Day: July 22, 2021

OPFI – OppFi Combines With SPAC; Begins Trading On NYSE

Opportunity Financial, LLC and FG New America Acquisition Corp. have joined forces. The combined new company, now officially known as OppFi, Inc., began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols OPFI (Class A common stock) and OPFI (warrants) on Wednesday (July 21).

OppFi, which will ring the NYSE closing bell on Tuesday (July 27), will continue to be led by CEO Jared Kaplan and CFO Shiven Shah.

“We are tremendously proud of the financial technology platform we have built and our commitment to serving consumers excluded from the traditional banking system through fair, transparent products and an extraordinary customer experience,” said Kaplan in the joint announcement. “We are very excited to move into the public markets and strengthen our position as the financial champion for the nearly 150 million everyday consumers in the United States.”

Kaplan told PYMNTS earlier this year that OppFi offers banks an alternative in credit risk evaluation beyond the traditional FICO score that allows them to extend their services to more customers. The company’s technology product is centered on credit decisioning that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) coupled with alternative data streams to “see through what we don’t think is a very predictive metric to determine someone’s creditworthiness,” he said.

“The community banks and regional banks are looking for ways to compete with the much larger banks,” Kaplan told PYMNTS. “This is a massively underserved market, and by getting into it, they can gain some market share.” Part of OppFi’s offering is educational modules designed to teach people how to budget and take better care of their finances. That education content must be connected to its bank products, he said.

“We continue to be very impressed by the significant growth the OppFi team has achieved,” said FGNA Chairman Joe Moglia in the joint announcement. “We look forward to their ongoing expansion as the company builds out its digital and data-driven platform to reach the millions of consumers who could benefit from expanded access to financial products.”

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: GENERATION SUPERCONNECTED – THE COMING USER AUTHENTICATION SHIFT

About The Study: Superconnected consumers use a variety of connected devices to interact, shop and pay online, but say password-based authentication slows them down. PYMNTS surveyed 2,127 consumers and found that these highly connected, highly desirable customers want financial institutions (FIs) and merchants to ditch the password and provide a better and more secure way to authenticate themselves online.



PSN – Parsons Wins $26M Task Order To Enhance United States Air Force All-Domain Operations

Parsons Wins $26M Task Order To Enhance United States Air Force All-Domain Operations

  • Parsons Corp (NYSE: PSN) has secured a task order award worth $26 million on the Global Application Research, Development, Engineering, and Maintenance (GARDEM) IDIQ contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory.
  • It has a one-year base period with three option years. It will support functional and technical requirements on the GARDEM software baselines for U.S. Air Force and other Department of Defense and Intelligence Community customers. 
  • Parsons will perform functional onsite training, demonstrations, enhancements, modifications, integration, testing, deployments, and maintenance of technologies.
  • GARDEM is a $427 million contract ceiling vehicle with a mission to create and implement updated software baselines.
  • Price action: PSN shares traded lower by 0.81% at $39.11 on the last check Thursday.

VUZI – Vuzix Schedules Conference Call to Discuss Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results and Business Update

ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Vuzix® Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI), (“Vuzix” or, the “Company”), a leading supplier of Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technology and products, is pleased to announce that the Company will host a conference call regarding its second quarter 2021 operating results at 4:30 PM Eastern Time (ET), August 9, 2021.

To join the live conference call, please dial 877-709-8150 (U.S. and Canadian callers) or 201-689-8354 (international callers outside of the U.S. and Canada) 10 to 15 minutes prior to the scheduled call time. Participants can also click this link for instant telephone access to the event. The link will become active approximately 15 minutes prior to the start of the conference call.

Additionally, a live and archived webcast of the conference call will be available on the investor relations page of the Company’s website at: https://ir.vuzix.com/ or directly at  https://78449.themediaframe.com/dataconf/productusers/VUZI/mediaframe/45964/indexl.html 

Participating on the call will be Vuzix Chief Executive Officer and President Paul Travers and Chief Financial Officer Grant Russell, who will discuss operational and financial highlights for the quarter ended June 30, 2021.

Investors who would like to submit questions to management for response during the call’s Q&A session, time permitting, can do so by emailing Ed McGregor at [email protected] prior to the start of the call.

Telephonic and webcast replays will be available for 30 days starting on August 9, 2021 at approximately 5:30 PM (ET). To access the telephonic replay, please dial 877-660-6853 in the U.S. or Canada and 201-612-7415 for international callers. The conference ID# is 13721661.

