Connect with us

Spread & Containment

The Commodity Stock Dip Shopping List (X, VKIN, CLF, FCX, CCJ, ADM, BHP, AA)

Inflation. War. Skyrocketing commodity prices. That’s the current context for investors looking to navigate the world right now. Crude oil has doubled…

Published

on

Inflation. War. Skyrocketing commodity prices. That’s the current context for investors looking to navigate the world right now. Crude oil has doubled since November. Wheat, soy, and corn have made similar moves. Gold recently reached new all-time highs.

That picture has been driven by soaring demand growth as the pandemic comes to an end. But it has been massively augmented by Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, which has not only upset the picture of a post-cold-war geopolitical paradigm, but has spurred supply risks for major commodities due to record sanctions and disrupted trade relationships given Russia’s powerful position as a major producer of raw goods to the world.

For investors, the momentum trade is clear: long inflation plays, long commodity producers, short bonds.

However, within this larger context, the past week has seen commodity stocks suddenly pull back sharply into the teeth of the rising trend. Market participants looking for an opportunity to put dry powder to work may finally have their chance.

With that in mind, we take a look below at some of the most interesting commodity stocks in the market right now.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE:CLF) is a flat-rolled steel producer, which supplies iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry.

The company engages in the production of metallics and coke, iron making, steelmaking, rolling and finishing, and downstream tubular components, stamping, and tooling.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE:CLF) recently announced that it will indefinitely idle its Indiana Harbor #4 blast furnace (IH#4). This action is a result of the successful implementation of operational improvements, particularly the addition of significant amounts of HBI to the burden of blast furnaces and the maximization of scrap usage in BOFs. The employees allocated to IH#4 will be reassigned to other positions within Indiana Harbor Works, as the number of available job openings at the Indiana Harbor complex exceeds the amount of jobs associated with IH#4. The Company will continue normal operations of the entire Indiana Harbor Works, including its two steel shops, the hot strip mill and all its finishing facilities, as well as the nearby Riverdale Works. With both Indiana Harbor blast furnaces #3 and #4 now indefinitely idled, going forward, all downstream operations including Riverdale Works will be supplied exclusively by the Company’s flagship high-productivity IH#7 blast furnace.

Lourenco Goncalves, Cliffs’ Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer said, “Our strategy of increasing productivity at our ironmaking and steelmaking facilities through the use of both in-house produced HBI and additional scrap has allowed us to reduce coke rate and consequently reduce CO2 emissions, as well as to stretch hot metal utilization and still be able to produce similar amounts of crude steel with fewer blast furnaces. Said another way, by concentrating the operation and maximizing productivity at IH#7 we are improving our carbon footprint and, at the same time, lowering our cost structure for the same level of steel production and shipments. Most importantly, as we have enough job openings on site for all impacted employees, we are now able to fill several available job openings at Indiana Harbor Works with the current workforce of IH#4.”

The chart shows 32% added to share values of the stock over the past month of action. Furthermore, the company has benefitted from a jump in recent trading volume to the tune of 20% beyond its prior sustained average level.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE:CLF) has a significant war chest ($48M) of cash on the books, which must be weighed relative to about $3.6B in total current liabilities. One should also note that debt has been growing over recent quarters. CLF is pulling in trailing 12-month revenues of $20.4B. In addition, the company is seeing major top-line growth, with y/y quarterly revenues growing at 145.6%.

Viking Energy Group Inc. (OTC US:VKIN) is a small-cap oil and gas play. It’s an OTC penny stock. However, VKIN has proven oil and gas assets valued at over $96 million located in North America in Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Shares of the stock are up about 60% over the past month and now trade above the stock’s major moving averages. However, it could have a lot further to go given that it reached three times its current price last fall.

VKIN isn’t just confined to the oil production space, however. The company has been expanding into other energy themes, including carbon capture, storage, and electricity grid operations through strategic activity, including through its majority owner, Camber Energy Inc (NYSE American:CEI).

Viking Energy Group Inc. (OTC US:VKIN) recently announced that it has acquired a 51% interest in entities that own the intellectual property rights to fully developed, patent pending, ready-for-market proprietary Electric Transmission and Distribution Open Conductor Detection Systems designed to detect a break in a transmission line, distribution line, or coupling failure, and to immediately terminate the power to the line before it reaches the ground. The company noted in its communications that the systems are designed to detect a break in a transmission line, distribution line, or coupling failure, and to immediately terminate the power to the line before it reaches the ground.

