Global Finance and Business

The founder of a $10 billion asset manager that’s beating 95% of its peers reveals the single most important attribute he looks for in a company

You don’t need a PhD to be a successful investor. And if you do have one, you’re not guaranteed anything.

If you disagree with that statement, just take a look at Long-Term Capital Management.

Despite being run by Nobel Prize-winning economists, the $126 billion firm promptly collapsed after a plan they believed to be foolproof failed to pan out. It didn’t matter that their leaders were some of the brightest minds in the world.

Their intellectual overconfidence — and the massive, immovable leverage that resulted — worked to their disadvantage. Still, many believe that the only way to prosper in financial markets is by employing a quantitatively complex approach.

But Chuck Akre — the founder of Akre Capital Management, which oversees over $10 billion — says this notion is simply untrue. While he’s not entirely discrediting those who focus on academia, he prefers to keep things simple.

And given Akre has been in the asset-management industry for more than 25 years, he has plenty of experience dealing with traders of all types.

“I have, in my career, run across literally thousands of people who are very, very bright, who are not necessarily good investors,” he said on a recent episode of the “Invest Like the Best” podcast. “And so pure knowledge is, in and of itself, not a ticket to being a good investor.”

Akre himself is no slouch. His firm’s flagship mutual fund — the Akre Focus Fund— resides in the 95th percentile relative to peers over the past five years, according to Bloomberg data. Akre also manages several hundred million dollars in two long-short equity private investment funds.

So what is Akre’s self-described simple secret to achieving outperformance? He narrows it down to a single attribute: pricing power.

Read more: How to turn $10,000 into $1 million: One investor reveals the secret sauce for profiting from elusive hyper-growth stocks

He uses an anecdote to demonstrate his thesis:

“It’s a holiday weekend — a big holiday weekend. Your wife is having 100 people to a party in 2 hours, and the toilets are stopped. You will pay that plumber whatever he asks, as long as he can get there before the party. That’s pricing power. So I’m always looking for ways to understand pricing power, because pricing power is key.”

It was this thinking that prompted Akre to open a position in Mastercard in 2010 — a decision that’s paid off with a handsome return of roughly 1,200%.

“I would just say that you could cut the margins in half, twice, and you’d still be above average for an American business,” Akre said of the credit card giant. “So, clearly something extraordinary is going on there.”

He continued: “We spent time trying to figure out what’s causing that. We think we know, and we’ve quit talking about it.”

Akre’s simplicity-based strategy shares common threads with that of Warren Buffett.

Buffett has a box on his desk labeled “Too Hard,” for companies that fall outside of his circle of competence. He doesn’t need to over-complicate his investments and strategies. And he’s constructed some of the most incredible returns by sticking with an extremely simple, long-term value approach.

If the sixth-richest man on planet earth has a no-frills, plain-vanilla strategy to investing, then it’s probably not necessary to over complicate your thinking either.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative.

“Imagination and curiosity are what’s hugely important,” said Akre, further outlining his philosophy. “And we’ve discovered things over the years, purely by being curious, and continuing to keep involved in the search process to find these exceptional businesses.”

In the end, you don’t need a genius-level IQ to be a successful investor. You need to be imaginative and curious to find opportunities that others have overlooked.

Keep this in mind the next time you make an investment. It may save you from a painful experience.

Read The Complete #NewsArticle Here at the Original Publishers Website


British Airways’ pilots just voted to strike, which could mean major disruptions for summer travel

  • British Airways’ pilots’ union has voted to go on strike, and the airline lost a legal challenge to try and block it.
  • The pilots are arguing for a higher raise than the airline offered as the airline reports strong profits.
  • The union must give at least two weeks’ notice before any strike, but at the height of the peak summer travel season, major disruptions would be widespread on routes throughout the world.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

British Airways’ pilots union voted overwhelmingly to strike in a ballot that closed early this week, setting the stage for potential mass disruptions to summer travel throughout Europe and beyond.

The vote came after the pilots’ union, BALPA, held a vote that say 90% of its 4,000 members turn out, with 93% of them voting to authorize a strike.

The vote surrounds a dispute between the airline and pilots over a pay raise. The airline has recorded high profits in recent quarters and issued large dividends to shareholders, and the pilots union has sought an above-inflation pay raise that would include a profit-sharing benefit. According to The Guardian, the pilots argue that they accepted pay cuts when the airline faced a difficult market during the financial crisis, and that they should be able to share in the good periods as well.

