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Sony Cuts PlayStation 5 Forecast by 4 Million Due to Chip Woes

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Sony Cuts PlayStation 5 Forecast by 4 Million Due to Chip Woes

(Bloomberg) — Sony Corp. has cut its estimated PlayStation 5 production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to around 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip for the new console, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the coronavirus. But the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50% for its SOC, which have cut into its ability to produce as many consoles as it wishes, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the deliberations aren’t public. Yields have been gradually improving but have yet to reach a stable level, they added.

Sony shares erased gains and were down as much as 3.5% in the wake of the news, their biggest intraday drop since August. A Sony spokesman declined to comment.

Close rival Microsoft Corp. last week revealed aggressive pricing for its two next-generation consoles, the $299 Xbox Series S and $499 Xbox Series X, putting added pressure on Sony. Pre-orders for the new Xbox models begin on Sept. 22. Sony is widely expected to reveal its own launch and pricing plans for the PlayStation 5 during an official video presentation scheduled for Wednesday. The full PS5 console may be priced as low as $449 while the slimmer digital-only version may dip below $400, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Masahiro Wakasugi.

Read more: Sony Is Said to Limit PlayStation 5 Output in Its First Year

Sony started the year with conservative manufacturing plans for the PS5, and it has been grappling with the issue of how to price its upcoming console refresh. The Covid-19 pandemic led to an upward revision of the company’s projections as it saw the fastest-ever adoption of its PlayStation Plus subscription service and record-breaking sales from summer releases The Last of Us: Part II and Ghost of Tsushima.

Nintendo Co. plans an upgraded version of its Switch console, equipped with better components and potentially 4K output, for 2021. It’s set to be accompanied by a slate of new big-name games, challenging Sony and Microsoft’s efforts to get more players signed up for their services.

(Updates with share price reaction in third paragraph)

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Is Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA) Using Debt Sensibly?

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3 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks With Over 7% Dividend Yield

