Bitcoin could be at the start of a “massive transformation” into the mainstream and on the path to become “the currency of choice for international trade,” according to leading investment bank Citi, which noted the cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise in value in recent years and a growing interest from institutional investors as potentially setting the stage for widespread success.
In a report published Monday, Citi analysts said the world’s most popular cryptocurrency was at a “tipping point” between widespread adoption or a “speculative implosion.”
Bitcoin’s growing use as a payment tool, the increasing availability of digital wallets, and institutional interest from the likes of Tesla and Mastercard have all helped buoy confidence in the cryptocurrency and could see it become the leading medium for international trade in the future, Citi said.
The analysts described Bitcoin as the “North Star” of the blockchain ecosystem, with its underlying technology launching an entirely new domain of the digital economy around it.
However, there are a number of risks and obstacles that could see the Bitcoin bubble burst, the analysts warned, and widespread changes to the market would be required for Bitcoin to be adopted more widely.
Dampened institutional investment in the post-Covid-19 world would remove a key pillar of support for Bitcoin, Citi said, and anticipated regulation and oversight—which runs counter to the anti-establishment ideology underpinning the cryptocurrency—could also “cause many of the most innovative developers and entrepreneurs to exit the ecosystem,” the analysts wrote.
Bitcoin is one of the most volatile asset classes around. It has a bumpy and storied history since it was outlined in a paper in 2009, moving from practically worthless to an all time high of over $58,000 a coin in February 2021 (the price has since dropped to around $47,000) with several significant troughs and peaks in between. At its highest, Bitcoin’s market capitalization exceeded $1 trillion. As with the bulk of its history, Bitcoin is still driven by retail investors, who billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates warned not to get drawn in by the “mania” and enthusiasm of Elon Musk who has money to spare should things go wrong.
“I think bitcoin is really on the verge of getting broad acceptance by sort of the conventional finance people,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Clubhouse earlier this year.
In October, PayPal finally welcomed cryptocurrencies to its platform, believed by many to be a precursor to it moving into the mainstream. PayPal will support four different cryptocurrencies—bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash—and will expand the service to Venmo in 2021.
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Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s chief investment officer of global fixed income, told CNBC Wednesday that the investment giant has “started to dabble” in bitcoin—it’s the latest instance of a major financial player dipping its toes into digital assets.
Reider did not elaborate on BlackRock’s cryptocurrency strategy, but last month the investment giant filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission showing that it wants to include cash-settled Bitcoin futures as eligible investments for two of its funds.
BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager—it managed some $8.7 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter.
Rieder told CNBC that he believes bitcoin’s recent rally is gaining momentum in part because of stronger regulations and better technology.
“My sense is the technology has evolved and the regulation has evolved to the point where a number of people find it should be part of the portfolio, so that’s what’s driving the price up,” he said.
$51,000. That’s the new record price bitcoin hit early on Wednesday morning. The most popular cryptocurrency started the year with prices around $30,000.
A spate of major corporations and financial institutions including MicroStrategy, BNY Mellon, and MasterCard,and PayPal have announced cryptocurrency initiatives this month, and there are reports that a $150 billion investment division at Morgan Stanley is considering investing in bitcoin. A portion of bitcoin’s recent gains are likely attributable to a surprise announcement from Tesla that the electric car maker had invested $1.5 billion into the cryptocurrency and has plans to start accepting it as payment.
Dividend stocks are companies that pay out a portion of their earnings to a class of shareholders on a regular basis. These companies usually are well established, with stable earnings and a long track record of distributing some of those earnings back to shareholders. These distributions are known as dividends, and may be paid out in the form of cash or as additional stock. Most dividends are paid out on a quarterly basis, but some are paid out monthly, annually, or even once in the form of a special dividend.
While dividend stocks are known for the regularity of their dividend payments, in difficult economic times even those dividends may be cut in order to preserve cash. One useful measure for investors to gauge the sustainability of a company’s dividend payments is the dividend payout ratio. The ratio is a measure of total dividends divided by net income, which tells investors how much of the company’s net income is being returned to shareholders in the form of dividends versus how much the company is retaining to invest in further growth.
If the ratio exceeds 100% or is negative (meaning net income is negative), this indicates the company may be borrowing to pay dividends. In these two cases, the dividends are at a relatively greater risk of being cut.
