Don’t expect the global Uber strike to change anything for drivers

Uber has always been disruptive, to steal a phrase from Silicon Valley, so it’s fitting that the days ahead of its much-anticipated IPO have been …

Uber has always been disruptive, to steal a phrase from Silicon Valley, so it’s fitting that the days ahead of its much-anticipated IPO have been disrupted by a global driver strike.

Drivers gathered on May 8 to protest Uber and its labor practices in cities from Los Angeles to Atlanta to New York in the US, and in countries from Brazil to Australia to the UK abroad. The strikes, which also targeted Lyft, to a lesser degree, garnered support from Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg, among others, as well as Catastrophe co-star Rob Delaney. They also received extensive coverage online and on cable news.

How the demonstrations went, though, was less clear. The New York Post, for instance, reported yesterday that the strike in New York City was a “flop,” with cars plentiful and surge pricing scarce (the actual strike was scheduled for only two hours, from 7am to 9am local time). In San Francisco, a small crowd of drivers gathered outside Uber headquarters to demand better benefits and higher wages. “There are fewer people here than I think they anticipated,” the local CBS anchor admitted in a broadcast.

Uber didn’t respond to a request for comment. Lyft spokeswoman Chelsea Harrison said in an emailed statement: “Lyft drivers’ hourly earnings have increased 7% over the last two years… We’re constantly working to improve how we can best serve our driver community.”

Collective action has largely eluded drivers over Uber’s 10-year history. The company considers its drivers to be independent contractors, and in the US there are no collective bargaining rights afforded to contractors. Early attempts at strikes by driver groups were easily broken up by the company, which could pull one of its many levers—surge pricing, promotions, and so on—to ensure a critical mass of drivers stayed on the road. Uber has aggressively fought a first-of-its-kind 2015 law in Seattle that gave local drivers permission to unionize. It preempted a similar effort in New York City by sanctioning the Independent Drivers Guild (paywall), a non-union driver advocacy group that helped organize the May 8 strike.

I took an Uber on the day of the strike, which I suppose makes me a bad person, but I was in suburban Connecticut and needed a ride to the train station, and had no other options. My driver had briefly heard about the strike from a family member who saw it on TV, but didn’t know any details of where or when it was happening, or what was expected of him. We chatted about what it’s like driving for Uber and Lyft and how rising gas prices have depressed his wages. He said he hoped once Uber went public, it would finally give drivers the recognition they deserve.

While an IPO seems unlikely to make Uber change its ways, it’s also hard to see what a strike accomplishes. The public pressure may last a few days, but sooner or later people need to make money and get places, and Uber for all its faults helps them do that. The plight of contractors in the gig economy has also been a talking point for nearly a decade, and it will take more than some tweets from Democratic favorites to get anything substantial passed to improve their lot. The most successful efforts to help drivers have come from sustained local pressure, like the multi-year Independent Drivers Guild campaign in New York that led the city to implement the first-ever pay floor for drivers in February.

More to the point, Uber emerged not unscathed but intact from 2017, a year that revealed a culture of sexual harassment and irresponsible management and led to the ouster of Uber’s co-founder and former CEO, next to which yesterday’s strike looks like a comparative blip. Uber also counted 3.9 million drivers on its platform as of Dec. 31, 2018. Tens, even hundreds, of thousands of those drivers could go on strike before the impact was really felt.

Drivers are understandably angry that Uber employees are about to get rich while they get additional pennies per trip, yet the company is still hemorrhaging money, and it’s unclear whether Uber could pay drivers more even if it wanted to. After New York City’s driver pay rules took effect, the company paused new driver signups and said in an amended IPO filing that the rules “had a negative impact on our financial performance” in the first quarter. Uber has also basically admitted that it thinks of drivers as comparable to restaurant service workers, and that taking a bigger share of the fare is its path to profitability.

The tough reality is that Uber isn’t designed for workers to make good money, whatever it may have told them in the past, and it probably never was. Ahead of its IPO, no amount of striking will change that.

An earlier version of this post appeared in Oversharing, a newsletter about the sharing economy. Sign up for it here.

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Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI), vs. Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (LSCC): Breaking Down the Textile …

Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:LSCC), on the other hand, is up 101.01% year to date as of 05/08/2019. It currently trades at $13.91 and …
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Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) shares are up more than 39.82% this year and recently decreased -1.30% or -$0.23 to settle at $17.52. Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:LSCC), on the other hand, is up 101.01% year to date as of 05/08/2019. It currently trades at $13.91 and has returned 3.11% during the past week.

Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) and Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:LSCC) are the two most active stocks based on recent trading volumes. To determine if one is a better investment than the other, we will compare the two companies’ growth, profitability, risk, return, and valuation characteristics, as well as their analyst ratings and sentiment signals.

[bold-text]Growth[/bold-text]

The ability to grow earnings at a compound rate over time is a crucial determinant of investment value. Analysts expect HBI to grow earnings at a 1.69% annual rate over the next 5 years. Comparatively, LSCC is expected to grow at a 20.00% annual rate. All else equal, LSCC’s higher growth rate would imply a greater potential for capital appreciation.

[bold-text]Profitability and Returns[/bold-text]

A high growth rate isn’t necessarily valuable to investors. In fact, companies that overinvest in low return projects just to achieve a high growth rate can actually destroy shareholder value. Profitability and returns are a measure of the quality of a company’s business and its growth opportunities. We’ll use EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI) to measure this., compared to an EBITDA margin of 11.86% for Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (LSCC). HBI’s ROI is 15.60% while LSCC has a ROI of -1.10%. The interpretation is that HBI’s business generates a higher return on investment than LSCC’s.

[bold-text]Cash Flow[/bold-text]

Cash is king when it comes to investing. HBI’s free cash flow (“FCF”) per share for the trailing twelve months was -0.75. Comparatively, LSCC’s free cash flow per share was +0.14. On a percent-of-sales basis, HBI’s free cash flow was -3.99% while LSCC converted 0% of its revenues into cash flow. This means that, for a given level of sales, LSCC is able to generate more free cash flow for investors.

[bold-text]Liquidity and Financial Risk[/bold-text]

Balance sheet risk is one of the biggest factors to consider before investing. HBI has a current ratio of 1.70 compared to 4.10 for LSCC. This means that LSCC can more easily cover its most immediate liabilities over the next twelve months. HBI’s debt-to-equity ratio is 4.10 versus a D/E of 1.00 for LSCC. HBI is therefore the more solvent of the two companies, and has lower financial risk.

[bold-text]Valuation[bold-text]

HBI trades at a forward P/E of 9.78, a P/B of 6.56, and a P/S of 0.93, compared to a forward P/E of 24.36, a P/B of 6.95, and a P/S of 4.60 for LSCC. HBI is the cheaper of the two stocks on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Given that earnings are what matter most to investors, analysts tend to place a greater weight on the P/E.

[bold-text]Analyst Price Targets and Opinions[bold-text]

When investing it’s crucial to distinguish between price and value. As Warren Buffet said, “price is what you pay, value is what you get”. HBI is currently priced at a -9.18% to its one-year price target of 19.29. Comparatively, LSCC is 12.54% relative to its price target of 12.36. This suggests that HBI is the better investment over the next year.

[bold-text]Risk and Volatility[/bold-text]

Beta is an important measure that gives investors a sense of the market risk associated with a particular stock. A beta above 1 signals above average market risk, while a beta below 1 implies below average volatility. HBI has a beta of 0.95 and LSCC’s beta is 1.37. HBI’s shares are therefore the less volatile of the two stocks.

[bold-text]Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment[/bold-text]

Short interest, or the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted, is another metric investors use to get a pulse on sentiment. HBI has a short ratio of 6.33 compared to a short interest of 1.14 for LSCC. This implies that the market is currently less bearish on the outlook for LSCC.

[bold-text]Summary[/bold-text]

Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:LSCC) beats Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) on a total of 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks. LSCC generates a higher return on investment, is more profitable, has higher cash flow per share, has a higher cash conversion rate, higher liquidity and has lower financial risk. In terms of valuation, HBI is the cheaper of the two stocks on an earnings, book value and sales basis, Finally, LSCC has better sentiment signals based on short interest.

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CUNY Students Create Artificial Intelligence Tools to Help Veterans, Students and the Transit System

Over 200 City University of New York students competed in the CUNY-IBM Watson Social Impact Challenge run by Baruch College, an annual …

Over 200 City University of New York students competed in the CUNY-IBM Watson Social Impact Challenge run by Baruch College, an annual competition that invites undergraduates to show their understanding and skill in harnessing artificial intelligence for the benefit of their University, city and country.

The 11 students on the top three winning teams this year developed tools to reduce suicide rates among veterans, ease student attrition at CUNY and help New York City Transit improve the efficiency of its maintenance systems.

The competition challenges students to explore creative applications for cognitive computing with the goal of improving service to the public by local governments and institutions of higher learning. The final round was held at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services Center on May 3.

“The CUNY-IBM Watson competition compels our students to utilize the skills they have mastered in the classroom to solve concrete policy challenges,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “This year’s winners developed tools that can aid veterans, the city’s subway system and the University’s academic support services. That kind of applied learning can prepare CUNY students for a career, but just as importantly, it equips them to become fully engaged community residents.”

The contest tests students’ mastery of the skills that are critical for success in 21st century careers: critical thinking, complex problem solving, technological literacy and capability with research methods. The winning team, composed of three students from Macaulay Honors College and one from the College of Staten Island, developed an A.I.-powered assistant that can be utilized by trained volunteers to improve mental health services for veterans. Two students from Macaulay and one from Hunter College took second place, and four students from Baruch College took third place.

“The winning teams all showed how big data and machine learning can be effectively applied to create innovative solutions to some of the complex problems facing our society,” said Stan Altman, a professor at the Baruch College Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs and the competition’s lead organizer. “Just as important, the students were forced to take a good, hard look and to examine some of the key problem spots in the country, the city and the University. For an educator, there may be no more rewarding accomplishment than to help students to see the connections between their academic lessons and real-world needs.”

Baruch’sAustin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs administered the competition, along with support from IBM and The Lawrence Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College. The Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, the NYC Department of Health & Mental Health and the NYC Administration for Children’s Services also participated. This year, 210 students from 19 campuses competed.

A look at the winning projects:

First place.Guardian: This is a cloud-based, A.I.-driven mental health assistant geared specifically to help veterans, a group for whom suicide is 1.5 and 1.8 times more prevalent among men and women, respectively, than the general population. On average, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Using REX (IBM Watson-based A.I.), the developers say they can evaluate the mental state of users and direct them to needed services. Cloud connectivity will provide support to those in need at any time, regardless of their location. The A.I.-driven system, in concert with a network of trained volunteers, can provide 24/7 support channels and potentially cut suicide rates in half. Team members: Egor Semeniak, Vincent Vitiello and Anthony Astarita, Macaulay Honors College; and Mark Vitebsky, College of Staten Island.

Second place.Watson Study Buddy: Many CUNY students struggle to adjust to the lecture-based learning that is predominant in higher education, causing them to be enrolled in remedial classes, where they continue to struggle and face a heightened risk of dropping out. Watson Study Buddy can empower students to improve, achieve and succeed. Using the IBM-Watson speech-to-text Application Programming Interface, lectures are transcribed and a personalized review sheet is made, along with links to supplemental resources – giving students access to individualized study materials that adapt to them. The platform also provides personalized quizzes, tailored to each individual, so students can practice in necessary areas. Study Buddy shares student performance with professors, so they no longer have to guess whether students are grasping the material or are at risk of failing upcoming exams. Team members: Karina Ionkina and Andy Mina, Macaulay Honors College; Anthony Sokolov, Hunter College.

Third place.Watson Predictive Maintenance: New York City Transit is in a state of emergency, estimated to reach a critical operations deficit by 2021. One factor contributing to the shortfall is the low level of productivity within the maintenance department, which makes up nearly 45% of total salaries. Currently, the maintenance workers rely on a fixed maintenance schedule with a set timeframe for replacements and repairs. Machinery failures cannot be predicted ahead of time, while those that are still usable are often replaced. The answer: an upgraded transit maintenance system that draws on Watson’s machine learning, discovery, assistant and studio tools, enabling advance prediction of machinery failures and giving workers more-accurate troubleshooting diagnostics. Team members: Dean Yu, Yao Qian, Soo Rim Kang and Anastasiya Uraleva, Baruch College.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 24 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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Lyft, Cannabis Stocks Among The Most Bought Names By TD Ameritrade Clients In April

Retail investors were also bullish Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS), Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE: ACB), Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC) and AT&T Inc …

Each month, TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: AMTD) reveals which stocks were among the most bought and sold by their clients via the Investor Movement Index, which tracks investor behavior by measuring holding and trading data from a sample of clients.

Because of TD Ameritrade’s position as a leading retail brokerage, the reading provides some insights into the sentiments of retail investors on given names.