Markets are volatile, there can be no doubt. So far this month, the S&P 500 has fallen 9% from its peak. The tech-heavy NASDAQ, which had led the gainers all summer, is now leading the on the fall, having lost 11% since September 2. The three-week tumble has investors worried that we may be on the brink of another bear market.The headwinds are strong. The usual September swoon, the upcoming election, doubts about another round of economic stimulus – all are putting downward pressure on the stock markets.Which doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities. As the old saw goes, “Bulls and bears can both make money, while the pigs get slaughtered.” A falling market may worry investors, but a smart strategy can prevent the portfolio from losing too much long-term value while maintaining a steady income. Dividend stocks, which feed into the income stream, can be a key part of such a strategy.Using the data available in the TipRanks database, we’ve pulled up three stocks with high yields – from 7% to 11%, or up to 6 times the average dividend found on the S&P 500 index. Even better, these stocks are seen as Strong Buys by Wall Street’s analysts. Let’s find out why.Williams Companies (WMB)We start with Williams Companies, an Oklahoma-based energy company. Williams controls pipelines connecting Rocky Mountain natural gas fields with the Pacific Northwest region, and Appalachian and Texan fields with users in the Northeast and transport terminals on the Gulf Coast. The company’s primary operations are the processing and transport of natural gas, with additional ops in crude oil and energy generation. Williams handles nearly one-third of all US commercial and residential natural gas use.The essential nature of Williams’ business – really, modern society simply cannot get along without reliable energy sources – has insulated the company from some of the economic turndown in 1H20. Quarterly revenues slid from $2.1 billion at the end of last year to $1.9 billion in Q1 and $1.7 billion in Q2. EPS in the first half was 26 cents for Q1 and 25 cents for Q2 – but this was consistent with EPS results for the previous three quarters. The generally sound financial base supported the company’s reliable dividend. Williams has been raising that payment for the past four years, and even the corona crisis could not derail it. At 40 cents per common share, the dividend annualizes to $1.60 and yields an impressive 7.7%. The next payment is scheduled for September 28.Truist analyst Tristan Richardson sees Williams as one of the midstream sector’s best positioned companies.“We continue to look to WMB as a defensive component of midstream and favor its 2H prospects as broader midstream grasps at recovery… Beyond 2020 we see the value proposition as a stable footprint with free cash flow generation even in the current environment. We also see room for incremental leverage reduction throughout our forecast period on scaled back capital plans and even with the stable dividend. We look for modestly lower capex in 2021, however unlike more G&P oriented midstream firms, we see a project backlog in downstream that should support very modest growth,” Richardson noted.Accordingly, Richardson rates WMB shares as a Buy, and his $26 price target implies a 30% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Richardson’s track record, click here)Overall, the Strong Buy analyst consensus rating on WMB is based on 11 Buy reviews against just a single Hold. The stock’s current share price is $19.91 and the average price target is $24.58, making the one-year upside potential 23%. (See WMB stock analysis on TipRanks)Magellan Midstream (MMP)The second stock on our list is another midstream energy company, Magellan. This is another Oklahoma-based firm, with a network of assets across much of the US from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi Valley, and into the Southeast. Magellan’s network transports crude oil and refined products, and includes Gulf Coast export shipping terminals.Magellan’s total revenues rose sequentially to $782.8 in Q1, and EPS came in at $1.28, well above the forecast. These numbers turned down drastically in Q2, as revenue fell to $460.4 million and EPS collapsed to 65 cents. The outlook for Q3 predicts a modest recovery, with EPS forecast at 85 cents. The company strengthened its position in the second quarter with an issue of 10-year senior notes, totaling $500 million, at 3.25%. This reduced the company’s debt service payments, and shored up liquidity, making possible the maintenance of the dividend.The dividend was kept steady at $1.0275 per common share quarterly. Annualized, this comes to $4.11, a good absolute return, and gives a yield of 11.1%, giving MMP a far higher return than Treasury bonds or the average S&P-listed stock.Well Fargo analyst Praneeth Satish believes that MMP has strong prospects for recovery. “[We] view near-term weakness in refined products demand as temporary and recovering. In the interim, MMP remains well positioned given its strong balance sheet and liquidity position, and ratable cash flow stream…” Satish goes on to note that the dividend appears secure for the near-term: “The company plans to maintain the current quarterly distribution for the rest of the year.”In line with this generally upbeat outlook, Satish gives MMP an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating, and a $54 price target that implies 57% growth in the coming year. (To watch Satish’s track record, click here)Net net, MMP shares have a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, a show of confidence by Wall Street’s analyst corps. The stock is selling for $33.44, and the average price target of $51.13 implies 53% growth in the year ahead. (See MMP stock analysis on TipRanks)Ready Capital Corporation (RC)The second stock on our list is a real estate investment trust. No surprise finding one of these in a list of strong dividend payers – REITs have long been known for their high dividend payments. Ready Capital, which focuses on the commercial mortgage niche of the REIT sector, has a portfolio of loans in real estate securities and multi-family dwellings. RC has provided more than $3 billion in capital to its loan customers.In the first quarter of this year, when the coronavirus hit, the economy turned south, and business came to a standstill, Ready Capital took a heavy blow. Revenues fell by 58%, and Q1 EPS came in at just one penny. Things turned around in Q2, however, after the company took measures – including increasing liquidity, reducing liabilities, and increasing involvement in government-sponsored lending – to shore up business. Revenues rose to $87 million and EPS rebounded to 70 cents.In the wake of the strong Q2 results, RC also started restoring its dividend. In Q1 the company had slashed the payment from 40 cents to 25 cents; in the most recent declaration, for an October 30 payment, the new dividend is set at 30 cents per share. This annualizes to $1.20 and gives a strong yield of 9.9%.Crispin Love, writing from Piper Sandler, notes the company’s success in getting back on track.“Given low interest rates, Ready Capital had a record $1.2B in residential mortgage originations versus our $1.1B estimate. Gain on sale margins were also at record levels. We are calculating gain on sale margins of 3.7%, up from 2.4% in 1Q20,” Love wrote.In a separate note, written after the dividend declaration, Love added, “We believe that the Board’s actions show an increased confidence for the company to get back to its pre-pandemic $0.40 dividend. In recent earnings calls, management has commented that its goal is to get back to stabilized earnings above $0.40, which would support a dividend more in-line with pre-pandemic levels.”To this end, Love rates RC an Overweight (i.e. Buy) along with a $12 price target, suggesting an upside of 14%. (To watch Love’s track record, click here)All in all, Ready Capital has a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, based on 4 recent positive reviews. The stock has an average price target of $11.50, which gives a 9% upside from the current share price of $10.51. (See RC stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend 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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9% of American adults exposed to COVID-19; world deaths could double before a vaccine is widely available, WHO warns

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9% of American adults exposed to COVID-19; world deaths could double before a vaccine is widely available, WHO warns

Americans have a long way to go for “herd immunity” given that only about 9% of adults in the U.S. have been exposed to COVID-19. That’s according to the largest study so far that looks for evidence of the disease in peoples’ blood.

California’s health secretary said Friday that there have been increases in the number of newly confirmed cases, hospital emergency department visits for COVID-19 and new hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected cases.

