Here's why the electric-car maker could see a substantial acceleration in its growth rate this year.
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Niu Technologies First Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call. Now, I will turn the call over to Mr. Jason Yang, Investor Relations Manager of Niu Technologies. Hello everyone, welcome to today's conference call to discuss Niu Technologies' results for the first quarter 2021.
Brentwood Associates ("Brentwood"), a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, announced the successful completion of Brentwood Associates Opportunities Fund, L.P. The fund is comprised of $190 million in capital commitments, which completed the purchase of selected legacy assets from two of Brentwood’s prior funds and provided liquidity to its investors.
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JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will “continue to strike terror targets” in the Gaza Strip after a week of fighting with Palestinian militants. In an address after meeting with top defense officials, Netanyahu said Monday that Israel will “continue to operate as long as necessary in order to return calm and security to all Israeli citizens.” The fighting broke out May 10, when Hamas fired long-range rockets at Jerusalem after weeks of clashes in the holy city between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police. The protests were focused on the heavy-handed policing of a flashpoint sacred site during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers. ___ DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Qatar has condemned the Israeli bombing of the Qatari Red Crescent building in the Gaza Strip, which it said resulted in deaths and injuries. Qatar said Monday the operation also damaged parts of The Hamad Bin Khalifa Hospital for Prosthetics and Rehabilitation, as did the previous aerial bombing Saturday of the tower that housed the offices of the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news channel. The mixed-use office and residential high-rise was also home to The Associated Press' offices in Gaza. Qatar said the targeting of humanitarian and media institutions is a flagrant violation of international law. The Foreign Ministry said “Qatar affirms it will spare no effort in supporting the just Palestinian cause and its brothers in Palestine.” The energy-rich Gulf country has been providing $20 million to Gaza monthly since 2018. ___ AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan’s interior minister says Israel has handed over two Jordanian citizens who infiltrated its border over the past days. Mazen Farayah didn't elaborate while speaking to parliament Monday. The foreign ministry said authorities are looking into reports that other Jordanian citizens have crossed into Israel in Monday without confirming whether it indeed happened. Jordan has been witnessing protests against Israel over fighting that broke out last week between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group. On Monday, all parliament members in Jordan called on the government to evict Israel’s ambassador to Jordan and recall Jordan’s ambassador to Israel. The legislators also called for abolishing the peace accord that Jordan and Israel signed in 1994. The calls by the legislators aren't binding. ___ UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations says over 38,000 Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes and more than 2,500 people have been made homeless because their houses were destroyed. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday those displaced have sought protection in 48 schools run by UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian Refugees. Dujarric said 41 education facilities have been damaged according to U.N. staff on the ground. “The power supply across Gaza has been reduced to six to eight hours per day, on average, with a number of feeder lines not functioning,” he said. “That, in turn, disrupts the provision of health care and other basic services, including water, hygiene and sanitation.” He said the World Food Program has started providing emergency assistance for more than 51,000 people in north Gaza. ___ CAIRO — An Egyptian health official says three Palestinian wounded arrived Monday at a hospital in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula for treatment. The official says ambulances have transferred the three, including a child, from the Raffah crossing point to the al-Arish public hospital. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to brief media. They were the first wounded to cross into Egypt from Gaza since the fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the territory started May 10 following weeks of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police in Jerusalem. Egypt, which is mediating a cease-fire, has also sent trucks carrying humanitarian aid and medical supplies to Gaza. — By Samy Magdy ___ PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron says he will have talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the coming days about the airstrike that destroyed a Gaza building that housed The Associated Press and other media outlets. Macron said at a news conference in Paris that “the safety of journalists ... and their protection in times of conflict is a crucial responsibility.” He said France has requested that Israel clarify the circumstances and objectives of the airstrike. Macron called for a cease-fire “as soon as possible,” and said France is supporting Egypt’s mediation in the conflict as key to avoiding more violence. He said he will discuss with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, whom he already met on Monday in Paris, and Jordanian King Abdullah II in the coming days to make concrete proposals. ___ ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed U.S President Joe Biden, accusing him of “writing history with his bloody hands” following reports of a multi-million dollar weapons