Below, we look at the top 5 dividend stocks in the Russell 1000 by forward dividend yield, excluding companies with payout ratios that are either negative or in excess of 100%. Each of the dividend stocks listed below significantly underperformed the Russell 1000’s total return over the past 12 months of 19.7%, as of December 21, 2020.1 All data below is as of December 22, 2020.
Lumen Technologies, formerly known as CenturyLink, is an integrated communications company that offers services including local and long-distance voice, broadband, Ethernet, colocation, hosting, data integration, video, network, information technology, and more.
Brookfield Property is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns, develops, builds, manages, and leases various commercial properties. Among the company’s portfolio of properties are restaurants, malls, entertainment facilities, and parking areas. On November 6, the board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.3325 per share on its Class A Stock payable on December 31, 2020, and a quarterly dividend on the 6.375% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock of $0.39844 per share payable on January 1, 2021.2
New York Community Bancorp is a holding company with multiple banking subsidiaries, including Queens County Savings Bank, Roosevelt Savings Bank, Atlantic Bank, and others. Through these subsidiaries, New York Community Bancorp offers a full range of banking products and services to businesses and consumers. The company primarily serves customers in the New York City metropolitan area.
Brandywine Realty Trust is a REIT that owns, manages, leases, acquires, and develops urban, downtown, and suburban office properties primarily on the East Coast and in Texas. Its services include asset management, development and construction, investment, marketing and leasing, and property management. On December 8, the board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 per common share and OP Unit payable on January 20, 2021. The quarterly dividend is equivalent to an annual rate of $0.76 per share.3
TFS Financial is a holding company engaged in retail consumer banking, mortgage lending, and similar services through its subsidiaries. The company’s businesses include originating and servicing residential real estate mortgage loans and attracting retail deposits. Its main business is retail consumer banking.
The comments, opinions and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or to adopt any investment strategy. While we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described on our content may not be suitable for all investors.
Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions, and analyses contained within our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment, or strategy.
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It’s crystal ball time. Technology and environmental stocks have been the big winners of 2020, but which stocks will skyrocket next year? The enforced digitisation of the world during the pandemic drove the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google and Netflix to new highs, while making household names of companies such as Zoom.
Coronavirus vaccine breakthroughs in November sparked a much-vaunted rotation in market leadership from the “stay at home” play to “the reopening trade”. Many believe this has much further to run, with the potential for missteps along the way around mass vaccination delivery or central bank policy.
Here are six stocks analysts are backing to shine in the New Year.
The cinema chain, which has screens across the U.S. and U.K., has been an archetypal business victim of the pandemic. Worst still, it went into the pandemic with $8 billion of net debt, following two highly leveraged acquisitions in recent years. Investors took flight, with the stock collapsing by just over 90% as lockdown was announced.
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, is backing Cineworld as a higher risk reopening trade. “This new debt facility should act as a bridge to get to a point where it can reopen screens in the U.K. and the U.S. and get the cash flow moving in the right direction again,” he said.
Assuming it can reopen its screens fully in May, it has sufficient cash to cover “2021 and beyond”. However, “if there is a stock trading on this vaccine roll-out it’s Cineworld”, he cautioned.
Tekmar operates in power and telecommunications infrastructure, delivering systems that protect cables under the sea. It’s a niche area, but fast-growing, with offshore wind projects a big customer.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould describes the U.K. micro-cap stock as high risk, given its size, but believes it can deliver for patient, longer-term investors.
Tekmar’s shares have sold off sharply in 2020, down 61.9%, in part down to contract delays that can punish small businesses disproportionately.
But Mould points to the company having net cash of £36 million -against a net asset value of £46 million- cost-cutting, and a new product launch due in 2021.
“Meanwhile, the company’s leading position in the niche of protection systems for subsea cables and pipes offers plenty of scope for upside. There are surely few markets as packed with potential as this one, as the UK prepares to launch its green industrial revolution and throw money at wind power, an area where Tekmar’s skills are likely to be in high demand,” he said.
American building supplier Vulcan Materials has lagged the bounceback in U.S. equities, still trading down 3.8% for the year. Some analysts have highlighted the company’s hefty debt burden, at around three times earnings before interest, depreciation and tax as a red flag to investors.
However, Steve Clayton, head of equity funds at Hargreaves Lansdown, believes Vulcan is solidly positioned to prosper from the expected further financial stimulus under president-elect Joe Biden.