Net Buys

Unsurprisingly, retail investors flocked to some of the most headline-driven names in April. LYFT Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT) was a net buy after IPOing at the end of March and subsequently trading below its IPO price. TDA clients were also bullish on the self-driving theme last month, as both Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) and NIO Inc-ADR (NYSE: NIO) were net buys.

CVS Health Corp (NYSE: CVS) and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NYSE: WBA) were also both net buys, despite that both stocks hit new 52-week lows in the month.

Retail investors were also bullish Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS), Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE: ACB), Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC) and AT&T Inc (NYSE: T).

Net Sells

On the other hand, TD Ameritrade clients were net sellers of some big tech names last month, particularly Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Amazon Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

Big banks Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE: C) were both net sold as well. Both companies reported mixed earnings in April, with EPS coming in ahead of analyst estimates and revenue coming in below.

Other net sells include Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA), Wabtec Corporation (NYSE: WAB), Micron Technology, Inc (NASDAQ: MU) and General Electric Company (NYSE: GE).

This selling activity could be a sign of bearishness, or could merely indicate investors were taking profits.

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Performance Comparison of NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS)

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), ended its previous trading session at $173.92 showing a gain of 0.809999999999974 or 0.47 percent with …

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA)

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), ended its previous trading session at $173.92 showing a gain of 0.809999999999974 or 0.47 percent with respect to the price of $173.11 when stock market opened. The company traded 10.2 Million shares over the course of the trading day. Giving the average volume of 13.11 Million over the course of 3 consecutive months. Which signifies a pretty good change over the time with its shares outstanding of 638.63 Million.

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) is currently trading lower than its price target which is set to $186.74 by the analyst. The stock is -40.59% Below its 1-Year High which is $292.76. NVDA has a difference of 39.74% from its 1 year low which stands at $124.46. The company is currently rated by analyst who are keeping a close eye on the stock as 2.3. Where 1 means Buy, 2.5 meaning Hold and 5 as Sell.

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) Performance Snapshot

The stock performed exceptionally good in the previous week which depicts an increase of -3.63 percent in the shares price. The company subtracted about -9.32% in its share price over 1-Month. While taking about the performance of the stock over 1-year interval is -30.06 Percent. NVDA currently shows 30.28% as its year to date performance.

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) Price Insight

The stock needs to grow about $12.82 to reach its price target. In order to seek the stock’s directional movements, 20-Days, 50 Days and 200-Days moving averages are -6.11%, -1.3% and -11.98 percent respectively. The stock trades about 2.39 percent of its Float giving its total shares Outstanding are 638.63 Million. NVDA lost about -19.08 percent in 6 months showing its Average True Range of 5.52. The company currently has a RSI and Beta of 40.89 and 1.87.

While talking about NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) valuation ratios, the stock trades with a P/S and P/B of 9.48 and 11.32 which is significantly better and attractive as compared to its peers.

Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS)

Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS), closed the last trading session at $8.26 with decrease of $-0.0199999999999996 or -0.24 percent against the opening price of $8.28. The trading day volume of the company stands at 3.18 Million shares while the average trading volume of Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) is 3.09 Million over the course of 3 consecutive months. Which signifies a pretty good change over the time with its shares outstanding of 4.28 Billion.

The price target of Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) is currently set at 8.65 by the analysts. The stock is $-30.12 Below its 1-Year High which is $11.82. BCS hit its 1-Year low price of $7.07. The company is currently rated by analyst who are keeping a close eye on the stock as 0. Where 1 means Buy, 2.5 meaning Hold and 5 as Sell.

Performance Indicators of Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS)

The value of the stock decreased by -2.59% during the previous week performance. Looking at the 1 month performance of Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS), the stock dipped -2.13%. While the 1 year performance shows a negative percentage of -27.73 and year to date performance stands at 9.55%.

Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) Analytical Review

The stock needs to grow about $0.390000000000001 to reach its price target. In order to seek the stock’s directional movements, 20-Days, 50 Days and 200-Days moving averages are -3.4%, -2.94% and -5.14 percent respectively. The stock trades about 0.11 percent of its Float giving its total shares Outstanding are 4.28 Billion. BCS gained about -9.63 percent in 6 months showing its Average True Range of 0.16. The company currently has a RSI and Beta of 41.29 and 0.82.

While talking about Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) valuation ratios, the stock trades with a P/S and P/B of 6.26 and 0.42 which is significantly better and attractive as compared to its peers.

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