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Splunk May Be Ready For A Bounce Despite Its Recent Slide

Splunk’s (SPLK) underwhelming results may have pushed the stock lower, but might investors have a reason to bid it back up? Shares in the real-time operational intelligence software provider have not performed well
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Splunk’s (SPLK) underwhelming results may have pushed the stock lower, but might investors have a reason to bid it back up?

Shares in the real-time operational intelligence software provider have not performed well since the company released its quarterly results in December. The stock has since dropped from around $200 per share to around $149 per share as of March 2.

Yet, this recent weakness may provide a good opportunity for investors looking for tech stocks with rebound potential. Despite the recent pullback SPLK is still far from cheap, but with earnings coming out on March 3, and the potential for the company to beat expectations, a positive surprise could be enough to send shares back up.

Why It May Be Darkest Before The Dawn For SPLK Stock

With lower year-over-year sales, it’s understandable why SPLK has performed poorly over the past three months, but looking beyond the headlines, the company’s quarterly earnings hiccup is less about declining sales, and more about the company being in a transitory phase.

As the company pivots to a Sales-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, with monthly recurring fees in lieu of large upfront payments, results are going to look depressed until the transformation is complete.

Additionally, pandemic-related economic uncertainty impacted new deal activity last year. With the vaccine rollout having started in Q1, it’s possible that some of this uncertainty has dissipated, and results for the current quarter may be stronger than investors anticipate.

Better-than-expected results could signal to investors that the company has overcome its recent headwinds, and that SPLK stock is ready to head higher once again.

Cheaper Than It Looks On A Screener

Splunk is by no means a cheap stock. Trading at 9.4x estimated FY22 sales (year ending Jan 31, 2022), investors continue to price high growth into shares, even after its sell-off.

However, while it looks pricey on a stock screener, this valuation may actually underestimate the long-term prospects of this data software company. With revenue estimates ranging from $2.15 billion to $3.37 billion in the next fiscal year, the company could see up to 55.3% revenue growth, assuming results come in at the top of analysts' expectations. 

As the clouds of uncertainty dissipate, together with the prospects of a pandemic recovery in 2021, the company could see higher-than-expected levels of growth in the second half of the year.

Splunk may look expensive, but given the potential for materially stronger results in the coming quarters, current valuations may be more than reasonable.

What Analysts Are Saying About SPLK Stock

SPLK scores a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 18 Buy and 9 Hold recommendations.

The average analyst price target of $207.04 implies that Wall Street sees around 39% upside potential for the stock over the next 12 months. Price forecasts range from a high of $275 per share to a low of $160 per share. (See Splunk stock analysis on TipRanks)

Bottom Line: An Interesting Opportunity

Unlike some other SaaS stocks out there, Splunk has not reached new highs during the overall stock market melt-up. While the stock hasn’t performed well since December, those buying it today may find an opportunity to get involved in a growth story that’s being restricted by near-term headwinds.

If the company beats expectations on March 3, investors may start to jump back into the stock. That doesn’t mean an instant rebound back to the $200 level, but it may mark the start of a gradual recovery back to previous valuations.

So, what’s the best move for investors? Keep an eye on the upcoming results, as SPLK may be a beaten-down name that is ready to break out.

Disclosure: Thomas Niel held no position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article at the time of publication.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as a solicitation to purchase or sell securities.

The post Splunk May Be Ready For A Bounce Despite Its Recent Slide appeared first on TipRanks Financial Blog.

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Military Agrees To Pay $1.8 Million To Settle Lawsuits From COVID Vaccine Mandate

Military Agrees To Pay $1.8 Million To Settle Lawsuits From COVID Vaccine Mandate

Authored by Ryan Morgan via The Epoch Times (Emphasis ours),




Military Agrees To Pay $1.8 Million To Settle Lawsuits From COVID Vaccine Mandate

Authored by Ryan Morgan via The Epoch Times (Emphasis ours),

In a settlement agreement submitted on Oct. 3, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, and Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro agreed to settle the pair of lawsuits—known as U.S. Navy SEALs 1-26 v. Biden and Colonel Financial Management Officer, et al. v. Austin—which challenged the legal basis of the military-wide vaccine mandate.

