Finance Debt – Biofera Wed, 15 Sep 2021 11:50:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Finance Debt – Biofera 32 32 BlueLinx Announces First Quarter 2021 Results Fri, 07 May 2021 16:10:16 +0000

Net Sales Exceed $1 billion, Highest Q1 Since 2006
Record Net Income of $62 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $107 million
More than $100 million decrease in Total Outstanding Bank Debt year over year

MARIETTA, Ga., May 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BlueLinx Holdings Inc. (NYSE:BXC), a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of building products, today reported financial results for the three months ended April 3, 2021.

First Quarter 2021 Results
(all comparisons versus the prior-year period unless otherwise noted)

  • Net sales increased $363 million, or 55%, to $1.0 billion
  • Gross margin increased 350 basis points to 17.6%   
  • Net income of $62 million, an increase of $63 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $107 million, improved by $87 million
  • Excess availability and cash on hand increased to $238 million
  • Term Loan fully repaid

“The BlueLinx team has continued to perform at a high level during a period of continued strength in residential construction and home renovation, leading to significant year-over-year growth in revenue and profitability,” said Mitch Lewis, President and CEO. “We generated more than $1 billion in revenue and $107 million in Adjusted EBITDA during the first quarter, providing the Company a strong platform to drive continued growth and efficiency across our business.”

“The ongoing supply-demand imbalances for many of our products contributed to further price escalations during the first quarter, a trend that is continuing in the second quarter,” stated Lewis. “We are a beneficiary of these price escalations, which are a key near-term driver of improved margin realization and profitability, while remaining focused on preemptive actions to help mitigate the impact of downside commodity price risk.”

“Our business transformation continued during the first quarter, supported by a significant increase in gross profit across both product categories,” stated Kelly Janzen, Chief Financial Officer. “Since the end of the first quarter 2020, we have reduced our total outstanding bank debt by over $100 million. Late in the quarter, we voluntarily repaid the approximately $16 million of remaining outstanding principal under our term loan, an action which further simplifies our capital structure and reduces cash interest expense. We ended the first quarter with excess availability of $238 million under our revolving credit facility, an increase of $141 million versus the prior-year period, and a net leverage ratio of 2.5x, inclusive of finance lease obligations.”

“Given the significant increase in net sales, accounts receivable grew by more than $125 million in the first quarter, when compared to the fourth quarter 2020,” continued Janzen. “As we look to the second half of the current year, we anticipate that the conversion of our accounts receivable will result in significant growth in cash flow.”

Financial Performance

The Company reported net sales of $1.0 billion in the first quarter, compared to $662 million in the prior year period, and gross profit of $180 million, compared to $93 million in the prior year period. First quarter net sales for specialty products, which includes products such as engineered wood, cedar, moulding, siding, metal products and insulation, accounted for $563 million of net sales in the period, up from $421 million in the prior year period. The $142 million improvement year over year was primarily a result of price escalations. The specialty gross margin was 19.3% which increased 290 basis points compared to the first quarter of 2020. Net sales of structural products, which includes products such as lumber, plywood, oriented strand board, rebar, and remesh, continued to benefit from wood-based commodity price inflation and were $462 million, an increase of $222 million compared to last year. The impact of wood-based commodity price inflation is estimated to approximate the full amount of the increase in net sales. Structural product gross margin increased by 540 basis points year over year to 15.5% for the first quarter.

The Company reported net income of $62 million in the first quarter, or $6.28 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $0.8 million, or $(0.08) per diluted share, in the prior-year period. First quarter 2021 net income was reduced by approximately $5 million from non-recurring items, including a $6 million write-off of debt issuance costs, that was included in interest expense, associated with the term loan payoff, offset by a $1 million gain on sales of property, and first quarter 2020 net income was reduced by approximately $4 million of integration, real estate financing, and restructuring expenses. Excluding the impact of these non-recurring items, net income increased by $64 million, or $6.44 per diluted share, on a year-over-year basis.

Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, was $107 million in the first quarter, compared to $20 million in the prior-year period. Cash used in operating activities for the first quarter was $25 million, an improvement of $35 million when compared to the prior year period and was primarily a result of increased net income offset by an increase in accounts receivable of $125 million in the first quarter, due to increased net sales.

Business Update

The Company remains committed to its strategic priorities that include sales growth, margin expansion, strategic product emphasis and continuous improvements in operational efficiency.

  • Sales growth and margin expansion. BlueLinx is committed to driving sustained sales growth and margin expansion through increased penetration of the national dealer, home center and local markets. The Company has continued to invest in resources and analytical tools to support its disciplined pricing strategies and has expanded sales support for these key customer segments.
  • Value-added product line expansion. BlueLinx is focused on delivering specialized, higher-value products, in which two-step distribution plays a key role. The Company is committed to further building its relationships with marquee brands through its valued supplier partners, while investing in products with low disintermediation risk.
  • Operational efficiencies. BlueLinx emphasizes continuous improvement in its operational processes. Productivity improvements through project initiatives and investments in fleet, facility optimization, and technologies remain a primary focus for the Company. Overall selling, general and administrative expense remained relatively consistent compared to the prior year period, increasing approximately $1 million due to higher variable incentive compensation and sales commissions of approximately $4 million. Offsetting the increase in variable compensation was a reduction in fixed overhead costs, primarily from reduced labor expense. Working capital management improvements continued during the first quarter, with Days Sales of Inventory of 39 days, an improvement of 19 days, when compared to the prior year period.

Market Outlook

While domestic new residential construction and home renovation markets remain robust, higher raw material costs and adverse weather conditions impacted construction activity during the first quarter, as key North American mills continue to have supply constraints.

  • Single-family housing starts (SFHS), a key economic indicator with a high historical correlation to the Company’s business, remain relatively strong, although SFHS on a trailing twelve month basis as of March 2021 are still approximately 40% below the prior cyclical peak achieved in 2005.    
  • Total U.S. monthly supply of homes for sale increased from year-end levels but remain constrained, with housing inventory at the end of the first quarter at approximately 38% below the 20-year average.
  • According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the April 2021 Builders’ Confidence Index increased slightly to 83 from 82 in March. Increases in materials costs and delivery times have impacted short-term builder sentiment.
  • While existing home sales were down 10% due to limited housing inventory, remodeling expenditures continued to increase on a quarter-over-quarter basis. According to the NAHB, the Remodeling Market Index (RMI) increased 9% to 86 for the first quarter 2021 index as compared to 79 for fourth quarter 2020.

First Quarter 2021 Conference Call Details

BlueLinx will host a conference call on May 5, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, accompanied by a supporting slide presentation.   Participants can access the live conference call via telephone at (877) 873-5864, using Conference ID # 7956909. Investors will also be able to access an archived audio recording of the conference call for one week following the live call by dialing (404) 537-3406, Conference ID # 7956909.

Investors can also listen to the live audio of the conference call and view the accompanying slide presentation by visiting the BlueLinx website,, and selecting the conference link on the Investor Relations page. After the conference call has concluded, an archived recording will be available on the BlueLinx website.

Use of Non-GAAP Measures

The Company reports its financial results in accordance with GAAP. The Company also believes that presentation of certain non-GAAP measures may be useful to investors and may provide a more complete understanding of the factors and trends affecting the business than using reported GAAP results alone. Any non-GAAP measures used herein are reconciled to their most directly comparable GAAP measures herein or in the financial tables accompanying this news release. The Company cautions that non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, the Company’s reported GAAP results.

Adjusted EBITDA
BlueLinx defines Adjusted EBITDA as an amount equal to net income plus interest expense and all interest expense related items, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, and further adjusted for certain non-cash items and other special items, including compensation expense from share-based compensation, one-time charges associated with the legal and professional fees and integration costs related to the Cedar Creek acquisition, and gains on sales of properties including amortization of deferred gains.

The Company presents Adjusted EBITDA because it is a primary measure used by management to evaluate operating performance. Management believes this metric helps to enhance investors’ overall understanding of the financial performance and cash flows of the business. Management also believes Adjusted EBITDA is helpful in highlighting operating trends. Adjusted EBITDA is frequently used by securities analysts, investors, and other interested parties in their evaluation of companies, many of which present an Adjusted EBITDA measure when reporting their results. However, Adjusted EBITDA is not a presentation made in accordance with GAAP and is not intended to present a superior measure of our financial condition from those measures determined under GAAP. Adjusted EBITDA, as used herein, is not necessarily comparable to other similarly titled captions of other companies due to differences in methods of calculation. This non-GAAP measure is reconciled in the “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measurements” table later in this release.

Net Debt and Net Leverage Ratio
BlueLinx determines our net debt based on total short- and long-term debt, including our outstanding balances under the Company’s term loan and revolving credit facility and the total amount of obligations under its financing leases, less cash and cash equivalents.

After determining net debt, BlueLinx determines its overall net leverage ratio by dividing net debt by trailing twelve-month Adjusted EBITDA. Management believes that this ratio is useful to investors because it is an indicator of the Company’s ability to meet its future financial obligations. In addition, the ratio is a measure that is frequently used by investors and creditors. Net debt and overall net leverage ratio are not presentations made in accordance with GAAP, and are not intended to present a superior measure of the Company’s financial condition from measures and ratios determined under GAAP. In addition, the Company’s net debt and overall net leverage ratio, as used herein, are not necessarily comparable to other similarly titled captions of other companies due to differences in methods of calculation. This non-GAAP measure is reconciled in the “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measurements” table later in this release.


BlueLinx (NYSE: BXC) is a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of residential and commercial building products with both branded and private-label SKUs across product categories such as lumber, panels, engineered wood, siding, millwork, metal building products, and other construction materials. With a strong market position, broad geographic coverage footprint servicing 40 states, and the strength of a locally focused sales force, we distribute our comprehensive range of products to over 15,000 national, regional, and local dealers, specialty distributors, national home centers, and manufactured housing customers. BlueLinx is able to provide a wide range of value added services and solutions to our customers and suppliers. We are headquartered in Georgia, with executive offices located at 1950 Spectrum Circle, Marietta, Georgia, and we operate our distribution business through a broad network of distribution centers. BlueLinx encourages investors to visit its website,, which is updated regularly with financial and other important information about BlueLinx.


Noel Ryan
(720) 778-2415


This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, any statement that predicts, forecasts, indicates or implies future results, performance, liquidity levels or achievements, and may contain the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “project,” “plan,” “will be,” “will likely continue,” “will likely result” or words or phrases of similar meaning. The forward-looking statements in this press release include statements about our strategic imperatives and priorities, and our focus thereon; our ability to capitalize on our geographic footprint to grow our national dealer and home center customer markets; our local entrepreneurial initiatives; our focus on reducing non-essential costs and our ability to, and the potential success of, investing in resources to support strategic sales growth; our market and business outlook, including the outlook for the residential housing construction markets, and trends in wood-based commodity prices; our efforts to manage commodity price volatility and the potential success thereof; and the COVID-19 pandemic and our response thereto, including statements about the potential trajectory of the pandemic and its potential effects.

Forward-looking statements in this press release are based on estimates and assumptions made by our management that, although believed by us to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our business, strategy, or actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include those discussed in greater detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We operate in a changing environment in which new risks can emerge from time to time. It is not possible for management to predict all of these risks, nor can it assess the extent to which any factor, or a combination of factors, may cause our business, strategy, or actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause these differences include, among other things: pricing and product cost variability; volumes of product sold; changes in the prices, supply, and/or demand for products that we distribute; the cyclical nature of the industry in which we operate; housing market conditions; the COVID-19 pandemic and other contagious illness outbreaks and their potential effects on our industry; effective inventory management relative to our sales volume or the prices of the products we produce; information technology security risks and business interruption risks; increases in petroleum prices; consolidation among competitors, suppliers, and customers; disintermediation risk; loss of products or key suppliers and manufacturers; our dependence on international suppliers and manufacturers for certain products; business disruptions; exposure to product liability and other claims and legal proceedings related to our business and the products we distribute; natural disasters, catastrophes, fire, or other unexpected events; successful implementation of our strategy; wage increases or work stoppages by our union employees; costs imposed by federal, state, local, and other regulations; compliance costs associated with federal, state, and local environmental protection laws; our level of indebtedness and our ability to incur additional debt to fund future needs; the risk that our cash flows and capital resources may be insufficient to service our existing or future indebtedness; the covenants of the instruments governing our indebtedness limiting the discretion of our management in operating our business; the fact that we lease many of our distribution centers, and we would still be obligated under these leases even if we close a leased distribution center; changes in our product mix; shareholder activism; potential acquisitions and the integration and completion of such acquisitions; the possibility that the value of our deferred tax assets could become impaired; changes in our expected annual effective tax rate could be volatile; the costs and liabilities related to our participation in multi-employer pension plans could increase; the possibility that we could be the subject of securities class action litigation due to stock price volatility; and changes in, or interpretation of, accounting principles.

Given these risks and uncertainties, we caution you not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