About Vuzix Corporation

Vuzix is a leading supplier of Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets. The Company’s products include personal display and wearable computing devices that offer users a portable high-quality viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, wearable displays and augmented reality. Vuzix holds 210 patents and patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field. The Company has won Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) awards for innovation for the years 2005 to 2021 and several wireless technology innovation awards among others. Founded in 1997, Vuzix is a public company (NASDAQ: VUZI) with offices in Rochester, NY, Oxford, UK, and Tokyo, Japan.  For more information, visit Vuzix website,  Twitter and Facebook pages.

Media and Investor Relations Contact:

Ed McGregor, Director of Investor Relations
Vuzix Corporation
[email protected] 
Tel: (585) 359-5985

Vuzix Corporation, 25 Hendrix Road, West Henrietta, NY 14586 USA,
Investor Information – [email protected] www.vuzix.com

SOURCE Vuzix Corporation

Related Links

www.vuzix.com

SAFM – Sanderson Farms, Inc. Announces Quarterly Dividend

LAUREL, Miss.–()–Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAFM) today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.44 (forty-four cents) per share payable August 17, 2021, to stockholders of record on August 3, 2021.

Sanderson Farms, Inc. is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh, frozen and minimally prepared chicken. Its shares trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol SAFM.

ET – Here is Why Growth Investors Should Buy Energy Transfer LP (ET) Now

Growth stocks are attractive to many investors, as above-average financial growth helps these stocks easily grab the market’s attention and produce exceptional returns. However, it isn’t easy to find a great growth stock.

That’s because, these stocks usually carry above-average risk and volatility. In fact, betting on a stock for which the growth story is actually over or nearing its end could lead to significant loss.

However, the Zacks Growth Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system), which looks beyond the traditional growth attributes to analyze a company’s real growth prospects, makes it pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks.

Energy Transfer LP (ET Free Report) is one such stock that our proprietary system currently recommends. The company not only has a favorable Growth Score, but also carries a top Zacks Rank.

Research shows that stocks carrying the best growth features consistently beat the market. And for stocks that have a combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), returns are even better.

While there are numerous reasons why the stock of this energy-related services provider is a great growth pick right now, we have highlighted three of the most important factors below:

Earnings Growth

Arguably nothing is more important than earnings growth, as surging profit levels is what most investors are after. For growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is highly preferable, as it is often perceived as an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.

While the historical EPS growth rate for Energy Transfer LP is 3.1%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company’s EPS is expected to grow 988.9% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 14.9%.

Impressive Asset Utilization Ratio

Asset utilization ratio — also known as sales-to-total-assets (S/TA) ratio — is often overlooked by investors, but it is an important indicator in growth investing. This metric shows how efficiently a firm is utilizing its assets to generate sales.

Right now, Energy Transfer LP has an S/TA ratio of 0.46, which means that the company gets $0.46 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 0.33, it can be said that the company is more efficient.

In addition to efficiency in generating sales, sales growth plays an important role. And Energy Transfer LP looks attractive from a sales growth perspective as well. The company’s sales are expected to grow 59.1% this year versus the industry average of 15.5%.

Promising Earnings Estimate Revisions

Superiority of a stock in terms of the metrics outlined above can be further validated by looking at the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is of course favorable here. Empirical research shows that there is a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.

There have been upward revisions in current-year earnings estimates for Energy Transfer LP. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 0.2% over the past month.

Bottom Line

Energy Transfer LP has not only earned a Growth Score of A based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above, but it also carries a Zacks Rank #2 because of the positive earnings estimate revisions.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

This combination positions Energy Transfer LP well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.

HUBG – Is Hub Group (HUBG) a Solid Growth Stock? 3 Reasons to Think ” Yes “

Investors seek growth stocks to capitalize on above-average growth in financials that help these securities grab the market’s attention and produce exceptional returns. But finding a growth stock that can live up to its true potential can be a tough task.

That’s because, these stocks usually carry above-average risk and volatility. In fact, betting on a stock for which the growth story is actually over or nearing its end could lead to significant loss.

However, the Zacks Growth Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system), which looks beyond the traditional growth attributes to analyze a company’s real growth prospects, makes it pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks.

Hub Group (HUBG Free Report) is on the list of such stocks currently recommended by our proprietary system. In addition to a favorable Growth Score, it carries a top Zacks Rank.

Studies have shown that stocks with the best growth features consistently outperform the market. And returns are even better for stocks that possess the combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy).