A soldier watches a colleague receive his COVID-19 vaccination from Army Preventive Medicine personnel in Fort Knox, Ky., on Sept. 9, 2021. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

The two cases were brought by servicemembers from all U.S. military branches, including numerous officers and several members of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs. The Navy SEAL plaintiffs initially filed their lawsuit nearly two years ago in October 2021 after President Joe Biden ordered that all U.S. troops and other executive branch employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Military servicemembers have raised numerous objections to the military COVID-19 vaccine mandate, including claims that the various military branches routinely rejected requests for religious accommodations to the mandates. Plaintiffs have also raised health concerns over the relatively condensed timeline under which the various COVID-19 vaccines were developed and then granted approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While the various COVID-19 vaccines were originally made available to the general public under emergency use authorizations, the FDA eventually granted full approval to the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine version, later marketed as Comirnaty. President Biden introduced the vaccine mandate shortly after the FDA granted full approval for Comirnaty, but the lawsuits argued that the FDA-approved vaccine often wasn't actually available to servicemembers, meaning that the military vaccine mandate effectively required service members to take versions of the COVID-19 vaccines that didn't have full FDA approval.

Last year, Republican lawmakers introduced a provision in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that repealed the military's vaccine mandate. President Biden ultimately signed the 2022 NDAA into law, despite objecting to the provision reversing his military vaccine mandate.

Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty nonprofit that represented military plaintiffs in the two cases, celebrated the Oct. 3 settlement agreement.

"The military COVID shot mandate is dead," Liberty Counsel founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement. "Our heroic service members can no longer be forced to take this experimental jab that conflicts with their religious convictions."

The $1.8 million settlement will be split between the two cases, with $900,000 being paid out for SEAL 1-26 v. Biden and the same amount being paid to the plaintiffs in Colonel Financial Management Officer, et al. v. Austin.

"Through our daily work with service members in every branch, we have had the privilege of knowing some of the finest people who love God and love America," Mr. Staver said. "These heroes should not have been mistreated by our own government. At the same time, we have come to realize that many of the high-ranking members of leadership, the Pentagon, and the Biden administration need to be replaced. Collectively, they dishonored the brave men and women who defend our freedom. We stand ready to defend our defenders of freedom if any religious discrimination occurs in the future.”

Approximately 8,400 U.S. military servicemembers were involuntarily separated from the military as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The majority of servicemembers received a general discharge, as opposed to a more favorable honorable discharge. Servicemembers separated under a general discharge can be barred from rejoining the military and don't have full access to educational benefits under the GI Bill.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 14:00

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Bibi & Khamenei Trade Social Media Threats As IDF Readies For Air, Ground, & Naval Offensive Against Gaza “Very Soon”

Bibi & Khamenei Trade Social Media Threats As IDF Readies For Air, Ground, & Naval Offensive Against Gaza "Very Soon"

Update (1330ET):…



Bibi & Khamenei Trade Social Media Threats As IDF Readies For Air, Ground, & Naval Offensive Against Gaza "Very Soon"

Update (1330ET): The Israeli military has announced it is prepared for a coordinated air, ground and naval offensive in the Gaza Strip "very soon," according to reports from AP.

In a nationally broadcast address Saturday night, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari issued a new appeal to residents to move to the southern Gaza Strip.

“We are going to broadly attack Gaza City very soon,” he said.

He accused Hamas of trying to use civilians as human shields.

Meanwhile, the social media rhetoric between leaders has gone to '11'...

Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei expects a "complete victory"...

Calling on all Muslims to join the fight...

Israeli PM Netanyahu made his views very clear:

Live feeds below on Gaza: 

*  *  *

Israeli media is reporting a "greenlight" has been given for the expected major Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip as massive convoys of Palestinian civilians have been observed fleeing to the southern part of the densely populated strip. So far there has been limited ground incursions by the army into the strip, targeting Hamas operatives and reportedly to gain intelligence on the whereabouts of hostages. 