sale to Israel by his administration. Speaking after a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Erdogan also said Jerusalem should be administered by an international commission made up of Jewish, Christian and Muslim representatives. Erdogan, who has been conducting telephone diplomacy to try and end the violence, said he had raised the issue during a call with Pope Francis. “In today’s circumstances, the administration of Jerusalem by a commission made up of representatives of the three religions will be the most accurate and consistent way,” he said. Erdogan also took aim at Austria for flying the Israeli flag from a government building, suggesting that Vienna was trying to make Muslims “pay the price of their own genocide against the Jews.” “Now, unfortunately, you (Biden) are writing history with your bloody hands with this event (in which) Gaza is being attacked with seriously disproportionate force causing the martyrdom of thousands of people,” Erdogan said. “You have forced us to say this.” Erdogan was referring to reports that the Biden administration had approved a $735 million weapons sale to Israel. ___ UNITED NATIONS — The United States has again blocked a proposed U.N. Security Council statement calling for an end to “the crisis related to Gaza” and the protection of civilians, especially children. Council diplomats said there was a 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT) deadline Monday for countries to comment on the statement and Washignton objected to it. At a high-level emergency council meeting on Sunday, there were near unanimous calls for an end to the week-long conflict. The proposed council press statement by China, Norway and Tunisia, obtained by The Associated Press, didn't name Israel or Gaza’s Hamas rulers, instead expressing “grave concern” at the Gaza crisis and the loss of civilian lives and casualties. The U.S. says it's "engaging in intense diplomatic efforts at the highest levels to try to bring an end to this conflict.” ___ BEIRUT — The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group's leader has made a rare public appearance in Beirut where he vowed that his group will keep fighting Israel, which he described as “weaker than a spider’s web.” Ziad Nakhaleh told hundreds of supporters during a rally organized by Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group Monday evening that Israel is “targeting civilians and avoiding direct confrontation with holy warriors.” The group’s military wing, the Quds Brigades, along with the military wing of Hamas have fired hundreds of rockets and missiles toward Israeli towns and cities since the latest round of fighting began last Monday. Nakhaleh, who thanked Iran for its help, said the latest round of fighting “is a new page in defending Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque.” ___ SANAA, Yemen — Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets in the rebel-held capital, Sanaa on Monday to denounce Israeli attacks on Gaza. Protesters carried Palestinian flags and banners calling for the boycott of Israeli and American goods. They also chanted: “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” Many protesters were seen carrying AK-47 assault rifles. The protests are called by Houthi rebels, who are allied with Hamas. Both groups have close ties with Iran, the archenemy of Israel. ___ GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinian witnesses say at least two people were killed in an Israeli airstrike at the upper floor of an apartment building in Gaza City. The witnesses say the bodies of man and a girl were brought to the Shifa hospital in the city. There was no immediate comment from the Health Ministry. The latest airstrike occurred Monday in the same neighborhood at Wahda street where a series of conservative air raids had flattened three buildings and killed as many as 42 Palestinians early Sunday. Meanwhile, a fresh airstrike has flattened a five-story commercial building housing the headquarters of the Hamas-run religious affairs ministry. The armed wing of Hamas said Israel has resumed hitting houses Monday afternoon and said it would fire rockets toward Israel’s heartland in retaliation. ___ GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hamas’ Interior Ministry has ordered journalists and media production companies in Gaza to refrain from offering their services to two Saudi-owned satellite channels. In a message sent to journalists’ mobiles, a ministry official stressed offering any service to the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV and its news branch Al-Hadath are prohibited “by liability.” Hamas has closed the Gaza offices of the channel during the 2014 war after accusing it of broadcasting “false news” meant to distort the Islamic militant group. ___ ATHENS, Greece — Greece says its foreign minister will head to Israel and the Palestinian territories on Tuesday for talks with his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts. Nikos Dendias is to meet with Gabi Ashkenazi and Riad al-Maliki before heading later the same day to Jordan for talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, the foreign ministry announced Monday. The minister will travel to Egypt on Thursday for a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukri. In the past Greece, which has long had good relations with both Israel and the Palestinians, has attempted to play a mediating role in their conflicts. ___ BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the current escalation in the Mideast conflict and emphasized Germany’s solidarity with Israel and the country’s right to self-defense. She condemned the continued rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli and voiced her hope for a swift end to the fighting in light of the loss of civilian life on both sides. Merkel’s office said she also stressed that the government will “continue to act decisively against protests in Germany at which hatred and antisemitism is spread.” One of the leading