While there are numerous reasons why the stock of this transportation management company is a great growth pick right now, we have highlighted three of the most important factors below:

Earnings Growth

Arguably nothing is more important than earnings growth, as surging profit levels is what most investors are after. For growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is highly preferable, as it is often perceived as an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.

While the historical EPS growth rate for Hub Group is 8.9%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company’s EPS is expected to grow 54.5% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 52.1%.

Impressive Asset Utilization Ratio

Asset utilization ratio — also known as sales-to-total-assets (S/TA) ratio — is often overlooked by investors, but it is an important indicator in growth investing. This metric exhibits how efficiently a firm is utilizing its assets to generate sales.

Right now, Hub Group has an S/TA ratio of 1.72, which means that the company gets $1.72 in sales for each dollar in assets. Comparing this to the industry average of 1.26, it can be said that the company is more efficient.

In addition to efficiency in generating sales, sales growth plays an important role. And Hub Group is well positioned from a sales growth perspective too. The company’s sales are expected to grow 15.8% this year versus the industry average of 15.1%.

Promising Earnings Estimate Revisions

Superiority of a stock in terms of the metrics outlined above can be further validated by looking at the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is of course favorable here. Empirical research shows that there is a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.

There have been upward revisions in current-year earnings estimates for Hub Group. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 0.8% over the past month.

Bottom Line

While the overall earnings estimate revisions have made Hub Group a Zacks Rank #2 stock, it has earned itself a Growth Score of B based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

This combination positions Hub Group well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.

GPC – Genuine Parts (GPC) is an Incredible Growth Stock: 3 Reasons Why

Growth stocks are attractive to many investors, as above-average financial growth helps these stocks easily grab the market’s attention and produce exceptional returns. However, it isn’t easy to find a great growth stock.

That’s because, these stocks usually carry above-average risk and volatility. In fact, betting on a stock for which the growth story is actually over or nearing its end could lead to significant loss.

However, it’s pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks with the help of the Zacks Growth Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system), which looks beyond the traditional growth attributes to analyze a company’s real growth prospects.

Our proprietary system currently recommends Genuine Parts (GPC Free Report) as one such stock. This company not only has a favorable Growth Score, but also carries a top Zacks Rank.

Studies have shown that stocks with the best growth features consistently outperform the market. And for stocks that have a combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), returns are even better.

Here are three of the most important factors that make the stock of this auto and industrial parts distributor a great growth pick right now.

Earnings Growth

Earnings growth is arguably the most important factor, as stocks exhibiting exceptionally surging profit levels tend to attract the attention of most investors. For growth investors, double-digit earnings growth is highly preferable, as it is often perceived as an indication of strong prospects (and stock price gains) for the company under consideration.

While the historical EPS growth rate for Genuine Parts is 5.2%, investors should actually focus on the projected growth. The company’s EPS is expected to grow 15.4% this year, crushing the industry average, which calls for EPS growth of 14.1%.

Cash Flow Growth

While cash is the lifeblood of any business, higher-than-average cash flow growth is more important and beneficial for growth-oriented companies than for mature companies. That’s because, growth in cash flow enables these companies to expand their businesses without depending on expensive outside funds.

Right now, year-over-year cash flow growth for Genuine Parts is 41.6%, which is higher than many of its peers. In fact, the rate compares to the industry average of 18.5%.

While investors should actually consider the current cash flow growth, it’s worth taking a look at the historical rate too for putting the current reading into proper perspective. The company’s annualized cash flow growth rate has been 12.8% over the past 3-5 years versus the industry average of 10.9%.

Promising Earnings Estimate Revisions

Beyond the metrics outlined above, investors should consider the trend in earnings estimate revisions. A positive trend is a plus here. Empirical research shows that there is a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.

There have been upward revisions in current-year earnings estimates for Genuine Parts. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has surged 0.5% over the past month.

Bottom Line

Genuine Parts has not only earned a Growth Score of A based on a number of factors, including the ones discussed above, but it also carries a Zacks Rank #2 because of the positive earnings estimate revisions.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

This combination positions Genuine Parts well for outperformance, so growth investors may want to bet on it.

DFS – Discover Financial's (DFS) Q2 Earnings Beat, Improve Y/Y

Discover Financial Services (DFS Free Report) reported second-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $5.55 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.68 by a whopping 50.8%. The bottom line rebounded from the year-ago quarter’s loss of $1.20 per share. Results were driven by marketing investments, growing sales trends and a solid credit performance.

This upside can also be attributed to strength in its Digital Banking and Payment Services businesses.

Operational Update

In the reported quarter, the company’s revenues — net of interest expenses — rose 34% year over year to $3.5 billion.