The United Nations has issued a report saying at least 423,000 Palestinians have already been internally displaced within Gaza and this massive figure is expected to ratchet further. Likely it has surpassed a half-million as of Saturday, following the Israeli-issued evacuation order, which included dropping thousands of leaflets and warnings over Gaza City. 

Via The Guardian

The UN said it "considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences." Middle East Eye and other regional sources have said over 700 Palestinian children were killed in one week of fighting. As of Friday Israel authorities tallied that over 1,300 Israelis were killed by the Hamas terror attacks on the southern settlements and the music festival, and rocket fire, with at least 3,200 wounded. 27 among the dead were Americans.

Middle East Eye on Saturday reports the following of the mounting Palestinian death toll in both Gaza and the West bank as follows:

Israel has killed at least 2,215 people in Gaza over the past week, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Of those killed, 724 are children and 458 are women. Some 8,714 people have been wounded in the besieged enclave in that time, it added. 

Meanwhile, Israeli forces have killed 54 people and wounded 1,100 others in the occupied West Bank.

According to a review of the last hours of developments, the population is about to run out of water as the remaining supply dwindles after Israel cut off external supply sources

  • UN agency for Palestinian refugees says its shelters in Gaza “are not safe anymore” as it warns water running our for besieged enclave’s residents.
  • More than 320 Palestinians have been killed in the past 24 hours, including many women and children killed in Israeli air raids on convoys fleeing Gaza City, according to health officials.
  • The rising toll comes as Israel continues bombing Gaza a day after telling 1.1 million residents to head south ahead of a looming ground offensive following Hamas’s attack inside Israel last week.
  • At least 2,215 Palestinians have been killed and 8,714 wounded in Israeli air attacks on Gaza. The number of people killed in Israel has reached 1,300, with more than 3,400 wounded.
  • In the occupied West Bank, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in the past week has topped 50. More than 1,000 have been wounded and hundreds arrested.

The fate of the estimated 100 to 200 hostages in Hamas captivity still remains largely unknown, but Hamas in statements which have been underreported in Western press has claimed that over two dozen of the hostages have been killed by the IDF's ongoing aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip

Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades said nine more captives were killed in indiscriminate Israeli shelling in the last 24 hours, including a number of foreigners

Qassam has previously announced the death of 17 captives in Israeli air stikes in Gaza over the past week. 

Sky News and others are also reporting, based on Israeli sources, that bodies of hostages have been recovered after some of the initial IDF infantry cross-border raids which began Friday into Saturday:

Raids carried out on the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces discovered human remains of those who had been missing since Hamas's attack last weekend, local media is reporting.

According to Haaretz, armed forces entered an enclave where it is thought up to 200 people were being held hostage by Hamas, and retrieved the bodies of several people.

Items belonging to the missing people were also discovered. 

The US said Friday it chartered its first successful evacuation flight, with talk of more to come.

TOI: A military official at the forensic center at the Military Rabbinate's headquarters in Ramle stands in front of the remains of the victims of Hamas's October 7 shock onslaught in Israel, October 13, 2023. Flash90

There are Americans (many of them likely dual nationals) among the population of Gaza, which Washington says it is trying to facilitate safe exit for as Israeli airstrikes continue. Dangerously, the lone Raffah border crossing into Egypt has at this point been bombed several times. 

But regional media is reporting there's been a diplomatic breakthrough on this front, as Israel, Egypt, and the United States have forged an agreement to let foreigners residing in Gaza pass through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt.

Scene from the frontlines as the IDF build-up outside Gaza continues:

Huge civilian convoys have been witnessed fleeing to the southern half of Gaza, creating bottlenecks...

The Times of Israel cites a senior Egyptian official as follows:

The official says Israel has agreed to refrain from striking areas the foreigners would pass through on their way out of the besieged Palestinian territory. He adds that Qatar was involved in the negotiations and the participants received approval from the Palestinian terror groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The agreement  does not deal with hostages being held by Hamas.

A second official at the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing point says they received “instructions” to reopen it on Saturday afternoon for foreigners coming from Gaza.

But Egypt is by and large not letting Gazans exit, even erecting bigger concrete barriers of extra border protection, amid what's setting up to be a catastrophic humanitarian crisis as the Israeli pressure ratchets.

The IDF says it is about to attack the northern half of the Gaza Strip with "great force" - while the US and other countries are urging for caution regarding Palestinian civilians. Below is rare footage of an elite Israeli rescue squad in action (intentionally blurred by IDF sources):

Washington has still all the while said it "stands with Israel" - and has not tried to actually halt the unrelenting IDF bombardment of civilian areas.

Meanwhile, things continue ratcheting in south Lebanon, with reports of new strikes being exchanged between Israel and Hezbollah, and other pro-Palestinian factions.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 13:40

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Tesla’s EV throne is being chipped away at by this surprising luxury brand

A top luxury auto company is threatening Tesla’s dominance in the luxury electric vehicle category.



Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles continue to lose market share to electric vehicles, a trend Wall Street analysts predict will continue as more automakers launch more new models.

So far, the EV Goliath has remained the industry’s pioneer, Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report. Tesla wasn’t the first EV to hit the market, but was the first to capture widespread attention among mainstream buyers by focusing on performance and luxury.

The evolution of Tesla’s EV lineup has expanded, allowing it to increase its sales volume steadily. The Model Y entered it into SUVs, while the Model 3 allowed it to compete in the sub-$40,000 family sedan market.

The success of these models stems from Tesla’s never losing sight of its roots. Both models target luxury and performance-minded buyers.

However, the company’s dominance among luxury car shoppers may be near a tipping point. The latest data shows that Tesla remains – by and far – the leading EV automaker. However, it also shows a top luxury brand is chipping away at its lead.

Tesla's high-end luxury models face a new threat from new high-end competition.

Image source: Tesla

Sales of electric vehicles are soaring

The media's attention on electric vehicles may have you thinking that EVs already represent a significant share of total vehicles sold.

Related: Elon Musk calls out Tesla's biggest electric vehicle competition

That’s not the case. EV sales totaled 313,000 in the third quarter, up 49.7% from one year ago, according to Kelly Blue Book. That’s significant growth, given total U.S. light vehicle sales, including ICE vehicles, only grew by about 15%.

Yet, EVs still only account for a fraction of the U.S. total vehicle market, accounting for only 7.9% of all vehicles sold last quarter.

Clearly, there’s much more room for EV makers to grow and plenty of opportunities for luxury brands to roll new models off production lines. So, while Tesla is in the lead now, its pole position isn’t guaranteed.

More Tesla:

This luxury brand’s new EVs see sales surge

Mercedes-Benz  (MBGAF) - Get Free Report is one of the world’s most prominent luxury vehicle makers. Its vehicles have always been one of the most desired by wealthy buyers, and its AMG line-up is a benchmark for high-end performance vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz’s attention has increasingly shifted toward EVs, and its recently launched models are winning over consumers. In the third quarter, Mercedes-Benz sold 4,457 of its new electric EQE Sedans and EQE SUVs.

It also enjoyed solid sales growth for other EVs, including a 476% sales increase for the $104,000 EQS SUV and a 342% increase in sales of its 5-seater EQB SUV, with a starting price point of around $54,000.

The only EV model that saw sales slip was the EQS Sedan. Mercedes-Benz sold 1,100 of the $105,000 car, 35% fewer than last year, likely because more buyers opted for the new cheaper EQE, which has an MSRP of about $75,000.

Opting for the AMG variation of the EQE will set you back $108,000, but that price tag nets sub-4 second zero to 60 mph times.

Overall, Mercedes-Benz sold 10,423 EVs in the quarter, up 284% from a year ago. That was good enough to give it a 3.3% market share across the entire EV market.

Mercedes-Benz’s strength may come at Tesla’s expense. Tesla’s high-end Model S only sold 3,132 units last quarter, down 65.8% from last year, and its Model X, which costs $80,000, saw sales dip 28% to 4,699 vehicles.

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