The airline says it’s offered a raise of 11.5% over three years, which the union rejected.

Read more: British Airways cancelled its flights to Egypt because of undisclosed security concerns — but every other airline kept running as usual

In a statement, BALPA General Secretary Brian Struttion said expressed frustration and resolve.

“We do not wish to inconvenience our customers which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November,” he said, claiming that “it is BA who has regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months.”

The airline sought a court injunction to prevent the strike, arguing that the strike ballot was invalid; however, the court ruled in BALPA’s favor.

The union must issue at least two weeks of advance notice before striking, and no dates have been announced yet.

Read more: A flight was delayed when a man tried climbing onto the airplane’s wing to hitch a free ride

The airline carries up to 145,000 passengers a day, according to The Guardian, who may face major disruptions. In addition to passengers traveling to or from Europe, the airline offers one-stop travel between North and South America, India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.

During peak summer travel season, the strike could mean major disruptions, particularly as other airlines may not have much spare capacity to facilitate rebookings, according to Airways Magazine.


British Airways

Read The Complete #NewsArticle Here at the Original Publishers Website

A Microsoft partner tell us there’s an ‘obscene’ opportunity for Microsoft’s cloud because of a very old version of its database

simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content.
  • An enormous number of Microsoft customers are still running an extremely old version of its database and the company will soon no longer provide them with security fixes and updates.
  • A year ago, Microsoft made these holdouts a deal to that lets them move their database to its cloud Azure at a bargain price.
  • A Microsoft partner tells us that this situation could be a boon for Microsoft, and its partners.
  • Right now there’s a mad land grab going on among the major cloud companies for database customers because the cloud that hosts the data has a chance to sell a lot of other cloud services, too.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

“Microsoft has an obscenely large number of devices still on Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008, like 60% of their installed base,” Todd Pekats told Business Insider.

Pekats is vice president of Cloud Computing and Services for a big Microsoft reseller partner, PCM, and he heard that statistic in a Microsoft-run briefing while attending the company’s huge tech conference for partners in Las Vegas last week.

Windows Server 2008 is an old version of Microsoft Windows that runs on servers and SQL Server 2008 is an equally old version of Microsoft’s database. It was a very popular database back in the day, back before enterprises were running madly to cloud computing.

Microsoft isn’t talking much about this large number of its customers who are sitting on this really outdated technology, Pekats says. But HG Insights, a site that tracks technology products usage, says it knows of over 85,000 companies using SQL Server 2008.

This tech is so old that Microsoft officially ended support for SQL Server back in 2014. Back then, Microsoft gave its customers an option to pay for “extended support” for the database until this month, July, 2019. Extended support mainly involves security patches: fixing any bugs or security holes that hackers could use. (Extended support for the old version of Windows will last until January 2020.)

Last year, however, there were still enough customers clinging to their old databases that Microsoft made them a deal: move those old databases, just as they were, to Microsoft’s cloud Azure and Microsoft will continue to send them security patches, for free, until January 2023 for Windows Server and until July 2022 for SQL Server.

A lot of businesses will need to replace the ancient database technology they’re using

We don’t know how many customers took Microsoft up on that offer but needless to say, there’s still a lot of companies using an ancient database who will soon need to move into more modern technology because if they don’t, they will be easy pickings for hackers.

And that means that Microsoft and its resellers are sitting on another enormous opportunity to 1) sell more of Microsoft’s cloud services to its customers, 2) sell extra consulting services to those customers who will need their database apps re-written and 3) sell Microsoft’s fancy new database options, like its hyperscale database (which competes with Oracle’s autonomous database), Pekats tells Business Insider.

Now read: Trillion-dollar Microsoft is gearing up for another potentially ‘unprecedented’ growth spurt

Microsoft bull Keith Weiss of Morgan Stanley believes that Microsoft’s back-office software could become a dark horse driving growth in the months to come.

That’s in part because all the big cloud computing vendors including Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Google, are madly trying to get companies to buy their cloud databases. Amazon and Oracle are particularly duking it out.

The cloud vendors know the whatever cloud is hosting the customer’s data’s has a lot of opportunity to make more money from those customers. They can, for instance, sell analytics tools to find insights in the data. They can sell apps to secure, backup and restore the data. And they can sell custom apps that take the data and perform other tasks as well.

PCM vice president of cloud computing services Todd Pekats

Now, add this to what others in Microsoft’s world are seeing: an enormous opportunity for Microsoft’s cloud because Windows 7 will also soon be retired, forcing huge numbers of Microsoft’s customers to upgrade their Windows PCs.

In response, Microsoft is madly pushing its internal sales force to sell Microsoft 365, Pekats says, giving sales folks incentives that makes it easier for them to hit their quotas and earn bonuses if they sell a lot of M365 contracts.

M365 is a bundle for businesses that includes licenses for Windows 10, Office 365 and some Azure cloud security software.

Add it all together and Microsoft is looking at an enormous chance to rapidly grow its cloud this year. Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Get the latest Microsoft stock price here.


Microsoft cloud
Microsoft Azure
Cloud Computing

Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Read The Complete #NewsArticle Here at the Original Publishers Website

Theresa May Coin, Like the UK Prime Minister, is Spiraling to an Exit

Almost a year after Theresa May had succeeded David Cameron as the UK Prime Minister, a cryptocurrency named for her was launched. But more than two years after it came into existence, the Theresa May Coin seems to have reached the end of the road as the PM nears the sunset of her reign. Like the Prime Minister, the mineable cryptocurrency held much promise but has delivered little and is now on its deathbed.

Currently, the Theresa May Coin has a market capitalization of under $19,000 down from a peak market cap of $476,402 recorded on January 16 last year. At the time, one MAY was valued at $0.0171 but has since fallen to $0.000187, a depreciation rate of a whopping 98.91 percent.

Theresa May Coin
Theresa May’s namesake coin is crashing hard. | Source: Coinmarketcap

Unfortunately for holders of the MAY bag, there are only two exchanges on which to dispose of their holdings. This means that unlike the Prime Minister who always had aides catering to her every demand (watch the video below), they might have to hold on to them forever as market activity is severely limited.

Fair play to Theresa May getting that very large bloke to carry her handbag.

— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) February 3, 2017

Was Theresa May Coin jinxed from the start?

Since the crypto market hit a record high in late 2017, just about all cryptocurrencies retreated from their all-time highs, some to a greater extent than others. To put it bluntly, the MAY coin is a textbook example of a ‘bag’.

Could its disastrous performance have anything to do with the departing Prime Minister that it’s named for? Who knows, but it is not lost on the superstitious that Theresa May was appointed Prime Minister by Queen Elizabeth II on July 13th. Mrs. May also happens to be the 13th Prime Minister to serve under the Queen!

With Theresa May expected to formally tender her resignation on July 24th, the next UK Prime Minister will officially take charge shortly after. Barring a surprise, the next UK Premier is expected to be former Foreign Secretary and ex-London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Will there be a BoJo coin?

The British political life boasts of many traditions and if a new cryptocurrency is named in honor of the incoming PM, it perhaps could be the start of a new ritual, even if it’s only for parody. If Boris Johnson takes the reins the name BoJo Coin is an obvious choice. That’s also because for the bicycle enthusiast Cycling Coin is already taken.

Kenya’s President Kenyatta has just referred to Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, as “the bicycle guy”

— Harry Yorke (@HarryYorke1) August 30, 2018

Cryptocurrencies have only been around for a decade but the politically-affiliated ones are already acting as indicators of the political fortunes of the particular politician’s name they bear. Per CoinMarketCap, the return on investment for a Theresa May coin has been -84.71 percent.

Theresa May ‘Coin’ was trading. | Source: CoinmarketCap

On the other hand, coins named after other politicians in the world who are unlikely to be unseated any time soon have all registered positive ROIs. Putincoin, obviously named for Russian President Vladimir Putin, boasts an ROI of 52.87 percent.

Trumpcoin has done even better despite the U.S. President showing his disdain for crypto. Since it was launched the coin has recorded an ROI of 1,928.63 percent.

Trump Coin. It’s legit. | Source: CoinmarketCap

Now that’s something not being tweeted about but should be!

Read The Complete #NewsArticle Here at the Original Publishers Website

The White House and Congress just reached a deal that would avert a major fiscal crisis in Washington this fall

pelosiREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

  • The Trump administration and congressional Democrats forged an agreement to add billions to government spending and lift the debt limit for two years.
  • The deal lowered the risk of a disastrous fiscal crisis in Washington this fall.
  • The agreement still needs to be finalized. Lawmakers would then have to pass individual spending bills to implement it. 
  • Visit Markets Insider for more stories.

The Trump administration and congressional Democrats forged an agreement on Monday to add billions to government spending and lift the debt limit for two years, lowering the risk of a disastrous fiscal crisis in Washington this fall.

The deal would raise the budget and extend the borrowing limit until at least July 2021, mostly avoiding the threat of a shutdown and an unprecedented default on US debt obligations. It would also permanently end the sequester, a series of deep and automatic spending cuts that began in 2013

“I am pleased to announce that a deal has been struck with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – on a two-year Budget and Debt Ceiling, with no poison pills,” President Donald Trump tweeted Monday afternoon.

“This was a real compromise in order to give another big victory to our Great Military and Vets,” he added.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed to increase spending by approximately $320 billion, with equal amounts going to both military and domestic agencies.

The two have engaged in direct negotiations this month in an effort to avoid the type of partisan standoff that led to the longest government shutdown on record in December and JanuaryOther party leaders in the Senate and the House have also been involved in the talks, Trump told reporters during an Oval Office meeting on Monday.

But the Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-held Senate and White House were poised to “be unhappy with some aspects” of the agreement, a source close to the talks said. 

It was set to include measures to offset spending by approximately $75 billion, about half the cuts that some Trump advisers initially requested from Democrats, the source added. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that some congressional Republicans have asked that Trump reject any proposal that didn’t include steep spending cuts.

“We believe the White House and congressional leadership should be prepared to walk away from this if necessary,” Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana told The Journal in an interview over the weekend. “I’m encouraged after speaking with the president.”

The deal was sure to draw criticism from deficit hawks, including those on both sides of the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package passed in 2017. The federal deficit shot up by about 38% in the first seven months of the fiscal year despite a solid economy, which typically prompts lawmakers to take steps to reduce it.

Mnuchin warned congressional leaders in mid-July that the government could run out of money this fall, urging lawmakers to ensure the borrowing limit was raised before the budget year ended on September 30. Failure to do so could prevent the government from meeting its debt obligations, a scenario that would shake the economy and financial markets. 

The deal comes a few days before the House breaks for a six-week recess on Friday. The Senate would have a week from then to vote on a bill before its own adjournment, potentially sending it to the White House. To implement a finalized agreement, Washington would still need to pass a series of individual spending bills.

Markets Insider is looking for a panel of millennial investors. If you’re active in the markets, CLICK HERE to sign up.

Read The Complete #NewsArticle Here at the Original Publishers Website

Beyond Meat, whose plant burgers can fool even die-hard meat lovers, is up 700% since its IPO. Early investors say it will change how we eat, but there are signs Wall Street’s binge could end badly.

Greg Bohlen knew early on that Beyond Meat could be big.

When he first met with the company in 2011 — two years after Ethan Brown founded it — Beyond Meat was little more than an idea and some university-developed technology for manufacturing simulated animal muscle. But the company touched on two of the big themes that make Bohlen excited when it comes to potential investments — transparency and efficiency.

Beyond Meat’s process for making artificial meat was far more resource and energy efficient than the way cows or even chickens create muscle. And while consumers generally don’t want to see what happens on a kill floor, they’d find nothing to offend them if they saw Beyond Meat’s manufacturing process.

“I thought they’d change the world,” said Bohlen, a managing general partner at Union Grove Venture Partners, which invested in Beyond Meat in its series B funding round in 2012. “And they are, for the better.”

Bohlen’s optimism is understandable. After all, he’s on Beyond Meat’s board, and he owns a 1% stake in the company. But he’s not the only one bullish on the meat alternative product maker these days.

Beyond Meat’s stock has soared

On its first day of trading in May, Beyond Meat’s stock nearly tripled its $25 initial public offering price. Fewer than seven weeks later, it was trading at more than $200 a share. Although it’s fallen off since then, it spiked again on Monday, leaving the shares up nearly 700% since the company’s IPO.

Read this: Beyond Meat is up more than 500% since going public — and new data suggests the company’s sales are living up to the hype

Now a director at Beyond Meat, Greg Bohlen placed an early bet on the company and CEO Brown.
Greg Bohlen

That’s given Beyond Meat a market capitalization of almost $12 billion. That figure means that public investors are ignoring the company’s nearly $31 million in losses over the last year and valuing the alternative meat maker at 103 times its revenues over the same period — or 57 times its expected sales this year. Whichever way you look it, that’s a heady valuation — and one that implies investors expect it to post super-charged growth for years to come.

The challenge Beyond Meat will face in meeting those expectations has spurred skeptics to start speaking out. Of the seven financial analysts who had ratings on its stock earlier this month, none considered it a buy and one, Erlan Abdikarimov, of Kazakhstan-based Freedom Finance, already had a sell rating. Wall Street analysts rate few stocks as “sells,” and are typically even more reluctant to put such a label on new issues.

The rise in Beyond Meat’s stock price “was fueled by very bold expectations, the likelihood of which is not obvious,” Abdikarimov said in an email.

In June, JPMorgan, one of the lead underwriters of Beyond Meat’s IPO and the only firm that rated the stock a “buy,” downgraded the fake-meat maker to a “neutral” rating. The downgrade was purely due to valuation because the stock’s rally meant it was trading well above its analysts’ price target, JPMorgan said.

A Beyond Meat representative declined to comment, saying that the company was in a quiet period.

The meatless meat industry has plenty of potential

Whether or not Wall Street has gotten ahead of itself, Beyond Meat clearly has big potential. In the United States alone, consumers bought $78 billion worth of raw meat in 2018, according to market research firm Euromonitor. Other researchers have estimated that total global meat industry sales – including purchases by restaurants, schools, and other institutions — are in the trillions of dollars each year. Even if only a small portion of meat purchasers started buying Beyond Meat’s burgers and other products instead, the company could see billions of dollars in sales.

Beyond Meat’s most well-known product is its meatless burger.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

There’s reason to think that’s more than just a pipe dream. Last year, US consumers bought $1.4 billion worth of meat substitute goods at retail, according to Euromonitor, mostly in the form of established products, such as tofu burgers and the like. Worldwide, such products were even more popular, garnering nearly $19 billion in retail sales.

That’s still a small portion of the overall meat market, but the new generation of meat substitutes such as those from Beyond Meat and competitors such as Impossible Foods could help such products attract a much larger audience. Compared with their earlier predecessors, Beyond Burgers and Impossible Burgers do a much better job of simulating the taste, texture, and eating experience of meat.

The burgers, which, in Beyond’s case, are made from ingredients including peas, mung beans, rice, and beets, bleed and brown like real ground beef. The latest Beyond Burgers are also designed to simulate the marbling found in real meat; instead of coming from bits of animal fat, the white, savory spaces are made from coconut oil and cocoa butter.

In addition to offering products that taste more like the real thing, the new purveyors of meat alternatives have also started to gain wide distribution for their products. Consumers can find Beyond’s burgers, sausages, and taco meat in Whole Foods, Kroger, and Safeway grocery stores. They can buy alternative meat burgers from Beyond or Impossible at chains including Red Robin, Burger King, TGI Fridays, and Carl’s Jr., as well as at many smaller, local restaurants. Few of these outlets ever offered a tofu burger or anything like it.

Such factors are “making it easier for people to jump into these things,” said Dewey Warner, a food-industry analyst at Euromonitor. “It’s easier to bring people into the fold,” he continued, “when you have more attractive, better tasting items.”

Beyond Meat is following the path of plant-based milks

Beyond Meat is also likely to benefit from the trend of people limiting their intake of meat and other animal products, Warner said. For health or environmental reasons, a growing number of consumers have cut back on their meat consumption, even if they haven’t become full-on vegans or vegetarians, he said.

The milk and dairy industry could offer a preview of what’s to come, he said. Milk consumption in the US has been declining for years, in part due to health and environmental reasons, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, sales of plant-based alternative milks, such as those made from soy, rice, and oats, have been booming and now represent more than 10% of the sales of traditional dairy milk, according to figures from Grand View Research and Dairy Farmers of America.

Sales of plant-based milks have “become, definitely, a significant part of the market,” Warner said. The big question, he continued, “is whether and when plant-based meat substitutes might achieve a similar status.”

Sales of almond and other plant-based milks have become a sizeable portion of the milk market — and started to hamper sales of traditional dairy milk.

Beyond Meat’s early results suggest that could happen sooner than many people realize. The company’s sales more than doubled in 2017 from 2016 and grew even faster last year, jumping by a whopping 170% to $88 million.

Company officials are projecting its sales will again more than double this year, rising to more than $210 million. Beyond Meat was well on its way to achieving those results in the first quarter, when its sales more than tripled from the same period a year earlier to $40 million. Helping boost its sales, the company not only revamped its burger this year, but broadened its lineup in 2017 to include simulated sausages. It’s also benefited from Brown’s insistence that grocery stores sell its products alongside real meat.

“Ethan’s stubborn drive to make sure the Beyond Burger was sold in the meat section of US supermarkets turned out to be transformative for the business,” said James Joaquin, a managing director of Obvious Ventures, in an email.