The technology apparently stands to dramatically increase public safety and reduce the risk of causing an incendiary event, and is designed to be integral component within a much-needed, worldwide grid hardening and stability initiative by electric utilities to improve resiliency and reliability of existing infrastructure.

VKIN President and Chief Executive Officer James A. Doris commented, “This technology is extremely important. It truly is difficult to put a monetary value on a solution that can sense a broken power line and cut the electricity flowing through the line before the wire hits the ground. Arcing and sparking energized power lines are hazardous, and difficult to detect using traditional concepts. Unfortunately, people in places like California, Western Canada, Australia, and other parts of the world are fully aware of what can happen when a downed, energized power line makes contact with the ground. The damage caused by these wildfires has been catastrophic. We have already begun discussions with major utilities in California and global equipment manufacturers for deployment. Our solution can be quickly and cost-effectively deployed in high-risk areas first, then utilized more broadly by all utility companies to help reach their grid hardening goals.”

Viking Energy Group Inc. (OTC US:VKIN) is an interesting more speculative play in the commodity space largely because the price of its reserves has taken off over the past three months – along with most other stocks in the same space with real production and significant proven reserves – but shares of VKIN are actually flat over that same period, suggesting retail market participants have yet to find the stock and take it higher. For those looking for a high-beta play in the commodity space that hasn’t already been pushed higher by the crowd, VKIN could be an interesting prospect.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE:ADM) engages in the production of oilseeds, corn, wheat, cocoa, and other agricultural commodities. It operates through its Ag Services and Oilseeds, Carbohydrate Solutions, Nutrition, Other, and Corporate segments.

The Ag Services and Oilseeds segment includes activities related to the origination, merchandising, crushing, and further processing of oilseeds, such as soybeans, and soft seeds, such as cottonseed, sunflower seed, canola, rapeseed, and flaxseed, into vegetable oils and protein meals. The Carbohydrate Solutions segment consists of corn and wheat wet and dry milling and other activities. The Nutrition segment serves various end markets including food, beverages, nutritional supplements, and feed and premix for livestock, aquaculture, and pet food. The Corporate segment represents results of early-stage start-up companies within ADM Ventures.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE:ADM) recently announced the successful pricing of its first sustainable bond, which will support initiatives to advance the company’s goals across the environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) spectrum. ADM agreed to issue $750 million in aggregate principal amount of 2.900% notes due 2032. The offering is expected to close on February 28, 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

“Sustainability underlines our purpose and powers our strategy,” said ADM Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano. “Consumers are demanding responsibly-produced products, and ADM is meeting those needs, from our new Scope 3 goal, to our commitment to a deforestation-free supply chain, to our growing array of plant-based replacements for petroleum-derived products, to our leadership role in decarbonizing food and agriculture. This work is a key driver of our strategy, and more: It’s a global imperative, and today’s bond offering is another demonstration of how our unmatched capabilities are scaling positive impact around the globe.”

Even in light of this news, ADM hasn’t really done much of anything over the past week, with shares logging no net movement over that period.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE:ADM) managed to rope in revenues totaling $23.1B in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 27.7%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($943M against $21.9B, respectively).

Other key commodity stocks include United States Steel Corp. (NYSE:X), Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE:FCX), Cameco Corp. (NYSE:CCJ), BHP Group Ltd. ADR (NYSE:BHP), and Alcoa Corp. (NYSE:AA).

Please make sure to read and completely understand our disclaimer at https://www.wallstreetpr.com/disclaimer. While reading this article one must assume that we may be compensated for posting this content on our website.

The post The Commodity Stock Dip Shopping List (X, VKIN, CLF, FCX, CCJ, ADM, BHP, AA) appeared first on Wall Street PR.

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

War, peace and security: The pandemic’s impact on women and girls in Nepal and Sri Lanka

The impacts of COVID-19 must be incorporated into women, peace and security planning in order to improve the lives of women and girls in postwar countries…

Published

on

Nepalese girls rest for observation after receiving the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 in Kathmandu, Nepal. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Attention to the pandemic’s impacts on women has largely focused on the Global North, ignoring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka, which continue to deal with prolonged effects of war. While the Nepalese Civil War concluded in 2006 and the Sri Lankan Civil War concluded in 2009, internal conflicts continue.