contenders to succeed Merkel in Germany’s national election this fall, Annalena Baerbock of the center-left Greens, likewise condemned the Hamas rocket attacks and backed Israel’s right to self-defense. She called for Germany and the European Union to support efforts by U.S. President Joe Biden to mediate between the warring parties. Asked about Israel’s destruction of a high-rise building in Gaza used by international media, including AP, Baerbock said the principles of international humanitarian law, which bans attacks on civilians — apply in the conflict. Israel said the airstrike targeted Hamas, which it claimed was present in the building, but didn’t offer proof. ___ JERUSALEM — An Israeli man hurt in violent unrest by Arab citizens in central Israel last week has died of his injuries, his family says. Police confirmed that Yigal Yehoshua, 56, was attacked and seriously injured by rioters in Lod on Monday, has died. An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Lod saw some of the worst Jewish and Arab violent unrest that wracked Israeli cities last week. Police said that a total of 190 people were injured in the violence, 10 of them seriously. Yehoshua was the second confirmed death. Musa Hassuna was shot and killed May 11 during the first night of unrest in Lod. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said “operations are continuing across the county to prevent and respond to incidents” with additional reinforcements in Lod. — This item has been corrected to show that Yigal Yehoshua was the second confirmed death in the violence, not the first. ___ PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi stressed the “absolute need” to cease hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, the French presidency said. During a working meeting in Paris on Monday, both leaders shared “strong concerns” about the escalation of violence in the Middle East and deplored the numerous civilian victims, the statement said. Macron reaffirmed France’s support to Egypt’s mediation in the conflict. Both leaders agreed to continue to coordinate their actions in favor of a “rapid cease-fire” and prevent a spreading of the conflict in the region, according to the French presidency. ___ BRUSSELS — The European Union will redouble its efforts to end the upsurge in violence between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants, and seek progress during a special meeting of its foreign ministers Tuesday, the bloc said. The EU also called the weekend destruction of a building housing major international media “extremely worrying” and said safe working conditions for journalists were essential. The EU has never had the impact Washington can wield in the region and no immediate breakthrough was expected from Tuesday’s meeting. Ever since the outbreak of violence last week, the EU has been calling for restraint and condemned attacks that hit civilian populations. ___ LONDON — The British government says Israel must ensure that its military activities against Hamas are “proportionate,” and it is deeply concerned by the destruction of media offices and other civilian targets in Gaza. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Max Blain, said Britain is “in contact with our U.S and U.N. counterparts and urgently seeking more information from the Israeli government” on Saturday’s attack, which destroyed a high-rise building housing the offices of The Associated Press and other media organizations. “We are deeply concerned by U.N. reports that 23 schools and 500 homes, as well as medical facilities and media offices, have been destroyed or damaged in Gaza,” Blain said. He added that “Israel must make every effort to avoid civilian casualties and military activity must be proportionate.” Blain also said the U.K. was concerned about Hamas using civilian areas as cover. Israel says the media building was also being used by Hamas, though it has not offered evidence. ___ CAIRO — Egypt’s chief diplomat has warned against expanding the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, urging all parties to strike a cease-fire. Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry said in televised comments that Egypt is working with international partners to reach a truce and embark on political negations aiming at achieving a “permanent, comprehensive and just” solution to the Palestinian cause. He said Egypt hopes the U.S. administration will engage in such an effort to relaunch the political process in order to avert war and destruction in the region. He called for Israel’s government to reduce tensions in Jerusalem and stop efforts by extremist settlers to change the nature of the city. ___ BERLIN — German officials have condemned the ongoing rocket fire by Hamas on Israel and demanded that the militant group immediately end those attacks. “This is terror, which is intended to kill people indiscriminately,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reportes in Berlin. “The German government stands by Israel and its right to protect its population and defend itself.” Seibert added that it was “tragic that so many human lives need to be lamented on both sides” but accused Hamas of “holding the Palestinian population in Gaza hostage” by launching its rockets from densely populated civilian areas. Asked about the destruction of a Gaza building housing several media outlets, including AP, by Israel over the weekend, Seibert said it was important that journalists should be able to report from war zones, but again cited Israel’s right to self-defense. Israel has claimed the building was also used by Hamas, though it has not offered evidence. ___ DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The ambassador of the Czech Republic to Kuwait is apologizing over an image posted online of him draped in the Israeli flag, amid anger in the small, oil-rich nation over the death of Palestinians. Martin Dvorak wrote an open letter posted on the embassy’s Twitter account on Monday after Kuwaitis posted angry messages to his Instagram