Like Bohlen, Obvious saw Beyond Meat’s potential early on. Through their Obvious Group company, Twitter founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone, invested in the startup in 2012. Williams’ subsequently launched Obvious Ventures made further investments in Beyond Meat.

What prompted Williams and Stone’s initial investment was the belief that factory farming of animals was unsustainable and that, as a result, people would reduce their consumption of meat, Joaquin said.

That thesis “still holds true today,” he said. “The founding team’s vision perfectly aligned with our … thesis: fund startups that combine profit and purpose to reimagine huge categories.”

JPMorgan estimates that Beyond Meat’s revenue could reach $5 billion in 15 years, with plant-based meat alternatives from Beyond Meat and other companies capturing a 10% share of the overall meat market.

The company faces a big challenge and increased competition

Still, for all the potential of the alternative meat industry and its business in particular, Beyond Meat faces an enormous challenge in meeting Wall Street’s sky-high expectations. And it’s not at all clear that it will be able to do it.

One of Beyond’s primary rivals is Impossible Foods, whose Impossible Burger is now served at Burger King and other chain restaurants.
Michael Thomas/Getty Images

While some consumers, particularly in more liberal, urban markets, have been cutting back on their meat and dairy consumption, the company could find a less receptive audience in other, more conservative parts of the country, said Euromonitor’s Warner. In rural or less affluent areas, many people see nothing wrong with eating beef or chicken and may be turned off by the idea of eating something that’s artificial, he said.

“They’re just not sold on it yet,” he said.

Another turn off for some consumers could be the price. In the supermarket, Beyond’s burgers cost more than— sometimes even twice as much as — regular ground beef patties.

Selection, too, could limit sales. For now, Beyond only offers patties, taco meat, packages of ground beef substitute, and its sausages. It used to offer simulated chicken strips, but doesn’t sell them any more. Consumers also won’t be able to find anything simulating a ribeye steak or stew meat, much less pork or lamb alternatives.

What’s more, Beyond Meat already faces significant and growing competition. Impossible Foods has raised $777 million, including a $300 financing round in May. Its burgers are on the menu at Burger King, the company plans to start offering its products in grocery stores later this year.

Food giant Nestlé announced last month that it will offer a plant-based burger starting this fall. Days later, Tyson Foods, another industry behemoth, announced it will start offering meatless chicken nuggets this summer and this fall will introduce burgers that include both meat and non-meat ingredients.

Beyond Meat’s stock fell following both announcements, indicating that even bullish investors recognize that such developments could limit its prospects.

Those kinds of considerations are what led to Abdikarimov’s sell rating.

“The market … underestimates the potential competition in the synthetic meat segment from large players,” he said. It also, he continued, “overestimates the scale of penetration of synthetic meat consumption in society.”

For his part, Bohlen thinks such concerns are overblown. The meat market is so large — and the potential market for alternative meat products likewise — that there’s more than enough room for multiple players to participate and do well, he said. And Brown and his team at Beyond Meat have shown that they are determined to keep improving their company and product, he said.

To him, the Beyond Meat’s stock price simply reflects its huge potential.

“I think people, for maybe the first time in public markets history, saw a company that was both deeply convicted and a market where the world was crying for change,” Bohlen said. “And it delivered that change in a way that continuously surprises.”

Got a tip about Beyond Meat or another startup? Contact this reporter via email at, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

  • Read more about startups and venture capital:
  • Here’s the pitch deck that convinced investors to pour $6 million into a startup trying to take on Slack and Asana despite entering the market years late
  • Lots of extremely successful founders in Silicon Valley cash out early. But WeWork’s CEO pocketing $700 million is still far from normal.
  • This startup just got $17 million to take on Peloton. Here’s why its founder thinks there’s a big opportunity in the home fitness market.
  • Intel invests as much as $500 million in startups each year. Here’s what it’s looking for in new investments, according to one of its top VCs.

Read The Complete #NewsArticle Here at the Original Publishers Website

Trump said India asked him to help mediate the Kashmir conflict with Pakistan. India quickly said that’s not true.

  • The Indian government on Monday rejected President Donald Trump’s claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the president if he would like to help mediate a historic dispute with Pakistan.
  • During a meeting with Pakistan’s prime minister in Washington, Trump said Modi had asked him if he’d help resolve the Kashmir conflict.
  • Shortly thereafter, a spokesperson for the Indian government said “no such request has been made” by Modi.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

India’s government on Monday rejected a claim from President Donald Trump almost as soon as he made it.

While meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the White House, Trump said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently asked him if he would step in and work as mediator in resolving the Kashmir conflict.

“I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago,” Trump said. “He actually said, ‘Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said, ‘Where?’ He said, ‘Kashmir.’ Because this has been going on for many, many years.”

Not long after, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that “no such request has been made” by Modi to Trump.

“We have seen @POTUS’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM @narendramodi to US President,” Kumar said.

Read more: If India and Pakistan have a ‘limited’ nuclear war, scientists say it could wreck Earth’s climate and trigger global famine

Kumar added, “It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.

Kashmir, which is home to 18 million people, is one of the most disputed territories in the world and has been fought over by India and Pakistan since 1947. The region has been partitioned, with India controlling roughly 45% of it and Pakistan controls 35%. China also seized portions of the territory via a war with India in 1962, and controls roughly 20% of the region.

The ongoing dispute over Kashmir continues to lead to violent and deadly clashes, which earlier this year raised concerns that India and Pakistan — two nuclear powers — were headed toward war.

Read The Complete #NewsArticle Here at the Original Publishers Website

Bitcoin Price One Mere Correction Away from Run Toward $14,000

The cryptocurrency market is quite mundane following an action-less weekend session. Bitcoin price briefly stepped above $11,000 but immediately corrected towards the key support at $10,500. Investors do not mind the calmness across the market as the last couple of weeks have been nothing but a rollercoaster ride.

As reported by CCN bitcoin price within the two weeks from July 10 shed 18 percent from levels slightly above $13,000 to the current market value at $10,605. Besides, Bitcoin dived to its lowest levels in July almost breaching the $9,000 level. A low formed at $9,080 allowed for a bounce-back above $10,000.

bitcoin, bitcoin price
Bitcoin sustains a shallow uptrend from the support at $9,000: CoinMarketCap.

As mentioned above, bitcoin price still lacks the capacity to sustain growth above $11,000. However, looking at the hourly chart for BTC/USD trading pair, a clear upward trend continued to form from the support at $9,000. The immediate upside is limited by the 50 Simple Moving Average (SMA) 1-hour currently at $10,645.

The slide from yesterday’s high at $11,096 found balance at a confluence formed by the 100 SMA 1-h and the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level taken between the last swing high of $11,096 to a swing low of $9,080.

Bitcoin price technical picture

At the time of writing, a weak bullish momentum is building above $10,600. A correction above the mentioned 50 SMA will face more hurdles around $10,700 – $10,800. Trading above these levels could relaunch bitcoin price above $11,000.

In addition to that, there is a connecting bullish trend line currently establishing support close to $10,450. If a break occurs under this trendline, expect the move to open the way for declines heading towards $10,000 in the coming sessions.

Bitcoin, bitcoin price
Bitcoin price struggling with range resistance between $10,700 and $10,800. | Source: Tradingview

The technical chart shows that bitcoin will continue to struggle with the resistance at $10,800. The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) has zero divergences after sliding from levels around +236. While the Relative Strength Index (RSI) has recovered from levels below 40, the movement towards the overbought is limited with the signal line ranging around 50.

According to Josh Rager, a renowned cryptocurrency trader bitcoin closed the week neutrally with no sudden movements and between key primary support and resistance levels. He further predicts that there will be some fireworks later this week.

$BTC (mobile view)

Weekly/daily close was neutral

Closed in the range between primary support/resistance levels

But volatility expected to happen this week, BBands starting to pinch on 4 hour

Hopefully we get some live action on the charts to start the week 🎆

— Josh Rager 📈 (@Josh_Rager) July 22, 2019

Bitcoin price will range between $10,400 and $10,800 in the coming sessions according to the technical picture. However, we must consider that if a breakout fails to occur above $10,800, there will be a breakdown heading to $10,000 due to buyers’ exhaustion and demoralization. Importantly, the correction to $10,000 will create fresh demand for bitcoin, in turn, giving it a push above $11,000 and beyond.

Click here for a real-time bitcoin price chart.

Read The Complete #NewsArticle Here at the Original Publishers Website

Trump reportedly ‘acted alone’ in racist ‘go back’ tweet attack, and some staffers say they think he crossed the line

  • President Donald Trump “acted alone” when he sent racist tweets suggesting four Democratic representatives should “go back” to their “broken and crime-infested countries,” according to the Washington Post.
  • The Post cited 26 lawmakers and White House insiders, detailing how Trump’s inner circle, including senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, felt he had crossed a line.
  • The tweets set off a week of public swipes over the tweets, as Democrats offered public condemnation and Trump supporters seized on the racist rhetoric.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump acted alone and impulsively in issuing racist tweets about four progressive freshman congresswomen, according to The Washington Post.