As scholars of gender and war, our work focuses on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. And our recently published paper examines COVID-19’s impacts on women and girls in Nepal and Sri Lanka, looking at policy responses and their repercussions on the women, peace and security agenda.

COVID-19 has disproportionately and negatively impacted women in part because most are the primary family caregivers and the pandemic has increased women’s caring duties.

This pattern is even more pronounced in war-affected countries where the compounding factors of war and the pandemic leave women generally more vulnerable. These nations exist at the margins of the international system and suffer from what the World Bank terms “fragility, conflict and violence.”

Women, labour and gender-based violence

Gendered labour precarity is not new to Nepal or Sri Lanka and the pandemic has only eroded women’s already poor economic prospects.

Prior to COVID-19, Tharshani (pseudonym), a Sri Lankan mother of three and head of her household, was able to make ends meet. But when the pandemic hit, lockdowns prevented Tharshani from selling the chickens she raises for market. She was forced to take loans from her neighbours and her family had to skip meals.

Some 1.7 million women in Sri Lanka work in the informal sector, where no state employment protections exist and not working means no wages. COVID-19 is exacerbating women’s struggles with poverty and forcing them to take on debilitating debts.

Although Sri Lankan men also face increased labour precarity, due to gender discrimination and sexism in the job market, women are forced into the informal sector — the jobs hardest hit by the pandemic.

Two women sit in chairs, wearing face masks
Sri Lankan women chat after getting inoculated against the coronavirus in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in August 2021. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

The pandemic has also led to women and girls facing increased gender-based violence.

In Nepal, between March 2020 and June 2021, there was an increase in cases of gender-based violence. Over 1,750 incidents were reported in the media, of which rape and sexual assault represented 82 per cent. Pandemic lockdowns also led to new vulnerabilities for women who sought out quarantine shelters — in Lamkichuha, Nepal, a woman was allegedly gang-raped at a quarantine facility.

Gender-based violence is more prevalent among women and girls of low caste in Nepal and the pandemic has made it worse. The Samata Foundation reported 90 cases of gender-based violence faced by women and girls of low caste within the first six months of the pandemic.

What’s next?

While COVID-19 recovery efforts are generally focused on preparing for future pandemics and economic recovery, the women, peace and security agenda can also address the needs of some of those most marginalized when it comes to COVID-19 recovery.

The women, peace and security agenda promotes women’s participation in peace and security matters with a focus on helping women facing violent conflict. By incorporating women’s perspectives, issues and concerns in the context of COVID-19 recovery, policies and activities can help address issues that disproportionately impact most women in war-affected countries.

These issues are: precarious gendered labor market, a surge in care work, the rising feminization of poverty and increased gender-based violence.

A girl in a face mask stares out a window
The women, peace and security agenda can help address the needs of some of those most marginalized. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Policies could include efforts to create living-wage jobs for women that come with state benefits, emergency funding for women heads of household (so they can avoid taking out predatory loans) and increasing the number of resources (like shelters and legal services) for women experiencing domestic gender-based violence.

The impacts of COVID-19 must be incorporated into women, peace and security planning in order to achieve the agenda’s aims of improving the lives of women and girls in postwar countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Luna KC is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Network-Women Peace Security, McGill University. This project is funded by the Government of Canada Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program.

Crystal Whetstone does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

ThreatX raises a fresh round of capital to protect APIs and web apps

ThreatX, a vendor selling API protection services to mainly enterprise clients, today announced that it raised $30 million in a Series B funding round…

Published

on

ThreatX, a vendor selling API protection services to mainly enterprise clients, today announced that it raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Harbert Growth Partners with participation from Vistara Growth, .406 Ventures, Grotech Ventures and Access Venture Partners. With the new cash, which brings ThreatX’s total raised to $52 million, CEO Gene Fay tells TechCrunch that ThreatX will “accelerate” investments in platform development while scaling sales and marketing initiatives.

The raise highlights investors’ continued confidence in cybersecurity businesses to net returns, despite the current macroeconomic woes. While there’s some evidence that fundraising has begun to slow down, cybersecurity startups raised $2.4 billion between January and June, according to PitchBook. Companies that defend APIs from outside attack have been particularly fruitful, lately, with startups such as Ghost Security and Corsha raising tens of millions of dollars in capital.

ThreatX was co-founded in 2014 by Bret Settle and Andrius Useckas. Prior to starting ThreatX, Settle was VP of enterprise architecture at BMC; Useckas had worked with Bret at BMC, where he was an enterprise security architect. The two were also colleagues at Corporate Express, which was acquired by Staples in 2008, where Useckas came in as an external pen tester.