“Vulcan sells building aggregates like gravel and because these are expensive to transport, Vulcan benefit from local monopolies and oligopolies, giving them reliable pricing power in what should be increasingly active markets,”
With the requirement for extensive new housebuilding and infrastructure development in the U.S., he rates the stock a good play for more balanced investors.
British Airways owner IAG is a classic reopening trade. Its stock was pummelled earlier in the year as flight routes, down just over 74% at their worst in August. Since the November vaccine breakthroughs, IAG’s stock has surged by 80%, but remains 38.5% below where it started the year.
Wilson said that while the recent rebound has effectively priced in flight routes reopening in 2021, “there could be further upside driven by on the ground improvements to travel”.
“In addition to the roll-out of vaccines, efforts by airlines like BA and airports like Heathrow to find creative solutions to ending quarantine requirements for travellers such as digital health passes will progress and make it easier for travel to take place,” he said.
Wilson added that he does not expect the airline conglomerate’s shares to return to their pre-pandemic levels next year, as “passenger travel levels are not seen returning to 2019 numbers for some years”.
“But a steady reopening of the economy and pent-up demand among holidaymakers to get out and travel ought to support earnings recovery in 2021,” he added, making it a good pick for balanced investors.
Braintree, Massachusetts-based Haemonetics is a global operator in blood and plasma services and supplies. Clayton said it is a fast-growing field and one in which the company has built a significant presence, operating in 16 different countries.
Haemonetics’ shares have had a relatively pedestrian year, near-halving in the savage March sell-off before going on to claw back two-thirds of those losses. They remain 16.6% down for the year but have likely been overlooked by many investors who were focusing on biotech this year.
Clayton believes the firm is well-positioned to benefit from advances in blood plasma therapies, with the stock a buy for balanced investors.
“Haemonetics leads the world in blood plasma technology and has a new generation of products that should boost profits at the same time as saving customers money,” he said.
“Looking ahead, there are over 750 new therapies that use plasma undergoing trials. As trials turn to product launches, demand looks set to grow for years to come.”
The U.K. power company, formerly known as Scottish & Southern Energy, is a good play for cautious investors, according to Mould. With stable revenue streams, it is paying a healthy 5.6% dividend with inflation-linked increases planned for the next two years.
But there could be a bit of a hidden growth story in the FTSE 100 stalwart too, he feels.
“SSE’s existing renewables portfolio and growth plans leave it well placed to be in the vanguard of the drive in the UK toward alternative sources of energy, a drive given fresh impetus by the government’s announcement in November of a multi-billion-pound green industrial revolution,” he said.
The value of SSE’s renewable assets was underlined earlier this year when the firm bagged a nice profit selling a stake in a wind project in Dogger Bank that SSE co-owns with Norway’s Equinor to Italian oil major ENI earlier this year.
“That seemed to confirm the clear upward trend in the market value of renewable assets and with oil majors potentially wading in at almost any price given their determination – and need – to reinvent themselves – SSE’s shares could yet offer greater potential for capital appreciation than many investors realise.”
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The Netherlands leads the world when it comes to search interest for the term ‘Bitcoin halving’
The Bitcoin block halving is happening in just one week, and Google data shows that searches for the term ‘Bitcoin halving’ are surging in general. This data can also be broken down by country, and it reveals where people are most interested in the Bitcoin halving.
Specifically, Google gives countries rankings from 1 to 100 for interest in a certain search term such as Bitcoin halving, with a rank of 100 meaning that country has the most searches for Bitcoin halving relative to total searches.
Netherlands leads the world with a ranking of 100, followed by Cyprus, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria, and Latvia, all of which are European nations. Notably, the United States is well behind most European nations with a ranking of just 39.
Thus, this data from Google suggests that the Bitcoin halving is garnering the most interest in Europe.
The Bitcoin ( BTC ) block subsidy halving is all anyone can talk about this week — but according to Google, it’s Europe that is most obsessed. Data from Google Trends shows that when it comes to searching “bitcoin halving,” western and central Europe is leading the way. As Cointelegraph reported , search interest can often translate into adoption through channels such as major exchanges. Purchasing volumes have increased conspicuously since mid-March. As of press time on May 5, these five countries generated the most requests regarding the largest cryptocurrency’s most important coming of age.