account. Dvorak wrote that his post inspired “understandable outrage and indignation among many people with regards to the current, deeply dramatic situation in the Gaza Strip.” He added: “It was absolutely not my intention to express any manner of disrespect towards the innocent Palestinian victims and casualties whose loss we are currently witnessing.” The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry summoned Dvorak on Monday over the post to express “its categorical rejection and strong disapproval.” While some Gulf Arab nations now recognize Israel, Kuwait has not done so in a decades-long support of the Palestinians’ efforts to have an independent state. ___ MOSCOW — Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia is “extremely concerned” about Israel's destruction of a building in Gaza City that housed the AP’s longtime Gaza bureau and offices of other media organizations. “We are extremely concerned about the growing number of human casualties,” Peskov added during a conference call with reporters. Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t had any contacts with “neither the Israeli, nor the Palestinian side” in recent days, but such contacts “can be organized, if necessary. The Kremlin spokesman added that “very energetic efforts are now being made both through the Quartet (of Middle East mediators, which comprises the U.N., the U.S., the European Union and Russia), and various countries are now in constant contact through bilateral channels with both the Israelis and the Palestinians in order to stop the exchange of strikes.” ___ ROME — The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis met with the Iranian foreign minister and spoke by telephone with the Turkish president amid the spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians. The Vatican said Francis spoke by phone around 9 a.m. Monday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Later, he met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was in Rome on a previously announced visit. The Vatican provided no comment on the content of the talks. On Sunday, Francis appealed for calm and international help to open a path of dialogue. Speaking during his Sunday blessing, Francis said the deaths of children in the latest surge of violence was a “sign that they don’t want to build the future but want to destroy it.” ___ ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked Pope Francis to support sanctions against Israel, saying Palestinians will continue to be “massacred” as long as the international community does not punish Israel. During a telephone telephone call Monday with the pope, Erdogan also said that “continued messages and reactions” from Francis in support of Palestinians would be of great importance for the “mobilization of the Christian world and of the international community,” according to a statement from the Turkish presidential communications directorate. During their conversation, Erdogan also renewed a call for the international community to take concrete steps to show Israel the “dissuasive reaction and lesson it deserves,” according to the statement. The Turkish leader has been engaged in a telephone diplomacy bid to end Israel’s use of force. ___ GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza’s mayor says Israeli airstrikes Monday on the Gaza Strip have caused extensive damage to roads and other infrastructure, while the Israeli military says they destroyed 15 kilometers (nine miles) of militant tunnels and the homes of nine alleged Hamas commanders. “If the aggression continues we expect conditions to become worse,” mayor Yahya Sarraj told Al-Jazeera TV. The U.N. has warned that the territory’s sole power station is at risk of running out of fuel, and Sarraj said Gaza was also low on spare parts. Gaza already experiences daily power outages for between eight and 12 hours and tap water is undrinkable. Mohammed Thabet, a spokesman for the the territory’s electricity distribution company, said it has fuel to supply Gaza with electricity for two or three days. Airstrikes have damaged supply lines and the company’s staff cannot reach areas that were hit because of continued Israeli shelling, he added. The war broke out last Monday, when the Hamas militant group fired long-range rockets at Jerusalem after weeks of clashes in the holy city between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police. The protests were focused on the heavy-handed policing of a flashpoint sacred site during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers. Since then, the Israeli military has launched hundreds of airstrikes that it says are targeting Hamas’ militant infrastructure. Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired more than 3,100 rockets into Israel. At least 188 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes and 1,230 people wounded. Eight people in Israel have been killed in rocket attacks from Gaza. ___ JERUSALEM — The Israeli military says its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip have destroyed 15 kilometers (nine miles) of militant tunnels and the homes of nine alleged Hamas commanders. Residents of Gaza awakened early Monday by the overnight barrage described it as the heaviest since the war began a week ago, and even more powerful than a wave of airstrikes in Gaza City the day before that left 42 dead and flattened three buildings. There was no immediate word Monday on the casualties from the latest strikes. A three-story building in Gaza City was heavily damaged, but residents said the military warned them 10 minutes before the strike and everyone cleared out. They said many of the airstrikes hit nearby farmland. The Associated Press
Rainie delivers bad news.
Investors focused on the negatives with the company's first-quarter results more than the positives.
New Delhi [India], May 18 (ANI): Cyclone Tauktae's landfall process near East-northeast of Diu will continue for the next 2 hours, as per the India Meteorological Department on late Monday evening.
