gilead Sciences (BROWN Free Report) announced better-than-expected third quarter results, driven by continued strong demand for its HIV portfolio with further market share growth for lead treatment Biktarvy, and oncology revenues driven by cell therapy and Trodelvy. Sales of the COVID-19 treatment, Veklury (remdesivir) declined but were better than expected.

The company reported earnings of $1.90 per share in the quarter, which easily beat Zacks’ consensus estimate and our estimate of $1.44, but was down from $2.65 in the quarter. quarter of the previous year. The year-over-year decline was due to the acquisition of MiroBio, as well as lower gross margin and product revenue.

Total revenue of $7 billion exceeded Zacks consensus estimate and our estimate of $6.1 billion, but was down 5% primarily due to lower Veklury sales, partially offset by increased sales of HIV and oncology drugs.

Product sales are now projected between $25.9 billion and $26.2 billion (previous forecast – $24.5 billion to $25 billion). Total product sales, excluding Veklury, are expected to be between $22.5 billion and $22.8 billion (previous forecast: $22 billion to $22.5 billion). Total sales of Veklury are now estimated at approximately $3.4 billion (previous estimate: $2.5 billion). Adjusted earnings per share should be between $6.95 and $7.15 (previous estimate: $6.35 – $6.75). Zacks’ consensus estimate for sales and earnings per share is pegged at $25.29 billion and $6.54, respectively.

End of October, biogenic (IBIB Free Report) reported third-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $4.77, beating Zacks consensus estimate of $4.13 and our model estimate of $4.30. In the year-ago quarter, Biogen reported earnings of $4.77 per share.

Sales were $2.51 billion, down 10% on a reported basis (8% at constant currency) from the prior year quarter, hurt by lower Tecfidera sales. Sales, however, exceeded Zacks’ consensus estimate and our estimates of $2.47 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively.

The company raised its previously released total revenue and adjusted 2022 earnings guidance. previously planned dollars. Adjusted earnings are expected to be between $16.50 and $17.15, up from the previous expectation of $15.25 to $16.75.

Focus on biotech ETFs

We believe it is prudent to discuss a few ETFs with relatively larger exposure to the companies discussed above in the current scenario.

iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB Free report)

It comprises around 375 holdings, with the companies mentioned above owning around 20% of the fund. It charges 44 basis points of fees.

VanEck Biotech ETF (BBH Free report)

He holds around 25 stocks in his basket, with the companies involved having a weighting of around 25% in the fund. IT charges 35 basis points of fees.

SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI Free report)

He holds about 150 stocks in his basket and gives some weighting to targeted companies. The fund charges 35 basis points in fees.

CANADA-TSX STOCK futures rise as commodities cut losses and global equities rally Mon, 07 Nov 2022 12:26:46 +0000

Nov 7 (Reuters) – Futures on Canada’s heavily resource-heavy main stock index rose on Monday, reflecting global risk sentiment, as commodity prices pared losses after the weakening of the US dollar.

S&P/TSX index futures rose 0.4% at 6:54 a.m. ET, while their U.S. counterparts rose. The dollar, meanwhile, depreciated against a basket of major currencies.

This week, investors will focus on the U.S. midterm elections for clues on policy direction, as well as October inflation data – which will be used to gauge the tightening stance of the economy. Federal Reserve.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 1.1% on Friday, recouping most of its losses for the week.

On Monday, oil prices pared losses after data from China’s top consumer showed crude imports rebounded to their highest level since May. Precious metal prices fell slightly but moved well away from session lows on a weaker Dollar.

However, there has been some caution as Chinese authorities have indicated that COVID-19 measures need to be implemented more precisely as cases hit a six-month high. On Friday, stocks rebounded on hopes that the curbs, which have hurt activity in the world’s second-largest economy, could be eased.

Among individual companies, the board of South Africa’s Gold Fields said it would not change its bid for Yamana Gold after the company received a surprise competing offer from Agnico Eagle and Pan American on Friday. .

The fate of Rogers Communications’ acquisition of Shaw Communications will be decided at a Canadian Competition Tribunal hearing beginning Monday, after the companies and the antitrust bureau failed to reach a settlement despite repeated attempts.

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and Canada’s Dream Industrial REIT will buy Canada’s Summit Industrial Income REIT for approximately C$4.46 billion ($3.30 billion). (Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V)

Albemarle vs. Livent: What were the best results for the Lithium business in the third quarter? Sat, 05 Nov 2022 11:24:00 +0000

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) and Livent (NYSE: LTHM) published their results for the third quarter of 2022 this week. Thus, investors can now compare the results of the two main lithium producers in their lithium activities.

There are a few things to keep in mind, including that long-term investors shouldn’t place too much emphasis on a single quarter’s performance. Second, qualitative factors can be just as important as quantitative factors. Finally, Albemarle has activities other than lithium, so its results will also be affected by their performance. Even with those caveats, the data in this article should help you make better investment decisions in the lithium space.

interest in lithium stocks has surged over the past year or so as investors have taken note of the strong growth in revenue and earnings that well-established lithium players have generated. These performances are mainly driven by the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, because lithium is used to produce the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles. Demand for the material exceeded supply, causing prices to skyrocket.

Growth in revenue from the Lithium activity


Q3 2022 result


$1.50 billion, up 318% year over year


$231.6 million, up 124% year over year

Data sources: Corporate earnings reports.

Winner: Albemarle

Albemarle, based in the United States, gets the gold medal (or should it be a lithium medal?) for this category. Both companies recorded fantastic revenue growth, but Albemarle’s exceeded that of its American sister company.

Albemarle third-quarter revenue growth year-over-year was primarily driven by higher realized lithium prices, although higher sales volumes contributed 20% to overall growth. Livent’s growth has been driven by higher realized lithium prices as the company will not have any significant new production capacity until next year.

Lithium business profit growth (using Adjusted EBITDA)

Both companies use the same metric to assess their overall business profitability performance: adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). Albemarle uses this same metric to measure the profitability of each of its three business segments.


Q3 2022 result


$1.11 billion, up 786% year over year

Livent $110.8 million, up 644% year over year

Data sources: Corporate earnings reports.

Winner: Albemarle (although calling this a tie also seems fair)

Albemarle takes the win here, although both companies have stellar numbers in this earnings growth category. I wouldn’t argue, however, with anyone who thinks this category should be considered a draw. Indeed, the figures are in the same general stage.

A note below discusses an issue with Livent’s Adjusted EBITDA. It is also applicable in this category, but should have less impact in this category.

Lithium business profit margin (using Adjusted EBITDA)

An adjusted EBITDA profit margin is calculated by dividing this metric by revenue.


Q3 2022 result

Albemarle 74%
Livent 48%

Data sources: Corporate earnings reports.

Winner: Albemarle

Albemarle is the clear winner here, even though Livent’s profitability is nothing short of incredible for an industrial company.

This comparison isn’t quite apples to apples, but it’s the best we can do. The result is that Livent’s lithium business is a bit more profitable than the figure above suggests, but we can’t tell by how much.

Explanation (skip this paragraph if you don’t want to go into detail): Albemarle details its adjusted EBITDA by company by segment (lithium, bromine and catalysts) and by company. This is a negative number. Livent only provides Adjusted EBITDA to the business as it has only one business segment. In other words, negative Adjusted EBITDA from its non-revenue generating business activities is included in the Adjusted EBITDA figure it provides. Thus, the adjusted EBITDA of its lithium activity would be slightly higher than what is indicated in this article.

Size of lithium activity compared to overall activity

This category does not lend itself well to choosing a winner, so it is not included in the scoring.


Percentage of total lithium business revenue in Q3 2022

Percentage of total adjusted EBITDA of the Lithium activity in Q3 2022

Albemarle 72%


Livent 100% 100%

Data sources: Corporate earnings reports.

Winner: N/A

Investors looking for a pure play lithium should obviously favor Livent. Those who appreciate a bit of diversification should lean towards Albemarle. Some diversification is often a good thing. Having all your eggs in one basket tends to increase a company’s risk profile.

And the winner is… Albemarle.

This matchup was a shutout with Albemarle sweeping all three goal categories. But keep in mind the many caveats mentioned at the top of the article.

There are also other factors to consider, including things like financial liquidity and dividend policy (Albemarle pays a modest dividend, while Livent pays no dividend).

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CAP prepares for the annual holiday toy store Wed, 02 Nov 2022 23:23:00 +0000

By Grace McCarthy

Community Assistance Program (CAP) volunteers are busy getting ready for this year’s Holiday Toy Shop.

The nonprofit Blaine began accepting donations and opened registrations for its community toy store on November 1. The annual program allows families in the Blaine and Birch Bay area living on limited incomes to purchase toys for their children at the toy store in December. Families can buy toys and gift cards at around 75% off, which means $15 will buy $60 worth of gifts. Proceeds will be donated to the Bridge Community Hope Center emergency fund, Valley Church Essentials and Loads of Love.

“I love how it impacts the community by supporting different organizations, involving parents and letting them support the community with their purchases,” said CAP volunteer Laura Vogee. “He supports so many people in different sectors of the community.”

The store will remain the same as last year, with an addition of free Christmas decoration craft kits given out as stocking stuffers, Vogee said.