The top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 24.7% on the back of its Direct Banking business.

Interest expenses of $290 million decreased 39.8% year over year.

Total operating expenses increased 13.5% to $1.2 billion due to higher employee compensation and benefits, marketing and business development, and other expense.

Segmental Update

Digital Banking Segment

This segment’s pre-tax income came in at $1.5 billion against the year-ago quarter’s loss of $484 million. This is attributable to a decline in provision for credit losses and higher revenue net of interest expenses. However, the same was partly offset by higher operating expenses.

Total loans dipped 1% year over year to $87.7 billion. Credit card loans fell 2% to $68.9 billion.

Personal loans were down 6% while private student loans inched 1%, both on a year-over-year basis. Net interest income increased 5% year over year owing to a favourable impact from lower market rates and lower interest charge-offs.

Net interest margin was 10.68%, up 87 basis points from the year-ago quarter’s level.

Payment Services Segment

Pre-tax income was $692 million in the quarter under review, up from the year-earlier period’s figure of $29 million.

Payment Services volume was 22% above the prior-year period’s number.

PULSE dollar volume expanded 19% year over year, aided by growth in all debit products, led by an increased spend from the economic recovery.

Diners Club volume expanded 41% from the year-earlier quarter’s tally following the COVID-19 impact.

Network Partners volume rose 30%, backed by AribaPay.

Strong Financial Position

Discover Financial’s total assets were worth $110.9 billion as of Jun 30, 2021, down 2.5% year over year.

Total liabilities as of Jun 30, 2021 were $97.8 billion, down 6.1% year over year.

Total equity was $13.1 billion on Jun 30, 2021, up 36.6% year over year.

Share Repurchase and Dividend Update

In the second quarter, the company bought back shares worth $553 million. Shares of common stock outstanding dipped 1.6% from the previous quarter’s reading.

Management declared a new $2.4-billion share buyback plan. It also hiked the divided by 14% to 50 cents. The latest share repurchase planspans three quarters through Mar 31, 2022.

The company’s board of directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of 50 cents per share payable Sep 2, 2021 to its shareholders of record on Aug 19, 2021.

Zacks Rank

Discover Financial has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Upcoming Releases from Finance Sector

Here are a few companies worth considering from the finance sector as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this reporting cycle:

PJT Partners Inc. (PJT Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +2.13% and a Zacks Rank #2, currently. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our  Earnings ESP Filter.

Moodys Corp. (MCO Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +2.44% and a Zacks Rank of 3 at present.

Principal Financial Group, Inc. (PFG Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.05% and is currently Zacks #3 Ranked.

AGFY – AGFY Stock Increased Over 25% Intraday: Why It Happened

  • The stock price of Agrify Corp (NASDAQ: AGFY) increased by over 25% during intraday trading. This is why it happened.

The stock price of Agrify Corp (NASDAQ: AGFY) – a developer of highly advanced and proprietary precision hardware and software cultivation solutions for the indoor agricultural marketplace – increased by over 25% during intraday trading. This is a continuation of momentum as the company stock price has increased by over 33% over the past few trading days. Investors are responding positively to the company announcing a few days ago that it announcing the opening of Agrify University, a brand new 3,500 sq. ft. state-of-the art indoor vertical farming facility featuring Agrify’s latest technology and advanced cultivation methods. 

The company said it believes this new immersive hands-on project-based learning experience will empower Agrify customers and next-generation growers with the knowledge and education to successfully cultivate cannabis with efficiency at scale by utilizing the power of Agrify’s vertical farming units (VFUs) and the Agrify Insights software solution.

Based in Billerica, MA and led by Agrify’s Chief Science Officer David Kessler  and a team of industry experts, horticulturists, and scientists, Agrify University will offer participants with in-classroom, on-site, and on-demand learning options. And the immersive multi-sensory curriculum will enable customers and growers to expand their knowledge of how to apply novel scientific research, interpret cultivation data, and utilize Agrify’s technology to improve their indoor cannabis cultivation practices.

KEY QUOTES:

“The cultivation methods used by many operators have not evolved as quickly as the industry itself, and we see an opportunity to use the power of data and cutting-edge techniques to dramatically improve the quality and yields from indoor cultivation. Agrify University utilizes our vast cannabis research data sets and technological innovation to provide a curriculum that we believe will support the long-term growth of our industry. We’re proud to add this valuable resource to our comprehensive Agrify ecosystem, and we look forward to welcoming our first cohorts.”

— Agrify’s Chief Science Officer David Kessler

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.