“Over the course of working together for several years, Settle and Andrius saw a massive gap in the market in terms of solutions to protect BMC’s application portfolio,” said Fay, who was appointed CEO of ThreatX in 2020. “The products available required endless tuning and rule-writing and returned piles of false positives. Through all of this, the notion of innovating in the space — and ThreatX — was born.”

ThreatX offers API protection, bot and DDoS mitigation and traditional web application firewalls (WAF) for first- and third-party web apps. The platform builds a profile of threat actors, leveraging a detection and correlation engine to show which actors are actively attacking and which might pose the greatest threat.

Image Credits: ThreatX

Fay sees ThreatX competing primarily with two categories of cybersecurity vendors. The first are newer API observability tools such as Salt Security and Noname. The second are bot management platforms like Cequence and WAF players such as Akamai, F5 and Imperva, which generally rely on applying rules-based protection to web apps and APIs.

Fay argues that the former group — the bot management and WAF vendors —  tend to offer capabilities that came together through acquisition, so they’re less integrated. As for the latter — the API observability tools — Fay asserts that they often don’t offer web app or bot protection and require offline analysis, which precludes the ability to block attacks in real time.

“The bottom line is that to protect APIs, you must be able to block attacks in real time,” Fay said. “Grabbing data through observation and analyzing it after the fact may be interesting, but it does little from an immediate security standpoint. For our customers, the number one priority is protection — in real time, all the time. That is the value proposition we offer to our customers.”

Real-time protection or no, it’s true that API attacks are a growing cyber threat. Gartner predicts that by 2022, API attacks will become the most frequent attack vector, causing data breaches for enterprise web software.

“The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated use of APIs as companies looked at how they might provide new services to deliver value — and derive revenue — from customers,” Fay added. “As people — both as consumers and professionals — turned to technology to get more done, reliance on both APIs and web applications grew substantially. That, in turn, has increased the need for security in this context — which presents a ton of opportunity for ThreatX.

While Fay demurred when asked about financials, he said that ThreatX currently has “more than” 100 customers. He declined to name any names.

When reached for comment, Harbert Growth Partners general partner Tom Roberts said in a statement:

APIs are a strategic priority for businesses of all sizes and have become a primary target for threat actors. Organizations are now contending with constant threats and require API and web application protection capabilities that can identify and respond to attacks in real time. This need for “real-time attack protection” is driving the API security market toward an aggressive pivot. Based on ThreatX’s strong customer traction and unique product capabilities, we believe the company is well positioned to meet this shift head-on as a valuable partner to businesses looking to secure their attack surface.

Read More

Continue Reading

Government

CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic

CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic

After more than two years of missteps and backpedaling over Covid-19 guidance that had a profound…

Published

on

CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic

After more than two years of missteps and backpedaling over Covid-19 guidance that had a profound effect on Americans' lives, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Wednesday that the agency would undergo a complete overhaul - and will revamp everything from its operations to its culture after failing to meet expectations during the pandemic, Bloomberg reports.

Director Rochelle Walensky began telling CDC’s staff Wednesday that the changes are aimed at replacing the agency’s insular, academic culture with one that’s quicker to respond to emergencies. That will mean more rapidly turning research into health recommendations, working better with other parts of government and improving how the CDC communicates with the public. -Bloomberg

"For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations," said Director Rochelle Walensky. "I want us all to do better and it starts with CDC leading the way.  My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication and timeliness."

As Bloomberg further notes, The agency has been faulted for an inadequate testing and surveillance program, for not collecting important data on how the virus was spreading and how vaccines were performing, for being too under the influence of the White House during the Trump administration and for repeated challenges communicating to a politically divided and sometimes skeptical public."

A few examples:

Walensky made the announcement in a Wednesday morning video message to CDC staff, where she said that the US has 'significant work to do' in order to improve the country's public health defenses.

"Prior to this pandemic, our infrastructure within the agency and around the country was too frail to tackle what we confronted with Covid-19," she said. "To be frank, we are responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes — from testing, to data, to communications."

The CDC overhaul comes on the heels of the agency admitting that "unvaccinated people now have the same guidance as vaccinated people" - and that those exposed to COVID-19 are no longer required to quarantine.

Tyler Durden Wed, 08/17/2022 - 12:22

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending