While taking questions from reporters Wednesday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden responded to President Trump’s remarks at a town hall criticizing Biden for not enacting a mask mandate. “I’m not the president. He’s the president,” Biden said.
Shell to Cut Up to 9,000 Jobs as Virus Accelerates Overhaul
(Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc will cut as many as 9,000 jobs as Covid-19 accelerates a companywide restructuring into low-carbon energy.The move reflects the challenge facing Big Oil as the pandemic persists, with some in the industry believing the era of demand growth is already over. As the crisis hastens the shift to cleaner energy, oil majors are axing jobs, taking multibillion-dollar writedowns and even slashing once-sacrosanct dividends.At Shell, job reductions of 7,000 to 9,000 are expected by the end of 2022, including around 1,500 people taking voluntary redundancy this year, the company said Wednesday. It currently has about 83,000 employees. Sustainable annual cost savings of $2 billion to $2.5 billion are predicted by that time.“We have to be a simpler, more streamlined, more competitive organization,” Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said in a statement. “In many places, we have too many layers in the company: too many levels between me, as the CEO, and the operators and technicians at our locations.”Shell also warned of lower sales in the third quarter, saying oil-product volumes were around 4 million to 5 million barrels a day, down from 6.7 million a day a year earlier. Oil-product trading results will fall short of the historical average and will be “significantly lower” than in the second quarter.That shows the oil-trading bonanza that saved Shell’s last set of results won’t be repeated. The company also expects refining margins to be much lower than in the second quarter. Its full third-quarter financials, scheduled for Oct. 29, will include impairment charges of $1 billion to $1.5 billion.Shell’s B shares slipped 0.7% to 950.2 pence as of 8:04 a.m. in London.Oil’s coronavirus-induced plunge has seen Shell’s peers also take drastic steps to shore up the balance sheet. BP Plc said in June it planned to cut 10,000 jobs, Chevron Corp. intends to trim 10% to 15% of its global workforce, while Exxon Mobil Corp. is reviewing staffing country by country.Shell began the process in May, when Van Beurden told staff in a memo that it was reshaping the company to make it leaner and more resilient and that there could be redundancies in the second half of the year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The Anglo-Dutch major offered voluntary severance, scaled back recruitment and reviewed expatriate staff contracts.The reorganization is also designed to further Shell’s expanded green ambitions. The company said in April it planned to eliminate all net emissions from its own operations and the bulk of greenhouse gases from fuel it sells to its customers by 2050. Shell also said that ultimately, it would only do business with emission-free companies.Read more: How Peak Oil’s Outlook Is Changing Under the Pandemic: QuickTake(Updates with trading in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Despite hopeful speculation, Biden campaign says remaining debates are still on
The Daily Beast
‘Fox & Friends’ Hosts Look On in Horror as Rudy Giuliani Blurts Out Biden Dementia Conspiracy Theory
Everyone knows that live television isn’t easy. Anything can go wrong—from a faulty connection, a verbal slip-up, or, as was the case on Tuesday morning’s Fox & Friends, Rudy Giuliani bellowing insane conspiracy theories at the nation with no obvious way to stop him.It’s always a risk to allow Giuliani to share his wildly unpredictable stream of consciousness live. The man who was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2001 has long since been reduced to sharing the latest Trumpist conspiracy theories on any cable news channel that has the budget to cover any possible subsequent defamation lawsuits.This time, his F&F hosts looked on with visible horror in their eyes as Giuliani shared his completely baseless belief that Joe Biden is suffering from dementia. If you have the time, it’s worth watching the clip at least three times so you can see each of the hosts panicking in their own unique way as the former New York City mayor rambles on and on.> On Fox & Friends, Rudy Giuliani says Joe Biden “has dementia. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve talked to doctors. … The president’s quite right to say maybe he’s taken adderall.” The hosts get visibly uncomfortable. pic.twitter.com/2Ma7DKNBpS> > — Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) September 29, 2020With a mischievous cackle, Giuliani began: “The man [Biden] has dementia. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve talked to doctors. I’ve had them look at a hundred different tapes of his five years ago and today.” Trying his very best to shut Giuliani down, host Steve Doocy interjected that Biden’s team has said the Democrat has no serious medical problems.Giuliani then made an extraordinary noise at Doocy that can best be typed as “Oowughawughawugh,” before continuing: “He can’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance and he’s fine? He was in the Senate for 160 years? I mean, he can’t do the prologue to the… to the… con… to the… uh… Constitution of the United States or the Declaration of Independence, any of them.”Getting louder and increasingly excited about his armchair diagnosis, Giuliani went on: “He can’t do NUMBERS. Wow, are the numbers screwed up. He actually displays symptoms that two gerontologists told me are classic symptoms of middle level dementia.” Doocy and co-host Ainsley Earhardt both responded to that claim by softly saying, “Right.” The third host, Brian Kilmeade, can just be seen blinking rapidly.Fox News Lobotomizes Its ‘Brain Room,’ Cuts Fact-Based JournalismNevertheless, Giuliani persisted. “That’s when [Biden] does that ‘I pledge allegiance to the United States… uh… uh… um… I think,’ he’s done that twice,” said the ex mayor. “That’s a classic symptom in the DSM-V, it’s the fifth symptom, of dementia, he’s got eight of the 10.”Then, seemingly remembering that he was on the show to talk about tonight’s presidential debate, he went on: “Look, that isn’t the debate. He can get through it. I think the president is quite right to say maybe he’s taken Adderall or some kind of attention deficit disorder thing.”As Giuliani began pulling prescription medicine brands out of the air, Doocy had finally had enough and told him firmly, “None of us are doctors, that is your opinion.” Giuliani fought back, saying it was actually the opinion of some very professional-sounding doctors that he knows.But the game was up. Kilmeade, in his first verbal interjection of the entire exchange, said with exasperation, “We can stay away from that.” Earhardt then moved on to pick Giuliani’s brain on the Supreme Court.This particular line of attack is one that Giuliani—whose work as President Trump’s lawyer and top dirt-digger on Hunter and Joe Biden kicked off a chain of events that got his client impeached last year—has enthusiastically embraced as one of his primary functions now for Team Trump.Shortly before midnight on Monday night, Giuliani started texting The Daily Beast to say that Trump did “great” in recent White House debate prep (for which the president said on Sunday that Giuliani and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie took part), and to rail against Biden as a “senile,” “broken down old crook” who’s supposedly suffering from “dementia” and needs “ADD drugs” to get through the Tuesday debate. The Trump attorney also claimed that someone had told him how stupid Biden was in law school.Giuliani also mentioned late Monday evening that he’d be flying with Trump on Air Force One on Tuesday and would be at the Cleveland debate. Asked about what kinds of questions he peppered the president with during the prep, the former New York City mayor replied, “It really doesn’t work like that with him. It’s much more of a discussion rather than a rehearsal. Plus you are dealing with a very smart, very alert human being, not a senile old man.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
William Hill Accepts Bid From Caesars But Still Faces Breakup
2 “Strong Buy” Space Stocks That Are Ready for Takeoff
Space, the final frontier. Throughout history, the expanse that exists beyond Earth has captivated people all over the world, with space exploration continuing to take giant leaps forward since Apollo 11 first landed on the moon.Now, outer space has peaked Wall Street’s interest. Given the high levels of private funding and advances in technology, the pros argue there could be major implications should space become more accessible and less expensive to reach. To this end, new markets such as satellite broadband, high-speed product delivery, reusable rockets and human space travel are emerging.Speaking to the potential opportunity, according to a recent KPMG report, by 2030, the global space industry could reach $600 billion, with it currently worth $350 billion. Bearing this in mind, we used TipRanks’ database to zero in on two space stocks reaching for the stars, so says the Street. Boasting the analyst community’s full support, both tickers have received a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. Virgin Galactic Holdings (SPCE)By offering high-speed point-to-point travel, Virgin Galactic wants to commercialize space travel and revolutionize commercial flight. Given the significant backlog of demand for commercial spaceflight, several members of the Street have high hopes for this space stock.Representing Cowen, analyst Oliver Chen sees SPCE as “uniquely positioned to benefit from the growing consumer interest toward luxury experiences, especially among high-net-worth individuals.” He added, “We believe a substantial growth opportunity lies ahead with the commercial spaceflight business, which already has ~600 reservations, and the development of high-speed point-to-point travel.”Looking at the market opportunity, Chen estimates that this part of the business could push SPCE’s top-line to $1 billion-plus by 2030, growing at a 60%-plus CAGR (2021-2030), with an EBITDA margin of 46%. According to the analyst, there’s a total addressable market (TAM) for commercial spaceflight (suborbital) of roughly 2.4 million individuals with a net worth of $5 million-plus globally.On top of this, SPCE could use its technology to develop additional revenue streams such as high-speed P2P commercial air travel. The development of hypersonic aircrafts would make 85% of the global network pairs accessible in a one-day trip. In addition, the analyst thinks the high-speed P2P opportunity could yield a TAM of $985 billion by 2050, and SPCE’s market share could clock in at 20%. “P2P is in very early innings but we believe the company has the resources, capital, and