People can donate online through the Launching Successful Learning Store in Bellingham and Amazon wishlists. Further information is available on the CAP website. People can also buy new toys for $20-$50 such as craft and science kits, Legos, construction toys, musical toys, scooters, book sets, sleeping bags and play tents. Toys must be intended for ages 2-12, not be gift wrapped, and have the regular retail price included.

Gift cards worth $25 can be purchased for middle and high school students. Event organizers recommend Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Michaels, Happy Teen, Happy Treats, Hobby Lobby cards and combination cards from discount stores. CAP doesn’t need Old Navy or American Eagle gift cards because there are still plenty left from the 2021 store.

Cash donations can also be made on the CAP website or by postal check. Checks should be made payable to the Community Assistance Program with “Community Toy Store” in the memo line and mailed to 508 G Street in Blaine.

Toys can be dropped off at several locations in Blaine, Birch Bay and Semiahmoo, in addition to many churches expected to participate. Donations will be accepted until Friday, December 2. Below is a list of locations and what is accepted.

• Blaine Library – toys and gift cards

• Blaine Senior Center – toys and gift cards

• Pacific Building Center – toys only

• Windermere Realty, Birch Bay Square – toys and gift cards

• The Bridge Community Hope Center in Birch Bay – toys and gift cards

• Birch Bay Village Rec Center – toys and gift cards

• Semiahmoo Golf Club – toys and gift cards

• Semiahmoo Marina Cafe – toys and gift cards

• Inn at Semiahmoo – toys and gift cards

• Semiahmoo Athletic Club – toys and gift cards


Eligible families must live within Blaine School District boundaries, meet the income requirement for a free or reduced lunch, and not receive other holiday gift assistance. Families living within the Blaine School District boundaries with homeschooled or preschool children can enroll in the Toy Store as long as they meet the income requirements.

The toys will be set up in a store-like setting at Valley Church, 1733 H Street, Unit 260 at Cost Cutter Plaza. Parents will shop during designated time slots from Thursday, December 8 through Saturday, December 10, with the possibility of additional dates. Registration will be open until Sunday, November 27 online and by phone for those who cannot register online, 530/828-5195. Pre-registration is required.

CAP is a non-profit organization that serves residents of Blaine, Birch Bay, Custer and Point Roberts through Thanksgiving baskets, winter coat collection and crisis relief.

To register for CAP Community Toy Store 2022, visit or call 530/828-5195. More information is available on the CAP website for those who register and donate to this year’s store.

A new poll showed that 52% of Illinoisans think the state is on the wrong track. This is actually good news. Fri, 28 Oct 2022 22:30:00 +0000

When Emerson College released its latest Illinois poll last week, its press release included three “key takeaways.” At the very top of his list was this: “Fifty-two percent (52%) of the majority of voters think things in Illinois are on the wrong track, while 48% think things are going wrong. good direction.”

The college is based in Massachusetts, a liberal state with a popular Republican governor. A recent poll in Massachusetts by the University of Suffolk found that 59% thought their state was on the right track, while 33% said it was on the wrong track.

So while I can easily see why people in Massachusetts would point to an opposite opinion in Illinois as bad news, this poll result was actually very good news.

In 2008, when Rod Blagojevich was nearing his fateful end, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found that 75% of Illinoisans thought Illinois was heading in the wrong direction, while 12.4% thought it was going in the wrong direction. good direction.

In 2010, the Simon Institute obtained the wrong/right track result at 81%-11%. In 2011, the Institute’s poll pegged the numbers at 75% – 15% false/true, and it stayed there for quite some time. The 2012 Simon Poll wrong/right results were 70% to 20%. The 2013 Simon poll had it at 75%-16%.

In early 2015, shortly after Republican Bruce Rauner was inaugurated as governor, the mood in Illinois improved somewhat.

In 2016, after everything went wild in Springfield amid Rauner’s refusal to negotiate a budget until he won his war on the unions, things got even worse. The Simon Poll found that 84% of voters in the state thought Illinois was on the wrong track, while only 10% thought it was on the right track. The Simon poll numbers were essentially unchanged two years later (84%-9%) as Rauner completed his first and only term.

Illinoisans have overwhelmingly agreed on one thing over the years: Illinois sucks. That’s a pretty remarkable consensus.

And it’s not like people are totally wrong.

We have more than our share of crooked politicians. We had three governors in a row who made a complete mess. Our former Speaker of the House had more concentrated power than anyone in our state’s history, and he often used his office to play against other people and institutions for sports.

Problems were ignored, everything seemed to be falling apart, there was never enough money to meet basic goals.

Entire cottage industries have sprung up to cash in on Illinois’ collective hatred of their state by giving them often-butchered data to feed their rage. Everything is bad all the time for these groups. “Death spiral” was one of their favorite expressions to describe the predicament in Illinois. People were paid well enough to live in nice houses and tell everyone that their lives were miserable because of state employee pensions, or what the current bogeyman was.

Then something happened that upset a lot of people at the time but changed everything. A supermajority of Republicans and Democrats overruled Rauner’s veto to an income tax hike. Oh, there was such blinding, white-hot rage from the well-paid doomsayers at the time. But I think they knew the concert was over.

It took a few years to pay off the crushing short-term debts incurred under Rauner and his predecessors, but the state began to recover again with this additional revenue. After some decent governance, people in the “death spiral” have mostly moved on to opposing COVID-19 mitigations, or complaining about “critical race theory” or whatever. .

Because of this increase in tax revenue, our retirement debt, while high, has become much more manageable. Businesses and nonprofits that do much of the government’s real physical work need not worry about not getting paid in a timely manner. Subsequent increases in fuel taxes and the expansion of gambling and the legalization of cannabis provided the funds needed to repair our decrepit roads and bridges, repair our dilapidated public buildings, and invest in neglected communities.

Again, I don’t strongly disagree with popular sentiment over the years. Illinois has often been a basket case, even without the deliberately provocative exaggerations of the pessimistic types. And I also agree with what seems to be the current sentiment that Illinois is slightly more negative than positive. We still have a long way to go. But, at least now, the destination may be in sight.

It would certainly be nice to live in a more “normal” state.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and

The Sun-Times welcomes letters to the editor and editorials. See our guidelines.

Canadian National Railway raises profit forecast after record revenues Wed, 26 Oct 2022 12:43:42 +0000

Revenue jumped $922 million to $4.5 billion, a 26% increase over last year

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Canadian National Railway Company is raising its full-year profit forecast after announcing record third-quarter revenue.

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Revenue for CN, Canada’s largest railroad, jumped $922 million in the quarter to $4.5 billion – a 26% increase over last year, which, according to the company, was mainly due to it increasing its freight rates and charging more for fuel, due to rising fuel prices. CN also benefited from a “positive translation effect of a weaker Canadian dollar,” the railroad said in a statement. financial update October 25.

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The gains generated record operating profit of $1.9 billion, up 44% year-over-year in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Earnings per share fell 10% to $2.13, only because the year-over-year comparison was skewed. by an $886 million merger termination fee that CN received in the third quarter of 2021 after its bid to buy Kansas City Southern failed. But ignoring the impact of those termination fees, EPS of $2.13 represented a 40% increase on an adjusted basis, above the forecast of $2.01.

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In a note to investors, RBC Capital Markets analyst Walter Spracklin called the performance a “solid beat.”

The results prompted CN to update its official outlook for 2022, raising the forecast for adjusted EPS growth to “about 25%,” up from a previous forecast of 15-20%.

CN chief executive Tracy Robinson said the railroad is expecting “a busy fourth quarter” due to the Prairie grain harvest, which Statistics Canada forecasts will be around 75 million. tons.

The railroad said it moved more than 806,000 tonnes of western Canadian grain last week, beating its previous record of more than 50,000 metric tonnes. CN Chief Financial Officer Ghislain Houle said it would be one of the “five best grain crops of all time” in Canada.

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“This record also follows CN’s second-best September ever for moving western Canadian grain, with more than 2.64 million metric tonnes moved,” CN said in a statement. statement earlier this week.

But grain exporters are to complain that CN and its main competitor, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., are still unable to fill orders for grain cars. This year is one of the most anticipated Canadian grain harvests in living memory, after war in Ukraine destabilized one of the world’s largest breadbaskets and caused volatility in commodity markets. Canadian grain exporters and farmers, still reeling from an extreme drought that reduced yields by nearly 40% last year, are eager to get new grain to port to capitalize on demand.

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The railroads, however, have not been able to keep pace, according to weekly order fulfillment reports from the Ag Transport Coalition. CN and CP supplied just 70% of all grain cars ordered by elevators during the week of Sept. 18, marking a ‘significant drop’ from 83% the previous week, according to the coalition of groups. pressure from the grain industry. That execution rate steadily improved through September, reaching 86% in the first week of October – although the coalition said it was still “below the 90% threshold”.

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In its financial update, CN said it moved 3% more grain and fertilizer carloads in the third quarter than a year ago. Revenue from grain and fertilizer shipments increased by $621 million, a 22% increase over last year. The railroad earned almost a dollar more on every ton of grain and fertilizer it shipped per mile. Last quarter, it earned $5.20 per ton for every mile shipped, up from $4.33 a year ago.

“We saw a rapid increase in Canadian grain starting in September when the new crop started rolling out of the fields,” chief marketing officer Doug MacDonald told investors on an Oct. 25 conference call. “We quickly deployed resources and our customers are very impressed with how the entire team, commercial and operational, has come together to respond effectively to the increase in traffic.

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