And in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in a move to reopen the state’s economy despite the spread of the coronavirus.

Some significant developments:

  • California is seeing a concerning uptick in cases, which appear to be attributable to gatherings around Labor Day.

  • Texas A&M’s Midnight Yell was a little “eerie” because no fans were there due to COVID restrictions.

  • Areas with high numbers of Black and non-white Latino residents had higher infection rates than mostly white communities, a study on herd immunity found.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 7 million cases and 203,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Globally, there have been more than 32.6 million cases and over 989,000 fatalities.

📰 What we’re reading: Coronavirus has exposed a secret underbelly of the travel business: Ponzi-style schemes to pay bookings.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak, state by state.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

After 7 months, Michigan movie theaters to reopen in two weeks 

Michigan’s movie theaters and other venues can reopen in two weeks after nearly seven months of closure during the coronavirus pandemic, and the limit on how many people can attend funerals and other indoor events is being raised.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also issued an order Friday requiring the vast majority of students to wear masks in classrooms as of Oct. 5, and mandating that public and private schools publish information on coronavirus cases.

Indoor cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities and trampoline parks can reopen starting Oct. 9. A 10-person cap on indoor events has been revised to instead allow 20 people per 1,000 square feet or 20% of fixed seating capacity, up to a maximum of 500 people.

US is nowhere near herd immunity, study finds

By the end of July, about 9 percent of American adults had been exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study of dialysis patients, the largest yet looking for evidence of the disease in people’s blood.

That data shows the American public is a long way from achieving “herd immunity” – having enough infections to prevent further spread of the virus. 

The infection rates varied from essentially zero in some states that avoided infection by mid-summer, to more than one-third of residents in parts of New York hard-hit in the spring.

The new study, published in The Lancet, is in line with previous, smaller studies, and also showed areas with high numbers of Black and non-white Latino residents had higher infection rates than mostly white communities.

– Karen Weintraub

Public health experts ask Pfizer not to seek OK for new vaccine until late November

More than 60 public health experts have called on the pharmaceutical company Pfizer not to seek approval for its coronavirus vaccine until it has followed trial participants for at least two months after their second dose, according to one of the signators.

“To be successful, the public needs to have the utmost trust in the vaccine and the science behind it,” the letter said, according to Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine who posted the letter Saturday on Twitter.

The Washington Post reports that Pfizer said in a statement that it shared the writers’ “commitment to rigorous safety standards,” but did not directly respond to their request. Pfizer, along with other pharmaceutical companies, signed a pledge earlier this month not to cut corners on a coranvirus vaccine.

The letter noted that since many trial participants have not yet received their second dose, monitoring should occur through at least late November before an application for an Emergency Use Authorization should be considered by the Food and drug administration.

It said the submission of an application before that standard would “would severely erode public trust”  and “prolong the pandemic, with disastrous consequences.” 

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said a vaccine would be available by Election Day, Nov. 3, or sooner.

6 states post record new cases; 4 mark record deaths

A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Friday shows six states set records for new cases in a week while four states had a record number of deaths in a week.

New case records were set in Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, and also Puerto Rico. Record numbers of deaths were reported in Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The United States has reported 7,034,432 cases and 203,789 deaths as of Saturday morning.

– Michael Stucka

California cases, which had gone down, now seeing concerning upticks

California’s health secretary said Friday that there have been increases in the number of newly confirmed cases, hospital emergency department visits for COVID-19 and new hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected cases.

Dr. Mark Ghaly says the trends appear largely attributable to the Labor Day holiday and could lead to an 89% increase in hospitalizations in the next month.

Ghaly notes the state is heading into another hot weekend, which could increase people gathering with others. He urged renewed efforts to prevent spread.

COVID-19 forces Texas A&M to keep fans out of Midnight Yell

Texas A&M’s five Yell Leaders ran into an almost empty Kyle Field as Friday night crept into Saturday morning for their Midnight Yell.

It’s a tradition almost 90 years old, normally held in front of more than 25,000 people before every football game. No fans were allowed this year because of the coronavirus, leaving the Yell Leaders to perform only to the school’s band, their voices echoing in the cavernous space.

“It was a little eerie, but I think it went well,” head Yell Leader Keller Cox said through his mask moments after it ended.

WHO official: 2M deaths ‘likely’ before a vaccine widely available

The global death toll from the new coronavirus sits just below 1 million, but without further action to slow the spread, it will likely double before a vaccine is widely available, a World Health Organization official said Friday.

Dr. Mike Ryan, head the WHO’s health emergencies program, said that 2 million deaths was “not only imaginable, but sadly very likely” in the absence of increased testing, tracing, social distancing, mask wearing and other measures to slow the spread of the virus.

“The time for action is now on every single aspect of this strategic approach,” Ryan said.

– Joel Shannon

Florida Gov. DeSantis lifts all virus restrictions on restaurants, businesses

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he was lifting COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants and other businesses across Florida as he pushed to reopen the state’s economy.

DeSantis also said any local government limitations affecting restaurants and other businesses would have to be justified by his administration.

“We’re not closing anything going forward,” DeSantis said, while insisting that the state is prepared with plans in place if infections increase again.

The Phase 3 order will allow theme parks to operate at full capacity and lift any restrictions on gatherings, although the state still is recommending people avoid crowded spaces.

Bars can go beyond 50% capacity, if local governments give them the green light, DeSantis said.

– John Kennedy, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID news: California cases up, herd immunity a long way off

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Netflix Sends Firm Response to GOP Senators Over Chinese Sci-Fi Adaptation Controversy

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Netflix Sends Firm Response to GOP Senators Over Chinese Sci-Fi Adaptation Controversy

Netflix has issued a firm response to the five Republican senators who questioned its decision to adapt “The Three-Body Problem” sci-fi novel trilogy by Liu Cixin.

In a Sept. 24 letter, the senators, led by Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, pointed to disparaging remarks Liu had made about Uyghur Muslims in an interview last year, and suggested that Netflix should halt its plans to adapt his books.

The streamer has stood firm in a responding letter, repeatedly pointing to the fact that “Mr. Liu is the author of the books, not the creator of this series.”

“Mr. Liu’s comments are not reflective of the views of Netflix or of the show’s creators, nor are they part of the plot or themes of the show,” wrote Netflix vice president of public policy Dean Garfield in the letter.

The company added that it does “not agree with his comments,” but went on to say that Liu’s views are “entirely unrelated to his book or this Netflix show.”

In their initial letter, the senators had accused Netflix of “complicity” over its decision to adapt Liu’s work.

“We have significant concerns with Netflix’s decision to do business with an individual who is parroting dangerous CCP propaganda,” the senators wrote. “In the face of such atrocities in (Xinjiang), there no longer exist corporate decisions of complacency, only complicity.”

In the New Yorker interview in question, Liu pushed back on the interviewer’s questions about the camps in Xinjiang, and also defended the Chinese system of government, saying that democratization would lead to chaos.

News of the series adaptation emerged earlier this month, coupled with the announcement that “Game of Thrones” producers David Benioff, D.B. Weiss would be writing alongside “The Terror” alumnus Alexander Woo, as the Netflix letter points out.

Read the streamer’s full response below:

Dear Senators Blackburn, Scott, Cramer, Tillis, and McSally:

Thank you for your letter from September 23, and your interest in the upcoming Netflix series adaptation based on The Three-Body Problem. First, we’d like to note that Netflix does not operate a service in China. We address your questions and concerns below:

Q: Does Netflix agree that the Chinese Communist Party’s interment of 1.8 to 3 million Uyghurs in internment or labor camps based on their ethnicity is unacceptable? 

A: Absolutely. As the UN Declaration of Human Rights (which China has signed) states “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Q: In order to avoid any further glorification of the CCP’s actions against the Uyghurs, or validation of the Chinese regime and agencies responsible for such acts, what steps will Netflix take to cast a critical eye on this project – to include the company’s broader relationship with Mr. Liu? 

A: Mr. Liu is the author of the books, not the creator of this series. Mr. Liu’s comments are not reflective of the views of Netflix or of the show’s creators, nor are they part of the plot or themes of the show.

Q: Were Netflix senior executives aware of the statements made by Mr. Liu Cixin regarding the CCP’s genocidal acts prior to entering into an agreement to adapt his work? If so, please outline the reasoning that led Netflix to move forward with this project. If not, please describe Netflix’s standard process of due diligence and the gaps therein that led to this oversight. 

A: Mr. Liu is a Chinese citizen living in China – he is the author of the books, not the creator of this Netflix series. The creators are David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of Game of Thrones, and Alexander Woo, executive producer/writer on the series True Blood.

Q: Does Netflix have a policy regarding entering into contracts with public-facing individuals who, either publicly or privately, promote principles inconsistent with Netflix’s company culture and principles? If so, please outline this policy. If not, please explain why not. 

A: Netflix judges individual projects on their merits. Mr. Liu is the author of the book – The Three Body Problem – not the creator of this show. We do not agree with his comments, which are entirely unrelated to his book or this Netflix show. 

Sincerely,

Dean Garfield

Vice President, Global Public Policy

Netflix

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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