Patna (Bihar) [India], May 18 (ANI): Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Monday slammed the opposition parties over their targeting the government on COVID-19 doses and said parties like Congress and RJD kept mocking or raising questions about quality of Indian vaccines which led to vaccination not taking place at a fast pace in rural areas.
TORONTO — Hayley Wickenheiser and Danielle Goyette are teammates again in the Toronto Maple Leafs player development department.The Maple Leafs promoted Wickenheiser to senior director of player development and appointed Goyette director of player development for both the Leafs and the AHL's Marlies, the club said Monday.The Canadian women's hockey team alumni won a pair of Olympic gold medals and six world championships together.Wickenheiser, who recently received her medical doctor's licence and will start a residency in a Toronto hospital, joined the Leafs in 2018 as assistant director of player development."It goes without saying she's made significant contributions to the sport, both as a player and the now in her role that she's had with our team over the last few years" Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said Monday."I worked with her a lot in my time with the Marlies when she was working in player development. She really helped bring a lot to the player development program, and I learned a lot from having conversations with her. "So to have her take a significant step into a leadership position now within the player development program is a huge win for our organization."Goyette resigned as head coach of the University of Calgary Dinos women's team Monday after 14 seasons there.Wickenheiser was a Dino and played for Goyette from 2010 to 2015. Goyette was also assistant coach of the Canadian Olympic team that won gold with Wickenheiser in 2014.Both women are inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame. "Goyette and I have worked together in so many capacities, on the ice as teammates, on the bench when she coached me at U of C, in various business projects, and now this," Wickenheiser told The Canadian Press in a text."There is an innate trust, ebb and flow of ideas and information and always a little healthy debate. It’s great to work alongside someone like that within an organization like the Maple Leafs that values all of the above." Wickenheiser, a 42-year-old from Shaunavon, Sask., is the all-time leader in Canadian women's hockey team scoring with 168 goals and 211 assists in 276 games.Goyette ranks fourth 15 years after her retirement with 114 goals and 105 assists in 172 games.The Leafs also promoted Will Sibley to director of development operations and analysis, while Darryl Belfry will oversee technical development of the club's players and staff.Goyette won Olympic gold in 2002 and 2006 and a total of eight world championship gold with the national women's team. She was Canada's flagbearer in the 2006 Winter Olympics."I don't know Danielle Goyette other than to say she's very much like Hayley in terms of her accomplishments on the ice as a player, as a member of the national team, and has been coaching the last number of years and has had success," Keefe said. "I know she was right at the top of Hayley's list to bring in. If it's good with Hayley, it's good with me."Goyette, a 53-year-old from Saint-Nazaire, Que., took over as head coach of the Dinos after retiring as a player in 2007."Danielle brings 14 years of running a very successful, well organized program," Wickenheiser said. "Developing players is what she has done on a daily basis. She lives and breathes hockey and her experience with coaching, skills and organizing a program, makes a great fit for the job. "I couldn't be more excited to be working with her again."The Dinos won a national university championship in 2012 and had a record of 213-197 with Goyette."I feel fortunate to have had a chance to make a difference for so many young hockey players," Goyette said in a statement released by the university."I have grown a lot as a person and as a coach, and I had the chance to work with so many great people.“On the other hand, what an honour to have a chance to work for one of the best sports organizations in the world. "This opportunity was too good to pass up. It's a new challenge and I’m looking forward to working with the Maple Leafs and the Marlies."— Donna Spencer in Calgary and Joshua Clipperton in Toronto contributed to this story.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T said Monday it will combine its massive WarnerMedia media assets, which includes HBO and CNN, with Discovery Inc. to create a new media heavyweight in a $43 billion deal. The deal, which isn't slated to close until next year, will create new publicly traded company that will enter a streaming arena that has been flooded in the past two years with new players including those owned by AT&T and Discovery, which operate HBO Max and Discovery+, respectively. Bigger and more established services, such as Netflix, Disney, and Amazon, remain the ones to beat. Netflix has more than 200 million subscribers globally, and Disney has more than 100 million. It is a major directional shift for AT&T, which squared off with the Justice Department less than three years ago in an antitrust fight when it wanted to acquire Time Warner Inc. for more than $80 billion. It also marks the second time this year AT&T is divesting a business not directly related to its core broadband and wireless business. In February, the company spun off DirecTV for a fraction of the $48.5 billion it paid for the satellite TV service in 2015. The deal still needs approval from Discovery shareholders and regulators before it can be finalized. AT&T stockholders don’t need to vote on the transaction. Here's a look at how the combination is likely to affect viewers, investors, employees and competitors. VIEWERS Nothing is likely to change for HBO Max and Discovery+ subscribers for now. AT&T executives said on a call with investors that their plans for HBO Max remain in place. That includes a rumored $10-a-month ad-supported version of the service, expected to be announced this week, and a June rollout in Latin America and the Caribbean. Going forward, the services could be combined in a number of ways. They could become part of a bundle, as Disney has done with its separate services Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. They could remain separate, or combined into one mega service. Geography will be a factor as well. Discovery CEO David Zaslav in a call with investors that the company will figure out what to do in each market “and we’ll probably experiment in a lot of markets.” Jeff Wlodarczak, principal analyst at Pivotal Research Group, said he believes a combination of both services is a likely outcome, but it won't happen for a couple of years. “You do not want to potentially disenfranchise the standalone Discovery + customers and to be fair, the average HBO Max customer and Discovery + subscriber today is probably quite different," he said, since Discovery+ focuses on reality programs and HBO Max has more scripted shows. Pricing is also a big question mark. HBO Max costs $15 a month while Discovery+ is $5 a month, or $7 without ads. INVESTORS If the deal goes through, AT&T shareholders would own 71% of the new company, and shareholders of Discovery would own 29%. AT&T, long known for a hefty dividend, said it plans to “reset" the dividend after the deal goes through. It will lower the dividend payout ratio, which is the percent of net income paid to shareholders in dividends, from about 60% to around 40%. That means less of an immediate payout to shareholders, said Neil Begley, senior vice president at Moody's Investors Service. But it will free up money for AT&T to invest in 5G and other broadband initiatives, which will lead to better performance in the long run. “If you're there for the income (from dividends) you're probably not thrilled," he said. “But over the longer term it's better for shareholders." EMPLOYEES AT&T and Discovery said the combination will save $3 billion annually to invest in content and its streaming service. That likely means layoffs as the departments combine and restructure. “Unquestionably there’s going to be some layoffs,” said CFRA analyst Tuna Amobi. Since being acquired by AT&T, WarnerMedia has already been through two rounds of layoffs, including a 5% to 7% cut in November, about 1,000 jobs. On the other hand, after being run by a company with little entertainment experience, being under the helm of an established media company could be a welcome change for WarnerMedia employees, Moody's analyst Begley said. “They will feel more of the traditional media culture back again," he said. COMPETITORS Netflix still dominates the streaming service sector, being the most established player with more than 200 million subscribers globally. Amazon and Disney+ round out the top three. The WarnerMedia and Discovery combination could make it a “big 4,'" of general entertainment streamers, said Tim Hanlon, CEO of consulting firm The Vertere Group. “The belief is this combination is a legitimate possibility for these two streaming services to rise up into the top ‘must-have' tier," he said. That will probably lead to more consolidation with the smaller players remaining, including NBCUniversal's Peacock, ViacomCBS' Paramount+ and others. There are about 150 to 200 niche streaming services in the U.S. alone, Hanlon said. “I don’t think we're done seeing deals yet, there's plenty more consolidation in the streaming space to come," Hanlon said. Mae Anderson, The Associated Press
Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to 26 classes of mortgage pass-through certificates from Morgan Stanley Residential Mortgage Loan Trust 2021-2 (MSRM 2021-2). MSRM 2021-2 comprises 547 residential mortgages with an aggregate principal balance of $500.2 million as of the May 1, 2021 cut-off date. The underlying collateral includes prime jumbo non-conforming (96.3%) and conforming (3.7%) loans, all of which have been designated as Qualified Mortgages (QM).
Danjuma provided the finish to a flowing move to score the only goal of the play-off semi-final first leg.
If Charlotte Hornets lose Tuesday, their season ends on a 6-game losing streak
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The day after Marco Andretti put his car on the pole for the Indianapolis 500 — 51 years after his grandfather scored the only Andretti win in the only race that matters to the iconic family — the third-generation racer dismissed any idea of a curse at the historic track. Marco had suffered his own heartbreak in his Indy 500 debut, a crushing 2006 loss when the rookie was passed just 100 yards from the finish line. Michael Andretti had heard rumors through the grapevine.
The podcaster has just been named Erno Laszlo's global wellness adviser.