Category Archives: Cybersecurity & Digital Privacy

Thematic Reads: July 12, 2021

Thematic Reads: July 12, 2021

Thematic Reads

Each week Team Tematica consumes an immense quantity and range of content as we look to stay on top of the latest data and mine it for tailwind and headwind signals for our investment themes and indices.

Cleaner Living
Growing demand for items that claim to be better for you and the planet:

Beyond Meat (BYND) today announced the arrival of its new plant-based Chicken Tenders at upward of 400 U.S. based restaurants. The news follows continued growth for the California-based faux meat giant, which includes expansion to Walmart stores, Taco Bell restaurants and a big push into China over the past year.”
Beyond Meat launches-plant-based chicken tenders at US restaurants

Tesla (TSLA) has signed what could be described as a breakthrough deal to deploy solar roofs and Powerwalls on a “large scale” in a new community being built by Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) and Dacra in Austin. They confirmed that the first phase of installations already started last month, and they are starting with Tesla Solar Roof tiles V3 and Powerwall 2 home battery packs.
Tesla signs breakthrough deal to deploy solar roofs and Powerwalls on ‘large scale’ in the new community

“Shoppers are expanding their commitment to healthier lifestyles when they’re shopping for soaps, shampoos, skincare, and other body care items that are less toxic and harmful for their bodies and for the planet. Today’s savvy shopper has their eye on functional wellness when it comes to their personal care products.”
Savvy Shoppers And Functional Wellness In Body Care

“I’m so proud to relaunch Kylie Cosmetics with all new formulas that are clean and vegan,” said Kylie Jenner. “Innovation has come far in the past few years. When creating this line, it was so important to me to commit to using clean ingredients across the board, but to never sacrifice performance.”
Coty (COTY) Relaunches Kylie Cosmetics as a Clean, Vegan Brand

“As travel and tourism ramp up, aviation will again produce about 3 percent of total carbon emissions, plus other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Hybrid-electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft could help the industry reach the next efficiency horizon, but developing them could take ten to 20 years, and the technology will be initially limited to smaller aircraft.
Scaling sustainable aviation fuel today for clean skies tomorrow

 

Cyber Security & Data Privacy
Securing individuals and organizations against cyber threats and privacy violations:

“There’s a direct correlation. When you look at the rise of ransomware, it absolutely aligns with the rise of anonymous digital currencies.. It’s no question it’s an enabler that you can break in anonymously and be paid anonymously, and now you can commit crime from 10,000 miles away in a safe harbor,”
FireEye (FEYE) CEO Kevin Mandia

” Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has agreed to acquire RiskIQ, a security software maker, as the tech giant tries to expand its products and better protect customers amid a rising tide of global cyberattacks, according to people familiar with the matter. San Francisco-based RiskIQ makes cloud software for detecting security threats, helping clients understand where and how they can be attacked on complex webs of corporate networks and devices. Its customers include Facebook Inc., BMW AG, American Express Co. and the U.S. Postal Service, according to the company’s web site.”
Microsoft Is Said to be Buying Cybersecurity Company RiskIQ

“From critical infrastructure to banks and financial institutions, and all the other companies in between just too big to fail; neglect has replaced sound computer network hygiene and security. The reasons are varied. Some companies have found it difficult to staff up across their enterprise, while others have balked at the costs of implementing proper security safeguards. ”
A rise in ransomware threatens America’s critical infrastructure

Cybersecurity researchers are warning about a new malware that’s striking online gambling companies in China via a watering hole attack to deploy either Cobalt Strike beacons or a previously undocumented Python-based backdoor called BIOPASS RAT that takes advantage of Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio’s live-streaming app to capture the screen of its victims to attackers. The attack involves deceiving gaming website visitors into downloading a malware loader camouflaged as a legitimate installer for popular-but-deprecated apps such as Adobe Flash Player or Microsoft Silverlight, only for the loader to act as a conduit for fetching next-stage payloads.
Hackers Spread BIOPASS Malware via Chinese Online Gambling Sites

Swiss online consumer outlet Comparis has filed a criminal complaint over a ransomware attack on Wednesday that blocked some of its information technology systems, it said on Friday. “As far as we know, most databases do not seem to be affected by the incident. Unfortunately, first detailed analyses suggest that the perpetrators had access to certain customer-relevant data of sister company Credaris, whose systems are partly operated in the same server environment,” it said. Credaris is a financial brokerage.
Ransomware attack hits Swiss consumer outlet Comparis

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warns cryptocurrency owners, exchanges, and third-party payment platforms of threat actors actively targeting virtual assets in attacks that can lead to significant financial losses… According to the FBI, attackers are using several tactics to steal and launder cryptocurrency, including technical support fraud, SIM swapping (aka SIM hijacking), and taking control of their targets’ cryptocurrency exchange accounts via identity theft or account takeovers.
FBI warns cryptocurrency owners, exchanges of ongoing attacks

“Audio device company Jabra has taken the first steps toward 100% sustainable packaging across its complete product range. Jabra has announced it’s created 100% recyclable packaging for its latest earbuds, the Elite 85t, half a year after the launch of the product. The Evolve2 headset range also has new eco-friendly packaging that combines a pouch and a paper bag. The company says the improved packaging for these two products is one of its steps towards achieving 100% sustainable packaging across all of its product ranges.
Audio company Jabra takes steps toward 100% sustainable packaging across entire product range

 

Digital Infrastructure & Connectivity
The Buildout and upgrading of our Networks, Data Storage Facilities, and Equipment:

“Hybrid work represents the biggest shift to how we work in a generation. And it will require a new operating model. Teams now has over 145 million daily active users, almost double the number a year ago. In markets where employees have returned to the workplace, including Australia, China, New Zealand, South Korea, and Taiwan, we have seen usage continue to grow”
Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella

“The markets today are more diversified than ever. Automotive, electric vehicles requiring more memory and storage — actually becoming data centers on wheels in the future — and certainly smartphones, data centers, gaming, industrial applications…We really see a healthier and more robust demand environment than ever.”
Micron (MU) CEO Sanjay Mehrotra

“The data center construction market in Western Europe is poised to grow by $6.72 bn during 2021-2025, progressing at a CAGR of over 9% during the forecast period.
The market is driven by the release of General Data Protection Regulation, growth of the Netherlands as an international hub, and free energy concept gaining prominence.”
“Data Center Construction Market in Western Europe 2021-2025”

“Singapore-based Princeton Digital Group (PDG), backed by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, said on Tuesday it was investing $1 billion to build a data centre facility in Japan, marking the company’s foray into its fifth market…The company is looking at deepening its presence in existing markets, and is considering new ones such as South Korea and other Southeast Asian countries.”
Warburg Pincus-backed Princeton Digital to invest $1 bln in Japan data centre

“Machines are no longer the bottleneck,” said Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares. “Hosting facilities are. You just can’t build a massive co-location data center in a few months.”
Bitcoin Miners Thwarted by Data Center Crunch

“Swedish luxury automobile manufacturer Volvo Cars (VOLVY) and leading ICT provider Ericsson (ERIC) have taken an important step towards achieving seamless cross-border 5G connectivity in vehicles. Partners in the EU-backed 5GCroCo project, the two companies successfully tested the handover of connected cars between two national mobile 5G networks.”
Seamless cross-border 5G connectivity achieved in autonomous cars

The latest Marvel film scored $80 million at the domestic box office during its debut, the most of any film released in the wake of the Covid epidemic… Walt Disney (DIS) also revealed that it garnered more than $60 million globally from sales of the film through Disney+ Premier Access. This is the first time the company has shared information about movie sales earned from its streaming service.
‘Black Widow’ snags $80 million from its theatrical debut, $60 million from Disney+

 

Digital Payments & FinTech
Companies leveraging technology to disrupt and improve the financial services and payments industries:

“The global Payment Processing Solutions market size is projected to reach $52.1billion by 2026, up from $33.810 billion in 2019…” Major factors driving the growth of payment processing solutions market size are increasing eCommerce sales along with growing internet and smartphone penetration and embracing contactless payments globally and evolving customer expectations.
Payment Processing Solutions Market Size to Reach USD 52,060 Million by 2026

“Payments service providers are building an array of financial services to compete with financial institutions (FIs). Lending, bank account products, issuing, and other services that have been FIs’ bread and butter are being challenged in a bid to add more revenue opportunities and engender greater loyalty. These payment disruptors, such as Square (SQ), Stripe, and Shopify (SHOP), are using their existing relationships with small businesses to attract clients away from FIs and persuading them to use their own financial offerings.”
Key trends helping payments disruptors take on financial services

“Competition in payments has intensified over the past decade, with fintech players like Stripe, Jack Dorsey’s Square and Netherlands-based Adyen all vying for a bigger share of the $2 trillion market.”
This little-known payments start-up is now Europe’s third-biggest fintech

 

Sustainable Future of Food
Companies addressing the challenge of providing healthy, affordable and nutritious food to a growing global population amid dwindling natural resources:

“AI and Nanotechnology would help in “precision agriculture” and would help farmers know the right things to do or observe when farming certain crops. This would help ensure that no supplies and resources would get wasted and that it would help yield the best possible results at any given time of farming.”
AI, Nanotechnology May Help Solve World Hunger via ‘Precision Agriculture,’ Thanks to Research

“Autonomous vehicles poised to hit the mainstream alongside rapid growth in AI computing capabilities with improving commercials are offering enormous opportunities in the Smart Farming and Precision Agriculture market. Over the forecast period to 2028, we forecast the Smart Farming and Precision Agriculture market to regain growth momentum, mainly with support from developing markets.”
Worldwide Smart Farming and Precision Agriculture Industry to 2028

“L’Oréal, the world’s largest beauty brand, is paving the way for other cosmetics giants to up their environmental credentials with a new recycled cosmetics bottle made using enzymatic technology. Developed by biotech solutions provider Carbios, the new bottles will first be adopted by the company’s Luxury Products brand Biotherm.
L’Oréal pushes on with sustainable packaging goals using ‘disruptive’ enzymatic technology

“Making sustainability part of their business model is critical for online retailers, especially as the industry is coming under intense criticism for its heavy use of plastics in packaging.”
Singapore online retailers go green by merging fashion with sustainability

“Researchers from UC Santa Cruz’s ecological aquaculture lab won a three-year, $1 million grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative at the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.This funding will support collaborative research to develop, test, and evaluate new low-polluting fish feed formulas for farm-raised rainbow trout.”
New research on aquaculture feed will test alternative ingredients to help minimize water pollution

“Aquaculture is expected to be the main driver for the increase of fish production globally, according to a new report by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). By 2030, global aquaculture production is projected to reach 103 Mt, 6 Mt more than the capture sector projected the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030 report. Per capita fish consumption will increase in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, while it will remain stable in Oceania and decrease in Africa…”
Aquaculture main driver of fish production globally

Tematica Research Indices

 

Thematic Reads: June 21, 2021

Thematic Reads: June 21, 2021

Thematic Reads

Each week Team Tematica consumes an immense quantity and range of content as we look to stay on top of the latest data and mine it for tailwind and headwind signals for our investment themes and indices.

Cleaner Living
Growing demand for items that claim to be better for you and the planet:

Nearly 60% of consumers said they try to choose foods and beverages with clean ingredients when they grocery shop in person, and 48% said the same for online shopping. Most consumers utilize on-package ingredient information sources to help make purchasing decisions, but a growing number also seek information about specific food ingredients online and from friends and family.
Consumer interest in clean eating ramps up

“With snacking becoming more predominant, people expect it to play a greater part in delivering their daily nutrition,” Powers outlines. “Consumers have been choosing healthier snacks since the start of the pandemic, and they’re turning to plant-based, whole-food ingredients like ancient grains, beans, nuts and seeds, for nutritional benefits and intriguing texture and taste.”
Plant-based preferences are rising, focus on health and better-for-you options

The New York legislature passed a bill last week designed to encourage the use of low-carbon concrete and cement, a major step aimed at tackling the climate impact of the construction industry.
Low-carbon concrete bill advances in New York

Multinational consumer goods giant Unilever has launched a laundry capsule in China created by recycling carbon emissions. It will unveil its first paper-based bottles for laundry detergent in Brazil next year, and it will introduce recyclable toothpaste tubes for its oral care brands Signal, Pepsodent, and Closeup in its largest oral care markets: India and France.
Unilever Embraces Sustainability By Rethinking Both Its Products and Packaging

More than half the cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada are awash with a toxic industrial compound associated with serious health conditions, including cancer and reduced birth weight, according to a new study.
Study: Half of US cosmetics contain toxic chemicals

“Lipstick wearers may inadvertently eat several pounds of lipstick in their lifetimes,” said Graham Peaslee, senior author of the study and professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame. “But unlike food, chemicals in lipstick and other makeup and personal care products are almost entirely unregulated in the U.S. and Canada. As a result, millions of people are unknowingly wearing PFAS and other harmful chemicals on their faces and bodies daily.”… Some PFAS have been associated with a wide range of serious health harms, from cancer to obesity to more severe COVID-19 outcomes, and they contaminate the drinking water of millions.
Unlabeled PFAS chemicals detected in makeup

 

Cyber Security & Data Privacy
Securing individuals and organizations against cyber threats and privacy violations:

As cyber criminals continue to launch ransomware attacks on businesses, experts warn that the ransom victims are expected to pay could skyrocket, funding the next round of advanced attacks.
Cyberattack Ransoms Could Skyrocket Soon, Financing Tools for Criminal Intelligence

On Jan. 15, a hacker tried to poison a water treatment plant that served parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. It didn’t seem hard.
50,000 security disasters waiting to happen: The problem of America’s water supplies

Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies urged companies to adopt many of the same defensive steps that it has recently required of federal agencies and companies that do business with the government.
White House Warns Companies to Act Now on Ransomware Defenses

Healthcare practitioners should ensure any data submitted by patients is transmitted securely to avoid a fine for breaching the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

VMware says rising volume of cyberattacks unlikely to ease anytime soon

 

Digital Infrastructure & Connectivity
The Buildout and upgrading of our Networks, Data Storage Facilities, and Equipment:

“Virtual events are here to stay,” Scott Roberts, LinkedIn’s vice president of business development, said in a statement. “We recognize our customers use many platforms, so we want to make it easy for them to extend the reach of their live events onto LinkedIn.”
LinkedIn bets on remote events, investing in $5 billion-plus virtual platform company Hopin

The Department of Defense’s (DOD) 5G-to-Next G Initiative (5GI), overseen by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, successfully demonstrated an advanced 5G network for logistics modernization exclusively designed and built in the United States.
Department of Defense Successfully Demonstrates a 5G Network for Smart Warehouses

Implementation of 5G technology accelerated the demand for various healthcare technologies such as the Internet of Medical Things, AR/VR, artificial intelligence (AI), remote medical learning, remote patient monitoring, etc.
Why 5G Enabled Healthcare Is Important For Patients and Spatial Computing

As 5G begins to enrich customer experiences in several countries across industries, South Korean tech giant Samsung is all set to showcase its continued innovations around 5G and what lies ahead on the 6G cellular technology… Samsung recently released a white paper entitled “The Next Hyper-Connected Experience for All,” saying that 6G will be characterized by provision of advanced services such as truly immersive extended reality (XR), high-fidelity mobile hologram and digital replica… Examples of 6G performance requirements are a peak data rate of 1,000 Gbps (gigabits per second) and air latency less than 100 microseconds, 50 times the peak data rate and one-tenth the latency of 5G.
Samsung set to unleash the power of 5G, bets big on 6G tech

Reflecting the growth in investment, as of April 2021, the report was tracking a global pipeline of large-scale data center projects with a total value of US$161.3 billion, up from US$159.0 billion as of October 2020.
Global Data Center Construction Projects Report 2021

Digital Payments & FinTech
Companies leveraging technology to disrupt and improve the financial services and payments industries:

The volume of digital transactions worldwide is likely to triple over the next decade on the back of rapid innovations in the payments sector coupled with a significant amount of digitization of the economies.
Global Digital Payments Volume to Triple at 3 trillion by 2030: PwC

Germany’s largest lender is setting up a joint venture with U.S. payments giant Fiserv Inc. to offer customers payments-processing services. The joint venture will allow Deutsche Bank’s business clients to accept payments from customers, both in person and digitally, through Fiserv’s platform called Clover, which reads credit cards, debit cards and mobile wallets, and records orders and inventory.
Deutsche Bank Jumps Back Into Payments With Fiserv Deal

Where consumers can already choose from a dizzying array of digital payment channels, from online banking to peer-to-peer networks, digital payments in B2B markets is still in its relative infancy. Only one-third of B2B spend globally is processed electronically (compared with two-thirds of expenditure in B2C) and checks still represent more than half of the $120 trillion of B2B payments made worldwide very year.
Why B2B is the next big market for digital payments

 

Sustainable Future of Food
Companies addressing the challenge of providing healthy, affordable and nutritious food to a growing global population amid dwindling natural resources:

Oceans contain a diversity of renewable and non-renewable resources – like aquaculture, fisheries, oil, and gas deposits – that provide the intermediate inputs, such as waves and fish stocks, to support various ocean-based industries, including renewable energy and seafood production.
Financing a sustainable ocean economy

Soil is a farmer’s most valuable asset, and it requires care to ensure sustainable and profitable production for the future.
Meeting the Growing World Food Demand with Advanced Crop Nutrition

The global agritech market was valued at $17.4 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $41.1 billion by 2027.
Agritech Market Forecast to 2027

“Precision agriculture and autonomy are critical components of our strategy,” CNH Industrial Chief Executive Scott Wine said of the acquisition of Raven, which also produces high-performance specialty films as well as aerospace and defense solutions.
CNH plows deeper agriculture furrow with $2.1 bln Raven buy

 

Tematica Research Indices

 

Ransomware Attacks Now Top Priority at DoJ

Ransomware Attacks Now Top Priority at DoJ

The U.S. Department of Justice recently issued a memo outlining the directive and scope of the newly formed “Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force”, putting response to these types of attacks definitively on the front burner.

Directive comes as ransomware is exposing the fragility of critical supply chains.

Source: Ransomware will now get priority treatment at the Justice Department

Thematic Reads: May 24, 2021

Thematic Reads: May 24, 2021

Thematic Reads

Each week Team Tematica consumes an immense quantity and range of content as we look to stay on top of the latest data and mine it for tailwind and headwind signals for our investment themes and indices.

Cleaner Living
Growing demand for items that claim to be better for you and the planet:

“Ford’s first electric pickup truck is here—and it’s ready to prove that anybody can own a battery-powered truck without sacrificing the important features that make a vehicle like this useful in everyday life. The 2022 F-150 Lightning amps up the utilitarian nature of a pickup, adding features like a unique front trunk and vehicle-to-home charging that make the ride unlike anything else on the market.”
The Ford F-150 Lightning is an electric vehicle for truck lovers

“Renewable power generation grew at the fastest rate for two decades in 2020 according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. 278 gigawatts of capacity was added last year, a 45 percent jump and the largest year-over-year increase since 1999. The growth was even more impressive given that it occurred in the midst of pandemic-induced supply chain challenges and construction delays.”
Renewable Energy Boomed In 2020

“California’s clean air regulator on Thursday adopted rules to mandate that nearly all trips on Uber’s and Lyft’s ride-hailing platforms have to be in electric vehicles over the next few years, the first such regulation by a U.S. state.”
California regulator adopts EV mandate for Uber, Lyft ride-hail fleets

Cyber Security & Data Privacy
Securing individuals and organizations against cyber threats and privacy violations:

“Ransomware especially has been in the spotlight recently and data from our own Unit 42 shows that the average ransom paid in 2020 tripled from 2019 and in 2021 it’s more than doubled again. The highest demand we’ve seen is $50 million, up from $30 million in 2020, with organized groups with near nation state discipline perpetrating coordinated attacks. The targets are not only corporations where healthcare and pharma is a focus with the pandemic, but also government organizations and shared infrastructure.
Palo Alto Networks (PANW) earnings conference call (May 20, 2021)

“CNA Financial, one of the largest US insurance companies, paid $40 million to free itself from a ransomware attack that occurred in March, according to a report from Bloomberg. The hackers reportedly demanded $60 million when negotiations started about a week after some of CNA’s systems were encrypted, and the insurance company paid the lower sum a week later.”
One of the US’s largest insurance companies reportedly paid $40 million to ransomware hackers

“To defend against these cyberassaults, more companies are going into the cloud. Per the Tracker, “Cloud systems do not provide ATO immunity, but they do offer some advantages. Four out of five survey respondents said that their cloud systems offered better visibility into attacks that bypass firewalls or other external security measures, allowing them to catch fraudsters in the act. Respondents’ biggest fraud-fighting frustration was the amount of time needed to manage security solutions, however.”
Hardening Merchants’ Digital Defenses Against Incursions From The Dark Web

“Stolen credentials play a major role in retail data breaches, according to the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Study results indicate that the top cyberattack patterns found in the retail sector stem from system intrusion, social engineering (such as phishing), and basic web application attacks. Of the data compromised in 165 incidents with confirmed data disclosure, 42% of the breaches reported involved payment data (42%), followed closely by personal data (41%). Credentials (33%) and other data types (16%) made up the rest of the confirmed data breaches.”
Stolen credentials are a retail hacker’s best friend

“The audacious ransomware attack that shut down a major fuel pipeline and sent Americans scrambling for gasoline in the Southeast this week was not the first time hackers have disrupted America’s aging, vulnerable energy infrastructure. And it’s unlikely to be the last.”
Pipeline Hack Points to Growing Cybersecurity Risk for Energy System

Digital Infrastructure & Connectivity
The Buildout and upgrading of our Networks, Data Storage Facilities, and Equipment:

“When we think about the general consensus from third-party research, you’re at about $1 trillion of semiconductor revenues by 2030. The demand driving that is broad-based. You’re seeing a handoff from consumer-oriented devices to something that’s far larger and more substantive around this fourth wave of compute, the data economy. By 2025, machines will generate 99% of the data. Humans will generate 1%. You’re seeing a decoupling of semiconductor demand for the first time in the industry’s history from population and population growth in consumer behavior.”
Applied Materials (AMAT) earnings conference call (May 20, 2021)

“… we’re expecting a really healthy environment, you know, 5G, being one of the big drivers, and also for us, you know, with 5G comes content growth, you know, in it – in a 4G phone, DRAM, there’s 3 gigs to 4 gigs of DRAM in a 5G phone to get the 5G experience. A minimum of 6 gigs, and we’ve seen skews at 8, 10, or 12, at even 16 gigs. So, you know, this will be a great content story for us this year in an environment where I think 5G has a really good demand environment just at the end unit level. So, you know, for us the outlook looks great.”
Micron (MU) CFO David Zinsner at the 2021 Barclays Americas Select Franchise Virtual Conference (May 19, 2021)

“Radio component revenue reached an all-time high in 2020, according to Strategy Analytics, which expects revenue to grow through 2025.”
5G growing rapidly despite component shortages

“We are also seeing early momentum in the ramping of key technology cycles that are long-term growth drivers for our business, such as 5G, 400 gig and Edge… In our Webscale business, we delivered our sixth consecutive quarter of strong order growth, which increased over 25% in the quarter, and over 50% on a trailing 12-month basis. Our Webscale customers are starting their 400 gig upgrade cycles and aggressively pursuing long-haul build-outs while our Carrier customers are exploring new architectures to realize the full potential of 5G.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) earnings conference call (May 19, 2021)

Digital Payments & FinTech
Companies leveraging technology to disrupt and improve the financial services and payments industries:

“Several big American banks, including JPMorgan Chase, are signed up for a government-backed pilot using alternative data to get credit to people with low or no credit scores, according to the Wall Street Journal. About 53 million American adults do not have regular credit scores, says the firm behind Fico scores. The problem disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic people, according to the CFPB.”
US banks to pilot credit for people with no credit score

“NatWest is now allowing customers to set their own daily digital bank transfer limits – a move designed to reduce the damage done by APP scams. NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank currently set a default bank transfer limit of £20,000 per day but this will be reduced to £5000 per day.
NatWest lets customers set daily bank transfer limits

“Visa research shows that enabling tap to pay on transit systems like these can be good for economic recovery, bringing more than a 15% lift in transactions from merchants in surrounding neighborhoods. MST is the fifth transit agency in the US to accept tap to pay for fares, following Chicago, Miami, New York and Portland, OR. MST is also the first public transit system in the country that is located outside of a large urban area to introduce tap to pay fares – demonstrating contactless payments as a good fit for any size agency looking to enhance the customer experience.”
Contactless Bus Payments Introduced in California by Monterey-Salinas Transit

“The financial crisis of a decade ago catalyzed many secular changes in the U.S. banking system, but few are starker than the collapse in new bank charters. According to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), between 2000 and 2008, well over 100 new bank charters were granted each year on average. A drought followed the financial crisis, however; between 2011 and 2016, just two charters were awarded in aggregate. Since 2017, the average number of charters granted has ticked up slightly but remains an order of magnitude shy of pre-crisis norms. Yet despite the broad disinterest in bank charters, we are seeing a surge of interest from an interesting source: fintech.
Banking On Fintech

Sustainable Future of Food
Companies addressing the challenge of providing healthy, affordable and nutritious food to a growing global population amid dwindling natural resources:

“Food manufacturer OsomeFood has debuted what it claims to be the world’s first nutrition-focused and plant-based hard-boiled egg, in an effort to provide consumers superfoods without the need of harming animals or compromising on health immunity benefits.”
Singapore Manufacturer OsomeFood Says It Has Created The World’s First Plant-Based Hard-Boiled Egg

“Spiking commodities costs are stirring up fears about food sustainability, and the trickle-down impact of higher prices on everything from cereal to peanut butter and chicken — which Cheerios (GIS), Skippy Peanut Butter (HRL) and Tyson (TSN) have all addressed recently. Still, interest in alternative foods is surging, with one vegan restaurant owner saying plant-based eating is ‘here to stay.’”
Plant-based protein is the ‘new wave’ after COVID-19

“In the scramble for a healthy alternative to cow’s milk that doesn’t cost the earth, a Singapore startup has developed a new type of dairy substitute made from microalgae. A claimed world-first, the algae-based milk is comparable in nutritional value to cow’s milk, but is made using a fraction of the energy, land and water.”
In the race for planet-friendly milk, Singapore startup substitutes dairy with algae

“We are seeing continued adoption on the precision ag front as you think about things like tractors, for example, with command center and premium activation. That’s grown pretty significantly this year, which is a positive trend. And we would expect as we move forward and we’re bringing out new products that, that trend would continue. Things like ExactRate, which will be coming through the early order program, See & Spray Select coming out as well.
Deere & Co. (DE) quarterly earnings conference call (May 21, 2021)

 

Tematica Research Indices

 

Thematic Reads: May 10, 2021

Thematic Reads: May 10, 2021

Thematic Reads

Each week Team Tematica consumes an immense quantity and range of content as we look to stay on top of the latest data and mine it for tailwind and headwind signals for our investment themes and indices.

Cleaner Living
Growing demand for items that claim to be better for you and the planet:

The clean movement is probably definitely the biggest thing to happen to the beauty industry in a long, long time. Just take a look around the next time you head to a major beauty retailer like Sephora, Ulta, or Target: Whole entire sections—both IRL and virtual—are now dedicated to showcasing the best skin, hair, and makeup products in the clean space.
Everything you need to know about the Clean Beauty movement.

Consumer habits are evolving, people have started to be concerned about what they are putting into their bodies, which in turn initiated a clean eating movement across the world. Now the emphasis pivots to what they are putting on their face. While commercial beauty brands are restructuring their beauty strategy, natural beauty products such as Tata Harper are feeding the needs of the new green consumer.
– The Rise In Clean Beauty Brands

House Democratic leaders are lining up behind a White House push to allocate $8 billion in taxpayer funding for the latest iteration of mail truck, paving the way for a fully electric fleet instead of the piecemeal strategy U.S. Postal Service leaders have been pursuing.
Push to electrify mail trucks gains wide support, an unlikely win for both DeJoy and Biden

Synergy Flavors (part of Carbery Group) has acquired savory flavor and ingredient supplier, Innova Flavors, from Griffith Foods Worldwide, ramping up its savory product development of plant-based alternatives.
Synergy Flavors acquires Innova Flavors fueling plant-based food and beverage product development.

Mercedes-Benz is giving a sneak peek of an electric van that’s among the models broadening its battery-powered range over the next year. The electric iteration of the Mercedes T-Class, dubbed EQT, will accommodate as many as seven passengers and launch in 2022, Daimler AG’s main division said Monday. It will flank the Citan commercial van due to be introduced later this year, a version of which will be battery-electric.
– Mercedes Unveils Electric Van for Growing Battery-Powered Lineup

 

Cyber Security & Data Privacy
Securing individuals and organizations against cyber threats and privacy violations:

A text-message scam that infects Android phones is spreading across the UK, experts have warned. The message – which pretends to be from a package delivery firm, prompts users to install a tracking app – but is actually a malicious piece of spyware.
Flubot: Warning over major Android ‘package delivery’ scam

Top U.S. fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline has shut its entire network after a cyber attack, the company said in a statement on Friday. Colonial’s network supplies fuel from U.S refiners on the Gulf Coast to the populous eastern and southern United States. The company transports 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products through 5,500 miles (8,850 km) of pipelines. Colonial Pipeline says it transports 45% of East Coast fuel supply.
– U.S. pipeline operator that transports 45% of East Coast fuel shuts entire network after cyberattack

Researchers on Thursday reported that despite a 50% increase in mobile device management (MDM) adoption during the past year, average quarterly exposure to phishing attacks on mobile devices in the financial sector rose by 125% – and malware and app risk exposure increased by more than five times.
– Financial sector saw a 125% increase in mobile phishing attacks during 2020

Apple (AAPL) recently rolled out its highly anticipated App Tracking Transparency feature with iOS 14.5, which lets users decide whether apps track their activity for targeted advertising. Overwhelmingly, users seem happy to leave app tracking disabled. Just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have agreed to app tracking after updating their device, according to the latest data from Verizon-owned analytics firm Flurry.
– Too Bad, Zuck: Just 4% of U.S. iPhone Users Let Apps Track Them After iOS Update

“Identity Security is at the center of every major industry tailwind, including digital transformation, zero trust, hacker innovation, and compliance. Digital transformation and the explosion of technologies applications and automation tools are not only blurring the line between a privileged user and a workforce user, but also between human users, applications and bots.”
CyberArk Software (CYBR) earnings conference call (May 5, 2021)


Digital Infrastructure & Connectivity

The Buildout and upgrading of our Networks, Data Storage Facilities, and Equipment:

This week I want to talk digital infrastructure, again. I say again because my most recent Financial Times column focused on the topic. In that column I probably was not as explicit as I should have been about why I think investors need to have some exposure to digital infrastructure. I am going to pass over the obvious demand drivers – you’d have to be in a cave not to understand what’s going on with the internet, digitalisation, 5G etc.
Stevenson: Put 10-20% of your assets in digital infrastructure

Cristiano Amon, the CEO-elect of mobile-phone chip maker Qualcomm (QCOM), rubs his hands in glee when you ask him to talk about 5G. And for good reason: The speedy new wireless standard is creating boom times for his San Diego–based company, which reported 52% revenue growth in its latest quarter.
Qualcomm Is a 5G Winner. Here’s Why the Company’s New CEO Is So Bullish on the Future.

The world’s digital connections are about to become broader and faster, providing a platform for every industry to boost productivity and innovation. We have identified hundreds of use cases across more than 17 commercial domains that can run on an enhanced digital backbone. This research focuses on four of them: mobility, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.
– Connected world: An evolution in connectivity beyond the 5G revolution

“Globally, 5G deployment is still in an early stage given that less than 20% of the global operators that currently use LTE have deployed 5G. The U.S. and Northeast Asia markets continue to deploy 5G aggressively for both public and private networks.”
PC-Tel (PCTI) earnings conference call (May 9, 2021)

 

Digital Payments & FinTech
Companies leveraging technology to disrupt and improve the financial services and payments industries:

The pandemic has not only altered consumers’ shopping behaviors, but it’s also changed how they pay for goods and services. A significant number of people in the US were already using proximity mobile payments regularly before the pandemic—about 72 million in 2019, according to our estimates. As more consumers experimented with different forms of payment in 2020, however, the number of proximity mobile payment users in the US rose by 29.0% year over year to 92.3 million. We expect the user base to surpass 100 million this year and growth to continue steadily through the end of our forecast period in 2025.
– More than 100 million Americans will use proximity mobile payments in 2021

The Mastercard (MA) New Payments Index shows 95% of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) consumers will consider using at least one emerging payment method, such as cryptocurrency, biometrics, contactless, or QR code, in the next year. Over two-thirds of respondents (65%) agree they have tried a new payment method they would not have tried under normal circumstances, but the pandemic has galvanised people to try flexible new payment options to get what they want, when they want it.
– Mastercard’s Payment Index Shows 95% Of MENA Consumers Want To Try New Digital Payment Methods

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) today launched the linkage of Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay real-time retail payment systems. The first of its kind globally, the linkage is the culmination of several years of extensive collaboration between MAS and BOT, both countries’ payment system operators, bankers’ associations, and participating banks.
– Singapore and Thailand Launch World’s First Linkage of Real-time Payment Systems

The adoption of digitisation in trade finance has been something of a “slow burn” as practices have historically relied on the transfer of paper documents between involved parties and largely manual processes. This vitally important area of financial services has trailed behind the digitisation progress that has been made, especially in the last decade, in consumer and retail banking.
– Digitising trade finance: the next frontier for financial services innovation


Thematic Dividend All-Star
Combining the power of rising dividends and thematics.

The first quarter’s uptick in interest rates has some investors concerned about the potential for stock market headwinds. But unlike bonds, stocks often rise in value when interest rates increase. Dividend growth strategies that focus on companies with the longest track records of consistent dividend growth tend to be all-weather strategies that have performed well during a variety of interest rate environments.
– When Interest Rates Are Rising, Your Dividends Need To Be Growing


Sustainable Future of Food
Companies addressing the challenge of providing healthy, affordable and nutritious food to a growing global population amid dwindling natural resources.

Wunda is a ‘fully versatile’ milk alternative for baking, cooking, frothing, and drinking either hot or cold, according to Nestlé, who is rolling out the new brand in France, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
Nestlé develops pea-based alt milk with “neutral taste” for versatility

Tyson Foods is expanding its plant-based protein line Raised & Rooted into hamburger patties and grounds, bratwurst and Italian sausages.
– Tyson expands Raised & Rooted offerings further into competitive plant-based market

Two-thirds (67%) of consumers consider it important that the products they buy are in recyclable packaging, and the same percentage consider themselves environmentally aware — the same share as before the pandemic, according to Trivium Packaging’s 2021 Global Buying Green Report.
– Consumer demand for sustainable packaging holds despite pandemic

During the past 50 years, the world’s population has grown about 2.1 times, and consumption has grown more; for some goods, much more. Between 1968 and 2018 (the most recent year for which we have global data), production of both primary energy and of steel rose 3.4 times, that of meat grew 3.5 times, and that of grain grew 2.6 times. The total number of cars on the world’s roads rose sixfold, and the number of revenue-generating passenger-kilometers flown (an industry metric) grew by about 24 times. But the rise in aquacultural production beats them all.
– The Fabulous Growth in Aquaculture

 

Tematica Research Indices

 

Cybersecurity confirmation in March quarter earnings

Cybersecurity confirmation in March quarter earnings

We are in the thick of the March quarter earnings season and following a week of Big Tech earnings that included Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), and Amazon (AMZN), the coming week will be an earnings barn burner for constituents in the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index (FXBYCYBR). One of the key tentpole investment thesis underlying the Cybersecurity & Digital Privacy index should once again be confirmed – as our lives become increasingly connected with accelerating 5G deployments, the expanded scope of connected devices and the internet of things will fuel demand for cybersecurity solutions. The groundwork for what we will hear in the coming weeks reflects the number of high-profile attacks early in the March quarter, the quarterly results and commentary from the handful of index constituents that have recently reported their quarterly results, and newly published reports discussing developments in the cybersecurity market.

10 major attacks during the March 2021 quarter

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation that was underway for many companies as the adoption of work and learn from home, greater interconnectivity, and the shift to the cloud, all led to a surge in cyberattacks. Findings from Forrester consulting revealed companies felt they “had become more vulnerable” to cyberattacks since the start of the pandemic as total cyber losses among the affected firms rose to $1.8 billion, a 50% increase compared to the prior year. [1] A separate report from Hiscox found companies in the UK and Europe doubled cybersecurity spending to combat the increase in cyberattacks during 2020[2] but a finding published in the 24th Annual Global CEO Survey from PwC shows 47% of CEOs are concerned with cyber threats, up from 46% in 2020.

That increase in concern is understandable given the number of high-profile attacks that occurred during the March 2021 quarter:[3]

  • Threat actors actively exploited four zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s (MSFT) Exchange Server that resulted in at least nine government agencies and 60,000 private companies in the US alone being affected by the attack.
  • Computer giant Acer Inc. (ACEYY) suffered a ransomware attack and was told to pay a ransom of $50 million.
  • A data breach at aircraft company Bombardier (BDRBF) resulted in the compromise of the confidential data of suppliers, customers, and around 130 employees located in Costa Rica.
  • A cyber-attack disrupted US cyber insurance firm CNA Financial Corp.’s (CNA) customer and employee services for three days with the company forced to shut down to prevent further compromise.
  • London-based Harris Federation suffered a ransomware attack and was forced to “temporarily” disable the devices and email systems of all the 50 secondary and primary academies that it manages.
  • Australian broadcaster Channel Nine was attacked, leaving the company unable to air its Sunday news bulletin and several other shows.
  • A ransomware attack against the internal IT systems at IoT device manufacturer Sierra Wireless (SWIR) led to the company halting production at its manufacturing sites.
  • Cybercriminals engineered an attack on a Florida water treatment facility seeking to poison the plant’s water supply by increasing the amount of sodium hydroxide to a potentially dangerous level.

And while those and other high-profile attacks garner media attention, 30,000 websites were hacked per day in 2020 and every 39 seconds there is a new attack somewhere on the web.[4] To combat the “growing cyber challenge” as the scale of the problem “continues to both change and grow,” businesses are allocating more resources, including a 39% increase in cybersecurity spending.[5] That increase is leading to favorable year-over-year revenue and earnings metrics that have already reported their March quarter results and is poised to do the same at those that have yet to do so.

March quarter earnings

According to Zacks, during April, more than 1,500 companies reported their quarterly results and among there were several favorable reports from index constituents. Several key themes were had including:

  • Revenue and EPS for the March quarter came in ahead of consensus expectations;
  • Upward revisions were had to financial guidance;
  • Warnings that the number of attacks continue to grow even as bad actors continue to innovate new attack strategies.

Check Point Technologies (CHKP) reported a March quarter beat with revenue up 5% year-over-year to $508 million, while EPS for the quarter rose 9% to $1.54. Deferred revenue for the quarter climbed 8% compared to the March 2020 quarter, reaching $1.458 billion.

Per the company: “As hackers continue to find new ways to exploit the pandemic’s disruption, Check Point Research warned organizations about a global surge in ransomware attacks, alongside increases in cyber-attacks targeting Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities. This uptick included a 57% increase in organizations affected by ransomware during a 6-month period.”

March quarter results at F5 Networks (FFIV) topped expectations with revenue for the quarter up 10% year over year to $645 million. According to the company, it is seeing stronger than anticipated demand across the board as “Business and consumers increasing reliance on applications has accelerated all prior expectations about the pace of digital transformation… customers across the globe are scaling their digital assets faster, resulting in a growing demand for F5’s application security and delivery solutions.”

During the quarter, F5’s transition to a subscription-based model continued with record subscription volume leading subscriptions to account for 79% of its software revenue in the quarter vs. 73% in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, Systems revenue rose 17% year-over-year due to increases in “application traffic, the continued growth of systems-based security use cases as well as the emergence of 5G-driven service provider demand.”

When it reported its March quarter results, FireEye (FEYE) bested consensus expectations with $246.3 million in revenue, a 10% increase vs. the year-ago period, and boosted its 2021 guidance to $1.01-$1.03 billion vs. $941 million in 2020 and $889 million in 2019. During the quarter, the company’s annual recurring revenue climbed 9% to $643 million. Leading that charge was the company’s platform cloud subscription, managed services professional services that amounted to 69% of total billings in the quarter, up from 56% a year ago.

The March quarter also showed FireEye making progress on bagging larger deals as the number of products per customer continued to grow. During the quarter, the company closed 30 transactions greater than $1 million and more than 70% of those transactions included three or more products or solutions, and 60% included consulting services.

On the company’s earnings conference call, it shared its findings that “actors continue to innovate faster than the technologies customers are deploying to protect their networks and organizations are deploying to protect their networks. The attackers are learning new ways to circumvent conventional safeguards that cannot or do not learn from the frontlines in a timely manner.”

Later on in the call, FireEye added the following: “Nearly half of the 294 distinct malware families we observed in investigations last year were new and never seen before. More than 80% of these new malware families were not publicly available, meaning they were privately developed, and availability was restricted in some way. And 70% of all the malware families we observed were only found in a single intrusion set.”

Fortinet (FTNT) reported March quarter revenue that climbed 23.1% compared to the year-ago quarter reaching $710.3 million, nicely ahead of the consensus forecast. EPS for the quarter cruised past consensus expectations as well hitting $0.81 per share. Billings for the quarter jumped 27% year over year to $850.6 million while total deferred revenue exiting the quarter rose roughly 25% to $2.75 billion.

Cloud security solutions were a driving force in the company’s Service revenue, growing to $460 million during the quarter. Support and professional services revenue increased 21% to $210 million, while Fortinet’s subscription revenue grew 21% year-over-year and low-single-digit quarter-over-quarter gains to $255 million. For the current quarter, the company sees revenue of $733-$747 million, up 19%-21% year over year, and ahead of the $732 million consensus.

Upcoming constituent earnings reports

As the pace of quarterly earnings accelerates further in the coming weeks, with roughly 2,540 such reports to be had in May vs. 1,507 in April, a greater number of index constituents are slated to issue their latest quarterly results:

  • Tuesday, May 4: Commvault (CVLT), McAfee (MCFE)
  • Wednesday, May 5: CyberArk (CYBR), Radware (RDWR), Ping Identity (PING)
  • Thursday, May 6: NetScout Systems (NTCT), Cloudflare (NET)
  • Monday, May 10: Norton Lifelock (NLOK), SailPoint (SAIL)
  • Tuesday, May 11: Mimecast (MIME)
  • Thursday, May 13: Nice Ltd. (NICE), Tufin Software (TUFN)
  • Wednesday, May 19: Cisco Systems (CSCO)
  • Thursday, May 20: Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Splunk (SPLK)
  • Thursday, May 27: Okta (OKTA), Zscaler (ZS)

When we held the last webinar at the end of March, before the current earnings season got underway, we commented that the constituents of the Cybersecurity and Digital Privacy Index were poised to grow their aggregate revenue and EPS by more than 20% over the 2020-2022 period. As we tally the upcoming earnings reports, we’ll have a much better sense for the degree to which 2021 cybersecurity industry spending forecasts calling for year over year growth of 10% are conservative and how translates into even faster revenue and earnings growth for the basket of constituents. We continue to see consensus expectations for that basket moving higher over the coming quarters as the increasingly pervasive nature of attacks is once again realized while the combination of new technologies, new business models, and sadly new types of attacks expands the addressable market even further.

==============================================================

[1] “Firms are Spending More on Cybersecurity To Combat Growing Threats” available at https://digit.fyi/firms-are-spending-more-on-cybersecurity-to-combat-growing-threats/

[2] IBID

[3] “10 Major Cyber Attacks Witnessed Globally in Q1 2021” available at https://securityboulevard.com/2021/04/10-major-cyber-attacks-witnessed-globally-in-q1-2021/

[4] “How Many Cyber Attacks Happen Per Day in 2020?” available at https://techjury.net/blog/how-many-cyber-attacks-per-day/

[5] “Firms are Spending More on Cybersecurity To Combat Growing Threats” available at https://digit.fyi/firms-are-spending-more-on-cybersecurity-to-combat-growing-threats/

Thematic Reads: April 26, 2021

Thematic Reads: April 26, 2021

Thematic Reads

Each week Team Tematica consumes an immense quantity and range of content as we look to stay on top of the latest data and mine it for tailwind and headwind signals for our investment themes and indices.

Cleaner Living
Growing demand for items that claim to be better for you and the planet:

 Volvo AB (VOLVF), the world’s second-largest truck-maker, is looking to generate half of its sales in Europe from electric vehicles by 2030. The company recently announced three new heavy-duty electric trucks designed for intercity regional transport and urban construction. Production of the trucks is expected to start in the latter half of 2022.

Toyota Motor (TM) introduced the Toyota bZ4X Concept, the first of a global series of battery-electric vehiclesto be launched under the “Toyota bZ” brand umbrella.

German automotive company Daimler (DDAIF) shared it will create 1,000 new jobs for software programmers at its S-Class production facility to develop its planned operating system for electric vehicles. Daimler’s MBOS system, which will run electric-only vehicles, is expected to hit the market in 2024.

The Oprah Winfrey-backed oat-milk maker Oatly Group AB (OTLY) has filed to go public in the US and intends to raise at least $100 million.

Nestlé SA (NSRGY) is in talks to buy the maker of Nature’s Bounty vitamins for a price in the mid-single-digit billions, according to people familiar with the matter, as the Swiss food giant pushes further into nutritional offerings… In addition to Nature’s Bounty vitamins, Bountiful’s brands include Pure Protein, which makes protein bars, Osteo Bi-Flex joint-care supplements and Puritan’s Pride vitamins and supplements.
Nestlé Looks to Buy Maker of Nature’s Bounty Vitamins


Cyber Security & Data Privacy

Securing individuals and organizations against cyber threats and privacy violations:

The Biden administration is buckling down on cyber threats to the U.S. power infrastructure. The Department of Energy (DOE) announced a 100-day plan to help shore up the U.S. electric power system against cyber threats. The plan, rolled out with the private sector and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), is meant to help owners and operators develop more comprehensive approaches to detection, mitigation and forensic capabilities, according to the National Security Council.
Biden administration unveils plan to defend electric sector from cyberattacks

An ongoing phishing campaign is impersonating Michael Page consultants to push Ursnif data-stealing malware capable of harvesting credentials and sensitive data from infected computers.
Phishing impersonates global recruitment firm to push malware

Costco Wholesale (COST) warned American internet users to be wary of more than a dozen digital scams targeting its customer base. On its website, the American multinational corporation has published screenshots of 14 “prominent fraudulent emails, texts, and posts” in which cyber-criminals are impersonating Costco.
Costco Issues Scam Warning

Check Point reported March quarter results that topped top and bottom-line expectations. Exiting the quarter, deferred revenues were $1.46 billion, up 8% YoY. Per the company, “The cyber threat landscape is reaching new levels of risk and requires a holistic security architecture to prevent the next cyber pandemic.”
Checkpoint Software (CHKP), April 26, 2021


Digital Infrastructure & Connectivity

The Buildout and upgrading of our Networks, Data Storage Facilities, and Equipment:

“Several factors are at play in driving this robust wafer front end growth. First, secular tailwinds such as AI, 5G, and IoT continue to strengthen. And over the past year, COVID-19-related impacts like work and learn from home have accelerated adoption of these technologies.”
Lam Research (LRCX), April 21, 2021

“Compared to three months ago, we are seeing a significant increase in demand across all market segments and our product portfolio. The build-up of the digital infrastructure with secular growth drivers such as 5G, AI and High- Performance Computing solutions fuels demand for advanced and mature nodes in Logic as well as Memory. We now expect revenue growth towards 30% in 2021 compared to last year.”
ASML Holding (ASML), April 21, 2021

“In data center, we believe revenue bottomed in Q1 and will increase in Q2 as cloud digestion impacts begin to subside, and enterprise and government momentum continues.”
Intel (INTC), April 23, 2021

“We have partnered with leading brands across diverse verticals, such as Honda to innovate connected and autonomous driving; Deloitte and SAP to create a 5G and edge computing retail digital platform that will provide retailers with real-time operations data; and Dreamscape and Arizona State University to build and commercialize immersive learning and training.”
Verizon (VZ), April 21, 2021

“…the latest slew of UK government broadband funding, which has largely been based on clear and unambiguous objectives: providing gigabit-speed connections to 85 per cent of the country by 2025, be that through FTTP or 5G, or any other sufficiently-capable technology.”
Maybe high-speed internet is infrastructure after all, say US Republicans in proposal to spend $65bn over five years


Digital Lifestyle

The increasingly digital landscape that now underpins the entire consumer experience:

Walt Disney (DIS) and Sony’s (SNE) Sony Pictures Entertainment announced a multi-year content licensing agreement for US streaming and TV rights to Sony Pictures’ new theatrical releases across Disney+ and Hulu, as well as ABC, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX and National Geographic.

Digital Payments & FinTech
Companies leveraging technology to disrupt and improve the financial services and payments industries:

PayPal (PYPL) announced the launch of crypto on Venmo, a new way for Venmo’s more than 70 million customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency directly within the Venmo app.

Amazon (AMZN) is expanding Amazon One, its palm-scanning payment system to a Whole Foods store in Seattle, the first of many planned rollouts at other locations.

Juniper’s Digital Money Transfer & Remittances whitepaper says mobile transactions will represent an 89 per cent per cent share of total transaction value by 2025. The report also found that with shifting customer expectations, existing money transfer models face an increasing threat from instant payments, with domestic instant payment transaction values forecast to grow from $524billion in 2020, to $2trillion in 2025.
Mobile Transactions Will See Digital Money Transfers Soar to $3.4 trillion


Thematic Dividend All-Star
Combining the power of rising dividends and thematics.

 “The historical evidence strongly suggests that expected future earnings growth is fastest when current payout ratios are high and slowest when payout ratios are low.”
Does Dividend Policy Foretell Earnings Growth?


Sustainable Future of Food
Companies addressing the challenge of providing healthy, affordable and nutritious food to a growing global population amid dwindling natural resources.

Trimble (TRMB) and HORSCH announced a collaboration focused on developing solutions that enable autonomy in agriculture with the goal of building a future for autonomous machines and workflows in the industry.

Raven Industries (RAVN) purchased all of the intellectual property and patents of Jaybridge Robotics, an early developer of automated agriculture technology. Raven will leverage the portfolio with its continued development of Driverless Ag Technology — including integration of the technology into the company’s AutoCart platform.

Bear Flag Robotics tractors provide growers increased command and control to take control of any situation in the field, higher levels of safety for farmers and the machines and path generation technology to give operators total control
Bear Flag Robotics Autonomous Tractor

Tematica Research Indices

 

Facebook users’ data leaked online, again…

Facebook users’ data leaked online, again…

Over 500 Million Facebook user’s data from 2019 has been made publicly and freely available. While not every record is current, this release still affects many users of the social network.

The data includes phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and — in some cases — email addresses.

Source: 533 million Facebook users’ phone numbers and personal data have been leaked online

Cheaters Never Prosper

Cheaters Never Prosper

Video Game publisher Activision recently published a report that outlines how players downloading and installing various cheats for Call of Duty: Warzone are not only gaining an unfair edge over their competitors but are also installing any number of credential stealing, computer compromising, and all-around not good malware as well. Want to get better? Start grinding, or as we like to say, practice makes better!

https://www.activision.com/cdn/research/cheating_cheaters_final.pdf

Cybersecurity Advisory for Public Water Suppliers

Cybersecurity Advisory for Public Water Suppliers

In response to recent disclosures of a water treatment  plant cyber attack State of Massachusetts officials have prepared a review of the attack and a list of resources for municipalities to help combat future attacks.

How public water suppliers can guard against cyber-attacks on water supplies.

Source: Cybersecurity Advisory for Public Water Suppliers