  Three Months Ended
  April 3, 2021   March 28, 2020
  (In thousands, except per share data)
Net sales $ 1,025,469     $ 662,070  
Cost of sales 845,077     568,861  
Gross profit 180,392     93,209  
Gross margin 17.6 %   14.1 %
Operating expenses:      
Selling, general, and administrative 75,560     74,588  
Depreciation and amortization 7,465     7,635  
Amortization of deferred gains on real estate (984 )   (984 )
Gains from sales of property (1,287 )   (525 )
Other operating expenses 112     4,165  
Total operating expenses 80,866     84,879  
Operating income 99,526     8,330  
Non-operating expenses (income):      
Interest expense, net 16,234     14,380  
Other income, net (314 )   (237 )
Income (loss) before provision for (benefit from) income taxes 83,606     (5,813 )
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes 21,746     (5,026 )
Net income (loss) $ 61,860     $ (787 )
Basic income (loss) per share $ 6.53     $ (0.08 )
Diluted income (loss) per share $ 6.28     $ (0.08 )
  April 3, 2021   January 2, 2021
  (In thousands, except share data)
Current assets:      
Cash $ 179     $ 82  
Receivables, less allowances of $5,573 and $4,123, respectively 418,815     293,643  
Inventories, net 376,423     342,108  
Other current assets 33,029     32,581  
Total current assets 828,446     668,414  
Property and equipment, at cost 310,101     299,935  
Accumulated depreciation (125,769 )   (121,223 )
Property and equipment, net 184,332     178,712  
Operating lease right-of-use assets 48,969     51,142  
Goodwill 47,772     47,772  
Intangible assets, net 17,067     18,889  
Deferred tax assets 66,795     62,899  
Other non-current assets 19,099     20,302  
Total assets $ 1,212,480     $ 1,048,130  
Current liabilities:      
Accounts payable $ 218,975     $ 165,163  
Accrued compensation 10,798     24,751  
Taxes payable 33,646     7,847  
Current maturities of long-term debt, net of debt issuance costs of $0 and $74, respectively     1,171  
Finance lease liabilities – short-term 7,459     5,675  
Operating lease liabilities – short-term 5,123     6,076  
Real estate deferred gains – short-term 4,040     4,040  
Other current liabilities 11,747     14,309  
Total current liabilities 291,788     229,032  
Non-current liabilities:      
Long-term debt, net of debt issuance costs of $2,615 and $8,936, respectively 355,899     321,270  
Finance lease liabilities – long-term 273,815     267,443  
Operating lease liabilities – long-term 44,021     44,965  
Real estate deferred gains – long-term 77,059     78,009  
Pension benefit obligation 21,730     22,684  
Other non-current liabilities 25,655     25,635  
Total liabilities 1,089,967     989,038  
Commitments and contingencies      
Common Stock, $0.01 par value, 20,000,000 shares authorized,
9,468,042 and 9,462,774 outstanding on April 3, 2021 and January 2, 2021, respectively
95     95  
Additional paid-in capital 268,006     266,695  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (35,742 )   (35,992 )
Accumulated stockholders’ deficit (109,846 )   (171,706 )
Total stockholders’ equity 122,513     59,092  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 1,212,480     $ 1,048,130  
  Three Months Ended
  April 3, 2021   March 28, 2020
  (In thousands)
Cash flows from operating activities:      
Net income (loss) $ 61,860     $ (787 )
Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to cash used in operations:      
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes 21,746     (5,026 )
Depreciation and amortization 7,465     7,635  
Amortization of debt issuance costs 603     956  
Adjustments to debt issuance costs associated with term loan 5,791      
Gains from sales of property (1,287 )   (525 )
Amortization of deferred gains from real estate (984 )   (984 )
Share-based compensation 1,410     1,004  
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:      
Accounts receivable (125,172 )   (55,068 )
Inventories (34,315 )   (32,828 )
Accounts payable 53,812     30,050  
Prepaid and other current assets (1,246 )   (3,006 )
Other assets and liabilities (14,291 )   (608 )
Net cash used in operating activities (24,608 )   (59,187 )
Cash flows from investing activities:      
Proceeds from sale of assets 1,810     44  
Property and equipment investments (1,122 )   (1,245 )
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities 688     (1,201 )
Cash flows from financing activities:      
Borrowings on revolving credit facilities 262,210     204,196  
Repayments on revolving credit facilities (191,943 )   (149,079 )
Repayments on term loan (43,204 )   (69,238 )
Proceeds from real estate financing transactions     78,329  
Debt financing costs (861 )   (336 )
Repurchase of shares to satisfy employee tax withholdings (56 )   (7 )
Principal payments on finance lease liabilities (2,129 )   (2,562 )
Net cash provided by financing activities 24,017     61,303  
Net change in cash 97     915  
Cash at beginning of period 82     11,643  
Cash at end of period $ 179     $ 12,558  
The following schedule reconciles net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA:
        Three Months Ended
        April 3, 2021   March 28, 2020
        (In thousands)
Net income (loss) $ 61,860     $ (787 )
Depreciation and amortization 7,465     7,635  
Interest expense, net 10,443     14,380  
Term loan debt issuance costs(1) 5,791      
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes 21,746     (5,026 )
Share-based compensation expense 1,410     1,004  
Amortization of deferred gains on real estate (984 )   (984 )
Gain from sales of property(1) (1,287 )   (525 )
Real estate financing costs(1)     1,793  
Merger and acquisition costs(1)(2)     1,070  
Restructuring and other(1)(3) 113     1,309  
Adjusted EBITDA $ 106,557     $ 19,869  
(1)   Reflects non-recurring items of approximately $5 million in non-beneficial items to the current quarter and approximately $4 million in non-beneficial items to the same quarterly period of the prior year.
(2)   Reflects primarily legal, professional, technology and other integration costs related to the Cedar Creek acquisition.
(3)   Reflects costs related to our restructuring efforts, such as severance, net of other one-time non-operating items.
The following schedule presents Net Debt and the Net Leverage Ratio for the Trailing Twelve Months:
      Three Months Ended
      April 3, 2021   March 28, 2020
      (In thousands)
Current maturities of long term debt, gross of debt issuance costs $     $ 2,250  
Finance lease liabilities – short term 7,459     5,924  
Long term debt, gross of debt issuance costs 358,514     456,798  
Finance lease liabilities – long term(1) 273,815     269,192  
Total long-term debt 639,788     734,164  
Less: available cash 179     12,558  
Net Debt 639,609     721,606  
Trailing twelve month Adjusted EBITDA $ 257,088     $ 74,698  
Net Leverage Ratio 2.5x   9.7x
(1)   Finance lease liabilities – long term include the combination of finance lease liabilities – long term and real-estate financing obligations in those periods when real estate financing obligations were presented.

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Debt Consolidation vs. Personal Loan: What Is the Difference? Fri, 07 May 2021 16:06:59 +0000

Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”

If you have high-interest debt, consolidating that debt might help you save money and even pay off your balances faster. One way to do this is through a debt consolidation loan — a type of personal loan that lets you combine your debts into one new loan with a single payment.

There are also other options available for debt consolidation.

Here’s what you should know about personal loans vs. debt consolidation loans:

Is a debt consolidation loan the same as a personal loan?

Yes — a debt consolidation loan is simply a type of personal loan. Here’s how these loans work:

Personal loan

A personal loan is a kind of installment loan that can be used for almost any personal expense, such as home renovations, a dream vacation, or debt consolidation.

These loans are available from online lenders, banks, and credit unions and generally range from a few hundred dollars up to $100,000 or more, depending on the lender.

Keep in mind: Most personal loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t have to worry about collateral. Instead, the lender will review your credit, income, debt-to-income ratio, and other factors to determine your creditworthiness.

Learn More: How Do Personal Loans Work?

Debt consolidation loan

A debt consolidation loan is a type of personal loan that lets combine existing debts into one loan. Depending on your credit, you might also qualify for a lower interest rate than you’ve been paying, which could help you save money over the life of your loan.

In some cases, you’ll need to specify a loan purpose when you apply for a personal loan. While many lenders will let you use a personal loan for debt consolidation, others might have restrictions on how you can use your loan.

Tip: Some lenders offer lower interest rates on debt consolidation loans compared to personal loans for other purchases.

It’s a good idea to shop around and compare as many lenders as possible to see what rates you might qualify for.

Check Out: Credit Card Consolidation Loans

16 personal loans to consider for debt consolidation

Here are Credible’s partner lenders that offer personal loans for debt consolidation:

Lender Fixed rates Loan amounts Min. credit score Loan terms (years)
View details 9.95% – 35.99% APR $2,000 to $35,000** 550 2, 3, 4, 5*
  • Rates: 9.95% – 35.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5*
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000**
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except CO, IA, HI, VT, NV NY, WV
  • Min. income: $1,200 monthly
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 550
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, emergency expense, life event, home improvement, and other purposes

Avant personal loans review

*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.

**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.


View details

6.49% – 29.99% APR $5,000 to $35,000 740 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Rates: 6.49% – 29.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Fees: No prepayment penalty
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 740
  • Time to get funds: Next business day
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Axos Bank personal loans review

best egg

View details

5.99% – 29.99% APR $5,000 to $35,000 600 3, 5
  • Rates: 5.99% – 29.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $5,000 – $50,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except DC, IA, VT, and WV
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 600
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 1 – 3 business days after successful verification
  • Loan uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Best Egg personal loans review


View details

6.99% – 24.99% APR $2,500 to $35,000 660 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Rates: 6.99% – 24.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Loan amount: $2,500 – $35,000
  • Fees: Late fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 660
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the next business day after acceptance
  • Loan uses: Auto repair, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home remodel or repair, major purchase, medical expenses, taxes, vacation, and wedding

Discover personal loans review


View details

7.99% – 29.99% APR $10,000 to $35,000 Not disclosed by lender 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Rates: 7.99% – 29.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $7,500 – $50,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Does not disclose
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except CO, CT, HI, KS, NH, NV, NY, ND, OR, VT, WV, WI, and WY
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 2 business days
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, travel, medical expenses, and other purposes

FreedomPlus personal loans review


View details

10.68% – 35.89% APR $1,000 to $40,000 600 3, 5
  • Rates: 10.68% – 35.89% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 600
  • Time to get funds: Usually takes about 3 days
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards

LendingClub personal loans review

Based on a majority of borrowers from LendingClub’s marketing partners who were issued loans between 1/1/19-12/13/19. The time it takes for your loan to be funded may vary.


View details

15.49% – 35.99% APR $2,000 to $25,000 580 2, 3, 4
  • Rates: 15.49% – 35.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $25,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except NV and WV
  • Min. income: $20,000
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 580
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the next business day
  • Loan uses: Home improvement, consolidate debt, credit card refinancing, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

LendingPoint personal loans review


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3.99% – 19.99% APR $5,000 to $100,000 660 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
(up to 12 years for home improvement loans)
  • Rates: 3.99% – 19.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (up to 12 years for home improvement loans)
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except RI and VT
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: No
  • Min. credit score: 660
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the same business day
  • Loan uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

LightStream personal loans review

LightStream disclosure


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6.99% – 19.99% APR1 $3,500 to $40,0002 660

(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)

3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Rates: 6.99% – 19.99% APR1
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Loan amount: $3,500 to $40,0002
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Min. income: Undisclosed
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 660

    (TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)

  • Time to get funds: Many Marcus customers receive funds in as little as five days
  • Loan uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

Marcus personal loans review

1Rate reduction of 0.25% when enrolled in autopay.

2You may be required to have some of your funds sent directly to pay off outstanding unsecured debt.

3After making 12 or more consecutive monthly payments, you can defer one payment as long as you have made all your prior payments in full and on time. Marcus will waive any interest incurred during the deferral and extend your loan by one month (you will pay interest during this extra month). Your payments resume as usual after your deferral. Advance notice is required. See loan agreement for details.

4Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans).Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions.

onemain financial

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18.00% – 35.99% APR $1,500 to $20,000 None 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Rates: 18.00% – 35.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $1,500 to $20,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Must have photo I.D. issued by U.S. federal, state or local government
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: None
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch office

OneMain Financial personal loans review


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5.99% – 24.99% APR $5,000 to $40,000 640 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Rates: 5.99% – 24.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except MA, MS, NE, NV, and OH
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone, email, chat
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 640
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 2 – 5 business days after verification
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation and credit card consolidation only

Payoff personal loans review


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5.99% – 17.99% APR $600 to $35,000
(depending on loan term)
670 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Rates: 5.99% – 17.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $600 to $35,000 (depending on loan term)
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Does not disclose
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: No
  • Min. credit score: 670
  • Time to get funds: 2 to 4 business days after verification
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, transportation, medical, dental, life events

PenFed personal loans review


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6.95% – 35.99% APR $2,000 to $40,000 640 3, 5
  • Rates: 6.95% – 35.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except IA, ND, WV
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 640
  • Time to get funds: As soon as one business day
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes

Prosper personal loans review


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5.99% – 18.83% APR $5,000 to $100,000 Does not disclose 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Rates: 5.99% – 18.83% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except MS
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to get funds: 3 business days
  • Loan uses: Solely for personal, family, or household uses

SoFi personal loans review


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5.94% – 35.97% APR $1,000 to $50,000 580 3, 5
  • Rates: 5.94% – 35.97% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000 ($3,005 minimum in GA; $6,005 minimum in MA)
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except IA and WV
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 580
  • Time to get funds: Within a day of clearing necessary verifications
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, and other purposes

Upgrade personal loans review


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8.27% – 35.99% APR4 $1,000 to $50,0005 580 3 to 5 years4
  • Rates: 8.27% – 35.99% APR4
  • Loan terms (years): 3 to 5 years4
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,0005
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Min. income: $12,000
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 580
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 1 – 3 business days6
  • Loan uses: Payoff credit cards, consolidate debt, take a course or bootcamp, relocate, make a large purchase, and other purposes

Upstart personal loans review

4The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 25.79% and 36 monthly payments of $37 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.

5This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information received in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into contract for the extension of credit, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a current resident of the US. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent on your meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information, and your agreement to the terms and conditions on the website.

Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.

6​If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.

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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | LightStream disclosure | Read more about Rates and Terms

Avant: Best for borrowers with poor credit

Avant offers personal loans from 2,000 to $35,000* with terms from two to five years••. If your credit is less than perfect, you might still qualify with Avant.

Axos Bank: Best for fast loan funding

If you’d like to quickly consolidate your debt, Axos Bank could be a good choice. You can borrow $5,000 to $35,000 and could have your money as soon as the next business day if you’re approved.

Best Egg: Best for borrowers with fair credit

Best Egg could be a good option if you want to borrow between $5,000 and $35,000 and have less-than-stellar credit. If you’re approved, you could have your funds within one to three days after successful verification.

Discover: Best for longer loan terms

With Discover, you could have up to seven years to repay your loan. This could get you a lower monthly payment, easing the strain on your budget. However, keep in mind that a longer interest term also means paying more in interest over time.

FreedomPlus: Best for consolidating high-interest debt

You might qualify for a lower interest rate on a FreedomPlus loan if you use at least 85% of the loan proceeds to pay off existing debt.

Adding a cosigner or showing proof of retirement savings could also get you a lower rate with FreedomPlus.

LendingClub: Best for borrowers who need a cosigner

LendingClub is one of the few lenders that allow cosigners on personal loans. If you have poor credit, applying with a cosigner could help you get approved.

LendingPoint: Best for borrowers with bad credit

LendingPoint specializes in working with borrowers who have near-prime credit — generally meaning a credit score in the upper 500s or 600s.

With LendingPoint, you can borrow $2,000 to $25,000 with a term ranging from two to five years.

Learn More: 3 Steps to Get a Debt Consolidation Loan for Bad Credit

LightStream: Best for large loan amounts

If you need to borrow a large amount, LightStream could be a good choice. You can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 with funding as soon as the same business day if you’re approved.

Marcus: Best for flexible repayment options

Marcus personal loans are available for $$3,500 to $40,0002 with terms from three to six years. Keep in mind that if you make on-time payments for 12 months, you can defer one payment interest-free.

OneMain Financial: Best for below-average credit

Unlike many other lenders, OneMain Financial doesn’t require a minimum credit score, which means you might qualify even if you have less-than-prime credit.

OneMain Financial also uses an in-person “ability to pay” evaluation to help determine your loan options.

Payoff: Best for consolidating credit card debt

Payoff personal loans can only be used to consolidate credit card debt. You can borrow $5,000 to $40,000 with a term ranging from two to five years.

PenFed: Best for small loan amounts

If you only need a small loan amount, PenFed could be a good option. You can borrow as little as $600 up to $35,000 with a term from one to five years.

Prosper: Best for borrowers with good credit

Prosper operates an online, peer-to-peer loan marketplace where you can borrow $2,000 to $40,000.

Note that when you apply for a Prosper loan, investors will need to commit to funding it, which means the loan process might take longer compared to other lenders.

SoFi: Best for borrowers with excellent credit

With SoFi, you can borrow $5,000 to $100,000 with a term from two to seven years. Although SoFi doesn’t disclose its credit requirements, most SoFi borrowers have very good to excellent credit.

As a SoFi borrower, you’ll also enjoy perks like unemployment protection and free financial advising.

Upgrade: Best for fast loan decisions

Upgrade personal loans are available for $1,000 to $50,0000 with terms of three or five years. If you’re approved, you could have your loan funded within a day of clearing necessary verifications.

Upstart: Best for borrowers with thin credit

Upstart will consider your education and job history to determine potential not reflected in your credit score. This means you might qualify even if you have thin credit — meaning you don’t have enough of a credit history to have a credit score.

Learn More: Pay Off Credit Card Debt ASAP With a Personal Loan

How to qualify for a debt consolidation loan

If you’re ready to get a debt consolidation loan, follow these three steps:

  1. Check your credit. Before shopping for a loan, it’s a good idea to make sure your credit is as strong as possible. You can check your credit reports from each of the credit bureaus for free through If there are any errors, dispute them with the appropriate credit bureaus to potentially boost your score.
  2. Compare lenders and pick a loan option. Be sure to compare as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Consider not only rates but also repayment terms, any fees charged by the lender, and eligibility requirements. After comparing lenders, choose the loan that best suits your needs.
  3. Complete the application and get your funds. You’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs. If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so you can get your money — typically within one week or less, depending on the lender.
Tip: You’ll typically need good to excellent credit to qualify for a personal loan for debt consolidation, though there are some lenders that offer personal loans for bad credit. However, these loans generally come with higher interest rates compared to good credit loans.

If you’re struggling to qualify, you could also consider applying with a cosigner. Not all lenders allow cosigners on personal loans, but some do. Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify, having one might get you a lower rate than you’d get on your own.

It’s also important to consider how much a debt consolidation loan will cost you over time. This way, you can prepare for the new monthly payment and adjust your budget accordingly. You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.

Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay

Total Payment

Total Interest

Monthly Payment

With a
loan, you will pay
monthly and a total of
in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of
over the life of the

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What are the benefits of a debt consolidation loan?

Debt consolidation loans offer several benefits. For example, a debt consolidation loan could:

  • Streamline your payments: Instead of juggling multiple debt payments, consolidating your debt combines your balances and leaves you with just one payment going forward. This can help you more easily manage your debt.
  • Potentially reduce your interest rate: Depending on your credit, you might qualify for a lower interest rate compared to what you’ve been paying. This could help you save money on interest charges over time and maybe pay off your debt faster.
  • Give you a set payoff date: Debt consolidation loans have fixed repayment terms, so you’ll know exactly when you’ll be out of debt.

Learn More: Average Personal Loan Interest Rates

Can a debt consolidation loan hurt your credit score?

A debt consolidation loan could either help your credit score or hurt it — though keep in mind that the positive effects will likely outweigh any negative impact over time.

Here’s how a debt consolidation loan might negatively impact your credit:

  • Hard credit inquiry: The lender will perform a hard credit inquiry to determine your creditworthiness, which might cause your score to drop by a few points. However, this effect is usually only temporary, and your score will likely bounce back within a few months.
  • Missed payments: If you miss any of your loan payments, your credit could be damaged.

And here’s how a debt consolidation loan could you build your credit:

  • Build positive payment history: Payment history makes up the biggest part of your FICO score — 35%. If you make all of your payments on time, you might see your credit score go up.
  • Reduce credit utilization: Your credit utilization is the total amount of debt you owe divided by the amount of credit you have available, and it makes up 30% of your FICO score. If you reduce your debt with a debt consolidation loan, you could improve this ratio and potentially raise your credit score.

Check Out: Home Equity Loan vs. Personal Loan

Debt consolidation loan alternatives

If a debt consolidation loan doesn’t seem right for you, here are some other options to consider:

  • Credit card: Balance transfer cards allow you to move your balances to one card to help you pay off credit card debt. Some cards also offer a 0% APR introductory period, which means you could avoid paying any interest if you repay your balance by the time this period ends. However, keep in mind that if you can’t pay off your card in time, you could be stuck with hefty interest charges.
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC): If you’re a homeowner and have equity in your home, a HELOC could be another way to consolidate your debt. Because a HELOC is secured by your home, you might get a lower rate compared to a personal loan — but this also means you risk losing your house if you can’t make your payments.
  • Debt management: If you’re overwhelmed by your debt, a nonprofit credit counseling agency — such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling — could help you develop a debt management plan. The agency will work with your creditors to distribute your payments so you can become debt free within five years.

If you decide to take out a debt consolidation loan, remember to consider as many lenders as possible to find a loan that works for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.

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About the author

Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina is a contributor to Credible who covers everything from student loans to personal loans to mortgages. Her work has appeared in publications like the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, MarketWatch, Business Insider, and more.

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Robinhood plans to launch crypto wallet ‘as fast as possible’ Tue, 04 May 2021 23:54:46 +0000

Designating a large number of new crypto traders this year, Robinhood says he is prioritizing growing his crypto offering. Not only is it hiring and investing heavily in its cryptocurrency offering, it also plans to launch a wallet with deposit and withdrawal features.

Robinhood CEO and co-founder Vlad Tenev spent more than half of the online broker’s first fireside chat on YouTube talking about cryptocurrency. He said that in the first month and a half of this year, more than 6 million customers traded cryptos for the first time.

Tenev promised the company would launch a portfolio with deposits and withdrawals “as quickly as possible”. There is a caveat though. Robinhood’s top priorities are to ensure the service scales while handling the exponential growth in crypto and to ensure high level customer support.

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What is a cryptocurrency wallet?

If you are new to crypto, you might be wondering why you would need a wallet for virtual currency. The main thing to understand is that your wallet helps you manage the keys to your cryptocurrency. Keys are a fundamental part of cryptocurrency – when you own crypto, you have public and private keys that allow you to access your assets. A popular mantra in the crypto community is: “Not your keys, not your coins.”

The idea is that if you don’t have full control over your keys, someone might take your coins. For example, your account could be hacked or frozen. Currently, Robinhood customers can use the platform to buy, sell, and store crypto. But they cannot move currencies from its platform to their own wallets. This is why some people have a problem with Robinhood’s platform – it manages your keys for you. Its new crypto wallet would allow you to take back that control.

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Many enthusiasts store the majority of their crypto in what is called a cold wallet, which is offline and therefore more secure. You can also put the currency you want to access more often in an online or hot wallet. Either way, you choose how and where to store your crypto.

How does Robinhood’s crypto offer look?

Robinhood’s mission is to democratize investment. It pioneered commission-free trading and continues to offer low fees. He was among the first online brokers to offer fractional shares. With 17 cryptocurrencies, it is also one of the best crypto exchanges.

With its roots as an online stock broker, Robinhood differs from exchanges like Coinbase which only trade cryptocurrencies. Tenev would like to stress that Robinhood is a profitable way to trade. “We want to make sure you’re getting the most crypto for your money,” he said. “We want to compete on price.”

He also addressed the criticism the company has faced following its decision to temporarily halt trading at GameStop (NYSE: GME) in January. Robinhood was inundated with negative reviews as users expressed frustration with the trading halt. The brokerage has justified its decision, but the backlash has not yet completely dissipated.

“We are working hard to dispel the false narratives,” he said. “But the main thing is to let the products speak for themselves and keep improving the product.”

Tenev explained the idea behind launching Robinhood’s initial crypto product without a wallet. “We felt there was a product offering that appealed to people who didn’t want to manage their own keys,” he said.

The new wallet feature – which is next on Tenev’s priority list – would allow users to move those assets to other wallets. “As much as people bother me about this on social media, so much I bother our crypto team and our software engineers,” he said. The CEO added that online brokerage could also add more coins along the way.

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US thermal coal profits rise, with some caveats about ESG risks – report Tue, 04 May 2021 23:54:45 +0000

U.S. coal prices will remain subdued in 2021, even with increased consumption and demand. Exports will increase modestly thanks to higher prices in 2021, predicts Moody’s.

Moody’s expects domestic coal production to rebound in 2021 for all grades of coal, reaching 550 million to 575 million short tons, a slight increase from our previous forecast of 525 million to 550 million. tons. The company’s forecast is more conservative than the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) forecast, which projects production of 581 million tonnes in 2021.

Moody’s assumes that the electric power sector will consume less thermal coal than the EIA forecast, and that the demand for power generation will be lower than the EIA forecast of 505 million tonnes of consumption in 2021, still up from 437 million tonnes in 2020, based on EIA expectations for natural gas benchmark spot price near $ 3.00 / MMBtu at the Henry Hub. By comparison, Moody’s expects natural gas prices to remain more volatile within our expected range of $ 2.00 to $ 3.00 / MMBtu in 2021.

Coal producers assessed, which represent a significant share of domestic thermal coal production in the United States, include Alliance Resource Operating Partners (Ba3 CFR), ArchResources (B2 CFR), CONSOL Energy (B2 CFR), Foresight Energy (B3 CFR) and Peabody Energy (Caa1 CFR). Since production will only increase modestly, Moody’s expects some mines that were idle due to weak market conditions in 2020 will not restart production in the near term.

Wyoming and Montana’s Powder River Basin remains in surplus, especially now that U.S. regulators have rejected a proposed Arch-Peabody merger

Demand and prices for thermal coal transported by sea in the APAC region have strengthened in recent months amid a cold winter climate in China, the world’s largest importer of thermal coal, which recently reiterated its coal production targets and supply constraints in coal-exporting countries, notably Russia and Indonesia, due to adverse weather conditions.

Moody’s expects demand for marine thermal coal in 2021 to continue to be supported by increasing economic activity, particularly in China. China’s declining coal imports from Australia due to geopolitical tensions are benefiting coal producers in countries like Indonesia, Russia, Mongolia and the United States.

Moody’s predicts that thermal exports from the United States will reach around 30 to 35 million tonnes in 2021, compared to 27 million tonnes estimated by the EIA in 2020. Export prices strengthened considerably in the second half of 2020, but export volumes in 2021 will always remain lower. the 38 million tonnes of thermal coal exports from the United States in 2019, and well below the 54 million tonnes exported in 2018. American producers represent a small position in the global thermal coal market. Moody’s also expects freight rates to become a bigger concern, both as demand picks up in the near term and as railways continue to move away from coal in the longer term. .

Despite the increase in demand and consumption of thermal coal in the United States in 2021, Moody’s expects domestic coal prices to remain subdued. Wyoming and Montana’s Powder River Basin (PRB) remains in surplus, especially now that U.S. regulators have rejected a proposed Arch-Peabody merger that would have consolidated a significant portion of PRB production.

PRB’s minimal export volumes reflect the region’s difficult logistics, including social opposition to coal exports in the Pacific Northwest. Moody’s has repeatedly highlighted the challenges of the PRB, including a reiteration of these views following the FTC’s decision in February 2020. Arch and Peabody are the most important players in the PRB.

The increase in export volumes will be more beneficial for producers in the eastern coal basins (the Illinois basin and in particular the Northern Appalachians), but the increase in thermal coal production could more than offset the influence of exports on the supply / demand balance of the Illinois basin. For example, Alliance publicly announced a 10% increase in thermal coal production in 2021. Foresight Energy will likely increase production enough to disrupt parts of the region, having emerged from bankruptcy with a much stronger balance sheet and deals. restructured commercial which had limited its operational flexibility, underlines Moody’s. Large gains in domestic prices would require additional factors such as operational disruptions or very cold weather.

No US-based coal producer completed unsecured bond issuance in 2020, despite large issuances in other sectors with similar characteristics

While the researcher observed significant consolidation in other commodity-focused industries experiencing secular decline, Moody’s predicts minimal to modest consolidation among thermal coal producers despite the ongoing secular decline in domestic demand for coal. thermal. The industry has limited access to capital which facilitates M&A transactions, SOEs controlling much of the industry’s output, and ESG issues, making it more difficult for producers to close deals. consolidation given the significant environmental responsibilities and the need to raise capital. to do business.

No US-based coal producer completed unsecured bond issuance in 2020, despite significant issuance in other sectors with similar characteristics, such as cash consumption and incorporation interest. cash. Some producers, such as Alliance and CONSOL, have successfully amended credit agreements for revolving credit facilities, reports Moody’s.

Arch, who is completing a coal project in West Virginia, has raised capital through extensive equipment financing, convertible debt issuance, and tax-exempt secured debt issuance. Peabody entered into a debt swap transaction as part of a more comprehensive deal involving bank lenders, bondholders and surety providers. Only Warrior Met Coal (B2 positive), which is not exposed to thermal coal, has unsecured bonds that are trading above par today.

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Weather Awareness Week: Be Prepared, Stay Alert, Get Involved Tue, 04 May 2021 23:54:43 +0000

Tennessee Weather Awareness Week is February 28 to March 6, 2021, and Williamson County Emergency Management is using this week to promote Tennessee readiness.

“As we experienced last week with extreme winter conditions, extreme weather conditions can impact our community at any time. It is important that we are all prepared, that we remain vigilant and that we engage in our communities before these types of events, ”said Emergency Management Director Todd Horton.

The NWS offices in Nashville are planning a series of education and training events, using each day of Weather Awareness Week to focus on a different severe weather threat. Information on the activities of the NWS is available at

A highlight of the week will be the statewide tornado exercise that NWS will conduct at 9:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday, March 3, 2020. The exercise will also include a full-scale test. NOAA Weather Radio Status.

Residents must also register with the Williamson County Emergency Alert System. This system is shared between the county, Spring Hill, Fairview, Thompson’s Station, Nolensville, Franklin and Brentwood. Registration is available here: / login

Here are some basic tips for severe weather:

  • Never venture into high water, whether on foot or in a vehicle.
  • If you are outside and hear thunder, go inside immediately.
  • Go to a basement or the innermost ground floor room of your home if you are told to take shelter during a tornado warning.
  • Know the location and route to the tornado shelter in your office or building, if available.
  • Contingency plans should indicate where to meet and with whom family members should check in if you are separated from each other during a serious weather emergency.

At a minimum, emergency preparedness kits should include one gallon of water per day, per person, per pet, for three to five days. The kit should also contain enough non-perishable food for each family member and pet, for three to five days. Other items that each kit should include: flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, personal hygiene items, cell phone charger or solar charger, copies of important family documents, and extra supplies of medication , especially for people with chronic illnesses. health conditions.

Additional resources are available:

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Taiwan reports increase in norovirus count Tue, 04 May 2021 23:54:22 +0000

By NewsDesk @ bactiman63

The Taiwan CDC reports that the number of hospital visits for diarrhea has recently increased, and the pathogens detected in cluster incidents are primarily noroviruses, and most of them occur in the restaurant industry. and the hotel industry.

Image / CDC

According to surveillance data from the Department of Disease Control, the total number of outpatient and emergency diarrhea consultations in Taiwan last week (February 21 to February 27) was 138,462, which has increased over the course of the last two weeks. In previous years, the number of visits for diarrhea after the Spring Festival holidays has increased; the country has almost four weeks (5th to 8th weeks) A total of 87 reports of clusters of diarrhea were received, of which 86% of cases presented symptoms in less than 10 people (inclusive); 58 cases of positive pathogenic cases were detected, mainly norovirus (97%)), the majority are in the restaurant and accommodation industry (71%).

The Department of Disease Control reminds that norovirus is highly contagious, so people need to pay attention to food safety and hand hygiene. If there are any suspicious symptoms, they should see a doctor as soon as possible and be sure to rest at home if they are sick; Catering and accommodation companies need to strengthen environmental hygiene management and pay attention to employees. If you feel unwell, please stop work immediately to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

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3 best stocks you can buy on sale Tue, 04 May 2021 23:54:21 +0000

With many of the major stock indexes setting new all-time highs, bargains are not easy to find these days. The S&P 500 is about to hit 4,000, and valuations are spreading across most sectors; the index is trading at its highest price-to-earnings ratio since the financial crisis, when earnings slumped. Since Wall Street bottomed out last March, stocks have nearly doubled, prompting much speculation that the the stock market is in a bubble.

Despite this tough environment, you can still find stocks for sale today if you know where to look – and Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM), Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), and Perion network (NASDAQ: PERI) all do the trick.

Sales labels hanging from a line

Image source: Getty Images.

An undervalued housewares champion

Home furnishings retailers have been big winners during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans who have been forced to work and attend distance school have adapted by refreshing their homes, adding furniture from home office or by beautifying playrooms for their children.

Williams-Sonoma was no exception to this trend. Its same-store sales jumped 17% last year and profitability jumped dramatically, with adjusted operating margin increasing 560 basis points to 14.2%, while adjusted earnings per share increased. almost doubled to $ 9.04. In the fourth quarter, nearly 70% of the company’s sales came from e-commerce, making it more similar to Wayfair, the leader in online home goods retailing, than its brick-and-mortar retail peers.

The good news for investors is that management doesn’t view 2020 as fluke. It forecasts continued growth in 2021. In the directions of its recent earnings report, the company predicted revenue growth in mid to high single-digit percentages this year, and an increase in adjusted operating margin in line with its long-term forecast. This should allow the company to increase earnings per share by a double-digit percentage this year.

Despite the strength of its brands, which include West Elm and Pottery Barn in addition to its namesake, and a solid business model offering growth, income and profitability, the stock is trading at a fair price / earnings (P / E) ratio. 21, a significant discount to peers like Wayfair and HR (formerly known as Restoration Hardware) and significantly cheaper than the S&P 500. This seems like a mistake that the market will eventually have to correct.

A Chinese cheap tech giant

Almost 30% down from the all-time high reached in October, Alibaba certainly looks like a sell-off. The Chinese tech giant is the world’s largest e-commerce company, with an annual gross merchandise volume of more than $ 1,000 billion. It is also extremely profitable, thanks to the strength of its e-commerce business as well as its rapidly growing cloud computing segment and other businesses, such as logistics. In its most recent published quarter, revenue jumped 37% to $ 33.8 billion, and adjusted net profit rose 27% to $ 9.1 billion, giving it a margin 27% beneficiary. These numbers alone should tell you that Alibaba is doing phenomenal business. The stock is also very cheap, trading at a P / E ratio of just 26.

What has rocked investors lately is the Chinese government’s crackdown on the company, which began last fall when it blocked the initial public offering by Ant Group, the financial arm of Ali Baba. Concerns escalated after founder Jack Ma disappeared from public view after making critical comments about Chinese financial regulators. Concerns about his status turned out to be unfounded, but the Chinese Communist Party announced a antitrust investigation in the company in December, and earlier this month, the government asked Alibaba to sell its media assets, although it did not specify which ones.

Beijing appears to be looking to assert its power over the tech giant, but the government is not planning to dismantle it. Companies like Alibaba help attract foreign companies to China, which contributes to the government’s long-term goals of making it the world’s largest economy.

Considering this, this sale of Alibaba shares seems overdone. Stocks are expected to rebound as its growth will remain strong as e-commerce and the Chinese economy continue to expand.

An advantageous stock of advertising technology

Ad tech stocks were the big winners in 2020, and Perion Network was no exception as the platform’s growth on the supply side accelerated. Shares of Israeli small caps doubled last year and also rose through early 2021. However, after a pop following a hike in the company Orientation 2021, the stock fell 33% from its peak in early March. It is now trading at much lower levels than it was before raising its forecast.

After 51% revenue growth in the fourth quarter, which benefited in part from the company’s acquisitions of Content IQ and Pub Ocean, management expects revenue to increase 13% to 16% this year to reach 370 to 380 million dollars, although this forecast may prove conservative given Perion’s strong performance at the end of last year. It also forecasts revenue growth of 31% in the first quarter.

Even if this prediction turns out to be correct, Perion’s price is still like a bargain, trading at a P / E below 20 based on adjusted earnings per share of $ 0.91. The surge in streaming video consumption caused by the pandemic has accelerated the shift to ad technology platforms like the one operated by Perion, and the company is well positioned in areas such as connected TV or supported streaming media. advertising, where revenues jumped 132% in its most recently released quarter. Meanwhile, its display and social segment, which now represents more than half of the business, saw its revenue increase by 159%.

Looking at these numbers, Perion looks distinctly undervalued for its growth potential.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are motley! Questioning an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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As Public Debt Rises, AMRO Proposes Tax Broadening to Restore Fiscal Room for Post-pandemic Economic Stability | Malaysia Tue, 04 May 2021 23:54:20 +0000

AMRO said a cross-country comparison showed tax collection in Malaysia could be further bolstered by indirect taxes, with the proposed tax measures potentially contributing up to an additional 3.25 percent of GDP. – Photo by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 – Despite continued fiscal policy support amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia’s build-up of public debt has underscored the need to restore fiscal buffers towards economic stability and resilience post-pandemic when the country’s economic recovery is on solid footing, a regional macroeconomic surveillance organization said today.

Asean + 3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) economist Diana Del Rosario said one of the mitigation measures the Malaysian government could undertake is to implement reforms to broaden the tax base. in order to reduce the budget deficit and bring the public debt back to the statutory level before the pandemic. limit.

“In fiscal terms, Malaysia clearly needs to restore its fiscal reserves once the economic recovery is on track.

“Our projection on this domestic debt shows that domestic debt would remain at around 57% even if the legal debt limit fell to 55% of gross domestic product (GDP) from 2023.

“In terms of total public debt, total debt would remain at around 60% until 2025, although we assume a gradual pace of fiscal consolidation during this period.

“It is therefore necessary to allow a faster reduction of the budget deficit and public debt ratios. And one of the ways is to expand the fiscal space, ”she said during a press briefing on AMRO’s 2020 annual consultation report on Malaysia released today.

She stressed that there was already a downward trend in tax ratios even before the Covid-19 pandemic occurred.

“And one way to reverse this downward trend would be the introduction or reinstatement of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“Of course, the GST could be supplemented by other revenue spending measures,” she said, adding that such measures should be carefully reintroduced and implemented when the economy recovers.

According to the aforementioned published report, tax revenues were reduced due to lower corporate taxes and the replacement of the GST by the sales and services tax (SST) in 2018.

In its analysis published in the report, AMRO said that a cross-country comparison showed that tax collection in Malaysia could be further bolstered by indirect taxes, with the proposed tax measures potentially contributing up to an additional 3.25% of the tax. GDP.

“The share of indirect taxes, including value added taxes as well as other taxes on goods and services, represented 3.2% of total tax revenue in 2018 in Malaysia, lower than in other emerging markets. of the region.

“Therefore, it is possible to increase tax collections through indirect taxes, such as GST / SST, carbon tax and excise tax on tobacco,” he said.

As part of its proposed tax reforms, AMRO said the scope of the ESS can be broadened before the GST is reintroduced, with the government building on efforts since the introduction of the digital services tax in January. 2020 and its decision as part of the 2021 budget to impose a tax on cigarettes in free zones as part of the strategy to combat the illicit trade in cigarettes.

In addition, he said that additional income can also be generated by increasing the personal tax rate for high income groups, increasing excise rates on some products and introducing a tax on capital gains outside the property.

AMRO also said that an introduction of environmental taxes – in the form of a carbon tax offered the promise of simultaneously increasing revenues and helping to meet environmental goals by discouraging harmful behavior in the medium to long term. .

The published report also indicates that the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on economic growth and the significant fiscal response have raised concerns about the sustainability of medium-term debt in Malaysia.

“The large fiscal program in response to the pandemic and the shortfall due to the economic recession reduced the budget deficit from 3.4% in 2019 to 6.2% of GDP in 2020.

“Assuming the pandemic is contained, GDP growth is expected to rebound to 5.6% in 2021 and 6.2% in 2022, before returning to its long-term average of 4.8% from 2023.

“Incomes will rebound as the economy recovers, while spending related to the pandemic will gradually subside. As a result, the budget deficit will gradually decrease, to 6.0% of GDP in 2021 and 3.4% in 2025.

“In the baseline scenario, the federal government’s debt ratio is expected to remain above 60% over the medium term,” he said.

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Asian investors watch past disruptions in student housing Tue, 04 May 2021 23:54:20 +0000

Craig Carracher, chairman and co-founder of Sydney-based Scape Australia, agrees, saying in a podcast this month with Ready Media Group “We’re obviously above what I would call a pain threshold. in our area, what I think for purpose-built student housing is that 40% to 45% net occupancy range, where we’re starting to feel pain. “

“At 50% and above, because the margins are there and we have been able to reduce our operational base while continuing to provide our service standard as well as making agreements in various places with how these buildings are used,” I think most of our sector was able to navigate safely in 2020, ”said Carracher.

Safe, maybe, but not necessarily cost-effectively, analysts say.

“This occupancy rate assumes no or minimal operating profits,” noted an investment consultant in the region, who declined to give his name.

And depending on an operator’s debt structure, banks could recall loans long before a company’s operating profits evaporate, the consultant said. The lockdown moratoria in place now could rule out that risk for the next six to nine months, but “in the longer term, that’s a guess,” the consultant added.

Meanwhile, some industry veterans note that operators like Scape must have been opportunistic to maintain that 50% occupancy rate.

For example, operators have moved from a pure focus on student housing this year and have rented facilities from the government for “social housing” for the homeless or for victims of domestic violence, noted Paul Gately, director. Sydney-based general and head of Australia. for Baring Private Equity Asia Real Estate.

For investors in these properties, the current year must be close to a “cancellation,” Gately said, adding that with so many recent investments made at the “top of the market,” investor returns will be. impacted.

Net returns from investors in student housing, before leverage or rental gains, could fall to about half of pre-pandemic levels in the short term – to about 3% from 5% or 6%, said Henry Ching , head of Asia Real Estate at Mercier Investments.

Still, market veterans note that the tough times the industry is going through this year don’t offer much for bargain hunters.

“While we would have thought there would be more dislocation in the market and more problems around it, the longer term nature of the capital that supports these coins (has meant that there has been) no real distress or pricing error, ”said Ruban Kaneshamoorthy, Sydney-based senior vice president of real estate, with Brookfield Asset Management.

Brookfield is a seasoned investor in student housing in Europe and Mr Kaneshamoorthy said his team were following opportunities in Asia Pacific with interest but had yet to invest in the region.

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The new definition of default – Finance and Banking Tue, 04 May 2021 23:54:18 +0000 To print this article, simply register or connect to


This alert concerns the new definition of default for prudential purposes which entered into force on 1st January 2021 and is applicable to all European financial intermediaries.

New European rules on default

The regulatory framework

EU Regulation of June 26, 2013, n. 575 1 on the prudential requirements applicable to credit institutions and investment firms (CRR) introduced specific provisions on debtor default in Article 178 and entrusted the European Banking Authority (TSA) with the publication of guidelines on the application of the definition of default and for the European Commission the adoption of a delegated regulation relating to the measurement of the materiality threshold of overdue loans on the basis of regulatory technical standards published by the ABE.

On September 28, 2016, the EBA published the guidelines 2 on the definition of the defect as well as the technical standards relating to the materiality threshold. In order to implement the CRR and the EBA guidelines on the definition of impaired credit exposures, the Bank of Italy has issued a specific communication 3 with reference to the prudential statistical reports and the financial statements of the banks of June 26, 2019.

More recently, the Italian Supervisory Authority provided further clarification on the implementation with a note dated October 15, 2020 4.

The logic of the interventions mentioned is undoubtedly to bring the European banking and financial system into conformity with the principles of supervisory equivalence and regulatory neutrality. The deadline for banks subject to European Central Bank supervision and European non-bank financial intermediaries to apply the new rules has been set for January 1, 2021.

The new definition of defect: conditions and materiality thresholds

The proposed new regulatory structure identifies the objective and subjective conditions for a debtor to be considered in default. Certain materiality thresholds have also been introduced, which must be exceeded for the debtor status to become effective.

In particular, debtors will be considered in default if at least one of the following conditions is met:

(i) objective condition (“delay criterion“): the debtor has been past due for more than 90 days 5 on any significant credit obligation towards the institution, taking into account all of the latter’s obligations towards the intermediary;

(ii) subjective condition (“improbability of paying“): the institution considers it unlikely that the debtor will meet its credit obligations to the institution, without recourse by the institution to actions such as the creation of collateral.

Once the existence of an arrears criterion has been verified, it will become relevant if certain specific thresholds are exceeded depending on the nature of the debtor (retail trade 6 and non-retail customer):

(i) in absolute value: the materiality threshold is set at € 100 for retail exposures and € 500 for other exposures;

(ii) in relative terms: the threshold is represented by the amount equal to 1% of the debtor’s global exposures
vis à vis credit and financial intermediaries belonging to the same prudential consolidation scope 7.

In view of the above, an exposure will be considered expired (and therefore classified as non-performing) if it has exceeded both the absolute and relative thresholds for 90 consecutive days.

Otherwise, a declaration of default is also possible with reference to customers who, although having no significant arrears for more than 90 days, are, in the opinion of the intermediary, unable to fulfill their obligations. (subjective condition).

In order to mitigate the discretion left to each intermediary in assessing a potential default, the EBA guidelines provide some qualitative and quantitative guidance that intermediaries will need to take into account in bringing an unlikely-to-pay position back into the bank. the category of defects.

Among others, it is worth mentioning the lack of recording of the position in the intermediary’s income statement due to the decrease in the quality of the credit obligation, the transfer of the receivable through the intermediary ( with particular reference to securitization transactions 8), the presence of specific provisions on exposures according to IFRS9 accounting principles, a restructuring of the debt 9, bankruptcy or similar provision or protection of the debtor, a significant increase in the debtor’s financial leverage and a decrease in the sources of his income. When one of the above indicators occurs, all exposures vis à visthe debtor is considered in default.

Additional provisions

(a) Compensation

Different from the past, from 1st from January 2021, the offsetting of any unpaid debts with other open and unused or partially used credit lines from the same debtor will no longer be authorized. Consequently, a financial institution will be required to classify the customer in default even if the latter has credit lines still available with said institutions.

(b) Default contagion rule

According to the new rules, intermediaries will have to probe the relationships between their customers, in order to identify the cases in which the failure of a company can negatively affect the repayment capacity of another debtor linked to it (so-called contagion effect). ), with the consequence that the latter can also be considered as faulty.

A link between different companies may be determined by links of control or of an economic nature (e.g. companies belonging to the same supply chain) ten.

(c) Return to non-default status

Unlike the past 11, the return of debtors to the state of non-default in accordance with Article 178 (5) of the CRR is only possible after the expiration of a period of three months from the moment when the conditions referred to in Article 178, paragraph 1, letter b) and paragraph 3 of CRR ceased to exist (and, therefore, the client has stabilized its position 12).

During this 3-month probationary period, the financial intermediaries assess the debtor’s behavior and overall financial situation and only authorize a return to a non-default state if it is deemed to be effectively and permanently stable.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not, and should not be construed as, professional advice on the matters discussed. For more information please contact Matteo Gallanti or Bianca Macrina.



2 28EBA-GL-2016-07% 29.pdf? Retry = 1.



5 The days of delay are calculated from the day following the date on which the amounts due in principal, interest and any costs have not been paid and have exceeded the corresponding thresholds. In the event of suspension of payments defined in the original credit agreement and modification of the deadlines, subject to a specific agreement with the establishment, the counting of the days of delay will follow the new repayment plan.

6 Small and medium-sized businesses and individuals.

7 Competent authorities may agree on a different threshold, between 0 and 2.5%.

8 A position is considered to be in default if the transfer in a securitization transaction is made due to the decrease in the credit obligation loss and has a credit-related economic loss greater than 5% of the gross book value.

9 Restructuring is relevant for the purpose of indicating whether it involves a substantial forgiveness or deferral of principal, interest or charges determining a loss greater than 1% of the original amount of the debt.

10 The customer groups are defined in art. 4, paragraph 1, point 39 of CRR.

11 Before January 1, 2021, the default status ceases to exist when the debtor settles the overdue payment vis à vis the intermediary and / or covers the overrun of the overdraft account.

12 The trial period is extended to one year with reference to customers undergoing debt restructuring (and in this case, the debtor has respected / respected the plan / agreement).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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