experience to pursue this business line,” Chen noted.Given that the company’s leadership team brings expertise from NASA and Disney to the table, Chen argues SPCE is capable of capitalizing on the opportunity, with solid execution potentially solidifying its status as an experiential luxury brand.The positioning of its commercial space flight offering as a luxury airline experience, which is what consumers are more used to, is likely to give SPCE the first-mover advantage over others like Blue Origin. “Given the high fixed cost of operating a space tourism operation, first-mover advantage looks critical to success; and VG appears better positioned than BO to get it,” Chen mentioned.What else could give SPCE the first-mover advantage? Chen points to SPCE’s 10-plus years of technology developed with $1 billion of investment made to-date and the vertically integrated aerospace development capabilities. What’s more, SPCE has “created competitive moats in a high-barrier-to-entry industry and benefits from strong consumer demand, which should support a premium pricing structure.”Based on all of the above, Chen puts an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating and $22 price target on the stock. (To watch Chen’s track record, click here)Are other analysts in agreement? They are. Only Buy ratings, 7 to be exact, have been issued in the last three months. Therefore, the message is clear: SPCE is a Strong Buy. With a $25.43 average price target, shares could rise 22% in the next year. (See Virgin Galactic stock analysis on TipRanks)Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings (AJRD)Serving customers that include the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), NASA and other agencies and companies, Aerojet Rocketdyne develops and manufactures advanced propulsion and energetics systems. Given its recent contract awards, multiple analysts believe this company’s long-term growth prospects are strong.5-star analyst Ken Herbert, of Canaccord Genuity, recently met with AJRD’s new CFO, coming away from the discussion with his bullish thesis very much intact. The company expects the space business, which makes up 40% of sales, to be flat to up slightly, due to the recent SLS RS-25 engine order, with the core defense business (60% of sales) set to see steady growth.“While near-term margin upside is limited, we believe the revenue visibility, strong balance sheet and incremental opportunities in both space and defense contribute to a scarcity value for AJRD not reflected in the stock,” Herbert commented.That said, new programs are an essential piece of the puzzle here. Earlier in September, AJRD announced that it will build two elements of the new ground based strategic deterrent (GBSD) nuclear missiles for Northrop Grumman, which received a $13.3 billion, 8.5-year EMD contract to initiate early production of the “Minuteman IV” platform. AJRD is responsible for manufacturing a large solid rocket motor for the missile’s upper stage and the post-boost propulsion system needed to guide the nuclear warheads to their targets through apogee (the highest point of their parabolic flight arc). Weighing in on the deal, Herbert commented, “The program is expected to be substantial to both Aerojet and Northrop, with 400 active and 242 spare ICBMs expected to occupy the existing launch sites in the American West. It has been estimated that the GBSD program will be worth $63 billion during its first 20 years of life, which is likely to be extended given the longevity of the current Minuteman III deterrent.”Adding to the good news, AJRD’s backlog has increased to a record high of $6.8 billion as of Q2 2020, a 48% gain from the prior-year quarter. According to Herbert, a key driver of this growth has been the $1.8 billion NASA contract to construct 18 new RS-25 engines to support at least five additional Artemis lunar missions beyond the three currently planned. “As such, visibility into Aerojet’s business with NASA continues to look promising through 2030. Aerojet has also continued to see backlog growth on THAAD, hypersonics, Standard Missile and GMLRS,” the analyst stated. If that wasn’t enough, Herbert believes missile defense and classified hypersonics programs are likely to see solid backlog growth in the near-term.On top of this, in August, the U.S. Air Force awarded two contracts for the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program to ULA (a Boeing and Lockheed joint venture) and SpaceX. The implication? “Aerojet Rocketdyne is seen as a winner of the contact outcome, which ensured that the company will continue to provide content on a majority of U.S. military and intelligence launches. AJRD will see its upper stage engine content double on the new ULA Vulcan rocket under this contract, which utilizes a new Centaur upper stage (the Centaur V) powered by two RL10 engines, as opposed to one RL10 on the legacy Atlas V rocket,” Herbert explained.Everything that AJRD has going for it convinced Herbert to reiterate his Buy rating. Along with the call, he maintained a $54 price target, suggesting 34% upside potential. (To watch Herbert’s track record, click here)All in all, other analysts are on the same page. AJRD’s Strong Buy consensus rating breaks down into 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells. Meanwhile, the $56 average price target brings the upside potential to 39%. (See AJRD stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
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