The report says members of the president’s inner circle, including senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, felt he had crossed a line with the tweets that set off fury from both Republican allies and his political opponents.

The Post cited “26 White House aides, advisers, lawmakers and others involved in the response” who described the White House and Republicans as taken by surprise by the tweets.

Trump tweeted on July 14 that Democratic representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar should “go back” to their “broken and crime-infested countries,” though three out of four of them were born in the US, and all four are US citizens and elected representatives.

Read more: Timeline of the chaotic series of events surrounding Trump’s racist tweets attacking ‘the Squad’

Republicans largely ignored the tweets before offering soft condemnation as the White House and Trump’s campaign sought damage control to insulate “key supporters,” according to the Post. Democrats, including lawmakers and 2020 contenders, hit back with a relatively united front offering flat condemnation of the racist rhetoric.

Trump rejected the blowback against the tweets two days later, saying he doesn’t have a ” racist bone” in his body. Ocasio-Cortez hit back in a tweet that said, “You’re right, Mr. President — you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head, and a racist heart in your chest.”

The tweets resurfaced at a North Carolina Trump rally later in the week when supporters chanted “Send her back.”

Trump initially disavowed the chants, stating he wasn’t “happy” about them and falsely claimed he attempted to stop the chants, despite video evidence showing that isn’t the case. The next day, Trump reversed his position, saying they are “incredible people… those are incredible patriots.”

Read The Complete #NewsArticle Here at the Original Publishers Website

Snapchat still has one key advantage over Instagram, but that could soon change

  • Snapchat still has a key advantage over Instagram: Person-to-person messaging.
  • A new study from investment bank Cowen shows a far greater proportion of users utilize Snapchat for direct communications than they do on its Facebook-owned rival.
  • But as Facebook emphasises a “pivot to privacy” and leans into messaging, Snapchat could lose one of its few key differentiators.
  • Instagram’s aggressive expansion has kneecapped Snapchat’s growth over the past few years, but the ephemeral photo-sharing app still holds one indisputable advantage over its Facebook-owned competitor: Messaging.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

New data released by financial services firm Cowen ahead of Snapchat parent company Snap’s Q2 earnings report on Tuesday highlights how users continue to flock to Snapchat for direct, person-to-person messaging in a way that Instagram has thus far failed to replicate.

But, as Facebook leans hard into private messaging as part of a purported “pivot to privacy,” that could soon change.

Cowen conducts a regular survey of American consumer internet users to track trends on app and web usage, and one question asked the roughly 2,500 respondents about their main “use-cases” for various major apps — including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Snapchat’s highest use-case was viewing photos, with 64% of respondents — but that’s dwarfed by Instagram, where a full 78% of respondents selected that option. Where Snapchat has the edge over Instagram, however, is “sharing content one to one”: 46% of users selected that as a primary use case, versus just 33% on Instagram.


The data point is significant because it illustrates that despite Instagram’s runaway success in cloning Snapchat’s Stories feature ( and drastically slowing Snapchat’s growth in the process), there remain core parts of Snapchat’s product that Instagram has failed to successfully replicate.

This may yet change, however. Facebook has been battered by two years of scandals, and is now promising a “pivot to privacy,” that notably will involve making its various messaging apps interoperable (allowing users on Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram be able to message one another without leaving their respective apps) while adding end-to-end encryption to protect communications.

This renewed focus on messaging may well boost adoption of Instagram DMs as a primary use-case for the photo-sharing app — and erode one of Snapchat’s key defining features in the process. Cowen’s data also illustrates how Instagrams adoption of the Stories feature actively eroded usage of it on Snapchat in the process; a similar trend could occur in messaging in the months ahead.


Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

Read more:

  • Mark Zuckerberg’s personal security chief accused of sexual harassment and making racist remarks about Priscilla Chan by 2 former staffers
  • Facebook says it ‘unintentionally uploaded’ 1.5 million people’s email contacts without their consent
  • Years of Mark Zuckerberg’s old Facebook posts have vanished. The company says it ‘mistakenly deleted’ them.
  • Car-bomb fears and stolen prototypes: Inside Facebook’s efforts to protect its 80,000 workers around the globe

Get the latest Snap stock price here.

Read The Complete #NewsArticle Here at the Original Publishers Website

%d bloggers like this: